[sf-lug] newbie question

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jan 16 17:30:20 PST 2008

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):

> I received this email from one of the former Windows users to whom I have
> introduced GNU Linux.

Getting her onto this (or some other LUG) mailing list is the obvious
first step, then.

> BTW, I am trying to get her to join this list, which is why I am
> posting for her.  I am hoping that she will see the effectiveness of
> Free (as in freedom and free as in beer) tech support.

Interactivity is frequently necessary for helping users to understand 
what's going on.  It would be nice if that weren't the case, but the sky
isn't that colour in my world.

There's also a larger point:  Attempting to make a long story short[er],
your implicit model for LUGs (or at least this one) is somewhat like

o  free-of-charge Linux helpdesk for arbitrary people who need not even 
   be present, let alone participate.

The one I and many old-timers have come to favour (starting, oh, a
couple of decades back) is:

o  passing on an understanding of *ix matters primarily to others who show 
   promise of, in their turn, participating and passing along that 
   understand to others.

So, if people aren't willing to even be present to participate, I'd
usually rather spend my limited time working with others who are -- for
a number of reasons, including, in my experience, working with the
latter being more probably successful and more likely to bring benefits
to a broader group of others, later on.

Of course, you _can_ sometimes find LUG members willing to give
free-of-charge helpdesk services to random (and absent) strangers -- at
least for a while.  But now, if such services seem thinner than you'd 
hoped, now you have one possible reason why.

Me, I'd call that "consulting".  ;->

Nothing wrong with that -- and, personally, I happily refer such people
to Canonical, Ltd. for their excellent Ubuntu / Kubuntu service
contracts, as being best-qualified for that customer scenario.

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