[techbooks] REVIEW: "Teach Yourself Linux in 24 Hours", Bill Ball
- BKLNX24H.RVW 990826
"Teach Yourself Linux in 24 Hours", Bill Ball, 1999, 0-672-31526-2,
%A Bill Ball
%C 201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290
%I Macmillan Computer Publishing (MCP)
%O U$24.99/C$37.95/UK#22.49 800-858-7674 http://www.mcp.com
%P 574 p. + CD-ROM
%T "Teach Yourself Linux in 24 Hours, Second Edition"
This book is for beginners, with a rather specific starting condition,
and fairly simple needs.
Part one covers installation and configuration. Hour one reviews some
basic preparatory work. While the material is presented at a level
suitable for fairly novice users, the instructions assume two rather
contradictory situations: that the reader has access to a fully
functioning computer system, and that the reader is willing to
repartition the disk. The book does not address the concerns that
users may have in terms of safeguarding the existing system. There is
a standard installation walkthrough in hour two. Variations on the
theme are mentioned, but with directions to go elsewhere for
information. Most of hour three is taken up with configuration
options for the X windowing system.
Part two gets into basic operating commands in Linux. Hour four
contains a grab bag of commands aggregated under the subjects of
reading and navigation. These are presented in a very loose manner.
For example, the "man" help command is explained early, but the
related "apropos" and "whatis" programs are discussed only after much
intervening material. Some file manipulation commands are listed in
hour five. An overview of shells is in hour six, with an
astonishingly brief introduction to shell programming. Hour seven
looks at some operations with the X windowing system while eight shows
the Windows 9x-like K Desktop Environment.
Part three discusses networking and outside connectivity. Hour nine
lists some communications programs with not quite enough detail on how
to set up a modem. Instructions on connecting to the Internet, in
hour ten, while thin in parts, do a reasonably good job of covering
the basics. Directions on using email, in hour eleven, miss sections
on transfer agents for sending mail, configuration for the user
agents, and are very terse in explaining how the various programs work
together. Configuration of news is much better in hour twelve. Hour
thirteen throws in a number of other Internet applications.
Part four looks at some applications software. Text processing,
document preparation, graphics, math and finance, calendars and
utilities, StarOffice, and games all fly by too fast to tell whether
they will be of real use. Most of the programs get a mere mention of
their existence; a few have some brief and partial command reference
The last four chapters are spent on administration. Hour twenty one
describes some basic utilities, mostly for gathering system
information. File system programs are reviewed in hour twenty two.
Backup and restore, in hour twenty three, is reasonably useful.
Scheduling software is discussed in hour twenty four.
For a user with a basic, working system, wanting to install Linux
overtop, without much concern about retaining previous material, this
book does provide an easy route for a simple startup. For anyone
else, however, this text does not appear to add anything useful to the
Linux canon. Indeed, when the going starts to get interesting, the
author tends to refer the reader to the publicly available HOWTO
files. For a fairly select audience, then, this work contains
everything needed to start. To continue, you will likely need
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKLNX24H.RVW 990826
====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the
people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do
anything about it. - Albert Einstein
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade