Some time after completing my first book, Linux System Administration : A User's Guide, I said something akin to, "This was an amazing amount of work! I must have been crazy to do this." As it turns out, I may have been wrong. Either that, or the craziness I suspected at the time has taken permanent hold of my senses. With this book, which you now hold in your hands, I've learned that even a difficult undertaking can be exciting, rewarding, and fun, a feeling that I hope will echo in the words and pages that follow.

Nevertheless, I'm not sure that this is something I could have done on my own. Sure, I spent the hours writing the words, testing each command, and taking screenshots, but I was never alone. My wife, Sally, as well as my friends and family ? all have played a part in the creation of this book. Their confidence, support, and love helped to keep me going even while I was revisiting my "madness" theory. I'd like to take a moment to recognize some of these people.

First and foremost, I have to thank my beautiful wife, Sally Tomasevic, first reviewer of everything I write. She is my inspiration and my strength.

Special thanks to my friend Robert J. Sawyer, who told me he desperately wanted this book ? "I want you to write a book called Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye for me and people like me who want to move to Linux but don't know where to start." Well, Rob, here it is.

Many thanks to Richard Curtis, my agent. Thanks also to Mark Taub, my editor, and to everyone at my publisher, Addison-Wesley.

Sincere thanks to those people who reviewed my book along the way. They are (in alphabetical order by last name) Henry Ferlauto, Peter Halasz, Mark Halegua, Michael Jarvis, Carolyn Sinclair, and Sally Tomasevic. The process of reviewing is hard work and I truly appreciate their efforts, sharp eyes, and suggestions.

Finally, I would like to recognize and thank the Linux community: the developers and software designers, the members of Linux user groups (including my own WFTL-LUG), the many who share their experience on Usenet, and all those unnamed folks who give free advice under pseudonyms in IRC groups.

Thank you all.