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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C, Second Edition
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Bruce Schneier
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
A tour of algorithms by an outsider

Excellent introduction and explanation for both novice and professional cryptographers. Easy read with very detailed explanation. I Highly Recommend both this and Handbook of Applied Cryptography (for some of the mathematical algorithms) if you are planning on implementing your own cryptographic library.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Servlet Programming, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jason Hunter
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent Book

This is the nicest book I could get on Servlets programming. I was able to successfully finish my first project on Servlets because of this book. In fact, it helped me finish my project on schedule in 3-months. Example code is good enough to do most tasks.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Hacking Linux Exposed, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Brian Hatch, James Lee, George Kurtz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
More detailed than I'd imagined.

I was beefing up my outdated security bookshelf, and thought I'd snag the latest in the Hacking Exposed series. I figured that since it was only covering one OS it would be able to have more depth, one of the chief failings of Hacking Exposed.
Well, I was not disapointed. This book covered aspects of Linux and network security that I had not ever thought of. It makes very appropriate use of source code to illustrate problems, and shows you the attacks in both manual and automated forms so you can actually see what's going on, rather than just saying "run the blah program" as so many other books do.
This book has information that will be useful for the newbie, but excells in including detail appropriate for all audiences. In that respect, this book almost reads like a textbook on how to hack and secure. If you're a new Linux user, you'll find good starter information, and want to come back to this periodically as you learn more. If you think you know Linux security, then this is the book against which you should test yourself. I doubt most folks have tried half the things listed in chapter 10.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCIE Practical Studies, Vol. 2 (CCIE Self-Study)
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Karl Solie, Leah Lynch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Addition to CCIE Library

I would highly recommend "CCIE Self Study: CCIE Practical Studies Volume II" by Karl Solie and Leah Lynch, ISBN 1587050722, to anyone who is preparing for their CCIE certification. After enjoying the first volume in this series, I was excited to see the release of the second volume. I found that as is the case in most Cisco Press books, the authors did a great job presenting the information in an easy to follow format and provided plenty of valuable examples and configurations. One thing that was great to see is that the book reflects the updated CCIE lab format (2-day to 1-day) and equipment specifications (mainly the addition of the 3550 switch). I would have to conclude that one of the main things that set this book apart from others is the practice labs that are found through out the book. The labs do a great job of driving home the concepts that are introduced. Keep in mind that most of the labs do require some pretty expensive equipment in order to perform the labs.
Book DetailsThe book is broken up into six main areas:
Ethernet Switching - This section covers the basic concepts of Ethernet switching such as Vlans, VTP, Spanning Tree and Ether channel. In addition to the basic concepts, a large amount of the section is dedicated to the setup and configuration of the new 3550 Catalyst switch.
Controlling Network Propagation and Network Access - This section covers creating and implementing Route Maps and Policy-Based Routing. There are four practice labs in the section and I found them very useful.
Multicast Routing - Just as the name implies, this section deals with the basics of Multicast such as IP addressing and Multicast Routing Protocols. PIM is covered in good detail along with Joining and troubleshooting.
Performance Management and Quality of Service - Performance management deals with switching modes and compression schemes. I would have liked to have seen some additional information regarding ways to increase performance but overall I was impressed with the detail of the information that is included. I specifically like the section that deals with determining the performance of the router. It introduces the reader to the show and debug commands that are the most useful in determining the performance of the device. The QOS section covers a wide variety of methods to control traffic. Knowing a great deal on the theory of QOS but lacking in the area of seeing the actual results of implementing QOS, I really enjoyed working through the two labs that are available.
BGP Theory and Configuration - With out a doubt the largest section of the book. Everything is covered from the basics to path attributes to reflectors and confederations. The advanced BGP section deals with filtering routes and creating routing policies by using path attributes. If you really want to learn BGP, the BGP sections are definitely for you.
CCIE Preparation Labs - This section contains five CCIE preparation labs that force you to apply everything that is covered in this book. The labs are great CCIE mock labs. These labs alone are worth the cost of the book.
The book includes a CD that contains all of the diagrams and solutions to the CCIE Preparation labs found in Chapter 10. This is a great addition because it allows you to print out the diagrams to make notes on as well as cut and paste the configurations if needed. The CD also includes sample chapters from other Cisco Press CCIE books.
I would have to say that this book would be a great addition to anyone's networking reference library. It will benefit someone who is pursuing the Cisco CCIE certification or someone who is just trying to implement the topics that are covered. The only item that I think is lacking is the performance management section. Additional methods of managing and increasing performance should have been included. Overall, the examples and illustrations are plentiful and well done, the content is well written, and the practice labs are useful. I would highly recommend.
CCIE Self Study: CCIE Practical Studies Volume IIKarl Solie, CCIE No. 4599Leah Lynch, CCIE No. 7220Cisco PressISBN: 1-58705-072-2