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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Practical Unix & Internet Security, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Simson Garfinkel, Gene Spafford, Alan Schwartz
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Recommended with reservations for students & hobbyists only


Somewhat outdated -- two years old in a very dynamic field, Rootkit is not even mentioned, Bugtraq mentioned only in supplement, etc. Far from being practical and can be used only as an introductory text in Unix security. Not recommended for Internet security (superficial and incomplete). Good style --  Simson Garfinkel of The UNIX-Haters Handbook fame  is a really talented journalist (but now only a journalist, see his interview with Amazon.com).  The main problem with the book is that instead of relying on tools as any Unix author should, the authors use a cookbook/reference approach giving recipes about improving security. References to important RFCs, FAQ and CERT advisories are absent. For example RFC1244 (now superseded by RTC2196) is not mentioned in index(and probably in the text as well) although Ch.2 and Ch.24 mirror its content. No attempts were made to explain what tools can be used for checking/fixing particular class of problems or to present a bigger picture in which the flaw exists. Typesetting is very primitive. Although one of the authors is a (former) programmer judging by just the book content it is difficult to believe that he is able to spell PERL :-). The book is not updated enough to compete with newer books on Internet Security. For corporate users possible alternatives are combinations of one book on Unix security (for example, Unix System Security by David A. Curry) and one book on Internet security (for example Actually Useful Internet Security Techniques by Larry J. Hughes). The last is recommended as an alternative for readers who cannot afford two books. Often books written by a specialist in particular areas can be a better deal than books from security folks. For example TCP/IP Network Administration by Craig Hunt contains a lot more information about how properly configure TCP/IP than this book and in Ch.12 has a very decent overview of security in just 40 pages.



Product: Book - Textbook Binding
Title: Cisco LAN Switching (CCIE Professional Development series) (The Cisco Press Ccie Professional Development Series)
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Kennedy Clark, Kevin Hamilton
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Practical, useful guide to issues in Cisco switching


Cisco LAN Switching by Kennedy Clark and Kevin Hamilton is considered a definitive guide to Cisco switching - and rightly so. The book contains an exhaustive presentation on all aspects of switching - from the basics of switching technologies, to the protocols and algorithms used in campus switching, to real-world designs of campus switching environments. All this with an added bonus of tidbits of humor thrown into the discussion of serious, no-nonsense topics!

The book is surprisingly well written and easy to understand for readers who have a basic understanding of switching and routing in the Cisco world. The formatting in the book follows the standard Cisco layout for advanced level books. The headings, diagrams, tables, and notes are laid out in a clear and easy-to-scan format. Each chapter ends with review questions for those who wish to test their understanding of the material - these can prove particularly useful for the readers who may be studying for one of the Cisco certifications. The index is a crucial part of any technical book. Those of us working in the field can appreciate the importance of having a detailed and useful index when trying to put out fires at the workplace. This book offers a comprehensive, detailed index - spanning over 30 pages -- which provided me with useful knowledge on the topic(s) that I was trying to look up.

While the book claims to be a switching resource for those studying for the advanced Cisco certifications, I personally selected the book in order to help me in my work environment. It has served its purpose very well. The sample configurations given throughout the book for various situations were particularly helpful in tying the theory to the practical and especially helped in troubleshooting some of the issues I encounter every day. Presentation of the inner workings of some of the advanced material like the Spanning Tree protocol was surprisingly detailed and practical, while being easy to understand at the same time. I have not read any other book that covers this topic effectively with such detail.

The only suggestion I have for the authors is to look into writing an updated edition. Some of the topics - like layer 3 switching - do not seem to cover the latest switch types offered by Cisco. For example, the Cisco 3550 layer 3 switch, a popular and important milestone in the Cisco switching hierarchy, is not covered in any significant detail.

Overall, the authors present the material in a very well thought-out way, making sure that readers at all (reasonable) levels can understand the topics. At the same time, the material is not fluffy like some other books; it is a detailed, no-nonsense study of the important field of campus switching.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming C#, 4th Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jesse Liberty
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great way to learn C# and .Net Framework


If you want to learn C# painlessly, read this book. After reading the Jesse's book, I not only could write C# programs, but understood the .Net framework better. This book is packed with solid information on the C# language and the .Net framework, but Jesse's writing style is so easy-going, it wasn't difficult for my brain to absorb. Jesse explains all aspects of the C# language clearly and precisely, and give lots of good real world examples that can be used for future reference. Once you finish this book, you will have a solid foundation for your .Net future.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
THE BEST FF7 WALKTHROUGH BOOK EVER!


this was the coolest walkthrough book ive read in a while! its so in depth and explains more than i can handle!! buy it now!!