[Mailman-Users] installing

Phil Stracchino alaric at babcom.com
Mon Jul 9 00:00:02 CEST 2001

On Sun, Jul 08, 2001 at 11:25:02PM +0100, Karl Carlile wrote:
> I have tried the xterm and to no avail. 
> I have downloaded and installed Python and Apache. And now I cannot install 
> this programme. I dont know what to do. If there was just some other format 
> in which mailman was kept I might have more success with it.
> I am not altogether sure what is to be gained from using linux. I cannot see 
> any significant advantages of it over WIndows. Indeed windows is much less 
> messy and has less bugs.

Why, yes, you're absolutely right.  Windows is so superior that two of the
biggest computer insurance companies in the world now add a 25% surcharge
to hacking-insurance premiums for sites that use Windows NT.

> A lot of exaggeration concerning the benefits of 
> Linux. Some just seem to like doing things the hard way. Or can anybody see 
> something I cannot.
> It is very frustrating. I have spent hours at it.

Karl, I'm going to try to be gentle about this, but:  You're making it
fairly clear that you have very little, if any, idea what you're doing.  

Linux, or any Unix, is not just another program that you can download and
use "out of the box" five minutes later.  You can't expect to start out
knowing nothing about it and, a couple of hours later, have a complete
system that works exactly like you're used to Windows working and does
what you're used to Windows doing.  Unices are complex and powerful
operating systems capable of doing many things, they are far more secure
and robust than Windows, but you can't just point, click and fumble your
way through them.  You have to understand what you're doing and how the
operating system works, and if you're trying to install Mailman by
double-clicking the configure file from a graphical file browser, it's
painfully obvious that you don't understand either one.

There are some things Windows does better than Linux -- for example, most
games that run on Windows don't run on Linux -- but in most cases, it's
not because of any shortcoming in Linux, it's merely because no-one has
taken the trouble to rewrite the programs for Linux yet.  On the other
hand, there are many, many things that Linux does better than Windows.  
To name but one, Linux virtually never crashes, while Windows crashes so
often that most Windows users have come to accept the Blue Screen of Death
as just one of those things that come along with computers.

Can I ask why you're trying to install Mailman?  Do you actually *need* a
mailing list manager?  Did you install Linux for any reason other than to
run Mailman?  Or do you just have one or maybe two mailing lists that
you'd like to start?  If you don't understand why anyone would run Linux
instead of Windows, I suspect you're trying to run Linux -- and Mailman --
for all the wrong reasons, and you'd be better served by sticking with
Windows and finding some site like eGroups, Lycos, or Yahoo Lists to host
your list for you.  Heck, if you ask nicely, you might even get someone on
this list to volunteer to host your list for you.

On the other hand, if you're really serious about running Linux and
Mailman, do yourself a big favor.  Go to your local computer bookstore,
find yourself an introductory and an intermediate book on Linux, and buy
them.  Take them home, and read the introductory book from beginning to
end, carefully.  Twice.  The second time through you'll probably
understand enough to get what you missed the first time.  Then read the
intermediate book.  Do every exercise and example.  Then come back and try
to install Mailman again, and this time, read the instructions and do as
they say.  By that point, you'll probably understand enough of them to get
it installed and working.

Best of luck, either way.

 Linux Now!   ..........Because friends don't let friends use Microsoft.
 phil stracchino   --   the renaissance man   --   mystic zen biker geek
        alaric at babcom.com                halmayne at sourceforge.net
   2000 CBR929RR, 1991 VFR750F3 (foully murdered), 1986 VF500F (sold)

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