Hacking is a normal activity of the human condition. It is the effort of bending reality to conform to one's needs. In the 1950s it was routine for young males to hack their automobiles into something with more muscle--testosteroni, as my wife refers to it--then what had been delivered by the manufacturer. In fact, the most successful automobile ever manufactured, the VW Beetle, was the ripest and most constantly evolving of all automotive hacks.
Our modern age brings us an almost unlimited number of hack opportunities that range from PDAs and cell phones to electronic bidets. Hacking the technology of our present age has become so pervasive that a cottage industry of books has arisen to meet the needs of those with a desire to modify their frames of reference.
All the books I looked at were from O'Reilly, so consider this a review of the series and not one individual book. There are books on hacking--or customizing, as some feel this is a more diplomatic term--by other publishers, but the distinction here is O'Reilly has the only series of books on hacking and the publisher's list of titles seems to be growing.
The first book I looked at was Linux Server Hacks, a subject near and dear to all our hearts. I can say that not all the hacks in this book were new to me, but many were, especially in the area of revision control (RCS-CVS), which is my weak spot. The book gave me a useful start and insights into making effective use of RCS for a Linux diagnostic-test machine I manage that has multiple root users and is often reinstalled from the image CD because it has become corrupted (again).
The most useful hacks you'll find in these books will be based on your skill-set; they may be things you knew about but haven't pursued, or they simply may be areas of weakness. Could you find them on the Web or in newsgroups? Yes, you likely could, but you might not find them as immediately as you would paging through the book. If nothing else, Linux Hacks is leisure reading for geeks.
If you've opted to search for a solution, however, or if your life is a series of searches, you may want to hone your skills with Google Hacks. Finding solutions is not always so much about knowing the answer as it is about being able to get the right information. Of course, one of the best ways to find solutions is to be more effective in your searching. Anyone can do simple searches, and we all do that routinely, but the first steps to being more effective with Google is to use it in the same manner as you would a database, which is to use both Boolean and special syntax. For example, using special syntax, the search LKCD:pdf helped me locate a PDF document about Linux kernel crash dumps.
Google also can be used in place of going to MapQuest or Yahoo! Maps. From the Google search page, type in the desired address (1600 Pennsylvania Ave Washington DC), and the first result should be a Showmap link with your choice of the MapQuest or Yahoo! Maps Web site. If you want to see cutting-edge Google or Google of the future check out labs.google.com.
The other two books I looked at were eBay Hacks and Amazon Hacks. Neither of these books should be considered guides to buying and selling on their respective sites. Their purpose is to be tool guides that make the process of buying and selling easier for participants in these market places.
I don't go into details about either of these books here, but I do recommend them to those who use eBay and Amazon. If you want more information on all of the Hacking series titles, go to the O'Reilly Hacking pages to see these titles and any new ones they have out. Also, take some time to explore the Hacks on-line.
Finally, I have a short list of Hacking titles I'd like to see developed: Hacking Yahoo, Hacking Windows CE, Hacking Apache and Hacking Your Significant Other.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
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.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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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