0456: "Cautionary"

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entropy_
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby entropy_ » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:09 am UTC

Wow.... This hits very close to home.
I originally installed ubuntu on my laptop(after about 6 months of experience with linux in general and ubuntu in particular on the PC). Lots of experience with mucking about with video drivers and xorg due to the home PC having an ATI card(bleugh).

Anyway, first time I tried to upgrade ubuntu(through the upgrade tool) from 7.04 to 7.10(about 6 weeks in... coincidence?) the upgrade somehow went very wrong and the laptop was totally useless. So I decided to switch to something else since I was reinstalling. I first tried debian but the installer didn't even detect my wireless card(and kept asking me to insert the diskette with the drivers on it if I believed I had one, the diskette!) so my next try was gentoo.... heh... Took me about 3 days of no sleep. Exams coming up but I didn't care, I was busy compiling X, the kernel, gnome, openoffice(Oh god... openoffice... failed the first time because /tmp didn't have enough hard disk space, turns out it needs 5GB and about 6-7hrs to compile).

If that wasn't a female character in the comic I would've thought that was me... However, I'm really happy with my gentoo install now. Afer a hellish first week (which I paradoxally enjoyed quite a bit) it becomes really nice. But that's just the opinion of someone who enjoys spending 20hrs straight coding away on some project.

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ForgeLineage
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby ForgeLineage » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:11 am UTC

I installed OpenSuSe onto a laptop without a single issue. But when i tried installing to my main desktop computer, the installation went horribly wrong. It didn't install enough to make a usable OS but enough to override my Boot sector. The result was no OS being functional. After battling forever to get it back, i just put a new hard drive in, install OpenSuse (off the same disk as before) and used that. Then i reinstalled Windows XP onto the old drive. So i have a crappy dual boot system, with one OS only having 250 gb instead of the full 500gb.

That will teach me to never go to the bathroom while installing a OS.

((And the only problem i had was installing the Nvida driver on the desktop the 2nd time.))
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paragon12321
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby paragon12321 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:12 am UTC

This is your social life.
*explosion*
This is your social life on Linux. Any questions?
For great justice! Take off every sig!

theevocater
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby theevocater » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:18 am UTC

Honestly, I really don't think this is true at all. Or even close. Doesn't come near my experience with ubuntu before i went to school for CS or after when I installed gentoo. I've helped numerous people install ubuntu/gentoo etc and honestly I've had maybe one or two issues (stemming from ATI cards).

entropy_
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby entropy_ » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:21 am UTC

stormoftara wrote:True story: My boyfriend has Linux. He also has Windows on the same computer. I told him I wanted to look up something on his computer, so he tried to boot up Linux. Let's just say I went and got my broken computer to boot up faster than Linux. He had to type in all these commands. It was really scary. Eventually he gave up and just logged into Windows. The lesson here? If you have to fix it to make it work, it isn't working to begin with. He still keeps trying to convert me to Linux anyway. :|

Edit: I forgot another thing about Linux. After my boyfriend got his computer running and was putting in code or something, I was looking at what he was typing in, and typed in something like "Get apt install cheese" And it worked. Cheese is a program name WTF. Of course now my boyfriend thinks I understand Linux magically and wants me to use it even more. NOOOOOOOOOOOO EVIL


Unless he's running hundreds of services I don't see how windows would boot up faster... My laptop boots in about 50s(from off to logged in and fully usable desktop) Windows does get to the login screen faster(well at least XP, vista is.... vista) but then it has to load so much stuff after you login that it takes a full minute after login to be able to use it.

Also:

entropy@entropy-laptop ~ $ man dog
NAME
dog - better than cat

or:

entropy@entropy-laptop ~ $ wtf is YMMV
YMMV: your mileage may vary

(this is very useful when reading slashdot)

God I love the naming of commands and programs in linux ^_^

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Hurduser
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Hurduser » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:30 am UTC

paragon12321 wrote:This is your social life.
*explosion*
This is your social life on Linux. Any questions?

Well, Linux made me leave the library and get into the real world (because there were people who knew about how to config Xfree86 with the crappy 1Meg videocard). :oops:
Frag mal nach im IRC
'zum Kotzen' das heisst dort XP.
Win2k, nur so zum staunen,
hat mehr Bugs als nur zweitausend.

Qeu
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Qeu » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:32 am UTC

X.org problems?

Who needs x.org when you can do everything on a terminal?

-lynx for surfing the web
-bitchx to speak with some friends. *
-mplayer with the ascii modifier to watch movies

* Actually, if you watch movies on a terminal using ascii art I'd say you won't have so that many friends :cry:

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williamager
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby williamager » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:34 am UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:Am I the only one who, with almost no prior Linux experience, has had no trouble getting Ubuntu to work? (Well, except my printer, I haven't really tried.) Maybe it's because I use Xubuntu? :?


After many years, some Linux distributions have now reached the point where, if you want Linux to just work, it will, to a large extent, just work. There are exceptions, especially with some laptops, wireless cards, and video cards, but for most normal hardware everything works rather well.

The main problem I've had is that it is simply too flexible. If something annoys me slightly in OS X, or doesn't work very well, I simply ignore the issue, as it can't be fixed. For Linux, the same sort of minor annoyance could result in me spending weeks trying to fix it, since, with a sufficient amount of knowledge and work, all problems can be remedied. I remember writing kernel patches to fix things like minor problems with the CPU. That immense temptation, along with the decline of the technical level of many in the community (#ubuntu and ubuntuforums residents, please don't repeatedly point me to a patch I wrote when you don't understand the question I am asking), is what has led me to use OS X instead of Ubuntu.
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Kiirani
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Kiirani » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:41 am UTC

kriel wrote:Seriously, though. If you want to say you use linux, go download a gentoo disk, and then get a working web server going. Then I'll grant you the title of 'linux user.'


On that note.. This comic rings quite true for me, except I'm that first gen fanatic's friend who was on asking dumped straight on a gentoo install disk (before they put gnome on the install disks :p)

It's been.. Uh.. 2 and a half years, and I'm still running gentoo, though I did reinstall at one point after I managed to delete /etc. Don't quite remember how.

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TacoInTheSky
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby TacoInTheSky » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:57 am UTC

You've got to be kidding me. I'm getting a new laptop soon. I am NOT getting Vista, my mom's laptop has that, and I can't stand it. I don't want to pay $99 to get XP instead. Go with Ubuntu, I thought. It can't be that bad, I thought. You have friends who can fix anything that goes majorly wrong.

Now after this comic, and these forums, I'm afraid.


Very afraid.
Last edited by TacoInTheSky on Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:42 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

slaufer
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby slaufer » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:03 am UTC

oh man. like everyone keeps saying, this hits close to home. except... for me, it's because i did this to my best friend. i started him out on the "trial by fire" path with slackware, he eventually went to gentoo and now... he rarely asks me for help anymore. he also rarely leaves his house, save to go to work (sometimes)

i remember back when i started using linux about ten years ago, i got laughed at for using redhat, so i switched to slackware. what's funny about that is that compared to modern "desktop" distributions, redhat 5.2 was roughly equivalent to quantum theory. i also remember how pissed my parents were that i was tying up the phone line for 18 hours a day, and that i really didn't go outside anymore... ever.

the moral of this story? linux can fit squarely into a healthy life. there's just a slight period of adjustment. of about ten years.

Ronfar
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Ronfar » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:06 am UTC

- Doug

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phlip
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby phlip » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:06 am UTC

TacoInTheSky wrote:Now after this comic, and these forums, I'm afraid.


Very afraid.

Don't worry, williamager hit the nail on the head... video drivers take some tinkering, and wifi can be quite a bit of work, but other than that, the popular distros will mostly work out of the box. The tendency for endless tinkering mentioned in the comic and this thread stems pretty much entirely from the fact that you can tinker with it, unlike, say, Vista, where a lot of stuff is built-in and you just learn to live with all the irritating stuff.

If you're capable of just learning to live with any irritating things that come up under linux, then you won't have to do much more tinkering under Linux than under Windows... but if you have the hacker urge to mess with everything just because you can, then expect to lose quite a bit of sleep (but have a lot of "fun" in the process).

I'm in that latter category, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

kfish
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby kfish » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:09 am UTC

Haha.. loved this comic, though I've never really had too many problems with my Linux installs (outside of that one Gentoo install on my fileserver).

williamager wrote:The main problem I've had is that it is simply too flexible. If something annoys me slightly in OS X, or doesn't work very well, I simply ignore the issue, as it can't be fixed. For Linux, the same sort of minor annoyance could result in me spending weeks trying to fix it

Yeah - this is me too. I sit down for a few minutes to check email, and 4 hours later, realise I've spent the whole evening at the computer. But now the syntax highlighting in vim works correctly for a custom data file format I have to edit about once a month :)

Sometimes it's more productive for me to use another OS, it's just not as much fun. Oh, except for Win2K. I'm stuck on that at work, and I swear the cygwin developers are now responsible for my continued sanity. It's a life-saver.

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SEE
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby SEE » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:34 am UTC

kriel wrote:(common thought when I'm doing something on commandline.)
ls. doh. dir.
goddamnit, why can't dos (or XP's hacked down version of it) have an ls command?


Do you want real ls, or just to have "ls" invoke dir?

If the former, http://utools.com/msls.asp . ls implemented with the native Windows API. Dump it in one of the directories on your command path. (If you want a full Unix shell, cygwin or Windows Services for Unix will give you one, but they're overkill if you just want a handful of utilities. Googling for commandname for windows will often find a standalone implementation.)

If the latter, there are two ways:

Write an ls.cmd batch file. Make a textfile with the single line:
dir %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9
and save it as ls.cmd somewhere along your command path. "ls" will now run this batch file, which will run the dir command. (%1 through %9 are to pass on command-line variables, so ls *.exe /p will do the same thing as dir *.exe /p)

Alternatively, fire up regedit.exe and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
Right click on the right pane to create a new String Value. Name it AutoRun
Then double-click on the newly created value and, for the value data, put in : doskey ls=dir $*
Now every cmd.exe session will start with an execution of the command doskey ls=dir $* , which makes ls an alias for dir. (The $* is there to pass on command-line variables, so ls *.exe /p will do the same thing as dir *.exe /p)

sakeniwefu
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby sakeniwefu » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:37 am UTC

kriel wrote:Ubuntu... Uh. Really isn't linux.

Of course it isn't, it works. :lol:
Now while you might feel sorry for your cousin(mother whatever) their problem is that they have far too much free time. And I believe it is far better that they become Linux geeks than WOW players or drug dealers. They might end up doing something productive with that experience.

Main
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Main » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:46 am UTC

>.<
I just spent about 2 hours trying to figure out why the wireless wasn't working on my eeeXubuntu install. Turns out a routine kernel upgrade had broken things.

TacoInTheSky wrote:Now after this comic, and these forums, I'm afraid.

The problem with linux isn't that it might not work for some people. Ubuntu and other popular distros now mostly 'just work' - and if they don't, try a different distro. The problem is that if you are even slightly geeky, the stuff-breaks/fix-it/improve-it/stuff-breaks cycle will eat your life.

On the plus side, you can end up with a really fast, customised operating system that you understand, exactly fits your needs, and that you feel a strong sense of ownership about. Well, once you get round to twerking that thing to be less annoying, and fix that other thing that's broken right now.

Code: Select all

(format t "~&~9,'0,V,3:B" #\Newline 143)

tyen
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby tyen » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:53 am UTC

larval stage: n.
Describes a period of monomaniacal concentration on coding apparently passed through by all fledgling hackers. Common symptoms include the perpetration of more than one 36-hour hacking run in a given week; neglect of all other activities including usual basics like food, sleep, and personal hygiene; and a chronic case of advanced bleary-eye. Can last from 6 months to 2 years, the apparent median being around 18 months. A few so afflicted never resume a more ‘normal’ life, but the ordeal seems to be necessary to produce really wizardly (as opposed to merely competent) programmers. See also wannabee. A less protracted and intense version of larval stage (typically lasting about a month) may recur when one is learning a new OS or programming language.

http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/L/larval-stage.html

Raphael
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Raphael » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:10 am UTC

Is his cousin hot?

skilaatara
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby skilaatara » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:17 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Man pages!? A new user's X.Org is broken, the new user doesn't know what X.Org is, and the first place (s)he should look is the thick, obfuscating man pages!?


Provided said new user is the same crazy kind of person as I am, then yes -- you only need to teach them two commands: apropos and man. :D Man pages could certainly be clearer, but that they exist at all is a godsend. Learning Windows would have been (well, is, since I have to use it at work) more of a pain for me to learn, lacking those two handy conventions.

williamager wrote:
'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:Am I the only one who, with almost no prior Linux experience, has had no trouble getting Ubuntu to work? (Well, except my printer, I haven't really tried.) Maybe it's because I use Xubuntu? :?


After many years, some Linux distributions have now reached the point where, if you want Linux to just work, it will, to a large extent, just work. There are exceptions, especially with some laptops, wireless cards, and video cards, but for most normal hardware everything works rather well.

The main problem I've had is that it is simply too flexible. If something annoys me slightly in OS X, or doesn't work very well, I simply ignore the issue, as it can't be fixed. For Linux, the same sort of minor annoyance could result in me spending weeks trying to fix it, since, with a sufficient amount of knowledge and work, all problems can be remedied.


Same here. The only problem I had installing Ubuntu was that the aspect ratio wasn't adjusted for my widescreen laptop; the 915resolution patch cleared that up. Thing is, once I learned there was an xorg.conf, I couldn't resist customizing my keyboard layout, and it was all downhill from there. (Or would that be 'uphill'? It has often felt much more like an uphill climb.)

That flexibility didn't just eat up my free (and not-so-free) time. Open source software has made me a menace. Now when I see anything (even slightly) broken, I try to get it fixed -- whether that involves rolling up my sleeves and doing it myself or pestering the people who are in a position to do something. I also no longer have patience for those who complain about a problem without trying to do something about it. Clearly it's not just that antisocial people take up programming; good habits encouraged by programming can have antisocial consequences.



I have noted a disturbing correlation between kernel configuration and incidents involving wolves...

Skittles_dealer
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Skittles_dealer » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:28 am UTC

You know the sad thing,
i am on week 2 of that, and as i was researching how to get my wifi to work, i looked at the time and said XKCD just updated and looked at it, and broke out in laughter because thats what i was doing. My girlfriend thinks im crazy but i know i can get the wifi to work on my macbook!!! :mrgreen: :evil:

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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby skilaatara » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:47 am UTC

Raphael wrote:Is his cousin hot?


Are you? Pics or GTFO.

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pyroman
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby pyroman » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:23 am UTC

Linux: the ultimate nerd snipe. Users Ye be warned...
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

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penguinsauce
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby penguinsauce » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:29 am UTC

Somehow I feel like this comic is doing some good in the world. That we all live happier lives because of its public announcements. I WILL talk to my children about linux.

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existential_elevator
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby existential_elevator » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:00 am UTC

alt text wrote:This really is a true story, and she doesn't know I put it in my comic because her wifi hasn't worked for weeks.


This is the exact reason why I'm currently straddling two operating systems on one laptop. Wifi drivers shouldn't cause fatal errors. Damn you linux!

kfazz
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby kfazz » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:04 am UTC

entropy_ wrote:
stormoftara wrote:True story: My boyfriend has Linux. He also has Windows on the same computer. I told him I wanted to look up something on his computer, so he tried to boot up Linux. Let's just say I went and got my broken computer to boot up faster than Linux. He had to type in all these commands. It was really scary. Eventually he gave up and just logged into Windows. The lesson here? If you have to fix it to make it work, it isn't working to begin with. He still keeps trying to convert me to Linux anyway. :|

Edit: I forgot another thing about Linux. After my boyfriend got his computer running and was putting in code or something, I was looking at what he was typing in, and typed in something like "Get apt install cheese" And it worked. Cheese is a program name WTF. Of course now my boyfriend thinks I understand Linux magically and wants me to use it even more. NOOOOOOOOOOOO EVIL


Unless he's running hundreds of services I don't see how windows would boot up faster... My laptop boots in about 50s(from off to logged in and fully usable desktop) Windows does get to the login screen faster(well at least XP, vista is.... vista) but then it has to load so much stuff after you login that it takes a full minute after login to be able to use it.

Also:

entropy@entropy-laptop ~ $ man dog
NAME
dog - better than cat

or:

entropy@entropy-laptop ~ $ wtf is YMMV
YMMV: your mileage may vary

(this is very useful when reading slashdot)

God I love the naming of commands and programs in linux ^_^


i have the best excuse. Vista booted faster because linux wasn't booting at all.
it's a ubuntu intrepid install, upgraded from hardy in the hopes of fixing the broadcom wireless.
intrepid includes broadcoms binary hal driver for the bcm4310,(or at least the newest version which i need) which i prefer to ndiswrapper, but intrepids kernel won't boot on my laptop (amd64 timing / smp/ C1E / i don't even know issue)
and the bug or similar are fairly current on lkml, and no one likes my bug report on launchpad, so basically, not my fault : )
so now i've rolled my own 2.6.27 kernel, and while i was at it decided to try out radeon kernel modesetting, i mean, cuz if i'm compiling...
and of course then i had to patch teh source bits of the broadcom driver...

wow, it really is true.
as a linux user i do have some self control. i realized it wasn't gonna be a quick fix, that's why i also dual boot for instant net access.
imageine my suprise finding a post by my girlfriend through a comic linked in slashdot's oscon '08 thread.
sure is a small internet.

lanc
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby lanc » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:26 am UTC

benjhuey wrote:Something else I get to look forward to when I start programing?

You might want to have a look at the hacker howto:
http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html

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mat-tina
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby mat-tina » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:53 am UTC

The only real remedy is to hack together something to limit your computer usage forcibly. (Unfortunately, my solution allows non-root users to shut down the computer. Those damn sockets' group permissions don't work!)

@'; DROP DATABASE;-- and others:
Ubuntu works out of the box, but what's the point of having a system if you can't break it and spend the rest of the day repairing it, once in a while? "Hi there, menu.lst. I wonder what happens if I delete you."

Qeu wrote:* Actually, if you watch movies on a terminal using ascii art I'd say you won't have so that many friends :cry:


Why would you do that, when there is a perfectly fine framebuffer?
Felltir wrote:has no sig, and therefore something to hide
GENERATION n: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum. If n is an even number, divide it by 2. If it's odd, multiply it by 3 and add 1. Prove that this sequence converges to 1 for all n.

Iv
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Iv » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:03 am UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:Am I the only one who, with almost no prior Linux experience, has had no trouble getting Ubuntu to work? (Well, except my printer, I haven't really tried.) Maybe it's because I use Xubuntu? :?

This comic is accurate according to my last debian install which must have happened in 2004. Now Ubuntu is said everywhere to be easy to install and to use. You kids have it too easy now.
Jokes aside, I remember enjoying to dive into the whole system configuration during my first install (somewhere in 1999). Finally, all these things that were kept hidden by Windows were revealed to the aspirant computer engineer I was then. I dived deeper than would have been totally necessary and enjoyed the level of control over my OS that my experience gave me. I think that today, Ubuntu allows you to short-circuit all of this but that some people who are interested in exploring the inner depths of their computer may very well spend several weeks installing, upgrading, configuring stuff. It looks like they are installing an OS but in reality, they are learning, toying, mastering the various pieces of the puzzle that is an OS and a computer.

PS :'; DROP DATABASE;-- I love your nick, I hope you get citations often :-)

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Tualha
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Tualha » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:06 am UTC

Is your cousin single? :mrgreen:

belliott4488
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It's like a kit car

Postby belliott4488 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:58 am UTC

I always tell people Linux is like a cool sports car that you build from a kit. You get the basic parts, but you can also choose whether you want a basic engine or a really hot one, maybe a turbo, cool wheels, spoilers, convertible top .... whatever you want!

Of course, most of the time it's in your garage up on blocks, but every now and then you can take it out for a spin ... just don't use the passenger door, since you won't be able to close it ... and the windows don't go up, and I still haven't put the windshield wipers on yet ...

Taot
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Taot » Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:09 am UTC

This comic is so true.

Everything always works except the thing you really need now ( or need to impress your little bro who's mocking you with his MacBook ) to work. It might be the wireless (Oh, so the chipset changed and the manufacturer did not tell anyone), CPUFreq ( DAMN you to hell HP BIOS writers! Damn you. ), Compiz ( Oh, so _this_ intel chipset does not work even though it is almost the most popular in the world in laptops?) and you're off to compiling, patching etc., adding library, finding that library to need another but one which is not defined, googling, compiling, understanding yet another error message, getting a third library and so forth.

Don't get me wrong, I love Linux and the whole idea of Open Source, but that love does not come cheap.
( Also, I've gone the route from Gentoo->Ubuntu->Kubuntu->PCLOS so the before mentioned MacBook is starting to sound rather good nowadays...)

Parents should warn their children about Linux. :)

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Tommy
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Tommy » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:06 pm UTC

mat-tina wrote:@'; DROP DATABASE;-- and others:
Ubuntu works out of the box, but what's the point of having a system if you can't break it and spend the rest of the day repairing it, once in a while? "Hi there, menu.lst. I wonder what happens if I delete you."


Boot from CD and put it back. ;)

I'm one of these weird people that actually started with something at the other end of the supposed usability spectrum - rather than easing myself through things like Ubuntu, I just opened up the Gentoo handbook and let it rip. After some breakages and a lot of learning, I got a clean, smooth-running system, and even had working wireless :!: That was a fair few years ago now, and despite trying a few other distros, I'm still on Gentoo. It might have a tendency to break in the most amazing and unbelievable ways, but fixing it is always fun, and I'm pretty good at not typing rogue commands into a root console.

On the other hand, for most people I've ever talked to, the comic rings alarmingly true. I never quite manage to wrap my head around just how much people can break Linux, but then that's part of the appeal - when it breaks, you can fix it, or you can find some nerdy friend who can do it for you. I did eventually manage to get Compiz running on my old laptop, albeit without a lot of the effects. I did finally manage to figure out exactly how to get it to print via our cheap Netgear printserver. I've patched packages plenty when things have gone wrong, and thrown together quick bash scripts to make portage actually behave how it probably should. I do even occasionally see natural sunlight, although it's a rarity nowadays.

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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby saxmaniac1987 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:13 pm UTC

My first thought when I read this was of that hilarious "Is Your Son a Computer Hacker?" article...

The specific excerpt:
8. Is your son obsessed with "Lunix"?

BSD, Lunix, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal hacker operation system, invented by a Soviet computer hacker named Linyos Torovoltos, before the Russians lost the Cold War. It is based on a program called "xenix", which was written by Microsoft for the US government. These programs are used by hackers to break into other people's computer systems to steal credit card numbers. They may also be used to break into people's stereos to steal their music, using the "mp3" program. Torovoltos is a notorious hacker, responsible for writing many hacker programs, such as "telnet", which is used by hackers to connect to machines on the internet without using a telephone.

Your son may try to install "lunix" on your hard drive. If he is careful, you may not notice its presence, however, lunix is a capricious beast, and if handled incorrectly, your son may damage your computer, and even break it completely by deleting Windows, at which point you will have to have your computer repaired by a professional.

If you see the word "LILO" during your windows startup (just after you turn the machine on), your son has installed lunix. In order to get rid of it, you will have to send your computer back to the manufacturer, and have them fit a new hard drive. Lunix is extremely dangerous software, and cannot be removed without destroying part of your hard disk surface.



Full Text, for those who have never seen it:
Spoiler:
As an enlightened, modern parent, I try to be as involved as possible in the lives of my six children. I encourage them to join team sports. I attend their teen parties with them to ensure no drinking or alcohol is on the premises. I keep a fatherly eye on the CDs they listen to and the shows they watch, the company they keep and the books they read. You could say I'm a model parent. My children have never failed to make me proud, and I can say without the slightest embellishment that I have the finest family in the USA.

Two years ago, my wife Carol and I decided that our children's education would not be complete without some grounding in modern computers. To this end, we bought our children a brand new Compaq to learn with. The kids had a lot of fun using the handful of application programs we'd bought, such as Adobe's Photoshop and Microsoft's Word, and my wife and I were pleased that our gift was received so well. Our son Peter was most entranced by the device, and became quite a pro at surfing the net. When Peter began to spend whole days on the machine, I became concerned, but Carol advised me to calm down, and that it was only a passing phase. I was content to bow to her experience as a mother, until our youngest daughter, Cindy, charged into the living room one night to blurt out: "Peter is a computer hacker!"

As you can imagine, I was amazed. A computer hacker in my own house! I began to monitor my son's habits, to make certain that Cindy wasn't just telling stories, as she is prone to doing at times.

After a few days of investigation, and some research into computer hacking, I confronted Peter with the evidence. I'm afraid to say, this was the only time I have ever been truly disappointed in one of my children. We raised them to be honest and to have integrity, and Peter betrayed the principles we tried to encourage in him, when he refused point blank to admit to his activities. His denials continued for hours, and in the end, I was left with no choice but to ban him from using the computer until he is old enough to be responsible for his actions.

After going through this ordeal with my own family, I was left pondering how I could best help others in similar situations. I'd gained a lot of knowledge over those few days regarding hackers. It's only right that I provide that information to other parents, in the hope that they will be able to tell if their children are being drawn into the world of hacking. Perhaps other parents will be able to steer their sons back onto the straight and narrow before extreme measures need to be employed.

To this end, I have decided to publish the top ten signs that your son is a hacker. I advise any parents to read this list carefully and if their son matches the profile, they should take action. A smart parent will first try to reason with their son, before resorting to groundings, or even spanking. I pride myself that I have never had to spank a child, and I hope this guide will help other parents to put a halt to their son's misbehaviour before a spanking becomes necessary.

1. Has your son asked you to change ISPs?

Most American families use trusted and responsible Internet Service Providers, such as AOL. These providers have a strict "No Hacking" policy, and take careful measures to ensure that your internet experience is enjoyable, educational and above all legal. If your child is becoming a hacker, one of his first steps will be to request a change to a more hacker friendly provider.

I would advise all parents to refuse this request. One of the reasons your son is interested in switching providers is to get away from AOL's child safety filter. This filter is vital to any parent who wants his son to enjoy the internet without the endangering him through exposure to "adult" content. It is best to stick with the protection AOL provides, rather than using a home-based solution. If your son is becoming a hacker, he will be able to circumvent any home-based measures with surprising ease, using information gleaned from various hacker sites.

2. Are you finding programs on your computer that you don't remember installing?

Your son will probably try to install some hacker software. He may attempt to conceal the presence of the software in some way, but you can usually find any new programs by reading through the programs listed under "Install/Remove Programs" in your control panel. Popular hacker software includes "Comet Cursor", "Bonzi Buddy" and "Flash".

The best option is to confront your son with the evidence, and force him to remove the offending programs. He will probably try to install the software again, but you will be able to tell that this is happening, if your machine offers to "download" one of the hacker applications. If this happens, it is time to give your son a stern talking to, and possibly consider punishing him with a grounding.

3. Has your child asked for new hardware?

Computer hackers are often limited by conventional computer hardware. They may request "faster" video cards, and larger hard drives, or even more memory. If your son starts requesting these devices, it is possible that he has a legitimate need. You can best ensure that you are buying legal, trustworthy hardware by only buying replacement parts from your computer's manufacturer.

If your son has requested a new "processor" from a company called "AMD", this is genuine cause for alarm. AMD is a third-world based company who make inferior, "knock-off" copies of American processor chips. They use child labor extensively in their third world sweatshops, and they deliberately disable the security features that American processor makers, such as Intel, use to prevent hacking. AMD chips are never sold in stores, and you will most likely be told that you have to order them from internet sites. Do not buy this chip! This is one request that you must refuse your son, if you are to have any hope of raising him well.

4. Does your child read hacking manuals?

If you pay close attention to your son's reading habits, as I do, you will be able to determine a great deal about his opinions and hobbies. Children are at their most impressionable in the teenage years. Any father who has had a seventeen year old daughter attempt to sneak out on a date wearing make up and perfume is well aware of the effect that improper influences can have on inexperienced minds.

There are, unfortunately, many hacking manuals available in bookshops today. A few titles to be on the lookout for are: "Snow Crash" and "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson; "Neuromancer" by William Gibson; "Programming with Perl" by Timothy O'Reilly; "Geeks" by Jon Katz; "The Hacker Crackdown" by Bruce Sterling; "Microserfs" by Douglas Coupland; "Hackers" by Steven Levy; and "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric S. Raymond.

If you find any of these hacking manuals in your child's possession, confiscate them immediately. You should also petition local booksellers to remove these titles from their shelves. You may meet with some resistance at first, but even booksellers have to bow to community pressure.

5. How much time does your child spend using the computer each day?

If your son spends more than thirty minutes each day on the computer, he may be using it to DOS other peoples sites. DOSing involves gaining access to the "command prompt" on other people's machines, and using it to tie up vital internet services. This can take up to eight hours. If your son is doing this, he is breaking the law, and you should stop him immediately. The safest policy is to limit your children's access to the computer to a maximum of forty-five minutes each day.

6. Does your son use Quake?

Quake is an online virtual reality used by hackers. It is a popular meeting place and training ground, where they discuss hacking and train in the use of various firearms. Many hackers develop anti-social tendencies due to the use of this virtual world, and it may cause erratic behaviour at home and at school.

If your son is using Quake, you should make hime understand that this is not acceptable to you. You should ensure all the firearms in your house are carefully locked away, and have trigger locks installed. You should also bring your concerns to the attention of his school.

7. Is your son becoming argumentative and surly in his social behaviour?

As a child enters the electronic world of hacking, he may become disaffected with the real world. He may lose the ability to control his actions, or judge the rightness or wrongness of a course of behaviour. This will manifest itself soonest in the way he treats others. Those whom he disagrees with will be met with scorn, bitterness, and even foul language. He may utter threats of violence of a real or electronic nature.

Even when confronted, your son will probably find it difficult to talk about this problem to you. He will probably claim that there is no problem, and that you are imagining things. He may tell you that it is you who has the problem, and you should "back off" and "stop smothering him." Do not allow yourself to be deceived. You are the only chance your son has, even if he doesn't understand the situation he is in. Keep trying to get through to him, no matter how much he retreats into himself.

8. Is your son obsessed with "Lunix"?

BSD, Lunix, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal hacker operation system, invented by a Soviet computer hacker named Linyos Torovoltos, before the Russians lost the Cold War. It is based on a program called "xenix", which was written by Microsoft for the US government. These programs are used by hackers to break into other people's computer systems to steal credit card numbers. They may also be used to break into people's stereos to steal their music, using the "mp3" program. Torovoltos is a notorious hacker, responsible for writing many hacker programs, such as "telnet", which is used by hackers to connect to machines on the internet without using a telephone.

Your son may try to install "lunix" on your hard drive. If he is careful, you may not notice its presence, however, lunix is a capricious beast, and if handled incorrectly, your son may damage your computer, and even break it completely by deleting Windows, at which point you will have to have your computer repaired by a professional.

If you see the word "LILO" during your windows startup (just after you turn the machine on), your son has installed lunix. In order to get rid of it, you will have to send your computer back to the manufacturer, and have them fit a new hard drive. Lunix is extremely dangerous software, and cannot be removed without destroying part of your hard disk surface.

9. Has your son radically changed his appearance?

If your son has undergone a sudden change in his style of dress, you may have a hacker on your hands. Hackers tend to dress in bright, day-glo colors. They may wear baggy pants, bright colored shirts and spiky hair dyed in bright colors to match their clothes. They may take to carrying "glow-sticks" and some wear pacifiers around their necks. (I have no idea why they do this) There are many such hackers in schools today, and your son may have started to associate with them. If you notice that your son's group of friends includes people dressed like this, it is time to think about a severe curfew, to protect him from dangerous influences.

10. Is your son struggling academically?

If your son is failing courses in school, or performing poorly on sports teams, he may be involved in a hacking group, such as the infamous "Otaku" hacker association. Excessive time spent on the computer, communicating with his fellow hackers may cause temporary damage to the eyes and brain, from the electromagnetic radiation. This will cause his marks to slip dramatically, particularly in difficult subjects such as Math, and Chemistry. In extreme cases, over-exposure to computer radiation can cause schizophrenia, meningitis and other psychological diseases. Also, the reduction in exercise may cause him to lose muscle mass, and even to start gaining weight. For the sake of your child's mental and physical health, you must put a stop to his hacking, and limit his computer time drastically.

I encourage all parents to read through this guide carefully. Your child's future may depend upon it. Hacking is an illegal and dangerous activity, that may land your child in prison, and tear your family apart. It cannot be taken too seriously.
"A witty saying proves nothing" - Voltaire

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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby phlip » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:19 pm UTC

saxmaniac1987 wrote:Adequacy copy-paste

Or, you could just link to the thing...

It's not the same with all the random links throughout the article, anyway.

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby saxmaniac1987 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:38 pm UTC

phlip wrote:It's not the same with all the random links throughout the article, anyway.


I was going to link it until i saw that it was peppered with distracting links. So i just pasted it.

EDIT: Oh. I found them annoying, probably because so many of them have 404'd.
Last edited by saxmaniac1987 on Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:49 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby phlip » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:42 pm UTC

...

I of course meant "It's not the same without all the random links"... I don't know how I managed that.

Even though a lot of them are 404 now, you can still guess what a lot of them used to be. I don't call them "distracting", I call them "hilarious".

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Two9A » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:56 pm UTC

SEE wrote:
kriel wrote:(common thought when I'm doing something on commandline.)
ls. doh. dir.
goddamnit, why can't dos (or XP's hacked down version of it) have an ls command?


Do you want real ls, or just to have "ls" invoke dir?

If the former, http://utools.com/msls.asp . ls implemented with the native Windows API. Dump it in one of the directories on your command path. (If you want a full Unix shell, cygwin or Windows Services for Unix will give you one, but they're overkill if you just want a handful of utilities. Googling for commandname for windows will often find a standalone implementation.)

Native ports of most the Unix tools have been compiled into an archive by Karl Syring, at UnxUtils. Unfortunately, the distribution isn't available directly from there: I had to track it down from some obscure location.

I offer it up as a mirror: http://oopsilon.com/dump/UnxUtils.zip
The Unofficial "Making xkcd Slightly Worse" Archive [Incomplete]: xkcdsw.com
Articles that fall out of my head about once a month: imrannazar.com

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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby Celtic Minstrel » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:58 pm UTC

This is a funny one... but surely Linux isn't that hard to install?


I tried installing Ubuntu once. It worked perfectly, but then it wouldn't boot. So I just left it there and returned to MacOS. I think I've erased it since then...

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Re: "Cautionary" Discussion

Postby martinultima » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:15 pm UTC

This is why I'm a filthy hippocrite and run my server on OpenBSD.
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GENERATION 23+πi:
The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add more non-real irrationality the generation. Social experiment.


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