[buug] Re: Jackpot!
rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jul 10 00:38:46 PDT 2000
begin Zeke Krahlin quotation:
> --- Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
>> (By the way, please stop setting the Reply-To header. Thanks.)
> Not sure what you mean about this, Rick.
It's not a big thing, but your Reply-To header has the immediate effect
of auto-directing replies to your list posts to your private e-mail
mailbox (and off the list). Every time I want to follow up one of your
list posts, posting back to the list, I have to manually override your
But if that's what your situation needs, that's OK. It's a minor
> I already have. Reading your helpful material has been an important
> guide to my practical use of Linux. What a *horrid realization to
> discover so many newbies logging on as root. I can see why you are so
The nice thing is that your clients will never mess up the machine
setups you've crafted for them, because the system is protected from
mishap. A few years from now, it'll start to dawn on them that their
systems aren't degrading over time, as they're used to. The worst they
can ever do is mess up their home directories, which you can recreate
for them in a jiffy. (Also, they can sometimes screw up filesystems
by kicking out the power cord and such. This risk will vanish as
ext3, Reiserfs, and other journaling filesystems become available.)
And your earlier points were well taken, against somewhat dogged
resistance from me: There can be, and ought to be, a class of users who
are not at all concerned with how Linux (or one of its brethren) works,
and who can successfully use the software while remaining ignorant of
The usual obstacle to that is that they refuse to pay anyone to install
and configure their systems, or to administer them. They want
installer routines to run themselves flawlessly, even on unbelievably
crappy x86 hardware components (e.g., Lucent winmodems, controllerless
printers). They want the default computing environment to be absolutely
intuitive and meet all their needs _without_ custom configuration. They
don't believe in system administration (if they've even heard the term).
It can't be done. Even the best-tweaked desktop-oriented Unix, such as
Linux-Mandrake or Corel Linux, is necessarily configured in a somewhat
generic fashion. And x86 hardware will always hold pitfalls. And
Unixes cannot be totally automated, even after being custom-configured.
But your solution can fix all that. You do the installation and
configuration, and then you meet their administration needs and keep the
root password to yourself.
_Absent_ that, what tends to happen is that all those people with
totally unrealistic expectations, and an attitude problem that the
less they pay for assistance, the less they should respect it, come
pouring into Linux newsgroups and user-group mailing lists, demanding
fixes to their problems but refusing to learn to be self-sufficient.
Those are the encounters I find annoying: My standard retort to such
people is that you cannot adopt Linux -- and especially to install it
on x86 -- and expect to remain ignorant of computers. But you have
indeed pointed out an alternative.
> I did *not know about "kibitz/Expect", so thanks for introducing me to
> Libes's site.
I learned about that by talking to my friend Jim Dennis. He does the
"Answer Guy" column every month in Linux Gazette, which is well worth
> Enjoy your barbecue; I sure enjoyed mine! :D
The first Menlo Park CABAL meeting was surprisingly successful: We had
some 15-20 people, I would guess, and some of them took it upon
themselves to go out and get supplies for the barbecue! Everyone
had a good time, it was relaxed, and we extended high-speed networking
to my dining room table, where people spread out their systems.
I think this may become my test-bed for effort to create an "InstallFest
server" -- a standard set of Web pages and other machine setup for
InstallFests, with mirrors of the most commonly-needed information and
browsable information on available software, expertise, etc., which we
can stamp out on CD-ROMs or offer over the Net. A group would use this
setup to set up a walk-up kiosk to introduce people to their InstallFest
and direct them to resources they might not otherwise know exist.
Cheers, Right to keep and bear
Rick Moen Haiku shall not be abridged
rick (at) linuxmafia.com Or denied. So there.
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