Books: A User's Report
As usual, I've received too many books to include them
all (some will
appear in the next issue), but I have attempted to offer
The books about the Internet are getting more specialized.
there are several different approaches represented.
Jason J. Manger's
The Essential Internet Information Guide, published
London, provides an international touch, with examples
from the United States and the United Kingdom. The Net
The Underground Guide to the Coolest, the Newest, and
the Most Bizarre
Hangouts on the Internet, CompuServe, AOL, Delphi, and
Lamont Wood, offers a lighter approach to Internet information.
Internet Informations Services, by Cricket Liu, Jerry
Jones, Bryan Buus, and Adrian Nye, is intended for UNIX
Low-Cost E-Mail with UUCP: Integrating UNIX, DOS, Windows,
Mac, by Thomas Wm. Madron, addresses the high cost of
mail and provides a solution for a multi-platform environment.
Mosaic Handbook comes in three flavors: X Window, Microsoft
and Macintosh. Dale Dougherty and Richard Koman co-authored
with Paula Ferguson joining them for the X Window version.
book, Inside UNIX, by Chris Hare, Emmett Dulaney, George
Steven Lee, and Lee Ray, was written for the intermediate
and the beginning system administrator, an often overlooked
I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.
The Essential Internet Information Guide
by Jason J. Manger
McGraw-Hill Book Company
Jason Manger's book helps readers understand what they
to know in order to use the Internet. Manger begins
by detailing the
essential design of the Internet, then goes on to analyze
of the typical user. He concludes that the user requires
File Transfer Protocol (FTP), to download files; telnet,
examine databases; and electronic mail (email), to communicate.
also recommends learning a newsreader, but classifies
this as optional.
Manger does not ignore the other Internet utilities;
he merely prioritizes
them differently. Following the introduction, he presents
on USENET, FTP, Archie, telnet, UNIX-related tools,
images, finding information, Internet Relay Chat (IRC),
mail. The appendices, which alone would merit the reader's
include an alphabetical glossary, a list of Internet
questions and answers, an alphabetical resource guide,
listings, Internet domains, country codes and hostname
USENET group listings.
Manger addresses each topic from an international perspective,
examples from the United Kingdom as well as from the
His examples demonstrate not only how other countries
access the Internet,
but also how to communicate with users in other countries.
Coverage in the book is both broad and detailed. The
chapter on USENET,
for example, not only describes how to use it, but also
the USENET hierarchy, news distribution, decoding binary
(which include images, sounds, and programs), encrypted
13), and Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), which
with telnet to read messages from USENET groups without
the aid of
a newsreader. Two chapters that are not necessarily
found in every
Internet book deal with data compression and images.
The chapter on
compressed files explores the different compression
problems, how to find the compression/decompression
the tools necessary for decompression on miscellaneous
The image manipulation chapter focuses on the different
and their respective encoding procedures, how to retrieve
images on USENET, common image questions, locating image-processing
utilities, and finding FTP imaging archives.
The two concluding chapters describe Internet Relay
Chat (IRC) and
email. The IRC chapter explains how to use an IRC server
and where to procure IRC information and software, then
IRC commands and illustrates their applications. Although
on email is based on the UNIX mail system, most of the
applies to all email systems and the author presents
some valid questions
and solutions regarding email security.
This book is a well-organized an exceptionally informative
resource. The author explicitly itemizes what he will
explain in each
chapter and proceeds to do it. He presents shortcut
solutions as hints
and tips and uses figures, tables, and typical messages
his explanations. Many of the chapters address familiar
from a new perspective or offer little-known facts about
them (I particularly
appreciated the additional information included in the
examples). Manger's extensive knowledge and lucid presentation
this a truly useful book for serious users.
The Net After Dark: The Underground Guide to the
Coolest, the Newest, and the Most Bizarre Hangouts on
CompuServe, AOL, Delphi, and More
by Lamont Wood
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
For those online users who are either insomniacs or
night owls, this
book was written expressly for you. A warning, however:
it may exacerbate
your condition significantly (I speak from experience
Certain sections of online services become alive after
a certain hour
and many merit investigation. In his introduction, Wood
symbols used throughout the book to help the reader
avoid places he
or she really would not want to visit.
The first chapter investigates What's Out There, Files
Software, and Data), File Compression (the various compression
and their respective extensions), and important facts
and electronic mail, as well as behaviors and what practices
online. Subsequent chapters include the Layout of the
Intelligence, Multimedia, Virtual Reality, Science Fiction,
Cyberpunk, Mondo Software Stashes, Games and MUDs, Chatting,
Net Fringes: UFOs, Alien Possession, Dark Conspiracies,
Madness, Commercial Services, BBS and Echo Networks,
and The Internet.Each
chapter contains a description of the respective topic,
used with it, file extensions and their definitions,
and where to
find files, utilities, and newsgroups related to the
Reproductions of photgraphs and art available online
the book, as do sidebars entitled either Saving Face
yourself) or Check This Out (tips on what exists and
where to find
it). This is a light, but enjoyable and informative
Managing Internet Information Services
by Cricket Liu, Jerry Peek, Russ Jones, Bryan Buus,
and Adrian Nye
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
This Internet book was written for system administrators
who want to provide Internet services, but lack the
the preface states: "This book explains how to
plan, set up and
manage a complete array of Internet services including
an FTP archive,
a Gopher server, a WAIS (Wide Area Information Server,
a World Wide
Web (WWW) Server, and electronic mailing lists."
Internet Information Services does not explain how to
use the different
Internet services; it assumes a fairly extensive knowledge
services and their respective uses.
The examples in the book are drawn from the authors'
work with the
Species Survival Commission (SSC), part of the World
Union. (Regular O'Reilly customers may recognize the
SSC for its efforts
to save the Victoria Crowned Pigeon, currently on the
cover of the
lex and yacc Nutshell Handbook. For additional information
this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Two introductory chapters discuss the concepts implemented
in an information
server, such as client/server and TCP/IP, and provide
a brief synopsis
of the Internet services from a provider's viewpoint.
also considers the purposes of each service and the
to begin and maintain an information service. Chapter
three services: finger, inetd, and telnet. The rest
of the book illustrates
how to set up and maintain the FTP, WAIS databases,
Gopher, the World
Wide Web, and electronic mail services. The concluding
essential information regarding Firewalls and Information
Legal Matters, and Protecting Intellectual Property.
Chapters A through
C provide additional Gopher information, while chapters
G concentrate on supplementary World Wide Web data.
A particularly valuable feature of this book is its
inclusion of material
that has not previously appeared in book format. For
segment on the World Wide Web consists of an introductory
Setting Up the Server, Web Authoring, Gateways and Forms,
Control and Security. Setting Up the Server describes
procedure for obtaining, building, and maintaining the
NCSA Web server.
Until now, anyone attempting to initiate and configure
a Web server
had to download the FAQs, configuration files, and Makefiles
endeavor to assemble the resulting information in order.
discuss some topics that the FAQs either ignore or only
address: legal issues, discovering hackers' attempts,
Managing Internet Information Services presents complex
in a logical manner. Its progressive approach allows
to implement the various services with a minimum amount
The expertise of the authors is evident in the presentation
subject matter, and it is impossible to discern where
work ends and another's begins. This excellent book
could not have
been more timely. Anyone involved with installing Internet
as an administrator, consultant, or provider, should
read it and refer
to it often.
Low-Cost E-Mail with UUCP
Integrating UNIX, DOS, Windows and Mac
by Thomas Wm. Madron, Ph.D.
Van Nostrand Reinhold
Electronic mail has evolved from part of network computing's
to a standard. Email addresses now appear on business
cards and are
regularly requested on various forms, along with name,
and fax number. When cost reduction became a major factor
administration, electronic mail expenses presented a
The UNIX-to-UNIX Copy Program (UUCP) had originally
provided a low-cost
dependable answer for UNIX networks. But since today's
are usually dealing with multi-platform networks, consisting
DOS, Windows, OS/2, and Macintosh systems, UUCP has
dismissed as an unsuitable solution.
Thomas Madron addresses the benefits of UUCP, and explains
adapt it to other platforms. The initial chapter, An
to UUCP/Mail, explores some basics: who would want (and
can use) a
UUCP mail network, the fundamental network topologies,
UUCP. Chapter two discusses the design of a UUCP network
a simple example. Chapter three examines UUCP in UNIX,
its home environment,
and then describes different products using UUCP on
and Macintosh systems. Other chapters include the UUCP
and Mail Programs;
the UUCP System Files: Installing UUCP on Your System;
and Sending Mail; Completing and Managing the Network;
Your Private Network. The Appendices include an additional
list, a product directory, sample configuration files,
common modem problems, and a glossary. In other words,
E-Mail with UUCP is a network administrator's guide
running, and maintaining UUCP across diverse platforms.
Madron gives administrators guidelines for determining
not UUCP will work for them, then explains how to set
it up, what
products are available, and how to maintain it properly.
He uses figures
and tables when applicable, and gives many tips on installation
configuration. The accompanying disks contain shareware
as UUPlus, WinNET, and Waffle. The text is clearly written
furnish network administrators with an excellent resource
The Mosaic Handbook for the X Window System
by Dale Dougherty, Richard Koman, and Paula Ferguson
O'Reilly & Associate, Inc.
The Mosaic Handbook for Microsoft Windows
by Dale Dougherty and Richard Koman
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
The Mosaic Handbook for the Macintosh
by Dale Dougherty and Richard Koman
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
Mosaic, a relatively new development in Internet history,
graphics, formatted text, and multimedia for the user
in one application.
As the authors state, "Mosaic is more than a Web
browser. In fact,
it's an integrated interface for the entire Internet."
The World Wide Web is an extensive system of servers
hypertext links. Through these links, any document can
simply, no matter where it really resides. Unlike other
a World Wide Web page stores text and formatting codes,
other information (i.e., grpahics for the icons to appear
on the page),
and links to other resources, not necessarily on your
links are stored in HyperText Markup Language (HTML).
When a client
selects a link, a new connection is established between
of the information (where the data currently is located)
and the client
machine, which downloads the facts and employs the HyperText
Language (HTML) to format and present the information
exciting concept of the Web is that the whole world
becomes your file
server and your workstation the connection manager and
The Mosaic Handbook, whether the X Window System, Microsoft
Windows, or Macintosh version, introduces the user,
new or experienced,
to Mosaic and demonstrates how to use it. Although the
differ, the books offer the same general information.
with The Wide World of Internet Services and Getting
Mosaic. Following these introductory chapters are: Exploring
Wide Web, Accessing Other Internet Services, Customizing
Mosaic for Multimedia, Creating HTML Documents, and
The Appendices differ among the three versions, but
they all include
the Mosaic Reference Guide, the HTML Reference Guide,
and a Glossary.
In addition to illustrating how to use the Mosaic interface,
explore the Web, leading the reader on a guided tour.
O'Reilly & Associates,
Inc. is particularly well qualified to demonstrate this,
instituted the Global Network Navigator (GNN). The GNN
makes it easy
to demonstrate how to navigate with Mosaic, whether
the user needs
information services, resources, or databases. The authors
requirements for using Mosaic, how hypertext works,
and using other Internet services via Mosaic.
The writing in all three books is clear and the authors
the individual problems of each platform skillfully.
Plenty of diagrams
and screen reproductions complement the text and the
figures and the
text interact well. The topics are not long, which simplifies
for a particular instruction. Every Mosaic user should
Mosaic Handbook to peruse, read, and reference.
by Chris Hare, Emmett Dulaney, George Eckel, Steven
Lee, and Lee Ray
New Riders Publishing
$39.99, Disk Included
Designed for the intermediate (and often neglected)
UNIX user and
beginning UNIX system administrator, Inside UNIX occupies
uniques position in the UNIX library. Usually a book
for a system
administrator cannot help (or doesn't interest) a user
and vice versa,
but this book bridges that gap quite well. It is also
regarding UNIX versions, so some of its topics would
new by more experienced UNIX users.
The book begins with a UNIX overview, including a history
the end of Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) and
the entrance of
Novell. The first few chapters, which will probably
be a review for
experienced users, deal with topics such as the importance
passwords, the complete structure of the root directory
two or three examples to demonstrate how the structure
inode information. A section on editors examines vi
vi topics, and ed. The original UNIX ed is not currently
used by choice.
However, following a system crash, it may be the only
to the administrator. In the advanced vi discussion,
the authors not
only list the set commands, but also explain what the
actually do. Following the editors section, Inside UNIX
the most popular graphical user interfaces.
A subsequent section both introduces and demonstrates
covering the different shells, additional features,
the awk processor, the sed editor, and some advanced
A section on administration discusses the login procedure,
archiving and backup, and security. Most of the UNIX
SCO UNIX, Xenix, Linux, FreeBSD, UnixWare, Solaris,
and NeXTstep are covered here. The Internet, mail, and
are also explored, and a section entitled, Connections
terminal and printer interfacing, connecting to MS-DOS,
concepts. The concluding section is an A-Z command reference.
appendices identify differences between UNIX and DOS
and provide sample
programs. The accompanying disk provides ASCII copies
of all the shell
scripts within the book.
Although it is intended for intermediate users and beginning
administrators, sections of this book will interest
other levels of
users and administrators. The introductory sections,
and the segment on shell programming are good examples.
are well-organized and presented in a logical order,
and the scope
is extensive. The sections of particular interest to
the system administrator
can either be read separately or progressively as the
next step. Diagrams,
tables, and examples are used frequently throughout
the book and complement
the well-written text. The expertise of the individual
evident: this is a book that will significantly benefit
users and administrators.
About the Author
Elizabeth Zinkann has been involved in the UNIX and
C environments for the past
11 years. She is currently a UNIX and C consultant,
and one of her specialities
is UNIX education. In addition to her computer science
background, she also has a
degree in English. Elizabeth can be reached via CompuServe
(Internet format: email@example.com), or via