[conspire] Fonts on Linux

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Oct 11 12:10:13 PDT 2004

Quoting Greg Dougherty (gregd at molecularsoftware.com):

> I have no desire to ever type anythign into a command line.  IMHO,
> being forced to use a command line is a user interface failure.

If you're trying to get help from me and want to tell me what tools to
use for the purpose, I'm OK with that as long as you pay me quite a bit,
for the privilege.  If not, then I'll want to use what works well for

Let's say you're on this newsgroup / mailing list and are having
problems with networking:  You aren't able to reach Web sites, you say.
So, I tell you, please open a console and type the following commands, 
and then cut/paste the results into an e-mail and post it:

/sbin/ifconfig -a
/sbin/route -n
cat /etc/resolv.conf

Now, let's suppose I say that, but instead of doing so, you say "I'm
sorry, but that's a trio of command-line tools, and I have no desire to
ever type anything into a command line."  But you'd still like my help
-- and maybe you make a counter-offer consisting of an attached set of
.GIF files containing screenshots of your Web browser trying to connect
to www.google.com and failing.

So, being a (generally ;->  ) polite and helpful guy, I explain:  "Greg, 
I'm sorry you don't wish to use those tools, but those are the
most-reliable and most-relevant, most-useful tools at our disposal to
give me necessary information about your software setup.  Unlike
nicer-looking ones, they work in predictable ways with maximal relevant
information, without having twitchy dependencies on other aspects of the
system that we're not trying to test.  That's why I'm waiting for you to 
cut-and-paste those results, before I can proceed."

If you reply that it's just not your cup of tea, I would say, "Of
course.  I understand, and am not trying to be critical.  I can
recommend people who might be willing to do it your way -- or we can
speak via telephone about my hourly consulting rate and terms of
service."  And I would wish you the best of luck, quite sincerely.

I'm a capitalist, and very big on people getting to do things their way
-- for a suitable fee.  

If, on the other hand, they want my help, free of charge, as part of the
Linux community, then they will have to either deal with the community's
way of doing things, or find help elsewhere.

> If so, then IMHO they are the opposite of "simpler".

Spoken like someone who buys technical services rather than provides

We had a visit from a plumber, last week.  He had a set of tools.  I
could have told him I didn't like his tools and wanted him to work on
the pipes with my tools, instead.  If willing at all, he'd probably have 
done that only for an enormous surcharge.

Of course, I _didn't_ muck about with his tools.  Instead, he did the
whole pipes thing pretty much by himself, his way.

If you brought your computer over to me and wanted me to fix something,
you'd most likely drop it off, tell me what you wanted done, and go up
to the Dutch Goose for a sandwich.  That would be a good idea; telling
me what software to use would only get you an enormous surcharge.

Of course, your objection was that _you_ don't want to ever use
command-line tools.  So, you would be perfectly happy with the Dutch
Goose approach.  And with paying money to have things fixed without your 

But this mailing list is not a fee-for-service forum.  If you start in
with the "Ew, don't ask me to run ifconfig" bit, you'll get replies
about consulting rates.

More at:  The Linux User Group HOWTO, maintained by the guy I shave:

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