Newbie Is as Newbie Does

A diagram showing the key Unix and Unix-like o...

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No one rises to an opportunity to make fun of newbies more quickly than someone, usually young and male, who was himself a newbie just last week and now knows everything. These people like to be alert to opportunities to respond to sincere questions asked on lists with handy and clever little phrases like “RTFM” and “google foo” and other cute quips known by self-appointed cognoscenti.

Once I asked a question about some technical matter on a Linux list, and received such a reply from a subscriber I had never seen before. On follow-through posts he chided me to consult such and such a professor at ASU and some other resource he felt certain everyone ought to know. Despite being a Unix user since 1984, and having taught Linux briefly at a university, I did not know the reference, nor the answer to my question. In the course of things the fellow revealed he was a second year student at ASU. My response to him was: “Oooooh! A stuuuuudent!! No wonder you’re so quick to assign me homework!” It was the last time I saw any trace of him on the list.

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About Lynn

o Writer and Editor o Computer Technologist o Composer o Ultrarunner
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