Issue #224, December 2012
When I was younger, I read a lot of books. Although they've fallen out of style, some of my favorite books were of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" variety. The only downside is that three or four nested page-turning decisions into the book, I'd run out of fingers to hold my place. See, I didn't want to commit to the wrong choice. (I may have missed the point of those books.) Based on feedback from last year, I suspect most of you read "Choose Your Own Adventure" books in the same way. After last year's Readers' Choice issue, you wanted more data! This year, we obliged and are are giving you the full results, down to tenths of percentage points. (Those writing in for more precise numbers will get such a pinch!)
Normally with the Readers' Choice issue, I feign laziness and claim that readers have done all the heavy lifting. This issue, however, is chock full of interesting articles. Reuven M. Lerner starts off with his annual book roundup. I always struggle with which books are worth my time, and Reuven aims to help with that problem. Dave Taylor, on the other hand, gives a lesson in stdin, stdout and stderr. If you've ever been confused about adding
2>&1 to the end of your cron jobs, Dave will enlighten you.
Kyle Rankin takes us to the depths of system administration with his real-life data-center problems (his own data center). There's no way to learn Linux administration quite like doing it, so follow along with Kyle and his escapades, and be sure to take notes. I follow Kyle with my Open-Source Classroom column and reach for the opposite end of the server spectrum: the Raspberry Pi. Although the RPi can do countless cool things, when it first arrives in its tiny little box, it can be a bit overwhelming. I do my best to make your first taste of Pi a little sweeter and show you some cool things along the way. If you bought a Raspberry Pi, but don't know where to begin, I can hook you up.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I whine rather regularly about wanting a Nexus 7 tablet. Although the gift-giving fairies at Google apparently don't subscribe to my tweets, Philip Raymond helps a little this month with his review of the Nexus. The downside is that now I want a Nexus 7 even more, and since Google recently has released an updated model with cellular options, I'm hoping Santa Claus reads my tweets!
Speaking of Google, if you're a faithful fan of its products, yet feel abandoned by the lack of a native Google Drive application, Mehdi Poustchi Amin might soothe those wounds with his introduction to Grive. Grive is an open-source implementation of Google Drive, and it aims to bring Google's latest feature to the penguiny masses. Google still promises that a Linux native client is in the works, but Grive is open source, and it's available now.
Although it's a bit of a spoiler, the GIMP has won favorite Graphics/Design Tool in our Readers' Choice survey once again. That's not likely a surprise to anyone who ever has edited a photo in Linux, but in light of our readers' votes year after year, we've included Shashwat Pant's introduction to GIMP 2.8. This trusty editor is sporting a brand-new UI this season, and looking at its current iteration, a victory for the GIMP in next year's Readers' Choice is looking like a big likelihood as well.
The main feature of this issue is the Readers' Choice results. If you wonder where you line up with the bulk of our readers, or if you're just curious about what companies are currently the most Linux-friendly, you're reading the right issue. We also have product reviews, product announcements and many other helpful, geeky things to make this issue useful and entertaining. To begin your adventure, turn to page 10 now. To reread this article, turn to page 8. To start your adventure anew, turn to page 1....
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