Home | Services | Resources | Events | Contact 



This section provides short commentary on books and software products in our areas of interest that we've had the opportunity to review.  Please contact us if you have an item you would like included.  (Expect mostly positive reviews:  if an item isn't worthy, we may not consider it worth wasting the space and the bandwidth here!)

3 Books on Firefox

Read the review as it appeared in the CPCUG Monitor, November 2005; requires Acrobat Reader.

PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide

Read the review as it appeared in the CPCUG Monitor, May 2005; requires Acrobat Reader.
Buy from Amazon.com

Linux Cookbook

Linux Cookbook.  Carla Schroder.  O'Reilly, 2005, ISBN 0-596-00640-3.

[Read the in-depth review, along with Linux for Non-Geeks, as it appeared in the CPCUG Monitor, September 2005; requires AcrobatReader.]

"Cookbook" is an apt description. The chapters cover such system administration areas as installing and managing software, editing text files, managing users and groups, system rescue and recovery, system recovery, printing, etc.  Each chapter then has many "recipes" covering specific tasks, each of which typically runs 2-3 pages.  If you don't already know how to do these, following these recipes is much, much easier than using the on-line Linux man pages, which requires first trying to figure out just which commands are the ones to look at.   Reviewed 18 January 2005

Buy from Amazon.com

Burn, Baby, Burn!: Recording Audio CDs from any Source, LPs to MP3s

Read the review as it appeared in the CPCUG Monitor, January 2005; requires Acrobat Reader.
Buy from Amazon.com

Robin Williams’ Web Design Workshop

Read the review as it appeared in the CPCUG Monitor, December 2004; requires Acrobat Reader.
Buy from Amazon.com

Google:  The Missing Manual

Google:  The Missing Manual.  Sarah Milstein and Rael Dornfest.  O'Reilly, 2004, ISBN 0-596-00613-6.

Who would have thought that somebody could write nearly 300 pages on something so ubiquitous, so seemingly simple, as the Google search engine.  If you've never clicked on Google's Advanced Search or Preferences options, or limited your search to images or news or froogle, you'll find this book enlightening.  And it has good advice for webmasters too -- how to make money with Google's AdWords and AdSense.  Once you've read this, you'll never again consider Google to be mundane.  Reviewed 5 July 2004
Buy from Amazon.com

Network Security Hacks

Network Security Hacks:  100 Industrial Strength Tips & Tools.  Andrew Lockhart.  O'Reilly, 2004, ISBN 0-596-00643-8.

With some books in the O'Reilly "Hacks" series, one gets the feeling that the author was really stretching to come up with the hundred tips.  But this book is all meat, no fluff.  The first chapter covers hardening Unix and Linux, while the second covers hardening Windows.  Chapter 3 covers network security -- a grab-bag covering easy-to-implement firewalls (meaning, no expensive software to purchase!), securing BIND and MySQL, even scanning for vulnerabilities with nessus and creating your own Certificate Authority.  Chapter 4 covers logging, while chapter 5 covers monitoring and trending.  Chapter 6 covers secure tunnels, through the use of open source software;  chapter 7 covers intrusion detection and snort.  If you're losing sleep over security issues but you don't have the budget for security software, this book will get you started in developing your own arsenal of tools.  Reviewed 22 June 2004
Buy from Amazon.com

Linux for Non-Geeks

Linux for Non-Geeks:  A Hands-On, Project-Based, Take-It-Slow Guidebook.  Rickford Grant. No Starch Press, 2004.  ISBN 1-59327-034-8.

[Read the in-depth review, along with Linux Cookbook, as it appeared in the CPCUG Monitor, September 2005; requires Acrobat Reader.]

The title really says it all!  For anybody wanting to learn how to use Linux, especially somebody not too technical, this is an excellent introduction.  It provides step-by-step instructions for loading Fedora Core (included on two CDs);  lots of short "projects" make it easy to get up and running with a good alternative to the Windows environment.  Reviewed 1 June 2004
Buy from Amazon.com