[xubuntu-users] Is there a list for *ABSOLUTE* beginners with Xubuntu?

David Walland davidwalland at googlemail.com
Tue Sep 10 20:51:10 UTC 2013

Dear Peter and the list,

My big problem is that I don't have the vocabulary to ask my questions or
to express myself clearly to you all.  Also you (the list) have a tendency
not to tell me how to sort out what is going on but rather to say "use
another machine".

What I thought I had asked about revolves around the fact that I have
downloaded Office Libre onto the computer and am unable to get the machine
to load the program.  If I had XP on the machine and half a day, I could do
this easily, if tediously.  I searched the internet and tried the various
suggestions I could find and none of them worked.  I *think* I have all the
programmes downloaded onto the computer, but I'm variously get told that
the system can't find them or I get error messages flashed up and gone so
fast that *I* can't read them.  I haven't yet worked out how to copy the
error messages so I can pass them to people who'd understand them and could
tell me how to approach the problem.  I want to learn - I can already
probably do all the things I *need* to do on this old laptop.  I want (read
for this elephant's child "need") to understand, not simply use the thing
by rote.  That means I have to do it, not have it done for me.

For me this is a game with a serious side.  I would hate to lose my marbles
and one way with high probability of success in preventing it is to keep
using them as much as possible.  Anyway I've been learning all my life and
like doing so.

Have I given enough information to enable you to tell me how to progress to
finding why this won't load, or do you need more and if so what information
do you need and how do I access it?

I'm really grateful for all of your concern and wanting to help.  The
problem, as you have so rightly pointed out, is to establish two way
communication, preferably meaning the same thing to both ends.  I'm mostly
self-taught with computing too, which doesn't help (You never know there's
a hole in your knowledge until you fall down it!)

I'm working very hard to keep both my frustration with myself and my sense
of humour under control and am praying that I'm coming across as pleasant
and positive, not wingeing and miserable, nor apparently trying to score
points.  I'm sure we must be able to sort things so we can progress this.
 It's terribly embarrassing to feel so helpless in what I've always
considered myself rather good at.  There's egg dripping off my face...

Best regards,


On 10 September 2013 20:54, Peter Flynn <peter at silmaril.ie> wrote:

> On 09/10/2013 09:17 AM, David Walland wrote:
> > Only to the extent of your reply giving me details of the UK UGs.
> > No-one else seems to quite understand how difficult it is to work out
> > how to get *in* when you're *out*.  The latest oddments added to my
> > question appear to be written in "Outer Swahili" rather than even
> > "Outer Mongolian" and appear to have no relationship to beginners of
> > whatever level.
> David, it would be massively useful to those of us who write technical
> documentation if you could point these out precisely, so that we can
> re-word them.
> I *do* remember how hard it was to "get in", but it was 30 years ago,
> and the details have become blurred by time.
> > This list has apparently mostly forgotten they had to learn the
> > information that I need, to *start* on the learning curve.
> Absolutely that. But what I haven't been able to get from what you have
> said so far, is exactly *which* bits are causing the problem. I do make
> some assumptions: when I teach classes, I *do* require that attendees
> know how to use a keyboard and how to move and click a mouse, and that
> they know what an icon and a menu are, and that they understand the idea
> of a hierarchical file system (family-tree of directories containing
> files).
> You already know that much, and obviously a lot more, so it must be
> something else we're saying that doesn't make sense...but we don't know
> what it is.
> > [...] the much simpler language of X/Ubuntu is going to be possible
> > if I can learn the fundamental "grammar" and basic structure.
> Yes. But to do so I am guessing you need to learn some vocabulary first,
> otherwise there won't be any way to communicate the basics. Our problem
> is we don't know what bits are causing you difficulties.
> ///Peter
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