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Old November 26 2012, 05:22 AM   #1
Maestro
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Ubuntu!

I have an old laptop that I've replaced as my primary home computer due to some virus and heatsink issues.

Out of sheer boredom, interest, and masochism, I dragged it out of the closet today and switched the OS over to Ubuntu 12.10.

There was a time when I was somewhat knowledgeable about computers, but that time has long since passed. I had neither the time, the intellect, or the money to keep up. But, some of my more tech-savy students extol the virtues of the various linuxes.

What have I gotten myself into?
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Old November 26 2012, 05:39 AM   #2
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Re: Ubuntu!

Ubuntu is a very solid OS, that's more appropriate for a moderate level computer user, as it does require some command line functions, even with a robust GUI. Still, a few growing pains from now, you'll wonder why you ever went without it. I love the OS, myself, and use it alongside Windows 7.

Ubuntu is stable, reliable, and pretty damn fast, too. It uses fewer resources than most modern fully realized OSes, and there are a lot of programs available for it, for just about any need you might have.
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Old November 26 2012, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: Ubuntu!

Yeah, the command line stuff is way outside my capabilities right now, but that doesn't mean I can't learn... I hope... ;-)

Right now, my only complaint is that I can't seem to get the wireless card to work with it, so I'm digging about for information. It looks like a pretty common issue to get the drivers set-up.
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Old November 26 2012, 04:24 PM   #4
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Re: Ubuntu!

Linux will never be suitable for "normal people" until you don't need a command line to do simple, necessary tasks.

I haven't used Ubuntu in a while, though. J, what tasks require the command line, that a "normal user" would need?
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Old November 26 2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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Re: Ubuntu!

I've tried Ubuntu a little, but I use Fedora most of the time. I find that I can do just about anything with the GUI and only need to use the command line for a few specific things that most users wouldn't need to do once it's all set up and going. Even then, I think a lot of users could probably install it and use it without ever needing to use the command line at all. Also, I find that a few quality minutes with Google will give the commands I need for whatever I need to do with the command line. Saying that, however, I do use the command line for a lot of things that I could do with the GUI because it's just easier and more efficient.

From what I understand, Ubuntu is even more user-friendly and aimed at general users than Fedora is, so I expect that one could probably do even more without ever opening a terminal in Ubuntu than Fedora.
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Old November 26 2012, 05:11 PM   #6
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Re: Ubuntu!

Ubuntu is user friendly. You don't really need to use the command line except for some specific things maybe but in this case, it's a very well documented distro and the doc will tell you what to do precisely.

I use OpenSuse for the moment, it's also a user friendly distro, I never use the command line.
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Old November 26 2012, 06:01 PM   #7
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Re: Ubuntu!

U/Xu/Ku/Lubuntu is frightingly boring.. I've got a whole bunch of machines ranging from an old P-4 2 Gz to an Intel Core Quad and its stable, never asks anything, figures out stuff on its own when installing and then runs and runs and runs and runs... one of my older machines went from 7.04 to 7.10, 8.04, 9.04, 10.04, all the way up to 12.04 and even when doing a version update it still never crashed or complained about anything, never crashed and its still running..
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Old November 26 2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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Re: Ubuntu!

"Frighteningly boring" is probably the highest compliment I could imagine giving to an operating system.
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Old November 26 2012, 06:40 PM   #9
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Re: Ubuntu!

LOL, yeah, I'm a techhead and like to tinker with stuff, with (X)ubuntu I never have to... *sniff*
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Old November 26 2012, 06:41 PM   #10
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Re: Ubuntu!

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Linux will never be suitable for "normal people" until you don't need a command line to do simple, necessary tasks.

I haven't used Ubuntu in a while, though. J, what tasks require the command line, that a "normal user" would need?
Well, for myself, removing the guest account required me to use the terminal. I remember thinking at the time, a simple check box in the control panel to remove the guest account would have been nice.

Then there was one point where I had issues with one of the libraries, and had to reinstall it via the terminal. When I installed a couple of new themes, I had to go through the terminal to get them activated properly.

When I went from 12.04 to 12.10, I had some display driver trouble, and had to use the terminal to fix the problem, which took about half an hour.

On all of these I had to use Ubuntu support, on their forum, so even though I do have to use the terminal from time to time, their support is very good.
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Old November 26 2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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Re: Ubuntu!

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LOL, yeah, I'm a techhead and like to tinker with stuff, with (X)ubuntu I never have to... *sniff*
My perspective is that, if I have to spend time screwing with the OS to make it do what I want, I'm not spending that time doing anything productive, as in using actual productivity software or developing software myself.

Using a car analogy: I just want to be able to drive my car so I can get to and from work. Having to manually fiddle stuff to fix my car interferes with the whole reason I have it! An OS, like a car, is a means to an end. (Car enthusiasts notwithstanding.)

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Linux will never be suitable for "normal people" until you don't need a command line to do simple, necessary tasks.

I haven't used Ubuntu in a while, though. J, what tasks require the command line, that a "normal user" would need?
Well, for myself, removing the guest account required me to use the terminal. I remember thinking at the time, a simple check box in the control panel to remove the guest account would have been nice.

Then there was one point where I had issues with one of the libraries, and had to reinstall it via the terminal. When I installed a couple of new themes, I had to go through the terminal to get them activated properly.

When I went from 12.04 to 12.10, I had some display driver trouble, and had to use the terminal to fix the problem, which took about half an hour.

On all of these I had to use Ubuntu support, on their forum, so even though I do have to use the terminal from time to time, their support is very good.
Yuck. I remember using some flavor of Linux years ago--possibly Mandrake/Mandriva?--where the audio didn't work unless I manually went in and changed modprobe parameters to use a different audio driver. And this was using a rather common sound card at the time (SBLive!)

I agree that disabling the guest account should be a checkbox. Driver management should also be point-and-click, and should degrade gracefully if there is a problem. I will grant you that Linux normally doesn't totally shit itself when you have a bum driver (unlike Windows), however I have seen it fail to start X and then drop you to a terminal, expecting you to fix the problem. A regular user just isn't going to stand for this.

I know a few people who are not what I'd call "power users," and they've used Linux (usually Ubuntu), and they normally just complain about it. Upgrades in particular seem to cause a lot of problems, especially if you are far out of date.

On the other hand, I recently tried to complete what I thought was a very straightforward operation. I bought a bigger hard drive for my laptop, and I just wanted to clone my existing drive (with Windows 7) to it. I used Windows' shadow volume functionality to do it. Well, the drive wouldn't boot. I used some tools to set up the MBR to fix that. I just got weird messages about how the OS was invalid. Not even Clonezilla could save me. I ended up having to reinstall the OS from scratch onto the new drive, using the recovery media, and reinstall everything else after that--precisely the situation I intended to avoid by cloning! Neither Windows nor Linux were any help in accomplishing what I wanted.
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Old November 26 2012, 07:08 PM   #12
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Re: Ubuntu!

Of course DOS rules!
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Old November 26 2012, 07:09 PM   #13
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Re: Ubuntu!

I was a boss at tweaking my autoexec.bat and config.sys back in the day. Of course, I'm glad that I no longer need to.
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Old November 27 2012, 03:54 AM   #14
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Re: Ubuntu!

I'm loving it, but I broke it. Something didn't upload correctly after it asked to do an update following install. I completely lost my ability to connect to the Internet. It wasn't working without a cable to begin with, but then it wasn't even talking with the cable. THEN, in my ignorance, I removed the software that allows it to talk to the Internet, thinking that it was new stuff that was causing the problem.

So, I'm back to running it off a USB stick.

Anyone know how to get my network connections gnome back in the actual OS?
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Old November 27 2012, 04:46 AM   #15
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Re: Ubuntu!

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Yuck. I remember using some flavor of Linux years ago--possibly Mandrake/Mandriva?--where the audio didn't work unless I manually went in and changed modprobe parameters to use a different audio driver. And this was using a rather common sound card at the time (SBLive!)

I agree that disabling the guest account should be a checkbox. Driver management should also be point-and-click, and should degrade gracefully if there is a problem. I will grant you that Linux normally doesn't totally shit itself when you have a bum driver (unlike Windows), however I have seen it fail to start X and then drop you to a terminal, expecting you to fix the problem. A regular user just isn't going to stand for this.
True. I'm a Windows power user, so I just like the different flavor of Linux, as it brings me back to the old DOS/OS2 days. Regular users may get very annoyed at Ubuntu.

I know a few people who are not what I'd call "power users," and they've used Linux (usually Ubuntu), and they normally just complain about it. Upgrades in particular seem to cause a lot of problems, especially if you are far out of date.
Ubuntu uses an easy package manager now, that notifies you automatically of any new updates, and gives you a one click update option, which is very nice. When I updated to 12.10, I was moving up from 11.10, and yeah, it took a while to get the updates. I had a few technical issues, but resolved them. Still, a new user would have been completely lost.

On the other hand, I recently tried to complete what I thought was a very straightforward operation. I bought a bigger hard drive for my laptop, and I just wanted to clone my existing drive (with Windows 7) to it. I used Windows' shadow volume functionality to do it. Well, the drive wouldn't boot. I used some tools to set up the MBR to fix that. I just got weird messages about how the OS was invalid. Not even Clonezilla could save me. I ended up having to reinstall the OS from scratch onto the new drive, using the recovery media, and reinstall everything else after that--precisely the situation I intended to avoid by cloning! Neither Windows nor Linux were any help in accomplishing what I wanted.
Yeah, Windows still has a long way to go. Something MacOS has done that works well, is their backup. I mean, you copy everything from one HDD to another, and you update it periodically. When you need to start fresh, you just drag it all back over, and you're done. I wish Windows and Linux could do the same, but their database designs don't really allow for it, which is a shame.
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