The Linux Sampler
Editors: Belinda Frazier and Laurie Tucker
Publisher: Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc. (SSC)
Price: $14.95 (USD)
Reviewer: Harvey Friedman
The Linux Sampler? “What can that be all about?” I asked. After reviewing a copy, I can say that SSC has produced a useful “Linux Resource Guide” of “Resources, Technical Information, and Articles from Linux Journal”, with an emphasis (as we might expect) on Linux Journal articles.
To help demonstrate the organization of the book, I will list the table of contents:
An Introduction to Linux
Linux in the Real World
Talking about Linux
Politics, Opinions and Future of Linux
Linux and Other Operating Systems
Also included are a Glossary and an Appendices. Each of these seven main sections has anywhere from three to six articles, selected mostly from LJ. A nice feature of this organization is that one doesn't have to leaf through seven or eight issues of LJ to read about one of the topics above. For example, two interviews with Linus Torvalds that were published in issue 1 and issue 9 are placed back to back in chapter 3 and Chet Ramey's bash articles from issues 3 & 4 are a single seamless article in chapter 6.
Chapter 1 is comprised of two parts. The first three articles discuss the history—albeit in a broad overview—of Linux and will probably be used as background for many other publications. The next three articles are more of the what-is-available-for-me-now type and will be dated in a few years (I hope not sooner than that).
Chapter 2 has brief case studies of how Linux systems either replaced older mini-computers and improved upon their functionality and—user satisfaction—or how Linux systems solved new problems. These are well-written and should prove useful if one is trying to get a supervisor to authorize using Linux at work.
Chapter 3 has interviews with Linus Torvalds, Slackware's Pat Volkerding, and DOSEmu team leader James MacLean. I enjoyed the interviews, but I already enjoyed them in the various issues of LJ as well.
Chapter 4 seemed lacking to me. Although each of these articles was interesting in LJ, I feel that they lose something when brought together. Perhaps because the content of each article stimulates thinking, dreaming and imagining about the future, the effect is lost when they are read sequentially. I suggest reading them at least a sleep apart.
Chapter 5 is another useful one. An article comparing memory and disk requirements for Linux, Windows NT, and OS/2 appears to be a thorough evaluation. The remaining articles discuss emulators to run other code on Linux—iBCS2, which runs binaries for other Intel-based Unices; mtools, not really an emulator, but a set of tools for accessing MS-DOS file systems (particularly on floppy disk) from Linux; Wine, an MS-Windows emulator that is still in test mode; and SAMBA, an implementation for Linux of the SMB protocol (used by LanManager, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, and OS/2). SAMBA was the only one of these that I had not heard of before I read about it in LJ.
Chapter 6 contains articles on porting other Unix applications to Linux, the GNU C Library, and bash. These are all pithy but meaty articles, yet I do not like this section being called “Technical Articles”. Perhaps something like “Tips for Programmers” would have been a better title.
Chapter 7 barely scratches the surface of system administration, but what is there is well-written.
The Glossary is generally good, but I have a few quibbles: e.g.: “Cisco A brand of router”.
In the Appendix are found “Linux Products and Services Directory”, “Linux User Groups”, and “Linux Resources”. These are fine now, but some of the references have to be updated already. For example, in the list of Usenet usegroups, page 211 doesn't reflect the most recent division of the comp.os.linux newsgroups. Therefore, the newsgroup comp.os.linux.setup, one invaluable for those new to Linux and Unix, is not included.
Overall, this is a worthwhile book, even for those who have been subscribing to LJ since Issue 1. The collection of related topics, the good glossary, and the list of newsgroups, ftp sites, products and services, all together in one volume, make it a source that you want next to the Network Administrator's Guide, Linux Installation & Getting Started, and the HOWTOs. This reference (which could also be named The Linux Journal Sampler) does nothing to tarnish SSC's reputation.
|Designing Electronics with Linux||May 22, 2013|
|Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving||May 21, 2013|
|Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development||May 20, 2013|
|Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)||May 16, 2013|
|Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This||May 15, 2013|
|Home, My Backup Data Center||May 13, 2013|
- RSS Feeds
- Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving
- Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)
- Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development
- New Products
- A Topic for Discussion - Open Source Feature-Richness?
- Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This
- Validate an E-Mail Address with PHP, the Right Way
- Designing Electronics with Linux
- What's the tweeting protocol?
- Kernel Problem
2 hours 7 min ago
- BASH script to log IPs on public web server
6 hours 34 min ago
10 hours 10 min ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
10 hours 42 min ago
- All the articles you talked
13 hours 6 min ago
- All the articles you talked
13 hours 9 min ago
- All the articles you talked
13 hours 10 min ago
17 hours 35 min ago
- Keeping track of IP address
19 hours 26 min ago
- Roll your own dynamic dns
1 day 39 min ago
Enter to Win an Adafruit Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi
Congratulations to our winners so far:
- 5-8-13, Pi Starter Pack: Jack Davis
- 5-15-13, Pi Model B 512MB RAM: Patrick Dunn
- 5-21-13, Prototyping Pi Plate Kit: Philip Kirby
- Next winner announced on 5-27-13!
Free Webinar: Hadoop
Some of key questions to be discussed are:
- What is the “typical” Hadoop cluster and what should be installed on the different machine types?
- Why should you consider the typical workload patterns when making your hardware decisions?
- Are all microservers created equal for Hadoop deployments?
- How do I plan for expansion if I require more compute, memory, storage or networking?