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September 4, 2005

Tux Magazine & Linux Journal

I'm not much for sitting in front of my computer for leisurely reading, what reading I do on my computer is done in the pursuit of some specific information, or news articles I happen to run across on /., blogs, or news sites. I've never been much for reading eBooks on the computer and printing eBooks or online magazines for offline reading seems like such a waste of paper and ink.

I subscribe to several online webmaster newsletters which usually contain short articles or a digest of other articles they are offering that day.

However, a few months ago, I signed up for a free (beer) subscription to TUX Magazine. TUX is a monthly digital magazine for new Linux users; since its launch a few months ago, they have been advertising pretty heavily, so you may have seen it mentioned on the intarweb. Each month they send me an email with a link to where I can download the current month's edition. I rarely have time to go through it all, but I browse and will read an article if it jumps out at me. It's very well done and I highly suggest getting a subscription if you like to spend time reading at your PC or have a portable device for reading such stuff.

Anyway, as I was subscribing to TUX, I was offered a free (beer) subscription to Linux Journal. This is not a digital version, but a no shit in-your-mailbox subscription; no credit card number required. So of course I signed up for that.

I got my first issue this past week and finally had time to sit down and spend some time reading it this weekend. Unlike digital magazines, I really like dead-tree versions. I've never read a Linux Journal before, but so far I've found it to be really nice. It covers a wide variety of topics and the authors seem to know what they're writing about. I don't recall how long this free subscription is supposed to last, but I'm very likely to renew for $ when it expires.

Articles in this issue include a piece about Grease Monkey with information about how to get it to do what you want using the Linux Journal site as an example (it's the second time I've ever read an article where the author explains how to remove ads from their own site, the first time was my own). There was also an article about developing applications for use inside the kernel, with an FTP client as an example. This one was over my head, but what I could understand served as extremely educational. Robert Love had an article about Project Utopia (which I haven't read yet).

I particularly liked an article about introducing kids to Linux. This is something I've been working on lately because my son is just starting 1st grade and has always enjoyed scribbling with The GIMP, playing BZFlag on our LAN, or playing that Frozen Bubble game. His PC is tango uniform right now because some ill-advised hardware hacking I did with it. He's been playing some NickJr.com games on my wife's new Vector Box, but I've been thinking more about trying to find some quality educational software for his age. The article's author spoke highly about GCompris. I have not tried this our for myself yet, but there are RPMS available at Packman. The GCompris site has many other binaries and source available. Linked from the GCompris site is another promising-looking educational suite called Childsplay.

I have no idea if TUX is still offering a free subscription to Linux Journal, but it's worth checking out.

Posted 15 years, 1 month ago on September 4, 2005
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