Ubuntu for Non-Geeks: A Pain-Free, Get-Things-Done Guide

Overview

The Ubuntu Linux distribution makes Linux easy, and Ubuntu for Non-Geeks makes it even easier. Full of tips, tricks, and helpful pointers, this pain-free guide is perfect for those interested in—but nervous about—switching to the Linux operating system.

This revised and expanded fourth edition is packed with new material that covers all the latest features of Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx. It includes five new chapters that take you step-by-step through common tasks like installing ...

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Ubuntu for Non-Geeks, 4th Edition: A Pain-Free, Get-Things-Done Guide

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Overview

The Ubuntu Linux distribution makes Linux easy, and Ubuntu for Non-Geeks makes it even easier. Full of tips, tricks, and helpful pointers, this pain-free guide is perfect for those interested in—but nervous about—switching to the Linux operating system.

This revised and expanded fourth edition is packed with new material that covers all the latest features of Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx. It includes five new chapters that take you step-by-step through common tasks like installing and playing games, accessing your favorite social networks, troubleshooting common hardware and software problems, connecting with the Ubuntu community, interacting with your Windows installation, and more.

By following along with the book's straightforward explanations and step-by-step projects, you'll learn how to:

  • Install Ubuntu and keep it updated
  • Set up printers, scanners, USB flash drives, and other hardware
  • Install and play free games like Frets on Fire, Frozen Bubble, and Warzone 2100
  • Watch DVDs, listen to music, and sync your iPod, iPhone, or other mobile devices
  • Edit and share digital photos and videos
  • Create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
  • Customize the look and feel of your system
  • Work with the command line (or avoid it altogether!)

If you're looking for a pain-free way to learn Linux, Ubuntu for Non-Geeks is just what you need to get started.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593272579
  • Publisher: No Starch Press San Francisco, CA
  • Publication date: 7/8/2010
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 1,449,705
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Rickford Grant is the author of Linux for Non-Geeks and Linux Made Easy. He has been a computer operating system maniac for more than 20 years, from his early days with an Atari XL600 to his current Linux machines.

Phil Bull is an author of the official Ubuntu documentation, and a member of the GNOME documentation project. He started helping people with computers in his early teens, and has been an open-source contributor since 2005. Phil currently spends his time studying astrophysics in sunny Manchester, UK.

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Table of Contents

PRAISE FOR UBUNTU FOR NON-GEEKS;
Dedication;
ABOUT THE AUTHORS;
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS;
INTRODUCTION;
Version Compatibility;
Concept and Approach;
How to Use This Book;
About the Conventions Used in This Book;
About the Projects in This Book;
Chapter 1: BECOMING A PENGUINISTA;
1.1 What Is Linux?;
1.2 About the Penguin;
1.3 Why Should You Use Linux?;
1.4 But Is Linux Really Ready for the Desktop?;
1.5 What Is a Distribution?;
1.6 What Is Ubuntu?;
1.7 Why Ubuntu Then?;
1.8 Hardware Compatibility;
1.9 Hardware Requirements;
1.10 Good News for 64-Bit Machine Users;
1.11 Mixed News for Mac Users;
1.12 Speaking Ubuntu;
1.13 Where Do I Go from Here?;
Chapter 2: WADING AND DIVING;
2.1 Going for a Dip;
2.2 Choices, Choices, Choices—Installation Options;
2.3 How Can I Get Back into Windows?;
2.4 Oh No, My Computer Won't Boot!;
Chapter 3: A NEW PLACE TO CALL HOME;
3.1 Welcome to the GNOME Desktop;
3.2 The Top Panel;
3.3 The Bottom Panel;
3.4 Project 3A: Customizing the GNOME Panel;
3.5 Project 3B: Manipulating Menus;
3.6 Virtual Desktops;
3.7 Wanda Revisited—GNOME Easter Eggs;
3.8 Shutting Down;
Chapter 4: MORE THAN WEBBED FEET;
4.1 How Do You Connect?;
4.2 Setting Up a Wired Connection;
4.3 Checking Your Connection;
4.4 Setting Up a Wireless Connection;
4.5 Connecting with a DSL or ADSL Modem;
4.6 Setting Up a Dial-up Connection;
4.7 Mobile (3G) Broadband Connections;
4.8 I'm Connected . . . So Now What?;
Chapter 5: SLIPPING AND SLIDING;
5.1 Firefox: Your Internet Browser;
5.2 Project 5: Installing Firefox Extensions;
5.3 Email with Evolution;
5.4 An Email Alternative: Thunderbird;
5.5 Chatting with Your Friends via Empathy;
5.6 Microblogging—Twitter and Friends;
5.7 Other Internet Applications;
Chapter 6: ROUNDING OUT THE BIRD;
6.1 Project 6A: Installing Applications via the Ubuntu Software Center;
6.2 Performing System Upgrades via Update Manager;
6.3 Adding Extra Software Repositories;
6.4 Project 6B: Installing Software from a PPA: OpenSonic;
6.5 Project 6C: Installing DEB Packages Not Available via the Ubuntu Repositories: Skype;
Chapter 7: A TIDY NEST;
7.1 Nautilus: Your File Manager;
7.2 File Handling in Nautilus;
7.3 Navigating in Nautilus;
7.4 Understanding the Linux Filesystem;
7.5 What's in All Those Other Folders?;
7.6 Using Nautilus as a Network Browser;
7.7 Reading Data CDs and DVDs;
7.8 Burning Data CDs and DVDs;
7.9 USB Storage Devices;
7.10 Working with Bluetooth Devices;
7.11 Backing Up Your Files;
7.12 Recovering from a Backup;
7.13 Removing Unwanted Files;
7.14 Project 7: Creating and Extracting Compressed Files;
Chapter 8: DRESSING UP THE BIRD;
8.1 Project 8A: Creating a New User Account;
8.2 Project 8B: Customizing Your Desktop Environment;
8.3 Font Feathered Frenzy: Changing Your Fonts;
8.4 Project 8C: Installing TrueType Fonts;
8.5 Project 8D: Changing Your Login Screen;
8.6 Choosing a Screensaver;
8.7 Taking Screenshots;
8.8 Customizing Visual Effects;
Chapter 9: SIMPLE KITTEN WAYS;
9.1 Meet the Terminal;
9.2 Some Goofy Yet Useful Fun with the Command Terminal;
9.3 Nontoxic Commands;
9.4 Commands with Some Teeth;
9.5 A Couple of Other Biters You'll Be Using Soon;
9.6 Project 9A: Creating a Plan;
9.7 Project 9B: More Command Practice with pyWings;
9.8 Project 9C: Command Practice Review with Briscola;
9.9 Project 9D: Compiling and Installing Programs from Source: Xmahjongg;
9.10 Customizing the Terminal;
9.11 Tabbed Shell Sessions in the Terminal;
Chapter 10: GUTENBIRD;
10.1 Printers;
10.2 Scanners;
Chapter 11: POLYGLOT PENGUINS;
11.1 Read-Only Language Support;
11.2 Typing Nonstandard Characters;
11.3 Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Input;
11.4 Project 11: Setting Up Asian-Language Support;
11.5 Setting Up IBus to Automatically Start Up When You Log In;
11.6 Viewing Your System in Another Language;
Chapter 12: PENGUINS AT WORK;
12.1 OpenOffice.org;
12.2 Word Processing Done Lightly with AbiWord;
12.3 Some Other Cool Productivity Apps;
Chapter 13: BRUSH-WIELDING PENGUINS;
13.1 Project 13A: Importing Images from Digital Cameras;
13.2 Project 13B: Working with Digital Images in F-Spot Photo Manager;
13.3 Getting Arty with the GIMP;
13.4 Phatch Photo Batch Processor;
13.5 gpaint;
13.6 Inkscape;
13.7 Project 13C: Installing Picasa;
13.8 A Few Other Graphics Apps to Consider;
Chapter 14: TUX ROCKS;
14.1 Audio File Formats;
14.2 Project 14A: Installing MP3 Support for Audio Apps;
14.3 Rhythmbox—Your Audio Player;
14.4 Project 14B: Listening to Streaming Media with Rhythmbox;
14.5 Creating Audio CDs;
14.6 Project 14C: Listening to RealMedia Streams with RealPlayer;
14.7 Other Cool Audio Apps;
Chapter 15: PLUGGIN' IN THE PENGUIN;
15.1 Knowing Your Limits;
15.2 Mounting and Ejecting Your iPod or iPhone;
15.3 (Not) Auto-updating Your iPod or iPhone;
15.4 Working with Android-Based Phones;
15.5 Working with Other Digital Media Players and Cell Phones;
15.6 Managing Your Audio Device's Audio Files with Rhythmbox;
15.7 Problems Writing to Your iPod;
15.8 Working with Photos on Your Digital Device;
15.9 Converting Audio File Formats;
15.10 Playing Locked AAC (M4P) Files;
15.11 Linux on Your iPod?;
15.12 Working with . . . Your iPad?;
Chapter 16: COUCH PENGUINS;
16.1 DVDs;
16.2 Project 16A: Installing Support for Encrypted DVDs;
16.3 Totem Movie Player;
16.4 An Alternative to Totem: VLC Media Player;
16.5 Editing Digital Video with PiTiVi;
16.6 Project 16B: Capturing Digital Video with Kino;
16.7 Other Video Apps;
Chapter 17: FEATHERED FLIPPERS;
17.1 Project 17A: Expanding Your Game Collection via the Ubuntu Software Center;
17.2 3D Games;
17.3 Project 17B: Installing a Java-Based Game: Schnapsen;
17.4 Online Gaming;
17.5 Searching for More Games;
Chapter 18: PENGUINS AT THE GATES;
18.1 Project 18A: Accessing Files on Your Windows Partition (for Dual-Booters);
18.2 Accessing a Linux Partition While Running Windows;
18.3 Project 18B: Installing Microsoft Windows Core Fonts;
18.4 Dual-Booting: Changing the Boot Order and Timeout;
18.5 Linux Equivalents to Your Windows Applications;
18.6 Project 18C: Running Windows Programs;
18.7 Installing Windows Inside Ubuntu;
18.8 Sharing Files with Windows Users on Your Network;
Chapter 19: DEFENDING THE NEST;
19.1 Does My System Need Protection?;
19.2 The First Line of Defense;
19.3 Software Firewalls;
19.4 ClamAV: Antivirus Software, Linux Style;
19.5 Project 19A: Virus Scanning with avast!;
19.6 Project 19B: Encrypting Your Files;
19.7 Project 19C: Shredding Documents Digitally;
Chapter 20: A COLONY OF PENGUINS;
20.1 Take Me to Your SABDFL;
20.2 Launchpad: Your Passport to the Ubuntu Community;
20.3 Bugs, Bugs, Glorious Bugs;
20.4 Sharing Ideas on How to Improve Ubuntu;
20.5 The Ubuntu Forums;
20.6 Chatting on IRC;
20.7 Keeping Up with the News;
20.8 LoCos and LUGs;
20.9 Stickers and Other Goodies;
20.10 Getting Involved;
Chapter 21: WOUNDED WINGS;
21.1 I Can't Get Ubuntu Installed;
21.2 Something Goes Wrong Before Ubuntu Finishes Booting;
21.3 Sound and Video Problems;
21.4 Internet and Network Connection Problems;
21.5 Problems with the Display and Graphics Cards;
21.6 Hard Disks and Storage Problems;
21.7 Software Installation Problems;
21.8 Common Problems with Applications;
21.9 My Computer Is Running Slowly;
21.10 Lost Files;
21.11 Where Can I Go to Get More Help?;
INSTALLING UBUNTU FROM A USB FLASH DRIVE;
Preparing the Installer Files;
Creating a Bootable Installer Disk;
Booting from the USB Disk;
UBUNTU DESKTOP CDS FOR AMD64, OPTERON, OR INTEL CORE 2 USERS;
Downloading and Burning Ubuntu Desktop CD ISOs to CD;
Ordering an Install Disc from Ubuntu;
Ordering an Install Disc from Other Online Sources;
MANUALLY PARTITIONING YOUR HARD DISK;
Creating and Deleting Partitions;
Editing Existing Partitions;
Varieties of Partitions;
Example Partition Layouts;
Finishing Up;
RESOURCES;
Forums;
Linux Reference;
Blogs;
Hardware Compatibility Issues;
Wireless Connections;
Free Downloads;
News and Information;
Magazines;
Books;
Ubuntu CDs;
COLOPHON;
UPDATES;
ABOUT THE CD;

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 1, 2011

    Excellent guide for the Microsoft Windows user who'd like to transition to an open-source operating system

    I found Ubuntu for Non-Geeks to be an excellent guide for the Microsoft Windows user who'd like to transition to an open-source operating system with open-source software. Ubuntu has led the Page Hit Ranking on DistroWatch's site for many years and this book will guide you through the entire process of installation and configuration. The early chapters of the book offer a brief introduction to Linux and running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS from the bootable CD that comes with the book. Working through the book you'll learn how to navigate the Desktop, connect to the Internet and update installed applications. File and disc handling comes next, with a brief into the command line, where the real power of Linux lies.

    Ubuntu allows the new Linux-user the flexibility to handle all tasks, and Non-Geeks gives useful information throughout. Printing/scanning, business apps, graphics and music are covered next. Connectivity with iPod and other digital media devices is also covered. The rest of the chapters cover video playback, gaming, connectivity to Windows machines and security. The final chapter is dedicated to the Ubuntu Community, which should be your first source for tech support. Appendices cover installing Ubuntu from a USB drive, installing on different hardware, manually partitioning your hard drive and referencing various resources.

    Most versions of Ubuntu have a life-cycle of approximately six months, but 10.04 is an LTS version: long-term support for at least three years. It is a good idea to give the bootable CD a test drive in your machine to ensure all hardware works properly. If so, you could repartition your hard drive to free-up space for Ubuntu and create a dual-boot system with Windows and Ubuntu. I've done this over the years, and it makes an excellent all-around machine. In fact, I did this with a reasonable priced netbook, installing Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Netbook release. This book is an outstanding tool to help you transition away from Windows and towards Linux. Ubuntu for Non-Geeks has many excellent tips for desktop customization and open source software that's readily available.

    I began working with Linux in 2003 with Red Hat 9, and have seen improvement in installation and configuration over the years. Linux as a desktop replacement for Windows has arrived. Create a dual-boot configuration using a tool named GParted (GNOME Partition Editor) that can resize existing partitions. Since most hard drives have plenty of disk space, GParted can free-up space that can be used for Linux. Once the drive is repartitioned, Ubuntu can be installed onto the same drive. GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader) will start and offer a choice of which operating system to load: Linux or Windows in this scenario. I've also purchased additional SATA hard drives for my laptop, and have various Linux distributions installed. Since Linux is open source, the cost is minimal and allows a lot of experimentation. Good luck, and you will not be disappointed purchasing this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2011

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