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The animal on the cover of DNS on Windows Server 2003 is an African white-necked raven ( Corvus albicollis ), a subspecies of raven, the largest of the crow-like birds at about 24 inches long. The sexes look alike; the female is slightly smaller. Perceived as spirited or even impudent, the raven has a distinctive hoarse carrying call. They are excellent flyers, hovering and gliding, and are safe in flight from predators. Ravens are scavengers and eat carrion and small live animals, as well as some plants. They sometimes hide and store excess food, and will occasionally carry food in their feet.

African raven nests, built in niches in rocks, are crafted of an underlying stick structure, covered by grass, dirt, and rocks, then smaller twigs with soft materials such as moss or rags, and finally a layer of grass or similar plant material. Ravens lay 3 to 6 mottled grayish-green eggs, and the young hatch after 18 to 20 days of incubation. Both parents (a pair mated for life) will change the nest lining materials to adjust for changes in temperature and climate.

The raven is a popular figure, both profane and sacred, in many legends. Ravens, along with their relatives, jays and crows, have long been considered omens of evil in folklore, possibly due to the supposed annual tribute in feathers paid to the Devil; this legend is probably based on the molting of feathers every summer, during which the raven stays relatively well hidden--only this and nothing more. The Old Testament lists ravens among "unclean" birds; also fed Elijah by the brook. Other ancient and medieval cultures considered the raven a symbol of virility or wisdom. An ancient Norse saga describes the use of ravens by ocean navigators as guides to land, and Norse mythology describes ravens as scouts for Odin. Native American folklore tells that the raven created the world and its creatures.

Because it preys on locusts, mice, and rats, the white-necked raven is generally welcomed in Africa (despite the occasional theft of domestic fowl). Like that of many other wild animals, the raven's habitat is dwindling with expansion of the human population.

Matt Hutchinson was the production editor for DNS on Windows Server 2003 . Octal Publishing, Inc. provided production services. Sarah Sherman, Reg Aubry, and Claire Cloutier provided quality control.

Edie Freedman designed the cover of this book, based on her series design. 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.

David Futato designed the interior layout. This book was converted by Julie Hawks to FrameMaker 5.5.6 with a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. The tip and warning icons were drawn by Christopher Bing. This colophon was written by Nancy Kotary.

The online edition of this book was created by the Safari production group (John Chodacki, Becki Maisch, and Ellie Cutler) using a set of Frame-to-XML conversion and cleanup tools written and maintained by Erik Ray, Benn Salter, John Chodacki, and Jeff Liggett.