[nSLUG] New User Advise

George White aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Tue May 10 17:55:42 ADT 2005

On Tue, 10 May 2005, robert wrote:

> [...]
> New Linux learners enter a diffuse, structureless sphere of knowledge,
> and without clearly demarcated signposts, they must cobble and grope. It
> appears to me that as people acquire some mastery they create their own
> peculiar structure of knowledge. With that, however, comes local biases,
> meaning people will tend to align what they think is important to learn
> with what interests them most. A form of determinism. It's really
> manifest in debates between champions of this or that distribution.  

You tend to see two types of "how-to" information for linux:

1) "I tried a,b,c,d, and e, but only b and d work".  

2) "a didn't work so I investigated and found the following error/bug"

Type 1) is rarely helpful.  Type 2) generally results in linux getting

There are dozens of good books on linux and unix hidden among the 100's of
books filled with screen shots of every configuration menu. I like "Linux
Administration Handbook" by Nemeth et al, because the authors have years
of experience at a large site (with unix).  My edition covers Red Hat,
SUSE, and Debian. The early papers by the developers of unix are mostly
well-written and still relevant.  Of course anything you read in a book
will be outdated, so you need be alert to the difference between basic
principles and the details of a particular implementation that may have
changed since the book was written. 

George White <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca> <gnw3 at acm.org>
189 Parklea Dr., Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia  B3Z 2G6


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