[sf-lug] olpc: green machine -aka XO

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Apr 13 23:44:51 PDT 2008

Quoting Alex Kleider (a_kleider at yahoo.com):

> Your criticisms are certainly valid and in many cases I ask first and
> investigate afterwards BUT sometimes framing the question correctly
> depends on knowledge which would make asking the question unecessary! 

In this case, that was _not_ an obstacle. 

What you needed to do in that case -- and what is always useful -- is to
give the _raw symptom data_.  As I was suggesting, in the case of *ix
problems, there's nothing like a shell transcript, for carefully
providing _raw data_ and avoiding interpretations.

In fact, the example you provided us was absolutely classic -- asserting
that ifconfig and iwconfig were not on the system without stating on
what grounds you came to that conclusion:  The fact that you were on
Linux had provided you with the absolutely perfect means of furnishing
and showing what those grounds were, i.e., the shell commands you typed
to arrive at that conclusion, and the exact, literal shell output.

Doing that gives anyone who is attempting to help you absolutely certain
knowledge of precisely what you saw -- and, equally important, what you
did not see.  

Your having unconsciously relied on any substantive commands being in
the $PATH list would have stood out immediately.

Thus my point.

Which is why I point it out, as an example of one of the
very, VERY most important things I try to teach *ix newcomers seeking
help:  raw data, not interpretations.

> By the way, absence of a /etc/network directory with its interfaces
> file still puzzles me. It has been my impression that this file was a
> sine qua non of Linux networking but obviously not so. Perhaps this
> applies only to the Debian variants there of.

The latter is precisely correct.

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