[GRLUG] Distro's - GRLUG test comment, dead thread

Bill Creswell billcreswell at gmail.com
Sat May 13 21:05:05 EDT 2006

I liked those last two emails a lot: I pulled them into this.
Would you mind if I repost these somewhere?
If yes, how would you like it credited?

So, helpful hints for newbies asking questions:
1. Ask. Ask nicely. We aren't looking for you to beg for help, but we are
looking for
appreciation for our help.

2. Try first. Tell us what you did to find the answer yourself when asking
question tells us that you want to learn and makes us more willing to

3. Accept that you may not get the "step 1, step 2, step 3..." answer
that you are looking for. You may just get a little bit of information
- and if you asked a good question, that little bit of information may
just be the missing piece that lets you figure it out for yourself - and
learn something in the process.

4. Accept the answer "you've bitten off more than you can chew".
Remember that you are asking questions of people who are more
knowledgeable and experienced than you (if they weren't, why are you
asking them questions?). Remember that we became knowledgeable and
experienced by doing simple tasks, learning and then doing more
complicated tasks. Some of us went to college, some to the School of
Hard Knocks. We didn't get our knowledge from the magic lamp. We
earned it through many trials and failures.

5. Remember that techies can be bribed. An offer of a dinner to help do
something when we have free time stands a good chance of being taken
up. Money works too. I've bought computers from the Junk Store and
built them up with Linux for people to have something to play with - but
I've been paid for that.

6. Respect. Remember that we aren't your employees, we aren't your help
desk, we aren't under any obligation to you. Treating us with respect
keeps our attitudes nice, and makes us much more willing to answer
newbie questions.

Ron's Guide to Answering Newbie Technical Questions

Making the assumption that they are at least attempting to follow "Ron's
Guide to Asking Technical Questions for Newbies"...

1. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
2. If you can't answer the question, don't respond.
3. Don't respond RTFM unless you KNOW that the answer is REALLY is in
the manual (and it would be helpful to quote the manual name and page).
4. Don't respond with "Google is your friend" unless you actually used
Google and found the answer - again, the keywords you used would be
helpful to the newbie if only to educate him in how to use Google.
5. If you do respond, be helpful.
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