[scribus] more replies to ..MAKING THE PLUNGE

Robert Marma robert_marma at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 24 02:11:07 CEST 2010

To All Kind, Learned Linux User Responders, 
I'll respond to your advice individually in order to avoid any confusion.

First of all, Carl, I loved your allusion to the "real computer" because in many 
ways using Linux is reminiscent of the computing of yesteryear, where you really 
had to know what you're doing in order to achieve complete functionality of your 
system, whether it be an ancient high level language like Fortran, Cobol or 
BASIC, or a real operating system like CPM, or pre-Windows MS-DOS.  I prefer to 
call myself as a Linux "newborn" [even less advanced than a "newbie"], and for 
people like me the Gnome desktop makes life a lot easier because I can function 
with my netbook while I'm learning BASH and the more esoteric Linux command 
functions.  Those weekly LUG meetings sound like an excellent idea, but 
unfortunately I don't have Internet access at home, so I wouldn't be able to 
commit to regular participation.

Jan, thanks for the info concerning HOWTO documents.  I've actually examined a 
few already, and they're clearly written and very instructive.

Jim, I'll check out Perl, which I've actually seen as highly recommended before 
by other users.  Yes, from the little studying I've done, BASH syntax is 
strange, conpared with MS-DOS and even BASIC, both of which I've used 
extensively.  Some of the command names don't even seem appropriate to what they 
do.  However, I think I should become at least comfortable with  Linux before I 
experience a new learning curve with yet another language.  I've also considered 
learning Java, which I understand is multiplatform, and which, therefore, would 
conceivably allow scripts that I write on my netbook to work on my Windows 
systems with the J.R.E. installed.  However, both of these are future projects.  
It's really great to see how many available options there are, and even more 
amazing that most of them are absolutely free because, being retired, I'm a bit 
"financially challenged"!

Joe, I've looked through the Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide, which was recommend 
by someone on one of the Linux forums.  It does, indeed, appear to be 
comprehensive--in fact in many ways far too advanced for me.  I only wish I 
could download the entire thing for reference at my liesure, only because I 
don't always have access to the Internet.

Peter, I actually have played around with BASH's autocomplete feature, except 
that I was using the <up> and <down> arrow keys.  The later versions of MS-DOS 
offered a similar feature.  I haven't tried Nano, but I'll play with it when I 
get a chance.  I actually installed VLC, but I must confess that did it the 
"lazy" way, allowing Gnome's package install the RPM.  I wasn't paying attention 
to the messages during the package downloads and installs, so I can't be certain 
that the Win32 codec was installed with everything else, but VLC DOES play the 
.mov test video I loaded, just not smoothly.  If I slow down the play speed 
slightly, it plays it fine.  Finally, I never heard of IRCs, but I'll give 'em a 
try--great suggestion!

Sveinn, those are great suggestions.  From what you and Jim Ford explained, I'm 
now convinced that I'll have to check other repositories to try to get 
more/better codecs--that is, once I .  Not for nothing, but I couldn't get MANY 
media players to play .mov files in Windows, either.  On some systems Windows 
Media Player would work, provided that I downloaded and installed the codecs.  
On other systems only Media Player Classic Home Cinema would work.  Even 
QuickTime didn't work, and .mov is supposed to be its native, proprietary 

John, I'll download and study "Slackware Linux Essentials", as you suggested.  I 
assume that any differences in syntax, command switches, etc. between 
Slackware's kernel and OpenSUSE's won't prevent it from still being a good study 
reference for me!  Yes, my local public library also contains a small supply of 
decent Linux/Unix references.  In fact, I recently withdrew a book entitled, 
"UNIX – Visual Quick Start Guide" by Deborah S. & Eric J. Ray, which takes you 
from learning basic commands to writing scripts.  Unfortunately, some of the 
commands they list don't appear when I use BASH's "man" command in openSUSE.

I deeply appreciate the time you've ALL taken and the effort you've all extended 
to come to the aid of this Linux "Newborn" with such excellent and 
well-considered advice, especially considering that none of it is directly 

At the risk of repeating myself, I also wish to apologize to all of the other 
participants in this mailing list if my Linux-related issues have appeared to 
dominate valuable time and space on this site, especially since it is 
international in scope.  As Joe Zeff pointed out, it IS a "little off-topic".   
I've indicated in previous posts that I fully intend to install Ghostscript and 
Scribus [possibly Inkscape and a few other "goodies", as well], which eventually 
will make my requests and the excellent responses I've received at least 
somewhat relevent.  Hopefully, some day I also will be competent enough to write 
a few useful scripts of my own.

That said, I'll try not to bother any of you again for awhile--at least not 
until I've finally installed and begun using Scribus.  Hopefully, by then I'll 
have more intelligent questions to ask and perhaps even a suggestion or two of 
my own to help some other Newbie or "Newborn", somewhat after the fashion of the 
theme of the movie, "Pay It Forward".  Also, as many of you have pointed out, 
there are more than enough forums that exist specifically to offer assistance in 
learning and in resolving problems with various Linux distros.

Thank you all again.  You're all super.
Bob Marma  [ Scribus "Newbie" and Linux "Newborn" ]


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