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The Buckblog

assorted ramblings by Jamis Buck

Reflections on Linux

22 March 2004 — 2-minute read

It’s been a busy couple of days. A stage 1 Gentoo install, plus figuring out the ndiswrapper drivers so I can use my 802.11g wireless card in Linux… I’m sure Tarasine is glad to have all the wires and cables gone. Even I was getting tired of having two laptops littering our dining room table all weekend.

It seems like every time I install Linux (and especially Gentoo) I realize just how little I really understand about Linux. I spent hours trying to get the wireless card working. Before that, the machine would hang when my pcmcia driver started, and I had to scour the web for a solution (which I found, though I still don’t understand it). And then the sound wouldn’t work, which if it weren’t for Gentoo’s excellent Desktop Configuration Guide I would never have solved.

I guess it just comes down to the fact that not everyone can be an OS expert. I’m sure that, given the time and the motivation, I could dig into the Linux source code and become a kernel-hacking OS guru, but I know myself better than that. I’d dig into it for a couple of weeks, maybe more, maybe less, and then my interests would move elsewhere. The important thing, to me, is that I know I can usually find the solutions to the problems I have online, and I generally can troubleshoot enough to recognized approximately where the problems lie.

I’ll just leave the kernel-hacking to those that are willing to make a life (or at least a career) out of it. I’m content to tinker.

Still… perhaps I will dive into the Linux source code. But just for a week. Or two…