CrossPost: Yardist Bloodsport
Sunday, July 13, 2014
As any sysadmin will tell you the first and most necessary component to understanding Linux is personal initiative. The person that doesn't want-need-desire to learn Linux can't get it just by loading up the latest distro of Ubuntu. Linux is a relationship with computing. It requires a certain kind of passion to enter into such a relationship. It also requires a certain level of commitment.
Reflection on my early days shows me diving into distros that came on many, many 3.5 inch floppies. Then if I was successful I got a prompt: root@slackware: ~> I stared at it for the longest time and then tried some DOS commands...only to be told that "dir" was not found. I had no comforting background in any of the *nixs. So I had to start reading TFM. I eventually discovered "man" and midnight commander (mc). I was underway. At least I could see the file system.
Mr. Slackware, Patrick Volkerding was kind enough to include enough FVWM so that once I found the startx command I even got a graphical user interface. And right there my troubles really began. I wanted to do the cool things. With multiple video cards I could run more than one monitor. With a sound card I could play music. With an ethernet adapter I could even get on the network. RTFM.
In those heady days hard drive space and memory were at a premium. Even worse, resources allocated to a project boxen were hand-me-downs at best. So it became necessary to roll my own .xorg config files. And *GASP* recompile the kernel to include the necessary modules to drive my bells and whistles. At a time when recompiles took way more than just one cup of coffee. (I would eventually, after a sweeping office PC upgrade, scrounge and build a 5-node MOSIX cluster that cut compile times to a manageable half pot of coffee.)
Software was a matter of downloading tarballs and ./configure ... and ... search for the dependency, download the tarball, ./configure ... and ... search for the dependency, download the tarball, ./configure ... and ... rinse&repeat ... until make && make install were successful. Then curse and recurse back up the dependency chain until the original make && make install were successful.
So here is my lament. Linux has become a commodity. I can slap a DVD in a laptop (of all things) and load Linux ... and everything, everything works. Through a GUI I can download and install software and the dependencies, if any, are handled in the background. It all just works. Well?!?! If it all just works then what are you bitchin' about? That Linux Enthusiast I mentioned earlier never got to learn how to drive a stick-shift Linux.
Just my $0.02
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Shame on me.
I drank the media frenzy kool-aid and dived head first into the deep end of the Fazebook pool. At first it was kool. Fluries of friends and flashy memes. Everybody was doin' it. Likin' this and LOL commentin' that. Political side-takin' and snide remarkin' screeds. Oh and did I mention the "Likes" ... like crack cocaine ... just couldn't wait to get those heady little puffs of ego boastin' positive reinforcin' click nods. Oh I was in it deep, giving as good as I got ... you gotta like to be Liked.
...and somewhere in the back of my mind was a nagging itch.
what happened to my goals and aspirations? What happened to my focus and concentration...lemme just check who posted the next Kute Kitty pic ... yeah, just like that. (That didn't really happen. I was trying to show by example.) I used to write. Not masterful works but fairly well thought out stuff. I used to write poetry, again not master works but not altogether slouchy stuff. As near as I can figure I managed to drown my muse in the deep end of the Fazebook pool.
Shame on me.
[BONUS EXTRA: 99 Days Of Freedom challenge.]
So I am intent on starting back up here and over at Yardist formally known as Pa^2.
Hope to see ya round these parts more often.
Posted by William Meloney at 1:09 PM