Author: Rickford Grant & Phil Bull
Publisher: No Starch Press, 4thed, 2010
Aimed at: Newcomers
Pros: Clear introduction and includes a copy of Ubuntu 10.04 on CD
Cons: Perhaps not simple enough
Reviewed by: Alex Armstrong
This really is a beginner's book. If you manage to use Windows or any incarnation of Linux then you can skip forward to another book. This one will tell you nothing that isn't obvious - however it is supposed to be targeting non-geeks so it might still have an audience.
It goes over the usual introductory topics - some history, installation, using the desktop, connecting to the Internet, installing packages, the file system, customising, the command line, using printers and scanners and so on . It also covers applications - graphics, music, DVD player, gaming and so on. It is more than enough for a non-geek to swallow in one book.
Its approach also isn't suitable for the truly clueless. It does assume that you have some idea of how things work at a very basic level. On the plus side it doesn't assume that you have used Windows before and doesn't introduce everything by contrast with the way Windows does things.
This is a clear and useful introduction to Ubuntu and it comes with a copy of Ubuntu 10.04 on CD bound into the back jacket which makes it a useful purchase even if the book turns out to be not quite suitable for you. Despite the fact that the book is for "non-geeks" it is still fairly geeky - I can think of people I wouldn't give this book to as a starter manual - it's gentle but not that gentle.
As long as you are bright enough to read the clear explainations and work your way thought the book it should help but you will need to look things up on the web and some additional help in troubleshooting would be a good idea.
Overall a reasonably good first Ubuntu book for fairly non-geeky but willing users.