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Old 02-29-2020, 10:57 AM   #31
vtel57
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Hazel said,

> I second what JWJones says about the Arch Wiki.

Indeed. I would definitely have to concur here. I've learned many things lurking at the Arch Wiki that applied to ALL Linuxes. It's an excellent resource. This was the dream many of us had for The Slackware Documentation Project. Unfortunately, we had/have a LOT of catching up to do to get where the Arch Wiki is today.
 
Old 02-29-2020, 11:03 AM   #32
noordinaryspider
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I've been using Linux pretty much exclusively since 2004 and I'm certainly still learning. I'm even going back and picking u[p some basic knowledge that I skipped over the first time around because I was in a hurry to solve my problem or didn't think it was relevant for a somewhat mathphobic low income user who was not likely to ever go back to school or apply for any sort of a desk job.

But I never had to buy software or fall for the kind of time wasting scams thsat "normal people" have to live with. I enjoyed the cameraderie and company of the greater Linux community instead of being stuck on hold with Customer Service. I'm not going to call myself an "autodidact" when I actually received private one-on-one tutorials with people I could never have afforded to hire as teachers and "reverse classroom" situations where multiple mentors were showing me different options that were available for to solve my problems.

I basically learned from asking lots and lots of (stupid?) questions on forum boards like these, making mistakes, looking stuff up on the internet, rabbit trailing to topics that interested me, eavesdropping on IRC about things that "normal people" would say I had no business knowing about, fixing my mistakes, working around mistakes that I could live with, taking things apart and putting them back together again, and sometimes I think I was just too stupid and stubborn to know that I was trying to do something that just wasn't possible.

So that's how I wound up on Hyperbola Gnu/Linux, which is a fully free (no proprietary blobs) LTS distro that uses the pacman package manager and installs like Arch. This is where I want to be and what I want to use. I don't even have to carry a smartphone because I have a perfectly good phone number that lets me interact with smartphone users through my jabber client and linphone.

I would need some sort of Linux certification to be even remotely employable in IT and the general public considers me delusional and in need of inpatient mental health care if I give honest answers about my computing needs and interests. I cry alone a lot because I can't un-learn things, the world is broken, and I don't have the power to fix it.

But yea, I can fix my 'puter when it breaks and install and reinstall my operating system as much as I want. I'm able to access all the information I need with my librebooted X60, so the only reason I really wanted my new-to-me T440 was for virtualization.

I'm very sad about controversial issues just like everybody else. I virtualize for more or less the same reasons and with the same results as this dude:

https://medium.com/message/networks-...--------------

and keep some very old software around for more or less the same reason why my grandmother never threw away her Victrola and her 78s.

I encourage you very strongly to learn Linux organically. If you have the resources to take classes, that's great, but the knowledge is out there and people want to pass it on to someone like you who cares and will use it to better the world. If I had not had Linux and Linux people to guide or distract me through some personal tragedies that were complicated by the proprietary tech industry, I undoubtedly would have considered self harm.

My mistakes as an activist were related to lack of knowledge about human nature, not lack of knowledge about Linux.

Last edited by noordinaryspider; 02-29-2020 at 11:05 AM.
 
Old 02-29-2020, 11:29 AM   #33
hazel
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Thanks, spider. That's a moving testimony.
 
Old 03-03-2020, 07:25 PM   #34
RickDeckard
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I bought some books with Linux CDs inside, right around the time when Red Hat 7.1 "Seawolf" came out. Back then, I'm pretty sure you had to code your own display drivers. My installs always ended up a blinking and glitchy mess because of it, but that got me interested in both open source software as well as coding. I kept with it for a handful of years, laid it down, went back to it on and off, then found Ubuntu 5.10. Never looked back after that.
 
Old 03-03-2020, 07:46 PM   #35
BW-userx
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the same way one leans how to tie his shoes. he just keep wearing them and practices tying them with the shoes he is using.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 11:15 AM   #36
masterclassic
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Another "old" here. My "serious" computer experience begins on those IBM card punching machines (!), late 70's as an engineering student (civil engineering, not in IT studies). At the time I learned fortran programming, I had to punch my code on a card packet, leave it at the operator's drawers and take it back next day together with printed results. Nothing to do with computer administration or use. It was a UNIVAC mainframe. Next step was a 8-bit WANG microcomputer with 16 kilobyte RAM, BASIC interpreter and 2 cassette tape units, where I did work for about 6 months for my diploma thesis. This was my first experience on direct work on a computer. It seems that I was one of the most experienced among my class colleagues. After that, I was using an APPLE ][+ microcomputer during my postgraduate and doctoral studies. Apple ][+ was in practice an almost "open" system, unlike the later company's computers. Next model, ][e was equipped with a Z80 card and additional RAM, for fortran and pascal compilers as well as assembler. I liked to work with assembler, to overcome some weak points of the apple basic, like the string manipulation and processing. I knew IBM PC and compatibles in the late 80s.

I worked for some years in an engineering and research company, with IBM PC compatibles (80286, 386 and 486), as well as on a VAX system running VMS. I became even administrator of this system for about a year, before leaving this job. In this position, I had the experience of a crash of the main hard drive and restoring the system from backup (thankfully, I never neglected to take backups). I was even planning a hardware and software upgrade of the system eventually to some UNIX system (nothing happened however, because I left that company for another job). No internet at the time, the most advanced communication tool was perhaps "minitel". Of course all this wasn't Linux, nevertheless I think I acquired some experience to better understand more advanced notions later.

I was intrigued for Linux years later, around 2004-2005, reading in a general forum (mostly music related) about a system that was able to boot and run from a CD. It was Knoppix. I managed to download and burn it and I was really impressed by the power and the software tools hidden in just a CD! I think I had a Pentium 4 computer with no more than 500 MB RAM at home, and I could boot and run an operating system without any install. After that, around 2006-2007, I discovered Ubuntu live cds and felt so nice to run GIMP from the CD for the entire day with no crash (since 2007 I had a Core 2 duo based computer with 2GB RAM and was able to run everything from RAM). I found in the web a free "Linux Administration Manual", from where I learned many basic things on the Linux O.S. At the time I joined "Linux Questions" forum, as well as other Linux sites and projects.

My job is done on windows computers, and I have to confess that after the latest change to win 10 I have no interest at all to learn anything of that system. I'm afraid that this change was even worse that the older one, from windows 2000 to vista More problems with printers and other hardware.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 11:29 AM   #37
hazel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDeckard View Post
I bought some books with Linux CDs inside, right around the time when Red Hat 7.1 "Seawolf" came out. Back then, I'm pretty sure you had to code your own display drivers.
Not necessarily. I started with Red Hat 6 and it had a driver for my video card. I think it was a SiS though I'm not sure at this remove.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 11:48 AM   #38
sevendogsbsd
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Agree - never had to code any display drivers - bought many Linux books and installed many times since 1998 and never had to do that. Played with Red Hat 5 and it just worked, no coding needed. Never heard of any Linux version where you would have to do that because it is so far outside the scope of what most people's capabilities.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 11:50 AM   #39
hazel
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Some people had to write their own xorg.conf files. I used Xorg's autoconfigure command and it worked for me.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 11:57 AM   #40
sevendogsbsd
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Right but that is far away from writing a driver . Funny now that xorg just configures itself. Linux has come a long way.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 06:24 PM   #41
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendogsbsd View Post
Right but that is far away from writing a driver . Funny now that xorg just configures itself. Linux has come a long way.
The full beauty is that we still CAN edit xorg.conf for personally preferred teaks. Re: Graphics Drivers - By 1999 nVidia was making freely available (though proprietary code) high quality Linux drivers. If my memory is off a bit by 1999 it is only by one year. Years earlier they made drivers even for OS/2. The only hardware drivers that have ever given me any serious grief (mostly by being unavailable) running Linux were some wifi brand/models, a very few sound cards, and other people's printers and winmodems, but then being an OS/2 guy I learned early on to research any hardware purchases..

Last edited by enorbet; 03-09-2020 at 06:31 PM.
 
Old 03-13-2020, 08:54 PM   #42
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That Random Guy View Post
How did you all learn Linux over the years? Has it always been trial and error on your own?
I made my ALR 386/2 dual boot Win3.1 and Coherent back in about '90. It was a lot of fun getting that up and running and communicating with people at Mark Williams with questions I had, received patches using UUCP... after I figured out how to get my modem configured for all that. (For a time I had a "bang address" that went through the University CS department's PDP-11/70 running AT&T UNIX.) Some of my co-workers convinced me that I needed to learn C so I grabbed a copy of some FORTRAN-77 source code off the LAVC I managed at work that I'd originally started converting from VAX FORTRAN to VAX C and went about converting it to C on Coherent. Besides the thick Coherent manual (great leisure reading that was) I bought a copy of Kaare Christian's "The UNIX Operating System" (the edition I have is long out-of-print) and read it from cover to cover (a couple of times, probably), typed in all the scripts, debugged all of my typos, modified them, and, eventually, set about building tools to assist me in that code conversion, compilation, and testing. I always recommend defining a project for one's self: something that takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you learn the tools you're going to need. Yeah, it's frustrating at first... until your reading and the knowledge you're acquiring finally begins to gel and you start seeing results in the project.

After building my first '486, Coherent got installed on that right away (along side Windows) and, eventually, I bought a commercial UNIX and had that installed to triple boot. I used that learn about "real" UNIX (SVR4.2) and X Windows. More reading. For a short time I had that system quadruple booting by adding an early version of Linux (Slackware 2.1, if memory serves; the CDs are still around here somewhere). After the Linux mailing lists noted that the kernel folks were about to declare that the SMP feature was no longer experimental, Linux got installed permanently. Despite having a fair amount of 'IX experience, moving to Linux took some work. Luckily, the bookstores had a wide variety of Linux books available. In those days, strange errors were common so grepping the kernel source tree for error messages, figuring out which driver might be the cause, hunting down patches, and recompiling one's kernel were all great fun. But it look a lot of reading/research to solve the problems that arose. Receiving hand-me-down hardware that I've had gifted to me -- or that was rescued from the dumpster/recycler at work -- and getting that running with Linux provided endless hours of problem-solving fun. (I do much less of that nowadays, though.) Did I mention reading?

Given that I've been building homebrew systems since the very early '90s, a fair amount of trial and error is always happening.
 
Old 03-13-2020, 09:00 PM   #43
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDeckard View Post
I bought some books with Linux CDs inside, right around the time when Red Hat 7.1 "Seawolf" came out. Back then, I'm pretty sure you had to code your own display drivers.
"Linux Unleashed" came with came with CDs containing an early version of Slackware (2.1?) and it included XFree86. No coding necessary though getting the correct mode lines for your graphics card/monitor combination took a bit of work. I researched that for a couple of weeks before I was reasonably certain I had mode lines that would let me fire up XFreee86 without frying my NEC Multisync monitor. :^)

Last edited by rnturn; 03-13-2020 at 09:09 PM.
 
Old 03-13-2020, 09:09 PM   #44
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
You learn what you need to know. If you really want to do something, you'll usually manage to puzzle it out. And if you don't need to know it, why bother? It also helps to keen records of what you've done (provided that it actually worked!) as a reference for the future.
I try to keep my writing chops up to snuff by creating documentation for system configurations and software projects I've taken on. I use Emacs+LaTeX+Okular but anything would do so long as you do the writing. Learn to write manpages, too.
 
Old 03-13-2020, 09:18 PM   #45
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtel57 View Post
[*]Extreme aggravation with Windows XP and Service Pack installations that continuously trashed my system.
I found that WinXP did a good enough job of trashing itself without the need for Service Pack installations. It did that one time too many for me and I stopped using it---too many headaches.
 
  


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