August 23, 2005

New Book: Peter van der Linden's Guide to Linux

HF writes "Upper Saddle River, NJ (August, 2005): Prentice Hall PTR, the leading publisher of advanced technology books for professionals and consumers, announces the publication of Peter van der Linden's Guide to Linux.

Every once in a while a book comes along that is authoritative and yet accessible, and Peter van der Linden's Guide to Linux achieves this balance especially well. With the continuing surge of interest in using Linux as a personal desktop, this book is also timely.

Van der Linden was motivated to write this book by the unhappy experiences of a family member whose Windows PC was completely taken over by outside hackers.

Peter van der Linden's Guide to Linux begins by outlining the plusses and minuses of switching from Windows to Linux, so readers will have a clear picture of what they can expect, and how the areas of challenge might affect them.

Too many introductory Linux texts gloss over potential problems. Before writing this book, van der Linden spent a year volunteering on Linux user forums, helping new users master Linux, and researching solutions for typical problems. That experience is directly reflected in the Guide, so readers aren't left hanging if something doesn't immediately work.

The Guide is written for people who are used to Windows, and want to leverage their knowledge to try Linux. For tricky cases (e.g. to set up wireless networking or email), van der Linden first outlines how it's done in Windows, then describes how and where to accomplish the same tasks in Linux. In instances where Linux differs from Windows, van der Linden explains the reasons.

Van der Linden touches on the lighter side of Linux along the way. Readers will enjoy inside stories about the shyster who registered the Linux trademark as his own property, and how the Linux community retrieved it. There's also a description of how the proprietary Xbox games PC was improved to run Linux, which thus provided Microsoft-subsidized hardware to all.

Along with insightful comments about the computer industry, there is solid commentary on the open source phenomenon and its benefits/implications for ordinary non-technical users.

To get readers up and running with Linux right away, the book comes bundled with a "Live" bootable CD-ROM Linux distribution called Linspire. The Linspire mission is to provide the world's easiest-to-use Linux desktop, and van der Linden's mission is to help Windows users adopt the Linux desktop with flair.

Van der Linden walks the reader through running the Linux live CD (no installation necessary.) The rest of the book demonstrates how to use Linux for everyday desktop functions. Van der Linden also shows readers how to take advantage of the flourishing software development characteristic of the Linux community, including how to add new - and often times--free software, using Linspire's signature "Click-N-Run" feature.

"Peter van der Linden has written one of the most complete guides to desktop Linux out there. His guidance is sure to make any desktop user feel 100 percent confident in switching to Linux," said Kevin Carmony, President and CEO of Linspire, Inc.

The book has 12 chapters in total, consisting of nearly 700 pages, and 6 Appendices.
Chapter topics include: organizing files and documents; working with email; connecting to the Internet; browsing and creating web pages; using CDs & DVDs; and sharing files and printers on a local network. The final chapter walks through installing the Linux operating system. Installation is the most challenging part of Linux, and too many Linux books start with the topic, effectively throwing off many readers at the first fence. By basing the book around the live CD, and recommending that users consider buying a cheap pre-installed Linux PC, the author finesses all installation difficulties.

The Appendices provide a superb technical overview of more advanced topics, including BIOS, device drivers, using the command line, and disk partitioning.

The book is available through major chain and independent booksellers nationwide and through online vendors at a suggested retail price of US $39.99. To learn more about the book, visit , or contact Prentice Hall PTR Publicist Heather Fox at 201-236-7139 or email:"


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