November 16, 2000

Web review: Linuxlookup has monthly monsters and creative aggregation

Author: JT Smith

- By Tina Gasperson -
There are a lot of Linux start pages out there these days. It's probably because everyone thinks there's a better way to do a Web site that includes everything you might want or need having to do with Linux. Most of these sites fall far short of the ideal. But Linuxlookup is taking a slightly different tack by infusing their pages with creativity.You will find all the usual suspects here -- a collection of How-tos, for example. And links to lots of Linux distribution sites, and a whole bunch of Linux mailing lists. These things are the basics, part of any Linux "portal" page worth a bookmark.

Linuxlookup is a new site, so there's no depth yet -- a handicap that could cause some Linuxites to look elsewhere. But there's a lot of potential here.

What makes Linuxlookup more enjoyable? It could be the periodic reviews -- they are comprehensive and well-written, with a personal touch of the author's enjoyable reading style. But again, reviews are a dime a dozen, so let's keep looking.

How about the "tip of the week?" Now we're getting warmer. The tips are rated according to the experience level they're geared to, "newbie," "novice," or "advanced." The current tip is called "How to Electric Fence your code," and it is directed to the novice level. However, when I read it, it looked like you really needed to be a C programmer to understand exactly what the author was talking about. It's a good tip, but perhaps they should change the rating to a higher skill level.

Anyway, the tip archive contains some great advice, so dig in and take a look. The October, 2000 archive will tell you how to handle ISOs if you don't have a CD burner, and you'll learn how to copy directory hierarchies with tar. Read all the tips -- just don't pay too much attention to the expertise designation.

Linuxlookup also has links to gaming sites, LUGs, and security advisories. Plus, there's a page full of newsfeeds from other great Linux sites like LinuxToday and Slashdot.

But my favorite part of the Linuxlookup site is a part that I would love to see updated often. It's called "Monthly Monster Machines." Here's how they describe it:

"Every few months, the Linuxlookup staff builds a Budget Box, Workstation/Server or Dream Machine, out of components currently on the market and available to consumers. These machines each fall into their own categories, which you will find below. We are in no way saying we own all of this equipment, or have even reviewed it, although we would sell our souls to get our lil paws on some of this gear *drool*."

It's a fun way to fantasize about cool Linux setups -- and I'm sure it's quite an involved process coming up with new ones -- but please, do keep dreaming them up, Linuxlookup. It would be a shame to see such an innovative idea lay dormant. It's the coolest part of the site, so keep 'em coming!

What makes Linuxlookup so different though, is the obvious effort they've made to inject personality into every part of the site, from the friendly tone of the product reviews all the way down to the quirky titles of site sections. It's original.

Check out Linuxlookup and let me know what you think.

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