[UFO Chicago] connecting up

Ian Bicking ianb@colorstudy.com
28 Jan 2002 17:17:06 -0600

What distrobution are you using?  And do you prefer KDE or Gnome?

On Mon, 2002-01-28 at 17:00, John Kilbourne wrote:
> Can someone give me some pointers to how to start out configuring 
> email, newsreading and telnet/ftp operations in Linux? I currently do 
> all three in windows. I've just started to look into this, but I am 
> overwhelmed with the details and don't see the big 
> picture, or how to connect the big picture to my specific task. 
> I have a dsl link to the web, which works though I don't fully 
> understand it, as the redhat way to configure it never succeeded for 
> me. I hear a lot about mutt here,and I have some familiarity with elm 
> (I can spell it), but in real life I use a web based email 
> (jkilbour@pol.net). 
> I hope my question is not too general; I want to ultimately 
> accomplish the three (or four) tasks I listed at the top. 
> Thanks, 
> John 
> ------------------ Reply Separator --------------------
> Originally From: Larry Garfield <lgarfiel@students.depaul.edu>
> Subject: Re: [UFO Chicago] what draws you here?
> Date: 01/28/2002 04:42pm
> Well, based on the responses to date, I probably have the least benign
> reasons so far, but I guess I'll live with that. :-)
> Originally, my interest in "this Linux thing" was because I was sick 
> and
> tired of Windows crapping out on me.  I had already developed a 
> healthy
> dislike for the behemoth of Redmond.  (Having tech support tell you to
> take your business elsewhere because your MS mouse doesn't work tends 
> to
> have that effect.  True story.)  The supposed additional power and
> flexibility was an added bonus, and at the time I was almost 
> completely
> unfamiliar with the whole "Free Software / Open Source" jihad.  I'd
> already used Unix a little in various extra curriculars in high 
> school,
> as my school's science program had a small DEC Alpha running Unix (its
> primary use was Bomberman) and I'd taken a course at Northwestern in
> Fortran and we'd used the Unix system there.  (Dumb terminals, just 
> long
> enough for me to learn that I utterly hated vi. <g>)  
> My first attempt to install Linux was Red Hat 5.2, which my parents
> bought me for Christmas, which I tried to install the day before 
> Winter
> quarter started my freshman year.  I managed to totally hose three of
> the four partitions on my disk at the time, ironically everything 
> except
> Windows itself.  (I'd been using a very Linux-like partition scheme 
> for
> Windows, I still do.)  It was at this point that I went looking for 
> this
> strange "Nate" person on the first floor of University Hall that 
> someone
> had suggested was "a good person to get to know about computers".  
> That
> would be Nate Riffe, who we all know and love. :-)
> After much finagling and hand waiving, we still couldn't get 
> everything
> to work properly.  The problem turned out to be that there was no
> support for my Intel i740-based video card yet, because Intel wasn't
> releasing information to authors.  So I never did get that system
> running properly, and in fact didn't end up with a fully functional
> Linux box until almost a year later, Red Hat 6.0 I believe.  I soon
> moved on to Mandrake 7.0 on a newly built box that I eventually
> dedicated to Linux and is still my main Linux box, now running 
> Mandrake
> 8.0.  
> My main source of information has been Nate, since I find most man 
> pages
> and HowTos completely and totally useless.  Their general style is "So
> here's a big mess of code, see how simple it is?", and are aimed at
> people who already know what they're talking about far more than I 
> do.  
> I suppose it's heresy to confess this on this list, but I am writing
> this email from a Windows box.  I have one machine with each (one
> Mandrake, one Win2k/Win98 dual boot), but spend the bulk of my time in
> Windows.  I am not, honestly, a Free Software fanatic.  I am much more
> an Open Source person, a pragmatist.  Frankly having closed source
> programs and using them does not cause me moral consternation, closed
> FORMATS and proprietary DATA do.  If a program is closed but the 
> format
> is open, I can use another program, free, Free, or commercial.  I can
> mix and match as I want.  If the file format is closed, then I'm 
> scrod. 
> THAT gets my goat (or camel) more than the executable code itself 
> does. 
> (Hence my involvement with anti-DMCA and pro-Sklyarov activities.)
> My Linux uses these days consist mostly of those things that it does
> better than Windows.  My Palm syncs to my Windows box.  I do my PHP
> development and most of my web development on Linux.  I run a DNS 
> server
> off my Linux box.  I do my email and web browsing from Windows.  I do 
> my
> Java development on Linux, with the IBM JDK.  I do my Palm development
> with CodeWarrior for Windows, because I've never gotten around to
> learning gcc and I really like real time graphical debuggers.  And of
> course games get run on Windows.
> I'd love to switch over to full time Linux, but that first requires
> being able to duplicate my work environment on Linux properly.  Email
> and web browsing are the two biggest stumbling blocks, but I'm working
> on the email one when I have time.  (Which isn't often, and the lack 
> of
> decent HowTos rather slows that process down, as stated previously.) 
> Eventually it will probably happen, because I REALLY want to stay away
> from Windows XP.
> So if I'm such a simple pragmatist, why do I want to move over to 
> Linux
> full time when Windows is working for me now?  Well, there is the
> anti-MS factor, I will confess.  I do agree with most of the FSF's
> philosophical ideals, I simply do not believe that they have any
> pragmatic sense of reality in the consumer space.  When it works,
> Linux-based tools and FS/OS tools can be far more useful than Windows
> based applications.  
> The caveat there, however, is when it works.  And as an HCI person
> rather than a core CS person, I define "works" as "I don't have to 
> screw
> with it to make it function properly."  That's the biggest drawback of
> Linux today, if something doesn't come with the distribution most of 
> the
> time it's difficult to install and configure.  (I hear people 
> screaming
> "apt-get!" in the background already.  If something isn't packaged,
> though, you're back to tarballs, which is DOS-days functionality.)  
> Even
> then, the assumption is that you know what you're doing and are
> comfortable with a compiler.  The word "compile" doesn't scare me, but
> it does annoy me when I have to relearn a different archaic syntax for
> each new deamon I want to run.
> So, I'm getting there, slowly. :-)  As for why I hang out with the UFO
> people?  Meetings make for good food and good arguments, and good 
> places
> to pick up new information.  Oh yeah, and the people are nice, too. :-
> )
> John Kilbourne wrote:
> > 
> > I'm curious why people are drawn to go through the trouble of
> > learning and using linux. (assuming that others share some sense 
> that
> > it is challenging.)
> -- 
> Larry Garfield
> lgarfiel@students.depaul.edu
> Do you have a PalmOS Organizer?  Click here to add me to your address
> book:
> http://signature.coola.com/?lgarfiel@students.depaul.edu
> -- "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you." :-)
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