Software Development with Linux

Book Review Le Macmillan TCP IP

WED, 01 DEC 2010

Le Macmillan TCP/IPI was introduced to this books many years ago by Tony, a long time friend.  I think it was the first book I've read about computer networking, in the late '90s.  I must thank Tony for that great recommendation since I've learned a lot from it.

While I'm not even sure if this book is still in print, you can definitely find used copies of it if you look (in French or English).  I've put my French copy for grab on BookMooch. (Don't know about BookMooch? Read this first.)  Considering the book's content, I'm sure you would not regret it.

So what is its content?  It is everything related to TCP/IP, in details.  The book starts with a gentle introduction to TCP/IP, where it is coming from, that kind of stuff.  Then, you'll get all the details a software developer wants to know about how the hardware in the network works, including the different kind of Ethernet, Token Ring, FDDI, cables, etc.

The next big section is all about interconnections : how IP addresses works, addresses resolving (ARP, RARP), and routing (RIP, OSPF).  It also explain in details the headers of IP, ICMP, TCP, and UDP, and how all those protocols works.

The third section is about TCP/IP services.  Again, you'll get all the details about automatic configuration (BOOTP, DHCP), domain name resolution (DNS), e-mail (SMTP, POP3, and IMAP4), Telnet, file transfer (FTP, TFTP), network file system (NFS), the web (HTTP, HTML, CGI), and network management (SNMP).

The book end with a presentation of ATM networks and IPv6.  That's funny to see a book written in 1997 talking about the imminence of IPv6.  I guess a lot of people thought that we would have switched from IPv4 a lot sooner! ;)

While this book won't make you an expert in all that stuff, you'll gain a solid knowledge base to build on.  True, you can get a more recent book, but if you are short on money, getting a used copy of this one is a great choice.