[nSLUG] New User Advise

robert ashley at chebucto.ca
Tue May 10 15:27:48 ADT 2005

On Tue, 2005-10-05 at 14:13 -0300, Gerard MacNeil wrote:
> On Tue, 2005-05-10 at 10:57 -0300, robert wrote:
> > This idea of learning Linux squares with that metaphor of the 'cathedral
> > and the bazaar'. It need not refer only to o/s progress in development,
> > but also to oss learning. And the pun on bazaar, 'bizarre', fits. 
> > 
> > That just said is not a criticism, but merely an observation. In fact,
> > the very idea that oss has not been captured, colonized and domesticated
> > by the usual institutional pedagogs (demagogs?), makes it all the more
> > stiumulating a learning environment. 
> A learning environment indeed.  You have recently achieved the first
> step, getting a FOSS operating system installed. Do not assume you know
> how to use it.  Getting the computer started with all the hardware
> recognized properly can be challenging. There are also several thousand
> other possible pieces of software you may want to run as well.

Yes. But also these seemingly endless possibilities, presenting
themselves without a readily intelligible structure which makes for some
early-learner confusion. I've learned, for example, that I have to be
resourceful and design my own learning agenda. That's a long way removed
from taking weekly classical guitar lessons.

Actually, I've thought of proposing 'Linux lessons', a weekly one-on-one
lesson schedule, from master to student. Master sets down the early path
of learning and doles out assignments of progressing difficulty. Master
watches students go through the paces of the assignments, evaluates and
prescribes improvements, doles out next assignment.      

> FOSS is not a singular thing, and no generalization can be applied
> effectively that cannot be said of computer software generally.  Like
> cars, you have to learn how to drive the thing before you take it on the
> freeway.
> Your issue now is what to learn.  That will depend upon how much you
> already know and what you are out to achieve.  What I am suggesting is
> that carefully choose what it is you want to learn first.

Well, I've taken up some advice from George, Dop and others here already
from a few months back. That is, don't go pinballing hither and thither
from this distro to that one. Take one, learn it thoroughly. Sounds wise
to me. So, on the strength of that advice I decided to stick with Debian
until I acquire a good grasp of it. And further, the Debian choice, too,
is really just the upshot of the most voices in nslug putting their
votes on it. 

I guess if I had an early learning aim it would be comfort with the
command line interface. I'm having quite a bit a fun with that so far.
Fortunately, too, I don't have high-powered cravings, no music, no fancy
image stuff, no complex games, just plain old office stuff mainly.     

Perhaps, advocates of other distros might be saying I'd have avoided the
printer problem by using a distro whose claim to fame is untroubled
recognition of most devices (e.g Mandrake?, Ubunutu?). I don't know, of
course, I haven't tried. 

> FOSS has indeed been captured by the 'gogs and the like.  Fact is, they
> invented it.  

But 'gogs have faces, no? Like Bill Gates is one gog who has a face. Who
is the face of FOSS? Does it have one?



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