"RTFM"

Vrai

Well-Known Member
Credits
1,598
I know "RTFM" as a response in Linux forums is generally frowned upon and perceived as dismissive (except in the Debian forums) but it struck me the other day that RTFM may be the kindest and most appropriate reply a person could give.

The reason I say that is because I have seen a number of posts (not just here) where someone decides to install Linux and starts mucking around with their partition tables and formatting stuff only to discover they have deleted or destroyed their valuable, unrecoverable, un-backed-up, personal data AND made their only operating system (usually Windows) either unbootable or even worse unusable.

Could it be that in those instances a simple "RTFM" (read the manual or instructions) first could have saved a world of hurt?

I wouldn't say it in that many letters myself - but sometimes I wish I could stay someones hand BEFORE they click that button to proceed! LOL We've all done it - clicked too quickly. I've done it myself a time or two - like the time I accidentally formatted a guys Windows XP partition - oops :\

I guess the point is - sometimes telling a person to read the directions is actually doing them a favor ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 


D

Deleted member 58530

Guest
A user who is really interested in installing and using Linux will take the time to learn a little pre Linux how to so that the new Linux user can properly install Linux and have a good first Linux experience.

Most new Linux users don't do this and haphazardly install many different Linux distros only to keep having a bad first Linux experience.

I spent many days learning about Linux and how to install Linux properly and what software was available to use prior to installing and using Linux.

My first Linux install went without problems although I was confused at first I jump in and started becoming familiar with my new Linux distro.

In a matter of days I was no longer confused and was having fun learning about Linux.

RTFM is very appropriate imo.
 

70 Tango Charlie

Well-Known Member
Credits
597
I know "RTFM" as a response in Linux forums is generally frowned upon and perceived as dismissive (except in the Debian forums) but it struck me the other day that RTFM may be the kindest and most appropriate reply a person could give.

The reason I say that is because I have seen a number of posts (not just here) where someone decides to install Linux and starts mucking around with their partition tables and formatting stuff only to discover they have deleted or destroyed their valuable, unrecoverable, un-backed-up, personal data AND made their only operating system (usually Windows) either unbootable or even worse unusable.

Could it be that in those instances a simple "RTFM" (read the manual or instructions) first could have saved a world of hurt?

I wouldn't say it in that many letters myself - but sometimes I wish I could stay someones hand BEFORE they click that button to proceed! LOL We've all done it - clicked too quickly. I've done it myself a time or two - like the time I accidentally formatted a guys Windows XP partition - oops :\

I guess the point is - sometimes telling a person to read the directions is actually doing them a favor ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
@Vrai @poorguy

Good posts guys.

PoorGuy, I admire people like you who invest the time to look into things before jumping in. I have a daughter in law who is just like that. I have great admiration for her also.

Some of us don't learn very well by reading, so we need to learn the hard way i.e. Screw up and lose all my "important" stuff; which in the long run I find was not all that important anyhow.

Those in my category, need to be hit upside the head to get the message.
If you have something that is really important, why would you fool around and take a chance on losing it to start with?

Flash disks are very inexpensive these days and hold a whole lot of data.
I bought a 3 TB external drive for under $100 a few weeks ago.
That thing will hold everything I have ever done on the computer.

So please do not hesitate to RTFM when you think it is appropriate. Maybe you will save someone the headache of learning the hard way.

From the rambling mind of an Old Geezer
TC
 

warlockk

Active Member
Credits
1,069
@Vrai @poorguy

Good posts guys.

PoorGuy, I admire people like you who invest the time to look into things before jumping in. I have a daughter in law who is just like that. I have great admiration for her also.

Some of us don't learn very well by reading, so we need to learn the hard way i.e. Screw up and lose all my "important" stuff; which in the long run I find was not all that important anyhow.

Those in my category, need to be hit upside the head to get the message.
If you have something that is really important, why would you fool around and take a chance on losing it to start with?

Flash disks are very inexpensive these days and hold a whole lot of data.
I bought a 3 TB external drive for under $100 a few weeks ago.
That thing will hold everything I have ever done on the computer.

So please do not hesitate to RTFM when you think it is appropriate. Maybe you will save someone the headache of learning the hard way.

From the rambling mind of an Old Geezer
TC

don't be unfair tango you are younger and more knowledgeable than us
:)
 
D

Deleted member 58530

Guest
PoorGuy, I admire people like you who invest the time to look into things before jumping in. I have a daughter in law who is just like that. I have great admiration for her also.
I didn't always do that as I'm as hard headed as they come.
Just ask my Wife. :D

Some of us don't learn very well by reading, so we need to learn the hard way i.e. Screw up and lose all my "important" stuff; which in the long run I find was not all that important anyhow.

Those in my category, need to be hit upside the head to get the message.
If you have something that is really important, why would you fool around and take a chance on losing it to start with?
Nothing wrong with learning by the seat of your pants the down and dirty way as ain't nothing like real world hands on experience.

As for losing unsaved important data / folders / files etc if you don't save it and you lose it than that's tuition for the price of an education and believe me I've paid a lot of tuition.

So please do not hesitate to RTFM when you think it is appropriate. Maybe you will save someone the headache of learning the hard way.
Ain't nothing to lose if you RTFM.

From the rambling mind of an Old Geezer

TC
You ain't no rambling Old Geezer, you're a man who has experienced a lot of life. ;)
 

jglen490

Well-Known Member
Credits
1,981
Even those of us who have been down the road a few miles, make those silly errors. DAMHIK o_O
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
2,893
wish i had 2 arms to type with - i'd write a lot more :mad:

nice post vrai and good input, all

one-armed wiz
 

70 Tango Charlie

Well-Known Member
Credits
597
wish i had 2 arms to type with - i'd write a lot more :mad:

nice post vrai and good input, all

one-armed wiz
Have you thought about taking off your shoes and socks and ............. {Just trying to bring a little humor to an unhumorous situation} ........maybe type with your feet?

You could invent a new keyboard and maybe call it a 'Footboard'! Become an entrepreneur. Start a company. Become a CEO. Make a ton of money. What an opportunity!

Back to reality - we hope for the best in your recovery my friend. :):):)
Old Geezer
TC
 

Vrai

Well-Known Member
Credits
1,598
wish i had 2 arms to type with - i'd write a lot more :mad:

nice post vrai and good input, all

one-armed wiz
I feel your pain wiz :(

Couple years ago I fell off scaffolding and broke my wrist. On my dominate hand.
I felt so helpless for a couple weeks. Very frustrating :/

Hope you get well soon :)
 

Vrai

Well-Known Member
Credits
1,598
Some of us don't learn very well by reading, so we need to learn the hard way
That's a very good point @70 Tango Charlie ! And something I need to keep reminding myself of.

I am the type of person who can learn very well from reading instruction manuals and such. But my wife is just the opposite. It just doesn't "click" for her if she tries to read a text and digest it.
It is NOT a matter of intelligence but a left - right brain thing I think. Same thing with my mother-in-law and some other family and friends.

So I always try to keep that in mind when explaining 'computer stuff' but often I end up rambling some 'techno-babble' and see their eyes glaze over - oops! I perceive it as a challenge of my ability to teach and share knowledge :)
 

70 Tango Charlie

Well-Known Member
Credits
597
@Vrai

Reminds me of when I got my first bicycle. It was a used one that my older brother bought for me.

First thing I did was to tip it upside down on the porch and start taking it apart. My mother came out and saw what I was doing and was quite upset with me. My response was "But Ma, I have to find out how it works!"

Seems like my whole life has been like that. "Gotta tear it down to see how it works."

Now I have to add to that - "Gotta remember how I took it apart and where I put the parts." LOL.
That's what happens with age.

OG
TC
 

Peer

Well-Known Member
Credits
343
RTFM is mostly used in the arch community, because arch has an very good manual / wiki, but other(most) distros don't have any or good documentation. So it's not appropriate to write this in general Linux context. BUT it would be really nice when some people read the manual before ore googled their problem before, this will make things much easyer.
PS. The arch and gentoo wikis are also a good info source for people who use other distros.
 

dos2unix

Well-Known Member
Credits
1,423
I'm all for reading the manual, man pages, help pages, /h --help, man foobar and all that.

But even writing man pages expects a certain understanding.

Take the following example...

SYNOPSIS
lsof [ -?abChlnNOPRtUvVX ] [ -A A ] [ -c c ] [ +c c ] [ +|-d d ] [ +|-D
D ] [ +|-e s ] [ +|-E ] [ +|-f [cfgGn] ] [ -F [f] ] [ -g ] [ -i
] [ -k k ] [ -K k ] [ +|-L [l] ] [ +|-m m ] [ +|-M ] [ -o [o] ] [ -p s
] [ +|-r [t[m<fmt>]] ] [ -s [p:s] ] [ -S [t] ] [ -T [t] ] [ -u s ] [
+|-w ] [ -x [fl] ] [ -z [z] ] [ -Z [Z] ] [ -- ] [names]

DESCRIPTION
Lsof revision 4.93.2 lists on its standard output file information
about files opened by processes for the following UNIX dialects:

Apple Darwin 9 and Mac OS X 10.[567]
FreeBSD 8.[234], 9.0 and 1[012].0 for AMD64-based systems
Linux 2.1.72 and above for x86-based systems
Solaris 9, 10 and 11

(See the DISTRIBUTION section of this manual page for information on
how to obtain the latest lsof revision.)

An open file may be a regular file, a directory, a block special file,
a character special file, an executing text reference, a library, a
stream or a network file (Internet socket, NFS file or UNIX domain
socket.) A specific file or all the files in a file system may be
selected by path.

Instead of a formatted display, lsof will produce output that can be
parsed by other programs. See the -F, option description, and the OUT‐
PUT FOR OTHER PROGRAMS section for more information.

In addition to producing a single output list, lsof will run in repeat
mode. In repeat mode it will produce output, delay, then repeat the
output operation until stopped with an interrupt or quit signal. See
the +|-r [t[m<fmt>]] option description for more information.

OPTIONS
In the absence of any options, lsof lists all open files belonging to
all active processes.

If any list request option is specified, other list requests must be
specifically requested - e.g., if -U is specified for the listing of
UNIX socket files, NFS files won't be listed unless -N is also speci‐
fied; or if a user list is specified with the -u option, UNIX domain
socket files, belonging to users not in the list, won't be listed
unless the -U option is also specified.

Normally list options that are specifically stated are ORed - i.e.,
specifying the -i option without an address and the -ufoo option pro‐
duces a listing of all network files OR files belonging to processes
owned by user ``foo''. The exceptions are:

1) the `^' (negated) login name or user ID (UID), specified with the -u
option;

2) the `^' (negated) process ID (PID), specified with the -p option;

3) the `^' (negated) process group ID (PGID), specified with the -g
option;

4) the `^' (negated) command, specified with the -c option;

5) the (`^') negated TCP or UDP protocol state names, specified with
the -s [p:s] option.

Since they represent exclusions, they are applied without ORing or AND‐
ing and take effect before any other selection criteria are applied.

The -a option may be used to AND the selections. For example, specify‐
ing -a, -U, and -ufoo produces a listing of only UNIX socket files that
belong to processes owned by user ``foo''.

Caution: the -a option causes all list selection options to be ANDed;
it can't be used to cause ANDing of selected pairs of selection options
by placing it between them, even though its placement there is accept‐
able. Wherever -a is placed, it causes the ANDing of all selection

... === ... === ... === ...

Now of course... 30 years later I know what all of this stuff is... but consider the newbie reading this.
What's NFS? what's a PID? what's UID? what's a PGID? what's TCP or UDP and why do I need it?
What's a negated exclusion? What's a domain socket? How is that different from other sockets?
What's an interrupt or quit signal?

Reading man pages generally involves reading other man pages.. and so on.. and so on.. (it truly never ends). Somewhere along the line, a real human has to step in an explain something at the most basic level to someone at some point.
 

Vrai

Well-Known Member
Credits
1,598
@Vrai

Reminds me of when I got my first bicycle. It was a used one that my older brother bought for me.

First thing I did was to tip it upside down on the porch and start taking it apart. My mother came out and saw what I was doing and was quite upset with me. My response was "But Ma, I have to find out how it works!"

Seems like my whole life has been like that. "Gotta tear it down to see how it works."

Now I have to add to that - "Gotta remember how I took it apart and where I put the parts." LOL.
That's what happens with age.

OG
TC
HAH! That is so funny @70 Tango Charlie !!! Because I did the exact same thing when I was 6 years old. First bike I ever had. Brand new. Before I even tried to ride it I started taking it apart to see how it worked.

Unfortunately neither my Mom nor my sisters could put it back together and I never did get to ride it!!! :) LOL

I've been doing that ever since. Gotten somewhat better at putting stuff back together though. :)
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
2,893
lol - yup, fully agree @Vrai
ditto

my wife describes herself as a kinaesthetic learner

wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinesthetic_learning

if i tell her or explain to her what to do it goes in one ear and out the other.

if i sit in front of her computer and show her, likewise.

but if she sits in front of her computer with me at her side, after 2 to 3 go's at it, she retains it

we get some new members who knowingly or unknowingly are kinesthetic and they cannot follow our directions. they get frustrated and we get frustrated.

the best advice i can give them is to seek out and contact a linux user group in their area, where they can meet with people and get the help they need

cheers

wizard
 

VP9KS

Well-Known Member
Credits
275
my wife describes herself as a kinaesthetic learner
Lets see, what was that quote, oh yeah

Tell me, and I forget.
Teach me, and I may remember.
Involve me, and I learn.

Good old Ben Franklin.

I try to remember that every time I teach a maintenance class. I tell the students how to do the "tear down" to the bare base, they do it, and then they put it back together. I make them lay out the parts in the order that they came off, replacing any bad bearings etc as we find them. Funny how it always seems to work when we are done, and we never seem to have any spare widgets. Must be magic!! It builds confidence too!!
 


Members online


Latest posts

Top