Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Regular Expressions Cookbook" By Jan Goyvaerts & Steven Levithan, 2nd Edition.



The ultimate regular expressions cheat sheet

The authors say it best when they say that the book is intended for those who:

regularly work with text on a computer, whether that’s searching through a pile of documents, manipulating text in a text editor, or developing software that needs to search through or manipulate text.

The first three chapters of this book cover useful tools, basic regular expression skills, and programming with regular expressions.  Chapters 4 through 9 contain the practical regular expressions recipes.  The programming languages that are covered in this book are C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, and VB.NET.  Every recipe that is in the book has solutions and explanations for all eight languages.
 
The recipes are organized and easy to look up.  For example, finding regular expressions that deal with validation, words, lines, URLs, and etc can be easily located in the table of contents.  The author’s tone is straightforward, direct, and informative.  This is not the kind of book where you read from start to finish, but rather a book where you just skim through to find the recipe that you need in whatever given situation.

With all the languages that the book covers, there are just too many languages to put into a single book.  I feel as though instead of having a book with all the languages, it would be better to have a book with a single language.  However, I must give praise on how well the authors were able to consolidate detailed solutions in 8 programming languages.

For everything that the book is and everything that it covers, the book offers a lot of information at a bargain.  If you work with regular expressions and need a reference book, this book is definitely the way to go.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

"How Linux Works: What Every Superuser Should Know" By Brian Ward, 1st Edition.

A fantastic introduction to the world of Linux

“How Linux Works” is a book that will appeal to users who want to have a greater and more in depth understanding of Linux.  The book covers many areas such as how to use the shell, learning how Linux boots, configuring your network, introducing scripts, maintaining the kernel, and many more.

Brian’s writing style is easy to follow and his transitions from one topic to the next are smooth.  I appreciate how the book is written in a second person point of view which allows the reader to be more engaged in the material.  I also like how there is an appendix at the end of the book with a list of the different commands for file management, system information, software development, and more.  To me, the only negative aspect of the book is that the book does not have any screenshots.

Keep in mind, the intention of this book is to get you to develop core understandings of Linux so that you can use the knowledge you learned in any Linux distribution whether it is Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, or whatever Linux distribution you use.  Whether you are a casual Linux user or a system administrator, “How Linux Works” will be sure to enlighten you.


Friday, September 7, 2012

"Ubuntu Made Easy: A Project-Based Introduction to Linux" By Rickford Grant and Phil Bull, 1st Edition.

How-to Ubuntu

Do you want to install an operating system on your computer without having to pay for one?  Are you tired of spending money on programs and applications?  Do you want to experience something new and stand out amongst the sea of people who use Windows operating systems or Mac operating systems?  If you answered yes to any or all of the questions, a Linux operating system is the solution for you.

This book is the complete package to dive into the Linux world and what better Linux operating system to get started with than Ubuntu?   Ubuntu is a great choice since it is very user friendly, pleasant to the eyes, and stable.  The book comes with a version 12.04 Ubuntu CD that is both a live CD and an install CD.  Booting the computer in live CD mode allows the user to experience Ubuntu without actually installing Ubuntu on the computer.  Booting the computer in install CD mode gives you the ability to install Ubuntu onto your computer.

When you install Ubuntu onto your computer or boot your computer in Ubuntu live mode, following along with the book will be an incredible adventure.  The book will guide you from installing Ubuntu on your computer to using the command line to troubleshooting common problems that might come up when using Ubuntu.  The author does a fantastic job in maneuvering you through the book with detailed step by step instructions and screenshots from beginning to end.  As you go through the book, you will encounter programs such as LibreOffice, Nautilus, GIMP, and Rythmbox and be able to use them.

This book is designed for users who are new to the Linux world but those who have experience with Linux can also use this book as a refresher.  For anyone interested in using Linux, this book is absolutely a must.