LINUX to go
Authors: Rich Grace and Tim Parker
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Price: $34.99 US
Reviewer: Marjorie Richardson
LINUX to go is billed as a book for the intermediate Linux user. It skips all the installation procedures, assuming you already have Linux installed. Also, the information is presented without any background material or newbie-type instructions, with the assumption you have been using Linux a while and know the first steps. Still, the information is not too advanced. The target audience seems not to be a truly intermediate user, but someone who is just far enough along to no longer consider himself a newbie—perhaps a “newly intermediate” user. For example, sections are included on the basics of Linux command-line entry, learning path names and setting permissions. However, for the most part, the authors do assume you have some elementary knowledge.
The presentation of the information in the book as well as the layout is designed to give the reader just what he is looking for and no more. It is easy to find any subject of interest. Much is presented in the “if you want to make this event happen, do these commands”, a format I like very much.
The authors go on to more advanced subjects, such as basic network configuration, connecting to the Internet, INN and NNTP, configuring DNS, Apache, Samba and rebuilding the kernel. There are also chapters on using Linux and Windows together, using Linux on a laptop, and the all-important security chapter.
There was no “about the authors”, so I cannot tell you their credentials. I did notice that Rich Grace is also the author of WINDOWS 98 to go. I always like to know something about the authors of a book and why I should trust their instructions. It is nice to know if the author is an expert on the subject or just a good writer who has taken the relevant information from others and put it into a readable form. Anyway, I consider the omission of this section the book's most serious lack—not too bad, when you think about it.
The book is well-written and well-designed; the information accurate, easy to read and understand. If you are past the newbie stage and ready to go to the next level, this could be the book for you.
Marjorie Richardson is Editor in Chief of Linux Journal. She is enjoying all the attention Linux has been getting lately and looks forward to watching it grow even more in the coming years.
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