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Robert Stinnett (Mid-Missouri)

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Digital Photography Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
Digital Photography Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
by Derrick Story
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 35.55
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Photography Reference, May 18 2004
Photography, as much as it has changed in the past decade thanks to the advance of digital cameras and methods, remains the same fundamentally as it has for close to 100 years. The perfect shot consists of a number of factors including subject, background, angle, lighting, lense and exposure. Granted, digital cameras let us perfect the formula almost immediately, and that is where this book comes into play.
One would argue that the book could be used by both a digital photographer and a traditional film photographer. The author described techniques that could really be applied to any photographer regardless of camera type -- for instance, how to mount a camera to get the perfect "stable" image at the correct angle. Many of the tips focus on the technique behind photography and how to set-up the perfect shot -- all before you hit the button.
Overall, the book provides a good reference for the hobbyist who does not have the mega-expensive camera or setup. The author shows how to take pictures that rival many professionals without spending a fortune. I learnt a lot about when to use a flash, and when to use diffused lighting -- again, something that could be carried over to the traditional film world. By just applying these tips I immediately noticed that pictures I took indoors took on a new life; and looked a whole lot better.
If you are looking for a book that strictly focuses on digital cameras and how to hack them, this book is not for you. If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of 'new' hobbyist photographers that the digital camera revolution has created and want to improve your technique and your shots then this book is a terrific resource manual to learn the tricks of the trade.

Linux in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference
Linux in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference
by Ellen Siever
Edition: Paperback
23 used & new from CDN$ 2.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference Manual, May 6 2004
How many times have you been trying to find a particular command but just can't remember what it was called. How many times have you been typing in a command and forgot the options available?
Through this book, the author has taken many of the substaintial commands for users, admins, networking and programming and rolled them into a dictionary of sort for Linux users.
Sure, you can find out a lot about any command through the online man pages, but the author has taken the somewhat cryptic man pages and broken them down into simple, to the point, references laid out much like you would expect to find in a dictionary.
In addition, you'll find handy reference manuals for common utilities, such as emacs, vi, CVS, sed and awk. While each of these could fill a book in themselves, the author has broken them down to the bare basics to help you get up and running and understand basic operation of each.
All in all, a wonderful reference manual that will compliment more in-depth manuals on actual use and administration of a Linux system.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
by Matthew Lavy
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 20.16

3.0 out of 5 stars Good... but..., May 6 2004
This is a good book for system administrators who utilize WMI on a daily basis to help automate tasks. The author does a decent job of explaining how to incorporate WMI into VBScript to retrieve information from the WMI about the local computer to aid in tasks such as hardware management, application management and other inventory/asset tasks that a sysadmin would be faced with on a daily basis.
However, if you are looking for a pure WMI reference, this book falls far short. It does not cover many of the classes available in WMI, and outside of VBScript provides no other access methods for WMI (any there are tons). The author basically misses the power of WMI by focusing on single tasks that can be in a one-off approach instead of looking of WMI as a whole and seeing its power in management across a large network or Enterprise.
A good book for the one-off tasks that normally would take quite a bit of time; a not-so-good book for the programmer wanting to get into a deep understanding of WMI.

Security Warrior
Security Warrior
by Cyrus Peikari
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 42.71
26 used & new from CDN$ 2.18

4.0 out of 5 stars Know Your Enemy, May 2 2004
This review is from: Security Warrior (Paperback)
In today's interconnected word, it is a race between those who wish to exploit a system, and those who are working to defend it. Security Warrior presents a unique approach in that it not only explains the traps, but also goes in depth on how these traps and exploits actually work.
The author presents each chapter with information about specific exploits, then goes into the actual exploits themselves. The book is geared towards the security professional, and novice users could find the amount of information that is presented overwhelming and confusing. At the end of each chapter is a resource section that invites the read to continue learning about a particular pitfall by providing more books and online sources for information.
One of the caveats of this book is the fact that in the wrong hands it can actually be used against the very systems the author wanted to defend. The amount of technical detail is so great, that a skilled hacker or cracker could take this book and use it as a resource in his toolkit. It is the classic situation of you can't fix the problem without knowing what the problem is.
Don't pick up this book if you want an overview of general computer security; you will be lost in the information overload. Do pick this book up if you are a security administrator or systems administrator and want to take a proactive approach in securing your systems against attack.

Windows XP Annoyances
Windows XP Annoyances
by David A. Karp
Edition: Paperback
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Tips and Tricks, for the Windows Geek, April 29 2004
This review is from: Windows XP Annoyances (Paperback)
Windows XP Annoyances takes you under the hook of Windows XP (both Pro and Home) to tweak the operating system in ways you may never have thought possible. The author dives into not only the simple hacks, such as disabling autoplay or speeding up the appearance of menus and changing display properties, but also goes into the Registry to show you tweaks for advanced items such as changing the memory used for I/O operations, and protecting file type associations from changing.
Though the book does have a habit of jumping around a bit, and there is no real clear organization of the topics, it is a good reference for those who really want to get into the OS itself and remove some of the "annoying" things (like the cute themes Microsoft has decided to push upon us). It's also a great reference for those who are attempting to setup home networks, or login to their computer remotely -- the author does more than tweak, he explains about these features that might otherwise be overlooked.
Overall, the book is a good buy for the advanced computer user. Beginners and casual users might be better off utilizing less powerful resources as this book can overwhelm if you do not understand the technical details of Windows XP.

Mastering Regular Expressions
Mastering Regular Expressions
by Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 34.13

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible of RegEx, April 29 2004
One of the hardest things, even for a seasoned programmer to grasp is regular expressions. They are powerful ways to search, manipulate and parse text fields and can often take several lines of code and shrink it down to a mystic, but powerful, expression.
If you have ever had to parse a file for information, you know that one of the things that still haunts any programmer nowadays is how to match text. In this day and age of Object Oriented Programming, Web Services, etc. the power of Regex holds firm.
Throughout this book the author takes great care not to overwhelm the reader with tons of code that has no meaning. The power of the book comes from the fact that if you read, and follow along, through the examples you will gain an understanding of how to do the techniques the author is referring to. At times it may seem like you have to read over a section twice, but you will realize that as you carry forth into the next section the material you read previously has turned into something you can now apply -- not just another example you can cut and paste and never really learn technique behind.
This is a powerful book, covering many, many pages. Noone should expect to sit down and read it cover to cover and be done with it. The benefit comes from reading, applying, and referencing. I find myself using it several times a week to lookup information on Regular Expressions and to held solidify knowledge of techniques that I have used in the past.
Whether you are a Windows, Unix, or even Macintosh person -- RegEx holds the key to text manipulation -- and this book holds the map you need to find that key.

Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping
Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping
by Paco Underhill
Edition: Hardcover
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.46

5.0 out of 5 stars They Know What You are Doing, April 12 2004
There are very few books that I read over and over, but 'Why We Buy' has earned a spot in my top ten all time favorites. Through this book, the author takes us on an informative and entertaining journey into the world of retail marketing. However, the beauty of the book lies is that while it is a must-read for any retailer, it will appeal and intrigue the average consumer.
When you shop, you aren't just shopping -- you are performing a science. From the way you move your eyes, to what path you take through the store, even items you touch on the shelves, is all part of how each individual consumer makes a purchasing choice. Through this book, you learn how retailers have studied shoppers -- like yourself -- and why certain items are on the top shelfs, why two items are never on sale at the same time, and a wealth of other retail secrets.
Have you ever stopped to think about what happens the moment you walk into the store? Probably not, but you'll learn about what happens from the parking lot to the checkout stand in this book. You'll find out, for example, why shopping carts are usually always on the righthand side, and why the days of plastering windows with advertisements are all but over for many stores.
Overall, this book is just fascinating in the depth of knowledge it presents, and in such a manner to make it entertaining and informative. Even the most casual reader can find something of interest.
One thing is for sure, once you read this book, you'll never view a grocery store or mall the same way again.

Linux for Non-Geeks: A Hands-On, Project-Based, Take-It-Slow Guidebook
Linux for Non-Geeks: A Hands-On, Project-Based, Take-It-Slow Guidebook
by Rickford Grant
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 49.34
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.46

4.0 out of 5 stars The book for Windows users, April 12 2004
If you are a Windows users (or even a Mac user!) who wants to make the switch over to Linux, then this book is for you. It is basically a "hold my hand" step-by-step approach to installing, configuring and using Fedora RedHat Linux.
The first part of the book deals with the installation and configuring of the Linux system. The author has went to great lengths to "keep it simple" and not overwhelm the average user. This approach does over-simplify a few tasks, and leaves a few more advanced topics out, but it well suited for the intended audience.
In the majority of the book you'll learn how to use the most common home-user applications on a Linux system: Playing Musical CD's, composing documents, printing, burning CD's, editing graphic files, etc. The book comes with plenty of screenshots to walk even the most novice user through accomplishing these tasks on Linux systems.
The only drawback to this book is that there is almost zero command-line coverage. While it's true, even in the Windows world, the average home user doesn't have to drop to the command line, there are simply some tasks in Linux that are best suited for the command line and the author could have saved many pages by simply guiding the user to this instead of attemping to do it in a graphical environment.
Overall, the book is a great resource for home users who want to experiment and take the plunge over to Linux. The book comes with a 2-CD set that contains a version of Linux Based on RedHat Fedora, plus a CD that contains many programs geared towards the novice home user.
A great gift idea; and a good resource for those just coming into the Linux scene.

by John Levine
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 49.34
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The handbook that is long, long overdue..., April 11 2004
This review is from: qmail (Paperback)
For years, any system administrator running Linux who was worth his paycheck knew that Qmail was the defacto standard for running a mail server (heck, even Yahoo uses it!). Sendmail has always been ripe with security holes and headaches -- something Qmail has went to great lengths to correct. However, the problem has always been there was no easy reference guide to Qmail. You had to be either a Linux-geek, or know someone who was, to get it installed and working correctly!
Now, thanks to O'Reilly, even us non-geeks can get our Qmail systems up and running in no time. This book covers everything you need to know in an easy-to-follow format. From installation, to making the switch from sendmail, even how to tune and setup third-party components with Qmail to help control spam, scan for viruses and run your own mailing list server.
One of the great things about this book is it, for the most part, is not dependent on any particular flavor of Linux. The author does a good job of making it generic enough that you can follow along no matter what distribution you use.
Granted, you will need to know a bit about Linux to use read and fully understand this book. It is geared towards system admistrators and not the end-user of a Qmail system. However, you don't need to be a Linux Guru to understand it -- it has just enough detail to satisfy without overwhelming.
Overall, this is the handbook for Qmail that has been long overdue -- a one-stop technical manual that puts the final touch on Qmail.

Windows XP Pocket Reference
Windows XP Pocket Reference
by David A. Karp
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.05
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The little book that could!, April 13 2003
I must admit, when I first saw the size of this book I thought that it was just going to be another half-hearted attempt at a reference manual for the basics of Windows XP. In fact, so sure I was of this, I let it sit on my shelf for over a month before I bothered to read through it. Was I ever wrong...
This book covers a wide range of tasks under Windows XP. Everything from how to schedule tasks, to how to setup user accounts, even an entire section devoted to Windows XP security! The book does a good job of grouping each tip by category, and then going straight into detail with the tips: How do I do it; What are the benefits of doing it; What are the options for doing it?
Advanced topics in this book get into how to use the recovery console (a godsend when needed!), how to boost performance through registry settings, even how to get down to the "brass tacks" of your system through some little-known command-line utility (such as diskpart, a disk partitioner -- something even I had no idea existed until I read about it).
The only thing this book is missing would be a handy "tabbing" along the right side of the book to make it quick to finger over to a particular section. However, the content of this book more than make up for this minor flaw.
This book is good for the moderate to advanced user of Windows XP. It covers many of the advanced tasks and not-so-subtle features that you will find in the OS, including such details as giving a handy class-id listing for common objects under XP. A good "pocket book" for anyone who uses Windows XP on a daily basis.

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