I also have been a system administrator of small and medium sized Unix and Linux systems / networks including at at 3rd-party data centres. My educational background is a degree in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Philosophy.
I prefer to try to help people find how to answer their own questions, than to answer their questions for them. I also try to encourage and hopefully provide constructive feedback on how to improve questions from new(er) programmers, with the goal of hopefully thereby improving the quality of the help they receive.
I view StackOverflow as a tool, rather than a LazyWeb site. In the long term I believe this is necessary to preserve the quality of the site and its usefulness.
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