Linux 's Missing Manual Coming to a User's Group Near You

Would you like to get your hands on "Linux System Administration" and have Bill Lubanovic or me show up to your local LUG or UNIX User group meeting? Then you should contact Marsee Henon at O'Reilly. Of course, if you would rather have another author and another book she can handle that too. Marsee works with various groups around the country to make sure they have books and speakers.

Publishers have handed out books for free for some time now. They only ask you to write a review. That seems easy. You pick up a $50 book and agree to write a review - nothing to it - right?

If there's nothing to it then how come so many people take the book and fail to write a review? Do you think it has something to do with the decline of morality in America? Does everyone want something for free and not want to do anything in return - and then gripe about it?

This is one of those "who knows" questions. It's one of the great mysteries of life. Solve this mystery and you get a Pulitzer and a Nobel prize.

I'm a little baffled by the attitudes of some users of Free Software. You have probably heard the famous turkey call:

"Hey, how come my Ubuntu doesn't do ......".

Of course you can fill in the blank. He or she gets the operating system and an incredible number of applications and takes issue with the guys that gave their time, effort and money to make Free Open Source Software available to them. Again, this is one of the great mysteries of life.

What has Linux done for me lately?

Back when UNIX owned the server market, you would have to pay around $20,000 for a Sun Workstation with Solaris 2.4. That's correct. Those Sparc 5 pizza boxes you can get for around $100 on eBay used to cost as much as a college education. Oh, and if you wanted to become a UNIX administrator, then you'd have to lay out a bunch of money for that too.

So, here comes Linus and the kernel team, the Free Software Foundation and the next thing we know, we have a UNIX type OS for free. Plenty of UNIX admins and programmers learned their stock and trade on Linux.

Now, in addition to the teams that brought your Linux, let's not forget Tim O'Reilly types. Many people I know and with whom I speak credit Tim with boosting Linux during infancy. I remember seeing those books with odd looking colophon covers like the one with the llama on the cover of "Learning Perl".

I always wondered about those animal books. Then I read this little snippet: "Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach on technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects."

I can testify to the statement above. Someone has to breath personality and life into dry technical subjects. People need inspiration to keep going. Sometimes the only inspiration a free software developer gets is the satisfaction of doing a great job - finishing what he or she started - bring a dream into reality.

Who will do the decent thing and at least acknowledge the people who work for you for nothing? I believe they deserve our admiration instead of our stinking comments. Think of the contribution so many people have made to our lives.

Now, I hope you contact Marsee. If you wind up with one of her books, remember to pay for it by following through with your promise. Oh yes, one more thing. If you owe a review from earlier times, then how about writing it now to keep your honor? Or if you won't do a review, send money.

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gunceldurum

gunceldurum's picture

I agree Frank. Linux is truly a symbol of the freeness of open source and its the unethical ones who can make the experience of building free software go to waste. A shame, but to look on the bright side, there still lots of those who do indeed respect it.

I use Linux Suse & Ubuntu

Sunrider's picture

I use Linux Suse & Ubuntu since last 5 years until now.
I think they are good

Aggreed

fico's picture

I agree Frank. Linux is truly a symbol of the freeness of open source and its the unethical ones who can make the experience of building free software go to waste. A shame, but to look on the bright side, there still lots of those who do indeed respect it

unix

Steve alan's picture

I have never been able to get anything either a book or software to review for free, I was offered once some software to review but after reading over all the paperwork they gave me they wanted 50% payment from me to review it and the other 50% if I kept the program so it was not a review at all just a scam.

People want more outta deal

Emily's picture

Linux is like the pioneer of the free movement. So, it has given people a way outta the shitty Windows. But, with time people are expecting more and more outta the whole free deal.

http://dealamazon.blogspot.com

I think nowadays people are

Hypermoose's picture

I think nowadays people are just too 'greedy', not wanting giving back. Get something free... whoo hoo, can't be bothered to provide a small review... shame really.

I have been using Linux

Yaip's picture

I have been using Linux based hosting for all my sites and am very happy. Very easy to use.

I'm going to have to trade this friggin Windoze for Ubuntu

muscleandthickness.com's picture

After years of hassle-free computing with my Apple Powerbook, I went and bought a stupid Lenovo laptop with Vista. Hated it, and nuked it to install XP.

Still HATE IT!!!!

I've used various Redhat and Fedora Linux versions over the years on my desktops and servers so I'm very comfortable around Linux.

I have heard good things about Ubuntu though and it may just save this laptop from itself. Besides, it's home (South African) grown :)

Good artical

Basher's picture

I could never get along with Linux myself although I had a stuffed penguin next to my monitor he he :o)

Trying Ubuntu

windede's picture

I have 2 notebook, and one of these is Linux with Ubuntu system. Well, I think all is running ok and excited to make this one... thank you. www.windede.com

fantastic

faz's picture

i surprise with the advancement of ubuntu compared to vista.. Go ubuntu..!!!

Great read. thanks..Linux

Pen Linux's picture

Great read. thanks..Linux needs dummy proof manual so everybody can use it not just computer geeks.

Pen Linux can run Ubuntu under windows without installation..great way to experience Linux.

Great Article

Neil's picture

Great Article. I have recently started "playing" with Centos 4.0 . The fun is back in computing !!

Words Count

Dave Rider's picture

Tom,
I agree with what you are stating. There is value in a work, whether it be artistic or technical in nature. Reviews can be just as valuable and a fair exchange, but only if the one receiving the product does the right thing and reciprocates value in return.

Missing Manual

Catalonia Blog's picture

The missing manual would be excellent - just what we needed, thanks.

Quote--- "Does everyone want

gnarlmaster's picture

Quote--- "Does everyone want something for free and not want to do anything in return - and then gripe about it?"

This is an unfortunate truth :(

In the past I have given out many free materials for promises of online reviews or testimonials, and never got so much as a delayed thank you! Those of us in the information business need these reviews, worthwhile feedback and testimonies.

Everyone wants something for free on the internet, but they show little or n appreciation for the free things they get...

Quote--- "Sometimes the only inspiration a free software developer gets is the satisfaction of doing a great job - finishing what he or she started - bring a dream into reality. Who will do the decent thing and at least acknowledge the people who work for you for nothing?"

My hats off to the folks out there working to provide us with quality info at the cost of looking it up on Google...

Jim @ gnarlmaster's Self Defense blog

Linux's missing manual

Stephen L's picture

Well that was a very interesting read. I have done many reviews and probably will contact her soon.

Ultimate Linux

Girish Sampath's picture

Linux is an OS which is pretty widely used, most people turn to Linux when they get fed up of windows (bound to happen pretty fast)
I think that if Windows' common features get integrated in Linux, it'd be great.

It doesn't matter

fire pits's picture

Windows.. Macintosh.. Linux.. whatever. Windows will still be the most widely used OS just because it existed first, and most people don't appreciate changes. But if they take time to try out the other OSs', I'm sure they will like them as well. BTW I am on Mac and Win at the moment.

Linux and Mac

fel2332's picture

It's true, it really doesn't make a difference which platform you deal with. However, I can only hope that Mac will become more and more popular. I love it. It is the smartest thing on the market.

Blame Game

Core's picture

Of course, no one is ever satisfied with their software. It's either too hard to understand or not good enough graphics or something. But you can bet that you won't see them designing their own.

Linux is becoming better...

Lionel M.'s picture

Linux is becoming a powerful OS. Just like Mac OS, I am looking forward to see Microsoft's products for the Linux systems especially Microsoft Office software like word, powerpoint etc.

The story comes in a

nezahualcoyotl's picture

The story comes in a different way, you can now see Mac OSs running on PCs :D

Aren't you using Openoffice?

Blogger's picture

Aren't you using Openoffice? Give it a try. You definitely will love it.

Motive

Pozycjonowanie stron www's picture

"Sometimes the only inspiration a free software developer gets is the satisfaction of doing a great job - finishing what he or she started - bring a dream into reality." In my opinion that is the basis of most free software.

best things in life are free

Boquete's picture

you are right regarding the perceived value but 9 times out of 10 a great free service or product is worth significantly more...

Not always.

Bradly Thomas's picture

Sometimes we like to think the best things in life are free, but when it comes to software, there really isn't anything that is free. It's only perceived value.

You will be paying in one way or another, whether it be, those little ads that accompany some of the "FREE" software or the perceived psychological benefits of dealing with the person/company that provided the software. Priming to up sell you on more software.

I am slowly realizing how

Jay Holiday's picture

I am slowly realizing how great linux is and how far it has come in the past two years since I became curious.

It is not the be all or end all of operating systems, but it certainly has lots of functionality. I don’t think, in the next short while, I could call myself a senior administrator.

I do have my frustrations with linux, because of the open-ness. Yes, because of that.

Here is what I would like to see.

Interesting storry and I

Lolo's picture

Interesting storry and I feel that I want that book or contact to Marsee:)

Your opinion hit the spot.

Jewelry Clasps's picture

Your opinion hit the spot. Linux/Unix and these open source systems deserve more development in the computing industry. And I mean MORE. Im tired of seeing servers crash and burn on costly commercial software like the Windows OS.

I have so many horror

Cell Phone Reviews's picture

I have so many horror stories of Windows server screwing up. I never go with anything but Linux servers now.

Linux hosting

Kodis's picture

i use linux on my own hosting-servers and is verry good and stable.
i have several vps with linux and one with windows so i can say what linux is much better and safer.

Linux All The Way

Anonymous's picture

Me too, given the choice between Windows and Linux, I always use Linux because they're more stable

Great Article, Good thing New-Media and Convergence are here!

Jonathan Coffman's picture

I'm hoping the road-show comes to my town soon as I'm definately a linux buff.

Principle agent problem

John Money's picture

When people give things away fro free you will always get the ones that are just there to take advantage of the situation. Writing a review is work, not much work, but people in today's society have no morals when it comes to helping people they don't know on a personal level.

Value is in Perception

Shameless Reviews's picture

That's right on the spot. A flea market jacket that you slap on a phoney $400 price tag will gain more value than a genuine Armani that you sell with $5 on the tag.

This is where windows excels- charging an arm, leg and gonad for their OS

what is value

swarovski's picture

I believe value is the justified worth of someone time. Just like money. $50 is only worth the time of the person you give it too or company.

Succeeding with perception

Philippine Jobs's picture

The higher the price you put on something, the greater the perceived value. This behavioral aspect among people helps Microsoft, Sun, etc justify their top tier pricing strategies.

Linux may suffer a draw back being free- coz people undervalue what is given out for nothing

Accountability

ArticleBee's picture

Free stuff does have its place, but from a commercial/business sense, paid stuff is more credible/reliable as someone is always accountable for it.

Leaning to your side.

Car Guy's picture

As a business person I understand the need for making profits from your work. I don't think anyone should expect someone to work hard without a profit. I don't bash any person or company whom try to make their living from their work and no one should say how much is too much.

That said, You have to respect and show respect to the few that do work for free or for a very small fee and keep their work open source. As a webmaster I don't know where I'd be if it weren't for Linux. I most likely would have never ventured into webmastering due to high costs.

Donations

k-net's picture

Yeah, I have installed some open source software (totally free / free support too). The only return as respect to their developers is to make some donations. That's what I can do.

Likewise

Artifexus.net's picture

Same here. I'm working on a project with colleagues and we want to make it open source, but how do you monetize such an endeavor? There's power and risk there. You can even break your own bank if you get too popular and no money is coming in.

And all my hosting is on Linux. I'm thankful for it!

Unix

Andy's picture

I also use Unix to run my sites, in my opinion it is the best and savest environment for that...

Ubuntu

Persuasion Power's picture

Your opinion hit the spot. Linux/Unix and these open source systems deserve more development in the computing industry. And I mean MORE. Im tired of seeing servers crash and burn on costly commercial software like the Windows OS.

When Ubuntu, RedHat et al reach mainstream... I'll be there to rejoice!

Power to your blog man

Warmly
Joey
http://www.xtrememind.com

But What about Microsoft Products?

Exceltalk's picture

Adelstein has provided the support for Linux community, but what about th interoperability between the popular MS products and stuff like that does the group plan to have any bridge group or prpjects as such?

For free society

Shopping's picture

we live in a "everything has to be free for all" society.
devotion, work, passion or effort are no longer honored and respected in any way.
copyright are not respected even within communities.
people work their ass of and just ask for a little contribution or feedback. even that is too much for most people out there.

it's a shame but obviously that's how it is these days.

regards, frank

I agree Frank. Linux is

Anthony's picture

I agree Frank. Linux is truly a symbol of the freeness of open source and its the unethical ones who can make the experience of building free software go to waste. A shame, but to look on the bright side, there still lots of those who do indeed respect it.

50/50

NorgeForge's picture

We're entering an age of abundance where barriers to entry and cost of resources are nearing zero. Hosting, domains, and tons of other resources are becoming free or are nearly free. Think of things like wordpress. But just because it's free, doesn't mean it's 'cheap' or without value, and may have had lots of work, passion, etc into making it.

Work ethic and respect may be on a downslide, too, I dunno. Doesn't every generation think this, though?

That's true. I'm with you

Anonymous's picture

That's true. I'm with you

I have to agree with this

DTanga Small's picture

I have to agree with this statement. It's pretty sad that people just want everything handed to them on a silver platter, although the continuously complain about things that they don't even do anything about.

Passion is key to living a happy life.

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