JIMSUN Jim's Reference Library [back] [home]

Jim's Bookcase I've been adding to this list for about twelve years, now. Older references are not necessarily updated with any degree of consistency. Some of the books referenced may be out of print or more recent, up-to-date editions may be available. Check for this.
Many of the referenced texts have related Web sites. Maybe at some time in the future, if I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I'll add the appropriate links.

Disclaimers: I do not mean to represent this as the One True Guide to the Definitive Works for the categories listed. This is simply a list of the books I have found most useful. Most came highly-recommended by others--some I discovered on my own. The recommendations and opinions on this page are mine. And that's all they are: my opinions.

For All UNIX® Users

UNIX System Bible
Stephen Prata and Donald Martin
Howard W. Sams & Co.
The Waite Group
ISBN: 0-672-22562 (softcover)

For New UNIX Users

Second Edition
John R. Levine & Margaret Levine Young
IDG Books Worldwide
ISBN: 1-56884-905-2 (softcover)

For UNIX System Administrators and 'Power Users'

UNIX System Administration Handbook
Second Edition
Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Scott Seebass & Trent R. Hein
Prentice Hall PTR
ISBN: 0-13-151051-7 (softcover, incl. CD-ROM)

The UNIX Programming Environment
Brian W. Kernighan & Rob Pike
Prentice-Hall Software Series
ISBN: 0-13-937699-2 (hardcover?)
ISBN: 0-13-937681-X (softcover?)

System Performance Tuning
Mike Loukides
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
A Nutshell Handbook
ISBN: 0-937175-60-9 (softcover)

UNIX System Security
Patrick H. Wood
Stephan G. Kochan
Hayden Books UNIX System Library
ISBN: 0-8104-6267-2 (hardcover)

On Sun Solaris® System Administration

All About Administering NIS+
Second Edition
Rick Ramsey
SunSoft Press
A Prentice Hall Title
ISBN: 0-13-309576-2 (softcover)

SunSofttm Solaris 2.* for Managers and Administrators
Kent Parkinson, Curt Freeland & Dwight McKay
OnWord Press
ISBN: 0-934605-75-0 (softcover)

[Note: This text is very light on many of the more complex issues one will encounter in administering Sun Solaris Unix systems. In my opinion, it might better have been titled "Sun Solaris 2.* Administration for Dummies". Nonetheless, if you've absolutely no experience with Solaris, and particularly if you've no experience with Unix at all, this wouldn't be a bad starter book.]

If You're Networking UNIX Machines

Note: In no particular order. All three of these are "must-haves", in my opinion.

TCP/IP Network Administration
Craig Hunt
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
A Nutshell Handbook
ISBN: 0-937175-82-X (softcover)

3rd Edition, Covers BIND 8
Paul Albitz & Cricket Liu
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
ISBN: 1-56592-512-2 (softcover)

Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker
William R. Cheswick & Steven M. Bellovin
Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series
Addison-Wesley Publishing Company
ISBN 0-201-63357-4 (softcover)

On Programming For UNIX Networks

UNIX Network Programming
W. Richard Stevens
Prentice-Hall Software Series
ISBN: 0-13-949876-1 (hardcover)

For KORN Shell (ksh) Users & Programmers

The Kornshell Command and Programming Language
Morris I. Bolsky & David G. Korn
Prentice-Hall (Copyright AT&T)
ISBN: 0-13-516972-0 (softcover)

For C Language Programmers (Under UNIX)

Advanced UNIX Programming
Marc J. Rochkind
Prentice-Hall Software Series
ISBN: 0-13-011818-4 (hardcover?)
ISBN: 0-13-011800-1 (softcover?)

For All Software/System Designers (regardless of environment/target)

The Practical Guide to Structured Systems Design
Second Edition
Meilir Page-Jones
Yourdon Press Computing Series
ISBN: 0-13-690769-5 (softcover)

For C Language Programmers (regardless of operating system)

The C Programming Language
Second Edition
Brian W. Kernighan & Dennis M. Ritchie
Prentice-Hall Software Series
ISBN: 0-13-110370-9 (hardcover?)
ISBN: 0-13-110362-8 (softcover?)

For C++ Language Programmers (regardless of operating system)

I'm kind of going out on a limb recommending these. I haven't gotten very far into Stroustrup's book at all, and I'm certainly not expert enough to say whether C++ for DUMMIES is really any good or not. But Stroustrup's book is widely regarded as the "bible" of the language, I found the "Dummies" easy for getting myself up to speed on the basics pretty fast and the other three were three of the most highly recommended C++ resources everywhere I looked. I do have all five in my library. The C++ Programming Language
Third Edition
Bjarne Stroustrup
ISBN: 0-201-88954-4 (softcover)

Stephen R. Davis
IDG Books Worldwide
ISBN: 1-56884-163-8 (softcover)

C++ Primer Plus
Stephen Prata
Mitchell Waite Signature Series
Waite Group Press
A Division of McMillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 1-57169-131-6 (hardcover, includes CD-ROM)

Effective C++CD
85 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs
Scott Meyers
Addison-Wesley Professional Series
ISBN: 0-201-60615-1 (CD-ROM)

The C++ Standard Library
A Tutorial and Reference
Nicolai M. Josuttis
ISBN: 0201379260 (hardcover)

For Perl Programmers (regardless of operating system)

Learning Perl
2nd Edition
Randal L. Schwartz & Tom Christiansen
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
A Nutshell Handbook
ISBN: 1-56592-284-0 (softcover)

Programming Perl
2nd Edition, Covers Perl 5
Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen & Randal Schwartz
with Stephen Potter
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
A Nutshell Handbook
ISBN: 1-56592-149-6 (softcover)

[Note: I recommend that you do not make the same mistake I did: and that is to assume that because you're an experienced software designer or an accomplished programmer in other languages you can skip the Learning Perl book. Get it. Read it. Do the exercises. Learn from it. Then move on to the others. You will likely save yourself much grief and become effective with Perl much more quickly.]

Perl Cookbook
Tom Christiansen & Nathan Torkington
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
ISBN: 1-56592-243-3 (softcover)

Advanced Perl Programming
Sriram Srinivasan
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
ISBN: 1-56592-22-04 (softcover)

[Note: The title pretty much says it all. This looks to be a pretty good follow-up to Learning Perl.]

Mastering Algorithms with Perl
Jon Orwant, Jarkko Hietaniemi & John Macdonald
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
ISBN: 1-56592-398-7 (softcover)

[Note: This would be a very good companion to Perl Cookbook.]

On HTML and Web Development

How to Set Up and Maintain a Web Site, 2nd Edition
Lincoln D. Stein
ISBN: 0-201-63462-7 (softcover, includes CD-ROM)

[Note: In my opinion, for most folks this book along with Creating Killer Web Sites (below) should be pretty-much all you need. Unless you're also going to do a lot of CGI, in which case you might also wish to consider the Perl books, starting at the top of the list.]

Web Design in a Nutshell
2nd Edition
A Desktop Quick Reference
Jennifer Niederst
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
A Nutshell Handbook
ISBN: 0-596-00196-7 (softcover)

Creating Killer Web Sites
The Art of Third-Generation Site Design
David Siegel
Hayden Books
ISBN: 1-56830-289-4 (softcover)

- or -

Creating Killer Web Sites, Second Edition
The Art of Third-Generation Site Design
David Siegel
Hayden Books
ISBN: 1-56830-433-1 (softcover)

[Note: Unlike the author, I do NOT recommend purchasing the second edition if you already have the first. In my opinion there's simply not enough new content in it to justify the cost. Unless maybe Web design and creation is what you do for a living.]

CGI Programming on the World Wide Web
Shishir Gundavaram
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
A Nutshell Handbook
ISBN: 1-56592-168-2 (softcover)

See Also: For Perl Programmers

For PHP Programmers (regardless of operating system)

Mastering PHP 4.1
Jeremy Allen & Charles Hornberger
ISBN: 0-7821-2924-2 (softcover, incl. CD-ROM)

Programming PHP
Rasmus Lerdorf & Kevin Tatroe
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
ISBN: 1-56592-610-2

On SQL (Structured Query Language)

The Practical SQL Handbook
Third Edition
Judith S. Bowman, Sandra L. Emerson, & Marcy Darnovsky
Addison-Wesley Developers Press
A Division of Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
ISBN: 0-201-44787-8 (softcover, incl. CD-ROM)

The Database Experts' Guide to SQL
Frank Lusardi
Intertext Publications/Multiscience Press, Inc.
McGraw-Hill Book Company
ISBN: 0-07-039002-9 (softcover)
ISBN: 0-07-039006-1 (hardcover)

[Note: The following two books cover the use of their respective RDBMS' with their text-based/command-line utilities (e.g.: "psql" and "mysql") and with a variety of programming languages, such as C, Perl, PHP, Java, etc.]

Korry Douglas
Susan Douglas
Developer's Library
Sams Publishing
ISBN: 0-7357-1257-3 (softcover)

MySQL Cookbook
Paul DuBois
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
ISBN: 0-596-00145-2 (softcover)

For Serial Communications

Technical Aspects of Data Communications
Second Edition
John E. McNamara
Digital Press
ISBN: 0-932376-18-5 (hardcover)

For Novell NetWare®

NetWare 4.1: The Complete Reference
Second Edition
Tom Sheldon
Osborne McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 0-07-882172-X (softcover)


Grokking the GIMP
Carey Bunks
New Riders Publishing
ISBN: 0-7357-0924-6 (softcover)

[Note: This is a terrific book, in my opinion. I learned more about using the Gimp effectively in 15 minutes, reading this book, than I could have after hours of trying to figure it out on my own or surfing web sites. If you want to learn how to use the Gimp effectively: this is the book to have!]

Trademark Acknowledgments

UNIX is a registered trademark exclusively licensed through X/Open, Ltd.

Sun, SunSoft and Solaris are registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Novell and NetWare are registered trademarks of the Novell, Inc.

Howard W. Sams & Co., The Waite Group; IDG Books Worldwide; Yourdon Press Computing Series, A Prentice Hall Title, Prentice Hall PTR, Prentice-Hall, Prentice-Hall Software Series; O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., A Nutshell Handbook; Hayden Books UNIX System Library, Hayden Books; OnWord Press; Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company; Wiley Computer Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Digital Press, McGraw-Hill, Intertext Publications, Sybex, New Riders Publishing and Multiscience Press, Inc. are copyrighted by, or registered trademarks of, their respective publishers.

If I missed anybody or got anything wrong, please let me know and I will correct the error. A mailto URL is located at the bottom of this page.

Comments or Questions?
Last updated: May 22, 2004 [100% MS Free Site]