Fw: [clug] Flirting Techniiques For Men (Lana Brindley)

Rod Peters rpeters at pcug.org.au
Thu Apr 23 02:56:23 GMT 2009

On Thursday 23 April 2009 10:46:59 Lana Brindley wrote:
> 2009/4/23 Rod Peters <rpeters at pcug.org.au>
> > On Wednesday 22 April 2009 22:00:34 Paul Wayper wrote:
> > > Donald Benesch wrote:
> > > | There's a lot of this type of email getting thru lately.
> > > | I just today deleted 3.
> > > | Don
> > >
> > > I'm with you Don.  Is there any reason why we need this list to be
> >
> > writable
> >
> > > by non-subscribers?  If you want to post to the list, then subscribe -
> >
> > it's
> >
> > > that easy.  That way you see the replies to the list too.  The only
> >
> > people
> >
> > > who don't join the list before posting to it seem to be spammers and
> >
> > people
> >
> > > who want to ask questions about using Samba under Linux, and neither of
> > > them seems interested in the replies...
> > >
> > > Can the person who administrates the list - not I - please set it to
> > > subscriber-only posting?
> > >
> > > Thanks in advance,
> >
> > Agreed, why should we promulgate their spam.
> >
> > Some of the discussion in this thread advocates a need to have a point of
> > contact for Linux beginners.  Agreed, but I doubt that CLUG has many
> > beginners.  It appears to me that most are either IT professionals or IT
> > professionals in training.  It's hardly effective use of scarce Linux
> > skills
> > for them to be stepping beginners through eg a distros "repartitioning
> > proposal".  After all, a typical Windows user hasn't the foggiest what a
> > partition is or why Linux needs more than C drive.
> Have you ever wondered why it is that CLUG doesn't have many beginners?
> I wonder how much of it is because of lists such as this suddenly deciding
> that beginners are too far below them to want to help them out?
> I also think you're underestimating a "typical Windows User". We're not
> talking
> about "typical" Windows users in this instance. We're talking about people
> who
> have used Windows enough to that they want an alternative. These people are
> probably aware of what a partition is. Consider the fact that most people
> start off
> using Linux as a dual-boot with Windows.
and Vista will soon stop them from doing that !!  Alternatively Windows XP 
automatic update will overwrite the bootloader, from which event a beginner 
can't be expected to recover.

> > I suggest that the CLUG subscription page redirect beginners to beginners
> > groups such PCUG Linux SIG and any others locally of which CLUGgers might
> > be
> > aware.
> Linux Users' Groups exist to help Linux Users. That means beginners too.
> How
> do you expect to get advanced users if you're not willing to help people
> start out?
> If helping out beginners is beyond the scope of what you wish to do, why
> not form
> an advanced group? I don't recall anything I have read that says you
> shouldn't
> join a LUG if you're a Linux newbie. In fact, quite the opposite, most
> newbies are
> recommended to a LUG for help. It's also, as far as I was aware, one of the
> main
> reasons this is a public list.
My perception is that CLUG is a help desk by email.  Often we can't accurately 
guage a an equirer's computer literacy from their initial enquiry.  

I don't recall ever resolving more than very elementary issues with a beginner 
via email.  Post-beginners can require half a dozen email exchanges to get 
something sorted.

Usually it becomes a case of telling a beginner "bring it around and I'll 
spend 2 hours (re)installing it and configuring it.  If sufficient CLUGgers 
are prepared to put their hands up for that to assist unknown enquirers then 
fine, otherwise I suggest we would be better off not entertaining beginners 
at all.

> > FWIW, our experience within PCUG Linux SIG is that a large proportion,
> > perhaps
> > the majority, of beginners don't persist with Linux.  Difficult to say
> > why, in
> > the absence of much feedback, but I suggest many aspects, often boiling
> > down
> > to "comfort zone".
> It's not difficult. It's because people need help getting started. It's
> because of LUGs like
> this one deciding they are too elitist to help with newbies. It's because
> of the lack of
> assistance people get from a list that they have been recommended to as a
> good
> resource.
It may well be true that beginners don't get adequate assistance from CLUG.
Those who aren't fairly computer literate need much more than help getting 
started.  Without a lot of detailed follow-up assistance with fundamental 
topics such as file permissions, software repositories, drivers for obsure 
hardware etc they could soon join the large group of people who have "tried 
Linux but prefer Windows".

A lot of CLUGgers have day jobs and can't be expected to put in that level of 

A common recommendation regarding mailing lists is "join, read and observe 
prior to making your first posting"  A beginner taking that approach with 
CLUG might well conclude that our level of discussion is way over their head, 
which is another reason why I doubt that we are a suitable resource for 


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