MJBs Presentation Reviews aka POV from a Newbie

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Here's my 'take' from the Presentations I've attended at our JaxLug meetings. Understand that I am very new to Linux and my goal is the learn to control my home system (various laptops and a desktop), I have not worked as a SYSop, SYSadmin,as a Developer or ITpro. I have used computers since the early 80's (and I still have every computer I've used/own). My favorite was my Amiga 1000, but alas Commodore 'dropped the ball' (I still have my two Amiga 1000s). So, my main view is ease of use and the ability to get the computer to work for me, not against me. My favorite Browser is Opera...why? Because Opera lets me tweak it to the way I want to work. I use FireFox, and chrome too, but Opera helps me 'Get things done'. So, what else? I 'hate Windows'and never use IE which I call the 'Forced Browser'. I would love to see more folks like me leave Micro$oft for GNU/Linux, but I know that lots of the 'IT-Linux' world makes a great living fixing Windows, so I don't begrudge them. In fact am sure Dear Reader, you may be one. OK, now on to the 'Reviews'. MJB


Hi, Y'all. Today's TOPIC was "Linux for Beginners" presented by Dan Bidleman, Introduction to Linux, covering installation and the basics.

I was happy to see we are starting 2014 with a 'Beginners session'. I have been 'bumping' around looking at Books & magazines at Bookstores, NetCasts/Podcasts, the Jax Library and Google, self teaching myself for years, trying to 'wrap my head' around Linux. Lucky for me I finally found JaxLug. Since I didn't know anyone that uses Linux I felt like a Island in the middle of the Pacific! Well. I have managed to get Linux on my Laptops, and now I am at the 'I know what I don't know' stage. For me it's 'connect the dots' time.

I keep a very open mind, so even though (at times much of the CLI seems like looking at the opening credits to the Matrix) with repetition the bits link up.

When I attended Dan's presentation back in October (2013)(Everything in a Nutshell) I enjoyed it very much and I feel the same about this one. Last time Dan's gave out printed copies of the exact steps he was doing on the screen. I thought this is great and it was. I easily followed every step as he did it on his laptop and I had a bonus. I could take the handout home and try it again, to really soak it in.

Tonight he did the same with a twist. He referred us to the his JaxHax wiki page, so I went to the page and was again able to follow along typing the same Linux commands on my Laptop (more dots connected!). He even had a few fun things he did with a 'text based graphic' of a Locomotive running across the screen (he didn't show us how, time limits, you know)(I found out how the Train happened, type sl instead of ls, if you use CentOS or Fedora). Before he started showing the commands he did a quick 'how to' on installing Fedora and I think the other one was OpenSUSE.

The part that intrigued me was he had Linux running with two VirtualBox machines on top. Of course, all that ran fine (who knows if that would work with Windows?). I had to ask what was he using to do all that. The answer: IBM ThinkPad 8gb ram running Oracle Linux (heck I didn't know Oracle had a Linux). He also mentioned that both installs he showed us have VirtualBox 'built in'. Ah ha, more dots. Using a distro with a VM lets you try or have other OS's without a lots of fuss. Of course VirtualBox is part of Oracle Linux too. Later on he told us about the way Linux uses RAM as opposed to Windows using the hard drive as memory first, where Linux does the opposite and therefore runs better and faster.

We also got to see a funny web game for Cat Lovers and NO it has nothing to do with the cat command in Linux.

One of the great things about Dan's way of presentation is, he gave the how and the why. The bottom line is, if I were you I'd make sure not to miss a meeting when Dan is on the agenda. MJB

More reviews to come:

2013/12/18 - Syslog and Radius by Rob McKennon 2013/11/27 - Intro to Shell Scripting by Travis Phillips 2013/10/16 - Everything in a Nutshell by Dan Bidleman 2013/09/18 - Linux Security by Brent Morris 2013/08/21 - MySQL Administration for Developers by Ligaya Turmelle 2013/07/17 - Hardening a VPS by Jess Hires 2013/06/19 - LastPass and YubiKey by Michael Potts 2013/05/15 - Network Forensics by Robert Nunley 2013/03/20 - Py on the Pi by Rob McKennon 2013/02/20 - Web Hacking 102 by Travis Phillips 2013/01/16 - Hadoop by Ovidiu Dimulescu