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Old 10-06-2005, 02:50 PM   #1
purelithium
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Newbie Frustrations


All this talk to having to compile, edit, console, terminal, tar -vxaf blah blah and much more PITA stuff that goes along with Linux doesn't make me want to switch from XP.... i mean, I spent 4 hours last night trying to figure out how to install the newest Firefox on Mandriva 2005LE, once I did get RPMdrake to install it, i have no clue as to where it went! it just said it was installed, and I assumed it would have replaced the old version, but lo and behold, I'm still using the default 1.0.2 version that came with the OS. I tried again with something else, GAIM and an autopackage, this worked, sort of. I still had to do all sorts of crazyness with permissions and the konsole. Why can't I click on a file and it will give me a nice installer? why do programmers insist that everyone know how to compile binary files from the source? why can't Linux enable a user to intuitively know what to do?

I've used both MS and Apple products, OS X is by far the most easy to use and powerful OS i've seen to date. and I am saying Powerful because it accomplishes so much without my needing to re-compile the kernel!

I will have to say, I think Linux has a lot of potential to overtake windows, but it has a long way to go. I would liken linux and it's desktop environments to how windows 3 was, basically a GUI over Dos, I hate command prompts, and linux is just another one.

I'll keep my install of linux on my machine, but by no means is it going to replace XP right now because I just can't do lots of the things I normally would.

Why is it so hard to make something easy to use?

I'm sorry if this seems like a rant, it really isn't meant to be, I just am frustrated with the difficulties i'm having shifting my paradigm from corporate to opensource products.
 
Old 10-06-2005, 02:59 PM   #2
Linux.tar.gz
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Mandriva is user-friendly but is buggy. Try other distros. If you want to learn, use Slackware. If you want to keep your way oh-it-is-so-difficult, then go for some live-cd's.
 
Old 10-06-2005, 03:31 PM   #3
purelithium
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I've tried Knoppix and DSL, and didn't like the Live CD approach. I didn't like having to load in my own configurations at every boot up.

I don't see much help in your reply other than to point me towards a new distribution that is bound to frustrate me like the others, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Mandriva.

I just can't see how Slackware would rid me of the use of a console and compile programs to just simply update my preferred browser... does anyone else find this aggravating?

It almost seems to me like the entire linux community is covertly trying to limit the type of person it wants to allow into it's midst, like it has to set all kinds of hurdles to test the user to make sure they are of high enough skill to be allowed to continue into the elite group of linux.

Maybe i'm being too melodramatic about this...

I decided to check out linux after being told that it's made leaps and bounds in the past half-decade since I first checked it out(ugh what a nightmare), and it has. Just not in the ways that I think every day users would like. and this is the reason why I think the linux community is limiting it's growth into the mainstream.

1. it's too hard to install an application that's not included with the installation packages

2. I can't find a definitive list of terminal commands. why?

3. lack of universal hardware support. my Creative Audigy 2 NX usb soundcard was not supported by Mandriva, but was supported by Knoppix and Fedora.

I'm sure there's other gripes i have, but I don't know what they are right now.

I'm sorry if this seems like an attack on the community, and I know it will seem like that, but I'm just a confused and frustrated Windows user in a strange new place, struggling to stay afloat.

I can see how you have to definitely be a pro-active person to stay on top of things in linux

Thanks for reading,

Last edited by purelithium; 10-06-2005 at 03:45 PM.
 
Old 10-06-2005, 04:18 PM   #4
TigerOC
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I run 3 Debian Sarge systems with a KDE desktops and the install of both apps mentioned was seemless. I have done several updates recently when new Firefox versions were installed and I was only aware that the new versions were being installed because I read which packages apt was about to replace. Both apps are in my menu's in the relative sections and work.
apt is the best package manager I have ever seen for any system I have used.
 
Old 10-06-2005, 05:33 PM   #5
BDHamp
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Newbie Reponse

I understand your frustrations. When I first installed Linux (SuSE 9.2) several months ago, I e-mailed rants to a friend who was helping me through it on an almost daily basis, and I have a background with command line OSes, including Unix. I even gave up at one point, but as of right now, I have abandoned every MS app I once used with the exception of software that runs my video capture device. This is the only reason I maintain a dual-boot system at this point.

Yes, the transition is sometimes difficult, particularly if your hardware configuration is one of those "lucky" ones requiring proprietary device drivers for which no OpenSource equivalent exists. I have an ATI AiW, for example, and ATI has been slow to support Linux. This is not the fault of Linux. It's the fault of the company that made the hardware and more broadly the industry as a whole along with consumers for encouraging such behaviors.

Trying a new process to accomplish anything you're accustomed to doing a certain way is going to seem difficult no matter how easy it actually is, simply because it is new. If you want to see frustration to the extreme, walk into an office that has been using DOS based apps for account that are suddenly "upgraded" to a Windoze platform. I've known people to quit their jobs over things like this, that is, moving to Windoze.

I refused to use Windoze for a long, long time because I was so accustomed to command lines, and I could in fact do many tasks with a command line interface much more quickly and efficiently than I could using Windoze. When a first encountered Win3.1, I spent most of the time in a DOS shell, and that habit continued until I was forced at work to start using Win2000.

I mean, is it really and truly easier to click this button, then click that button, then click that radio button, then check mark this, then wait, then reboot (maybe), then spend half the night on a support forum trying to figure out why that didn't work quite right, then updating drivers for your graphics card, then tweaking the settings, then, and then, and then? That's my experience with many Windoze programs. *Some* of that is no different than Linux in its essentials. I'm just more accustomed to the process on Windoze and know where to go because of experience. I'm learning that with Linux, and it gets easier as I do.

Now that I am accustomed to it, quite frankly I find the combo of command line and GUI menus more convenient than one or the other, and as I learn more bash commands, I'm replacing a lot of GUI tasks with going to the command line. In many cases it is simply faster when you know the commands.

My only real advice is to keep at it if you want. With all the above said, there are some trade-offs between security/ease-of-use and OpenSource(cheap or free)/Proprietary(not free and usually not cheap). You decide what is important to you and do that. A different distro might in fact help you. My first shot was with RedHat, and it drove me nuts. SuSE went right in and did everything I needed it to do instantly. The issues were with customization and some hardware problems, such as the proprietary drivers.
 
Old 10-06-2005, 05:43 PM   #6
Hangdog42
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Read This


Bash commands
 
Old 10-06-2005, 05:49 PM   #7
bwingate
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I know what you mean - I've been half checking out Linux as a replacement for WinXP at home. I have close to 20 years of pc experience (first PC was a Compaq portable II - a freaking suitcase) and I am stumbling around Linux. I think Windows has us spoiled. It took me 5 hours over two days to get NVidia drivers for my laptop installed. Its still not right and I don't know how I got it to actually work.

A lot of the hassles I see around here are the same problems that were around before Win98 - poor driver support, wonky programs, etc. Windows got better when MS started strong arming the hardware vendors to provide support. Linux will get there slower because we don't have an 800 pound gorilla demanding support, and I'm not sure that's the answer either.

From what I've seen with Linux, it takes practice to get it to do what you want, how you want and when you want. I'm still tweaking things to get them just right.

But look at it this way, once you figure out how to do all this stuff (keep asking questions. I have no answers, just encouragement), you'll be free to change browsers, desktops and other stuff that WinXP won't ever offer.
 
Old 10-06-2005, 05:49 PM   #8
paranoid times
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take it or leave it but heres my introduction to linux:
I started using linux when I was 10. and I came home from school when I was 11 and windows just didn't boot. so I switched over to linux and have used it ever since. that was awhile ago, and some things were just a horrible, particularly at first. I didn't really know how the command line worked under linux, but I found out from other people. that and the 'man' command was a great help. for me learing about how to use linux was a lot of reading, I mean a lot of reading. and it didn't happen over night, it took time. in all reality it isn't that much different then learning about a different OS, the primary difference in this case is that you already know how windows works. if you grew up with linux, learing how to use windows would probably be a simular challange.

it should probably be noted that Linux is a close relitive of unix, unix (and thus linux) systems were not designed to be user friendly (linux is offering more user friendly options as more people use and want to use it, but it still isn't there). that is why things like dos and mac's came around, so that people didn't have to spend a substantial time learning about their computer to use it. however this was a trade, as with less learing, came less use.

it might be good to step back and look at everything in a little bit of a different light. you can have a gui setup like windows, and linux does have them, but all it is really doing is the same thing that a command line does.
if you know a few commands 'man' and/or 'info' are particularly good ones you can get a lot out of the rest. no one remembers everything about every command, they look at the man page for the options that they want when they use it, because there are a lot of them that you only use once to set something up for your system, and it stays that way until you format the disks.
you did say that you hate command line. but you might want to give it a try anways. with rpm files it can be a lot faster to install them with a "rpm -i" then trying to go through gui applications to install it.

so overall LInux is something which I found required a lot of reading and research to make it useful to me. I've been using it for years now, but I still look up how to do things either in the man pages, the README or INSTALL texts that come with source files, or the Internet, most of the times that I am doing something.

well thats my soap box. like I said earler take it or leave it.

-Michael
 
Old 10-06-2005, 07:31 PM   #9
purelithium
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hangdog42
[B]Read This
First off, thank you for that article, It was very thought provoking and had some interesting insights in it.

"It's easy to use, but it's not always easy to learn. Only if you are willing to invest the time in learning Linux will you find it easy."

"'User-friendly' and 'raw functionality' are exclusive."

Why does it have to be exclusive? why can't something be intuitive and have the raw functionality behind it once the basics have been mastered?

I still don't even know what counts as an executable file in Linux. I have no background for this, so I am unaware. I could go buy a book, but unfortunately i'm a poor mechanical engineering student who can barely afford to buy textbooks for class, let alone hobby books. So, i look to the internet and i'm confronted with half-finished, sometimes badly written references. I can't find fault in people for those facts because everyone is (mostly) doing this out of the kindness of their heart, not for any personal gain. That fundamental point of this whole community could be a flaw or an advantage, I haven't made a decision on that yet, in my books.

I still want to learn, but i am frustrated because it wasn't what I expected. But I've encountered that before, 3 years in the military will teach you a lot about frustration, anger and dealing with the unexpected. I'm not going to dismiss linux, but I needed to vent myself before I threw my computer in the trash! Ha-Ha!

OK, I'm told that Mandriva is buggy, to try slackware. Does anyone have a good newbie's guide link?
 
Old 10-06-2005, 08:40 PM   #10
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally posted by purelithium

"'User-friendly' and 'raw functionality' are exclusive."

Why does it have to be exclusive? why can't something be intuitive and have the raw functionality behind it once the basics have been mastered?
Because once something simple can master a 1000
tasks it's not easy any more. Have you explored
all possibilities of Word, how many features do you
use on a daily basis? How many things that you'd
want it to do does it not do? If you had an application
that allows you to reconfigure it in 100s of ways, that
can do 10,000 things a rodent-driven interface just
wouldn't make any sense anymore.


Microsoft gives you a dear but ugly ball-point-pen,
Apple gives you a designer fountain-pen, both allow
you to write letters and draw doodles.

Linux gives you a plain ball-point pen for free, a
plain fountain-pen, a ton of paper, an easel, a
palette of 256 colours, a collection of brushes
and craft-knives; and it expects you to make
something good of those gifts. There's not one
computing task that I thought off that I couldn't
do in Linux - as far as Windows goes: many
wouldn't even be possible without the use of
highly expensive development tools.

Linux adheres to the Unix philosophy: have many
little tools that do one (or very few) thing(s), do
those well, and quick. And make those in a way
that they can easily communicate with each other.
All it takes is a few pipes/redirects and a few minutes
of thought, and you're on the way with a "new tool"
that you created on the fly.



Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 10-06-2005, 08:55 PM   #11
purelithium
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Interesting point. Hmm... I'm just not sure if linux is the right operating system for me then. Because I'm not sure whether I need that much customization, or ability. I don't know what do do with it. I suppose this is how my girlfriend feels when she sees me surfing the internet all night long, she can't see the usefulness of something that can connect me to any knowledge that I want in seconds. I see you guys whirring around, creating amazingly complex stuff and am overwhelmed with the enormity of what I need to accomplish to just use this new tool.
 
Old 10-06-2005, 09:10 PM   #12
Tinkster
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As far as firefox goes...

The easy solution here should be to stick to packages
that have been whipped-up by your distros maintainer(s).

Chances are that you found an RPM that wasn't meant
for your version of Linux but installed none-the-less.


If we wanted to draw a parallel to the windows world you
received a package of 5 executables, 30 icons and 300
DLLs which you have to manually put into the appropriate
places because the MS staff hasn't wrapped the new version
up in an installer.



Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 10-06-2005, 09:14 PM   #13
purelithium
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tinkster
If we wanted to draw a parallel to the windows world you
received a package of 5 executables, 30 icons and 300
DLLs which you have to manually put into the appropriate
places because the MS staff hasn't wrapped the new version
up in an installer.
*shudder*

thanks
 
Old 10-06-2005, 09:57 PM   #14
Hangdog42
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Let me give you an example of why I use Linux.....

I use my laptop for my business, and since the information on it is valuable, and losing it would be disastrous I need to back it up. However, I'm frequently busy enough that I simply forget to do so. So using a couple of those little tools that Tink is talking about, I wrote a brief script that backs up my data to a second machine. I then made it an hourly cron job, so I get backed up without having to give it a second thought. Could I have done something similar in Windows? Maybe, but probably not without a lot more effort since the basic tools aren't really there or are buried.


Now I'm not a programmer, and when I first started using Linux I probably wouldn't have even thought of approaching the problem this way. But having used Linux for a bit I've changed the way I think about computers. Yes, it takes some effort, but so does Windows or OSX. My opinion is that computers a very good tools, and the more ways you have to adapt that tool to your needs, the better off you are. Linux allows me to have my computers largely operate the way I want them to, not the way some focus group has decided that they should.
 
Old 10-06-2005, 11:50 PM   #15
masonm
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Look, it really boils down to this: everything is hard until you learn how.

Remember learning to ride a bike? Drive? Juggle? Something new always seems hard until you learn it, and then you wonder what all the fuss was about.

If you want to learn how to use Linux, take your time, read, ask specific questions, and learn it. If not, stick with windoze. It really is worth the learning curve if you stick with it, but it's all about choice. Even the choice to stay with windoze if it suits your needs better.

There are two ways to look at time spent on solving problems.

1. A great opportunity to figure something out and learn from it.

2. A frustrating waste of time.

Same situation, your choice as to which of the two you want to go with.
 
  


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