Unix/Linux OS/benefits of linux

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Question
hi how r u?I really need some advice.Ive asked you questions in the past, and you have been very helpful.Im starting to study linux and its pretty cool.You once told me that linux is used on a lot of your web servers,ios devices,the public switch telephone network,sans, etc.By learning linux what kind of opportunties can i have?
The ability to setup web servers? Fix ios devices,or fix public telephone stuff?Make sans?
Is there anyway i can use this new os to my advantage
Im looking for a skill that is really in demand that can provide me a lot of opportunties for employment. A lot of home users dont really use linux so im not sure if there is a market for that.I dont see making any money repairing computers with linux installed on them from home users.Or setting up pcs to use linux in a home  environment.
And not sure id want to run a business to were i built and setup linux boxes for home users anyway.Some of the hardware that comes with pcs seem to have compatilby problems with linux and im not sure if i can get all of the various printers to work with it either. I see on your profile that you deal wth application servers,database servers,lamp servers.Is that something that i can get into.
The problem that I see is when u google lamp servers its usually referring to a web server for personal use that is not being used to host loads of different sites for different users.To setup a full fledge web server that can host loads of sites and run 24/7 it quite technical and complicated from what ive heard I know linux can be used with a live cd and also has some cool data recovery stuff.Is there anything u can recommend on how to use this os to my advantage.It sounds like the home user clientele would be off limits and thatís find but I noticed most business usually have their own it staff so im not sure how I could get any work there either.If setup sans,fixing ios devices,and lamp servers can somehow be used for a clientlle im more than happy to do that.If you can point me in a direction It would greatly appreciated.

Answer
Hi am,

What I can see from your question is that you've done very little with *nix for 2 years.
If you had, you'd know that *nix is not "new" - it was written in 1968.
The various flavors of linux, solaris, HPUx, AIX, SCO, etc. are all offshoots of that work.
If you don't jump in because you enjoy the challenge, then you'll always consider it to be "work".

Your career should be wrapped around something you love to do.
If you get out there and do what you love to do, you'll attract others and success will follow.
(getting started requires a lot of faith in what you love to do - that's what attracts others...)

My start with *nix was really just an outgrowth of loving to decipher operating systems and how they worked. I had to figure out how to get data off foreign computer systems and/or sell, configure and install:
RDOS on Data General systems
IRIS on Data General and Point 4 systems
RSTS, CTS-300, VMS, Ultrix, CP/M, and MS-DOS on Digital Equipment Corp systems
Some odd O/S on Texas Instruments systems (that dropped you to a "." prompt)
Altos Xenix on Altos systems (a combination of 8086 and Z80 processors)
SCO Xenix, SCO Unix, SCO OS/5 on Intel 286, 386, 486 and Pentium systems
AIX on IBM systems
Linux (Caldera, SuSe, Debian, RedHat, Ubuntu) on Intel Pentium and higher systems

I had to figure out how to intercept printer data streams, extract data, re-direct data to a print stream, capture the print stream in a file, post-process the file and load the data into the new system... I really learned a lot about serial and parallel wiring, parallel to serial conversion, re-direction under all those operating systems... It was, at that time, pretty much a hacker's job -- not malevolent hacking, just hacking enough to get the job done.

I love working with systems and helping people get from point "A" to point "B"...
That requires knowing a lot about point "B" and figuring out enough about point "A" to make the move for them...
A lot of what I learned has no practical use now, but it still provides a basic understanding of "how things work"... (TCP/IP -- it's a lot like serial communications used in the past... and disks vs. solid state and where each is applicable... and how controllers, buses, transport media compare... and selecting development environments, applications, and tools and how to mix them into a viable work-space...)

So - you just have to love it and enjoy doing it...
If you do, you'll go out there do it!

Good luck on finding your way,
Larry Irwin

Unix/Linux OS

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mkitwrk

Expertise

Expert: Creating and managing *nix database/application servers for use with dl4/unibasic/mysql/apache/thoroughbred applications, especially in medical environments. Strengths: scripting, backup and disaster recovery, mysql, apache2, routing, samba/smbfs/cifs, LPRng, CUPS, telnet/ssh/sftp, vsftp, rsync, new system preparation, system duplication, database design, system conversions (AIX/SCO-OS5/Linux) Currently working on scripted setup of LAMP servers using PDO for MySQL and Oracle. Compiling Apache2, openssl, php and libxml2 from source and linking to libraries for MySQL and Oracle InstantClient. Works great so far! Familiar With: php, c, awk, sed, gnome, nfs and lots of other *nix tools

Experience

I've been head of development at our company since 1984. Our OS's at that time were Point 4's IRIS and Altos' Xenix. Then: SCO Xenix, SCO Unix, AIX, SCO-OS5, Caldera, RedHat 7, Debian Sarge, RedHat ES4, Debian Etch, Redhat ES5, Debian Lenny, RedHat ES6, Debian Squeeze. I've migrated our clients through those various versions with minimal interruption while preserving their investments in hardware and staff knowledge over time.

Education/Credentials
1980 BSBA Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri

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