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Old 04-05-2004, 09:57 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: `1
Distribution: Mandrake 10
Posts: 16

Rep: Reputation: 0
Talking Open Letter From A Newbie

Greetings all. I work tech support for a major East Coast Cable Internet Provider, I am the guy you call (yell at) when your internet service dies. Working in this field for the time I have, I started to find myself asking the question "...are people really this stupid?'. I'd lost the mindset, that starting with something new, can be both exciting and humiliating.

I've had my share of irate starfish try to convince me that their internet service was more important than any one elses in this world. And the starfish who threaten to cancel their service and go with a competitor should we not be able to instantaneously get their service working. Or perhaps my favorite, the lost souls of the world who have no one else to talk to, that trash their machines just so they can call us, and have someone to talk to if just for 20 minutes.

Point being, I have now found myself in their shoes. A virgin at the proverbial school dance looking for his first kiss, oh the days of old. Anyhows, I've recently installed Mandrake 10.x , and I cannot possibly put into words how lost I am. I have some old UNIX experience on a Hybrid-LAN that was SCO-NT, but I never really had to dive into SCO UNIX.

I would like to thank those, ahead of time, who may take the time, effort and energy to help me out. Your assitance is sooo appreciated, and I wish there was some way to repay you other than to pay it forward. Thanks ahead of time!

Kind regards,
Old 04-06-2004, 02:43 AM   #2
LQ Veteran
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 6,642

Rep: Reputation: 85
???? - perhaps if you described the actual problem you're encountering people would be able to help you out. Based on your post, you are having difficulty with Mandrake 10. Can you indicate exactly what kinds of problems you are running into? Is it a boot problem, installation problem, peripheral problem, application problem, configuration problem, etc, etc. Simply saying "I cannot possibly put into words how lost I am" does not provide any context or information whatsoever as to the nature of your question. -- J.W.
Old 04-06-2004, 03:27 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Budapest
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 28

Rep: Reputation: 17

Stick with it Bill.

After fifteen years of working with Microsoft products I dumped MS about a year ago and I've never looked back. Yes, it's hard and sometimes it's best to leave the computer and just get a beer when things don't work as they should but there are some good people here.

Just one tip, if you find too many problems with one distro then feel free to try another. I started off with SuSE but switched to Red Hat then Fedora and now I have a working network that is Microsoft free.

Ed Almos
Budapest, Hungary
Old 04-06-2004, 03:38 AM   #4
Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 132

Rep: Reputation: 15
Well, personally I'm glad I've left the trenches of first line support quite a while ago.

Still, when you work in the business like we do it's good to pick up something new now and then. Broadens your horizons and keeps your brain in shape.

Good luck with it!
Old 04-06-2004, 05:17 AM   #5
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Norway
Distribution: Debian UNSTABLE + latest 2.6.kernel
Posts: 391

Rep: Reputation: 30
Good luck with Linux and welcome here.
This is support without the the idiots in the other end *grins* Depends on what end you're in too
I've been at both ends and i don't know what's worst. Those that "knows" all about computers, but don't realise that yu have to plug in hardware to get wireless network. Or calling support knowing what the problem is and get "Re-instal the networkcard and/or reboot and it should work."
Specially fun when your network is working. *changed modem and the dns worked fine*

Never been even close to Mandrake, but check out different distros..
I went from old slackware to Redhat, Corel, Turbo and ended up with Debian. And i'm sticking with that, even now that i'm taking the RedHatCertifiedEngineer certification soon

Best advice up there is take a break and a few beers.

Old 04-06-2004, 05:51 AM   #6
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: UK .
Distribution: *buntu (usually Kubuntu)
Posts: 2,692
Blog Entries: 9

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Well done for making the move.

Given your work, sticking with MS product's would be the easy way out. Even digging in as far as you can would just about equate to the same thing.

Those of us already here, seem to see it as "having seen the light", though it's just as easy to see your migration as "having a look at the other side of the coin".

Whichever you feel is the more appropriate analogy.

As far as distro's are concerned, it's very much a "horse's for course's" thing. Most people have their favourite's. Often that's the one that you first started with.

The biggest bonus, is that although you come direct from the world of M$, your IT experience shouldn't count against you i.e. I mean that you're probably already into the "why doesn't this damn XXXXXX work?" mentality, and that if you hit a snag, your existing technical experience should get you further into things slightly quicker (as you would already have a grasp of the ever present "technobabble").

As some have already mentioned, good starting points are the "usual suspect's" i.e. mandrake, redhat/fedora, SuSE, etc etc.

If you're up for the challenge, gentoo, slackware, debian, etc to name a few, are where you have to do a lot more config stuff manually. Now I can't say for slack, as I only tried it the once, and I didn't know enough to get it right, but there are quick way's into the other two.

Debian. Go for a knoppix 3.3 disc, it's a liveCD version that initially run's from the CD, you probably already understand the limitations of this. So if you have a search for the knoppix forum's, there's extensive assistance about installing to hard drive. If you did that, you have yourself a pre-configured (the hardware detection is brilliant) debian based system. I enjoyed playing with that, and found it excellent.

With gentoo, you just get yourself the 2 disc set, but also print off the installation guide and desktop install guide and just follow the instructions. It takes a little longer, but if you follow the instructions for a "Stage 3 + GRP(precompiled binary packages)" you could have that up and running in a couple of hours. To be honest, that was the first distro I had tried, that lured me away from my personal "fav", mandrake.

So if you have a "snag", then post it up fella!, if not, then welcome.



Last edited by bigjohn; 04-06-2004 at 05:57 AM.
Old 04-06-2004, 10:03 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Mandrake10.0 community
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: 0

Although i am just a n00b myself, i ahve ot say its been 3 months since the switch, and i still run a dual boot in the event that something major comes up (like my network goes down or something) that wa yi can still check the forums, because these guys are the best.

As far as being lost goes, its only a matter or time before the "new" way of thinking of things sets in. As soon as your brain stops functioning in windows, things in linux will start to make sense.

the msot important thing i have learned so far is that you should definitely not be afraid to experiment.
Old 04-06-2004, 10:27 AM   #8
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: California
Distribution: Fedora; Libranet 2.8.1
Posts: 76

Rep: Reputation: 15
Three months for me also. I have my system running well, and am starting to do more experimenting too. Reading linux books and tinkering helps me learn, as well as visiting this forum.
Old 04-06-2004, 11:35 AM   #9
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: London/UK
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 111

Rep: Reputation: 15
Eh ... What is the problem you said you were having?
Old 04-06-2004, 12:34 PM   #10
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: `1
Distribution: Mandrake 10
Posts: 16

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0

I posted two problems I am having in other threads. This post was more or less a thank-you-ahead-of-time. I've seen the abuse of those who know towards those who don't in IRC Community's for example. My initial intention was to express my reluctance to ask for help, and possiby curb any leetist comments before they erupted.

My two help requests are:

Working with ISO's and

Must haves and must gets

I am really happy to see such a tightly knit community willing to help one another at the drop of a hat. Thanks much, and I apologize for any confusion this post may have caused.

Old 04-06-2004, 12:45 PM   #11
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
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Old 04-06-2004, 02:51 PM   #12
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Norway
Distribution: Debian UNSTABLE + latest 2.6.kernel
Posts: 391

Rep: Reputation: 30
We might all run into that wall now and then....
I'd say that IRC is the worst place to ask for help unless you know someone that's in that channel and can help you.
I'm in some linux channels myself and i think it's really stupi the way someone slags off someone for asking "a lame" question, for then sit and wonder if anyone can answer..
If those idiots think it's so easy, why can't they just tell how to do it instead of a "RTFM you idiot." type of answer.

I'd say this is the best place for overall qustions. i've gotten more help here than i've found in some of the "specialised" forums elswhere.
Old 04-11-2004, 06:33 PM   #13
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Montreal
Distribution: Gentoo/Debian
Posts: 365

Rep: Reputation: 30
Manual? What manual? i didn't get a manual. Oh that's right, I downloaded Linux, I didn't get a pretty box and manual, so I HAVE to ask stupid questions
Old 04-13-2004, 01:26 AM   #14
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Norway
Distribution: Debian UNSTABLE + latest 2.6.kernel
Posts: 391

Rep: Reputation: 30
The best one i've come up with so far is this one...
"Ok, so now i got Linux installed nd everything apart from the keyboard is working. Anyone that can help me?" (this has been on a few irc-channels)
It's really funny when you first get slagged off for "not knowing" how to do it until they start to wonder how you can type with a defect keyboard........


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