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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Authors: Katie Hafner
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A fun and educational book for all internet users

I enjoyed this book tremendously. The authors capture the mood and history extremely well, and manage to make the reader feel like they are there watching the ARPAnet unfold right in front of them. The book is thoroughly researched, and provides just enough technical information that the lay person can follow. It's been especially fun learning the origins of the internet conventions, such as the @ sign and emoticons, that we take for granted in our daily use. A must read for any regular user of the internet who wishes to understand it a little better.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Hardening Windows Systems (Hardening)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Roberta Bragg
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Tough Enough

Most books about security don't really address it. They skirt the issue, or they give general advice instead of specific, applicable directions. "Hardening Windows Systems" is one of the few books I've seen -- and I've seen more than a few -- that goes into remarkable depth into how to toughen up a Windows installation, be it a workstation or a server.
The first chapter, "An Immediate Call To Action," starts off, "We have a problem." The problem is that not only does Windows ship in a terribly insecure state, but that most people have no idea how to go about protecting it from compromise. Right away, Bragg shows us specific things to do to make Windows that much more secure in only a few minutes: how to toughen password policies, how to turn off unneeded features that are security holes waiting to happen, how to educate yourself.
The book is loaded with deeply insightful advice. One of the best boxouts is on the rising fad of biometric security. Bragg pokes a hole in its inflated reputation and talks about why biometric security is no better than a blank password if the implementation is itself weak. Many of the book's tips focus on preventing sidelong compromises through spoofing of administrative access (such as granting a program elevated privileges), something Windows is notoriously bad at preventing.
The last chapter is also among the best: it talks honestly and candidly about how to educate users, administrators and the guys with the money on how to make things more secure. This includes things like being able to communicate about security to the non-technical, a grossy underrated ability for many IT people, and how to educate without being condescending (another thing many tecchies are guilty of, myself included).
I'm hoping that this book goes through multiple revisions with each future edition of Windows, because as it stands it's already worth the price. It works as a dive-in-and-start-swimming guide to Windows security (what to do FIRST) and as a detailed course in how to keep things secure for years to come. IT people who don't know where to start should start here.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Study Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Toby Skandier
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
I read it and i pass

It was all i need to pass my network+ exam, very complete, well explain.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Cisco Networking Academy Program Fundamentals of Wireless LANs Companion Guide
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Inc. Cisco Systems, Cisco Networking Academy Program, Cisco Systems Inc., Cisco Networking Academy Program
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Cisco Networking Academy Program Fundamentals of Wireless LA

"Fundamentals of Wireless LANS", published by Cisco Press, is a most appropriate title. Having read other books that were intended to have a similar fundamental-in-nature content, "Fundamentals of Wireless LANS" definitely offers more detail. The number of pages alone - almost 800, excluding appendices - are an indication right away that this book will contain a sufficient amount of detail. The reference about the book being authorized for the Cisco Networking Academy Program is also appropriate. The book is definitely geared toward the use of Cisco wireless networking equipment.

The level of experience to fully comprehend the subject matter, and to perform the exercises throughout the book, are no more than that required of someone with CCNA-level knowledge. The focus of the book is on wireless networking equipment so, there a minimal references to traditional (wired) networking equipment. Also, the infrequent reference to wired networking equipment assumes that the reader understands the function(s) of this equipment, and again, this understanding is not beyond the level of CCNA knowledge.

The reader that will find this book most useful is someone who wants to develop a solid foundation in wireless LAN principles, and wants to gain that understanding from a Cisco-centric perspective. Also, anyone pursuing the Cisco Wireless LAN specialization certification will find this book as an excellent preparatory source.

There are examples that are illustrated in the chapters, along with examples on a CD-ROM that is included with the book. The examples throughout the chapters are extremely easy to follow; so easy, that each concept can fully comprehended without the use of any actual equipment. Of course, if the reader does have access to the actual equipment (or software utility) that are referenced in the examples, that will only serve to enhance the learning. Each illustration is well thought out, that makes it very easy for someone with good self-study skills to follow. Each chapter concludes with a list of the "key terms" restate where the focus was placed. Also, to challenge and test the comprehension of the material in the chapter, there are 10 questions that serve to reinforce the subject matter. Some chapters also contain URLs to Cisco websites that offer additional materials on the equipment or subject being discussed.

The CD-ROM that is included with the book is awesome. The CD-ROM is comprised of the following components: 1)Test Engine, 2)Photo Zooms, 3)Interactive Activities, 4)Demo Activities, and 5)references to other Cisco-related WLAN resources. The "References" to other Cisco-related WLAN resources include some tools and utilities that are right on the CD-ROM.

The Test Engine on the CD-ROM is consists of 2 components: 1) Study Mode, and 2) Practice Exam. The Study Mode component contains 296 questions, and the Practice Exam includes 70 questions. The questions cover concepts presented in all 12 chapters of the book. The Study Mode allows the reader to customize the number of questions to be tested, the chapters from which the questions will come from, and the time period (number of minutes) that is allowed to answer questions.

The PhotoZooms provide photographs of the Cisco WLAN equipment that is referenced throughout the book. These photographs give a lot of credence to the cliché - a picture is worth a thousand words. Being able to the equipment that is referenced throughout the book is invaluable. Also, along with each equipment photo is a description of the equipment.

The Interactive Activities section of the CD-ROM provides 42 hands-on exercises. The exercises are a combination of dynamic and static illustrations. As the CD-ROM describes, these exercises are intended to help the reader to "...master the basic Wireless concepts." These exercises are a bonus even if the reader has access to the actual equipment.

The Demo Activities on the CD-ROM contains 13 animated exercises. Once again, providing a most needed benefit to the reader that does not possess access the actual equipment and utility software.

On the inside front cover of the book, a comment is made that this book will prepare the reader to attempt Cisco Wireless LAN Specialist certification exam. After examining the chapters' and CD-ROM content, I have to agree with this comment. In addition to certification preparation, the book is an excellent resource for gaining a healthy understanding of WLAN fundamentals.

Without hesitation, I would read (and recommend) titles from Cisco Press - this title in particular. This book is just the book that I needed to gain the solid understanding of wireless technology fundamentals that I wanted. The illustrations and practical applications afforded me an understanding about wireless networking that I hadn't been able to glean from other books; books that were substantial in their own way but, nevertherless, unable to provide that fundamental knowledge transfer. The rating that I would assign the book would be a 5 - on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest.