The big switch : A different view at teaching Linux.
The first time I saw Linux was about five years ago, I believe it was a version 6.1 of Suse Linux. I remember being curious about the computer that was running it, and chatting up a colleague of mine (known as one of the company's uber-geeks) about what Linux was and how it worked and stuff. The story he told me dazzled me and for a while i really thought he was pulling my leg. He told me about a safe, secure and speedy operating system, that could run on machines varying from a “386” to a bigg-ass server. When I asked him what it could do , I knew he was kidding me, because he basically answered one word : EVERYTHING. My disbelief in an operating system that could be used for that enormous kind of diversity in purpose, gave him reason to explain to me just exactly how Linux was built, what the concept behind it was and how it was used. I sat down with him every lunch break for the next few days listening to his experiences with Linux and the things one could to with a “tux under the hood”. When the GNU license was explained to me, pointing out that the whole damn thing was free, I was ready to call the loony bin and have my friend planted in the funny farm. To those of you who come from a Win-world where Gates ( now Balmer ) is king and the only blue you see are the BSOD's on your computer, Linux DOES sound like an impossible utopia. And quite frankly , IT IS. There is one big big catch ! In order to protect its nest from predators, some birds make their nests high up in the trees. Natural predators do not have the ability to climb up so high without having to 1) Evolve some serious climbing skills 2) Overcome their fear of heights. And to those who are ready to make the switch to Linux , or are so fed up with the alternative there are some bounds to be broken. The big ass catch in switching from a “house of windows”' to “Torvalds Utopia” is having to drop the mouse. This trusty sidekick I have been using in my Windows based life for over ten years now (and that should be considered part of the human anatomy as an extension of the right hand) has been my palm-rest for almost half my life (i had an Amiga once, that one had a mouse too) To control an entire operating system via keyboard alone is too much to bare for some. They soon become 'ghosts in the shell'. And that shell is the other biggest scare of windows users. I started out with windows 95 where Dos was becoming a rapidly fading black-and-white-character-based memory. When i needed something i would just point and click. So when my Linux-geek-friend told me that i would have to unlearn everything i learned in a GUI enviroment, that i would have to drop my mouse and step into the dark void of bash.. I thought : I can do this ! Two weeks later, after hopelessly trying to understand the complex unix commands, getting trapped in VI once an hour and having to call for help to get me out, and basically getting NOWHERE.. I gave up. All the promises my friend had made, about what you could do with Linux , how fast it was , the great software you had etc etc seemed to reside on another planet. No way I could ever learn THAT. So I gave up and walked down the path of shame to my Windows workstation. Since then I have repeatedly tried to pick up Linux again. From downloading various versions to see which one i liked best, to actually BUYING three versions of Suse Linux, a lot of Linux books and taking classes about Linux in my local educational center.
And no matter where you go, or what you do : There are some things that are the same everywhere. Things you encounter when trying to work with Linux, and ways Linux is taught to students. I will some them up for they are the underlying fundamentals for this 'different approach' to Linux.
Continue reading “The big switch : A different view in teaching Linux.”
Oh yes ! A quick update : SLASHDOT http://www.slashdot.com has JUST posted their article about the Mini Mac (Posted by samzenpus on Thursday January 13, @08:00AM) : That means that you could HEAR about the Mini-Mac HERE, YESTERDAY. So we BEAT SLASHDOT IN A HEADLINE !!!! How Geeky is THAT 🙂
Ok , got the first podcast up yesterday evening. Finally got around to
reinstalling the damn thing and scheduling it to boot up every morning
to download my Podcasts, Sync my Ipod and Download my appointments
from an to my PDA (something I just don't get around to manually
everyday). So this morning it worked out nicely and I have all the
stuff i need by the time the cappuccino machine does his thing. Upped
the first podcast last night (thanx Marco, for helping me test it) and
am kinda nervous how people are gonna react. Nyana laughed (of course)
but also gave me some pointers (she is SOOO sweet) and I’m gonna take
it into heart next time I do a cast (probably this afternoon on my way
home in the car). But enough about that. This website is not about
this website and our podcasts aren't about our podcasts.. Now are they
? Ps : my ambition in becoming the first podcasting site in Belgium ,
http://www.podcasting.be/ Don't think so :§. But hey : THEY didn't
invent the PRINCE OF THE POD title now did they :). Ps : To those who
gave nice feedback to the site : Thank you , but don't hesitate to
tell me what you think of the CONTENT.
Got an email from my former work buddies at HH-Hasselt ( from the
no-marriage/no-kids club i was a member of). Of course they where
surprised to find out me and Nyana where going to tie the knot. And
I’m kinda mulling this over in my mind as to why we are getting
married.. and its very hard to explain. Perhaps that is just enough
reason. "Because it feels right". I might be a big blab on the outside
but on the inside I’m one soft hearted romantic. We might appear very
skeptical on the outside but between me and Nyana there is a very
subtle and sensitive romantic connection that we hardly ever show to
others. On top of that we give our own interpretation to the whole
'marriage thing'. Those who are thinking 'classic stuff , white dress,
lots of similar cars and rice throwing : think again) We'll do this
our own way ( Invitations will probably be E-mailed, those who have
not been invited can probably follow the on line web-cam-cast over the
internet). Not only the 'procedure' but also the 'meaning' is
something that is unique to us. Its a duality. Its about telling
each other we are ready to tell the outside world we have chosen our
mate. Am I making any sense here ? Guess not. The bottom line is , Its
because we don't need to get married , we want to get married. And its
more about the "bond" between the both of us, then about what the
world around us makes of it. (I can tell you , those are two TOTALY
different things). People who start to push us into parties, dresses,
and confor-mality will meet a very defensive Knight and Nyana ! (So
don't even TRY !) Perhaps this union is about something we cannot put
into words or explain. And that is reason enough : We can't say why..
It just feels soooo right. ( And don't worry Katleen , of COURSE you are still my back-up 😉 )
To rest worried minds assured our opinion about children STILL has not changed. Whenever somebody wishes us : 'lots of baby's in the future' , for us its the equivalent of ' we wish you both an itchy annoying skin disease' Not that we don't like children , but its just not our thing. So if you don't want to insult us when giving your new years wishes : Don't mention uterus-related-prophecy's.