Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 24

I found an on-line Ubuntu Desktop Users course. In the 1st Module (overview) It is based on 7.10 but, it walks you through the history of Linux, Ubuntu, and Open Source.

The next Module/Lesson walks you through how to set up other users and work your way through the basics of the tool bar and some other applications.

It uses your OpenID account to login, and you can try out the 1st two modules/lessons for free.

I thought it was interesting since I love e-learning anyway. Now I am trying to convince pgraner to let me take the rest of the course.

Just trying to see what there is out there in the way of bringing a novice "up to speed" so to say. I think I mentioned I am a 3d learner; meaning reading, seeing, then doing - hands on but being walked through the basics.

When pgraner was at Red Hat there were all these courses that took you from zero (like this is a mouse stuff) all the way through to becoming an RHCE...(jeez I think I missed an opportunity for learning there, but my heart wasn't in learning Linux (in any flavor then) remember I was just frustrated with the whole thing then.

I found some places on-line, and people have given me some great links to start with but by and large the consensus is "just do".

Well when I switched from windows to Mac, by "just doing" I almost threw the Mac at pgraner, then it out the window. (Notice I am a little impatient) With Ubuntu I am allowing myself the time to figure out things and see what all the buttons do, and that sorta stuff. I decided to read a few books I found on pgraner's book shelf in his office. I go up there and find a book on GIMP I almost threw it at him, he saw me struggling to make my hackergotchi and never told me the book was up there. His answer, "You didn't ask and I am not helping - Remember." Now why did I say he couldn't help? Oh yea...because most average user moms don't have a kernel person in there home for instant support.

I am realizing that in the Maze of Ubuntu Wiki pages I am amazed at all the information that can be found. I ask people in the community and they point me in a direction and off I go.

I just learned about Ubuntu BluePrints. A better statement would be I learned how to find them, search through them to see if any I am interested in exist, and now the next step is to build upon those or create a new one. I was informed it is best to build upon an existing one.

I found there is a Ubuntu brainstorm area, and like most brainstorming you get from one extreme to the other, and go from there. That's why it's called Brain storming. I had a Col. in the Army that liked the term "skunkworks" which is a form of Brainstorming, but I am digressing.

I wanted to try the evolution email client. Well I found the instructions online and was reading them aloud, to make sure I had them right, pgraner heard me say ok Pop.whatever.com...(He said, stop...you want IMAP, so that's what I picked. He said something about having my mail stay on the server or get moved to my computer, I said stay on the server. I guess I almost moved over 5000 emails from the server when I really wanted them to stay. Ok, so something else I have to learn what is the difference in POP and IMAP protocols? Tomorrow is another day) It would have worked the other way too. pgraner usually tunes me out when I am talking or reading to myself, however when it comes to major changes I think he listens a little.

Evolution does remind me of Outlook (a lot). So if you are a Windows User and you like outlook you should like evolution. I think I will stick with google and all their stuff, but at least wanted to try it for a few days. Again I can use it if I have too. I just like the look and feel of gmail better (plus I don't 1000's of emails a day). Evolution locked a few times on me, and I had to restart it. There were a few emails that did not come through. So I rechecked all the filters and they should have made to Evolution but didn't. It's easy to set up if you know how to set-up and email client. I have always relied on pgraner. Again, I am learning I need to do some more things myself.

Though it he did mention that since I started all this, I haven't stopped talking in 4 weeks. I think he even mentioned I am not allowed in his office anymore between the hours of 8am and 5pm EST. I am just excited. Really excited, I realized my family was getting a little weary of my excitement too, when my sister called and asked, "does she read you her blog too, instead of just letting you read it." So now the joke is people only get my calls because pgraner isn't listening to me talk about Ubuntu any more. (he is happy I am learning; he just doesn't wait to *hear* a blow by blow account of everything I say or do as I am learning it.) Everyone else is the same way...."Amber we can *read* it, you don't have to read it to us."

See I am just excited. :) I feel like I just hit on an area of my brain that said "hey I'm awake now, where are we going next."

I know you all that have kids see this all the time, when they finally grasp a sport, or decide the new instrument they are learning can make music and not noise, (though I am still at the noise level myself no Ubuntu music yet.)

Ok Average User Description of the Open Source Community

I know the Open Source Community has existed for a while now, decades even. To those who aren't familiar with this Community let me try to explain to you. We have all been to a gathering (either at school, work, church, family etc). So picture the Open Source Community as a *large* gathering. Most gatherings have several groups within the larger group represented at the gathering. Also, at most gatherings there is a table or two that have various foods and drink on them. Everyone is invited to this gathering. Maybe you have heard the word Linux and Open Source but never accepted an invitation to attend. I have now decided to accept this invitation. I made in the door. Then wondered over to the corner to watch and see what was going on in this place. Finally, I decided to go to the table and sample the goodies on the table, except at this gathering the flavors aren't food but different disto's of Linux. I have sampled a few distro's and found one that agreed with my"palette". Which is Ubuntu. Now that I have sipped from the proverbial Ubuntu punch bowl it seems soothing and something I can comfortably navigate the gathering with. Now I am standing in front of the table holding my "cup" of Ubuntu trying to decide where to wander to next. The Ubuntu Community is a large group withing the gathering (Open Source Community) and, one you don't sprint through, you walk calmly though it exploring many things along the way. Where I go from here is any one's guess, but this is going to be a great "gathering"/Community to explore. I know I will meet those who enjoy the taste of many flavors of Linux and can learn a lot from them as well. Maybe that helps some people relate to this overwhelming Free and Open Source/Linux Community. Remember the invitation stands. Come join in.


Now I am off to manually download Alpha 6. If I am blogging tomorrow, then you know it worked. I not in two days you'll here why it didn't and what I had to do to fix it...:)

More tomorrow...:)