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Linux Knowledge Base and Tutorial FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)



Category: Main -> Using the Tutorial

Question
·  What features does the tutorial provide?
·  How do I naviagate the site?
·  How can I check that I have learned the material?
·  How do I get more information?
·  How can I search the site?
·  What browser is best with the tutorial?
·  How come there are so many links on each page?
·  What are "interactive" images?
·  What's with the pop ups and JavaScript?
·  How can I ask questions?
·  Where can I get a hardcopy of the tutorial?
·  The font size is too small. How can I change it?
·  

Answer
·  What features does the tutorial provide?

The first feature is a wide range of information, provided in a way that is understandable, regardless of previous experience with Linux or computers. For example:

  • Hundreds of easy-to-understand, in-depth articles
  • Glossary with direct links from the articles
  • Man-pages with direct links from the articles
  • MoreInfo links from articles
  • Hundreds of questions and answers
  • Official HOWTOs
  • Thousands of links to other sites
  • Forums where you can get help to specific problems
  • Topic links, which provide access to all other parts of the site

In order to access the information, we have provided you with a wide range of navigation aides.

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·  How do I naviagate the site?

There are several different navigation methods. Each provides a different method of moving through the system, which allows you to choose the method that is best suited to your needs and preferences.

Being able to access information efficiently is just as important as having the information available in the first place. Therefore, I have tried to provide as many different navigation aides as possible. Some might be redundant, but I have tried to ensure that you are not overwhelmed or confused by all of the choices.

The primary way of navigating is the standard menu on the left. This allows you to jump to specific topics within a specific area. However, there are a number of pages that are alone within a directory. I created the menus with a script that scanned the directories. As a result, some of the menus have just a single entry for the one file in the directory. I know this looks a little weird, but it was necessary to simplify the generation and management of the pages.

On each page, you will see in the right hand column a number of "Did You Know?" entries, which provide little "snippits" or "teasers" of information. These are provided to whet your appetite about a particular topic. They are displayed randomly, so they may not be related to the topic on the current page. Each is a link and clicking on then brings you to the page where that particular topic is discussed.

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·  How can I check that I have learned the material?

You can check how well you understand the material by clicking on the "Test Your Knowledge" links. Here you are asked random questions about the current topic. Each answer (whether true-false or multiple choice) is a link that tells you whether your answer was correct or not and provides a link to the page where that topic is discussed in detail. Note that some sections have very few questions and since they are asked randomly, the questions are repeated more quickly (even the same question several times in a row). If you move up a level, there are more questions and the frequency each question is asked goes down.

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·  How do I get more information?

Sometimes you won't find an answer to your question or want more information. Here we help you in several ways. At the bottom of each page and the bottom of each menu, there is a link "more info". This will bring you to a new page that has a varying number of links and other information related to the current topic. Some are links to other pages on my site, while others are links to other sites. Note that not all pages have more information, although a "More Info" link exists. This is necessary to simplify the programming. If this doesn't help or if you are not sure where to look, check out the Tutorial Forum.

If you cannot find what you are looking for, check out the the site search engine and glossary. These might give you a push in the right direction.

If you have tried all of the methods to find something and it you still have no luck, just go here telling me what you were looking for. At the very least, I will be able to tell you whether it is there or not. However, I will probably put it on my to-do list of things that I want to eventually add to the site.

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·  How can I search the site?

On each page is also a "site search" where you can you look for information based on keywords. This actually used Google as the search mechanism which scans the entire site from time to time.

There is also a site map listing the main subject areas of the site.

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·  What browser is best with the tutorial?

The short answer is Mozilla or Konqueror 3.1 (other versions of Konqueror do not display the popups correctly). The long answer is that it depends on your personal preferences. I have tried really hard to make this site look good in several different browsers, even Microsoft Internet Explorer. However, each browser interprets the HTML code in a different way and the result is a different appearance. Since I use it myself, I tend to make things look "best" in Konqueror. However, since Konqueror had the bug again, I am slowly switching to Mozilla.

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·  How come there are so many links on each page?

This site makes use of many different techniques to give you access to the information. Note only do we you hyperlinks like any other web site, the content is highly interconnected, allowing to easily move between different types of information and between topics.

Unlike a printed book, hyperlinks allow you to quickly move between various parts of an individual site, as well as between different sites. Links on this site also takes you to "More Information" pages with other links to sites that have more details of the area being discussed. Some of the links provide definitions of the terms used.

On most pages you will also find individual words and phrases that are links to other pages which give you related terms and all the pages where that term is used. You can also start from the site glossary and select the term you are interested in.

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·  What are "interactive" images?

An "interactive" image is one that does more than just sit there. Moving your mouse over the image causes a popup to appear that provides additional information about the part of the image that the mouse is over. In some cases, I made screen shots of straight text output and produced image maps from them. I feel this can help explain the topic better. (Note that javascript must be enable to take advantage of this feature.)

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·  What's with the pop ups and JavaScript?

Although not necessary, activating JavaScript is useful for the site. The tutorial is intended for beginners, who will find many unfamiliar terms. Therefore, I have created a glossary of these terms and they appear as normal links. If JavaScript is enabled and you move your mouse over the text, a pop-up will appear with the definition. The definition will also appear in the status line at the bottom of the screen, but that is limited in size.

The popups for the glossary terms are created using the overLib JavaScript library. Note that overLib does not work correctly with the Konqueror browser prior to version 3.0Beta2 or after 3.1 and seems to have problems with Internet Explorer 6.

If you don't want to activate JavaScript, you can simply click on the link and a new window will open up with the definition.

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·  How can I ask questions?

Orginally I had a number of links in the site menu on each page to ask questions, make suggestions, request more information, and so forth. However, I got overwhelmed by people wanted me to do their homework for them, I stopped answering questions directly. Instead, you can use the Tutorial Forum. Please keep in mind that the forum not intended to provide you with your own person tech support hotline. While people do their best to answer technical questions, there are sometimes we may not know the answer or may not have the time to answer the question beyond giving you a shove in the right direction.

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·  Where can I get a hardcopy of the tutorial?

You can download the PDF file from SourceForge. I consider this a "beta" versions as there are probably a lot problems in the layout, and so on. If you find something that doesn't look right or have suggestions on how it can be improved, please let me know. Keep in mind that it may be some time between versions.

You can download the entire site and have a local copy, if you download it from the SourceForge project page. This includes all of the old Perl scripts, content pages, glossary and everything else. You can install it as a virtual host of your web server and have offline access to the tutorial. Updates are available from the project CVS respository on SourceForge. The content pages can be loaded individually or in groups and printed that way. I am thinking about making the PHPNuke module code available sometime, but that is not yet even in the planning stage.

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·  The font size is too small. How can I change it?

The tutorial provides several different themes to registered users. Each theme is available in three different font sizes: normal, large and very large. Click the Your Account and then select "Themes".

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