Ubuntu Kung-Fu – 10 Best Tricks (and some even work on Macs)
By my count, Ubuntu Kung-Fu from Pragmatic Bookshelf is the perfect summer reading book. It’s light, the content is not going to strain your mind the way some computer science tomes will; it’s easy to read, as always with Prag books the writing is conversational and the fonts large; and it’s fun, where else can you read about easter eggs like talking cows and floating desktop fish.
Admittedly, some of the 315 tips are useless. I’m not sure when I’ll ever use the “cowsay” command to invoke a talking ascii cow, but for some reason I’m glad I know about it. I predict the error output in my Bash scripts is about to get a lot more bovine. Most of the tips are good, though. Of the 315 total tips (less than a page long each), there are maybe 25 dual boot and Windows related tips and maybe 25 more system recovery and troubleshooting tips. It isn’t a comprehensive reference to administration or dual booting, but these tips are still good to keep around in case of emergencies. Someone switching from Windows and still dual booting will find this book extremely helpful. There are also quite a few Gnome desktop tips for how to tune the desktop manager; for instance, how to use drapes to change the wallpaper every morning. But the majority of the book details cool and useful programs and packages to install… stuff I didn’t realize I needed until I found out about it. Normally I prefer printed books, but the best way to read Ubuntu Kung-Fu is by viewing the PDF directly on the computer and having a command prompt open to try the tips as you go.
If your vision of a great vacation is laying down with a laptop on your belly, banging away on new bash commands and scripts, then this is the book for you.
Now here are my favorite 10 tips…