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Last Review by simcox1 - posted: 10-13-2005 08:49 AM [ Post a Review

Views: 35936

I don't own all that many Linux reference books, but this is definately the best that I've bought. The other books are 'Linux for Beginners' type books which are useless after a couple of weeks. A quick rundown of the contents: INTRODUCTION: basics, history, shell, X FILES: files/directories, sharing, finding, managing TEXT: viewing, editing, analyzing, formatting, searching, typesetting, fonts etc IMAGES: viewing, editing, importing, postscript SOUND: playing, recording, editing PRODUCTIVITY: storage, printing, converting, reminders, scheduling, maths, games NETWORKING: communications, email, www Then there are extensive appendices. This book with it's 788 pages is a very complete and thorough reference for Linux in general. It uses the 'ground up' philosophy, ie using the command line. GUI applications are of course covered, but the basic command line tools are really where this book excels. I am relatively new to Linux, but there were some very basic things that I didn't know. The section on text, which is divided into 8 chapters, covers an incredible breadth of usages. Vim and Emacs feature a lot, as do grep, sed, uniq, aspell, ispell, sort, join, etc etc. Some of it is rather complicated, but generally it is extremely well laid out and explained. Examples, usually 2 or 3 are given for each usage being explained. I would say that it is a good and extensive general reference book written from the point of view of someone who likes using the tools he refers to here, and knows a lot about them. There are so many tools covered in this book, it is hard to see how anyone could have such an extensive knowledge but this book is a pleasure to read and own. Highly recommended. To quote from the introduction: "... the outer shell moves with the fashions of the season, it ages and becomes obsolete...while the inner core does not. The core melds, picks up new features, refines or discards them, but somehow it lingers and remains... This inner core is the language of UNIX, and it is the foundation upon which the entire system is laid. It has always been my desire... to teach that foundation in the Cookbook..."

Rating: 10
Product Details: "Linux Cookbook (second edition)" by simcox1 - posted: 09-30-2005 - Rating: ********** 10.00

Last Review by simcox1 - posted: 09-30-2005 01:42 PM [ Post a Review

Views: 64709

I bought this book when I first started with Linux a few months ago. I'd installed Mandrake 10.1, and after a while decided a book would would be a good idea for reference. However I wouldn't really recommend this one. It is very simplistic, and although it has some useful information, anyone who has decided to try Linux is not an idiot (although the title perhaps gives the content away), and other than some very basic stuff it really is of very little use. Furthermore I think it is very distro-specific. Included with the book is a dvd-rom including Fedora Core 3, Mandrake, SUSE, Knoppix, Linspire and Xandros. Most of the examples given refer to Fedora and perhaps the other distros. I was using Mandrake at the time, but even so it is very annoying when books are geared towards a particular distro without claiming to do so by their title. Thirdly, you will find that it will point you towards GUI applications wherever possible. There is a chapter on the shell, but all other chapters use examples of GUI apps, without even saying that there are alternatives. For example the chapter on web browsing launches straight into Mozilla and then Evolution. It might have been worth mentioning Lynx. Surely one of the interesting things about Linux is that you can do a lot from the command line, and even if you don't intend to use it that much, it's probably the best way to get to know the system. Therefore as an introduction to Linux I would have thought that it at least merited a mention. Finally I would say that after a few weeks or less of running Linux, this book will be next to useless. It is not really a reference book that you will come back to. It might offer some reassurance at first, but that's about it.

Rating: 4
Product Details: "Linux for Dummies" by kc3387 - posted: 09-02-2005 - Rating: **** 4.33


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