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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Howard Rheingold
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Public Library Alert

There are few books that fulfill their promise to describe tomorrow. This is one of them. The "texting tribes" ride the same currents as our "post-literate" age, using technology to augment and implement our human need for communication.
Rheingold describes a coming new world where one-to-many communication is focused on "doing" things and where the "one" can be anyone with a mobile phone. Teens and protesters are using texting (a function available on many cell phones) both to "hang" with each other and to coordinate movements.
What he has seen in Japan and Finland is becoming commonplace in America's public schools as teenagers flock together in texting "virtual" space more easily than they can in "real" space. Recent reports show that texting is becoming as popular as the telephone -- and it is certainly more stealthy for those seeking to circumvent nosey parents.
This is an important book for public libraries. Our public is changing rapidly. This is a window into what is likely to occur.
Executive DirectorFranklin Park (Illinois) Public Library

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Networking All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Doug Lowe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book delivers what it promises.

When I volunteered to join the technology comittee at my kids' school, I found out that I needed to get up to speed on computer Networking. It's a small school with an entirely volunteer tech support staff and the previous network administrator wanted to leave the committee.
I consider myself to be a power user when it comes to computers, but I did not have a real good grasp of how networks operated. This book bills itself as "a handy all-in-one guide which provides a bird's-eye view of all the important (network) stuff". I found that it did cover all the aspects of setting up and running networks: large, small, and even wireless. The book starts by covering information that is universal to all networks (terminology, network planning, etc.). It progresses through various aspects of network installation and configuration, security issues, specific network functions, and finally, information specific to several different server operating systems. Operating systems covered include Windows 2000 and 2003 server, Novell Netware 6 and 6.5, Linux, and Mac OS/X Server.
While this book probably won't provide enough information for you to become a certified network administrator, I feel it does a great job of explaining what you need to know to get up and running.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Lead-Off to Mastering Perl

Perl is an absolutely marvellous language for helping system administrators in their task of handling multi-vendor machines, and is an excellent aid to increasing their laziness by helping replace cumbersome shell scripts with elegant programs.
This book by Randal Schwartz brings the novice to Perl programming up to speed quite gently, and shows off the power of Perl in a clear cut manner. As a precursor to the book "Programming Perl" by Larry Wall, the founder of Perl, this book is very nice. It starts with the simple Hello World program, and guides the user through the preliminary stages of Perl as it increases the capability of the program. Another nice point is the presence of exercises at the end of each chapter, challenging one to work out the programs and the bugs - an essential ingredient to learning any computer language. It also helps that Randal provides answers to these exercises.
I recommend this book and its companion volume, Programming Perl, very highly.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: UML Bible
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Tom Pender, Tom Pender
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book for getting up to speed on UML 2.0

....there is a substantial difference between UML 1.4 and UML 2.0 and the UML Bible is an excellent book to help software modelers discover what's new and different in the revised standard. I especially like the way Pender uses gray shading in the diagrams to help you quickly identify differences between the two versions of UML. This thoroughness is carried over into the listings in the Glossary, Index and Appendices, which feature separate UML 1.4 and UML 2.0 Notation Guides to help users understand unique aspects of both notations.
The section on bringing rigor to the modeling process with object constraint language (OCL) and Action Semantics is handled equally well, with a convincing explanation of the role of action semantics in providing a standard for the exchange of action specifications between UML tools, as well as future "executable UML" applications.
Whether you use the UML for informal 'sketching' of software ideas or a more exhaustive 'blueprint' approach to code, Pender's clear and accessible 940-page book provides a comprehensive and cost-effective way to get up to speed on all aspects of UML 2.0.