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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: IPv6 Essentials
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Silvia Hagen
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
It's for developers, not admins!

The book details the IPv6 protocol in excruciating detail, with packet diagrams, etc. It shows the details of addressing, routing, etc. A good book for a developer who is creating an IPv6 protocol stack or an application developer.
However, for system administrators there is only ONE chapter of interest - and that chapter should have been made into an entire book. This chapter details how to start to use IPv6 with Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, and others. Each OS is described in a page or two: each should have an entire chapter to itself. Now THAT would be a book worth reading.
If you're a developer, this might be a good book. If you're a sysadmin, forget it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Everyone Loves a Secret!

The Code Book, by Simon Singh, is a tantalizing peek at the history of cryptography. He begins with the brilliance of the Egyptians, moves through the breakthrough discoveries of Arab scholars, to the European aristocratic intrigues of the middle ages, wartime use in WWI and II, to today; where security and encryption is part of our everyday lives and daily transactions. The author is skilled at presenting both "sides" of the drama - the needs and desires of the code-makers coupled with the motivations and thought processes of the code- breakers! He has taken an amazingly complex topic and presented it in a way that is mostly accessible to the average interested reader. I was mainly captivated by the historical documentation and the wartime code use. I found the quantum leap less understandable, although Singh does an excellent job at bringing up questions about civil liberties and the responsibilities and consequences of living in a "secure" world. It is important to include that Singh explains "Public Key Encryption" - arguably, the very most important development in security in recent times, along with the personal stories of the men who were credited with public key discovery, and those unsung heroes who were not.
A fascinating off shoot of The Code Book is the Cipher Challenge consisting of 10 cyphers of increasing difficulty that the author provides in the appendix. Singh understands that nothing is as engaging as a secret to be uncovered or a mystery to be solved. Over 10,000 people participated in his challenge and it was finally solved 18 months later by a team of Swedish researchers. One of the amazing facts of their solution was their ability to crack the most difficulty RSA cipher by writing a number field sieve algorithm thereby letting an "ordinary" computer crack the code! Will the development of a truly unbreakable code ever exist? If it does, Simon Singh will be able to tell us about it. His website is even more fascinating than The Code Book. It has joined my "favorites' list! ...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
No contradiction

Thinking and Java might seem contradictory because so many people who are too lazy to read books or learn C++ etc., flourish in Java. But this book applies thinking to understanding Java and shows that there is some logic to it. So, Bruce Eckel tells us why something is how and how it could be otherwise. And he gets away without any of the 90% filling windows images, which make up other "modern" computer books. Bruce Eckel actually thinks!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The DHCP Handbook (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Ralph Droms, Ted Lemon
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent, in-depth coverage of DHCP

If you have to design, configure, and manage a complex DHCP environment, this book is an outstanding resource. I've used the first edition (first printing ;-) for years, and am in the process of purchasing the second edition.
In that time I've configured or set configuration standards for dozens of DHCP servers running the ISC DHCP server and dozens more managed by Lucent's VitalQIP DHCP service. I have not personally configured or managed a Microsoft DHCP server, but I've walked many consultants through setting up DHCP servers from Microsoft, Cisco, Linksys, etc.
The value of this book is its depth. Protocols, design considerations, conditional leases, client identification, authentication, failover, client issues, OS considerations, Dynamic DNS integration, migration between static and dynamic environments, and just about everything else you'll run into are well covered.
The authors are actively involved in the development of DHCP standards and the ISC DHCP reference implementation, so it's difficult to find a more authoritative source. If you can't find your answer in the book, the authors are active on the DHCP mailing lists (http://www.isc.org/index.pl?/sw/dhcp/dhcp-lists.php).
The wealth of information can be intimidating at first, but if you're dealing with a non-trivial environment it's worth it.