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Old 07-16-2013, 05:03 AM   #16
cascade9
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Originally Posted by Netnovice View Post
Im not too upset though. I have learnt how to download packages and install manually from Mint so I am not dependent on the internet for everything. That's of importance to me.
Considered debian + all the DVDs? There is nothing quite like having access to a full repo on DVDs for use in places with no/bad/very slow internet.

I really think that using Mint 15 KDE or any other ubuntu or ubuntu based non-'LTS' version is not a good idea long term. Suppot length is way to short....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Netnovice View Post
But in regards to KDE:

For users migrating from Windows it is the only interface immediately understandable to them.
I have tried the alternatives and they borrow too much from the Mac which I know many people like but is not viable for Windows users. Later on, as they become more familiar with Linux there are more choices.

KDE is not top heavy! I mean, these users are running Windows 7 on Pentium $'s and single core atoms! (I am running Link 15 KDE on a single core atom and it's fine.)
The only issue are the graphical effects. Turn them all off and KDE runs a dream even on minimal hardware.
Users care about productivity and ease of use over speed. LXDE is fast (and nice!) but it is less familiar to new users than KDE.

There is a saying in programming, "First make it work and then make it fast."
Until I can get converts to STICK with Linux, the GUI is moot anyway.
IMO Xfce is pretty much as easy to transition to as KDE4 IMO (though its a bit easier with some 'out of the box'setups than others, the minipanel bottom/top panel setup that many distros use as stck for Xfce is a bit mac-ish).

KDE4 is very heavy and quite bloated......and I'm a KDE user, that isnt 'not my DE' hate.

If you replace a slow, bloatwed system (eg vista/7/8 on a P4) with another slow, bloated system that is unfamiliar to the user, its no suprise that many of them go back to what they know.

Last edited by cascade9; 07-16-2013 at 05:05 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2013, 08:35 PM   #17
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Distro questions later. KDE is the best route for transition. Can transiton later if needed.

BUt, before I present there is this:

My song for Linux. Lovely video. Sniff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybVc8ax7jH0
 
Old 07-16-2013, 08:37 PM   #18
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BTW, we are talking Linux on completely NEW HW. I am trying to stop the school buying desktopns with Windows 8 pre-installed. Power will not be an in issue.

Support is a question and I have raised it on my proposal. But Mint is an EXCELLENT system to demo and hook an audience. Then, when they know the options we can discuss distros.
 
Old 07-17-2013, 01:25 AM   #19
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By the sounds of it you, for yourself let alone the schools you are working in, need to take a long hard look at this from outside your own point of view. I say this for a few reasons, some from personal experience others from reading this thread.

1. You don't seem to be at the same school for very long. This creates a problem for who ever comes after you. Regardless of how "nice" Linux Mint with KDE is if the person who comes after you doesn't have the knowledge of, or the inclination to learn it, Linux and or KDE then they will revert back to MS quick smart (as you have already seen).

2. It appears your expectation of hardware throughout this thread has been rather high. I have quite a few P4s at home and while they will run the current version of KDE it isn't a good experience. My employer (the education system in the state I live in) has many P4s still in service and they have just had Windows 7 put on them and they are pretty slow. I tried Debian KDE from a USB flash drive and it is marginally better. Tried LXDE, MATE, and XFCE and the P4s fly. Gnome and KDE (just the environments not the software) are resource heavy and if you want the machines to last many years of active service I, personally, think you are much better off setting your sights a bit lower.

3. Regardless of old or new hardware, I notice you are now at another school getting new hardware, I think you would be better off setting up an LTSP (Edubuntu or Debian Edu are great examples). Let the school get whatever hardware it wants and even let them get it with Windows 8 if they want it installed on it. If you set up an LTSP server with thin clients the OS is on the server and the PCs simply run as terminals with a gui being run from the LTSP server. Disconnect the Hard drives so nothing accidentally gets wiped and if anyone comes after you Windows 8 is still available if they cannot get their heads around the system you have set up.
 
Old 07-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #20
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Well, there wasn't much hope. Schools are a BAD place to sell Linux. They are on the of the best organisations, in theory, to benefit from Linux but the legendary lack of computer literacy wins out every time.

The presentation itself went well and everyone was impressed with Linux and it's capabilities.

Unfortunately, the battle was lost at two points:

1) After the presentation the Principle asked if there were any Windows 8 users. Yes, there were.
"How do you find Windows 8?" He asked.
"Fine." They both said curtly, defending the OS they had spent money on.
Game over. If fellow teachers found Windows 8 'fine' then no-one was going to rock the boat.
I knew it was over at that point.

2) Although I got a lot of positive interest in Linux from staff, I was told that my petition to be released from extra-curricular activity monitoring (two hours in which I just sit there and make sure the students do not run off screaming) to fix the mass of tiny, easily solvable problems staff were having on the school PC's was refused. I was hired as a teacher and I would operate 100% as a teacher. To be fair, it is very hard to find a native English speaking teacher of any quality here so they want to squeeze as much out of me as a teacher as they could. If I.T. can be done by a local it will be.

But, with absolutely NO internal support it was clear Windows 8 won by default. All I.T. was in the hands of an external company.

Hmmm.. new hardware an external company would supply – at mark up price. Windows 8 sold at mark up price. A new OS with a completely new (and confusing) means of operation which would require intensive training plus lots of opportunities for technical oh, and all new Office software and utilities all at mark up...

Game over. Money wins out over sense. The next day I shook the Principle's and told him straight, "You're going Windows 8. Problem sorted." He did not seem surprised or disappointed.

As I say, in schools especially, the key is hand holding. The school is willing to spend thousands on software and training as long as there is someone who will do it for them. If it costs thousands and even ADDS problems, as long as there is someone to come it and fix it for them all is well. Computers terrify the ordinary man/woman and they are happy to spend $$$$ to keep the things at arms length. Many teachers here actively prefer to write things out by hand rather than use a computer. My wife hates Excel. She can only budget by hand with manual calculation. She wil not even use a calculator.

Computing is a very right side brain activity and 75% of the population of the world are left side brain biased and the remaining 25% tend to channel their creativity/abstraction through the arts or academia rather than IT. Really, only about 5% of the population of the world really 'get' computing. It was a long shot but with me being vetoed from any internal IT support – even fixing the video settings on a PC - then it was game over. If the school has placed ALL computing in the hands of an external supplier than their word carries the day, not mine.

At first I was peeved – Microsoft win again by default. Arrrgh! Will nothing slay the Beast that unleashes such horrors as Windows 8 on us??!!!!

But, there is a potential silver lining. In terms of the school PCs it is game over. They will go Windows 8 and battle with its insanity... But, at least I won't have to deal with it. I can get by with Linux on my netbook. I do not need to use the school computers. In fact, such is the sheer pace of work, we all bring in our own laptops. Furthermore, I am strictly forbidden from fixing ANY problems on the school PC's, no a matter how trivial.

Fine by me! It means I can ignore Windows 8. te worst case would have been the school going Windows 8 and expecting me to fix things! At least the school are consistent. Heck, I may well buy my own printer. One teacher has done just that so she can guarentee printing. At the time of writing, there was not one working printer for teachers in the entire school. The equipment is totally burnt out. But then, they bought ink jets. Ink jets are not suitable for the pounding teachers give them.

But... My presentation did shift attitudes among the staff. The staff were awed by how fast and easy Mint Linux KDE was! Now they actively associate Linux with ease of use! This is a complete 180 degree turn around. Changing attitudes takes time. I have at least proven Linux is not a fearful beast and is definitely easy to use.

So, while the school is set on Windows 8 the staff with their own personal laptops are agog! Now Linux is an option for the local Indonesian teacher for their own productivity. One teacher needs a new laptop and, I tell you, computers cost more here than in the West. They shouldn't but they do. There isn't a budget for legal software. This teacher rather wants Linux! She wants GIMP. When I told her how much Adobe Photoshop costed she nearly passed out. She wants media – on mass.

I told her, though, that I was not sure. The trouble is, her budget allows for the powerful media laptop she so wants... but not any software. Once she goes Windows she loses the power and ends up with a bottom range Celeron machine at best with no graphics package. But, while I will be in the school when she hits trouble with Linux... as I said, "The trouble is, what happens when you hit trouble and I am in class or off that one day?" In teaching you need output NOW! Delays or crashes are not an option. Our deadlines are not the project end but the next class in ten minutes time! Which makes the broken hardware at the school even more nonsensical.

"No matter how many problems you get with Windows you will be surrounded by masses of Windows users one of which will know what to do. With Linux it's just me... I don't know. I really don't know what to do."
After all, the key is hand holding.

EXCEPT...! Her boss, the vice Principle has ordered a new Windows 8 laptop. She wants me to put Linux on her old netbook so she can learn and... test. She may not be totally computer literate but she is way above average intelligence and computers do not scare her. After my presentation she expects Linux is going to be of more use to her than Windows. I then had the delight of telling her, "Let me know what software you need. Anything. Video editing, Project Management, organiser software – anything. I'll get it installed for you for free."
Her jaw dropped!

Now, she may not be totally PC literate but she is not fearful. She can be trained. If she is around running Linux then, when she is running then this other teacher can go Linux and one can hand hold the other. I would not be so confident if the Vice-principle was less intelligent but she is clear headed and worked with Unix in CLI form in the past. She knows what a work station is. She has some knowledge that can be built on.

And once I have two users on Linux and problems ironed out then they support each other. When other teachers see them producing without all the horror of Windows 8, I do expect to see more interest and the more who go Linux the more mutual hand holding takes place.

So there is hope. The teacher my be IT illiterate but they are high IQ and once they get settled with Linux it could actually stick. I just have to be there for the start. Also, we can have Windows laptops on standby for those 'fine tuning' moment when we find which switch needs flicking to enable a picture to print so we can hopefully control the Linux experience – phasing it in.

All I need is a foothold. Just two initial users who can really settle in and then Linux can spread. After all, we have exactly that with Windows 8 in the school! They haven't got a clue but they can print Word documents and that is all that counts in their eyes. Well, I can get Linux doing that for two other teachers one of which is half way to computer literacy.

So there's yet hope.

By they way, k3lt01, your comments would be of merit if they reflected what I was doing. Alas, your assumptions as to what I have been doing were just about 100% inaccurate. Indeed, I have not put any version of Linux on any school PC at any educational establishment whatsoever. Speaking as a teacher, it is best to verify the facts before drawing judgement. Thank you for your thoughts nevertheless. I understand where you are coming from.
 
Old 07-18-2013, 06:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netnovice View Post
By they way, k3lt01, your comments would be of merit if they reflected what I was doing. Alas, your assumptions as to what I have been doing were just about 100% inaccurate. Indeed, I have not put any version of Linux on any school PC at any educational establishment whatsoever. Speaking as a teacher, it is best to verify the facts before drawing judgement. Thank you for your thoughts nevertheless. I understand where you are coming from.
I never drew judgement, I offered advice. My assumptions were based on your posts, if they are wrong that's fine and no harm has been done because the school decided to go Windows 8 anyway. Good luck with your teaching.
 
Old 07-18-2013, 07:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
I never drew judgement, I offered advice. My assumptions were based on your posts, if they are wrong that's fine and no harm has been done because the school decided to go Windows 8 anyway. Good luck with your teaching.
Fair comment. No need to go looking for a fight.

Teaching is OK but I am working at a Singapore school (read: Chinese) and the schedule is MADNESS!
Everyone assures me that I will find my feet and settle in but it is AGONY to start with.

On top of everything else the school insist I learn Bahasa Indonesia and... Manderin.

Oh well, looks good on the CV... :-)

Good luck to you in your endeavours.
 
Old 07-18-2013, 07:20 PM   #23
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Fair comment. No need to go looking for a fight.
I never went looking for a fight, I posted my thoughts and wished you well. I won't post in this thread again in fear of having that post misinterpreted.
 
Old 07-19-2013, 07:39 AM   #24
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netnovice View Post
Distro questions later. KDE is the best route for transition. Can transiton later if needed.
I'm not convinced that KDE is the 'best route for transition'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Netnovice View Post
But Mint is an EXCELLENT system to demo and hook an audience. Then, when they know the options we can discuss distros.
Pretty hard to 'discuss distros' if you move around much. Even if you remain in contact with people you have instaleld linux mint KDE for, its a lot messier than doing things face to face.

I think that installing a distro that will only be supoprted for a very limited time (6 months left now on mint 15) is not a good way to get people using linux long term.

Its not going to giev the impression that linux is worth using for people if the repos are broken and instaling new software is impossible after justa few months. They could upgrade to a newer version, but in the case of mint 16 thats only going to have limited support as well..and upgrading from one version of ubuntu/mint to the next has been known to cause problems even for expereinceed users.

If mint 13 KDE has the same support length as mint 13 cinnamon/MATE versions it makes more sense to install that..IMO anyway.
 
Old 07-19-2013, 09:26 AM   #25
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I think Mint is a sensible choice for new Linux converts. I agree with the recommendation to use LTS versions.

I think the Mint desktops are all designed in a way that makes them reasonably similar to the Windows GUI, so I personally would recommend to let performace decide. XFCE is probably fastest, I found Cinnamon to work best with peripherical devices (iPhone, bluetooth, etc...).
KDE is the desktop I would install for someone who tells me Eye Candy is a priority over everything else...

Anyway the main reason why Mint is my default choice when I install Linux on a newbie's computer is their liberal approach to proprietary software. They even have Skype in their repos! (This can certainly be discussed controversely, but it does make life a lot easier for people who want to use it...)
 
Old 08-02-2013, 01:20 AM   #26
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Whoa k3lt01!

No worries about posting. The internet is a pain because it is very hard to convay emotion so posts can sound harder than intended.

Also, I probably overreacted myself but that is because some Linux can be very depreciating and agressive. I've been flamed here myself!

I hate people being hurt. I am very sensitive myself. I have no problems with people advising or discussing with me in good faith and now I know clearly where you are coming from I am not going to mis-interpret you.

If I came across as snarky than I apologise. You meant well and I appreciate that.
Seriously.

Please do not take any comments from me to hear.
I'm not that kind of guy - really!
 
Old 08-02-2013, 01:21 AM   #27
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Well, a positive development!

The school has had of policy of keeping machines until they collapse into dust or throwing them away.

I have approached the school and asked if, when the old tech is thrown out (and it really is olde tech here!) whether it could be donated the poor for training. I explained my reasoning and the school loved the idea! I have to give the school it's due. It's strict – very strict – but has a heart.

Well, these machines cannot really run Windows 7 and the data will have to be cleared. So this opens up a load of opportunities for me:

1) I can turn this into a project and get the (few) IT conversant students to help me format the hard disks and install Linux. (Don;t work, I'll go with a lightweight distro – Lubuntu or maybe Puppy. I'll investigate nearer the time.) The school will love that!

2) It will get some tech into the hands of those who will never see a computer any other way. There is an orphanage just around the corner from me and I have been agonising over getting them some tech.

3) They ain't got no choice but to go Linux. Windows will be an impossibility on these machines! So the word will spread! I'll have to be tech support, mind, so I have be careful about timing and training.

The machines in question are in a right state but hopefully I can swap and change components and get some machines that have some life left in them. But even if they good for a few months for basic training it'll mean a huge difference to those whose education stopped with reading and writing.

We're all flooded right now though. I do not expect much before the New Year.
 
Old 08-02-2013, 02:17 AM   #28
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Just couple of comments...

Bear in mind that take up up Linux here is slow. I have a lot of interest but I do not have time to go installing Linux on people's machines yet.

Right now the main problem is that it is the start of a new school year in a Singapore based school. I have learnt the hard way that the 'Singapore way' is total overwork. Everyone tells me that after six months I find my feet and will be able to cruise but, "Until that happens it will be hell." Overloaded does not begin to describe. I won't go into detail but right now, the idea of installing any OS on any computer is just vapour. There is no time. Mint was the right move. If I was on Slackware still I would be drowning! Us teachers need every bit of software to hand NOW with no time for technical issues. In my new job it's good to have safe repositories. Breaking Linux now would be murder.

Good point about moving around and I hasten to add that I do NOT move around much! Indeed, I have a two year contract with this school so I am unlikely to be shifting. It is a valid point that face to face is the only. What happened in my last school was the paperwork got confused and I was 'ejected' unintentionally. It kinda went in my favour but it meant I ended up leaving, and much more suddenly than expected and that left my Linux convert up in the air.

Not my plan or my doing. There is now no such issue in my current school.

But yes, face to face is the ONLY way. That's exactly what I mean by hand holding.

In regards to KDE, a few things:

Indonesians LOVE eye candy!! They are only just entering the 21st Century and they want to feel they are using the latest tech. Indeed, they are suckers for gadgets and Gizmos. So KDE counts. They really, really want flashy and cool! [They have no concept of 'retro.']

People complain about KDE in terms of performance but KDE is slow when desktop effects are turned on. I always just turn them off. Then KDE flies. I am posting on my Single core n455 Atom processor that clocks in like a 1.2GHz Pentium III and Mint 15 KDE is running fine on it. I just have desktop effects turned off. Simple. With effects turned on it is unusable. Ditto on my Celeron.

Most users first concern is ease of use. Indeed, the first question anyone asks me about Linux here is, "Is it easy to use?" At that point I demo. KDE delivers on that front.

Most users would drop a considerable degree of speed for greater ease of use. Bear in mind that we are talking ex-Windows users here. (If people can afford a Mac then the price issues of Linux mean nothing to them.) So if Mint running KDE runs faster than Windows – which it does – then they are happy. BTE, I just helped a fellow teacher with his Atom netbook in terms of speed by... turning off desktop effects in Windows 7. Lo and behold, the machine flies – relatively speaking.

I have tried the other GUI's like KXCE, XFCE, Mate, Cinnamon, etc and, worthy though they are, I have consistently found KDE the most logical. Bear in mind that since muggins is going to be the only tech support here for any converts for some time to come, what I can get along with is important here! I do not want to be supporting six different GUI's! KDE is 'safe' and, even if it can be called 'bloated' (arguable I would say) at least I know that when I want the GUI to do something, it will be there. I am also having to learn soooooooo much on the job that the thought of getting 'deep' into another GUI is just far out right now. I need to go with what is known.

Obviously, on really old, really slow hardware, I will be running something like LXCE – I won't really have much choice. But even then, I'll give KDE a chance on a P4 and test. My Atom handles KDE fine and it clocks in like a P3. As long as you turn off desktop effects it's fine. KDE is highly tunable and can be considerably optimised.

Also, donated machines from the my school will be old tech but most machines Linux will be going on will be much newer.

LTS editions of Mint are a factor to be considered, yes and this is very valid. But nothing has been put in stone yet. The school is NOT going Linux, and never will until they figure out that they need an internal IT department and they are dead set against that right now, so worrying out LTS editions of Linux for the office is a non-starter now.

So we're only talking about newly purchased laptops or, at worse, a second hand Atom clocking in faster than my N455 (where you have to work HARD to find anything slower.) Personally I am running Mint 14 and 15 on my two netbooks but I have no problem with upgrading an OS. I know others will. So I will factor LTS into the equation. But distros will have to be discussed with the users. Having Linux 13 LTS running on people machines probably does make sense and I think I will put 13 back on Atom – when there is time – simply because of the issue of support. I need to use what new users will be using and vice versa! I gotta standardise! But I wanted to see how much difference there was between versions. Not much it seems. I am just a little bit twitchy about running outdated versions of Libreoffice in mint 13. The LAST thing a teacher can handle is a file incompatibility. I need to give Mint 13 a closer look. I might crowbar Libreoffice 4 on it. Dunno. There is such little time...

Nothing is in stone, mind. No old tech is coming my way for ages, I have one teacher who will run Linux on her Atom backup to compare with Windows 8. Now, she's smart so I hope she can pick up enough to help others in the school later. I hope she can do some hand holding in time. Then there is one other teacher looking to go Linux on a new laptop.

But we're all overworked right now!! So nobody can do anything much! I am hoping to have a little time next month – but only a little.

Thanks for thoughts. I appreciate discussion. I hope I am conveying that I am THINKING about the issues. I will say that Mint KDE is really proving itself in the office. It is proving to be a very effective workhorse. In the white heat of the school where you have enough battles with paperwork, endless meetings, students misbehaving and hundred other things, you NEED an OS that looks after itself. Mint does that. Fifteen years in IT, responsible for the software test team, projects of $150,000, and I have never met anything like the heat of a Singapore based school.

I will say this, I have no problem with people using other GUI's than KDE and it would be GREAT if you guys were here to lend a hand get Cinnamon or LXCE flying... But it's just me right now. Support and ease of use is the issue.

Oddly enough, no-one has asked me about speed in Linux. The issues/questions people have are:

"Is Linux easy to use?" With KDE – yes.
"Will it read XYZ files?" With ABC software – yes
"How much does it cost?" Nothing.

Those are the questions. Nobody here cares for performance much. They are already running Atoms with Windows 7 crawling.

So I am taking comments on board and I welcome them but I have to get something moving first and get people Linux conversant so they can support others.

Hand holding, not the GUI., is the key. People want hand holding! When I have people hnd holding other people then we can play around with distros and GUI's.
 
Old 08-02-2013, 02:30 AM   #29
k3lt01
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Whoa k3lt01!

No worries about posting. The internet is a pain because it is very hard to convay emotion so posts can sound harder than intended. <snip>
That's fine, no problems. I finally learned a little while back to pull out before topics went to far off track. I decided to stop because I didn't want a misunderstanding (misinterpretations on both sides) to stop you getting the advice you were looking for and posting about your experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Netnovice View Post
Well, a positive development!<snip>
Excellent, I used to do a similar thing but we soon run out of "old hardware" here and then an electronics recycler opened up and now business' just send it to them.
 
Old 08-02-2013, 02:45 AM   #30
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Oh yes, while I am copying gigs of data...

Talking of performcen... I benchmarked my atom n455 running Windows XP. The CPU return was awful.
I then switched it over to Slackware running KDE and benchmarked using the same program. (using a totally unoptimised kernel as well.)

80% CPU performance improvement.
I had to double check!

OK, this was with desktop effects turned off but all effects in XP were disabled as well so apples were compared with apples.

I had some doubts about the result until I ran the same benchmark on an equivalent AMD e1 chip running Windows 7. It returned the same performance as XP.

Whoa. So running Linux with KDE with desktop effects turned off still runs 80% faster than Windows XP or 7 on the same or equivalent hardware. So KDE still kicks Windows butt!
 
  


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