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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 Perl for System Administration is a sea otter. North American sea otters make their homes along the Pacific coast, near the kelp beds containing the shellfish that make up the majority of their diet. Sea otters can be found in great numbers in Alaska, and on beaches as far south as California.

Sea otters are agile and intelligent mammals, and are known to make ingenious use of tools. Floating on their backs, they hold a shellfish such as a mussel or abalone on their bellies, and use a rock to break the shell.

Intensely social, sea otters gather to float in groups called rafts. They are excellent swimmers, propelling themselves swiftly through the water with their flipper-like, webbed back paws. Their thick fur provides them with efficient insulation in the water. At times, their existence has been threatened as they have been mercilessly hunted to near extinction for their fur.

Colleen Gorman was the production editor and copyeditor for Perl for System Administration. Jane Ellin was the proofreader. Mary Sheehan and Emily Quill provided quality control. Molly Shangraw, Maeve O'Meara, Gabe Weiss, Mary Sheehan, and Darren Kelly provided production support. Nancy Crumpton wrote the index.

Hanna Dyer designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is an original illustration created by Lorrie LeJeune. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 3.32 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.

Alicia Cech and David Futato designed the interior layout based on a series design by Nancy Priest. Mike Sierra and David Futato implemented the design in FrameMaker 5.5.6. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Rhon Porter using Macromedia FreeHand 8 and Adobe Photoshop 5. This colophon was written by Colleen Gorman.

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