Simple question = Not at all a simple answer...

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Simple question = Not at all a simple answer...

Postby Hooper on Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:23 pm

I'm new to Mint, and Linux in general, but here's my feelings and what I noticed about Linux forums thus far:

WARNING: This turns into a rant, real quick.

Installation was a snap: The info was easily found and is presented clearly and is easily followed. The system seems wonderful at first: Nice and responsive, nice looking GUI (the Mint menu is, well MINT!), a (seemingly) intuitive interface, etc. I want to embrace Linux, I do. I want to love Mint - I want to escape the MS prison camp - but then come the issues...

First problem we have is that the information you need to learn is scattered all over the #@$&ing universe - Aside from the Linux Mint manual pdf (Which is VERY WELL written, btw) there is no clear and concise place to find the answers to the most basic of questions...

Search the forum, search the INTERNET, read, read, read are the replies... And when answers ARE posted to a question there always seems to be a half dozen links to other threads we then have to read. AND WHAT'S WORSE IS MUCH OF THE TIME THE REPLYING POSTERS HAVE A CONDESENDING ATTITUDE! REALLY??? In the time it took them to berate the OP for not doing a "simple" google search (that ALWAYS seems to result in a 3 hour mass of tangent answers) they could've just answered the question. Then there's the fact that half those threads AREN'T EVEN PERTINTANT to the latest version release, and are referencing Mint 9 or something, with phrases like "That feature hasn't been supported for years" only to be contradicted in the next post to say something like " Yes it's still available, you just have to open a terminal and type..." Yes, that's very helpful.

It seems the simplest of things aren't broken down for us Windows defectors - For instance, the whole root-admin-desktop user experience. When I installed Mint Nadia Mate/32 I entered a user name and password. I then went to User and Groups and added 2 Desktop users and (noticing that the first user created had "Custom" privileges) an Admin user. But of course even logged on with this user thru the normal login screen EVERY change I want make; add software, read a file in a different user /home folder, change permissions, etc requires me to enter my password EVERY SINGLE TIME - REALLY??? I guess I first have to get my PHD in Linux Terminal Use to be logged on as a "REAL" Admin, aka: root user. So what exactly is the point of the "Administer System" button again??? I also fail to see the security in having the "root" password be, by default the same as the "Custom" user p/w created at install.

And then when I put something in a "Public" folder it seems another user STILL can't read it - even after changing the permissions??? Which shouldn't have needed to be "changed" in the first damn place! Isn't it self evident that a folder called "Public" should have read/write permissions to the other users on the machine, and be the equivalent of a Windows "shared" folder? ...Just as logging in as an Admin (with the box checked for "Administer System") shouldn't cause a password prompt at every turn... Now if you could enter the admin/root P/W when logged on as a "desktop user" to add software, etc, THAT would be convenient. But no, you have to login as Admin, Root, Superuser - whatever you want to call it, and then enter your password 15 times anyway - yeah that makes sense.

Or when setting up a user account to NOT require a password at login and, of course you still have to enter a password... Oh, did a forum search - found this thread: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=127829 Posted that I was having the same issue. Went back to check it and saw it was marked "Solved". No new replies, but the OP kept searching and found a fix. So I tried to edit the file (logged on as the user in question) - Permission Denied - naturally... Logged on as Admin, edited said file adding the specified line to the end (I ASSUME that's what I was supposed to do, since no other instructions were given) and - it changed NOTHING! Does the system need to be rebooted for such a change to take effect? Is this supposed to be done in a terminal, and if so HOW? Is there basic protocol that must be followed, and if so WHERE IS THE DAMN INFO???!!!

Here's the bottom line: I'm seriously trying to understand what the differences are between Windows and Linux, and get a grasp of things, but quite frankly it appears that the Linux community doesn't really want to see the average Windows user migrate. When the very first thing you do with a system isn't explained to be "different" than what you're used to, well I'm not sure what to say. And then a simple thing like a no P/W Required for login doesn't work using the GUI...

The average person doesn't have half their life to spend searching for answers to questions that really shouldn't even exist in the first place...

It's like this: The "Different is Better" argument only holds water when it actually IS better - otherwise it's just being different to be difficult. And to make all the users feel soooo special 'cause they understand it all and are a part of this awesome community ("Click").

I'm guessing no one will bother replying to this. Heck, I doubt anyone will even bother reading all of it. Would be nice if someone cared enough to though. It seems like the Linux community is welcoming at first - then as you're walking through the door, and into the darkness, they're shaking your hand hello, and you find yourself falling down the staircase they failed to tell you was right in front of you...

EDIT: There is a sign telling you about the stairs - it's on the other side of the building, lurking amongst 1000 other signs you're supposed to read before you try and enter.

And the really scary part is that while I'm certainly no computer whiz I'm way beyond most everyone I know - and if I can't [easily] get a grasp on this, how in the world do you guys expect to capture the "average" Windows user???

I saw a reference to a "Linux for dummies" book, think I'll check that out - maybe that has the background one needs to get a grip - packaged in one place!

I'm not feeling very warm and fuzzy right now...
Last edited by Hooper on Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple question = Not at all a simple answer...

Postby catweazel on Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:31 pm

Hooper wrote:one needs to get a grip

That much I agree with.
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Re: Simple question = Not at all a simple answer...

Postby Hooper on Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:40 pm

Least you made me laugh!
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HP Deskjet 932c Printer.......................................Yeah, I'm a dinosaur ;)
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Re: Simple question = Not at all a simple answer...

Postby tdockery97 on Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:47 pm

My best advice is just to stay calm and hang in there. Remember back a ways and you'll recall that you weren't born with the knowledge needed to use Windows. You had to learn an awful lot back then. And some of us are old enough to recall MS back before Windows. DOS was all about working in the terminal.

Mint has a relatively easy to use desktop interface. Take it a little at a time and make sure you feel confident in what you want to accomplish. If need be, cross-check any tasks between various sources to make sure that what you are reading is actually good advice, and applies to the system you are using (Gnome, MATE, Cinnamon, KDE, Xfce, etc.).

Hoping you have an enjoyable future with Mint.
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Re: Simple question = Not at all a simple answer...

Postby dcihon on Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:04 pm

I had to comment on this.
Here is my spin on your subject.
Linux (Mint or otherwise) is like a maze. You don't know where the exit is so you start wondering though the maze crashing into walls that lead you nowhere, sometimes ending up back where you started. Eventually you will make it down the right path and get to the exit.
What I see out here on this forum is that there are a lot of knowledgeable people out here willing to help you. However you need to provide some specific information to get help. A lot of people will start their post with "my screen is blank". Someone trying to help has to ask a bunch of basic questions just to get to the actual problem.
That frustrates the people trying to help. There are many different versions of LInux let alone Mint and some specific information about your system can narrow down the problem and get to an answer much quicker.
Linux is not Windows like a Mac is not Windows.
Windows has made it very easy to not know what you are doing and screw things up pretty easily. Linux makes things a little more difficult to screw up your system.

All I can say is understand that there is a lot to learn with this operating system. Remember it is free and no one here is getting paid to help you.

If struggling at times is not for you , you should probably stick with Windows, however you will struggle there too especially when you get hit with a virus and you will eventually.

Good luck whichever way you go.
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Re: Simple question = Not at all a simple answer...

Postby Hooper on Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:44 pm

Thanks for the encouragement gents. You know that picture of the dogs playing billiards? My friends say I'm the bulldog taking the shot, I'll be hanging in there for a while...

But I do wish there was a better map for that maze.
Dell Optiplex GX260 Desktop
2.4 GHz P4 CPU
1.0 GB RAM (2/512 MB cards @ 266 MHz)
(2) 80 GB IDE HDD (1-Mint, 1-XP PRO)
Intel 82845G Video adpt.
Dell 22" LCD Monitor
HP Deskjet 932c Printer.......................................Yeah, I'm a dinosaur ;)
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