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Books: A User's Report

Elizabeth Zinkann

Examples, integration, and certification are the keywords to describe this month's column and the reviews. I've included reviews of an entire book of examples, a book that describes integration procedures, and a certification guide for HP-UX. The specific reviews include: Java Examples in a Nutshell, Second Edition by David Flanagan (O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.); Integrate Linux Solutions into Your Windows Network by Dustin Puryear (Prima Tech); and HP Certified: HP-UX System Administration by Rafeeq Ur Rehman (Hewlett-Packard Professional Books, Prentice Hall).

Java Examples in a Nutshell
Second Edition
David Flanagan
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
ISBN 0-596-00039-1
566 Pages

One of the most effective ways to learn a new skill, whether it is the design and creation of a stained glass window or of a computer program, is through the use of examples. This reliable method demonstrates the processes to use and factors to consider during each phase. Following an example is a prelude to independently utilizing any newly acquired craft or knowledge. In Java Examples in a Nutshell, author David Flanagan devotes an entire book to different types of examples using Java. The original edition was created as a supplement to the Java in a Nutshell book. The second edition, also subtitled A Tutorial Companion to Java in a Nutshell, presents updated examples for Java 2, Version 1.3. Flanagan also included some new chapters and has reorganized and expanded the existing material.

The second edition features three major sections: Core Java APIs, Graphics and GUIs, and Enterprise Java. The initial part, Core Java APIs, addresses the fundamental topics in the following order: Java Basics; Objects, Classes, and Interfaces; Input/Output; Threads; Networking; Security and Cryptography; Internationalization; Reflection; and Object Serialization. In Part II: Graphics and GUIs, the author provides examples and exercises relating to: Graphical User Interfaces, Graphics, Printing, Data Transfer, Java Beans, and Applets. Enterprise Java features Remote Method Invocation, Database Access with SQL, Servlets and JSP, XML, and an Example Index. The Example Index Chapter, the XML chapter (also available online at, and The Servlets and JSP chapter are new additions.

Java Examples in a Nutshell actually complements three books: Java in a Nutshell, Java Foundation Classes in a Nutshell, and Java Enterprise in a Nutshell. Flanagan introduces the topic or topics within each chapter, provides essential information about them, illustrates how to implement the concepts through programming examples, and concludes each chapter with exercises. (The examples can also be accessed online to reduce both typing time and errors.) Java Examples in a Nutshell features useful examples, from filtering lines of text or character streams to a clock applet and image processing. This is an excellent book and a superb learning aid for Java programmers at every level.

Integrate Linux Solutions into Your Windows Network
Dustin Puryear
Prima Tech
ISBN 0-7615-2791-5
803 Pages

Today's networks may employ a diverse collection of computers and operating systems. One or more computers running Linux, UNIX, Windows, Novell, and Macintosh are often combined within a single network structure. The systems administrator's job is to seamlessly integrate the different platforms for printing, sharing peripherals, and sharing files with optimum performance and a minimum of user inconvenience. (That's why administrators are also known as magicians.) In Integrate Linux Solutions into Your Windows Networks, author/administrator/magician Dustin Puryear examines the concepts and implementations related to maintaining multiple platforms within a network. Although Puryear specifically addresses Linux and the Windows environment, he also describes each topic in general terms, so that the discussions are also applicable to non-Windows systems.

The author approaches the various aspects of integration through four sections: Part I: Knowing, Using, and Configuring Linux; Part II: File and Print Services; Part III: Networking and Security Services; and Part IV: Databases and Dynamic Web Sites. The Appendix contains the GNU General Public License. Part I: Knowing Using, and Configuring Linux includes Getting to Know Linux, Using Linux, and Understanding Linux Administration. (Puryear does not include specific installation instructions; they will differ depending on the selected distribution.) The information provided in these chapters could easily comprise a smaller book on configuration options. The author presents bottom-line analyses of computer hardware plus operating systems comparisons, noting their strengths and weaknesses. He also describes the components of the Linux operating system, encompassing the file system, memory and process control, and TCP/IP services and networking. Puryear details and demonstrates BASH (the Bourne Again Shell) programming and techniques plus the fundamentals of Linux systems administration.

Part II: File and Print Services discusses Samba installation, configuration, features, and use through: Integrating Windows and Linux SMB/CIFS Services Using Samba; Using Samba for Windows Access Control, Files, and Printers; and Introducing Advanced Samba Services and Techniques. Puryear explains the Samba essentials plus some of its more advanced capabilities and troubleshooting methods. In Part III: Networking and Security Services, the author describes Securing Your Network with Linux, Enabling Secure Remote Access and PPP Networking, and Offering Electronic Mail and Directory Services. Through the content in these chapters, the reader easily progresses from good security practices to firewall construction, secure remote access using OpenSSH, electronic mail basics and configurations, and Directory Services. In the final section, Part IV: Databases and Dynamic Web Sites, the author explores Serving Up Databases with MySQL, Offering Web Services, and Creating Web-Based Applications and Dynamic Sites. Puryear outlines MySQL installation and administration procedures and demonstrates how to create and modify MySQL databases. In the Offering Web Services chapter, the author discusses the installation, configuration, and features of the Apache Web Server. He also creates a sample server configuration and presents some useful tools. The final chapter introduces PHP and explains how to use it plus how to combine PHP and MySQL for a Web site.

Integrate Linux Solutions into Your Windows Network by Dustin Puryear is a superb book. The author presents each topic's concepts, describes how it works, and shows how to implement it through a step-by-step procedure. The contents of the book are wonderfully complete, covering almost every topic that an administrator could possibly need. Puryear augments his straightforward textual descriptions with numerous notes, diagrams, figures, tables, and examples. The result is an excellent book and reference for anyone integrating systems, contemplating integration, or curious about how different platforms can work together.

HP Certified
HP-UX System Administration
Rafeeq Ur Rehman
Hewlett-Packard Professional Books
Prentice Hall
ISBN 0-13-018374-1
789 Pages

The quest for system certifications continues to be a popular education option. Whether the system is Solaris, Linux, or HP-UX, certification can be a quick way to convey familiarity and knowledge of a system. Additionally, most certification books (ignoring the questions and sample quizzes designed to help anyone gain certification) provide excellent resources and references for routine tasks. In HP Certified, Rehman has compiled and organized the information required for Hewlett-Packard's three part System Administration exam (3H0-002). He presents the topics covered by the tests, describes what they entail and how they work, and structures each chapter to conclude with a chapter summary, chapter review questions, and sample test questions entitled Test Your Knowledge. The Preface also includes How to Register for the HP-UX Certification Examination and Strategies for Taking the Test. The author approaches the different aspects covered by the examinations through three major sections: Part I: Fundamentals of UNIX Systems, Part II: HP-UX System Administration, and Part III: HP-UX Network Administration.

The first section discusses basic UNIX concepts and procedures. The individual chapters detail: Getting Started with UNIX, Working with Files and Directories, Environment Variables, Input/Output Redirection and Pipes, Using the vi Editor, Regular Expressions, File Permissions, UNIX File System Hierarchy, Working with the POSIX Shell and Job Control, Introduction to Shell Programming, and Advanced Shell Programming. The second section, Part II: HP-UX System Administration, examines the processes specific to systems administration and HP-UX systems through the following chapters: The System Administration Manager (SAM), Installing HP-UX, System Startup and Shutdown, Software and Patch Management, Reconfiguring the HP-UX Kernel, Peripheral Devices, HP-UX File Systems and Logical Volume Manager (LVM), User and Group Management, Dealing with HP-UX Processes, Printing on HP-UX, Memory and Swap Space Management, System Backup and Recovery, Automating Jobs, and System Performance Monitoring. Although all three sections of the book are important, this is the most HP-UX-intensive section. Rehman not only addresses the greatest number of topics, but he also explains the subjects that are unique in some way to HP-UX.

Part III: HP-UX Network Administration, analyzes networking fundamentals, theories, and implementations through: Basic Network Concepts, Network Components and Topologies, Introduction to the TCP/IP Protocol, Configuring LAN Interface Adapters, Configuring and Managing ARPA/Berkeley Services, Host Name Resolution and Domain Name Server, Configuring and Managing NIS, Configuring and Managing the Network File System, HP-UX Automounter, Network Time Protocol, and System and Network Administration: Final Thoughts. The Appendices contain: A) Chapter Review Answers, B) Test Your Knowledge Answers, C) HP-UX Command and Configuration Files, and D) Sample HP-UX Certification Exam.

HP Certified by Rafeeq Ur Rehman provides an important guide to the HP-UX certification procedures and tests for systems administration. The author demonstrates the information covered by each of the three tests and provides test questions and situations as exercises for the reader. Rehman establishes an excellent study regimen, with sample questions and tests to ensure successful certification results.

Elizabeth Zinkann has been involved in the UNIX and C environment for the past 15 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. Her writing has also appeared in Linux Magazine, Performance Computing, and Network Administrator. Elizabeth can be reached at: