A GUIDE FOR THE GUIDES
On Language, & General Assumptions
Most of the guides at Ainer.org are written in light-hearted, plain-spoken, and casual English and should be accessible by most anyone. With that said, they do assume that you have a base understanding of using a personal computer (which mouse button to use and when, how to navigate menus, how to find your files, etc.). They also assume a general understanding of computing concepts (general computing terms such as menu, desktop, web browser, etc.).
If you have never used a computer before, you will have some catching up to do first. However, if you can use a word processor, browse the web, email, and such you should be fine! When in doubt, or if you get stuck, see the xkcd tech cheat sheet:
Apart from general computer knowledge, the guides will not assume that you have a pre-existing understanding about any specific topic. When applicable, technical and uncommon terms will be explained, or links will be provided for additional information.
If, after reading the provided links, you are still unclear on a given topic, please feel free to reach out via the comments section or the contact page for more details!
Similar to the links providing details about technical or uncommon terms, additional “further reading” type links will also be provided for anyone that is interested in learning more or is unfamiliar about a given topic, term, or item. These links will utilize encryption whenever a site supports it, and may at times be affiliate links.
For the sake of simplicity, ease of use, and efficiency, some very technical topics will be intentionally generalized and only grazed upon. These guides are not intended to be technical white papers as there are engineers that are much better qualified to explain the intricacies of the underlying technologies at play. Though, with that said, please feel free to provide corrections if you think certain information is simply erroneous.
On Unsupported Topics, Features, & Implementations
As is true with any individual, site, organization, or business, Ainer.org only has limited resources. As such, we have chosen to invest those resources in specific areas and in specific ways. As an example of this, we chose to focus on the Graphical User Interface (GUI) instead of the Command Line Interface (CLI).
While the CLI may oftentimes be faster than the GUI, it can also be more daunting to novice or casual users (or even to advanced users on unfamiliar topics!), as such we have elected to focus on the GUI as much as possible, only dipping into the CLI when we’re addressing advanced topics, or when ease of use or necessity dictates that we do so.
We also tend to avoid the CLI as commonly CLI commands are provided without any details as to why a user should run a specific command or as to what the specific commands will actually do! This does little to help with long-term learning, and sets a dangerous precedent if a novice or casual user happens upon a malicious or fallacious site or forum post offering (potentially) harmful commands!
Apart from simply focusing our resources, to ensure the highest quality of guides and content, we will not support other operating systems, or applications, or methods of installation, or hardware, or services other than what we currently use and recommend ourselves!
We have much respect for alternatives that work towards meeting a common need. However, after much testing and consideration (and experience) we have settled on our recommendations and will only diverge from those if a clearly superior alternative arises (in which case we’ll retire a guide and offer a new one in its stead)!
On Guide Types
Here at Ainer.org we have three particular types of guides or tutorials, Major, Minor, and Retired. Our most commont, and most popular, guides are our Major guides. These were spawned from our interest in producing easy to read and regularly updated guides, and are the basis for this site’s existence.
However, to supplement our Major guides, sometimes we want to address a less popular, more advanced, or smaller topic. In such a case we may choose to roll out a Minor guide. Minor guides are often much shorter, and will likely see only limited, if any, updates (but we will gladly provide an update if requested!). Minor guides may also be targeted at advanced users and not be as casually written as our Major guides (though if this is the case, it will be clearly indicated!). Minor guides are not intended to be a crutch for us to avoid writing a proper Major guide, but in some select cases writing a Major guide just simply doesn’t make sense!
Last, and certainly least, are our Retired guides. As you can probably guess, these are simply older guides that for one reason or another are no longer supported or maintained. These guides have likely been superseded by a more recent re-write of a given guide, or the topic of focus may no longer be relevant or recommended. Our Retired guides should be clearly marked, but if you have questions or would like to see an old guide resurrected please let us know!