Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

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Alvin
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Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by Alvin »

I have installed Mint cinnamon as dual to Windows 7, which is in its last supported year. Next year, I shall need a new operating system for my Dell Inspiron 660s desktop computer. Windows 10 is available for over $100, and I could install it now. I have just read that Microsoft plans to charge a monthly fee for its OS, in addition to the purchase price, next year.

So informed, I decided to try Mint, which is much touted. It may be a very good OS, perhaps better than Microsoft's. I am discouraged from exploring Mint's qualities, because I find the documentation very poor. My efforts to make my shared printer work on Mint have not been successful, and I have asked for help on your hardware forum.

"Newbie", I now take to be a warning, a flashing red light. It warns that unless the newcomer is willing to spend a great deal of time to transform to a veteran of Mint, he will have difficulties with even basic procedures, such as making a printer work. I have already spent much time on Mint and realize that the developers of Mint, for all their expenditure of energy have not been able to develop a user guide that explains how to install my printer. Let me tell you that I am a mathematically educated person who is not frightened by complexity, if it is worth my time. I do not believe that spending my time to make up for the unwillingness of Mint developers to spend their time to offer a good user guide is worth the effort.

The purpose of having a computer is for me to make tasks easier, not harder. Computer prices have risen greatly in the past two years, and Microsoft is going to rent its Windows in the near future. I can do without a computer, an operating system, and a forum for help - which would be unnecessary if the documentation were adequate. I am going to restore my Windows 7 operating system from my external hard drive. To Mint's developers I say this has not been a mint experience!
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kevin987
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by kevin987 »

Hello Alvin,

Just create a new thread in the Newbie Questions and tell the forum what printer you're having trouble with. Many times questions get answered here faster.

Post the results of

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxzd
from your Terminal Window in between the code tags, using the </> button right above the message box in your new thread.

Perhaps "Newbie Questions" is a quick way to get new users' attention. It's not meant to invoke fear or apply a Scarlett Letter to such people new to Linux Mint.
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by ajgringo619 »

Alvin wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:23 pm
I have installed Mint cinnamon as dual to Windows 7, which is in its last supported year. Next year, I shall need a new operating system for my Dell Inspiron 660s desktop computer. Windows 10 is available for over $100, and I could install it now. I have just read that Microsoft plans to charge a monthly fee for its OS, in addition to the purchase price, next year.

<snip>
I believe you can still upgrade to Win10 using your Win7 license. I just did this a few months ago (dual-booting as well).
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by MrEen »

Hi Alvin, and welcome to the forum.

Unfortunately, you have discovered what I believe to be the biggest flaw with Linux, documentation!

On the plus side, you have found one of the best Linux forums on the web. As long as you're willing to put in a little effort, there are plenty of people here that will try to help to get anything you need accomplished.

Good luck.
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Schultz
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by Schultz »

Alvin wrote:
I do not believe that spending my time to make up for the unwillingness of Mint developers to spend their time to offer a good user guide is worth the effort.
Well, it is a free OS, which does cost the developers time and money to make. They aren't reeling in the amount of money Microsoft does, so documentation takes a back seat to OS development.
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by cliffcoggin »

Are you seriously going to the effort and expense of changing your operating system because of one printer? That's like buying a new car because a tyre burst.
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by AndyMH »

Looked at the post on your printer, you were given a link to the ubuntu forum which in turn pointed you at a page on the brother website where you could download the two deb files for your printer. All you have to do is double click on them to install. Can't be that difficult for a mathematically minded person!
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by Alvin »

To Schultz: I believe if the developers came down to earth and supplied good documentation, they would get more and better donations.
To Cliffcogin: If there is good reason to believe that the other three tires will fail and time will need be spent on the drive belt, the water pump, and the master brake cylinder, then junking the car is a reasonable alternative.
To McEen: Your reply is appreciated for its candidness.
To AndyMH: A good mathematician must weigh the probability that a proposed solution will work where others have failed.

Thanks to all and goodbye!
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by Pjotr »

Documentation is mainly being done by volunteers and third parties. I maintain a website for that purpose, myself:
https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com

You might take a look and see if it helps you to solve your current issues with Mint. :)
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by redlined »

Not official, but a forums local experienced member and well written (whole site is full of good advices)

From the homepage (scroll down to I)

I. Printers and scanners

1. Install Samsung printers (all models)
2. Install HP printers (all models)
3. Install Brother printers (all models)
4. Install Canon PIXMA printers

I don't know how much MS ever bent over backwards to write any manual ever on installing printers for their OS (sure, they didn't have to, every printer and other chunk of hardware internal and peripheral, ran to market with MS standards splashed on labels and usually a manual, in 5 to 15 languages, printed and crammed into their wasteful packaging...

Linux doesn't get that respect, and to me it's allllll about the money... MS made tons and will continue to do so until they fall from their lofty heights (which will happen, eventually). Linux, well, how about show some support and buy some coffee for the dev that wrote the Linux driver for your printer, or complain to the printer manufacturer for being obtuse and not providing drivers for OS as widely used as Linux is nowadays. Same thing goes for software/apps manuals.. Some are real good at including such, eg. man packagename and some are not. I find searching more pleasing than reading software for windows manuals that are written for a 3rd grade comprehension level, boorish at best, if not plain insulting...

and if all that don't help, try this guide on asking questions it may put a bit more perspective on Linux devs and if you consider the team that makes up LM for example, compare that to the groves of coding monkeys M$ employs, well, I start getting motivated to help out LM team and write some dang manuals myself- because otherwise, as Sum41 surmises "We're all to blame"

ps, I do not mean to sound aggressive here, I too am a newb (Linux less than one year now) but for me it has been and continues to be an engaging and exciting adventure of learning mixed with awe and appreciation for what a community has brought together that easily meets Windows head on. and I sport my newbiness like a worn badge of shameless/humble/pride. What we have here at these LM forums is not something you will find for other OS's and not many Linux distros house the number of calm, cool and collected experts and experienced we have bragging rights to- and it is all goodhearted volunteerism (there are no paid support positions in the forums, afaik)

edit to add: for the quick, see Pjotr's response :mrgreen:
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by phd21 »

Hi Alvin,

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" and "lsusb" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

It would certainly help us to know exactly what make and model of printer you have and how you have it connected or want to connect it. Although Linux Mint supports a lot of printers, not all printers work well under Linux.

There are 4 wonderful free editions of Linux Mint (Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce, and KDE). I have been using Linux Mint since 2013 and it was super easy to install in less than 16 minutes and it simply works great. All the basic functions and applications that most people use a computer for are already installed and ready to use like browser for Internet, music player, multimedia application for videos and music, office suite, file manager, image editor and browser, etc... And over 50,000 other applications that can be installed through the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM).

But, like I all operating systems there are some things users will need to learn how to do and setting up your printer as a network shared printer may be one them.

I think the Linux Mint documentation is pretty good and like most documentation, it can always be improved.
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by Moem »

Alvin wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:06 pm
A good mathematician must weigh the probability that a proposed solution will work where others have failed.
And so you did. And the outcome was that it somehow felt safer to go with a different OS than to try this solution, offered in good faith by a more experienced user.
Okay then. The decision is of course yours. But don't pretend that this was logic at work, because it was not; it was raw, pure emotion. Which is not a bad thing, mind you.
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by gm10 »

And I thought the logical conclusion to OP's "worth of time" calculations would have had to be to pay us to make it worth our time to create the documentation he seeks. :roll:
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by jondoe »

Can you tell us if it is going to be networked printer say over wireless or directly plugged in by say maybe USB perhaps .

That would be a big help . Example your windows 7 pc how did you print ( printer hooked up direct to pc or was it networked).

Another example my printer I connect to it via wireless.
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by jondoe »

Alvin ,

Something else to consider. You need to evaluate what exactly you need a computer for. To make sure Linux is right for you.

For example , make sure any proprietary software you must have ( if any) is avail in Linux.

If you mainly use a pc for office programs, surfing web, videos , photos , music etc then often is the case ( if they cant figure out your printer) printers are cheap and finding another to work with Mint is an option .

If security and stable OS is your goal.

Let me tell you Windows 10 is no Picnic. Example you could be in the middle of working and it will halt you do to windows update that can no longer be turned off.

I feel your pain ( many of my questions never answered as well) but I refuse to go back to Windows, that might be where we differ. I have fist full of hundreds to donate but I am in same boat as you I wonder if this ship is going to sail.

Best advice is be patient I guess.

Would be big help to know how you connect to printer ( network or USB or ?) what brand and model printer ?
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by meToo »

Alvin wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:06 pm
...........
Thanks to all and goodbye!
I don't think he is reading replies to which people have freely given time to writing! The quote probably says all.

I find that those with strong theoretical and scientific knowledge can't see the wood from the trees on more simple matters. (Apologies to forum members who have that knowledge yet remain faithful and contribute to the forum.)
I find it disturbing when people nitpick but decline to make any effort. :roll:
When I used that other system for years, I never had much success with official on-line docs, gaining most help from forums.
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by Hoser Rob »

Alvin wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:23 pm
... Let me tell you that I am a mathematically educated person who is not frightened by complexity, if it is worth my time. I do not believe that spending my time to make up for the unwillingness of Mint developers to spend their time to offer a good user guide is worth the effort. ...
If you had been so well educated on the subject you'd have known that open source development projects aren't well staffed enough to keep manuals up to date.

And of course 'newbie' should be a warning. Anyone who thinks that an "it just works" Linux distro exists is tech delusional and for any Linux distro to suggest that's what they offer is disingenuous ... NO dev is that dumb ... and just plain wrong.
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by missmoondog »

Hoser Rob wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:51 am
Alvin wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:23 pm
... Let me tell you that I am a mathematically educated person who is not frightened by complexity, if it is worth my time. I do not believe that spending my time to make up for the unwillingness of Mint developers to spend their time to offer a good user guide is worth the effort. ...
If you had been so well educated on the subject you'd have known that open source development projects aren't well staffed enough to keep manuals up to date.

And of course 'newbie' should be a warning. Anyone who thinks that an "it just works" Linux distro exists is tech delusional and for any Linux distro to suggest that's what they offer is disingenuous ... NO dev is that dumb ... and just plain wrong.
i don't know about that line of saying linux doessn't work out of the box is all that accurate. have used many different distros and have had everything work right from the get go, including printers. granted, i have come across where getting something to work might require a little experimenting, but the 1 time i ran into that was because my printer was to old and wasn't even supported in linux. purchased a new, supported printer for like $59 and it worked immediately.

as far as alvin not wanting to even try solving the issue and going back to windows 7, which even he knows support ends for next january, or wanting to try that disaster that is windows 10, all i can say is good luck. he'll be back! :)
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by mchandler »

My two cents on LM and printers:

My Epson WF-2450 works better on Linux Mint (19.1) than it ever did on Windows 10. On Mint I get all the maintenance/status messages whereas I never did on Windows. Mint isn't my first Linux distro, either, I spent a year on Ubuntu (16.x and 18.x) and I find Mint to be far more plug-and-play than Ubuntu.
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Re: Isn't "newbie" a warning to new users?

Post by leo-tech »

I guess the OP would be happy with Apple Macintosh+macOS, platform which more or less combines the convenience/comfort of Windows and stability/robustness of Unix (as it's based on FreeBSD). However, there would be a considerable downside too, such as insane prices, finding some of the important traditionally upgradeable components soldered to motherboard or very hard to access, general disregard by monopolist Apple of many natural computer users freedoms.
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