Make Linux easier for the general population! Please.
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You said it yourself up above "I find myself praising XP for its user friendliness and NOBRAINER installs" ...You are being trained to NOT use your head. So break free, use it! Gain control. Use your head a bit (that's all anyone ever asks) and gain the control over your system that Microsoft is taking away from you.
Tcaptain - this is the best post I have seen in a long time on any computer forum. So that's why I struggled to work things out when I decided to scrap windows. Its my training! How astute of you to spell it out with such clarity.
In that case the <small> sweat has been more worthwhile than I ever imagined. Breaking free as you put it is fun, an learning experience, and in the end worth every bit of time expended.
I can remember that secretaries and typist I knew complained when windows and pure gui interface on wordprocessors was first introduced.
In retrospect it was usually the best and fastest typists because they found that moving the mouse around, pulling down menus etc. slowed them down. It wasn't until they got used to the hot keys etc that they felt more at ease.
Nowadays, where I work most off the old guard have retired and the younger secretaries point and click all day long oblivious to (or not caring about) the shortcuts available.
They are either not used to or have never been required to do any more than point and click. It shows too. I've watched them stretch over to the mouse( rather than move their chair), wince while they try to see the monitor from a distance so they can position their pointer, and then sigh in dissapproval when a window pops up and they actually have to pull their chair over and type something because nothing will happen next until something is typed into a popup box.
This is the unacknowledged market that MS caters to. They can market functionality and features all day long to the people who buy the software but its the people who want to point, click, and look at eye candy that influence the decision makers.
No matter how good the ap is. It might be something that will save an organisation hundreds of thousands of dollars. It don't matter because if it is introduced to the shopfloor or office without a gui there will be grumbles resistance and in some cases refusal to use it.
This isn't too much different to what appears to me to be a key element of Mc Donalds marketing. Pull in the kids (that is, make it desirable to the kids) and the parents will follow.
I used mdk linux for a year and a half before switching to slackware. I loved the gui functionality that mdk was working hard to bring into configuration. I thought this whole thing aboiut rpm packaging was great, etc. etc.
Gradually I learned how to compile from a tarball (not hard at all) and found that usually dependency issues where explained in the README or elswhere.
At the same time I was finding that the cost of rpm and gui configuration convenience was in modifications to the system and desktop so that often anything that wasn't configured for mdk was not going to fly, or if it did, not well.
One thing that always bugged me with mdkwas that my computer always shut down with a final kernel panic. This never happened with my first distro, SuSe.
I had alway kept room for a second linux distro which was sometimes a test drive cover disk and eventually I installed slackware.
I had picked up enough linux principles by then to suffer through the first install. When I did a second with everything configured right I was surprised how much quicker my old box was (550 Mhz /256 Mb) and I was using pure kde (my preference) without modifications as was also the case with just about anything else that came with the install. And it all worked out of the box barring the necessary configuration, e.g. printer, etc.
I could also compile ant tarball I wanted thus install just about anything I wanted. I could compile and turn the package into a slack pack to work with the slackware packaging system. I could convert generic tarballs to slackpacks. I could install/update off the internet just like with debian.
There was never a final kernel panic either.
I've been hooked since. But the price was learning how to get under the hood and tinker. Good value from my point of view.
There is only internet with linux in our home and my daughter ( 8 ) and nephew ( 22 ) were quite happy with mdk until they tried slackware. It was quicker and "felt better" and then they both wanted an account or an install.
Yes, the price was that I had to configure with an editor. At first I used konqueror for file management/navigation and kedit for editng because I was caught up in the point and click paradigm.
That eventually changed as I became more comfortable with mc (for file management/navigation) and mcedit (for editing). All I need is some function keys,tab and arrow keys. I now find mc/mcedit the quicker option and when it comes to drag and drop versus cp -pR there is no comparison time or functionality when moving an entire /home directory.
As for the command line, yes it has taken time but I do remember DOS and editing .bat files and config.sys. I probably learn a new command or flag a week. Some weeks not.
Yes, it took some time and effort, but I now have a system that needs very little help standing up and it never falls over. It has actually gotten boring. I almost have to go out and look for something to do ( like compiling a kernel ) to keep me challanged, but then I also have time for other things and interests.
Is slackware for me, yes. Would I recommend it to someone coming over from MS land, no. Would I recommend it to someone who is devoted to Mdk or uses a maintained RedHat workstation during the day, no. Would I recommend it to someone who wants to spend some time and learn how to run their own system lean and mean, yes. Would I rcommend it to newbies, some yes, and some no.
I often think about what happens if/when slackware and other such distros fall by the wayside through lack of interest/support.
I would feel a bit shortchanged on choice if that were to happen.
But then there might be BSD or HURD.
Would I recommend HURD to a Mandrake user, no. Would I recommend...........................................................
Last edited by justwantin; 12-30-2003 at 03:34 PM.
Like annoying hiding the system folders and certain things in the control panel in Windows?
"WARNING: FILES IN THIS FOLDER KEEP YOUR SYSTEM WORKING PROPERLY, PLEASE BE CAREFUL IF YOU CHANGE IT. WE WILL HIDE IT FROM YOU AND YOU WILL KEEP HAVING TO CLICK THE UNHIDE LINK AND TREAT YOU LIKE YOU ARE DUMB"
And the same thing to the Program Files folder as well. I mean, okay, for the system folders, tolerated, now you think I shouldn't modify programs as well? (Like edit game configuration files manually?)
Its not really about the no-brainer installs that I dislike about Linux, I just wish the instructions for installing something were easier to read and understand. And more helpful. There's nothing worse than listing a failed dependency and not suggesting where it might be, then googling it all over the net and wasting half an hour per dependency (then only to find out that dependency needs more dependencies, and which dependency can qualify). Or pointing to a site, but just the site and not a specific web page.
i'm trying to run mdk 9.1, and installation is a problem. i first ran a text install because at the time my system only had 32MB of memory... and i liked text cause it told me what my options were. after i upgraded my memory to the recommended 128MB, i ran regular gui install (because i wasn't babysitting my machine during boot, i was working on sumthin else and after a very short amount of time the system automatically goes to gui install, which can be annoying if u have parameters u want to use). and i really didn't care for teh gui install. either way, installation on my machine would get caught up looking for available packages, or installing the packages i chose, and with text install, you can use ctrl+F3 (or maybe it's F4, i dont remember) and you can see what the maching is doing. all in all, i've only been using linux for a month or so, since i first heard about it in a computer class i'm taking. i wanted to see what linux was, and i wanted to learn about it. i'm not really familiar with DOS, so a command line was a little intimidating, but i researched commands, read as much as i could about linux, and still know relatively nothing about linux. but i know a lot more than i used to, and i want to know more. i think most of my installation problems are because i'm using an old machine that probably has some bad hardware, but experts from LQ are very helpful, and so far they have been able to answer almost all of my questions. anyone can learn linux as long as they are willing to put in the time and energy, they should just go into it not expecting it to be "just like windows!" if we expect it to be exactly like windows then we'll be disappointed when its different, but if we expect it to be more technical, and to involve more thinking to get the job done, then it all works.
<<< Its not really about the no-brainer installs that I dislike about Linux, I just wish the instructions for installing something were easier to read and understand. And more helpful. >>>
I suspect that most of us who are not moderately competent geeks have the same complaint. After 4 years of various and sundry distros, I am beginning to realize that it is really nice to be able to depend on your machine to do what is expected of it. Every single time. Exactly what is expected. It is also nice to be free from fear and apprehension about BSODs and system hangs. Totally free. Totally confident. It is again also nice to have real choices available. Not just the choice between MS and Linux, but the different flavors of Linux. And the different distributions. From the incredibly easy to the incredibly difficult and painful. Kinda makes all of the aggravation worth it.
I've decided that the ease of install is not as important to me any more. I think that anyone who wants to avoid the plethora of Win32-specific exploits on the internet at the juncture, should seriously consider biting it and just switching to a platform with a smaller chance of root exploit. If one has a problem installing Linux, they can get a technician to do it, just like they would with a Windows machine. The only people who have installed Windows are those who are reviving a used machine anyways. Otherwise, the OS came on the box when it was new. The thing that'll hold it back is the lack of a good standardized software installation and cleanup routine. I'm trying to get a Gentoo box up and running. Portage looks like a good choice for that issue, if you don't have to install a specialized software not in the tree. Who knows! Choice is good. The more chance for diversity means that there is more innovation.
i have not the mind nor the attention span to read all the posts in this thread, so this probably has already been stated
if linux is hard for you, simply because you are going to be using both hands at the same time more often than just using your dominant hand to move this device called the "mouse", then that is no justification
no one said a linux distro would be anything like windows; however, knowledge from windows should be able to encourage and even aide you with linux (specifically with troubleshooting)
if you find that typing ./configure, make, su, password, make install too much to get a program to install so that it will run BeSt with your system, then i am sorry, but you must also realize that windows uses something called "precompiled binaries" and that most companies know that people will be scared of these horrible things called "sources"
and if you do fear those evil "sources", the linux community has developed this awesome thing called "precompiled binaries" (sound familiar?) and they are in a form known by different names, including but not limited to rpm files, .tgz (slackware) packages... and specifically rpm's are installable with doulbe-clicks on the files (and even better, unlike in windows, you do not need to be troubled with clicking "next" all the time!)
furthermore, if you decide to do anything new, do not denounce something because lack of attention has gotten to you, then please don't complain
linux is not generic and is designed normally to take advantage of your system, thus requiring work, but installing a distro helps ease this problem
forums are then created (erhem, LQ) to calmly aide you with all your linux needs
and finally, does linux require you to learn a few new things? yes, definitely. Did windows require you to learn something? Of course! just as in windows, when you first learned how to open a program by clicking on the start menu and pointing to "program files" and so on, you will need to learn how to open up this thing called a "console" to learn how to use the keyboard to do similar things that you once did with a mouse
does that mean linux is harder? no, but the general consent for many newbies and people too arrogant to try linux is that it uses a DOS-style approach of working and thus many condemn it for being "behind-the-times"
but let me assure you, the way linux does things is very modern, far ahead of time if you ask me
So, in conclusion, with just this rant, i must stand in support of the idea that linux is not "harder" in general, but i must grant that the only thing "hard" to overcome is the training imposed by M$ products
*Note: i used the word "you" quite a bit; do not take this personally and this is in no way an attack on anybody but rather just a talk to all of society
<<< but let me assure you, the way linux does things is very modern, far ahead of time if you ask me >>>
Nonsense! All 'nix systems are older than dirt. Goes all the way back to the late seventies, early eighties as I recall. Roots developed by AT&T. It is just a better system.
<<< if linux is hard for you, simply because you are going to be using both hands at the same time more often than just using your dominant hand to move this device called the "mouse", then that is no justification. >>>
What a condescending piece of BS. I pay, I want user friendly, that is what I am paying for. There are some distros that get that message, and my money.
<<< does that mean linux is harder? no, but the >>>
Wrong again. Linux, because of its reconfigurability, is and always will be more difficult to set up (other than the defaults) than Windows. Most 3rd party software will continue to present problems to the novice and otherwise uninitiated. Inconsistent look and feel, lack of integration, lack of innovation will continue to plague Linux for quite some time to come.
Distribution: Got fedora, damn this is easier than i thought
Just because i think we all need an example of the fresh newbie linux user here, i offer up myself as that example.
I've been using linux for a whole...(thinks to myslef, god has it been THAT long?)...eight DAYS now. I downloaded fedora (hey, i needed something free and "easy") and burned it onto some CD's, put them into my laptop and installed it with what i thought i needed. On the first try, i was horrible. I thought I knew what packages i needed, but no, i had no idea what i really needed. This was in part due to the fact that the installer didn't describe the packages enough for me to really know what they meant, and what they were used for.
Anyway, after 3 or 4 tries, everything works fine, i can run pretty much everything I used in windows (MS works->Open office, MSN messenger-> AMSN messenger, Netstumber->Kismet) and it all works. Keep in mind, i have no experience whatsoever in linux, and i figured it out in a little over a wee??!!! I think that they make it PRETTY DAMN EASY FOR THE BEGINNER. Granted, i cant do everything that I want to do on the first try, but a quick search of google, and i can Patch drivers (i have an orinoco card) i can compile and install programs, i can do everything....IN EIGHT DAYS.
The moral of my story is to not give up. Linux is actually REALLY easy once you work on it for a day or so.
I have been an avid user of windows since it's inception. I started out my computing life using a trash-80 (I know some of you aren't old enough to remember that one!) and got my first PC (IBM PS/1 - with a monovhrome monitor and 3.5" floppy - 2 MB of ram!) I upgraded it by adding a 30MB HDD which at the time I believe cost me around $400 us. I don't know why I ranted about that, and I am no GURU by any stretch of the imagination, but I know windows inside and out. I will also say that I have yet to buy a copy of windows in all the years that I have been using it. I saw no point in giving my money to that SLAVEMASTER.
I have "toyed" with *nix for a couple of years off and on, but have finally broke down and installed RH on one box and Mandrake 9.2 on another. I actually paid for my RH (and haven't been sad about that). I run XP Pro on three systems, WIN2K Advance Server on one, WIN2K3 SBS on another and WIN2K on three other systems. (Yes - I love having tons of computers and don't think I will ever have enough!) I also have a handheld that uses WinCE.
Anyway... (You gotta realize - I'm in bed with my laptop and weary from no sleep! I read this entire forum tonight....)
My ultimate goal is to switch COMPLETELY to LINUX eventually! I know that I am not getting the most out of my computers because of the limitations that windows has. MS doesn't want me to know that my PC can do more. They want me to believe what they want me to believe. There is no "Free Thought" when it comes to windows. I know that Linux will never become "as popular" as windows, and that's good. I would hate it if Linux was to become "Commercialized". I like it that I have the "Freedom" to do with Linux what I wish. Hell - I could even create my own distro if I wanted to. Try taking the source code of any MS proggy and modifying it to suit your needs. You'd be slapped with a lawsuit before you could hit the button that energizes the electromagnet that wipes your HDD before the feds can get to it! (Did I say that??? - It sounds like a good idea! LOL)
Point being - if I haven't lost you through my erratic ramblings - Linux gives US the FREEDOM to be individuals. It gives us the FREEDOM to be thinkers. It gives us the FREEDOM to screw things up and learn!!!!
We all have to start learning somewhere and some of us are through with that learning process.
If you're going to bash how hard Linux is, maybe it's not for you. Hell - I've only just learned how to read manuals for commands! I know I have a LONG way to go and I hope that I NEVER learn it all! That's the fun with this OS - the learning never ceases to amaze me.
Thanks for reading this and happy computing!
Last edited by jesman_dell; 01-09-2004 at 12:15 AM.
Distribution: Got fedora, damn this is easier than i thought
Hey, with 11 computers, you should install linux on all of them, and turn it into a cluster, (i would say beowulf cluster, but i'm not completely familiar with all the different kinds of clusters, i'm just learning). Heck, you could even network them wirelessly to your laptop (albeit, a little bit slower than a hard line), and have a portable "supercomputer"
think how fast that laptop would be!! lol.
Last edited by tooocool49723; 01-09-2004 at 12:44 AM.
<<< If you're going to bash how hard Linux is, maybe it's not for you. Hell - I've only just learned how to read manuals for commands! I know I have a LONG way to go and I hope that I NEVER learn it all! That's the fun with this OS - the learning never ceases to amaze me. >>>
All good and well for the enthusiast and/or hobbyist. Not so for the mainstream SOHO/business user. There is a willingness to spend cold, hard cash for a turnkey system that is productive from day 1. Red Hat has built there business model on this concept. Many of there implementations are as costly as MS, some much more. The selling point is security, uptime, and reliability. Not to mention that after the initial implementation, the ongoing cost for upgrades, licenses, support, etc. is much lower than MS.