Whenever you face a problem with software or hardware in Linux, before
you post your message to the list, follow some simple practices that may
help you solve the problem on your own.
Firstly, imagine yourself as a service provider who is on-site at the
client's place and except for a working internet connection, you have no
other resources available to seek help for your problem. All phones are
dead, your mobile battery is out of charge, and the list members have
retired for the day so you will not get any help for 24 hours. With
these limitations you have to solve the problem in the same visit.
Crosscheck:- This is a very powerful yet simple method to start
isolating possible faulty conditions. If you have a piece of hardware
that is not working on your system, try this hardware on another system
or try another hardware on the same system.
If you have software ( and hardware ) related problems then search
google for people who have had similar problems with the same software.
Nowadays every major Linux distro has its own guide / instructions /
blogs pages for setting it up on popularly available branded hardware
like laptops, netbooks etc. You simply need to put in the correct 'key
words' in google to look for answers to your queries. Therefore, if you
bought a new laptop or netbook and cannot get its sound or LAN or
wireless or camera or card-reader etc. working, look for websites that
have full instructions on how to install your choice of distro on that
particular model of hardware.
Remember the fact that we are a little behind in technology so before us
someone else has already faced this problem and all we need to do is
look out for that person on google.
Only after you have exhausted all your resources on google, should you
post a message on this list. When you do so, please add some history to
it and let the list know what steps you took to cross check this problem
in every possible way.