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Slackware LINUX for Dummies (with CD-ROM)

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4.5

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Good book
Comment: the "...for dummies" boods always help me out on stuff I dont konw that much on.

Customer Rating: 3
Summary: The author forgot about Murphy's law
Comment: While SLfD is easy to follow when you have all the popular devices and cards, it doesn't leave room to explain how to overcome problems during installation. Ie, devices (printers) or cards (sound) not being recognized. There is a page or 2 in the back that says where to check the compatibility lists. By then is way too late, you've either given up or did some research, fixed the problem yourself.

I did the latter for my video card, sound card and printer and by then I no longer required the book. SLfD refers to packages but doesn't take the time to mention that not everything comes in a fancy package. So, I also had to learn how download and compile the source for drivers and libraries that weren't pre-packaged.

SLfD also has a very bad habit of comparing everything with RedmondWare. When it mentions reading something on the CD's it uses "drive letters" and backslashes in true RedmondWare fashion. It also assumes that we are installing onto a system that has RedmondWare running.

Believe it or not, I actually liked SLfD. It was a good place to start but I guess i was expecting too much from it. It also was written for slackware, unlike the other books I've looked at which give the impression that Red Hat is the only flavor of Linux.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Got me through my first Linux setup!
Comment: This book did an excellent job of getting me through the setup process successfully and teaching me something in the process.

I decided to 'learn' Linux a few weeks ago and brought this book home for a 'weekend install' project. The book is perfectly designed for this kind of project. The book walks you though the setup process, step by step. I now have a fully operating Linux machine with an XWindows graphic interface. Not bad, in my opinion.

I very much liked the author's attention to detail and accurate anticipation of what I would encounter during the project. For example, one of the first steps the author demands of the reader is backing up everything you currently have on your machine. A few hours later, that back up became very important. Sure, everyone should think of that, but it certainly wasn't on my mind as I got started. A host of little things like that made the book work.

Additionally, there is an adequate amount of 'introduction to UNIX/Linux shell commands.' This taught me enough UNIX to figure out a few problems on my own. Every computer system is a bit different, so a 'single' list of instructions just isn't going to help everyone through the set up. My multiple SCSI hard drive setup took me off the 'normal' track (the book is written for someone with a single IDE hard drive). Despite these problems, I had learned enough to fight my way through, anyway.

Just in case you are wondering how long this newbie took to install Linux, it took 16 hours of full concentration over two days. This includes reading the entire book as I went through the project, completely reinstalling my Windows system from backups and reinstalling Linux a second time to change my hard drive partition scheme. Now that I know my computer and how the Linux install works, I could 'reinstall' it in an hour or two.