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Your not the first one! We were all once new to Linux. Below is a response from one of our veterans to a n00bie (geek talk for newbie or newcomer)
|Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 10:34:48 -0800 (PST)
n00bie: I just signed up for the mailing list today. Since I work stupid shift work I will probably have to wait for another time to come to a meeting since I work evening shift on Nov 3.
Congratulations on the switch - if it isn't a complete switch now it will be soon :- )
I think it's excellent that you've not only decided to try Linux but also signed up with your local LUG right away as well (something that took myself a year and lot of frustration to decide to do).
n00bie: My name is [n00bie:], live in Edmonton obviously. I have been looking at Linux off and on over the years without ever really being very focused. I thought it was time for me to make the full shift from Windows to Linux since I am much more interested in open source technology.
Open Source isn't as much a technology as it is a philosophy...but that will become apparent soon enough :- )
n00bie: Currently I am running Red Hat 9 and will probably switch to Ubuntu. I am embarrassed to admit that when I first started using Linux I actually used Caldera 2 and now I can't believe how evil that company has become. Oh well, I stopped using their stuff after 2.4 anyway.
I'm actually not up on this Ubuntu deal. What is it supposed to be exactly? I've googled it and it doesn't look like a distro as much as a collection of RPM's
n00bie: I consider myself a Linux newbie, I am not going to lie about my level of knowledge. I work in a heavily MS focused environment, doing phone support for MS Windows apps. Not really conducive to getting involved in Linux, but after doing phone support on MS Windows for 4 years I can honestly say that I am beginning to despise MS Software. The other reason for wanting to get more involved in Linux is that I am taking my Comp Sci courses part time and I want to do more of my projects using Linux. When I finish my degree I want to work in Linux Development rather than MS.
Linux is very community oriented and us guys and gals here will be VERY happy to help with any questions, concerns. That being said there's a certain attitude (which took me a while to learn) that can carry your requests faster and further - not just on this list but in any correspondence with project groups. We've had a few M$ users sign up (although I vividly remember one particular example) who think that we are some kind of paid Linux support group. They began by barking orders and expecting a response...needless to say they are no longer on this list (and nobody even had to kick them off). The open source attitude naturally stems from your generous rights own this software under. It is not YOUR software, it is not GNU's software, it is OUR software. Hence when you have a problem with a piece of software, you are not alone and don't HAVE to fix it yourself although you can if you have the time. The best approach is not "THIS doesn't work. Hey! Hey you! Sourceforge project group - fix YOUR software. Fix THIS". The best approach is "THIS doesn't work in OUR software. What can WE do to fix it. How can I help."
Enough of my preaching...you seem like a patient and friendly person, Gerald. I'm sure we'll be asking you for help before long. Anyways here are some basic links that most (if not all) of us have bookmarked:
The GNU/FSF homepage - where it all began. Has a directory of free (GNU) software and manuals for download as well as information on the Open Source movement and philosophy. Great place to learn the *important* difference between free speech and free beer :- )
The Open Source initiative's homepage, run by the open source movement's resident shit disturber - Eric S. Raymond. Here you'll find out what's going on in the "Big Picture" for OSS. I recommend checking out the halloween documents from '98/'99 - see how M$ originally reacted to the open source discovery. Also a great place to have your work "Open Source Approved" if you'd like...gets you a cool logo :- ) www.opensource.org
The Linux Documentation Project. Excellent collection of guides, howtos, and free (as in speech, not beer) books. You mentioned wanting to get to know the command-line, in which case you want "The Advanced Bash Scripting Guide" by Mendel Cooper. www.tldp.org
The kernel archives. THE place for new kernels and core Linux utilities when it comes time to upgrade. www.kernel.org Sourceforge and Freshmeat. The two biggest free software project repositories. Not everything here is under the GPL, but 99% of it is.www.sf.net www.sourceforge.netwww.freshmeat.net
The Linux Game Tome and Linuxgames.org. The latter has more commercial ports of games but the 'tome has many open source games - and some are pretty damn good too :- ) www.happypenguin.org www.linuxgames.org
On a more serious note...security. Ever wonder how those Windoze exploits get discovered faster than M$ code them? Here is the site of the people who do it. They are not crackers - they're Black Hats who take what they do seriously. They have a great attitude and will help fix security holes (even on your Win boxes) and also have a great port-scanner called "nmap". After seeing this you may feel vulnerable whenever you boot a Win machine again... www.insecure.org
Lastly, the problem solver: Google's Linux-filtered search engine...if you can't find an answer here...well then neither can we ;- ) www.google.com/linux
That's it...my bloated message is over - if I'm missing anything the rest of the group will let you (and me) know in a hurry :- )