Author Topic: Linux  (Read 7054 times)

random axe

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Linux
« on: May 19, 2012, 09:23:49 PM »
Installing Ubuntu on my new machine.  This'll be my third serious attempt to go Linux.

At first, it was surprisingly slow -- not really any faster than Win XP.  And it was churning the drive like mad!  Then I realized it was still just the demo, running off the CD, not the drive. 

:lol:  :eyeroll:

OK, MOVING AHEAD.

I'm impressed that, unlike Windows, it continues installing in the background while asking me things like what timezone I'm in and what my username will be.  Already so much more advanced.

However, it autodetected my location as Nipigon, somewhere in northern Canada.  Right timezone, though, I think.  I was tempted to leave it.

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 10:06:44 PM »
In the actual install, not the demo, it autodetected me as being in Toronto.  It's convinced I'm Canadian.  I don't have an internet connection for that machine yet (it has no wireless adapter), so I'm not sure what Ubuntu's going on.  Something encoded into the install CD I made at work, maybe.

The default GUI is pretty slick.  The window controls aren't reflexive for me, but I can learn if I have to.  I like bigger corners buttons -- yes, those controls should be the same for pretty much every window, every time, but if you hit the wrong one and close the app by mistake, you're going to be justifiably pissed.

The file management system has a very weak interface, though, with almost no options.  I don't like clouds of icons; I like lists with details.  I'll have to install something else.  Once I get this networked, that shouldn't be a problem.

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

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Re: Linux
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 10:39:39 PM »
Heh. Who is your ISP?
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random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 11:12:48 PM »
AT&T.  I don't have a lot of options here.  It's only the state capital.

Sidious

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Re: Linux
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 09:39:19 AM »
Nautilus as an out of the box file manager is practically unusable.  The only way to fix it is to open up a command line and run gconf-editor and fix the default settings in there.

It's stupid that they bury settings like that. It doesn't simplify the User experience, it complicates it.
Rich people won't kill the rest of us off until there are really good robots.

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 11:52:27 AM »
Buried user settings is always a bad idea.

The old WordPerfect got it pretty much exactly right.  Normally a WYSIWYG word processor with cute buttons.  Hit one function key, and you get a split screen showing the WYSIWYG formatted text next to the mark-up.  Want to see WTF mark-up codes you've actually gotten chunked in there?  And you can edit them manually, too.

Back when Windows 3.0 came out, MS said that Real Soon Now they were going to release a version that had User and Expert settings for the UI.  The Expert settings would have a ton more options and give you a lot more control, although of course it would be more daunting for casual users.  MS never delivered (go figure), but we did get the PowerToys, at least. 

OS/2 almost got this balance right, but even the regular sets of options confused Things You Probably Need and Things You'll Almost Never Need.  No one wants to right-click and see a two-column context menu, especially if half the options are inscrutable.

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 09:42:32 AM »
A)  It's SO FAST, which, I mean, it's just got the bare OS on there, and it's a dual-core 3.4 ghz system, which is much faster than my other machines.  But it's still extremely fast.  The suspend / wakeup is almost instantaneous.  Quite nice.

B)  Trying to set up a Linux machine that doesn't have internet yet isn't as bad as doing the same with a Windows machine, but it's still kind of like trying to repair a car 25 miles from a garage that doesn't have a tow truck.  But I put my flash drive in, and the system has no problem reading and accessing Windows files.  Nice.

C)  The level of information available to the user is very variable, though.  Lots of stuff, seems like you have to click on it to find out what it does.  That's not fabulous -- a lot more hover-over info wouldn't hurt.

Similarly, I clicked what I'm pretty sure was meant to be the eject button for the flash drive.  It closed the file window, which, fine, that makes reasonable sense.  But did it actually eject the drive?  There's no notification.

:shrug:

Also, on a side note, the front USB ports on this Dell Optiplex 745 are upside-down.  Really?  Really?  FFS.

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 09:27:39 PM »
I moved my Linux machine to work, partly because, once again, I just needed another / a newer computer there, and partly because I just couldn't get the thing to connect to the internet at home.  Worked instantly when I plugged it into the router at work.  Good enough.

It's touchy.  At first, it would occasionally crash.  If there's a system log where I can see WTF was the last thing to happen before it crashed, I haven't been able to find it.  I downloaded a ton of Ubuntu updates, and it seems to have settled down.  (Fingers crossed.)

The UI is very clean but also really, really poor.  First, you need the mouse to do everything.  Second, there's not a lot of Help, not many context menus, etc.  I still have to click on things to find out what they do; so far that hasn't caused any problems, but it's a pretty stupid way to proceed.  Often right-clicking on something does the same thing as left-clicking.  :whatever:

There are worse quirks.  I downloaded and installed Opera.  No icon on the desktop.  There's no apparent program launcher.  Hmm.  I found a summary of the system that tells me Opera is installed, but you can't run it from there.  Can't find Opera in the actual file system.

I had to click on an icon that . . . I'm still not sure what it does, neither conceptually nor actually, but it produces a window that has some apps in it, plus a search bar.  Well, OK.  I searched for "Opera", and it gives me a window that just has the Opera program icon.  No files or anything, and there's no contextual help.  But, what the hell, I tried dragging that icon to the desktop, and that worked.  So there!  Easy as some very difficult and mysterious kind of pie.

There's a lot of that.  But so far I still like it better than Windows 7.  It's actually less annoying than XP, but not as productive to use.

Oh, I also downloaded and possibly installed an antivirus program for it.  But I can't tell if that one installed correctly, or if it's running.  :whatever:

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 06:29:02 PM »
Yeah, I had to give up on the Ubuntu.  It's just so very, very half-assed.  Every time I install something, I can't tell if it installed or not.  This thing desperately needs a proper UI.  It doesn't really seem to have a command-line UI and really very much does not have a decent GUI.  It's painfully clear that it evolved organically from a non-GUI tradition rather than being planned out.

Anyway, I just don't have the time to fark around with it.  I need to be able to use that machine.  So today I installed XP over it with the CD that came with the machine.

And that is, of course, a total fucking disaster.  FUCKING MICROSOFT.  I have installed XP SP3 probably thirty times.  It seems like it's different every fucking time.  Why is that?  This time, it's constantly pestering me to register and update it.  Like every sixty seconds.  BUT it installed no ethernet drivers.  So there's no fucking internet connection.  And the fucking "wizard" keeps asking if I want it to go look online for the driver.  YOU FUCKING MORON.

It didn't install the video driver, audio driver, etc.  Almost nothing.  And it can't find the drivers on the CD.  I couldn't find them, either.  Says it's the XP SP3 for Refurbished Machines install disk.  And it came with this machine.  Which is an out-of-the-box Dell -- not exactly something exotic -- that originally came with XP.

I'll have to hunt around online for the idiot ethernet driver.  Bloody fucking hell.  Ubuntu may have been fairly crap (video card crashes aside, that was mostly Gnome's fault, I suppose), but it worked right out of the box, which is more than I can say for XP.

Sidious

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Re: Linux
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 06:52:29 PM »
Oh I can't blame you.  I find Ubuntu totally unusable.  I don't understand how anybody manages with that steaming pile.
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TFJ

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Re: Linux
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 10:09:46 PM »
e tu, ubuntu?



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Re: Linux
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 02:39:34 PM »
:rollin:
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random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 04:02:23 PM »
Seriously, I realize it evolved from a Unix sort of base, but it's just incomprehensible out of the box.  I constantly couldn't find stuff or figure out how to do things.  I'm sure there are free apps I could eventually find and install to make it liveable, but I just don't have the time or patience for it.  That's why I'm not thrilled with FF, in general.  I'm just not looking to dig through a zillion plug-ins or whatever.

Every time I update Opera, I have to go through and reset a bunch of settings, because god forbid that software should migrate your preferences.  Too Hard.  But, really, it only takes like ten minutes.

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Re: Linux
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 05:01:08 PM »
"I'm only going to ask you once more. Sit down or I will kick you in the vagina, and you know I will."

Sidious

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Re: Linux
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 10:10:34 PM »
Seriously, I realize it evolved from a Unix sort of base, but it's just incomprehensible out of the box.  I constantly couldn't find stuff or figure out how to do things. 

Ubuntu's interface these days has nothing to do with Unix or even Linux (other than the fact that Ubuntu uses a Linux kernel).  The "Unity" interface on Ubuntu was pretty roundly rejected by Ubuntu's user base, which is why Linux Mint is enjoying a renaissance of sorts in the past year or so.

Ubuntu is a poor representative of what Linux can do.  That's largely why I've rejected it too.
Rich people won't kill the rest of us off until there are really good robots.