In the last few weeks, I have discovered something. Before I tell you this though, let me tell you how I came to this realization.
Over the last month or so, I have dived head first into the world of software documentation. Don't get the wrong idea, I love it! Finally I can help contribute to my favorite project, despite my lack of expert linux knowledge and programming skills. Its great.
Anyways, a lot of the individual documents are simply copied and pasted forum posts, but don't think that all I did was copy the work of others. Everything that is in the Docs I have tried, tested, learned the inner workings of, and now (for the most part) understand. This took up a lot of the time so far of my Christmas vacation.
Once again, I'm not complaining about this. This has been one of the most fun experiences I have had. I feel like I have learned more in the last 5 weeks than in the preceding semester of full-time college classes. Actually, I'm not really sure I learned anything in most of those classes anyway. :p
Anyways, now for my discovery.
I have concluded that i hate n00bs.
Before you go thinking "just another elitist geek" hear what I have to say.
I am not saying that I hate new users. Not at all! I love hanging out and showing people the ropes.
From my experiences, there are 2 kinds of new users. Newbs and n00bs.
Newbs are inquisitive, intelligent people who have come to learn something new. They are willing to try to solve their own problems, but often ending up asking for help anyways. When a Newb asks for help, he or she asks intelligent questions that include enough info to determine his situation. Such as system specs, the application that he or she is having issues with, or the exact model of an offending piece of hardware.
Perhaps the Newb doesn't do these thing for his or her first few questions, but a good Newb will pick up the notion that, in order for us to solve your problem, we need to know what we are dealing with.
The n00b on the other hand is a different breed. A n00b will start with a post in the order of "my modem doesnt work. Someone tell me how to fix it!" only with no punctuation, and worse spelling. When someone replies to the n00b's plea for help by asking what kind of modem the n00b has, and points him in the direction of the nearest grammar school, the n00b feels that he has been somehow insulted, and must tell the insulter so.
If you come to us with your hardware problems and don't like the answers you get IT IS NOT OUR F$*%ING FAULT!!! Your $9 Creative winmodem from Wal-mart doesn't work with Linux? Call Creative and tell them how you feel. Your Windows install died, and you can't use DSL to copy from one NTFS partition to another NTFS partition? Don't f***ing take your anger on me! Call up MicroSoft and B**** them out for making a crappy operating system! IT'S NOT MY G**D*** FAULT!
I'll finish with this portion from an interview with Linus Torvalds from a few months ago reguarding the "state of the kernel". I think it was at the Linux World expo. Whatever it was, it was an audio interview.
[interviewer] How do feel about Linux's hardware compatibility issues?
[Torvalds] Issues? Linux doesn't have any issues with hardware. It will work with 100% of hardware out there. Even Windows can't claim that.
[Interviewer] What about modems?
[Torvalds] Linux works with every modem out there. I've never seen one that won't. Actually, I've never seen any piece of hardware that won't work with linux now.
[Interviewer] I'm talking about winmodems.
[Torvalds] Yes, I knew you were. You know what the problem with winmodems in Linux is?
[Torvalds] They are not hardware. They're really software pretending to be software.
[Torvalds] No really! They sell you what you think is hardware, but it's really not! I can't be held responcible for them ripping off millions of people who think they're buying hardware when they're not.
In short, what you think you see is not necessarily what you are getting!