[svlug] What constitutes "Linux Basics"?

William R Ward bill at wards.net
Thu Jan 17 12:11:01 PST 2002

"Mark S Bilk" <mark at cosmicpenguin.com> writes:
> On Wed, Jan 16, 2002 at 04:13:15PM -0800, William R Ward wrote:
> >I may have an opportunity to give a one-hour talk on Linux Basics, and
> >I've got some good ideas for what to include, but I'd like to get some
> >input from folks on what they think is important.  
> Here's an article I wrote on
> "Combining GUI With CLI (Textmode), Plus The Midnight Commander"
> http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=
> RfxN7.14282$WC1.1705634 at newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net

Thanks, I'll take a look at it.  I'm sure it will be helpful.

> I recommend the mc editor (mc -e) as the default editor
> for beginners.  It's quite powerful (for a single-file 
> editor) and very easy to learn.  mc as a file manager is 
> also very useful, like XTREE for MSDOS, making it easier
> to move around the directory structure, view files, etc.
> After teaching ls, cd, cp, mv, rm, cat, show them mc.

Good suggestion.  I've eschewed mc for my own use because I am already
familiar with more sophisticated tools and have no need for a file
manager.  But I should probably familiarize myself with it, as the
target audience for this talk is going to need that sort of thing.

> Also, it's very helpful to explain to people in definite terms
> how computers actually work.  This is so alien to beginners
> that it has to be printed up for them, because they won't 
> be able to remember it.  The topics have to be explained 
> in order.  Always give one or more concrete examples for 
> every topic.
> (Rote can lead to horrors like professors of English 
> thinking that their documents are those little pictures 
> on their desktop, and not even knowing that they have 
> a hard disk, much less what they should be doing with it.  
> Microsoft encourages this ignorance, since it makes 
> users pliable and easier to victimize.)

That's a very interesting topic, and it's not Linux related at all.  I
think there would definitely be an audience that's interested in that
level of detail about how computers work, but I am not convinced that
it belongs as part of a "Linux Basics" talk.  Remember, I have an hour
*total* to get them all the way to where they would be comfortable
using Linux...


William R Ward            bill at wards.net          http://www.wards.net/~bill/
     If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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