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Thread: A couple of things we Linux users *really* need

  1. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Thanks for the back up!

    But I forgot one more thing...

    This whole Win-blows, Wimp-Blows, Win-Duhs, stuff has to stop! I was funny the first three hundred million times, but now it is just stupid. We all know it sucks, and Windows is the mortal ememy. But too much of a good thing is still too much! For goodness sakes leave it alone!!!

    It is time to go after new bait. SCO has a good name to use... go on!

    I will start SCO SCucks! They need to be SCOoled with a bat to the SCull!

  2. #22
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Paris, France

    Forums, life the universe and everything linux!

    Your right about some forums but also a lot of noobies make mistakes they don't realise.

    WinBlows, isn't just a joke its actually trademarked!!! Using it as a trademark to refer to the microshaft OS is just propograting the falsehood that micro$ somehow invented windows.

    Some users start topics like "this sucks Im going back to windows unless you help me...." and they are just as bad as the experienced guru's who just say RTFM!!!

    But mostly noobies stumble into territory which then don't realise is so hot...
    One of the most common is why doesn't <insert distro here> write a driver for my <insert weird hardware here> when I can have it in windows.

    The answer is usually <manufactuerer> writes a Windows driver, MS hardly write any, its up to the manufactuer to do it.
    Opensource is different, sometimes a manufactuerer will write a driver and this is laudable and to be supported.
    But mainly its just a group of people who need the driver. sometimes a single person...

    Ive seen the limitations of the SIS graphics driver criticised ...
    This is written and maintained by one guy with NO HELP from SIS. He has reverse engineered the whole driver.

    The difference is after he did it he shares it....thats what opensource is.
    Not only will it be used in Linux but also in BSD and other opensource OS's.

    Windows driver wrappers are debateable, now Im not perfect and I intend to try linuxant but overall its a bad thing becuase maufacturers will feel they don't need to write drivers for Linux.

    When you buy hardware you pay at least in part for the utilities and software, like nero or photoshop or whatever comes with your hardware.

    Even in the best case your paying over the odds for hardware you will only get partial functionality of becuase the accompanying software is usually needed to exploit the device fully.

    Noobies are particuarly suceptible to this becuase they have pre-existing hardware, old hands ONLY buy linux compatible hardware so don't have the same frustrations....

    On forums, if you go to one and they are unpleasant then don't stop there. Another mistake is posting noobie questions in an experts forum, noobies do this becuase they feel they will get better advice from an expert than from someone reading the noobie forum.

    Its unlikely to be the case. Some 'experts' are not people people and stick to the experts but the majority also look through the noobie forums consciencously. Good forums are open and the experts usually spend more time looking to help people than on expert tasks. There are some no-no's like someone posting knoppix questions at debian developer lists is likely to be told to $$$$-off wheras the same question on the help forum would likely get help or even redirection here.

    I personally 'support' Mandrake because I started out doing it and I help lots of people, but I don't personally use it anymore. I kinda outgrew it, the unofficial international support board also has many other old hands who don't use it anymore either but still help people and some keep multiple installations JUST to help people!!!!

    "I didn't know what to do when I tried Slack and it said "pppoeconf" was an invalid command. Turns out the equivalent on Slack is "adsl-setup". "

    Well adsl-setup is the proper command, its the one by rp-pppoe but pppoeconf is a 'wrapper' around the command.

    I realise this is confusing but it helps to realise that almost everything in linux is a wrapper for something else becuase code is reused.
    In fact rp-pppoe is just a wrapper for using ppp authentification over pppoe.

    K3B is a good example.... its a 'front end' to lots of other programs like cdrecord etc. all it is is an interface that passed the right parameters to the right program.
    Windows isn't like this.....
    nero is written from the ground up becuase there is no code to share, its a monlithic programme.

    The same can be said for GRIP, the audio ripper. It uses the common components and really is just a front end to different extractors and/or front ends.

    Again its confusing, if you recompile say GRIP for K7 you might think it would run faster. But this isn't the case, the user interface is all you will recompile, if you want it faster then recompile lame or whatever mp3 ripper you wanna use it with!!!

    All in all The questions coming to linux from windows are not the same as coming from linux TO windows. This can be a cause of a little friction and misunderstanding when noobies suggest linux should be MORE like windows.

  3. #23
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Salt Lake City, UT, U.S.A.
    Ok, considering this is The Lounge, for "off-topic", etc... Here goes...

    I think a lot of the posts in this thread are valid, they make sense, and some, are down-right on the head of the nail, so to speak.

    Newbies = New Users - if they can do what they want to do, in Knoppix, they will stick around, learn, and become, maybe, the next "experts" that can possibly bring in more "newbies".

    Anyone, especially someone coming from the Windows World, wants to do what they could do in Windows, but, is looking at other OS's for "unknown" reasons. These reasons could be because of problems they are having in Windows, or, just a good friend, gave them a CD, and said: "Hey, you got to check this out."

    As anyone who even went into a job interview, or has met someone for the first time, will tell you: "First impressions mean everything." -=- Any OS has to live with that. I have "lived" with the problems of Windows, having to do things "Microsoft's" way, do this, do that, you need to load this, but not that, etc... for many years now, and finally saw a way out of the "pinguin hole" that "that" company had me in, for so long.

    Some close friend handed me the Knoppix CD, and upon booting it, was amazed. More surprising was "how did this get into the world, without me knowing about it?"

    I became an instant Linux User. Unfortunately, as I am sure, many here can attest that nothing in the Windows World always works in the Linux World. So, what options does a "newbie" have? Well, they can go down to the local Computer Store, and talk to a salesman, or a computer tech. -=- Chances are, they will just be standing in front of them, jaw dropped to the ground, spewing out things like: "what? you don't like Windows?", or "Hmmmm, Nippox? Strange name? What does it do? Where did you get it? IS it REALLY an Operating System? Or, does it run under Windows?" kind of stuff. In essence, the person going into the store is more informed on Knoppix than the store.

    More likely, the "newbie" will hit the Knoppix website, and soon find the Forums. Pleased that they may find others that "may" be having the same issues they are, or, maybe even the "newbie" can ring in one or two topics that they feel qualified on, but mostly, they see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, to possibly get answers. Considering about 50% of The Lounge posts are subjects like: Just Tried Knoppix, and I couldn't be happier! kind of stuff, and the other 50% are posts for help. Some questions are simple, some are complex, but in the eyes of a "newbie", they have no basis to judge that decission on. To them, all problems are complex, once you know the answer, then it may become simple.

    I used to work for Microsoft, as a Telephone Repair Technician, for the release of Windows95 -=- shows my age, huh? -=- In just 30 seconds with a customer on the phone, you had to decide these things:

    1) The Problem - which is hard to get out of someone sometimes - "I didn't do anything, and ALL OF A SUDDEN, it crashed." - the problem mostly stems from, they don't want anyone to blame them for doing something, but this causes problems in resolution, because you don't know what caused something, to resolve the effect.

    2) The resolve - this now gets into sub-issues though, sometimes the resolve was repointing a icon back to something, or, in most cases, it required a little "tweaking" of the Operating System - in 30 you had to decide how much a person is "knowledgable" to decide what you resolve may be.
    A) Newbie - Do not show them "regedit", nor allow them to remove the screws on the back of their own computer. Resolve: Take your computer to the Repair Shop.
    B) Somewhat - Just a little above a Newbie, same resolve as a Newbie, except that you don't have to explain how to get their.
    C) Novice - They know they have screws in the back of their computer, and have had them off many times. Resolve: No regedit, but they can play in their own computer.
    D) Advanced - (problem case) They think they know more than me, but, they called me for help, why? -=- First you need to knock them down a few rungs, so you can work with them, or the whole phone call will be wasted listening to how many degrees they have from all the Universities they have attended. Problem with that, it doesn't solve the problem the Customer is calling about.

    Add in to all of this, the fact that if the Customer calling was a male, they didn't think "I" could help them, because I was a female, and they wanted to talk to a male because they knew more than me... Sheesh, what a load of cr*p! I was trained just the same as the other gender, but, NOOOOOOOO, I am inferior or something....

    Ok, so here is the point from all of this... A newbie needs something, either fixed, resolved, or just a simple question, and may feel that they are the ONLY ONE who ever had this issue. I have seen some of the posts, and when a person askes them for information from their system, like the output from dmesg, they go defensive: "Why do you need to see that? Whats in the output? Is it going to give out all my passwords? Or is it going to tell someone that I have naked pictures of girls in folder xxxxxxxx?" - Anyone who has tried to help a newbie out, can truely see this attituide, but why is it their? Someone is not sure, a true newbie. It almost takes a little hand holding to get something out of them, to help them out.

    Once they know what they are doing, and why, they are more than likely to volunteer information, more than probably is necessary. "Well, dmesg tells everything that the system has found as 'hardware', or 'devices', like your mouse.", ohhh, ok, here you go... They will probably even examine the output themselves, and begin to learn more, and maybe even find out what is going wrong, just need help in why it says I have this, when I really have this, kind of stuff... (and if they have porn in folder xxxxxx, it won't be sending it to their local police to turn them in or something)

    What Knoppix needs is MORE newbies, what Knoppix's Forums need is more posts like: "HELP - How do I do [this]?", even if they are something as simple as "How do I log in?" - People are a strange breed, they want a "personal touch". They have been led into this sterile world, and need to feel a "person" at the other end. These Forums are a perfect example of that. Someone wants a "person" to help them out, not read through billions of posts, or pages of "FAQ's", but to have a person help them out. I realize that that could cause the servers here on Knoppix to go belly-up, and that one post would be the same as a previous post, but, first impressions count. I enjoy helping people out, I'm not a psycologist [sp], I can't even spell it, but, when I got help with one of my problems in Knoppix, I waited dilligently for an answer to it, and while I waited, I browsed the forums looking at what other people were having problems with, and started to learn more commands, more things, etc...

    Linux has a very large "learning curve", more so than Windows, and Windows doesn't have as many 'hardware' problems than does Linux. Hardware is a newbies worst nightmare. People just want to "plug and play", and with Windows, they usually can. Sometimes this is possible in Linux, but more often than not, it isn't. I am sure, that if they ever invented a hardware device that someone doesn't have to open their computer and put it into it, they would make trillions of dollars on the device - because a newbie doesn't even want to do that, mostly. Worse is when it doesn't work.

    Maybe what Linux Users "really" need is: to put themselves in the shoes of a newbie. Step back from all that you know of Linux, and take the perspective of what a "newbie" sees. Terror, guilt, ashamed, fear, stupid, lame, idiot, but they have one thing, they are asking for help. All the emotions stem from "they know they don't know, and they feel bad for it, but they want to know, and are asking." - As a old school teacher once said: Their are no stupid questions, only stupid people who don't ask.

    I commend newbies for asking the most lamest of questions, I am really quite sure, they don't know the answer. BUT, after you reply to them, they do. Does that really deserve a sarcastic attituide? Or a snippy remark? Everyone was a newbie once, no one was just "born" with what they know. Give a newbie a chance, and they won't be a newbie anymore.

    Just my two cents worth,

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