...making Linux just a little more fun!
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Greetings, dear readers, and welcome once again to the world of The Answer Gang.
A world, I note, which has changed quite a bit in the last year. Last December it was like the Gazette was under a sort of shadow - our crew handled the transition to our new site with all the energy we could muster, but there's only so much life we few who run this could pour in - we had to wait for you readers to rediscover us.
We were already a great team, but the effort bound us together in a way that's really rather hard to describe... except that I like the results. We learn from each other on the lists as much as we ever did, but it's more than that, we're closer as friends I think, and we back each other up on things. We don't always agree (you put 20-plus curmudgeonly and very smart people in a room together and watch the fun. Oh? You say that's your typical holiday party? You see what I mean then) and at times Real Life(tm) mugs one or another of us ... and we really are different people, in what can take us down or carry us forward ... but we try to do more for each other.
It brings me great joy this year to still be bringing Linux Gazette to your browser's doorstep. I have to admit that for a while even my own enthusiasm was failing; in past years I had done it for simply knowing Jim's "Answer Guy" pages would look far better when I put my hand to them. For a while I had done it just for knowing there were uncounted readers out there looking for our good bits every month. In my own harder times I did it simply because I had promised to, I couldn't let you people down, and what little energy I could gain from knowing I was getting at least one job done right was very much a boost to me. The ordeals we put ourselves through here have given me strength in my friendships and renewed hope for a lot of little things in my life, Linux just one of them. The world has turned again, and I'm glad to know that you people are out there, still reading this, telling your newbie friends that their Linux troubles are solvable, that we can Make Linux Just A Little More Fun and even get a giggle now and then.
That's part of what has seriously changed the face of LG though. The kind of people who were Linux newbies 5 years ago are not the same today. For one thing those people aren't newbies, but they still like to read about Linux and expand their knowledge even further. But the people who even thought about Linux then have a smorgasboard of choices now - and the newbies of today are in many cases less technical - you can buy "a linux box" at Wal-Mart, on special at CompUSA, you might be leaping ship from the (amazing to me, why does Microsoft saw off its own foot like this??) myriad flavors of MSwin to be found nowadays. Whether or not they ever caught a virus, the crashes and the pain they encounter when they dare to change their hardware are just as stumping to them as the box of Red Hat or SuSE on the store shelves. If they're going to get their hands dirty anyway... they may as well try this Linux thing on for size.
It won't fit all of them.
That's the thing about a world of choices. vi versus emacs debate fans the world over know that when it comes down to someone being a power user, the fact they've learned all the deep magics is worth a lot more than what type of filesystem runs under the hood or what some geek thinks is an 'operating system'. If the system operates, that's what they like. And that's good. I made the choice to stick with Gazette the way that gave it its power, a monthly source of good knowledge and fun. It's been worth it, and I thank all of you, of whatever age, country, newness to Linux or being such an old hat that "Red Hat" upstart's a whippersnapper, for joining us every month. Send us your tips and good stories. Have a great time with Linux.
So it's the holidays now, and I'm giving you folks out there the same thing I give my dear friends and family every year, however rich or poor I might be. Presence.