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Book Review: Linux For Non-Geeks

Something For Everyone

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Linux For Non-Geeks
Virus authors, hackers and the media all love to attack Microsoft and their operating systems. Some of it is warranted and some of it is pure hype, but the fact is that many of the attacks and exploits out there simply don't work in other operating systems. Linux is available free of charge in most cases, but requires a little bit of a learning curve. Grant helps you get past the learning curve and use the Linux operating system effectively.

The Case For Linux

While Windows comes with 99.99% (I made that stat up so don't hold me to it) of the computers purchased almost everyone in the world is familiar with it. But, using Windows can be frustrating and, as a quick glance through almost any publication will tell you, filled with security issues. Combine that with the fact that upgrading to new versions of Windows can cost $100 or even $200 and perhaps you start to wonder if there is an alternative.

It just so happens that there is. Linus Torvalds wanted to create a version of the Unix operating system that would work on standard, everyday computers. What he came up with is Linux. It is available in many different versions- Redhat, Mandrake, SuSE, Debian, Fedora and more, many of which can be acquired for free.

In general Linux is stable and relatively easy to use, but it's sometimes hard to change to something you're not as used to.

Linux For Non-Geeks

That is where Rickford Grant and Linux For Non-Geeks comes in. Grant opens the book by clearly stating that he intends the book for "people who have read or heard about Linux and are wondering whether or not they are ready to deal with it, perhaps being held back by the Linux-is-for-geeks stereotype."

If you are looking for a detailed, uber-geek, inside out understanding of Linux there are more appropriate books than this one. Grant does an excellent job of accomplishing his goal though- introducing Linux to the uninitiated and sharing enough knowledge for someone to effectively use the operating system without becoming a certified expert in it.

Grant walks the reader through installing and configuring the Fedora Linux that comes on CD with the book. He provides clear, understandable, step-by-step instructions to help you delve into the world of Linux. The book is project-based and teaches the reader how to do most common tasks in Linux.

The only caveat would be that it is Fedora-centric. The book focuses on the version of Linux it comes with, but for the intended audience and goal I think this serves the purpose well. If you want to see what Linux is about, check out Linux For Non-Geeks.

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