[PD] RE: [OT] migrating to linux

Matthew Allen matthew at lith.com
Mon Dec 15 20:18:13 CET 2003

Ahh sorry ... it wansn't meant to be sound traumatic at all. Just an
addition to the falling of the cliff. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: CK [mailto:x at meta.lo-res.org]
> WOW, it's sad to hear stories like that over and over again, and I'm
> really impressed by the fact that you're still giving debian (or free
> sw in general a go).

Actually I love doing this stuff and figuring it out. I could most likely
avoid these problems by not being so curious about things. But if that was
the case I suppose I wouldn't be using PD.

> * find someone experienced who's willing to lend you a hand
>   in the beginning (ideally this is someone from your school,
>   neighborhood but if no one's available check out irc and mailing
>   lists a lot of people in the linux community tend to be extremely
>   helpful and geeky enough to have amazing response times)

:). Being in the overworked, new dad 30+ crowd I don't have much time to
devote to tromping through IRC looking for help. One thing I would add to
this is GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. Its like finding a Linux geek who mostly
knows what you need. Searchable mailing list archives have saved me a couple
of times.

> * be prepared for a steep learning curve, hey this is the literate
>   user department, and no os is transparent to the blind, you will
>   run into trouble (just like with any other complex piece of tech)
>   when trying unusual things, and after you fixed a couple of major
>   fsck ups you'll be glad you did, they happen less often once you
>   get the hang of it, and you'll find it much easier to fix minor
>   nuisances. 

Once again why I'm going the 'more difficult' route. I installed RH 9.0 and
it was pretty easy to get things up and running smoothly (which is why I
keep pointing people to the CCRMA guys). There were a number of things I
knew linux could do (and I really wanted to try out), but I needed to get my
hands dirty in order for it to happen. My partitioning and disk setup kung
fu is now pretty strong.

> * learn to program/script a little at first and try to put it to use
>   and see how lots of tedious tasks can be made very easy by simply
>   changing a few lines in some readily available script/program, watch
>   yourself becoming better at it.

Actually I've been a PERL freak for 7 years and have been using python now
for 3. Scripting is not an issue. I'm still getting comfortable with shell
scripting and usually just write a quick perl script for stuff, but I would
like to move over to mostly shell based scripts as soon as I can. However
most of my problems have not been automating mundane tasks they have been:

> * figure out the package management system of your distribution (if
>   applicable), become familiar with the GNU build system and start
>   making your own (packages not management system that is)

BAM! Apt-* is awesome and easy to use, and of course easy to break a bunch
of stuff with if you don't read the docs and just jump in head first. So
this week has been earmarked as 'Learn all you can about Apt-' week. 

Also like a brave sole I tried the brand spankin new Sarge installer after I
killed the machine on Friday with the dist-upgrade. It didn't really work so
well for me :) 

> * start talking in tongues, use more acronyms than actual words,
>   patch your kernel on a regular basis and feel the cool breeze.

Does snake handling count?


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