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Finally getting into it ...

Posted 01-06-2012 at 09:32 AM by sabresong

I've been using Linux for about seven years now, somehow without ever really knowing what I was doing. I use Linux because I like to tinker with my operating system. I can install and remove software from the command line, edit configuration files, change file permissions, create aliases, that sort of thing. And I understand the general theory behind networking, enough to troubleshoot basic connectivity problems on my own. But I never really got much further than that. I bought a couple books and used them as references, but never really had a real grasp of what I was doing.

My wife, who uses Linux (she uses Mint)because of her open-source principles and because, as she puts it, "it (Linux) just makes sense," thinks I'm a lot more capable than I do, because I've been really good at finding information and following online instructions, so most issues that come up for her occasionally get solved pretty quickly. My own system is always having some issue or other because I'm always poking at it, but I rarely ask for help with those. After all, they're the reason I do the poking in the first place.

A couple days ago, my wife asked me if it might be possible to block access to certain domains on her desktop computer during working hours. I wasn't sure how to go about that, though I suspected it had something to do with the hosts file or the firewall. So I spent the next two days reading about iptables and DNS and hosts files, not going to the forums to look for answers as I normally would, but instead turning to my three reference books and online articles and sample files. And while I still haven't gotten it quite working yet, I've learned a tremendous amount, and can easily see where in the past I've made a complete ass of myself in other forums by thinking I'd looked dilligently for information, when in fact I hadn't even looked beyond searching a forum or two and a quick pull-up on Google.

None of that here.
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