"Don't scoff at the nature of these books, though; the skill of
translating the arcana of any computer topic (and boy are they all
arcane to the uninitiated!) into language that mom, kids and the
guy down the street can understand is not a common one. If you
don't know what a root prompt (or an editor) is, or why you might
want one, it's hard to do much else with your system...."
"Why would you buy these books? They provide detailed
installation instructions and supply recent CDs of the titular
distributions. They also provide decent -- if basic --
introductions to simple commands and standard tasks. The
installation chapters have sufficient detail to walk nearly anyone
through the process, including dual-booting techniques, tips on
discovering hardware information in Windows, selecting the desired
packages, and creating sane partitions. (With 5 chapters devoted to
navigating the shiny installers, the only thing preventing success
is hardware failure or sunspots.) If you follow the directions,
you'll have a decently-equipped workstation capable of accessing
the Internet through a modem."
"Once your new Linux system is installed, what can you do?
There's a tutorial on command-line basics, discussing the Unix file
system and basic file commands. You'll meet the bash shell, with
pipes and job controls and even a little shell programming. The vi
editor also gets a bit of explanation -- follow the instructions
and you'll know enough to edit files. (Pull out the command
reference card from the front of the book just in case you forget
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