Power User sings praises of a few of his favorite things

This column so often holds gripes about software feature bloat and
hardware glitches that it’s only fair to praise the good stuff once in a while. The
items below bring joy to me and every other user lucky enough to have them:

Another positive is the wealth of well-written computer books.

Understanding Optical Communications by Harry J.R. Dutton covers the basics of
introducing fiber-optic cable into existing network architectures. The book is strong on
diagrams and light on mathematics.

Internet Besieged by Dorothy E. and Peter J. Denning gives a good introduction to
security problems on the Internet, written from the viewpoints of dozens of leading
security specialists.

If your agency Web site is ready to move beyond Hypertext Markup Language and has no
prohibition against Java, read Core Java 1.2, Volume 1, Fundamentals by Cay S. Horstmann
and Gary Cornell. The 700-page volume comes with a CD-ROM of Sun Microsystems Inc.’s
Java Development Kit 1.2 and other tools.

The second edition of Computer

Networks and Internets by Douglas E. Comer explains the fundamentals of Internet
structure and gives useful exercises at the end of each chapter.

Perhaps your job description indicates that you can never know too much about networks.
A useful reference is the sixth edition of TCP/IP Tutorial and Technical Overview by
Martin W. Murhammer and other IBM Corp. engineers.

John McCormick, a free-lance writer and computer consultant, has been working with
computers since the early 1960s. E-mail him at powerusr@penn.com.

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