[xubuntu-users] Exceedingly Grateful

Joao Monteiro jmonteiro257 at gmail.com
Sun May 14 01:59:32 UTC 2017


Hi again folks,

Thank you for your replies and understanding, appreciated.

Not sure this will be the right place for this reply, but it is on topic
(of gratefulness and history on how I got here). So please feel free to
move it to wherever it may be appropriate and let me know so that I don’t
pester anybody unecessarily again lol…

Peter, I had my first contact with Linux actually over 15 years ago, but
only in the last 3 did I start to probe into it on a regular basis and
fidling with it more seriously. (BTW, I'm Ccing you here as well to se if I
do it right)

My very first runs were with Red Hat Linux and then Suse Linux after that.
Bought the Red Hat Bible book in my local bookstore and used the
installation disk it brought. The very first thing that was instantly
noticeable was that I would require an awful lot of in-depth computing
knowledge to get it all right – loads of command line tuning for it all to
work fairly well.

Same with Suse Linux; bought a box set of 5 CD’s and acompanying manual.
Same problems as with Red Hat.

I am from the days of ZX Spectrum connected to the tele and a tape recorder
to load the programs and then moved onto PC with DOS. No windows then, just
the command prompt, so had a good experience using it. But Linux is Unix
like and Unix has by far an awful lot more of commands, different syntax,
structure, etc.

So, about 3 years ago I started to seriously delve into Linux, as I got an
Asus eeepc 1000H off a colleague at work for peanuts. It paid off.

Tried Debian, Red Hat again, Suse, Fedora and finally Ubuntu. All versions
of linux after Ubuntu have all been Ubuntu derivatives in one way or
another. Last year, after much reading, tried Mint and then Mate. Have to
say that Mate was indeed the one that prevented me from finally giving up.
It worked very well on the eeepc but still with glitches here and there –
the main one was a constant pop up notification saying that something had
stopped working and when I looke into it it was the Marco (desktop
wallpaper background?). Nothing major, in all honesty, but somehow it still
didn’t feel quite right. Funny thing is, I can’t really say what or why it
didn’t feel quite right. Perhaps it was the ongoing arguing between some
involved in its development/upkeeping about technicalities, like placing
this or that in this menu or that, or using unity or not, I don’t now…
something didn’t feel quite right for me. But it definitely gave me hope
and encouraged me to not give up. For that I will always keep it at hand
with gratitude.

A few weeks ago, whilst trying to find some answers for some drivers issues
for it, I kept coming across references to xubuntu and to the xfce desktop.
So, digged into xubuntu info and found the 32 and 64 bit ISOs for a
bootable USB stick. Gave it a try and the rest is history.

It was like it had been written for the eeepc. Everything worked straight
away without a single glitch. Mind you, Mate did work exceedingly well as
well, but sometimes it would hang up if I had more than 3 applications open
or if I tried to copy files with one application while another one was
downloading something at the same time… stuff like that. And I didn’t know
of any means to kill the hanging application(s) or doing a soft reset, so
had to end up pushing the power button for a hard reset.

With xubuntu xfce dsktop I even have a “Ctrl+Alt+Backspace” option for an
emergency soft reset if need be, which I implemented by following the “10
things to do after installing xubuntu xfce”.

Just today, prior to making my first post here, my screen started to
display flickering running lines while I was playing some songs and typing
a spreadsheet; went online, searched for flickering screen in xubuntu xfce,
found a cristal clear instruction to use the command line to open, edit and
save a file with launchpad, reboot the machine and voila… flickering’s gone.

I think that the crux of the matter to me boils down to the same that
probably affects the majority of Windows users: help. OK, seasoned Linuxers
may rightfully argue – as I have seen – that we (Windows victims) are lazy
and want everything served ready made. But they need to understand that it
is not as much laziness per se, as it is a consequence of Windows habbit
and an extremely fast paced, hectic working life these days – at least here
in London, UK.

To Caeser what is of Caeser: Linus Torvalds gave the world the undeniable
marvel that it is Linux. But Bill Gates, for all his faults, gave the world
what the common citizen needs to USE a computer… a cursor on a GUI and a
mouse to point and click to make things work.

This is what Linuxers need to understand… the common user doesn’t have any
computing experience and rarely knows the difference between a bite and a
baud. We want to switch on the machine, throw a cd or dvd into the drive,
and then point and click on Yes, No, Maybe, Later, to install the operating
system. Then we want to read on the screen “Done, reboot your computer” and
once we reboot it, we want to point and click to start using it.

Windows doesn’t give users any computing knowledge; it gives them programs
that users can use by just clicking on icons or words on a GUI.

Linux on the other hand gives users the same but educates them in computing
by necessity along the way. As it should be, imho… I like it.

But where often Linux falls short is in overlooking the fact that due to
the Windows convenience, most users don’t understand the technical
explanations required sometimes.

Giving users an automatic point and click installation program for a Linux
version, that does all the behind the scenes operations rquired for the OS
to work, like Windows does, IS crucial and fudamental for a Windows user to
start making the transition onto Linux, and no amount of arguing from
anybody can change this truism.

Next is the help. With most of other Linux flavours I often had
incompatibilities of some sort that needed adjustments. And they all
required the use of the command line in one way or another, to edit files,
change their contents here or there, save them and rebooting. All nice and
well, but the instructions on how to do it were for the most part either
confusing, or not clear enough or sometimes downright ineffective because
the steps in which they must be done were not presented in a correct order
and I had to either figure it out by myself via trial and error or simply
give up on it altogether as it happened on one occasion to try to get the
wifi working with Red Hat or to get the correct drivers for my radeon
graphics card on this Samsung R20, with another version that I can’t even
remember anymore as I gave up on it.

Look… if you try to explain to any Windows user that they can have the KDE,
Gnome, Xfce or whichever other desktop with whichever version of linux, 99
out of 100 of them will think you are referring to the wallpaper… tell them
about an X-window server and they will probably think you are talking about
some Windows server system that they don’t want to know about because they
don’t know anything about servers, they just work with their Windows 7 or
10 or whatever. Anedoctal or tragic alike, this is real and factual, for
the better or the worst.

So… having a good Help documentation that allows any user to install a
version of Linux in a “Linux for Dummies” or “Idiots Guide to Linux” style
, with step by step instructions, IS crucial to help Windows users
transition to Linux. Not a matter of laziness on Windows users, my friends…
just a matter of computing ignorance on our part, as a direct consequence
of the way that Microsoft fed us for decades with its
ready-to-eat-windows-meal.

As I said before, I’m not a computer geek, but I’m no stranger to the
command line, I actually prefer it for some tasks (much quicker and
efficient than via the graphical applications) and I’m not afraid or shy of
trying, experimenting and studying until I understand what’s what and why.
But for that, I too need understandable, coherent, clear explanations. And
let’s face it, most of the seasoned linux users forget that Linux newbies
don’t have how to understand half of their instructions because they don’t
have the knowledge or understanding of what those instructions mean or
relate to.

With Xubuntu xfce I have found not only more information to help me get
things sorted and fixed, but I have found that information to be better
structured and more careful in its step-by-step instructions. That said,
justice be made to Mate, it is excellent as well.

Downloaded the ISO file, burnt it to a USB stick, installed it on the
laptop without a single glitch. Then followed the suggestions and
recommendations of things to do pos-install to fine tune it and improve its
performance as well as its safety and again it all worked without a glitch.
Because the instructions are clear, concise and come with an explanation of
what does what and why, so that hen one step didn’t work, I understood that
I had to try the alternative step and why.

It took me pains to understand that the reason that Ubuntu worked so
erratically and sluggishly in this 2Gb RAM 64 bit machine was the low
memory. Thank goodness I stumbled upon Xubuntu Xfce, because otherwise I
would have spent a bit of money that right now wouldn’t be easy on extra
memory for this machine. Xubuntu help clearly explains what to do to help
with low memory. And guess what… it works, he he he.

What can I say… seasoned linuxers can beat me to death with jokes and
whatever they wish, because I’m a confessed ignorant giving my first steps
in this new (to me) environment, but after long and exhaustive (and
exhausting lol) trials and errors and experimentation and desperation,
Xubuntu Xfce feels like the unexpected reward for my preseverance in not
giving up on trying to learn linux.

I understand it, I can work with it, I feel at ease, comfortable and very
happy with it (which I wasn’t with Windows, so that itself is saying
something) and above all else, it works consistently and reliably (so far
as I am finding) in 3 very different machines with very different hardware
and resources each one. Unless you folks let it die away, my search is
over, because now I have a long road ahead of me to learn linux at my own
pace, with this xubuntu xfce as my steady foundation.

Please don’t shoot me (too hard anyway lol) for this long babbling, make an
effort to understand my joy for this linux pearl and once again thank you
so so so much for your work and efforts, this is a fantastic OS and thanks
to it I can educate myself further in the linux – and computing – world.

Kindest regards to all

Joa
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