Learning / Growing / Expanding / Contracting

Recently as noted below I began learning UNIX in order to pursue a career in IT. Saturday Bunny and I went out to the Barnes & Noble in Ledgewood to get a book to help me along in this process. She must have pointed and went “unh unh unh” about 50 times in the 15 minutes we were there at books about animals, little stuffed dog toys, the large sign advertising said dogs, and finally settling on a display of Dora the Explorer© books. We picked out the one she liked the best and then I picked up a book on UNIX. I was looking for “Learn UNIX for Mac OS X”, unsurprisingly they were out of stock (being a mac user, I’m starting to get used to no one keeping materials in stock for 3% of the household computer market). However I did find a book called “Teach Yourself Unix System Administration in 24 Hours”. It consists of 24 hourlong lessons. This book is marvelous. It assumes you have at least a basic understanding of Unix and the goal is not to teach you the definitive commands for a particular version of UNIX, but how to figure out what you want to do. This is a really great concept. In the foreword the author describes it this way:
There are two types of SysAdmins: wizards and gurus. Wizards know every single command and how to run them. Gurus know how to find the information they are seeking in order to control the system as they like, and can pass these techniques along; it’s not just rote memorization. Which is much more helpful because the computer world is in a constant state of flux, and in Unix you could be facing the memorization of 15,000+ commands!
The really great thing is that it is not platform specific, it goes from Linux to Solaris to Mac OS X, showing the differences along the way. It has been really helpful in getting me on track to learning this stuff as quickly as possible.
Which leads me to my main point. It is really great to be involving my brain in activity again. It feels so good to be learning something new, and I am really eager to plough forward every night and dig around to find out new tricks. Learning something new, which is useful, and engages my mind has been an invaluable boon to my self-esteem. In general I feel as though my mood is brighter now that I have a tangible goal which I have control over. I have tried teaching myself new things before, but usually my interest fizzles out after a little while (I’m looking at you HTML, and my desire to build websites in the early 00’s). This feels totally different. The more I learn the more I want to continue learning about Unix and all the things I can control. I really enjoy that there is already an environment set up on our Apple laptop at home. So I already have a lab with which to test commands and see exactly what the output given is, and how I can change it.
Not to mention that once I’m proficient enough I can start looking for a new job.
So now I’m not just waiting it out to see how much longer I have to stay with my current job…I am proactively engaging in the acquisition of new knowledge which will directly or indirectly lead to a new career. The point is that now I’m in control, rather than just waiting to see what happens. And that feels great.

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Author: jayholler

A technology lover living in California with my wife and two children.

5 thoughts on “Learning / Growing / Expanding / Contracting”

  1. The thought of your having a new career path is really pleasing to me as well, Jay. I have felt sorry for you since you began working as a zoning officer. I know how much you dislike the nature of your job and it will be really great when you can leave for work feeling at peace with what the next eight hours will bring.

    I was thinking that when we have dinner tonight we could ask my Dad if he knows a good starting place for this. Being that he’s so involved in the wide world of business and has a lot of connections, he might be able to help open a few doors or something. Who knows? It never hurts to ask.

    I woke up to give Bunny water at 4 AM and didn’t fall back to sleep until almost six. I passively tried to wake you up too, but you didn’t stir.

    Bunny is currently sitting on the printer ledge and reading her Dora book. I don’t think that there will be a bath in sight for us today, so I’m going to try to get her to take a shower with me. Wish me luck.

    I’ll see you at my mom and dad’s at 4:30 and I LOVE YOU.

  2. I’m working on trying to figure out if “sweetums” is part of a secret language to which I am not privy, or if you mean sweet Tums, sweet’mms or Sweet times the umpth.

  3. Well, sometimes Jeff says these wierd things that stick in my head. Sweetums is an example of this. He said it one night while we were in the studio, and I laughed much harder than the word was proportinally funny.
    Another example of Jeff cracking me up is the very last part of this brief mp3 advertising the new record:
    pzoo.com/mp3/LSpromo.mp3.

    It’s just Jeffy being Jeffy. I have however taken “sweetums” on as a new exasperated exclamation.

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