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Ubuntu 9.04 For the Windows Power User

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the because-you-can dept.

Operating Systems 727

crazipper writes "Know a Windows power user who is (honestly) good with technology, but hasn't yet warmed to Linux? Tom's Hardware just posted a guide to installing and using Ubuntu 9.04, written specifically for the MS crowd (in other words, it talks about file systems, mount points, app installation, etc). Hopefully, by the end, your 'friend' will realize just how easy Ubuntu can be to use and start down a long path of exploration with a new operating system."

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Ubuuuntu (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041293)

is my b****
first post anyway

hi (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041297)

hi

Re:hi (1, Funny)

Cynonamous Anoward (994767) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041901)

I say mod this +1 just for having a post which deserves to be modded down, but manages not to fit into any of the -1 categories.

Fantastic! (5, Insightful)

buttfscking (1515709) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041311)

Yessir! If there's one thing that will convince those M$ power users to convert, it's another tutorial about using Ubuntu!

Re:Fantastic! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041365)

Exactly. If they are actually good at tech and pay any attention to it at all, they don't have a reason to switch. Windows configured correctly, not installing random "codec packs", and used as a standard user will continue to work fine for them. It is the "not good with tech" people that we would need to work on getting to switch. They are the ones with problems.

Re:Fantastic! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041979)

They will have problems where ever they go. If you really want them please take them. When they rename the RC files and reboot, don't bother sending them back to us; maybe they can be in the next I'm a Mac commercial. (Note: I and several coworkers stood by and watched a supposed "expert" do this once. We let him because he worked for another company and was being a prick.)

"Power Users"? I don't think so... (4, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041409)

I hardly see how this is a tutorial for "power users." The article makes out the terminal to be a big bad scary thing, but you'd think that most power users would at least be familiar with Start | Run | "cmd" | "ipconfig".

It's basically a walkthrough of the installation process that goes into more detail about partitions than is necessary. There's only a couple thousand of those floating around the Internet already...

Re:"Power Users"? I don't think so... (5, Insightful)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041637)

I was hoping that there would be more tutorials for getting wine to work with apps that users like. I'm sure that there are a hojillion wine tutorials, but it would be nice to have seen the author pay heed to the fact that people don't use computers for their operating systems, they use them for the apps. When I fire up my computer, I'm not fiddling around with the command prompt or using the calculator. He could have gone over what it would have taken to get adobe photoshop or microsoft office to install, or get gimp properly configured with gimpshop or photogimp or whatever. I've been using photoshop for so long that its second nature muscle memory and when gimp doesn't do something the same way, it's like flipping the blinker to signal and getting a windshield washer spray. I'm sure that's what the "average" user or even some power users feel when they do A and would get B in a windows app but the linux app does C.

I know that linux isn't windows, but for a lot of people, a computer is the tools you use for it, and people are probably less likely to give up microsoft office than windows. I wonder how much less successful OSX would be without office.

Please, I am aware of open office and gimp and all of that stuff. I'm posting from my debian partition right now.

Re:"Power Users"? I don't think so... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041881)

it would be nice to have seen the author pay heed to the fact that people don't use computers for their operating systems

Whoa there cowboy! This is Slashdot. This is where OSes are for religious zealotry. What are these applications of which you speak?

Re:"Power Users"? I don't think so... (0, Flamebait)

geraldojames (1559549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041675)

but you'd think that most power users would at least be familiar with Start | Run | "cmd" | "ipconfig".

You overestimate the skills of a Windoze "power user". They are usually hardly more skilled than a 12 year old script kiddie.

Re:"Power Users"? I don't think so... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041853)

Said 12y/o tends to be a bit smarter and maybe a tad more respectful than people like you.

Re:"Power Users"? I don't think so... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041975)

You overestimate the skills of a Windoze "power user". They are usually hardly more skilled than a 12 year old script kiddie.

How old are you? 11?

Re:"Power Users"? I don't think so... (3, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041689)

I hardly see how this is a tutorial for "power users." The article makes out the terminal to be a big bad scary thing, but you'd think that most power users would at least be familiar with Start | Run | "cmd" | "ipconfig".

I've met plenty of Windows enthusiasts that are either uncomfortable or outright hostile towards the use of a command line. This despite Microsoft themselves coming to admit the usefulness in such a thing.

Re:"Power Users"? I don't think so... (5, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041883)

Any Windows enthusiast who is "uncomfortable or outright hostile towards the use of a command line" does not qualify as a power user.

Re:"Power Users"? I don't think so... (4, Interesting)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041841)

It's mostly an age thing IMHO. Windows "power users" that never used anything pre-95 often don't know anything about the good old command prompt; even basic stuff like copying or renaming files.

Re:"Power Users"? I don't think so... (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041917)

I would argue that you're not a power user unless you regularly use Windows-R, have a shell in your quick launch, or have some other quick way to get to a command line of some sort. But then someone out there is probably sitting at nine computers at once calling me a schmuck, so the definition is clearly pretty hazy.

Re:Fantastic! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041465)

"Then your friend can start down a long path of exploration with a new operating system."

Gosh, the summary makes it sound so fun. As a technically proficient windows user, I can't wait to start relearning everything for no apparent reason.

Re:Fantastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041631)

Yeah but you have access to the source code! Apparently that makes it all worthwhile.

Re:Fantastic! (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041923)

Yea, power 'users' typically have no software development background. I do and I do not want to waste my time figuring out how to add a feature to gimp. I just want to use it and get on with my day.

Re:Fantastic! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041741)

I'm sorry, but you can only call yourself 'technically proficient' if you know how to use Linux. Anyone can learn to use Windows' 'toy' admin features, but it takes someone with no social skills or friends to have the technical know-how to administer a *real* operating system, such as Ubuntu.

Re:Fantastic! (5, Interesting)

FreeFull (1043860) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041821)

I say knowing several operating systems is better than knowing just one. In my life I used MS-DOS 3, Windows 3.1 for workgroups, AmigaOS, Windows 98 SE, Windows XP, BeOS, SuSE 9.1, OpenSuSE, and right now I'm using Xubuntu 9.04 (starting from version 6.10). I ran ReactOS from a livecd. I also emulate Haiku, Slackware, Debian and ReactOS. I'm 15 years old, and certainly going to try more operating systems in the future.

Re:Fantastic! (2)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041887)

If you're 15 years old, you could have started with DOS 6 or FreeDOS at least. Are you a masochist besides being a geek? ;-) There's no need to go all the way back to 3 to experience DOS.

Re:Fantastic! (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041539)

This tutorial actually makes Ubuntu seem as complicated as a Windows Vista installation, so perhaps Ubuntu will gain some (damned) soles.

Never in my life seen such a complicated installation manual for Ubuntu.

It should simply say:

(HARD PART) In windows, do the following:
1) Download the latest Ubuntu Desktop Edition from ubuntu.com
2) burn it to CD.
3) shut windows down and power on your computer with this CD inside, so it will boot from it.

(EASY PART)
4) When in deskop, click install to harddrive
5) Follow onscreen instructions.
6) Ready. When bored try System > Administration > Synaptec Packet Manager to install some free applications.
7) Check out the internet to find out wich ones are the best and install those too.

Or something like it.

Re:Fantastic! (4, Funny)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041777)

perhaps Ubuntu will gain some (damned) soles.

The last thing Linux needs is cursed footwear!

Sorry...

Friends don't tell friends to install Linux (4, Insightful)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041337)

I learnt this lesson the hard way when a close friend decided to ring me at 1am to bug me about a Linux problem. I don't even remember what the issue was, he was just a bit stressed cos he'd spent hours trying to figure something out and I had promised to help him whenever he had problems.

I told him what to do in about three sentences and passed out again. This taught me you don't encourage friends to switch to Linux.

Oh, and Ubuntu is a terrible start to Linux. Debian forever! (seriously: you only install Debian once, beyond that it sorts itself out)

Re:Friends don't tell friends to install Linux (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041513)

And how is that different then friends running windows calling you at 2am?

A persons OS of choice doesn't negate them having issues. It does perhaps change the types of problems however.

Re:Friends don't tell friends to install Linux (5, Insightful)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041721)

Because they can blame you for pushing them into an OS they otherwise wouldn't have used.

Re:Friends don't tell friends to install Linux (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041561)

Rabidly differentiating Ubuntu from Debian is like trying to separate CentOS from RedHat.

Re:Friends don't tell friends to install Linux (3, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041657)

trying to separate CentOS from RedHat.

OMG how dare you! They are completely different.

Actually, I was gonna make a joke involving crowbars, but I don't think it would work.

And yeah, I do run CentOS on the household server. I like the RedHat heritage without the RedHat pricetag or the Fedora churn. YMMV. At least I'm qualified to fanboi about CentOS, even if I have enough clue not to.

Re:Friends don't tell friends to install Linux (2, Interesting)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041783)

Not really.

Ubuntu uses Debian as a base, and while they have a lot of similarities they also have a lot of differences (Ubuntu is more concerned with flashy new features and user accessibility than stability or security). CentOS on the other hand is basically RHEL minus Red Hat's trademarks and live support.

Re:Friends don't tell friends to install Linux (1)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041791)

Except CentOS follows upstream's releases quite closely. Ubuntu essentially takes Debian unstable once in a while and tries to stabilize it as much as they can and release it within 6 months.

Compare that to the amount of time it takes for Red Hat or Debian to stabilize a release. Usually they won't release until they're happy with it either, unlike Ubuntu's "stick to the schedule at (almost) all costs" approach.

Re:Friends don't tell friends to install Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041567)

Well done! Your post will throw off those Linux hippies for another year! I especially like the flamebait about Ubuntu and Debian. Masterfull work. Check is in the mail.

Re:Friends don't tell friends to install Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041603)

Obligatory XKCD comic: http://xkcd.com/456/

The underlying issue (4, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041767)

While I agree about not helping them install Linux for similar reasons, I don't think it has anything to do with your friend calling you up at 1AM. Only a total jackass would call you at 1AM for something that trivial unless they know you're awake.

My experience shows a short path (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041343)

Dr. Pepper is not a valid substitute for Mr. Pibb.

What I've found is that many Windows users are quite happy to try other operating systems, especially free systems like Linux. They download MS Virtual PC, install the distro, fiddle with it for a while, then return to their Windows world.

It's not so much that there is something wrong with Linux that makes them reject it. It's not even really rejecting Linux so much as simply not finding their needs satisfied on the system.

Maybe it's lack of apps. Maybe it's lack of quality. Maybe it's the pain of actually migrating over all their data.

Whatever it is, Windows users usually seem to find their way back to Windows because it just does what they need. Emulating the look and feel of Windows isn't going to change the fact that their needs aren't satisfied by Linux.

Re:My experience shows a short path (4, Interesting)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041425)

Emulating the look and feel of Windows isn't going to change the fact that their needs aren't satisfied by Linux.

I don't switch primarily because of look and feel issues. I know how to do everything on a Windows system, anything that works differently feels "broken", even if it's a valid alternative choice.

As one example, to install software, I can go on the web, find the primary site for it, make sure it passes malware tests, and install it. On Linux, there's a repository (as I understand, never figured that part out). That may be a technologically superior option, but that means I have to trust the repository buildier. And it's not as though Linux is somehow immmune to malware that lets me skip that step. Anytime I install software it can do something I didn't except, on any OS.

Just a different flow means that little things I take for granted are missing, which makes it feel bad, which means I switch back to the land of "Start" buttons.

Re:My experience shows a short path (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041681)

As one example, to install software, I can go on the web, find the primary site for it, make sure it passes malware tests, and install it. On Linux, there's a repository (as I understand, never figured that part out). That may be a technologically superior option, but that means I have to trust the repository buildier. And it's not as though Linux is somehow immmune to malware that lets me skip that step. Anytime I install software it can do something I didn't except, on any OS.

But generally with a repository they have already A) checked the source for malware (most malware scanners only search for patterns in the binary that indicate a virus) B) Tested the software to make sure it is at least (somewhat) working. You have to have trust somewhere unless you are really skilled in writing software purely in binary. With most Linux software you have A) The option of going through the source yourself B) Have a fully open environment C) Have a community that has no profit incentive. The reason of having no profit incentive is good is because they have to compete based on features. MS can cripple software to make a quick buck, trying to do that on Linux just leads someone to move to a better distro.

There are many more paranoid Linux users than paranoid Windows users. Security is a great concern. If Ubuntu was adding in malware in a repository, someone would know and the software would be taken down. A site with a trojan on it for Windows is considered typical. I don't know of a single modern case of malware being in "trusted" repositories (such as Ubuntu's main repository, etc).

Re:My experience shows a short path (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041703)

It's far more likely that stuff in the repository is safe than something you just download off the net. In most cases.

The normal repositories are provided by the same folks that put together your OS, and the downloads are signed by them so you know you're getting the software from a trusted source. Linux does let you skip the "check for malware" step with things you get from trustworthy repositories due to this signing mechanism. Unless the repo is contaminated, but that's somewhat unlikely and would be found very fast.

And if you don't trust the people you get your OS from then... well that would be special.

You should be as careful adding new repositories to your system in much the same way you would be careful trusting a third party website to get software from. And careful adding packages you download from the web in the same way that you are with windows.

Re:My experience shows a short path (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041427)

The reason they go back to windows is because they don't like to change what they already have and is working.

Re:My experience shows a short path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041451)

"Ah, Mr. Pibb...
the cornerstone of our love...
delicious, refreshing, and totally lacking in pretension.
He's not one of those "Doctor" sodas,
putting on airs and flashing around his Ivy League diploma.
No, Mr. Pibb earns his paycheck.
He's the kind of soda I'd like to have a beer with.
Welcome to the Mr. Pibb Experience." - Stan Smith

Re:My experience shows a short path (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041485)

I thought Mr. Pibb was supposed to be a substitute for Dr. Pepper. Either way, I'll take a root beer. Thanks.

Re:My experience shows a short path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041943)

I thought Mr. Pibb was supposed to be a substitute for Dr. Pepper. Either way, I'll take a root beer. Thanks.

I haven't had a Mr. Pibb in ages. Like actual decades. IIRC it wasn't nearly as sweet as Dr Pepper.

Your post sorely tempts me to go out and buy a Mr. Pibb, a Dr Pepper, and a Barq's root beer this afternoon.

Re:My experience shows a short path (1, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041571)

You had me until lack of apps.

There's everything you can imagine available for linux. And as for quality... you're being a troll.

That said, I agree with the general tenet, that it's not such a simple process. It took a few years of me dabbling with it in much the manner you described before I suddenly felt that something had clicked and I preferred it.

Re:My experience shows a short path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041795)

You had me until lack of apps.

There's everything you can imagine available for linux.

can I imagine some games?

Re:My experience shows a short path (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041857)

You can imagine plenty. If you have something in mind
that will drive the purchase of a video card that nearly
cost as much as my last Mac, then that's another matter.

There's a wide variety of gamers out there and the leading
platforms for over 10 years now have not been PCs.

Re:My experience shows a short path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041815)

You had me until lack of apps.

There's everything you can imagine available for linux.

I can imagine the following, and AFAIK there is no Linux version:

Quicken
Corporate VPN client
iTunes

I'd give Linux a serious try at home if I could actually do everything I currently do on Windows, but it's just not possible. I kinda like my iPod, the ability to work from home, and as bad as it is, Quicken.

Just because there are 1000s of apps for Linux doesn't mean a thing if they're not the apps *I* need.

Re:My experience shows a short path (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041935)

> Quicken

Generic.

> Corporate VPN client

There's probably a Linux version.

> iTunes

This is really Generic. The only reason you
really need iTunes is for an especially
encrypted iPod Touch or to buy from the iTunes
store.

As a media management app, it is mediocre.

Ironically enough, the iPhone is the only reason
that a Windows box remains on the wife's desktop.
She would be equally content with Linux if not for
the whole "we will lock out the Linux users" thing
with the iPhone.

Bill should send Steve a few extra Benjamins in this years Xmas card for that boner...

Re:My experience shows a short path (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041827)

There's everything you can imagine available for linux

Ok, I'm a Linux user and I even think theres a lack of good apps. Sure, the basics are covered, great browser, great file manager, great desktop environments, great e-mail client, decent word processor, decent simple games, great programming features, decent enough replacement for Photoshop, etc. But Linux lacks games. Sure, there are a few shining examples of some in almost every category, Battle for Wesnoth is an amazing strategy RPG, Doom/Quake are good FPS games, SuperTux is a decent platforming game, there are many card games, etc. But you can't really find any complete FPS games that don't use the Doom or Quake engine for Linux. Etc. There is a total lack of variety of games. Sure, you can emulate a lot of them in WINE but more often than not you get a performance hit (not always because of WINE itself but because many distros enable compositing by default and that can slow down the games).

Re:My experience shows a short path (1, Troll)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041879)

Except that Windows offers much more to choose from. Including many of the same Open Source projects Linux zealots seem to think they have excursive access to.

Indeed, sometimes the quality of Linux software isn't up to snuff with Windows. Even programs that have Linux ports aren't up to the same level. For example, the Skype version of Linux is far outdated, and Firefox is much slower on Linux. Some of that is due to technical reasons, some if it is simply the lack of motivation on the part of the developers. Either way, Linux means less choice and fewer features when you actually look at ALL the options.

Re:My experience shows a short path (5, Interesting)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041705)

Whatever it is, Windows users usually seem to find their way back to Windows because it just does what they need. Emulating the look and feel of Windows isn't going to change the fact that their needs aren't satisfied by Linux.

In my case - I just don't feel like it. Back when I was a kid and when DOS ruled the lands, I fiddled around for weeks with Slackware and its dozens of floppies, and that was the time when Linux really didn't have much to offer and nobody had internet access. Configuring X for my Cirrus Logic 5426 VESA card was a pain, but I was a hacker and it was fun (I think I still have my old Linux home dir somewhere on my HDD). When I was in DOS, I used to spend a lot of time tinkering around with assembler and running programs through debuggers; a hex editor was my favourite toy.

When Windows 95 came out, I still booted to DOS most of the time. It was around 1996 or 1997 when I finally switched to Windows and told DOS to FO. Now I'm on XP SP2 and I can't even be bothered to upgrade to SP3.

Linux would suit my needs perfectly. I don't do anything special on my PC - I rarely play games, and let's face it, most of the time we spend online is in the browser or inside an IM app.

I can't be bothered. Windows works, it's stable, it's secure because I have a long background with computers. The only time I had a virus infection was in the above-mentioned 90s when I wrote my own virus and it accidentally spread to ".." (which happened to be the root of C partition) instead of "." (whoops).

Any OS would do what I need, and that's exactly the point - I have no incentive to switch to anything and waste time on it. "I'm too old for that shit."

A lack of apps? (1)

Altreus (1492723) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041709)

The only lack of apps I've come across as an Ubuntu user is a lack of the same games that everyone else is playing, and I don't play any of those, except for one, which works. For free.

It seems to me like there's an app for everything and, best of all, I don't have to pay for or crack any of them to get them to work.

And those that suffer from issues (Openoffice, Firefox...) suffer them in Windows too; as do their MS equivalents.

I regret nothing!

Re:My experience shows a short path (4, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041711)

For me, it was the lack of support for hardware. My netbook came with Ubuntu pre-installed (bypassing my previous experience where Ubuntu managed to hose the partition tables of two discs). It's a netbook, so the usual problem of 'no games' and so on weren't really an issue as long as it could run Firefox and a basic text editor.
And then I plugged my mouse in.
I have my MX Revolution (the Best Mouse Ever Made) set up with shortcuts for manipulating tabs rather than the silly default fwd/back buttons. However, after about half an hour of googling and fiddling with repositories, I was no closer to a working mouse. Now, I'm sure some will be quick yell "but it's the manufacturers fault! They don't provide any drivers!". This'd be fine if:
a) there weren't custom drivers for both windows and OS X available
b) the custom drivers for Linux didn't require me to DOWNGRADE THE OPERATING SYSTEM in order to install.
It was at this second point where I decided that Linux was not the choice for me. If I have to reinstall the entire operating system to get a mouse working properly, then there's something very wrong.

Re:My experience shows a short path (3, Funny)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041905)

Netbook + MX Revolution?

And that doesn't seem like a weird combination to you?

Re:My experience shows a short path (1)

Bonker (243350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041759)

Available software for Linux fulfills almost all my needs with a few glaring exceptions:

The thing that really busted me the last time I worked my way through a linux install was that I need the ability to switch resolutions, display modes, monitor outputs quickly and painlessly, without restarting the majority of my apps. I need to be able to switch TV outputs on and off, and maintain displays on multiple monitors with nVidia graphics chipsets.

Currently, there's no 'out of box' way to do this on most Linux distros. Most tutorials have you hand-editing x.conf files. There are a few 3rd party apps that claim to be able to do this, but I haven't been able to get any of them to work.

Re:My experience shows a short path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041843)

That's a great part of it but I also need a reason to switch.

Unlike the hordes of Slashdotters who've claimed to have a system pwned on a broadband connection in less than 30 seconds, I've never had a virus. My machines do not blue screen every 15 minutes. In fact, none of my current Windows boxes have ever blue screened. I've never had a hard time finding and/or installing the right driver. I've never had a malware issue. I've never had an install run amok. And to be honest, I don't have enough time and probably not enough coding skills to make it worth my time to download the source of the open source software that I do run to try to make it better.

Not to say as I'm not curious. I download a Linux distro that is mentioned here every now and again and VM it but I really haven't found one that made me consider using it for anything productive. I have enough skills with Linux that it isn't a ball breaker but not enough that I notice the minor changes.

That's really about it. For me Windows isn't the pain in the ass most people claim it is and Linux doesn't have anything I want that I can't do on Windows. Even if there was a killer app I really wanted I'd probably still just VM it. Who knows? Maybe the day is coming or already here when a system running a single OS is considered primitive.

Re:My experience shows a short path (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041871)

Dr. Pepper is not a valid substitute for Mr. Pibb.

Agreed. I'd recommend either Drano or the rancid brown liquid that comes out of potatoes if you store them in a tin in your cupboard for 9 months.

Re:My experience shows a short path (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041897)

Speaking as a Windows user who has tried to love Ubuntu, for me it just seems like a lot of hassle for no appreciable gain.

I spend most of my time in Firefox and The Bat (email) on Windows, with some embedded development using Atmel's free AVR Studio. I don't run anti-virus software all the time (just right-click-scan stuff I download) and for me Windows security has never been a problem. On top of all that, I know Windows XP inside and out. If I move to Ubuntu, I loose some familiar apps (okay, there is WINE) and have to re-learn lots of stuff like where things live in the filesystem, how to fiddle with the boot procedure, how to get drivers working for my hardware etc.

A lot of Linux fans claim this is all easy, but it really isn't for someone with little motivation to switch. Yeah, if I got a book or read lots of tutorials I could master it, but why would I do that?

Linux's best chance of going mainstream is with Netbooks. For Joe Average a computer that just works, is cheap and immune to user stupidity (i.e. viruses and spyware) is a good thing. For power users, it's actually a lot less attractive.

-1, Troll (-1, Flamebait)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041347)

If you're too dumb to install Ubuntu, there is no way you're going to enjoy using it.

I support the movement, but I don't think tutorials are the way to gain converts.

Re:-1, Troll (0, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041613)

If you are too dumb to install Ubuntu, you're exactly the sort that SHOULD be using it.

That or MacOS...

And the inevitable problems (0)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041355)

Printer won't work, "where's Live Messenger?", "how come my games won't work?"

"how come my games won't work?" (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041565)

You mean you didn't install wine for them?

Re:And the inevitable problems (1)

oloron (1092167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041635)

chances are, the people who have made this switch(as I have,2 weeks running ubuntu(mind you it took several botched attempts at setting myself a proper partition size and swap, but i got through it)) are not making the switch because they think this is a way to run their windows programs 'better' i am assuming 95% of all people who switch to linux of any variant are doing so at the urging(and with the support) of close friends and family. ubuntu being my own personal experience(last install of linux i tried was redhat circa 1998-99) and my experience was several orders of magnitude better. compiz is the bomb, i dont honestly think i have been more pleased with a system, considering my pc would struggle at best to install a basic version of vista, i am quite pleased, my internet experience on the whole has increased, on windows when i would max my incoming bandwidth i would be experiencing disconnects and poor connectivity from other applications, none of these issues thus far in ubuntu, and i've noticed my upstream is on average 50-60K/sec faster, there are decent equivalents for just about any program i use, the only exception is that i run a virtual machine for apps i am not ready to let go of yet, mIRC (i spent all those years learning to script it i am not throwing that away) and convertxtodvd which i have not found a decent alternative to as of yet, i havent gone the WINE route as i feel it would be counter-productive to what I am trying to accomplish with the switch. any thoughts?

Re:And the inevitable problems (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041755)

1. That's why we're talking about tech literate people who understand what an OS is

2. Linux has wider printer support (and with less crapware) than windows does, with the exception of lexmark brand printers. Got an older printer? More likely supported on Ubuntu than vista, that's for sure. And it found my network printer right away, unlike windows for which I had to download 50MB of god-knows-what from HP.

3. Pidgin

4. Not everyone cares about games on PC.

Re:And the inevitable problems (1)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041789)

Strange. My printer works even better that on windows. I hadn't to install anything.

Its called pidgin.

Oh, about the games.... That's a point where is are absolutely right. Unfortunately

Re:And the inevitable problems (4, Funny)

mauthbaux (652274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041899)

That's a bit like what happened when I tried to get my brother to switch to Ubuntu. When I called him later and asked him how it was working for him, he informed me that he had switched back to Windows.

His reason? "I couldn't get the antivirus to install."

Aren't You Lucky You Use the Correct OS? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041415)

Hopefully, by the end, your "friend" will realize just how easy Ubuntu can be to use and start down a long path of exploration with a new operating system.

Right, because remember that no one can be your friend unless they use the same operating system. And all operating systems are bad unless they're the one you use. And everyone uses an operating system for everything because all operating systems are equally good at each of the several thousand tasks operating systems perform and function as for users.

Wrong Crowd (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041447)

As a Windows desktop user who has considerable experience with Linux (I run a bunch of Linux servers and spent some months exclusively with Linux on the desktop), I believe this is the wrong crowd to try to get to switch to Linux. Experienced Windows users simply don't have the problems about which everyone complains about Windows. Windows just works for experienced users who don't install viruses and ad/spyware. Windows hasn't crashed on me since before XP. Ever. Never frozen... nothing. I'm currently on 7, spent a year and a half on Vista, and the rest of the decade on XP (after it was released).

Technically inclined people who aren't programmers simply don't need linux, and programmers will already know about it.

That's my 2 cents.

market ball size (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041469)

It's simply a ball size competition.

MS is a playah and is willing to do dirty sneaky deals with OEMs to get their shit pushed.

Ubuntu, as FOSS, rightly stays away from such tactics, and unfortunately runs afoul of the fact that the majority of computer sheeple really couldn't give a clue about patents, open source, and whatnot.

Linux's technical strengths are also economic weaknesses.

What would help IMHO is for linux to have advocacy, a marketing department, and general user friendliness polishes.

But nothing except legal action is going to correct the fact that microsoft simply holds most of the IP cards, as proven by their ambush against TomTom which in theory could lock linux out of the flash-drive market, as well as any other device that exposes it's data with VFAT internally.

Re:market ball size (4, Insightful)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041595)

What would help IMHO is for linux to have advocacy, a marketing department, and general user friendliness polishes.

What would help Linux is to run games without WINE. Or, if you have to use WINE, make the use of it completely seamless. Somebody clicks on a game installer from a CD they put in the drive--"This is a Windows application, but Ubuntu can run this if you install a compatibility layer [don't name WINE by name, nobody cares]. Would you like to install the compatibility layer?" They click yes, you automatically apt-get WINE, launch the app. That alone would help with the grandma cases.

Re:market ball size (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041893)

The problem with that is, WINE is still very much a work in progress. The newest version occasionally has regressions. You could find a version that worked with your game and bundle it there, but unless you did some clever hacking it could conflict with other WINE versions/libraries.

Re:market ball size (1)

FreeFull (1043860) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041927)

You can use the ubuntu brainstorm thingy to suggest things like that. If it sounds nice, people will vote it up and it will be integrated into the next release.

Re:market ball size (1)

N1tr0u5 (819066) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041941)

I agree with this. I want something that can play the games and not be a pain in the butt to install, much less troubleshoot. Windows is the de facto gaming platform and though I've no doubt I have the knowledge and understanding to get my games working on Linux, it's time spent that could be playing if I had just remained on windows.

Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041471)

"But he has nothing on!"

Thank you (1, Insightful)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041499)

"Therefore, this article will not tell you to compile anything from source code, and no sentence begins with 'bring up the terminal' or any other UNIX techno-babble."

Thank you. There is no reason to bring up the terminal today on a modern Ubuntu installation. If there is, someone isn't doing their job right.

Installing Ubuntu isn't the hard part (1, Insightful)

rhoderickj (1419627) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041531)

They are going to have a much more difficult time trying to install Microsoft Office, Photoshop, iTunes, streaming Netflix, and playing games. But there's always Compiz for some fancy distraction: if you squint, you can almost pretend that you're watching a Blu-Ray!

Re:Installing Ubuntu isn't the hard part (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041673)

...well, that all boils down to whether or not they "use brands" or "do stuff".

Do you fixate on the soup inside the can or the label on the outside?

Re:Installing Ubuntu isn't the hard part (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041797)

1) Who needs Microsoft Office? The answer is: unless you're in a corporate environment, almost no one. OpenOffice.org works just fine for Aunt Tillie who needs to write letters and keep her recipes on the computer. And even those in a corporate environment have gotten by with out it.

2) Photoshop is not needed by nearly as many people as you might think. Unless you're a professional photographer or a serious amateur, Photoshop is simply overkill. Krita and GIMP will meet the needs of 99% of anybody who needs photo editing, including a lot of those professionals and prosumers.

3) iTunes is reported to run under Wine.

4) I don't stream Netflix, but have heard that you can do it under Linux.

5) Playing what games? There are plenty of native Linux games. Oh, you mean playing the latest-and-greatest RTS/MMORPG/FPS/etc.? Well, if that's your bag, then you need Windows. BTW--you're still in the minority of computer users.

6) There are ways of playing Blu-Rays on Linux....

Important question... (3, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041547)

I actually read the article and it seems to lack one important thing... Why? Why should a Windows Power User wish to install Ubuntu? I mean it is "free" but my time certainly isn't, so I guess what is in it for me? What advantages does it have over, let's say, Windows XP?

PS - "Free" "Open Source" "You can compile it yourself!" don't count. People don't buy software because it is cheap, they buy it because it enriches their lives or increases their productivity.

Re:Important question... (0, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041627)

How about "Play games on your xbox. Don't buy or install the suckfest that is Vista or 7. Don't have to reregister with MS every time you change your motherboard."

who will get converted ? (1)

vu2swx (1525625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041573)

Tech Magazines and websites have been churning outthis kind of articles for long . This happens periodically with ubuntu as the release cycle is some what fixed, I don't think any power used will be converted reading this kinda article. Real power users are already on linux

Why is "friend" in quotes? (4, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041583)

In the fine summary, I mean.

Scare quotes? Like "he's not really my friend, I'm humoring him until he coverts to Linux."?

"so-called" quotes? Like "He's more than a friend, but I won't come out of the closet for him."?

I don't get it. It's distracting. It reduces whatever value this tutorial may have had. It certainly seems to reinforce the arrogant attitude "You're smart, I don't understand why you aren't doing exactly what I do."

Re:Why is "friend" in quotes? (1)

natebarney (987940) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041803)

I parsed it as "He's not really my friend, he's me, but I'm too embarrassed to own up to it." But, I agree with you, it probably shouldn't have been there.

No way (3, Interesting)

papabob (1211684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041599)

When somebody is a "Windows power user":

a) he's really a Computer power user. You cannot be a "X power user" without knowing the internals, and of course all the explanation about filesystem and mountpoints is useless.
b) he doesn't need a "guide" to download an iso, burn it and follow a series of on-screen instructions to install anything.

Taking into account a) and b), probably your "windows power user" has already tasted some flavor of linux and decided to stay in Windows (inferred because he's a "Windows power user" and not a "linux power user"). If it wasn't the case, i.e. if he never tried a distro, it was probably because he heard some of the limitations of linux compared to windows (only a bunch of commercial games, no photoshop/whatever, etc.) and then no guide is going to convince him to change.

Or are we talking about another kind of "power user"? Maybe "average-but-no-stupid windows user" fits better with the TFA.

Re:No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041835)

They missed a word, it's supposed to be for the Windows PowerShell user.

Re:No way (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041947)

What it seems to me is that it's a guide that used windows terminology; which is fine.
I'll even say it's fantastic.

Migrating is hard (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041611)

Migrating is hard.
If you have used same system for 10+ years, and probably invested great deal money to software specific to your platform, migrating away is big deal. On most cases, migration isn't just plug-and-play, it is a project that takes from 3 to 12 months to get everything running on new platform depending on the solution.

It is also expensive.
You likely need specialist help to get things running on your new system. Some of us have families and we simply cannot dedicate 24/7 of our time to prove that we can do same thing with other solution $2/year cheaper. There also simply aren't free alternatives to every task. There probably are linux/unix versions of these special programs, but they come with large price tag, and if you already have invested that same amount on platform you've found sufficient, you need very good reason to migrate away.

Thanks, But No Thanks (5, Insightful)

blcamp (211756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041615)

I'm not an MS fanboy... but using MS dev tools, writing software to work on MS operating systems, and with a user audience where MS software has a nearly-100% market share by choice... is my day job.

As such, I don't have the luxury of time either in or out of my regular work hours to explore other things. I'm busy enough keeping up with current trends on the .NET Framework, which is exactly what the folks who fund my living want and need me to do.

End of story.

Nice article (0, Troll)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041621)

I skimmed over the key parts and think its a good article.

However i think there are some mistakes regarding his recommended setup:
10-30GB if your going to install lots of applications seams excessive, i fit my system in 4 and I'd be amazed if you could end up with >10GB for desktop programs perhaps 10-15GB would have been a better recommendation?
Swap should never be more than 1GB unless you plan on hibernating in which case 75% should be enough
(1473M with 951 swap hibernates fine), does anybody really use 4GB swap?
Also why would you use GNOME on ubuntu, KDE3 on debian forever!!!!!!!! :P

Re:Nice article (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041955)

I started with 10 GB and do enough tinkering that I filled it up and moved on to 20. Bumping my head against that, but I do a lot of screwing around with new apps and local installs.

This would be more useful. (3, Interesting)

ouimetch (1433125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041641)

I purchased a bargain laptop not too long ago with Vista pre-installed, and I gotta say on a low spec computer it was a pretty painful experience. So my girlfriend convinced me to give Ubuntu a shot, and I gotta say I am really happy with it.

There has been a bit of a learning curve, and I honestly wished there was a built in tutorial explaining the OS better then just an on-line guide. Something that could directly compared the various tools directly to windows (Took me a while to figure out that you had to go to sessions to alter your startup) would have been EXTREMELY useful in my beginning days of Ubuntu.

What? (-1, Offtopic)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041651)

Why is this not in idle?

My story (1)

mk_is_here (912747) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041757)

It's not ready to the mass yet.

Yes. I'm Ubuntu user. And it's brilliant. Interface is great, lots of quality software to use.

But it suffers some bizarre problems you don't see on Windows.

For example, two weeks ago I bought an Agere PCI-E GB Ethernet NIC. First of all it works as expected, plug it in and it just works. However after some time the system has high resources usage all in a sudden and it got disconnected from the LAN. I thought I bought a dud, but it works completely normal on Windows.

After searching through the forum and launchpad for advices, it was found that if I compile and install the kernel module for the card it works fine. So I have to download it from Windows, and compile it after dual boot to Linux.

So, Ubuntu is a friendly OS only when you could get connected to the net.

My Recent Experience (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041765)

I was going to Linux install "parties" as far back as 1995 but my career has led me away from the Linux groups of old and I hadn't really done much with Linux in recent years. I'm finally getting around to doing a home theater and decided I wanted the server to be a Linux derivative so I searched and it looked as though MINT [linuxmint.com] had everything I wanted to do with a minimum amount of post setup for the media stuff. I proceeded to install on a fairly current piece of hardware and everything went smoothly until the first logon. The network card had been recognized but it would not connect no matter how much poking or prodding so I installed another network card and got the same results. I did everything I knew to do and still could not get it to work with my home network. Then I thought maybe it was MINT that had the problem so I proceeded to install the latest version of UBUNTU [ubuntu.com] and lo and behold same exact problem. I searched forums, followed step by step guides and yet nothing worked. It would act like it was going to work and then just stop. So as someone who is fairly technical and has a little history with Linux I can say Linux is still not ready for the desktop. I'm sure there is something simple stupid I am missing and I'll feel like an idiot when I figure out what it is but the fact that it is occurring at all AND is so difficult to remedy make that statement valid.

Stop! (0, Troll)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041823)

Know a Windows power user

Please stop! The cognitive dissonance entailed within that phrase makes my brain hurt.

I actually know plenty of "Windows Power Users" who can probably run circles around me patching broken registries, applying service packs and otherwise working around Windows peculiarities. But when it comes to doing Actual Work, if Gates/Ballmer didn't build them a cute little GUI, it obviously isn't worth doing, or even possible to do.

I've spent a couple of decades working around brain-damaged engineers who thought that the end product of our department was a PowerPoint presentation. Let the staff in Russia actually do the analysis and CAD work.

Re:Stop! (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041891)

A power user and system support are two different beasts.

Re:Stop! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041913)

What an ass. I now many windows power users.
The people you listed are not Power users.

Bullying them won't work (2, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041825)

I once read a thread where posters advocated Firefox by trying to convince everyone else they were dumbasses for using IE. By the end of it, one person was completely convinced that the only reason anyone used Firefox is because they were bullied into it.

So when dealing with these issues, whether it be a web browser, an OS, or any other lifestyle choice, it's best to let people choose on their own.

And then you can call them a dumbass BEHIND their back.

hey (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041877)

it's not about easy of use, it's about practicality.
You need to get that through your head.

Ease of use is just one aspect.

Maybe, just maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041907)

...he is satisfied with his life and doesn't want to join your Jihad movement. Did that thought ever cross your mind? Seriously, the summary reads like some batshit insane minister going on a quest to Africa to convert everyone to Christianity.

interactive screenshots? (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041953)

"You could try it with the Live CD, but let's face it, that's little more than interactive screenshots. Without installing and running software natively, you really can't give it a fair shake. "

Interactive screenshots? Does he mean like a running software program? Barring saved preferences, how is software run from a CD different than a hard drive? Is it somehow translated when run from the CD? It's too foreign to be assessed?

This is the sort of rubbish that occurs when people publish first drafts; when their syntax may be correct but their ideas unfinished. This author should find a buddy who can proofread his articles. He might sound more professional during rounds two, or even three.

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