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Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects.

The animal on the cover of Network Troubleshooting Tools is a basilisk, a lizard belonging to the iguana family. Its name comes from the mythological basilisk (also known as a cockatrice), a reptile with a deadly gaze and breath, said to have been hatched from a rooster's egg by a serpent.

Though the two crests along their backs may make them look ferocious, basilisk lizards aren't deadly to anyone but the bugs and occasional worms and small animals they eat. They grow to about two or two and a half feet long, with most of that length in their tail. The banded basilisk is brown with a yellow stripe along each side of its body, and other basilisk species are green or brown.

Unlike their mythological counterparts, real basilisks are hatched from basilisk eggs. The female basilisk digs a shallow hole in moist dirt, lays up to 18 eggs in the hole, and covers them with dirt. Then she goes back to her swinging single basilisk life, leaving the eggs and later the young lizards to fend for themselves. They do this quite well, taking up residence in trees and finding their own food soon after hatching.

The talent that basilisks are most known for is their ability to do something that looks remarkably like walking on water. In reality, their webbed hind feet trap a bubble of air beneath them as they run, buoying them up so that their feet don't sink more than an inch or so below the water. A small basilisk can run like this for up to 60 feet without sinking.

Catherine Morris was the production editor and proofreader, and Norma Emory was the copyeditor for Network Troubleshooting Tools. Sarah Jane Shangraw, Emily Quill, and Claire Cloutier provided quality control. Jan Wright wrote the index.

Emma Colby designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.

Melanie Wang designed the interior layout based on a series design by Nancy Priest. Anne-Marie Vaduva converted the files from Microsoft Word to FrameMaker 5.5.6 using tools created by Mike Sierra. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book; the code font is Constant Willison. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. This colophon was written by Leanne Soylemez.

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