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OS Newbie
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:25 pm    Post subject: Old computer hacker (but Linux newbie) seeks guru... Reply with quote

I'd love to get up to speed on Linux (Gentoo in particular) and other Open Source stuff, especially things having to do with bringing up stable file servers for multiple client platforms, programming environments, and embedded systems design. The thing is, most sources of information aimed at newbies endeavor to make the experience of using Linux comfortable for casual users, and because of that, gloss over all the aspects that I care most about.

What would be wonderful for me would be to cross paths with some wise, benevolent, battle-scarred Linux/Open Source person who'd understand my plight, and be like Obi-Wan Kenobi, saying "These simplistic FAQs and intros are not the deep enlightening information sources that you've been looking for." and "Use the real stuff (like Gentoo) and don't fear the simple requirements of knowing how to compile from source code." and "I can see by the titles on your bookshelf (The Design of the Unix Operating System, Analog Circuit Design: Art, Science and Personalities, etc.) that you are not one to confine yourself to a GUI desktop or distros like Ubuntu.

Anybody want to come and hang out occasionally (I'm in the Portland, OR area), and speak wisdom to help guide me on my path toward GNU/Linux enlightenment, or even just talk by e-mail? I realize that this sounds a little bit like somebody who's new to hydraulics and mechanics, asking for help as he seeks to get up to speed on race car chassis design. But I have decades of experience in things like electronics, hacking computer-based projects, etc. And I've reached the end of my attention span for putting up with the likes of Microsoft and Apple endlessly churning the environment (not to mention, dumbing it down). I want to be able to more deeply understand and control the OS, compile it to its most optimal configuration, etc. I promise to spend a lot of my time figuring things out, etc. I'd just like to have a wise Gentoo-savvy person keep me on the path as I start out.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OS Newbie,

Welcome to Gentoo.

One to one, the way you suggest, is not the Open Source way. You need to share you learning in public, so that others can learn by following your forums posts, which will hopefully end in success.
You will find the Gentoo documents, wiki and IRC to be excellent resources.

Its unlikely I'll get to "hang out" with you as I'm near Edinburgh, Scotland.

Anyway step one is to boot some Linux system and install Gentoo by following the Gentoo Handbook for your hardware.


The help on the forums will teach you to fish, not give you a fish.

Just jump in - we won't let you drown.

I have a similar background to yourself ... 50 years playing with computers, the only kid in a school of about 1100 to have computer programing as a hobby :)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:08 pm    Post subject: Perhaps not my way Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
OS Newbie,

Welcome to Gentoo.

One to one, the way you suggest, is not the Open Source way. You need to share you learning in public, so that others can learn by following your forums posts, which will hopefully end in success.

You will find the Gentoo documents, wiki and IRC to be excellent resources.

Its unlikely I'll get to "hang out" with you as I'm near Edinburgh, Scotland.

Anyway step one is to boot some Linux system and install Gentoo by following the Gentoo Handbook for your hardware.

The help on the forums will teach you to fish, not give you a fish...


Thanks for the reply.

One-to-one being probably the only way that I'm going to do it, perhaps then "the open source way" is not going to be my way. On my own, I'm probably going to find it to be too vexing to go through the initial stages of getting my bearings.

Much the way in which I would be very happy to help someone who was approaching a new field that I knew a lot about, someone out there in Gentoo-land might feel mercifully inclined to assist me in getting past the paralysis that comes with being a newbie. I'm not looking for somebody to give me a fish (that is in fact, the reason why I dislike things like easy-to-use distros) or even someone to teach me to fish. What I want is for someone to help me teach myself how to fish, by saving me the agony of figuring out things like what the good fish look like, where in the various streams they live, what the names are of the pieces of fishing tackle that I should get, and in general, by helping me avoid the pursuit of paths that don't lead me to where I want to go.

Edinburgh, Scotland is on my short list of possible locations to move to, should I decide to leave here (which I've been considering for the past few years). That makes it a funny coincidence that you'd be the first responder to my post.

Anyway, thanks again for your reply.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OS Newbie,

Don't give up without playing around a little bit. Take a look at the Gentoo Handbook: it's really quite readable, especially for a technically-minded person. I'd also recommend Linux in a Nutshell for some good familiarization reading.

I'm on the opposite corner of the US from you, I'm afraid, but I make it to the other corner occasionally. I'm planning a trip to Aurora (Van's Aircraft factory) via PDX in the fall.

- John
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps a user group could provide what you are looking for. I see one in Portland: http://www.pdxlinux.org/

I also have to second the encouragement from the other posters - just jump in, boot a live CD, play around with some tutorials, and follow the handbook.

Cheers
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John R. Graham wrote:
OS Newbie,

Don't give up without playing around a little bit. Take a look at the Gentoo Handbook: it's really quite readable, especially for a technically-minded person. I'd also recommend Linux in a Nutshell for some good familiarization reading.

I'm on the opposite corner of the US from you, I'm afraid, but I make it to the other corner occasionally. I'm planning a trip to Aurora (Van's Aircraft factory) via PDX in the fall.

- John


Thanks for your reply. But it makes it sound like you think that I need help in order to bring up Linux, etc. I've already done that a few times with different distros. And I have found the Gentoo handbook to be quite readable, as you say. And I have a copy of Linux in a Nutshell (at least in e-book form). So I should read through that. Maybe I will forge ahead, to see whether or not I feel like by doing so, that I'm going in the direction I seek to go in. But it doesn't appeal to me to take that route. This is no concern of anybody else's, this desire of mine to have some camaraderie while embarking on the path towards Gentoo enlightenment. Nonetheless, it is the way I would be most comfortable approaching it.

If you think that you might be inclined to have a layover here sometime while you're going through Portland, let me know. I could maybe come up with a couple of enticements to encourage that. And going to Van's Aircraft Factory would be my kind of thing, if you might be up for having me tag along.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

russK wrote:
Perhaps a user group could provide what you are looking for. I see one in Portland: http://www.pdxlinux.org/

I also have to second the encouragement from the other posters - just jump in, boot a live CD, play around with some tutorials, and follow the handbook.

Cheers


Thanks for your reply. I am aware of the Portland Linux User's Group. And I intend to go to a few meetings to see what it's like. PLUG is one of the biggest Linux Users Groups in the world (if not THE biggest). But it's about a three-hour roundtrip drive to go over there for a meeting. And so far, I keep forgetting to go, when meeting time rolls around. I've spoken with the folks in the PLUG booth at a few OSCONs. I get the impression that the membership is a large cross section of Linux users (as one might expect), not many of whom are into Gentoo, compiling from source, or other aspects that I find most interesting. Like most Linux users, they are primarily focused on using it as a platform to run web browsers, e-mail clients, and applications in general, as opposed to being interested in the OS itself.

So while it may turn out to be worth my while to go check it out, I'm not holding my breath in anticipation of finding the kind of gurus I'd like to find.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OS Newbie,

Everyone in the Gentoo community is a volunteer. That meas that Gentoo never gets further up their list of priorities than third.
People do vanish for prolonged periods from time to time, sometimes with no notice.
The forums and IRC go some way to address that as you get many to one help, as well as it being public.
It also helps with time zone issues. For example we are eight time zones apart. The forums and IRC never sleep.

As you have a problem solving background you won't have any problem with Gentoo.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
OS Newbie,

Everyone in the Gentoo community is a volunteer. That means that Gentoo never gets further up their list of priorities than third.
People do vanish for prolonged periods from time to time, sometimes with no notice.
The forums and IRC go some way to address that as you get many to one help, as well as it being public.
It also helps with time zone issues. For example we are eight time zones apart. The forums and IRC never sleep.

As you have a problem solving background you won't have any problem with Gentoo.


It's fascinating to me that nobody is inclined to address my actual intention, which is to find somebody who would be willing to be a helpful mentor to me as I embark upon the path towards gaining perspective and understanding about Linux in general and Gentoo in particular. It seems that everyone who's at all inclined toward answering me at all, is so fixated on his vision (that I should approach it on my own, that it will be easy for me to figure it out, etc.), that he can't even imagine why anybody would want to do it the way I want to do it. But the fact is that I do want to do it the way I want to do it.

I am at somewhat of a loss to explain why it is that I want to do it the way I want to do it (talk with a Gentoo-savvy mentor as I proceed). But I can say that my desire doesn't come out of any worry that I might run into insurmountable problems or anything along such lines. Everybody seems to assume that all I really need is to be reassured that I'll be able to figure it out, and that the Gentoo community will be there for me to ask questions, etc. This is simply not an approach that is compatible with my inclinations.

I realize that the Gentoo community is not populated by philosophers who keep a lookout for newbies like me, who want to have wise counsel on-hand. I also know that the purpose of these forums is to facilitate the kinds of interactions that all of you helpful people who've replied like to have. But I also know that this is probably the best place for throwing out to the Gentoo-centric world, my statistically insignificant desire for randomly crossing paths with a Gentoo expert who'd be inclined to engage in conversation with me about this. I do this because I know that if I were that Gentoo expert, and I were to see such a request, I would be all over it.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange as it may seem, I've never even heard of anyone who wanted to do it the way you want. I've been using Linux since 1996.

I've heard some people say they wanted to take a Linux class and go on from there, or get a certification, or whatever. But I've never heard of someone who wants an expert to spoon-feed them from the ground up.

Frankly I can't imagine someone who insists on this type of arrangement to have the drive to become an expert. I'm not saying that to be insulting. I'm just asking you to think about what you're requesting.

Linux is probably the best documented and best supported operating system I've been exposed to, and that includes my exposure to IBM's mainframe/mini/server systems as an employee. The documentation is not consistently in the same place, nor is the support. It's in continuous flux because the operating system is in continuous flux.

I can't imagine a real expert taking time away from his regular life (which almost has to be busy) to do a one-on-one tutorship. Are you expecting this person to stop his/her job during this time? Are you planning to pay this person?
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi OS Newbie,

a potentially wise man knows that he knows not enough to consider himself wise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_that_I_know_nothing
I could teach you how to write some ebuilds and scripts and could certainly tell you much about the ins and outs of our beloved system. But on the other hand I would have to tell you almost on each topic that there is much more to know and that I just know things that I came across and that were interesting enough for me to really dive into it.
There is just no one guru who really knows everything.

Feel free to ask me anything you want, but also be prepared that my answers may be biased and probably not even close to a good answer.

If you really like to get good, verified, trustworthy answers, inputs, directions or something then you'll need to ask the whole crowd.
This is the whole essence of open source imho.

If you want to get experienced in linux then I'd recommend to read a good book that teaches the basics (like the one already mentioned or http://swift.siphos.be/linux_sea) and then just try to do something that is interesting enough for you to keep working on it. Like setting up a webserver with a wiki for keeping your own notes or something.
There is also quite much documentation available for almost anything at the gentoo wiki and/or the gentoo docs.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OS Newbie,

OS Newbie wrote:
... that I should approach it on my own, that it will be easy for me to figure it out, etc ...


Thats never been the intent of any of the posts in this thread and if I may be blunt, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of how the open source community works.
As nativemad said, "you'll need to ask the whole crowd."

You can see "the whole crowd" at work in this thread already.

What you should do is this ...
Start off on your own, following the Gentoo handbook. When (not if) something goes wrong, make a post here, telling us what you did, what actually happened and what you expected to happen.
If thats not enough information to put you back onto the straight and narrow, helpers (the crowd) will ask for whats needed.

The forums are slow and you may be impatient to get your Gentoo running. For real time help (from the crowd) go to irc.freenode.net and /join #gentoo.
You will need wgetpaste if you go this route as you will be asked for data that will not fit into the 3 line paste limit in #gentoo.
Don't ask to ask, just ask. If someone can help, you will get a response.

Your helpers will be from all over the globe, not just your home town.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
Strange as it may seem, I've never even heard of anyone who wanted to do it the way you want. I've been using Linux since 1996.

I've heard some people say they wanted to take a Linux class and go on from there, or get a certification, or whatever. But I've never heard of someone who wants an expert to spoon-feed them from the ground up.

Frankly I can't imagine someone who insists on this type of arrangement to have the drive to become an expert. I'm not saying that to be insulting. I'm just asking you to think about what you're requesting.

Linux is probably the best documented and best supported operating system I've been exposed to, and that includes my exposure to IBM's mainframe/mini/server systems as an employee. The documentation is not consistently in the same place, nor is the support. It's in continuous flux because the operating system is in continuous flux.

I can't imagine a real expert taking time away from his regular life (which almost has to be busy) to do a one-on-one tutorship. Are you expecting this person to stop his/her job during this time? Are you planning to pay this person?


It continues to surprise me that nobody seems to understand my posts here. Please don't anyone else respond to me in an effort to refocus my approach. If you can't grasp why I'm speaking about it the way I am (and almost nobody so far seems to), please just assume that you are correct in your assessment that I'm asking for something unreasonable, and go on to some other post. I don't want to spend any more time or energy, trying to explain that I'm not the least bit interested in being spoon fed anything. Really - please just don't respond.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
OS Newbie,

OS Newbie wrote:
... that I should approach it on my own, that it will be easy for me to figure it out, etc ...


Thats never been the intent of any of the posts in this thread and if I may be blunt, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of how the open source community works.
As nativemad said, "you'll need to ask the whole crowd."

You can see "the whole crowd" at work in this thread already.

What you should do is this ...
Start off on your own, following the Gentoo handbook. When (not if) something goes wrong, make a post here, telling us what you did, what actually happened and what you expected to happen.
If thats not enough information to put you back onto the straight and narrow, helpers (the crowd) will ask for whats needed.

The forums are slow and you may be impatient to get your Gentoo running. For real time help (from the crowd) go to irc.freenode.net and /join #gentoo.
You will need wgetpaste if you go this route as you will be asked for data that will not fit into the 3 line paste limit in #gentoo.
Don't ask to ask, just ask. If someone can help, you will get a response.

Your helpers will be from all over the globe, not just your home town.


Really, please give up. I don't want to hear anything more on the subject of how the open source community works, or from anybody who thinks that I am trying to learn how to install Linux, make baby steps towards becoming Linux-literate, etc. You're obviously not understanding me at all. So please, just ignore this thread.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think quite a few people are trying to help you, and you're not cooperating well enough to phrase a question properly.

I think we understand what you want quite well. You want the Linux community to change from the way it works now into the way you want it to work. You want to skip over things you already know, or that you don't think are important. The problem is, how is this guru going to know what you don't know, and how do you know what's not important? Some of that stuff you don't think is important is the ground work for something that's extremely important.

A lot of people have spent a lot of time on this documentation. A lot of people on this forum have a really good grasp of their own little area of interest, but nobody has an in-depth grasp of everything. With frequent changes to almost every software package on the system, no one human could possibly keep up with it all.

You keep saying things like:
OS Newbie wrote:
I don't want to spend any more time or energy, trying to explain that I'm not the least bit interested in being spoon fed anything.


But then you want one-on-one face to face help learning how it all works. How is "come and hang out occasionally (I'm in the Portland, OR area), and speak wisdom to help guide me on my path toward GNU/Linux enlightenment..." not spoon feeding? There isn't one small gem of knowledge that unlocks everything.

I'm thinking a good share of the people on this forum have degrees, and probably quite a few in some sort of computer management or programming. There are certainly some packed heads here. You have 2 site admins (each of which have helped a stunning number of people and each of whom have helped me personally more times than I care to count) and a Gentoo developer in here trying to guide you.

So if you don't want to spend any more time or energy, why should some expert spend more time or energy? Learning is about spending time and energy, if you don't spend it you didn't learn anything. If you picked something up in a short period of time all you have is a snipped of information that has no value to you.

Several people have tried to reach out and figure out exactly what you had in mind, and as far as I can tell you haven't gotten any closer than "That's not it..."

So if what we're saying isn't it, then what IS it?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And seriously. Look at NeddySeagoon's post count. He didn't get that post count by hanging around in "off the wall". He spends more time helping people than anyone else I see on the forum.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can certainly can understand why it would be great to be able to work around someone who's done it before. There is a lot we've lost by not having actual face-to-face contact. In so many ways the internet has been dehumanizing: we have community after a fashion, but not in a way where we could share good times and a laugh. We have lost a great deal by getting lost in little screens while being unaware of our surroundings. I really get what you mean by wanting to have that interaction. It is not so much a matter of being spoon-fed but being able to say "hey, look at this".

At my company there are a lot of programmers, and many of these are recently out of college. There is a good bit of interaction among us all. A lot of people have questions for me. They are not asking me to do things for them but to get an idea of why and how things go together like they do. The human interaction counts for a lot.

That said, the unfortunate fact is that we in the Gentoo community are fairly sparsely dispersed in the world. I live in Florida, which is more than 2000 miles from Oregon. I would have to think that there are Gentoo users in Oregon, but even then the distances matter.

So, if some Gentoo user in Oregon sees this thread and responds, that would be great. If someone in North Florida posted a message like yours, I'd certainly respond. Absent any response like that, you'll have to look to Plan B. That's essentially where the other people in this thread have been pointing. We do have great documentation, and we do have a nice community that is helpful for answering questions--even if we are not all here in person.

I thinik you'll find hat the normal way for people to get into Gentoo is for them to pick it up form themselves. That is the case for me too. Even though when I started at my company the head of network operations was a Gentoo developer, I pretty much worked out everything for myself.

Your kind of experience should take you a long way. Bear in mind also that in user groups you might run into people who have gone well past Ubuntu.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OS Newbie,

I'm up for it your way.

Don't ask me about GNOME, systemd, KDE, (e)udev, pulseaudio, *kit or auto anything since I don't use any of that.
I don't use multilib either. Theres probably lots of other things I can't help you with too but we will come to those later.
Maybe I'm not your idea of a guru any more?

I'm good for KVM, hardened and the server stuff I use plus a little twm and Xfce .
Oh, it will need to be about noon your time for an hour or so only, as I'm in Scotland, so we are unlikely to meet over a beer.
Skype is out as it needs pulseaudio, google hangouts doesn't seem to work without multilib. I did have ekiga working once but that was two sets of hardware ago.

If you want to take me up on the offer, we will correspond in public, on these forums.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: ><)))°€ Reply with quote

Teegrins and welcome, OS Newbie!


First off, my apologies for replying since I feel it may be something what you don't want at this point, but this is, after all, a public forum, and I can't help but to wonder something out-loud. I hope you can help me with it.

If you feel your anger levels rising, you might as well follow your own advice and ignore this post, for I certainly wouldn't want to be annoying, frustrating, or anything towards the negative!


I understand that one might want a more personal relationship with someone who can guide them along, but what I don't understand is that how it seems like a better idea than having dozens, if not hundreds of guides with different kinds of expertise available to help around the clock.

The forums is what (in my opinion) makes a huge part of Gentoo what Gentoo is. I might understand the want for taking a part of that home, but that will only be a part of it. Here you have most of it!


I personally jumped to Gentoo as my first Linux experience. Aside from a quick peek on Ubuntu, which taught me virtually nothing, I had no idea what to do, or how things work internally, but all I needed was the Handbook to guide me. I didn't have any sort of programming experience or IT background before either, aside from simply messing with the hardware and software (mostly games) since Commodore 64.

Those Commodore-times probably are what I felt coming back to me with the command-line installation. That, and the times with my first MSDOS diskettes. The guides and mentors for me were the written documentation, and these forums, where I don't think I actually had to ask for help many times at all; usually the answers were already there, given to someone else. This is, I think, why what the others here are saying as well is important: the open-source way to have it in the public (everyone benefits from it, and things don't need to be repeated to each individual).

I'm not trying to tell you what you should do, nor how to do it; I'm simply sharing parts of my journey with Gentoo, and my thoughts about it. I started in 2010, so I'm definitely still new myself, and far from a guru, but I do my best to help wherever I can.

We are all different, of course. I think I never learned anything too well from a book, from tell, nor from look-see myself. I always learned the best by doing it.


I don't believe there is a one Obi-Wan, but several, and as mentioned by others, none of them will be the expert of everything. Some might even lead you astray, perhaps even towards the dark side (which one might actually prefer, but I digress!). They may be the expert at one time, but only until someone who knows more stumbles upon the thread and posts a reply.


Just some thoughts!

Take them as you will, or don't.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nativemad wrote:
Hi OS Newbie,

a potentially wise man knows that he knows not enough to consider himself wise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_that_I_know_nothing
I could teach you how to write some ebuilds and scripts and could certainly tell you much about the ins and outs of our beloved system. But on the other hand I would have to tell you almost on each topic that there is much more to know and that I just know things that I came across and that were interesting enough for me to really dive into it.
There is just no one guru who really knows everything.

Feel free to ask me anything you want, but also be prepared that my answers may be biased and probably not even close to a good answer.

If you really like to get good, verified, trustworthy answers, inputs, directions or something then you'll need to ask the whole crowd.
This is the whole essence of open source imho.

If you want to get experienced in linux then I'd recommend to read a good book that teaches the basics (like the one already mentioned or http://swift.siphos.be/linux_sea) and then just try to do something that is interesting enough for you to keep working on it. Like setting up a webserver with a wiki for keeping your own notes or something.
There is also quite much documentation available for almost anything at the gentoo wiki and/or the gentoo docs.


This is closer to the kind of response that I was hoping for here. But still, even so, you seem to be operating from the assumption that what I'm seeking is help with specific questions, rather than (as I actually am) hoping for some more general "philosophical" input about the pursuit of it overall. I realize that this disconnect isn't the fault of the Gentoo community, but rather, simply the fact that what I'm asking for doesn't match up with most people's inclinations or perspectives.

In any case, thanks for your reply (and effort). But I think that it was simply a mistake on my part to think that my initial post here might result in my receiving any responses along the lines that I was aiming for. If there's a way to do so, I will be happy to remove all traces of this thread. It seems fairly obvious that it is serving only to ruffle feathers, and be unclear to practically everybody here.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
I think quite a few people are trying to help you, and you're not cooperating well enough to phrase a question properly.


I think that you are absolutely correct, and that you are hitting the nail on the head here. That said, let me just say that I don't think that I can phrase my request properly. So let me ask you as respectfully as I possibly can, to drop it, and for you to not try to talk with me any more about it. Would that be okay with you?

1clue wrote:
I think we understand what you want quite well. You want the Linux community to change from the way it works now into the way you want it to work. You want to skip over things you already know, or that you don't think are important. The problem is, how is this guru going to know what you don't know, and how do you know what's not important? Some of that stuff you don't think is important is the ground work for something that's extremely important.


In the above case however, you obviously don't understand even slightly what it is that I'm asking for. I suspect that this is because you've probably never interacted with anybody who wanted to approach anything in the way in which I want to approach this, which is perfectly understandable. Most people approaching Gentoo, Linux, Open Source, etc. wouldn't approach it the way I do. But it's important to me to point out that no you don't understand at all well, what I want. The fact that you think (incorrectly) that you do understand it, is why it seems like such a bad way of approaching it. The reason why you don't understand it has a lot more to do with my inability to eloquently articulate it, than it does with anything having to do with you or your perfectly normal perspective. I should just have not tried to engage anybody here. If I could delete this thread, I would.

I'd like to (out of respect for your obviously generous demeanor) have more conversation with you about the points you've raised here. But I can't really take the time, and don't want to use up any more of yours. And though I'm sure that in a live conversation, we'd probably get to a point at which you'd realize what is behind my obviously less than clear request, I suspect that in this forum environment, that would never be the case.

1clue wrote:
Several people have tried to reach out and figure out exactly what you had in mind, and as far as I can tell you haven't gotten any closer than "That's not it..." So if what we're saying isn't it, then what IS it?


I'd like to say in advance, that I don't want anybody to answer this, or to answer me in this thread at all, in the future. That said, I'll say this in the hope that it may shed some light on what my motivation was in making my initial post. Let's take a non-Linux example, just to make this maybe a little less likely to elicit a knee-jerk response in forum members.

Let's imagine a scene in which somebody came to a hangout where let's say, metal workers liked to congregate. This would be metal worker surveys the crowd, and sees a few guys playing with some kind of robotic sculpture at one table, a bunch of blacksmiths handling and talking about some roughly hewn stuff at another, and some machinists discussing milling technique at yet another. As our wannabe newbie metal worker gazes around, he sees many such different categories of metal-working subgroups. Enthusiastically, he walks around, marveling at the range and depth of expertise. Many of these areas of interest are things that he can enthusiastically relate to, others less so. But it all seems pertinent to his ambitions. So he keeps returning to the hangout on occasion, watching the various happenings, gradually gaining some insight into how the different specialties fit in the overall metal working universe.

After a while, he figures out that interesting though they all may be, some specialties are better suited to his inclinations than are others. For instance, he knows that he doesn't care about joining the group of metal workers who are into buying prefab kits and assembling them. He prefers the idea of becoming adept at cutting, welding, and machining his parts, and dreaming up his own designs. So he decides to approach one of the subgroups who's members seem to be of a similar mind. Let's say for the sake of this example, that it's a group of mechanics who utilize gears, hydraulics, water flow, and other things to make impressive mobile sculptures.

Enthusiastically rubbing his hands together, our guy approaches the group. He says "I'd like to get into this stuff, myself. And I realize that I'm talking about a deep and diverse universe of information to learn about. I want to say at the outset, that I am quite willing to dive into the depths of it on my own time. But would any of you like to have some conversation about it, to help me gain some perspective, detour around avoidable mistakes, and in general, know which way to head as I set out on this journey?

At this point, our guy is me when I first posted here. What he's hoping for is that somebody, maybe even more than one, will let him buy him a beer, and engage in conversations about such things as the wonders of watchmaking, fluid dynamics, and the properties of metal alloys (whatever the guy happens to be into). Our newbie metal-working guy knows full well that there are countless resources that he can avail himself of, books, videos, courses, etc. that have to do with the mundane aspects of learning how to weld, cut, bend, form and finish metal, etc. What he's hoping for though is to listen to the master craftsmen wax poetic on why it is that they're driven to do the art, what the bone marrow of the subject is for them, and how they might have avoided dead ends and less interesting aspects "had they only known then what they know now." His mistake in asking his question is similar to the one that I made asking the members of this forum. Instead of imagining that this guy is looking at it this way, they all assume that he's being lazy, and wants them to help him bypass the steps needed to become proficient in metal working. They answer saying things like "Just dive in, and ask questions as they come up. People here will be helpful."

This is my best effort at elucidating what it is that is being missed here. Like I said though, I don't want to have any more conversations about it with anyone here. It is clear to me that my intention isn't coming across. It hasn't come across at all well to anyone. And I'm practically certain that should the dawn of realization begin to occur in anyone's mind that my meaning hadn't been clear, the next thing that will happen will be that yet another incorrect perception will unfold. I take full responsibility for this. Please go along with my request that you not continue this conversation. For my part, other than to respond out of polite thanks, I will refrain from engaging in this in the future.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:34 am    Post subject: Re: ><)))°€ Reply with quote

Chiitoo wrote:
Teegrins and welcome, OS Newbie!

First off, my apologies for replying since I feel it may be something what you don't want at this point, but this is, after all, a public forum, and I can't help but to wonder something out-loud. I hope you can help me with it.

If you feel your anger levels rising, you might as well follow your own advice and ignore this post, for I certainly wouldn't want to be annoying, frustrating, or anything towards the negative!

I understand that one might want a more personal relationship with someone who can guide them along, but what I don't understand is that how it seems like a better idea than having dozens, if not hundreds of guides with different kinds of expertise available to help around the clock.

The forums is what (in my opinion) makes a huge part of Gentoo what Gentoo is. I might understand the want for taking a part of that home, but that will only be a part of it. Here you have most of it!

I personally jumped to Gentoo as my first Linux experience. Aside from a quick peek on Ubuntu, which taught me virtually nothing, I had no idea what to do, or how things work internally, but all I needed was the Handbook to guide me. I didn't have any sort of programming experience or IT background before either, aside from simply messing with the hardware and software (mostly games) since Commodore 64.

Those Commodore-times probably are what I felt coming back to me with the command-line installation. That, and the times with my first MSDOS diskettes. The guides and mentors for me were the written documentation, and these forums, where I don't think I actually had to ask for help many times at all; usually the answers were already there, given to someone else. This is, I think, why what the others here are saying as well is important: the open-source way to have it in the public (everyone benefits from it, and things don't need to be repeated to each individual).

I'm not trying to tell you what you should do, nor how to do it; I'm simply sharing parts of my journey with Gentoo, and my thoughts about it. I started in 2010, so I'm definitely still new myself, and far from a guru, but I do my best to help wherever I can.

We are all different, of course. I think I never learned anything too well from a book, from tell, nor from look-see myself. I always learned the best by doing it.


I don't believe there is a one Obi-Wan, but several, and as mentioned by others, none of them will be the expert of everything. Some might even lead you astray, perhaps even towards the dark side (which one might actually prefer, but I digress!). They may be the expert at one time, but only until someone who knows more stumbles upon the thread and posts a reply.


Just some thoughts!

Take them as you will, or don't.


Thanks very much, for taking the time to say what you've said here. I love the tone of it. You seem like a wonderful soul, and one with whom I could have many great conversations. If it seems to you that my "anger levels" are on the rise, I apologize. Actually, they aren't, though my frustration level has been rising. And our family dog has been concerned by my repeated sighs.

Please read my last post (to 1clue). It says everything that I have the energy to say, other than that in my case, learning by doing things is not my most comfortable way of approaching them. I do like reading books, and usually will read not just one or two on a subject before tackling it, but more usually most of the highly regarded books on the subject. That may have to do though, with the fact that I'm a fast reader, and a writer myself. One other thing that I want to say in response to you is that I've never wanted a personal guru to replace this forum (or any of the many other resources available). Why it is that everybody seems to have leaped to that conclusion is a mystery to me. I certainly expect to post lots of questions and concerns here and at other Linux forums, etc. That activity doesn't have much overlap with the kinds of things that I'd discuss with my Obi Wan guy.

Your successful experience with Gentoo is inspiring, especially so, given that you didn't already have any deep programming experience or an IT background. In my case, I have decades of programming experience, and with hardware/software hacking, and also lots of experience in owning/running businesses that provided IT equipment and support. So if you can do it, I should be able to, one might reasonably assume.

In any case, thanks again, for jumping in here before I ran away yelling "blahblahblahblah..." while covering my ears. I am going to try to avoid reading this thread anymore. I figure that if the guru type whom I seek should happen to come along someday and read this, he can PM me or something. Hopefully, nobody will do that just to continue what's been going on so far. But then, why would they?

One other "question" I have in regards to Gentoo is whether or not it will be likely to have a long supported life into the future. An electronics engineer-turned-software guy I know told me that Gentoo was practically dead in that way. It seems to me from what you and others have been saying here, that it's very much alive and well.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hadn't you heard? Gentoo is dying. For evidence, I present the Why Gentoo Sucks, and Why it Will Ultimately Die thread, now in its 9th glorious year. ;)

- John
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OS Newbie wrote:
If I could delete this thread, I would.
It could be locked, if you really want it to be, though that does not seem necessary from my perspective. The usual approach would be to report it and request a lock. Though with two, now three, administrators posting here, just requesting a lock here would suffice.

OS Newbie wrote:
One other "question" I have in regards to Gentoo is whether or not it will be likely to have a long supported life into the future. An electronics engineer-turned-software guy I know told me that Gentoo was practically dead in that way. It seems to me from what you and others have been saying here, that it's very much alive and well.
The refrain that "Gentoo is dying" has been around for over a decade, and has so far proven to be as prophetic as the cries of "BSD is dying" which predate it by quite some time, especially factoring in relative timescales for computer related fields. In short, Gentoo is taking its sweet time in dying and will almost certainly give you plenty of warning before it decides to finally curl up and die.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking for someone to devote time to teaching you GNU/Linux? Here you go: http://www.redhat.com/en/services/training
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