jueves, 23 de junio de 2011

Aroint thee, Linux Penguin! Thou Hast Made Me Look like a Fool!

The following is a historical account of some events in which different Linux distributions have made me look like a fool. Read on, ye reader and learn about my misery.

1. I had installed Pardus on a student's laptop some time ago.
Her Vista system was almost dying. A week later, she told me Vista got totally damaged and wouldn't even let her enter her account. Then, I lost contact with that student. That worried me because she had just met the big Turkish cat, so I expected a myriad questions from her. Since she didn't contact me, I assumed she had given up on Pardus and had reinstalled Vista.
Then, I met her again. I asked her about the state of her computer and got ready to hear how she had sent Pardus to Cat Heaven, but she said instead "Great! I love Pardus! I could even fix Vista with it!"
I haven't yet fixed any unusable Windows system with Linux and she fixed her Vista herself? Is she a Linux genius? She is indeed a smart girl, but far away from the geeky type AND she's a total Linux newbie. She says that she can't figure out LibreOffice's Calc, for example. But she could fix her Windows with Pardus...How does that make me look? Megatotoro: Thou art a fool!

2. I installed Pardus on my mother's computer:

I still remember her reluctance to use Linux. I also remember many comments from people saying "Linux is not for Mom," but I simply closed my ears to them.
Yesterday, I went to her house and we spent some leisure time watching funny Youtube videos...I thought I'd be in charge of doing the computer stuff but believe it or not, Mom was using her Linux computer! Again, I asked myself: Is my mother a gifted computer user? Is she a power user? Unfortunately for me, she is neither...so much for genetics making me a genius, too! The truth is that my mother is a regular computer user whose needs rarely go beyond surfing the Web, typing mail or documents, and playing her favorite little games. Pardus hasn't let her down and has built her computing confidence up. Silly ye, Megatotoro! Thou hast underestimated Mom's computer-using potential and Pardus rubbed thine silliness on thine very face!

3. I messed up my Mandriva system.

Unlike my brother, whose main system is Mandriva, my Mandriva skills are very scarce. I use it, true, but maybe twice a week. Mandriva is one of the alternative systems I go to when I want a change from Mepis 8 & 11.
Anyway, one day I tried to play mad scientist with Mandriva and something went very wrong. The worst part is that I made newbie's mistake 001: I didn't even remember what I had done (because I didn't have any idea of what I was supposed to be doing.) My Mandriva collapsed! Recalling my 10+ years of Windows training, I got my Mandriva Live CD ready for wiping my damaged system and reinstalling a new one.
But the mad scientist was still there. He told me to wait. Since Mandriva was already done with, it wouldn't cause any harm trying to fix it, would it?
"Megatotoro: you are indeed stupid!" I barked to myself. "What on earth makes you think you are capable to fix Mandriva? It is different from Mepis!"
Still, I read the messages my dead Mandriva sent me from its Mandrivish Heaven. It urged me to try I don't know what command. I made Newbie's Mistake 002: Didn't take note of what I was doing.
I just remember Mandriva asked me many questions that went like "Do you want to fix [insert something unreadable with a number here] Yes/NO?" I chose "Yes."
That went on for a while. I pictured myself like Homer Simpson working in the nuclear plant and pressing a button when prompted by the system. When I reached number 900, I got tired and turned off the system. Newbie's mistake 003: Instead of turning my PC off, I chose "reboot." Thanks to that, I saw the computer start while I still had the CD on my hands.
When Mandriva booted, it started fixing itself! Whoa! That's MAGIC!
Did it work? You bet! My Mandriva is as good as always. Was it a lucky strike? Well, very likely but I never got such lucky strikes during my Windows decade, even if I had better tools and much more experience. Linux, by fixing itself, made me look like a double fool. I, the Penguin, can stand thine foolishness and can come up alive. Thou ought to try harder to kill me...

The moral I learned after my pride was shattered: You don't have to be a genius anymore to use Linux. Any plain, regular individual may use it provided that he or she remembers it is something different and thus wants to learn about it.

6 comentarios:

  1. Hahahaha!

    You really made me laugh heartily with this one!
    I also remembered the times in which my Linux box repaired itself no matter how many stupid moves I made (deleting the trash bin, the lower panel, etc.)

    I never saw this kind of resilience in Windows...

  2. Neither I saw this kind of exponential learning...it is amazing!

  3. A safeguard I strongly recommend is placing your /home directory on its own partition. Then, never, ever choose to format that partition on an install. This allows you the liberty to completely hose your installation and simply do a reinstall without losing data and most program settings.

  4. @ Rambo Tribble,
    Thanks for the tip. I'll include it in my list of tips for new users before installing Linux in their computers. That would save them the pain of learning the hard way, which was inevitable to some of my kind, hehe!

    By the way, great avatar!

  5. Zomg. the penguin is a phoenix now. lol I also feel like linux is beyond my reach but I shall never stop messing around with it until it's truly broken.

  6. @ Vanargand,
    A fellow Mepis user told me on the forum that I'm not trying hard enough, LOL.