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Peter van der Linden's Guide to Linux(R) Paperback – August 18, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall (August 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131872842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131872844
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“Linux software is like gold on the moon. It’s wonderful, if you have a way to get it.”
—Kevin Carmony, President and CEO, Linspire Inc.
Sick of Windows Viruses, Crashes, and Expensive Upgrades?

There’s a better alternative: Linux. It’s not just for “geeks” anymore. It’s for you—and it’s for real. With Peter van der Linden’s Guide to Linux®, Linux isn’t just powerful, it’s easy and fun.

While writing this book, the author spent an entire year helping new Linux users get started and once again demonstrated that he is flat-out brilliant at simplifying technology. He knows all the tricks and the quickest ways to help make you productive. Before demonstrating how to do something faster, easier, and better with Linux, he reminds you how it works in Windows. Along the way, he anticipates potential missteps and questions, and fills in the gaps other books ignore.

  • Get connected to the Internet, your email account, instant messaging, and your network
  • Get productive with OpenOffice, the amazing Microsoft Office clone that’s absolutely free
  • Get solutions with van der Linden’s easy, step-by-step troubleshooting help
  • Get into digital media—music, movies, DVDs, CD burning, digital photography, and more
  • Get secure and keep your data and email private with CIA-strength encryption
  • Get beyond the basics and leave Windows behind, download the best free software, and even master the command line

The book includes a Linspire 5.0 CD-ROM, the world’s easiest desktop Linux! Boot into Linux from the included CD, without installing anything or changing any Windows files at all.

About the Author

Peter van der Linden is one of the world’s foremost computer book authors. He’s been in the computer industry for more than twenty-five years, working for companies ranging from start-ups to Apple and Sun Microsystems. van der Linden is also author of The Official Handbook of Practical Jokes (NAL-Penguin, 1991).

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 34 customer reviews
Peter has a very affable, easy to understand writing style.
Mark A. Szorady
This book is also great for someone who has an interest in just trying Linux out and kicking the tires a bit.
Sean P. Fitzgerald
Mainly geared for Linspire users (they will benefit the most), but will be a good book for any Linux distro.
W. Prout

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
One of the benefits to being an active reviewer is that you occasionally get sneak previews of books that are not yet published. Prentice Hall sent me a draft manuscript copy of Peter van der Linden's Guide to Linux due to be published in August. While good for all Linux distros, it will be especially valuable if you're focusing on Linspire.

Contents: Hello Linux; Running the Linux Live CD; The KDE Desktop; Onto the Net; All About Email; Web Tools; Adding Software; More Applications; Filesystems and Optical Storage (CDs and DVDs); Sharing On Your Local Network; Keeping Your Data Private; Installation and Boot; Malicious Windows Software; Making Your Hardware Obey You - BIOS and Device Drivers; Sample Output from WiFi Network Commands; Commands for the Command Line; Disk Basics and Partitioning; Troubleshooting With Strance

Since Peter has focused on Linspire, the target audience is going to be Window users who want to switch over to Linux without becoming a geek. I think he hits that target dead on. The style of the book is extremely readable. There's plenty of content that Joe Average will be able to read and understand, and as a result will be able to start using the Linux desktop quite effectively. Jane Power User will also benefit, as there is also material that gets into more difficult concepts like file sharing using packages such as Samba. Even if Joe isn't ready for that on day one (Joe just wants to surf the 'net and read email), he'll be able to refer back to the book on numerous occasions to push his limits.

When the book is published, there will be a bootable Linspire CD included that will allow you to try out Linspire without making any changes to your current hardware.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. R. W. Ashton on October 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Peter van der Linden has the unusual gift (among I suspect the majority of writers) of presenting his information in a chatty form, without being verbose. As a software reviewer for Australia's premier CAD magazine, I was continually in trouble from my editor for being verbose :)

I write this brief revue from the perspective of a non-geek power user who until recently had only encountered Linux's big brother, Unix, and was always in strife with superiors for doing dastardly things to files I had been sent to work on. How I wish Peter had written this book before 1990 :D

I have found it quite difficult to put this book down, because of the author's style and the content; the depth of coverage of each topic is such that if the reader needs that amount of detail to understand a point, or to solve a problem, there is enough there to resolve their issue. Equally, if they don't need that amount of detail, because of their browsing the pages solely out of interest, they are not likely to get bored with techno-babble, which is what happens so often in my experience.

Peter has done an excellent job of creating a technical reference that can be picked up and dipped into without having to methodically go through all the previous pages to get to the bit the reader is interested in.

A very nice touch is his applying his writing skills to a real life distribution produced for ab-initio Linux users with some experience of the Microsoft Windows platform, but who are not necessarily techno-philes. The book will appeal equally to those who do understand what goes on "under the bonnet" because of his obviously deep understanding of the subject. Yet the book would equally be of great benefit to users of any Debian Linux distribution.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JoAnne Schmitz on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Linux is not for everyone. But it is as good as Windows, or better, for a lot of people who don't even know it yet. Van der Linden's book and the accompanying CD are a great way to find out if it is for you.

Most Linux books seem to take it for granted that you already want to use Linux, that you are sure it's better than Windows, and that you're eager to use it. So eager, you're willing to go through a lot of pain and confusion to get there.

Most of us aren't like that. Most of us have work or personal computers we need to use every day. We don't want to lose a lot of time or productivity dealing with a new operating system, no matter how much better it will be at the end of the road.

To the rescue comes Peter van der Linden, with his doughty companion Linspire. Van der Linden walks you through everything you need to know to make Linux your new home. And you can learn it first-hand on the computer you already have, just by running off of the Linspire CD.

Browser. Email. Word processing and office applications. Image manipulation. Network connections. Printers. Pretty much anywhere you open the book, you will find good, solid information, written so you can understand and use it without a lot of page-flipping or puzzling through confusing grammar and largely irrelevant, overly technical asides.

You will also learn why so many smart people choose Linux over Windows. Security, cost, software bloat, Microsoft's business practices, it's all explained right here, clearly, without condescending techspeak or juvenile hostility.

Van der Linden rightly observes, "there is no reason to force readers through installation before getting to the good stuff of using Linux day-to-day.
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