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Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks: A Pain-Free, Project-Based, Get-Things-Done Guidebook Paperback – August 15, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1593271183 ISBN-10: 1593271182

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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: 9.2 x 7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,572,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

This book is very easy to understand.
Big Guy
I think the author really CARES about teaching the newbie how to ease into Linux, get things done, build confidence, and come out of the experience feeling good.
Jerry Breazeale
I am very new to Ubuntu Linux and found this book to be a great help.
A. Hollis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Eitan C. Suez on September 18, 2006
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
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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By linuxlibrarian on October 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ubuntu for Non-Geeks is the next installment of Rickford Grant's crusade to bring the penguin to those who don't have the geek gene (or at least, don't think they do.) Like Linux Made Easy and Linux for Non-Geeks, this book centers more on the "how to do x,y,z" rather than theory.

It's typical Rickford Grant style, which I've come to love. It's easy to read, relate to, and follow along with. I didn't do most of the activities in the book, as my desktop environment isn't currently GNOME, but I could still easily grasp what Rickford was explaining and what he was trying to get the reader to accomplish.

Ubuntu is a distribution that lends itself to this type of book fairly well. A bit more geeky than Linux Made Easy (which features Xandros) and in most cases a bit less geeky than Linux for Non-Geeks, it's a great introduction to Linux for people who are comfortable with computers, but are not (yet) whizzes.

Topics build on each other, and are nicely laid out so that the reader isn't going backwards and forwards in the book trying to figure out how Grant makes an exercise work. The book starts out slow and easy (explaining Linux, the concept of Ubuntu, both as a software project and its original meaning, gratis versus libre, and hardware requirements).

He moves on to more detailed, advanced topics, like the Nautilus file manager, how to burn CD and DVDs, connecting to and surfing the internet, installing packages using Synaptic (Synaptic, by the way, is my favorite package management software, ever). He covers fluffy, pretty things like customizations and changing the look and feel of the desktop. He covers (briefly, and non-threateningly, so put away the valium) the command line.
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