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Re: newbie



I looked at both urls
www.webmin.com The man knows how to write and put up a webpage. IF only one could get that installed in
linux, instead of windows which won't allow that, and I cannot get INTO linux beyond gnome, so far.
Consider the bugs, fill in the search box when I don't even know what bugs to look at, also looked at
the list, I might as well be reading swahili. The bugs are topic and task specific, which requires one
already knows how Linux works and can use it. Then some or other detail won't go as EXPECTED and one
focusses on solving that within one's grasp of the subject. It means one must at least have some grasp
to things. So far I have none. Now how can an expert make it easy to understand to a newbie? Which
inverts the issue as put up by the next one.

<http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html>
The man makes several wrong assumptions about asking smart questions. To do so one first has to know the
other person's mind set and mindstyle and its contents, or be quite familiar with that. I once spent
half an hour having a Physicist ask me questions to get to know what I knew about transducers & Physics.
After that he took 5 minutes to explain it. Having taught people one first feeds in an idea and a bird's
eye view, after which it takes between two and four weeks to percolate around inside their unconscious,
after which they begin to ask some questions and do this again. My son once wanted to know whether the
sun was bigger than Auckland, the city he lived in. It too months of getting books, visting a
planetarium, with weeks intervals between until he told me "can we go again". The last visit was when I
tested him for some ideas he told me" Oh, I know all that" and the subject was never broached again. All
he wanted was to get oriented in his world.

There is no such thing as a smart question except in the mind of an replier who knows it is a smart
question, because he knows his subject. One asks questions according to the level of insight one has of
something. Had it once when the new maths - set theory - was introduced. The math teacher had not a clue
and the students told me, cause they knew they could ask me anything. So I read the book, once, passed
the test included at 86% which I thought was good enough, taught them Set Theory and so annoyed the hell
out of the math teacher by having the student ask him smart questions he knew not how to asnwer. Of
course they were posed and suggested by me. Sets work like words do. Alkl I used as a model was a paper
bag and kitchen drawers, something they already knew. When abstractions are well firmed up in someone's
mind they know not how to renders them transparent to someone who does not know that much.  A medical
degree, which takes several years to learn can be actually taught in three months, the rest is
superfluous waffle. But then one cannot do that unless one already knows the crucial aspects that make
all the difference and has a working model of how people who do not know actually think. Then one has to
figure out transfer notions to poke them in the other person's head.

I gather, infer, surmise that you are intent on having me ask topic and task specific questions so you
can reply in Linux jargon. I ain't got that far yet. That's how all the documentation works for
computerese. Compare that to taking one's car to a mechanic, something wromng, does not sound right. The
mechanic turns it on, listens and says "Oh, you need a so and so fixed". He can only do that because he
has in his mind a working model of a car and engine, knows which bit does what, has a further model of
how a "perfect" engine should behave and a pile of other stuff and data about what can go wrong. We live
in a world of experts and specialists and professionals who do things for us, but that implies there is
no need to explain it, just foot the bill. Now how does one get to be expert starting from nowhere. Yep,
I'm am expert in several things other than Linux. Anthropologists are trained one how to learn a
language and get to know a culture of the "primitives" they study.

The one on "Making it easy to answer" riles me. How can one do that when one lacks familiarity with the
topic in hand? One can transfer data but one cannot transfer understanding, grokking something. Where
and how does one start? In ignorance, which does not mean a lack of understanding. Apart from that
programmers and computer geeks have different mindstyles than ordinary folk. What is easy for a chip on
a computer is hard for people. WHY, it's the difference between the well defined word versus ambiguity.


Sorry, end of rant

Adrian





I would fancy one first makes a directory setup. adjusts the kernel, gets some programs, oops packages
going, integrates them with the kernel, etc Since most administrative tasks have to be organised in
root, etc blahh.

I got gnome and nix else works or can be found. Giving me text Linux commands is no use unless I can get
into the shell, is that what it is called?  I've tried every command in the menu with the red hat icon
and that gets me nowhere either.  The manual and info is there and I cannot grok that. Just imagine me
sitting in a stratocruiser plane and no pilots license. Add someone telling me :Do this< no thank you, I
might kill myself.

Since I tried some of that which did not work, because ALL I get is gnome, no Nautilus, no Konqueror,
Kmail, etc. none of the other goodies, just 5 proggies on the bottom panel and I am not in the habit of
typing in letters when I don't know what happens. I suppose "man mount" means setup the manual, which
I've already
read. It's available in gnome. Cannot get the modem working. I'll try those URLs, and I've read the dang
manual TWICE + the frisbie docs and the white handbook. What I lack is a bird's eye view. and, pliz,
that does not consist of giving details in jargon., sorry, do I sound confused, you're right I am, but I
know what confuses me.

Adrian.




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