Book Bytes – MyMac Magazine #44 – Stocking Stuffers

The shelves are groaning here at our Book Bytes library, with all the new fall and winter titles arriving every day via UPS, FedEx, U.S. Mail, and carrier pigeon. Consequently, I decided to offer capsule comments on these nine books, which you can consider as “stocking stuffers” for the holiday gift season. If you require a complete review, let me know; I’ll conjure one up as soon as possible.

Maximum Security: A Hacker’s Guide
to Protecting Your Internet Site and Network,
Second Edition
by Anonymous
Sams Publishing
ISBN 0-672-31341-3, 829 pages plus CD
$49.99 U.S., $70.95 Canada, £46.95 U.K.

What an extraordinary book! Written by an experienced computer hacker who now specializes in testing the security of various networking platforms, every conceivable aspect of multi-platform security is covered extensively. Reading Maximum Security: A Hacker’s Guide makes me really glad I’m not a network administrator; every one of them should have this book chained to the wrist for ready-reference. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Publish It On the Web, Macintosh Version,
2nd Edition
by Bryan Pfaffenberger
AP Professional
ISBN 0-12-553162-1, 568 pages plus CD
$37.95 U.S., $53.95 Canada

I approve of this title’s thorough approach to Web publishing for all skill levels. The author cares about concepts and explanations, which are crucial, especially for newcomers. Personally, I wish I had sufficient time to follow the book’s itemized procedures and create a terrific site in the process. For now, I can certainly RECOMMEND “Publish It On the Web.”

ClarisWorks 5.0 Companion
by Jan L. Harrington
AP Professional/Claris Press
ISBN 0-12-326410-3, 674 pages
$34.95 U.S., $48.95 Canada

The author has gone to great lengths to have each component of the ClarisWorks suite presented as clearly as possible, from the ground up. I have learned quite a bit about CW, even on topics for which I considered myself knowledgeable. If you can find this somewhat expensive book at your bookstore, see for yourself. RECOMMENDED for beginners and intermediates.

ClarisWorks Office for Dummies
by Bob LeVitus, Deborah Shadovitz, and Frank Higgins
Dummies Press
ISBN 0-7645-0113-5, 358 pages
$19.99 U.S., $26.99 Canada, £18.99 U.K.

Don’t let the Dummies moniker lead you astray. This book is a valuable resource for newcomers to ClarisWorks, or experienced users who want to improve their skills in a relaxed manner. The information is well-presented, and is both comprehensive and enjoyable to read. The itemized projects are particularly worthwhile. RECOMMENDED.

PGP: Pretty Good Privacy
by Simson Garfinkel
O’Reilly and Associates
ISBN 1-56592-098-8, 393 pages
$29.95 U.S., $42.95 Canada

What I don’t know about PGP would fill several bookshelves, so please excuse me if my understanding of this formidable program is severely limited. The book is a few years old, which is probably not a concern, because the title has yet to be revised. May I get off the hook by observing that the material is truly impressive, and is well worth studying if you want to become familiar with PGP? RECOMMENDED.

The Internet for Busy People, Third Edition
by Christian Crumlish
ISBN 0-07-882526-1, 347 pages
$24.99 U.S., $34.99 Canada

Our first look at one of Osborne’s “For Busy People” series, and I like it! The information is comprehensive, and the well-designed, colorful pages make the reading experience enjoyable. Definitely RECOMMENDED for newcomers to the Net.

The Non-Designer’s Type Book:
Insights and Techniques for Creating
Professional-Level Type
by Robin Williams
Peachpit Press
ISBN 0-201-35367-9, 240 pages
$24.95 U.S., $34.95 Canada

A reissue of Beyond The Mac Is Not a Typewriter, this attractive example-style book is exactly what it promises. Robin is brilliant at making complex typographic concepts easy to understand, and the pages are loaded with projects and examples of fonts and type. If you take your type seriously, make sure you are familiar with this RECOMMENDED title.

Excel 98 for Macintosh, Visual QuickStart Guide
by Maria Langer
Peachpit Press
ISBN 0-201-35360-1, 262 pages
$17.95 U.S., $24.95 Canada

Microsoft Excel is the perfect app for the Visual QuickStart one-project per-page format. Whatever your skill level, you should consider the purchase of this RECOMMENDED new book on Excel if you want to get the very most out of that powerful program. I actually wish I had a few Excel projects myself, just so I could put this book to work. See for yourself: it’s a winner.

Quicken 98 for Macintosh,
Visual QuickStart Guide
by Tom Negrino
Peachpit Press
ISBN 0-201-35401-2, 152 pages
$16.99 U.S., $25.50 Canada

Where was this book when I was recommending Quicken 98 almost a year ago? I don’t know, but I apologize for not being able to review it sooner. If you are already a satisfied user of Q98, you are familiar with most of what the application does. Consider the purchase of this slim RECOMMENDED volume if you want to improve your skills. Newbies will appreciate Quicken 98 for Macintosh even more.

•John Nemerovski• <>

Websites mentioned:
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