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 LDAP System Administration is a mink (Mustela vison). Mink are found throughout the United States and Canada except in Arizona, the Arctic, and some offshore islands. A mink's fur is mostly brown with some white spots around the throat, chin, and chest. Its coat is thick, soft, and waterproof (thanks to guard hairs covered with an oily protective substance). Its body is streamlined and skinny with short legs and an elongated face. As part of its water-loving nature, a mink's toes are partially webbed. Body length varies but is usually around two feet. The tail comprises almost half of a mink's total length.

Females become fertile during the winter and give birth in April or May. A typical litter ranges between one and eight offspring. M. vison is a solitary species; males are particularly intolerant of each other. They mark their territories with a pungent, musky secretion from their oversized anal glands. They are especially active at night and are skilled swimmers and climbers. Mink dig burrows in banks of lakes and rivers, or they may occupy abandoned dens of other mammals, such as muskrats. Their tastes in food changes from season to season, but they tend to dine on small mammals such as mice, rabbits, and shrews, along with fish and duck.

The main threat to the mink's existence continues to be the fur industry. Most U.S. states and all of Canada have limited trapping seasons with strict quotas on catch size. These provisions help keep mink population densities constant. Mink have few natural enemies other than humans. Occasionally, they will be hunted by coyotes, bobcats, and other meat-eaters.

Matt Hutchinson was the production editor and copyeditor for LDAP System Administration. Genevieve d'Entremont proofread the book. Genevieve d'Entremont, Emily Quill and Mary Anne Weeks Mayo provided quality control. Jamie Peppard provided production assistance. Julie Hawks 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.

Bret Kerr designed the interior layout, based on a series design by David Futato. This book was converted by Joe Wizda 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 this 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 Matt Hutchinson.

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