[SWLUG] Latest on the connection saga

Telsa Gwynne hobbit at aloss.ukuu.org.uk
Sun Apr 13 19:40:26 UTC 2003

On Sun, Apr 13, 2003 at 07:52:37PM +0100 or thereabouts, Rhys Sage wrote:

Ow. _Please_ hit the return key. That came out as three lines
when I started my editor, and took some effort to find the right
part to quote.

> A download from the site actually had Linux instructions:
>    2. Add "alias eth0 rtl8139" into the /etc/conf.modules file.   
>       cd /etc
>       vi conf.modules
>          alias eth0 rtl8139   
> But... I don't have anything called vi. Rhys

Okay. So I am lost on networks and have no idea about any of
the rest of your problems. But I can explain this.

What it's telling you to do is to run a text editor to edit the
file. vi (short for "visual interface") is a very very old text
editor that most UNIX (and hence Linux) systems have. 

It is famously powerful once you have learned it and, um, not
so famous for being easy to learn. Lots of one-letter commands
and two or three different modes. Delete-the-letter-my-cursor-is-
on is 'x'. Change-to-command-mode-and-quit is escape-colon-q.
If you want to save it, you add a w (for 'write' :)) before the
q. Or you could do escape-colon-Q-Q. 

Et cetera.

You probably do have vi somewhere. Perhaps it is aliased as
"vim" (Vi IMproved). I believe vim starts up and tells you
how to get help on the first screen. This is a good thing.
Because I'm not sure that vi does. See above paragraph :) 

Another text editor many newcomers find much simpler is pico,
because it has help files and instructions on how to find them
visible when you start it. (vi doesn't.) nano is a clone of
pico under a different licence. And yet another is called joe.
I love joe. It is based on WordStar bindings. But it is not
carried by every distribution. 

I would suggest you find pico or nano first. Later, learning
vi is a good thing to do. It's on practically every UNIX
system in existence. If you learn it, you can edit on any
machine, anywhere. This is why the instructions you quote
mention vi, of course. It is available to 99% of Linux users.
So it's worth learning just because it does pop up everywhere.
That said though, I have managed for 13 years without learning 
much more of vi than 'undo' and 'quit without saving', which 
may tell you a lot about it. Or about me. I dunno. 

Finally, a handy thing to know. A text editor is not the same 
as a word processor. Word processors add in spurious control 
characters, rewrap lines, and do other things that are wonderful 
if you want a human to read the result on paper but which are 
disastrous if you want a computer to read the file ever again. 
For editing this file, you definitely need a text editor. Not 
a word processor. 


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