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Review: "Build Your Own Server", Caputo

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Old September 8th 04, 10:20 PM
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Default Review: "Build Your Own Server", Caputo

A Mediocre Book which panders to Microsoft (2 Stars)

As a PC Assembly book, this is modestly useful, but there are a lot of
PC assembly books out there. (Incidentally, I have not found a current
title as concise and well written as "PC Hardware Configuration Guide
: For DOS and Solaris" by Ledesma, which is ten years old and
therefore of historical interest only.) It's expensive and there is
very little difference between building a commodity Wintel PC for
server, workstation, home PC or Gaming use other than which specific
components to choose.)

Where it falls apart is its complete dependence on, and unsupportable
and flatly wrong statements urging the user to use, Microsoft Server
software. Usually, a legal copy of Windows Server and associated
software client licenses and applications will exceed the cost of the
hardware in a low end server installation, and it will usually use
those resources far less efficiently and securely than will a
Unix-based operating system. I suspect this is simply because he is
lazy or because he wishes to curry favor with Microsoft-aligned
organizations, although he well may believe that the average reader is
just too dumb to learn Unix.

In this era, no one without basic Unix skills can consider themselves
legitimately fit for any type of IT professional status. While I do
not believe that Unix operating systems are always the best choice for
server service-AS/400, VMS, and several others in addition to
Microsoft Windows have legitimate places in many business
environments-if one is seeking to minimize total costs and use
low-cost commodity hardware efficiently with "Sweat Equity" over
expensive consultants or spending a large amount of time learning
arcane skills-Unix-based Open Source operating systems and
applications (such as Apache) are the legitimate default, not Windows
Server. The only advantage of Windows Server over Unix-based NOSes,in
fact, is in its ability to provide certain services to Windows
clients: it is never easier to _correctly_ and _securely_ deploy. And
it almost always requires substantially greater hardware resources.

In short, there are better PC hardware books and, if you really do
need Microsoft NOS, better Microsoft books. And there's probably a
better than even chance, if you are inclined to read this book, that
in fact you don't need Microsoft.

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