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This book is similar to the O'Reilly Cookbook or Hacks series, a collection of 47 scripts in 11 categories, such as sysadmin, web, and code debugging.

Each script is covered in the same general manner, with a description, the code (minus the POD, which appears in the downloadable versions), how to run the script, the results, a description of how it works, and how to hack the script further. While some will see the value in the superficial information, the script itself, which may help you to accomplish some goal, you should also find additional value by digging deeper. I believe that most programmers build on what they already know by the code examples they see in the future, and within the text you will be able to learn about various CPAN modules and how to use them, and some Perl coding tricks.

Since many people are likely to use this book to learn more Perl programming, I thought it would have been appropriate for some of the scripts to be more polished than they were.

I have my usual complaint about the editing, but I didn't find too many obvious problems.

Overall, I find a lot of value in this book. One caveat is that the author does expect that you have a working knowledge of Perl, CPAN, and perldoc, unless all you are going to do is run the scripts and nothing more. Another is the speed with which information becomes dated - I wanted to try some of the mapping scripts, but was thwarted because the USGS has changed where certain information is kept, and how it is accessed. Maybe I'll have to hack the script after all...

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