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Thread: My dream...

  1. #1

    My dream...

    Ever since I was little, I remember playing with my mother's macintosh computer, IT in general has always been an interest of mine. I know it sounds strange, but I only discovered linux in the past year or so( I am 17). I am shamed. Anyway, everything about unix absolutely inspires me.I saved up for a while, and finally bought a powerbook G4 running tiger, and I have two old pcs running Mandriva Linux and FreeBSD. I don't know a huge amount yet, but I am very eager to learn. Obviously this site is an incredible gift, and I thank the moderators, who really must put a ridiculous amount of time into this site.To be frank, the antipoint thing scares me, I have to think carefully about every word I type lol. This could be the point...

    Anyway,after careful thought, I've decided I'd really love to become a system administrator on a unix system.But Unix is so complex and so rich in its various flavours and niches, the subject daunts me. What I would appreciate is a bit of help getting started. I've taken these books out of the library:

    Beginning Unix from the programmer to programmer series
    TCP/IP First steps by Mark A. sportack
    The complete idiots guide to programming basics by Clayton Walnum

    I've also purchased the visual quickstep guide to Mac Os X Tiger

    I've been searching google,as well as antionline, looking for good articles.

    here are my questions:

    1. what subjects should I focus on first?
    2.What programming language should I learn first, and how can I start?
    3.Are there any good tuts/post/websites/books/papers you would suggest to a budding unix fanatic?
    4.how much should I learn about pc hardware, how can I learn more?
    5.Is there any advice you could give me about your own experience learning unix/system administration,how should I approach,what subjects gave you trouble?

    Thank you for any help you can give me, I just want to learn and grow.I'm sorry for any etiquette errors in this post, I'm trying not to be annoying.

    please don't flame me...I'll say a prayer for you at mass if you don't flame me.
    It seems to be peaceful,but it is incorrect.CATS is still alive.
    Zig-01 must fight CATS again.And down with them completely!

  2. #2
    Now, RFC Compliant! Noia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    First of I would say, experiment. Its the best way to learn imo.

    For a programing language I would suggest Java, its a little dated and disliked but its easy to learn and has many applications. Its strict typing gives you good programing standards (by force hehe ).

    Learn as much as you can about computer hardware, I would recomend classes of some sort, although there are many resources available online on how computer systems are put together.

    From my own experience;
    Experiement, dont be afraid to make mistakes.
    Ask, politly and concisly, no one likes trolls or playing "whats he on about".
    Try and try again, dont loose heart even if you loose face
    And Laugh, messing up often has a funny side if your willing to see it.

    Thats about all I can tell you grasshopper, now go out into the world and conquer it with storm. hehe

    - Noia
    With all the subtlety of an artillery barrage / Follow blindly, for the true path is sketchy at best. .:Bring OS X to x86!:.
    Og ingen kan minnast dei linne drag i dronningas andlet den fagre dag Då landet her kvilte i heilag fred og alle hadde kjærleik å elske med.

  3. #3
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Read and play. Noia is right. I've spent countless hours screwing around in my "lab" playing with this or that. I still do. My girlfriend will often comment... "I don't see how you can work on those things for 8 hours a day at work and then come home to another 8 hours in the evening." I tell her... the 8 hours in the day is what I do for a living. The 8 hours at night is a hobby. It is enjoyment. Some people like scrap booking... some people like exploring the depths of the internet and everything surrounding it. Don't get me wrong though... I do need to "unplug" and get the hell away from computers.

    It is easy to get burned out. You keep learning and learning. The more you learn, the more you realize how much more you have to learn. Well... let me tell you. It's never going to change. You have to be in it for the long haul. It’s not like learning to become a math professor where you study for a while and the rules are always the same. Our rules change on a seemingly daily basis. You never know what is around the corner.

    When you hear/read words that you don't know, make it a point to know them next time around.

    Don't limit yourself to only UNIX or Linux. Windows is not such a bad OS. I've been using both for quite a while. I've only been using Linux for about 5 years or so... but I've become fairly proficient with it. I've been using Windows much longer. (prolly 12+ years already)

    When I learn new technologies or services, I try to learn them for multiple operating systems. I don't want to short change myself experience wise and I want to be able to use the right tools for the job.

    As far as what subjects to learn first? That’s very hard to say. I got interested in networking right away before any programming. I didn't get too interested into programming because I couldn't think of any good projects to work on. Now I've got plenty... A good strong basic understanding of ANY programming language will help you heaps. I'd say C/C++ just because every other language I've learned so far past C/C++ has been VERY similar. If you're focus is going to be various *nix systems... you're going to want to learn/examine shell scripting or other scripting languages such as Perl. I'm in the process of teaching myself Perl now. I love it.

    If you want a VERY strong understanding of the software/hardware interaction... learn some assembly. It is very difficult to pick up at first... but once you get the opcodes and memory organization down... you can visualize what is actually happening.

    Just make sure you actually like this stuff. It almost becomes a way of life...

    I know too many people in the field who will learn just enough to do their jobs and that’s it. They don't care about the new stuff and don't care about it all that much. They just want to collect the paycheck.

    Anyway... you sound passionate about it. That is very good. There are plenty of communities out there to help you on your way. Antionline has always been there for me... maybe they'll be there for you too.
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    I agree with Phish

    pshannon, much of what I learned about computers and software development, I learned on my own. Just playin around with my computer at home, changing settings to see what happens.

    I liked the question you asked about hardware. I regret not learning more about hardware (i really dont know much). Even if you become a software engineer (like me!), still take time out to learn about the "nuts and bolts". It always comes back up somewhere down the line.

    Im not a Unix guru, but I found this site that appeared to be helpful.

    Good luck and have fun!
    Difficult takes a day, Impossible takes a week~Kthln01!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    an advice that will help you... hmmmm??!!

    on you way to learn new things you will come up to certain "speed bumps"

    ... those are little things that you won't be able to figure out by yourself at your level but still have to deal with (ie. getting a sound to work on a laptop in linux)

    there's no better place to get advice then on IRC - http://freenode.net/

    try channels #linux #debian #slackware #c #c++ #python #ruby

  6. #6
    Thank you Noia,phishphreek80,Kthln01 and unhappy. Your posts were all very helpful, and I will consider everything you guys have said very carefully.I will try to use proper netiquette while using this forum, and I hope that someday I will be returning the favor by helping a student like myself.I'm afraid that day is a while off, but until then, I'll be reading the posts, asking questions, and learning.
    It seems to be peaceful,but it is incorrect.CATS is still alive.
    Zig-01 must fight CATS again.And down with them completely!

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