Feeds

The Netbook Newbie's Guide to Linux

'F/X'

New hybrid storage solutions

Help with Help

When things go wrong - with any operating system - we panic. A healthy response: operating systems are complex machines that take a lot more understanding than we typically have time for. Linux, together with its associated applications and utilities, has the advantage of having been put together by extremely clueful people, many of whom are available on the Web, on forums, newsgroups or directly approachable by email.

That 'About Xfce' dialogue box we mentioned last time, for example, lists Xfce creator Olivier Fourdan's email address, along with the email addresses of the leading members of the Xfce development team. So you can drop a line to the man himself about any Xfce problems you encounter. In fact, in the early days of Xfce I did just that, and you can too.

About XFCE

But don't. At least not until you've read How to Ask Questions the Smart Way, which will urge you to exhaust other channels of information first. To quote Smart Way, Linux cognoscenti "have a reputation for meeting simple questions with what looks like hostility or arrogance. It sometimes looks like we're reflexively rude to newbies and the ignorant. But this isn't really true".

Smart Way is written by a couple of dyed-in-the-wool old Open Source hackers, so they would say that, wouldn't they? But hear them out: "What we are, unapologetically, is hostile to people who seem to be unwilling to think or to do their own homework before asking questions. People like that are time sinks - they take without giving back, and they waste time we could have spent on another question more interesting and another person more worthy of an answer. We call people like this 'losers' (and for historical reasons we sometimes spell it 'lusers')."

Smart Way is a lengthy read - hackers tend to be very thorough - but definitely worth it if you're a newbie questing into hacker territory in search of answers. Where, by the way, you'll be more than welcome, as long as you observe the mores. A good rule of thumb is to spend at least as much time thinking about and putting together your question as you would reasonably expect your responding hacker(s) to spend putting together an answer.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.