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Category » Computer « @ Henry the Adequate
My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero
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  • Henry’s Tech Advice #6 - Deleting Spaces

    Posted on March 27th, 2007 Ben 12 comments

    Frustrated writes: Henry. I have a problem with a text file. There are spaces at the beginning of most of the lines and I need to get rid of them. Can you suggest an easy way to do this?

    Greetings Frustrated. You have certainly come to the right place, for I am Henry the Adequate, superhero, and my computer guru-ness is second only to that guy who empties the bins at the office. No, no. I know what you’re thinking, but the bin thing is just a hobby. Professionally he is a a damn fine butcher, and just last week bought a computer for the kids, so you can believe me when I say he knows a thing or two.

    Anyway, thanks to my enormous superheroic brain, the answer to your dilemma is as follows, assuming the file in question is called “file.txt”:

    If you are using Microsoft Windows

    1. Double click on the file “file.txt” to open it in Notepad. This is one of the best text editors ever to be included free with a Windows operating system.
    2. Click at the beginning of the first line you wish to edit. Click and drag from here to just before the first non-space character, then release the mouse button.
    3. Press the “Delete” key on your keyboard (the thing with lots and lots and lots of buttons on it).
    4. Notice how all of the highlighted spaces magically disappear with a single keystroke! Magnificent isn’t it.
    5. Repeat 2,3,4 until you reach the end of the file.
    6. Click on “File/Save” to save your changes.
    7. Click on the little “x” in the top right of Notepad to exit.

    It really is that easy with Windows, thanks to the power of the graphical interface.

    If you are using Macintosh
    Well, no experienced Mac user would be asking such a question, so I am going to assume you are a bit of a newbie. Firstly I would like you to think about that Star Trek movie where Scotty is trying to use a twentieth century system. “Computer,” he says, then waits for a response. That other Star Trek guy hands him the mouse. Of course, thinks Scotty. He holds the mouse up to his mouth. “Computer.”

    “Just use the keyboard,” suggests some person who is really quite unimportant so I will just move on without discussing him any further.

    You see? Scotty’s problem was that he expected the computer to understand his spoken, plain English commands. Your problem, of course, is exactly the opposite - Macs really are that clever. Just pick up the mouse and explain what it is you would like to have done.

    If you are using a Linux/Unix computer
    sed -i ’s/^[ \t]*//’ file.txt

    I am a really great computer guru guy. In fact I am so clever I even managed to bluff my way through the Macintosh section without anybody noticing I know nothing whatsoever about Apple computers.

    Need help with computer stuff? Henry can help. I promise a timely and definitive response to any technical question asked in the comments here.

    promise - vaguely suggest that something might happen, if you’re really really lucky.
    timely - If it occurs at all it will be within the context of the space-time continuum.
    definitive - My response may contain some definitions, such as these.

  • Henry, Fixer Upper, Part 2

    Posted on November 30th, 2006 Ben 9 comments

    I pause. “What?”

    “Is that, um, petrol you’re about to pour on my computer?”

    “Napalm actually,” I respond, helpfully, “It is the only surefire cure for a Windows infection. Trust me, I’m a superhero.”

    “But…” he protests, as though there may be some kind of unforeseen downside to what I am about to do, “There has to be another way!”

    “Sorry, no,” I explain, carefully explaining the situation in great detail. I begin to tip…

    “Please, my data!!!” he pleads. I am uncertain what the problem might be, but the desperation in his voice gives me pause. Also, he offers to pay twice my normal fee.

    “Well, there is one thing I could do…”

    “Yes, yes, please do that one thing.”

    I start up the computer, inserting my Debian Live CD, and wait a few minutes for the desktop to appear.

    “What’s that?” he asks, nervously.

    “It’s technical,” I explain, continuing with my really helpful explaining skills. “Please stand back - You don’t want to get sprayed with poisonous photon-rays from this nasty Windows virus.”

    “Of course.” He complies, gratitude and fear warring for control of his features.

    Soon I am at the KDE desktop. I mount his Windows partition, taking extra care to avoid the dreaded Capacitor Bounce Syndrome. Yes sir, CBS has claimed many a careless Windows Administrator. Anyway, I then start up Konqueror, type “fish://henry@″ to connect to one of my super duper servers, enter my password when prompted, and copy the contents of his Windows partition to the server.

    “Well, that wasn’t so technical. Don’t see why I should pay you so much to just drag and drop stuff.” He frowns, as though he is unhappy about something or other. Damn those Debian people for making this so easy.

    “Oh well,” I shrug, charging my flamethrower and reaching for the axe, “You have a will, right?”

  • Henry, Fixer Upper

    Posted on November 28th, 2006 Ben 2 comments

    My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

    I relax in the plush leather office chair, behind my plush leather office desk, feet propped with much coolness like one of those guys in the movies. I sure do like my new office, and I sure do like all of the excellent superhero business it is bringing me. That kitten rescuing certainly does the soul good, not to mention the pizza. I grab another slice and munch munchingly.

    “Hello?” Ah, it appears I have a client. Again. Phew. Images of rest and relaxation flit briefly across my brain, but only for an instant, for duty calls, like a particularly insistent duck. I check the charge on my flamethrower in anticipation of yet another perilous battle against the forces of darkness. “Can you fix my computer?”

    “Of course,” I nod wisely, “It does not say ‘Henry the Adequate, Superhero, Greengrocer, and Computer Guru’ on the door for nothing you know.”

    “Great.” He dumps the computer box thing on my desk and I get to work. Expertly I reach out and, using all of my tremendous experience and guruness, press the power button. I can tell it is the power button because it is bigger than the others, and because it is labeled “Power”.

    Nothing happens. This is bad. Really bad. I am uncertain how to break it to the poor sap, so I muster my not-inconsiderable mental forces, turn my subtlety and empathic powers to maximum, and say, “This is bad. Really bad.” Then I give a slightly sympathetic smile, which is where the empathic part comes in. “Wait here while I get my axe?”

    “Axe? Don’t you want to try plugging it in first?” Ah. Right.

    “Normally, yes. But this time I think I shall try plugging it in first,” I announce.

    “Isn’t that what I just said?”

    “Please, sir, you must allow me to do that which I do, so I will ask you to stop interrupting my professionalized diagnosorizing techniques.” I plug in the machine and press the power button again….. “Oh, no!” This is worse. Way worse than even I could have anticipated. “Windows!”

    “Yes, it gets part-way through where the line thingy is going across the screen, then restarts again, and again, and it keeps doing that. Uh…. what are you doing?”

    I pause. “What?”

    “Is that, um, petrol you’re about to pour on my computer?”

    “Napalm actually,” I respond, helpfully, “It is the only surefire cure for a Windows infection. Trust me, I’m a superhero.”

  • Henry, Computer Guru, to the Rescue

    Posted on November 21st, 2006 Ben 3 comments

    My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

    “Uh, ok. Can I help you, Mr Adequate?”

    “Yes. I would like to order a three point two gigahurts mouse,” I announce, importantly, for I am a superhero on a mission. A mission of mercy. Why, no sooner had I defeated the hideous Internet Exploderer than the poor distraught young Miss Wise of the Raven Hair and the heaving bosom came to me with yet another problem…

    “Are you sure you know about computers?” She seemed in need of reassurance.

    “Oh yes, I am an Open Sauced Guru guy. For example, I can see now why your Windows XP is not working right - there are several nasty looking bugs in your modulator-demodulator, plus…”

    “It’s just, well… that’s the Roach Motel.”

    “Of Course it is!” I replied, full of really intense reassurance rays. “Fortunately my super-reflective powers of seeing that which I am not looking at allow me to expertly diagnose all sorts of stuff just by studying your roaches. That one may be pregnant, by the way.”


    “Please, show me the problem you are having so that I may show you the problem you are having.”

    “Well, the computer seems really slow, and I thought it might be some kind of virus, or worm, or spyware, or…”

    “Of course!” I interrupted, while tapping away at the mouse button, because I had discovered something terribly important. “Your computer seems to be really slow!”

    “Yes, I think it might be some kind of virus, or worm, or spyware, or…”

    “Ah, ha!” After a careful examination of the computer using my ultra-xray powers, I felt it necessary to interrupt once more. “The problem is your mouse is too slow!”


    “Yes, this is a three point two gigahurtzs computer, but you are using a three hundred dpi mouse! Three hundred is waaaay slower that three point two gigahurts.”

    “Well….” she says, uncertainty bursting from her like that alien in that movie about the alien that bursts from people’s chests, whatever it was called. It is almost as though she suspects that I am a moron who knows nothing whatsoever about computers. But no, she is just overawed at my amazing ability to instantly spot the problem with her computer thingy.

    “Fear not, fair damsel, for I, Henry the Adequate, will sort this out! First, I must reboot your mouse.” I ripped it with my mighty hand from the computer - it is important to do this part swiftly, so none of the dpi’s escape and cause corrosion in the circuits - and booted it with all my superhuman strength through the window, which, you know, would probably have been better had the window been open at the time, but how was I to know there was a cat right under the window and anyway, cats kill native wildlife and you should all be thanking me and what were the odds anyway of that large, razor sharp, shard of glass falling right there…

    So, here I am, at the computer store, sorting out my neighbour’s computer problems. Actually, I think she has a thing for me. A shiny thing.


    Ah, clearly this sales guy is new, and does not understand the high-techedness of it all. “I wish to order a three point two gigahurts mouse,” I explain, again.

    “Ah. No, well, um…”

    “Perhaps I should speak to a more experienced sales drone?”

    “It’s just that there’s no such thing as a three point two gigahurts mouse.”

    “Oh.” Now here is a problem I had not anticipated. “So you’re saying I need to overclock the old mouse so it can sync with the Central Prostrating Unit? Because, see, I destroyed the old one to prevent dpi seepage.”


    “What about that one? It’s much bigger than the old mouse.”

    “That’s a fax machine.”

    “Excellent. I’ll take two!” Well, you know, fax is, like, 14000 baud, which is much faster than three hundred dpi.

  • IE Rulez, Firefox Suxz

    Posted on July 2nd, 2006 ben 33 comments

    There’s been some outrageous claims bandied about in the last year or two about how this “Mozilla Firefox” thingy is better than Internet Explorer. Well I, Henry the Adequate, superhero, am here to set the record straight, because of my amazing powers of record straightening and my incredible computer skills. Sorry, skillz. I am soooo damn hip.

    Reasons Internet Explorer is better than Firefox

    1. Being an explorer is a noble pursuit, filled with adventure and naked cheerleaders. Being a fox means you’re vermin, fit only to be torn to pieces by rabit rabid dogs.
    2. Basil Brush is really really really really annoying.
    3. Tabbed browsing is evil because Microsoft are paying me to say that tabbed browsing is evil. When IE 7 comes out tabbed browsing will be completely rad. My hipness knows no limits, because of my superpowers of being really cool, and stuff.
    4. Internet Explorer is much more powerful that Firefox. For example, when Firefox crashes I just have to restart it, and keep browsing. Firefox even remembers the tabs I had open, thanks to the sessionsaver extension. However, when IE crashes it takes down the whole operating system, the fridge, the toaster, and any pacemakers that may happen to be nearby. Also, the neighbour’s cat starts behaving strangely. Now that is real power.
    5. Internet Explorer supports activex controls. These neat little programs can be installed on your computer from just about any remote server and they allow the kind and friendly and completely honest internet guys in Russia to help you avoid spyware, viruses, Trojans, and rootkits. Damn those annoying Trojans. Troy totally deserved to be sacked.
    6. Internet Explorer is more secure than Firefox. I mean, with all those philanthropic Russian dudes helping us with their free activex spyware prevention tools and their brilliant popups, how could any nasties every infect your computer via Internet Explorer? Also, Microsoft only fix IE security bugs when they feel like it, which just goes to show that IE really is totally secure - otherwise MS would be fixing them immediately, like the Firefox guys do. IE is so good it doesn’t need its bugs fixed.
    7. Internet Explorer allows, even encourages, popups and popunders. It is actually extremely dangerous to have only one browser window open at a time. Multiple browser windows are kind of like that guy in XMen 3 who can be in many different places at the same time. The nasty virus thingies won’t get you if they can’t work out which window is the real one. Trust me, I’m a completely independent superhero analyst guy without any ties to Microsoft or anything like that, and anyway, what’s a couple of million dollars between friends strangers.
    8. Internet Explorer is tightly integrated with the operating system. This has many benefits. For example, Windows is totally secure and totally stable. Therefore IE, by virtue of its close ties with the OS, inherits these characteristics. Also, it is almost impossible to completely remove IE from Windows, whereas Firefox is very easily removed - another example of the supreme power of Microsoft and Internet Explorer. Also, and I am just throwing this one in because I feel this article needs some more alsos, if IE cannot be removed, why bother installing a different browser?
    9. Firefox is “Open Source” software. This means that you are legally obliged to spend ten hours per day hacking arcane source code, with absolutely no remuneration, for the rest of your life. Damn those viral licenses.
    10. Internet Explorer belongs to Microsoft, and only Microsoft. Even the copy on your computer is not yours, but is usable by you temporarily, until Microsoft see fit to deny you permission, or until IE sees fit to hose your Windows installation - whichever comes first. So far it has never been necessary for MS to deny anybody permission, because they are so kind and generous.
    11. Mystique is hot.

    Use Internet Explorer, because it is tops, and really neat. Don’t use any of that evil “Free” software stuff on your computer, because that makes you a pinko commie sympathizer who will soon be involved in an unfortunate flamethrower accident. You’ve been warned.

  • Henry’s Tech Advice #3 - Python Functions

    Posted on May 26th, 2006 Ben 3 comments

    Felinn asks “In python, how do you call functions? Also, is there an ni function?

    First, you need a function coordinator. This is a person who organizes the whole thing - the band, food, seating, comedy breasts, and other stuff like that. More importantly, this is also the person who gets the blame when things go badly.

    Next you need to yell loudly at the function coordinator whenever (s)he tries to do anything, or tries not to do anything, or makes any kind of suggestion, or comes at all close to attempting to do (s)her job. After all, that’s what you hired them for. Remember, it doesn’t matter if the whole thing is a complete disaster because, well, at least you have somebody to blame.

    Now, in the Python computer programming thingy there is a kind of a virtual function coordinator, and it is very important to realize how to deal with this “person”, or it would be, except that Python handles all of that for you, so that when you have a function like this:

    def mygreatfunction(thingy):
        do something cool

    you can just call it like this:

    mygreatfunction(I would like the veal)

    … and all of the yelling and abuse and blaming is done in the background without you even having to lift a finger.

    Isn’t that nice.

    Oh, and about the “ni function” - Don’t go messing with low level functions like that. It’s dangerous. Seriously. If you get it wrong - calling it in a forever loop, for example, you’ll end up with infinite shrubberies. That might sound good, but trust me, it’s not.

    Need help with computer stuff? Henry can help. I promise a timely and definitive response to any technical question asked in the comments here.

    promise - vaguely suggest that something might happen, if you’re really really lucky.
    timely - If it occurs at all it will be within the context of the space-time continuum.
    definitive - My response may contain some definitions, such as these.

  • Henry’s Tech Advice #2 - The Perils of RSS

    Posted on May 23rd, 2006 ben 7 comments

    Can I follow my responses to this gigabytes entry through the RSS 2.0 feed without losing my bits and graphic stuff?

    Good question, Lorraine. It is sad that so few people recognize the true dangers of dabbling in RSS, and other arcane witchcraft stuff like that.

    The problem with RSS, of course, is that if not set up correctly it will bypass the very important magical adsense portal of selling, which can cause bitwise data corruption in the graphical subroutines, and a resulting loss of cohesion in the matter stream. Transporter technicians are working on the problem as we speak, but a solution is not anticipated in the near future. Also, the warp coils need realigning, so we’re kind of busy in Engineering at the moment. Perhaps you could call back later. I will re-initialize your gigabit subspace ethernet at this time. Promise.

    Until then, please be advised that version 2.0 of the RSS Feeder is particularly susceptible to corrosion of the hull plating and gremlins in the data buffer. Furthermore the carrier wave on which RSS is transmitted often has secret government spy-rays piggy-backed onto it.

    Have a nice day.

    Need help with computer stuff? Henry can help. I promise a timely and definitive response to any technical question asked in the comments here.

    promise - vaguely suggest that something might happen, if you’re really really lucky.
    timely - If it occurs at all it will be within the context of the space-time continuum.
    definitive - My response may contain some definitions, such as these.

  • Henry’s Python Programming Guide - Part 1

    Posted on May 22nd, 2006 Ben 123 comments

    My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a Python programming Guru. I know all of their movies, and their TV shows, and can quote the dead parrot sketch in my sleep. In fact I do quote it in my sleep. That may explain why I am single, although it could also have something to do with the flamethrower.

    Naturally many old-timers want to know what this new-fangled Python thing is all about. “Henry,” they say, “What is this new-fangled Python thing all about?” See what i mean? So, here, at last, is the article you have all been waiting for…

    What is Python?
    Python is the really neat computer programming thingy, based heavily on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which was invented by those really funny guys, Monty Python. Lucky for them it was called Monty Python’s Flying Circus, because it would have been really inconvenient and confusing if it were called John Howard’s Flying Circus, or something like that.

    Python is “Object Oriented”. This means that if you are from the far east you are probably going to object to using Python. Nobody knows why. It’s just one of those useless statistics.

    Python is an interpreted language, so you’re going to need to pay some guy who speaks lots of languages to hang around and tell you what it means.

    Python has dynamic typing, and dynamic binding, which means that not only does it make a great secretary, it is also pretty damn kinky. If you’re into that sort of thing.

    In Python indentation determines scope. This breaks with naval tradition, in which it is the captain decides who gets to use the periscope next. Python also breaks with recent computer programming convention, because apparently it is usually the guy with the braces gets to decide. Damn teenagers.

    Python has exception handling. I can’t think of anything funny to say about this.

    Apparently Python can do just about anything. I told it to “feed the cat”, but there was some kind of error. Perhaps if I’d told it to Cat.feed(now) things might have been better.

    Python does garbage collection. Well, it’s a job, you know.

    Getting Started
    The first, and most important, thing you need to do is race out right now and buy the entire Monty Python mega ultra box set and watch them all right away. Don’t sleep. Don’t eat. Just watch python until your eyes bulge out of their sockets like a really furious John Cleese impersonator, and your brain hurts. You can get it from Amazon. Do it now. I’ll wait a bit.

    The next thing, now that you really understand the philosophical and intellectual origins of Python, is to install the computer Python thingy on your computer. Actually many of you will already have it installed, because Python is really popular - especially Life of Brian. Oh, and Fawlty Towers. Yes, I know it was not a Python thing, but it’s still John Cleese, so shut up.

    Anyway, if you don’t have Python installed it is usually pretty easy to get. Depending on your distribution it’s just a matter of “apt-get install python” (Debian based distros), “yum install python”, “up2date python”, “emerge python”, “yast2 you are the worst installer ever. I hate you hate you hate you”. Sorry, you should probably disregard that last one. You could also install something called “idle”, which is named after one of the Monty Python guys - Graham Chapman I think it was.

    Using Python
    There are lots of good tutorials on the basics of programming in this unique and really funny language. I particularly liked the bit in “Live at the Hollywood Bowl” where Eric Idle goes on and on about his holiday. That was great. For other examples, you can look over on

    Instead of rehashing any of this stuff I am going to discuss the hidden features that make it so powerful for Python gurus like myself.

    1. Speeding up Python: Type the following command, or include it in your program, but without the quotes, “I didn’t ExPecT a kind of Spanish Inquisition”. This enables hyper turbo mode. An alternative command is “No time to lose”, but you need to say it in a really funny voice, and that requires voice recognition software, and a microphone.
    2. Turn on Auto Code: Python’s secret and highly experimental Auto Code feature allows the clever programmer to go to the pub while his computer does all the work. To enable Auto Code, just write a TODO list in plain English, and run the following command: “Manuel! < todo.txt”. Disable Auto Code with “He’s from Barcelona”. Yes, I know it’s from Fawlty Towers. Shut up.
    3. Microsoft Word: Python has an embedded version of Microsoft word. To Access this WYSIWYG text editor, just type “Dead Parrot” while running Python interractively.

    Sample code
    The following Python code is from a project I am working on. It is not fully debugged just yet, but is still pretty damn good, because I am Henry the Adequate, superhero, and python programming guru.

    if Henry wants coffee:
         make some coffee please,
         and also some of those yummy donuts.
    Or else maybe you could offer tea.

    It’s a work in progress. I’m sure the bugs will be sorted out soon.

    Python is a great and powerful computer thingy. It is fun to use, and allows the program making person to be really productive while at the same time watching some of those wacky pythonesque cartoons.

    Need help with computer stuff? Henry can help. I promise a timely and definitive response to any technical question asked in the comments here.

    promise - vaguely suggest that something might happen, if you’re really really lucky.
    timely - If it occurs at all it will be within the context of the space-time continuum.
    definitive - My response may contain some definitions, such as these.

  • Henry’s Tech Advice #1 - Fedora Install Problem

    Posted on May 18th, 2006 Ben 3 comments

    My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhuman superhero linux guru of the highest order, and really clever too. I have dedicated my life to the pursuit of perfection in all thnigs, sorry, things, and to the noble and lofty goals of protecting the weak and fighting crime. Also, pizza. That’s pretty important too.

    So, when I hear a cry for help, I can do nought but respond with all the speed of a really fast superhero. “HELP… How come I have 5 disks but the install seems to be done after the 2nd disk. I am installing over ubuntu, does this have anything to do with it???” asks Laura over here.

    Well, Laura, first let me just say that you have come to the right place. In fact you have come to the rightest place there is. This place is so right it makes other right places look downright wrong.

    No, I am not stalling for time while I furiously search google my enormous brain for the solution to your problem.

    Anyway, last things first: “I am installing over Ubuntu, does this have anything to do with it???
    Yes. And no. There are several important points here.

    1. Thank you for all the question marks. I will use them wisely.
    2. I don’t think the comma is really appropriate there. It should probably be a semi-colon, or a dash, or possibly even a period. You know, like, “I am installing over Ubuntu. Does this have anything to do with it?”
    3. You should not be installing Fedora over Ubuntu. Fedora is designed to be installed over Windows.
    4. No, it has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

    How come I have 5 disks but the install seems to be done after the 2nd disk.
    Fedora is a front for some kind of secret government organization. The third disc contains a highly encrypted version of the prophecies of Nostrodamus, with footnotes by the original author explaining what the predictions really mean. Let’s just say old Nostro baby was one sick puppy. The fourth CD has all the classified information about UFOs and aliens and cows and stuff on it. And, CD five is mostly porn. Don’t even ask what the Rescue CD is for.

    Need help with computer stuff? Henry can help. I promise a timely and definitive response to any technical question asked in the comments here.

    promise - vaguely suggest that something might happen, if you’re really really lucky.
    timely - If it occurs at all it will be within the context of the space-time continuum.
    definitive - My response may contain some definitions, such as these.

  • Henry’s Fedora Core 5 Install Guide

    Posted on May 11th, 2006 Ben 29 comments

    So, you’d like to install the latest Fedora Linux thingy. Well I, Henry the Adequate, superhero, am here to help. Soon you will discover that even an idiot can install this great operating symptom.

    What is Fedora?
    Fedora is this operating symptom made by some guy called Colonel Linux. I think this is a different Colonel to the one who makes that chicken stuff, although I suppose it could be the same guy but using a different screen name. Anyway, Colonel Linux got some of his mates together and they made Fedora, and they named it after the Colonel’s hat.

    Getting Fedora
    Yes, that’s a good idea.

    Starting the Computer
    This is really technical. You probably need some geek person to help you with it…. What’s that? You’re still stuck on the previous step? Ok, then…

    Getting Fedora(reprise)
    If you have a friend who is a computer guru like me, you can ask him/her to make Fedora CDs for you. This is not nearly as technical as starting your computer, but is still pretty tricky all the same, so you should probably not try it yourself. If you do not have a computer guru friend, then Fedora can be purchased from

    Beginning the Installation
    Put the first CD into the computer. If you do not have a CD ROM drive in your computer the disc can be safely folded to fit into your floppy drive, especially if you have one of those 2.88MB IBM floppy drives.

    Restart the computer. Wait a bit. Hopefully the next thing you see will be a screen that says “Fedora”, with a funny looking “f” next to it. I’m not sure what the “f” stands for. Could be “free”, or “Ferocious Dog - Enter at own risk”. I certainly hope it doesn’t stand for the F word - that would not be very classy.

    Anyway, Just hit the “enter” key, and you’ll be asked if you want to “begin testing CD media”. The other day I was playing some music on my computer and the CD skipped, probably because of some scratches or something, but I thought it would be best for me to choose “skip” at this screen, just to be on the safe side. You should probably do the same thing because you can’t be too careful.

    The next thing may be something about devices. I’m not really very good at keeping notes, so… whatever. Just go “Ok”, or “Next”, or “Continue”, or whatever. sometimes it is even “Forward”. Yes I know this stuff is confusing. Keep clicking on whichever of those is showing and you’ll most likely be ok.

    Soon you’re going to be asked to select a languge to learn while you’re waiting for the operating system to be installed. I chose “Chinese(simplified)”, because that sounded pretty easy. Fedora may be a great operating symptom, but let me tell you right now - as a language tutor it sucks. There was all this chinese all over the screen, with no translations whatsoever. Very disappointing. I restarted the computer, and next time chose “English”, because I’m pretty sure I can learn that one. Then I clicked “Next”. Remember, if you’re not sure about something, or if you’re not up to the bit I’m talking about, just keep clicking “Next”.

    Partitioning the Hard Drive
    Pretty soon you’ll come to the next really important bit, which is partitioning. Partitioning just means deciding which “part” of the computer will hold Fedora. That’s where they get the name from. It is important at this point to choose the hard drive, because the motherboard does not have enough room on it on account of all the cables and other stuff. You could put it on the chipset, but that would make the chips soggy.

    Also, if you have any version of Microsoft Windows on the computer it’s best to choose the option to wipe the entire drive. This is because the viral nature of Windows will cause it to leak over onto the Fedora partition. That would be very dangerous, and might even result in an explosion, or a fire. Fire is beautiful. I love fire…. Anyway…

    Network Setup
    The Network Setup bit is highly technical and really quite confusing, unless you’re a superhero computer guru like me. So, to help the un-guru-like understand this extremely difficult subject, I have defined a few of the terms you will find on this screen.

    • Network: Ask yourself this - “Does the net work?” Well, if you’re able to check your email, or if you can read this page, then the net does indeed work. This means you can just click “Next”.
    • eth0: Uh… This has something to do with ethics. Just some kind of legal mumbo jumbo. You can ignore it.
    • dhcp: “Does Henry Create Peace”. Damn right.
    • hostname: This is the name of the host. Generally speaking, though, a dinner party is not really the right time to be installing Fedora, because of all the distractions. Explain to your host that you must go home soon to finish some very important work stuff. Then get drunk and proposition the hostess. Throw up in the umbrella stand. Get into a fight or two. Stagger home bleeding, drunk, and prepared for an all-night installfest. When you’re ready, click “Next”.
    • automatic: Now this sounds like the one for me. Click “Next” dammit.

    Choosing a password for root
    In this context root does not refer to the sexual act. In fact it refers to the administrator - you know, the guy who fills out all the paperwork. You can choose any password you like here. I chose ******** because my keyboard is broken and that is the only password that seemed to work, but you should probably go with something else.

    Choosing Software
    Software refers to stuff that does stuff on your computer. You don’t really need it, so I’d recommend just clicking “Next” here. You’ll see this bar going accross, with a lot of weird writing flashing by underneath it. I think this has something to do with the language tutor which, as I have already mentioned, is broken. Pity. I would have liked to learn Chinese.

    Rebooting the Computer
    There are times when your computer may benefit from a good swift kick. This is not one of them. Just click on “Reboot”.

    License Agreement
    Don’t you just hate those fascist rule mongers who try to tell you what you’re allowed to do with your computer stuff. Just click “Next”, sorry, “Forward”, because you really have no choice.

    Firewall Configuration
    This is just like the firewall in your car. It prevents you from becoming injured if the computer happens to spontaneously combust. Don’t laugh. It happens. It happend to me the other night, when I was cleaning the hair-trigger on my flamethrower. The computer just burst into flames for no readily apparent reason.

    SELinux Settings
    You only need to worry about this if your computer is facing precisely South East, and even then only if you happen to be a North Going Zax. Such a situation is so rare that I will just gloss over this section and say “Please click Forward.”

    I do so understand it.

    You need to choose your favourite revolution. I wanted to choose the French one, because of all the chopping of heads, but it just listed some numbers, possibly years, and I couldn’t remember the correct dates for the French revolution. So I just accepted the defaults and clicked “Forward”. I miss “Next”. It was shorter to type.

    System User
    Now you create a username for using the computer. Once again Fedora only accepts ******** as the password. Weird, and not very secure. Nice one guys.

    Sound Card
    This is a rather plain little application for listening to music. Their choice of music sucks though. Pity.

    The End
    Now you have installed Fedora Core 5, and can begin to enjoy it’s linuxy goodness. Congratulations. In my next brilliant Linux article I might tell you about some of the great programs in Fedora, and how you can use them to be more productive. Or maybe I’ll just tell you about the time I defeated the Robot Lords of Chaos armed only with a cheap mp3 player thingy. Yes, that sounds like a good idea.