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Linux Training from Compaq 36

LanceTaylor writes, "Compaq has developed two Linux Integration and Performance courses, one for the Intel architecture and one for the Alpha processor based machines. The first public classes are going to be held at the end of April. Descriptions of the courses can be found here for the Intel course and here for the Alpha course. These courses are being added to the Compaq Accredited Systems Engineer (ASE) program."
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Linux Training from Compaq

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I work for Compaq and let me tell you that we are so in bed with Microsoft that this doesn't mean a hill of beans. We have Microsoft reps at just about every strategic meeting. Of course our execs say this is to give Microsoft an idea about where we are going. I say it's to give Microsoft a chance to control where we are going. Compaq is just doing the Linux thing to garner good will with Wall St. Once Compaq's house is back in order, you'll never hear about it again. It sucks and that's why I'm leaving soon.

  • Since Linux is HOT nowadays, locally I've been swamped by many of my friends wanting to know more about, or learn how to use Linux.

    I can't find the time to do all the handholding and there isn't any "LUG" in where I stay - don't ask me to start a LUG, I just can't find the time, at least not yet.

    So, this is my question - Is there any online place where one can go learn more about Linux, or some basic Linux training (other than the compaq one that cost $$$)? I mean the web-version, not the newsgroup/mailling list version since most of my friends aren't exactly familiar with the Net yet.

    Any answer would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Ok, so reading this article gives me a few things, basically that I would require a Compaq computer, (which I do *not* want) and then would disqualify me from a cert.

    The whole cert process (from various companies) seems to be getting out of hand. I mean, I could qualify, but..., $1k to 5k seems a bit out of range. (ala, RedHat as an example) I cannot afford this, and my employer is a tight as!.

    Also, breaking down the cert to various levels in Linux would be good. By that I mean, ok..., can you setup a firewall with IP Masq, or perhaps just simply setting up a workstation, or perhaps a Linux server with Samba and Novell in a Wan, etc?
    (get the idea?)


  • heh when i left in '85 i thought it was brain dead. dec just keeps getting worse and worse.
    my favorite anagram for DIGITAL was GITLAID,
    someone had changed the letters around on an LA36
    on the manufacturing floor like this.
    I think that was the last innovative thing they did.
  • Oooh, for $1100, you get to learn how to "Apply Linux backup procdures to Compaq specific backup solutions" _twice_ !
  • They don't call it Accredited Compaq Engineer.. ACE! ;-)

  • The whole idea of "software engineer" is a crock. Writing software well is more art than science. It's not like building bridges or radios or washing machines. The problems encountered are typically much more unique and trying to find some "standards" so that the question may be asked, "is this code 'up to code'?" as you might ask "is this building 'up to code'" is a fool's errand.

    That's why, though my title contains the word engineer, I put "programmer" on my 1040. That's what I do, I program computers. I don't "engineer software".

  • That is simply the way Compaq does bidness. Full a full ASE, you previously needed to be a CNE or a MCSE. Not surprising they continued the trend.

  • 1. If you have Compaq hardware, then by comparison the training is cheap ; - )

    2. I believe Compaq still flies all their ASE's gratis to a yearly conference. I know past locales include San Diego and Toronto. Not bad.


  • Prerequisites

    * Sair Linux and GNU Certified Administrator (LCA), Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), or equivalent certification
    * 6 months experience using Linux or equivalent
    * Compaq Systems Technologies

    That kind of stuff scares me. Would Alan Cox(Err stratch that he works for RH.) would Linus be able to attend? Does he has a LCA or RHCE? I mean, most of your true linux professionals do not have these kind of certifications. But, I guess those kind of people wouldn't be wanting linux training from compaq, so perhaps my fear is unwarnated. Although, I still think prequisites for linux class is insane. You simply cannot rely on certifications in the Linux world.
  • I was under the impression that linux wouldn't run/work right with compaq PC's because of their large number of proprietary components. Proprietary stuff sucks.

  • It's always good to see big companies
    embracing linux. It will be interesting
    to see what happens if there are multiple
    certification programs. Will certification
    tend to be distro-specific (or even hardware
    specific)? Or will businesses (the people hiring
    those who bother to get the certification)
    just consider linux to be linux?

    In my opinion, linux is linux.

  • I think that this is another attempt to strike while the proverbial iron of Wall Street is hot. Anyone remember the old Compaq Desktop PCs? Or the new ones? The proprietary hardware and software design? The pathetic customer service? Maybe they pulled a 180 and got their bag together, I wouldn't know. I refuse to touch anything affliated with Compaq's PC (or business) department after the months of emotional and financial pain they put me through. I really do not trust Compaq's ability to furfill any promises. This linux stuff is just another facade, almost as bad as LinuxOne, if you want my opinion. Compaq is in it for the money, there isn't anything new here folks, move on.
    -Fred Benenson []
  • True problem solving doesn't come from what kind of education you have but from experience. The more experience you have the better problem solver you are. Mostly because you've seen similar problems and know generally what may be causing the problem. Whether you admin NT, Netware, Linux or whatever its basically all the same. Its how you go about doing something that's different. Your server still has an IP address, you still need to share files, set permissions, or serve web pages. All NOS can do all of these and its merely knowing how to do these on each. The principals are basically the same. So a good admin does need programs like this because you don't always have the time to learn a new NOS or product on the job. But what ends up happening is lots of people who have no experience end up taking these courses and thats when the "paper certification" happens. But then we come back to the age old question how do you get a job without any experience and how can you get experience without a job? And really I think you need tiered certification where to get a certain certification you have to be able to prove you have been working in the field for a certain amount of years. But even then I have met many admins who suck because they don't keep up with technology and fall behind. And then end up blaming everyone else for their own incompetence. And regale you with stories of years gone by about punch cards and what not. Certification nor job experience are perfect benchmarks for measuring how good someone will be in a job. But its the best way we have to date.
  • try going to Whenever I'm stuck, thats usually the first place I go to find an awnser. They help with everything from hardware requirments to filesystems to getting an SBLive to work. its pretty nice
  • Well... the author seems to be quite happy to look at the chipset and start cribbing even before trying to install stuff on the compaq box. At one time ( and I mean REALLY long ago) I had Slackware running on a Compaq 80486. Since then I have graduated to a P-III 450 Mhz. And as part of my work, I have installed Debian, SuSe, RedHat, Mdk, Slackware and Phat -- in a NetWare network with DHCP... all on Compaq machines - and haven't had trouble EVER. So - if you have an axe to grind against Compaq, don't stand on a moral high-ground and crib. say that you hate Compaq - don't give us vague reasons like you have. - They Got a name for the winners in the world I want a name when I lose...
  • That's not the Lance Taylor, of Taylor-UUCP, is not?

  • Some people argue that we don't need certifications, just experience. I think that we need BOTH!

    Experience is a good teacher. However, it does not always teach you everything you need to know. Lets look at two administrators from two companies with the same number of years of 'experience'. Company A is a small business with one administrator. He is in charge of the firewall, router, email, database, user support, printers, remote access...everything. Company B is a large company with mutiple admins. The admins have divided up the work and the admin we are looking at has been running the database server full time. Both admins have the same number of years of experience. Does this mean that both have the same level of expertise? NO! Admin A has a wider range of knowledge, BUT lower expertise on the database server than Admin B. Experience does not guarantee a specific set of skills.

    Certification is a way to quantify what knowledge you have. That knowledge could be learned from any number of sources including experience. Some people argue against certification training classes saying that people should just pick up a book. These people obviously do not understand how adults learn. There are three types of learners: visual, audible and kinetic. The visual learners learn by reading, audible learners learn by listening to an instructor and kinetic learners learn by doing. Actually everyone is a combination of the above three types, but one is usually much more dominant than the other. Someone that is a strong kinetic or audible learner will not learn very well from reading a book. Therefore they need classes to go to. The best classes and instructors will take into account the three learning types and accomodate all of them. You can give a student a book, explain details or answer questions they may have and assist them in doing a hands-on lab.

    Another reason for having classes is that companies will send their people to classes. This gives the overworked admin TIME to try to learn something new.

    Prerequisites for the classes are also necessary. Prereqs help to quantify that the student has at least a certain amount of knowledge so that the class can stay on topic and not be spent going over material that should already be known. Students coming to class without meeting the prereqs slow down the class with all of their questions and take up more of the instructors time during labs. Someone asked if Alan Cox could come to class. Yes, he could. Most of the prerequisites for certification classes are not enforced rather they become 'suggested' prereqs. However, does the fact that Alan Cox is an excellent kernel hacker automatically mean that he is also an excellent systems adminsitrator? No. He may very well be, but the skills involved in programming are different than the skills involved in administration. The two jobs are not interchangeable. There may be people that have the skills to do both, but excellence in one area is not a guarantee of excellence in another.

    Technical Certifications are like college degrees. They both demonstrate that a person can learn and can finish a long term commitment. They also both quantify that a person has mastered (at that time) certain knowledge points. How good they are after the degree or certification is up to the individual. The best mix is certification WITH experience.

  • The Compaq training is not distro specific. Linux is Linux. It currently covers Red Hat and SuSE only. This is because Compaq has relationships built with those companies already. You should expect to see TurboLinux and Caldera supported in the future as Compaq develops relationships with them.

    The SAIR certification [] is non-distro specific as well. The courseware actually comes with 8 different distros.

  • I apologize for making it sound like Compaq realy stinks. All I can say is on one occasion, my friend payed premium for a Pentium 233 laptop and he couldn't get Linux to install because of some technical problem with the chipset. I couldn't figure it out either. The CDROM drive would boot and begin with LILO and about half-way down the list of detecting and running the appropriate drivers, it would simply freeze. We just kept Windows on it and returned it. Windows worked like the charm it was and it seems it was made for it. He payed about $3,200 for the laptop. Also, about two months ago, someone payed me to upgrade his Pentium III 600MHz Desktop so it could use a SCSI scanner. I looked through the entire system and found all kinds of weird stuff that Compaq configured on it. It of course was MS Windows 98 that I was working through. The IDE 32x CDROM drive was made to work with a strange 16bit DOS driver and 32bit access was a little broken. What was even worse was that he payed $3,500 and the 32x CDROM drive he ordered was supposed to be an 8x DVDROM and they charged him the price of the DVDROM drive for the CDROM drive. It costed about $500 more than usual. Compaq also puts a program for technical support in their Desktop that bothers me alot. A giant "Q" appears in te bottom-right corner and it will randomly cause errors. And you probably know how you must turn off a Compaq system when it freezes! Power on/off is only on the keyboard(or you pull the plug). I am only a little angry at them because I have to explain to these ignorant Windoze users what is wrong with their new PC; when it was a simple PC upgrade job at that. They are a B-OK company and I'll never buy from them because some of their stuff is compatible only with MS Windows. I can build a better system, and I don't want ANY ties to their tech support. Their tech support is another laugh! The things they ask... Heck! I probabley sound like everyone else now! Is that a good reason to not like Compaq? Every PC manufacturer probabley operates the same as them. Why don't I hate everyone else yet? lol.

  • Compaq IS a proprietary PC building machine. All that they do is build a PC, somewhat like an IBM clone, except they swap things with their own proprietary parts. A friend of mine, a Windoze user, paid me to set up his new (shit)Compaq(ter) computer and I had never seen so much proprietary devices on the motherboard in my entire life! What makes everyone think that they are going to contribute opensource drivers for all their proprietary PCI bridges, PCIsets, and whatnot? I noticed alot of undocumented Texas Instruments stuff. I do admit, it is a good computer. It is just not something that a poweruser would use. I think that Compaq just wants a response from the Linux community on their offering of Linux training courses. Funny thing, Linux may not actually install on a Compaq system because of the PCIset. My anology to Compaq offering Linux certification is Apple computers Inc. offers training and certification on the intel 80386 CPU. I'll never buy a Compaq. They were built by Windoze users and is meant for running Windoze. They are just teazing us...

  • 1) How did linux invent open ource?

    2) How is it leeching of our innovation?

    Did you contribute to the innovation? Looks like someone tripped and fell onto the "I like Open Source. Up with Linux, down with every other OS." bandwagon.

  • You know, the certification deal does serve a purpose with regard to "MS-centric". If more people outside the Academic world had Apple in their face, maybe their would be an ACSE... It's the comfort factor.. People buy what they know. But as it stands, early adoptors, bleeding edge visionaries, and elegant solutions are usually drummed out of corporate America in favor of the byline.. "No one's ever been fired for buying..". Why the HELL would you want to go to Houston, on buisness or pleasure? At least wait for Dell to follow suit and get yerself a free trip to Austin. Just don't move there...
  • Nonsense. How is "Compaq Certified System Engineer" any different of a usage than "Clorox Certified Domestic Engineer"? Domestic Engineer has been a euphemism for housewife for decades. Just like Sanitation Engineer is a euphemism for garbageman.

    NSPE has the actual "Engineer" titles that they regulate, but IIRC, the most traditional usage (the guy who drives a train) isn't one of them either. Just because somebody starts certifying pastry chefs as "Dessert Architects" doesn't make them anything more than a "certified" pastry chef... so what's the problem? At some point in the future, it wouldn't surprise me if the psychiatric profession, in a fit of marketroid-inspired frenzy, goes out and rebrands themselves as "Attitude Engineers". *g*

    Now, that isn't to say that improper usage CAN'T create confusion, just that it generally doesn't (especially in the case of "Domestic Engineer", which may trace its etymology back to 1950s sitcoms). The counterexample that comes to mind is that someone colossally stupid, who has never heard of the company with the world's largest market cap, might mistake someone who shows up with a piece of paper saying "_blank_ Certified _blank_ Engineer" and a logo that looks like the Golden Gate Bridge for a real Civil Engineer, but that's even pushing it....

    This is my opinion and my opinion only. Incidentally, IANAL.
  • Actually, that might be true for the desktop PCs (strange integrated sound chips, winmodems etc.) but on the Compaq servers that's another story. The servers are especially designed with common hardware in mind. S3 graphic chips, Intel Etherexpress fast ethernet controller clones, Compaq Smart RAID controllers (which actually has Linux kernel support), common SCSI chips etc.

    This is because a server has to work with whatever an IT department wants to put on it, whether that be Windows NT, Windows 2000, Netware, Linux, SCO Unix, *BSD, Solaris x86 or something else.

    I researched this (the hardware support) last summer, when I worked with installing Compaq Proliant servers in a pretty NT-only IT department. I wanted to know if there was a good technical reason why I couldn't put Linux on these nice machines. It turned out that there wasn't. It was just political...

  • These are probably the same guys that did (do?) the Ultrix training... Teaching one BSDish Unix isn't all so difficult from teaching another, just bone up on the Sys V-isms of Linux, and you've got a whole fleet of Linux trainers in no time flat.


    Cthulhu for President! []
  • Absolutely right, but don't forget that IT is a very young industry - about 20 yrs in the case of PCs. The standards and mechanisms for enforcing those standards that exist in industries such as architecture or (mechanical) engineering just don't exist yet in IT. Some day they will, and we will see incompetent sysadmins, DBAs and developers being struck off their respective registers. However, until the rate of change in the IT industry slows down to something that society and government can actually deal with, we won't have any of that. This helps explain the many phenomena such as paper certifications, cowboy consultants etc. that we're all familiar with.

    On the subject of this Compaq certification, Compaq guys tend to be very good at installation, optimization etc. on their own hardware. If you happen to have hundreds of their servers, and tens of thousands of their desktops (as we do), then that specific knowledge is not just nice to have, it's essential. Someone else commented that a Compaq server is just a "big Intel box" - right, but that's like saying that a Ferrari is "just a fast car". I wouldn't want Joe from the local fix-anything garage tinkering with my Ferrari, and if you're serious about servers, you don't let just anyone play with them either. Compaq are heavily into custom hardware and management extensions, which work extremely well, but do have to be learnt. The day you can run SmartStart (Compaq's guided server setup routine) for Linux will be a big step forward for corporate acceptance.
  • ...a certification my company , a beltway bandit, might consider. (For those outside the US, this is the term for a company that makes a living by sucking off the federal government's tit). My employer is a typical example; very MS-centric, very few opportunities for other platforms -- I'm the only Mac-specific tech in the enire place and I know the most about Linux ...which isn't all that much ...yet. Maybe since this one mentions the name "Compaq" they'll think it's more legitimate than the RHCE or LCP tests.

    Too bad they won't pay for me to travel to Houston, but oh well.

  • UNIX cert is a joke. Corporations are just crazy over it though. ISO9000(9001)is something companies brag about having a higher level of. You could ISO9001 shooting yourself in the foot as long as it was properly documented. The certification is only as good as the test is. Look at drivers licenses; there are still a ton of horrible drivers on the road. MCSE is another perfect example. Most of them can't even tie their shoes unless MS had a program that would do it for them. The cost of these classes are ridiculous. I could buy a book or just rtfm for $30 or for free. Look at the way the RH has a special class just on security. If you have to take that class on that you've already lost.
  • Er, I agree that IT is a very young industry, resulting in a lot of 'cowboy consultants' and the like ... BUT there certainly is a standard for who is and who isn't a computer/electrical engineer. It's pretty simple - if you've completed an accredited (sp?) engineering program, registered with the professional engineering association of your country, and gone through the years as an engineer-in-training, then you get the magic stamp of approval and you're a fully qualified professional engineer.

    This applies just as easily to the computer world as it does to mechanical or civil engineering. No one in the civil engineering world gets the title of 'engineer' by simply doing a really good job in the workplace for some set number of years! You get accredited training, you register, you work under another engineer for a few years (5 where I live anyway).

    I'm not saying that everyone working as a professional in the IT industry should do this! I've already heard of professional IT associations starting up for programmers, and I think it's a great idea. The criteria they set can be whatever they deem sufficient to allow their members to hold professional respect and status. Such an IT professional society will NOT have the right to call their members 'engineers' though, unless they fall under the approval of the already established engineering associations.

    Call them 'certified Compaq technicians', or 'certified Compaq solutions providers' (MS's funky moniker), I don't care. But don't throw around the name 'engineer' after someone completes some month-long course on how to sysadmin a bunch of Compaqs or something. It belittles those who have worked hard to get a MUCH more complete grasp of the computing industry, and have thus earned the title 'engineer'.

  • Although I do not feel that Compaq is the best PC manufacturer, I am quite pleased that Compaq is offering Linux training as part of their ASE program. Having known a few Compaq ASE folks, they are generally very knowledgable about Compaq products and how to make them work. It will be nice to have a few Compaq Linux specialist types out there. With companies like Compaq and IBM (maybe they'll offer some Linux training, too) supporting Linux, maybe the mainstream computer user will begin to understand that Linux is for real. Even Dell has been offering PCs with Red Hat for quite some time now. I am curious to see if others will follow the lead in offering officially sanctioned Linux training. Working with Linux on an Alpha would be kinda cool, too. Like the license plate Compaq gave me for my car says, "Linux Live Free or Die"
  • $1100 to learn about Compaq's ProLiant server? Isn't it just a big Intel (or Alpha) box?

    That's some pretty expensive wallpaper.

  • by P_Simm ( 97858 ) on Sunday March 26, 2000 @06:15PM (#1169186)
    This question is really about all such 'certified blahblah engineer' titles given out, including MS. Do they give out these certifications to anyone who passes their tests, regardless of whether or not the person is actually a professional engineer?

    I'm not starting a whiney CS-can't-teach-software-engineering complaint, don't get me wrong. I think that particular debate is pretty useless. But actually running around with some piece of paper saying you are an 'engineer' is a different matter. Engineering is a profession which is entrusted with enforcing standards, and with allowing only fully trained and tested individuals to use the title.

    I'm not going to try and expound big reasons why the title 'engineer' is sacred or anything ... to keep it practical, it's simply ILLEGAL to fraudulantly claim you are an engineer (just as it's illegal to falsely claim you're a doctor, or a police officer). So are these 'system engineer' titles only given to actual professional engineers or just anyone who can pass a quick test? And if so, are they at least getting some shit from professional engineering associations?

  • by JDax ( 148242 ) on Monday March 27, 2000 @02:35AM (#1169187)
    Actually, that might be true for the desktop PCs (strange integrated sound chips, winmodems etc.)

    Not true! &nbsp I have *3* Compaq Presarios:
    • Presario 4508 running Red Hat 5.2
    • Presario 5070, running Mandrake 6.5
    • Presario 1267 notebook, running SuSE 6.3
    I also have a Presario 5360 running NetBSD 1.4.1. &nbsp I might recommend you avoid the Deskpros (which are "more" proprietary) but the Presarios make great Linux boxen! &nbsp The sound on these babies are ESSs (either 1688/89s, 1868/69s, Solo-1), the videos are generally SiS 530s (notebook is a Neomagic 128XD).

    I researched this (the hardware support) last summer, when I worked with installing Compaq Proliant servers in a pretty NT-only IT department. I wanted to know if there was a good technical reason why I couldn't put Linux on these nice machines. It turned out that there wasn't. It was just political...

    It is political! &nbsp ;-) &nbsp At work, I have a Compaq Proliant 6000, dual PII/200 w/256MB RAM and 5, 9.1GB hot swaps (2 in RAID0 and 3 in RAID5) running HAPPILY with a SmartArray SCSI controller on Red Hat 6.1 using the 2.2.12-20 SMP kernel (and SMP works just fine thank you)!

    Go for it folks - works fine.

  • by slk ( 2510 ) on Sunday March 26, 2000 @04:45PM (#1169188)
    While I realize this topic has been brought up before, remember to step back and look at what you're reading. This isn't about any new technical merits or ideas, nor is it about education. It's about training people to handle the rote administrative tasks with Linux. This means things like machine installs, basic configuration, etc.

    What this does NOT mean is people who have been through these training programs are any good at creative problem solving. To deal with architecture, complex problems, etc. it takes a lot more than vendor training.

    This is just giving us many more marginal Unix/Linux admins, which we really don't need. What we need are more GOOD admins. These "training programs" should start calling themselves LCSE, because that's about what they are. Anybody who's good enough at thinking problems through, problem solving, etc. to be a really good admin doesn't NEED this kind of training.
  • by bubbasatan ( 99237 ) on Sunday March 26, 2000 @04:59PM (#1169189) Homepage
    Your point does have a certain amount of merit. The Linux world certainly does not need a bunch of "paper admins," ala the "paper MCSEs" bungling a good product. However, ASE training is fairly in depth and, IMHO, far superior to the value of some other certifications. I think, though, that you have overstated the case about "creative problem solving" etc. Those people who are inherently good at tackling problems can benefit immensely from exposure to the knowledge and hands on experience offered by ASE training. Creativity and the ability to look at things from a non-traditional perspective, as well as other "skills" which are difficult to quantify, are not learned methodologies in the first place. On the other hand, those people who fulfill their IT duties in automoton fashion may or may not benefit from the training, but chances are they are not the kind of people you'd want to hire anyway. You have to ask yourself whether you would rather have a good problem solver with the technical knowledge on which to build solutions, or a good problem solver who cannot figure out how to clear the NVRAM on a Prosignia or how to recreate the system partition so he can access the BIOS or a Deskpro. Again, we should not overly value a paper certification or someone who is supposedly trained, because monkeys can be trianed too, but neither should we discount the potential utility of a company like Compaq sending Linux professionals out to work with their hardware and software.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.