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[LINUX] Linux Lessons: Let’s Get Started

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by ethics, May 12, 2012.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    cmhbob likes this.
  2. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    Nice write-up. But you just covered the easiest part of Linux. Looking forward to seeing the next installments.
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    The hardest part will be to appeal to the masses and balance the beginner to intermediates.
  4. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    That's exactly what I need. I've never been able to make that leap. Or rather I never committed the time to making the leap.
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    No worries, I will try my best in appealing to that group first and foremost. The response to this from my G+ circle has been positive as well.
  6. Kluge

    Kluge Observing your world for over 50 years

    What I'm hoping to find one of these days is a nuts & bolts type of how-to that will bring my Linux skills up to the old DOS 6.22 level. For me that would be when I could read and write to an I/O port, configure a digital I/O card without relying on downloading a driver or a software package, maybe manipulate the content of a text file using a program close to MS-QBasic. AFAIK, all these things have been buried so deep in Windows I don't even try to do them since Win98, and even then it was a DOS window or a DOS boot.
    In 2001 I bought an academic one-machine license for Visual Basic and donated it to my favorite charity. I even wrote some nice programs once I found a good textbook and learned all the dialog-box crap, but I never got to the point where I could process a lot of data easily, I only learned to make crude pages where you enter X and Y and click to get a Z. In QBasic I could make a full screen graph of any function I could program. Howzabout that tutorial, Ethics?
    One catch, though, is how such knowledge could be used by terrorists or other ill-intentioned miscreants. The easier you make it, the easier it will be for a disturbed person or organization to use it to do bad things. I'm sure some people would say I'm cringing at shadows but we live in the age of "See something, Say something" where an unclaimed backpack is supposed to trigger a call to the police. (Unfortunately, when my brother lost his backpack with a new laptop inside it apparently did not alarm the person who found it, it's gone with no trace).
  7. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    The biggest problem I've seen with new Linux users is they're unable to switch to the proper mindset as far as how Linux handles security. Users are so used to having full admin rights when they fire up Windows, they see the security measures in Linux as a hindrance, rather than the proper way of doing things.

    Unfortunately, Microsoft has created a couple of generations of users who really don't know how security should be handled on a computer. I don't know how many times I've seen new users ask how to stay logged in as root, or give their userid root permissions. They see sudo or su as an unnecessary step when they can just log in as root and use that as their primary ID. Even software programmers assume that users are going to install as "Admin" and require their programs to have the same type of access. Ever try to run programs as a "user" in Windows? 9 times out of 10, it will want the admin password in order to run properly. That's bogus.

    Once users get into the proper security mindset, Linux starts to make sense. But there are far too many "Winderz" users who just don't want to put up with the extra steps that it takes to create a decently secure system that will treat them far better than a Windows machine ever could.

    Most Linux distributions have a decent user interface for desktop environments now. Time will tell if Unity is going to be a hit or not (although I do have to say it's far better than Gnome!). I still prefer KDE over Gnome, and on the lighter distributions, XFCE or IceWM are still king.

    Linux Mint has broken away from the Canonical tree (Ubuntu) and is now basing the distro straight off Debian. I gave it another shot a couple of months ago and found it to be as smooth as ever. Unfortunately, the newer kernel builds and my notebook do not get along well, and require special boot commands. Unfortunately, this didn't work with the latest Mint version so I wasn't able to test things as extensively as I'd have liked. This was hardware limitation on my end, and not a reflection on Mint.

    One of these days, I'm going to build a distribution from the ground up. Looks like fun. Just need to have more than one machine at my disposal so I can dedicate one to the project.
  8. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    Spot on! It definitely takes some getting used to. Then when you find a program that you can't run on Linux and you have to switch back to Windows for a while, you forget what you've learned. At least I do. I'd love nothing more than to be able to run nothing but Linux, but keep running into issues where I either need to use Windows, or it's just simply easier to do so.

    I don't know what kind of specs you need, but I've got two old boxes up in the attic with AMD Athalon XP's in them. Don't remember how much RAM. Depending on where you are in the country, I'd be willing to ship one to you if you're serious about building your own distro.
  9. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Once I replace the notebook this summer, I'll most likely use the old one as a dedicated Linux machine. When building from scratch, the compile process depends a lot on the processor power and the amount of RAM in the machine. Go low end, and you find it takes days rather than hours to do things from scratch.
  10. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    Hey Leon, when's the next lesson?
  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Ha, you are the first (and only) person who probably read that. After the last one I think I screwed up as maybe I went too technical or the subject wasn't interesting or something.
  12. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    It's not that it was too technical. The intended audience really has no intent on switching to Linux. :laugh:

    (Although that may change once Windows 8 is released and people see how much of a dog it really is.)
  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Yeah, I guess? I put that up and got zero interest so I kinda dropped it.

    What's interesting is that I took my wife's oldie laptop, set up Ubuntu on it, threw on her apps, put ThunderBolt for her Yahoo. Skype, and a few utilities, gave her a very brief tutorial and off she went with it to Ukraine. She LOVES it. She never used it before because of how much of a dog it was on Windows but she loves how it flies and it's intuitive enough for her to do basic stuff.

    Btw, Skype for international video chat? GOLD!
  14. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    Exactly why I want to become more proficient at Linux.
    ethics likes this.
  15. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    What is it you want to know? Between Leon and myself, there's no reason why you can't get up to speed.
  16. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    I read it, and still thinking about pulling the trigger. I've got lots of excuse why I won't, but none are really good. The only thing really holding me back is that I spent money on an Office 2010 license, and I fell like it's money wasted if I go Linux.

    That, and I'm lazy. No real reason for me not to do it. I doubt I'm doing anything on this laptop that can't be done in Linux, and it feels a bit like it's slowing down, but maybe it's time to nuke it from orbit.
  17. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    The specifics of the basics. i.e. fundamentals on things like finding and installing programs, networking between Linux box and Windows machines, the overall basics of networking, drivers, input devices, file extensions, and WTF does SUDO APT GET mean.

    In all seriousness, a specific detailed breakdown of the fundamental basics would help me immensely. I get as far as getting everything up and running and always hit a wall with something I can't figure out. Most Linux-based forums you go to you run into elitist snobs who laugh at you for asking basic questions. And I hate bugging you guys all the time.
  18. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Wow, I thought you were responding to my 2nd lesson. Check this out, James, it answers some of your questions above:


    Bob, Office2010 is nice but for the stuff you will probably use it, the office suite (LIbreOffice) is more than what you will ever need. It's decent, intuitive, and comes free with Ubuntu.
  19. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Libre Office is free period. It's the fork off Open Office which Apache will most likely never do anything with.

    Vector Linux SOHO also comes with Libre Office.

    And there's nothing that I've done in Office that I couldn't do in Libre Office.
  20. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    Didn't know there was a second lesson. Interesting. I even looked before responding to the thread yesterday. I'll check it out.

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