[sclug] Questions, questions....

Keith Edmunds keith at midnighthax.com
Mon Dec 29 11:58:34 UTC 2003

On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 11:21:21 -0000
"Andrew Sharp" <andrew.sharp3 at ntlworld.com> wrote:

> Happy New Year to you all.

Hi Andrew, and HNY to you too. I'll offer some suggestions below which
you may find helpful.

>   a.. Is there any company locally who could build a machine with
>   Linux built in and possibly 'locally' configured?

Well, yes, I can do that for you, but I would strongly suggest that you
do it yourself if you want to learn Linux. You mention SuSE later in
your post: what are you looking for which SuSE does not offer?

> b.. Is there a
>   company that offers Linux training? I need it for administration
>   work, knowing how to share files and printers over the network,
>   things I don't think twice about when I am using Windows.

There are lots, but the training isn't cheap. Again, especially as you
are unemployed at the moment, why not teach yourself? Much harder, true,
but much cheaper and you'll learn MUCH more. Ask for clues here (or even
email me direct if you want), and we'll point you in the right way. For
example, sharing files and printers over the network (to Windows
machines) is done with Samba. If you want to share files to other Linux
machines you can still use Samba if you want, or there are other options
(NFS is the most obvious, but there is also something called shfs which
may be appropriate.

> With
>   Linux, I get the yips, especially when my network gets screwed as a
>   result. Playing with Linux is generally a learning curve and my wife
>   is reluctant to take Linux on full time when so many things need
>   configuring to users needs.

This is true and understandable. However, a training course will not fix
that - you are not going to learn in a week on a training course enough
to make you both confident and competent to manage a Linux network,
although of course you'll have some ideas by then.

> What INTERNAL hardware modems are
>   recommended by sclug users and how much are they? External ones are
>   idiot proof, but need an extra plug socket, but with my network hub,
>   my broadband, my tower and monitor and speakers and my printer, I
>   have run out of safe options on my extension lead!

Almost all internal modems are so-called winmodems, and most a
non-trivial to set up under Linux (although some can be: I have no
recommendations for you, sorry). If you can find an old ISA modem then
that will probably work under Linux as it just presents itself as a
serial port. You may have more luck getting a USB modem to work (see
http://www.linux-usb.org/USB-guide/p13.html and Google). If you have
broadband, why do you want a modem?

> e.. Is there any
>   recommended MySQL (or equivalent) training? I have tried getting
>   used to it, but I can't even make a user with a password that works!

Have you printed off the MySQL Admin manual? It's pretty good. I would
also strongly recommend that you look at phpMyAdmin for administering a
MySQL database - it makes creating users trivial. Hint: after changing
privileges in MySQL, including creating users, you need to 'flush
privileges' to have the changes take effect.

> Who is responsible for promoting Linux in this area, besides
> yourselves? 

No one is 'responsible' for it, although many do it. The LUGs, such as
this one, and maybe the Hampshire one (which has a much busier mailing
list) will help promote Linux, as will the local IT suppliers who
support it.

One further suggestion, as you have broadband: take a look at Gentoo
(www.gentoo.org). It is a "build from source" distribution which has
excellent documentation, and a very active user support community at
forums.gentoo.org. It isn't always straightforward, but you'll learn a
lot quickly. I'm running eight servers using Gentoo in a commercial
environment, so happy to help with Gentoo questions if you have any.

Hope some of the above helps.


More information about the Sclug mailing list