Networking from the ground up

By   |  May 15, 2003

Networking – A beginner\’s guide
Third Edition
Bruce A. Hallberg
Published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne 2003
Price: R499,99
Book supplied by Intersoft

As the name suggests, if you\’re an absolute networking novice this could very well be a useful book to own. However, if you\’re a seasoned veteran of TCP/IP and the like you\’re best advised to steer clear. And if you\’re looking for a good Linux-based networking book, this is not it.

On the other hand, the book Bruce Hallberg has written is for novices and as such it does a decent enough job of explaining the basics of networking. From the ground up, literally. He also does a decent job of explaining binary numbers before he gets into the real task at hand – explaining the fundamentals of networks.

On the whole the book is well structured and moves through step-by-step with handy breakouts offering tips, warnings and notes on each of the issues. Each section is finished up with a Q&A section (the answers which are in provide in Appendix A). On the whole though the questions are somewhat simplistic and only really touch in a very general way the material covered in the preceding chapter.

Tectonic being an open source publication I immediately skipped the sections on Windows 2000, .Net and the likes to the \”Installing Linux in a Server Configuration\” chapter only to be disappointed. This may be the third edition of the book but I\’m not convinced the Linux section (90-odd pages) has been updated for some time. The majority of the focus was on installing Red Hat 6 and 7 on a server, which itself is out of date, using tools that are equally out of date.

As with many books that cover a relatively broad area such as networking, Networking – A Beginner\’s Guide makes what feels like a very token attempt to include Linux into the scheme. Compounding this is the fact that the majority of the Linux pages are dedicated to explaining the very basics of Linux, including a large section dedicated to very basic command line operations.

For Linux users a generally disappointing book. But if you\’re an absolute networking newbie you\’re likely to get a significant amount of value out of the book.


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