Computer underground Digest Tue June 29 1999 Volume 11 : Issue 27

Computer underground Digest    Tue  29 June, 1999   Volume 11 : Issue 27
                           ISSN  1004-042X

       Editor: Jim Thomas (
       News Editor: Gordon Meyer (
       Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
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                          Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
                          Ian Dickinson
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CONTENTS, #11.27 (Tue, 29 June, 1999)

File 1--REVIEW: "Solving the Year 2000 Crisis", Patrick McDermott
File 2--REVIEW: "Removing the Spam", Geoff Mulligan
File 3--REVIEW: "Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit", Microsoft
File 4--REVIEW: "The Y2K Survival Guide and Cookbook", Dorothy R. Bates/
File 5--REVIEW: "Teach Yourself Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 in 10 Minu
File 6--REVIEW: "Inside Windows NT", David A. Solomon
File 7--REVIEW: "Dictionary of Multimedia and Internet Applications", Fr
File 8--REVIEW: "Civic Space/Cyberspace", Redmond Kathleen Molz/Phyllis
File 9--REVIEW: "GSM: Switching, Services, and Protocols", Jorg Eberspac
File 10--REVIEW: "Teach Yourself Microsoft Windows NT Server 4 in 21 Days
File 11--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 10 Jan, 1999)


Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 12:44:12 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 1--REVIEW: "Solving the Year 2000 Crisis", Patrick McDermott

BKSY2KCR.RVW   990424

"Solving the Year 2000 Crisis", Patrick McDermott, 1998, 0-89006-725-2
%A   Patrick McDermott
%C   685 Canton St., Norwood, MA   02062
%D   1998
%G   0-89006-725-2
%I   Artech House/Horizon
%O   800-225-9977 fax: 617-769-6334
%P   310 p.
%T   "Solving the Year 2000 Crisis"

(Okay, it's late.  All I can say is, I just got it.)

Part one gives an outline of the problem itself.  Chapter one looks at
the various types of things that can go wrong.  This is reasonably
clear, although it could have had a few more examples.  There are a
number of factors that make the problem note quite as bad as some
suggest, and these are discussed in chapter two.  On the other hand,
chapter three points out why it is not going to be easy.  Chapter four
talks, rather briefly, about some of the disaster scenarios, and why
they won't happen.  Overall, the section is a very good explanation of
the technical aspects of the problem, but is weakened by ignoring the
cumulative affects of multiple failures in independent systems.

Part two examines solutions to the problem.  Chapter five looks
tersely at replacement of old systems.  Expansion of date fields is
discussed in chapter six.  Windowing, in chapter seven, is presented
as a quick but possibly dirty fix.  Chapter eight reviews the
possibility of compressing data in order to extend the life of the
program while maintaining existing data structures.  It is possible,
as chapter nine points out, that you can get away with not fixing Y2K
errors, since they can be worked around.  Special cases of windowing
(encapsulation) and replacement (abandonment) are reviewed
respectively in chapters ten and eleven.  The previous material having
looked at methods, chapter twelve discusses searching out the code
that needs to be addressed.  Chapter thirteen presents the need for
assessments and choices in finding a solution.

Part three looks at the people you will need.  Chapter fourteen talks
about issues of staffing.  Assuming you want someone else to do it for
you, chapter fifteen looks briefly at consultants and outsourcing.
Tools that might help are reviewed in chapter sixteen.  Chapter
seventeen takes a stab at making a guess at roughing out how much this
is all going to cost you.

Part four looks at the Y2K fix project.  Chapter eighteen is an
excellent overview of the type of information you will need to plan
the project.  Decisions on what to fix and what to abandon are
discussed in chapter nineteen.  Using the fact that Y2K issues are
simple but pervasive, chapter twenty suggests a factory approach.
Chapter twenty one is a quick guide to project planning.

Part five reviews business issues.  Chapter twenty two looks at the
aspects facing the small business, and the resources it has.  While
parts two to four generally apply to large systems, chapter twenty
three presents a quick check for PC and desktop use.  Points of
failure important to your business should be identified as suggested
by chapter twenty four.  Testing of your preparations is covered in
chapter twenty five.

Although the bulk of the book was written for those faced with the
technical task of correcting Y2K programming problems, the material is
very readable, and generally presents the issues briefly, but
reasonably.  In terms of presenting the problem, the book is on a par
with "The Year 2000 Software Problem" by Jones (cf. BKY2KSWP.RVW).

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKSY2KCR.RVW   990424


Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 10:57:05 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 2--REVIEW: "Removing the Spam", Geoff Mulligan


"Removing the Spam", Geoff Mulligan, 1999, 0-201-37957-0,
%A   Geoff Mulligan
%C   P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T8
%D   1999
%G   0-201-37957-0
%I   Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
%O   U$19.95/C$29.95 416-447-5101 fax: 416-443-0948
%P   190 p.
%T   "Removing the Spam: Email Processing and Filtering"

This book is intended for the system manager, rather than the end
user.  More specifically, it is aimed at the mail administrator for an
ISP (Internet Service Provider) or corporate network.  Slightly
unfortunate is the fact that it becomes more particular still, being
of greatest use to those running UNIX, sendmail, ProcMail, and either
Majordomo or SmartList.  Regardless of system expression, anti-spam
configuration is, as Mulligan points out, important for two reasons.
The lesser of the two concerns is the most obvious: that of
restricting the amount of spam reaching your own users.  The more
vital is that by failing to restrict the possible abuse of your system
by spammers, and particularly by permitting unrestricted relays, you
face the increasing possibility of becoming blacklisted, and therefore
hampering the legitimate use of the net by your clients.

Chapter one is an excellent overview of electronic mail.  It is
concise, complete, and accurate.  Newcomers to the field will find not
only a conceptual foundation for all the aspects of Internet email,
but also pointers to other references.  Professionals will find fast
access to a number of details that need to be addressed on a fairly
frequent basis.  The main theme, of course, is how spam uses the
functions of email systems, and how it can be impeded, with as little
impact as possible on normal communications.  A good framework is
presented in this chapter, with a number of references to spam-
fighting resources.  If I were to make one suggestion, it would be to
increase the number of examples of forged email headers, and how to
dissect them.

Chapter two describes sendmail, and goes into sufficient detail for
interested people to obtain it and start using it.  At that point, the
text concentrates on barriers to spam, such as restriction of relaying
and the access database.  Administrators using sendmail will find this
a quick guide to basic functions.

ProcMail has a variety of functions, and most of chapter three looks
at the number of uses it can have.  The spam filtering section is
relatively brief, but provides some recipes, and directions to other
ProcMail based filters.  Again, sysadmins can use this as a quick
start for basic mail processing.

Chapter four doesn't have a lot to say about spam, but it does review
the proper setup of mailing lists, which can have a significant impact
in reducing unwanted mail.

This book should be required reading for all mail administrators.  The
usefulness is not restricted to spam, since admins will be able to
find brief discussions of a variety of common mail problems.  As
Mulligan notes, the fewer improperly configured mail servers there are
out there, the more constricted spam sites will become, until at last
they can be eliminated altogether.  While the details of managing
other mail server programs may not match those given in the book, the
functions should be available, and should be turned on.  If the
functions aren't available, perhaps it's time you got some new

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKRMSPAM.RVW   990328


Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 10:46:39 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 3--REVIEW: "Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit", Microsoft

BKMO97RK.RVW   990410

"Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit", Microsoft, 1997, 1-57231-329-3,
%A   Microsoft
%C   1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA   98052-6399
%D   1997
%G   1-57231-329-3
%I   Microsoft Press
%O   U$59.99/C$80.99/UK#56.49 800-MSPRESS
%P   1151 p. + CD-ROM
%T   "Microsoft Office 97 Resource Kit"

Unlike the other Resource Kits, this one is not intended for users of
the base products, as such.  The Office 97 Resource Kit is meant for
administrators and support personnel, and provides tools for
installation, configuration, conversion, and other support,
particularly in a networked environment.

Part one is an introduction and chapter one is a very brief outline of
the book.  New features of Office are presented in chapter two.

Part two looks at deploying Office in a (very) large scale enterprise.
Chapter three outlines a complete but very lengthy program for
everything from purchasing to training.  Various methods of
installation are described in chapter four while five quickly lists
system requirements.  Customization of installation and the product
itself is looked at in chapters six and seven respectively.  Chapter
eight discusses training and support needs.  Some detailed information
for installation troubleshooting is given in chapter nine.

Part three concerns upgrading to Office.  Chapter ten reviews changes
(including those of interest to people developing their own
applications that work with Office programs) to Office overall.
Chapters eleven through fifteen look in detail at Access, Excel,
Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word.

The same sequence of chapters is used in part four to look at
switching from other applications.  Each chapter starts with some
general discussion, and then works through specific topics with major
competing programs.  Not all of this material is well chosen.  The
book seems to think that WordPerfect users need a tutorial in how to
select text.

Part five again looks at large institutions, this time with a view to
management and workgroup functions.  A fair amount of space is given
to Web and network sharing functions as well.

Part six seems to promise to look at internals of the programs, and
would be, again, more helpful to technical support people or possibly
developers of add-on software.  In fact, the material presented covers
advanced features of the programs, but only that.

For support personnel in a large organization, much of this material
could be quite useful.  Some of the pointers and tips could also be
helpful to very advanced users of the applications, but probably in a
much more limited way.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKMO97RK.RVW   990410


Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 08:42:22 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 4--REVIEW: "The Y2K Survival Guide and Cookbook", Dorothy R. Bates/

BKY2KSGC.RVW   990417

"The Y2K Survival Guide and Cookbook", Dorothy R. Bates/Albert K.
Bates, 1999, 0-9669317-0-X, U$12.95
%A   Dorothy R. Bates
%A   Albert K. Bates
%C   560 Farm Road, Summertown, TN   38483-0090
%D   1999
%G   0-9669317-0-X
%I   Ecovillage
%O   U$12.95 931-964-3571 fax: 931-964-3518
%P   124 p.
%T   "The Y2K Survival Guide and Cookbook"

The structure of the book isn't very clear, but the first section
would seem to be an introduction to the problem.  (The other sections
are labelled "steps.")  Aside from saying that there is going to be
massive upheaval it signally fails to explain why or how.  The book
tells you to start your preparations by going through your home (even
worming through crawlspaces and attics) and noting down every single
item you find.  While this exercise will undoubtedly stand you in good
stead the next time your homeowner's insurance comes due, the material
doesn't give a good idea of what you are looking for.  Two very good
suggestions are to get paper copies of all your financial and other
important records (although I'm sure the landfills are going to be
working overtime during 2000 if they aren't needed) and getting
together with neighbours.

Step one talks about all kinds of disasters and has nothing at all to
do with Y2K.  Water is discussed in step two.  Some ideas, such as
adding a trace of ascorbic acid to stored water, are good.  Other
points are questionable: why does water quality deteriorate in clear
plastic containers, and, if it does, why are they ideal for water
storage?  As with most of the rest of the book, it also looks at
issues in isolation rather than together: if you have no power, how
are you going to boil water in order to purify it?  This is repeated
in step three, waste disposal, which recommends the construction of a
composting toilet.  Humidity is kept down by a constantly operating
fan.  (What runs the fan?)  Step four, on heat and light, is, again, a
mix of good and bad.  Although it does mention that you need to stock
wood *NOW* if you are going to rely on it, nowhere does it mention how
much you are going to need.  (I have split, stacked, and used wood.  I
even know how much a cord is--and I know how fast it disappears.)
Chafing dishes and food warmers are useless for food preparation.  The
discussion of solar power does a good (though perhaps optimistic) job
of estimating the cost of a replacement system, but fails to mention
that we will be talking about the depths of winter for Y2K.  The tools
listed in step five would be great--if we were talking about camping.
(I haven't heard that there are any "embedded processors" in lumber,
so you probably don't need to worry about building shelters.  Fishing
gear probably isn't too necessary: I live near a stream, and I've even
seen hatchlings in it, but not during the winter.  As for vegetable
seeds--if it lasts that long, we are in very serious trouble.)  The
food storage discussion in step six has serious problems.  In common
with many such books, it ignores the fact that rice, beans, flour and
other long term storage goodies require a lot of energy (power,
electricity, wood, heat, whatever) for preparation.  It also assumes
that we are interested in going back to the land in a big way: getting
into food canning and building solar dryers.  Step seven starts out
well by addressing recreational needs, but then decides we all need to
go into gardening.  (See also step five.)

An afterword tries to use the problem to push for sustainable
development.  (By the way, Daedelus was the inventor; Icarus was a kid
who wouldn't do what his old man told him.)

The recipes may be interesting: they have little or nothing to do with
surviving in a situation where food, water, and particularly power
supplies may be unreliable.

A fairly obvious attempt to jump on the bandwagon du jour, this has a
few good ideas, but should not be relied on.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKY2KSGC.RVW   990417


Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 08:36:48 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 5--REVIEW: "Teach Yourself Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 in 10 Minu

BKTYMES5.RVW   990407

"Teach Yourself Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 in 10 Minutes", Patrick
Grote, 1999, 0-672-31556-4, U$12.99/C$18.95/UK#10.99
%A   Patrick Grote
%C   201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN   46290
%D   1999
%G   0-672-31556-4
%I   Macmillan Computer Publishing (MCP)
%O   U$12.99/C$18.95/UK#10.99 800-858-7674
%P   292 p.
%T   "Teach Yourself Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 in 10 Minutes"

This is unfair, really.  Exchange is a multifunctional communications
system.  It isn't supposed to be learned in ten minutes.  However, I
do not know why authors find it so hard to say what Microsoft Exchange
actually is.

Part one of this book is intended to give us an overview.  Chapter one
is supposed to provide concepts, but only talks about interrelated
boxes, not what the system actually does.  Features are listed in
chapter two, but the basics are not explained.  Ironically, we learn
more about the server through the list of clients presented in chapter
three.  Chapter four looks at the information you would want before
installing Exchange, but for the large system described initially,
much more planning would be needed.

Part two discusses installation.  Chapter five assumes that all will
go well as you proceed through the dialogue boxes.  A blizzard of
configuration options are listed in chapter six.  Having looked at all
the other clients previously, chapter seven outlines Outlook 98 in a
bit more detail.  Chapter eight mentions gateways and connections to
other servers.  Since Internet mail is of greater interest, chapter
nine goes into a little more detail on installation of the Internet
Mail Service.  The Mail Connector, for working with older MS Mail
systems, is in chapter ten.

Part three reviews administration.  Chapter eleven presents the user
management functions, primarily listing contact information.  Public
folders, for groupware functions, are described in chapter twelve.
Directory replication setup is in chapter thirteen.  Backup issues are
discussed in chapter fourteen, but some important aspects are passed
over rather quickly.

Part four deals with trouble.  Chapter fifteen lists some quick checks
for common problems the client may encounter, while sixteen looks at
the server.

Part five talks about advanced tools.  Chapter seventeen briefly
describes some encryption key management functions.  Exchange forms
are covered in chapter eighteen.  Some considerations for making your
system more reliable are in chapter nineteen.

Those who are familiar with Exchange may find this to be a handy short
guide to functions they do not deal with often.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKTYMES5.RVW   990407


Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 08:14:19 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 6--REVIEW: "Inside Windows NT", David A. Solomon


"Inside Windows NT", David A. Solomon, 1998, 1-57231-677-2,
%A   David A. Solomon
%C   1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA   98052-6399
%D   1998
%G   1-57231-677-2
%I   Microsoft Press
%O   U$39.99/C$55.99/UK#36.99 800-MSPRESS (6777377) fax: 206-936-7329
%P   528 p.
%T   "Inside Windows NT, Second Edition"

This is a true "inside" book--the story, as it were, of the internals
of Windows NT.  And, like all too many internals books, this is not
the kind of text you want to review if you are, say, already a little

Chapter one looks at some of the concepts of the NT architecture.
Unfortunately, it does not explain all of them very well.  Some of the
content seems to have been included with a view to proving how much
more the author knows about NT than we do.  For example, we are told
how to produce a "checked" version of the operating system, even
though vanishingly few readers will ever see NT source code.  (Okay,
the likelihood of you seeing it just went up.  Marginally.  Maybe.)
Although chapter two looks at many aspects of the NT architecture,
there is a similar lack of fundamental explanations on numerous
points.  The illustrations seldom help to clear things up, and the
relatively frequent practice of putting text and related pictures on
different pages does not contribute to the clarity of the material.
System mechanics gets into more detail, but there is still a lot of
trivia in chapter three.

Chapter four looks at processes and threads, and, with specifics to
talk about, the material improves.  Memory management is discussed in
chapter five.  The review of security, in chapter six, is quite brief.
While it starts to present a framework for NT security, it never gets
very far, and provides few details.  Chapter seven presents a
structure for I/O that has mostly been given before in the book.  The
cache manager is described in chapter eight.  There is a wealth of
information about NTFS (NT File System) in chapter nine, but the
presentation and logic of the text are difficult to follow.  Chapter
ten describes enhancements to be made to NT 5.  There is little
detail, but with the changes announced on the fly to Windows 2000 this
probably doesn't matter very much.

Solomon, unfortunately, does not provide the readability that Custer
did in the first edition.  However, systems people have been waiting
so long for this upgrade that they will be happy to see it in any

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1997, 1999   BKINSWNT.RVW   990407


Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 08:22:54 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 7--REVIEW: "Dictionary of Multimedia and Internet Applications", Fr


"Dictionary of Multimedia and Internet Applications", Francis Botto,
1999, 0-471-98624-0
%A   Francis Botto
%C   5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON   M9B 6H8
%D   1999
%G   0-471-98624-0
%I   John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
%O   416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
%P   362 p.
%T   "Dictionary of Multimedia and Internet Applications"

It might be thought that the title is just an attempt to jump on the
latest bandwagon.  However, the material does seem to concentrate on
terms related to network based multimedia applications and standards.

On the other hand, I had a full page of error notes before I got out
of the "A"s.  Frankly, the cover's insistence on "total accuracy" is a
bit misplaced, since the best you can say about some of the material
in the book is that it isn't verifiably wrong, mostly because of the
difficulty in determining just exactly what the passage is supposed to
mean.  Your humble reviewer, world's worst copy editor that he is,
even found some typos.

Caxton invented the printing press?  Vannevar Bush helped found the

Many entries have bits and pieces of relevant information, but are not
really complete.  "Absolute addressing" speaks only of CD-ROM
blocking, there is no entry for the associated concept of relative
addressing, and the definition for "address" itself is rather
confusing in its jumps from topic to topic.  Under 2B+D, the D (data)
channel seems to be identified as the ISDN link, while "ISDN" itself
starts with a BRI (Basic Rate Interface) of two 64 kbps B channels
(ignoring the North American standard and the D channel) and then,
without transition, talking about the full T-1 PRI (Primary Rate
Interface) bandwidth.  "BRI" is defined (somewhat, but not entirely,
better) but there is no listing for PRI.  There is an entry for "Java
Unicode" (which talks about it being "used exclusively by Windows NT
at the system level"), but not Unicode itself.

Some inclusions are bizarre and rather pointless.  There is an entry
for "15 in," citing it as a "standard display size."  "1000" tells us
that it is "The number of bits transferred in one second, using the
unit Kbps."  Another listing reads, in its entirety, "AAAS (American
Association for the Advancement of Sciences) An American organization
dedicated to the sciences."

The material is extremely biased in favour of Microsoft.  "Cabbing"
gets a listing (compression into .CAB files), but not archiving or
compressing.  There is, for crying out loud, an entry for "ActiveX
security!"  (Of course, it isn't very long.)  For those in the know it
is fairly obvious, but the definition of "Active Desktop" never
mentions Microsoft at all, making it seem to be an accepted standard.
"ActiveX" is defined as a reincarnation of OCX, while "OCX" is stated
to be a forerunner of ActiveX.  There is more detail on ActiveX,
mostly a list of pedestrian guidelines for developing ActiveX

Some definitions, while not exactly wrong, seem to miss the essential
point.  For example, the entry for "Architecture" seems to imply that
two of the most important considerations are whether multimedia
functionality is built in and how big the internal cache is.  Others
use terms in ways that simply do not make sense in the context of the
technology under discussion.  "Bookmark" ignores its use as a personal
directory of Web pages in Netscape.  In talking about cryptography, we
are told, of the mathematical underpinnings of public key encryption,
that it is "achieved through a one-way function which describes the
difficulty of determining input values when given a result."
Certainly all of those concepts belong in cryptology, but the sentence
itself does not use them properly.

The standard mistakes are all there, such as crediting Grace Hopper
with the invention of the term "bug."  (Hopper herself only said it
was the first *recorded* case of an *actual* bug being found as a
cause.)  Moore's Law initially stated that the number of components
would double every eighteen months, and has subsequently been updated
to nine months.  It never stood at one year.  (And "a single silicon"

The listing for viruses starts out well by mentioning propagation, but
then degenerates.  "Known viruses are said to be `in the wild'."
(Many known viruses have never been `in the wild'.)  "Michelangelo
[...] alters the size of the DOS COMMAND.COM file."  (Michelangelo is
a boot sector infector.)  "[V]iruses may be removed from a system or
DSM ..."  (DSM apparently means disk: digital storage media.)  Email
attachments are apparently "removable media."

It is refreshing to see, for once, a work that is not specifically
US-centric.  It is disappointing to note that authors outside of the
States can be every bit as provincial as the worst of their American

References to outside sources are few: so few that the author can't
seem to keep to a consistent format.  URLs (Uniform Resource Locators)
are included in such a manner as to be confused with internal links to
other terms in the dictionary.  Book citations are in a wide variety
of formats, and even different typefaces.  (Of those few texts that
are mentioned, an astonishing number seem to be written by one
"Botto, F.")

While quite up to date, in some areas, the material in this text is
neither complete enough, nor reliable enough, to recommend as a sole
source.  Despite its age, Stevens' "Quick Reference to Computer
Graphics Terms" (cf. BKQRFGRP.RVW) remains a much more useful guide if
you want to know about multimedia.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKDCMMIA.RVW   990415


Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 08:10:37 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 8--REVIEW: "Civic Space/Cyberspace", Redmond Kathleen Molz/Phyllis


"Civic Space/Cyberspace", Redmond Kathleen Molz/Phyllis Dain, 1999,
0-262-13346-6, U$30.00
%A   Redmond Kathleen Molz
%A   Phyllis Dain
%C   55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA   02142-1399
%D   1999
%G   0-262-13346-6
%I   MIT Press
%O   U$30.00 800-356-0343 fax: 617-625-6660
%P   259 p.
%T   "Civic Space/Cyberspace"

The title, the preface, and even the subtitle ("The American Public
Library in the Information Age") all promise something to do with the
new, and particularly networked, technology.  While the book is
readable, well-researched, and interesting as far as libraries go, in
terms of information technology it singularly fails to deliver.

Chapter one is a historical overview of American publicly funded
libraries over approximately the last century and a half.  The text
traces changing time and society, but concentrates on a fairly
constant debate about the library's role, particularly in the choice
of materials: should the library pander to public taste and fashion,
or seek to censor and uplift?  The market, management, and money for
libraries is examined in chapter two.  The role of the US federal
government is reviewed in chapter three, but this content does not
appear to lead anywhere, is, in broad terms, something of a repeat of
chapter two, and is, of course, of interest only to those in the
States.  Chapter three really only seems to be a lead in to chapter
four, which looks at US action in relation to the much discussed
National Information infrastructure.  Apart from a disproportionate
emphasis on pornography and censorship, the material lists bills,
budgets, and organizations, with remarkably little practical

Chapter five starts out by quoting a speech to the effect that it is
time to stop being awed by the technology, and to get on with figuring
out how to use and integrate it in society.  The text goes on to say
that libraries are in the forefront of this integration.  The chapter,
however, does not back up that assertion.  While there is discussion
of building new libraries, wiring libraries, and putting terminals in
libraries, there is very little talk of actual use.  In fact, the
material on libraries and the material on networks even within this
chapter seems to be segregated by paragraph.  Certainly, I have
lambasted any number of books for simply including "Gosh, look at what
_______ Public Library is doing!" type lists, but even that seems to
be missing in this one.  How does the Web search engine relate to the
reference division?  Does it make sense to integrate links to FAQ
mailbots in the catalogue?  Can you download .WAVs to take home with
your CDs?  These questions may be minutiae, but they have more to do
with integration than whether someone else pays for part of your ISDN

Stripped of its claim to cyberspace, what is this book?  It is a lucid
account of the place of, and regard for, libraries in current American
society.  It is a reasonable compilation of US federal legislation
that may affect libraries.  It has very little to say about how
libraries may need to change with respect to technology.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKCVCSPC.RVW   990416


Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 22:17:41 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 9--REVIEW: "GSM: Switching, Services, and Protocols", Jorg Eberspac


"GSM: Switching, Services, and Protocols", Jorg Eberspacher/Hans-Jorg
Vogel, 1999, 0-471-98278-4
%A   Jorg Eberspacher
%A   Hans-Jorg Vogel
%C   5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON   M9B 6H8
%D   1999
%G   0-471-98278-4
%I   John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
%O   416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
%P   274 p.
%T   "GSM: Switching, Services, and Protocols"

Chapter one reviews the number of mobile standards worldwide, and the
protocol genealogy of GSM from Groupe Special Mobile to Global System
for Mobile Communication.  Radio frequency considerations and access
methods are discussed very clearly in chapter two.  Addressing scheme
problems are amply demonstrated by chapter three, not only in regard
to the technical protocols required, but also by the enormous alphabet
soup provided.  (Some of the acronyms are never fully expanded; the
expansion of others occurs only on pages that are not referenced by
the index.)  Services provided are covered in chapter four.  For those
from the North American telephony community, it is recommended that
you brush up on your ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
protocols.  Chapter five looks at the air interface, which corresponds
to the physical layer of a networking model.  There is a great deal of
detail to be examined, and this is the second longest chapter in the
book.  A fair amount of data processing takes place in chapter six,
for compression, authentication, and other encryption purposes.
Chapter seven outlines the overall architecture, and interlocking
protocols, of GSM.  For true global mobility number portability is an
important consideration.  Chapter eight describes the roaming
standards, and the related topic of handover.  With the strong links
to ISDN, data communications is quite possible, and the provision for
data is discussed in chapter nine.  Chapter ten looks at network
management.  The book closes with a look to a future with universal
mobile telecommunications service protocols.

While the awkwardness of a translated work sometimes comes through, in
general the text is clear and readable.  The style and structure of
the book make clear the fact that it is intended as a course text, but
it is also quite usable as a professional reference.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKGSMSSP.RVW   990502


Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 08:07:49 -0800
From: "Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor" 
Subject: File 10--REVIEW: "Teach Yourself Microsoft Windows NT Server 4 in 21 Days

BKTWNTS4.RVW   990502

"Teach Yourself Microsoft Windows NT Server 4 in 21 Days", Peter
Davis/Barry Lewis, 1999, 0-672-31555-6, U$29.99/C$44.95/UK#26.95
%A   Peter Davis
%A   Barry Lewis
%C   201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN   46290
%D   1999
%G   0-672-31555-6
%I   Macmillan Computer Publishing (MCP)
%O   U$29.99/C$44.95/UK#26.95 800-858-7674
%P   860 p.
%T   "Teach Yourself Microsoft Windows NT Server 4 in 21 Days"

Because of the "days" conceit of the series, the book is divided into
seven chapter parts.  Despite the arbitrary nature of this structure,
the authors have managed to make a reasonable stab at logical

Part one looks at basic operation and concepts.  Chapter one
introduces networks and NT.  The material is heavily biased in favour
of Microsoft, and topics ranging from routers to the Pareto Principle
are presented in so limited a fashion as to be almost caricatures.
The installation advice in chapter two is quite a bit more realistic
than most, pointing out a number of traps into which the user might
fall.  There is a grab bag of material in chapter three, from a useful
overview of the command line network management functions to
instructions on how to vary the size of the command line (without any
mention of a purpose).  The registry, and registry editors, are
described in chapter four.  Chapter five discusses domains and trust
relationships,  but, given the importance of the concept to NT
networks, could have included more explanatory material.  Some
security related functions of NT are outlined in chapter six.
Programs for user account management are described in chapter seven.

Part two outlines fundamental administrative tasks and operations.
Chapter eight reviews disk and filesystem operations.  There is
another miscellany in chapter nine, including topics from stopping
network services to a rather useless section on viruses.  Printing is
covered in chapter ten.  Chapter eleven's overview of remote access
stops short of being useful in many places, as do the related
discussions of DNS (Domain Name System), DHCP (Dynamic Host
Configuration Protocol), and WINS (Windows Internet Name Service) in
twelve, thirteen, and fourteen.

Part three includes miscellaneous or advanced topics.  Chapter
fifteen's documentation for NTBACKUP is quite pedestrian, and
therefore doesn't mention most of the limitations.  Fault tolerance,
in chapter sixteen, is mostly concerned with RAID (Redundant Array of
Inexpensive Disks) capabilities and replication.  Chapter seventeen is
alright as long as it sticks to auditing dialogue boxes.  When it
ventures further, the text may dance around the issue all it likes,
but NT Server 4 is not certified as C2 compliant, and Microsoft can
suggest as much as it wants, but that doesn't make any of the products
B2 compliant.  (With a little work, a standalone NT 3.5 workstation
can be put into a configuration that has been certified C2 compliant.)
A number of the BackOffice programs are mentioned in chapter eighteen.
The Internet Information Server and other parts of the option pack are
briefly described in chapter nineteen.  Performance monitoring, in
chapter twenty, deals with some of the diagnostic tools.  Network
tools are mentioned in chapter twenty.

This book does, in places, cover points that are not generally found
in other NT references.  On the other hand, it misses topics, too.  On
balance, it can command a reasonably high rank among the introductory
works, but is far from complete.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999   BKTWNTS4.RVW   990502


Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 22:51:01 CST
From: CuD Moderators 
Subject: File 11--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 10 Jan, 1999)

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