Point and Click Linux!: Your Guide to Trouble-Free Computing

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"Robin's book will show you the benefits of switching to Linux immediately. Your computer will run faster and more reliably than you ever believed possible. Surfing the net will no longer be an exercise in paranoia. And you'll discover a whole new world of powerful, free software that can run rings around the programs available for Windows."

From the Foreword by Leo Laporte, Host of Call for Help on G4TechTV Canada and The Tech Guy on KFI 640 ...

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Overview

"Robin's book will show you the benefits of switching to Linux immediately. Your computer will run faster and more reliably than you ever believed possible. Surfing the net will no longer be an exercise in paranoia. And you'll discover a whole new world of powerful, free software that can run rings around the programs available for Windows."

From the Foreword by Leo Laporte, Host of Call for Help on G4TechTV Canada and The Tech Guy on KFI 640 AM Los Angeles

The perfect gift for that Linux beginner in your life!

Have Linux up and running in 5 minutes or less with the incredible SimplyMEPIS bootable CD-ROM

Easy-to-follow videos on DVD

Linux made easy... incredibly easy!

Tired of Windows viruses, spyware, licensing hassles, and high costs? Try Linux!

Not sure Linux is up to the job? It is. Not sure you can learn Linux? You can. Linux expert and Open Source Developers' Network (OSDN) editor-in-chief, Robin "Roblimo" Miller, will teach you Linux the easy way: using the point-and-click skills you already have!

With the bootable SimplyMEPIS Linux software included on CD, you'll be running Linux in 5 minutes...no formatting, no partitioning, no technical hassles... just insert the CD, reboot your computer, and you're ready to go!!!

You don't need to be a computer expert! With Roblimo's step-by-step instructions and how-to videos, you'll master everything from word processing to the Web and email, instant messaging to CD burning... you name it.

Linux has never been this easy, this productive, or this much fun!

  • Navigate Linux visually, the easy way, with KDE
  • Get on the Web, send email, even build your own Web sites
  • Create Microsoft Office-compatible documents with OpenOffice.org
  • Instant-message and chat with all your friends—no matter what network they're on
  • Import, edit, and manage your digital photos
  • Burn CDs and DVDs
  • Play the world's best open source games
  • Download all the free software you'll ever need
  • Coexist easily with Windows users
CD-ROM AND DVD-ROM INCLUDED
  • CD features SimplyMEPIS Linux: start running Linux in 5 minutes, and get all the software you need to be productive!
  • DVD features Roblimo explaining all you need to know in bite-sized video tutorials. All the Linux skills you really need are covered here... just watch, and do!
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Ever wanted to test-drive Linux? Now’s the time. Point and Click Linux brings together everything you need. Simple, mouse-based instructions that require no complicated commands. A whole hour of video instruction on DVD. And a complete version of Linux you can run without touching your Windows system.

The legendary Robin “Roblimo” Miller covers everything from instant messaging and digital photography to music and games. The heart of the book is its easy introductions to the Linux applications you’ll work with every day -- from the Mozilla web browser and OpenOffice.org productivity suite, through CheckBook Tracker and the K3B CD-burning software.

Decide for yourself, but this package might well convince you to switch to Linux for good. Bill Camarda, from the December 2004 Read Only

Slashdot.org
Aimed squarely at those new -- including perfectly new -- to using Linux at all, and it would make a fine non-intimidating manual for someone sitting down at his first computer. ...I discovered a few things about Linux and KDE that I'd never tried before reading the book, and know at least a dozen people I think would benefit from a copy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131488724
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 11/9/2004
  • Edition description: CD-ROM
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Miller

About the Author

Robin "Roblimo" Miller started writing professionally in 1983 as a freelance reporter and feature writer in Baltimore, Maryland. He first wrote about Linux in 1997, and by 1998 he was a full-time Linux user, working as a reporter, columnist, and editor for Andover News Network, which later become the OSTG (Open Source Technology Group) division of VA Software.

Roblimo, as he has been known online since the mid-1990s, was one of the first reporters to cover the Linux phenomenon. He has spoken at computing and Internet conferences in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, India, Trinidad, Jordan, and at least a dozen U.S. states. He's been "the computer expert" for the award-winning Rise and Shine morning show on Baltimore's WJZ TV, and has been a guest on many radio and several cable TV talk shows.

Point & Click Linux! is Roblimo's second book. His first, The Online Rules of Successful Companies, was published by FT Prentice Hall in 2002. He has written over 2000 articles for various newspapers, magazines, and Web sites on topics including Linux (of course!), child support, college campus drug use, metallurgy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), software development, telemarketing, crime prevention, tax policy, online business, TV news reporting, taxi driving, and political shenanigans.

Before becoming a full-time writer and editor, Roblimo worked as a limo owner/driver (hence "Roblimo"), taxi driver, electronics technician, soldier, and auto mechanic. He is currently editor in chief of OSTG, and lives with his wife, the artist Deborah Miller, in Bradenton, Florida.

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Table of Contents

Forward.

Introduction.

SECTION I: GETTING STARTED.

1: What You Can Do with Linux.

2: Running the SimplyMepis CD.

3: Working with Linux: KDE and KWrite.

4: Installing MEPIS Linux on Your Hard Drive.

SECTION II: LINUX APPLICATIONS.

5: KPPP — Easy Modem Dialer Application.

6: Mozilla: Your Key to the Internet.

7: Setting Up and Using Mozilla E-mail.

8: Mozilla Web Browser.

9: Making Web Pages with Mozilla.

10: Introduction to OpenOffice.org: Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Slide Presentations, Graphics, and More.

11: OpenOffice.org Writer.

12: OpenOffice.org Presenter.

13: OpenOffice.org Draw.

14: OpenOffice.org Calc: Spreadsheets.

15: OpenOffice.org, Microsoft Office, and StarOffice.

16: CheckBook Tracker — Simple Bookkeeping with Linux.

17: Kopete — IM, IRC, and General Chat.

18: gFTP — An Easy, Powerful FTP Program.

19: K3B — Easy CD Burning Program.

20: The Gimp — Full-featured Graphics Application.

21: Digikam — Importing and Organizing Digital Photos.

22: Games! — Amusements Included with the SimplyMepis CD.

23: Other SimplyMEPIS Applications.

SECTION III: BEYOND THE BASICS.

24: Downloading and Installing Software.

25: Cooperating with Windows.

26: Customizing Linux.

27: Dipping a Toe Into the Command-line Waters.

28: Joining the Linux Community.

APPENDICES.

Appendix A: Guide to Other Popular Linux Distributions.

Appendix B: Books that Can Help You Become More Proficient with Linux.

Appendix C: About MEPIS and the SimplyMEPIS CD.

Index.

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Preface

Introduction

We all want our computers to "just work." We want to view Web sites, exchange email, create letters and other printed material, do our book-keeping, and perform other basic computer tasks without worrying about viruses, spam, Web popup ads, system crashes or high program license fees.

Linux is the low-cost key to trouble-free computing. It's a little different from Windows or Mac, so you'll need to learn some new tricks to use it, but they are not hard tricks, and they won't take long to learn. In return for that little bit of learning, you'll be able to perform everyday computing tasks rapidly and easily without worrying about viruses, worms or spyware. In fact, after you have Linux installed and your favorite programs set up, you won't need to think about your computer at all. You'll be able to concentrate on what you're doing with it, whether you're creating a budget spreadsheet for your business, creating a family newsletter or downloading and listening to your favorite music.

This book and the instructional DVD video inside the front cover are based on MEPIS Linux. The SimplyMEPIS CD inside the back cover includes all the software you need to surf the Web, read and write email, do sophisticated word processing, make slide presentations, manipulate spreadsheets, upload and edit images from digital cameras and scanners, create Web sites, enjoy music or videos, play many hours' worth of entertaining games, and generally do what you and most other people expect a personal computer to do.


About the Point & Click Linux! DVD - It's not a single hour-long video, but a series of "bite-sized" short tutorials. Each one focuses on a specific function or program. The video tutorials contain most of the information in the printed book, but show you how to do things instead o telling you how to do them.

The DVD plays in standard NTSC (U.S. format) DVD players, and in computers equipped with DVD drives. Check this book's companion Web site, PointAndClickLinux.com, for added and updated videos.

Proprietary Windows software equivalent to the programs on your SimplyMEPIS CD, plus the current version of Windows itself, would cost at least $1500 or more. And if the included software doesn't cover all your needs, the MEPIS servers offer hundreds of other useful programs you can download right away and start using without paying another cent. Adventurous souls can experiment with any one of thousands of free non-MEPIS programs provided by the worldwide, volunteer-run Debian project with only a few mouse clicks—and can delete any programs that don't work out with another few clicks.

(Note that when you delete a MEPIS or Debian program, it is 100% gone. There is no "residue" or "registry crud" leftover as there often is in Windows when you try to delete a program you no longer want.)

While this book focuses on MEPIS, there is an appendix dedicated to other popular Linux distributions, because Linux is about choice, not about locking you into one way of doing things. You'll also be happy to know that the programs described in the following pages and on the included DVD video work the same way no matter which Linux distribution you choose. Even if you start with MEPIS and later move to another flavor of Linux, your learning time will not have been wasted.

But that's enough loose talk. Let's turn the page and get started with trouble-free, Point & Click Linux! computing.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Introduction

Introduction

We all want our computers to "just work."We want to view Web sites, exchange email, create letters and other printed material, do our book-keeping, and perform other basic computer tasks without worrying about viruses, spam, Web popup ads, system crashes or high program license fees.

Linux is the low-cost key to trouble-free computing. It's a little different from Windows or Mac, so you'll need to learn some new tricks to use it, but they are not hard tricks, and they won't take long to learn. In return for that little bit of learning, you'll be able to perform everyday computing tasks rapidly and easily without worrying about viruses, worms or spyware. In fact, after you have Linux installed and your favorite programs set up, you won't need to think about your computer at all. You'll be able to concentrate on what you're doing with it, whether you're creating a budget spreadsheet for your business, creating a family newsletter or downloading and listening to your favorite music.

This book and the instructional DVD video inside the front cover are based on MEPIS Linux. The SimplyMEPIS CD inside the back cover includes all the software you need to surf the Web, read and write email, do sophisticated word processing, make slide presentations, manipulate spreadsheets, upload and edit images from digital cameras and scanners, create Web sites, enjoy music or videos, play many hours' worth of entertaining games, and generally do what you and most other people expect a personal computer to do.

About the Point & Click Linux! DVD - It's not a singlehour-long video, but a series of "bite-sized"short tutorials. Each one focuses on a specific function or program. The video tutorials contain most of the information in the printed book, but show you how to do things instead of telling you how to do them.

The DVD plays in standard NTSC (U.S. format) DVD players, and in computers equipped with DVD drives.

Proprietary Windows software equivalent to the programs on your SimplyMEPIS CD, plus the current version of Windows itself, would cost at least $1500 or more. And if the included software doesn't cover all your needs, the MEPIS servers offer hundreds of other useful programs you can download right away and start using without paying another cent. Adventurous souls can experiment with any one of thousands of free non-MEPIS programs provided by the worldwide, volunteer-run Debian project with only a few mouse clicks—and can delete any programs that don't work out with another few clicks.

(Note that when you delete a MEPIS or Debian program, it is 100% gone. There is no "residue"or "registry crud"leftover as there often is in Windows when you try to delete a program you no longer want.)

While this book focuses on MEPIS, there is an appendix dedicated to other popular Linux distributions, because Linux is about choice, not about locking you into one way of doing things. You'll also be happy to know that the programs described in the following pages and on the included DVD video work the same way no matter which Linux distribution you choose. Even if you start with MEPIS and later move to another flavor of Linux, your learning time will not have been wasted.

But that's enough loose talk. Let's turn the page and get started with trouble-free, Point & Click Linux! computing.


Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2005

    Promising, but with flaws in the execution

    <p>One of the roadblocks to the proliferation of Linux to personal desktops is the perceived difficulty in installing and using Linux. Robin 'Roblimo' Miller addresses the novice Linux user with his book <i>Point & Click Linux!</i>, published by Prentice Hall PTR. The book comes with both a distribution of <i>SimplyMEPIS</i> Linux on a bootable CD and a DVD with tutorials featuring Roblimo himself. Robin is the Editor in Chief for the Open Source Technology Group. <p><i>Point & Click Linux!</i> takes a simple, top-of-the-trees format to get readers involved in Linux enough to be interested, but not so much as to make them afraid of the potential complexities. After a brief rundown of the types of things a casual user can do with Linux, Robin takes the reader through the process of running <i>SimplyMEPIS</i> from the CD. After a short overview of KDE and KWrite, Roblimo launches into the installation process. <i>SimplyMEPIS</i> is designed to install quickly and easily, and it's shown by the fact that only 9 pages needs to be devoted to the instructions. <p>The second section's 19 chapters provide instructions on the more commonly used programs in bite-sized pieces. The only downside is that each of them is so short (the longest is 12 pages) that not much is said. Most of the chapters in this section do little more than show you a couple of features of the program and point you to the help file, user guide, or web site. In many cases, the instructions for actually starting the program are missing from the book. It turns out that the accompanying DVD gives you the rest of the information. You really need to both read the book and view the DVD to get all the information to actually get some use of the programs. <p>The third and final section of the book covers the miscellaneous topics of downloading and installing new software, customizing your Linux, cooperating with Windows machines, and using the command line in its simplest form. Again, each chapter only touches on a few salient points and leaves the rest for you to research. <p>Roblimo has written a large number of columns for numerous publications and web sites. However, he is not a very accomplished video personality. He appears to have wanted to use a light-hearted approach on the DVD. Unfortunately, I didn't like the goofy-guy approach he took. The content of what he was saying was just fine, but I spent more time thinking how amateurish it looked than focusing on what he was saying. It was a good idea in general, but it needs polish. <p>Overall, <i>Point & Click Linux!</i> is a good book for the first-time Linux user to read so they can get their feet wet, but I feel too much was left out, forcing the reader to go elsewhere. With the application section, it would have been better if the book covered how to start the program and do the basics of what the program was designed for and the other interesting features could have been put on the DVD. That way the book would remain a comfortably small size, but it would have information a novice user would want at hand. <p><i>Point & Click Linux!</i> by Robin 'Roblimo' Miller is a wonderful idea executed in just a middling fashion. It definitely has an audience, but some revision is needed to bring out the full potential of bringing simple Linux to the casual user. Overall, I had to rate this a 2 out of 5. It has many good topics but not enough depth, and a DVD that needs cleaning up and better production quality.

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