A reader’s review of the first book for Ubuntu Linux in Macedonian language
Fortunately, the book does not fail the expectations of the reader. The book is packed in a modest number of pages, containing wide-ranging information, written in a clear language and comprehensible style, so the reader would not be willing to prematurely abandon the idea of learning how to use Linux.
The book is above all intended for the beginners that come across the Linux operative system for the first time, as well as for the ones migrating from Windows to Linux. The authors are also addressing the book to the more advanced users who can come upon useful information in certain sections of the book. However, it would probably be best to say that the book is intended for the total beginners who are coming across this operative system for the first time, while the advanced users who are already actively working with a Windows operative system could also be satisfied.
The spontaneous flow of information in the book is enabling the reader to get into the content and to wish to read it all at once. The beginners will probably want to reread certain segments of the book several times, whereas the more advanced could literally read the whole book at once. The proportional use of images and text should be praised, because a reader that has used the Ubuntu operative system at least several times, can read the book without working on the computer at the same time. Although the book is written in a manner that is suitable for beginners, still, the features of Ubuntu differentiating it from Windows and the other operative systems make the book attractive even for the more advanced Windows users. For them, the book is, if nothing else, a good guide which can be read with pleasure.
Probably, many will be disappointed by the sections of the book where certain particularities are not explained well enough, with the justification that these are issues outside of the book’s domain. Instead of providing a complete explanation, the authors are referring us to the internet forums. Although this looks like they are exempting themselves from the obligation to say more, this is a completely expected method of approach towards a book for Ubuntu Linux. Namely, this is an operative system that often requires the user to have an internet connection in order to upgrade the necessary applications for his everyday work, whether regular or specific.
Regarding the organization of the book
The book is divided into four sections comprising 200 pages.
In the first introductory part, the reader has the opportunity to get familiar with the basics of Ubuntu. Starting with general information on the operative systems, followed by the idea for free software and the development of Linux, the reader has the opportunity to acquire a sound knowledge of Linux, which every computer user should possess. In this introductory part, the possible vagueness regarding the various Linux distributions and the different graphic interfaces of the distributions is eliminated. The obvious imperfections of this Linux distribution are also included in the book. However, the authors prevent us from getting disappointed and quitting. On the contrary, they incite us to look for some of the possible solutions on the internet by ourselves.
The second part is comprised by all the important topics related to working with Ubuntu, as well as for working with an operative system in general. Therefore, this is the section with the most pages. Simply named “Ubuntu”, the second section begins with the description of the screen of this Linux distribution right after it is activated. This is followed by the guidelines on the work with windows and applications. The file system Natilius used by Ubuntu is extensively presented, as needed, because it is very different from the file systems used by the Windows operative systems. Someone who has not yet worked with Ubuntu, can rest assured that he will learn what is necessary by reading this part of the book.
Next are the options that allow for visual user adjustments. The system configuration is the next important segment elaborated in the second chapter. Among other things, there is a precise explanation regarding the procedure for adding a Macedonian layout of the keyboard for working with Ubuntu. In order to apply this adjustment, the authors have used the tool for text processing from the OpenOffice.org package, which, on the other hand, is not additionally elaborated.
The third segment is dedicated to the programs for multimedia work in Ubuntu. The information in this part are placed on modest 20 pages, but this is where the reader will learn how to listen to music from CDs and how to play various music formats stored locally on his computer. Afterwards, detailed guidelines are provided on downloading the necessary packages that the user should additionally install in order to be able to work with all the types of audio and video files, the method of ripping music from audio CDs is explained, as well as the burning of audio CDs, listening to radio over the internet and watching video files and DVD movies.
The last part is dedicated to the most important and useful thing in the computer world – the internet. The three most important programs for communication via the internet are described. Mozilla Firefox is the browser bundled with the installation of Ubuntu, and because of its features, as well as because of the popularity that it has among the users, exactly this browser is elaborated in the book. The information that the user is coming across not only as a user of Ubuntu, but as a user of the windows operative system are useful, because this browser has special editions for both operative systems. However, from an aspect of completeness, maybe too many pages have been dedicated to the guidelines for work with the Mozilla Firefox, if we take into consideration that this is not the only place where such guidelines can be found, and the fact that many of the Windows users who have not worked with Linux at all until now, have used this browser, and for these persons this part of the book may seem totally unnecessary. The justification is that this is a book that should be used also by the ones that haven’t worked with Windows, or with another operative system, let alone with the Internet browser Mozilla Firefox.
The method of work with the program Evolution is also elaborated. This is the basic e-mail client for Ubuntu. At the end, the story ends with the real time communication manager through several chat clients united under a common name in the Pidgin program.
The version 6.10 is elaborated in the “Ubuntu Linux” book, which is upgraded with the appropriate packages for using it in Macedonian. Since several people voluntarily participated in the translation of the options, commands, explanations, menus etc, many of the information still remain only in English. This can confuse the reader because in order to select an option he should often combine commands in both Macedonian and English. Also, having in mind the fact that the Macedonian version of the operative system Ubuntu Linux is elaborated in this book, the reader is forced to make adjustments before beginning to read the book, otherwise locating the appropriate menus and commands would mean loss of time and patience.
This problem could still be considered negligible if we rely on the pictures. On the other hand, all the expressions that are frequently used in the computer world and that are written in English are used with an appropriate translation into Macedonian, whereas the original phrase is always in parentheses. This approach suits both the readers that do not have sufficient knowledge of English and the advanced users that are already used to the original English terms. From an aspect of the use of expressions used in the sphere of computers, we can say that the translation is clear enough, as well as descriptive. And, as a remark, it is inevitable to mention the use of the term internet search engine, instead of internet browser in the Macedonian translation.
Instead of a conclusion
This book will probably get good and bad remarks, but still, we must hail the idea for this edition, which is the first of this kind. Having in mind the goal of this book, “Ubuntu Linux” probably satisfies the hunger for information of the new and experienced Linux users. What we as readers can say is that the authors and publisher have our full support and we hope that this is just the beginning for the numerous future editions of Linux. Until then, everyone should read what is already available – the first book for Ubuntu Linux in Macedonian.