[nSLUG] Anyone Have An Extra: Monitor (CRT), Keyboard, Mouse?

Jeff Warnica jeff at coherentnetworksolutions.com
Mon Jan 28 16:59:01 AST 2008

It is entirely reasonable to use the list for help.. That is what it  
is for. And newbie install questions are within the scope of "help".

It is OK to ask for clarification about documentation. Or to ask "why"  
on some specific point. Or to wonder aloud what would happen if you  
picked an alternate choice.

But, what Eugene and Donald (and I) are saying is that the list is not  
a replacement for manuals, howtos, or just plain trying.

Bad question:
How do I install this?

Passable question:
On step 3, I got confused. Help.

Good question:
On step 3, option A rebooted the system. Option B was grayed out.  
Option C came with a warning. WTF?

At the very least, one should batch up a bunch of questions into one  
email. It demonstrates that:
- you are trying to work forward yourself
- you are trying not to annoy people with lots of little questions.

Your story about hanging around MIT is powerful, but hardly relevant.  
Back then, things were broken. Things were hard. And things did  
require fixing by very smart people. But in 2008, none of these are  
true for mere installation if you take any steps whatsoever to select  
a "normal person" targeted distro.

Quoting Mike Spencer <mspencer at tallships.ca>:

> Eugene wrote:
>> I'm hoping you won't take personal offence to this, but honestly, I
>> don't think this e-mail list is the right forum for the things you
>> are looking for.....this e-mail list from what I've seen is
>> primarily for troubleshooting or job notifications
> C'mon, Eugene, from what I've seen, this province is a venue for snow
> and ice.  if you want flowers and robins, you should go elsewhere.
> Jeez. This list is a venue for Linux and the nature of the topics
> raised is, predictably, bursty.
> I installed my first Linux with zero help from outsiders, eh?  So
> Michael should be able to do that too, eh?  Oh, well, but then, at that
> point, I had 10 years experience as a BSD Unix user.  OTOH, I recall
> my first month as a Unix user.  I was just some guy hanging out where
> 60 or so people were furiously trying to get Project Athena stable
> before the funding expiry deadline. I will be forever grateful to a
> couple of busy staffers who gave me a few hours of intense
> hand-holding.  After that, and the purchase of a couple of books (ones
> not to be found anywhere around here) I was on my way.
> I made an interesting observation hanging out with the heavy techies
> at Project Athena that was later confirmed verbally by a couple of
> people: Nearly everybody was prepared to answer questions or explain
> something for an eager learner.  But heaven help the guy who asked the
> same question a second time after getting a long, detailed answer from
> someone who was possibly one of the world's dozen best authorities on
> the subject.  I mentioned a problem with X to my buddy and the next
> day one of the guys who *wrote* that part of X showed up at my elbow
> to see what the problem was.  We could be, mutatis mutandem, at least
> that generous.
>> ...all the information you would ever need is online....it just
>> requires some reading time.
> Yeah, well, I dunno.  Maybe Michael is slothful or maybe you just
> don't have a clue about how valuable some one-on-one instruction (aka
> handholding) can be.  When Richard Feynman wanted to get up to speed
> in a discipline different from his own, he prevailed on another,
> similarly bright person to do a one-on-one with him.  Of course, all
> that he wanted to know was out there in textbooks, monographs and
> journals.  It's a safe guess that the OP isn't a Feynman (got yer
> Nobel yet, Michael? :-) but we should at least give him a chance to
> *prove* he's a clueless AOLer if that is, in fact, his learning level,
> before responding to him as if he were.
> - Mike
> --
> Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~.
>                                                            /V\
> mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
> http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^
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