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Old 07-26-2004, 09:41 AM   #1
SGFHK321
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My experience with linux = total frustration


I am sorry but I have to whine. I have been using (trying to use) linux for a few weeks. I must say that was very interesting experience. I mean, I have never been so frustrated before. Thanks to linux now I know the true meaning of despair. Except being prettier Linux fails at everything: I can't watch DVD or VCD (it says modules installed but for some reason it just can't read the disk), can't listen mp3 while letting other application use sound (gaim sound events), my DVD drive suddenly stops for no reason, side mouse buttons don't work, internal card reader doesn't work... my machine becomes useless after installing Linux.

How can you kill M$ when it takes weeks of research just to install a sound server so that multiple applications can share the sound card at a time? Yeah I will eventually overcome these problems if I work hard enough but I honestly can't spend 5 hours with my comp everyday just to learn to get the OS working the way I want it - I am not a geek. I want to use linux only because I hate M$. I hate the idea they represent.

So...
Should I build another machine with the spare parts I have and use only "ordinary" stuffs (standard keyboard, FDD instead of card reader...) and take my time learning linux or should I learn to love M$ instead?
 
Old 07-26-2004, 09:47 AM   #2
Frustin
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there are pros and cons to both. i personnally dont use linux for mulimedia applications. linux is a rock stable operating system with lots of free and configurable applications, it does take a while to get in to it and i wouldnt call it the most user friendly thing in the world (this applies more to some distributions that others).

One thing that i tell everyone is this: there is always someone somewhere who has had the same problem or error message and google will tell you who it was and hopefully the answer. the art of google is to be able to see the wood through the leaves.
 
Old 07-26-2004, 09:49 AM   #3
jax8
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I agree SGFHK321 linux is really a pain in the arse.

But like you I hate windows and love the power you have over your OS when running linux.

Much, if not most of the problems you are experiencing are with hardware drivers. You must remember that it because of the MS monopoly that manufacturers dont write drivers for Linux.

I like you hope this will change and unfortunatally to get that change we all have to deal with frustrations like the ones your are experiencing.

-jack
 
Old 07-26-2004, 09:56 AM   #4
SGFHK321
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So would you guys say I should build another system with spare parts (with hardware sound card instead of sound chip, simple scroll mouse instead of a fancy one with side buttons...etc)? Should I give up on linux for multimedia purpose?
 
Old 07-26-2004, 10:00 AM   #5
Frustin
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dont give up, its all a learning experience. like i said its all about reading the manuals, god knows, there is a enough of them.

what distribution are you using? something easy to install i hope. are you running the KDE desktop enviroment, i hope so. all those things will give you a little bit of confidence to carry on. Remember, linux's configuration files are mearly text files, so you just need to read the manuals to find out how to configure them.
 
Old 07-26-2004, 10:24 AM   #6
dadepfan
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LOL! I can relate to your frustration, but my SuSe Linux generally worked right out of the box without problems, except for a win modem.

But then again, I haven't yet tried to use my printer/scanner or WebCam.

My frustration has been with trying to get a mail server up and running (enough about that on other threads here).

I will say that, having been a Windows user for so long, in Linux I keep feeling like I'm missing something. You install new software, and when you are done, there is no evidence of the installation. No new icon on the desktop, no new start menu item, etc. I keep thinking there must be a way to actually get "into" an application.

It is just a different paradyne, and even though I used DOS many years ago, and have worked in a command-line environment on the mainframe throughout my career, somehow it's really hard to switch back to the command line on a PC again.

Having said that, beyond the frustration, it is a little fun to be learning something new, and after all the stuff I've installed, removed, or tried to install, I have not had to re-boot the machine once.

I'm using an older PC to experiment with Linux. My main machine is still a Windows machine. Perhaps a slower transition like that would make things a little easier??

D.
 
Old 07-26-2004, 12:26 PM   #7
David the H.
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Registered: Jun 2004
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Yeah, it's really frustrating at first. The initial learning curve is so steep it seems almost impossible. I've been at it off and on for over a year and a half, but only now am I really starting to see the payoff. Things are suddenly getting much easier to understand and I'm actually starting to whip this system into the shape I want it to be. It'll still be a few months, but it's getting fun now.

Having a dedicated system to play with would be helpful as you won't have to worry about dual booting and such, and you can use the Winblows machine to do the research when your Linux system is wheezing. But you don't need a bare-bones system so much as one where all the hardware is supported natively. Do your research and check for compatibilty before installing anything and stay away from equipment that's too new or too esoteric.

Another thing you might consider is changing your distro. I think half of your problem is simply that the one you are trying doesn't provide what you need. The various distros really do have their own individual characters. I started with Mandrake myself, but eventually gave it up because it didn't really let me do what I wanted. I've been much happier with Debian. Your mileage may vary however. I suggest checking out the major distros on Distrowatch and trying out one or two of the ones you think sound the most promising. You can always scrap the installation if you don't like it and try a different one.

I also suggest, if my experience is any guide, not to try to do too much at once. I know the temptation is to push as hard as you can to get everything working at once so you can dump Windows, but that just puts unrealistic pressure on you. Slow down and take your time. Start with the basics first. Learn how to use basic shell commands and how the file structures, permissions, and other things that make Linux different from Windows. I really wish I'd focused more on that stuff early on myself, I'll tell you! Then, take your various problems and goals and try to solve them one at a time. Don't jump around too much. Prioritize. I still don't have my printer working, for example, but I'll be getting around to it eventually. And when I do finallly get it working, I'll more fully understand the how it all works.

Finally, don't be afraid to take a breather now and then. Sometimes when the frustration gets too much it's actually better just to put it aside for a while and wait until your enthusiasm returns. Don't let the frustration turn to hate, in other words.

With any luck, within a few months your frustration will turn to enjoyment as using Linux becomes more natural to you. Good luck.
 
Old 07-26-2004, 02:45 PM   #8
SGFHK321
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Thanks for all the comments man. I really mean it. I hope one day when I think of my early linux days I will laugh at myself for being so darn whiny and naive.
 
Old 07-26-2004, 03:05 PM   #9
mjjzf
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David the H. puts it very clearly. I dual-boot and have done it for a very long time, with Linux Mandrake chipping away the point of using Windows gradually. Browsing, e-mail was OK from the start; then text processing; then CD burning (K3B makes Windows users envious).Now, Windows is only for gaming for me. The last recent bastion was with Apollon for file sharing. I play mostly older Windows games, so this issue should be overcome when I get around to purchasing Crossover Office... and then I'll cash in my 10 GB WinXP partition for Linux purposes!
A funny story: I set up a Mandrake box for my mother. She won't use anything else now, since - it is about browsing, e-mail, calendar and text processing. She just presses Alt+F2 and enters "firefox", "evolution" or "openoffice", followed by enter. And I understand it! Menus? Who needs them! If you have an installed program without a pre-created shortcut in Windows it is annoying to find it and start it up, compared to the "run program" box. Sweet...

Last edited by mjjzf; 07-26-2004 at 03:07 PM.
 
Old 07-26-2004, 03:07 PM   #10
Corona4456
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Personally I love Linux for programming. It's robust for any type of programming that you would like to do. If you do hose your system (which in my opinion it is recommended ) you learn a lot on how to restore it. You also learn that you can strip down a lot of the things the distros add to your system so your system can run smoother in the end. Sometimes it's hit or miss when you start out but later on you figure out how file permissions work, the directory structures and which files go where. I use a separate box for Linux (recommended) because it gives me the freedom of configuring linux without the fear of messing up my Windows partition. I use Windows for multimedia purposes and because I'm required to use it here at work for programming (ugh!). In the end... which OS you want to use comes down to how much time you are willing to put into it .

Last edited by Corona4456; 07-26-2004 at 03:08 PM.
 
Old 07-26-2004, 05:01 PM   #11
agee220
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Back when I started, dos was the operating system of choice. After much struggle and frustration, I learned how to use it pretty well. Then came Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95 . and 98. Once again a learning curve, compounded by buggy and unstable software, and the constant need to upgrade hardware to keep up. Not only did I have to learn the various windows, I had to unlearn dos.
And then there was XP, marginally more stable, but with change for change's sake, just to make learning it more diffficult. BTW, anybody who complains about linux complexity never had to go into the registry to fix something, talk about a nightmare.
Now I'm trying to learn linux, with multiple confusions and frustrations. but I haven't forgotten what it was like to learn and use my previous operating systems. I'm trying to let my difficulties inspire me to try harder. You can get a level of usability very easily, get a newbie friendly distro and set up a dual boot, web surfing, word processing, etc, don't require much knowledge. Go slowly beyond this level and learn as you go. With dual boot, you don't have to give anything up in Windows until you understand it in Linux.
Like others, I wish Linux was better at multimedia, but I believe that since there are so many who want it, it will improve. After all I use a windows front end for dvd author, it's simple, but it works and it is fast.
I haven't been using Linux long, but I am learning, and the only way to learn is to push yourself. As you learn, you forget how hard it was to get to where you are and only see how hard the nextsteps will be. Nyah levi
 
Old 07-26-2004, 05:33 PM   #12
dadepfan
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Quote:
Originally posted by agee220
Back when I started, dos was the operating system of choice. After much struggle and frustration, I learned how to use it pretty well.
LOL! Yes, and then there was that 50-pound Compaq "portable" computer, and the first IBM PC (without any hard drive - just two floppies!). Yes, the good days, when men were men and floppies were actually floppy!

Oops! I'm getting carried away - sorry!
 
  


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