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[tlug] An instructional target of opportunity?

The next meeting may be too busy to try this suggestion, but I'm
fortunate enough to have surplus computing resources, and I'll
probably be around for at least a month or three...

My suggestion is that after the main presentation and during the
looser part of the meeting, 'tentative' instructional videos could be
made that might even be suitable for a later meeting or for inclusion
on the website. I happen to have a potentially interesting example at
hand. To wit:

In the course of a recent major upgrade, one of my scratch monkeys
crashed. It was a rather peculiar error message, and when I tried to
continue the upgrade, it was not possible. The machine was pretty far
along, and I'd recently recovered another machine that had crashed in
a vaguely similar way. However this time the machine is apparently too
sick for my current healing abilities. Obviously it could be rebuilt
from scratch, but even if it is completely non-recoverable, the
diagnostic process of determining its morbid state should be
interesting in itself. (The hardware is known to be okay, since I can
still use it in Windows and DOS.)

This is quite an open-ended situation, which makes it quite difficult
to schedule in advance. Perhaps an expert can heal it in 10 minutes,
or perhaps he'll need 30 minutes to pronounce it incurably dead. My
suggestion is that we could use the video camera during that part of
the meeting to film an attempt to diagnose and recover the machine. My
instructional idea would be to ask the expert certain questions during
the process, basically attempting to access his mental model of the
machine and its sickness. The first obvious example of a symptom is
that different GRUB boot options produce produce different failure
modes. These results would probably be meaningful to an expert, though
they mean very little to me. If the expert could explain how he
interprets what he's seeing, it might give other people insight into
his thinking and insight into how Linux works. Hopefully, an
interesting and instructional video could result.

Unfortunately, my observations of this mailing list to date have
caused me feel like this is not necessarily the best venue to offer
suggestions, but...

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