Not a bash, just the facts

Kent Borg kentborg at
Wed Mar 22 16:08:31 UTC 2006

On Wed, Mar 22, 2006 at 08:20:45AM -0600, Michael V. De Palatis wrote:
> Perhaps there could be some way to have these explained very
> easily upon install. I don't know the best way, but perhaps as an
> example, when logging in for the first time, an HTML file is opened
> that clearly explains all the issues such as these (it could even be
> included in the Ubuntu default startpage in Firefox, for example --
> quite honestly, this would be exponentially more useful than the
> current "About Ubuntu" start page anyway, since users have probably
> already read at least some of this if they bothered to install
> Ubuntu).

Hear, hear!  The current start page is of very little use to a new
user, particularly when it wastes the valuable top section ("above the
fold") with such boring stuff.

A new user will probably be interested in:

 - How can I do familiar things I expect from a computer?

 - What shiny cool things can I do that I maybe didn't expect?

 - How do I _______?  (FAQ of new user problems)

 - Where do I get more help for free?  Where can I get paid support?

 - Knowing that Ubuntu is an OS (like MS Windows but different),
   except it is free (not bootleg, nothing illegal, just
   free--really).  OK to give a copy to friends--please do so.

And this has me thinking.  Maybe Ubuntu needs an official "user
manual".  That is, a book size work of maybe 200 pages (i.e., a
bounded scope, substantial but not overwhelming, and not the open
ended disorientation the web offers), requires little experience
beyond mouse and keyboard familarity, is useful as both a reference
and start-to-finish read, can be purchased in physical form or read
online for free.  Or, does this already exist?


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