Treasure Trove Discovery

TL;DR? Skip to “BUT TODAY!”


For a long time, I struggled through ActionScript constantly having to look things up because I didn’t really understand what I was doing. I couldn’t tell you how many arrays and For loops I coded but didn’t understand. Copying & pasting or just typing verbatim from some shallow tutorial … but then … I started learning JavaScript at Codecademy and Khan Academy and these things–through proper instruction–made total sense!


A couple years ago, I tried installing and using Linux for the first time. It was a nightmare. I wasn’t online at home but under the impression that it would be okay because I had an install disk. If that makes you laugh, you know what I went through with ten trillion dependencies popping up every time I thought I’d satisfied them all … downloading them to a USB at work, installing them at home, they’d have dependencies of their own … I hated it.


Then, of course, there’s my relatively recent nightmare trying to install the ELK stack. Then trying to update the ELK stack. I had no idea what was supposed to go where or how to get any information to do anything. I hated it.


A couple days ago, I found two super-nifty online books every newbie should run to this very millisecond. Explanation(s) of what makes them so ridiculously awesome are below the linky links.

Linux Fundamentals by Paul Cobbaut (365 pages)

The Linux Command Line by William Shotts (537 pages)

“The Linux File Tree” — Chapter 11 of Cobbaut’s Linux Fundamentals is a gift from Heaven. Now I know not only what a bin directory is for but why there are so many of them! Oh, and I know what FHS means and its significance! I also know what lib, opt, var, usr, and etc are! Life is so freakin’ awesome now. Each chapter in the book has homework and study questions which I’ll start as soon as I’m done writing this post.

“Package Management” — Chapter 15 of Shotts’ Linux Command Line was even better than I’d hoped for. Did you know Red Hat and Ubuntu are like whole different countries? I know, right?! Apparently, trying to use rpm in my Ubuntu terminal didn’t work, you know, for a reason. My total favorite topics were the following yummy (no pun intended) goodness:

  • Determining If A Package Is Installed
  • Displaying Info About An Installed Package
  • Finding Which Package Installed A File

Why those? Because as I tried to install and/or upgrade the aforementioned ELK packages, I had no idea which ones worked or which ones I could remove or which pieces belonged to what package … now I can go back and confidently clean that mess up and maybe even start over and do it all right and smoothly this time.


About jotascript

Aiming to please. Seeking to impress.
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