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Free Ubuntu Magazine: Full Circle April 28, 2007

Posted by Carthik in books, ubuntu, Ubuntu Sites.

The zeroth issue of the Ubuntu Full Circle Magazine has been out for a while now. You can download it in your chosen language here. If it is not available in your chosen language, then maybe you can help translate it the next time for others like you.

full circle logo
The magazine is a community effort – I think it was kickstarted on this Ubuntu forum post by the forum user ronniet. “Development” of issues revolves around the wiki. The Ubuntu Magazine page lists what you can do to contribute articles and columns.

Maybe I should contribute an article or a regular column in the magazine – after all it is a volunteer effort and the magazine is provided free-of-cost.

Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks: The Book December 11, 2006

Posted by Carthik in about, books, reviews, ubuntu.

Boing Boing likes Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks. So what’s in it for me, you ask?

Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks

Well, that book was the first book I ever technically reviewed :). I reviewed it over a period of a month or so, and it was a great job. Some of my comments got overlooked, but that is okay, I guess. Little things, like the non-uniformity of URLs (Some begin with “http://” some don’t; some have “www.” some don’t) irritate me a lot. But all in all, the book has come out to be well appreciated, and that is reassuring.

The book is written in a very simple, straightforward, non-geeky language and is best suited for folks who are not very computer savvy. When I first read it I honestly thought, “Wow! Will this book sell? Are there folks out there who need help with this kind of stuff too?” Then it dawned on me – for the average computer user, who does not (and has no desire to) spend the entire day in front of a computer, learning a new system can be quite the challenge. This book tells you how to do the very basic stuff, and holds your hand through the various motions of everyday computing using Ubuntu. I think it will come in handy for the niche market consisting of folks who want to give Ubuntu a shot, and yet are hesitant because “Linux is a geek thing”.

I don’t agree with the “You need to be a geek to use Linux” viewpoint, though I can see why there is such an opinion in the first place — the lack of a widespread user community does mean that you need to be resourceful in fixing problems and finding solution, and be self-sufficient at least with regards to researching and learning the various ways of doing things. Windows users can always take comfort in the guy/girl in the next cubicle, or that geeky cousin. Linux has yet some ground to cover before there is a Linux user in every office/family. Till we get there, “Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks” can act as the guide for freedom-lovers world over.

The only reason why I hadn’t written about the book for so long was because I thought it improper to “plug” a book when I was the technical reviewer. I still wanted to talk about — now seems an appropriate time, since it has been released for a while now, and going by the comments on Amazon, and elsewhere on blogs and websites, it seems to be a hit within its chosen demographic.

At times, I get this terrible itch to write a book myself (Ubuntu Hacks? – but there is a book with that title out there already). The good news is that I don’t have to wait – I have a huge dissertation waiting to be written 😉