I love books. I read books, write books, and collect books.
After years of too-small homes I finally have a house big enough to
hold all my books. Yes, the bookworm's dream come true, a whole
room dedicated to a book library. It's not a huge room, just a
small bedroom, but it holds all of my books and there is room for
future acquisitions. It even has stylish pine bookcases that I
built myself. Straight and true, though I did skimp on the sanding,
which makes splinters a bit of a problem. But it's a small price to
pay for the luxury of having all of my books on actual shelves, and
organized so I can find what I want.
I buy a fair number of computer books even though a lot of the
knowledge becomes outdated in a short time by book standards,
because books don't depend on electricity and are completely
portable. When the network is going up in flames and nothing works,
the last thing I want is to have to cobble up a working system and
an Internet connection just to look things up. These are my
favorite networking books:
Linux Networking Cookbook-- duh, I wrote it!
Schneier on Security
TCP/IP Network Administration, 3rd edition by Craig Hunt
DNS and BIND, 5th edition by Liu and Albitz (I hate BIND, but
still have to deal with it)
Practical Packet Analysis by Chris Sanders
Silence on the Wire: A Field Guide to Passive Reconnaissance
and Indirect Attacks, by Michal Zalewski
The Book of PF, by Peter N.M. Hansteen
TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols, by Richard
These are my fave all-around useful Linux books:
bash Cookbook, by Albing, Vossen, Newham
Linux Kernel in a Nutshell, by Greg Kroah-Hartman
Linux Cookbook, by me!
Linux Cookbook, by Michael Stutz
sed and awk Pocket Reference , 2nd Edition by Arnold
Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman, by Sam Williams
Learning the bash Shell, 3rd edition, by Cameron Newham, Bill
Open Sources, 1st Edition by Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman
Learning Python, 3rd Edition by Mark Lutz
Evil Geniuses in a Nutshell, by J.D. 'Illiad' Frazer
Now I'm into audio recording and engineering, and digital
photography with Linux. Keep your eyes peeled for "Building a
Digital Sound Studio with Audacity" (No Starch Press) sometime next
year, and after that an equally awesome digital photography book
that does not even mention dumb old Photoshop. Practically every
darned digital photography howto in existence revolves around
Photoshop. A pox on Photoshop-- there are excellent alternatives.
So like any good FOSS geek, if it doesn't exist then by gosh I'll
create it myself.
For fun reading I have discovered William Lashner's books. He
writes legal mystery/thrillers starring Victor Carl, a sleazy
lawyer who chronically falls into tight situations way over his
head, outsmarts himself a lot, but somehow always wiggles his way
out. Carl is not your typical macho hero, but is frankly cowardly,
scrawny and unfit, and pretty much willing to do whatever it takes
to make a living. But he is a complex character who is funny, has
his own mixed-up set of morals, and worries about what kind of man
he is becoming. Lashner also delivers nice rich mysteries, a fast
pace, and a an assortment of equally fun and interesting side
I won't have much time for recreational reading until my
Audacity book is finished, but the nice thing about books is they
age well-- I don't have to worry about the technology leaving me
behind. When I have time they'll be waiting for me.
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