book review

Book review: BIRT: A Field Guide to Reporting by Diana Peh, Alethea Hannemann, Nola Haque

The creation and generation of well presented and delivered reports is a specialized profession that requires the correct skills, mentality and tools. An excellent free software example of such a tool set is the Eclipse-based Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) system for web applications.

Book review: Agile Java Development with Spring, Hibernate and Eclipse by Anil Hemrajani

The book Agile Java Development with Spring, Hibernate and Eclipse by Anil Hemrajani is a book for developers which effectively weaves an understandable lesson based on a realistic, but imaginary timesheet project. This book describes the combination of agile project mentality and Java programming and is a welcome addition to my personal library and the Java biased development audience as a whole.

Book review: Red Hat Fedora Core 6 Unleashed by Andrew Hudson, Paul Hudson

Red Hat Fedora Core currently at version 6 is a popular GNU/Linux distribution competing with the likes of Ubuntu, Knoppix and Mandrivia. With a large, active and well publicized development community via the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora project, the distribution is well balanced and user friendly with the expected applications and polish with graphically intuitive helper tools. The book Red Hat Fedora Core 6 Unleashed published by Sams and authored by Andrew and Paul Hudson reflects the many aspects of this rich platform in a grandiose 1100 pages, DVD included.

Book review: Beginning GIMP - From Novice To Professional by Akkana Peck

So, you want a free software image manipulation program? You’ve always wanted to be able to smooth out your own photos? You’ve downloaded the GIMP, but when you open the program to have a go you just get intimidated? You can work out some of it, but you really want to optimise your use, and feel like you aren’t just wandering about in the dark? Where should you turn in this situation? Well your first stop should definitely be Beginning GIMP, From Novice to Professional by Akkana Peck.

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Book review: Pro Apache XML by Poornachandra Sarang, Ph.D.

Pro Apache XML, authored by Poornachandra Sarang, PhD, and published by Apress, clearly explains XML, and, in specific, the Apache Software Foundation-related projects. eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is a human readable, machine-understandable text format. Web services send XML messages and XML acts as the underlying structure in configuration files for many modern frameworks and thus applications. In fact, the next quality-jump in the office suite is XML (zip compressed) document formats that are, in theory, easily translatable into other formats.


I recently picked up the book Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams and... bought it. This was a slightly unusual move for me as I get most of my information on what’s happening on the web from Free Software Magazine and others like it covering new developments (the web being somewhat faster to press). Being the neophyte I am, I was hoping for it to be a great compendium on current developments in collaboration.

Book review: The Definitive Guide to GCC, Second Edition by William von Hagen

Without the GNU Compiler collection GCC it would be difficult to imagine that free software would have had such a rapid penetration into the market place. Historically speaking, having a free high quality set of compilers acted as a bootstrap for the highly active GNU project and beyond and was thus an important, the important, winning factor. If you want to use GCC (including version 4) to its utmost, The Definitive Guide to GCC, Second Edition, written by William von Hagen and published by Apress, is almost certainly for you.

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Book review: Embedded Linux Primer by Christopher Hallinan

Embedded Linux sits in telephones, cookers, cars, and best of all in my camera and wireless router. I have no real idea of how many pieces of hardware sit under Linux’s careful and motherly control, but it must be quite dominant and I’m sure would easily be in the hundreds of millions and yes, I hear you shout that I underestimate.

Book review: Self service Linux by Mark Wilding, Dan Behman

Linux is by reputation and in reality a highly stable platform. Being free software means that you can see its inner actions without the lead coat of proprietary license shielding. Problem determination with transparent source, if mastered within the Linux environment, enables the problem solver to focus efficiently on the issues at hand. New administrators tend to take longer to solve the more horribly tricky and very infrequent issues than those that have burnt their wizened fingers on the obtuse over the course of long years.

Book review: Ubuntu Hacks by Jonathan Oxer, Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers

I want to tell you a little story. One that involves: love, greed, selfishness, guilt, shame and finally—confession. A torrid little story this is. It revolves around a geek and his love for free software. Not just free as in freedom, we’re talking free as in “keep my cash in my wallet” free! I’ll be playing the part of the geek, Ubuntu will play the part of free software.

Book review: Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two Bill von Hagen and Brian K. Jones

I’ve been reading through this book for a few days now. It has some good tips and it is very well written. But that is not what attracts me to O’Reilly’s “hacks” series. No, the truth is that I consider these books to be valuable treasure!

Book review: How Linux Works by Brian Ward

Ok, so you are a Linux user or a power user. The question then is what does it take to become a valid, omnipotent, root-enabled superuser? One potential answer is read the book How Linux Works, by Brian Ward and published by No Starch Press, by the last word of the last chapter you may or may not have been transformed, a wizard waiting to be born.

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Book review: Wicked Cool Shell Scripts by Dave Taylor

Wicked Cool Shell Scripts by Dave Taylor is a book that delights my force for good hacker’s instinct. Listing 101 viable Bourne shell (sh) example scripts succinctly, one is hard pressed to find a better starting point to enabling your intellectual problem solving physique to gain meaningful contact with real world coding. If you enjoy pimping the Linux, Unix and Mac OS X command line into customized heaven you may find this is one of the main books for you.

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Book review: Moving to Ubuntu Linux by Marcel Gagné

You have some computer experience and a desire to start learning about free software. Where do you start, what distribution do you choose? The book you should read when starting out with GNU/Linux is Moving to Ubuntu Linux by Marcel Gagné, and published by Addison Wesley Professional. This well-written book discusses Ubuntu Linux 6.06 LTS from installing from the included DVD through to networking, office productivity applications, and even working the command-line. If you’re new to GNU/Linux, or want to check out the coolest new distribution, pick up a copy of Moving to Ubuntu Linux.

Book review: Core Python Programming by Wesley J. Chun

Programmers and system administrators have many options when it comes to choosing a language to write scripts. One excellent choice is Python, a programming language designed to be easy to learn yet powerful enough to complete real-world tasks and requirements. Core Python Programming, 2nd Ed. by Wesley Chun and published by Prentice Hall is the text that will guide you through the Python language and integration with other applications and programming languages. Mr. Chun presents both basic and advanced Python topics in an excellent manner. If you are looking to brush up on or learn Python, Core Python Programming, 2nd Ed. is the one book you need.

Book review: OpenVPN: Building and Integrating Virtual Private Networks by Markus Feilner

Virtual Private Networking enables secure online communication over TCP/IP networks such as the Internet and Extranets and between road warriors and there online bases. VPN’s are the stock and blood of many distributed organizations. The technologies involved are relatively easy to use and widely applied. OpenVPN is one suitably viable and mature (James Yonan started the project in 2001), and open source instance. When properly deployed the server has a significant and beneficial impact on the security of your organizations online communication.

Book review: Managing and Customizing OpenCMS 6 Websites by Matt Butcher

If you want to create a free software content management server fast and starting with zero knowledge, and then vigorously and systematically play with a Java based web application, then the book Managing and Customizing OpenCMS 6 by Matt Butcher is the accurate, project orientated and a pragmatic book that you are looking for.

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Book review: SELinux by Example: Using Security Enhanced Linux by Frank Mayer, Karl MacMillan and David Caplan

Security is one of the important reasons GNU/Linux is chosen over MS Windows. Many folks will claim that GNU/Linux just isn’t targeted as often. Could be—but it could also be that it isn’t targeted as often due to its design. SELinux takes this concept one step further. Not just satisfied with the inherent security, SELinux has been developed by a team of concerned professionals and is now included by default in the 2.6 kernel. Yes, you may have SELinux already and didn’t even know it.

Book review: The Official Ubuntu Book by Benjamin Mako Hill, et al

The quality publishing around Ubuntu these days cannot be ignored. Another excellent book sits here beside me now, pages flagged with many points of interest. I wasn’t anticipating doing so much detailed reading with this one. After all, I just reviewed another Ubuntu book before this one. How much new information could be in there?

Book review: Moodle E-Learning Course Development by William H. Rice IV

Within the Education biosphere, there are a number of significant free software Course Management Systems. Moodle is one and a popular one at that. The book Moodle E-Learning Course Development by William H. Rice IV is a serious, practical guide to getting a Moodle installation off the ground and imparting the relevant knowledge required for a teacher or an administrator to create a well-balanced online PHP based learning environment.

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