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LinuxNewbie.org: Misadventures of a Linux Newbie from the Mac World

Jul 06, 2000, 15:28 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Streeter)

[ Thanks to Sensei for this link. ]

"So you're like me: a Mac user, maybe a pretty adept one, but not a programmer, network operator, or other high level geek, and you're curious about Linux. Here are a few things I wish someone had told me before I installed Linux on my iMac about a month ago."

"First, be prepared to feel a lot like those washed-up Hollywood actors in the movie-spoof Galaxy Quest, who are mistaken for real space heroes and put in command of a real Starship. When you first enter the world of Linux, you're in the same position as those actors: you're suddenly in command of this complicated, technological wonder, expected to know what you're doing, but you're basically clueless, and really lucky whenever anything works at all."

"There are lots of daunting Linux peculiarities that I could talk about, but for me the biggest and most revealing shocker was the process of mounting disks. If you're a Mac user, you put a disk -- a standard disk, a zip, a CD-ROM, whatever -- in its slot, a picture of your disk appears on your desktop, and you're ready to click and drag your files around. In Linux, get this... But the most astonishing thing of all about this is that Linux folks seem to think all this effort is perfectly normal. The manuals, discussion lists, and online help files are not prefaced by a message: "Getting files off your disks is horribly complicated and may be impossible!" or "Warning to beginners! Doing routine tasks that take you seconds on your Mac could well take you an hour or more the first time you do them in Linux!"

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