APLawrence.com -  Resources for Unix and Linux Systems, Bloggers and the self-employed


Power Hold'em Strategy

I had pre-ordered this a long, long time ago and had almost given up on it when I got the the email that it was being shipped. I had actually lost a little interest in poker (paticularly on-line) in the past year, but this book revived me. Why? Because it taught me something important and the funny thing wa that the most important thing I learned wasn't in the book at all..



Title Last Comment
Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide  
- I wanted to like this, I really did. It's just.. well, it's just that there's almost nothing here that you wouldn't find in the stuff packed with your Apple computer. -

Build Your Own Ruby On Rails Website  
- Another good intro to Ruby on Rails, review of Build Your Own Ruby On Rails Website by Patrick Lenz -

Amazon Kindle  
- I am so tempted by the kindle, but the price is too high. I think Amazon is forgetting the Gillette principle. Like razors, it's the blade where they should make their money, but also like razors, the thing being sold has a short life span - sure, I may go back and read some things again, but most books get read exactly once. -

RailsSpace  
- "RailSpace" is a tutorial that leads you through building an imaginary application with Ruby on Rails -

Making Things Talk  
- Microcomputer boards: Back in the 70's I built a few Heathkits.. I can't even remember what I built other than a voltmeter, but I remember enjoying it. Playing with electronics was fun. The only problem was that if you wanted to do anything complicated, well, it quickly got very complicated. It could get pretty expensive, too. -

Linux|Unix Firewalls  
- A Deep look into iptables and related tools: Although the introduction says "This book assumes some familiarity with TCP/IP networking concepts", it actually requires a pretty fair familiarity. Do not make the mistake of assuming that this is some cookie cutter approach that's going to teach you a bit about iptables and give you some scripts you can slap into place and forget. There are books that do that, but this isn't one. -

Pile of Books  
- I've had a small pile of books accumulating here. Some are vaguely interesting, but nothing I really was hot to dive in to. The pile is too high, so I'll run through them all at once here. -

Ajax Construction Kit  
- Very good ajax book. Chapter one starts off the way every tech book should start off, by describing what Ajax does for you. Most books would start off describing how to drive a car by jumping into a description of the engine rather than telling you that you can use it to get to the store and carry groceries back. Michael Morrison does it right, giving you the usefulness before delving into specifics. -

The Practice of System and Network Administration (second edition)  
- How to be a Systems Administrator in 900 pages: The broad coverage is a bit unexpected: there's a chapter on Being Happy, chapters on hiring and firing - I'm surprised that there isn't a chapter on being fired, though I suppose if you religiously followed the advice here, maybe you needn't worry about that. -

Network Warrior  
- In depth networking: Regular readers of these reviews know that I get excited when a book teaches me things I didn't know. If the author can do that and also write well and be entertaining, I tend to fall over in a swoon. Well, yes, this book knocked me out. The subtitle is "Everything you need to know that wasn't on the CCNA Exam" and it's all that and so much more. -

Designing BSD Rootkits  
- I have mixed reactions on several levels to this book. You might think that part of that might be an objection to publicizing hacker information, but no, that's not so. No, my first reaction was "Why a book?". After all, there isn't really a lot to say here, and while the author does say it well, it's not hard to find similar resources on the web. -

The Linux Programmer's Toolbox  
- Wow. Regular readers here know I don't say "wow" lightly. I may like a book, I may even think it's useful or even something you really should have, but very few really make my jaw drop. This is one that gets a "wow". It may be the holy grail of Linux programming books just because of its amazing depth of coverage, but -

The Apache Module Book  
- Book Review - 'Programming Apache': Aaargh.. C code. I never thought I'd say that, but there it is. I must be getting old.. -

Live Linux CDs  
- I've booted a few live CD's, but I can't say I've ever really done much with them. I know that there are some specialized recovery and debugging cd's that I probably should take the time to get familiar with, but like so many other things, I just haven't gotten around to it. -

The Ruby Way (Second Edition)  
- The author here states flat out that "The Ruby Way" is more of a reference, though it isn't really quite that either. He describes it as an "inverted reference" - in other words, more of a "cook book" style book. -

Mac OS X Internals  
- 1600 plus page book on Mac OS X internals: I've been waiting quite a while for this book. It was the introduction of the Intel Macs that delayed this; an appendix and numerous updates throughout the book cover the new hardware and the software changes (that's the August 2006 printing; if you are buying used and want the Intel info, don't buy the June 2006 edition). -

JavaScript Phrasebook  
- I've reviewed a few other titles in this "Phrasebook" series (just type "Phrasebook" into the search box at the top of the page). I like the concept: small, pocketbook size, relatively short. -

Javascript - The Definitive Guide  
- This is the Fifth Edition of "Javascript The Definitive Guide". I dragged out my old Second Edition (1997) of this book for comparison. -

Understanding Ajax  
- I enjoyed this much more than the other other Ajax book I reviewed recently right: the other book is more amusing and fun to read, but I learned more here. -

 
 
LOD Communications, Inc.
 
 
Apache Phrasebook  
- Pocket Apache configuration guide: Short and to the point. I like little books like this. There's no deep explanations here, no exhaustive examination of every nuance of every Apache directive. It's the basics, the facts, a quick lunch from the fast food place on the corner -

PHP 5 in practice  
- Nice PHP cookbook/reference. As some of my readers know, I'm stuck in Perl. I started my Actually, when I think about changing, I realize I really -

Ajax  
- The first thing I should say is that this is a thoroughly enjoyable book. Ed Woychowsky is fun to read, and I could almost recommend this to you even if you have no interest in Ajax. -

A Hair on the Long Tail  
- If you've never heard of the "Long Tail", it's simply a visualization of a sales or popularity curve. -

The Official Ubuntu Book  
- Nice coverage of ubuntu Linux: I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of Mark Shuttleworth (the founder of Ubuntu). His charitable work doesn't get the headlines that Gates and Buffet grab, but it is important and laudatory, and he began doing it almost immediately after acquiring his fortune - he didn't start giving away money to counter bad publicity or because he had more than he could possibly ever use. The name Ubuntu means something like "I am because we are" or "humanity toward others". Mark Shuttleworth obviously lives by that word.. -

A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux  
- This is the book I wanted when I started learning about Unix. OK, Linux didn't exist then, but if it had existed, and if I were sticking my toes in it, this would have been THE book. -

Solaris Performance Tools  
- I'm not as fascinated by tuning as I used to be. Nevertheless, this was an interesting read. I did not know, Most of this book is about Dtrace (Sun's Dynamic Tracing Tool) and -

Solaris Internals  
- Review of Solaris(TM) Internals : Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris Kernel Architecture (2nd Edition) -

Linux|Unix phrasebook  
- In the introduction, Scott says: "While man pages are useful, they are often not enough, for one simple reason: They lack examples." Oh, yeah. Boy does THAT strike a chord!. -

Linux|Unix Starter Kit  
- I should say all the nice things first: this is an attractively packaged DVD distribution of Suse 10.1 which includes a 128 page "Quick Start Guide". -

User Mode Linux  
- I thought I had a pretty good idea what UML (User Mode Linux) is before I picked up this book. Turns out that while I wasn't completely off base, I barely had a clue.` -

Unix to Linux Porting  
- Porting to Linux from Solaris, HP/UX and AIX: The major issues with porting to Linux from other Unixes include compiler and library differences, differences in system calls, and entirely missing system calls. There's also the issue of code that never was right to start with, but that's outside of the scope of this book. -

The World Is Flat  
- This is a book about computers. The author thinks it's about outsourcing, globalization and all that and of course it is, but the underlying force that drives all of this is computers and the Internet. You know that: maybe you are a "victim" of outsourcing and globalization yourself, or you know someone who is. You aren't going to find much commiseration here: reality bites, and the reality is that the world is changing. -

Wicked Cool Perl Scripts  
- Bah, humbug. Well, maybe not that bad. Actually, not "bad" at all: I have no real complaints about this book, but I didn't like it and can't imagine handing it to anyone with a hearty "Here, read this, you'll love it". -

Apache Derby - Off to the Races  
- I found it slightly amusing that a book that starts out extolling how simple and easy Apache Derby is then runs on for over 500 pages explaining it. A small smile was also on my face when I read the author's justifications for using Derby over XML files and how Derby would be a "perfect fit" for small business client databases. -

Service Oriented Architecture Compass  
- There are a lot of different definitions of SOA floating about, but when you strip away all the suit-mumble, it's concepts every Unix person understands intimately: loose coupling, reuse and interoperability. The distinction between SOA and an API is a little fuzzy at the edges, but an example might clear that up: suppose you have something that can be queried to return customer contact information. In a traditional API, that's going to give you back a structured record and if something new is added to that record (like a new "PDA ip address" field), the API probably has to change along with the clients that use it. With a SOA implementation, the data is probably returned in XML, and a client happily ignores fields it doesn't need or understand. This decoupling is what makes SOA more powerful, but note that it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with XML; any web service like chargen, daytime etc. is a primitive example of a service priented application. -

Just say no to Microsoft  
- Just say NO to Microsoft - Tony Bove's book is packed with historical information and advice - worth reading even if you aren't planning on giving up Microsoft -

Beginning Web Development with Perl  
- Beginning Web Development with Perl- While Perl may not be the 'cool' language for websites anymore, there are some of us who prefer to work with it because we use it for so many other tasks. -

Point & Click OpenOffice.org 2.0  
- First, this isn't a 600 page desk thumper. The pre-release version Two CD's will be included - one with OpenOffice for Windows and This does cover the 2.0 release. -

Linux|Unix debugging and performance tuning:Tips and Techniques  
- Thus, it's heavy on code, but doesn't entirely ignore system performance monitoring tools. The concentration is on code though, including kernel code. If you don't like programming, this is not your book. -

Self-Service Linux : Mastering the Art of Problem Determination  
- There's heavy concentration on using trace and debugging tools here; these sections are far better and more complete than anything I've read elsewhere, and include real examples of compilation problems and how to solve them. -

The Linux Kernel Primer  
- I've been less than happy with other kernel books I've read. Admittedly,it's a difficult subject: there's a lot to cover, and you really need quite a bit of programming and general Unix knowledge before you could even consider jumping into this area. But I have the background, have even written simple Unix drivers, and yet every other kernel programming book has disappointed me. -

The Symantec Guide to Home Internet Security  
- I'm not sure about this book. It's not something most of the readers of this site would be interested in, but it is something you might want to point out to other people. -

Pro Perl Parsing  
- I thoroughly enjoyed this. It may not be everyone's cup of tea; the subject matter is a bit esoteric. -

HP-UX 11i Version 2 System Administration  
- This isn't about sed and awk and grep. It's not a Unix book. It's specifically about the installation, configuration and administration of HP-UX. If you have been blessed with one of these and are unfamiliar with Unix, you'll need some other more general books to go along with this one. -

Pro Perl Debugging  
- I almost fall in the first category. I vaguely knew that the Perl debugger exists, but I'd never even thought enough about it to fall into the second group. In other words, I didn't know enough to be scared. I also frankly had very little interest. Not because my Perl skills are so wonderful that I never screw up (and if I were that good, my typing would do me in anyway), but because I just never thought a debugger could help me. That pessimistic attitude probably comes from early use of primitive C debuggers, and caused me to delay even looking at this book. That was a mistake. -

Optimizing Linux Performance  
- I found a lot to like here, but I do need to complain about a few things. -

Ending Spam:Bayesian Content Filtering and the Art of Statistical Language Classification  
- Fearing the worst, I took a deep breath, dove in and was instantly surprised. The first part of the book was genuinely delightful: a well written history of the origins of spam. I -

Moving to Linux (Second Edition)  
- The first edition of this had some less than stellar reviews at Amazon, but must have sold well enough to deserve a second edition. It may be that some people just don't like Marcel's chatty style; his "Cooking with Linux" column at Linux Journal has attracted some complaints also. -

Performance Tuning for Linux Servers  
- I'm trying hard to like this more than I do. It's not that there isn't good stuff in here; there is. But I just can't get excited about it. -

Peter van derLinden's Guide to Linux  
- This is a smooth and easy to read guide to a somewhat controversial Linux distribution. Oh, sure, much of it would be valuable for any Linux, but its focus is Linspire (nëe Lindows), the distro that sometimes attracts sneers and strong censure from more sophisticated Linux users. This is the Linux that is installed on the cheap PC's you can buy from Walmart, Fry's and other retailers. -

 
 
Kerio Connect Mailserver
 
 
Spring into Technical Writing  
- I have read more than a few books on writing style: Strunk's Elements of Style, Bernstein's The Careful Writer, and The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage are a few that spring to mind immediately. Perverse though it may be, I have enjoyed these books, and will sometimes pull one or another down from the bookshelf just for pleasure. Even though my own writing cannot live up to the lofty standards of these guides, I have an appreciation for order and rule, and probably most especially for nuance (Bernstein is one of the best in that regard, I think). -

Samba-3 By Example and The Official Samba-3 HOWTO and Reference Guide  
- I have to say first that I do not like the pedantic style of Samba-3 by Example. I feel like I'm taking a certification exam, and even though each hypothetical situation is followed by the solution, I just keep finding myself annoyed by that feeling. -

Shell Scripting Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach  
- This book is a wonderful compilation of shell scripting functions and recipes -

Russ Walter's Secret Guide To Computers  
- I haven't read this book. Or maybe I did read it and just don't remember. I do remember Russ Walter, though. -

Snort Cookbook  
- Snort is deceptively simple to get started with. On many platforms, you don't even have to compile anything; you can get current binaries for Linux, Mac OS X and even Windows. Nor do many users have to bother with any configuration: the defaults are often perfectly suitable. -

Silence on the Wire  
- Review of Silence on the Wire. This is billed as a security book, and yes, that is its focus, but that isn't why you should read it. -

Apache Security  
- I rather hoped this was better than it is. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, and it's probably worth having, but it could have been a lot better. First complaint: the index is lousy. Several times I wanted to go back and review something that I had read about in an earlier chapter, but was unable to find what I wanted with the index and had to resort to flipping through pages. Second, some of the material just is not explained well: if you are not already quite expert at Apache, you will find parts of this very confusing. Of course, that's a bit unfair: you really can't expect a book dedicated to Apache security to spend a lot of time explaining basics. -

Pro Perl  
- This is an excellent Perl book. I really like the author's way of explaining concepts with clear and to-the-point examples. Unlike the Camel Book, which is full of Perl insider references and puns, Peter Wainwright explains things clearly and illustrates with practical examples. -

Intrusion Prevention and Active Response  
- The more security books I read, the more I feel like I'm standing in a hall of mirrors, with the villian plainly visible pointing a weapon at me. But where is he? Which reflection is the one I need to pay attention to? -



More Books articles

Previous Books articles
















Have you tried our Tests?