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Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks 245

Posted by samzenpus
from the grandma-wants-a-new-os dept.
Ravi writes "It is a fact that GNU/Linux has grown from a hackers operating system to be a viable alternative to any commercial proprietary operating system. And the plethora of books on Linux that are being published underlines the popularity of this OS. There are hundreds of flavors of Linux distributions — some of them more popular than the others. Ubuntu Linux is one such distribution which has caught the fancy of many Linux enthusiasts and which enjoys the number one position in the popularity rating chart." Read the rest of Ravi's review.
Ubuntu Linux for non-geeks
author Rickford Grant
pages 360
publisher No Starch Press
rating 9
reviewer Ravi
ISBN 1-59327-118-2
summary A very good book targeted at newbies for installing and configuring Ubuntu Linux


I recently came across a very nice book titled "Ubuntu Linux for non-geeks" authored by Rickford Grant and published by No Starch Press. What attracted me to this book was the obvious title which makes no bones about the fact that this book is targeted at non-geeks.

The book is divided into 18 chapters and 3 appendices spanning over 300 pages. The author starts the narration by imparting a good understanding of the history of Linux and the relationship between Ubuntu and Linux. In this chapter, the author clears a few doubts arising in a lay person's mind about Linux such as the difference between a distribution and an OS, the hardware requirements for running Ubuntu and so on.

In the past, I have seen Linux books using well over 50 pages just to explain the installation process but Ubuntu is famed for its simple 6 step installation. The next chapter is a very short one which gives a good illustrated explanation of the steps needed to boot Ubuntu using the latest version of Ubuntu live CD (included with the book) and install the OS on the hard disk.

The third chapter explores many common features of the Gnome desktop which is the default desktop in Ubuntu. Here the readers are introduced to different aspects of the desktop from the panels, the menus, the applets to the steps for customizing.

One thing I really like about this book is the obvious way in which each task is split into separate chapters. For example, you have a chapter explaining the file and disk management , a chapter which explains how to set up the network and log on to the internet, another for setting up your printer and scanner, still another explaining different ways of downloading and installing software and so on.

I especially liked the 8th chapter titled "Getting to know the Linux terminal and command line", where the author introduces the shell and a number of command line tools to the readers. What I found really interesting was that at the end of the chapter, the author walks you through installing and configuring so you get to try out all the commands introduced earlier.

In the 11th chapter, the author explains how to make the fonts on the Ubuntu machine look prettier and the steps needed to install different kinds of additional fonts such as Microsoft true type fonts.

Ubuntu Linux bundles with it a rich set of applications which more than meets the need of an average home user. The 13th and 14th chapter introduces some of the most popular ones such as office suites, image viewers and so on.

The next three chapters deal exclusively in setting up and configuring audio and video in Ubuntu. Considering that some of the audio/video formats are patented, it is not possible to include support for them by default in Linux. Rather, it is up to the user to get these proprietary audio and video formats to work in Linux. And through these chapters, the author explains all that needs to be done to get all audio and video formats to work in Ubuntu.

The appendix also contain a section where the author gives a list of web resources where one can find more information related to Linux — more specifically Ubuntu Linux.

This very nice book on Ubuntu Linux is clearly targeted at the neophytes who wish to take their first steps in installing and using Ubuntu. The author explains in a step-by-step manner the solutions to the problems that one might face in installing, configuring and using Ubuntu Linux.

If you are a person who has installed and used Linux in the past, this book probably doesn't cover anything new to you. Having said that, it could be an ideal gift for your grandparents, parents or even friends who wish to learn to setup and use Linux. Another positive aspect of the book which attracted me was that the narration was surprisingly devoid of any slang. One of the common mistakes that authors make when writing a book targeted at newbies is treating them like idiots and introducing a lot of slang in the narration, but Rickford Grant has stayed clear of this and his language is clear and lucid.

Ravi Kumar is a Linux enthusiast who likes to share his thoughts on all things related to GNU/Linux through his blog All about Linux.


You can purchase Ubuntu Linux for non-geeks from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page
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Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks

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  • After 2-3 years as a die hard gentoo user, I just wanted simple and easy home administration. ubuntu is just that.
    • Thanks, you are a perfect sample where Ubuntu gets its new users. Ubuntu draws its increasing user base from other Linux distributions but sadly not from Windows. So while Ubuntu is growing and is on the way to become the major Linux distribution, it still fails to overcome its own Ubuntu Bug #1 (https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+bug/1 [launchpad.net]).

      O. Wyss
  • Yeah, mod me how you feel instead of responding, I like that.

    I would have to say that XFree86 and Apache, as well as components listed under Perl Artistic and BSD licenses, have as much to do with the usability and adoption of Linux as a platform. Why is GNU singled out for more attention than the other amazing personal contributions of self-motivated non-commercialized developers? Just because RMS' ego outscales his last decade of coding efforts doesn't mean that he should automatically be ignored, bu

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by knightmad (931578)
      Why is GNU singled out for more attention than the other amazing personal contributions of self-motivated non-commercialized developers? OK, I'll bite. Maybe because the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) [wikipedia.org], the GNU Binary Utilities (binutils) [wikipedia.org], the bash shell [wikipedia.org], the GNU C library (glibc) [wikipedia.org], and the GNU Core Utilities (coreutils) [wikipedia.org] play a very important role in the operational system, as important (althought also as replaceable) as the Linux kernel? If that is not enough reason, well, I don't know what would be.
      • Well, it depends on what you define as an 'important role'. For example, X11 is also as important as glibc, gcc, or binutils, especially for a desktop OS like Ubuntu.

        OTOH, just as important to the user experience in Ubuntu as a desktop OS is the GNOME desktop (notice I said Ubuntu, not Kubuntu), and GNOME actually is part of the GNU project. (I've had people argue with me on this point -- if you don't believe me, hear it from the horse's mouth [gnome.org].)

        On the gripping hand, Ubuntu and GNOME use quite a bit of oth
      • Don't feed the trolls.
    • by Al Dimond (792444)
      The reason that lots of people call "it" GNU/Linux is that GNU is the name of the project to create a Free Unix-like OS. It doesn't really matter what licenses are used or whose projects are the biggest or most important, GNU was The Project that drove The System. That said, once you create your own project with its own goals you can call it whatever you want. Debian says, "Debian GNU/Linux," specifying themselves as a distributor of the GNU operating system with Linux as its kernel. Gentoo says, "Gento
  • Excellent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rendo (918276) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:34PM (#16368435)
    The Ubuntu, and Linux community needs more pro-active members like the author of this book. God knows how many people have bought those "For dummies" books, but calling them non-geeks as opposed to dummies would make a user more willing to buy the book, and hopefully try Ubuntu. The more mainstream media attention that Ubuntu gets, the better it will become and we'll see more and more users adopting it. Good work.
    • by spir0 (319821)
      Yeh, I don't know if that's such a big problem. I've been using computers for about 23 years and I own about half a dozen For Dummies books. My thirst for knowledge in clear concise language outweighs any perceived insult in the title. Would calling people "non-geeks" as opposed to dummies really make that big a difference in sales?

      I guess the way I look at it is this way: I'm a geek, so a book for non-geeks wouldn't interest me, even if it's on a topic I know nothing about. However, a For Dummies book is m
  • Non-geeks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Klaidas (981300) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:34PM (#16368437)
    Well, Ubuntu never seemed to be designed for geeks (I'm using it for about 8 months now) - it's one of the friendliest distros for beginners (as much as I've tested different distros)
    But well, a book might be a good idea - making Ubuntu even more user friendly.
    • I'm not a geek either though some say I am. I'm not as proficient as many here are.

      Well, Ubuntu never seemed to be designed for geeks (I'm using it for about 8 months now) - it's one of the friendliest distros for beginners (as much as I've tested different distros)

      I'd say the same thing about Linspire [linspire.com]. I recently got a pc with it on and though I haven't really used it yet it looks easy to use. Using CNR, Click n Run, it's also easy to install software. I have one problem with it. When I got it I

    • It's possible for a book to be friendly to both geeks and non-geeks. It's also possible for it to be non-useful for both, of course:-) Just because something explains things in shiny friendly terms with short words and lots of pictures doesn't mean it's hostile to geeks, if there's real information there and some transparency to the references, so we can read quickly over the newbie stuff and find out how to actually install things. On the other hand, the content has to actually be there, or it's not use
  • "for Non-Geeks" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blindd0t (855876) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:35PM (#16368451)

    I've been waiting to say this for a long time:

    My mother uses Ubuntu (6.06 Desktop) and she is not computer savvy at all!

  • by LoverOfJoy (820058) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:38PM (#16368475) Homepage
    What attracted me to this book was the obvious title which makes no bones about the fact that this book is targeted at non-geeks.
    The book is divided into 18 chapters and 3 appendices spanning over 300 pages.


    I've seen similar 300 page books to teach windows to non-geeks. I'm sure there are people who feel lost and buy the book thinking they'll learn. I have serious doubts that many actually make it through the book. They'll make it through the first chapter and, at best, pull it out occasionally to search for some answer (and probably not find it).

    A lot of people have moments when they feel ambitious and decide they will learn linux. How many of the non-geeks actually do, though? Of those that do, I doubt it's from books like these but actually from geek friends walking them through it.
    • by tclark (140640) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:53PM (#16368751) Homepage
      For a typical non-geek, "learning Linux" is a lousy idea. So is "learning Windows". That's because they don't want to use an operating system. They want to send email, work with their digital pictures, write a novel, or whatever. Non-geeks need to learn how to do the tasks that interest them, and that is how geeks should present this information to them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shitdrummer (523404)
        Very true. Users also love a pretty gui. I took a copy of Mandriva One 2007 with XGL to work yesterday and had 5 people take copies of the CD to play with at home. None of those people had ever played with linux before but were impressed enough with the 3d gui effects to give it a go. I'm not a regular linux user but I've been playing around with distro's for a few years, usually with a dual boot to Windows. I enjoy playing under the hood, so to speak, but am very much a beginner. Ubuntu was the first
      • For a typical non-geek, "learning Linux" is a lousy idea. So is "learning Windows". That's because they don't want to use an operating system. They want to send email, work with their digital pictures, write a novel, or whatever.

        I have to question whether "learning Windows" means very much past familiarity with the GUI, basic system startup, and the registry. That said, it's inevitable that anyone using a computer (with the possible exception of Mac users) will come up against the reality that knowing how
      • by Tim C (15259)
        That's because they don't want to use an operating system. They want to send email, work with their digital pictures, write a novel, or whatever.

        Well, perhaps I'm not a geek, but I am a professional programer with 7.5 years commercial experience and hobbiest experience going back about 22 years (to the tender age of 10), and *I* don't want to use the OS either. I want it to sit there, managing my hardware and processes, etc, and staying out of my way while I get on with what I want to do.

        Don't get me wrong,
        • by tclark (140640)
          Fair enough, but it sounds like you (and me) sometimes play different roles when we sit down at a computer. For example, here are the roles I commonly play:

          1. User: Right now I'm hanging out using my browser, and the OS doesn't really matter. I could even use Windows and it wouldn't matter too much.

          2. Hobbyist: I like to mess around with computers, so I use an OS that gives me opportunities to mess around in interesting ways.

          3. Programmer: I care about the OS a bit, since some of the code I write ma
      • by Stanza (35421)
        For a typical non-geek, "learning Linux" is a lousy idea. So is "learning Windows". That's because they don't want to use an operating system. They want to send email, work with their digital pictures, write a novel, or whatever. Non-geeks need to learn how to do the tasks that interest them, and that is how geeks should present this information to them.

        Let's look at the example of "work with their digital pictures". To take pictures, one must learn to use a camera. Sad but true. Then one must learn to t

        • by tclark (140640)
          Your car example is interesting, since most adults I know are able to drive cars. Very few of them know much else about cars. You can be a pretty successful driver without knowing much about cars.

          I have a nice 35mm camera on which all of the controls are manual, so you have to know a bit about photography to use it. I also have simple digital camera. My son has been able to use it since he was 5.

          I used to teach a college course in basic HTML. The students were all able to use computers pretty successfu
    • by AusIV (950840)
      Typically when I pick up books on how to do such-and-such, I'm not daunted by the book being 300+ pages. I also don't sit down and read it all at once.

      I use how-to book as references. I use the index to find what I want to do, then I skip to that section. I probably won't read every page of the book, and if I do, it certainly won't be in order.

      Also, how do you define learning linux? Personally, I have a pretty good grasp of how the operating system works. My girlfriend has no idea how the operating system

  • by digitalderbs (718388) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:42PM (#16368545)
    It's a great distro for both the non-technical and technical -- geek and non-geek. I had used Debian unstable for 4 years before switching to Ubuntu (64- and 32-bit versions) 6 months ago. All of the lovely configurability and software tools (like aptitude, apt-build and so on) from Debian are available.

    The reasons I made the switch were because (1) I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and (2) I wanted a more frequent "stable" release cycle for my desktop system. However, I continue to use Debian stable for any servers and simulation clusters that I manage.
  • by pnot (96038) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:49PM (#16368675)
    The book that I need, and I haven't yet found, is a beginner's Ubuntu guide which doesn't focus on installation, and instead devotes most or all of its space to basic use of the desktop and common applications (Nautilus, Firefox, OOo Writer, etc.).

    I suspect my situation is not unique: I install Ubuntu for parents and other non-techies; no matter how good the book, they're not going to be able to install it themselves. Then I bugger off and leave them with it. What they need is a straightforward and thorough user guide for basic use of the system. (And I mean basic: things like "you can move windows by dragging the title bar", and "if your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can use it to scroll through a window").

    Any recommendations?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Try Beginning Ubuntu Linux http://www.apress.com/book/bookDisplay.html?bID=10 086 [apress.com]. It does cover installation, but also GIMP, OpenOffice, basic shell scripting, bluetooth, etc.
    • by tolan-b (230077) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:45PM (#16369647)
      So you didn't read the review of *this* book then?

      "In the past, I have seen Linux books using well over 50 pages just to explain the installation process but Ubuntu is famed for its simple 6 step installation. *The next chapter is a very short* one which gives a good illustrated explanation of the steps needed to boot Ubuntu using the latest version of Ubuntu live CD (included with the book) and install the OS on the hard disk. "
      • by pnot (96038)
        So you didn't read the review of *this* book then?

        Of course I did. But perhaps I was insufficiently clear in my question: to my mind, the term "installation" encompasses all the initial setup and configuration required to get a fully functioning system. From the review:

        ... a good illustrated explanation of the steps needed to boot Ubuntu using the latest version of Ubuntu... and install the OS on the hard disk... a chapter which explains how to set up the network and log on to the internet, another for set

  • I tried using Ubuntu and just ended up hating the default install, and the themes, and the package manager. In the end I switched back to using YellowDogLinux and FreeBSD.

    Now I don't see what the big deal about Ubuntu is.

    I suppose the install is prettier since you load it up as a LiveCD and then run the installer program, but in the end you end up with less, imho. And the installer just runs more sluggish.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by It'sYerMam (762418)
      You said it in the title. Ubuntu linux is for non-geeks; that's the big deal. Linux has always possessed a geeky userbase and geek connotations. Ubuntu is project that successfully provides a reason for linux to shed that mantle. I, personally, prefer debian for non-release updates (ubuntu-backports notwithstanding) but that doesn't mean I don't recognise what Ubuntu does.
  • by krell (896769) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:05PM (#16368955) Journal
    For starters, we can stop calling versions "flavors" when the word "version" will do just fine. "Flavors" are for suckers. Who wants to lick an OS anyway? Especially one called "Warty Warthog"?
  • by garcia (6573) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:07PM (#16368997) Homepage
    And the plethora of books on Linux that are being published underlines the popularity of this OS.

    There has always been a "plethora" of books on Linux and a variety of other subjects that no one in the general public gives a shit about. I'm interested in knowing just how this means anything significant.
    • See, publishing is a *business*, and books don't get written without an audience of people buying them. Generally, if people are buying how-to books about something, they're at least trying to do it. And if those numbers go up, then it implies that thing is more popular.
  • by teh_chrizzle (963897) <`gro.notibboh' `ta' `9-llik'> on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:12PM (#16369069) Homepage
    i remember in the 90's when getting linux installed made you a geek god. ubuntu is a breeze to set up and pretty much just works right out of the box. customizing the kernel for your processor and everything is super easy as well. thanks ubuntu for ruining linux for elitist pricks like me :-(
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:13PM (#16369083)
    It is a fact that GNU/Linux has grown from a hackers operating system to...
    It is a fact that anytime someone starts a sentence with "it is a fact", they are really slamming an opinion against the wall and hoping it sticks.
  • Ubuntu works for me (Score:3, Informative)

    by dsurber (53971) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:19PM (#16369199)
    I'm not a Linux expert, but I'm no noob either. I started using Unix in 1982 and I've used Red Hat, SUSE, Mandrake, and Gentoo over the years. I use Red Hat every day at work. I just installed a Ubuntu machine and although my install is much more complicated and more difficult than the standard 6 step install, it is still far and away the best experience I've ever hand with Linux. (Gentoo was far and away the worst. I've got better things to do with my time than recompile code that has already be compiled thousands of times before.) I've actually been enjoying using it, at least when things go well. I'll probably pick up the book and I'm sure I'll learn some stuff.
  • Why all the flaming? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mark19960 (539856) <{Mark} {at} {freequest.net}> on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:20PM (#16369213) Homepage Journal
    Here is *MY* deal with Ubuntu...

    My wife is horribly bad at downloading and installing crap and malware, visiting crappy, malicious pages with internet exploder, etc.

    Her machine used to run slackware that I had set up for her, no problems at all.
    However, updating things usually meant me sitting there for a few hours to do so.

    I tossed Ubuntu onto a cd, told her to install this, and she did it.
    She loves it.

    She can install things she wants with the GUI, it keeps itself up to date...
    The layman can do it... it is painless.

    I was skeptical at first but, I saw, I believed.

    Why flame it or call it crap?
    For what it is, and it is actually quite good, it just works.
    I am not a fanboy, by any means.
    I have Gentoo and Debian machines all over, for my use.

    Remember the target audience for Ubuntu: people that are not computer savvy.
    (like my wife)

    It works for her, I would ask everyone to at least LOOK at it before you flame it.

    • I would ask everyone to at least LOOK at it before you flame it.

      Oh, you silly, simple man - don't you know that this is Slashdot? Where people get their exercise by jumping to conclusions, and then jumping up and down on top of anyone who doesn't support them? <grin>

      Now, having said that - I agree with you. We've got Ubuntu loaded on a laptop that otherwise would be a paperweight. It's currently hooked up with a wireless chip, and the sound feeds into our home stereo, so as a result, we can play MP3's

      • by Reziac (43301) *
        That's exactly what way too many geeks don't get -- MOST people just want to fling the CD at the machine, thump on a few fairly obvious and OPTIONAL configuration points, and go on about their business. They don't have the time, inclination, or background to delve into building their OS from scratch.

        Ubuntu was a step in the right direction, and sounds like this book totally groks the concept: Get 'em up and using it right away, then offer more stuff to mess with -- when and IF the user wants or needs it.
  • Dual-boot? (Score:2, Interesting)

    As someone who has never used Linux but has been intrigued (and intimidated) by the prospect, this book sounds like it would be right up my alley. Not mentioned in the review is whether the book discusses how to set up a dual-boot system, as I (and I suspect most Linux neophytes) don't want to forgo Windows straight away.
    • by Lispy (136512)
      If you install Ubuntu off the LiveCD, wich is recommended, it will detect your Windows installation and offer an option to install as a dual-boot.
      Painless.
  • by maidden (921536) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:27PM (#16369345) Homepage
    I think the author missed a very basic point, which is that non-geeks don't wanna read books about computer stuff.
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      Well, maybe not. I haven't seen this book yet, but... What the original "For Dummies" series GOT, is that non-geeks want to pick up a computer book and NOT HAVE TO READ IT. They want to look in the Table of Contents, find an *obvious* reference to their problem, and see a SIMPLE, ABSOLUTELY ACCURATE step-by-step guide -- preferably visual rather than text. (People who don't speak computerese are less likely to be confused by a picture than by a series of foreign-sounding words.)

      So, yes, you're absolutely ri
  • by Theovon (109752) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:35PM (#16369483)
    I've been using Linux since 1995, and I have spent a lot of time learning system administration of Linux boxes. Before I switched to Ubuntu, I was using Gentoo, so I've compiled my share of apps and kernels. After a while, though, the novelty of manually editing configuration files wore off. Professionally, I am an X11 driver developer and graphics chip designer. Academically, I've done web programming, AI, high-performance computing, and many other things. There's nothing wrong with wanting to manually configure your Linux box, but my interests and needs have shifted to where what I need and want to do has nothing to do with Linux system admin. If I want to install an OS, I want to just install it. If I want a new app, I want to just install it. I do lots of coding, but little of it has anything to do with hacking other people's open source software. So I have chosen Ubuntu so that I can get the system to do all of the low-level stuff for me so I can think about other things.
  • A friend is attempting to try "30 days of Linux" for office use for a total Linux newbie (but experienced Windows/DOS user). Anyway, he's having a blog of the attempt at http://blogit.tietokone.fi/linuxinjaljilla/ [tietokone.fi] (in Finnish). At first, he naturally asked for recommendations on what distros to use, and Ubuntu/Kubuntu was most popular, so he went with Ubuntu.

    So far encountered problems seem small but trivial: His monitor (CRT) remained at 60Hz and he couldn't find any setting to change it to higher refresh
  • Could you guys maybe license the tech and legally package media playback, font hinting, etc. on a $35 "Ubuntu Addons" CD or something like that. I know there's Automatix, but I don't like the fact that when I run it I break a shitload of laws, no matter how retarded they are. Personally, I'd rather pay a license fee and enjoy computing the way it should be in year 2006.
  • Training wheels (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quill_n_brew (1011327) on Monday October 09, 2006 @05:23PM (#16370277)
    After reformatting my Windows box more times than you can shake a mouse at, due to security issues (I didn't know you needed it!), about two years ago I decided to check out Linux. A true n00b in Geekland. Still am. After going through dozens of distros, I finally landed on one that didn't make me want to put my fist through a wall. When Dapper came out, I was actually licking my chops. My wife just pointed and laughed -- she thought I had become a convert. To Linux, yes, but not to Geekdom. I take no pride in saying I am still ham-fisted at the command line. I'm a writer, not a hacker. And I got all the books, the usual suspects, the O'Reilly tomes, et al. With all due respect, I really did not need to read what kind of shirts Richard Stallman wears and whether pigs have wings. I just wanted MP3 capability. So I skip to those pages, via the index. Now that I actually know what a forum and a wiki are, I go there. Books are nice. I hope to publish many some day. But tapping into the friendly minds of Those Who Know has proven to me much more effective and efficient. I'm sure it's a fine book. But n00bs who just want to know how to put tab A into slot B are better off asking legitimate, bona fide geeks. Who knows -- I might even be one some day. And look at me now -- I read /.
    • Please don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you that just because something is easy to use makes it less powerful and for "n00bs." I used to be a viligant Fedora advocate, until one day I finally broke down and installed Ubuntu. It was like dying and going to heaven. Personally I'd rather be running a composition I wrote in Noteedit through ZynAddSubFx and Hydrogen, piping the audio through the Jack Audio Server to Ardour, mastering the tracks through Jamin, using the resulting music as background fo
  • I'm confused. Is he writing about GNU or is he writing about Linux? Or is he writing about them both at the same time in the same book. I don't see how the term "GNU/Linux" could explain or clarify or lend ANY kind of understanding.

  • It is a fact that GNU/Linux has grown from a hackers operating system to be a viable alternative to any commercial proprietary operating system.

    I love linux and use it all the time, but sweeping statements like this one do little to futher the Linux cause. It's simply untrue that generic open-source Linux has all the process isolation, quota management, acl support, etc. that OpenVMS or MVS has. Ok so you can get glue-on, paid-for patches & extensions and stuff from proprietary vendors who'll sell
  • by Britz (170620)
    I like Ubuntu and all and have it installed, but Flash is unfortunately universally needed. Mplayer with proprietary codecs maybe not. And PDF support works somewhat. And Java... But so many webpages use Flash now.

    There is no Flash in the apt sources that come with Ubuntu. So to add Flash you have to change /etc/apt/sources.list (you can install it by hand, but then you won't have security updates).

    So Ubuntu is NOT for Non-Geeks. I can install it for Non-Geeks, but they won't be able to do that by themselve
  • Only a geek would be installing there own OS. Whether its windows or Linux or Mac OS. Only a geek would EVER want to even know what the terminal is let alone use it. Its like writing a book for non gear heads who don't want to be gear heads and then explaining how to use a torque wrench to properly tightening the bolts on the valve cover. Really what is more geeky then , "......the relationship between Ubuntu and Linux." Really OK go ahead tell me I am flamebaiting or trolling but I am not I am tellin
  • My wife's Compaq computer died (fried motherboard) so I ordered a new motherboard for it.
    (the dead one had a socket A semptron cpu, the new one is a socket 754 Athlon64). I couldn't
    find a cheap OEM Compaq MB to replace the original, so I just got a Biostar that had the same
    mounting hole layout and fit in the box. I was able to reuse the memory and HD. I also had
    to get an OEM copy of WIndows XP because that was the only way to restore the OS on a new MB.

    While we were waiting for the USPS to deliver the ne

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