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Thread: Learning Linux and computing in general

  1. #1
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    Oct 2010
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    Learning Linux and computing in general

    Hi, all.

    I've been using Ubuntu for a few years now, but unfortunately my understanding and knowledge has not increased much since when I started. Part of this lack of learning is a general ignorance on my part of computing in general. I rely solely on these forums and Googling for fixing my computer issues, and since these issues are often separated in time and topic, I don't pick up much of the how and why of things.

    I would really like to change this, as I am getting kind sick of the frustration of not knowing how to fix issues when they arise because I have no knowledge base to even diagnose what is going wrong.

    Thus my thread. I'm hoping some of you may be able to point me in the direction of some material to help me learn a bit about computing, specifically in regards to Linux. To give you an idea of my knowledge level at the moment:

    - I know boot and GRUB have to do with the computer starting and booting up, that's it.
    - I know a computer has internal and external IP addresses, and they can be static or dynamic, but I have to Google how to look up my IP address every time I need it for something.
    - I know how to copy and paste a command into the terminal, but if you asked me to start a program with it, no can do.

    I'd really love to be a more knowledgeable computer user, in part because I'd love to continue using Linux, but it really gets frustrating when I go to the 'Absolute Beginners Talk' forum and I don't even have the know-how to answer some of the posters' questions trying to diagnose my issues. If any of you know of good resources (books, websites, free online courses) for getting a better understanding of computing and Linux usage, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Learning Linux and computing in general

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuneOfLoon View Post
    I rely solely on these forums and Googling for fixing my computer issues
    That's what everybody else is doing, all the time. That's why sites like this and askubuntu.com exist, and why they have so many users.

    From the sound of it, your knowledge and skills aren't too bad. Knowing things like the existence of internal and external IP addresses means you're probably more clued up than 95% of folks using a computer. Not being able to program is no biggy either. I can't, but I consider myself reasonably knowledgeable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Kubuntu

    Re: Learning Linux and computing in general

    Oh my, programming is so BORING!

    I did Java in uni and it's no big deal. Everything can be learnt with enough time an energy. I pulled my old java books out during recovery (still) from breaking my neck mtb and because I'm not interested I opened up eclipse, looked at it and have not opened it since. If someone said you MUST make a program that does X and Y then I could, not because I'm smart, but because I'd search the net and learn how to do it.

    With computers you can't learn everything or know everything, you will inadvertently focus on the parts you enjoy. I love fiddling with hardware and other computer electronics, but I've no interest in breaking the OS just to fix it although I will fix it if goes wrong because I'm not paying someone else to do it for me. I can change parts on the car like brake pads and other things that don't require a ramp, not because I'm a skilled mechanic, but because of the net.

    I've learnt how to fix most things on my mtb and service shocks partly because I enjoy it and partly because I figure that if I'm out in the wilderness I should have some technical nouse to get me home.

    So don't feel too bad if you can't figure out peoples problems, but remember that if you had those problems you could probably work it out.

    If you are thinking about a career then look at computer job ads to see if what they ask for you can do and if you can't and you enjoy what they are talking about then learn it.

    Remember to have fun because learning should be fun as you'll actually learn then. Me? I don't know anything.
    Last edited by QIII; February 28th, 2013 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Inappropriate language

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Re: Learning Linux and computing in general

    Wikipedia is almost always a good place to start. You'll get familiar with definitions and basics and every page has many links (related articles, sources).

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Manchester UK
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    Re: Learning Linux and computing in general

    Stick around and answer some questions that you have experience with. The thing about Ubuntu Forums that differs from some other places is that beginners can ask a question that may have been asked 1000 times before, and we'll answer it.

    We all start somewhere.

  6. #6
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    Xubuntu Development Release

    Re: Learning Linux and computing in general

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuneOfLoon View Post
    I'd really love to be a more knowledgeable computer user, in part because I'd love to continue using Linux, but it really gets frustrating when I go to the 'Absolute Beginners Talk' forum and I don't even have the know-how to answer some of the posters' questions trying to diagnose my issues. If any of you know of good resources (books, websites, free online courses) for getting a better understanding of computing and Linux usage, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
    I think the previous posts said it all, so I'm going just to give some links you can follow so you can start your own path.

    Command Line Learning Resources
    Ubuntu Linux Resources
    Bash Reference Manual
    New Docs
    HowtoForge - Linux tutorials
    Linux.org

    Downloadable GNU/Linux books
    Free Linux/Unix books

    Good luck and enjoy the ride.
    Please mark your thread as solved if you get a satisfactory response.
    Linux user #556334 | Ubuntu user #35168

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Re: Learning Linux and computing in general

    Thanks for those links, Slickymaster, looking forward to going through them. And thanks to everybody for the advice about how to approach the 'problem', I'll definitely try and implement it during the coming weeks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Re: Learning Linux and computing in general

    Install arch and use it for a few months. You'll learn alot.
    Whoever came up with the phrase "There is no such thing as a stupid question" obviously never had the internet.

  9. #9
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    Re: Learning Linux and computing in general

    The Linux Documentation Project has quite a few resources, some of them may seem a bit dated, but for the basics, I found that they help me a lot.

  10. #10
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    Re: Learning Linux and computing in general

    Believe it or not, it took me 5 years to learn how grep was used. I was just lazy. It's not a matter of brains, it's a matter of passion. Linux works so well nowadays that we don't really need much more than a support forum or a Google search to find our answers. Believe me, back in 1998 if you wanted to do something fancy with Linux, you drove to the public library and checked out a book. hehe.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to condone linux illiteracy. It's like what one of my computer science professors said: "Some people can take a car apart and put it back together. - I just want to drive."
    You don't have to be a command line guru or a kernel wizard to enjoy Linux anymore, but it certainly does help.

    Great links posted above! I'm bookmarking some of those myself.
    Last edited by darkcrimson; March 3rd, 2013 at 06:04 AM. Reason: rephrasing some things...

Bookmarks

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