[nSLUG] Cautions on Installing FF plugs-ins - Deb-Etch?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Jul 18 08:35:10 ADT 2007


On 7/17/07, Robert Ashley <rb.ashley at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks George. I would like to learn more about basic sound/video/TV
> stuff. I'd also like some introductory familarity with LAMP, but
> frankly I'm intimidated.

Intimidation usually results from lack of preparation/background knowledge.
The trick is to break things down into small steps.

Take stock of your background in relation to the needs of multimedia and
LAMP.  Put together a reading list and think of some simple exercises to test
what you are about to learn.    For multimedia, you might aim to create a
web site (using LAMP, and perhaps only visible on your own home network)
of titles or TV schedules to relate LAMP to your interests in
multimedia.  Break
this down into lots of small steps that you can master one by one.
In practice,
many people use LAMP and multimedia with very little knowledge of most of
the components.  It is pretty simple to get most of the ingredients in
ready-to-run
form, so you can just focus on really mastering one or two components, and pick
up the others later.  Which ones you choose depend on your interests and the
learning resources that are available.

When working with open source, it always helps to have basic programming skills,
by which I mean:

1.  the ability to come up with an algorithm that implements some task
2.  an understanding of how compilers and interpreters, linkers, and
loaders work
3.  basic knowledge of the tools on your platform

At this level, you don't want to get bogged down in the details of
particular languages.
MIT uses scheme (a lisp interpreter) for intro to progamming.   Pick a
simple task
and write a program to do it a new language each week.  My first
program did matrix multiplication: read data, read matrix, compute
product, write result.  I've written the
same program with slight variations in many languages, but the most interesting
was for a problem that cost thousands of dollars to run on a mainframe
time-sharing service.  Just then, PC's with 8087 numerical
co-processors came along.  The
matrix was way too big to store in a PC's memory, so I implemented the
multiplication by reading one column of the matrix at time.   On the original
5mhz PC you could solve the problem in a few days, and with the money you
saved you could pay for the PC.

-- 
George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia



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