Now that computer maker Dell has bowed to the wishes of its customers—or, at least some of its vocal customers—and has begun offering Ubuntu Linux on consumer PCs, some computer users might be thinking it’s time to start getting up to speed with running Linux as a desktop operating system. But Linux has—pretty justifiably—a reputation for being comprehensible to distinctly nerdy end of the computing spectrum. Sure, folks up to speed on shell scripting, regular expressions, compilers, tarballs, chmod, and version management systems might be able to make Linux sit, stay, roll over, beg, and do other amazing things…but what about (ahem) real people?
Part of the reason Dell chose Ubuntu Linux is that it’s one of the most consumer friendly Linux distributions, having been developed with everyday computer users in mind. And version 7.04—dubbed “Fiesty Fawn”—aimed to trick the system out with some eyeball-friendly bling, adding multimedia capabilities and desktop effects familiar to (and perhaps appealing to) everyday computer users. But folks will still have to come up to speed on Ubuntu’s ways of doing things.
To that end, No Starch Press is releasing the second edition of Rickford Grant’s Ubtuntu for Non-Geeks, a task-based books which promises to get new Linux users up and running—and productive—on Ubuntu quickly and painlessly. The book takes users through setting up networking; downloading and installing available open source applications, games, and utilities; getting those pesky printers, scanners, and digital cameras to connect properly; watch movies; and even manage an iPod. The book packs in tricks and time-saving tips while guiding users through everyday tasks and projects, and includes a companion CD that lets users try out Ubuntu on their own system (assuming it wasn’t pre-installed of course) without making any changes to their current setup.
The second edition of Ubuntu for Non-Geeks should be hitting bookstores and online sellers now, and has a suggested price of $34.95.