Just one geek's opinions and epiphanies

SLLUG Daytime and Vim

Vim LogoI would like to give a big thanks to all the folks who attended today's Salt Lake Linux User Group Daytime Special Interest Group (SLLUG Daytime SIG). We had a great time covering the basics of vi(m) and I think everyone walked away knowing something new.

I created my slides using Google Docs, so you can see them too!

I want to thank Joe Brockmeier, and Linux.com for the source material and here is a list of places you can find equally great (actually better) presentations and tutorials on vi(m):

Also to learn more about vi(m) read up on these:

There are thousands of other articles on vi(m) around the net, so if this doesn't give you your fix, search Google.

Penguins Learn to Fly

Ok, so maybe the title is a bit misleading, but here is the deal. The Linux Foundation, you know the guys who safe guard Linux and employ Linus, are going to offer free, as in beer, educational webinars on the topics of Linux starting in March.

This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about Linux from the folks who are developing and changing Linux everyday! You can sign up for the courses at:


Here are some details from the page above:

Starting in March, The Linux Foundation will be offering free Linux Training webinars taught by well-known Linux developers directly building on their own experience.  This is an excellent opportunity to learn directly from key developers and to experience a sample of the type of courses offered through our Linux Training program.

Some of the upcoming courses are:

  • "An Introduction to Git," by kernel maintainer and TAB chair James Bottomley
  • "Linux System Troubleshooting and Tuning" by Linux author and community manager Joe Brockmeier
  • "Linux Administration 101" also by Joe Brockmeier
  • "How to Work wth the Linux community," by LWN.net editor and kernel developer Jon Corbet
  • "A Linux Filesystem Overview," by kernel dev Christoph Hellwig
  • "Btrfs: An Intro and Update" to the new file system for Linux, by project lead Chris Mason
  • "Linux Performance Tuning," by North America's first kernel developer Ted Ts'o

I personally am looking forward to these and hopefully many more webinars in the future, and would like to give an advanced thank you to the Linux Foundation for all the great work they are sponsoring every day.

My kids are geeks!

You know you wish your kids were sporting Fedora tats!

[caption id="attachment_288" align="aligncenter" width="332" caption="Isaac with Fedora tattoo on chest"]Isaac with Fedora tattoo on chest[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_287" align="aligncenter" width="332" caption="Madison with Fedora Tattoo"]Madison with Fedora Tattoo[/caption]

Linux Administration A Beginner's Guide, Fifth Edition

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="140" caption="Linux Administration: A Beginners Guide"]Linux Administration: A Beginners Guide[/caption]

As Wale Soyinka claims at the beginning, Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide, Fifth Edition; is a book for beginners, not for "dummies." He assumes you know most of the basic terms and concepts needed to run a modest Windows network. This book explains the "why" for many of the facets in running a Linux server, to further complete your knowledge of your system and to understand the options available to you when setting up and tweaking your server to suit your needs.

It covers so many topics that it understandably doesn't go into a lot of detail on some of them.  But then again, this is not an expert's guide.  It will, however, help you get pretty familiar with the tools you'll need and even provides background information about how certain programs evolved.  The content was kept fresh by the author adding gems of humor and making the text read a lot less like a math book than I expected.

There are plenty of command line examples strewn throughout the book, and human-readable explanations of each option you have available to you. Because sometimes, Linux's man page documentation is too cryptic for those not intimately familiar with an application.  This adds to the book's value as a reference manual for when you can't remember everything you read.

This book filled in a lot of the holes in my education concerning Linux and administration in general.  A good investment for anyone looking to start their own solid Linux server, or a reference book for the more seasoned admin. From reading this book, I feel much more confident in my admin-abilities and have solid ground to reach higher levels of Linux administration.  All of which of course, adds to my value as an employee!

Ubuntu Kung Fu: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks (Pragmatic Bookshelf)

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="190" caption="Ubuntu Kung Fu: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks"]Ubuntu Kung Fu: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks[/caption]

First I would like to say thanks to O'reilly and the good people at Pragmatic Bookshelf, for allowing me to read and review Ubuntu Kung Fu: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks. I absolutely loved the book, and I am going to recommend it to everyone I know who uses Ubuntu.

The book was written for version 8.04 of Ubuntu, but will work great with 8.10 too! While reading and reviewing the book, you ought to have a machine nearby to test the hacks and hints. They are absolutely amazing. There are over 300 tips in the book, and each is a gem in its own right. The tips range rom optimizing the speed of your machine, to GUI hacks, hardware, messing with media, security enhancements, and system administration.

The table of contents is really great too! First it list each hack/tip in order of the book, then it shows you the tips organized into groups of topics, system admin, security, etc. Also each tip has information on getting to the next tips that are related. 

Truly this book is for anyone who is using Ubuntu who hasn't been working with the code directly and would like to know more about the OS and what it can do. 

Just after reading the first few tips I was able to reduce the boot times on my laptop from minute and twenty seconds to under thirty seconds. I was also able to accurately graph the results of these changes by installing and using bootchart, a tip from the Ubuntu Kung Fu book.

If you are looking for a good book to help you enhance your understanding of Linux and Ubuntu, this is the book, get it now at Amazon, or from the Pragmatic Bookshelf.