Cisco Routers for the Desperate, 2nd Ed

A little over four years ago I reviewed the first edition of Michael W. Lucas' Cisco Routers for the Desperate. A second edition has been published, but since my first review is still posted at I can't post another. Also, Michael asked me to tech-edit the second edition, and I don't formally rate books in which I play a part. (Authors and others who are involved in books -- it's bad form to give your own product five stars!)

I gave the first edition four stars because it missed a few areas I thought were important. I'd give the new edition five stars if I were not involved. Michael literally fixed the areas I found in the first edition (like p 20 in the new edition reminding users to issue the "no shutdown" command) and added a new chapter on basic switch administration.

If you are one of the "poor bastards who are awake at oh-dark-thirty trying to get their router working," you should keep a copy of this book nearby. Michael is absolutely one of the best technical writers in the networking, computer, and security worlds. Plenty of others could learn how to write by studying his approach to teaching readers. Great work again Michael!

Richard Bejtlich is teaching new classes in Las Vegas in 2009. Late Las Vegas registration ends 22 July.


Anonymous said…
I have no doubt that's a good book. However, I'm really waiting for Michael's upcoming book, Network Flow Analysis. It would be great if you were able to tech-edit NFA, or preferably play an even bigger role in it.
I think it will be a great book if you are new to NetFlow. There's a lot out there already. If he covers Argus it would be really helpful. The publisher hasn't approached me yet, so I don't expect to be involved.
Anonymous said…
So, is it also bad form for an author to reply to a thread reviewing his own book? Probably, but it's not like I have that many reviews posted, so I'm going to anyway.

Any suspicion that I included Richard's previous review in my 2nd edition checklist would be well founded.

NFA covers NetFlow and flow-tools. Argus is nice, but NF is everywhere, there are no books dedicated to it, and you can deploy it without setting up sniffers everywhere. It's a nice compromise for those of us who can't do full packet capture.

The problem now is that I work for an auto supplier. In Detroit. My writing time is seriously cramped by the panic (and resulting poor decisions) that surrounds me 23x6. :-(

Unknown said…
Sounds like a winner for the night stand. Wish it came in a Kindle friendly format, but purchased all the same.
Chris Buechler said…
Glad to see an update of this one, Michael is among my favorite authors. I had the privilege of having dinner with him at BSDCan this year, he's a great guy as well as an exceptional author.

I agree if you have any vested interest in the sales of the book, it's certainly bad form to put up any sort of review.

But as a technical reviewer, I'm not so sure it's bad form. At least on the reviews I've done, your pay is not at all based on the sales of the book, so I don't see a conflict there, if you can truly be unbiased. I haven't personally posted reviews on books I've done technical reviews of, though not because of any conflict of interest, more that I'm not as religious at writing reviews of what I read as Richard is.

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