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Re: Linux Books: Free as in Free Beer

__/ [ Larry Qualig ] on Sunday 07 May 2006 15:10 \__

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> __/ [ George Ellison (undercover) ] on Sunday 07 May 2006 14:41 \__
>> > Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> >> Pictorial desktop Linux books available for free download
>> >>
>> >> ,----[ Quote ]
>> >> | Book publisher In Pictures announced this week that it has added new
>> >> | how-to books on desktop Linux (Linspire Five-O), and the four
>> >> | OpenOffice.org programs (Base, Calc, Impress, Writer) to its catalog.
>> >> | The books are all designed for new and relatively new users.
>> >> |
>> >> | "They're part of our new In Pictures series, computer how-to books
>> >> | based on pictures, not text," In Pictures spokesman Chris Charuhas
>> >> | told DesktopLinux.com. "Most computer books contain 50,000 to 100,000
>> >> | words, but these contain only 5,000 or so. They're great for bringing
>> >> | newbies up to speed."
>> >> `----
>> >>
>> >> http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS6203677543.html
>> >>
>> >> Note: screen-quality PDF is free, print-quality (27MB) is not.
>> >
>> > I have nothing but the utmost pity for anyone who needs a friggin book
>> > to 'get up to speed' with Linspire. It's pretty much point-n-shoot.
>> That's just what I tell my mom about Thunderbird, but she never wants to
>> /explore/ an application unless  she has a soft cover book at hand, from
>> which she can learn step-by-step.  It is something to do with antiquated
>> notions and mental barriers.

Another post to appear in in this thread probably supports this point :

  __/ [ pixturesk@xxxxxxxxx ] on Sunday 07 May 2006 15:45 \__
  > I am not of the computer generation, never grew up with computers, so
  > learning stuff on computers whether Windows or Linux is a challenge, so
  > any assistance whether a book or tutorials or "point by point how-to's"
  > are always helpful. It is approaches like yours that will prevent Linux
  > from ever becoming mainstream!!

So, yes... although it is possible to use information in electronic form,
many prefer it in paper form. I never said that paper was obsolete. I did
point out there was a high-quality version (intended for printing) and I
posted this to C.O.L.A. because I think it opens the door to many who wish
to upgrade to Linux and have some reading hours to spare on the
train/plane/doctor's waiting room.

I know from experience that I can't convince everyone to study applications
by exploring menus and undertaking trial-and-error tests. These are just the
habits that I have grown to love. Many find paper, authorship, and the
physical feel of a book on the shelf somewhat intimate.

Also see:


        MIT explains why bad habits are hard to break

> I certainly don't "always" need a book on hand but there are certainly
> cases where I prefer to have a hard-copy "book" rather than a PDF file
> or web-page. Perhaps I'm a bit old fashioned but it's easier and more
> comfortable for me to flip through the pages in a book than it is to
> view the same document on a computer.  Reasons?
> #1 - Resolution. Printed material (books) are still far superior to
> display technology.
> #2 - View area. Related to #1 but with a book I can easily view the
> entire page at a time. With a computer I need to scroll to see the
> entire page. I can view something in "full page" mode but then the page
> is essentially unreadable.

That is a matter of habits, but hardware is involved as well. Get yourself a
nice monitor or two (or more) and get a good PDF reader (toss away that
garbage/bloat called Acrobat Reader). Then, as you read more and more
papers, it will become very natural.

> #3 - It's still much easier to highlite a sentence/paragraph in a book
> or to jot down some notes/comments on a piece of paper than it is to
> annotate a web-page.

Highlighting of text on the computer is as quick as highlighting text in your
Web browser. Moreover, you can copy and paste 'bits' of interest and get
them isolated from the dross (related to searching, which is noted below).

> There are benefits to electronic media (searching, etc.) but books are
> far from out-dated ot antiquated.

Searching is an important issue. For several years I have been paperless and
I manage to find all these papers that I read years ago. They are well
indexed and properly filed owing to virtual abstraction that the O/S makes
available. The number of things you can do on the computer but cannot
achieve in paper form is immense.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    GPL'd 3-D Reversi: http://othellomaster.com
http://Schestowitz.com  |  Open Prospects   ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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      http://iuron.com - knowledge engine, not a search engine

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