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Old 03-23-2006, 02:37 PM   #1
StoneAgeMoron
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New user rant, then serious questions.


Why is Linux so HARD?????

I have tried several different distros, and posted to as many forums, but the only replies I ever get from anyone are packed with a bunch of command line JIBBERISH like lspci, grep, su -, etc. IS THIS SUPPOSED TO MEAN ANYTHING??? Not to me, and I'm just NOT INTERESTED in learning about it. That's the job of OS developers, not OS users!

Rant over. Questions start here.

I went out and BOUGHT Suse 10.0 because someone told me it was "easy." The install went very well, and almost everything worked from the initial install. The dial-up modem wouldn't connect, but after I messed with it for a while, it finally worked. The problem is that I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I DID OR WHAT HAPPENED!!!!! It just wasn't working, then it was. Blind luck.

Now the CD player apps (mostly kscd)keep complaing about the disk not being an audio CD, or something called "permissions" Also, every player wants me to complete some kind of "play list" before you can actually hear any music!!! Why can't you just select a track and press PLAY, or play from beginning to end??? This is an example of one of my major complaints about linux, useless bells-and-whistles features integrated into applications that won't function in the first place!!! How about some functionality first, then worry about the bells-and-whistles. I only listen to concert music (read: classical) and database integration is of no relevance -- it's not even ON the CDs I buy. Anyone know of a player that would fit my needs?

Also, is there a way to just totally eliminate all these "overkill" so-called Unix SECURITY features? Yast is a great improvement, but still requires you to jump through unnecessary Unix hoops. BTW, I LOVE that Suse will remember my log-in between sessions, my favorite feature so far. I never had to log-in to my home computer before, and I don't know why I should be expected to in most distros. This is a serious question, I just don't see any creditable threat to a single-user home computer system (beyond BASIC internet and network security, and required authentication)requiring this extreme level of user-unfriendly complexity. It's my system, and I should be able to mess it up if I want to without the OS getting involved!!

Also, I installed both KDE and Gnome. How do I switch between them? Preferably with the GUI -- I'm never going to like the command line.

Now, I am very frustrated, but I am a legitimate SUSE newbie and ask these questions in all seriousness. I bow to your individual and collective expertise, and have nothing against any of you as individuals. My problem is that I expect things to work! A computer is a tool for productivity, not a "hobby" or a challenge to learn "new and exciting computer concepts." We most likely have a significantly different concept of what we want from our computers.

I come to Linux as a former Mac classic OS user. I have never even seriously used Windows. (I do have Windows on my dual-boot system. Installed it myself, too, with no problems whatsoever.) When I heard that MAC OS-X was unix based, I couldn't see how a decades-old, antiquated OS could be any improvement over MAC OS classic. When Apple announced they were using Intel processors, it was as if Steve Jobs had forced me out as an Apple customer. I decided to make the switch to Linux and save money. I realize I need to learn a new operating system - probably Linux - but, for the life of me, I just can't understand exactly why all this command line stuff is so trendy right now. In my humble, uninformed opinion, this seems just silly.

If any of you tech types want to become the next Bill Gates, develop a seamless operating system that works out of the box and WITHOUT all the command line nonsense. That is the developer's job not mine!
 
Old 03-23-2006, 02:46 PM   #2
jjohnston62
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This isn't for everybody. to be blunt, I'd forget your opinions about Mac Intel, visit an Apple store, and buy a new Mac. You want an operating system that just works out of the box, they have it.
With regards to it being based on a decades-old antiquated OS.... wow. That's pretty ignorant as well.

I'd guess that your key phrase is "save money". If your time is valuable, you're not saving any money.

Linux isn't bulletproof. It's not perfect, and if you expect that everything "just works", you're using the wrong system. Linux expects that you know enough about it to make choices about what you're using because there are tons of options. Kind of like being able to build your own system. Well, not kind of, but just like that.

Either stop complaining, put some time in to learn what you're doing, or go use something else. Or have I sinned, and fed the troll?
 
Old 03-23-2006, 03:12 PM   #3
oneandoneis2
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I usually skip rants, but I'm really bored, so...

- Why is Linux so HARD?????

Because you're new to it & don't know anything about how it works. Expect a learning curve.

- I have tried several different distros,

Don't. Different distros are not different OSes - they're all the same OS with the same available software. Pick one and stick with it. You'll get a lot further.

- Now the CD player apps (mostly kscd)keep complaing about the disk not being an audio CD, or something called "permissions"

If you want to get anywhere with Linux, you'll need to understand the concept of permissions. Every file can be given read, write, and execute permission for the owner, the group, and the rest of the world. Look up "chmod" for more details.

- This is an example of one of my major complaints about linux, useless bells-and-whistles features integrated into applications that won't function in the first place!!! How about some functionality first, then worry about the bells-and-whistles.

That's a first. Congratulations. Most people complain that Linux is too functionality-heavy & needs more bells & whistles.

- Anyone know of a player that would fit my needs?

I find XMMS to do everything I need a music player to. You'll need to get hold of the appropriate plugins tho.

- Also, is there a way to just totally eliminate all these "overkill" so-called Unix SECURITY features?

Yes. If you really want to, you could just be a root user the whole time. It's a bad idea tho. It's not just about security from other people, it's security from your own mistakes: You can't damage your system logged in as a normal user, but you can logged in as root.

- I never had to log-in to my home computer before, and I don't know why I should be expected to in most distros.

You're not - it's easy enough to configure automatic login if that's what you want.

- It's my system, and I should be able to mess it up if I want to without the OS getting involved!!

Yes. And you can. If you let go of your aggressive "I don't want to learn anything" policy and actually find out *how*

- Also, I installed both KDE and Gnome. How do I switch between them? Preferably with the GUI -- I'm never going to like the command line.

GDM and KDM (the graphical login managers) both usually have the option of selecting what enviroment you log in with.

- A computer is a tool for productivity, not a "hobby" or a challenge to learn "new and exciting computer concepts."

There's not a tool in existence that doesn't require some learning. Why should a computer be any different?

- I just can't understand exactly why all this command line stuff is so trendy right now

You're inconsistent. First you want less bells & whistles, then you want more GUI functionality.

- If any of you tech types want to become the next Bill Gates,

That's not the goal of any Linux developer, you know. . .

- That is the developer's job not mine!

Actually, for the most part, it's the developer's hobby. Not his job. Bear in mind you haven't actually paid for the vast majority of the software you're using & demanding perfection from. You're not a paying customer, you don't actually have any right to demand any level of usability.

To be honest, I tend to agree with jj: Find yourself another OS, you're probably wasting your time with Linux. It isn't what you seem to want.

Good luck.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 05:03 PM   #4
BDHamp
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I think your rant lasted pretty much through the whole thing, but maybe I missed something.

In any case, just to broadly address this, I have ironically enough been having a conversation today with a co-worker who is in the process of switching to Linux and has been going through various distros and packages to figure out what works best for him. He's having quite a few difficulties, but it dawned on him a few days ago that the reason for this is that he's become so accustomed to the Windoze way of doing things that he's had to unlearn a lot. And as he's started to do so, he's realized a lot of the things he did that seemed to easy in Windows are actually rather complicated processes, requiring several expensive software packages. One of those same tasks he was using as an example can be accomplished with a single command line in Linux with two switches. Or, to put it in terms of time, he spends less than 15 seconds typing in the command line, and the program does the rest. In Windoze, he opens one program, selects files to be processed, opens another menu, answers the inevitable "are you sure" question, waits, saves the project, opens another software package and clicks, searches, selects, etc. Takes him about 10 minutes, and he's what you'd consider an expert at this.

Other than that, I can only say, Linux is not Windows. I suggest taking some time and reading this, top to bottom, before ranting.

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
 
Old 03-23-2006, 05:46 PM   #5
fragos
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You'll get more help minus the rant and with more focus. Learn one step at a time. Work one issue at a time and provide all the information you can about what you saw and did. There's a lot of help available here but without a focused objective title viewers will be less likely to read your post and try to help.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 05:47 PM   #6
1kyle
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Just get a book or borrow a book and learn a FEW simple commands so you've got a basic idea of what the OS is doing.

Learn the difference between ROOT and ordinary users and basic file permissions.

Learn a few commands like how to start and stop services and how to shutdown the system and learn some basic shell scripting (a bit like old MS-DOS batch files but many many more times more powerful and useful.

Once you've got the basics the rest will follow.

WINDOWS it's not and remember a lot of Linux apps are Open Source which means people have written them in their own spare tiime and for no reward so of course some documentation will be questionable or non existent.

If you need a professional OS where you have to accept what you are given then pay for and stick with Windows --but you'll find the little time you need to spend on some basic LINUX commands and scripting will pay HUGE dividends.

Of course there will be some problems but you should be able to get a typical "Default" SUSE system to work straight out of the box.

Laptops are a bit trickier and so is the whole area of Wireless networking but if you start with SUSE on a fairly standard desktop computer with typical hardware you should get it to work quite easily these days.

Cheers

-K
 
Old 03-23-2006, 06:00 PM   #7
weibullguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneAgeMoron
Why is Linux so HARD?????

...packed with a bunch of command line JIBBERISH like lspci, grep, su -, etc. IS THIS SUPPOSED TO MEAN ANYTHING??? Not to me, and I'm just NOT INTERESTED in learning about it.
Then you picked the wrong OS. Why not try something that's intended for housewives and school children?

Quote:
The dial-up modem wouldn't connect, but after I messed with it for a while, it finally worked. The problem is that I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I DID OR WHAT HAPPENED!!!!! It just wasn't working, then it was. Blind luck.
Maybe you should've kept notes. I'm sure this has never happened to anyone using other OS's.

Quote:
Why can't you just select a track and press PLAY, or play from beginning to end??? ...Anyone know of a player that would fit my needs?
Why don't you try a stereo? They're easy to operate, have better dynamic performance than PC's, wider bandwidth, lower S/N ratio, etc.

Quote:
My problem is that I expect things to work! A computer is a tool for productivity, not a "hobby"...
Then why are you using it to listen to music?

Quote:
I couldn't see how a decades-old, antiquated OS could be any improvement over MAC OS classic.
Ahhh...antiquated?

Quote:
When Apple announced they were using Intel processors, it was as if Steve Jobs had forced me out as an Apple customer.
Why? You probably wouldn't even notice the difference between an Intel and a Motorola processor.

Quote:
...for the life of me, I just can't understand exactly why all this command line stuff is so trendy right now. In my humble, uninformed opinion, this seems just silly.
It's no more trendy now than it was 20 or 30 years ago. CLI provides the opportunity to extend greater control over the machine. If you don't need the control, don't use the CLI.

Quote:
If any of you tech types want to become the next Bill Gates, develop a seamless operating system that works out of the box...
When did Bill Gates develop something like that?!!!
 
Old 03-24-2006, 12:17 AM   #8
2damncommon
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Quote:
New user rant, then serious questions.
<snip lots of stuff>
Good luck, have fun.
 
Old 03-24-2006, 03:58 AM   #9
J.W.
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I think the points you raise could be applied equally well to *any* operating system that the user is not yet familiar with. Personally I see no difference between learning Windows and learning Linux - they both just require some time to get accustomed to, and if the new OS seems to be "harder" than the other OS, it's only because you're forgetting how much time it initially took to learn that first OS. Take the Paste shortcut in Windows, Ctl-V. "V"??? For "paste"?? Tell me that's something that would be intuitive or obvious to someone who's not already familiar with Windows. In terms of the perceived emphasis on the command line, I'm not sure I really agree, as most distros offer a GUI (sometimes multiple GUI apps) to permit the user to perform virtually any action. In any case, the syntax of almost all commands is the same:
Code:
<action> <source> <destination>
To illustrate, copying a file named xyz.txt from the current directory to a directory called "backup" would only require
Code:
cp xyz.txt /backup
which has the same complexity as trying to describe "dragging and dropping" and the difference between a left-click and a right-click to someone who's just now learning how to use a mouse. Granted it may take a little time to become familiar with the *nix commands, but the common ones pretty much are no harder than their equivalents in DOS.

Once you get over the learning curve though, at least in my opinion Linux (any distro) is a far superior OS to Windows -- don't let trivial differences in the user interface distract you from the larger prize. Just my 2 cents.
 
Old 03-24-2006, 04:52 AM   #10
muddywaters
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I hope you feel better for getting that off your chest.

About 10 months ago I wrote a post similar to yours. Three members replied with lengthy, and probably to polite, explanations of why the command line is an important part of linux. It might be possible to get by without learning it, but you would be missing out on much of what makes linux efficient.

10 months later I'm still here asking questions, and occasionally trying to answer them. Who knows, 10 months from now you may find yourself doing the same.

Best of luck.

btw: I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Last edited by muddywaters; 03-24-2006 at 05:05 AM.
 
Old 03-25-2006, 06:35 PM   #11
StoneAgeMoron
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Thanks for all the info...

Thanks to all forum members who replied to my post. And in re-reading it, I can see why BDHamp says that the whole thing was, in fact, a rant. Also, thank you for not just marginalizing me as a stupid newcomer -- everyone was very kind.

Anyway, I do prefer the Xandros distro. I'll be switching back to that camp, so I won't bother you any more.

BTW, did you really have much of a "learning curve" when you first tried to use a refrigerator, oneandoneis2? For that matter, what is the extent of your knowledge of refrigeration technology to this day? There is always the chance that you are a thermodynamics engineer, but all most people know is that refrigerators make things cold. That's all they need to know!

In my opinion, a computer is similar: A tool to do a job.

If forum members disagree, fine. You collectively seem to be mostly professionally-educated engineering types, and it is apparent that most of you value complexity as being akin to "power" and "flexibility." What YOU need to realize is that you are a very small minority of computer users! The vast majority see what you value so highly as a major flaw in this OS!!!! Of course, the majority opinion is never guaranteed to be right.

Thanks again!!

always /root - now and forever!
 
Old 03-25-2006, 07:49 PM   #12
Robhogg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneAgeMoron
BTW, did you really have much of a "learning curve" when you first tried to use a refrigerator, oneandoneis2? For that matter, what is the extent of your knowledge of refrigeration technology to this day? There is always the chance that you are a thermodynamics engineer, but all most people know is that refrigerators make things cold. That's all they need to know!

In my opinion, a computer is similar: A tool to do a job.
However, from the user point of view a refrigerator is a very simple piece of equipment. It has one function, and so has very little flexibility. A personal computer, on the other hand, is a multi-function device with a lot of flexibility. A central heating system is also more complex, and I have met people who have found it difficult learning to set the timer, or maintain the pressure of the system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneAgeMoron
If forum members disagree, fine. You collectively seem to be mostly professionally-educated engineering types, and it is apparent that most of you value complexity as being akin to "power" and "flexibility." What YOU need to realize is that you are a very small minority of computer users! The vast majority see what you value so highly as a major flaw in this OS!!!! Of course, the majority opinion is never guaranteed to be right.
I think it's a case of "horses for courses". Different operating systems (and even different Linux distros) are designed with different aims in mind. If you are keen on Macs, though, I would encourage you not to automatically dismiss OSX. I used OS9 for a while before making the move to OSX, and after I had figured out the differences I definitely found it to be superior.

Although I do like to do some tinkering with PCs, I use mine as a productivity (and leisure) tool as well. I produce leaflets and mailmerged letters, burn CDs, listen to music and watch DVDs, all in Linux. Yes, I had to do a little learning when I started using OpenOffice and The Gimp, but then I did with MS Office and Photoshop as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneAgeMoron
always /root - now and forever!
So long as you understand the risk (the same risk as always logging in to Windows XP as administrator).

Rob
 
Old 03-25-2006, 08:11 PM   #13
jomen
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Everything important has been said here and though I knew this - I have only now taken the time to actually read trough the document BDHamp referred to and the header-line of which is used so often:

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

Excellent!
If you hear/read just the header - "Linux is Not Windows" - it may even sound offensive in a context like this - but have you actually read it?
 
Old 03-25-2006, 09:11 PM   #14
BDHamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneAgeMoron
BTW, did you really have much of a "learning curve" when you first tried to use a refrigerator, oneandoneis2? For that matter, what is the extent of your knowledge of refrigeration technology to this day? There is always the chance that you are a thermodynamics engineer, but all most people know is that refrigerators make things cold. That's all they need to know!
Until it breaks down, and then they, knowing nothing about how a refrigerator works, have a couple options: pay someone to fix it or buy a new one. That's the typical Windoze user too. Linux does require some learning, but as others have said in different ways, if my mother can deal with it, it's not *that* hard.

Quote:
In my opinion, a computer is similar: A tool to do a job.
The analogy here is flawed, as has already been pointed out, but let me make a different sort of brief analogy that isn't perfect either but gets closer to the point. Computer users are like car users. Some know how to drive one with a standard transmission and prefer it due to the greater control, often better gas mileage when used properly, lower maintenance costs, etc. it can give you. Others only know how to drive an automatic. Some know how to fix a car. Some do not. Both are fine, but one has a greater range of vehicles he or she can efficiently drive in a greater number of situations, and one doesn't have to sit at home searching the phone book for a mechanic he or she can afford that will also come tow the car without charging out the wazoo.

Put more directly, I can do things with my Linux box I cannot do with Windows without either paying a lot of money or committing a crime. I can do other things far more efficiently. I can, with the help of the community, fix it myself. A very few things I cannot do easily on Linux, mostly because of legal problems involved with proprietary hardware drivers. That's *not* the fault of the OS, rather of legal arrangements that have driven everyone into accepting the idea that the extreme directions patent and copyright laws are going is a good thing. If it's enough to make you not want to use Linux, fine, but that's absolutely no concern of anyone who does use Linux.

In any case, you're right basically. A computer is a tool to do one or many jobs. But this is really the point behind the point that everyone has been making. Once you have your Linux system working, it just works, and you can do your jobs. The problem is that most people are flat-out lying when they say something like, "I want to browse the web, write papers, and do e-mail," which can be done with any major distro straight out of the box, and they end up tinkering. Tinkering with it can get you in trouble if you refuse to learn anything about it beyond this, but such people shouldn't be tinkering anyway and would screw up a Windoze system just as quickly.

But, it still amazes me. I know people who are apparently as dumb as a box of rocks that can take a car engine apart blindfolded and put it back together again in better shape than it was before, yet who say they can't learn anything about something like Linux. I know managers of large businesses who can troubleshoot a complex financial problem in their heads and have a solution figured before I can blink twice, but they say Linux is too complicated. I know a neurosurgeon (a human being with the talent to tinker with the HUMAN BRAIN) who says she couldn't figure out Linux. The truth is they *won't* learn anything about Linux, but they quite obviously could if they chose to do so. That's fine; their priorities are elsewhere. But, one last time, that's not the fault of the OS, the people who develop the OS, or the millions of people who use the OS quite happily.
 
Old 03-25-2006, 09:46 PM   #15
2damncommon
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Quote:
I know a neurosurgeon (a human being with the talent to tinker with the HUMAN BRAIN) who says she couldn't figure out Linux.
Patient: Will I be able to use Linux after my brain surgery.
Doctor: Of course.
Patient: That's great, I could never understand it before.

...sorry...
 
  


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