Adventures in Linuxland… Getting Started with Ubuntu

A new year has begun, full of all sorts of wonderful possibilities. The class I was taking from Rice University through Coursera has already ended, and the one from Edx will also be over in only a few more days. Although I’m satisfied with all that I’ve learned from both classes, I can’t  deny I feel slightly left down by all the organizational problems experienced with the Edx class during the last month. The content is excellent, there’s no complaint about it, but for the last almost four weeks it has been updated sporadically, and the problem sets were often unfinished, still with bugs and problems to iron out. It all comes together, eventually, but not before quite a few of us feel, well, frustrated. I figure this is a learning experience for the Edx staff, as well, since this is, after all, the first time this class has ever been offered. We were told that the person in charge of updating the content has been ill and apparently nobody has been able to cover for her. Perhaps, they have learned from this experience and in the future they will have someone that can take over if needed.  It’s all coming to an end soon, anyway, and it has been a great learning opportunity, even in spite of the “hiccups”.

I’m already looking for something to do or learn next. I’ve signed up for a few more classes and I’ve also realized it’s time I learn my away around Linux, specially given its great popularity among the open source community. I read that Ubuntu was easy for beginners, so I installed 12.10 in an old computer I had.  So far, so good. No problem finding my way around the GUI. The problem came when I tried to install a network printer and the driver was not in the list of available drivers already installed. It is only a problem because I’m still lost working at the command line.  Lucky for me, after trying without success with the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the printer, I ran into this little video .  That was really lucky because it’s even the same kind of printer I was trying to install!

So, I was able to install my printer, following instructions from the video. Here’s  a snapshot of my terminal. I know, for all you Linux users out there this is no big deal at all. And it’s not, really, but I feel excited just the same. It’s been such a long time since the last time I did anything through a command line… even on DOS. Years!  I’ve already armed myself with a few books in order to learn to work the Linux command line and stop feeling so intimidated by it. A lifetime of Windows and Installation Wizards does that to you…

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