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The Lounge What is on Your Mind? Unix / Linux Beginner...
# 1  
Old 10-07-2009
Tools Unix / Linux Beginner...

Hello folks. I am new to Unix / Linux and this forum and wanted to introduce myself. Currently I work as a system analyst on an old IBM S/390 mainframe system with Sun and SGI at the peripheral that runs the heart of the space surveillance system for the US Air Force. I hear that our future might be looking more towards Linux / Red Hat. As such, I am looking to put some tools in the bucket but would appreciate a vector on the best way to get started considering I have -0- experience with Linux or Unix. I have an Information Systems Mgmt degree but have not used it much in the last 5 years. Most of my experience is with hardware installation and troubleshooting.

My first inclination was towards a regimented academic environment that would close the gap and reduce the learning curve. California State University has a Unix / Linux certificate program that is appx. 6-9mo long for about $1700 given I am in Central Cal.

Any input is appreciated.

Dave

Last edited by dbeck; 10-07-2009 at 02:00 AM.. Reason: clarification
# 2  
Old 10-08-2009
when I first started out I only had access to a production NEC box running sco unix in which to learn. Back in those days real unix knowledge is for people on need to know basis ie those highly paid engineers doing field service, it was incredibly difficult to learn anything in that environment and few people offered guidance or taught me very basic stuff. I remember at that time they just developed linux and a sparc20 pizza box server at that time cost something like US$20,000

Over the years I spent thousands of dollars buying up 2nd hand equipment & unix boxes, I begged borrowed and stole software licenses just so I could use things like volume manager/clusters software on my servers just to learn something.

But guess what? These days you have the internet, you have technology forums such as this where knowledge is freely shared if it is not enough get a pizza box which now cost only $50 on ebay that nobody wants or buy ram and disk which now are dirt cheap like buying vegetables at a farmers market buy them and install vmware on your pc and run solaris/linux on it and cluster them together and learn man. Solaris 10 comes with sun cluster free no need to beg borrow or steal.
# 3  
Old 10-08-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbeck
Hello folks. I am new to Unix / Linux and this forum and wanted to introduce myself. Currently I work as a system analyst on an old IBM S/390 mainframe system with Sun and SGI at the peripheral that runs the heart of the space surveillance system for the US Air Force. I hear that our future might be looking more towards Linux / Red Hat. As such, I am looking to put some tools in the bucket but would appreciate a vector on the best way to get started considering I have -0- experience with Linux or Unix. I have an Information Systems Mgmt degree but have not used it much in the last 5 years. Most of my experience is with hardware installation and troubleshooting.

My first inclination was towards a regimented academic environment that would close the gap and reduce the learning curve. California State University has a Unix / Linux certificate program that is appx. 6-9mo long for about $1700 given I am in Central Cal.

Any input is appreciated.

Dave
Hi Dave,

Welcome.

My advice has always been to concentrate on a project to learn unix/linux.

For example, instead of spending $1700 on a certification course, why not go for the cheapest monthly plan at Slicehost - VPS Hosting (the high end plans are too expensive!) and install, admin and run your own LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) software applications?

Or even better, build from scratch, from blank disks (as sparcguy suggested!) to a working LAMP implementation?

Or even more advanced, do something similar (build a robust LAMP application) using Amazon EC2 and understand cloud computing at the same time?

Well, the EC2 direction is probably too expensive and too advanced, so go for the first or second suggestion.

Certification knowledge is superficial compared to "hands on walking-the-talk" knowledge.

I know many people with "certifications" that are basically almost clueless.

Also, if you really want to become an expert, join an open source programming collaboration project and be a part of a programming team, as you progress.

The world has evolved, and it is much better for your resume to be a key contributor to Apache.org or some other open source project than having a bunch of almost meaningless certifications.

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