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Thread: Knoppix for Windows Users

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by user unknown
    Some users don't even find the right section and have another modem question in the lounge.
    Only because there was a thread recently active on the subject "no modem = no internet = lost user" in this very lounge and one would have thought that those who were paying attention would have realised that here was a refugee from Windows who might be about to be put off by lack of obvious support for (win)modems ?? do I have to give chapter and verse ? Or are you so without humour and short term memory ? If you are so troubled by "another modem question" perhaps a PM instead of a sideways comment might have been lady-like ?

    And sometimes you have to make the people read the manpages.
    Go on , make me ,,,

    RTFM belongs to our culture.
    And did you ever ask yourself why it has become such a joke, like FAQs ? because they are usually so garolous thet we never get to the point. let alone the end, they never (well, not often!) answer the question ** one had and if they did there wouldnt be a need for forums(or fora) would there ?

    ** and are out of date more often than not viz. boot.thingy that might have been valid pre 3.4 but aint worth a spit now
    [oh I suppose I had better explain that as well: I refer the honerable person to a post I made earlier in GeneralSupport about the lack of a boot.img in the v3.6 iso, which I am sure now is a particular strategy on the part of the developers to confuse the new user, in spite of the much acclaimed desire to demonstrate and advocate Linux to the unawares via Knoppix ] Do I make myself clear on rtfm matters ? So there !pipe&smokeit


    And windows-bashing needs to occur from time to time
    Oh yes. (seriously, I do agree ! letus not forget our DOSer roots please)

    PS I am underwhelmed by the GNUchess on the Knoppix distro btw if anyone is interested !

    And, if anyone is still awake, suggestions on how to translitterate ones dialups from windows to knoppix id be interested, oh ! so sorry, I shud go do that in the windows forum I suppose ?

    (edit a bit later) pardon me, I suppose I should have said "good bye" , to be polite.
    Malcolm

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by user unknown
    And sometimes you have to make the people read the manpages. It's not a silver bullet for a beginners forum, but dogmatically forbidding to claim 'rtfm' isn't correct too.
    RTFM belongs to our culture.

    And windows-bashing needs to occur from time to time too.
    It's boring after all the years, but sometimes, I need it.
    Oh, please! Save us the sanctimony. Rudeness is never appropriate or educational, and it's disingenuous to try to justify personal arrogance as "help". Sure, I've flamed people in the past (generally people who come in and start criticizing and acting boorish without even asking a sincere question), but, to my knowledge, I haven't ever done it to someone who sincerely wanted to learn, and I don't think I ever tried to justify it as being "for their own good". It's quite possible to educate people about helpful resources without being an ass.

    And Flash00's criticisms about the available resources is quite valid. I try to sort through and do some rewriting when I get a chance, but some of it is just awful. Outdated information, fragmented all over the place, overly complicated "fixes" - a good portion of documentation purporting to address a particular issue is generally not at all helpful, or just flat wrong. I'd do more, except: (1) my knowledge is limited here, and I only try to address the issues where I feel some level of competency and experience (which means that I normally limit my contributions to newbie and Windows transition issues), and (2) some people get upset if you delete or rewrite what they wrote, even if it's confusing or outdated, and given how rare it is that anyone will add good documentation, you sure can't afford to offend them. Ideally, people would edit and update their own contributions as necessary. In sum, I guess it's difficult for me to accept the "culture" of RTFM, when there really isn't an available "FM" to be had! Sometimes it's an "FUM".

    Funny thing, Ptarmigan and I actually participated in another thread a few days ago, talking about how Windows has a way of creating a sense of helplessness, and that it was actually refreshing to get back into an environment where you have the freedom to change the way a program runs if you want to. Not only is that difficult in Windows, but the most influential people spend millions of dollars to convince (they would say "educate") the users that this is morally wrong - even criminal! It's hacking after all!! After a few years, Windows users don't even realize that they've been brainwashed to be passive and helpless. In many ways, it's not only tolerated, but required that you do nothing without a wizard instructing you. I still remember times when I dared to pick a different install location for a Windows program, and all heck broke loose, then I couldn't even uninstall the mess, much less fix it. In the Windows world, the very idea of editing a program is likely a felony under the DMCA.

    So, I can easily understand why people who have spent a long time in Linux cannot understand the helplessness of Windows immigrants. To the Linux oldtimers, it must be really hard to tolerate. All I can say is that it's not always laziness, stupidity or lack of initiative. Sometimes it's just a matter of not yet catching on to the freedom that Linux affords. And why should we get upset if a new user asks about the root password? To the Windows user, the whole concept is completely foreign. They deserve congratulation for even making it far enough to ask. Why should we take them to task for not understanding the "mount" command, when even Linux users agree that it's a stupid, useless artifact of an ancient era - outdated and unnecessary long before Windows was even conceived? The people who seek help come from Windows expecting to find an OS that's intuitive to new users - not one that's baffling even to people who are well-experienced in another OS. Is it their fault that Linux cannot meet that challenge?

    Let's put the shoe on the other foot - how many experienced Linux users have ever had to use Windows, and found it so frustrating and baffling that they couldn't even make the simplest thing work - something like, say, opening or saving a file? How many of you actually had to search around and find a forum of Windows users, and cowtow and kiss butt to ask them such embarrassingly simple questions, only to be taken to task for not RTFMing all of the Windows documentation? And, for that matter, how many of you have actually taken the time to read all of the help and support pages in Windows, or read through the Microsoft Knowledge Base? And what if you did, and all the stuff from Windows 3.1 and 95 and Me was all jumbled up together with XP and 2000 by amateur writers, such that a good portion of the time, whatever you looked up won't work even if you went to all that trouble? Point is, the experienced Linux user, when suddenly put into a Windows environment, doesn't experience the same level of frustration and humiliation as the experienced Windows user who comes here.

    On this forum, people from other countries post here, and their English is terrible, but does anyone take them to task and tell them to RTFD(ictionary)? And then justify it as part of a "culture"? Or "good for them"? Of course not. It's rude and uncalled for. Someone from Greece or Hungary who posts here in bad English doesn't owe me or anyone else here an apology, because they spoke well enough for me to understand, which is a damn sight better than I could ever imagine doing if I tried to speak Greek or Hungarian.

    jd

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.drake
    Oh, please! Save us the sanctimony.
    (snip) all very well said jd, I totally agree.
    Until last night I thought that this was one of the more pleasant places to be on the internet, I see that I was mistaken
    "user unknown" does not even do us the courtesy of even pretending to have a real name to sign posts with and is in the process of being 'holier-than-thou' and unpleasant to chris-harry elsewhere.
    Does (s)he make a habbit of this ?
    If it isnt bad enough already muttering at recalcitrant software, we now have to mutter at peeps on the forum.
    I can do without this, I think perhaps I dont need to be in this place. After all, I was only trying Knoppix/Linux out for a bit of fun, it aint life&death.

    grrrrr
    Malcolm
    annoyed, nay furious, now.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptarmigan
    Until last night I thought that this was one of the more pleasant places to be on the internet, I see that I was mistaken
    "user unknown" does not even do us the courtesy of even pretending to have a real name to sign posts with and is in the process of being 'holier-than-thou' and unpleasant to chris-harry elsewhere.
    Does (s)he make a habbit of this ?
    If it isnt bad enough already muttering at recalcitrant software, we now have to mutter at peeps on the forum.
    I can do without this, I think perhaps I dont need to be in this place. After all, I was only trying Knoppix/Linux out for a bit of fun, it aint life&death.

    grrrrr
    Malcolm
    annoyed, nay furious, now.
    In every forum you will find someone who rubs you the wrong way. We all have different personalities, and clashes are bound to occur. If you find the forum helpful it hardly makes sense to leave due to issues with one member. Besides...you know you want to move to linux.

  5. #25
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    Which sanctimony?

    I told about rtfm and windows-bashing in general.
    I can not search for chris-harry in my 200 posts, but if he is as sensitive as you, he can talk for himself, I guess.

    If I would search for my new Foo7x9bar - Hardware, and get 50 results, all with subject 'Hey, I'm new' or 'linux question' or 'I am smart' (is this chris-harry?) - would I look into the 50 posts? No, I would start a new thread 'feeling helpless'.

    If you don't tell the greenhorns, how to behave in a forum - where shall they learn it?
    How even recognize, that their behaviour is horrible?

    Cheers, Stefan

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by user unknown
    If you don't tell the greenhorns, how to behave in a forum - where shall they learn it?
    How even recognize, that their behaviour is horrible?
    Well, I always thought it best to teach by example. After all, they're coming here to learn what we know - wouldn't they naturally try to emulate, given enough time? Don't most people naturally aspire for respect among colleagues? That's always the way it's been in my professional career. And should it become necessary to give someone a good dressing-down, then it should normally come from a recognized authority figure, perhaps a site admin or a mod, for outrageous behavior that the poster knew darn good and well was inappropriate. You don't go slapping newbs with sarcasm just because they don't know any better and they're easy targets for ambush. This is a forum, not a blanket party - if you insist upon micromanaging the behavior of others, then make sure your own behavior is beyond question first.

    As far as sanctimony is concerned, what I'm referring to is the idea that slapping newbs around is justifiable as "good for them". I've heard all this before. When I went to college, all the fraternity boys started spouting the same old justifications every time they got caught hazing freshman pledges - that it was educational, or part of a culture or tradition. Bull! They did it because they thought it was fun to exercise domination over someone who was disadvantaged by a lack of information and experience. If you're going to do it anyway, then at least be honest about why.

  7. #27
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    I don't slap newbs around, and I when I complain about how to ask, I do it for myself - not because it's good for them.
    I'm not using a slow modem anymore, but it's not to long ago, when I did, and it's still my time I spend, and I don't like to waste it, because of misbehaviour.
    A clear topic can often show me, that I don't have enough experience, to answer - let it be audio-questions, RAID-controllers, wlan or hundret others.
    This time I can spend on topics where I'm perhaps knowledged enough.

    I still don't see where you got the impression, I'm sanctimony.
    And which behaviour of mine would you call a 'dressing-down'?

    Please don't mistake me for your college fraternity boys.

  8. #28
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    Well, OK, UU, I didn't mean to imply all of this to you personally. It's just that you were the most recent person to offer a justification for offering replies that criticize the manner of newbie questions, and I assumed that it was a global justification rather than a personal one. All of this criticism is not validly yours, and I should have made it clearer that I was generalizing w/r/t a small minority subculture. Honestly, I can't remember all of the users and all of the specifics prompting my reply.

    To the extent that you were speaking on behalf of others who have jumped on newbs, the comments stand, but to the extent that you were speaking on behalf of yourself alone, I overstated my reply and owe you an apology. I hope that clears the matter up - I really don't have an issue with you personally.

    Having said all that, I really do think that it is rare for newbies to be treated badly here. Rather than focus on the negative, perhaps we need to refocus on the legitimate criticisms and make them better. Here are my suggestions:
    • 1. Let's all try to clean up the documentation where we can. It's not fair to turf newbies to documentation when the documentation isn't good. Those of you who are good at scripting fixes, focus on that, and one of us who isn't good at scripting can help with the documentation.

      2. Once we get #1 in order, when those annoying repetitive questions come up, instead of reacting or restating, we can simply say "please look here" and offer the link. And there's certainly no harm in telling people about the search box and Docs tab while we're at it.

      3. Let's not focus as much on the way others ask questions as we do on the way we choose to answer them.

      4. Let's recognize that there are legitimate criticisms of both Linux and Windows, accept it and move on. It's much better to resolve those criticisms than to argue about who has more.

      5. Let's try to understand the culture of the new person and how it colors the way in which it they ask their questions, rather than to try to force them to conform to a different culture. Windows users, particularly the ones bold enough to check this community out, are intelligent, knowledgable, and have already demonstrated their willingness to work for knowledge simply by coming here in the first place. But they're going to need more assistance, more reassurance, and more guidance than an experienced *nix user, simply because the underlying cultures and philosophies are so different. If you don't want to give that to them, then don't. Some of us are willing to do that, and we will do what we can.

      6. Let's all try to recognize that new people at this site want to learn, but they want to solve their immediate problems first. When they are experiencing an immediate problem, that is not the time to force them into a different curriculum. A Windows person will not become competent in Linux quickly - it will happen over time, and it is unrealistic to expect that they can read any amount of documentation, no matter how good, and instantly become competent in Linux. If we help them with their problems as they arise, the rest will come with experience, and nothing any of us tells them in any post will substitute for gaining that experience over time.

      7. Any of us can be humbled. There have been new people posting what I thought were ridiculous questions, yet it turned out that they offered wonderful ideas and insights. Let's keep open minds, even with people we find challenging.

      8. In the Windows world, you pay for software, and people get mad at buggy software that they paid for. Sometimes the attitude spills over even when the software is free and supported by volunteer efforts. Let's try to recognize and understand that, and use the opportunity to remind in a positive manner.

    My $0.02,

    jd

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.drake
    2. Once we get #1 in order, when those annoying repetitive questions come up, instead of reacting or restating, we can simply say "please look here" and offer the link. And there's certainly no harm in telling people about the search box and Docs tab while we're at it.
    I prefer to tell people how to find the link

    That is, if I'm not too hurried I try to answer like "A search at google for 'keyword1 keyword2' gives <URL> among the first results" or "From www.tldp.org you find Howto XYZ that contains the <Link> to your problem".
    Tho I have to admit it's not easy to always answer in that fashion *g*

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by champagnemojo
    In every forum you will find someone who rubs you the wrong way.
    (little snip)
    find the forum helpful it hardly makes sense to leave due to issues with one member.
    Yes, very true, thank you. You speak wisely.
    I have been away playing with Knoppix, calming down, composing a "bozo-file" and will be back soon
    Quote Originally Posted by champagnemojo
    Besides...you know you want to move to linux.
    Yea, verily 'tis so !
    and I am persevering, what I really-really want is a split screen Windoze on the left half and Knoppix on the right but I may, instead, have to consult the domestic authority with a view to purchasing another machine !

    Thanks to all who have responded elsewhere to my various puzzles, all read and filed for future investigations.

    btw, I have been delving, and found cat /proc/pci
    which has produced (amongst loads of lines of strange text) a response :
    Bus 0, device 9, function 0:
    Communication controller: Ambient Technologies Inc HaM controllerless modem

    So perhaps Knoppix does know something about my modem ? Atleast to the extent of interrogating it ?
    Anyway, ignore that, i'll repost it somewhere soon when I can figure out which forum and which subject header would least risk giving User-Unknown a heart attack !

    Malcolm.

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