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Old 03-23-2006, 02:50 AM   #1
pixellany
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Newbie subspecies


This is no weirder than some other stuff here.....

I'm observing the behaviour of the new arrivals in this forum As in pastimes like bird-watching, it is maybe useful to have some names. "Did you see that crested tweeter?---wow!"

The first one that I coined was "One-Post Hit and Run" A real mouthful, too general, and not a good speakable acronym (OPHR)

Then I tried " level-one looky-loo" (LOLL)

Observing the levels of abdominal excess (read "beer gut") in various specimens, my wife and I adopted the Olympics system. When we see a whopper, we simply say "Gold Medal". I do this most often since--in my wife's eyes--I have----well, maybe---"incipient abdominal excess". In my view, I would be lucky to place in the top 100, so it serves my purpose to regularly point out the gold medals, silver medals, etc.

So, back to the newbies. Perhaps a simple numbering system:

10: I'm here to learn--I've already done some stuff on my own, and--even though I might be ESL--I am able to communicate. Often posts only AFTER successfully setting up a Linux system.

9: Maybe asks a few questions that could have been Googled, but follows thru with clarification, says please and thank you,etc.

8, 7, and 6: Subtle and yet noticeable erosion in level of communication skill, laziness, etc.

5: Significant inertia--looking for easy answers--and often struggles to write comprehensible English. Does, however, respond to requests for more info. If obviously ESL--we are patient.

4: Patience tested on occassion--does not always give complete info and gets lost in irrelevant details. Can usually be helped to some degree.

3. Starting to get pretty bad---asks redundant questions, ignores many answers, may have marginal communication skills, etc. A few one-posters.

2. Dilettante--asks questions just to provoke discussion, but not likely to ever act on the answers. window shopper, looky-loo, etc.
Might or might not be able to communicate in English. Lot's of one-posters here.

1. Flake, major looky-loo, whatever. Sometimes english is unintelligible, maybe has an axe to grind, proselytizing, etc. Includes a very large population of 1-post only.

0. Super-flake--English maybe unintelligible, and almost never gets past one post. Trolls here, too, but they usually post more than once.

So---when you answer a newbie, throw in a number at the beginning. They will ignore it, but the insiders will know what it means.....
 
Old 03-23-2006, 04:29 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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heh, nice idea. I suppose it's more effective that my preferred solution of using a branding iron to the forehead.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 04:50 AM   #3
llewellyn
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As a newbie the people you classify so cruely have my absolute sympathy.
In the early days of computing even before the days of Apple I designed and built a z80 based pc for my small business and had a hell of a battle writing the bios code for the CPM operating system which I eventually got to work with 128k floppy drives.The code was loaded by hand BYTE by BYTE in hex.
To cut a long story short over years of updating and keeping abreast of the fast changing computer technology I thought I should be well equipe'd to change from Microsoft products to LINUX.
The whole process turned into a nightmare
When a newbie comes on and threatens to go back to windows he does not actually intend to threaten .His cry is one of desperation --He or she wants out of windows badly enough to scream at every one around because Linux is making him/her feel down right stupid .

Those well meaning souls who so unstintingly give help on Linux questions are so at home with our beautiful operating system that they cannot see that the very wording of their help is total double dutch to a newbie.

The one post character, you dont like ,is in fact a newbie that went back to WINDOWS because what seemed to be a simple reply to you was totaly unintelligible to that newbie.

I write this from my very own experience -- Linux is full of acronyms - Please try to avoid using them with newbies

Recently we had one where the appeal for help was to get the linux system online -- remembering that the appeal comes from a ignorant newbie -- one wonders why one of the Posts which were intended to be helpfull was " have you done a sudo Ping"

The Distro touted as the greatest thing for newbies is Ubuntu
Well ubuntu installs nicely and smoothly but its default installation is not going to make life easy if that nebie needs to get online via a dial up modem .
Without dial up our newbie cannot get help -- and is sunk

As happened to me Ubuntu has a missing Resolve.conf file but it has a directory of the same name -- but no amount of SUDO effort will allow yu to add the missing file or even write to the directory of that name

I eventually through plenty of searches with Google managed to Set ubuntu for a root login and was thus able to do what SUDO could not allow - Fix the missing file.
Only then to discover that there was a missing LINK for pppd
I gave UP

I was lucky some one gave me a very old REDHAT box set complete with manuals and got me back to LINUX

Please to all you kind helpers out there try to shrug off
the apparent stupidity if that newbie .Linux is so foreign to everybody out there that they are faced with a massive learning problem .
I hope that we will have millions of newbies with a home desktop and a dial up Modem installing Linux -- Frustrating as it may be for Us lets help them with sympathy and try to ensure that they do not give up and install windows instead.
EVEN WHEN THEY THREATEN TO DO SO

In South Africa there are a growing number of computer shops offering systems with Linux already installed and priced at the right level to win the hearts of prospective HOME pc users -- It wont be long before they will be making you miserable because they have not had the learning curve associated with actually installing the LINUX to the harddrive -- If you thought the previous lot were dumb just watch these new ones, many of them wont even have windows experience and will test your communication skills and patience to the LIMIT

Best wishes to you all, I am thrilled to be a lesser member of your community.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 07:39 AM   #4
swordwielder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewellyn
As a newbie the people you classify so cruely have my absolute sympathy.
In the early days of computing even before the days of Apple I designed and built a z80 based pc for my small business and had a hell of a battle writing the bios code for the CPM operating system which I eventually got to work with 128k floppy drives.The code was loaded by hand BYTE by BYTE in hex.
To cut a long story short over years of updating and keeping abreast of the fast changing computer technology I thought I should be well equipe'd to change from Microsoft products to LINUX.
The whole process turned into a nightmare
When a newbie comes on and threatens to go back to windows he does not actually intend to threaten .His cry is one of desperation --He or she wants out of windows badly enough to scream at every one around because Linux is making him/her feel down right stupid .

Those well meaning souls who so unstintingly give help on Linux questions are so at home with our beautiful operating system that they cannot see that the very wording of their help is total double dutch to a newbie.

The one post character, you dont like ,is in fact a newbie that went back to WINDOWS because what seemed to be a simple reply to you was totaly unintelligible to that newbie.

I write this from my very own experience -- Linux is full of acronyms - Please try to avoid using them with newbies

Recently we had one where the appeal for help was to get the linux system online -- remembering that the appeal comes from a ignorant newbie -- one wonders why one of the Posts which were intended to be helpfull was " have you done a sudo Ping"

The Distro touted as the greatest thing for newbies is Ubuntu
Well ubuntu installs nicely and smoothly but its default installation is not going to make life easy if that nebie needs to get online via a dial up modem .
Without dial up our newbie cannot get help -- and is sunk

As happened to me Ubuntu has a missing Resolve.conf file but it has a directory of the same name -- but no amount of SUDO effort will allow yu to add the missing file or even write to the directory of that name

I eventually through plenty of searches with Google managed to Set ubuntu for a root login and was thus able to do what SUDO could not allow - Fix the missing file.
Only then to discover that there was a missing LINK for pppd
I gave UP

I was lucky some one gave me a very old REDHAT box set complete with manuals and got me back to LINUX

Please to all you kind helpers out there try to shrug off
the apparent stupidity if that newbie .Linux is so foreign to everybody out there that they are faced with a massive learning problem .
I hope that we will have millions of newbies with a home desktop and a dial up Modem installing Linux -- Frustrating as it may be for Us lets help them with sympathy and try to ensure that they do not give up and install windows instead.
EVEN WHEN THEY THREATEN TO DO SO

In South Africa there are a growing number of computer shops offering systems with Linux already installed and priced at the right level to win the hearts of prospective HOME pc users -- It wont be long before they will be making you miserable because they have not had the learning curve associated with actually installing the LINUX to the harddrive -- If you thought the previous lot were dumb just watch these new ones, many of them wont even have windows experience and will test your communication skills and patience to the LIMIT

Best wishes to you all, I am thrilled to be a lesser member of your community.
Well said! As a user between noob and intermediate user, I have always found the "techno-elitist", "look down your nose" attitude extremely infuriating. Everyone has to learn, even the "super-geeks" started somewhere; I don't know anyone who was born with Linux already programmed in their brain.
I have always tried to solve a problem by googleing and research, not so much as a first attempt, but intimidation at being rebuked on a forum for a stupid question. Granted, I have learned much by doing it this way, but some folks don't have the internet savvy to even know where to start; and wind up in a forum only to be made to feel like a fool.
If this is the attitude that Linux pros are going to have, then lets just do away with every catagory in the forum except General and just discuss politics. Yes, there are some lazy folks out there who want everything done for them, but many are just not knowledgable on how, where, and when to ask questions; don't shoot them down! If you help 5 lazys and 1 serious user; isn't the 1 serious user worth the time spent on the 5 lazys? If nothing else, the info will be documented there on the forum for future reference.
Just my
 
Old 03-23-2006, 07:52 AM   #5
AnanthaP
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Betcha, many regular linux pros are or were thinking of dropping a link to the URL about "Linux is not Windoze" or something similar.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 08:06 AM   #6
JunctaJuvant
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If you read the stickies, then you know what to ask, when to ask, how to ask and where to ask. If you don't read the stickies, bad and/or strange things may happen, including mysterious replies with the number 3 in the top left corner. Such is life.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 08:38 AM   #7
swordwielder
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I rest my case.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 09:25 AM   #8
pixellany
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Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swordwielder
Well said! As a user between noob and intermediate user, I have always found the "techno-elitist", "look down your nose" attitude extremely infuriating. Everyone has to learn, even the "super-geeks" started somewhere; I don't know anyone who was born with Linux already programmed in their brain.
Encouraging elitism was the furthest thing from my mind. I do not subscribe to the mind-set that you sometimes see here---eg "RTFM--I dont have time for you. I--for one--go out of my way to help ANYONE who can give me enough info to be useful. Since I am far from being any kind of expert, it helps ME learn too. MANY times, I have opened a book or a man page to figure out how something worked so I could take a shot at helping a lost soul. Win-Win

Recognize that my post is semi-serious at best. While I am trying to help people, I am also trying to understand some behavioral issues that relate to whether Linux will ever enter the mainstream. And, of course, it is often educational just to observe human behavior in its own right.

You'll notice that I give credit to the serious newbie that wants to learn, says please and thank you, and responds to requests for more info. Surely you also recognize the pathology of the student demanding that we do his homework (One guy pasted in the entire assignment...) or the guy that says: "I can't make my Linux work" and then never answers any questions.

I have seen almost noone here ---that is past the newbie level themself--- that does not make major efforts to try and help people--including meeting them at their level. I've watched with interest as they post multiple answers for someone that--in my experience--is unlikely to be heard from again. While I will confess to doing the same thing myself, I also try to watch for signs that the OP is paying attention and is willing to help us help him.

Finally, Linux is not Windows. This community is not ready to capture Joe or Jane Sixpack whose view of computing is limited to buying a Windows box at Best Buy--bundled with a lifetime subscription to AOL. Even my engineering colleagues--who have been around computers since the Apple-II and the DOS boxes--ask me questions like:
"Is there a GUI for Linux."
"Linux--yes, I've heard of that--isn't it made by Redhat?"

Anyone who truly believes in the future of Linux and Open Source recognizes that--instead of buying software--they can and should contribute in other ways. I, like many others, choose to try and help people who express an interest in what is surely for them an intimidating subject. If I am going to make a real contribution, I cannot afford to waste too much time on the complete flakes. This is not elitism--it is management of resources.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 09:33 AM   #9
rickh
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You go guy! There have been a number of cases when I made a wisecrack at some newbie whose demeanor I misjudged, only to have them come back with a serious response. In those cases, it becomes almost a crusade to help them solve whatever problem they have. A person really interested in learning will not be put off by a flippant remark.

As for some of the responses here ... 'To hell with 'em if they can't take a joke!'
 
Old 03-23-2006, 09:49 AM   #10
acid_kewpie
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OK, Well as Moderator here I guess I should state my version of the company line.

Linuxquestions.org is specifically designed to be welcoming and useful to ALL types of Linux user. We have a fairly central NO RTFM policy, and I do believe that this is largely adhered to. The last thing LQ.rog would want to be seen doing is critizing and dimissimg those users who want to give Linux a go and understand and enojy it.

That said, there are always limits in so far as when you have to take a firmer grasp on issues like laziness. no one benefits from being spoon fed reinterpretted documentation, or evem , staright copies of manpages. Anyone wanting to make a serious attempt at using Linux should have the wherewithall to use existing resources, and should they simply refuse to, it gets increasingly difficult to feel any sympathy for the angle they are coming from.

My past my be somewhat hazy now, but i personally did start here as the very ervy first forum i came to for help, and I would certainly like to think that i was a number 10 up there, but who knows, maybe i could have slipped to a 7 at times... you are welcome to look back and judge my first few weeks here.

This chart is obviously intended as fun, and I would take this opportunity to applogise to any members who find this insulting. But moreover i'd encourage you to laugh it off, or maybe even work to post a bit better if you felt that that could help you get on wuicker. Using forums and the internet in general has minimal relation to using Linux. Personally whether I needed help with Linux, Baby Buggies, Organic fruit or anything, my plan of attack for arriving at a solution in an efficient and timely manner would vary minimally.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 01:13 PM   #11
Dragineez
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I Second That

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany
Encouraging elitism was the furthest thing from my mind.
Agreed. The proposed "grading system" allow us to differentiate between someone with a genuine interest in learning, an attempt to be spoon fed the answers, and the ones that really just shouldn't be allowed to own a computer. I applaud this forum's very open acceptance of the Linux initiate - since I are one.

But just because I'm new to Linux, doesn't mean I'm new to forums. Many of the crass mistakes pixellany points out are ones I have myself made in the past {sometimes a not so distant past} - and been rightfully flamed for them. I've learned from the sometimes not so gentle chastisement how to use the tools available to me to find out what I need to know. I peruse, search, and haunt this - and other - forums daily. From that I've learned a great deal and know I will learn more. Like most of you, I read far more threads than I respond to.

When I post I try to deport myself as a responsible member of our online community. Admittedly, I don't always succeed - my apologies.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 02:41 PM   #12
SaintsOfTheDiamond
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I don't know if it's like this for anyone else, but now that I know a little bit and can answer some of the basic questions I see posted I find myself struggling with what all I need to post exactly. I don't want to sound like one of the condescending "experts" and post a bunch of cryptic code but at the same time I don't want to write a 10 page reply that goes into too much detail. I think part of the disconnect people are describing comes from the fact that we don't often times recognize/ackknowledge/appreciate just how big the gap between the complete newbie and the more experienced user really is -- at least that seems to be the case to me. I complete agree with Dragineez and acid_kewpie though:
Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie
This chart is obviously intended as fun, and I would take this opportunity to applogise to any members who find this insulting. But moreover i'd encourage you to laugh it off, or maybe even work to post a bit better if you felt that that could help you get on wuicker. Using forums and the internet in general has minimal relation to using Linux.
Those are just my two "working harder to be no worse than a Number 9" cents.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 03:08 PM   #13
RHELL
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I enjoy the hyper-typer, who would actually emit a coherent string, but for the caffeinated packet-loss between the brain and fingers that causes salient words to be dropped.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 03:29 PM   #14
cynedyr
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I might be angling for a 10! I didn't actually post a question until after every combination of search strings I could think of were exhausted. That means I probably overlooked something obvious.

Until about 2 weeks ago I had no idea how rich Linux was. I installed Slack 10.2 on an older PC in the lab and it works pretty darn well. The intent, though, was to make it something my prof could give to his mother-in-law...that, well, that's just not gonna happen.

I started a dual boot on my home pc, not going to get pedantic and go into the issue I'm having here, I'm certainly not discouraged.

I look forward to knowing enough to wean off windows.

Mike
 
Old 03-23-2006, 06:21 PM   #15
efi
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From your style of attitude and behaviour is plain to see that you are interested only in insulting people in general and not only newbies...Well,this style is not acceptable and you better go and buy a Savoir-Vivre book-if you know what it is...
 
  


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