Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming (3rd Edition)

A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming (3rd Edition)

A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming (3rd Edition)


Despite the fact that I am actually quoted in this book in the “Praise foe other books by Mark G. Sobell” section, it really is a good book! Scratch that, it is a book that I am going to make *sure* makes the rounds through my office.

Here’s the trick. There are a million books and websites and such that have some general instruction on generalized shell scripting or particular commands or even topical stuffs. By and large, they are incomplete and usually feature a bunch of theoretical examples like “suppose you want to draw a box with three nested boxes inside…” Those kinds of things really aren’t much help to the average guy and that is where this book differs.

This book is chocked full of great command explanations, practical topics and real life examples. Sobell has gone out of his way to present this information not only in an interesting fashion, but a usable one as well, not to mention being very Linux distribution agnostic in the process. For example, he covers both the apt-get and yum utilities. There are even some OS X notes as well.

This is a vast and enormous subject to cover and Sobell does his usual excellent job with it. He starts you out with a little background, moves you into using editors and commands and different shells and even into some interpreted languages, all while guiding you through enough pertinent information to not only perk you interest a little on the subject, but give you a functional, working understanding as well. Great job and this is certainly another book I will be holding on to – at least until the next edition comes out 🙂

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

HTML5 Developer’s Cookbook

HTML5 Developer's Cookbook

HTML5 Developer's Cookbook


Ahh yes, another book review. I have to say that most books I review end with me telling you that it’s a good book, but this is NOT the case this time. This is not a good book, it’s a fantastic book!

I consider myself pretty versed in HTML 4 Transitional code, but HTML 5 is a whole different monster. I looked at it a while back but it wasn’t very mature at the time. Things have changed a bit now. There are more browsers that support it now and the support is much better. More and more websites are offering great HTML 5 content and there is some really amazing stuff I have seen it do. I just had to get my feet wet a little more.

This book, the HTML5 Developer’s Cookbook, is a great way to get into this new form of web programming. I really dig the whole “cookbook” concept, which has some well annotated and defined “recipes” for accomplishing different tasks. You get great directions on everything from HTML 5 basic layout, to HTML 5 forms and much much more. This book starts with some forward information on what HTML 5 is and what it is not, a little history and background. It follows with, basically, 2 sections. Practically half the book is devoted to straight HTML 5 layout, tags, element changes, forms, css and media embedding, and the second, more advanced half of the book covers a wide variety of very useful API’s. Things like drag and drop support and SQL support all the way up through really advanced things like media capture and geo-location.

It took me a long time to get through this book, mostly because i really wanted to try a bunch of this stuff myself and there are a lot of code examples (those recipes again). What I *WISH* I had done is to read the back few pages first. You see, a great advantage to this particular book is it comes with a free 45 day access to Safari Books Online copy of the book and it is infinitely easier and quicker to cut/paste code from the book than for me to type it all 🙂 My only gripe would be that you only get 45 days with it. That should be sufficient enough, though, for you to build a personal code repertoire that you can revisit for long after.

As always, it seems, with the selections I get from Pearson, this would be a great buy, fantastic resource to have and is a very good read. Go get your today. You’ll be glad you did!

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

HTML5 Guidelines for Web Developers

HTML5 Guidelines for Web Developers

HTML5 Guidelines for Web Developers


The last time I relearned HTML was in the HTML 4.01 Transitional days, so I was excited to get my hands on some information to help me play with HTML 5. Let me first say that this book assumes that you have some frame of reference for HTML and is probably better suited for someone with a little familiarity, rather than a complete noob. With that in mind, I thought the book did a great job of covering not only the things that have fallen away from HTML, but the new things in HTML 5 as well. There are *plenty* of examples posted throughout the book to help not only keep you interested, but provide practical code snippets for you to use s well. I think the topic itself is fascinating and this book has quickly become a dog-eared reference for my exploration. In fact, the only real negative that I found is there is a lot of javascript in the book, which probably deserves it’s own book, or at lest it’s own chapter. Either way, I feel this book is well worth the price. It certainly has come in handy for me!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Pakt Publishing WordPress Month!

Many of you know I do book reviews for Pakt Publishing. Well this month is their WordPress Month where they are offering some great special offers on some cool WordPress books. This is the software that runs bunches of your favorite websites, including this one 🙂 So, head on over to http://www.packtpub.com/article/wordpress-month and get a great deal on some cool tech books today! They even offer e-books to help fill up your Kindle / Nook!

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Book Review – BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing

Backtrack4


Right after I got this book, Backtrack 5 was released. My intention was to go through the book and compare/contrast things to Backtrack 5. Well, we all know the saying about the best layed plans…

That being said, I believe the information in this book to be directly applicable to Backtrack 5 and a good reference for it!

The book is a great tutorial and walk-through on how to use Backtrack for security and penetration testing, but, more than that, it offers good information about the field in general. You will go through software installations, software overviews, methodologies, tests / testing, and my favorite part, reporting and deliverables, a MUST for professional computer people.

I think this is an excellent book to add to your knowledge arsenal and you may be surprised at just how much you didn’t know. I know I was. This really is an important subject for computer professionals and I cant think of a better way to brush up than by grabbing a copy today. Thumbs up!

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook

Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook

Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook


   As a full time Senior Linux System Administrator in real life I was quite interested to get my fingers on this book for a review. After all, the job of a smart sysadmin pretty much dictates scripting away as much of your work as possible. We are a lazy bunch and we call that being efficient 🙂

   This is the first book I have reviewed by Packt Publishing or the author, Sarath Lackshman, I wasn’t really sure what I was in for. In fact I was slightly put off by the price, which I initially thought overly hefty at $45 US. For that kind of scratch I am used to seeing a much more substantial sized book from the sort of publishers I normally review for. I started making my way through the book anyway, and I am glad I did.

   What makes this book really cool is the premise behind it. Inside, as a “cookbook” should, you have these “recipes” for scripts. These are not what I have normally seen in many scripting books before, which are generally theoretical and sometimes lengthy examples, but these recipes are pretty straight forward, real world examples of things you might want to do, and how to handle those efficiently. The recipes are also small enough that you could easily piece meal things out to compose another script and I am certain that would be a great help to novice scripters.

   As nice as I think this book would be for novice scripters, there is a lot of smart stuff in there, stuff that had never occurred to me through my years of command line use. I actually got really excited to try some of the examples in there and to put them into practice. I particularly liked the little tricks here and there, like the “subshell trick” and I was absolutely thrilled that this book used modern syntax and variable manipulation, dropping the deprecated stuff like putting commands into back ticks. Good form!

   This book is certainly a keeper and I would recommend it highly to anyone who wants to become proficient on the command line. Some days you actually *do* get what you pay for, and I believe people will find this book to be a good example of that. This book was truly fun for me to work my way through and I sure hope they have more like it in store for the future. Go buy yourself a copy. I know I will be hanging on to this one for a while 🙂

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Stay Tuned!

Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook

Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook

I have been asked to review the “Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook” by Packt Publishing. It’s supposed to be coming in a couple days, so here’s your teaser to stay tuned! Packt Pub vs. Curmudgeonly SyaAdmin, a dead tree death match, only here at lincgeek.org/blog.

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Amazon Kindle, Subsonic and MusicBrainz

Kindle 3
   Early last week I had another burst of reading activity on my Kindle 3. Reading for me tends to come in spurts when the rest of my life doesn’t interfere and it had been a while. I loaded up the Kindle with some new goodies (Sh*t my dad says is hilarious, btw) and started peeling through not only the books but also the menus, setting things up just the way I like them.

RANT: As a side note here, why the heck are collections so freaking difficult to setup? I mean come on Amazon. Make them work by directory structure or something easy, or at least fix it so that when you add to collection, you are only shown books not already in another collection by default. OK, rant done 🙂

   Anyhow, as I was reading and setting up different collections, etc. I noticed a familiar recurring problem. The short history is when I got my Kindle 3 I noticed every so often the e-ink would not fully display, but only display VERY faintly. I called Amazon and they had me update the firmware but ut was really hard to tell if that fixed it as it was not a constant thing. Queue up last week and I notice this a LOT more. Not only while reading the books, but now in the menus, etc.. So, I called Amazon right up as they instructed me to do the last time I noticed this. They IMMEDIATELY sent me out a replacement. I mean I had it the NEXT day, during a snowstorm. There was no arguing, no listening to some low end tech worker flip pages on the other end of the phone, no shipping or return costs, no hassle whatsoever. THIS is what customer service is all about and it’s easy to see that Amazon stands behind it’s products. This is why I will always recommend the Kindle. I don’t know what the other guys service is like, but Amazon is absolutely tops every time I have had to deal with them.

Subsonic

   Shortly after I got my new Kindle (read hours) I got horribly sick (sinus infection) and have been that way for 4 or 5 days now. During my occasional bouts of lucidity and while waiting for the NyQuil to kick in again I was reading through my facebook posts and noticed Tom Higgins mentioning that he was enjoying using Subsonic, which is a new (to me anyway) software that manages your music collection for you. It’s a server side app with some seriously nifty clients you can run on you android phone, which made it catch my eye. I have (and still do for now) been using Kplaylist for quite some time and I really like it, but, hey, nothing wrong with checking out new things, right?

MusicBrainz

   Well, the thought of me trying out some new music collection software got me looking at my music collection. You know what this is like. I have been hanging on to my music in digital form for better than 10 years, so, it’s substantial / sizable, in different formats, mixed up, formatted and named badly, bad mp3 and ogg tags, etc.. What’s a guy to do? Well, I searched around a bit and found a whole lot of programs for Linux that will let you manually fix tags. Ick. With thousands to do I kept searching. I found a bunch of programs for windows and mac that will help you reorganize and fix your collection, and, eventually, I found ONE that will do the same on a Linux box. It’s name is MusicBrainz Picard I have been using it here and there (still sick) for a couple days now, sicking it on a directory of my music collection here and there. It sure beats doing this all by hand! It’s not perfect software by any means, but it sure will be a timesaver compared to the alternative and the more people that use it and update those databases, the better it’ll work. Check it ut, I think you’ll like it!

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux 3rd Ed.

Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux, A (3rd Edition)

Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux, A (3rd Edition)

I have said before on several occasions that Sobell does really good work. Well, this holds true to my words. This is a big book with some 1250+ pages in it absolutely filled to the brim with useful information. The review on the front cover mentions that the book is “comprehensive” and that just might be understating it a little. This book has practically anything you might want to know about Ubuntu, and references a lot of really helpful general linux and userland program information and it’s put together in a very straight forward and understandable way. Having the word “Practical” in the name is also a really good fit as the book offers great walk-throughs on things people will want to do with their Ubuntu install from beginner things like configuring a printer all the way up to things like some perl programming and running your own web server. All in all, this book is not only worth a look, but a keeper. It’s a good read and great technical reference.

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

South East Linux Fest 2010

South East Linux Fest


Wow, what a trip. Allan and I drove to SC from my place in PA in the middle of the night, which took up 10 hours. It was a nice drive compared to last year where it was foggy and rainy the whole ride there.

The conference was great. It was 2 days long, and, contrary to what I heard from some people, I thought it was just right. During the talks/conferences there was hardly anyone in the hallways. This tells me that there was something interesting there for everyone. I, however, only got to see Dann’s talk about the linux boot process. It was quite good I thought. The only real downside there was the vendor/hallway track, which was spread out a little too much.

Mordancy made us some SELF ’10 TLLTS shirts, which turned out great and were a hit. We do have some left as well and will be announcing how you can get yours on the show. Gorkon brought cookies and chex mix which were also greatly appreciated. And, of course, there were the books by Prentice Hall (Pearson Ed), APress and the wickedly cool Neuros Link and Nexus One we had to give away. I had a great time talking to all of you who stopped at the booth and I even got the chance to install Linux on a visitors laptop! I also enjoyed visiting with the other vendors and dot org booths there. I still really enjoy being a part of this community. You all are a bunch of great folks!

Probably the best “conference track” there was one tat was totally unannounced and impromptu. On Sunday night, after all was quiet and we were relaxed, Dann, Allan and I had time for a good executive TLLTS meeting. It was really nice to go over a lot of TechShow information, ideas, problems and solutions, face to face, so we could all get on the same page. We are coming up on our second season and we have some interesting things in store.

All in all I had a great time, which was exactly what I expected. I cannot wait for OLF this year nor can I wait for SELF next year. They just keep getting better and better!

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010