Mac OS X Server 10.3 Panther: Visual QuickPro Guide
Posted: 4-Mar-2005

Mac Guild Grade

Publisher: PeachPit


Reviewer: Doug Parker $24.99

Mac OS X Server 10.3 Panther: Visual QuickPro Guide
By Schoun Regan, Kevin White.
ISBN: 0321242521
Published: Dec 21, 2004
Price: $24.99

What the Book is About
If you have to set up a Mac OS X Panther Server, you'll definitely benefit from reading this book, or having it as a reference guide. Even if you're not setting up a server and just want to know more about what happens at the server level with some of the technical subjects that get thrown around (Kerberos? What's that?), this is a worthwhile book to buy.

Target Audience
The book assumes some previous exposure or experience with server setup and administration. NFS, Active Directory, LDAP, Apache, and other topics essential to server setup and management are mentioned. While some of the topics are covered in depth because of their inclusion in OS X Panther Server, others aren't given detailed coverage, so readers will have to know a little bit about them before reading, or be able to quickly search the net to get answers or perhaps a tutorial if some quick explanations are needed.

What I Got Out of the Book
I now know how to set up an OS X Panther Server. I feel sorry for MCSEs who take months of classes before being certified for managing a Windows server -- Panther Server setup and administration seems like a breeze. However, what surprised me and was an unexpected treat was how much additional information I was able to take away on related topics such as QuickTime Streaming Server, Network Address Translation, Proxy Servers, Printer Pool Queues, Load Balancing, WebDAV, and network boot images using NetBOOT, and more.

I liked the judicious use of screen shots, and the clear, step-by-step explanations of what has to be done to accomplish a particular task. There's little chance of making an error, because while the numbered instructions tell you what needs to be done, plenty of related screen captures have been added for clarity.

One nice, unassuming feature of the book is that it's printed with two columns of text per page, rather than being printed with text across the entire page, making it much easier to read.

Mac Guild Grade
A (Outstanding)

Final Words
Author Schoun Regan knows his stuff. He writes clearly and plainly, and you can tell he understands all of the related technologies and topics that need to be wrestled with while setting up a server. This was more than just a book on server setup and administration -- it was an education in many of today's current web technologies.