This is the time of year when the Linux Journal staff turns to you, our readers, for insight on the best programs in the Linux world. I love this time of year. No, not because you all do most of the work, but rather because I get to see how my preferences compare to those of our readership. You get to do the same. Whether you’re looking for validation with your software choices or hoping to fill a gap in your digital repertoire, this issue should please.
Along with the Readers’ Choice winners, we have an issue full of “choice” articles
we’ve picked to go along with this month’s theme. Reuven M. Lerner shows us an
easy way to scale Web applications with Amazon’s Simple Queue Service (SQS). Amazon makes scaling services simple, and Web applications are no exception. Dave
Taylor describes how to make a scale of our own for rating Twitter accounts. Using
scripting (Dave’s specialty), extracting data about a Twitter account is pretty simple. Come up with your own formulas for what makes tweets terrific, and you can make a script that is judge and jury all in one.
Our other command-line guru, Kyle Rankin, teaches us to laugh in the face of E Ink and scoff at the Kindles of Amazon. In the same way Kyle chats with Irssi,
e-mails with Mutt and system-administers from an xterm, this month he shows how to read Linux Journal with his e-reader of choice: a terminal window. If you’re a minimalist like Kyle or just like to out-geek the person next to you, you’ll want to read Kyle’s article. At the very least, it will make you thankful for your digital e-reader!
Michael Nugent addresses a problem this month that is near and dear to me. Every sysadmin should have a monitoring system, but what happens when that monitoring system is more annoying than helpful? I get daily e-mail messages from several of
my systems with reports on their success or failure. After 20–30 days of “all normal”, the messages tend to slip past my radar. Then one day when they stop arriving, their absence goes unnoticed. The opposite can be true though as well. How may times have you been woken up by your pager beeping incessantly over a false positive? At 3 o’clock in the morning? Michael discusses some best practices for making your monitoring system effective at doing its job while not driving you insane in the process.
If you’re a software developer, you will want to check out Daniel Bartholomew’s article on databases. Sure, databases aren’t the most exciting things in the world, but if you’re a programmer, interfacing with them is important. Add to that Joey Bernard’s article on Mercurial for revision control, and it’s like soup for the programmer’s soul.
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