[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu/Linux is still not an OS for the masses - discuss

Colin Law clanlaw at googlemail.com
Wed Oct 13 17:55:54 BST 2010

On 13 October 2010 10:28, Melv Bailey <melvbailey at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Hi
> My first post and its only as a result of frustration with Ubuntu.
> I would like to post here a post I posted in the Ubuntu forums which got
> no repsonse other than "load the NVidia driver" (not the point of the
> original post, and how since I had a totally black screen with a mouse
> pointer).
> Quotes
> -------
> Sorry if this seems a bit of a rant but there is now another new version
> Of Ubuntu that STILL does not address the fundamentals of running on a
> range of hardware that is fine for Windows.
> This has caused me a problem since 8.04 (7.10 is the last version I have
> run sort of successfully without having to jump through VGA driver hoops
> but I did have to jump through wireless drivers hoops and didnt solve them).
> I know VGA drivers seem to be a massive problem for Linux, but there
> does not seem to be a way to solve it. How do you install other drivers
> when the default drivers dont work - why is there no VGA mode option at
> boot time like (dare I say it) Windows. Why does it load with VGA
> drivers it knows wont work (and if it does not know, why does it not
> know, Windows does). I have tried the live CD on a laptop (old ATI
> mobile graphics) and a PC with NVidia 6800 both give me black screens
> with a mouse pointer. Earlier versions of Ubuntu give me various results
> from tiny images multiple times to psycodelic stripes. The laptop runs
> WinXP fine, and Win7 in VGA mode. The PC runs WinXP and Win7 perfectly
> with Aero (incidentally Win7 is faster).
> I am a Windows programmer/customer support technician with 22 years of
> PC experience (started as a hardware technician) all of it enduser
> facing so know their capabilities (or lack of). I keep trying to dabble
> in Linux but dont get very far in the little time I have (family) so I
> dont have hours of spare time to solve problems that should not exist).
> I know I can google and can find various commandline ways to force other
> drivers on (but only after I have installed it - and the live CD is
> meant to be a trial), what hope is there for the novice you are trying
> to encourage. It seems from the many blogs and forums my experiences are
> far from rare.
> Maybe I am missing some startup option but Ubuntu has done its best to
> hide them. The funny little icon at the bottom meaning to press a key to
> get some startup options, and noapci, nomodeset, etc are of course terms
> that even the most novice of users would understand arent they!
> Maybe if you have the latest dogs bo**ocks hardware Ubuntu will work (I
> and most of the people I know dont, especially not our business users)
> but Linux is "advertised" as being better than Windows because it is
> able to run on older and less able hardware, however I cant even get it
> to run on Harware that is more than able to run Windows 7. I have never
> yet failed to get a picture when installing Windows - any version, any
> PC of minimum spec for the version. It may only be 640*480 4 colour but
> at least I can see to sort it out, with Ubuntu you're truely "in the dark".
> My years of enduser experience tells me that the CD will of hit the
> bottom of the bin before Windows has got back to the desktop, for people
> who fail to see a working (even if limited) desktop when trying the live CD.
> Tell me I am doing it all wrong and simple by doing .... it will work on
> anything.
> ----
> Remember Ubuntu is aimed at the masses who have little computer
> experience. I know lots of people who could install any version of
> Windows and end up with a working desktop (maybe not optimum but
> working). Very few of those people could solve this one, and would not
> even install Ubuntu if the Live CD didnt "work".
> ------
> End of Quotes
> I have now tried the live CD on a Phenom X2 PC with integrated AMD 785G
> graphics and I did get to the desktop, so I installed.  However after
> the successful install when I restarted the monitor just showed "out of
> range" and that was that.  This is a current chipset, not an old machine.
> I then tried the live CD on a NEC Powermate PC with SIS integrated
> graphics and just get "out of range" on the monitor.
> This gives a 4 out of 4 failure rate.  Why does Ubuntu try the be clever
> and set some weird video mode - what wrong with 1024*768 16bit colour
> that all these machines can run.  Or if it insists on doing this why is
> there no boot option to force VGA mode like Windows for times when
> things go wrong.
> In view of the amount of posts regarding problems installing and getting
> working, and with more than 90% of solutions requiring the commandline
> and editing files (with vi they have no chance!) Ubuntu and Linux will
> never reach the masses.  Also remember only very few will seek an
> answer, most will bin and forget.
> I am not trolling here, I keep telling my bosses that any development
> changes with our software (small commercial EPOS systems) must keep the
> door open to produce a Linux version in the future, but I am beginning
> to think that Linux will never be ready for the masses.
> I would like other peoples opinions on this.
> Rant over, it did turn out as one didnt it.
> Mel

I am just returning here to the OP's original post, that he complains
he did not get any sensible response to.  I would like to say first
that I am trying to be helpful and not having a dig at anybody.
I would like to suggest to the OP that he tries again with a new
thread describing exactly what problem he has now on the machine he is
trying to get going with Ubuntu.  Also please describe the hardware
and particularly the graphics card.  I don't know whether he would be
better off here or on the ubuntu-users list.  Then we can start again
to see if we can help him.

@John Matthews, I am afraid I have lost track of the thread and am not
sure whether you actually have a specific technical problem with
Ubuntu at the moment.  If you have then perhaps you could try the same
thing and we can see if we can help you too.



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