Kurt Merhoff
GNU/Linux 101 An Introduction to Linux, Learning How To Learn
San Fernando Valley Linux User Group

Kurt is just an average person with no formal education in computer science or programming. He had absolutely no interest in computers until a clandestine game of Spacewar at a friend's workplace and the purchase of a TRS-80 computer converted him into an enthusiastic computer hobbyist. Many years later, Kurt first got involved with GNU/Linux when he retired from the entertainment industry and started building websites on a Linux based server.

About eight years ago Kurt's quest for a more reliable desktop OS brought him to GNU/Linux and a meeting of SFVLUG, his local Linux user group. Kurt was hooked on GNU/Linux after seeing the passion and dedication its members had for the free and open sharing of knowledge. Kurt's involvement with SFVLUG helping newbies gives him much experience with teaching GNU/Linux to entry level users. Kurt remains an active contributing member of SFVLUG and the local community and wants to pay forward the help and friendship he himself had received.


This talk is designed for people who already have some experience using a computer but have little or no experience with Linux.

Emphasis will be on applying Linux for personal, academic and small business use. You don't need to consider yourself an expert user to gain value from of this presentation. Although, to get the most out of this talk you should already be reasonably comfortable using a computer. It is not possible to talk about computers without using any technical jargon, but this presentation is designed to keep it to a minimum and fully explained.

You will learn about how Linux was created, who created it, how it is maintained, supported and why it is free. Learn about what open source software is and why it is important even if you never intend to become a programmer. There are many versions (distributions) of Linux, find out how to pick the right one for you. There are also several desktop environments available, you will find out more about what they are and how to choose the right one.

While we will cover a lot of ground in this talk there is no way to cover everyone's questions and concerns. So, most importantly, we will explore ways for you to continue with your own investigation and exploration after this talk and I will also make myself available at the San Fernando Valley Linux Users Group (SFVLUG) booth on the expo floor. If I don't know an answer to your question, or am not available other, knowledgeable members will be available to help with the answer or know where you can go to find the answer.