Book: UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook
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About

Book cover and illustrations for 4th edition of "UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook"
Published:
Unix & Linux System Administration Handbook (4th Edition)
Art Directors (Authors): Evi Nemeth, Trent R. Hein, Garth Snyder, Ben Whaley
One of the challenges of being a freelance illustrator is that you usually have to come up with the ideas, as well as the art. This is easy enough if it's writing aimed at the general public, but with an assignment like this one, there's a lot of research (and picking of friends' brains) involved. Luckily, I have a lot of computer-savvy friends, so I would sometimes ask them questions over coffee like, "So what's funny about software configuration management? Know any good jokes?". The authors were a lot of help too, and came up with some of the funnier gags... the cover was my idea; I wanted to reference some of the characters from chapter illustrations, and play on some of the geeky jargon (thus, the "Gooey Gnome" in the aft of the ship).
(initial sketch of cover)
(modified sketch)
Garth Snyder is moonlighting as a book designer! He added the text, cleaned up the layout, and tweaked the color before it went to press...
Here's the final volume... a 1,344 page slab of a book, still #3,850 in Amazon sales. Pretty impressive for a tech book!

Below are some of the interior illustrations. Since the previous editions had been accompanied by line cartoons, the authors wanted to retain that feel. So, I switched away from my usual scratchboard to do these drawings in technical pen:
"Network Hardware"
"Booting and Shutting Down"
"Syslog and Log File"
"Webservers"
"Periodic Processes"
"Backups"
"Printing"
"Security"