I understand, but honestly, did you really, really, really learned that all by yourself (outside a job/working environment)?
Except for AdvFS, yes. I learned AdvFS while working as a programmer on a Digital Unix (before it became Tru64) system. I was sufficiently impressed. But, I knew how it fit together with the rest of the system because I learned the other stuff beforehand.
My original question was: Is it possible for a female hermit to do with her kitchen-closet-basement-based network, without Gods around?
Yes. If you can read, you can learn. In fact, trhurler and I learned these things in much the same way, and at around the same time. Amusing that you mentioned a basement network. When I learned something about TCP/IP at first, it was because a couple of friends and I decided to by-God-learn-what-this-stuff-is, and we set up a cheapernet network between a couple linux boxes in the basement of his campus dorm/fellowship house.
We were not "Gods."
I have met people, who I respect, telling me that they think it's not possible.
Well, I'll say that it is easier when you can apply a couple of minds to the task, but it's most decidedly not impossible to learn on your own. There is a wealth of information there, and most admin-types you ask would be happy to provide you with information you lack, as long as you don't become a nuisance. :-)
I think one minute, sure it is, even may be the only way to learn it,
Correct. It's a journey that you'll take by yourself, anyway. You, personally, have to absorb and assimilate the knowledge. Start small, with Linsux and cheapernet, and learn the concepts. Program and learn the tools of the trade.
and next minute I say, no way, whatever network I build, it's never to be anything close to anything what one would encounter in the real world.
TCP/IP works the same way on a coax-based ethernet (cheapernet) and with a big redundant Cisco switch. The network model is the same. The concepts are all the same. If your goal is to learn how to make computers talk to each other, the knowledge is cheap and simple to obtain. The task then becomes applying that knowledge broadly, and in a scaleable fashion. That's where higher-level, more specific learning comes into play. If you're looking to hook up a couple of computers, you don't need to know how to configure ACLs on a big Cisco switch. If you're looking to become a network admin capable of configuring Cisco routers in your sleep, you'll still need to know the basic things you'll learn by hooking together two computers with a cheapernet.
And being a hermit means no outside pressure to perform.
So, learning for the love of learning and for the joy of discovery and broadening of your personal horizons. Sounds fun. Could be lucrative in the future. I say, "Go for it."
Now, who of you would have learned many of the things you know, if you hadn't to learn it.
I didn't have to puzzle out the things I puzzled out to graduate with a BS in Computer Science. I spent my time learning the things that I learned, and haven't yet gotten my degree. :-) But, I learned the things I wanted to learn, and have been able to apply them successfully. And, I have an understanding of the basic concepts, so I can now learn other things without a whole lot of trouble. I'll have to review a bit when I go back to finish my degree, but I won't be starting fresh, and I will have the advantage of seeing the things I have learned in real operation.
So far, any stories about how Perl, Linux and other projects really started out seem to indicate that people wanted desperately to make some tasks, they HAD to do, simpler, more effective, more flexible etc.
Not so with me. I downloaded Borland C++ 3.1 from a pirate BBS back in the day and taught myself C and C++. Because I wanted to learn it, because it fascinated me. A friend and I made a pact to run and learn Linux (and, by extension, Unix,) because we wanted the knowledge for its own sake. We wanted to learn.
So, with all due respect, what would have happened to most of you, if noone and nothing would ever have FORCED you to find a neat solution for, FAST ?
Had it not been my intention to learn for the sake of learning, I could probably be turning a wrench somewhere, or pouring concrete, or teaching history, or still stuffing coats in a box for shipment at the factory where I worked for a while between stints at school.
Knowledge has been, and still is, my driving goal. Understanding is my Mecca. Maybe my Waterloo, too.
But then, it's not that big of a deal either, as long as I can go and dig into things without being bothered.
As long as you know how to find the information you need, and where to find it, you'll do alright when time comes to find it. If you do the legwork early, and understand what it is that you're seeing, you'll be better off when you do need to learn something new, as you'll already have insight into the problem, possibly from a different angle.
i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.
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