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Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:26 am
by MurphCID
lsemmens wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:35 am
MurphCID wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:22 am
Winders just works. No command line tinkering, no going under the hood to tinker with something, no having to write a script to get your wifi working.
At least until "patch Tuesday"............ THIS is what finally DROVE me to Linux.
*sigh* There is that. WIndows 7 was the best and easiest installation of any windows os I have ever done. Linux Mint 18.x was pretty darn good as well.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:27 am
by bill_steamshovel
There is an idea that is promoted quite heavily in recent computer magazines and internet articles that new Linux installs are easy and the system works well straight away. I can see that people might be disappointed if, after believing this, they hit a few hurdles

Speaking as a freshly "minted" newbie, some significant frustrations installing LM 18.3 Cinnamon have been ........

Fonts - need to zoom in quite a bit to make the fonts less fuzzy - the main frustration is the fonts used by web browsers ie forum posts including this forum have to be zoomed in quite a bit, and even though they are legible the letters are still fuzzy on my PC/TV combination - not as good as windows fonts. Whilst searching for fixes on the internet I found one person clearly declaring this to be a deal breaker for him and I can sympathise with that

My own lack of understanding of the significance of UEFI and Legacy/Bios - Some googling and assistance on this forum fixed that.

Wi-Fi and Trackpad not working on one laptop - various fixes out there on various websites and youtube ............ and currently working through them, this can be frustrating

A whole heap of relatively minor issues and fixes, each one in itself is trivial but the cumulative effect can wear one down - A commonly expressed theme in the previous posts is that people just want it to work

On my wife's brand new laptop I had relatively few problems, 99% of my problems were on a cheap little Aldi laptop and a 10 year old Dell desktop. If my only install had been the new laptop I'd be out there singing and dancing and telling everybody how fabulous Linux Mint is.

......Maybe a different way of looking at things is "What is our retention rate ?" ie how many converts do have a flawless install, and then simply never post on any forums because as far as they are concerned the Linux has worked as described and then they just get on with things.


........ and I'm still here you haven't lost me yet ............. its quite interesting learning how to use the new system.

Bill

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:31 am
by MurphCID
glocal wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:50 am
MurphCID wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:38 am
like an appliance.
My thoughts exactly. A more layered experience would keep everyone happy. A newbie-friendly front and 'Advanced' features still there but hidden away for the purist. Insisting that everyone should become computer literate may be principled (or elitist) but then Linux will be stuck with under 2% penetration. I think 20% penetration will be better for everyone, including the die-hard purists, even if that means compromises will have to be made.

For hardware, pre-configured systems would be an idea but see what happened to early Asus EeePCs when Microsoft put pressure on them. Badged Linux Compatible Certified, under licence, and community maintained lists of known Linux-friendly hardware would help reassure buyers and focus the minds of manufacturers.

But once people get a system that works, compatibility and software availability are the key. Enthusiasts may think that everything Linux is great, but for more demanding tasks many applications are simply not good enough. Eg I know at least two professional Photoshop users who genuinely tried to introduce Gimp into their workflow and teach image editing to learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who couldn't afford Photoshop. Both gave up. I also gave up ditching Windows because of LibreOffice incompatibilities and general lack of serious PDF editing software.

I think it all boils down to strategic coordination, where excessive diversity becomes fragmentation. Then again, many developers may be happy being part of a 2% they can call their own.
True, the wails coming from the Arch users when something gets broken between releases is loud. Mint is the best, but I will admit I am having some early adopter issues with 19. I don't have the time to jack with it, which goes back to the point above. Mac O/S has a slick interface, and those causal users who don't want to, or don't care to "get under the hood", can use it just fine, and it works. But there is the terminal, and if you take the time, you can play around and tinker. Such a two tier system might be good to look into so that more people can use Linux and we can get above the 2% number. Also affordable, reasonably fast computers with Mint (or some other flavor) pre-loaded would be great. Again AFFORDABLE is the keyword. System 76 is nice, but it is a custom builder with custom builder prices.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:34 am
by MurphCID
bill_steamshovel wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:27 am
There is an idea that is promoted quite heavily in recent computer magazines and internet articles that new Linux installs are easy and the system works well straight away. I can see that people might be disappointed if, after believing this, they hit a few hurdles

Speaking as a freshly "minted" newbie, some significant frustrations installing LM 18.3 Cinnamon have been ........

Fonts - need to zoom in quite a bit to make the fonts less fuzzy - the main frustration is the fonts used by web browsers ie forum posts including this forum have to be zoomed in quite a bit, and even though they are legible the letters are still fuzzy on my PC/TV combination - not as good as windows fonts. Whilst searching for fixes on the internet I found one person clearly declaring this to be a deal breaker for him and I can sympathise with that

My own lack of understanding of the significance of UEFI and Legacy/Bios - Some googling and assistance on this forum fixed that.

Wi-Fi and Trackpad not working on one laptop - various fixes out there on various websites and youtube ............ and currently working through them, this can be frustrating

A whole heap of relatively minor issues and fixes, each one in itself is trivial but the cumulative effect can wear one down - A commonly expressed theme in the previous posts is that people just want it to work

On my wife's brand new laptop I had relatively few problems, 99% of my problems were on a cheap little Aldi laptop and a 10 year old Dell desktop. If my only install had been the new laptop I'd be out there singing and dancing and telling everybody how fabulous Linux Mint is.

......Maybe a different way of looking at things is "What is our retention rate ?" ie how many converts do have a flawless install, and then simply never post on any forums because as far as they are concerned the Linux has worked as described and then they just get on with things.


........ and I'm still here you haven't lost me yet ............. its quite interesting learning how to use the new system.

Bill
Absolutely! WiFi drivers are a case in point. Intel Wifi works great, Broadcom, and others not so great. Stuff should work out of the box, at least at a basic level pending better drivers. You should not have to find a forum to post asking for help writing a script, or modifying a file to get stuff to work.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:01 am
by michael louwe
@ catweazel, .......
catweazel wrote:.My point is, if it works, does the job required, and if the data is valued, then one shouldn't seethe and shimmer in rage or feel like one is bathing in someone else's dirty bathwater merely because one has to run up a WinPE environment to make a backup.
.
Where did I say that newcomers run back to linux?
It's implied in your statement.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:07 am
by catweazel
michael louwe wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:01 am
@ catweazel, .......
catweazel wrote:.My point is, if it works, does the job required, and if the data is valued, then one shouldn't seethe and shimmer in rage or feel like one is bathing in someone else's dirty bathwater merely because one has to run up a WinPE environment to make a backup.
.
Where did I say that newcomers run back to linux?
It's implied in your statement.
So, I didn't make any such claim. That means if there's an implication then you put it there, not me, which makes your claim a red-herring.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:38 am
by rui no onna
MurphCID wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:34 am
Absolutely! WiFi drivers are a case in point. Intel Wifi works great, Broadcom, and others not so great. Stuff should work out of the box, at least at a basic level pending better drivers. You should not have to find a forum to post asking for help writing a script, or modifying a file to get stuff to work.
In fairness, support for wifi has improved. Back in Breezy Badger, couldn't get my Broadcom wifi working at all and Google and the Ubuntu forums were no help.

With Mint 18.3, getting my Broadcom wifi working (of course on a newer laptop than the one I used in 2005) was as simple as going to Driver Manager and selecting bcmwl-kernel-source. Best part? It worked without needing an internet connection.

The situation regressed on distros based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (e.g. Mint 19), though. Needed LAN to get it working.

For network drivers especially, there should be a way to get them working by copying files/driver packages to CD or USB. sudo apt-get isn't a particularly good option when one doesn't have internet to begin with. Granted, I understand it's the hardware manufacturers that are to blame. Still, it causes friction for new users.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:17 am
by gm10
rui no onna wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:38 am
The situation regressed on distros based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (e.g. Mint 19), though. Needed LAN to get it working.
For me it was the inverse actually, with the new release all my wifi devices work flawlessly out of the box (which not all of them did before). On the other hand, and very much to my surprise, my bog standard realtek onboard ethernet needs manual unloading and re-loading of the kernel driver now to get suspend modes working, which wasn't a problem before.
rui no onna wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:38 am
For network drivers especially, there should be a way to get them working by copying files/driver packages to CD or USB. sudo apt-get isn't a particularly good option when one doesn't have internet to begin with. Granted, I understand it's the hardware manufacturers that are to blame. Still, it causes friction for new users.
Yep, that's the Windows advantage, manufacturer support aside they always seem to have at least some lowest common denominator fallback driver to get things running, too.

Mint theoretically has the apt download option that they mention in all their release notes for helping with offline installs, but that's already jumping through hoops and in reality it's bugged and non-functional, anyway. Certainly not something confidence raising, either, and a reason why a potential user would abandon ship right away.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:03 pm
by rui no onna
gm10 wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:17 am
For me it was the inverse actually, with the new release all my wifi devices work flawlessly out of the box (which not all of them did before). On the other hand, and very much to my surprise, my bog standard realtek onboard ethernet needs manual unloading and re-loading of the kernel driver now to get suspend modes working, which wasn't a problem before.
Perhaps hardware age? Laptop/netbook I was using was circa 2013.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:14 pm
by gm10
rui no onna wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:03 pm
Perhaps hardware age? Laptop/netbook I was using was circa 2013.
No no, hardware is fine, still works flawlessly as before with the old release, too. It's also fairly recent, no old age. It's just something about this release - the beta originally had hibernation enabled but they ended up having to disable it again because it caused so many problems. It's something about systemd I suppose, I didn't investigate further once I found a way to make it work for me.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:41 pm
by glocal
MurphCID wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:31 am
Mint is the best, but I will admit I am having some early adopter issues with 19. I don't have the time to jack with it, which goes back to the point above. Mac O/S has a slick interface, and those causal users who don't want to, or don't care to "get under the hood", can use it just fine, and it works. But there is the terminal, and if you take the time, you can play around and tinker. Such a two tier system might be good to look into so that more people can use Linux and we can get above the 2% number.
I always thought there are broadly three types of Linux users. (a) the total newbies, (b) the experts, and (c) those in-between. (a) need a turn-key system that works out of the box. This means that someone else may have to set it up for them, but once it works, they won't change anything and they will be happy with a browser/gmail, a media player, Skype and LibreOffice. I've been telling type (a) users (often convincing them) that they wouldn't even realise it's a different system. (b) will tinker and will be happy with Linux. And then there are (c) users like me, who will be frustrated because they don't have the time any more to master their system or may demand more from their applications. I think (c) users are actually more difficult to attract and retain.

I think that Linux is far too important to be left to the purists and there are public interest reasons it should grow.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:10 pm
by rui no onna
gm10 wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:14 pm
No no, hardware is fine, still works flawlessly as before with the old release, too. It's also fairly recent, no old age. It's just something about this release - the beta originally had hibernation enabled but they ended up having to disable it again because it caused so many problems. It's something about systemd I suppose, I didn't investigate further once I found a way to make it work for me.
That's what I was getting at by "hardware age". I was wondering if you're using more recent hardware than me so LM 19 works better with your devices while with my older circa 2013 hardware, the older LM 18.3 works better. :P

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:14 pm
by gm10
rui no onna wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:10 pm
That's what I was getting at by "hardware age". I was wondering if you're using more recent hardware than me so LM 19 works better with your devices while with my older circa 2013 hardware, the older LM 18.3 works better. :P
Ah ok, I see. But the sleep modes worked flawlessly for me in 18.3, the problem only arose with 19 despite newer hardware. So the result is the same for us, LM 19 created new problems, even if for you it was related to wifi drivers while for me it was related to ethernet drivers.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:28 pm
by rui no onna
glocal wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:41 pm
I always thought there are broadly three types of Linux users. (a) the total newbies, (b) the experts, and (c) those in-between. (a) need a turn-key system that works out of the box. This means that someone else may have to set it up for them, but once it works, they won't change anything and they will be happy with a browser/gmail, a media player, Skype and LibreOffice. I've been telling type (a) users (often convincing them) that they wouldn't even realise it's a different system. (b) will tinker and will be happy with Linux. And then there are (c) users like me, who will be frustrated because they don't have the time any more to master their system or may demand more from their applications. I think (c) users are actually more difficult to attract and retain.

I think that Linux is far too important to be left to the purists and there are public interest reasons it should grow.
I agree. The (c) users are also more likely to already have their little tools, utilities, scripts and shortcuts on Windows or Mac to get things done which makes transitioning more difficult. WINE doesn't always work.

LibreOffice is a non-starter for some of the (a) users I know because majority of the world use Microsoft Office and certain compatibility issues arise when sharing documents. To be perfectly honest, I also find Microsoft Excel faster and more polished than LibreCalc.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:05 pm
by JosephM
The topic is about noobs. Installing an OS is beyond most noobs. You are going off-topic when you try to disparage the Windows installation process as being worse than Linux.
The biggest complaints people are making in this thread are around installation and setup. Outside of that it comes down to applications and willingness to learn that it isn't Windows and some things are just different. Some people require the use of apps that just aren't available on Linux. No way around that. For those that bail on Linux because it doesn't work exactly like Windows? Well, it shouldn't. If it was just going to be Windows, why exist in the first place?

I've given renewed several laptops of people close to me by replacing Linux with Windows. I do install and setup. Hand a fully working system to them and they have been very happy using those systems. They are just basic users and the systems work much better for them. They don't have to tweak anything. Even when I've showed them how, they don't. They just use their systems as they come.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:17 pm
by JackLongDay
I might just be one of the guys that always runs back to Windows when he encounters an error he knows it would take years to solve. Don't get me wrong, I know how to use forums and Internet, but when I install a crystal clean Linux and my mic starts making weird noises, my fav games are not supported, ibus tells me that I'm not root, although I am -- the s''t hits the fan. Maybe I'm a lucky devil, but I don't get such problems on Windows. That being said, I really want to get into Linux and that's why I installed Mint 19. I hope I won't get as much errors as I get on Ubuntu) Wish me luck.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:42 pm
by MurphCID
glocal wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:41 pm
MurphCID wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:31 am
Mint is the best, but I will admit I am having some early adopter issues with 19. I don't have the time to jack with it, which goes back to the point above. Mac O/S has a slick interface, and those causal users who don't want to, or don't care to "get under the hood", can use it just fine, and it works. But there is the terminal, and if you take the time, you can play around and tinker. Such a two tier system might be good to look into so that more people can use Linux and we can get above the 2% number.
I always thought there are broadly three types of Linux users. (a) the total newbies, (b) the experts, and (c) those in-between. (a) need a turn-key system that works out of the box. This means that someone else may have to set it up for them, but once it works, they won't change anything and they will be happy with a browser/gmail, a media player, Skype and LibreOffice. I've been telling type (a) users (often convincing them) that they wouldn't even realise it's a different system. (b) will tinker and will be happy with Linux. And then there are (c) users like me, who will be frustrated because they don't have the time any more to master their system or may demand more from their applications. I think (c) users are actually more difficult to attract and retain.

I think that Linux is far too important to be left to the purists and there are public interest reasons it should grow.
Completely agree! Linux is too darn important to be left to the purists, great quote. I am a "C" user, I don't have time to tinker, but wish I did. I just want it to work (and look nice).

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:44 pm
by MurphCID
JosephM wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:05 pm
The topic is about noobs. Installing an OS is beyond most noobs. You are going off-topic when you try to disparage the Windows installation process as being worse than Linux.
The biggest complaints people are making in this thread are around installation and setup. Outside of that it comes down to applications and willingness to learn that it isn't Windows and some things are just different. Some people require the use of apps that just aren't available on Linux. No way around that. For those that bail on Linux because it doesn't work exactly like Windows? Well, it shouldn't. If it was just going to be Windows, why exist in the first place?

I've given renewed several laptops of people close to me by replacing Linux with Windows. I do install and setup. Hand a fully working system to them and they have been very happy using those systems. They are just basic users and the systems work much better for them. They don't have to tweak anything. Even when I've showed them how, they don't. They just use their systems as they come.
HiDPI still sucks. Not nearly as polished or able as Windows or Mac O/S. It is waaaaayyyyy better though than before.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:50 pm
by JosephM
HiDPI still sucks. Not nearly as polished or able as Windows or Mac O/S. It is waaaaayyyyy better though than before.
There are two big issues with HiDPI at the moment. Applications built on older toolkits that don't support it. Such as Gimp. And mutli-monitor setups with mixed DPI screens. The first is slowly going away as many apps ditch the use of gtk2. The latter is part of the benefit to Wayland. That of course brings a whole new set of issues currently though.

Re: What sends noobs running back to Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:39 pm
by rui no onna
JosephM wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:05 pm
The biggest complaints people are making in this thread are around installation and setup.
I expect that's because majority of the criticisms on this thread come from (c) users. Newcomers to Linux that are probably proficient enough with Windows or Mac (and Google search) to be trying to install on their own and are then faced with some roadblocks.