Re: [TTLUG] Newbie Resources
- some cool stories... maybe you guys should put up a section on the TTLUG
with Linux user experiences... i'm sure it'll be worth a read
On 7/6/05, Kwesi Stewart <kwesistewart@...> wrote:
> Richard Hamel-Smith wrote:
> >Christopher YM wrote:
> >>I was just wondering if there's any resource that provide easy answers
> >>to newbie linux user questions. Not so much for people interested but
> >>for those who just need answers. I have a friend on whose system I
> >>promised to install ubuntu, but I know there'd be questions for which
> >>I'd have no answer. Is there any such easy FAQ like article around?
> >I was just sitting here thinking about this post. "easy answers to
> >newbie linux user questions"
> >I put a guy to work on a Linux desktop today. The conversation (over the
> >phone) went a little like this. "Richard, me again. When you going to
> >fix my PC?"
> I had a comparable experience to Richard once. There was this friend of
> a guy who was hiding out at my house (long story... someone wanted to
> kill him) and i took some old computer parts and built him a linux box
> with slackware installed. I went to work and i left a piece of paper
> saying user-name: insecure password: password. I was surprised to find
> this guy had created several documentsi in KOffice and had drawn some
> impressive stuff in GIMP. This was impressive because this guy - a sign
> painter from curepe with little education, had NEVER used a computer
> When asked about his achievements he said to me simply "It like a video
> game hoss... i use the menus to get more options and i can save and come
> back later. BUT... where the games hoss!?"
> I've always heard this and that about linux is not for newbies and linux
> is hard etc etc but I never bought it. Configuration is a bit hard
> sometimes but not impossible. That same night i pointed the guy to the
> HOWTO folder. In the moring he said to me:
> "I know kung fu."
> "Show me." I said.
> (we are Matrix fanatics)
> It was a bit of an anti climax tho... he set each workspace desktop to a
> different image he created... still good for a guy with just about
> 20hours of computer experience and not the sharpest tool in the shed... ;)
> I had another guy recover protected files on his NTFS partition using
> SLAX... once he escaped the C: D: E: mentality it was pretty cool
> Helped another guy set up wine and a bunch of emulators to turn his
> ~533Mhz into an arcade box using slackware... well he is lunux for life,
> even running Linux on his X-Box now.
> A friend stole my SUSE 9.0 fresh from the burner and installed it (new
> to linux) he has since converted his family to linux.
> There are tons of local, positive linux newbie experiences... too much
> to share.
> It is very important, the first impression newbies get. My introduction
> to linux was not smooth at all. My slackware double CD was scratched and
> somehow gnome or kde didnt install well and i was stuck in the shell for
> a week or so. That time spent in the shell tho was positive... i learnt
> my way around there (and that DOS sucks) now i am a shell freak.
> If you guys need some help writing any newbie guides, I will be glad to
> help out. I think tho the newbie linux users should:
> 1) Forget most of what they've learned before
> 2) Escape the stereotypes set about stuff like linux/unix etc
> 3) Dedicate some time each day to get to know linux (experiment etc)
> 4) Be prepared tor a bit of frustration here and there :D
> kwesi stewart, BPCDT
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Very interesting reading guys. I especially enjoyed the stories from Richard
and Kwesi. I'll be honest and say that I didnt get into linux seriously
until i saw the X-Windows system. I was impressed by the interface of X and
the small font sizes, new graphics (other than windows) etc, etc.
Before that, I had formal training in unix and found it to be interesting
but a bit too cryptic. My introduction to unix came after i had mastered
DOS, so moving around at a unix command prompt was relatively simple.
(Probably this explains why most people these days have such a phobia about
unix/linux.........they ware never exposed to DOS, and the character based
environment, and as such fear things they dont know about !!! I know of alot
of so called "MCSE's" out there who if exposed to a command prompt are
completely lost !!)
But, I digress.......back to my story :) ........Also, around that time,
windows came on the scene and I was blown away by the graphical environment
so my interests in unix died down for a while. It picked up again when i
assumed the position of system administrator at a local ISP, it was then
that I was introduced to the true power of unix/linux having to use it to
control user authentication, mail, web servers etc.
That said, in my opinion, the best way for a newbie to learn linux is to be
forced into it. Now dont get me wrong, i aint talking about putting a gun to
somebody's head :) ! all i'm saying is, load it up on their machine and let
them play with it. Let them strart out by playing with X to see some of the
features and how they are similar to windows (or you could try lindows !)
and then let them explore other options and features of the X window system.
Let them explore the multipe desktops, configure evoultion as their email
client and let them see how much it looks like outlook, configure gaim for
their msn and yahoo messenger accounts so they dont feel disconnected from
the world, if you're dual booting lunix and windows on a single pc try and
mount the windows partition in linux and allow them to access their
documents using open office. Yuh know, just make them comfortable in linux !
I've done this for a few of my clients already and it seems like the best
way to get someone across to linux from windows. Yuh got to show them that
things are the same, and that they can work the same way that they used to
in windows. Eventually, the ones who are genuine computer enthusiasts may
want to learn more, especially about the filesystem. At this point you can
redirect them to sites like this :
which talk about the linux filesystem in great detail.
Hope this helps,
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