The artists guide to the Gimp is a book that gets everything right. In terms of design, the book's layout breaks all the rules of how to make a computer manual: it is in landscape format, it's all in colour, and it's printed on glossy paper that makes you feel you are browsing a brochure, rather than a book. In terms of contents, the book covers everything with such ease that you end up reading the parts you weren't really interested in.
Audacity is one of my favorite free software applications, and it has really improved over the years. This book covers the latest features in the 1.3.x series, which is expected to lead directly to the version 2.x Audacity. The book covers more than just Audacity, though. In the process of covering several different uses, it also discusses everything from hardware equipment selection to copyright and business problems that may come up in a project. Overall, it's a good read and a good introduction to Audacity, audio recording, and audio processing.
It's an old joke among programmers that questions of the efficacy of programming languages, abstraction models, management models, or other fundamental ideas of software engineering are simply "religious wars" -- i.e. conflicts impossible to resolve, because they are based on faith and superstition rather than any kind of objective evidence. And yet, a lot of important decisions are based on these ideas. So it's refreshing to see a book that attempts to apply real scientific rigor to the questions of programming and software engineering, and that's what "Making Software" gives us.
Sometimes the best book on a subject is the shortest. This is a very concise book, focused very much on a single narrow, but important, subject with Blender: which is how to light your subject, create colors and textures, and generate the final 2D render from the 3D scene.
I've just completed a book review for my LUG:
We have been given quite a few books by O'Reilly and Apress to review. I can't say that every book we have been given has been reviewed, but quite a few have, and I feel we've made some contribution to the community.
Hardly anyone realizes that Blender even is a video compositing and non-linear editing tool (in addition to its modeling, rendering, and animation capabilities). There are few, if any, books available on how to use it for that purpose, so Roger Wickes' book is much needed. It contains an enormous amount of very useful information.
Daniel James is the director of the Studio 64 GNU/Linux distribution, which serves as a basis for professional music studio mixing installations, as well as an experienced writer and editor. Thus it is not surprising that he should create an excellent book on music mixing. What did surprise me was how well he covered visual arts as well -- photography, drawing, animation, and video production.
Inkscape is a mature SVG vector graphics editor. You can run it on a number of platforms including GNU/Linux and Windows. It has a rich set of features and is popular and actively maintained. The Book of Inkscape: the definitive guide to the free graphics editor, by Dmitry Kirsanov is a comprehensive guide of 476 pages that describes in detail the various parts of the software. The book also includes six chapter-size tutorials that emphasis the manipulative power of this feature rich editor.
SQL is the de facto method of accessing relational data within databases. Databases have been around for many years, and consequentially many many books have been written about them. However, SQL Hacks: Tips & Tools for Digging into Your Data by Andrew Cumming and Gordon Russell sets itself apart through format, easy-going style, and ability to cover lots of tips, tricks, and hacks with Structured Query Language. The O'Reilly Press Hacks Series book covers SQL for MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and Microsoft Access. It covers 100 hacks which will definitely add to your SQL toolkit, and it will help give you ideas of how to solve related issues in writing queries.
The C language, despite the best journalistic assassins, trained monkeys on bikes, an alleged lack of fashion taste, is still alive and rocking in the building. C is, beyond dispute, recognized as a resource efficient and thus valid language to use, especially for highly effective operating systems such as GNU/Linux and for device driver creation. A good starting point for learning is K N Kings popular book "C Programming: A modern approach", published by Norton, which has just reached its second edition and hence worthy of a new review.
The application server GlassFish supports all the most modern and juicy features of Java Enterprise Edition (EE), formally known as J2EE. Made by Sun, the server has a dual purpose as both the official application server reference for Java EE and as a viable and scalable piece of software that performs well under most conditions. David R. Heffelfinger's book "Java EE 5 Development using Glassfish", published by PACKT, follows both purposes by exploring the frameworks and the server deployment; thus the books details resonate vigorously with the spirit behind the tool.
Plone is a well-known Content Management Systems (CMS). Since it's relatively easy to customize to a specific enterprises style and workflow, there is a healthy trade of services around the core software. Martin Aspeli, the book's author, is an active contributor to Plone. Heavy involvement in a project that you are writing about always bodes well for the potential value and quality of a book that you, the reader might be considering buying. Aspeli's book "Professional Plone Development", published by PACKT, proves this quality point once again.
This book is a gem. The author has written a compact volume covering many facets of GNU/Linux on thin clients. The book is persuasive and gives attention to issues of users and managers. The author is the same David Richards who led the government of Largo, Florida, to adopt GNU/Linux on thin clients under the radar of Microsoft, through the valley of thin clients, across the mountains of IT to the promised land of GNU/Linux--before Munich and Extremadura. This is also the same person who brought thin clients on e-bay.
Perl is an amazingly powerful and succinct language. Although not the most fashionable, Perl is consistent and supported on a vast range of platforms, probably even more than Java. Better still, it gets in and does the job quickly with very little fuss. Perl by Example written by Ellie Quigley and published by Prentice Hall is a comprehensive, example based, and thorough book.
Mainstream Linux distributions such as the ever-popular Ubuntu have the potential to contain thousands or tens of thousands of packages and have a wealth of supporting services activated on computer boot ups. Mark G. Sobell’s book A practical guide to Ubuntu Linux, published by Prentice Hall, describes the details of maintaining these complex structures on your own machine.
The next major update of FreeBSD 7, due this December, is in the running to be one of the most impressive FreeBSD releases to date. The ULE scheduler has now reached maturity, leading to significant gains across the board (particularly in server workloads). This new scheduler brings notably impressive performance improvements to both MySQL and PostgreSQL.
In the first section of this article, I'm going to take a look at what's new. In the second section, I will discuss what the future holds for FreeBSD beyond the upcoming FreeBSD 7.0 release, including screen shots of the revamped FreeBSD installer "finstall".
I am not paranoid... honest, but we are all surrounded, surrounded by consumer appliances such as wireless network routers, media centers and even some clever fridges and microwaves. I am even sure that my elder sons Robosapien is out to get me! At least the book Linux Appliance Design: A Hands-On Guide to Building Linux Appliances by the experienced Engineers (and now writers) Bob Smith, John Hardin, Graham Philips, and Bill Piece allows us to know our hidden enemies and build better appliance mousetraps.
What are computer networks? And where does FLOSS fit in? A brief but to-the-point slim book, with loads of links, brought out by a program linked to the United Nations.