"Welcome to the club!", said the machine.
Before this thing gets too serious, I have to say that there is a lot of interesting stuff waiting to be done on the club. The sky is the limit with this end of the computing spectrum. If you want to do something, we'll try to help. It'll be mostly up to you however. And so, to more serious matters.
The first and foremost point to keep in mind is this: you are now directly operating on the innards of a computer somewhere else. You've just walked in to a civil club, maintained by a stranger for your pleasure. We're all here for fun and education. Please be respectful.
The second and equally important point is: you can have fun here.
Now that we've got that out of the way, how can you have fun here?
There seem to be several paths: creative writing, technical mountain climbing, and artistic coding. There hasn't been much of an academy established, so everyone is still just bumbling about trying various things.
This consists of the server to do tricky things using simple tools. It's the computational equivalent of going for a long and difficult walk. You use your feet to get to the top of the mountain. The main goal is getting to the top, but you learn something with your feet by going up.
- open up multiple terminals in screen
- get familiar with cd, mv, rm, and ls
- in screen try to: open up nano in one terminal, and read man nano in another terminal
- write a text document describing your life goals and computer plans in the file ~/.plan using nano ~/.plan.
- use watch who to check if anyone else is using the server
- write someone an internal e-mail using mail USERNAME (to test it out, you can write me using mail pgadey. Remember to type ctrl-d to finish inputting text.)
- open up a screen containing a copy of irssi connected to the IRC server and then detach your screen session (ctrl-a d)
There is a lot of thumb twiddling when people first sit down to write. What should you write about? For who, and why? It's tricky business. A lot of people are making small micro blogs on ctrl-c.club. A lot of people haven't got past the first entry: "Hi -- I'm here; I don't know what to write."
This is a great first entry! It shows that the thing works!
Now for a second entry, tell us anything!
- Where are you from?
- What do you like to do with your time?
- Do you have any other eclectic hobbies?
- What kinds of people, places, and things do you like?
- What is most inspiring in your life?
This is the field where I have the least experience, and so I'm not much of a guide. It seems like other people on the club are marking very neat web software. They're doing experimental things. I try to treat their art with respect, and play along when I can. Try to make nice art, that other people can understand. They'll enjoy it more if they can play with it.
Here is ~Azmo has a self-modifying webpage to inspire you.
This doesn't mean "hacking" in "breaking and entering" sense. Hacking has nothing to do with "breaking and entering", the nefarious side of computer use known as "cracking". Hacking consists of nothing but "making things out of baling wire and bubble gum" on computers. After a years of hacking most programmers end up with a utility belt full of small tools, scripts, and helpers to perform a variety of common tasks. The fruits of hacking are useful tools.