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

Peter Flynn peter at silmaril.ie
Tue Sep 10 22:13:53 UTC 2013

On 09/10/2013 09:51 PM, David Walland wrote:
> 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.

Actually, everything you have said so far was completely clear to me, I
think, barring some trivial oddities (eg you keep referring to Office
Libre when it's actually called Libre Office).

> 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".

There comes a time when the software simply will not do what you want on
a machine that is too small.

You have said that you want to try adding more memory, so go right
ahead. But there is a limit to the amount of time most of us have that
we can spend thinking of solutions to situations that are becoming
vanishingly rare, no matter how much fun it can be to experiment with
shoe-horning Linux into ever smaller machines.

> 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.

OK, here's a good example: being explicit --

1. You downloaded Libre Office. *What* did you download? Which version?
   Where did you download it from? (hopefully the Libre Office web site
   at http://www.libreoffice.org/download).

   Libre Office makes its software available as .tar.gz files (a form
   of compressed archive, like a .zip file). These need to be unwrapped
   ("detarred") before use, but you don't say if you did this or not.

2. When you say "load the program" do you mean "install the program",
   or do you mean you successfully installed it, but cannot run it.
   "Load" usually means the second, but it's not a term much used these
   days except in relation to microcode (and by old farts like me :-)

> If I had XP on the machine and half a day, I could do
> this easily, if tediously.

Here, we don't know what "this" refers to, because it isn't clear from
what you said whether or not you have managed to install Libre Office
yet or not.

You must remove OpenOffice first, because they conflict in 10.04
for how to do this).

Then follow the rest of the instructions in that page to install Libre

If it fails, let us know *exactly* what failed. As 10.04 is very old,
it's possible that some of the facilities you need are no longer maintained.

> I searched the internet and tried the various
> suggestions I could find and none of them worked.

Saying "didn't work" doesn't give us enough information to identify the

> I *think* I have all the
> programmes downloaded onto the computer, 

If you use the method described in the web page above (assuming it's
still valid) then it will do all the downloading for you.

> 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.  

You haven't told us what you actually *DID* to do whatever it was you
were trying to do (download? install? run?). Can you be explicit and
give us the command you typed, or the URL you visited, or the program
you clicked on to do this?

Right now we're floundering because we simply don't know what you have
done so far.

> 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. 

Try the method above first.

> I want to learn - I can already
> probably do all the things I *need* to do on this old laptop.

Yes, absolutely you can. But the first rule of asking for help is to
describe EXACTLY, in fine detail, what it was you did.

>  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.

I like your style.

> 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?

We just need to know in fine detail what you did. We can't guess it.


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