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Old 10-12-2005, 12:13 PM   #1
Conjurer
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My Linux experience [no question]


About 1½ months ago I installed SimplyMEPIS on my brand new Dell laptop. Previously, I had tried several versions of Mandrake and even Redhat, but the learning curve always seemed to steep, and I always had hardware and driver issues that effectively ruined my desire to run Linux.

Then, a few years later, I decided to try MEPIS. Partly because I was getting a new laptop, and would be installing a lot of stuff anyway, partly because MEPIS was recommended to me by my brother (who is a bit more tech-savvy than I).

MEPIS was a radically different experience than Mandrake and Redhat in terms of the "out-of-the-box experience", though it hardly seems fair to make a direct comparison between MEPIS 3.3.2 and Mandrake 7.x, as they are several years apart.

MEPIS seemed to run fine, and it was a breeze to install. Then, of course, I had to start tinkering with the system. My first challenge was to have my DVD drive play movies properly. But seemingly a re-compiled kernel was needed. Three days and several kernel compiles later, I still wasn't any closer. I managed to kill off the ethernet devices in two kernels, and a third kernel ran painfully slow - all to no avail: DVD video was still choppy.

Nevermind, I thought. I can always watch movies in Windows, and it's not as if the time needed to reboot into Windows will kill me.

My "second" challenge was 3D acceleration. This was somewhat related to my DVD video woes, as it was suggested to me that proper graphics support might help my effort concerning DVD video.
In Windows - much to my surprise - the onboard Intel 915GM graphics card turned out to be powerful enough to play some 3D games with a good framerate - Soldier of Fortune II, for instance - which I knew could run in Linux. But then I would need proper Linux support for my graphics card (the same for playing through Wine, I figured). After a few days of toying around with XF86, Xfree and Xorg (or whatever they are called), I gave up, concluding that proper support most likely require a new kernel. And I wasn't very keen on compiling kernels again in the near future.

Oh well - I'll just play in Windows then. Besides, what do I really need 3D accelleration for in Linux - other than OpenGL screensavers.

Until this point, I had read about the various subjects and followed a host of guides and the like - but most of them, it seemed, presupposed the reader to be in possession of quite a bit of knowledge on the subject. For instance, a guide would tell me to edit some lines in a script file - a file which turned out not to exist on my system at all - that kind of thing is not too amusing when you're already struggling with chmod and vi and stuff.

For more "ordinary" purposes however, MEPIS was like a blessing in disguise. It is probably the first time I've felt safe - actually safe - using an OS. Not only was it next to impossible to make it crash (though I now know enough to get myself into trouble ) My exposure risk to various Windows worms, trojans, exploits - you name it - had been reduced to zero. And even if a virus managed to infect my system, it could not threaten the integrity of the system. A rock-solid stable system, designed with security in mind! Wonderful! (And I just love apt-get / Synaptic)

However, as I grew more accustomed to the system, I started noticing a number of small things that annoyed me.
For instance, the fonts of various applications seem to live a life on their own. KDE app fonts are controlled in one place, GTK app fonts apparently in some script, and various other apps have their entirely separate font controls (I have left out the font server, which is still somewhat of a mystery to me). And then I haven't even addressed how some apps can use AA fonts and others seemingly not.

I have also had problems regarding streamed audio and video. While I currently use BMP for streamed audio, I would much prefer something along the line of Winamp for Windows. Unfortunately, amarok, the player that is then suggested to me 9 times out of ten, seems unable to stream through a proxy.
Streamed video doesn't seem to work at all. I have tried Kaffeine, amongst others, but for now I still have to boot into Windows to watch streamed news broadcasts.

But most importantly, my cursor acts quite strange: It will jump around on its own at times. For instance, while I'm typing an URL in the address bar of my browser, the cursor will suddenly move to the start of the address bar - without me noticing as I'm busy looking at the keyboard. The result is URLs like wwworg dot linuxquestions dot. Either that or the cursor is "teleported" somewhere on the web page, causing my typing to launch the "Find in page" function.
It has happened to me six times already, just while I was writing this post.

I could even live with that, if it were restricted to the browser. But it isn't.
And I can tell you - this behaviour can really mess up any documents you're editing - like an important essay, and I've been swearing quite aggressively at times because of this "bug". (I have tested using Windows exclusively for an entire day. It didn't happen once.)

While I still feel "safe" using Linux, something just doesn't feel right - or something is missing. Yes, Windows is not that safe, is prone to viruses and exploits - but I would say I have some experience in handling them. (I should point out that even on my Windows installation I do use some non-MS software - Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org, which reduces the threat somewhat.)
Windows can be a bit unstable and crash on applications it doesn't like - but it does so in fairly predictable ways.
True, Linux will obey your every command, which cannot be said of Windows. But it seems to me that a rather substantial amount (quite a lot, in fact) of knowledge and experience is needed to reach that point.

Quite a paradox, really. I like Linux because it isn't Windows. And I dislike it for the same reason.
 
Old 10-12-2005, 02:14 PM   #2
enine
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Your using Kde right? There is some feature in KDE where the cursor follows the mouse, I notice it even on forums such as this, a bumo of the mouse even if its way outside the textbox will move the cursor. Actaully I don't know if its a X or FDE feature, I haven't researched it yet, but its a feature that probably can be turned off.
XMMS seems much more mature than any of the KDE media players, I kind of wish someone would make a simple wrapper for it to make if fit in the kde theme (like they have with open office).
I think the dislike of linux because its not windows is more due to being more familair with windows. You, like, I proably have many years of windows experience and are used to doing things the windows way so when those ways don't guve the results you expect in Linux. But I'm finding after a year or so of using both that Linux makes more sense.
 
Old 10-12-2005, 03:12 PM   #3
Conjurer
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Yes, of course my years of experience using Windows play a significant role. And while it does seem logical to argue that Linux-experience will come in time, I have just started to wonder now: why am I using Linux?

There is no task in Linux (of those I'm usually involved with) that I cannot perform just as easily in Windows - if anything, it is presently more difficult in Linux (sometimes impossible, in fact), depending on the nature of the task. So I'm certainly not using Linux because I think it is easier. And I don't know about the notion of safety either - it sort of slips in the background for the time being, as a feeling of restriction sets in. Some of the things I would like to do are relatively simple - yet I fail miserably most of the time. Had it been Windows, I would know how to do it myself, or where to find a program that would let me do it.

In fact, I rather suspect that I might be using Linux primarily for ideological reasons - and that seems just plain wrong to me. It suggests to me that I'm not using Linux because I like it per se, but rather because I'm annoyed with Windows.
 
Old 10-12-2005, 03:26 PM   #4
aysiu
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Quote:
Originally posted by Conjurer
Yes, of course my years of experience using Windows play a significant role. And while it does seem logical to argue that Linux-experience will come in time, I have just started to wonder now: why am I using Linux?
That's a good question.

Quote:
In fact, I rather suspect that I might be using Linux primarily for ideological reasons - and that seems just plain wrong to me. It suggests to me that I'm not using Linux because I like it per se, but rather because I'm annoyed with Windows.
I've often heard it said that Linux is for people who want to use it, not people who just do not want to use Windows. It sounds as if Windows is the perfect OS for you. To each her own. For some, Linux is a hobby; for some, a way of life; for others, an experimentation; still others, a scourge. It seems to me you experimented and had your fun and are ready to go back to Windows. That's fine, too. Whatever works for you. I'm sticking with Linux, but that's what works for me.

I wish we had more posts like yours instead of the usual "Linux sucks" trolls.
 
Old 10-12-2005, 03:40 PM   #5
Mega Man X
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You see.. this site is called LinuxQuestions. The whole point here is, if you have a problem with Linux, you ask a question, in an intelligent manner and peoples will try to help you out. In an intelligent manner, means in a detailed one. You said you need 3D Acceleration, but you don't say what card you have. We can not magically telnet and fix your problem.

If instead of all the crap you've posted (no offense, but that's what it is), was posted as a question, you most likely would have got some ideas of how to proceed. And no, your Windows experience won't help you a bit with Linux. Is like saying that your years of experience driving a car will help you to pilot a 747. It does not work that way, they are totally different, but they can take you from A to B. Its similarities ends there.

Since you've just created an account and went all the trouble to post, well, nothing, you should get the hanking of troll. Re-post it intelligently if you want answers to your questions instead of trolling. This might help you:

http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

and we get this kind of threads once every week. Search before posting. Maybe you don't have years of experience in a forum, but that's how you should do it. Watch this too:

http://uploads.ungrounded.net/188000/188612_Posting.swf

I'm not so sure why I'm answering this thread (or everybody else for that matter)... guess I had some spare time... this thread should be simply closed, as every new one starting with the same intentions as yours... LQ.org is too kind I guess

Last edited by Mega Man X; 10-12-2005 at 03:46 PM.
 
Old 10-12-2005, 03:41 PM   #6
Ahmed
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Every time I recommend Linux to someone I get this fear that said person won't like it because of the problems in the beginning, the learning curve, etc etc.. Which is why I give as much support as possible and warn about the issues that might come up, that Linux needs determination and patience to get used to and that getting the graphics driver to work won't be easy

I also agree that Linux is only for those who really WANT to use it. Less than a year ago I reached the point where I was really dying to start using it. Now I'm a happy Linux Not-too-expert-junkie (if not a dysfunctional Linux not-too-expert-junkie)

-A
 
Old 10-12-2005, 03:46 PM   #7
aysiu
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Mega Man X, I only partially agree with you. Yes, the whole point of the forum is to get and give help. Maybe the OP should have come to us with problems instead of giving up so easily, but this isn't a troll. A troll says, "Hey, I tried Linux and it stinks. How can people use this? It's not ready for the desktop." The OP made some honest statements, did a little introspection, and decided Windows suits her/his needs better. That's it. I'm not (and I hope you won't either) trying to convince people to use Linux who've already decided Windows is better for them. Linux isn't for everyone.
 
Old 10-12-2005, 03:55 PM   #8
Mega Man X
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Good point aysiu. You see, I use Windows too and a lot of different OS'es as well. I don't understand why peoples have to create an account, write an epic and disappear. I doubt many Linux users feel the urge to go to a MS forum, post their horrible experiences with Windows and that Linux suits them better (not that this does not happen, but less often then once a week, that's for sure). It's just a different mentality, I guess.

I doubt we will ever see that guy/girl again. So he/she went back to Windows, what else is new? He/she did not get any help and we did not have a chance to give a hand either. It's like saying your Chinese food stinks, I will eat Lebanese instead, run away for restaurant and don't try to taste anything else...

Maybe we need a new section, similar to "Success stories", but the exactly opposite of it. So when a troll feel like posting, they could post it there... we should see it as black hole... or trash can... don't know

Last edited by Mega Man X; 10-12-2005 at 03:56 PM.
 
Old 10-12-2005, 04:07 PM   #9
aysiu
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mega Man X
[B]Good point aysiu. You see, I use Windows too and a lot of different OS'es as well. I don't understand why peoples have to create an account, write an epic and disappear.
Yeah, it's a mystery to me, too. I no nothing about motorcycles except that they're loud. Do I sign up for the Harley Davidson forums and say, "Hey, your bikes are loud!"? No. I don't understand it either.

Quote:
I doubt many Linux users feel the urge to go to a MS forum, post their horrible experiences with Windows and that Linux suits them better (not that this does not happen, but less often then once a week, that's for sure). It's just a different mentality, I guess.
Well, Linux users are in a slightly different situation. First of all, a lot of Windows users just expect to have horrible experiences with Windows (ask anyone in my office, with the ironic exception of... me). They don't view those horrible experiences, though, as "Windows experiences." They view them as horrible "computer experiences." Windows = computers for a lot of folks. Also, most Linux users come from Windows. Windows users do not necessarily come from Linux.

Quote:
I doubt we will ever see that guy/girl again. So he/she went back to Windows, what else is new? He/she did not get any help and we did not have a chance to give a hand either. It's like saying your Chinese food stinks, I will eat Lebanese instead, run away for restaurant and don't try to taste anything else...
I think it's slightly different from that, but still equally mysterious. It's more like deciding for yourself, "You know what? I'm going to try new foods, explore exotic cuisine." You try a few dishes from Lebanon, decide you don't want to acquire the taste for it, tell the restaurant employees so and then go back to eating what you ate before.

Quote:
Maybe we need a new section, similar to "Success stories", but the exactly opposite of it. So when a troll feel like posting, they could post it there... we should see it as black hole... or trash can... don't know
You know, this is something that's up for discussion among the moderators at the Ubuntu forums. I think it's a great idea. Rather than censoring them, banning them, or closing their threads, you just dump them in one place so they can be avoided but happily rant away...
 
Old 10-12-2005, 04:19 PM   #10
Conjurer
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Frankly, I'm somewhat amazed by some of the answers I have received.

First of all: The purpose of this thread was NOT to get answers for issues I haven't been able to resolve on my own. If it were, I would not have included [no question] in the topic line.

Second: I have indeed been searching forums for answers - including this one - but primarily mepislovers.org. If you don't believe me, go check out their forums (same username). In addition, I have been using Google as well as the usenet. It is not that I haven't tried getting answers - I have merely concluded my efforts for the time being pending the next release of MEPIS (whose kernel supposedly will have better support for my hardware)

But maybe I should just have kept my mouth shut. I know this: I expected a recommendation that I should stick with Windows, but I certainly didn't expect to be called a troll. I think it is uncalled for, as well as rude.

I did not make my post with any malicious intent, and in my opinion I offended no one either. As such, I would have thought I would at least be entitled to some common courtesy.

Last edited by Conjurer; 10-12-2005 at 04:24 PM.
 
Old 10-12-2005, 04:31 PM   #11
enine
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Wow, some of the responses seemed a bit harsh to me.

Yes at the moment it may seem like some things take more time in Linux, that is the normal part of a learning curve. Say you wanted to learn to speak another language, it would take you longer to compose a sentence in the new language than your native language, but after learning more you may find the new langauge to be simpler.
There are many reasons to use Linux, you have to decide your priorities. I can give you my example:
I have been working with computers for years and through several versions of Windows and Office and have many years worth of data that is important to me. I have seen imporvement in windows up to w2k then with XP they took a step back in stability, performance and security, it was a big let down to me. Also I used Oultook for a lot and in the late 90's hit the 2G limit for the PST. I worked around this by archiving and having multuple PST's. I also was playing with PDA's and wearable computing and found that Programs like word and excel added too much to the documents and made them too big so I started to look at better file formats and cross platform compatibility (as much as I liked my windows ce pda it was silly to me to not be able to run the same executable on my laptop and PDA so I found that since everything was compiled from source in linux the same source would work on any hardware). I also dabble in the infosec world and all the good tools come out for linux before windows and all the good open source network management tools come out for Linux as well. Basically I was moveing on to bigger and better things. XP was the big let down, trying to run other OS's under vmware on XP was way slower than w2k. I kept my machine highly secure but still got spyware just from mistyping a web site address. I spent too much time doing maintenance on my system, having to keep up with AV, antispyware, ms updates, etc. My laptop is also a very small light weight model that I now use as my PDA and everything is external and founf out that XP's USB support is very buggy, some devices that worked fine for months would just stop working until the drivers was uninstalled and reinstalled. I have a huge base of documents and manuals I have downloaded, bought books and copied the book on cd to my drive, etc. They are all oragnized into different folders and such. I was looking at indexing and organizing systems and found planty of good open source stuff but ot as much for windows. I started dual booting and found out that some sutff took longer since I was learning but once i learned how to do something it was easier in Linux. Sure it too me a bit to learn how to write a hotplug script to automatically copy files to a USB device and now that I learned that simple skill and wrote a little scirpt I have use of a funcationality that windows doesn't support and that is just one example. I've found that I have now become much more productive because I can better organize and work on my document collection rather than spending time cleaning off/scannig for spyware. I have learned new tools and now things make more sense in general because I can see the inner workings of the OS more clearly.
Remember when you were young and you learned how to ride a bike? Then you got older and started to learn how to drive a car, at first driving the car was harder than riding the bike and takes more skill, but now that you have developed that skill you can go furthur and faster with that car than you can that bike. Remember windows is what brought about the Personal PC. Its like those cheap tools in the hardware store, buy the cheap cordless drill to hang a picture, but if you were to build a house you would quickly find that cheap drill was not up to the task because its a simple homeowner grade personla tool. So you buy the contractor grade tool and it has a bigger user manual and more features and seems more complex but you learn it then those features get easy and you can do more with it.
Same here. Linux is a complex OS, learning it won't be easy, but in the long run you will be able to do more.
 
Old 10-12-2005, 04:58 PM   #12
Mega Man X
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OK Conjurer, I will take this as you really had good intentions on your post, so I would like to apologize for calling you a troll. I really am sorry.

Still, I was right saying that what you've posted is nothing new. I hope you understand how it feels for some members, including myself, to get at least one thread like yours every week from a member who has just signed in. We all had problems with Linux once and we still have, but so have/had we all with Windows, or any other OS for that matter.

If fact, just one of two threads bellow yours is about the very same thing: Telling experiences with Linux. Again, sorry. If you still want some help I would more then happily try to help you out. Still, when you said about using Linux for "ideological" purposes, I think you went a bit off. I see nothing wrong in using something that you like/believe in, as Linux and the Open Source. Also, many does not have money to buy an overpriced OS as Windows, so it's either a free alternative as Linux or piracy? Which one looks more politically correct for you?

I really should stay away from general. I always get myself into trouble while surfing these waters :\. If it was not for those cool threads with light bulbs and many others
 
Old 10-12-2005, 05:07 PM   #13
trickykid
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ahmed
Every time I recommend Linux to someone I get this fear that said person won't like it because of the problems in the beginning, the learning curve, etc etc..
Linux is like learning to ride a bike, instead of crying when you fall down, your only going to learn it faster and better by getting back up for another attempt.

Curse it all you want when you do fall down but those frustrations should be between you and the bike. But when you need help, there are plenty of us out here willing to help, all you have to do is ask.
 
Old 10-13-2005, 11:44 AM   #14
Conjurer
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Thanks enine - I guess I needed some encouragement.
MegamanX - no hard feelings - I can understand your reaction if you're being hit with similar threads that often.

Thinking about it now, I feel I may have been to hard on Linux. As enine pointed out, learning a new system is a gradual process - and while I don't remember it exactly (too many years ago), I seriously doubt I mastered Windows any better 1-2 months after I started using that system. I just felt sort of caught between not wanting to go back to Windows, while on the other hand making only slow advances in terms of understanding Linux.

Anyway, I'll carry on then.

Subsequent threads will appear in the appropriate forums.

PS. The ideology thing: I'm used to thinking that software should be judged on value-free criteria - free from various bias towards technology, platform etc. Maybe that's a bit too business-like - but that's just my way of thinking.
Of course, if an application fulfils its purposes it doesn't exactly hurt that the user might even like too

Last edited by Conjurer; 10-13-2005 at 11:46 AM.
 
Old 10-14-2005, 02:06 AM   #15
Trio3b
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linux experience

It's a natural human tendency to percieve things as referenced against what we're used to. MS got a lucky break by using other peoples ideas to "establish" standards that we are all used to by now. Linux came from a different pedigree and was born under different circumstances. Maybe it is not meant to "compete" with MS. Eventually, the market place will insert better things into linux, but it can't be helpful to require linux to be like Windows.

You mention in your second post that maybe you feel that you're using linux NOT 'cause it is better, but because of your annoyance with Windows, and something about doing that feels wrong. Like maybe you're using it for philosophical reasons.

Do you have a favorite auto mechanic? Is he efficient, quick, courteous, cheaper than the rest, and on the whole trustworthy? You would use him right? Good. Now, you've used him for years, you're comfortable. He gets parts that no one else can. Almost overnight. It's amazing!

One day you're out for dinner and you see someone stealing parts off your car in the parking lot. You chase them off, they get away, but not before you get a quick, glancing look at them. You know that face, but ..........from where? Days go by, where have you seen that face?

Weeks go by, you forget. On the freeway, your car dies. Take it in to get fixed. While you're talking to the owner, you glance over at the mechanics on hire......THAT'S WHERE....the mechanics, that's who was in the parking lot stealing car parts.

Now as a matter of ethics, philosophy, whatever you want to call it, you don't use that guy any more. Why not? He's faster than anyone else. Cheaper. Always has the parts? Are you going to let your "ethics" get in the way of common sense? You're damn right you will!

I don't NOT use Windows cause it's no good (because Wxp is FINALLY a decent OS) - I don't use MS 'cause I caught 'em stealing from me, disrespecting me, and abusing my trust. I caught 'em:

1. Stealing my time -(incompatible formats that caused me to spend inordinate amounts of time to rectify that MS can NEVER repay me for)

2. I caught 'em disrespecting me. Making me go thru product activation

3. I caught 'em abusing my trust. When I plunked down $75 for W95, W98 or Wme, I trusted that there would be some kind of warranty of merchantibility. Instead, I got a buggy OS that MS should have spent ITS OWN BILLIONS to research and perfect B-E-F-O-R-E they released it to the general public ......just like EVERY OTHER industry has to do.

It's OK to use linux even if it doesn't have the perfect ergonomic fit that you want.

IT WILL.........if enough people tough out the learning curve. People who are willing to absorb the 'cost' of using linux now will be helping to break the technological stagnation and proprietary chokehold imposed by MS. Dig deeper into 90% of MS """"""innovation"""""" and you will see that someone else did the sweat equity and dirty work of innovation and MS is the circus barker who gets you to come in and pay to see the product. Didn't MS just get fined about $300 million in cash and $450 in damages to Real Networks this past month for doing just that? I think the EU just also fined 'em $613 million for Antitrust activity. MS has a looooooooooong history of stealing, getting caught, then paying off their fines, quietly invoking gag orders as part of the settlement. THAT'S where MS's true genius lies. In the manipulation of the legal system and in the marketing of their perception to the public at large.

Right now linux suffers from the same thing everything in the PC world does. Good, logical, task oriented, specific documentation. As a general rule, if you PAY ATTENTION to the hardware lists, you won't run into much trouble. I have installed MDV 2005, and MDK 10.0 on 7 different PCs with all different hdwr. and linux has had drivers for everything but 3 pieces of hdwr. Wxp,W2000, and Wme did not have drivers for over half the stuff. But,

I have EASILY spent as much time overall F***ING with MS products as I have with linux. It's more annoying with linux 'cause IN REFERENCE to our past experience, our PERCEPTION is that things should go faster in linux. Linux is going thru and entitled to the same growing curve that Windows went thru. You are going to have to bear the brunt of that curve if you want to see GNU/linux survive.

hang in there with linux!

Last edited by Trio3b; 10-18-2005 at 01:01 AM.
 
  


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