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Date:      Mon, 02 May 2011 20:07:54 -0500
From:      Kevin Kinsey <>
To:        Polytropon <>
Cc:        Louis Marrero <>,
Subject:   Re: For My Edification
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <000001cc091a$e041f380$a0c5da80$@com> <>

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On 05/02/11 19:44, Polytropon wrote:
> Although others have already given you excellent replies,
> I would like to add a few comments.

I have a couple of suggestion that I've not yet seen
in the thread ... and kudos to you for a] asking, and
nicely done, and b] gathering your courage to give this
a try.

> On Mon, 2 May 2011 18:47:11 -0400, "Louis Marrero"<>  wrote:
>> Although I am familiar with basic computer operation, I've been trying to
>> understand a very experienced programmer friend that mixes Linux/Unix
>> terminology in his vocabulary under the assumption that everyone knows the
>> language.
> You can learn about this terminology, and I can really
> encourage you to do so, as it is a neccessary means to
> access the professional parts of Linux and UNIX, and if
> you want to "be into IT" more deeply, there is no way
> around it.
> With those basics, you'll be able to access and under-
> stand _any_ UNIX(-like) operating system as they share
> basics and have many things in common.

All I have here is a "me too".

>> Being familiar only with general knowledge on the Windows XP that I use
>> daily, I've gone on the web to find out more information on some of the
>> terms used by this programmer, such as "BSD",
> Berkeley Software Distribution, from which FreeBSD is
> derived. There are other BSDs.
>> "shell terminal",
> A dialog terminal that runs an interactive shell, a
> command-line processor that you use to issue commands
> to the system. The term's origin is the "terminal",
> a stand-alone device (often called "dumb terminal")
> that served the same purpose - communicate with the
> computer - without being "a real computer".

Windows systems also have a command interpreter,
though (arguably) it's hardly used and considered
arcane by most users.  On all the NT and later systems
this is "cmd.exe".

>> "nc -u",
> The netcat utility. On a UNIX system, see "man nc"
> (local manual page).
>> etc.  Since my friend knows that my computer is strictly MS Windows, when my
>> friend writes down something like "In a shell terminal type nc -u
>> 5555." it makes me wonder what I'm missing.
> You "miss" understanding of the terminology, that's nothing
> bad, as you can easily learn and understand it.
>> Here are some questions that can help my understanding:
>> 1.         I know that Windows is an OS,
> In this mentioning, it refers to a family of operating systems. :-)
>> and Linux/Unix as well as FreeBSD
>> are other Operating System.
> Correct. There are many Linux (fully correct. GNU/Linux)
> distributions, as well as different BSDs and UNIXes.
>> My very basic question is this: Is it even
>> possible to install a second OS, like FreeBSD on an existing Windows-based
>> computer?
> That's easily possible. You need to do a proper partitioning
> of the hard disk and then install FreeBSD into a free partition.
> You can also make use of so-called "Live systems", a thing
> not common to "Windows": This is an installed and configured
> operating system that you boot from a CD, DVD or USB stick.
> You do NOT have to install it.

And this is the only *real* interesting input.  Download
Sun's Virtual machine software, "VirtualBox" (I believe
they just released version 4.0.6) and you can set up a
FreeBSD machine *inside* your windows machine with
no need to add any additional hardware or do any
repartitioning of the hard disk.

>> 2.         Is it possible to link my Windows laptop to a web server with
>> Unix or FreeBSD and exercise Unix/Linux commands.  If so, how is that done?
> You don't usually communicate to a web server. A web server
> delivers web pages. What you mean is a dialog access, usually
> done by SSH. You can use PuTTY (on your "Windows" laptop) to
> access a FreeBSD system via SSH. It will show up as a terminal
> window to you.
>> I'd be grateful for any information.
> I may point you to the EXCELLENT documentation online: The
> FreeBSD Handbook and the FAQ. Those are QUALITY material
> not comparable to anything you find in "Windows" land. If
> you're dealing with IT matter, you'll have no problem to
> determine _what_ to read. Those resources can be easily
> accessed through the FreeBSD web page, but can also used
> locally (maybe on systems without Internet or web access).

+1 for the FreeBSD Handbook.  Ten years ago, I downloaded
it, and now scores of people in my area think I'm the guru to
match all 'Nix gurus.  Of course, they're all Windows users ;-)

The people on this list know that I'm just a newb with 10 years
of FreeBSD under my belt ;-)

We look forward to assisting with your further edification :-)

Kevin D. Kinsey

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