[Nottingham] Views and thoughts from a ‘newbie’

Java Lynx javalynx at email.com
Fri Nov 11 02:42:06 GMT 2005

Views and thoughts from a ‘newbie’

I would class myself as a budding newbie.  I had worked in a call centre supporting windows only pc’s.  I did this for over 5 years. Before that, I had experience of DOS, Windows 3.11, up to XP for another 5 years.  I thought I was pretty knowledgeable and managed to get by and help my friends on the way.  After a while, I came across Linux, found out it was free but also found out that it was so totally different to what I had learnt with windows. It was/ is a steep learning curve to get any point where I can use Linux productively.

I use the list to learn by other peoples issues and sometimes, it relates to issues I have myself, e.g. Michael Leuty’s recent post regarding files and docs on a server.  I have tried to do this (with limited success) but to my embarrassment, I have forgotten the password for both the Linux lappy AND the server, as I haven’t had time to ‘play’ for over a month.  This will be sorted when I find my well hidden piece of paper with the relevant info ;-).  I learn better by doing, rather than ALL the reading that I am having to do, (via web and Linux Format – subscribed and recommended btw) to even try and pick up the basics, for example... I have a windows laptop (which I am using now to write this email).  I would be dual booting with Ubuntu, using Open Office instead of Word, using Thunderbird instead of Outlook and using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer – Oh! I am actually doing the last one :-).  I say would be, but I haven’t got enough knowledge of Linux or it’s characteristics to confidently push forward as yet.  Getting there, with or without help, but it will take time which is limited by my work commitments.

I enjoy the challenge Linux throws at me and one of my aims is to be using Linux as my main OS by summer of 06 although I have only been trying/ using it in earnest for about a year using Mandrake then Ubuntu. One of the points I wanted to get across in my long post, is that even with ALL the experience I gained while supporting Windows and understanding the principles of installing, setting up and running an OS etc, Linux can confuse even me.  So how would someone who has never experienced a dos screen be able to understand a lot of the posts on the list?  This is possibly one of the reasons why a lot of people don’t post queries because even the simplest question may have a simple answer, but you assume or have to assume that the person asking has at least a minimal knowledge, otherwise you can sound patronising in replies.  This (as far as I am aware) is not happening on the list. People SHOULD feel able to post their queries without the fear of looking silly, BUT, it would be good if people also showed they were trying to find an answer themselves. I find that people are more willing to help you if you have tried yourself.

I have posted once so far.  I hate feeling or being made to feel stupid.  This may apply to a lot of other people on the list.  I’m not saying that anybody who replies to posts do this, but people may feel reluctant to post IF they feel this will happen.  Even though I and many others have a limited knowledge of Linux, this does not mean that we are worth less on the list, and this is in part why I have felt able to send this post as and hopefully, more ‘newbies’ will post their queries, thoughts etc and not feel intimidated and just send the query.  Trust me, it’s only scary the first couple of times, just like anything else that’s new.  I for one will feel more happier to do so especially if I am to reach my summer 06 target, after some of the recent posts. Thanks for the help so far and keep up the good work.

Hope this helps newbies and the list.

Play 100s of games for FREE! http://games.mail.com/

More information about the Nottingham mailing list