Media praise for X User Tools

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"X is the platform-independent graphical interface. It may be slightly overstating the case to say that it is the UNIX interface of choice, but X is open, available, cheap (free?) and extensible. X programmers will be familiar with the O'Reilly X programming series. Now it is time for a source for the users. "[This] book gives some basic information about how to start, and use, X, but is primarily a collection of software -- utilities, resources, games, applications, and more. The CD-ROM included with the book contains source code plus compiled versions for Sun 3 and 4, Solaris (on Sparc), RS6000, HP/UX (700 series), OSF/1 (Alpha) and DEC stations. There are clocks, calendars, desk references, decorations, mailers, Internet clients, editors, games, xterm extensions, windows managers, graphics and colour utilities, and administration tools. "The book uses short sections to describe the various tools and tips. It also uses the 'hypertext in print' format to cross-reference items without having to repeat material. "You could, of course, get all of this 'free', off the net. It is, however, highly unlikely that your time is worth that little." --Copyright Rob Slade 1995, Author of Robert Slade's Guide to Computer Viruses


"I just got and read the new 'X User Tools' from O'Reilly & Associates. I am quite impressed. The book is 812 pages, and includes a CDROM with binaries and sources for many platforms of many useful free X software. "The book is organized in a type of printed hypertext format which is quite useful when using the book as a reference source. It is a collection of many mini articles and tutorials by several authors.

"The book targets new X users and those using X [who] want to customize it more. Many topics are covered, including all the included software, window managers, key bindings, customizing your environment, resources, desktop tools, fonts, etc.

"I am not quite the targeted audience for the book, but it was well worth getting, as I plan to share it with a few others who will benefit greatly. Just the descriptions of the included software is worth the purchase price....

"The authors used clear, precise wording, without lots of cryptic lingo, plus there is a glossary and the hypertext markings which always point to further information when needed. The book is packed with good pictures and illustrations. There is also a good amount of humor sprinkled through the book, which keeps the reading fun and interesting.

"All in all, I would HIGHLY recommend the book. As usual, O'Reilly & Associates has done a great service to the X & Unix community."

--Mark A. Davis, Director of Information Systems, Lake Taylor Hospital, Norfolk,VA


"X User Tools is more than just a guide to various X programs. It begins with a fairly general introduction that assumes no prior knowledge of X, and finishes with almost a hundred pages on X system administration, including an introduction to tcl and tk. The approach is unstructured -- most chapters or chapter sections could stand by themselves and coherence is provided by plentiful cross-references rather than by linear progression -- and chatty rather than formal. The programs covered include desktop accessories (clocks, calendars, screen savers), network applications (mailers, xarchie, xftp, Web browsers), editors, games, xterm, window managers (twm, olwm, fvwm and mwm), resources and fonts, graphics tools, system administration utilities and lots more. (I'd call most of these applications rather than tools, but that's quibbling.) The enclosed CDROM contains binaries (Alpha OSF/1, HP700 HP/UX, Sun3, Sun4, Solaris, RS6000 and DECstation Ultrix) and sources for all the tools discussed which aren't in standard distributions (and some which are). Well over one hundred different programs are included.

"Yes, these programs *can* all be ftped, installed and run without this book, but browsing X User Tools is a more pleasant way of finding new programs than long ftp sessions, and it's a lot more fun to read than manual pages. While the serious X system administrator will want a book devoted solely to administration, and the complete novice to X with no Unix background may find X User Tools a bit overwhelming, almost anyone who uses X should find something of value in this volume. The people likely to appreciate it most are those running X under Linux or FreeBSD at home, who have to do basic sysadmin jobs themselves and who may not have ftp access, making the CDROM really invaluable."

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Disclaimer: I requested and received a review copy of >i>X User Tools from O'Reilly & Associates, but I have no stake, financial or otherwise, in its success.

------------------------------------------------------------- All book reviews by Danny Yee are available via anonymous FTP ftp.anatomy.su.oz.au in /danny/book-reviews (index INDEX) or URL http://www.anatomy.su.oz.au/danny/book-reviews/index.html ------------------------------------------------------------- Copyright (C) Danny Yee 1995 : Comments and criticism welcome -------------------------------------------------------------