Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Linux Newbie Resources

Author:Rudy Rugebregt
Posted:5/14/1999; 4:51:37 AM
Topic:Linux Newbie Resources
Msg #:6201
Prev/Next:6200 / 6202

Let me recommend "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Linux" by Ricart. (Don't let the title put you off)

For $16.95 (at Frys Sunnyvale, CA) you get a good introductory text plus a CD with Caldera Open Linux 1.3 and StarOffice 4.0. I understand this version of Caldera is a bit old but it gets your feet wet.

The text is a bit basic but there's always something to learn. I found the real value in the CD.

Being new to Linux (with user-level experience on Solaris) I found the installation learning curve a bit steep. I first bought Red Hat 5.2 and muddled my way to installing it on a Sony VAIO 90 (on which I couldn't install Win98 or NT). Most of the problem was RedHat's partitioning recommendations. With the Caldera installation I just made a swap partition and one large user partition. (Could the many multiple-partitions be left over from days of small, inefficient hard disks?)

Once I'd been through the Red Hat installation, Caldera was a snap. Video setup is still clumsy but I got a working Internet browsing machine going.

Star Office and Applix are two productivity products, sort of like MS or AppleWorks. At Sun most employees use (begrudingly) Applix. Although not MS Office (a good thing) Applix lets you get quite a bit of work done for under $100. I think there's a LOT of opportunity to do user-level apps on Linux. I would love to see a MORE type of writing tool on Linux.

My OS of choice is still the MacOS but I've worked at Amdahl, Apple, Sun, Oracle and other places with a variety of operating systems. Linux seems to bring the "beginner's mind" we had at the early days of Mac OS, with the sophistication of years of experience doing hard stuff.

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