[xubuntu-users] Exceedingly Grateful

Joao Monteiro jmonteiro257 at gmail.com
Sun May 14 17:52:19 UTC 2017

Hi folks,

Before anything else,a brief explanation... I'm receiving the replies via
my gmail account, which bundles them by thread in a different way than the
threading structure in the mailing list. So I'm not redeading them
necessarily in their chronological order of posting... hence, please do not
think that I'm ignoring anybody's very welcome comments if I miss
addressing one or two issues by somebody; I assure you that I'm reading it
all with a very keen interest.

Right, to clarify... I'm Portuguese and living in london, UK since 1997.
Electrician from heavy industry and power plants/distribution
stations/sub-stations background, industrial control systems etc., and do a
lot of private research and a fair ammount of private lectures on a varied
of energy related matters, systems and devices, some of my own design an
development. With tht out of the way, let's see...

Fred, you said "The key about Linux IMHO is it opens choices; choices one
must intelligently decide."

I totally agree, and it is the one factor that kept me persisting and not
giving up on learning linux. I had a go at Freebsd and confess that liked
it, but unfortunately all my attempts to get its Desktop version have
failed miserably and never managed to get it up and running. Why? Exactly
becaus of lack of clear, concise instruction on how to get there - add to
that lck of time to do the necessary research/study into it.

And Ralph, I do agree with you as well, to a great extent, about getting
used to the command line. I like it and as I said before I actually prefer
it in many instances to a GUI. But I do acknowledge and apprecite as well
the usefulness and convenience of a GUI, not least of all because of my
hectic life style always struggling to find enough hours in a day to
contend with everything I have to contnd with.

So, to me personally, a balanced usage between ommand line and GUI usage is
what works better - at least for the time being, I have no idea how is it
going to turn out in th future, as I learn linux deeper and deeper... and
this is being as honest as I can be.

And this is yet another reason why imho a well documented nd structured
Help system is absolutely fundamental to any potential "microsofter" uer
wanting to venture into transitioning to Linux.

You guys are undoubtedly much friendlier and more helpful than
miscrosofters whn it comes to assistance, but still, if I keep pestering
everybody with questions constantly, it will leave you very little time to
do anything else; multiply that by huge numbers of potential
transition-seekers and there woul be not enough linuxers availble to attend
to the needs, even working 24/7.

So I look first into available documentation and study it before shouting
out for help; otherwise I wouldn't be learning anything anyway, because I
would just be perpetuating the ready-served-meal microsoft bad habbit. No.
I like to understand what's what and why, and the only y of doing it is by
reading, studying an putting it into prctice, experimenting. When it
doesn't work, I read it all again to try to understand what may have failed
and why. I usually manage to find it and understand it, so I only comem out
shouting for help when I fail to understand it.

hey... I'm no genius, but I'm not shy of crying for help either when I need
to. Pride is the worst enemy of learning, imho. But that's me...

So... good documentation, well structured and explained... yup. I'm all for
it. I think it's critical to any field of human knoledge, so that knowledge
can be adequately preserved and passed onto future generations. hell, it is
critical to ourselves, to build upon it improvements, novelties,
development, progress...

I don't have the right to ask to anyone to come forth and do that task for
the likes of me to benefit from it without sheding a droplet of sweat. But
it doesn't alter its factual necesity and criticality.

I do not have the technical knowledge to contribute to it, tehnically wise.
But who knows... I may someday have the time to grab it all from all of you
and start to structure it and bundle it together into some kind of Idiots
Guide, and more so knowing that there are others that agree with me on this
and have actually already thought on something along these lines before me.

The fruits of your colletive work and eforts are inspiring in what
committed ollctive co-operation can achieve. Hell, I may not know a thing
about linux working intricacies, but if I have the information, the
explanations of it available, scattered here and there as they might be,
I'm not shy of giving it a try of assmbling them into an rganized and
structured guide to then put past the expert apprecition and corrective
requirements of those in the deep knowing of it.

Just an idea, that someone has mentoned to me and it actually appeals very
much to me indeed. So who knows... I'm struggling right now searching for a
new job but once that's sorted and my life gets a bit more stable... I
definitely will give this idea a serious thought on to better try to pull
it off. If nothing else, at least i will learn quite a lot from it, from
just trying, as I will have to read through quite a lot, ha ha...

Thank you for all your replies, truly apprecited and have a good rest of

Kindest regards

Joao Monteiro

On 14 May 2017 at 06:46, fred roller <fredroller66 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Joao, excellent points you made.  I am not a programmer.  My intro to
> Linux came when I converted my entire office (back when I had an office) to
> Linux.  Trial and error, I landed here with Xubuntu as the hands down,
> overall, easiest distro to deal with for new users.  My contribution is
> more on the ground helping new users get to know and understand Linux.
> Windows, for all it's conveniences comes with a hefty price between ad
> intrusion and security practices I do not agree (i.e. default admin user
> whether password is set or no.)
> The Linux community has a more than functioning level of ready made
> software and continues to refine the interface.  Help with Xubuntu has
> always been better and faster overall than commercial.  I dare say, most of
> the technology I see in use; PC, laptops, tablets, routers, phone systems,
> phones, software, etc. etc. is either straight up Linux or inspired through
> the work of the volunteers. Glad you are on board and hope the journey is
> as fruitful for you as it has been for myself.  The key about Linux IMHO is
> it opens choices; choices one must intelligently decide.
> -- Fred
> On Sat, May 13, 2017 at 10:45 PM, chris <chevhq at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 14/05/17 11:59, 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
>>> Well put
>> da kiwi
>> --
>> please close the toilet lid.  Water attracts frogs and frogs attracts
>> snakes.
>> Found on a toilet wall in Fletcher Creek Queensland
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