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aRTee

Most impressive linux 'convert'

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There's a story I'd like to share with you guys and girls, about a windows power user who's not a Linux convert, not an ideal Linux user, but close to it.

 

Guy comes to me (colleague at work, I've done a presentation at work on Linux so people know I'm into it), says: can you get me Linux?

I pass him the download dvd of Mdv05le. Told him I have a site with info that may help to get started, he goes: well, maybe later, first I want to try myself.

 

A little background: this guy is a power user, knows Unix from work, has done Windows programming (3d game stuff and then some), has never seen or used Linux. He's an electronics engineer (MSEE) like me.

 

Comes back some time (about a week I'd guess) later: my internet doesn't work.

Me: well, does your NIC get detected? Have you entered the correct IP things (dhcp or whatnot, DNS, etc)? There's this nice graphical setup, you know...

Him: Ehm, I have a wireless USB stick of brand soandso, and the Linux development site says that kernel 2.6.10 should have the fix of USB numbering integrated...

Doesn't Mdv include this?

(I was feeling silly, this guy had gone quite a bit farther in his first Linux week than anyone else I know - without ever asking anyone anything...)

 

So we talk about versions, and how to see what's what, and he goes off.

 

2 weeks later, he comes back:

him: darn, can't seem to compile these fixes in, and it's nasty since I only have wireless, I have to reboot to windows to see what my errors mean, and to download any patches...

 

I offered to have a look at his hardware, but adviced him to check if the multimedia kernel would work. And I left for a week, so he was by himself. BTW by then I had explained urpmi would work beautifully to install software, but of course it does need an internet connection....

 

I come back from my holidays, guy tells me he fixed it.

Tried the mm kernel, no go, then recompiled the mm source after patching with info from that development site - nasty, since the mm kernel is already heavily patched, he also told me he had to modify the patch....!

Anyway, so he managed to compile, then figured out there is something wrong in the order the modules and wifi firmware get loaded, so he made a script for that and has the system call that from rc.local at boot.

 

And, he tells me he bought some books off Amazon - Linux kernel device drivers and 2 other books that are way beyond me... saying: "Yeah, now I really want to figure out exactly how this wifi thingy communicates over usb, so I want to write my own code and have the thing respond to me."

 

Impressive, zero messages for help on any board, very few questions to me, and the guy is hacking his kernel drivers.

 

Understandably, he thinks Linux is not fit for the average user, since 'who would have managed to get this device going? Well, maybe all current linux users could, but very very few current windows users could...'

Frankly, I don't think we have people here that had to go through that the first time they got Linux _and_ got through it, with so little help.

Probably most people would have chucked Linux the moment they found out they would have to patch and recompile the usbcore drivers.

This guy did that 3x by now.

 

Oh yeah, so I requested that he tell Mdv about this patch and his experience, so they can include the patch in future kernels, and he says: "yeah, maybe next week I'll have some time to do a clean install, and repeat the whole process properly"...

Well, I told him not to go through it again, just to tell them about it.

 

Anyway, I'm impressed, I think I would have given up on Linux or (more likely) on that piece of hardware, and I have the feeling I'm not alone in that...

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As seen on TV:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -Vo
              O.0
              ---

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Well done ArTee.... Here was a talented guy wasting his time, making silly games for Windows and now he is writing device drivers for Linux. :D

 

I always wanted one of those neat USB wifi thingies..... :D

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Yow.. now this is actually a hacker in making. You should've told him to join the kernel hacker or something

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Now that's dedication :).

 

There's a motto I've come up with for learning Linux for your first time, and it's something like what happened to me:

 

You keep hitting your head against a brick wall and finally you smash through and Linux is working! lol This guy jumped over the brick wall though XD

 

:wall:

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Guest Adriano1

If he's serious about this, I've heard an interview to Andrew Morton where he said, among other things, that good kernel devs tend to be recognized quickly and offered jobs. Maybe that's interesting to him.

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