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on 1 February 2013
Spotted that a new edition of the book was out, so thought I'd take a look, primarily out of curiosity as the 2nd Edition was rather dated and not entirely representative of the current LPI-1 syllabus. Then again if you find some old kit in a garage and get nostalgic for a mid 90's Linux install then the 2nd edition could still come in handy, as it briefly covers the joy's of ISA card installs, and getting your internet fix via a modem and PPP or [C]SLIP (oh for the days of feeding 50+ floppies into the front of a machine to get a working system). The 3rd edition substitutes the archaic hardware and protocol passages for a few on new fangled (naughties) technologies: [U]EFI, ext4fs, usb3, GRUB2 and the like, and alters the odd digit here and there e.g. "more than 30 years of Unix history" becomes: "more than 40 years of Unix history", other than that and a bit of chapter shuffling, the contents is largely unchanged. Essentially it provides a quick overview of the core Linux concepts, features, conventions and commands, along with a high level run through of some of the basic installation and administration tasks, just as the LPIC-1 exam objectives set out.

Worth noting, this edition no-longer ships with a CD containing a PDF version of the book, additional reference material and a practise exam test engine. Instead your provided with a link to the Sybex site, which after registration will permit you to download a Zip containing a further 3 separate zip archives, for: Linux, Mac and Windows.

Thought I would give the Mac archive a whirl; within it you get another archive (getting rather Russian doll like) but this time in Mac .sparseimage format, anyway in that you get what appear to be a set of Windows BAT and EXE files, a PDF with a copy of the Glossary, a number of Flash SWF files, and supposedly an application called Start, which won't run on OS X 10.8.2. Raised a ticket with their customer support and got back a single line response, and the ticket was marked as closed:

> "The software for this title is not Mac compatible. I apologize for any inconvenience. To run the software you will need to use a PC."

have queried this as the Front Cover of the book does state:

"... and Access to Exam Prep Software Featuring: Linux-, Mac-, Windows-Compatible Custom Test Engines ..."

Anyway, you can open the individual SWF files directly from a Browser of your choice, or alternatively unpack the linux variant of the archive and just use the provided HTML front end (assuming your browser has a Flash Plugin). Had a bit of a play with the practise exams, to see what I've forgotten in the 20 odd years of daily Linux hacking, and according to the marking system some of the basics, thought I'd double check, and found the exam engine can't count, apparently selecting the answer it acknowledges as correct in it's explanation will not necessarily get you the mark (see Customer Pic), so raised another ticket.

Ignoring the test engine anomalies, and the removal of a bundled PDF for iPad / Kindle reference while maintaining the 2nd Editions Retail price. The slightly revised text should be enough to hint at what you will need to know to pass the LPI-1 exam, but you'll ideally want 6+ months daily hands on use, exposure to both a RedHat and Debian derived distribution, and have played and read the man pages for every command mentioned in the book, as the text only covers some of the most common features and arguments for the commands it covers, to be safe you should know the a few more e.g. The book mentions either of the following vi commands will save a file changes and quit vi: ZZ or :wq, but fails to mention any possibility not explicitly listed on the LPI.ORG site e.g. :x
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