Book Reviews

One of our members regularly writes reviews for IT related books. He's graciously offered to let us host them on our web site. These books and others all become part of the Library of LUV ( also known as "LoL"). If you're interested in borrowing one of these books, put your name on the wiki page and come to one of our regular Tuesday meetings. If you have books you no longer need that may be of interest to our members, you can add them to the LoL by putting them on the wiki page.

The Linux Programming Interface

Michael Kerrisk: The Linux Programming Interface; ISBN 978-1-59327-220-3; Published by No Starch Press, 1506 pp., RRP AU$ 130

The book's sub-title, A Linux and UNIX System Programming Handbook, indicates a broader coverage than just Linux. If you happen to see a copy of The Linux Programming Interface on a bookshelf, take the time to read the first few pages of the preface. One paragraph is worth quoting here:

Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred

David Nelson: Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred; ISBN 978-1-59327-259-3; Published by No Starch Press, 337 pp., RRP AU$ 29.95

The book has a sub-title, Seriously geeky stuff to make with your kids, which is not to be taken to mean 'turning your kids into geeky stuff', but rather entertaining them with simple, but interesting projects in which they can participate. Apart from parents (and other rels) the book is a useful resource for teachers.

Ubuntu for Non-Geeks 4th edn.

Rickford Grant and Phil Bull: Ubuntu for Non-Geeks 4th edn.; ISBN 978-1-59327-257-9; Published by No Starch Press, 452 pp., RRP AU$ 50.95

Ubuntu for Non-Geeks is a classic introduction to Ubuntu for both raw novices and those users who are still developing their Linux skills. Rickford Grant has maintained an ongoing coverage of extended-support releases of Ubuntu; two versions are released each year—usually in April and October—and which are supported for about eighteen months. Thus, version 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) was released in October 2007 and supported until April 2009.

SQL Antipatterns

David Karwin: SQL Antipatterns; ISBN 978-1-93435-655-5; Published by ragmatic Bookshelf, 333 pp., RRP AU$ 50.95

The sub-title of this book is Avoiding the Pitfalls of Database Programming, which nicely encapsulates its purpose: to present good and practical advice. In his introduction the author defines an antipattern as: … a technique that is intended to solve a problem but often leads to other problems. The concept of antipatterns has been around for a long time; a book, Antipatterns [William J.

Network Flow Analysis

Michael Lucas: Network Flow Analysis; ISBN 978-1-59327-203-6; Published by No Starch Press, 204 pp., RRP AU$ 57.95

Network Flow Analysis demonstrates "… how to use industry-standard software and your existing hardware to assess, analyse, and debug your network". The introduction is well worth reading by anyone with an interest in network administration and network management; it is a good discussion that does not require a technical background in networking.

Practical Arduino

Jonathan Oxer & Hugh Blemings: Practical Arduino; ISBN 978-1-4302-2477-8; Published by Apress, 423 pp., RRP AU$ 57.95

I have two criticisms of Practical Arduino: the typeface used for the body text is too small, and the poor quality of the photographic illustrations, some of which are muddy to the point of losing essential detail. A larger typeface would, of course, increase the book's page count and make it more expensive; however, a typeface with a larger X-height combined with justified typesetting might have been a good compromise.

Getting Started with Arduino

Massimo Banzi: Getting Started with Arduino; ISBN 978-0-596-15551-3; Published by Make Books (an imprint of O'Reilly), 117 pp., RRP AU$ 23.95

The author of Getting Started with Arduino, Massimo Banzi, is co-founder of Arduino, "… an open source physical computing platform based on a simple input/output (I/O) board and a development environment that implements the Processing language ( Arduino can be used to develop standalone interactive objects or can be connected to software on your computer.

The Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book

Laurens Valk: The Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book; ISBN 978-1-59327-211-1; Published by No Starch Press, 297 pp., RRP AU$ 42.95

The sub-title describes the book's content: a beginner's guide to building and programming robots. It is, of course, Lego-centric; there are other educational/hobbyist robotic systems and components, but the Lego kits are a good entry point and the Mindstorms system is very well documented—No Starch Press has a number of titles.

CSS: The Definitive Guide 3/e

Eric Meyer : CSS: The Definitive Guide 3/e; ISBN 978-0-596-52733-4; Published by O'Reilly, 518 pp., RRP AU$ 72.95

Eric Meyer is an acknowledged expert on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), as well as other aspects of web technology. His definitive guide was first published in 2000 and is in its third edition, which covers CSS2 and CSS2.1. Readers are assumed to have "a decent knowledge of HTML 4.0", but—in my opinion—should have a reasonable level of familiarity with web technologies at large.

PHP: The Good Parts

Peter MacIntyre: PHP: The Good Parts; ISBN 978-0-596-80437-4; Published by O'Reilly, 156 pp., RRP AU$ 49.95

It is worth quoting from the book's foreword:

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