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Todd Hawley (San Francisco CA)
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Google: The Missing Manual
Google: The Missing Manual
by Sarah Milstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 23.16
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Resource, July 11 2004
Mostly when people think of Google, they think of a search engine that has become extremely popular and one that allows them to find topics they're searching for at a moment's notice. But Google is so much more, and this book shows exactly how much more. The goal of any search is to search effectively with as many relevant answers as possible to any query and that's what the book's first chapter discusses, from specific words and/or phrases to the famous "getting lucky." Chapter 2 builds on that with tricks for advanced searching, by refining your search, searching specific titles or text or even specific URL's. You can also search Google for images as well as text, just the thing if you're looking for specific clip art or a nice picture to send to a friend. You can also use Google to search for various net news articles, or even the Google directory which separates web sites into different categories, everything from Sports and Art to World Affairs and History and countless other topics.
There's also a chapter about Google answers, which is a service you do have to pay for, but may be worth it if a question you have still remains unanswered after an exhaustive search. Want to go shopping? Then Froogle may be for you, it lets you do searches on various products and their prices.
There's a lot of answers in this book to various questions about using Google and the many features the average Google user may not know about. This is a good book to have even if you only use Google rarely, but an absolute must to have if you're an avid Google user.

Tales from the San Francisco Giants Dugout
Tales from the San Francisco Giants Dugout
by Nick Peters
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Collection of Stories, July 7 2004
This book is written by a man who has covered the Giants professionally for over 40 years and he's done a nice job of compiling stories and anecdotes about the team since its move to San Francisco in 1958. There are stories from the 1960s through the 1990s, detailing the Giants' successes and failures, their post season history and how close they've come to winning it all, only to have it end in frustration. There are stories about Candlestick, truly one of the most miserable places to endure watching a Giants' game, and also stories about the team's great stars: Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, and yes Barry Bonds. Stories abound too about the Giants-Dodgers rivalry, including the 1962 playoffs and the infamous Juan Marichal- John Roseboro incident.
This book is a fast and enjoyable read, one any Giants fan will love.

What Ifs Of American History
What Ifs Of American History
by Anthony Beevor
Edition: Hardcover
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing "What Ifs" Indeed, July 1 2004
Imagine what the US would be like if the Pilgrims hadn't landed at Plymouth Rock, the Confederacy had won the Civil War, JFK hadn't been assassinated, or the Cuban Missile Crisis had escalated into nuclear war, or even what if the Watergate burglary had never been detected? The essays contained in this book speculate on what might have happened if history had taken a different course in these and other important events in our history.
And they are fascinating essays. They describe a world that might have been. Events like the US delaying in joining World War 2, or how the US would have been viewed by the world after the "Two Days War," in which the USSR was almost totally destroyed, or how the US government would have soldiered on in the mid 1860s if both Lincoln & Johnson had been murdered, as was the original plan.
It's always an interesting and fascinating theory to think about events and how they might have played out differently had the circumstances and chances been different. The authors of the essays in this book have done a marvelous job of portraying their "alternate histories." It's enough to make the reader think "What If" about other numerous historical events not covered

Windows XP Home Edition:  The Missing Manual
Windows XP Home Edition: The Missing Manual
by David Pogue
Edition: Paperback
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Extensive look at XP, June 28 2004
As with virtually all Missing Manual books, this one goes a long way in describing the features of XP, both new as well as existing ones from previous Windows versions. I recently installed Windows XP on my PC and knew this book was likely the most descriptive and informative book I could find about Windows XP. I was right. Between finding out about countless new features of XP as well as previous ones (and old familiar ones with new names!), I fairly quickly became quite comfortable with XP.
With five main parts and two appendices, this book covers just about all the questions an XP user would have, which again is why I got a hold of it before I installed XP, so I would know what to expect once I started using it. Among the topics discussed here? The book starts off with "what's new in XP" (new features) as opposed to 98, ME or even 2000, and from there then discusses the Start Menu's various options. Even if once I read through some of the book, I realized a lot of the material covered were subjects I was familiar with, it was still good to have a "heads up" when I encountered something that had changed (for example, the DOS window in 98 now being called "Command Prompt," or ScanDisk or DeFrag having new titles).
The book goes on to describe the XP taskbar, "organizing" your files, the much-improved XP Help system, how to work with programs in XP, as well as pictures, movies, sounds, and also the famous control panel, which we all first got to know and love in Windows 95. The book also devotes a whole section to the online world, devoting chapters to the Internet, videoconferencing, and Outlook Express. Another section is devoted to networking: security, building and using a network of XP machines. There's also material about "plug and play," another concept first introduced with 95. And also more importantly, a chapter devoted maintenance, backups and troubleshooting. There's hardly any Windows users around that have never had to deal with backing up files or trying to figure out why their new sound card won't work with Windows software or why a program that worked great previously suddenly stops working for no apparent reason.
Lots of book are out there that explain how to use XP. But I found this one not only to answer whatever questions I had, but also was a book I know I can refer to whenever I run into an issue with XP.

Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
by Paul Graham
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 18.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Essays, June 7 2004
This book with its series of essays reminds one of similar O'Reilly books like The Cathedral and the Bazaar, which contained essays about Open Source and Peer-to-Peer : Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies, a book containing essays about peer to peer networking. This time around, the subject of the essays is programming. The first essay about Nerds is dead on and reminds me of my junior high school days as one of the "uncool ones." The next one, "Hackers and Painters" comapres the two and shows how each are artists in their own right, a perspective I hadn't thought about before but one that makes sense, and one that other essays throughout the book refers to.
There are also essays about "ways to create your own wealth," and not from a standpoint of hot to get rich necessarily, but if that happens along the way, all the better. And related to that are Graham's thoughts on creating a succesful startup company, a "foolproof way" of getting rid of spam, what programming languages will be like in 100 years (and it makes one wonder if there will even be programming languages around then as we know them today), even a couple essays on how web based software could be the next "killer ap" and how Microsoft may get eclisped as the dominant company of today, just as they eclipsed IBM way back when.
Graham clearly offers some interesting ideas and comments in his essays, ones that you might not always agree with, but ones you have to at least consider and respect.

Glory Of Their Times
Glory Of Their Times
by Lawrence S Ritter
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a "Hall of Fame" book, June 4 2004
This review is from: Glory Of Their Times (Paperback)
Sometimes the best histories are the ones where the participants in that history are allowed to talk and the history's author just listens. Such is the case with this book. And oh the stories these old ballplayers tell. Stories of an era in baseball from long ago: what it was like to play with Honus Wagner or Ty Cobb or Lou Gehrig; what it was like to play for John Mcgraw; or get a new persepctive on an infamous play like the Fred Snodgrass muff or a dropped ball that led to a World Series win. And funny how you get a sense too from reading this book of what life and the people in it were like back in the early part of the 20th century, as well as what the baseball was like. I was highly entertained and intrigued from the moment I opened the book to reading the last page in it. And I'm thankful the author thought to preserve this era for all of us before it was too late.
Dick Dobbins used this "oral history" approach to great advantange in his now out of print book about the old Pacific Coast League called The Grand Minor League. It's an approach I used to a lesser extent some years ago when I wrote a history of a local volunteer group in the late 1990s.
I've wanted to read this for years, and I'm glad I did. If this isn't the greatest baseball book of all time, it's pretty darn close.

Network Security Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
Network Security Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
by Andrew Lockhart
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Another great collection of "hacks", June 4 2004
As with the other "Hacks" books, there are 100 hacks listed, and these are focused on network security. As another reviewer points out these hacks seem to be heavily slanted toward Unix. Whether this is due to the Windows OS "keeping the administrator out of the loop about the inner workings of her environment," as the book points out or the numerous "helpful features" of Windows that aren't that helpful to Windows admins is unclear. There does appear to be some limits to how secure you can make a Windows network, as opposed to Unix which seems to have many more options. And while we constantly hear about new Windows viruses, we rarely hear about Unix viruses. But I digress.
There definitely are some good ones here, like the "honeypot hack," protecting logs from tampering (thereby making it more difficult for a network intruder to cover their tracks), preventing stack-smashing attacks (thereby preventing an attacker from overwriting the information on a stack), detecting spoofing, testing your firewall, monitoring your logs for any sign of tampering, even defending yourself against web application intrusions. In short, these hacks are the ones deemed most likely by the book's author to be useful in defending your network against any kind of hostile attack or intrusion.
And while you may agree or disagree with the list presented in this book, this book is a valuable tool and reference for any network admin to have on hand.

The Toybag Guide to Dungeon Emergencies and Supplies
The Toybag Guide to Dungeon Emergencies and Supplies
by Jay Wiseman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.41
14 used & new from CDN$ 3.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Handy "SM Emergency" Book, May 26 2004
Since the author is a retired paramedic as well as longtime SM community member, I can't think of anyone better qualified to write about this topic. Jay first section is titled Basic Principles which includes topics such as what constitutes an emergency, and the legal aspects of an emergency (which although rather rare is a topic worth discussing here). The book's second (and largest section) deals with a wide range of BDSM emergencies, things like allergic reactions, burn care, bleeding, fainting, etc to "personal emergencies," like defusing arguments or emotional upsets, to what to do in case of a power failure or a visit by the authorities. The book also has a list of recommended first aid supplies in the third section.
A lot of what Jay discusses in this book might be considered common sense, but in times of "emergencies," some of these common sense ideas can be forgotten. It's great Jay wrote a short book like this that gives some quick answers in the event something goes wrong during SM play.

The Toybag Guide to Canes and Canning
The Toybag Guide to Canes and Canning
by Janet Hardy
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.57
36 used & new from CDN$ 2.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Cane Away!, May 26 2004
This tiny book offers some a "quick and dirty" introduction to the world of canes and caning. Ms Hardy offers some of her thoughts about this activity, as well as some of the "luridness" of it (she mentions Micheal Fey's caning in Singapore as an example of this), and also a chapter that she calls "The Craft of Caning," which is a short lesson on how to cane someone. Later on, she turns the tables by describing "how to receive the caning," as well as the different types of canes and finally making your own and how to take proper care of them so that they last a good long time.
Since this book along with the others in this series do fit inside a toybag, I could see where someone about to do a caning scene might quickly refer to this for a few pointers before proceeding. This book is not a "beginners caning book" however, again more of a quick review before heading on. Still it has great information readily available at a moment's glance.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shamanism
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shamanism
by Gini Graham Scott
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 15.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Take a Shamanic trip, May 19 2004
Gini Graham Scott has done an excellent job in putting together a 'general introduction' to Shamanism in this book. She takes a number of different topic regarding it and describes them in terms virtually everyone can understand and makes it clear all who read this can benefit from using various "shamanic techniques" in their own lives. She also cautions in a few places in the book about those who claim to be "shamans" but may be using the term to profit from it more than helping people go on shamanic journeys.
Ms Scott devotes a couple chapters to the "history" of shamanism, starting from prehistoric times to the present, as well as describing its forms in various parts of the world. Even if all of these forms of shamanism developed indepedently of each other, it's interesting how they all seem to share some common ideas. I liked how Ms Scott talks a bit about "power animals," I have a handful I work with when doing meditations and have found them to be very helpful. Ms Scott also does a great job describing the various "shamanistic worlds," Upper, Middle & Lower and what you will find in each of them. Ms Scott also describes the process behind going on a shamanistic journey and what to expect and what to watch out for on such journeys.
This is a topic that up until recently most people found to be very mysterious and now that it seems to be gaining in popularity I'm glad to see a book like this out that gives a good overall view of what shamanism is and isn't. I have friends that are shamans and now I have a much better understanding of who they are and what they do.

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