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The Clueless Newbie Rides Again

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-want-a-clean-thread-no-eye-gouging dept.

Microsoft 636

overshoot writes "Anyone remember The Clueless Newbie's Linux Odyssey? As it happens, she's come back to have a go at Ubuntu Feisty. 'Four years ago I tried about a dozen Linux distributions, to see if they were ready for an ordinary user to install as an escape from the Windows world. None of the distros performed well enough for me to recommend them to a non-geek unless they were going to hire someone to install it. After hearing Dell's recent announcement that it will sell computers with pre-installed Ubuntu Linux, I decided to see if Ubuntu was user-friendly.'"

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FORST!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19132961)

WooT!! Frist!!11!

Re:FORST!! (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19132983)

You can teach newbies to use linux, just please keep them out of my programming forums, I can't stand all the "you should use linux, it's better than windows, blah blah blah" clueless crap!

Re:FORST!! (0)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133555)

More knowledge is better.
Translate that back to your OS question, and see where it takes you. ;)

And? (5, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19132975)

WTF? You don't expect me to go RTFA do you? That's what all those high UID peons are for. Someone post a cogent summary.
 

Re:And? (5, Informative)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133015)

From the final page:

"I think Ubuntu Linux is definitely ready for almost anyone with a Windows system who is tired of havig their computer infested with spyware and viruses. It is also a way to avoid Microsoft's "activation" demands. It's free! It's good! It works!"

Re:And? (-1, Troll)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133281)

Infested with viruses foo foo foo... Ubuntu is not for grannies [infiltrated.net] damnit

From a high UID... (0)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133081)

That's what all those high UID peons are for.

Duhhhhh, she saze, you butt no line ix is 2 hard some xs.

she wants mo fee churs and ezr to in stahl.

Re:And? (1)

n0084ever (1042786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133477)

That's what all those high UID peons are for.

yeah. that's what I love about /. - all the love for those of us trying to learn something.

Re:And? (4, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133503)

summary: she likes it and would install it over Windows ... except for 2 items: the default gnome font (white with a black dropshadow) isn't acceptable for her as she's partially sighted. However she said she'd dump Gnome in favour of KDE so that's not a show-stopper.

The show stopper was the lack of an outline feature for Openoffice. Until that 2000/2001 bug report gets resolved, she'll remain dependant on Office and so cannot get rid of Windows.

Ubuntu came out with a big gold star though.

Re:And? (5, Funny)

Enry (630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133539)

WTF? You don't expect me to go RTFA do you? That's what all those high UID peons are for. Someone post a cogent summary.

Exactly. Let me know when you're done, newbie.

Encouraging... (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 7 years ago | (#19132993)

Wonder how well it works with laptops? My problem has always been Broadcom wireless network cards and Brother Multi-function printers...

Re:Encouraging... (2, Informative)

insanius (1058584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133037)

That problem unfortunately still exists.

Re:Encouraging... (-1, Flamebait)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133057)

Download and burn the ISO, then. It's a livecd and you can find out for yourself instead of asking silly questions.

Re:Encouraging... (3, Insightful)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133329)

Yeah, because it's so silly to ask a simple and relevant question rather than download an ISO that is hundreds of megs large, burn it, and spend time fiddling with it to see if it works.

Re:Encouraging... (2, Insightful)

YetAnotherProgrammer (1075287) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133147)

Live CD. Just pop it in and go. If things don't work, just take the disk out.

Re:Encouraging... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133177)

Yes, Feisty still has problems with Broadcom. I can hack something together using NDiswrapper, but then I can't access WPA networks. However, I hear Feisty is a lot better in recognizing other wireless cards than Edgy or Dapper was.

Re:Encouraging... (1)

ukatoton (999756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133465)

I've got my BCM4318 card working with the built-in BCM43xx driver that's in there as standard. It even works on the live CD. And on WPA networks, too. Works back as far as 6.06 Dapper at least.

Lookup a guide for fw-cutter, find your wireless card driver, and run fw-cutter on it. Copy the files to a flash drive (if you want to use it on a live cd).

When you load up the live cd, you'll see it saying it can't find the firmware files. Don't worry, it'll still work.

As root, copy the firmware files to etc/firmware/[kernel version goes here]/

Then ifconfig -a to find out your broadcom card's name. ifconfig [cardname] up

Or you can run sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart - I prefer this, it makes network-manager work automagically when the card comes up on fiesty.

Configrue your card however you want. You'll now be on the interwebs.

Re:Encouraging... (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133279)

Networked Brother DCP series printers have worked for ages (RHEL 3, Mandrake 9.x)

Re:Encouraging... (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133351)

Broadcom wireless won't work out of the box with Ubuntu. Try Linux Mint [linuxmint.com] , a distro based off Ubuntu that includes ndiswrapper and a number of windows wireless drivers already set up, and a straightforward gui for ndiswrapper if you it doesn't have the driver. Doesn't work with every card, but try it with yours.

Re:Encouraging... (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133375)

Unfortunatley, Broadcom cards still require ndiswrapper. You can set it up one of two ways:

1) Have your Windows wifi drivers on a CD or thumbdrive
If you don't mind the command-line (skip to 2b for GUI):
2a) sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-utils-1.9
3a) sudo ndiswrapper -i /path/to/driver.inf (replace /path/to/driver.inf with location of your driver, usually bcmwl5.inf in my experience)
4a) sudo ndiswrapper -m
5a) sudo gedit /etc/modules, add ndiswrapper to the bottom of the file, save&quit
6a) reboot

However, if you rather shiny wizards...
2b) System->Administration->Synaptic, search for ndisgtk and ndiswrapper-utils-1.9, install them
3b) System->Administration->Windows Wireless Drivers, Install New Driver, follow directions

Re:Encouraging... (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133425)


I've had no problems with wireless or anything else on Thinkpads (T-30-something, T-42 or 43). Except for sound...

Ubuntu is hit or miss (3, Interesting)

geek (5680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133019)

I installed it on my windows laptop not too long ago. Things in Edgy worked fine but as soon as I went to Feisty I started having issues. Like my wireless card suddenly stopped working. Feisty is riddled with bugs, especially for laptop users. The Dell deal will probably solve that problem on Dell hardware but for most of us Ubuntu needs some more Q&A. I was very disappointed when they released a kernel update that killed most peoples installs while Feisty was in beta, and then had a full Feisty release the next week. Hardly enough time to repair and test the fixes.

Ubuntu isa nice distro but it needs work. I will continue to use it but nly beause I know how to tweak and fix things. Your average user does not. IMO software installation on Linux needs a lot of work. f we could get it to the point of ease that Apple has then I feel Linux would be a real alternative to windows.

Re:Ubuntu is hit or miss (1)

operato (782224) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133125)

did you upgrade to feisty or fresh install? the times i updated it didn't work too well.

Re:Ubuntu is hit or miss (3, Informative)

Drew McKinney (1075313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133151)

I experienced the exact opposite.

I installed Edgy on a Dell D800 laptop with okay results - networking was spotty and wireless didn't work at all (i tried every trick in the book). Feisty fixed all of my problems - every piece of hardware was identified correctly. Wireless and wired networking works perfectly. Feisty is weird.

I'll be installing the new Ubuntu Studio [ubuntustudio.com] for my video/audio/image editing needs in lieu of a Mac.

I know I sound like a fanboy, but Ubuntu is the linux distro i've been waiting for. Not unlike Clueless Newbie, this is the one distro that has worked for me almost flawlessly.

Re:Ubuntu is hit or miss (1)

stewwy (687854) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133247)

I see from your post some of the keys on your board don't work, is this a feisty problem or an operator one? :)

Before anyone slams her.... (5, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133025)

Keep in mind that she has done the Linux Community a great service by documenting her trials and tribulations.

For those of you in the F/OSS community who want to make their products more mainstream, here's a free user test and feedback.

I take it as a great compliment to you folks in the F/OSS community that someone like her is attempting to install and run your products! It means you are becoming a real alternative to Windows and this editorial is a wonderful way to continue and expand on your excellence.

Just my opinion.

Re:Before anyone slams her.... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133045)

The opinion above is not mine, and I approve of it

Re:Before anyone slams her.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133097)

Is that free as in beer, or free as in freedom?

Re:Before anyone slams her.... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133397)

Free as in willy.

Re:Before anyone slams her.... (-1, Flamebait)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133127)

The F/OSS Comunity doesn't want honest feedback it was blind loyality and hatetrid towards anything not open. Honest Feedback will only force F/OSS to program the boring stuff. Blind Loayality will allow them to keep programming the interesting bits of code.

The best point to note (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133253)

The fear she felt when Ubuntu's installer did not give any sign it was aware of, and respecting her Windows partition.

This is the kind of UI point that developers easily miss. They know what is going on under the UI, and therefore they are unaware of what the user is going to think when confronted with the interface.

I wouldn't be surprised if many newbie Linux experimenters are deterred part way through the installation process by something like this. It really is a pain to reinstall Windows.

Re:Before anyone slams her.... (1)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133277)

Why would we slam her? She gave it a thumbs up. At the end she states the only reason she's even keeping Windows on her hard drive at all is because Openoffice doesn't have a feature she needs that MS office does.

Re:Before anyone slams her.... (2, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133507)

Why would we slam her? She gave it a thumbs up.

As she did her editorial, she mentioned a few things the didn't like and/or had problems with. Unfortunately, some folks take feedback like that as "fighting words" - even if the overall opinion is excellent. I know I've done it and sometimes, when I'm not thinking, still do it. So, I'm speaking as someone who's a member of the choir - so to speak.

I just want to frame her opinion in a way that can help the F/OSS community. Yes, I agree, most of the F/OSS folks just focus on excellence and produce awesome software. But sometimes, and I'm speaking from experience here (I won't mention names), folks can get a little too, well; combative.

everything above applies to myself. There, I am progressing towards my own personal growth.

Re:Before anyone slams her.... (4, Insightful)

cultrhetor (961872) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133369)

Agreed, and well stated, sir. In her original article [archive.org] , she anticipated the attacks/questions/loudly shouted advice for which nerds are so (deservedly?) known:

I can hear some of you now:
* "The newsgroups are where you should go for help!"
* "Website 'A' has the documentation you need!"
* "You have to read the man pages!"
* "Use 'apropos'!"
* "It takes an expert to install and configure an operating system!"

This caution, which was followed by a lengthy explanation that the article was written to address the feasibility of Linux as a viable mass-market (read: installable by idiots) operating system, was completely ignored in many of the flames that were posted. Let's hope she gets a fair shake this time.

ya (-1, Troll)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133031)

None of the distros performed well enough for me to recommend them to a non-geek unless they were going to hire someone to install it
apparently she's never installed windows from scratch before. the truth is that if windows were not installed on computers already people wouldnt bother with it. -no one wants to spend 5 hours installing it just to find garbageware.

Re:ya (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133143)

Yeah, of all of the OSes I deal with on a regular basis, Windows is by far the hardest to install. XP for instance loves to balk if you have a non-NTFS partition on your hard drive. I've many times had to go and fire up something like Ranish partition manager to change the ID of some non-NTFS partition just so I can get the XP installer to start. If I weren't computer savvy that would be a complete roadblock.

Re:ya (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133249)

agreed. she's ass-backwards on this.

in 1998 (might have been 99), i had no problem at all installing red had onto my Compaq. and i didnt know the first thing about linux, and very little about computers in general.

long story short, i opened up a terminal, typed ls and felt cool because i was running linux. then when i rebooted and realized windows was gone i shit a brick.

Never installed windows... (1)

bbernard (930130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133357)

The issue is apples and oranges. Joe 6-pack doesn't install Windows himself, he buys a computer with it already on there. If he's going to use Ubuntu, or any other flavor of linux, he's much more likely to have to install it himself, because HP, Dell, etc., don't (yet) have pre-installed versions for him. So ease of install is UBER-important because Joe 6-pack will have to do it himself. Even for somebody who's used to installing Windows, a linux install can be intimidating. "What the hell is this "swap" partition for? Why can't I just make one big drive? What are all these different keyboard choices? I just have a regular keyboard, which one is that?" Sure, it's child's play to somebody who knows, but you can't assume Joe 6-pack does.

Re:Never installed windows... (1)

StonedYoda47 (732257) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133457)

I think that installing Windows would be more like a "Joe 24-pack"

Appearances can be deceiving (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133451)

apparently she's never installed windows from scratch before.
If you read a bit, she's a tech writer who has probably installed it more times than any but a commercial custom builder.

The "unless you have a geek handy" was with regard to researching the fix when things don't go according to plan.

Re:ya (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133505)

Windows Vista is actually about as easy to install as a typical modern Linux distribution. It's sorta eerie how similar the installer looks.

"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's no! (0)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133055)

"Problem 4: The Linux Flash players did not work with YouTube, and Adobe's Flash video player was extremely difficult to install. I have a 64-bit microprocessor, and installed 64-bit Ubuntu. Although 64-bit Linux has been available for more than five years, Adobe hasn't bothered to develop 64-bit version of Flash for Linux yet. My live-in geek tracked the problem down for me, and Adobe is reportedly working on 64-bit software"

I stopped reading after this point. I hope the conclusion was something on the lines of "it works if you have a live-in geek". That's a cop out - saying you've got a problem but it was resolved by the fact that your partner is a technical expert.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133193)

Ubuntu can't do anything about Adobe not shipping a 64-bit native flash, Win64 users have the same problem.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (3, Funny)

Otter Escaping North (945051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133199)

I stopped reading after this point. I hope the conclusion was something on the lines of "it works if you have a live-in geek". That's a cop out - saying you've got a problem but it was resolved by the fact that your partner is a technical expert.

Exactly! Until it can be used by someone without ever having to rely on outside assistance from someone more savvy, Linux remains an obvious step below such issueless competitors as Microsoft Windows (whose users are known the world over for their trouble-free operations and complete eschewing of support), and that caveat should be mentioned at every opportunity.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133243)

Here's a mop in case any of that dripping sarcasm makes a puddle.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (1)

alfredo (18243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133205)

In the end she said the unavailability of an outline feature in Open Office is all that is keeping her from switching. She then urged them to get to work on that feature. She does recommend Linux.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133235)


I stopped reading after this point. I hope the conclusion was something on the lines of "it works if you have a live-in geek". That's a cop out - saying you've got a problem but it was resolved by the fact that your partner is a technical expert.


Actually with just a little more research she would have found out that allows 64bit Firefox to use 32bit plugins. [ubuntuforums.org]

A little more research (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133513)

Actually with just a little more research she would have found out that allows 64bit Firefox to use 32bit plugins. [ubuntuforums.org]
Which is exactly what the live-in geek did. Finding and applying nspluginwrapper isn't quite as easy as clicking on a package in synaptic.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (1)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133237)

That was the end of that particular segment, had you gone to the next (last) page. I think the conclusion was simply that the "live-in geek" had done some research and found out that Adobe is working on the problem and there is no solution yet.

So on that point she conceded that the flash player doesn't work but apparently felt it was not Ubuntu's fault.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (1)

lpontiac (173839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133285)

The conclusion should be the same as for people installing Windows - even if you've got a 64-bit capable processor, unless you have a compelling reason, stick with the 32-bit OS.

Even on 64-bit Windows, don't you still need to run a 32-bit browser to use the Flash plugin?

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133461)

Yes, I can vouch for this. I run XP x64, and I use 64 bit Minefied (Firefox 3.0.0a), and Adobe does not have a flash plugin for it. If I need to use flash I have to switch to 32bit Firefox, same as in Linux.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133337)

this is a universal problem with pretty much any 64-bit desktop OS. driver and software issues are abound and it's stuck in a catch-22 for the time being, in addition to the fact that about 99% of desktop users have no use for the benefits of 64-bit yet.

when people actually start to need more than 4GB of ram (the main benefit), then 64-bit will pick up steam.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133385)

Actually she went on to say that ubuntu is a great distro. I was expecting yet another troll article, but this one pleasantly surprised me.

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (2, Insightful)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133393)

The 32-bit Flash plugin works just fine with 32-bit Firefox on a 64-bit (x86-64) system.

That's what I've got here. (Suse 10.1 distro, not Ubuntu, which may or may not make a difference. If Ubuntu is installing a 64-bit browser, they may want to rethink that. I've only tried Ubuntu briefly, and passed on it because I didn't like their init system, I'm too used to Suse and RedHat.)

Re:"Problem solved by live in geek?" - So that's n (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133497)

Of course, if she really was a newbie who wanted to try Linux, she'd have bought a Dell computer with Ubuntu already installed. Or she'd have downloaded the default distro offered, which was 32-bit, and not had any of the 64-bit compatibility problems. Only because she wasn't really a newbie, but a tech journalist, did she mistakenly chose the 64-bit distro, which is where all her real problems came from: lack of commercial vendor support for 64-bit Linux.

Nice... (3, Funny)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133061)

...but does it run lin... er... WoW... I mean... nevermind.

Re:Nice... (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133225)

Actually, yes it does, on both counts

To bring this up yet again: (4, Insightful)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133077)

NORMAL USERS don't install OS's. If you install your OS, you have progressed to POWER USER. Windows "normal users" call a computer shop to reinstall their OS. I know, I'VE GOTTEN THE CALLS!

Also,

If you don't want to change, don't change, Linux isn't windows, it's not trying to be, it's something different.

Now flame me, please.

Re:To bring this up yet again: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133221)

Most computers don't have Linux preinstalled, so Linux has a higher bar to clear. It may not be fair, but it's a fact.

Given the pain I went through trying to install windows on my SATA drives, I might have paid $50 to my computer shop to do it too.

Re:To bring this up yet again: (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133387)

Just because you get the calls doesn't mean there's quite a few normal users that do their own reinstall of Windows. Unfortunately for them, unless they get some professional help with automatic updates / firewall / anti-virus / anti-spyware they're extremely likely to end up where they started. Hell, I've seen users where the first thing they do is install the same crapware-infested "free" gizmo that'll invite all its friends back in. Either that or the "poweruser", or shall we call it "powerwarezer" who'll run that infected crack / keygen again. The first seems to cover the clueless, the other the dangerously clueful. Few rise above that level.

Re:To bring this up yet again: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133511)

You deserve to be flamed. Clearly, a generous portion of computer users can't or won't install their own operating system, but what does that actually have to do with this article? If you read it, you'll find that it's an experiment - not necessarily a relevant one if Dell delivers on the Ubuntu systems - to see what happens if you try to install Ubuntu with no particular knowledge of Linux. If you read it to the end, you'll find that the author liked it well enough to recommend dumping Windows in some cases because it was just that easy. You might consider RTFA before flaming someone yourself.

Re:To bring this up yet again: (5, Insightful)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133533)

Have you ever noticed that you can buy Windows at Target and Walmart? Plenty of normal users install Windows on their own. Some have trouble and call you, others don't. In my experience with colleagues and friends, quite a number of people attempt to reinstall or upgrade Windows all by their lonesome.

You're sort of setting an arbitrary line between "normal" and "power" users, based on your own criteria, and then making your argument based upon this assumption. A computer user who can boot from a Windows CD, follow a few instructions, and install Windows is not a terribly special case. Lots of boneheads can do it. I know, they're my friends and family.

Really, the only difficult question that the Windows installer asks is about partitioning and formating. If a user can get past that one, they're in most cases home free.

Not at all clueless (4, Insightful)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133083)

The author tries to act like a newbie in the first couple pages. But by page 3, the words "driver", "Wine" (as in the emulator), "partition", and more start to appear. Newbie?!! Are you kidding me?

When my Grandma sat down at a computer for the first time a few years ago, she tried waving the mouse in the air to make the pointer move. That is a computer newbie!

Re:Not at all clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133159)

When my Grandma sat down at a computer for the first time a few years ago, she tried waving the mouse in the air to make the pointer move.

Did it work? How did you explain the concept of using a "mouse" to her?

Re:Not at all clueless (2, Funny)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133297)

He waited and bought her a Nintendo Wii.

Re:Not at all clueless (4, Interesting)

Durrok (912509) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133265)

I installed Ubuntu FF on one of my roommate's PCs since he was always having problems with various forms of spyware and general sluggishness. The install was fairly smooth but not smooth enough that he could have done it on his own. After that everything worked at startup, I restored his data from the hard drives we had backed it up to (NTFS even, very nice), gave him a tour, turned on beryl, and let him at it. He didn't ask me any questions for a week. I came up and saw him about 9 days after the install and he had a terminal open and installing some multimedia recording software that he had found on his own. When I asked him why he wasn't using synaptic he said that "Sudo apt-get whatever is just a lot easier if you already know what you are looking for".

Don't know what it is or why but Linux makes people want to become power users. He has since upgraded his box to Ubuntu Studio and fixed a few networking problems that he was having. Sure, he probably googled most of it, but he actually felt the need to learn more instead of just scratching his head and offering me beer to fix his problem. I do miss the beer though :(

Re:Not at all clueless (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133339)

Sure, he probably googled most of it, but he actually felt the need to learn more instead of just scratching his head and offering me beer to fix his problem. I do miss the beer though :(

Ahhh, yes, when "free as in beer" means the end of free beer...

Re:Not at all clueless (1)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133459)

I do miss the beer though :(

Now I'm confused -- so the answer is actually, "it's free as in beer"?

I've been supporting FOSS for the wrong reason all these years!

Re:Not at all clueless (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133319)

So... has anyone hacked a Wii controller to make it work with a PC yet?

Re:Not at all clueless (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133547)

Yes, and then with a bit of perl they hacked a Roomba to make the Wii controller control the Roomba. Google for it.

Re:Not at all clueless (3, Insightful)

kindbud (90044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133327)

Not only that, she knew her computer was 64-bit, and chose to install the 64-bit Ubuntu distro. That this was the source of the only real problems she had - lack of commercial vendor support for 64-bit Linux - also indicates she has graduated from the newbie state to the knows-just-enough-to-be-dangerous state.

Re:Not at all clueless (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133445)

I also questioned the author's non-geek status. Especially when she closed the article with the words, " ... turning my Microsoft Windows partition into blank oxide.". However, even if she is only pretending to be a newbie, I think it was a useful exercise and an interesting write-up.

Re:Not at all clueless (4, Insightful)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133495)

I completely agree! She sounds just as savvy as some of the card carrying "geeks" (antonym of "newbie"??) I know. This line hit me right off the bat:

My current system is a reasonably powerful, home-built one:
I think home building a box disqualifies you immediately from newbie status.

Re:Not at all clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133521)

not a computer newbie. a Wii wannabe

Agreed: Dual Boot installation needs work (5, Insightful)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133103)

As one person trying to migrate off of Windows (XP and Win2K user), I liked the features of Feisty Fawn running from the Live CD that I wanted to install it to the hard drive.

If we want Ubuntu to move forward, the developers need to recognize the thousands of people who will see it as an installation on top of Microsoft instead of getting a fresh clean installed image from Dell. Get these people comfortable and then the others will follow.

If screen four can be made a little more clear of explain that it has detected a Windows OS and lead the user from there, then we have a wonderful comfort level even before they get to see how Linux is so much better than Windows.

For /. readers, this may be a slow and cumbersome process but then again, if you can have the CD help Mom and Dad install Linux instead of you doing it for her, then there is one less family help desk call you have to make. Also, it makes them feel like they can actually maintain and operate there own systems.

Don't worry, they will still love you, even if they don't need your help anymore.

Re:Agreed: Dual Boot installation needs work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133483)

Mom and Dad won't install linux or windows. Only reason they started using windows is because that's what was on the computer when they got it. Having to install anything on a system will result in them spending money to do it, or having someone they know do it.

The average user thinks windows IS the computer. The might know macs look cooler, but they don't know anything else. They don't even know what an OS is. You ask them what version of office they have and they will say they have windows xp or something. They might know it's windows xp, but guaranteed they won't know if it's home or professional and won't know how to figure it out. Now you expect them to download something they don't even know exists, burn it to CD somehow (if it's not an MP3 disk they won't know how to do it), and install it on their system?

The average person doesn't give a crap about OS's. They want to turn the machine on and have something they are familiar with. If a program is called spreadsheet instead of Excel, they probably won't know what to do.

This FP 7or GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133107)

"...she's come back..." (0, Troll)

js290 (697670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133115)

I'd hit it...

I Love this part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133129)

Problem 5: Google's Picasa does not work. Every time I launch Picasa it locks up my computer and sends the CPU utilization to 100%. The problem is Google, not Ubuntu. Instead of writing real Linux software, all Google did was take their Windows version and wrap it in WINE (fake Windows) to make it work in Linux. I expected Google to do better than that.
Fake windows comment aside. I have been saying this since Google launched Picasa for Linux. I said it was a lazy move that stunk of quieting a small percentage of Linux users. People here cheered it as some great thing, but in reality, it was a half-ass job that does not work right all the time. Congratulations Google! You have shown that lazy and bad programmers exist outside of Redmond.

Re:I Love this part (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133481)

Especially since Google is probably the single largest user of Linux in the world. Did they ever fix all the problems with Google Earth on Linux? Like the itsy bitsy font that you can't read at decent resolutions or the crashing?

I did RTFA... (3, Insightful)

evilpenguin (18720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133161)

And even though I really dislike people who say things "I have no idea what it did, but that's the way I like it," The review is favorable and correct. I tend to use Ubuntu and Fedora the most these days, and the article (I think) correctly shows that Ubuntu is a very good distro for the user's user, someone who doesn't really care to learn their operating system, let alone to learn programming. (Ubuntu is plently good for techies too, make no mistake).

What I can't figure out is why the reviewer discusses Ubuntu *installation* when they claimed that the reason they decided to check was Dell's announcement that they were *preloading* Ubuntu on PCs and laptops.

Ubuntu desktop Linux is undoubtedly a great distro for end users. And it shows why Microsoft is pulling out the patent crap now. Linux distros are now at a point where, for most users, there is no reason to prefer Windows. Only hardcore gamers have a reason to stick with Windows at this point.

NEWBIE?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133169)

This person uses words like "operating system", "GUI", "dual-boot", can list his hardware, and considers himself a newbie?! No sir, a newbie you are not. A newbie is an old grandma who barely knows how to use her mouse, and who when asked to show her computer will point her finger at the monitor. And Linux stil has a looooooong way to go before being usable (not to mention installable) by people like this.

Re:NEWBIE?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133321)

A comment from somebody who has never obviosly tried, say, Ubuntu.

Thanks for posting jackass. No go back to play with your fisher price stuff.

Still a long way to go (4, Interesting)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133219)

The ultimate in easy-to-use Windows-to-Linux distributions would be one that's custom built for each user. You'd download a small program to Windows that'd scan your system looking at hardware, software, and configuration information. It'd then download all the needed drivers, equivalent open source software, and backup your system and software configuration information (converting it to Linux, of course.) Even give them the option to backup all their personal files. Then it'd build you a custom installation ISO, just for their system.

As much as possible would be brought over from Windows. Network configuration information, browser favorites, email client configuration, desktop icon layout, even the desktop wallpaper -- anything to make Linux feel more like home. It's all there, just the way they like it, why not copy it as much as possible?

If there's any problems, they can be found and addressed while the user is still in the safety of Windows.

"still in the safety of Windows." (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133419)

That's like saying "To avoid being attacked by treants, I'm going to hide in this running chipper-shredder."

=)

RELATIVE "safety"? Maybe. Most of these people sorta-know Windows. So it's perceived as "safer". Even though it really isn't.

Re:"still in the safety of Windows." (3, Insightful)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133487)

Correct. People tend to perceive anything that is known as safe, and anything unknown as unsafe. Whether or not it's safe is irrelevent.

Don't mock this fact: Embrace and abuse it.

Yes I can just see that working (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133493)

Scanning registry 1 of 1000 MB...

Found alexa
Found About Blank
Found Russian spam bot
Found Office 2003

Attempting to apt-get...

Could not find alexa
Could not find bonzi buddy
Could not find Russian spam bot
Installing open office

Importing spam mail 3 of 106,184

Done.

For a REAL newb without help Linux is better! (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133275)

Have you noticed how easy an Ubuntu install has gotten? If someone is really new to computers Ubuntu is MUCH easier to install and set up than Windows.

But:

People that know a little more about computers will know Windows, especially, because people that need to work on their computers will have Windows installed, because most of the time the program that they need to work with (other than office or browsing) will be a Windows product.

So for support that newb has no one to turn to.

Plus: Printers,Webcams,... all the little "toys" newbs want soon after they become not so much newb have Windows stickers on the box.

FIRST FALLWELL POST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133303)

Jerry Fallwell - Another dead American hero

Re:FIRST FALLWELL POST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133365)

too bad it wasn't you dead, asshat.

Configuration Files (1)

Barkmullz (594479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133311)


The suggested remedy, editing a system configuration file, is unacceptable.

I thought the article was pretty good, written from a newbie point of view. Still, I think the above qoute is a little harsh. If the instructions are clear, I really do not see this as a big deal. I think most people would be relatively comfortable with doing this as long as the steps are clearly outlined.

1. Open file xyz
2. Find the section that reads xxx
3. Replace xxx with xxy
4. Save and close the file.

Re:Configuration Files (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133525)

Not to mention that later in the article she's happy to open a console and edit files...

This article seems inconsistent at best, and a straw man at worst.

Although, I am glad she likes it at the end of the day, just not the most astounding example of Tech journalism out there.

Doesn't Clobber Win2k (3, Interesting)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133313)

The author was surprised that Ubuntu didn't clobber her Win2K partition.

Maybe she should realize that there's only ONE COMPANY out there that assumes it owns your whole PC....

Edited title (4, Informative)

overshoot (39700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133317)

Actually, I submitted it as "The Clueless Newbie Rudes Again."

Some spelling errors aren't.

patents galore (1)

glas_gow (961896) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133415)

from the article, venting at OO developers:

Your unwillingness or inability to give OpenOffice.org an outline view that works just like Microsoft Word's outline is all that is keeping me from turning my Microsoft Windows partition into blank oxide.

Don't you just love patents.

Links... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19133429)

You've reached a page that doesn't exist on the all new LinuxWorld.com. Perhaps you can find what you're looking for with our search engine above, or on our News or Community pages.

For questions, please contact webteam@nww.com.
Hmm, now I see why the blurb links to the slashdot story instead of the real FA; it doesn't exist.

So I opened the new FA, only to find that part of the text was covered with a box wanting me to take a survey. Apparently it sits there for a while and then goes away, as when I tabbed back it was gone. Is this the vaunted Web 2.0 [slashdot.org] ? You know what? I fucking HATE it!!!!

So I want to copy and paste the requirements here in my comment, but the asshat who wrote the damned page has disabled copying. Well, the clueless fucktard thought he did, anyway.

If you wrote that page, or you work for the idiots who own the site, you suck. I note that the moron didn't use <OL> but just put real numbers in. Lameness!

Since the original FA is gone, I can only assume that she didn't try Mandrake when she tried all those distros four years ago.

1. It must have a GUI interface for installing and configuring the system.

Mandrake 6 had it way back in... 2002? Check. I assume by "GUI" she meant she could use a mouse, as there's no reason whatever that an installer should need graphics. Unless, of course, you're illiterate.

Hmm... considering how poorly many "looser" slashdotters spell, maybe a graphical user interface IS necessary! But at any rate, Mandrake 6 had it.

2. Existing hardware must remain usable and the new operating system must make it "just work" without my having to edit text-based configuration files.

Check. Mandrake's installer had drop-down lists; I had no trouble whatever, even though I had never used Linux before.

3. Existing software must remain usable unless the new operating system has equivalent features to the ones I use, and I can switch without losing data or doing much work.

Well, there's the kicker. There is no TurboTax for Linux, and PowerPoint won't work on Linux, either. Those are the only two things I can think of that you couldn't do in Mandrake 6. Unless you used those two pieces of software, Linux not only had equivalents, but had them "out of the box" with no money changing hands needed.

4. Because I need to use software that has no Linux substitute, the Linux distribution must make it easy to create a dual-boot system. It has to recognize and preserve the existing operating system and its data during installation, and give me access to the data on the Windows drives after installation.

Chack and check. Mandrake gave you either GRUB or LILO, either one of which was easy to install and would work as she needed.

So... was the original article a troll? As it's no longer online, there's no way to tell.

Here's what happened after I clicked the install icon. Page: 1 2 3 4 Next Page

No, I'm not going to click on your next ad-laden page with 50k of content and a meg of advertising, losers!

Please, slashdot submitters, please don't submit any more stories from this God-awful piece of shit web site! mkay?

These people MUST be smoking crack. What a fucked up site they have!

-mcgrew

Ubuntu needs to slow down. (0)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133471)

Maybe it's must me but I would like to see Ubuntu slow down releases, currently they release major releases every few months, very rarely are they stable or free of major bugs. I wish they would remember there are numbers after the . and make a good stable OS that is workable and reasonable bug wise before they jump over the next hurdle prematurely like usual.

Nice Writeup (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133489)

I have also had a look at Ubuntu, and it seems to be rather friendly, but the thing that I didn't like with it was that I wasn't able to get Skype working. There may be a workaround for that, but I'll wait for Fedora 7 and see what it will provide.

I have also been looking a little at Debian Etch, and it also looks good. I think it all comes down to if you like the taste of RPM or DEB packages better...

I'm impressed, she figured it all out. (5, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133499)

Holy crap! a complete newbie installed a complete 64 bit system and it worked with a few minor problems with non free software not found in 32 bit versions. She had trouble with DVDs, Nvidia drivers, Flash and Picasa, and did not like the GDM login fonts. She was able to solve the Nvidia problem without too much trouble and seems to have made DVDs and Adobe Flash work. All of this with less effort than she would have put into a Windoze box. One reboot and everything "very automatic".

Her comments about non free software are scathing:

Adobe's Flash video player was extremely difficult to install. I have a 64-bit microprocessor, and installed 64-bit Ubuntu. Although 64-bit Linux has been available for more than five years, Adobe hasn't bothered to develop 64-bit version of Flash for Linux yet. My live-in geek tracked the problem down for me, and Adobe is reportedly working on 64-bit software.

The [Picasa] problem is Google, not Ubuntu. Instead of writing real Linux software, all Google did was take their Windows version and wrap it in WINE (fake Windows) to make it work in Linux. I expected Google to do better than that.

This is really cool and shows a good grasp of what free software is all about. She figured out that the non free parts were the problem, not the free parts. This kind of enlightenment from a non programmer is great to see.

Her conclusion is an uncompromising endorsement:

I think Ubuntu Linux is definitely ready for almost anyone with a Windows system who is tired of havig their computer infested with spyware and viruses. It is also a way to avoid Microsoft's "activation" demands. It's free! It's good! It works!

The more I think about it, the nicer the article is. This is a picky user and she's been satisfied. Many of her fears, such as the complete loss of data and OS overwrite, came from M$ use, so her opinion is likely to improve.

Wireless Networking (3, Informative)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19133543)

For anyone trying the latest K/X/Ubuntu flavor, or Debian 4 for that matter (as I did), wireless networking is easy, and cheap too, of you don't stray too far from these instructions.

1. Choose hardware from this madwifi/ Atheros list: http://madwifi.org/wiki/Compatibility [madwifi.org] . Last week I picked up two El Cheapo Sweek 802.11g cards for 20 euros each, and Ubuntu flashed its restricted driver message at one once, I accepted, and it just worked, even with WPA2 + TKIP encryption at the router. Note there are no USB wifi dongles supported. But PCI & pcmcia, etc.

2. Part of the above is working with Gnome NetworkManager.

Stay focused on 1 & 2, and don't use little USB wireless sticks, and wireless on Linux IS easy.

disk encryption: bonus points for starting with Debian 4, since the EZ installer gives you the option to encrypt the whole (laptop?) disk from the Get Go. I opted for Debian's easy disk encryption (Ubuntu doesn't offer it, really) and chose to fight the wireless puzzle. It was a hard fight, but I think I picked the correct battle to fight. So now just add a nice rsync backup to my http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?134994 [dreamhost.com] Debian server's non-public disk-space for $7 a month, and well that's a secure, yet functional laptop.

Oh, and www.Hamachi.cc makes for easy newbie intranets, and Firestarter is a nifty newbie GUI for IPTables.

- --

You can't be ahead of the curve if you're stuck in a loop.
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