Technical Discussion: "Mastering UNIX Serial Communications"

"Mastering UNIX Serial Communications"
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TECHbooks Official Login
1991-04-01 16:00:43 EST
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 - 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.

Chuck Murcko
1991-04-02 22:17:41 EST

Is this an ad disguised as a review, or a review disguised as an ad? In
either case does it belong here? Note Replies To:
That casts at least a shadow over the whole thing...
Chuck Murcko The Topsail Group 538 E. Church Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19117
Internet: cmurcko@topsail.Topsail.ORG
UUCP: ...!uunet!lgnp1!gvlv2!topsail!cmurcko
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