Monday, October 03, 2011

Rejoicing in the new Linux Journal digital edition

I've been subscribing to the Linux journal for more than a decade. Until recently, I could grab an old copy off my bookshelf and flip through the Good Old days. Every once in a while I'd considered giving up my subscription - do I really need more paper delivered to my house? How relevant are most of the articles to me? But, inevitably, there would be some tidbit of information or a lead on a new bit of technology which would make it all worth while. From basic shell scripting (about 10 years ago), to Facebook apps, to jQuery, I've found the Linux Journal gives me just enough info to introduce me to a topic and get me on my way, without information overload.

So, I was a bit sad when they recently switched to digital only versions. The cool thing about magazines is the space they create for serendipity. Online, I'm often searching/filter what I'm reading. Which means that I find what I'm looking for, but not what might be truly useful. But with Linux Journal or Wired magazine, I'm forced to open my eyes to topics I didn't even know I was interested in. The effect can be quite powerful.

Would the digital version of Linux Journal really give me that same opportunity? At first I didn't think so. Was I really going to page through a PDF on my computer? Almost certainly not. But, as I downloaded my first digital copy of the Journal I realized that they are offering it in epub format, too. Then it hit me, the digital version of Linux Journal would make the ideal companion for my Android. Its high quality content I can pre-load and read at my leisure. Because of its standalone nature, it's accessible when the Network isn't - on airplanes, the subway, etc.

I get my space for serendipity *and* instant access. I'm thinking this could actually be useful.

Reading the Linux Journal on Android

Not sure if this is the best experience for reading the Linux Journal, but it seems to work for me:

  1. Install Aldiko eBook reader. It's free
  2. Download the .epub version of the Linux Journal. I downloaded the file named dlj210.epub
  3. Attach your Android to your computer via USB
  4. When prompted by your Android, click Turn on USB storage
  5. Open up Windows Explorer and browse over to the drive where your Android SD card can be found
  6. In a near useless attempt to keep things on the SD card organized, I created the directory D:\Content\Magazines\Linux Journal
  7. Copy the .epub file into this directory
  8. Unplug your Android, or turn off USB Storage
  9. Fire up Aldiko
  10. Click on the Home icon in the top left hand corner
  11. Click on SD Card
  12. Navigate to Content\Magazines\Linux Journal
  13. Click the checkmark next to the .epub .epub file
  14. Click Import ot Aldiko

At this point, the magazine is imported and you can read it like any other resources.

Now go, be inspired!


  1. Check the market, there is an android app for the journal too!

  2. Hey Nick -

    Thanks for the lead! At least the above is useful for other .epub files you may have around.