A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux

When I first started working with Linux just a short 10 years or so ago, it was a little more difficult than now to get going. I remember the difficulty I had, wrestling with my first Slackware install and getting all the floppies together to get the packages that I needed. Today, a person who has never set on eyes on Linux before can have it installed on it’s own system or alongside another OS in almost no time with a very nice graphical installer walking them through the process. I also remember the hours I spent looking for the little piece of knowledge that I needed to conquer my next problem. Now, someone new to the community has a vast array of resources available on the web, or if they are inclined to begin with Ubuntu, they can literally find almost every single thing they will need in the single volume of Mark Sobell’s “A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux.”

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Posted under Admin, Linux, Networking, NonFiction Tags: ,

Wikipedia The Missing Manual

Much like anyone else who spends a decent amount of time on the internet, I find myself turning to Wikipedia quite regularly. I am unaware of any resource as thorough or as quick for many of my information needs (or whims) on a day to day basis. Detractors point out that anyone can edit Wikipedia and this can lead to inaccurate information. For me, the open editing is one of the draws. I’ve been reading Wikipedia for some time, and each time I find myself thinking that it would be fun to be more than a passive consumer. There are a few topics where I might be able contribute in a meaningful way. A brand new addition to the O’Reilly Missing Manual series, “Facebook The Missing Manual” was the last nudge to push me into full involvement.

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Posted under NonFiction, Social, Web

Mistborn

I read this book after receiving a free copy from Tor’s program giving out an e-book a week. Sanderson has gained quite a bit of attention recently after being named the author that would finish Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I never got into the Wheel of Time books, so I wasn’t so hot to find out about the writing of the person who would be completing the saga, but I was interested a little more, knowing that Sanderson’s work was going to be even that much more under the watchful eye of a large set of committed fans.

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Posted under Fantasy, Fiction Tags: , ,

Head First JavaScript

“Head First JavaScript” is one of the latest entries in O’Reillys Head First series. Like the other Head First books, it takes a somewhat unique approach in conveying information. The stated intent of the series is to help readers learn and retain material by formatting it in a manner that assists in meeting those goals. This means that the book is full of graphics, exercises and humor. There is also a refreshing note on who will benefit from the book. I’ve pretty much always thought of these sections in books as entertaining, in that I get to see what new way a publisher has found to say, “Everyone should buy this book!”. Head First Javascript actually does a decent job of describing who this book will help, and who it will not help. That alone had me intrigued right from the start.

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Posted under JavaScript, Programming Tags: , ,

The Children of Hurin


Throughout much of his life, J.R.R. Tolkien worked on a series of stories set in his well known middle earth. A few he considered his “Great Tales” and he would return to them often, writing them multiple times and in multiple forms. One story that he worked on often over many years was the tale of Hurin and his children Turin and Nienor. Following his death, Tolkien’s youngest son Christopher has worked to collect, edit and publish much of what his father wrote but never published. The tale of Hurin’s children has been told in part already in some of those works. But it is in this book that for the first time the complete tale is told from start to finish of “The Children of Hurin.”

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Posted under Fantasy, Fiction Tags: , ,

On Deck

I really wanted to post on the 29th – but I haven’t finished anything recently. But here is what’s on deck right now.

Head First Java Script
AJAX The Definitive Guide
Wikipedia The Missing Manual
Mistborn
Children of Hurin

I’m not sure what order you will see the reviews show up – but they are in the works. As I finish the books, you’ll be the first to know.

Posted under Announcements, site Tags: , ,

Facebook the Missing Manual


E.A. Vander Veer’s “Facebook, The Missing Manual” is exactly what it says it is. A manual explaining how to sign up for and use the social networking site Facebook. Not very long ago Facebook was relatively unknown outside University students and those who knew them. Now it is reported to have over 64 million users world wide. As that number has grown, it is inevitable that some of those users could use a manual to help them to navigate the site. This is who I think some of those folks might be and how I think the book might help them.
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Posted under NonFiction, Social, Web Tags: , ,

Apache Cookbook

The Apache web server has been the number one http server on the internet since 1996. It has also become an integral part of many open source and proprietary software systems. It runs on diverse hardware, in locations all over the globe, hosting sites large and small. In November of 2003 Ken Coar and Rich Bowen had their “Apache Cookbook” published by O’Reilly. The duo brought years of experience in working with and documenting the Apache server to the plate. Now, over 4 years later they have published the second edition. Four years is a long time, but it would be reasonable to ask if this new edition is worth purchasing, especially if one already owns the first edition.

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Posted under Admin, Web

Free Sci-Fi/Fantasy E-books

If you fill out the form at Tor.com they will send you an email a week, with a link to download a free e-book from one of their authors. You also become entered in a drawing to win an Asus eee PC Galaxy. Not bad. There will be, I think, 12 ebooks total. They come as PDFs with no DRM. Nice.

I’ll have a review of the first, “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson as soon as I finish it.

Posted under e-book, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci-Fi Tags: , ,
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