Re: [OS:N:] newbie

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On Fri, May 28, 2004 at 09:02:09AM -0400, Etienne Goyer wrote:
> About setting up the server, you did not mention if you have any 
> familiarity with Linux.  If you don't, the first thing you could do to 
> give you some confidence is to install Linux on a spare computer.  If 
> possible, choose one that is not actively used so you could take your 
> time to experiment.

You can also hijack one 'temporarily' by either partitioning the existing
drive so that you can dual-boot between Windows and Linux, or simply get
a Knoppix disc (or say, Knoppix for Kids! :^)  http://www.osef.org/ )
and boot the machine into Linux after-hours, or when classes aren't using
the lab, so you can play around.

That's not quite the same as getting used to setting up a server, but if
you don't know Linux at ALL, it will let you get used to the environment,
first from a desktop user's standpoint, and then as you play around with
server and networking tools under the hood, you'll get a feel for the
server side of things.

(For example here where I work, we installed Debian Linux on some el-cheapo
PC to run as a server; I didn't install a GUI environment on it at all,
since it's only doing webserving and running some server software I'm
developing in C.)


Based on what I heard about Windows at a Linux user group meeting I attended
last night, that's _way_ different from the Windows experience, where you
can't even install a compiler to do software development if you have the
so-called "Home Edition" of the XP Operating System.  (That seems so
arbitrary and stupid... but, I'm used to the free- and open-ness of Linux,
I guess...?)


> Don't worry with LTSP at this point, just try to 
> grow some confidence and proficiency with Linux.  When you feel more 
> comfortable, you could try to tackle setting up your LTSP server.

Burn copies of Knoppix (for Kids), one for each system in the room,
and fire it up one day and let the kids play around with it.  In the
end, this is not the optimal Linux experience, since everything runs off
of CDROM and out of RAM, so it's much slower than it would be on a normal,
hard-drive-installed Linux box.  (Not to mention Knoppix likes tons of
eye-candy by default ;^) )

But, you'll get to see some of the software readily available for Linux,
and maybe pick and choose what you'll want to install later down the road
(either on each system separately, or on an LTSP server).


> I suggest you look for some help to get you started.  I would first look 
> for a LUG (Linux User Group) in your area and ask on their mailing list 
> or show up at one of their meeting.

Also, there are some big LUGs in the world, and noone usually cares where
you're from when you subscribe to their lists. :^)

I was in Davis California, and active on the San Jose LUG (SVLUG.org)
list.  Now I'm in San Jose, but am still active with Davis (LUGOD.org),
and surrounding area LUGs.  Made a lot of friends through them. :^)


Also, don't forget IRC!  irc.freenode.net is a good starting place.


Good luck!

-bill!


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