a *very* odd question especially for me. Janina Sajka <janina at rednote.net> wrote

Jude DaShiell jdashiel at panix.com
Tue Jul 28 13:36:13 UTC 2015

I bet Martin even remembers how to use an oscilloscope to repair a 
computer too.

On Tue, 28 Jul 2015, martin McCormick wrote:

> Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:00:05
> From: martin McCormick <martin.m at suddenlink.net>
> Reply-To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com>
> To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com>
> Subject: Re: a *very* odd question especially for me. Janina Sajka
>     <janina at rednote.net> wrote
>> Some responses below in line ...
>>> On Thu, 23 Jul 2015, Karen Lewellen wrote:
>>> How scriptable is Linux?
>> Eminently scriptable. You can script in any Linux shell. I recommend
>> bash. You need to learn how to use a text editor like emacs or vim.
>> Then, start your bash scripting education with:
>> http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Bash-Prog-Intro-HOWTO.html
> 	Good advice though I am not familiar specifically with
> that site but the neat thing about Linux and unix in general is
> that the experience is much like I always imagined that someone
> might feel were they to discover that they were the heir to a
> vast fortune and they could do anything they wanted with the
> riches. Unlike gold or gyms, however, you don't spend the
> fortune. It is all about potential. That's what tools do for one.
> To use another analogy, the tools one finds in unix are the
> shoulders of the giants that Isaac Newton referred to when he made
> the comments that the great discoveries he made were possible
> because he had stood on the shoulders of giants.
> 	On the practical side, we all have big dreams. I noticed,
> here, the discussion of intrusion detection, basically an alarm
> system plus ways to collaboratively produce music, both of which
> have been done by various groups of people, proving it can be
> done.
> 	When I first started working in computing in 1989, I had
> been doing about ten years worth of playing with computing before
> that. I never majored in Computer Science in college but have
> always been interested in how things work and what one can do
> with various tools. A fair question to always ask is, "What else
> can it do?" Just talking about shell scripting is enough fodder
> for a book, career or maybe even a PHD thesis not to mention
> countless labor-saving applications you can write to solve
> specific problems, etc.
> 	When I started working full-time in March of 1990, my
> boss told me that she wanted me to learn unix and C and come up
> with all the automation I could for our group. I worked on that
> for 25 years, never fully learned C but could certainly write
> programs that worked and I made a lot of automation that they are
> still using even after I have retired.
> 	Another thing she told me was to get started by thinking
> of one specific problem to solve that would make life much easier
> for us and concentrate just on that one thing.
> 	That was excellent advice because if you fling off in all
> directions at once, you'll get nothing done, think you are a
> failure, take drugs and dive in to wet cement which is the reason
> for the concrete advice.
> 	Think of something simple such as the way you manage a
> grocery list or keep track of your budget, whatever interests
> you, and see if you can simplify the donkey work in a little
> shell script. Chances are excellent it won't work right but might
> tease you by almost working if you could only get X, Y, or Z, to
> happen or not happen.
> 	You lookup documentation and see why the command you are
> using is blowing up in the way that it is and then try to fix the
> problem with more or better scripting.
> 	This is as specific as I can get with a general topic,
> but this is how you turn a dream in to a reality on the computer,
> many times. You may actually go from a dream to a full nightmare
> first, but you are learning all the way.
> 	In case anybody cares, before I worked in computing, I
> was a repair technician with Oklahoma State University's Audio
> Visual department. I can tell you all kinds of now useless
> knowledge about 16-millimeter sound film projectors and many
> other classroom gadgets they don't use any more these days.
> 	To answer another question, folks who are blind can
> usually tell if a film projector is working correctly because
> many of the nasty things that happen to the picture make
> mechanical sounds that a properly-working projecter should not
> make.
> 	I was going to be a vocational teacher. That job path did
> not pan out but the computing path materialized out of nothing
> and turned out to be a lot of fun.
> Martin
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