Minimal skills

Donald Wilde dwilde1 at
Thu Jun 4 12:41:38 UTC 2020

On 6/4/20, Ralf Mardorf via freebsd-questions
<freebsd-questions at> wrote:
> On Thu, 4 Jun 2020 07:41:34 +0200, Polytropon wrote:
>>If you don't mind, I'd suggest to dedicate a workstation PC
>>or a laptop for FreeBSD, while having a second computer (or
>>a smartphone) for web access (documtnation, mailing lists,
>>or web forums).
I suspect that it may be responding to these lists on your Android
phone that may cause the scrambling issues we see, Brandon, or maybe
somebody else's MUA (hint?) is not interpreting HTML properly that
their MUA defaults to sending.

One of the big problems I have in computing in general, and FOSS in
particular (I'm looking at YOU, Oracle 'java'!) is that almost any
major project depends on skazillions (that's a technical term,
Brandon) of layers of software, any one of which may break if some
committer somewhere makes a change. or some management wonk decrees
that a Major Version Upgrade shall proceed.

In just one huge project I was working on, we had a dependency for all
system levels of our entire Internet of Things deployment on the JVM
('Java Virtual Machine'). I was prime maintainer of that component,
but until Wall Street put pressure on the CEO back in 2016 I had about
a dozen people I could talk to who could dive into those layers and
find out what broke and assist the layer's maintainers in resolving
the problem. When the last of those left or was laid off and a manager
told me (re: delays) that THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, I gave my notice.
The whole project was cancelled six months later.

FreeBSD is much more sane than most projects, IMHO. Almost everything
is written in C or C++ or scripts in CSH or SH (hopefully not BASH!).
One of the rising issues in computing is the combinatorial explosion
in dependencies everywhere. One thing that will help you as a
patience-builder is to distinguish between FreeBSD itself and all the
myriad ports.

As has been said, much of the world expects Windows and most software
developers are paid only to ensure that Windows versions of stuff
works. What is available for the rest of us is still an overflowing
cornucopia and with patience we can all do amazing things!

You are on a very good track, Brandon, because the world will need a
huge number of additional networking specialists who have paid
attention to security. I can tell you that if you stick to this and
become really proficient, you'll command salaries in the
mid-six-figures (which I have yet to attain, myself, by choice). It's
up to you whether you are willing to accept that level of stress in a
J O B rather than when creating your own version of Amazing Grace in
your own company! :D

If I were you, I'd start by studying 'man sh' and 'man tcsh' (the two
major shells supplied by default on FBSD). You will note the
incredible number of possible options in each, but don't let this
dissuade you. Gnu BASH is much, much more complex! When you can
comprehend the commands used in the basic scripts and startup
dot-files (like .xinitrc and .profile), you can make simple changes
and learn to extend things yourself. I personally use UEMACS from the
command line as my editor because I came up from a different world
(ASM and AI) than those who speak vi from the cradle.

One final caution: only choose a port over a pkg when you really want
to tweak the configuration or debug it at the source level. You'll
have enough to do without adding extra challenges to your task stack!
As you can see from some of my posts on -questions and -stable, even
an experienced UNIX user and 30-year developer can get in over his
head. Patience maintains sanity! :D
Don Wilde
* What is the Internet of Things but a system *
* of systems including humans?                     *

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