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Perry Lorier perry@c...
Fri Apr 8 11:29:35 NZST 2005

Bnonn wrote:
> Yah, I know that coding ability isn't mandatory. It's just tricky 
> gauging my own knowledge and ability against others when I don't really 
> personally know any other Linux users :) I admin Windows at work, and 
> feel pretty confident in that, but computers are such that the more you 
> know, the more you know that you know damn all.
> Still, I have no problem with taking risks. And I'm learning to take 
> notes :D

Isomer's power user test:

If you can answer all of these questions you truely have guru status. 
If you can answer more than about 5 or so, you are definately a power user.
If you can answer any, you're doing well.

Google, manpages and any other reference source is encouraged.

* Why has the writing been worn off my tab key?  what am I using it for?

* What's a netmask?  What is the netmask for a /23?  What happens if you 
have the wrong netmask?

* A service has died, you've fixed it and need to restart it, how would 
you go about doing so?

* What does it mean if my computer boots up and says "L" then stops? 
What's wrong? How would you fix it?

* Can you compile your own kernel?  Does anyone really know what MTRR 
is?  does anyone care?

* What is ldconfig, and when would you use it?  what happens if you 
forget to run it?

* lost+found directories are scattered around the filesystem, what is 
their purpose?  Can they just be removed?  Are there any side effects to 
doing so?

* emacs or vi?

* What process has pid 1, why is this process important?  Where would 
you configure this process?  What happens if this process goes away?

* Do you know what these tools are used for?
** apropos
** awk
** cvs
** dmesg
** find
** fsck
** grep
** locate
** screen
** sed
** ssh
** strace
** sudo
** svn
** umount
** watch
** wall
** wget

* do you know how to use /sbin/fdisk?  do you use cfdisk anyway?

* How do killall and killall5 differ?  Have you ever got them confused? 
  Is this bad?  Were you fired?

* Do you run screaming at the word PCMCIA?  How would you configure a 
PCMCIA wireless card?  a PCMCIA GPS?  a PCMCIA flux capacitor?

* Running most programs elicits the error "Read only filesystem", what 
may have caused this?  How would you resolve it?

* how would you tell if a machine is running debian, redhat, gentoo, or 
windows xp?

* what would you do to get a program run on stup?

* What kind of files would you expect to find in /usr/share/zoneinfo, 
are these files important?  what would happen if they were removed?

* I'm installing a package the depends on portmap, what is it that I'm 
likely to be installing?  is portmap important?  how would I diagnose 
issues with portmap?

* How do I determine what ports are open on my machine?  How can I tell 
what ports to close?  Name at least two ways to "close" ports from the 

* How do I list all the hidden files in a directory?

* What does "#!/bin/sh" mean, why is it important?

* If I had permissions "rwxr-xr-x  perry fooers" who could do what? 
What type of file is this likely to be?  What about if the permissions 
are 550?

* Whats the difference between bash and xterm?

* How do I determine if swap is enabled?  How would I disable it?

* How many primary partitions can you have on a normal x86 box?  How 
would you get around this?

* I have a /boot partition, how big should this be?  Is there anything 
special about how this partition is layed out on disk?

* fsck says "Deleted inode has zero dtime" what has happened to my disk? 
  am I going to have to reinstall?

* I've forgotten my root password, what can I do about this?

* depmod complains about unresolved symbols?  How would you resolve this 

* what is important about "."'s at the beginning of a filename?  What 
sort of files would be named like this?

* I have a file with a charactor I can't type in it, how would I delete 
it from the cli?

* Linux boots and then says it can't start my X server, what does this 
mean?  how would I fix this?

* I want to have a program run every day at 3am, how would I do this?

* What are the best ways of determining what hardware is in my machine?

* Have you written any wiki pages?

* ls segfaults when run, how can I tell what files are in the current 
directory without using X?

* What is a window manager?  What happens if I don't have one?

* What's this lpd thing running?  Why would I want it?  Where is it's 
configuration usually stored?  How would I submit files to it?

* Every time I type an "s" in X I get a "z" on the screen, whats wrong? 
how would I fix this?

* X needs a driver on a CD I have to run, how would I get that driver 
onto the machine?

* How do I list all the rpm's installed on a machine?  How do I list all 
the .debs installed on a machine?

* click to focus? sloppy focus? or focus follows the mouse?  Discuss.

* I have a .tar.gz file that contains the source to a program I want to 
install, how would I compile and install it?

* The above program fails while installing saying "checking for 
zlib.h... failed" what do I do now?

* Should I install it in ~, /usr, /var/tmp, /opt, "/Program 
files/Perry's cool program" or /usr/local, discuss.

* I have a daemon that isn't working, what would the first thing I do be?

* I have a program running on port 23/tcp open, is this a problem?

* what's /dev/ttyS0 likely to be?  I sent "AT\n" to it, and it said 
something back that made me happy, what did it say?

* How would I set up IP masquerading?

* what's /etc/issue used for?  why is it different to /etc/motd?  Can I 
arbitarily edit either file?

* eth0 has an IP address of, name two problems with this 
address being used on eth0.

* Explain the difference between an oops and a panic.

* I have an internal network, what IP address(es) can I use for my 
machines?  what addresses shouldn't I use?

* I use ihug for dialup internet, how would I set this up?

* Whenever I try and use the internet it says "Unknown host", I can ping 
machines by IP address, whats probably wrong?  what config file(s) would 
I check?  How would I fix this?

* I have no default route, how do I add a new one without rebooting?  If 
I know my IP and netmask, at a guess what should I set the default 
gateway to?

* What is 0x20 in decimal? binary? octal? does anyone care?

* /proc/interrupts is showing a lot of interrupts on IRQ 0, is this 
something I should be worried about?

* inetd is a cool program, what does it do?  What happens if it's not 

* I'm at an Installfest, and I have a problem I can't solve, what should 
I do?

* What's NAT?  Why is it evil?

* I installed a new kernel and now my computer panics during boot, what 
should I do?

* If you had a computer that had all the problems outlined above, would 
you switch to macos?

If you want to discuss your answers to questions please reply to me *OFF 
LIST* so that other people have a chance to think about them without the 
answers being given away.

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