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[techbooks] REVIEW: "Teach Yourself Linux in 24 Hours", Bill Ball

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKLNX24H.RVW 990826 Teach Yourself Linux in 24 Hours , Bill Ball, 1999, 0-672-31526-2, U$24.99/C$37.95/UK#22.49 %A Bill Ball %C 201 W. 103rd Street,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 18 9:27 AM
      BKLNX24H.RVW 990826

      "Teach Yourself Linux in 24 Hours", Bill Ball, 1999, 0-672-31526-2,
      U$24.99/C$37.95/UK#22.49
      %A Bill Ball
      %C 201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290
      %D 1999
      %G 0-672-31526-2
      %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
      lists.

      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
      something else.

      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
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