Title: Mac Tiger Server Little Black Book, Author: Charles Edge Publisher: Paraglyph Press, distributed by O’Reilly Published: 2006 Price: $34.99 URL: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/1933097140/
Roger Smith, SVMUG, June 18, 2006.
Audience: Users and system administrators trying to get the most out of Mac networking with Tiger Server.
Content: The book is divided into 18 chapters, each focused on some aspect of server functionality.
My opinion: Very much task-oriented, this would get a lot of use next to the console of a Tiger server. It is setting next to my server and will stay there.
There is an embarrassment of riches these days when it comes to OS X Server books. Until 10.2 there was nothing except some material on the Apple Web site.
Then Schoun Regan came out with Mac OS X Server Essentials, the first good book on Mac servers (Peachpit Press, Apple Training Series). But with each new edition, Schoun’s book is more oriented towards the budding Apple Consultant who wants to understand the various components of OS X Server and then pass his or her Apple certification exam. Several sections of Mac OS X Server Essentials are titled “Understanding this” and “Understanding that”. It is thorough book, but not suitable as a reference. It is also physically very heavy.
In contrast, “Mac Tiger Server Little Black Book” is intended as a handy reference for whatever task is at hand. Most chapters have an introductory “In brief” section that is two or three pages long. It is assumed that you understand, for example, the basics of networking. The rest of each chapter is “Immediate Solutions”, checklists and screen shots of how to accomplish the task at hand. Even the planning and installation chapter has “Immediate Solutions” like Choosing your Network infrastructure, Creating a Maintenance Plan, etc. Each chapter ends with a page or two of “Tips from the Trenches”, real world experience of these previous solutions in practice. The author has been there and done that, in the real world. “Troubleshooting …” is also a frequent topic heading.
The major Chapters are: Planning, Directory Services, Windows Services (I did mention it is real-world based, right?) Sharing Files, Network Services, Printing, Web, Mail and Streaming Servers, etc. Subjects also get into the more advanced area like VPNs, WebObjects, MySQL, Java Server Pages and Collaboration.
The Little Black book isn’t tiny at 377 pages, but is a convenient 6 by 9 inch format and is printed on light weight paper. It has index tabs on the margin so you can quick locate the section, and then the 2 or 3 page solution to your problem. The book was actually designed to be used!
— Roger Smith Complete System & Network Administration Windows, Mac, Sun, Cisco Apple Authorized Business Agent Microsoft Registered Partner 408-736-7200