Building and Maintaining an NT Web Server
by Jeff Bankston

Coriolis Group Books, Arizona, 1996.
ISBN 1-883577-90-X
$55.99 Canadian, $39.99 American

This book was not for me. In fact I never figured out who it was for. One of the webs I maintain runs on an NT server, and I'm a "techie" with lots of interest in software and some interest in hardware, but the book was definitely NOT aimed at me. If the writer had defined his audience clearly in the beginning, I would not have picked up the book.

Then again, perhaps the writer was not sure who his intended audience was. The book contains financial information, hardware information, and a useful CD-ROM. The perspective seems to be, at least part of the time, a business perspective. There is information on how much each part costs, "developing your web server game plan", and how to justify the costs of a server to the higher-ups. Even so, I'm not sure how much help this book would be to me if I were trying to put together a proposal. I found most of the information shallow and even obvious, though I suppose the book would give me an outline and tell me what questions to ask.

There is also detailed hardware information, especially about cables. I found the organization strange, with nuggets of financial and hardware information scattered all over. I think it would be hard to locate a specific piece of information in this book, if I came back to look for it later.

A personal annoyance -- the book is very pro-Microsoft. A book that somehow manages to cover "the history of the web" without once mentioning the word "Unix" is bound to put me off right away, and I admit that I may have looked at the rest of it with a slightly jaundiced eye!

The book comes with a CD-ROM containing some sample plans (not very useful), clipart for a Web site (kind of nice), Adobe Acrobat Reader, and evaluation or shareware copies of Paint Shop Pro, QuickTime Player, CuteFTP, HotDog, and several other paint programs and HTML editors.

The book is divided into four parts, but the two first parts are by far the largest. If you need information on building a physical NT server, or on setting up and using one of the four NT servers this book covers, it may be a useful book for you. Otherwise, I would give it a miss.

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