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Re: [tlug] CD Burning Howto-- Thanks Godwin

On Wed, 01 Mar 2006 12:08:08 +0900, "Stephen J. Turnbull"
<> wrote:

> Things have gone way downhill, I guess

In that case they must be even worse than I remember.

Back when I was a Linux newbie - well, I still am a newbie in some respects
given that I end up learning something new almost every day - I just wanted
to know how to get my modem to dial into the Internet so that I could use
the GNU/Linux side of my then dual-boot machine on the 'Net.

It took much messing about, rebooting into Windows to be able to connect
and find more documentation, then rebooting into Linux to try it out and
find that it just "didn't work", rebooting back into Windows etc...

In the end, the howto on the LDP did point me in the right direction, but I
had to do mucho research in order to understand what the hell the guys who
wrote that howto were trying to say. Of course, several years down the road
it all seems obvious, but that's not a healthy state of affairs - the
documentation shouldn't be obvious to people who don't need it, it should
be clear for those who *do*. A newbie - least of all a technically
conversant newbie - shouldn't have to spend 2 days messing about trying to
do something as trivial as initiating a dialup connection.

This was 6 or 7 years ago. Of course, nowadays the newbie doesn't have to
research anything (s)he just fires up Kppp, inputs hir dialup details and
clicks on the "Connect" button. But is that any healthier? The user isn't
learning anything and won't be much safer running Linux on the 'Net than
running Windows and browsing with IE - practising safe hex comes from
understanding the dangers and therefore *understanding* (as opposed to
learning parrot-fashion) how to avoid them.

I've always said that Linux documentation *accessible to the newbie* is
cruelly lacking. Sure, it's all out there if you happen to know that you
can point your browser to or indeed if you
happen to know that search engines exist at all (yes, there are people who
have not yet connected to the Internet...)

I'd love to spend all my time documenting various aspects of this operating
system. Realistically, though, there's no way I can. Trivial, annoying
things like $dayjob tend to get in the way sometimes. Then there's the
"DADVSI" law looming over Open Source Software like a sword of Damocles (if
passed and subsequently applied to the letter, it will basically outlaw OSS
in France). I do, however, do a bit of work in this area when I can. Scott
& co. have their Q'n'D guides... Every little bit counts :)

G. Stewart -

43rd Law of Computing:
        Anything that can go wr
fortune: Segmentation violation -- Core dumped

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