When I originally bought Linux Format, I thought the layout was terrible (waaay too basic and the whole magazine was too thin). Another minus point was the lack of any really useful information other than guides for the beginner. Around the same time, Linux Magazine was coming on the market and it was vastly superior - it had far better articles (that catered for the intermediate and advanced) and offered a much better layout and value for money. Needless the say, I opted to subscribe to Linux Magazine (and Linux Journal) rather than Linux Format. However, Linux Magazine these days are beginning to offer basic articles for the beginner, and I would suspect this has something to do with competing with Linux Format. That said, the recently re-launched issue shows much better layout and improvement in quality of articles. It still has some way to go, but I reckon it'll get there soon.
Linux format is a great magazine. After waiting many years for a Linux magazine to surface the UK Linux community was rewarded last year with this offering. It always has a great cover CD although by now perhaps I have a few too many different distributions, but still, its nice to try out new things. My only complaint would be that some articles are perhaps a bit too basic and could be expanded on further. I know the editorial team say its a magazine for both the newbies and the more fluent users but perhaps a little more advanced topics wouldn't go astray. Going into a little detail never hurt anyone. :) However I'd defiently recommend it to people new to Linux because it explains things very well, except a few articles in the past which come to mind which I personally thought were a bit shady. For the more Intermediate/Advanced user i'd suggest taking a look at Linux Magazine as well. It's tutorials/articles seem to be targetted at an audience more familiar with Linux and its more powerful features. However, great magazine and lets hope Linux Format staff keep up the good work..
There are few Linux mags on the ground, which probably makes Linux Format a market leader by default. Like most computer magazines this is a glossy, alluring beastie with a CD to tempt the buyer. In fact the magazine is fairly slim, both physically and in terms of the content. What there is varies between stuff for the total beginner and much more specialised articles for the seasoned campaigner. A lot of the beginner stuff should be usefully archived on the CD, that way the content can be more focussed to those who've gone beyond the basics. The lack of real meat makes this a pretty much hit and miss affair. It's the CDs which usually make this worth buying. This is where I got my hands on Mandrake 7.2, for example, so it pays to keep an eye out for each issue. To be honest the best option is to keep an eye out for Linux content in more mainstream magazines. PCW, PCPlus and other have articles (and software) on Linux, and you get the added bonus of more varied and interesting content. It's a shame, as there's probably more interest in the subject than there's ever been.
I got into the whole Linux thing when I bought a copy of Linux Format's predecessor, the short-lived Linux Answers. Unfortunately LF doesn't seem to be a great deal better. Its desperately lacking in content, and for the same price as other Future Entertainment mags like PCFormat and PCPlus, it just doesn't seem particularly good value for money. The content (such as there is) is a bit of a mixed bag, some stuff is too much for Linux experts, the rest is oriented for people who wouldn't choose to use Linux in the first place. Its just a shame there's not enough demand for a Linux monthly mag to tempt more people to buy one, and start the snowball effect. Conclusion: Buy PCPlus instead and swot up on the Linux material.
AS a Microsoft user these past 7 or 8 years i was determined to try anothor OS, mainly to spite Bill for what it was worth. Well unix was rather hard and most other sytems had problems taking undeveloped or tricky Operating sytems. I managed to use Linux a little at university and thought this was the best cheap option. I've must admit I have had to be nursed along the way by some very undeerstanding friends and Linux Format. When I have a problem it is the latter i turn to first. If the problem cannot be answered by the help pages I tend to write to them for help. On only one occation did I have to wait for publication day, they emailed me most of what I wanted. The editorials are quite clear and precise with a great help section. As Linux develops it becomes more user friendly and Linux Format keeps giving you the helpe needed.
I am interested in Linux and I'm sorry to say that after having read Linux format I'm still not confident enough to install it on my computer. I get the impression that I should already know a lot about Linux and its operation to be able to fully understand the instructions given. On the tutorial pages you are told to do a certain task but not told how to do it. If you don't already know, where do you go? The only instruction I found of any help was on how to install Linux along side Windows. I beleive I could do this with ease but adding other software and surfing the internet are a different kettle of fish. Maybe I need a new fishing rod.
Running Linux at home or work? Suck with Linux or just learning the ropes? If the answer to any of them is Yes then you need to get hold of Linux Format. The UK's only Dedicated Linux magazine. This mag is perfect for the novice and expert alike. Coming from the Future publising company The magazine is very well put together (If a little thin for some people's liking). It comes with a well stocked CD-Rom every month containing 650meg of very useful, and sometime essential, utilities and programs. It has been going for four issues now and is getting better and better every month. The mag also has some very informative and useful tutorials runnig every month. With topics from Apache to Cron and loads in between. So in conclusion if you run linux or are interested in running it then get Linux Format you won't regret it.