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Old 09-29-2009, 09:02 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Ubuntu: Something for Everyone

For the Linux newbie, Ubuntu is the oft recommended distro, for a few different reasons. It's easy to set up, works on a lot of hardware, and doesn't require a manual to understand how to manage it. For the same reason, Ubuntu seems to get a bad rap from more experienced Linux users. Well, I say there's no need of it, and I'm about to explain why.

You can read Brett's latest editorial here, and discuss it here!
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:02 AM   #2
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I bought a laptop with Ubuntu on it. After half an hour of trying to figure out how to make it tell me what hardware was installed on the system, it was out on it's ass and windows installed again. Linux is not for regular everyday computer users. Don't make it seem like it is.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Santa-san View Post
I bought a laptop with Ubuntu on it. After half an hour of trying to figure out how to make it tell me what hardware was installed on the system, it was out on it's ass and windows installed again. Linux is not for regular everyday computer users. Don't make it seem like it is.
Linux is not Windows, it never will be, so stop trying to use Linux like Windows. Before you put Ubuntu out on it's ass, trying doing a bit of research first. A quick lspci in a comand line would have told you much of what you need.

Linux requires a bit of learning, but no more so than Windows or MacOS. Oh and Linux is ready for everyday computing, take my father, he's 73 and never owned a computer in his life, now happily uses Ubuntu, Firefox, Thunderbird and Gramps to build his family tree. Same goes for my father in law, he's in his 50's and again never owned a computer, he happily uses Ubuntu, Firefox, Thunderbird & GIMP for plotting charts for his fishing trips for his boat. My 18 year old daughter, used Windows XP until December 2008, when I installed Pardus on her PC (after spending far too much time removing spyware), she now syncs her phone, mp3 player and does all her social networking and school work all from Linux
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:10 PM   #4
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Whatever you say mate, but they all had YOUR help right? How shall i know what a "A quick lspci in a comand line" is when I open up laptop with something called ubuntu on it? An operating system that requires programming knowledge to use IS NOT for everyday users. Unless one might know someone like you ofc, which obviously have some sort of education in computers.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:57 PM   #5
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Whatever you say mate, but they all had YOUR help right? How shall i know what a "A quick lspci in a comand line" is when I open up laptop with something called ubuntu on it? An operating system that requires programming knowledge to use IS NOT for everyday users. Unless one might know someone like you ofc, which obviously have some sort of education in computers.
And there in lies the problem. Linux is NON-INTUITIVE ... if you don't know the OS and can't get help... just put windows back in your computer and resume being happy.

Since linux was just a playtoy I've occasionally allowed my frustration with windows to override my common sense and installed it on a computer. Always this has ended in one of 3 outcomes:

1) Whatever distro I was trying out would not install fully

2) If it did install there were driver and configuration problems that would require Albert Einstein under direction of God himself to fix.

3) Once installed and working the actual quality of software was so bad that I couldn't stand it. Really... no joke.. some of the worst written, most misbehaving software I've ever seen is on linux platforms.

... "But they all had your help Right?" Exactly. Working by yourself, Linux and it's derivatives will do nothing but frustrate and confuse. You need friends, books, videos and tons of patience to make the transition. It can take weeks or even months to get to a level of proficiency where you can handle most issues by yourself.

Most people learn Windows basic operation in less than 20 minutes....
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AmblestonDack View Post
Linux is not Windows, it never will be, so stop trying to use Linux like Windows. Before you put Ubuntu out on it's ass, trying doing a bit of research first. A quick lspci in a comand line would have told you much of what you need.
Ok... I've just installed Ubuntu. I'm staring at the screen... Now tell me how exactly do I know or find out what "lspci" is, does or means...

A friend of mine chrips up and says "Type MAN LSPCI" ... and I ask him how I would even suspect that combination of keystrokes represented anything at all?

My point is this... Linux is a wonderful playtoy for those who know Linux. But outside that ever so clever circle... believe me it's about as useless as a screen door on a submarine.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2Tired2Tango View Post
Ok... I've just installed Ubuntu. I'm staring at the screen... Now tell me how exactly do I know or find out what "lspci" is, does or means...
lspci means "List PCI" (list your PCI devices). If you don't know what a PCI device is...well... i don't think you should be here.

Anyway, you don't need lspci. Just run "lshw -x" and you get a nice UI with all your devices. If you don't have lshw install it using "Add/Remove Programs". Better, if you have KDE, just open the KDE Info Center.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santa-san
How shall i know what a "A quick lspci in a comand line" is when I open up laptop with something called ubuntu on it?
Try calling your mom and ask her to list your PC devices on Windows. It's the same thing.

Last edited by eldarion; 09-30-2009 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:02 PM   #8
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Default Insults vs. Insights

In regard to those who denigrate Ubuntu and its adherents: Insults are the last refuge of those without a leg to stand on.

As a computer applications instructor for almost 30 years, I can say that a new student usually finds it easier to navigate Ubuntu than Windows. Those who have learned Windows, however, often have more difficulty simply because they have been programmed to think in contrary ways.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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OMG Brett, you n00b...

Nah, really, Ubuntu never float my boat, and I doubt it ever will...
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:19 PM   #10
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@2Tired:
First, the common user doesn't really usually want a specific list of hardware that their machines contain. The common user doesn't care, he's just glad it turns on. The power user has to figure out where in the confluence of all the stars in heaven that this information is under control panel, because Device Manager actually requires RIGHT clicks in nested menus to get to since Windows 2000. It's that way for a reason - it's information most people don't need.

And as for your screen door in a submarine, you've also argued several times against the progress of Windows towards Vista/7. So is it Linux you find difficult to accept, or the concept of learning even a slightly different way to think? So what, you still think systems were best in dos? Yes, because DIR and COPY CON were so much less obscure? Or was XP just the pinnacle of OS function/form to you? If so, that's cool, but that hardly means Linux is useless. Simply that you choose not to understand it because your view of perfection has already been reached.


@ Santa-San,
Learning ANYTHING for the first time isn't simplistic. I can understand EXACTLY what you're saying about man pages and the like. But my argument isn't about Linux being even easier than windows - it's about parts of it being easier. Once you spend a few minutes wandering around, Synaptic beats the HELL out of windows update. You don't have to go look for if your programs have updates, or find out you're behind on drivers. It tells you, it fixes it for you in two clicks and you don't even have to restart your computer.

And as for NEEDING to have something shown, well...my dad JUST asked me today how to paste again. Because Ctrl+V is counter-intuitive to him. He expects it to be P, but then it prints. ALL things need to be 'learned' to some basic extent.

Guys, don't let the Lin vs. Win debate kill the overall argument - Ubuntu was about making linux smarter and more user friendly than it was BEFORE. We can all agree that part is true. My argument starts off with the people who are Uber-users who then go around bashing it and refusing to help or write useful guides for people like Santa-San, instead saying "go learn real linux, u n00b!" I think there's a large problem in the fact that some linux users really WANT it to remain this obscure dark-art, and help maintain that steep learning curve.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:33 PM   #11
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Well written sir, you understand exactly what i meant
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:04 PM   #12
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This is why Ubuntu rules:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTRsLW0eet0

/end argument.



Brett, you're absolutely right. I have Ubuntu installed on my computer and only vaguely understand its relationship to Linux. All in all, I don't care because I love how it works.

Though I still stick with Windows because of the familiarity. I guess you can consider me a n00b. But you know what? We're the majority and we're coming for you.

Last edited by gibbersome; 09-30-2009 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:01 PM   #13
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The day nerds like you come for regular ppl is the day earth ends
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldarion View Post
lspci means "List PCI" (list your PCI devices). If you don't know what a PCI device is...well... i don't think you should be here.

Anyway, you don't need lspci. Just run "lshw -x" and you get a nice UI with all your devices. If you don't have lshw install it using "Add/Remove Programs". Better, if you have KDE, just open the KDE Info Center.
Actually I know what it does...

I was tyring to point out that one of the biggest failings of the Linux platform is that it is not entirely something you can figure you way around without a LOT of help and documentation. It would help enormously if one could install Linux and then launch a "Linux for newcomers" tutorial ... take you through the basic GUI principles and some of the more common command line stuff... then remain as a help system later... The big problem is that anyone who is not familiar with Linux gets no help from Linux and very often finding out what command is needed (as opposed to what it does) amounts to hours and hours of wasted time scouring the web for concise information that probably doesn't exist.

Quote:
Try calling your mom and ask her to list your PC devices on Windows. It's the same thing.
Funny you should mention that... I just got a call today from a senior citizen of my acquaintance... "I'm having trouble with my DVD burner. I checked Device Manager and it's not showing up"... She's 73 years old!

In windows you can find this stuff if you poke around control panel... it's all concentrated into one place... Granted it's not always intuitive, but it is there for people to find...
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:12 PM   #15
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@2Tired:
And as for your screen door in a submarine, you've also argued several times against the progress of Windows towards Vista/7. So is it Linux you find difficult to accept, or the concept of learning even a slightly different way to think? So what, you still think systems were best in dos? Yes, because DIR and COPY CON were so much less obscure? Or was XP just the pinnacle of OS function/form to you? If so, that's cool, but that hardly means Linux is useless. Simply that you choose not to understand it because your view of perfection has already been reached.
I argue against BLOAT, my friend. Since Win2000 Microsoft has been dealing mostly in eye candy and needless built in packages... I mean come on... a little barking dog in the search window? Get real.

For the jumping over to Linux thing... Think about someone with hundreds of pictures, personal files, financial information, whatever on their systems... now not only do they need to transfer this stuff to a new file system, they need to learn a new operating system and reconfigure their files to work with new software... That's an awful lot to ask of someone ... especially when the OS you install remains largely undocumented.

I have customers who run Linux on their machines... I've seen what they go through trying to get a new operator up to speed... no thanks.
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