Helping othersDo you remember my CD-ROM saga? When I completed messed up my system? You can read the original article here. In that article, I changed the nick of the person to xyz, to protect the guilty. In that article, which includes my logs of what went on in on IRC in #freebsd on EFnet IRC Network, you can see how I made some silly errors. More importantly, you can see how people helped me fix the problem. A short 15 minutes of help made all the difference.
Each of us can contribute in different ways. I write websites (the Diary, FreshPorts, unix @ home, NZFUG, to name a few). I help out via IRC on Undernet #FreeBSD. Sometimes I answer questions on -questions. I submit PRs when I know how to fix something (which isn’t very often).
I’ve already written about the various methods by which people can show their support for FreeBSD. There is always something which *anyone* can do. You don’t have to be a coder to contribute to the FreeBSD Project.
ExposedWhen that article was first printed, I changed the nickname from jkh to xyz. That was and still is my standard procedure. Some time later, when jkh turned up on Undernet #FreeBSD one day, I recognized the nick from EFNET. It wasn’t until some time later that someone told me jkh was Jordan Hubbard. I always thought it was Jordan who had given me that early help. But I didn’t have any proof.
Until today. I was talking in an unnamed Undernet channel, and I happened to mention that CD-ROM article. Will Andrews pointed me off to the archives for the EFNET #FreeBSD channel. He had found the original discussion. Here is an extract from the that log: cdrom.txt (15 KB). The original log is at this URL (530 KB).
Why do I bother to mention this?
I don’t know. I guess it’s a combination of bragging that jkh helped me out in my early days and a sense of wanting to encourage people to help others.
I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: The FreeBSD Diary would not exist if someone had not helped me out. I would have gotten stuck and given up. I would have said something like:
- Neah, I tried FreeBSD, but it was too hard.
- I couldn’t figure it out.
- It wouldn’t install.
- It wouldn’t boot.
Remember how easy it is to help and then remember how hard it was when you were first starting out.