January 11, 2002

Web review: A cool daily Linux resource

Author: JT Smith

- by Tina Gasperson -
I thought Linuxdot.org was OK right from the start. But I really thought
it was cool after I saw the original, fresh content and the artfully
presented "Newbies Linux manual."Nothing about the layout of Linuxdot is distracting or unusual. That's a
good thing in my opinion; as I've said before, black backgrounds are
juvenile at best and unreadable jumbles of gobbley-gook at worst. Linuxdot's design is
patterned after the standard weblog layout that most tech news sites
(including NewsForge) follow. It has a plain white background, a simple logo, and no graphics, save a few small icons.

The staff posts headlines and links to news stories of interest, much
like NewsForge does, and surrounds these with news feeds from other
Linux/Open Source sites, like Slashdot, LWN, LinuxToday, The Register, and yes,

None of this is particularly exciting. (Except maybe the NewsForge
feed.) But it's useful.

The Linux Newbies manual, however, is exciting. It explains what Linux
is and how to use it in clear, concise, unintimidating language. (It
does not teach installation because, the author says, of the differences
in installation procedures for each distribution -- but installation is
getting easier and more automated with each release, and just about
anyone with a fairly recent hardware configuration and standard
components can do it without a problem.)

The manual will teach you how to login, create a user account, and go
from there. Toward the end, you'll learn how to write a Perl script or
compile a C program. Laurence Hunter wrote this manual, and did a fine
job at it. It is current, too, with the last update done on January 5,

The other exciting part of Linuxdot is the columns pages. Hunter, along
with Bill Turner, Stewart Hepburn, and Peter Smart, have filed a
collection of interesting and recent content that includes tutorials,
reviews, and editorials. Perhaps one of the most potentially interesting
and informative is the column by Hunter about Linux from Scratch. I
assumed he would detail his distro-creating adventure for us, but alas,
the column is merely a quick overview of the process. He made it sound
simple, but we have to think that it's not all quite that easy.

Some other columns at Linuxdot include "Open Source, the GPL, and why it's important to you" by Bill
Turner, "Linux Java intro" by Stewart Hepburn, and "The new trouble with
crypto" by Peter Smart. Go take a look at Linuxdot -- I think you'll enjoy it, too.


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