Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Introducing Ubuntu: Desktop Linux book review

Filed under
Reviews

Ah, yet another book about Ubuntu Linux. Is there no reprieve from the bombardment of Ubuntu and beginner Linux books (and Ubuntu for beginners books)? For Introducing Ubuntu: Desktop Linux to impress me, it had to offer something new and unique, and it had to successfully address the reality of introducing a new operating system to a computer user. I'm impressed with the scope of the book's coverage on frequently encountered Linux problems, but I don't think this book was as good as it could have been.

Introducing Ubuntu: Desktop Linux's language is irritatingly long-winded (I really hate the "the author is your best pal" colloquial narrative -- it makes me feel like I'm being talked down to), and the subject matter is mired in too-deep explanations of trivial details, such as a breakdown of what every button on the OpenOffice.org Writer button bar does. Any information that can be obtained by mousing over an item and reading its tooltip is unnecessary in a book like this. Essentially, over-explanation of obvious functions implies either that the software is not user-friendly enough to be self-explanatory, in which case it is not suitable for non-technical people (which appears to be the book's target market); or that readers are too stupid to read tooltips and figure out obvious functions of desktop software that should already be familiar to them as Windows or Mac users, which is insulting. So the fact of this book's confused focus and target market is evident not only in the subject matter, but also in the style of the writing.

Editing-wise, Introducing Ubuntu: Desktop Linux seems to be quite sound. I did not discover any of the stupid mistakes that reduce the authority and effectiveness of so many other technology books these days. In terms of layout and construction, this book is in the top tier.

Putting the book to the test




More in Tux Machines

BackBox Linux 4.1 released!

The BackBox Team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, the version 4.1! This release includes features such as Linux Kernel 3.13, EFI mode, Anonymous mode, LVM + Disk encryption installer, privacy additions and armhf Debian packages. Read more

Tough multi-display controller runs Linux on i.MX6

MEN Micro unveiled the “CC10S,” a Linux-ready i.MX6 based multi-display controller board for touchscreens deployed in harsh, -40 to 85° C environments. Imagine a humongous earth-moving rig prepping an oil shale site in North Dakota in the middle of January. You’re going to want a touchscreen with that, and it better be tough. The MEN Micro CC10S single board computer is designed for controlling 7- to 15-inch LCD touchscreens that must deal with the rough, tough stuff on a daily basis. Read more

Android Leftovers

  • 1B Android phones shipped in 2014, but they don’t all help Google
    When Android first arrived in 2007, it was (and still is) a key part of the OHA, or Open-Handset Alliance. OHA partners — which include Samsung, LG, Dell, HTC, Huawei and ZTE, to name a few — all loosely work together to help improve Android, while competing against one another by using Android on their respective hardware products. Android is the commonality between all of the OHA partners. And then there’s Google.
  • Android beats iOS for app downloads, but revenues are still a different story
    There are plenty of caveats to this line of reasoning, though. First, Google Play is not the only Android app store – Amazon and Samsung run their own stores, while in countries like China there are dozens of stores offering Android apps.
  • HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update: What U.S. Owners Can Expect
    When Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop back in October many smartphone owners like those with the HTC One or HTC One M8 instantly started waiting for details regarding the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. It has arrived for a few devices already, including the HTC One and HTC One M8 Google Play Edition handsets, but below we’ll go over what regular HTC One owners need to know about the Android 5.0 update.
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Updated To The Android Lollipop 5.0 OS
    The Android Lollipop 5.0 update is finally available for the Samsung S4. The operating system is also available for the Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 4, Note 3, and Note Edge. Samsung Galaxy and Note users will be happy to hear that the long waited update is coming in the near future. But should Galaxy S4 users take advantage of the Android Lollipop update?
  • Don’t wait for Android 5.0, this app makes your phone look like Lollipop for free
    Android 5.0 Lollipop is a huge upgrade for Google’s mobile operating system. The only problem with it, of course, is that it’s only available for a handful of devices. Most Android smartphone users still have plenty more waiting to do before Lollipop is finally available for their handset, but now there’s a terrific app that will make your older version of Android look just like Lollipop — and it’s free!
  • Is this Apple’s secret weapon that could force Android users to buy an iPhone?
    There are many reasons why Android users switch to iPhone, and vice-versa, but Apple may have a secret (or not-so-secret) weapon that could pressure some Android fans to considering a move to the other side. No, it’s not Apple Pay, an exclusive iPhone 6 feature that’s heavily marketed by various banks in the U.S., further helping Apple market its 2014 iPhones. It’s actually a stock iOS app that has been hiding in plain sight for years.
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Problems Frustrating Nexus Users
    Google rolled out its Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update to fix Nexus Lollipop problems. And while it did fix some of the bigger issues, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop problems continue to frustrate Nexus users.

Libreboot X200 laptop now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

This is the second Libreboot laptop from Gluglug (a project of Minifree, Ltd.) to achieve RYF certification, the first being the Libreboot X60 in December 2013. The Libreboot X200 offers many improvements over the Libreboot X60, including a faster CPU, faster graphics, 64-bit GNU/Linux support (on all models), support for more RAM, higher screen resolution, and more. The Libreboot X200 can be purchased from Gluglug at http://shop.gluglug.org.uk/product/libreboot-x200/. Read more