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SEPTEMBER 2006 (Vol. 39, No. 9) p. 95
0018-9162/06/$31.00 © 2006 IEEE

Published by the IEEE Computer Society
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Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration, Mark R. Hinkle. Linux has established itself as the fastest growing server platform and is poised to become a formidable desktop operating system. Yet potential desktop Linux users have found scant information on the capabilities of Linux as a desktop operating system in comparison to Microsoft Windows.
The author explores the advantages of the Linux desktop and forewarns of the possible pitfalls associated with a Linux migration. The book focuses on four main points: explaining the factors involved in a Windows to Linux migration; advising IT managers on data migration strategies for critical information; improving the overall stability, security, and productivity of a desktop environment with Linux's management capabilities and permissions; and providing recommendations for open source applications that can be used in lieu of commercial applications on both Windows and Linux.
Charles River Media; www.charlesriver.com; 1-58450-422-6; 460 pp.
Multiagent Engineering: Theory and Applications in Enterprises, Stefan Kirn, Otthein Herzog, Peter Lockemann, and Otto Spaniol, eds. Multiagent systems have a long academic tradition, with roots in distributed problem solving in artificial intelligence. Over 15 years, the field has matured to a degree that lets the results of academic research be passed on to practical use and commercial exploitation.
This book explores the possibilities of multiagent engineering by providing detailed descriptions of how two large-scale multiagent systems were created: Agent.Hospital and Agent.Enterprise. These two systems demonstrate that multiagent technology has a great potential for innovative information systems if the overall systems require a high degree of flexibility or the work environment is highly dynamic.
Springer; www.springeronline.com; 3-540-31406-7; 626 pp.
Agility and Discipline Made Easy: Practices from OpenUP and RUP, Per Kroll and Bruce MacIsaac. The authors, both experts in the Rational Unified Process and Open Unified Process, share 20 well-defined best practices that project teams can use to improve the agility, predictability, speed, and cost of software development.
The authors outline proven principles for software development and supply several supporting practices for each. They cover the problems that each practice addresses and describe how RUP and OpenUP can best be leveraged to make the practice work. They also provide proactive, prescriptive guidance on how to adopt the practices with minimal risk and implement as much or as little of RUP or OpenUP as desired.
Addison-Wesley; www.awprofessional.com; 0-321-32139-8; 448 pp.
Practical Software Factories in .NET, Gunther Lenz and Christoph Wienands. Software factories, a new methodology, have emerged with the aim of industrializing software development. Until now, the ideas behind software factories were mostly theoretical, and it was unclear how to transfer these ideas to everyday software development.
The authors provide a basic description and vocabulary for software factories and lay out the entire process of developing a software factory. Each chapter features hands-on examples demonstrated in a real-world case study—all using Microsoft's software factory tools.
This book is especially suited for software architects and project managers who want to better understand software factories and development of reusable assets, requirements engineers involved in product line development, senior developers who create software factory schemas and domain-specific languages, quality assurance and software process engineers striving for higher quality, and developers who want hands-on examples to help them learn about software factories.
Apress; www.apress.com; 1-59059-665-X; 240 pp.
Adaptive Perspectives on Human-Technology Interaction: Methods and Models for Cognitive Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction, Alex Kirlik, ed. In everyday life, and particularly in the modern workplace, information technology and automation increasingly mediate, augment, and sometimes even interfere with how humans interact with their environment. How to understand and support cognition in human-technology interaction is both a practically and socially relevant problem. This book frames the problem in adaptive terms: How are behavior and cognition adapted, or perhaps ill-adapted, to the demands and opportunities of an environment where interaction is mediated by tools and technology?
Inspired by Egon Brunswik's view of cognition as "coming to terms" with the "casual texture" of the external world, this book provides quantitative and computational models and measures for studying how people come to terms with an increasingly technological ecology and provides insights for supporting cognition and performance through design, training, and other interventions. The book's methods, models, and measures provide timely and important resources for addressing problems in the rapidly growing field of human-technology interaction.
Oxford University Press, www.oup.com; 0-19-517182-9; 336 pp.