[xubuntu-users] Exceedingly Grateful

Subhadip Ghosh subhadip.sky at gmail.com
Sun May 14 08:42:18 UTC 2017

Hello Joao,

Thanks for sharing this very interesting story. For the most part, I do 
agree to the points you mentioned about casual computer users not caring 
enough about the installation details and just wanting things to work 
out of the box. I do feel that the Linux world is slowly marching to 
that point. For example, if you install Xubuntu on a supported hardware 
now a days, everything gets configured out of the box and after the 
installation, it's ready for your use. That's it. No need to install any 
driver or any video playing application or an office suite or a pdf 
reading software. But using a Linux compatible hardware is important 
that most of us forget or just take for granted.

Also, I hope you know that you can use this mailing list as a medium for 
getting help if you're stuck somewhere with Xubuntu and Linux in general.


On Sunday 14 May 2017 07:29 AM, Joao Monteiro wrote:
> 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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