[sf-lug] questions and thanks

jim stockford jim at well.com
Wed Mar 22 10:13:57 PST 2006

Debian has a really strong community and a fair
amount of online docs and even books
(The Debian System, Concepts and Techniques
by Martin Krafft, NoStarch Press, available in
Stacey's bookstore).
    Join the extremely active mailing lists via
    There's a pretty big Debian user base in the
SF bay area.

    you shoulda come to Marilyn's Python talk at the
javacat last Monday--it was really informative and
tons of fun.

    Linux is good and getting better at multimedia work.
Therefore so is Debian, which (I'm guessing, but
educatedly) is probably as good as any other
distro and (still guessing similarly) better than
most others (e.g. RedHat is corporate-focused,
Gentoo is DIY focused, SUSE is, in my book, on
the ropes or sidelines for now...).

    RPM == RedHat Package Manager, a way to
install, update, upgrade, delete, and otherwise
tweak software on your system. The Debian way
is apt. The two are separate ways to view pretty
much the same universe.

* what's the 'U' for? "Unix"
* what's the 'N' for? "Not"
* what's the 'G' for? GNU
--------------------------* what's the 'U' for? "Unix"
--------------------------* what's the 'N' for? "Not"
--------------------------* what's the 'G' for? GNU
-----------------------------------------------------* etc.........

    The GNU name is for a community inspired by
Richard Stallman. Their main evidence in the
Linux world is in the toolkit that comes with all
Linux kernels (properly "Linux" refers only to
the kernel, a single massive file that is loaded
as the basis of the operating system). The
GNU toolkit includes the command-line shells,
such programs as ls, grep, vi (YAY!), and so on
(all the programs you learn about when you
first study Unix). The GNU toolkit also comes
on freeBSD distributions and on the Macintosh
OSX products (though Apple's engineers have
tweaked the GNU toolkit behaviors annoyingly).

    Best way to try out Linux is to get a "live" CD.
Best "live" CD distros are Ubuntu and Knoppix.
That you have a laptop reduces the chances
that any "live" CD will work, but you've still got
a good chance. You can get such from me if
you like at my cost (something like $1.50 per
CD, covers shipping plus or minus a dime). I
get them from SpiderTools.com, though I've
bought enough that I get a pretty good discount,
and I buy a bunch at a time, which spreads
shipping costs per CD out low. I think if you
can wait, cheaper to get 'em from me than
from Spidertools direct. My interest is in
promoting *nix OS (and the GNU toolkit), so
I'm all for whatever makes you happy in your

    If you get some distro and try to install it, there
is very little chance you'll get wedged (screwed
up with no way out). There's a fair chance that
you won't get things to work right at first, but
hey! you did say you want to learn, and getting
in too deep is the best, fastest way to learn
(and learning this stuff is a big, big job that
takes lots of time--people who like it, love it).

    Gosh, bladefknbla! holy moly look at the time.
I'm sure some of the above is wrong and hope
that the other sf-lug folks will correct me.

On Mar 22, 2006, at 6:24 AM, tobi x wrote:

> Thanks for the tips and the welcome, Adrian!  This is tobi [t.rex], by 
> the way, [not Kevin] who wrote the message you replied to!   ; )
>  Since I got your email, I've been looking up SuSe and Debian, and I 
> really like the ideology behind Debian that I found on
>  http://www.debian.org/doc/FAQ/ch-basic_defs.en.html#s-difference
>  - that its the only large distro that functions with open development 
> on the web for people [not just a smaller closed circle of 
> programmers] to revise and adapt.  Please correct me if I'm wrong 
> about this, but this would be a great factor in which Linux system I 
> support... I am a big advocate of the DIY non-corporate, open 
> collectivity in the evolution of Linux as all-inclusive and accessible 
> programming.
>  Is Debian good for multimedia work?
>  My computer is a Acer TravelMate 8104 notebook, and I am using it for 
> graphic design, music editing/recording, and occassional film 
> editing.!   I  want to learn Python, and how to make a website.
>  So I am looking for a Linux that supports good multimedia packages - 
> can people recommend specific software and which Linux might suit 
> these things?
> Also,
> Adrian said:
>     "SuSE is rpm based, a turn-off for many."
> What is RPM based?  And what exactly is GNU?
>  If I install a ve!  rsion of Linux on my computer just to see what it 
> is like, will it be difficult to return my system to its current state 
> if I decide not to use Linux [or try a different version]?
>  I really want to try Linux, but I am a bit hesitant because I still 
> have a lot to learn about it - and about computers in general - and I 
> don't want to find myself in a position where my computer, and me, are 
> screwed and I don't know how to fix it!
>  Replies or guidance to good links/resources for any of these 
> questions would be greatly appreciated!
>  tobi
>  Yahoo! Mail
> Use Photomail to share photos without annoying 
> attachments._______________________________________________
> sf-lug mailing list
> sf-lug at linuxmafia.com
> http://linuxmafia.com/mailman/listinfo/sf-lug
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