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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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reminds me of how i felt when i started out. when i found out how things worked or when someone told me how it worked, i often asked myself... why didn't the manuals say so earlier??? and in plain intelligible english??? lol!
you must be the few among many initially hair-tearing denizens of linux-land, acid, if you never got frustrated with linux at any point in time... or computers for that matter. or any blinking piece of machinery.
bigjohn, I think what you are trying to say and to ask is why the hell if people say Linux is way better than Windows, which it is, and some people may even brag about it, why then can't it even "autoconfigure" a damn modem that Windows can, so easily???
Well, Linux is certainly better than windows in the performance, stability, and it is way more robust than windows. However, no body ever said that Linux was easier to use than Windows. Take into consideration the next example, imagine a Helicopter and a Jumbo 747. Both of them fly, both of them carry passangers, however one is much faster in performance, can carry much more passangers, can travel a much farther distance and is way more difficult to fly than a helicopter.
So yes, we can say that a jumbo 747 is much better than a helicopter depending on what you want to use them for. Obviously you can't land a jumbo in the backyard of your home or in the top of a building, and a helicopter is a lot easier to fly than a jumbo. So this is sort of similar to using Linux and Windows. In some things of use they overlap, but however, they are not totally used for the same things because they are different.
So really, comparing the two letter by letter is not going to get you too far except for noticing the differences and similarities.
I tell you something, bigjohn, it took me 2 years to get my cable modem running for the first time. From 1996 to 1998, just cuz there was absolutely no information or any How-to's to make your cable modem work with Linux, because so few people had it. And the information that was available was either too confusing to understand or was just completely wrong. Now I can make my computer work with any ethernet cable modem, like in 5 minutes, . So really, it just takes some time to get used to Linux.
Also, imagine that you have never used Windows in your life. You just grew up unsing Linux. Now, while Windows is easier to do, you still would have no damn clue about how to change the display or background, or configure your sound, or install your scanner in Windows, because you are just not used to it. And because Windows is so closed, meaning you can't do crap from the MS-Dos prompt, you would be clue less of how to fix these problems. So the same with Linux. You obviously dind't grow up using linux, rather Windows so it's the same thing.
I remember back then when I couldn't configure my cable modem, I would just give up for a while and just use Windows...and thought, damn it why the hell did they have to make Linux so difficult. But it is not about being difficult, it's about the freedom that you get which might make you think that it is difficult, why?, because you are free to do whatever you want in Linux!
So, like Kennedy should have said, it isn't what your OS can do for you, it is what YOU can do for your OS.
I think that matches Linux pretty well, hehhe.
alright, good luck bigjohn, and keep that head up,
As for myself, I've never made an assumption - this is better then that and lets blame that for not being as good as this. My first experience with computers (I really counting from the moment I owned one) was with linux OS just because I bought a system without an OS installed - yes I assumed it would work like that and plus I saved some money which I desperately needed at the moment, so I came home all happy, plugged that thing in, turned it on ... nada only some messages that were arabic to me to understand, I scratched my head, blamed the guys who sold me that dumb thing, went back to store and after a lecture of importance of OS in a computer life I got myself Caldera Linux because it was cheaper then anything else there (I was very short on finances), came home and started to read manuals, then I understood that the windows thing was everyone else used at the time, and I decide what the hell I saved almost 50 bucks on OS and installed it. Result was disappointing at best, my modem didn't work, everything was alien to me (I think alien would've been everything else too including windows), I opened up Xterm and so bash# - afraid of typing anything I almost went insane looking through the box set to get that damn number, I read the manuals one more time, and then I got that there wasn't any number (seriously I almost called the tech support to get the number, lucky me I didn't). Months later I gained some friends and they hooked me up with a copy of windows, so I was a windows boy up untill I got the hand on that computer thingy, I went to college to continue my education, and there they used strange thing almost sounded like linux - UNIX, and I said hold on I had something similar let me get RH from the college bookstore. So there started dual boot era till it ended at the begining of this year when I made total transition to linux. So what am I trying to say is simply be patient, yes my modem didn't work with Caldera (Rockwell ISA 56K with jumpers and all), it worked with RH6, it continued to work till it blew itself and it got replaced with USRobatics 56K ISA jumerless, linux wasn't friendly with it up untill RH7.2 came out and I found a work around by treating it as if it were an ISDN modem, now I got DSL (non-usb though), and I got my linuxes and I am happy till something breaks and I'd try to fix it till it breaks completely and then I'd have something to do.
Just be patient and cool ... like a penguin.
if you are looking for a quick way in so you can get to know your new operating system i suggest a distro such as red hat or mandrake, both of which should install pretty easily with their GUI install and they will detect most network cards (3com for sure) and onboard sound cards, and most ATI video cards with little or no problems. After you get the initial install in you can start tweaking it a little with the help of the forums for the little things that make life easier (getting the mouse wheel to work for example lol) and you can start to learn the commands to do most anything without having to startx or doing it from a terminal while in X.
Well, after a few scoops, 25gms of baccy, some of the more hippy parts of a greatful dead double album, a couple of hours kip, some brekkie, a pony and read of the dummies book, all rounded off with the read of this thread.
I'm back (yeah, sorry too much information!)
The mandrake that I've got on the go does feel a lot less sterile than windows. I actually tend to use opera to browse, don't know why but I prefer it.
I recall what it was that gave me the idea to try and get away from the M$ and satan was an article in the guardian about alternatives to M$, though when I just looked through, it didn't actually mention linux, it was more on the application side of things i.e. opera, eudora, etc etc.
I understand these things, and perhaps it's the " if I can sus these an OS shouldn't be too much of a problem" approach that leaves me feeling so ignorant. Even taking onboard the comment that a few people made about linux etc being a learning curve didn't prepare me for the learning mountain!!!
Seriously though, I still reckon that these LQ forums are excellent for help and digging out advice. As for the large slice of empathy/been there/seen it/done it etc that you've all served me have proved to be a true banquet. Keep it coming, i'm getting fatter by the sentence.
I'll take a bow for the moment. As I,m going to try gnome instead of the KDE in the mandrake. The dummies book is based round RH 7 and mentions that they like gnome as a default. It might even help me work out how to copy the speedtouch mgmt.o file from my /home to the /usr/share/speedtouch file/directory/whatever it is (or maybe). I appreciate that the gulf between DOS and linux is wide, but as the only thing that I ever did in DOS was play the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy the difference should be academic (or in my case lack of).
Oh and those of you in the UK, if I have to park up anywhere remotely near your district i.e. midlands/southampton etc I promise that I will turn the refridgeration unitl off on my trailer then you can get a nights sleep - even if the sleep does smell of dirt, rubber and diesel.
P.S. its still a little galling to have to log back into satans software to surf isn't it!!!