Please use this Forum for Absolute beginners subjects


 
38 posts   Page 1 of 2   1, 2
by Gert van Loo » Wed May 09, 2012 4:56 pm
I appreciate that 'beginner' is a relative term so is 'Absolute beginner'. However I see subjects posted here which are far from 'beginners' issue like 'How to compile the kernel.' 'Assembly code' etc. In fact in my opinion a lot of posts here are beyond absolute beginners.  It is not so much that I mind them being in the wrong place but more that it will scare off real absolute beginners, from whch we will see many more in the coming weeks now the boards are distributed in the thousands.

I will also discuss with my fellow admins to move posts around more to forums which are more relevant.
User avatar
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 2081
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:27 am
by Steady_Bear » Wed May 09, 2012 10:36 pm
Please can I take the chance to recommend a kernel specific section (under another section would be fine, but specifically pulled away from userspace software issues).

Kernels, although may be fun for some people (and should be tried by all ;) ), are likely to start people running a mile in the other direction - worrying when average Jo[e] would never need poke about with the kernel.

So, if all that technical babble® is out of sight of the average, even intermediate, user it should help.

Just my tuppence.
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:06 pm
by mahjongg » Thu May 10, 2012 12:57 am
in this early stage, I suppose that "absolute beginners" means something different  than it will six months from now.
User avatar
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 5749
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
by EarthlyPangaea » Sun May 13, 2012 12:59 am
A separate place for questions such as "I'm trying to compile 'x' software and I'm getting error 'y'" would be really handy. I'm hitting that kind of error lately. I'm familiar with the basics of how to use Debian. However I'm out of my depth after that because when making source gives me errors I have no idea how to deal with them.
User avatar
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:35 pm
by mertonn » Mon May 21, 2012 1:48 pm
OK

It took me ages to find this as we are not yet Linux Heads
When we downloaded Debian6, it installed, we Started our Rasberry PI
Put in our Username and Password
Then What.
"startx" ahh
This should be on the downloads page
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 1:44 pm
by Leonenko » Wed May 23, 2012 2:23 pm
ok.... I am an absolute beginner! I have my Pi arriving soon - dispatched today and everything i read is about partitioning sd cards... not partitioning them... using torrents... not using torrents!

I am fairly tech savvy (but importantly not a programmer or engineer!) and so lots of these technical terms are confusing. I know what partitioning means and I know about torrents... that doesn't mean I know what you are talking about!

This thread should help people like me, get our new shiny Raspberry Pi's up and running and usable and yet all people want to do is argue about the voltage of power inputs - the initial post is relatively helpful but doesn't help with how to get the OS onto the SD card and how to run it from there... Can anybody give me a simple (10 point?) list to go from receiving the Raspberry Pi to using it - I don't mind experimenting from there (that's why I bought it!) but I need a baseline of knowledge to get me started!

Sorry if this looks a little ranty... but as a 32 year old marketer, the jargon and techie terms are a little annoying on an absolute beginners thread...

p.s. I can't wait to start using my Pi!
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 2:12 pm
by bredman » Wed May 23, 2012 3:04 pm
All the instructions are on the wiki at http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Hub#Getting_Started

A forum is not a suitable place to give you detailed instructions. A forum is a place to discuss your problems. This is a large audience, so what may seem to be absolutely basic to one person may seem absolute gibberish to another person.
Posts: 1413
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:38 pm
by Leonenko » Wed May 23, 2012 3:30 pm
bredman wrote:All the instructions are on the wiki at http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Hub#Getting_Started

A forum is not a suitable place to give you detailed instructions. A forum is a place to discuss your problems. This is a large audience, so what may seem to be absolutely basic to one person may seem absolute gibberish to another person.


thanks for the link - I take your point about the forum. But it is also supposed to be helpful and until you posted... It wasn't helping me!

Thanks again - I am looking forward to discussing my real problems later!! :D
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 2:12 pm
by bredman » Wed May 23, 2012 8:23 pm
A lot of people are getting confused because the RPi is not ready for beginners yet. Remember that this is only the developer release. This is why there is so little documentation available at the moment. All of the gurus are busy writing documentation like the wiki, the magazines, and the educational documents.

Since you have accidentally wandered into a developer release, you may be tempted to put your RPi into a drawer until next winter. Please don't do this. You can help by trying to use the documentation that we have available and let us know how it feels to you. It's not enough for the documentation to be technically correct, it must also be approachable for the new users.

So this is a call to all new users - please do your best to struggle along for the moment. You can do your bit to pave the way for those following behind. And no matter how frustrating you find it, remember that every mistake will help you learn a bit more.
Posts: 1413
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:38 pm
by Leonenko » Wed May 23, 2012 9:57 pm
bredman wrote:A lot of people are getting confused because the RPi is not ready for beginners yet. Remember that this is only the developer release. This is why there is so little documentation available at the moment. All of the gurus are busy writing documentation like the wiki, the magazines, and the educational documents.

Since you have accidentally wandered into a developer release, you may be tempted to put your RPi into a drawer until next winter. Please don't do this. You can help by trying to use the documentation that we have available and let us know how it feels to you. It's not enough for the documentation to be technically correct, it must also be approachable for the new users.

So this is a call to all new users - please do your best to struggle along for the moment. You can do your bit to pave the way for those following behind. And no matter how frustrating you find it, remember that every mistake will help you learn a bit more.


I don't think anyone was confused by this - misled maybe... there has been a lot of PR and the massive reaction is not confusion... it is a massive enthusiasm to do something interesting and different - the worse thing this forum and community can do is alienate people like me ... and yet it appears to be doing just that! (this is obviously not aimed at you! your advice has been great and I really am looking forward to exploring!)
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 2:12 pm
by DavidMS » Fri May 25, 2012 9:17 pm
Ok, so my Pi arrived this morning, I was not prepared but found suitable monitor etc. and got a SD card from the supermarket.

I Quickly found the instructions to create an image on the SD card, plugged everything in and everything worked....

But at this point all the beginner instructions stop, reading this forum I found that I should be typing 'startx' to get into a graphic environment which is a start.

So what is my point, as I think Leonenko was trying to highlight, there is a serious gap of help in how to get from initial operation to something you can show your children

It would be really helpful if there was simple document which gave some basics on how to get from the initial command prompt to somewhere useful. For instance having discovered 'startx' I now have Scratch up and running ( I knew it was there but did not know how to 'run' it)

While it is ok to assume that early Pi users will competent with a PC (or Mac), assuming that we all know anything about Linux or how to start some of the built in applications within the Debian release risks a lot of people getting turned off the their Rasperrry Pi before getting past the login.

This information may exist but it is nowhere obvious and even the 'getting started' instructions on the Element 14 site have the wrong password .........
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 8:48 pm
by pebblesdad » Fri May 25, 2012 9:56 pm
I agree with your post DavidMS, but (excuse my ignorance) how DO you get Scratch up and running? I'm using Debian Squeeze, and I can't seem to find it.
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 9:53 pm
by DavidMS » Sat May 26, 2012 1:31 pm
once you have logged in , at the prompt type "startx", that starts the graphic user interface [you should get a white screen with a big raspberry in the middle.

Next left click the bottom left hand icon on the screen [about where you would find the MS 'start icon' on a PC], this should bring up a menu list, scratch is in the education sub-folder.

Hope this helps

David
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 8:48 pm
by martinwells » Sat May 26, 2012 7:01 pm
You are so right - I wanted to give up I just needed some really simple help (I've been using PCs and Macs for years and felt like giving up) - and when I saw your post startx voila!
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:28 pm
by masterice » Sun May 27, 2012 11:30 am
OK I'm a complete beginner with the RPi and Linux but not with computing in general. So here's my problem and please tolerate it as this came about when showing the Pi off to someone
.
I have the RPi running Debian Squeeze and connected to my network - all very nice.
The Midori browser works (if a tad slow) but I have one strange glitch I can't fathom.

I logged into Facebook to do a test using Midori and have found that whilst I can post to an existing posting, add a like/dislike to a posting, view and use all other FB facilities I cannot start a new post.

I enter my post, click the 'SEND' button and - zilch.

The task manager shows a peak of activity but the post is not sent. However if I go to navigate away from the page I get the normal FB warning of not having completed my post and do I want to leave?

Has anyone come across this?
I also note that right clicking the desktop I am offered Firefox as a browser option only that doesn't seem to be installed. Am i just missing something.

Many thanks
Dale
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:58 pm
by stevepdp » Sun May 27, 2012 11:59 am
masterice wrote:I logged into Facebook to do a test using Midori and have found that whilst I can post to an existing posting, add a like/dislike to a posting, view and use all other FB facilities I cannot start a new post.


Facebook is a very Javascript heavy website, as are several other popular social networking sites.

Try instead using the mobile version of Facebook, the mobile version of Twitter etc.
I'm not a part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, I'm just an enthusiastic fan.
User avatar
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:41 am
Location: Norfolk, UK
by masterice » Sun May 27, 2012 1:53 pm
stevepdp wrote:
Facebook is a very Javascript heavy website, as are several other popular social networking sites.

Try instead using the mobile version of Facebook, the mobile version of Twitter etc.


Thanks for that Steve however it seems Midori doesn't like the mobile version of facebook either as it produces an error message about a non-defined entity (which it says is the 'nbsp' HTML statement) on line 159 which is a line that doesn't actually exist in the page source anyway.

So I shall move on and probably install either firefox or chrome and try them. Maybe even seamonkey as that's a more stripped down browser.

The next thing is to try Arch Linux as well - glutton for punishment that I am.

Dale
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:58 pm
by PeteV » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:56 am
Ok, utter novice, so please bear with me. Everything up and running, all good so far, but i've read somewhere that I need to set up a user account to avoid problems with the root. Or something. See? I've written that and I have no idea what it means. Er....how do I do that, and do I need to do that? :shock:
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:43 am
by stevepdp » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:52 am
PeteV wrote:Er....how do I do that, and do I need to do that? :shock:


It's not a requirement, but it's certainly recommended.

Out of the box, Arch will have you log in with the user "root". Root is similar to the user "Administrator" under Windows. This user has complete and total control over everything on the system, and it's generally considered dangerous to run user programs as this user.

Linux folks tend to set up a user with less privileges, and then use the root account for system maintainance tasks only such as package installation.

So, it's advised to set up your own user.

See this document at the Arch wiki which details the process.
I'm not a part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, I'm just an enthusiastic fan.
User avatar
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:41 am
Location: Norfolk, UK
by PeteV » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:09 pm
Lovely . Thanks Stevepdp :)
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:43 am
by itimpi » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:47 pm
If you have used the (recommended) Debian distribution, then you will already have a none-root account called pi set up.
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:44 am
Location: Potters Bar, United Kingdom
by claire1642 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:40 pm
Hi Everyone,

Just wondering where the best place is to start now i have got to the actual GUI? iv had a quick look through the menu and nothing looks familiar. I know im going to have to learn a new language, where should i start for the pi? i downloaded the recommended version of the debian os. Super excited to get started!

Many thanks in advance

Claire
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:53 pm
by Arturian » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:02 am
Windows 7 pro

First time I have used a SHA1 check (for the Debian "squeeze" image) and I didn't know what software to use;

So I found MD5SHA1DC.exe on CNET
[url]
http://downloads.cnet.co.uk/view/securi ... -40195892/[/url]

    point it at your unzipped image file
    open the SHA1 file - I used choose program, notepad
    copy and paste the SHA1 code from the SHA1 file into MD5SHA1DC
    You get a tick if it's OK

Hope this helps
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 2:04 pm
by Arturian » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:17 am
Windows 7 pro

I made a boo-boo when I first wrote my debian image to my SD card
(note remember to use the unzipped .img file NOT the .zip file itself :roll: Ok you can stop laughing now!)
The blue screen told me I had done wrong so I tried again and got a kernel panic (good name eh?), which is actually a hardware incompatible error (see all the posts about cheap keyboards/mice).

I thought I'd try to write the image again and when the PC asked me to format the SDCard I did.
Now the 4Gb card appears as a 75Mb one because the PC did not recognise the other partitions.

I could not find a utility to clear them but I did find a brilliant post that suggested I
put the SDCard into my camera and reformat it.
It took all of 10 seconds and I had my 4Gb card back again.

All I have to do now is wait for the shops to open to buy a different keyboard.

Hope this helps
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 2:04 pm
by itimpi » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:08 am
It is quite normal for the PC to see the card as 75MB after writing the image as it only sees the FAT32 partition at the start of the card. It does not see the following partition which contains the Linux OS. However if you use Disk Manager you will see the extra partition.

The other point is hat if the card is larger than 2GB the extra space is not usable from Linux until you follow the instructions for expanding the Linux partition to fill the whole card.
Posts: 1035
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:44 am
Location: Potters Bar, United Kingdom