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vharishankar 03-08-2005 04:44 AM

Today's newbies to Linux vs. Five years ago (say)
 
When you first installed or looked at Linux did you feel excited about using it and if so why?

It is an observation I have made that many newbies here are excited about using Linux and it is also an amazing fact that many of them are bubbling with enthusiasm even when they have problems with getting hardware to work in Linux or just having a tough time installing or working with it.

Personally I wasn't excited about Linux the first time. When I first installed Linux, it was RedHat 6.2 on a Windows partition on an "image" file (since I didn't have free space at that time) and booted using a boot floppy, which used to get corrupt after every few boots. Then I discovered LOADLIN.EXE which made my life a lot easier :D but I still remember those days when I quickly junked Linux after seeing KDE 1.x and how it virtually crawled ran on my computer because of the image partition.

Things have changed a lot since then.

From RedHat 6.0 (could not get it to install) --> RedHat 6.2 --> ( no Linux for a couple of years inbetween ) RedHat 7.3 --> RedHat 8.0 --> Fedora Core 1 --> (now) Debian, Slackware (removed now) and (latest) Gentoo. :D

What is your experience and what do you feel about today's newbies in Linux? Do they all feel that today's Linux newbie will be a lot more keen and excited than say a newbie of (say) five years ago).

Sorry if this has been posted before, but a quick search didn't reveal any similar topics ;)

amosf 03-08-2005 04:52 AM

When I first loaded linux I thought fvwm was pretty cool with the panning windows and multi desktops... That was a while back :)

floppywhopper 03-08-2005 05:06 AM

My first distro was Mandrake 9.0
I thought it was pretty cool at the time
I even set up a dual boot with Win 98

I didnt really think it was anything special
to do that
I just wanted away from Windows

floppy

OldPlanet 03-08-2005 05:33 AM

I am a newbie, and have only been running GNU/Linux for a few months. And i must say i am extremely excited about it. I have always wanted to try it, but i never had my own computer (Well, now i have actually installed VectorLinux on my parrents computer too, and forced them to use it).

The first time i tried GNU/Linux was november last year. I installed VectorLinux and Ubuntu and used them for about two months. In january i installed Slackware and Debian, and these are the distros i am using now.

I am never going back to windows.

reddazz 03-08-2005 05:34 AM

My first Linux distros was Redhat 5.x & Mandrake 6.x. I didn't find them particularly interesting and none lasted more than a few days on my PC. Anyway later on, I decided to give Liux a shot again and not expect it to be like Windows and I then enjoyed using it, though there were times when I wanted to give up. Most distros these days are a breeze to install and run compared to about 5 years ago.

vharishankar 03-08-2005 05:44 AM

Quote:

Most distros these days are a breeze to install and run compared to about 5 years ago.
Not to mention GRUB which is a real boon. Do you still remember the days of old boot floppies, LOADLIN.EXE and LILO which wouldn't boot a partition that is > 1024 cylinder limit? I had nightmares in those times!

The 1024 limit imposed by LILO was my worst nightmare followed by corrupted boot floppies. :o:eek:

scoops98 03-08-2005 06:22 AM

My first linux
 
My first linux was Caldera that came with a linux for dummies book which got for a pound in 2001. I actually felt a sense of achievement when i got that to work.
Linux is exciting because you are in control and i think thats the appeal to newer members of the team.

cs-cam 03-08-2005 06:24 AM

I first used Mandrake 9 and only tried linux for the 1337 factor. Was big into gaming then and while using linux was something people had heard of but nobody really had done, it wouldn't run any of my games so that was the end of that. have played on and off but I first got really into it when I was into web dev and installed Gentoo on an old computer to use as a staging server. I really had to learn then which was the plan and then I moved on to installing Gentoo on my shiny new desktop and I've since turfed that and I use Arch now :)

Was kind of excited but I just learned it via SSH on a server, saw how logical everything was and how it just made sense and started using it as my desktop. Now I've been 100% Windows free for about 6 months,maybe a little more and I'm happy :)

KimVette 03-08-2005 01:17 PM

Actually I've noticed the opposite - that newbies are seemingly less willing to RTFM and instead need to be spoon-fed each and every step.

Examples:

"Which distro is right for me?"
"How do I install Mandrake?"
"what is compiling a kernel?"

And so on. Five years ago or more, if you'd have asked such questions, you'd be told
"man foo" or "RTFM" - harshly at that. Sometimes someone would be kind enough to post a link to the actual FAQ or HowTo.

I mean, questions which are answered by a zillion FAQs and not to mention stickies in the forums, PLUS preexisting threads which have been repeated ad nauseum.

Admittedly, those types of newbies are in the minority, but they tend to be the noisiest, and what's worse, when they start threads, it's generally something nondescriptive like "Help meeeeeeee" or "plz hlp" or "Linux problem" - with no indication as to whether or not a) you'd be interested in the topic or b) know if you'd be able to help.

Most newbies are willing to RTFM. I've had a few users from here IM me to ask for help, but they generally have done their homework first. Some people just can't grasp the basics like "what is a partition" or "why do I have to format my disk?" - that's understandable, however I do believe that if they're going to post, they should observe some semblence of netiquette and actually use the Search.

And then, there are the "pretend newbies" who post just to troll and provoke a Windows vs. Linux flamewar.

What brought me to Linux? We're developing more and more PHP applications, and it's easier to do in the native environment (I *HATE* Cygwin, and I *HATE* PHP on Windows, plus testing on Windows when an app is being deployed on *nix is not proper QA methodology).

Not only that, Linux has finally matured to the point where it can serve as my primary OS for 99% of tasks, so I can probably avoid laying out yet MORE cash on Windows licenses and I can forgo upgrading to Exchange 2K3, because I expect a true Exchange replacement will be available for Linux soon, and will be cheaper than Exchange. Once I find such a beast I am punting Windows from the mail server and either selling or giving away the licenses.

Mandrake[OS] 03-08-2005 01:20 PM

Well for a start, mandrake is eaiser to install than a rpm.
2nd, your kind of implying that mandrake users are newbs. Not True.
Ive ran Debian Sarge, Red Hat Enterprise and Fedora Core 3.

Ace07 03-08-2005 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by KimVette
Actually I've noticed the opposite - that newbies are seemingly less willing to RTFM and instead need to be spoon-fed each and every step.

Examples:

"Which distro is right for me?"
"How do I install Mandrake?"
"what is compiling a kernel?"

I've been in the line of helping people for a long time (various gaming forums and whatnot), and this will never go away. As linux gets more popular, you can be sure you will see more of it.

cs-cam 03-08-2005 05:02 PM

Mandrake is widely known as one of the many newbie distros along with Ubuntu, Fedora (although it's super bloated, not worth the space required to install) and Lycoris and Xandros. One thing that really annoys me is when people get all high and mighty when they don't ge the answer they wanted to hear. I'm no expert by a long shot but when people want my help it'd be nice if they got off their soapbox first..

floppywhopper 03-08-2005 06:18 PM

well said KimVette

There are probably only a few more steps to go when I can finally ditch Windows permanently.

I'd like to see a decent front end in OpenOffice for MySQL that can import MS Access files with no probs.

Better support in Mozilla & Firefox for prop file formats like windows media files, flash etc

As you can see these aren't Linux probs as such, just issues with non-microsoft programmes that sit on top of the OS.

I get annoyed when I hear threads that say Linux isnt ready etc etc, Linux isn't the problem, its the other programmes constantly forced to walking one step behind the big corporations in bed with MS and their proprietry formats.

floppy

Blackhawkckc 03-08-2005 06:32 PM

I started with RH 9 when that came out. I liked it but without any games running it didn't last. Now I'm using Mandrake 10.1 and love the darn thing. Ive had some trouble along the way, and have come here for (very useful) answers. Honestly when I ran into trouble 6 months ago I thought "crap, this sucks". Now its "Google! I need Google!". I dont like it when things go wrong, but its more of an opportunity to learn than anything else these days. With crossover for those few M$ apps I might use, and cedega for the games, Windows is now banished to a mere 12 gig partition. Mandrake gets the other 270.

KimVette 03-08-2005 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by floppywhopper
well said KimVette

There are probably only a few more steps to go when I can finally ditch Windows permanently.

I'd like to see a decent front end in OpenOffice for MySQL that can import MS Access files with no probs.

I can't help you in a direct way with that, but indirectly here is what you can do:

1. Open the Access database (mdb file) with MDB Viewer
2. Export the data to a CSV
3. Import that CSV into MySQL using MySQL Admin, mysqlcc, or even webmin

Quote:

Better support in Mozilla & Firefox for prop file formats like windows media files, flash etc
The problem is not lack of windows media or flash support in Linux. The problem is that instead of embedding content into pages using mimetypes, they're embedding content into pages using Windows ActiveX component GUIDs to drive MSIE - and of course Firefox is not going to understand that. (It'd be a neat Firefox/Mozilla/Netscape extension though! Translate the GUID to a mimetype, pass that on to the browser, and then the browser will load the correct AND PREFERRED plugin for the content)

Quote:

As you can see these aren't Linux probs as such, just issues with non-microsoft programmes that sit on top of the OS.

I get annoyed when I hear threads that say Linux isnt ready etc etc, Linux isn't the problem, its the other programmes constantly forced to walking one step behind the big corporations in bed with MS and their proprietry formats.

floppy



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