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Ok my friend's desktop was a mess, slow, buggy, full of viruses, etc. I advised him to upgrade. So we went to a local shop and bought a new motherboard, CPU and RAM. I installed the new hardware so he would not spend with third-party support - I had thermal grease so we went home to get it before installing the new CPU. Anyway I brought my laptop with Arch for us to backup his things - 99% of which was music. He noticed I had something different in my computer and I let him mess around my desktop a bit. I asked if he wanted it installed, because I didn't have a Windows CD and he still had XP. He replied 'what about my iPod'? Well then I asked him to lend it to me, I never had an iPod before, so I plugged it in, searched a bit on the net and soon I had it sync'd with my own music library with Rhythmbox. I taught him how to do manage individual albuns altogether with it. Since it was late I remembered I had a Fedora 18 CD back home, so I went there and I then installed it for him. I installed all gstreamer plugins, tweak-tool, and faenza icons. I showed him how to install stuff via GNOME Software Center. I had GMplayer, banshee, gtkpod installed 'just in case' RB and Totem went wrong. I tested the iPod, taugh him how to sync'd his library, remove and add individual albuns/songs with RB.
Thinking all was well, he thanked me and I returned home.
The problem is that he started to bug me on facebook, saying that 'RB was broken' and that 'it only worked when it wanted to'. I came back to his place and... couldn't find anything wrong.
Then I went home and every single time he had a problem with RB he'd bug me. I then told him to format that thing with mkfs.vfat to simply reset it. From his replies I concluded that he'd sucessfully formatted his iPod and initialized it on RB - I told him to choose 'iPod Photo 30GB' since it fit his model. But he couldn't do anything then. I then came over to his place again and saw that he didn't name the device, then I named it and all was well again.
But the complaints continued. Now I don't know what to do. Everything he couldn't do with his iPod I did without any hassle. I don't know if there's a bug on Fedora 18's libgpod because we both didn't find any bug reports about it on the web, or that he's simply doing something wrong when handling the application.
Everything else is just fine, he says, it's just that !@$!#% iPod... I asked him to use gtkpod and banshee but he still had problems. I suggested him to join Fedora Forum to say his problems to people more familiar with the distro. I feel kind of bad because he basically only uses his computer to download music torrents - he had no issues with Transmission - and play them with his iPod.
I told him he could download and install other distros, to search for 'dual boot' once he found a Windows 7 or 8 CD and all but he said he would stick with Fedora only.
It sounds like your friend has a classic case of "picnic error."
Anyone who's ever worked in tech-support has experienced this. Unless he can re-produce the problem while you're standing next to him and watching what he is doing, you will never be able to resolve the problem.
And since everything is working when you try, you can't give us any useful details that might help us diagnose the problem.
Everytime I install Linux on someone's machine I get to that point sooner or later. I have made it a golden rule that I hold a long speech about how Linux is great for security and virus resistance and many other things, but definitely will have some rough edges for people used to windows. It's inherent in the fact that it is so fundamentally different, but still it's the way it is.
So before I change *anything* on someone else's computer I make them say that they are willing to accept that and give it a try.
Still when I get those phone calls / emails about things "not working" I feel bad.
What can we do? I still think it's the right thing to spread the word about Linux... And more often than not, when I get people to finally reproduce the problem while I look over their shoulders - it can be resolved in no time.
Point being - don't feel bad. You have installed a great OS on your friend's computer. You should feel bad if you had left him with his virus farm...