Skip to comments.The Children of Linux
Posted on 03/19/2012 7:37:40 AM PDT by ShadowAce
Linux. Its really not a hard operating system to learn. In fact, that very first statement is wrong. Linux is not an operating system. Linux is a kernel which is used as the very core to build an operating system around. But these are the things that children of today are not learning. Not in public school systems anyway.
When I was a teenager, I was very interested in computers. I looked forward to and really enjoyed my Information Technology classes. But it wasnt just the computers that I was interested. The more I got involved with them, the more I wanted to know about what goes on to make them work. Or to be precise, the operating system.
Its a long time ago now, but I remember when I was talking to my teacher one day he briefly said something about Unix. A term that I had never heard until then. But after that one time, nothing more was ever mentioned. At the time, I really didnt know anything about it. But I was intrigued of what this Unix could be. It was some years later before I got my first glimpse of anything to do with Linux-The accepted modern alternative to Unix. My first encounter with Linux was SUSE 8, which came free on a magazine at the time. I might mention, the magazine was not actually meant to be giving the OS away on the front cover as they were. But anyway, thats a story for another day. But ever since my first experience with SUSE 8, I never let go of Linux and have always been involved with it in one form another.
Now as you all know and are well aware, Windows is basically the only operating system taught in our public schools these days. I understand that Windows is the industry standard and I can accept that. But I dont believe teaching children how to use Windows, solely, is the way forward to a positive IT future. Or if Linux even got a mention, it would be progress. My high school years were well into 15 years ago and it is now 2012 and nothing has changed. Public schools are still teaching children Windows and (unintentionally) presenting it as the only operating system youll ever need to learn and use.
There arises many issues and setbacks with the aforementioned. One of the primary reasons, being the IT teachers themselves having no concept of how to use Linux or even being aware of it. There are many issues from many different angles.
We are very lucky in some ways that we live in a world of fast broadband access where anyone can download and install Linux for free. When I was in high school, a 56k dial-up internet connection was a true privilege and there was only one computer in the whole school that had internet access. Im probably still on that list to use that computer as the list was always a mile long.
But all my 10 years Linux experience that I have today has all been self-taught. I have put myself through free courses and done plenty of tinkering, configuring and certainly my fair share of breaking systems. And my wife yelling at me because Ive broken the computer once again! And that continues to this day. Why? Because Linux offer endless learning capabilities. And despite being a 10 year Linux user, I am still learning things on Linux on a daily basis and still intentionally break things to see how they work in detail. In fact, I am currently experimenting with Arch Linux. A very different experience from the usual mainstream Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora. But that is my point. Theres endless possibilities of learning when it comes to Linux. And perhaps thats the problem when it comes to public schools and teaching Linux. It is such a large scale eco-system with so many different facets, where would one begin to teach. I see that as an excuse for not teaching it. And not a valid reason. Because even giving children a glimpse of Linux in their high school studies will no doubt have a flow-on effect to further private studies and courses.
Linux must be taught to future high school students. Otherwise we are going to experience a severe shortage of knowledgeable Linux administrators in the near future. We are already seeing the first signs of this problem. And unless we start arming the young nerds of today with the knowledge they require to make up their own mind, we are going to have problems. If things dont change soon, I can only hope that todays students come out of schooling as open-minded as I did and choose to at least give Linux a try and see for themselves the true raw power of free and open-source computing that is modern Unix, Linux.
Windows is taught in schools because it IS the only OS you NEED to learn and use. Sure if you get into the business you MIGHT wind up in front of a different OS, but only a small percentage of the kids will wind up in the business, and thanks to Windows’ dominance most of the jobs in the business are on Windows, if they go to a non-Windows shop they can learn it there (really once you’ve been around a while you learn an OS is an OS is an OS, specific commands might change but the core concepts have remained the same for a long time on many platforms). Kind of like how they don’t teach kids how to drive in right hand cars, because in America they don’t need to know unless they get a job with the Post Office or travel to a handful of countries, in which case they can figure it out there.
Unity is t3h sux... Gnome3 on other distros is a huge step in the right direction IMO.
Oh, man, I just ride in 'em. I don't know what makes 'em work.
It’s probably the rare high school teacher that is marginally clued in about Linux - not to mention principals, school boards and the like. If I were teaching a class, I’d give the kids computers with unformatted hard drives, a Fedora Live CD, and a network connection and tell them that by the end of the semester they need to have a fully functional server, a fully functional client (you name the service) and a bunch of C programs and shell scripts that they would write themselves (not to mention Python, Perl, Ruby and on and on and on).
Tell me those kids wouldn’t come out of that class knowing a thing or two LOL.
1. Its really not a hard operating system to learn.
2. Linux is a kernel which is used as the very core to build an operating system around.
There were two sentences between lines 1 and 2. Two little sentences separating two absolutely contradictory thoughts.
"It's very simple you see... you just have to actuate the fluxcapicitor with the turboencabulator and presto changeo, internets!
Yet another article by a linux fan explaining exactly why linux should have become more popular and ironically although unintentionally illustrating clearly to those gifted with sight exactly why linux never made it mainstream.
Bell 103 mag-amp modem culled from the dumpster.
Yes, it still exists in commercial use. Cadence, who makes programs for electronics design automation (EDA), uses it in the control and GUI layer on top of (some of) their C/C++/Fortran core programs.
That's on programs based on their long-term legacy database, at least. Newer EDA programs - from Cadence and others - tend to use tcl, which I hate.
Have you seen this?
Agreed, unless you have used a 150 baud acoustic modem and have had to play with stop bits and parity settings, you can't really appreciate what we have today.
N00bs - all of you
110 Baud Teletype
Perhaps Mr. Jones needs to put some of his energy into mastering grade school English topics such as subject-verb agreements, what constitutes as sentence, and punctuation. Oh, but those are soft skills that technies are not required to master.
Though I have not been involved with it, I understand that LISP is the preferred language for neural network researchers, and that they have come a long long way in the last years. I am surprised none of the super-IT guys here on the thread didn’t reply to you.
Engineers and scientists must learn and use UNIX. Its operation, at its heart command-line based, is very different from Windows.
Wold Class Software(&hardware) = when it has both Windows and Linux drivers..
Note: Most Linux software is FREE... as is the version of Linux OS..
Yep. My spare XServ is a 1,1. I’ve already tried rEFIt on it.
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