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Old 10-11-2008, 06:46 PM   #1
TotalNovice
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Angry Hi, completely new to linux - and so far not so very good :-(


Hi,

Basically I know NOTHING about linux.

I was fed up with Bill Gates and his dodgy software. The last straw for me was when service pack 3 for XP was added to the auto download queue. Without me knowing it, it auto installed and then screwed my hard disk. Permanently. I lost everything :-(

This seemed like the ideal time to put something better on my PC.

Alas, my linux experience so far has not been fun. Not fun at all...

I tried Slackware first. I spent several valuable days with it but could never get it to boot to anything other than a cursor: #

Knowing nothing about linux I could do nothing with this...

Eventually I overwrote the hard disk with Mandrake 10.0

This seemed to install with much less trouble and I now have a working system - except I need to access the Internet via wireless.

Oh dear...

About 20 hours of bashing my head against a wall and I'm beginning to think old Bill wasn't so bad after all.

I have found two tutorials,I can't post the urls because the system won't allow me to as a new member.

Both are mind crunchingly in depth for someone who is completely new to linux and that no doubt explains why I can not get the thing to work despite putting many hours into it.

I have downloaded the driver for the usb adaptor (on a windows laptop, the one I am using to access this forum...) and downloaded and installed ndiswrapper.
Basically when I try to run ndiswrapper -i [driver] (which I have copied to the same folder)it says there is no such command, so I presume I have done something wrong with the installation?

I feel a bit like someone who only speaks English who has been parachuted into the centre of a Japanese city at the moment. I want a PC to run a wordprocessor, surf the internet and for emailing. I am not so interested in computing itself as a hobby, but it seems that linux requires a great deal of technical knowledge from the outset to get it to do what you want. Obviously I expected a bit of a learning curve, but already I am way out of my comfort zone and still haven't yet got a working system to play with in order to learn... Without a second machine available, running windows, I wouldn't be able to access the net for help, download the software or post on this forum.

Maybe this OS isn't for me...
For all windows' faults - I never felt so completely out of my depth as I do now

Can anyone suggest a decent set of instructions to get a usb wireless adaptor working?

Or should I just give up and reinstall you know who?

Thanks,

Steve
 
Old 10-11-2008, 07:04 PM   #2
Larry Webb
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Steve I can not answer your last question, but maybe from the what I have read you may be better trying to find a friend to help you. Linux for a beginner requires a certain amount of commitment and patience. We will help you as much as possible but you must be willing to try also. Search engine Google gives a lot of solutions and there are many threads here on installing ndiswrapper. The first thing is are you familiar with 'terminal' and its use?
 
Old 10-11-2008, 07:05 PM   #3
Larry Webb
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Sorry, first Hi and welcome to LQ
 
Old 10-11-2008, 07:22 PM   #4
Quakeboy02
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Normally it's possible to look down below your post for similar threads, but unfortunately you'll just find the last several "hi, I'm new to linux" posts. So, I suggest you use the search button over there on the right and look for "USB wireless". If you can't find anything that applies to your USB wireless thingy, then post back and I or someone else will see what we can do to help. There have been hundreds of posts on those things in just the past year.
 
Old 10-11-2008, 08:54 PM   #6
2damncommon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TotalNovice View Post
I was fed up with Bill Gates and his dodgy software...
This seemed like the ideal time to put something better on my PC...
As you have learned, it would have been better to try Linux before your system was down and you would have had a better idea if you wanted to switch cold turkey or not.

Check out some of your other comments:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TotalNovice View Post
Basically I know NOTHING about linux.

Alas, my linux experience so far has not been fun. Not fun at all...

About 20 hours of bashing my head against a wall and I'm beginning to think old Bill wasn't so bad after all.

Both are mind crunchingly in depth for someone who is completely new to linux and that no doubt explains why I can not get the thing to work despite putting many hours into it.

I feel a bit like someone who only speaks English who has been parachuted into the centre of a Japanese city at the moment.

Maybe this OS isn't for me...

For all windows' faults - I never felt so completely out of my depth as I do now

Or should I just give up and reinstall you know who?
Your next move is as much up to you as your last.

Is Linux really fine except for the wireless? Are you really "under the gun" to get the wireless working or can you temporally use a network cable? Maybe tough it out then.

Do you find Linux interesting but you are into too much too soon? Maybe reinstall a dual boot. You can use Windows as needed and Linux as desired.

Do you really believe Linux is a wasted of your time and Windows was great after all? Reinstall Windows and never look back.
 
Old 10-11-2008, 10:30 PM   #7
jay73
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Frankly, you didn't make the best choices for starters. Linux is seven continents under a single name so it is very easy to get the wrong impression.
Mandrake is outdated and as such unlikely to offer much in the way of wireless support. As for Slackware, that is about the last thing to start out with (unless you read the Slack book first - but even then). It seems to me you should really get a recent release of a distro like Mandriva, Ubuntu, etc.

Last edited by jay73; 10-11-2008 at 10:31 PM.
 
Old 10-11-2008, 10:51 PM   #8
2damncommon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
Mandrake is outdated and as such unlikely to offer much in the way of wireless support. As for Slackware, that is about the last thing to start out with (unless you read the Slack book first - but even then). It seems to me you should really get a recent release of a distro like Mandriva, Ubuntu, etc.
I totally missed that he was using an outdated version of Linux. Mandrake 10.0 was released about 2004 according to Wikipedia. I wonder which version of Slackware he tried.
 
Old 10-11-2008, 10:58 PM   #9
Scooter185
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May I suggest trying Ubuntu? Despite my affinity towards knoppix, I too have had my share of network problems (with my installed OS as well), and of the 3 OS I have used on my laptop Ubuntu is currently the only one to connect to wireless.
 
Old 10-11-2008, 11:27 PM   #10
Quakeboy02
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Debian Lenny is doing a better job than Etch on wireless. And, of course, Ubuntu.
 
Old 10-11-2008, 11:49 PM   #11
greengrocer
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Oh Dear,

Will any of the above posts really help TotalNovice?

First of all, if you want any hope in getting your wireless device working, you will want to use a recent "distro" (essentially the word "distro" means "brand of Linux").

I think you should visit http://distrowatch.com/ where you will find info about many different "brands" of Linux.

I would recommend downloading a recent version of either Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora or Mandriva Linux for starting out if you have no interest in learning too much of the intricacy's of Linux. (Aim to install a version of Linux that was released sometime in 2008).

One of the more recent distros might support your wireless device "out of the box", without you having to fiddle with the configuration much or at all.

Last edited by greengrocer; 10-11-2008 at 11:53 PM.
 
Old 10-12-2008, 07:01 AM   #12
nhef1
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Red face Not waving but drowning

About 15 years ago I used a bit of Unix but it's all gone from my brain now so I'm sinking fast.
I have an Acer Aspire One machine - it's one of the teeny little notebooks. It was bought because Windows decided I had an illegal version on my PC (I didn't) and it started stopping things from working - I went legal and paid to "validate" Windows and now nothing much works except for the cd drive - it's now a games and web-surf machine to all intents and purposes.
So I bought the little Acer which runs Linux.
Wireless and cable connection to broadband is no problem, a usb mouse, memory sticks etc are fine but I need a usb cd/dvd drive and there's the problem.
If I buy a usb cd drive, how do I know if it will have a Linux driver? It would have to be a downloadable driver because I haven't got a cd drive in the machine with which to install it ......
Also is there a site which has the drivers for HP laserjet printers? I haven't found one yet and I need to print things.
The Acer web site makes no mention of Linux even though it sells machines with Linux on them.
Is there a decent easy to understand Linux basics book? I don't want to get into programming etc and have to admit I like the ease of Windows but .......
I feel really stupid here - especially as I was on a computer help desk at work.

Hazel.
 
Old 10-12-2008, 08:12 AM   #13
Larry Webb
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phef1, Hi and welcome to LQ, first though you should start your own thread instead of posting on someone else's thread. Go to 'Forums' scroll down and find a suitable forum and post once for each topic. For instance 'USB CD' topic might go under hardware, 'drivers for hp laser jet printers' under software. This will give you the most exposure for the problem.

HP website has a link to 'Sourceforge' for their linux drivers that are availible.

On the usb cd depends on which version linux you are using. Also list the model of your pc. In bios is the usb bootable?
 
Old 10-12-2008, 08:22 AM   #14
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TotalNovice View Post
Hi,

Basically I know NOTHING about linux.

...

Alas, my linux experience so far has not been fun. Not fun at all...

I tried Slackware first. I spent several valuable days with it but could never get it to boot to anything other than a cursor: #

Knowing nothing about linux I could do nothing with this...
Well, it's ok to know NOTHING about linux, but I don't think you're right in saying that you could do nothing with this. If you would have searched google for a how-to you would could have done something and it would have been more fun. So if you wish to install Slackware, have a look through some of the links in my sig, especially the Slackbook (which explains in detail almost everything you need to know about Slackware, and whatever is not in there is in the other links or can be found easily using google)

It is true that Slackware is one of the more "difficult" distros for those new to Linux, but not because it's difficult, but because those new to Linux expect things to be so easy as to not warrant any reading on their part. If you want that, try Ubuntu, you probably won't need to read anything to install that, but I think eventually you will have to read something about how to do something on Linux, so I would not be so afraid.

Also, about your wireless adapter, please post the exact make and model and then we may be able to help you better.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 10-12-2008 at 08:25 AM.
 
Old 10-12-2008, 09:13 AM   #15
TotalNovice
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Hi,

Thanks for the replies.

Sorry if my initial post came across rather negative. I was written at the end of a very long and frustrating day trying to get linux working. Unsuccessfully...

My original post was much more of a technical request, quoting the links to the tutorials I had been trying to get to work and asking for specific help. When I hit the submit button I was told newbies can't post urls so I had to remove these and rewrite the post, after which it read more like a rant

I bought two magazines a few days ago with disks stuck on the front with free distros, so most of what I've tried, including Slackware, should be reasonably up to date? I also tried Slax and a couple of others. Most asked question during installation that I didn't understand and so I accepted the defaults - and then ended up with a none booting system.

Mandrake 10.0 I downloaded a while back. It may date from 2004 but I certainly downloaded it much more recently than that. Maybe a year? I suppose some of the distros on the internet are out of date? I tried it on an old spare computer but there was too little RAM and it wouldn't install. I couldn't try it on the 'new' PC as it was in busy usage as a Windows machine. After Slackware failed I dug it out and tried it.
At least it installed with the defaults really easily and actually booted to a working desktop - unlike the others.

Big stumbling block is I have to get the system working via wireless. This is the only way - a cable is not an option (long story, not relevent or interesting).

Although I confess to being a linux idiot I am not totally wet behind the ears re: computers and have good reasons for being very anti- microsoft, which I won't go into... I would like to be free of it, but I am not the only person who uses the computer. I have some pressure of the type:
"Why don't you just install windows? It would be done by now, wouldn't it? You can't get this to work can you? You don't know what you are doing do you?!!!"
All of which is completely true. I'm sure some of you know where I'm coming from. Those of you who don't are damn lucky

I really would hate to admit defeat, but I'm beginning to understand why so many people stick with Windows, warts and all. It is so easy to get a system up and working with almost anything you like plugged into it. I suppose that has been a valuable learning experience.

As for reading up and seeking help, believe me I have put in hours and hours already! I can now use vi (at least a little), navigate around the tree structure, log in as root, open a terminal, use FTP to download RPMs and recompile a kernal. I've been unpacking cab files from windows drivers and installing ndiswrapper and all sorts of other heavy going stuff - none of which I knew anything about at all a few days ago... but alas still no working system.

As for 2damncommon's comment:

"Do you find Linux interesting but you are into too much too soon?"

... YES!!!

Back to work tomorrow, so I'm giving it one last go today. I'll take the advice to try Mandriva or Ubuntu and see if I get any further.

Cheers,

Steve
 
  


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