Just a short note to thank you for the article on fsniper in Issue 102 (May 2009)...
Just a short note to thank you for the article on fsniper in Issue 102 (May 2009). I am now using this very useful utility to automate the processing of downloaded podcasts and vodcasts on my main computer and the subsequent transfer of the files to my netbook. On the netbook, I again use fsniper to direct the files to the correct directories.
During the initial stages of working with fsniper, I hit a problem that I thought indicated a bug, so I contacted the developers. It turned out the problem was due to my own misunderstanding of the configuration file syntax, but the rapid and friendly responses from the developers so impressed me that I wanted to specifically mention it.
More generally, thank you for informing all of us of the many varied applications available for Linux and how to best use them. I am also very pleased that you cover products suited for professional as well as more domestic usage.
Thank you for your note. We like the idea of real Linux users building practical solutions around the tools we write about. We're glad it worked out.
This is a general comment concerning editorial content and reviews that I have read in the magazine. I will start with a general perception held by many people and why you seem to participate in creating this opinion.
Most computer users avoid Linux because it has been made inaccessible on many levels. I guess when Microsoft first started, because they were a for-profit business, they actively promoted a big tent philosophy because they knew that the more people that became comfortable with Windows products, the more products they would sell, even and especially, to the rank newcomer. Not so with Linux, it seems. Microsoft even went so far as to assign people to help authors and had their own in-house printing group.
Newcomers are treated with quiet disdain on many levels in the Linux community and this comes through in your publication as well. In the December 2007 issue, the review of Linux Administrator Street Smarts slams the book, not in an overt way, but it is harsh. This treatment might have to do with the touting of the title as administrative in nature (a tactic the author's publisher probably foisted on the author to try and appeal to more readers), however, the book is solid and just what a "new" user or admin would need.
The general slant in the Linux community seems to be "once you get your stripes by hours of frustration, come back and talk to me and I will enlighten you." In your magazine, there is little if any space devoted to new users, and generally this is so in the rest of the Linux community at large, from publishing to teaching. When I talk about new, I mean NEW, as in "What is this Linux thing anyway?" new.
It is my belief from having worked in the Microsoft world that your publication in general, and the Linux community in general, would really benefit from expanding the tent to, dare I say, coddle the new user.
Michael L. Flynn
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