Top critical review
23 people found this helpful
Sometimes Good, Sometimes Bad, Sometimes Ugly...
on February 25, 2000
A good book for those who either need to know where to start to do something under FreeBSD, or those would already know most of what they need to and just need a reminder of something they might be forgetting.
However, the biggest shortcoming of this book is that it leads you into a topic, gets you going, and then drops you right at the point when you need it most.
Example: the book has a chapter on printing. The average home user probably has an inkjet printer, or a low-end laser. The author, though, has a fully PostScript-compatible printer, and goes on to set up printing as if everyone has this printer. No ground is covered for the every-day people, ie how to set up filters to allow PostScript printing to non-PS printers.
Also leaves other areas short, such as updating the operating system. The book has excellent coverage of how to rebuild the kernel, but if you compare the book's steps on how to update the rest of the system (ie using CVS to get from 3.2 to 3.4) with the docs provided with the operating system, or provided on the web (especially at the FreeBSD.org Handbook section) then the author misses a huge chunk of stuff that has the ability to kill a machine (yes, this happened to me but I was lucky enough to catch it before the reboot to let the system come up with the new rev of the OS).
I used the book for about the first two weeks of adding/configuring components, then realised I was getting better information off the web, provided I was willing to take the time to find it.