On Writing Here February 7, 2006Posted by Carthik in about, ubuntu.
This is a “meta” entry and has little to do with improving the Ubuntu experience of advanced users, so feel free to skip this, if you will :) I will be flatterred if you read and respond, though.
Why do I write here?
1. I like to keep notes regarding how things work for my own future (sort of like a linear log).
2. I like helping others in some strange way.
3. I like to write.
How do I find topics/ideas?
1. Personal trouble-shooting or usage experience
2. Posts from the ubuntu-users mailing list from over a month ago. I have subscribed to ubuntu-users using gmail. I havea label setup for the emails. I read the posts in the order made (right now I am 5 months behind!!), and label interesting emails with a “to-blog” label, which I then brush up, add references and write up at the blog. Needless to say, since I read pretty much every email sent to the mailing list, this is a time-consuming process.
3. Articles and tips I come across while googling for solutions, or just random browsing around.
I try to consciously avoid posting links to entire articles on the other Linux blogs and online magazines. I hate it when I see the same article linked to from other new-sites or magazines without any new addition to the discussion. I think that is a very lame and lazy thing to do. I particularly dislike sites which “aggregate” posts from other websites using a feed-to-blog interface of some sort. I am not talking about planets as much as re-blogging sites. Even osnews, lxer, etc resort to adding one articles which are just links to articles on other sites. Lame! My interest in writing on this blog is to provide internet users with new ideas, tips and news. Articles on the popular linux mags, reviews etc are popular enough on their own. What difference can a person with a weblog with approx 3000 visits a day (me) make by linking to a popular linux magazine? A far greater number of readers should be reading those articles direct from the source anyways!
I really like All About Linux since in general the articles there are original and that, dudes, takes some effort.
Now, I am thinking of adding a new source of articles – user requested guides or answers to newbie questions that seek to understand HOW things work, not how to install foo, or how to “fix” an error. If you guys would like to know something which you would be afraid to ask in a forum, or a mailing list for fear of being criticised, then please feel free to ask.
I remember the first question I had when I used Linux on a temporary basis was “Where the hell do I store my documents and such?, where are the ‘c:\’ and the “\My Documents” folders?” Over time, I have come to know that unlike in Windows where you are free to store your files anywhere, and thus liable to forget where you stored what, in Linux you start from an empty /home/you/ directory. Creating a directory structure there to store the different kinds of files you have is an exercise in organizing, and something that will later help you remember where you put some file. I have a very neat structure now, with /home/me/ containing the directories “documents” “mail” “media” “software” and “websites”. Each of those directories have directories in them. “documents” has “work”, “school”, “personal” and “oddball” and “media” has “audio”, “video”, “wallpapers”, “photos” and “ebooks”.
So it all looks like
….. and so on.
I had been so ashamed to ask this question that I knew must have a oh-so-obvious answer. If I can save you time and effort in answering a few simple questions, then please do ask. I can assure you that I will not be able to answer all questions – I will answer only the simple ones, and ones that will more than just one person- in short I don’t know why the version of firefox you compiled all by yourself crashed (though I think it must be something obvious….), but I can tell you how the filesystem is organized the way it is in Linux, and to a limited extent, provide a common-sensical explanation as to why it is that way. So ask away. If you are shy to ask by leaving a comment, send me an email at email@example.com.
Do you agree with me, do you disagree? Do you think the posts here are too mundane, and not “geeky” enough? Would you like to read regurgitated stuff here too? What are your thoughts. I would hate to think that I am wasting all the time I could spend lazing on my couch by writing here. I know a few readers who leave comments here regularly, but that accounts for perhaps 20 out of the 3000 readers who pass by these pages everyday. I am curious about you – what do you like, and dislike about what you se here? I’ll be overjoyed to know. :)