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  • awlknottedup
    I am new to the Raspberry-Pi world, having just heard about it within the last two weeks. It looks like something fun to play with but I want more
    Message 1 of 35 , Mar 19 6:19 PM
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      I am new to the Raspberry-Pi world, having just heard about it within the last two weeks. It looks like something fun to play with but I want more information. Are there any decent books on the RPi?

      I know programming and digital electronics very well having spent a career as an electronics engineer doing embedded software development.
    • Timothy-Allen Albertson
      i first used linux, eg, ubuntu and puppy, abt five years ago---i dont have any MS systems on any of my machines---but i learn something every day==and i dont
      Message 35 of 35 , Apr 19, 2013
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        i first used linux, eg, ubuntu and puppy, abt five years ago---i dont have any MS
        systems on any of my machines---but i learn something every day==and i dont
        worry abt viruses anywhere as much as i did with MS


        On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 7:39 PM, Jeff Francis™ <jeff@...> wrote:
         


        On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM, Ray Wells <vk2tv@...> wrote:
         

        One would have to question the sanity of a book for beginners that references vi instead of one of the user friendly text editors that are available today, such as nano. Vi's only purpose in life is for geeks to prove they're macho Linux users. It would have to rate as the least intuitive, most confusing and most user unfriendly text editor ever (yes I have persevered with vi at length in days gone by and occasionally I still use it when forced to).

          Ok, it's getting a little deep in here.  Yes, I would agree that vi is not the best editor for beginners, but claiming that vi's only purpose is for proving how macho you are is just plain ignorant.  Text editors are tools, much like vehicles are tools.  Both nano and vi (and emacs, for that matter) can be used to edit a simple text file.  Both a moped and a Formula One car can be used to drive to the grocery store for milk.  The fact that the Formula One car is far more of a tool than is required for going to the store does not make the car itself a tool only for macho drivers any more than using vi to edit a text file make it only a tool for macho linux users (though the choice to *USE* the F1 car for a milk run might be considered a bit over the top).

          There is no shame in not knowing how to use vi.  It is a very very powerful tool that provides far more capabilities than will ever be required to add a host to /etc/hosts, very much in the same sense that there's no shame in the average driver not being able to drive a Formula One car without stalling and crashing it before they make it to the end of the street.  There is a gradient of tools.  Simple tools (like nano or notepad) require minimal skills, experience, and training to use effectively, but are of very marginal use for complex problems.  Nobody in their right mind would write complex code with such a tool.  Complex tools require a great deal of skill, experience, and training, but provide tremendous power in the hands of a skillful user (and may be overkill for simple tasks).  Doing software development without the macros, programability, integration, and other features of an editor such as vi, emacs, or eclipse is almost suicidal.  I can do tasks in emacs in four or five keystrokes that would quite literally take hours of tedious work to do in nano.  Not because I'm smarter than a nano user, but because I've been using emacs since 1986.  It's experience, not intelligence.  Again, I agree that vi is not the appropriate tool for a beginner, but that doesn't make it useless or "macho".  And at least in the case of vi, it's certainly not too much tool for the job of editing a text file, unless you don't happen to be good at vi.  In which case the tool itself gets in the way of getting things done, and you should fine an alternative that lets you focus on your problem, not your tool.  But don't blame the tool, blame the level of experience.

          And if you think vi is horrible to use, you've never used teco (probably the most powerful (and hardest to use) text editor in existence, prior to emacs) or edlin (probably the least powerful text editor in history, which shipped with MSDOS back in the day).  vi is a paragon of usability compared to either of those.

          Linux was not designed for beginners.  Never was.  If you want a version of Unix for beginners, buy a Mac (which is BSD Linux with a very pretty GUI shell on top).  Linux is a remarkably powerful tool, but one should not expect to just jump in and master it without time and effort.  There is something on the order of 40+ years of development that have gone into Unix (not to mention it's ancestors, such as Multics).  There's a culture, a history, and a reason for everything you do in Unix.  Jumping into Linux with zero experience and expecting to accomplish anything of significance by following a few simple directions is probably aiming a little high for a beginner.  Like any extremely powerful tool, you have to learn some basics before you can jump ahead to the hard stuff.  man pages were not designed for a beginner to learn how to use a command.  They're intended to remind an experienced user what all of the arcane flags and arguments are.  The philosophy of Unix has always been "we don't give you documentation, we give you source code - if you want to know how something works, go read the source".  This does not make it the perfect choice for everyone.  It takes years of hard work and pain to master Unix.  But when you've climbed that hill, you are master of a tool of unparalleled power.  But there's no shame in not having the time, energy, and resources to reach that level of mastery.  Most of us have jobs, kids, and other hobbies.  If Linux doesn't sound like it's your thing, it's perfectly ok.  Windows certainly gets a lot of things done without the arcana of Unix.  And there's lots of Microsoft books at the local Barnes and Noble to bring your skills up to whatever level you desire to accomplish what you want to do.
         
          As the famous saying goes, "Unix is very user friendly, it's just very picky about who it's friends are." :D  If you want to learn Linux/Unix, don't be discouraged.  There's lots of help available.  Just be reasonable in setting your expectations.  One wouldn't expect to master a CNC machine in a day (or even a month), even if all you want to do is drill a hole with it (something you can do with a $10 drill from Harbor Freight Tools).  Don't be discouraged, just expect to put in some effort.  Your effort will be rewarded.  Linux is awesome and worth the effort.  It's just a little picky who it's friends are.



        Linux newbies have enough difficulty, and then they're steered in the direction of vi to edit text files. Makes no sense to me.

        Nano ships with Debian distros and it's at least user friendly.

        Ray vk2tv


        On 18/04/13 23:05, Paul M wrote:
         
        A book recommendation (fon't know if it has already been mentioned - too much quoted text to scroll through) is 'Learn Raspberry Pi with Linux - learn the ins and outs of Linux, the operating system that runs Raspberry Pi', by Peter Membrey & David Hows (Apress).

        First couple of chapters  deals with the very basics (unpacking, connecting, getting image onto SD, etc), Chapter 3 looks at the graphic interface (LXDE), theturns to Linux, e.g. basic commands, introduction to Bash, vi, files & paths, whilst the final 3 deal with WiPi (sic), a media centre & 'the Raspberry Spi' (using Pi with webcam to setup surveillance camera.

         
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