I have a new favorite Linux book: Linux: Rute User’s Tutorial and Exposition by Paul Sheer. It can be read online, or can be downloaded. The PDF is laid out inconveniently for an e-reader, but the fabulous content more than makes up for it.
This book has been awesome so far. It is comprehensive yet concise. The writing is much clearer than most of the other books I’ve been reading. The language is casual and conversational, with little asides. It doesn’t feel stiff. While it does use jargon, all the jargon is adequately explained. Since it is easier to read than the other Linux books I’ve seen, I’m having a much easier time actually remembering the information presented.
I’ve only been reading the Rute User’s Tutorial for a couple days, but already I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I just finished chapter 3, and so far it’s covered a lot of the basics of computers, such as the different number systems and computer parts. Comparing just the computer parts section to another book, one of Comptia’s A+ certification books, the information presented is exactly what is needed. No more, no less. The A+ certification book I’ve been reading gives overly detailed information on the computer parts: it gave a huge list of ALL the different kinds of each part, like who manufactured it, various specs, why it was replaced with this different part 30 years ago, etc. If I was working on a computer and needed to know some spec of a piece of hardware, I wouldn’t go on memory, I’d look it up to be sure. Instead of giving me a bunch of information that I won’t use, Rute gives me exactly what I need to know to get things to work and to find more detailed information if I need it. It tells me how a piece of hardware works, why it works that way; it doesn’t bog me down with numbers and specs.
The Rute User’s Tutorial seems like it’s going to cover everything I’ll need to know to be able to work with Linux. It covers shell scripts (from beginner to advanced), the Linux file system (with explanations of what each system folder is actually for), networking, some C, servers, etc. It also has sections on each of the Linux certification tests. The progression from simple to complex seems to be well laid out so that I can comfortably advance.
Out of the ten computer-related books I’ve been reading over the past couple months, the Rute User’s Tutorial and Learn to Program are the only two I’ve actually enjoyed. The former is my favorite, and I’m really glad I found it.
My other new favorite is Nixie Pixel’s OS-Alt YouTube Channel. I found her while browsing around and she’s great! She’s funny & smart. I have yet to watch all her old videos, but the ones I’ve watched have been both entertaining and informative. She has a lot of videos on security that I really want to watch. I’ve watched a couple of her episodes comparing different products and found them very useful. There are also a number of tutorials on Linux.
I also like Nixie because I like to see women represented in the computer world. Sometimes it feels like a lot of the computer or gaming community is surprised that I’m reading their webpage with asides like “if a girl ever reads this page.” We use computers just as much as men and we play games as much as men. I feel that the only way we’ll see ourselves represented in the products we’re purchasing is if we step up and say we’re using this stuff too. So I admire Nixie Pixel for having the guts to do something I won’t do: put herself out there in videos open to the trolls of YouTube.