[ALUG] Steep Learning Curve

Simon Royal mrsimonroyal at gmail.com
Sun Jan 2 21:48:26 GMT 2011


Mark

Thanks for the reply. I have played with Ubuntu quite a bit since version 5.
I have been using 10.10 on the PPC platform for the past few months and
really loved it. It didnt cause any problems, so there was nothing to
resolve (except some xorg.conf).

I had a few install problems with 9.10 on my ThinkPad but that was more
partition problems rather than exclusively to Ubuntu.

On the whole Linux is stable and doesnt go wrong. Sometimes setting up is
the biggest headache, but luckily everything on my R31 worked out of the box
- except the shortcut keys and sleep.

I want to use Ubuntu as my main OS and while it is working that is fine, but
if something goes wrong then I do have XP to fall back on or to look for
solutions.

A few days in to Ubuntu on my ThinkPad and I have already had to conquer
GParted and automounting fat32 partitions as well as installing mp3 codecs.

I might be a fairly newbie to Linux but I am very experienced in puters so
this helps. Ive been using a Mac for the past ten years and dipped into the
Terminal so that gives me a bit of a head start.

Regards

Simon

On Sun, Jan 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM, Mark Reid <mail at markreid.net> wrote:

> For myself, I've always learned most by actually using the OS and that's
> applied to the many OSes I've used in the past.  But to do that it's usually
> best to have a stable working installation of the OS to start with as
> troubleshooting installation issues is about the worst thing a new user can
> encounter. I've seen enough of your posts to gather that many of your
> problems have been actually get a working installation of Linux.
>
> In the Windows world computer vendors get around the problem by
> pre-installation as installing Windows can be just as much of a pain as
> installing a Linux distro, a point which most Linux critics have forgotten.
>   I've had experience of installing Linux Mint on one computer and Windows
> XP on another recently.   The XP installation to ages and a lot of disks to
> get it optimised.   Mint installed in about 10 minutes and it's only blemish
> was that I couldn't get it to the top resolution of my screen without a set
> of command line tweaks on xorg.conf.  I'm astonished no-one has thought of a
> GUI front end for that particular set of tweaks - or have they and I haven't
> found it yet?   That may be a pain to sort out in Linux at the moment, but
> to my knowledge a similar easy tweak isn't possible in Windows if your
> drivers don't have the correct resolution information for you hardware.
>
> So my suggestion is to play around with a working version of Linux first
> before going back to installation issues when you want to start using it
> productively.  This allows you to evaluate it and work out how it functions.
>  When I first started with Ubuntu, I messed around with it for months before
> I abandoned Windows. Like you I was concerned that I could cope if it broke
> down and I had to fix it.  Actually, the issue was just learning how it
> worked as it rarely threw up any issues I couldn't find an easy answer to.
>  There are two suggestions I'd offer to get stable evaluation installations.
>
> 1.  Install VirtualBox  in Windows or Mac an then install your Linux distro
> on that.   It's a straightforward installation from CD or iso file, very
> rarely throws up any issues and gives you a working distro to play with in a
> sandboxed environment which allows you to test it to total destruction
> without affecting your host OS.  I find that it is quite difficult even for
> a hardened nerd to break a Linux system once it's running properly - but it
> can be done.
>
> 2. If you really want a dual booting system, always test your computer with
> a live CD.  If it doesn't work easily out of the box with a live CD, it
> isn't going to do so on an install.  Live CDs give you the opportunity to
> evaluate a distro and gives you the ability to determine whether any
> installation issues are going to appear.
>
> I've never found books about Linux particularly useful.  I have one called
> an Idiot's Guide to Linux  but that's now a bit dated but good for learning
> basic command line stuff.   Another is Linux in Easy Steps by Mike McGrath
> which is Ubuntu based but because of the quick release cycle on Ubuntu will
> always be out of date!
>
> It is a steep learning curve to get used to Linux if you are a Windows user
> (but probably less so for a Mac user), but if you're relatively proficient
> on Windows, you should be able to suss out for yourself what's what and pull
> the info you need to do it from a Google search.
>
> I found the Ubuntu Forums and Linux Forums useful places to go when I got
> stuck as they had beginners sections where I could ask what I now realise
> where dumb questions! Actually this mailing list is pretty good for picking
> up ideas although I was past the dumb question stage when I found it.   I
> also have Ubuntu Geek on my RSS feeds as there's often useful articles and
> software suggestions on it.
>
> Another useful item I downloaded was a diagram of the Linux filesystem with
> a description of what the directories in a standard system did and what
> stuff was stored there.  The filesystem lies at the heart of understanding
> Linux.
>
> Hope that helps.
>
> Mark
>
>
> On 31/12/10 22:12, Simon Royal wrote:
>
>> Hi
>>
>> I've been in and out of Linux for a few years. Various distros (Mint,
>> WattOS, DSL, Xubuntu, Ubuntu,on various machines and architecture. A
>> year ago I used it full time but went to Mac. Now, Im back.
>>
>> It is such a steep learning curve. Ive already had a crash course in
>> GParted even before Ubuntu was running. While Ubuntu is great and user
>> friendly, it is still Linux and requires you to be on the nerdy side.
>>
>> Id like somewhere to start, so I can understand the basics and
>> underpinnings of Ubuntu. It is no good - with any OS really - having it
>> working, but not knowing what to do when it does wrong.
>>
>> Are there any good books or websites you can recommend. I know you are
>> all here to answer my questions, but I would like to read up and really
>> get my teeth into it.
>>
>> Simon
>>
>> Simon
>>
>> --
>>
>> --- Twitter:http://twitter.com/SimonRoyal  - LowEndMac:
>> http://tinyurl.com/macspectrum  - Skype: Simon-Royal.
>>
>>
>> --- IBM ThinkPad R31 running Ubuntu 10.10&  Windows XP Home. Apple
>> PowerBook G3'Pismo'  running OSX 10.4. Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro
>> running 2.1
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>
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-- 

--- Twitter: http://twitter.com/SimonRoyal - LowEndMac:
http://tinyurl.com/macspectrum - Skype: Simon-Royal.
--- IBM ThinkPad R31 running Ubuntu 10.10 & Windows XP Home. Apple
PowerBook G3 'Pismo' running OSX 10.4. Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini
Pro running 2.1
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