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Old 27th May 2008
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Default What makes a perfect newbie?

I once posted this ideal in a thread on some other BSD forum. It was prompted, at the time, in response to a thread about net decorum, or the lack thereof, among some of our newer users who were, um ... shall we say... less than patient while simultaneously less than forthcoming about the problems they wanted us to solve for them.

For republication here, I have reduced the runway, and generalized the content for all BSDs:

----------------

Note that technical expertise is not on this list of what makes an ideal newbie. I believe people should be comfortable coming here with no BSD experience and little or no technical background, but they must be willing to obtain both if they wish success.

The Perfect Newbies...
  1. ...Do their homework...

    1. They read the Project's documentation: the FAQ or Handbook. They read it more than once.
    2. They read man pages. They follow the SEE ALSO suggestions in man pages to discover additional information.
    3. They know how to search the Problem Report database at the Project website, and they do so.
    4. They keep bookmarks to their favorite Project mailing list archives in their browsers. They search the archives frequently.
    5. They know how to use Internet search engines, and use them.
    6. They search daemonforum, too.
    7. They read books. Books on Unix. Books on BSD.
  2. ...Describe their problems...

    1. They describe problem situations clearly.
    2. They post actual error messages they've seen.
    3. They post the actual commands they used, and the output of those commands that they didn't understand, or that confused them.
  3. ...Disclose their situations...

    1. They tell us what architecture they are using.
    2. They tell us what release and flavor they are using.
    3. If they are using a custom kernel, they say so.
    4. They post their dmesg. (This covers c1, c2, and c3, by the way.)
    5. They post the content of applicable configuration files.
    6. They provide "pictures" of their network layouts when applicable.
  4. ...Communicate...

    1. They respect the forum membership, in return.
    2. They understand that this forum is not a Help Desk, and that the people who are trying to help them are volunteers.
    3. They respond to suggestions and recommendations from the people who are trying to help them, letting their helpers know what worked and what didn't.
    4. They post the information helpers request, with redactions of private information, such as public IP addresses.
  5. ...Keep a positive attitude.

    1. They approach each problem as a learning opportunity. "What knowledge do I lack?" rather than "It's broke. Fix it for me."
    2. They expect nothing. They know their helpers are only other BSD users, and that we will refer people to project mailing lists or bug reporting facilities when necessary.

Last edited by jggimi; 27th May 2008 at 11:25 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 27th May 2008
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In addition to b. ...Describe their problems... 1

Don't forget a threads topic!
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Old 27th May 2008
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I think moderators should give this thread a "sticky" status
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Old 27th May 2008
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+1 greencross.

/v
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Old 27th May 2008
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Master Foo and the End User
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Last edited by corey_james; 28th May 2008 at 10:03 AM. Reason: removed huge annoying quote
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Old 27th May 2008
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stuck ........
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Old 27th May 2008
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Are we already running into problems with this kind of thing on this forum?

There will always be those that just "found this site and posted in frustration"... but for the most part (at least in most of the threads I've been involved in) the conversation has been quite good. In fact, I've noticed a particular uptick in the quality of posts on this site compared to "that other old site."
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Old 27th May 2008
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A newbie should also know how to Google.
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Old 27th May 2008
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It could be better, but it's not bad, no.
In any case, I don't think it will do any harm.
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Old 27th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by udragon View Post
A newbie should also know how to Google.
Yeah, lets do some howto. A bit of common search practice, a bit of regex and so on
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Old 27th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ai-danno View Post
Are we already running into problems with this kind of thing on this forum?
Just bein' proactive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by udragon View Post
A newbie should also know how to Google.
See a5.
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Old 27th May 2008
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No problem... BTW...

I think we need to emphasize that non-OS specific questions be posted in the Miscellaneous section. I'm an OBSD user that doesn't normally troll the other OS sections. But in perusing the FBSD section, I noticed a number of non-OS-specific questions just languishing there.

The admins are normally pretty adept at moving wrongly placed questions in their proper home, but it would be good if we could all police this.
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Old 27th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
Just bein' proactive.See a5.
ROFL !

You got me there !
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Old 27th May 2008
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Quote:
I think we need to emphasize that non-OS specific questions be posted in the Miscellaneous section. I'm an OBSD user that doesn't normally troll the other OS sections. But in perusing the FBSD section, I noticed a number of non-OS-specific questions just languishing there.
I saw your comment on a network question in the "FreeBSD General" section, I agree, the question had nothing to do with FreeBSD...

There have been quite a few suggestion for sections, We'll revamp the sections later this week.
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Old 28th May 2008
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The extensively research their problem on google BSD before posting a thread that may have already been solved. They have tried every distribution including Solaris and OpenSolaris!
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Old 28th May 2008
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Solaris is SVR4 based, Florida. SVR4 is AT&T Unix with some BDSisms, but I don't think it's BSD. The older SunOS was BSD based, if I'm not mistaken. (I might be.)
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Old 28th May 2008
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You have that right.

Last edited by DrJ; 28th May 2008 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 28th May 2008
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off topic ....
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Old 28th May 2008
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see also this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIyr5TXqe8Y
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Old 28th May 2008
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Excellent write up jggimi, if the board allowed it I'd file thanks * 2^10

I have much more respect for people that now little but make great effort then some of the 'alternative' actions I see on occasion.

@Oliver_H

Thanks for that one :-)

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