jbuschbom at fieldmuseum.org
Wed Aug 14 12:00:01 CDT 2002
Hi Steven, Mike and Sten,
Thanks a lot for your comments and suggestions!
First, I would like to come to the next Installfest. Is there public
transport from downtown Chicago/Hyde Park (directions?) or do you
know anybody who could give me a ride?
Steven and Sten, I very much appreciate your suggestions and comments
- don't be mad if I have to say that somehow many of them don't fit
my world. Before I ever tried to install something Linux-wise I read
similar comments and thought that sounds straightforward and with
some insistence and using all the information resources available, I
should be able to get Linux up and running, no problem. Just, when
you are starting at zero every stupid little task or concept can take
you a weekend or more to figure out, working your way though books,
manuals*, web sites, man pages etc. - exactly what you suggested and
what I did until now. However, after 1.5 years that didn't get me
very far, especially since during the end of a thesis weekends and
evenings are "prime" research time and thus very much gone. I also
think that certain concepts and procedures are plainly learned better
interactively. It is like the experience that I make as system
administrator for the Macs in the department: for problems which are
trivial for me to solve, other people look at me as if I just nicked
the Holy Grail.
The main difference for me - and thus the main problem of switching
to Linux - is that the MacOS conveniently and quietly takes care of
most configurations, file dependencies, program linking and what not
by itself. From my limited experience I only can say that
partitioning and installing either MacOS 9 /X or SuSE on any not too
obscure Mac, dual boot or not, is not the problem. If you are using
your Linux OS primarily for emailing, web browsing or KDE Office etc.
that is also not so difficult to deal with. The situation becomes
utterly different when you are starting to deal with lots of tasks
and applications. Then, under MacOS it is plug and play while Linux
goes ballistic. Unfortunately, I need my system to do all kinds of
tasks. Linux expects me to understand how things run and fit together
at a level that on the Macs is - at least at first sight - hidden. I
would guess that this is not too different from Windows. Now, it is
fun to get an inkling what operating systems are all about and to set
out on your do-it-yourself-comp.sci-degree. Just at one point I
want/need to get somewhere and actually get some work done.
Looking forward to the Installfest!
*Suse's handbook?! - garbled gibberish for my ignorant and lowly mind :)
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