[svlug] What constitutes "Linux Basics"?

Brian Coyle brian at linuxwidows.com
Wed Jan 16 20:41:01 PST 2002

Hash: SHA1

On Wednesday 16 January 2002 19:13, William R Ward wrote:
> I may have an opportunity to give a one-hour talk on Linux Basics,


Some of the other discussions in this thread are already beyond the
basics.  If a user understands the command line, file system 
permissions and the like then they're somewhere between a newbie
and an intermediate user.

Don't bother with the history of Linux or Open Source, nor anything
to do with installing the system or applications.  How many 'doze
users actually installed their box?  Most will be in the group 
that bought a pre-installed, ready to run out-of-the-box system.
Besides, thats what InstallFests are for. :)

Most newbies want to know:

	What do I do after turning on the power switch?
	How do I get to the desktop?  (login)
	What are the equivalent applications to my Windows programs?
	Where's the 'My Computer' icon?
        How do I start {favorite app here}
	How do I put that program on the desktop so I don't
	    have to navigate the menus?
	How to I shutdown the PC? (logout/halt) 

> When dealing with newbies at InstallFests, what do they ask?

	What do you mean I need a user name, why can't I 
	just use that 'root' thingy you used?

	Will this work the same way once I take the PC home?

	Can I get your phone number and call when something's
	broken?  (Um, NO!)  OK then, where do I go for help?

> What stumbling blocks to people who've only ever used Windows face
> when tackling Linux for the first time?

	Grasping that they can't simply power off the box
	with out logging out and shutting down... 

	Double-clicking vs. single clicking.

	Mouse buttons - middle usage and 3-button emulation.

	Why doesn't my 'windows menu' key work anymore?

	OOPS! my desktop just went blank! Usually caused by
	jumping into another workspace, followed by "You mean
	I have FOUR desktops??!?!?"

> How much of Linux Basics is system administration and how much is
> actually using the system?

	SysAdmin is an intermediate, not basic topic.  ;)

> What applications are most likely to be of interest (web browsing,
> editing files, StarOffice perhaps)?

Web browsing and email are the top two.  Followed by mp3 ripping.
Whatever you do don't introduce vi or emacs!  ;)   
SO is a good one for users that have been exposed to the full M$ Office 
suite.  Might be overkill for most grandparents.

> I know this is all vague, but the audience for this is wide, and so
> all bases should be at least touched, if not covered completely.  The
> idea is to encourage them to come back for more information.

Great idea!  Don't forget to ask those 'intermediate' users I mentioned
at the top to join your graduates in the next round of sessions...


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