There was a time, not too long ago in our reckless youth, when the term “Linux” might have been met with a gaze generally reserved for naughty and/or vaguely Germanic-sounding words. Mothers would have disapproved, because although they might not have known what it meant, it was probably inappropriate and surely the result of listening to those foul-mouthed high schoolers after band practice.
But times have changed. Not only are we no longer concerned with high schoolers and their after-band jargon, but we're fairly confident now that “Linux” is somehow computer-related, and therefore harmless geekery. Saying it will keep you from getting a date to the prom, but at least it's not sailor-talk.
Actually, talk of Linux has escalated quite a bit during the past year. In fact, if you follow sites like Digg or Slashdot, then you're all too aware that it's likely to overtake news aggregators altogether, until there's nothing left but one huge link button to Ubuntu. And “Ubuntu”... there's another term you wouldn't have used at the dinner table a couple years ago. But now, it's becoming harder and harder to not see a reference for Ubuntu whenever you see a reference for Linux, as its famed stability and ease-of-use has made it the poster child for the new era of Linux.
Enter the new book Ubuntu Linux For Non-Geeks by Rickford Grant. It's geared towards even novice computer users who are interested in seeing what this Ubuntu Linux thing is all about (which they can even do without installing it on their computer at all, thanks to the included Live CD), but wouldn't mind a little guidance while doing so.
Linux, the free and open-source operating system (and for you purists, I'm just trying to keep the definition simple), is the new darling of the tech world. Remember all the commotion around Firefox, and how it was touted as a better, faster and safer browsing experience when compared to Internet Explorer? Well, a similar comparison could be (and generally is) made in regards to Linux as an upset to Windows. People are sick of virus attacks and malware, and really just care about a safe and comfortable place to work on their office applications, surf the net, and organize their music. You certainly don't need Windows to do any of that, although many people mistakenly think that “operating system” equals “Microsoft Windows.”