[lfs-support] Grub Questions (or how to waist yet ... even more ... precious electrons)

Mikie kmb at mikienet.com
Sun Sep 2 10:32:57 PDT 2012

I promise you all I am responding because I really believe what I am about to say is very relevant to LFS and what LFS intends to do which is teach Linux.
Before I make one more attempt to clarify I wanted to make a few statements to make sure my reply won't be misunderstood.
I promise this will be my last reply on the subject and anyone who feels it necessary, can have the last word.

I am a 48 year old IT (Windows Cisco) & Automation Systems Engineer.
I've got a pretty good head on my shoulders ... I know how to Google and I spend hours a day there.

One of the additional skills I have, that I particularly excel at ... is teaching.
I was my companies Trainer and ran our 3500 sq feet training center teaching Windows and our BAS automation system for nearly 14 years.

Bottom line is ... I know teaching.

I would love to volunteer to supplement LFS with a starting place to help newbie's get to where they could do LFS and not get so frustrated and frustrate you folks.
If I could get some commitment from at least one person I would put at least 6 month into it.

For some reason the Unix/Linux community are the worst at explaining things and have the least patience when their first response is not enough.

To respond to your points Ben ... I have Googled and it's pretty much the same problem everywhere I look.
I searched yesterday for Grub and got tons of pages where the author wrote:

ok ... the command to install Grub is grub-install /dev/sda ... 

... then do this step ... then do that step ...

This is exactly like LFS and every Linux article I find for the most part.
... and there is nothing wrong with LFS it's a great thing for advanced people and there are lots of great things out there for advanced Linux people but there is this great trench between people at my skill level and LFS and the other great Linux sites that no one seems to want to touch.

There just isn't a whole lot out there to get someone from beginner to advanced and it's probably because all the Unix/Linux "RTFM crowd" don't have the patience.
What irritates me is they wonder why most people use Windows and not Linux.

One of the most important skills needed to teach other than patience is how to judge where a person's current understanding is.

For example ... someone might ask me ... "help me ... I want a cookie".
... and I would probably say "the cookies are on the shelf in the next room".

Most people would go back to what they were doing and assume that is enough ... problem solved.

... but for many people that is not enough.

The person may then ask, "how do I get the cookies?"
"Well", you might say, "it's thru the door and on the shelf in the next room".

... and if you look at them, you can develop a skill whereby you sense their confusion and break it down even more.

So you say, "walk to the door ... place your hand on the knob ... turn it to the left ... pull it open ... walk thru ... and look for the shelf to the right".
"The cookie jar is red and you have to lift the lid to get the cookie".

Everyone has the right to say, "I don't have time to explain that ... I'm' busy".
Or not even respond to the email in the first place.
No one should have a problem with either of those responses.
I don't.
I will simply go somewhere else and ask.

>I don't think luck has anything to do with it. I think it's laziness and an inability or unwillingness to follow directions. Just a few hours ago when you suggested he try remastering an existing distro, instead of typing "remaster linux distro" into Google, he came back with, "ummm ... how do I do that again?"

Ben ... I was making the point that Elly had a great idea but that I did not know how to do that.
... and like I said not too many good articles that teach someone how to do something rather than give them a blind recipe to follow.
You know what the people on the re-master list would probably say?
They would say "try LFS ... this re-master list is too complicated for you".

That is how I got to LFS in the first place and that was 10 years ago.

>> Besides, have you bothered to read these results from his perspective?

>Yup. But our paths diverge quite quickly. For example, Mikie would reply with "What does the -c do?", whereas I would execute "man bash" and discover that -c is documented on the first page in all but the tiniest of terminals.

Ben ... what's man bash?
You assume that I am lazy because I don't know what man bashing is (although I am sure I would go to jail if I bashed a man).
This comment goes exactly to what I am saying.
I have since searched and now know that there is this wonderful thing called man pages ... so I get it, but I didn't have a clue then.
Nobody responded so I dropped it.

I agree with you, in that, I would not have responded with an explanation of what -c does or is ... but you know what I would have done?
I would have said "Mikie ... here is a great way to find out ... and you will learn a new thing along with learning what a -c does".
at the bash prompt ... type man bash then hit enter".
"Man is a command that opens the manual for another command".
"In fact Mikie you can not only go man cd, or man ls, but you can even go man man ... "MAN! ... that's awesome!", I would say.

> These quick little blerps in the book don't really do anything for us
newbie's to intermediates.

"Quick little blerps"? I think this one takes the prize. Wow, just wow.

Ben ... for example:

5.5.1. Installation of Cross GCC 
GCC now requires the GMP, MPFR and MPC packages.
As these packages may not be included in your host distribution, they will be built with GCC.
Unpack each package into the GCC source directory and rename the resulting directories so the GCC build procedures will automatically use them: 

This is what I mean by a little blerp.
A short sentence or two mixed in with the commands that we newbs blindly follow.
An advanced Linux person would have no issue with this.
I'm not complaining that the book is bad ... just that you can't reasonable expect me or others at my level to follow what is going on.

You can fish for a man or you can teach a man to fish, or you can just not get involved in the first place.

Just don't respond by berating someone.
That is like bashing a man on the head with a fish.
That you should never do.

I'll tell you what.
I will be on this list for at least 6 months working on my studies.

I will volunteer to field all the dumb questions from now on.
At the very least it will be entertaining, eh?

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