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Linux.com: Getting Stuff Done Now

Jul 08, 2000, 15:55 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Bos)

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"In the process of learning Linux, you are occasionally thrust into the position of needing to know how to do something right this minute. You haven't the luxury of time to read documentation, poke about man pages, and find out a way of hacking together a solution to a very real problem that exists right this moment. ... A ready, solid working knowledge of the operating system and its structure is a required element to getting things done."

"Unix programs... typically require at least a token effort at configuring them properly, customising them for your particular situation. This makes them, in general, a good deal more powerful and robust, but it doesn't help the poor person crunched for time, setting up a Web server at the last moment. ... The general attitude toward this problem is "tough beans." If you haven't got the skills to set something up from experience in the past, or if you haven't got someone with those skills to do it for you, use something else. ... The basic skill set required is large, but once that first hill is overcome, the sheer power of the Unix architecture pays off rewards orders of magnitude greater than the original effort expended learning it."

"The situation, however, is not entirely hopeless. Linux has a very large, very powerful support network in place. A hundred different potential sources for help exist: documentation, users, companies, FAQs, IRC -- provided you know where to look and what to ask. All these things exist to get past the initial learning curve, to get things set up now, and set up as quickly and smoothly as possible, and set up correctly. All that is required is patience, an ability to comprehend, and the will to experiment and generalise ideas."

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