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

George DiceGeorge dicegeorge at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 10 21:00:24 UTC 2013

in windows you download an exe file and then click it to install,
in xubuntu i go to software center
choose libreoffice
and it downloads and installs in one process.

From: David Walland 
Sent: Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 21:51
To: Xubuntu Support and User Discussions 
Subject: Re: [xubuntu-users] Is there a list for *ABSOLUTE* beginners withXubuntu?

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

  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.


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