I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of Mark Shuttleworth (the
founder of Ubuntu). His charitable work doesn't get the headlines
that Gates and Buffet grab, but it is important and laudatory, and
he began doing it almost immediately after acquiring his fortune -
he didn't start giving away money to counter bad publicity or
because he had more than he could possibly ever use. The
name Ubuntu means something like "I am because we are" or
"humanity toward others". Mark Shuttleworth obviously
lives by that word..
The Ubuntu Foundation (which Mark seeded with an initial
$10 million) will make sure that Canonical Ltd (Mark's company
that is behind Ubuntu) can keep paying its developers
no matter what. Ubuntu is not a for-profit enterprise, but it's
going to have sticking power.
I suppose there must be plenty of Ubuntu users who know
nothing about any of that - but it still impresses me.
Anyway, on to the book. This is the "Official Guide", but
definitely isn't the dry tome you might expect if, for example
RedHat had written it. This flows well, is chatty and light,
doesn't talk down to you, and is full of tips and suggestions.
As you surely can imagine, it's hard for me to read yet another
chapter on Installing Linux, but I enjoyed reading this because
of its light yet informative style. A very long chapter
deals with possible problems - not necessarily Ubuntu problems,
but anything that might interfere with your use of it. That
chapter was particularly well done.
The pre-release copy I reviewed still had some structural
problems: there were some pages repeated later in the book -
probably still shuffling things around and missed killing
off the old text. No matter: for once that sudden feeling
of deja vu was true.
This should be released in August of 2006; I'd recommend
picking it up if you are running Ubuntu.
- Benjamin Mako Hill, Jono Bacon, Corey Burger, Jonathan Jesse Ivan Krstic
- Prentice Hall
Order (or just read more about) The Official Ubuntu Book from
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