Two Prereviews

Two publishers were kind enough to send new books last week. I plan to read and review both early next year. The first is Apress' Beginning C, 4th Ed by Ivor Horton. What, learn C? I don't expect or plan to become any C wizard by reading this and a few other books. Rather, I'd like to be able to understand code I come across, or perhaps make small modifications to otherwise useful programs. Any original programming I plan for 2007, I expect to use Python. Second is Syngress' FISMA Certification & Accreditation Handbook by Laura Taylor. Talk about moving from something useful (C) to something not (FISMA). Still, this seems like the only book on the subject, and FISMA is always a big discussion item at my local beltway bandit ISSA meetings. I hope this book will let me better understand the FISMA racket and why it's a waste of money. Of course, the book will not use those terms, but I will report what I find when I review it early next year.


Anonymous said…
Wow, I just picked up Beginning C 3rd edition off Amazon in "like new" condition for just $3. Thanks for the heads up. Finding books on C is tough since it's only one letter... Do you (or anyone else) know of any other books on C that are for beginners? I'd like to at least have the ability to decipher code as well.
jbmoore said…
Beginning Linux Programming ( ) might be a better book. They cover everything from Shell scripting to C programming on the OS. The techniques should port well to FreeBSD or any other Unix platform. Considering that most compromised systems are Windows XP or Server, you might be better off buying Sysinternals DVD series ( ) on Windows troubleshooting. You'd at least get an introduction to useful freeware Windows tools. Sysinternals tools are MS platform Support's dirty little secret. They saved customers and techs a lot of time tracking down problems.
Anonymous said…
If you want to learn C and have an idea what you are doing already Get a copy of K&R Second edition, aka ANSI C version,,
great as a reference also.

Anonymous said…
Long-time lurker and Gov contractor here.
Yes, FISMA is a pain, and yes, it's somewhat misguided (self-categorization of system security levels based on FIPS-199 never seem to come out anything like they should), but it is a requirement for all government agencies, and I'm sorry to say, is still very poorly understood by almost everybody I've run into. As much as I dislike FISMA, a decent book on C&A is going to be a welcome addition to my bookshelf.
Anonymous said…
I hope this book will let me better understand the FISMA racket and why it's a waste of money.

Well, thank goodness you are taking an unbiased approach to the material!

Anonymous said…
Aw come on...give my FISMA book a fair shake before you dish it. Anyone who's willing to write a book on such a vexing subject at least deserves a chance.

- Laura T.
Hi Laura,

My comments were aimed at FISMA, not your book. As I've written elsewhere, I think FISMA is a disaster. That does not mean your book is bad!

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