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  May 28, 2012                  

me+ME: Some Linux.Ubuntu updates (docu)

 ''Enjoy and give pleasure, without doing harm to yourself or to anyone else -
that, I think, is the whole of morality.

Here is some more about Ubuntu, in the way of links to documentation I found useful, preceded by a remark about the BQ of it all:

I use 'BQ' for 'Boringness Quotient' or 'Bullshit Quotient', depending, and here and now in the first sense:

I am aware that the vast majority of the visitors to my site, in so far as they are not bots, use Windows or Mac, somewhat interestingly in many versions, some quite old. Likewise, I am aware that the vast majority of computer users these days are neither geeks, nor nerds, nor techies; are not interested in programming; and want an OS (Operating System) that just works predictably and doesn't crash.

So I realize that for most of my readers my pieces on Linux must be mostly boring. Nevertheless, I write them and will probably keep writing them, if I write at all for my site, and there are three reasons to do so:

First, it is my site and my Nederlog, and Nederlog is about what interests or concerns me, and free and open source, Linux, and Ubuntu, do interest and concern me.

Second, I am quite convinced that, for quite a few reasons, both moral and technical, Ubuntu is the better OS for most people: Linux has grown up to the status and years of a young adult, and it can outperform Windows and Apple in most respects.

Third, I am a newbie user of Ubuntu and Linux, and I am finding my way about and around it, and like to share some of my findings with others who are similarly placed.

So.... feel free to skip anything relating to Linux if you are quite satisfied with the OS you use. I am clearly not writing for you, in that case, if and when I am writing about Linux, but then I won't do so very often, since I know how boring tech talk about a subject one doesn't know or care for is.

Having said that, here are some more useful links about Linux and Ubuntu that may help new users of Ubuntu.

First, I added a final paragraph to this rant of 12 years ago:

        On Linux (october 1999 - october 2000)

This is not friendly, but then I had run into oodles of hype and tech talk, and  most things Linux didn't install at all, on very vanilla PCs I used, or did not install with the things one wants (internet, sound, printing etc.)

Now that we are 12 years further, indeed with great amounts of hard work by many volunteers, Linux really works, at least in the shape of Ubuntu, and no doubt other distributions, and has surpassed Windows on most dimensions, including ease of use for newcomers.

Second, part of what awoke my ire 12 years ago, next to the fact that I simply do not like bullshit, and am not afraid to say so, are the oodles of tech talk I was served, that one still can find on the internet. Here is an example of some of the help you may find - and I say a little more about this manner of prose after giving two links, one to the start of a manual and one to a page, much like the pages I was served in 2000 when trying to figure out how to get Linux working:

       Augustin's Linux manual
       An abbreviated description of the Linux bootup section

These are not from the same manual, but both are on comptechdoc.org. The first seems to be a highly competent write-up by a true systems-engineer of the technical basics of Linux; the second comes from something similar and I link it only to show what the standard of documentation for Linux was 12 years ago: That's the sort of stuff I found when trying to learn about it.

And the above are examples of tech talk by people who are qualified: There is at least as much by enthusiasts who aren't, but nevertheless talk the talk at one, if one asks a perfectly sensible question. Here is a bit like it, from the second of the above two links, e.g. in answer to 'how do I dial in with my service provider?':

To add terminals or dial in modem lines on a system, add
more lines in the /etc/inittab file, one for each terminal or
dial in line similar to the following:

7:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty7

This manner of jargon-ridden prose (perfectly fine for OS-specialists) is neither good or nor useful nor recommended to anyone who does not want to become an OS-expert. One should not shove this in the face of newbies - who are not university students of computing - with a confident assurance that this is the way to do things, and should be clear to all of minimal intelligence.

In fact, one should not have to learn the details or much of an OS to work wiith it with few problems: After all, that is what an OS is for, namely to make the machine useful for many different things,  rather than a mere console with a C-compiler somewhere, and not to have to sort out all manner of tech details to get something to work.

Indeed - having spend over a decade on several programmers' forums - there is a type of nerd who seems to glorify in telling newbies in a few carefully chosen almost totally incomprehensible tech terms that if they only had RTFM! ('Read The Fucking Manual!') they would and should have known that the obvious way consists of their tech talk.

I don't like that way of insisting one's balls are bigger than another's balls (yes, it tend to be males) and that is one reason to supply readable documentation for newbies to Linux.

There is  this which is helpful, well done and clear:

       Ubuntu 12.04 LTS - Precise Pangolin (on ubuntuguide.org)

This is a well-presented survey of the most important subjects (with similar guides for other Ubuntu-distributions).

And there is this, which is quite helpful for beginners:

       Ubuntu Linux Resources (By A Woman)

The bracketed phrase is mine, and is both ironical and in praise: It is a really good series of tutorials on things Ubuntu. It tells newbies what they need to know, and it does so in clear and polite English.

Also, on the subject of women and Linux: I read somewhere in the fine collection of

       Full Circle Magazine

that the ratio of women to man is 1 : 20, as far as users of Linux is concerned. I don't know whether that is true, and if true whether it is an outdated figure, but if true it is a pity, and there also is no need for it: If you can deal with Windows or Apple, you can deal with Ubuntu.

If you want to do systems programming, probably Linux also is the place for you, but that kind of knowledge, like  higher mathematics, is fit for  the  happy few  with  a talent and a taste for it, and should not be unloosened on newbies, especially if there is no need for it.

And that is one of the really nice things about Ubuntu: You do not need to have or acquire techie bits of insight. It simply works and does so intuitively. (*)


(*) You will need to learn some, eventually, but what you need
to know (mostly about files, directories and backing up) is not difficult
and there is a lot of help on forums or in documentation.

Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.


As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.  Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understa, but nds ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam/ with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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