OpenSUSE Linux Rants

OpenSUSE Linux Tips, tricks, how-tos, opinions, and news

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November 18, 2009

Twitter account: *ACTIVE*

by @ 12:30 pm. Filed under SUSE Blog News

I finally got my twitter account going and put the tweets into the left navigation here on http://www.suseblog.com/. If you have a good Linux-related contact that you can recommend, shoot ’em on over. Also, should you wish to follow me, my account is @scottmmorris. Everyone have a marvy day.

August 7, 2007

Announcing Direct Access to openSUSE Linux Rants ebook Library

by @ 1:50 am. Filed under ebook, General SUSE, SUSE Blog News

After a few weeks’ worth of work, family vacations, my father having a stroke, and the full-time job of having a 2-year-old and 3-month-old (not to mention work and all that other stuff), the great news has arrived!

Announcing full access to the ebook library for everyone who wants it! There were many people who contacted me about the YAST book, “YAST – Installation and Management of Software”. The common theme was, “We don’t want to have to wait through the course to get the free ebooks, we want them NOW! Because I like to give people what they want, I have made it possible for everyone to get every ebook on this site in 2 clicks. Hopefully that’s up to par for what you want. You can request these books from the form in the left nav of http://www.suseblog.com/.

Here is the current run-down of ebooks available here (and a nice, fat plenty more are on their way):

openSUSE 10.2 – Start-Up Manual (236 pgs)

This manual provided by the good folks at Novell goes over many things you’ll want to know when learning to use openSUSE Linux 10.2. The table of contents reveals the main topics of this book:

  1. Installation with YAST
  2. Setting Up Hardware Components with YAST
  3. Installing or Removing Hardware
  4. Accessing the Internet
  5. Managing Users with YAST
  6. Changing the System Language with YAST
  7. Basic Concepts
  8. Shell Basics
  9. Mobile Computing with Linux
  10. Managing Network Connections with NetworkManager
  11. Copying and Sharing Files
  12. Help and Documentation
  13. Common Problems and Their Solutions
  14. GNU Licenses
  15. Index

Investigation 101 – Gathering Information about Hardware, Filesystem, and Processes (22 pgs) – NEWEST BOOK

Sometimes, you need to gather information about your Linux system. This can be so that you know what is happening on your system, or so that you can install hardware, or so that you can better describe details to other people who are trying to help you resolve an issue.

As I was writing this e-book, I found that there are quite a number of ways to gather some very useful information about your computer.

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. YAST Knows Hardware
  3. Sysinfo – A Linux Box System Information Retriever
  4. System Commands / Command-line Tools
  5. w
  6. who
  7. lastlog
  8. last
  9. netstat
  10. ps
  11. top
  12. tail
  13. lsof
  14. lspci
  15. lsusb
  16. mount
  17. fstab
  18. fdisk
  19. system log
  20. dmesg
  21. free
  22. whowatch
  23. Other Helpful Resources
  24. Conclusion

YAST – Installation and Management of Software (23 pgs)

One of the very first things that users need to know is how to install software in Linux. This book is a no-nonsense introduction to mastering the basics of using YAST to manage your system software. It also provides a few tips on how to get all the latest software from all the great servers.

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Open YAST
  3. Installation Sources
  4. Finding YAST Installation Sources
  5. Registering Installation Sources in YAST
  6. Installing Software in YAST
  7. Uninstalling Software in YAST
  8. Conclusion

The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read – an introduction to Linux for Windows users (162 pgs)

Last year I published this book for SUSE 10.1, though almost all of it is relevant to openSUSE 10.2. It was mainly written for people who are competent with using Windows, who have never attempted to use Linux but are interested in giving it a try.

When I was first learning Linux, I got so lost so fast in so many areas, it was hugely overwhelming for me. I was impressed that I was able to download Linux, burn it onto CDs, and get it installed. But once I got that far, I was excited, but my excitement was short-lived. I had no idea what to do next, how to install software, or what software even to install for what I needed. I didn’t understand the concept of Open Source software. I didn’t know where to go for help. I most assuredly did not know a thing about the command line. 10 years of using Windows was of very little help. I felt that though I was a fairly able computer user, I had stepped into a situation where such experience did me little good.

In the book, I try to explain some concepts of how Linux is similar to Windows, helping people become familiar with it very quickly. I also explain some of the most important differences, many of which are improvements from the environment to which they have become accustomed. The book also dispels many myths that may serve to hamper the adoption of Linux more fully. The overall purpose is to give people a bridge from what they already know to the powerful, fascinating world that is the Linux operating system. Because that world can be a little daunting at first, it’s nice to have a little help getting used to things. This is what the “Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read” is designed to do.

Table of Contents:

  1. Who should read this book
  2. An introduction before we start
  3. More familiar than you think
  4. Common Myths
  5. Things to know about Linux
  6. Getting Help and Learning More
  7. General reading material
  8. Forums
  9. Mailing Lists
  10. Other Resources
  11. How do I get Linux?
  12. Download Linux and put it onto CDs
  13. Purchasing Linux Installation CDs
  14. Installing SUSE Linux
  15. Installation Options
  16. Linux-only Installation
  17. Sharing the computer between Linux and Windows
  18. Introduction to Users and Groups
  19. Get to Know Your Desktop
  20. What is KDE?
  21. The K Menu
  22. The Kicker Panel
  23. The KDE Control Center
  24. Changing Mouse Behavior
  25. Changing Time and Date Display Format
  26. Window Themes
  27. Desktop Preferences
  28. Konqueror: filesystem and web browser
  29. Browsing through your files
  30. As a web browser
  31. Kicker Panel
  32. Installing Applications
  33. Applications
  34. OpenOffice
  35. OpenOffice Writer
  36. OpenOffice Calc
  37. Thunderbird
  38. Setting up your email account
  39. Sending and receiving email
  40. Firefox
  41. So you want to use the command line?
  42. View directory contents with ‘ls’
  43. Make a directory with ‘mkdir’
  44. Remove a directory with ‘rmdir’
  45. Change to a directory with ‘cd’
  46. What directory am I in? Using ‘pwd’
  47. Copying files with ‘cp’
  48. Moving files with ‘mv’
  49. Deleting files with ‘rm’
  50. Viewing text files with ‘cat’
  51. Viewing text files with ‘less’
  52. What time is it? What is the date? Using ‘date’
  53. Using ‘man’ to find help
  54. Conclusion

You will find the form to get the ebooks in the left nav on suseblog.com, my openSUSE Linux blog. There are a number of other ebooks on the way. These won’t take as long to get finished, so we’ll have some new ones for you shortly.

For those who have not yet checked out the free “Intro to Linux” course, that is also still available, moved over to the right nav on suseblog.com.

Enjoy!

July 31, 2007

90,000 Email Messages and Counting

by @ 11:26 pm. Filed under SUSE Blog News, Thunderbird

Boy, you know that you are busy when you clean this many emails out of your Thunderbird trash:

55045 Messages in My Trash

What’s worse is that I still had this many messages left:

44483 Messages Left

Maybe it’s because I receive upwards of this many emails in a given 48-hr period:

Downloading Message 9418 of 10928

Tell you what… between visiting my dad (he had a stroke), the kids, and the family vacation this past weekend, it’s a wonder that I even know my own name. Wow. Anyway, I hope everyone is having a spectacular day.

I will have available very soon several e-books for anyone who wants them rather than just the people who have signed up for the course. I got a bunch of requests for the e-book last time I did that by people who didn’t want to sign up for the course.

There is some cool stuff in there, and one in particular that Novell put together (over 260 pages) for new Linux users who want to get started with openSUSE 10.2. I was very impressed with it, to be honest.

Hopefully within a day or two, I’ll have all that available for everyone who wants it.

My favorite song of the day: Demonic by Testament

That song is so blistering and abrasive, it actually peels the skin off your face. I totally love it.

July 18, 2007

Let’s hear it for STEPHAN, the new OpenSUSE project manager!

by @ 3:23 pm. Filed under General SUSE, Linux News, SUSE Blog News, SUSE News

In response to Andreas Jaeger’s email from this morning, saying thus:

I’m glad to announce that I have given over my responsibilities for the openSUSE distribution to Stephan Kulow. As from now on Stephan is project manager for the openSUSE distribution.

Stephan – known also as Coolo – the “born release dude”, has been with Novell/SUSE for five years. Before that he worked on Linux distributions at Caldera. His wide experience in Linux includes the dinosaurs (called s390), desktop technology (KDE), several build systems (including his own at Caldera), and SUSE tools like package translation.

Stephan’s first challenge will be the release of openSUSE 10.3 Alpha6 this week and I fear I’ve left him some hard nuts to crack. Having worked with Stephan for many years, we can expect nothing but an excellent openSUSE 10.3 release in the end. 😉

Btw. in my new function as Director of Platform and openSUSE, I’ll stay involved with openSUSE,

Andreas

I sent an email to Stephan, to wit:

Stephan,

As a member of the Open Source Community and as someone who makes a livelihood by working with Linux, namely OpenSUSE, I wanted to take a moment and respond to Andreas’ announcement that you were taking over the project releases. I congratulate you on your willingness to work on such a great Linux distribution, and am thrilled to see things progress and move forward. I didn’t know Andreas very well… I worked at Novell for awhile, and had lunch with him and his wife Jana a couple of times, but I am a super huge OpenSUSE fan, and I want to welcome you into your new responsibilities. I host a website, called SUSE Blog, where I post helpful (hopefully) tips and tricks, how-tos, articles, news, and everything else that comes my way regarding OpenSUSE. I have written a 160-page book (free from http://www.suseblog.com/?p=141) and offer a free course that people can sign up for on my site to learn how to start using OpenSUSE. In other words, I believe in your work, and I am not a very good programmer in languages such as C or C++, but I do everything else I can to contribute to the development and furthering of OpenSUSE. Please let me know if there is anything that I can ever do for you and I will be honored to do so. Have a spectacular day.

Scott

So, let’s give him a warm welcome, everyone!!!!!

June 18, 2007

Linux Validates as Genuine Windows – and other suseblog news

by @ 7:50 pm. Filed under General Linux, SUSE Blog News

OK, this time it’s all worked out. For those who have been trying to download the ebook unsuccessfully, I have figured out what was going on. I am going to resend the final class to everyone who has already had the 6th class. For everyone who isn’t quite there, it will get sent to you automatically after the 6th class. Alrighty, then. I’m quite excited about this ebook, because I think it really explains a good, solid foundation for software management using YAST. If you are interested in getting it, sign up for the free course available from the left nav on my blog.

Several people have asked me to make it available without having to take the course. Makes sense, not everyone is just startin’ out. I might just do that a little later on when I have a free minute. Right now, I’m working on some more cool stuff for you all. Stay tuned. Anyway, everyone have a marvelous day.

Oh, did you hear about the Ubuntu user who found out that Wine was indeed a Genuine version of Windows?

June 16, 2007

Good Morning

by @ 8:32 am. Filed under SUSE Blog News

We’re back online….. we had a small power outage last night apparently. But we are back at it. 🙂 Everyone have a great weekend.

June 13, 2007

my bad

by @ 10:52 am. Filed under SUSE Blog News

Hey, everyone. I accidentally sent out bunches more email this morning than I wanted to, clogging my server. If you tried to download your book and got errors, or couldn’t do it, or got lots of extra email, that is because I am a bonehead. Just try it again using the link you got in your email (remember, you must be subscribed to the course to get it, so sign up!), and it should work now! Thanks everyone, and enjoy!

June 6, 2007

OK, Delicate People

by @ 9:37 am. Filed under My Opinion, SUSE Blog News

I took down the post that was giving everyone heartburn, ulcers, and all other forms of negative karma. I’ll be honest, I did it for the reaction. I did save the comments before I deleted it, though, so that I could learn from the helpful suggestions of those not willing to stoop to my level. I’d go more into my compartmentalization issues, and how it’s a lot like multiple personality disorder, but seriously, I doubt I could make it make sense. Anyway, I’m gonna try and keep it a little more mainstream from now on and steer clear of the extremely negative posts. To be completely honest, that particular post was mainly for my own benefit. I am still annoyed that I am unable to browse to a remote machine to save a graphic out from the GIMP. I don’t want to use Krita. I will look into it, but I like the GIMP and I want to be able to do it there. I know that Gnome can browse to remote filesystems. That was not the complaint. My beef was solely that the GIMP cannot (at very least by default) do what I want it to. If so, point me to the documentation, tutorial, or howto that demonstrates how to do this. If not, well, then I’m right and it still annoys the crap out of me. I promise to have a post up very soon that will make us all friends again. As a matter of fact, it’s more like an extended tutorial. Alrighty, then, we’ll chat later.

May 10, 2007

Free “Intro to Linux” Course Now Available

by @ 7:03 am. Filed under freebies, General Linux, General SUSE, SUSE Blog News

Finally! Tonight, I was able to wrap up the last class of my online course.

This online course is done via email. It is completely free. People register for the class, and receive an ebook via email every few days containing the next class of the course. Its goal is to be the most basic introduction to Linux possible. So basic that anyone who could possibly be interested in learning Linux can do it through this course. Your 7-year-old daughter or your 98-year-old uncle. Your brother who has never even seen a computer before (ok, that one may be a bit of a stretch). Anyone and everyone should have a basic understanding of Linux once they have completed the course.

You see, this gives a platform of understanding that we can then build upon with other types of articles and such. Besides that, it’s about 36 pages of free e-book content. How could that possibly be bad? 🙂

Because let’s face it… If you are like me, you enjoy sharing Linux with people. However, teaching people how to run Linux can feel time-consuming. That said, what if you had a resource that you could point them to and just say, “Look, this will teach you everything you need to know to get started using Linux.”? Wouldn’t that be great? That is part of the design of this course as well.

Here is a brief list of what the course covers:

If you are interested in such a course, or know someone who is, the sign-up form is in the left nav on my blog page. It’s totally free, and has some great info in it.

I also wanted to announce that this blog has now had over 1 Million page views in the last year. That seriously blows me away.

August 10, 2006

SUSE Linux 10.1 redeemed – problems caused by faulty hardware

by @ 7:01 pm. Filed under SUSE Blog News, SUSE News, Work-Related

The server story continues. Today, my manager told me to install Windows on that box that has been giving me so much trouble. After coming back in from being violently ill outside, I got to work. Immediately, the Windows 2000 disc asked me for RAID drivers. Sweet… no dice there. Windows fails again. I took that information to my manager who said to install Windows 2003 Server. After coming back in from being violently ill again, I installed Windows 2003 Server on that machine. About 4 minutes after it was finished, imagine my glee when I saw this on the monitor:

SUSE Linux 10.1 rides again

 

As it turns out, the machine is just a dying piece of junk. It would crash on the NIC drivers, then it would crash on the RAID drivers. Windows 2003 Server even crashed on the NTFS drivers.

My manager is giving me a different machine tomorrow so I can put SUSE 10.1 on that bad boy. Woots. Wish me luck.

I got such a kick out of that BSOD that I have added to my Windows Error Gallery. Go check it out.

August 8, 2006

SUSE Linux 10.1 on my server

by @ 6:48 am. Filed under General SUSE, SUSE Blog News, Work-Related

I wanted to thank everyone who has provided great feedback on the ebook that I released last Monday. As many of you know, the influx of HTTP requests took my server to its knees. This happened because my server has limited bandwidth. It could not fill all the requests fast enough, so everything bogged. When I limited the number of connections, everything normalized again. It’s all good, though. It’s good to know that there is that much interest. Hopefully, the ebook is helpful to everyone who wants to learn about how to use Linux.

I have been a bit silent since the release of the ebook. This is mainly because I am focusing on a problem I’m having with a server at work. It has an old Adaptec 2100S RAID controller. This is driven by either the i2o_block module or the dpt_i2o module. Evidently, in SUSE 10.0 (which is what I tried first), both modules load, causing a race condition. In 10.1, the i2o_block module is used. The problem is that when I use this module, the server randomly locks up. I did manage to grab this error during one of those lockups:

kernel BUG at include/linux/i2o.h:1074!
invalid opcode: 0000 [#1]
SMP
last sysfs file: /firmware/edd/int13_dev81/extensions
Modules linked in: ipv6 af_packet edd reiserfs loop dm_mod usbhid ide_cd cdrom i2c_piix4 i2c_core e1000 mii sworks_agp agpgart shpchp pci_hotplug ohci_hcd usbcore parport ext3 jbd processor i2o_block i2o_core serverworks ide_disk ide_core
CPU:	0
EIP:	0060:[]	Not tainted VLI
EFLAGS: 00210282	(2.6.16.13-4-smp #1)
EIP is at i2o_driver_dispatch+0x25/0x1a1 [i2o_core]
eax: 01ba0000 ebx: fffffffe ecx: dfcfec00 edx: 01b90000
esi: dfcfec00 edi: fffffffe ebp: 0000000b esp: c034bf38
ds: 007b es: 007b ss: 0068
Process swapper (pid: 0, threadinfo=c034a000 task=c02ef2c0)
Stack: <0>dfcfec00 00000068 c01277b2 fffffffe dfcfec00 000000b f884d62c
	c1b78840 00000000 c013ff8a c034bfa4 00000580 c0341380 0000000b c1b78840

Call Trace:
 [] do_timer+0x39/0x316
 [] i2o_pci_interrupt+0x22/0x3e [i2o_core]
 [] handle_IRQ_event+0x23/0x4c
 [] __do_IRQ+0x7e/0xd1
 [] do_IRQ+0x46/0x53
 [] common_interrupt+0x1a/0x20
 [] default_idle+0x0/0x55
 [] default_idle+0x2c/0x55
 [] cpu_idle+0x8e/0xa7
 [] start_kernel+0x2b5/0x2bb
Code: 20 75 de 5b 5e c3 55 57 89 d7 56 53 83 ec 0c 89 04 24 8b 90 a4 00 00 00 39 d7 72 0f j8b 0c 24 89 d0 03 81 a8 00 00 00 39 c7 72 08 <0f> 0b 32 04 45 ed 84 f8 8b 04 24 89 fe 29 d6 03 b0 a0 00 00 00
<0>Kernel panic - not syncing: Fatal exception in interrupt

What is funny is that the Kubuntu CD I booted into uses the dpt_i2o module rather than the i2o_block module. Because of this, what I decided to do was to force it to use the dpt_i2o module. Hopefully it won’t lock up as it’s compiling that kernel or making and installing the modules. If anyone has any other ideas on how to address this issue, I’m all ears.

July 31, 2006

“The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read – an introduction to Linux for Windows users” – a book by Scott Morris

by @ 6:46 am. Filed under freebies, General SUSE, How-To, SUSE Blog News, SUSE Tips & Tricks

It’s finally here!

After several months of writing and revising, I have made available the “Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read”. It is a 160-page book geared towards people who are competent with using Windows, who have never attempted to use Linux but are interested in giving it a try.

When I was first learning Linux, I got so lost so fast in so many areas, it was hugely overwhelming for me. I was impressed that I was able to download Linux, burn it onto CDs, and get it installed. But once I got that far, I was excited, but my excitement was short-lived. I had no idea what to do next, how to install software, or what software even to install for what I needed. I didn’t understand the concept of Open Source software. I didn’t know where to go for help. I most assuredly did not know a thing about the command line. 10 years of using Windows was of very little help. I felt that though I was a fairly able computer user, I had stepped into a situation where such experience did me little good.

In the book, I try to explain some concepts of how Linux is similar to Windows, helping people become familiar with it very quickly. I also explain some of the most important differences, many of which are improvements from the environment to which they have become accustomed. The book also dispels many myths that may serve to hamper the adoption of Linux more fully. The overall purpose is to give people a bridge from what they already know to the powerful, fascinating world that is the Linux operating system. Because that world can be a little daunting at first, it’s nice to have a little help getting used to things. This is what the “Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read” is designed to do.

After seeing what Linux has to offer, it is very much worth my time to help other people see it too. At very least take some time and try it out once. You can even dual-boot your machine (covered in the book) to be able to boot into whichever operating system you want. If you dont’ like it, that’s fine. It is an acquired taste for some people. However, it’s hard to tell people why you don’t like something if you’ve never tried it. Try it out and make an informed opinion based off personal experience.

I wrote this book because I really dig Linux and I want to make it easy to try for people who want to. It’s for you, it’s for the community, it’s for anyone who might benefit from it.

How do I help other people try Linux?

A few days ago, I wrote a post about how to share Linux with others. The article is called “SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 for Spreading the Linux Cure“. It got quite an impressive number of comments, most of which were praiseworthy. The article discusses ways that we can spread the word about using Linux to people who have never heard of it or who might be interested in trying it out. Between the “Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read” and “SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 for Spreading the Linux Cure.” you should have ample tools and resources for helping people learn how to use Linux.

How do I get the book?

If you would like to download the book, it is available from here. It is in PDF format. Just click the link to download, or right-click and “Save Target As…” you’ll be in great shape. Feedback for the book can be left on the feedback form.

This book is released under the Creative Commons License.

July 27, 2006

The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read

by @ 6:57 am. Filed under General SUSE, SUSE Blog News

I’m finally (mostly) finished with it. I have been working on a book for the past couple of months. The main goal behind the book is to assist marginally-experienced Windows users to be able to check out Linux without too much worry. I have a few more things to iron out with it, but when it’s all finished, I will post it for all to have, free of charge. As of right now, it is about 160 pages long. Below is an excerpt of the first few pages of it:

About the Author

Scott Morris began using computers over 20 years ago, at the age of 10. He has used 25 different versions of 5 different operating systems over this time period. Of those many operating systems, he has experience using MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Mac OS 9.x – X. He has enjoyed using many different distributions of Linux, including Mandrake, Red Hat, Gentoo, Fedora Core, Debian, and SUSE.

He has worked recently as Editor of the Novell CoolSolutions Linux communities. During his employment there, Novell, along with many other news outlets, has published over 110 of his articles. He gets particular enjoyment out of helping people discover the excitement of the Linux operating system. Articles he has written can be found on his author page, located at: http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/author/1012.html .

He also has a personal blog, located at http://www.suseblog.com, which he uses for personal enjoyment and to help others. He writes opinions, news, tips, and tricks about the SUSE Linux operating system. This blog is a light-hearted resource for beginning Linux users. The latest version of this book can be found at this website.

Table of Contents

Who should read this book 7

An introduction before we start 9

More familiar than you think 9

Common Myths 10

Things to know about Linux 13

Getting Help and Learning More 18

General reading material 18

Forums 19

Mailing Lists 19

Other Resources 20

How do I get Linux? 21

Download Linux and put it onto CDs 21

Purchasing Linux Installation CDs 23

Installing SUSE Linux 23

Installation Options 23

Linux-only Installation 24

Beginning the Installation 25

Sharing the computer between Linux and Windows 58

Beginning the Installation 59

Introduction to Users and Groups 89

Get to Know Your Desktop 90

What is KDE? 90

The K Menu 91

The Kicker Panel 94

The KDE Control Center 94

Changing Mouse Behavior 95

Changing Time and Date Display Format 99

Window Themes 104

Desktop Preferences 111

Konqueror: filesystem and web browser 116

Browsing through your files 116

As a web browser 118

Kicker Panel 119

Installing Applications 122

Applications 129

OpenOffice 129

OpenOffice Writer 130

OpenOffice Calc 132

Thunderbird 135

Setting up your email account 136

Sending and receiving email 146

Firefox 147

So you want to use the command line? 151

View directory contents with ‘ls’ 153

Make a directory with ‘mkdir’ 154

Remove a directory with ‘rmdir’ 154

Change to a directory with ‘cd’ 155

What directory am I in? Using ‘pwd’ 155

Copying files with ‘cp’ 156

Moving files with ‘mv’ 156

Deleting files with ‘rm’ 157

Viewing text files with ‘cat’ 157

Viewing text files with ‘less’ 158

What time is it? What is the date? Using ‘date’ 158

Using ‘man’ to find help 159

Conclusion 160

Who should read this book

This book is geared towards Windows users who want to take a look at Linux. Are you interested in trying Linux on your computer? If so, you have found the perfect book. In this book, I will give you a gentle introduction into using Linux, and help you ease into it. The only technical skills you should have include browsing the Internet and downloading files. It will help if you have burned your own CDs before, but such skills are not required. If you have a computer geek handy, that also couldn’t hurt. The purpose of this book is to make it easy to try the Linux operating system, particularly for people who are used to Microsoft Windows. Even if you only use your Windows computer for checking email and surfing the Internet, this book was written just for you.

Having used Windows myself for nearly 15 years, I was very used to that platform. I didn’t realize how used to it I was until I tried to use something else. As an illustration of what I mean, let’s say that you download Linux, and eventually figure out how to download Linux. Even when you finally do get it installed, it is somewhat of a bitter-sweet triumph. On the one hand, you feel good about having successfully gotten that far.

On the other hand, after you have installed it, you sit there, staring blankly at your new desktop wondering what in the world to do next. You may feel somewhat lost. You have heard how wonderful Linux is, but don’t know why, or how to make it perform all the impressive tricks. In many cases, you don’t even know what those tricks are (at least I didn’t when I first started).

If you are considering trying out Linux on your desktop, but have some anxiety about learning everything, from this point on, you have no need to worry. We will take it one step at a time. The top priority of this book is to make everything as easy to learn as possible. I am going to give as much background and explanation as I can.

My goal is that you understand the purpose and concepts involved with each step that we take. I want to go over the why as well as the what. The more you understand, the better your foundation will be. A good, strong foundation provides a solid base upon which you can build as you learn more. This helps you learn more efficiently, and retain more of what you learn in the future.

Before we try and get Linux to install it, we will discuss some fundamental topics. When you are switching from Windows to Linux, there are some expectations that you will need to change. You are going to be using a brand new platform. You cannot assume that the new platform to be equivalent in all aspects to the old one.

To begin with, we will mold your expectations. If you know what to plan on, your experience will be more pleasant. In other words, there is a mental shift that will take place as well as you switch platforms from Windows to Linux. I want to make that shift as easy and pleasant as possible for you.

If all goes well, this introduction will be painless. At very least, I hope to make the migration process as enjoyable and easy for you as I can.

Your experience will gradually increase as we explore the various aspects of the Linux operating system. As this occurs, you will have questions. You will want to learn more about different things. If, heaven forbid, something goes wrong with your system, you may wish to seek help. You may want to interact with other Linux enthusiasts. You may even wish to share what you have learned with others.

There is almost an endless list of online resources and communities that will address all of these issues and plenty more. I will share with you many great resources that you can use to learn more about Linux. Hopefully, I will be able to help you know where to go for each of the different types of help or information that you seek. This way, if you have a question that I do not address here, you will know where you can find your answer.

Well, there you have it. A short introduction to what the book discusses. Hang tight and in a few days I will have the final draft ready for everyone to download. Have a good one.

July 6, 2006

Service Outage

by @ 6:14 pm. Filed under SUSE Blog News

Well, a vital piece of connection equipment had failed, so I spent the day without a website. Do computers really make life easier? *growls*

June 14, 2006

Utah Bloggers’ Conference 2006

by @ 6:56 am. Filed under SUSE Blog News

Tonight, I went to the Utah Bloggers’ Conference. Let’s be clear about one thing: I didn’t know what the heck to expect, and I was initially only in it for the controversially-logoed Utah Bloggers T-Shirt. I was surely in for a pleasant surprise. Honestly, I had absolutely no clue what to expect. I barely even knew what it was all about, and that because of my good buddy Steve:

Steve Dibb

I’ll also point out the obvious fact that because BLOGGERS were there, the goings-on of the conference will pretty much be covered in detail by those more prolific and eloquent than I. Examples would include:

Gary Thornock

Phil Windley

Charley Foster

Scott Lemon

Thus, I’ll pause for a moment while you catch the details from these fine folks.

*waits*

So the basic idea was that we had a panel to which the attendees could ask questions about how blogging relates to whatever thing (which, of course, you already know because you have read the above blog entries). We got into all kinds of topics like how blogging can be good for business, the gender imbalance and whether women blog about families or food or business or whatnot (gripping subject for me, personally), how to get started with blogging, and of course political blogs such as that of Pete Ashtown (who was good enough to be on the panel this evening). There were guys there who had used Linux since before Linus Torvalds even thought of it. There were people there who hadn’t even heard of Linux, but who were interested in blogs, blogging, the blogosphere, and related topics (good to meet you, Tom).

My good buddy Steve and I flopped into some seats near the front (Steve’s a little hard of hearing), and found ourselves sitting next to Aaron Toponce. Very cool to meet him in person, I must say. There are a lot of similarities between how we approach things. I also had the chance to meet Jason Hall, who lives close enough to me that he could chuck dirt clods at me if I got too loud.

All in all, it was much better than I had anticipated, not knowing what to anticipate. They had free T-Shirts, pop, and some munchy food out in the foyer. Once things were about to get started, they brought in full boxes of pizza (like one per table). I am shameless, so I jumped right in. Then, things got started, and the panelists (who you already know, because you read the above blog posts) introduced themselves. Quite a wide range of experience, angles, and points of view were represented in the panel.

One of the things that really stuck out to me, personally, is how huge podcasting is. Like I already knew that it was big, but didn’t realize what can be done with a really good podcasting campaign. I think I’m going to look into doing something with podcasts. That would rule.

To avoid overload, I have created a gallery for my pictures of the conference.

In other news, Linux saved the day for Pixar, who needed to shave 9/10 of the time it took them to render one frame. It was taking 10 hours per frame, and needed to take 1. So, of course, using Linux, they fixed it.

And, of course, what kind of SUSE advocate would I be if I didn’t at least mention this story? Seems that the SUSE Linux Enterprise line from Novell has a lot going for it. They have the best chance that anyone has had in a very long time against M$. Let’s see if they play their cards right!

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