Continuing Education

The Linux Journal web site provides many learning opportunities.

Parking my car this morning, the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend, I noticed that the neighborhood skate park was empty—the kids are back in school. Besides feeling a little sad that my own back-to-school days are long gone, I thought about all the ways our learning never stops.

Along those lines, an abundance of tutorials have been posted on the Linux Journal web site in the past month or two. In the spirit of continuing education, I'll take this opportunity to point out a few of these how-to articles, starting with Jos Hartman's “Building an Office Network from Spare Parts” ( This tutorial outlines how Jos and some other members of his church built their office a new Linux-based network (from donated computer parts) that spans 40 kilometers. When they were finished, they'd built an office LAN, an internet server and a backup/testing server.

If you're new to office suites or have recently switched from StarOffice to OpenOffice, Ralph Krause offers two articles that might save you some time on those daily office tasks. “ Address Books and Form Letters” ( and “Creating Web Pages with” ( explain how to perform tasks such as importing an existing address book, connecting to LDAP servers, filtering an address book with SQL queries to create form letters and creating web pages from the various applications with OpenOffice.

On the other end of the user spectrum, Mike Petullo offered the informative “Amateur Video Production Using Free Software and Linux” ( Using only free software, Mike explains how to digitize analog video sources for storage and manipulation, presents tools for editing video on a computer and offers some options for publishing digital videos, including the video CD (VCD) format that is compatible with various DVD players.

Finally, for everyone wanting a laptop with Linux pre-installed from the manufacturer, well, keep waiting. Until then, however, Brian C. Lane's article, “Installing Red Hat 7.3 on a Compaq Presario 711CL Laptop” ( will help you put a Linux distro on your laptop—a process he didn't find to be as dreadful as he'd heard. Brian discusses power management and how to make sure your laptop is using the correct kind, employing the acpid dæmon to track power events, drivers for LinModem support and playing encrypted DVDs.

Learning something new is a daily occurrence; be sure to look for new tutorials on the LJ site. Articles are available on the site dating back to 1994, and new ones are posted every day.

Heather Mead is senior editor of Linux Journal.


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