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2-cent Tip: Free beginners books

Oscar Laycock [oscar_laycock at yahoo.co.uk]

Mon, 14 Sep 2009 14:06:30 +0000 (GMT)

I recently came across some old notes listing the books I read when starting to use Linux.

At first, I wasn't sure what Free Software was, so I read the following:

- Free as in Freedom, Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software, 2002 http://oreilly.com/openbook/freedom/

- Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, 1999 http://oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/toc.html I especially liked the chapter 'Freeing the Source - The Story of Mozilla'

- The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Eric S. Raymond http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/ I particularly enjoyed reading the section 'A Brief History of Hackerdom'

- http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/ This has various articles about free software

I also read these Unix books and articles:

- The Art of Unix Programming, Eric S. Raymond http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/taoup/html/

- The UNIXHATERS Handbook http://web.mit.edu/~simsong/www/ugh.pdf This reminded me that Unix is not the only way of doing things.

- Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language, Brian W. Kernighan, 1981 http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/cs655-S00/readings/bwk-on-pascal.html

I must have read almost every entry in 'The Jargon File' at 'http://www.catb.org/jargon/'.

I always wanted to know about networking, so I read 'The Linux Network Administrator's Guide' on the Linux Documentation projects website, 'http://tldp.org/guides.html'. On the same site I found two old books: 'The Linux Programmer's Guide' and 'The Linux Kernel' by David Rusling. I know a bit of C which helped. I also went through most of the series of 'Anatomy of...' articles at 'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/'. I even browsed through the 'Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manuals' at 'http://www.intel.com/products/processor/manuals/'.

I enjoyed the 'The Bastard Operator From Hell' articles. You can google for them. There are some at 'http://members.iinet.net.au/~bofh/'. Also try searching for lists of how 'You know you've been hacking too long when...'. I also liked the 'Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal' and 'The Story of Mel' posts. You can find discussions of them on wikipedia.

I learnt about Linux distro's from reading the Distrowatch Weekly at 'http://distrowatch.com/'.

Each week I read Linux Weekly News at 'http://lwn.net/', although I still don't understand all of it! You pay for the current issue, but the archives are free. I also keep up with the latest Linux news at 'http://www.osnews.com/'.

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