This is the book I'd give to someone who needed to learn a lot about
computer networking quickly.
I'm tempted to say that this isn't a geekish book, but it is. It just
doesn't read like a geekish book. You'd need to be very tech-phobic
to feel frightened by this: the author explains things very gently, yet very
I was very impressed that he did not ignore Linux or Mac OS X. The text
regularly refers to those other Operating System choices and he
has a few pages that give a very fair comparison of their respective
stregths and weaknesses. Not only that, but he recognizes that:
In a very small business, the numbers will probably work out in favor of free or inexpensive server software unless you have to pay for outside support.
Oh, I could quibble that he didn't need the "outside support" qualifier
and didn't need to restrict this to "very small business", but as most advice of
this sort is often very Windows biased, I was happy to see that.
This is complete, from running wiring to what you can do with a network
after it's working. It covers wireless security, vpn's, print servers, setting up routers, everything. What made it particularly great for me was that as
I read along, I'd start to think, "Ah, but you are ignoring.." and then, bam, he'd hit my complaint in the next paragraph.
Very, very well done. I have to give it a top rating.