The Debian Jones Project

"PROMOTING LINUX LITERACY SINCE TUESDAY"
debianjones@yahoo.com
©2005 Keith R. George, Jr -- fair use applies.
Debian is a registered trademark of Software in the Public Interest, Inc.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

FRTM!

FRTM stands for "F**k reading the manual!", which is intended as an ironic variation on that popular Linux chestnut "RFTM", which stands, I am told, for "Read the F**king manual."

Don't get me wrong. Sometimes, you may have to R the FM. There may be no getting around that. But if you really really hate reading a computer manual, that doesn't make youa bad person. This blog is dedicated to the principal that Linux needs education and documentation that is geared toward easy access to simple practical and effective solutions, for everyday users who may not not necessarily be interested in programming, or building a web server, or any of the scores of elaborate things that Linux technology excels at. Everyday home computer users who want to surf, write, chat, play games, download porn, or what have you, and businesses who want to do simple office functions shouldn't have to choose between paying an outrageous price to install a Microsoft Black Box, or having to slog through a thousand pages of badly written and incomprehnsible geekspeak.

As a Linux user, I consider myself to be something of a pioneer. I'm not one of the earliest of Linux users, by any means-- but I may be one of the first to come to Linux without any particular aptitude or experience with technology. I came to Linux for political and cultural reasons that are still very real for me, although I have since discovered technical, economic and even aesthetic reasons for loving it all the more.

It took two years of frustration and struggle for me to become a fairly competent desktop Linux user. It was completely worth it, because it's over now, and I can look forward to spending the rest of my computing life without anybody's secret corporate code on my machine, and I have access to software that is free, legal, and developing at an explosive rate. Plus, who knows how far I can take it? Maybe one day, I'll really master shell programming, or even find out what the hell C++ is.

It was worth it, but looking back, it wasn't really necessary. There wasn't that much to learn, and I could have picked it up a lot faster if I'd only had access to the information I needed, uncluttered by the information that I didn't need, and a hands-on approach that makes learning natural. It's much much easier to install your average Linux distro than it is to read the average tutorial about installing Linux. We're surrounded by documentation that is more of a barrier than a bridge to practical use for the vast majority of potential users.

As a Linux pioneer, my responsibility is to make it easier for those who want to follow me. This page marks the beginning of that mission.

Debian Jones
5-10-5

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