Linux Users vs. Linux Culture
In my line of work I get to test, try and evaluate all kinds of new open source software and the occasional new distribution flavor of the month. Sometimes it's a smooth process but other times I find myself casting a line in the lake of forums hoping to get a bite. In a lot of ways, this is how it was when I was first introduced to Linux in the late 90's. When I look back and compare my experiences then with my experiences now I see the progress we've made in a number of areas but I am left with one conclusion: we're not quite there yet.
We've all experienced the agonies of an app that just won't install or otherwise function as hoped for. When this happens, inevitably we all find ourselves grasping at the same tried and true straws we've know for years now: forum boards and IRC channels.
Using a forum board or IRC channel is a lot like trying to solve your problems by walking down a dorm room hallway. Room by room you poke your head in, say hi to everybody, and ask around quickly to see if anyone has an idea. The responses can vary depending on which door you knock on.
A lot has changed since I first started knocking on doors to solve my problems. First and foremost, there are a LOT more doors. Second, there are a lot more people to ask as open source finds itself becoming more and more mainstream. What doesn't seem to have changed much are the responses.
There will always be the self righteous neighbors. I knocked on one of these doors the other day. The first response was "why don't you just come out and tell us what you broke...". There's the newbie rooms full of happy people that are just as lost as you are and have huddled together in the kiddie pool. There's the oh-so-elite rooms (you know who you are Gentoo users!) who only have one response for any question "RTFM". Remind me to further rant on these types some other time.
Occasionally (and less and less by accident of late) you get lucky and find a room full of sympathetic techies. These rooms are filled with people who can explain your problems simply enough to enable you to actually fix something.
All of this leads to my point: those of us who are passionate about open source projects are by nature, somewhat evangelistic. We want to share them with everyone and convert the masses. Nothing is more frustrating than meeting someone who tried open source at one time and couldn't get the kind of support they needed and in anguish, scrapped the hole thing in lieu of the very matrix we're trying to unplug them from. I had the pleasure of sitting in an IRC room the other day when a complete newbie walked in. One by one, the entire room took turns walking him through a wide array of problems. In the end, he left the room excited. He'll be back soon and his questions will be a little more complex each time (a good indication that he's learning, and solving the easier stuff on his own).
You never know who's gonna pop their head in. It could be a complete newbie, it could be a professional with a tech issue his paycheck depends on (like myself). It could be the next Torvalds, in his ***formative years. Either way, how you respond will either encourage them, and swell our numbers by one, or discourage him, and everyone who will listen to him. Be nice. Be understanding. Most importantly, be patient with them. It takes a village, and you might be raising the next Linux fanatic.
*** Note: the use of the word formidable was removed for the sake of world peace.
Chase Crum is the IT Infrastructure Manager for Voicenation and a self-proclaimed Linux FANATIC.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Paranoid Penguin - Building a Secure Squid Web Proxy, Part IV
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide