Books: A User's Report
This month, I reviewed a revised career book, a desk reference, an administration book, and a telephony book. They include: How to Get Your Dream Job Using the Web by Shannon Karl and Arthur Karl (Coriolis Group Books); The sendmail Desktop Reference by Bryan Costales and Eric Allman (O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.); Windows NT and HP-UX System Administrator's "How To" Book by Marty Poniatowski (Hewlett-Packard Professional Books, A Prentice Hall Title); and The Internet Telephone Toolkit by Jeff Pulver (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
How to Get Your Dream Job Using the Web
by Shannon Karl and Arthur Karl
Coriolis Group Books
Job hunting is no longer a simple task. Once a straightforward procedure, search techniques now vary by position, level of expertise, location, medium, and the employer's level of technology. Resumes and optional attachments for a health care administrator will differ extensively from an applicant seeking a more technical profession, such as programming or technical writing. An applicant's approach will vary appreciably depending on his or her submittal: snail mail or fax versus an online application. The original edition of How To Get Your Dream Job Using the Internet introduced the reader to the Internet's possibilities, suggested a keyword section in every resume, demonstrated the differences between traditional and electronic resumes, and illustrated how to create a home page. In the revised edition, Shannon and Arthur Karl examine job searching via the Internet through the following chapters: Why Using the Internet and Web Can Get You the Job You Want; An Internet Crash Course; Get Connected; Fortune 500s and International Jobs on the Web; What You Won't Find in the Classifieds: Up-to-the-Minute Job Listings; How to Create a Killer Electronic Resume; Schmoozing Online: Meet the Right People, Make the Right Impression; Market Yourself on the Web: Create Your Own Home Page; Bulletin Board Systems: Hidden Job Opportunities; Been There, Done That: Straight Talk from Job Hunting Experts; The Web's Best Job-Hunting Resources; and Creating Your Own Dream Job: Working from Home. The Appendix features the National Internet Service Provider List. The accompanying CD-ROM provides a listing of the URLs documented in the company job listing sections, Web page creation tools, resume software, interview simulators, and scheduling software.
The new sections feature the Fortune 500 company listing and working from home; the remainder of the book has been modified and expanded, especially the chapter discussing the Web's resources. How To Get Your Dream Job Using The Web is not limited to the technical professional or to computer companies. (The authors note that participating companies receive more non-technical responses to Internet postings than replies for technical positions.) Shannon and Arthur Karl provide guidelines for any type of job search utilizing a logical, step-by-step approach. For the reader's convenience, each point is presented separately, and improved formatting throughout the book increases readability.
How to Get Your Dream Job Using the Web illustrates the most effective and current methods available for both non-technical and technical professional job pursuits. The company listings and URLs, online search resources, and bulletin board numbers identify this as a complete offline resource for any job seeker. The authors' clarity, ease of style, and sense of humor make it a pleasure to read. This is an outstanding guide to an evolving and required business practice.
sendmail Desktop Reference
by Bryan Costales and Eric Allman
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
The sendmail program receives, forwards, and delivers electronic mail. Its effectiveness and accuracy depend on both the command line and the configuration file, sendmail.cf. This handy resource (7" x 4 1/4") contains five chapters: How to Run, The sendmail.cf File, Databases, Configuring with m4, and Additional Information Sources. The first chapter briefly addresses how to invoke sendmail and lists the command-line switches and their descriptions. Chapter two examines the sendmail configuration file, sendmail.cf, which essentially drives the sendmail program. It stores all of the information that sendmail needs to operate correctly (file locations, rules, definitions, addresses, etc.) In the third chapter, the authors reference the support files, tables, and aliases, while chapter four analyzes the m4 configuration options. The concluding chapter features additional information sources provided with the sendmail source.
This excellent reference guide pertains to sendmail v8.8.5. It complements sendmail, Second Edition, by Bryan Costales and Eric Allman (O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., ISBN 1-56592-222-0, $39.95, http://www.ora.com). The references in the sendmail Desktop Reference (i.e. 34.8.75) indicate the chapter and section (in this case, the UserDatabaseSpec (U) or Specify User Database option on page 769) in the complete sendmail book. Every sendmail administrator needs this reference. It quickly and easily supplies the commands and configurations for the sendmail program in a 74-page book. The sendmail Desktop Reference provides a thorough companion to the unabridged version.
Windows NT and HP-UX System Administrator's "How To" Book
by Marty Poniatowski
Hewlett-Packard Professional Books
A Prentice Hall Title
As the Windows NT operating system (both Server and Workstation varieties) increases in popularity, it is frequently introduced as an additional platform. The system administrator must understand the mechanics of each system and how they interact. In the Windows NT and HP-UX System Administrator's "How To" Book, Marty Poniatowski examines the fundamentals of the Windows NT v4.x and the HP-UX v10.x operating systems. The author presents three topics in this book, although the text is not divided into parts or sections. One topic details the installation, structure, and administration of the Windows NT system; the second discusses the parallel aspects of an HP-UX system; and a third features Windows NT and HP-UX interoperability issues. Poniatowski separately addresses the services that every system administrator will encounter for the two operating systems. He explains the assorted topics through the following chapters: Setting up Your Windows NT System, Setting up Your HP-UX System, Windows NT File System Layout, The HP-UX File System Layout, Windows NT File System Management, HP-UX File System Management, Windows NT System Administration Tools, HP-UX System Administration Manager (SAM), Windows NT Performance Overview, HP-UX Performance Overview, Windows NT User Environment, HP-UX Common Desktop Environment, Windows NT and HP-UX Interoperability - The X Window System, Windows NT and HP-UX Interoperability - Networking, Windows NT, and HP-UX Interoperability - Advanced Server 9000, Windows NT, and HP-UX Interoperability - Posix Utilities, and Windows NT, and HP-UX Interoperability - Soft Bench Open Studio.
Poniatowski demonstrates system administration procedures for each system. He assumes that the administrator works in an environment that supports both platforms. He does not compare the benefits and disadvantages of Windows NT to HP-UX (or vice-versa.) The book's organization allows an experienced NT administrator to independently read the sections on HP-UX installation, structure, or maintenance. Occasionally, as in chapters 13 and 14, the author will repeat information, which saves the reader from paging back and forth between chapters or memorizing the information's location.
Windows NT and HP-UX System Administrator's "How To" Book is an outstanding addition to any administrator's working reference bookshelf. Although system administration principles and processes remain constant from system to system, the individual implementations vary. The interoperability chapters are especially noteworthy. (It is one situation to have two operating systems share the same hardware; it is another circumstance to access the first system from the second system.) Poniatowski not only explains each concept and procedure from the beginning but also describes it thoroughly utilizing figures, diagrams, screen appearances, and flowcharts whenever possible. This is a superior administration book; I highly recommend it.
The Internet Telephone Toolkit
by Jeff Pulver
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Many of the email messages and questions that I receive are connected in some way to the Internet's telephone capabilities. Some users merely want to know if it's possible; others request step-by-step directions. Jeff Pulver provides both plus the required software. He furnishes information in the following chapters: The Concept: Free Long Distance Calling!, Getting Started, Typical Problems with Internet Telephony, The Future of Internet Telephony, Internet Phone: The Market Leader, Internet Phone Usage Tips: Questions and Answers, WebPhone, WebTalk, TeleVox, FreeTel, CoolTalk, NetMeeting, and Additional Voice/Video on the Net (VON) Products. The Appendices include A) Internet Telephony Resource List, and B) Free World Dial-Up (FWD) FAQs. The accompanying CD-ROM includes demonstration software for all of the utilities discussed plus some additional telephony products.
Pulver removes the illusion surrounding the telephony features, and demonstrates how to implement the most popular products. He explains how the communications work and what to do if you want to install this feature without the benefit of a microphone. The author provides clear and simple instructions for anyone endeavoring to install a telephony package, answers questions, furnishes common troubleshooting solutions, and shares a genuine enthusiasm with the reader. The Internet Telephone Toolkit details easy instructions about a very popular topic. Anyone interested in Internet telephone products should start with Pulver's book. It is a quality introduction to a sometimes confusing topic.
About the Author
Elizabeth Zinkann has been involved in the UNIX and C environment for the past 12 years. She is currently a UNIX and C consultant, and one of her specialties is UNIX education. In addition to her computer science background, she also has a degree in English. Elizabeth can be reached via America Online (firstname.lastname@example.org).