If you are the type who responds to friends' pleas to "help me get this virus off my computer" by deleting Windows and installing Linux, you may find a perfect holiday gift for the convert in a new magazine called TUX from SSC, the publishers of the ground-breaking Linux Journal.
Linux Journal (which I read every month the moment it comes) covers an enormous range of topics in Linux technology as well as business, law, politics, etc. In contrast, TUX is an end-user's magazine for ordinary desktop users. The editor in chief is the renowned Marcel Gagné, who describes himself as the kind of friend I mentioned in the first paragraph and who can attest to the viability of Linux as an ordinary person's desktop system.
TUX was proposed by Marcel after noting the success of his Cooking with Linux column for Linux Journal (it's the only column consistently aimed at a desktop user, and has been voted the readers' favorite column four years in a row) and of his book Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!, which has been one of the best-selling books about Linux the past couple of years.
What are the topics for the new magazine? They'll be somewhat like Cooking with Linux, somewhat like Moving to Linux, and somewhat like whatever the authors propose. Marcel is looking for a friendly, jargon-free approach and style, non-threatening to average computer users. The magazine should be useful for home, office, and enterprise users, including knowledge workers.
Lots of companies talk a good game about desktop Linux, but it's a good sign for the phenomenon that SSC is willing to put their money behind this new venture. Linux can't yet be called a regular household item, but it could break through at any time. And the breakthrough will probably happen first outside of North America--so TUX will be marketed internationally.
I've expressed some opinions about this trend in my Report from the first Desktop Linux Conference and in a subsequent article, To push desktop Linux, radical shift may be required. Time moves on, though, and the requirements for a tipping point can change. Speaking of time moving on, I've got a month left to drop some hints to friends and relatives about their holiday gift.
Andy Oram is an editor for O'Reilly Media, specializing in Linux and free software books, and a member of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. His web site is www.praxagora.com/andyo.
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