Author Topic: Linux  (Read 7055 times)

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 11:20:49 PM »
Yeah, I'll jump back into the breach one of these days.  I'll need to do a lot more research first, though.  All Linux is divided into more than three parts.

My main problem, really, is that I keep buying a 'new' machine to be my Linux toy, and then I keep needing to use that machine at work.

Which reminds me, :puke: I have to set up the new router at the other shop and make it work.  I still have no idea why the first one kept changing its settings on its own.  Which means I have no idea if setting up a new one will help or not.

You'd think that in a college town it would be easy to get a computer geek to do these kinds of minor jobs for store credit, but we've never had significant luck going that route.  It's nearly revolting.  What are young people even for if not for setting up the VCR for you?

:harumph:

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2014, 01:06:17 PM »
SO.

OK, I have installed Cinnamon / Mint (current / very recent version) on an old tower at home:

- It runs extremely well, right out of the box.  In fact, it ran so well off the DVD that I played around with it, changed the settings, and shut down the machine.  When I turned the machine back on, I realized that I hadn't actually installed it.  I was just running it off the bootable install disk.  Windows does not do that.  :lol: 

- It is an excellent Windows alternative, in the sense that if you know how to use XP / 7, you can use this immediately.  There are small differences in the interface, none of which have annoyed me so far, which I think means none of them can possibly be downgrades.  Not everything is laid out in a brilliantly logical / intuitive fashion, but it's at least a little better than Windows.

- Save data files from Windows on a flash drive, put flash drive in Mint machine, read the files transparently.  No issues, nothing scary or mysterious.  The file browser is a little weird -- everyone these days (for like fifteen years now) is so obsessed with a graphical interface that falls down and off a cliff as soon as you're looking at more than a few dozen files.  I will never understand that.  Just give me a list with details every time.  Of course, you have that option, but it takes a little fooling around.  I haven't gotten the folder tree to look right yet.

- It's fast . . . except for unexpected slowness.  Boots and shuts down very fast.  Most apps run very quickly.  Occasionally, something will take longer than you'd expect . . . and there's no sign that it's working on it.  Not even an hourglass.  You think, did I really start that?  Doubleclick misfire?  Awkward.

- Keyboard support is about as good as Windows, which is to say . . . bad.  But not worse than Windows.  Eh.

- The version of VLC that comes with it has some issues, mostly with sound synch.  Probably I can download a new version already that has that fixed.

- It occasionally hangs on wake-up, either from the screen saver or from hibernation.  Again, probably this will be fixed sometime soon.

I'm impressed with the install, though.  This is an older machine, but I didn't have to download any drivers, etc, which is not my experience of other Linux installs I've tried.

So, basically, it's a totally useable machine -- I'd rate the OS / GUI so far as halfway between XP and 7, but I'm sure I'm prejudiced toward XP because I'm more familiar with it.  And the OS is free.  And on this machine Windows 7 would be slower than hell, if it would even install.

mo

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Re: Linux
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2014, 06:14:03 PM »
Cool  :detta:

I've been contemplating what I'm going to do with my Windows machine once XP is actually phased out. Really, I haven't even cranked it up in months. But I don't think I'd ever fork over cash for an OS update on it, so that Linux sounds really good. Sounds like it's come a long way since the last version you tried.

Your list of issues is shorter than my list of issues with Mavericks.
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the other andrea

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Re: Linux
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2014, 07:48:16 PM »
 :uncertain:
"I'm only going to ask you once more. Sit down or I will kick you in the vagina, and you know I will."

mo

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Re: Linux
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2014, 09:22:54 AM »
:uncertain:
What? The Mavericks issues?

I should post my list I guess. I'll need to find it first, and then I'll need to translate it - some of it's in the form of to-do notes that doesn't make much sense.

Some of my issues may be due to the age of my machine (2009) and RAM (4GB). I read that there's a new update beta out there that allegedly solves the spinning beach ball issue, but I'm doubtful.
It's symbolic of our struggle against reality.

the other andrea

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Re: Linux
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2014, 02:15:46 PM »
Yes, just wondering how Mavericks is behaving.

Typing is at times... frustrating.  :bummed:
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Sidious

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Re: Linux
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2014, 06:56:45 PM »
I probably have more issues with Cinnamon than Axe does, but I've been using it longer.

It's also a pretty new desktop environment, so I know there are going to be wrinkles for a while (I just ran into a bunch of them today, in fact that were pretty frustrating), but I expect that, so they don't bother me much.  When they get on my nerves too much, I go back to Fluxbox for a while, and check out Cinnamon after the next round of major updates.

Anyway, glad you find it usable, Axey.  I use Windows all day, every day, at work, and I use nothing but Linux Mint at home for the past few years.

And I constantly find myself wondering why the hell people continue to put up with Windows when there is a free alternative like this out there.   :nuts:

I know, I know, there's this application, and these games, and blah blah blah.  But I often think that a lot of those reasons people throw out there as dealbreakers are largely excuses to continue to resist change until dragged kicking and screaming into the next Microsoft disaster once that gets shoved down their throats.
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mo

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Re: Linux
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2014, 07:32:23 PM »
Yes, just wondering how Mavericks is behaving.

See Endless Complaining. I don't want to threadjack this Linux thread.
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the other andrea

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Re: Linux
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2014, 03:59:43 AM »
 :batteyes:
"I'm only going to ask you once more. Sit down or I will kick you in the vagina, and you know I will."

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2014, 10:51:17 AM »
If Windows didn't come bundled with PCs and had to be bought and paid for separately, I think people would migrate much faster to the completely free alternative.

I realize this is pretty obvious.

There's a lot of stuff I could nitpick about the UI, but it just keeps hitting me that it was given to me for free.

The start-up tour claims that you can run Windows apps directly or in Windows emulation.  I haven't tried either yet.  So far, I've just noodled and played DVDs on the Linux machine.  Last night I installed it on my 'new' ThinkPad, though, which I intend to mostly use for writing.

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2014, 11:38:10 AM »
Same exact install, but on the ThinkPad there is a working-on-something indicator.  :shrug:

Various missing pieces of keyboard support are becoming . . . more noticeable.  In some places, it honestly is worse than XP in this regard.  I gotta be honest -- it might be clunky to do so, but no general UI that's made to regularly use a keyboard should require a mouse.  Any developer who types code ought to understand that well.


There are some cosmetic issues, too.  The Start Menu equivalent doesn't differentiate well between items that are executables and items of other kinds, such as folders.  Minor but annoying.  And the file browser that comes with Cinnamon is so-so, especially given its default settings.  The good old file tree seems very alien to most people nowadays, but I haven't seen a better visual organization as yet.  It doesn't have to represent 'actual' disk structure, but a tree diagram of some kind is a good way to display folders and show how they're related.

Some stuff I've seen online suggests that maybe MATE (another GUI for Mint) is better than Cinnamon, to my way of thinking.  Or maybe not.  Couldn't say, at this point.


Cinnamon comes with a text editor that's . . . a little odd, but probably fine.  Ditto for the calculator.  It comes with three drawing-and-image-manipulating programs (GIMP, an Open Office sort of thing, and another one), none of which are easy if you're a slave to Paint, but I'm surprised there are three in there by default.  There's an open Word replacement, which seems adequate as far as that goes, but nothing in between that and the text editor.  Honestly, a simple RTF editor like WordPad serves 99% of my writing needs and is far faster and lighter than a Word clone.

I can go find my own online for free, I'm sure, but I'm a little surprised one didn't come with the package.


However!

- So far, I've had zero problem with display issues.  XP and 7 both failed to autodetect and correctly configure the display for my widescreen monitor.  Mint got it right with no input from me.

- The power management system for the ThinkPad works great, and, again, set itself up automatically.

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2014, 01:15:10 PM »
- The intermittent keyboard support annoys me a little more each day.  I seriously do not understand how a competent designer can just occasionally decide that keyboard support isn't needed in this particular area.


- I wanted to download and install a lightweight RTF editor.  No such thing came with the install.  There's a simple but strange text editor, a vi-like text editor for experts who like that sort of thing, and a Libre Office word processor that I'm sure is fine for complex compound documents that I don't need to create, but it's way too much drama and complexity and way too slow for just, you know, having half a dozen simple documents open at once in separate windows.  Or just writing a note or list or so on.

Went online and hunted down a light word processor that does RTF, called Ted.  Downloaded an "install file" that's a GZ archive.  Fine, the system knows how to unpack GZ archives.

The system's installer has no interest in the GZ file.  Fine, I unpack the file, and . . . it creates a directory that has nine files and eight subdirectories.  No executables.  Um?  OK, THIS is why people don't switch to Linux.  :mad:

Digging, I find a readme that tells me to "run .sh Tedfile[somethingsomething]" in order to install.  :confused:  I try this command at a terminal command line.  System has no idea what this command is.  Also the target file the instructions specify does not actually exist.

What.  The.  Fuck.  This is not right.  Get a standard self-installing mechanism and use it, you chumps.


- One of the things that occurred to me (although it's not the actual problem in this case) is that I'm not logged in as root.  Open the system's Login Window; the only option is to log in as the user account I created during install.  Hmm.  Dig around, and I find an admin utility that lists logins -- about two dozen of them, all with strange names.  I recognize "root" and "sudo", although I don't remember what "sudo" is.  :lol: 

And I have no idea how to log into these, anyway.  I tried a whole bunch of things, with zero luck.


- SO oddly enough I looked for Help.  ALL THE HELP IS STRICTLY ONLINE.  Seriously.  Such a FAIL.  Go ahead and put it on the install and just have it notify the user that updated versions might be online, and here's the link.  No local help files?  FAIL.  Then it says, oh, maybe you want the User's Guide?  It's a PDF.  And you have to download it.

:eyeroll:


- When I installed, there was yadda-yadda about being able to run Windows apps.  So, fine, I copy the XP version of Wordpad and bring it over.  The system says, oh, hey, it's a Windows / DOS executable.  Yes!  Try to run it, and . . . nothing happens.  :confused:  Not even an error message.  Check properties, yes, it's set to run as an executable.

:shrug:

I'll have to try to download the User's Guide while I'm at work, maybe a tutorial.  Definitely this is one of those things where they have no idea what to expect people will or won't know.  But they won't pull in many Windows users this way.  Which might be what they want, too, but . . . erm.

Sidious

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Re: Linux
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2014, 03:15:47 PM »
Pro tip: When you download a program in a ".tar.gz" format, you're downloading the source code for it (which needs to be compiled), not an actual working, executable application.

Since you're running Mint, which is Debian based, if you're going to download an application, make sure it's a .deb, which is a self-installing mechanism.  Works really well.

To be honest though, your best bet is to stay away from downloading standalone applications entirely.  Use the "Software Manager" (which you can find in Mint's menu) instead.

From there you can single-click-install a gajillion applications straight from the Mint repositories.  I just looked and noticed that the Ted editor isn't in there, but just by putting the word "text" in the search box returns quite a lot of good results, any number of which might be decent options for what you need.





One of the things Windows users have a hard time getting their heads wrapped around (when switching to something like Linux Mint) is that if you need an application for something, going out and searching the web for one to download and install is about the worst way to go about it.  My (completely non-technical) Aunt Jean took about a year before she stopped fighting with this very Windows-centric concept.  I'd get phone calls and emails from her about how hard a time she was having finding a way to get some application to work, when she was literally a click or two away from it just by using the built-in software manager that most Debian-based distros use for most stuff.

Things are simpler here.  :)


That said, I hear good things about Ted, so if you are still wanting to try that one out, you'd be a lot better off downloading the .deb installer for it from the download page.  Just make sure it's appropriate to your architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).

From there, all you have to do is double-click on the file you downloaded, input your password when prompted, and click "install package".  The nice thing about Debian based distros' packaging system is that they handle things like dependencies and all the complicated stuff for you (unlike most other distros, or Windows, for that matter).

Don't give up though.  You're expecting Linux to work exactly the same way as Windows, and while in many ways that can work okay, it doesn't work for everything.

If you give this a chance, after a while you'll see that it's actually a much better way of doing a lot of things.  I have a foot firmly planted in each world, and believe me, I wish Windows were this easy for most of this kind of stuff.   ;)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 03:23:35 PM by Sidious »
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random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2014, 12:07:46 PM »
Ah, see, the problem is that the Linux machines are at home, where I have no internet.  I knew that was going to be a problem, but it's how it is.  So I have to download stuff on a flash drive at work, go home, find out what else I should have downloaded . . . .

The uncompiled vs install-ready thing is good to know.  And definitely the kind of thing a Windows user ought to know.  Although . . . honestly, it only makes sense for the Ted website to have both versions and say so, if the designer wants to get the app out there as much as possible.

[ edit:  I must have been at some other part of that Ted site, or maybe at the author's home site?  It was an all-Ted site but didn't have all those install options or the instructions.  :shrug: ]

I already like Mint / Cinnamon better than Windows 7.  It's enormously faster and much lower bullshit.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 12:09:51 PM by random axe »

random axe

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Re: Linux
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2014, 05:02:50 PM »
OK, clearly there's a tradition / strategy at play, but the more I look around the more surprised I am that there's basically 'get all the files and compile it yourself' and there's 'install the software directly on your machine from the internet right this moment', but there's vanishingly little 'download the install executable'.

I find many dozens of sites that say "Download Debian file" or similar, but none of them really mean that.  They seem to universally assume that anyone who wants to download it only wants to install it on the machine in question, which would be . . . stupid . . . for such a portable, open format.

God only knows when I'll have internet at home again, so probably the only way I can do this is either to carry my computer to an open WiFi or learn how to compile this shit manually.  Not that I'm completely opposed to either, but it's really a pretty dumb situation.

From here, I'm pretty surprised that the Ted .deb file is so accessible -- and I'm twice as grateful that Sidious provided a link to it.  :thumbsup: