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Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks: A Pain-Free, Project-Based, Get-Things-Done Guidebook

4.4 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593271183
ISBN-10: 1593271182
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

What people are saying about Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks

"No Starch Press has been on a roll with its Linux books lately, and Rickford Grant's Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks keeps the momentum going . . . Highly recommended." -- PC World, September 27, 2006

"Could transform you into a 'penguinista' quicker than you can say GNU General Public License." -- Linux.com, September 18, 2006

Ubuntu has been hailed as the distribution that will really get newbies feeling comfortable and confident using Linux. Even the name is user-friendly--it's a South African term that translates roughly as "humanity toward others," which could also describe author Rickford Grant's approach to teaching Linux. Rest assured, you will have a most understanding, patient, and genial guide as you embark upon this Linux adventure!

Full of tips, tricks, and helpful pointers, Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks is a hands-on, project-based, take-it-slow guidebook intended for those interested in--but nervous about--switching to the Linux operating system. Step-by-step projects build upon earlier tutorial concepts, helping you absorb and apply what you've learned.

Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks covers all the topics likely to be of interest to an average desktop user. Inside, you'll learn to:
* Download and install free applications, games, and utilities
* Connect to the Internet and wireless networks
* Configure your hardware, including printers, scanners, and removable storage devices
* Watch DVDs, listen to music, and even sync your iPod
* Download photos and videos from your digital camera, then edit and share them
* Tackle more advanced tasks as soon as you're ready

Whether you're new to computers, looking for a painfree way to make the Linux switch, or just want a low-cost alternative to Windows, Ubuntu is for you. Rickford Grant explains tech concepts in an inviting and effective style--less like an instructor and more like an easygoing friend who doesn't mind answering your questions.

About the Author

Rickford Grant is the author of Linux for Non-Geeks and Linux Made Easy. He has been a computer operating system maniac for more than 20 years, from his early days with an Atari XL600 to his current Linux machines. Rickford is currently working as a teacher in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press (August 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593271182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593271183
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,730,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
EDIT-- This review is now VERY dated. There is a more up-to-date version of the book, but I have not read it.

I have toyed occasionally with both Red Hat and Ubuntu over the years, but I definitely meet the definition of "non-geek." Installing these operating systems before always required some degree of struggle, and not uncommonly (especially with some earlier distros) I would simply fail. But that has changed. The current 8.04 version of Ubuntu partnered with this book is frankly outstanding.
First, a word about the operating system: this Ubuntu distro, code-named Hardy Heron, may well be the one that has finally made Linux as easy as Windows. I had always previously laughed at such claims from Linux enthusiasts, but this distro impresses me. It is the one that may at last enable me to defenestrate completely. And this guidebook is the perfect match, using normal language. One thing that it does very well is explaining what the few text commands that it uses actually do, instead of just instructing the reader to type it into the command line and leaving you wondering what exactly those "magic words" meant. There is a single short chapter about using the command line, but 99% of what the guidebook leads you through uses the GUI, so if the command line intimidates you never fear.
I installed Ubuntu 8.04 dual-boot with Windows XP on my laptop effortlessly. Not a single thing went awry. The new partitioning tool that is used during the installation is a great improvement over those in any of the (few) other Linux distros I've seen. The book follows step by step. My laptop is about 4 years old, so I am sure that a newer laptop may have hardware that is not as well supported and effortless. But on mine everything just worked, including my wireless internet.
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Format: Paperback
As its title implies, this book targets non-geeks: anyone who today

uses a computer, whether it be a windows machine or a mac, or linux.

I find the author is true to the book's audience, and its objectives.

Whether you just recently started using Ubuntu, or whether you're thinking

about making the switch, this book will help you.

The author's experience with computers, with Linux, and with Ubuntu

specifically really shows through. Although I'm a geek, and although

I've been using Ubuntu for approximately a year and a half, there were

still a number of things I learned from this book.

A practical book, easy to read. Also a quick read. You won't find yourself

spending an inordinate amount of time wading through the book. The book

invites you to your computer and to follow along and get things done in your

environment as you go through each chapter. Also, you're not forced into

having to follow the book sequentially. You can easily skip around to the

chapters that interest you. I like the broad coverage of many topics; many

go beyond strictly Ubuntu, and help you get the most out of your computer.

Some sample topics it covers include: installing and running business

applications, working with images, digital cameras, audio, your iPod, and

working with various media players.

So, this is a practical book, and it makes for an excellent companion on

your road to making the most of your Ubuntu desktop. Instead of having to

discover many applications the long, tedious way, you'll end up hitting the

ground running.
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Format: Paperback
I was very uncomfortable with the idea of using linux but I wanted to try something new and this book really eases you into the process of learning to use linux without being overwhelming. It explains everything in easy to understand 'non-geek' language and is a good starting point if you want to learn more about linux and are a traditional windows user. After reading this book, I purchased many ubuntu and other linux distro books to help me understand linux more but I do not think I would have understood them that well if I had not read this book first. I would highly recommend it to "newbies".
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Format: Paperback
This is perhaps one of the most fun Linux books I've had the pleasure of reading. It's called Ubuntu Linux For Non-Geeks by Rickford Grant, and the focus is on getting Ubuntu up and running, and *getting things done*. Quirky, comical, and best of all... practical.

Contents: Becoming a Penguinista; Wading and Diving; A New Place to Call Home; More Than Webbed Feet; Rounding Out the Bird; A Tidy Next; Dressing Up the Bird; Simple Kitten Ways; Dining on Tarballs, Binaries, Java, and Even RPMs; Gutenbird; Font Feathered Frenzy; Polyglot Penguins; Penguins Back at Work; Brush-Wielding Penguins; Tux Rocks; Pluggin' In the Penguin; Couch Penguins; Defending the Nest; Ubuntu Desktop CDs for AMD64 and PowerPC Users; Checking the Integrity of Downloaded ISOs; Resources; Index

As you can see from the chapter titles, there's a lot of tongue-in-cheek (beak?) humor that keeps the subject matter entertaining and approachable. He starts off with a quick history of Ubuntu Linux, as well as how to install it (both live CD and permanent). From there, he goes into the various areas where you live in Windows and shows the comparable software/configuration options in Ubuntu. If someone was completely at home in Windows but had never touched Linux, this would be all the book they'd need to make 80% or more of the transition. This goes both for manipulating the operating system (desktop settings, installing software, etc.) and using software for common tasks (such as OpenOffice.org to replace Office, GIMP to replace Windows-based graphical software, etc.). And with each chapter, there are a number of "projects" where he walks you through the installation and/or steps necessary to do what he just talked about.
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