Casting the Net: From ARPANET to Internet and Beyond
Author: Peter H. Salus
Reviewer: Danny Yee
In A Quarter Century of Unix Peter Salus explored the history of Unix; in Casting the Net he turns to the history of the Internet. After a brief look at the “prehistory” of networking, he covers the development of the ARPANET in some detail. He then discusses a variety of material, organised thematically and roughly chronologically: early networks in Europe and Japan (but nothing about Australia); the development of new protocols (particularly for mail); the switch to TCP/IP; the OSI protocol wars; UUCP and Usenet; BITNET and Fidonet (and a bit on IBM's VNET); the NSFnet; the NREN and the NII; the most recent commercialisation and explosion of the Internet; and so forth. Information is current up to December 1994, so Casting the Net is not too badly out of date.
In a couple of places Salus pretends he's writing a book for the masses---at one point he devotes a couple of pages to explaining the difference between datagram- and circuit-based networks, for example---but this pretence is not maintained---while Casting the Net doesn't assume a great deal of technical knowledge, it is still very much a technical history, written for those who work with networks and networking protocols. For example, the book includes all the April Fools' Day RFCs, material that can hardly be appreciated by anyone who's never read an RFC or tried to understand a networking protocol.
Whereas A Quarter Century of Unix was built out of quotes, more of Casting the Net is taken up by diagrams, time lines, and digressions. Most of these are reprinted from easily accessible sources (like the digressions, many of the quotes are from RFCs), so there is a lot less original material than in the earlier book, and I don't think it is as impressive an achievement. It includes a lot of good material, however, and it's a good read; once again, I finished it within a day of receiving my copy. As a compact technical history of the Net, it doesn't have much competition.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide