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Sunday, December 25th, 2005

Credit Where It’s Due

In a couple of my posts about getting my wireless card to work in Fedora, I mentioned and linked to Mauriat Miranda’s Fedora Core 4 Installation Guide, but I didn’t specifically credit him for his work. I’ve gone back and edited my posts to do that.

I didn’t notice the oversight until I saw a comment on one of these posts saying, basically, “you’re welcome.” He must have seen inbound traffic from here and checked it out. I left the following message for him:

Thanks for the feedback, although it was a little embarrassing. I’ve amended my posts that reference your guide to credit you by name. I get at least 30 hits a day on the subject, so hopefully I’m steering a little traffic your way.

I found that documenting just the wireless card installation to be a tedious and relatively thankless task, so I have great respect for you and the amount of effort that must have gone into your document. I’m going to post this message on my site and hopefully send some more over to you. I know I found your advice to be invaluable.

Regards,

Greg R. Perry

If you had read between the lines in some of my posts, you would have seen the message “I’m a huge dummy for not reading this through completely and following its advice from the very beginning.” I installed Fedora at least four times while trying to get the card working, and a lot of the mysterious errors that I saw along the way – things that had nothing to do with the wireless card itself – could have been avoided, so I would highly recommend going over there and checking it out. I can’t imagine how much time Mauriat spent fiddling around with his system, making mistakes and having to reinstall again, and pausing after every tweak to take notes on what he did and what the results were, in order to obtain the knowledge that he presents. It’s a way more complete and practical guide than what RedHat hands you.

Myself, I feel like I’ve carved out a little niche for myself with my own work and writing about it, but it only makes me marvel more at the hardcore howto-writers like Mauriat. In a way, it’s an even tougher job than the dedicated people who write the open source software. Maybe I actually could code my way out of a wet paper bag, but one thing I’ve always hated is documenting how I did it, and figuring out how somebody else did it is even worse. My contribution to making Linux more accessible to the world is pretty puny, but every little acknowledgment is such a huge thrill to me – the comments on my own posts, the links from other sources, and the Google ranking – these things may seem small, but they so make up for those hours of frustration, the noticing that it’s 3:00 am and having to get up for work in just a couple of hours, and the time lost writing when I could have been playing with the fruits of my labor.

So do us all a favor and drop a note every now and again when you find useful information on someone’s website. Even more importantly, let us know when we steer you wrong – I know I go back and fix any error that I’m aware of. I take pride in what I do, and pride is the only payment I get. But this post isn’t supposed to be about me – it’s about Mauriat. Go there, use it, and drop him a note.

Posted by Greg in Hardware & Drivers, OS

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