> What I found amazing when I first started using Linux is that even though
> I had absolutely *no* idea what I was doing, just by following the
> directions available everything Just Worked (tm).
Okay, I'll gleefully admit that this wasn't quite the case for me.
<donning matador costume, waving red flag at resident trolls...>
I set up my first linux box in late Dec. 1997. (I'd been using unix for a
couple of years but had no admin experience whatsoever.) I found that
the howtos, at least for nontrivial tasks, tended to proceed through
various "checking" stages; i.e., "try this; if that works, then go on to
the next section."
When I went to set up ppp in early 1998, the relevant howto said to
first try setting things up manually. You fired up minicom, dialed into
the remote modem, issued the "ppp" command on the remote machine to get
things going (this is a campus modem I dial into, those details might be
different for different folks), then quit out of minicom (without
disconnecting the modem). This was supposed to keep the ppp link active.
Didn't work. Link kept dropping after I left minicom (maybe not right
away, but not long enough for me to do anything). Drat, I thought.
For kicks I glanced through the rest of the howto (too see what I
would be missing?); basically the next seciton was trying the
automated scripts ("ppp-on" at the time) once you get things working
manually. So I typed ppp-on (I'd gotten config scripts from a
Whoosh. ping? yes. telnet? yes. lynx? yes. All working spotless.
A little after that I finally got around to installing ghostscript
and diving into the printing howto. cat to /dev/lp0 worked, no sweat.
The other checks in the howto were working ok as well. Then came
the ghostscript-specific stuff. "Fire up printtool, and setup this
config file (I believe /var/spool/lpd/(my printer)/general.cfg)." Oops.
I had a dinky little compaq with 8M ram and <200M free hard drive, and
I lacked the chutzpah at the time to tackle installing X even without
those hardware issues. Can't run printtool without X. Time to give
Well, lemme look at this general.cfg file first. "THIS FILE IS
AUTOMATICALLLY GENERATED BY PRINTTOOL! DO NOT EDIT MANUALLY! THIS
MEANS YOU, DARRIN!" Well, ok, not quite but pretty close. But gee, I
thought, this looks like, well, a config file. There are commented
lines (text obviously meant for humans, with a # on the left); and
volts to blow through the monitor and destroy him like on Star
GRIND GRIND GRIND (this was an Epson stylus color from 1995, they're
kinda loud ;)) There's my document.
So basically I'll go along with your assessment of things just
working. You do occasionally have to be willing to _not_ follow the
directions though :)... I.e. not give up if one of a serious of
"tests" fails, and not to take dire warnings too seriously in (flat
text! could anything be better?) config files.
Sadly, I'd like to be able to include the digital camera I just got my
wife in the success stories above. <pausing... the crowd is
tense... doesn't he see the bull charging from behind... oh no, he
seems tangled in that stupid red cape... he'll be gored for sure...>
But no, I followed the (web, not vendor ;)) directions and everything
did "Just Worked (tm)".
Quote:> Windows you follow the directions and it still doesn't work. Then
> you install a patch to fix that problem and something else stops
> working, and so on, and so on.
> I think I'd still have a full head of hair if it weren't for M$
> products. (:-)
Well, last MS OS I used was 3.11, so probably noone's interested in
my comments on that subject. But with linux, I have everything I need
to get my work done (and have a little fun as well).