decoration decoration
Stories

GROKLAW
When you want to know more...
decoration
For layout only
Home
Archives
Site Map
Search
About Groklaw
Awards
Legal Research
Timelines
ApplevSamsung
ApplevSamsung p.2
ArchiveExplorer
Autozone
Bilski
Cases
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Contracts/Documents
Courts
DRM
Gordon v MS
GPL
Grokdoc
HTML How To
IPI v RH
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
Lodsys
MS Litigations
MSvB&N
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
ODF/OOXML
OOXML Appeals
OraclevGoogle
Patents
ProjectMonterey
Psystar
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v IBM
SCO v Novell
SCO:Soup2Nuts
SCOsource
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Transcripts
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


To read comments to this article, go here
Book Review: Linux Starter Kit, reviewed by Peter H. Salus
Saturday, June 24 2006 @ 12:51 PM EDT

Book Review: Linux Starter Kit, by Emmett Dulaney

Reviewed by Peter H. Salus

Linux Starter Kit, by Emmett Dulaney
Sams Publishing, 2006
ISBN 0-672-32887-9
Pages: 128 + DVD; US$39.99; CA$53.99; UKP28.99

In general, I hate packaging. I used to think of Christmas as that time of year when every father in North America drove a large copper staple into his thumb while trying to open a carton containing a large toy.

Where the Linux Starter Kit was concerned, it took me longer to open the several layers of cellophane and shrink-wrap than it took me to mount the DVD on an old Dell laptop (running XP) and see a familiar Gnome footprint.

In all likelihood, all readers of Groklaw are already running Linux or OS X or one of the BSDs. But it is equally likely that you've got a relative or friend you'd like to "convert" from the creations of M$. This Starter Kit is a good way to do it.

The DVD contains "SUSE LINUX 10.1" and a "Reference Manual." This latter is 650 pages of searchable PDFs. The book (or booklet) contains materials for "Installation," "Linux Basics," and "Troubleshooting."

But whoever had the idea for this, had a good one. While I am still a fan of Marcel Gagne's Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye! (second ed., 2005), which comes with a Knoppix CD-ROM, the Kit's SUSE certainly surpasses Knoppix. Moreover, SUSE 10.1 comes with Firefox, OpenOffice and both KDE and Gnome.

However, SUSE 10.1 is far from the retail SUSE Linux sold by Novell. Among other things, it lacks numerous plug-ins. All these are easily downloadable, but I thought that newbies would want to avoid that sort of thing.

But there are drawbacks. I'm not sure that the extremely terse booklet is really suitable where chapters 4 (on YaST) and 5 (on files and filesystems) are concerned. I think a true beginner will feel both frustrated and at sea if attempting to follow these.

Finally, there's no clearly outlined road ahead: if the newbie want to install the full Novell distribution, it's not an add-on: she/he will have to reinstall from scratch.

In short, Linux Starter Kit offers the M$ user a good route to ease into Linux. But it isn't effortless, nor does it yield the convert a clear way to go "whole hog." The Starter Kit is a good idea at a reasonable price. The next version should be even better.


Dr. Salus is the author of "A Quarter Century of UNIX" (which you can obtain here, here, here and here) and several other books, including "HPL: Little Languages and Tools", "Big Book of Ipv6 Addressing Rfcs", "Handbook of Programming Languages (HPL): Imperative Programming Languages", "Casting the Net: From ARPANET to INTERNET and Beyond", and "The Handbook of Programming Languages (HPL): Functional, Concurrent and Logic Programming Languages". There is an interview with him, audio and video,"codebytes: A History of UNIX and UNIX Licences" which was done in 2001 at a USENIX conference. Dr. Salus has served as Executive Director of the USENIX Association.

This work is copyrighted by Peter H. Salus, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


  View Printable Version


Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )