Will Smith writes:|
I’ve written about Linux in Maximum PC quite a bit over the last
three years. You see, I’m intrigued by the prospect of a free, open
operating system, one that’s available for everyone to use and modify
to suit their own purposes. Rather than a monolithic operating system
vendor telling me that I’m not allowed to do something, there’s an
entire community of developers who are working to make whatever
features I want possible! To me, that’s the essence of what computing
should be about—enabling choice.
Which brings me to the biggest problem with Linux: the paralyzing
number of choices every user must make. There are literally tens of
thousands of apps for Linux, ranging from vital software that every end
user needs—web browsers, word processors, and Wi-Fi drivers—to the very
trivial. Frequently, you’ll find 15 applications that do exactly the
same thing, so you’ll need to experiment and discover which is best
suited for you.
Writing a comprehensive Linux guide is a daunting process—and
largely unnecessary. The Linux community does a great job of
documenting most of its software, whether it’s the developers actually
writing docs or the end users figuring things out and sharing the
acquired info with their pals. All the information you need to get
running is out there, if you know what to search for on Google, that is.
And that’s where I come in. Books have been written with solutions
for all the potential pitfalls the Linux-switcher faces. However, those
books are outdated the moment a new version of Linux is released.
Instead of just telling you what to do, I’m going to tell you how to do
things and explain why you’re doing them. I’m going to focus on the
things that are truly a challenge (and poorly documented), but still
give you a head start on the easy stuff.
Before you get started, you need to be prepared to be your own
support system. While you can usually get help with Linux problems on
different message boards on the web, before you do that, you need to
make the effort to solve your own problems. Linux DIYers don’t have
much sympathy for people who don’t make an effort to help themselves.
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Last Updated Wednesday, June 11 2008 @ 12:04 PM EDT