[UFO Chicago] Re: Brian's Conversion from FreeBSD toDebianandQuestions on X

Neil R. Ormos ormos at ripco.com
Wed May 10 13:09:25 PDT 2006

Ian Bicking wrote:

> Scott Lockwood wrote:

>> I really miss how it was back in 1994, when a
>> good friend of mine was quite patient, helpful,
>> and willing to come over to my house and help
>> me get Slackware running on my spiffy beefed up
>> 486DX66 with 16 megs of RAM. It was worth
>> having to flip all those floppies, just to get
>> Peter Anvin in my living room to explain
>> things. This was the exact opposite of what
>> happens most of the time these days when you go
>> into, oh say Gentoo's official support IRC
>> channel, and get abused by kids who act like
>> they're still 13.

> Donor fatigue, the negative side of success --
> no one with the experience is willing to do that
> kind of support anymore.

As an additional dimension: The ratio of experts
to non-experts is dwindling as the installers get
better and more novices are running the software.
At one time, everyone had to know some stuff to
run Linux and community support exhibited more
reciprocity.  Now, IMO, there's a much wider
disparity between those who know and those who
don't, and those who don't far outnumber those who
do.  And many people who are now considered to
have expertise have what I call "MCSE
knowlege"--they know buzzwords and how to diddle
with widgets until something sort of works, but
they don't know why their changes made it work or
the details of the underlying facilities.


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