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© January 2008 Anthony Lawrence

X Expertise (X Power Tools)

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  • X Expertise (X Power Tools)
  • Chris Tyler
  • O'Reilly
  • 9780596101954

The title of this book is "X Power Tools" and that is very unfortunate because it could lead you to think it either describes a collection of X clients that the author thinks you cannot live without or is one of those overly enthusiastic, very fluffy, not very useful books that generally are found with similar titles. This isn't either of those.. as I've implied in my title (which is too cutesy also, I agree), this is jam packed with useful technical information about installing, configuring and using X.

This exceeded my expectations immediately. I opened the book expecting to be slightly bored. What don't I already know about X that I care about knowing? Well.. as it turns out, quite a lot. I have a habit of turning down page corners when I come across something interesting that I want to note in my review - this poor book looked shabby in minutes. I had to switch to Post-it notes, but soon it was full of those too.. I gave up: this book is loaded with things you want to know.

There are little asides the author throws in now and then, like "The memory and raw processing power of many modern optical mice exceeds that of the first computer to run Unix" or an excellent tip for spotting a too low refresh rate. I simply cannot tell you how much I learned reading this: it's not just the wealth of technical tips: the author explains things very well - beyond very well. There were a number of things where my understanding was a little vague and fuzzy before his concise explanations cleared the fog for me. I really enjoyed reading this because of that!

I had the big multi-volume "X Windows User's Guide" years ago (probably still have it kicking around here somewhere) - amazingly enough, this packs more truly useful information into 200+ pages than that did in several larger books. I'm really impressed, and can highly recommend this.

Tony Lawrence 2008-01-15 Rating: 4.5

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