Tuesday Dec 01, 2009

Solaris Security Essentials is Out!

I found out just before going on Thanksgiving break, by searching Amazon myself, that I am now a published author! Solaris 10 Security Essentials is officially released!

I would've thought the publisher would've let us know, but apparently that's not an unusual problem. All the same, I am so excited to be counted among the elite of the published author!  We debuted #68,242 on Amazon's Best Seller list, and climbed to the top 20,000 by the end of the week! And since publication, we're now available on the Kindle!

While the title suggests this is only for Solaris 10, all of the concepts are applicable to OpenSolaris as well, though some of the examples may differ slightly in OpenSolaris. In fact, the working title had been "Solaris Security Essentials" and I wasn't even aware of the change until I saw it on Amazon. :)

Writing a book was such an interesting process! Starting with just a basic idea from our director about writing a book about what we all do and love, to all of us contributing suggestions for what topics would be interesting, volunteering to write specific chapters, generating outlines, arguing with the publisher about why 80 column width was required for command line related text, and working with great co-authors, editor and project manager to see the finished product! \*whew\*

The book is also available on Safari and in brick & mortar bookstores everywhere.

I am so proud of each and every one of us for pulling together and getting this project completed. Let me know what you think of the book!

Friday Nov 20, 2009

James Patterson's Sam's Letters to Jennifer

Sam's Letters to Jennifer

Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A friend lent me this book, so you really can't complain about a free book... but I will anyways :-)

In the prologue, it's established that the main character, Jennifer, had lost her young husband, Danny, in a swimming accident 18 months before. She laments that she mostly went through this grieving on her own, with the exception of support from two friends. One of those two friends was named ... Danny. Okay, four characters have been introduced and two have the same name? Not a Danny and a Daniel, but both Danny. I had to reread a few pages to make sure I had it all straight. This is fiction - pick unique names! Why couldn't the friend be called Bob? David? Charles? the good news is that the friend Danny was only mentioned in the prologue and never again.

The book covers Jennifer's ability to love again and her mixed up emotions when she finds her self falling for a childhood friend that ... is dying. Oh, and her grandmother is in a coma, likely dying. Fortunately for Jennifer, her grandmother has left her a series of letters detailing her life, so it would all be written down. Of course, Jennifer learns secrets so shocking she isn't sure what to do with them, but eventually learns to accept her grandmother for the imperfect woman she was.

The book was a bit sappy for my taste, but due to the way it was mostly presented in "letters" it was a very fast read.

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Sunday Sep 13, 2009

Just finished the first Sookie Stackhouse novel!

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1) Dead Until Dark: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars Continuing on the theme of vampires (thanks, Jen!), I've started reading the Sookie Stackhouse books. Having watched a few episodes of True Blood, I was worried that the books would've already been spoiled - not the case at all! The show, while true in character to the books, has different characters and doesn't follow the exact same story line, either.

I enjoyed Charlaine Harris's writing style and the way she could keep the suspense going all the way to the end of the book. The characters were very interesting, and so far none of them falling into strictly black or white. They all have subtle nuances, and even our heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, is not perfect in thoughts, actions or deeds.

This book does what every good vampire book, in my opinion, should do - gives you a glimpse into the past. I love historical fiction and feel that Harris did a great job of weaving in Bill's (the vampire) past into the book.

So far, I'm enjoying this series a lot more than the Twilight series and have already started the second book.

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Monday Aug 10, 2009

Ordinary People

Ordinary People Ordinary People by Judith Guest

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not 100% sure how this book, a 1980s version of the paperback, ended up on my bookshelves. Best bet was that it belonged to either my brother or one of my sisters, and it somehow got moved to California with me. I've noticed it around for awhile, but hadn't been motivated to read it until recently when I was looking for other paperbacks to lend to a friend.

While the reviews on the book jacket all claimed the book was "timeless", I can say that now 30 years on, it is a bit dated. The stay at home moms, 18 year olds legally drinking beer, the descriptions of the "cool cars", and discussion of shock therapy as if it is a normal occurrence in psych wards.

The book started out annoying me by referring to one of the main characters by several different nicknames - without clarifying they were the same person. It doesn't help that his last name could also be a first name (Jarrett). His first name was Conrad, which was often Con, Connie, or Jarrett. This got worse when they referred to his deceased brother in the same way (often just by his last name, which is shared by both sons and the parents), a nickname (Buck) or his first name (which I don't remember, but was something odd like Jared... not that Jared is odd, but Jared Jarrett would be...)

The story itself is a simple tale of a family coming together and falling apart at the same time. We only see the story from the perspectives of Conrad and Cal (Calvin, Jarrett, the man, etc), but never from the mother's side. This leaves the impression that many of the problems in the family could be root caused to her coldness and refusing to communicate. If I've learned anything in this world, is that a different story can be told by all people in the same room that witnessed the same events, as the human brain will tell a "back story" to fill in the blanks which will bias your opinion, regardless of whether or not your back story was correct.

It was a short book, a decent way to pass the time, but I'm happy to move on from this tale.

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Friday Jun 26, 2009

3 Twilight books down, one to go :-)

Eclipse (Twilight, #3) Eclipse (The Twilight Saga) by Stephenie Meyer

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is my favorite in the series so far. A much more compelling plot than the first two books, with a very exciting climax with unexpected twists and turns.

I am still very annoyed with the glamorization of an uber-exclusive relationship. I mean, really, it's not healthy to see only your boyfriend - 24 hours a day, particularly not for emotionally developing teenagers, yet it wasn't until this book that Bella's father even mentioned that he wanted her to spend time with other people besides Edward. And her father isn't even aware of the fact that Edward spends all night, every night, with her.

Not to mention how controlling Edward was of Bella early in the book. That type of behaviour is never healthy, but can be especially dangerous with teenagers who are still developing a personality.

Other than those nits, the story in this book was compelling and a real page turner.

Of course, since it is a "juvenile" or "young adult" book, it is a very fast read for an adult.

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Thursday Jun 11, 2009

Continuing the Lemming theme... I finished reading Twilight!

Twilight (Twilight, #1) Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) by Stephenie Meyer

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Okay, I'll admit it - I didn't want to like this book. I am a huge fan of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, so I did not see a lot of this book as being as original as many folks said it was (ie vampires with feelings and intelligence, as opposed to cold blooded monsters). That aside, the story is compelling and it is a quick and easy read for an adult. I now feel like I can relate to the rest of the world that has already read this book. Finally, I am so glad I am not a teenager anymore, though, and so easily caught up in such intense emotions. :-)

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Valerie's former weblog. The new one can be found at http://bubbva.blogspot.com/


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