This book is sub-titled 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools. That should tell you right away that the "hacking" involved is the type we all used to do at one time (as in "messing with the code"), as opposed to its current popular meaning, `cracking into systems.'
You probably will not learn 100 new things for running your
servers, with this book. Most, if not all of us, know Tip Number 1:
Remove all unnecessary services. However, I am fairly certain
that everyone will find something of interest, or that the tips will even
spark some new ones with you.
In the first section, entitled Server Basics, I came across an interesting trick with init to create a persistent daemon. When you read it, you'll probably think, as I did, "That's so obvious, why didn't I think of that!" Also in this section was some straight forward information for improving IDE drive performance with hdparm. Nothing fancy, but simple and relatively risk free ways to tweak some additional performance from your drives.
This is definitely a book written sysadmin to sysadmin. I recommend this book to any system administrator who already has a clue about what they are doing, but thinks that maybe, just maybe, there could be some other little thing they could do to improve the operation of their servers.
Additional sections are: Revision Control, Backups, Networking, Monitoring, SSH, Scripting, and Information Servers. Something for just about everyone.
The O'Reilly site contains additional hacks. I'd like to challenge you to come up with your own useful suggestions. Please send them to Librarian. I'll compile them and post them to the ELUG website. Can we come up with another hundred? I think we are up to the challenge…