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Finding information and resources

There is plenty of information, and there are plenty of free resources, available on the internet, but it is difficult to determine which are good, and provided without excessive security risks or conditions.
I asked some visitors to the 2009 BETT education exhibition at Olympia, London whether they were aware that resources were available on some university mirror sites. Few knew they existed.
I then asked on the UK government based stands how teachers were expected to find the information. The reply was initially stunned silence, then a mix of suggestions that the universities themselves should inform teachers, and excuses that they could not provide information about resources which might carry illegal content or show any bias, despite actively promoting an expensive near-monopoly proprietary supplier over several years.
There are many resources made available to the public without charge by universities, but this is not without cost, so requests for additional content are welcome, but are carefully considered before resources are provided.

There are plenty of printed books and manuals covering a very wide range of subjects, varying from general basic information to extensive coverage of individual topics, such as the excellent series of books from O'Reilly, although not all bookshops will stock the technical ranges. You would be very fortunate to find any quality second hand books. Commercial operating system distributions are usually supplied with manuals dedicated to using those distributions.

There are many sources of information on the internet, with many references available via standard search engines such as google, but I suggest you have a look at the following. There are several ISO CD and DVD images, as well as floppy disc images. These usually require a careful download as binary, not text, files, and then must usually be copied direct to disc as a disc image, not as a file inside a standard filing system.

Look for internet websites and user correspondence lists covering the various packages and distributions, providing community help, and details of other facilities available that you may have missed.

A beginners guide to the Unix and Linux operating systems, Eight simple tutorials which cover the basics of Unix / Linux commands, UNIX Tutorial for Beginners http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Teaching/Unix

Another introductory course: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-lpic1-v3-map/index.html

There are many universities and colleges that run courses from beginner to advanced, including
The Open University http://www.open.ac.uk is offering courses for new users as well as more advanced courses, see http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/course/t155.htm
University of Westminster http://westminster.ac.uk includes computer science, security, and forensics courses
London School of Mathematics and Programming: https://londonsmp.co.uk

The Linux Documentation Project: HOWTOs, Guides, FAQs, man pages, and online magazines, for all users. http://www.tldp.org/

There are several more advanced publications available such as the Debian Administrator's Handbook, which is not just for administrators, http://debian-handbook.info/get/

The Free Software Foundation, Europe, http://www.fsfeurope.org

University of Oxford software mirror, http://mirror.ox.ac.uk/

University of Kent software mirror, http://www.mirrorservice.org/

Centre for Scientific Computing, University of Warwick, http://anorien.csc.warwick.ac.uk/

The UK TeX Archive at Cambridge University, http://www.tex.ac.uk/
with other mirrors at ftp://ftp.csx.cam.ac.uk/pub
and ftp://ftp-uxsup.csx.cam.ac.uk/

Virgin Media Mirrors, http://mirrors.virginmedia.com/

SourceFORGE Open Source Projects, http://sourceforge.net/

Freshmeat (Linux development), http://news.freshmeat.net

Heanet (Eire), http://www.heanet.ie/services

The Linux Emporium: LBC newsgroup, commercial distributions, cheap CDs, http://www.linuxemporium.co.uk

Linux information http://www.linux.org/

Linux User Groups

Free Open Source Software is provided for the community by the members of that community, and there are many active community groups, see https://lug.org.uk

The Greater London Linux User Group: an active newsgroup with contributors worldwide, meetings in London, http://www.gllug.org.uk/

Lonix, London Unix User Group, http://www.lonix.org.uk

London Perl Mongers, http://london.pm.org

UK Unix and Open Systems User Group, http://www.ukuug.org

The Hackspace Foundation is dedicated to providing "hacker spaces" in the UK, physical places where members can meet to learn, socialise, and collaborate on projects, with various associated spaces around the UK providing a wide range of equipment and facilities for a wide range of interests http://hackspace.org.uk

A well established centre providing facilities in Sheffield http://www.access-space.org

Some other references

Linux is Not Windows

Alice: a teaching tool that is also suitable for younger programmers, http://www.alice.org

Of interest to anyone involved in education, http://www.edugeek.net

A special distribution aimed at children aged 2 to 12 years, http://www.doudoulinux.org

Some other distributions based on Debian are mentioned at the end of http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-handbook/

Python for Software Design, How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, suitable for a beginner programmer, http://www.greenteapress.com/thinkpython

Slashdot: Technology, Linux, and Open Source related news, http://slashdot.org

Linux Jobs List: https://mailman.lug.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/linuxjobs/

LinuxQuestions.org http://www.linuxquestions.org includes a Hardware Compatibility List at http://www.linuxquestions.org/hcl

ISP services and other internet information

If you are desperate to get a really cheap ultra-fast internet connection have a look at https://b4rn.org.uk

http://mythic-beasts.com started as a students' hobby project to provide themselves with services they thought should be provided by all ISP's but it is now a rapidly growing professional service.

Positive Internet: Domain registration, hosting, and managed servers, http://www.positive-internet.com

UK Linux: Free dial-up and ISDN, http://www.UKLinux.net

UK Broadband information, http://www.thinkbroadband.com and http://www.samknows.com

Some firewall systems which turn a (possibly older) computer with multiple network connections into a dedicated firewall:

There is very comprehensive firewall software called Shorewall available for several distributions including Debian that can be used to build a totally configurable dedicated firewall system.

For those who still need their Microsoft OS there is a collection of Free Open Source Software for Microsoft Windows available from http://www.theopendisc.com including the OpenDisc and OpenEducationDisc

A search for UK Government CyberSecurity using Google provided several interesting links including
The UK government National Cyber Security Centre including guidance and a link to the Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP)
https://www.cpni.gov.uk/cyber provides information about cyber threats to national security
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-cyber-security-strategy-2016-to-2021 is a very large article providing predictions of future developments which will need careful attention, over timescales of up to 2 to 5, 6 to 9, and 10 or more years, covering a very wide range of technologies and from national infrastructure to toys.

Contributed information about security https://wiki.openrightsgroup.org/wiki/National_Cyber_Security_Plan

Some of the distributions available

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