being brought to li…
I’d heard about it over the years but never gave it much thought. Unlike some people who had friends or relatives already into it, I got into it after picking up a little bit here and there, and finally developing enough interest to really look into it.
There were a ton of books on it, and I picked up a few at the library, then perused bookstores for more current information. Eventually I turned to the internet, where I found a wealth of information. My problem then became more one of how to figure out which websites were going to be useful.
After many long hours at various websites – both pro and con – I began to get a better idea. My next step was to haunt the web forums and bulletin boards where I could see discussions, and ask questions. I had a lot of questions, but I discovered that sometimes it was difficult to get answers; at least, answers that satisfied my curiousity. It didn’t dawn on me until later that this was probably because I was still looking in from the outside; some questions can only be answered from experience.
But I did discover some things. There’s an entire culture built around it, and it seems that almost everybody else who was in it had a different idea of what it was, or what it should be. I continued to study, though, and eventually decided to get into it myself. I hadn’t planned any huge commitment, at least, not at first. But I finally figured that I simply wasn’t going to understand it any better until I gave it a shot.
The online communities were a big help, although I did discover that just like any other interest group, there were some “old timers” who had been into it from “back in the old days” and always maintained some attitude about how things were better, and how much harder they had to work, and how the new guys have it is easy, and how they had to walk to school in their bare feet in a blizzard, etc., etc. I guess their underlying message was “we were here first, and that makes us better than you.” I saw how this put off some others, but I persevered.
Interestingly, I discovered that there were many schisms and splits over the years, and even though they seem to share the same general philosophy, the various groups seem to snipe at each other, and spare no words in describing how their version is better. Even though it was obvious which group was bigger and more wide-spread, I still fail to see why there is so much animosity.
But once I made my decision, I discovered that there were many, many more people online who were only too happy to help, to give me some ideas and pointers, and to take the time to direct me toward even more information. And the neat thing is that I continue to ask questions, because once I think I’ve figured out one area, I realize how much more of it there is to understand. I have no idea how some people can take in all there is to it.
And here’s the weird thing: once I decided to get into it, I began to notice more instances of it in my daily life. Being more attuned, I discovered people who were into it, and I saw signs and expressions all over the place. I had no idea that it was so widely known, and it has turned into a game for me, seeing how many signs I can spot in unexpected areas.
I also noticed that there are peculiar signs and tokens, not to mention a huge syntax – a vocabulary that is used by those who are into it. The words are either unfamiliar, or familiar, but made strange because of the context. Figuring that out became another fun game, but worthwhile, too, as it helped me to figure out how things are put together. And of course, there are purists who insist that the usages have to be exactly a certain way, or it’s not right.
And as I use the various tools that I’ve learned about, I become more aware of the philosophy behind them, and how all of these things fit together to help me be more productive in my craft.
Yes, it took a while, but I’m into it, now. I’ve even made a point of being more open about it, both at home and at work. People ask me questions, and I try to answer them without sounding too pushy. A few of them are thinking about getting into it, themselves.
Yes, I’m very happy that I finally got into it. In fact, now I wonder what took me so long to finally get around to using Linux.
Yes, this is about my computer.
Why, what did you think I was writing about?