[Clug-work] Unix lessons wanted

Moses Marimo marimo at ict.co.zw
Thu Sep 4 15:09:36 SAST 2008

Dear Arnold,

Here is another way to learn Linux or any I.T. subject: CBT - Computer
Based Training products. Visual and audio demonstrations are very
convenient and effective. You can always replay videos countless times
to grasp a concept. I like CBTs from LinuxCBT.com and Lynda.com. Check
them out.



On 9/4/08, Pradesh Chanderpaul <pradesh at myrealbox.com> wrote:
> Hi Arnold
> Welcome to the world of UNIX. I admire your thirst for knowledge.
> Let me explain that I'm not offering my services, but rather some advise
> for you to get started.
> You've probably heard this, but experience is your great teacher here.
> UNIX has changes dramatically when I first started using it, and my UNIX
> knowledge then hardly comes into play now. When I first started using
> UNIX I used the command line all the time and loaded the graphics layer
> to show off my friends. These-days I load the terminal program to show
> off.
> I have two kids aged 7 and 12 that have been using Ubuntu Linux for
> about 2 years now, My son installed Linux on my old laptop by himself
> when he as 10!
> My suggestion is to just play around, then as you need to do something,
> search for it. UNIX to too vast a system to take any other approach,
> This is what I did:
> - Created a separate user account for my kids to log in and play around
>   without fear. Remove admin type access.
> - Changed the menu to only keep the important bits.
> - Helped them to download their own desktop wallpaper (look at
>   www.gnome-look.org/ )
> - Installed an "Internet guard" (dansgardian) to protect my kids while
>   surfing. My 12 year old uses the Internet only.
> Changing the visual interface helped to get them familiar with the
> machine and enjoy using it.
> The next thing I did was to install software that they could use:
> - gCompris - a very nice educational game for Unix
> - madbomber - because my have an old Atari machine and the game is on
>   there
> - Tuxpaint - beautiful paint too for kids (and adults)
> The UNIX system comes with all the help you need. On the command prompt,
> you can find information about (almost) any command installed on the
> system. Use the 'man' command or 'info' command. For example
> - man shutdown		- help on the shutdown command
> - man -k shutdown	- search for commands related to keyword
>                           shutdown
> - whatis shutdown	- Short description
> - info make		- Provide tutorial, book or help on the
>                           'make'. Uses links (like a web page, but
>                           in text only). Not so easy to use at first.
> 'Tricky" installation almost always have no clear answer and you could
> spend minutes, or days, getting it right. A good serach engine is your
> friend here, and I found http://ubuntuforums.org/ an invaluable
> resource.
> For programming skills, well, choose a language and then get started.
> There is a whole range of languages from logo (anyone remember the
> turtle) to Java, C, Pascal, PHP, (Visual, cough)  Basic, and Lisp.
> Most educational institutes use Visual Basic (use gambas
> http://gambas.sourceforge.net/ )  or Java (Search for the free book Java
> for Kids).
> Even the command shells (there is more than one type) have a shell
> language that will rival some of the popular ones today.
> Feel free to contact me if there are specific details you require and
> best wishes on your journey.
> --
> Regards
> Pradesh Chanderpaul
> DataCraft Software Consulting CC.
> Tel     : +27 11 468 4045
> Mobile  : +27 82 654 5765
> Web     : http://www.datacraft.co.za
> On Thu, 2008-09-04 at 06:09 +0000, Arnold Shapiro wrote:
>> A 46 year old father and his 10 year old son need Unix lessons.
>> We are computer literate.  We have installed the latest version
>> of Ubuntu and are playing around with the various apps available.
>> We need some help with how to install the more tricky programs
>> and drivers (eg the driver for our wireless card).  We want to
>> know about how to use the terminal properly and would like to
>> find out about the best Unix apps available.  We would ultimately
>> like to learn some rudimentary programming skills.  We have good
>> equipment, a wireless home network and a 4 megabit ADSL line
>> Windows and Mac machines are also available if we need them.
> --
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