I've always enjoyed reading the informative and often amusing articles from Marcel Gagne in his regular column at Linux Journal. I have not subscribed to that publication in a while - I tend to like the European Linux Format, Linux Pro Magazine, and Llnux User and Developer magazines, especially Linux Format, a.k.a. LXF these days.

Marcel Gagne, however, remains a great author. Those who do not appreciate his humor may be bothered and distracted by it, but other than that, his advice is almost always sound, and it turns out he is a great Linux advocate as well.

That is the topic I want to get to in this note and brief review. A recent book, published by Addison Wesley, authored by the "Award-Winning Author of the Linux Journal "Cooking with Linux" Column, Marcel Gagne, has written yet another in his "Moving to..." series of books. In the past, he wrote, "Moving to Linux: Give the Blue Screen the Blue Screen the Kiss of Death" or something to that effect. These were great books, and he wrote at least two or three editions of these popular books. They were Linux advocacy books, but this time, he has taken a slightly different approach, and I think he may have hit upon one of the best ways of all to handle free software advocacy - don't force a Windows desktop user to abandon Windows in one desperate move, in fact, don't force them to move at all. Provide a DVD with free software that will run on Windows, and, oh by the way, it runs on other system, including Linux systems. Then just casually make a bootable DVD that just happens to run one of the world's easiest to use desktop Linux system, set up specifically to run Live from the DVD, a system that also has the convenience to install to the hard disk at a later time, just by clicking a desktop icon.

Include all of that on a DVD insert in the book, then write the book, explaining how you can first move to free software just by reading the book and running the software on the DVD. Then show how you can go much further with it ... and yes, kiss that Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) good bye forever.

Marcel does all of this in this recent book, entitled "Moving to Free Software". I am a long time software veteran. It isn't that I NEEDED a book like this, from the standpoint of my own technical learning. I am looking for better and more appropriate ways to cultivate free software advocacy, and possibly learn some things from Marcel about advocacy that can lead to consulting jobs and possibly a small business.

Whether that is your goal, too, or if you are just interested in learning how to run more free software, getting valuable tips on how it works, this is a good book. Only the advanced veteran - who is not interested at all in software advocacy, and maybe even is annoyed that all of these young whippersnappers are now on HIS network, that was once quiet and serene, and did what he wanted it to do - might not be interested in this book. Most of the rest of us would find this book technically sound, amusing to read, and also a great source of ideas for how to promote free software advocacy.

I highly recommend this book for your software reading library.