This is a new book published by Sybex and aimed primarily at someone using SCO UNIX or XENIX. It's divided into four parts: part I is an introduction to the basics of serial communications, things like terminal emulation, data transfers, handshaking, buffers, etc. Part II tackles mail, UUCP and cu from the user's standpoint. Nothing very exciting so far, but lots of nice clear diagrams and a very readable style that is a lot easier to follow than the man pages.
Part III gets into system administration: setting up serial ports for modems or terminals, setting up UUCP, troubleshooting some basic problems. Part IV covers some basic programming of serial I/O on a UNIX system. There are some sample code fragments that should prove useful, plus complete specifications for the XMODEM and Kermit protocols.
So, what do we think of this book? For a new sysadmin, Joe and I think this is a great book. It is well written, the explanation of UNIX communications follows in a logical sequence, there are some nice features (a chart of the UUCP directory structure, a good bibliography).
The down side? No coverage of news (B or C) at all. No coverage of other mail programs (elm, mush) or alternatives to cu (Pcomm, Xcomm). At 300 pages, it's taking in a lot of territory, and isn't going to provide the depth that the serious sysadmin might want.
Joe says "if you can afford both (this book and O'Reilly and Associates' "Managing UUCP and Usenet"), buy both. Otherwise buy "Managing"." I'd agree with that to some degree, but I think for the new sysadmin, particularly for sites that are not going to get involved with news, this is a better book. It gives the information they'll need to know without bogging them down too far in the messy details.
"Mastering UNIX Serial Communications" is written by Peter Gofton and has an ISBN of 0-89588-708-8. It's published in 1991, and lists for $26.95 (our price is $22.90).
Note: with ISBN number (which also tells publisher), you may be able to have your local bookstore or library order this book for you. Sybex books are often carried by B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, Crown and independent bookstores. -- Voice: +1 503 646-8257 FAX: +1 503 248-6320 firstname.lastname@example.org - or - Public Access UNIX site: +1 503 644-8135 ...!uunet!techbook!orders TECHbooks sells technical (and other) books at discounted prices. Authorized SCO and ESIX resellers.
1991-04-02 22:17:41 EST
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