ComeFindMe
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:00 pm

If it helps (now i\'ve stirred it up :)), i\'m a 25 year old guy who has only ever known Windows. Linux sounds absoutely fantastic and I genuinely believe that for £25 a hell of a lot of people would take the jump and give it a go...but...like one commenter here said, in the documentation i\'ve seen, often key knowledge is taken for granted.

I think people would spend the time to really whittle it down to an OS thats \'for them\' - but only once they have something in the first place! All the discussions on the benefits of the Pi (and there are very many) become moot if you cant get past plugging it into the mains :)

I work in a college and part of my brief was to come up with an instruction leaflet for a new online classroom teaching resource we use...though it was all completely basic to me, I found it only became successful when I addressed the basics and worked from there (e.g. \"to insert text, click the \'A\' icon and then click on the whiteboard\". Not asking for anything that simple, but perhaps just something like:

1) Format the SD card by clicking...

2) Download XYZ, saving to file ABC etc.....

Maybe its just me...it would just be a terrible shame if it became a doorstop for the average Windows user :)

kme
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:36 pm

[quote]Quote from ComeFindMe on December 12, 2011, 23:00
...but perhaps just something like:

1) Format the SD card by clicking...

2) Download XYZ, saving to file ABC etc.....

Maybe its just me...it would just be a terrible shame if it became a doorstop for the average Windows user :)[/quote]But the average Windows user doesn\'t have to format his drive or download something from Microsoft to get started. Similar there isn\'t any need for an average R-Pi user to format and download anything from R-Pi Foundation. You just buy a ready made SD card for R-Pi the same way as you buy a Windows CD or a system with preinstalled Windows on the HDD.

It\'s exactly the same. Linux also comes with automatic update (like Windows Update) so only if you total your R-Pi SD card you\'ll need to buy a new one. Just as if you kill your Windows HDD image.

Linux isn\'t black magic. It\'s just an OS and absolutely no more complicated than Windows if all you try to do is Windows-like stuff. Of course with Linux you actually may do very complicated stuff if you like to. Unlike Windows, where you can\'t touch the first thing.

But if all you want is to push a mouse around and see a cursor move on the screen Linux is no more complicated than Windows.

ComeFindMe
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:56 am

Fair point...*crosses fingers that ready made SDs will be available around release* :)

Skygod
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:31 pm

[quote]Quote from kme on December 12, 2011, 18:02
Please notice that most concepts in Linux are the same as in Windows (or rather, opposite). A partition means the same in Windows and in Linux, the same goes for primary/extended partitions. You partition disks in very similar ways in Linux and Windows. Boot flag, MBR (master boot record), boot loader and file system are the same names and concepts in both. Kernel, window manager and desktop environment are the same concepts in both (except for most of these you don\'t have a choice in Windows, but you do in Linux).

If you expect the R-Pi project to learn you this basic computer skills I\'m afraid you are going to be disappointed. It\'s far too big a task for such a small project as R-Pi. If mighty Microsoft didn\'t manage to teach you, how could this little project ever hope to do so?[/quote]

And how many people that install Windows actually understand what the Windows installer is doing re partitions? I\'d hazard a guess at less than 5%!

The concept of root home and user is slowly coming around, but most companies that install the OS for the user still just make a single partition.

Having been \'exposed\' to other OS\'s, I at least keep data seperated from OS / Programs, but it still pisses me off that M$ still defaults to put stuff in my OS area (AppData); and without buiding a custom installer, you can\'t avoid this!

obarthelemy
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:01 pm

I would argue than Linux\'s auto-update is better than Window\'s because it covers ALL software, not just the OS (Windows Update) or MS\'s Apps (MS Update).
On the other hand, UN-installing software is not really supported in Linux. Everytime I tried it, the choice was between leaving a lot of orphan stuff on the PC anyway (apt-get doesn\'t unapt-unget dependencies it seems), or breaking it (by trying to force uninstalls of stuff that seemed no longer needed).

sylvan
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:43 pm

[quote]Quote from obarthelemy on December 13, 2011, 18:01
On the other hand, UN-installing software is not really supported in Linux. Everytime I tried it, the choice was between leaving a lot of orphan stuff on the PC anyway (apt-get doesn\'t unapt-unget dependencies it seems), or breaking it (by trying to force uninstalls of stuff that seemed no longer needed).[/quote]

That used to be the case. The last few years \'apt\' has \'autoremove\' which will remove those things that are now unneeded if they were automatically installed. I don\'t know if/how that is handled in any of the GUI tools.

Of course, Windows still doesn\'t remove or properly track dependencies or version of dependencies at all. The Microsoft solution is for every app to install everything it needs in its own directory and remove it when the app is removed. With no sharing of dependencies there is no need to track which are needed or not, or which version is needed. Of course, some things (mostly libraries provided by microsoft) still get installed under /Windows and remain there in perpetuity. And the registry continually grows. But as for dependencies, it\'s just disk space so there is a certain elegance and appeal to the \"everyone install their own\" approach. It would be more elegant if NTFS supported block deduplication...

Because of the Windows issues, thru my years of experience with both platforms I know Linux is much easier to maintain over years and decades of installing/removing/upgrading apps, the OS, and the underlying hardware (specifically apt and dpkg on debian-derived distributions, I gave up on RPM entirely about 2001).

example:

My main home server was originally a Knoppix install to the hard disk using a Linux 1.1 kernel on a 486/33. The OS has never been reinstalled, and is now running a mix of Debian Wheezy/Sid with a 3.1 kernel. I\'ve lost track for certain of how many times various hardware pieces have been replaced since then, but I do remember the processor has been replaced at least twice (486/33 to an amd 486/133 and a C633 to a P750), the main system disk has been replaced at least 4 times and the motherboard has been replaced at least twice and the entire system other than the hard disk has been replaced at least 3 times. There have been several power supply and video and network replacements.

That home server also served as my first home linux workstation until I obsoleted my Pentium 100 running NT4 and replaced it with my first Ubuntu box running a very early pre-release of Ubuntu. The workstation software uninstalled fine from the server, everything cleaned up, and sometimes I broke something by forcing a remove, but that was easy to fix without needing a reinstall. Oh, and that first Ubuntu box has had many hardware and software upgrades and is currently running 11.04 and being used to type this message. (As is my habit, old workstation hardware flows down to the home server.)

Compared to Windows it is easy to keep Linux and all the apps current, and while keeping the hard disk cleaned up, and of course there is no registry to grow to enormous size with internal fragmentation and slow down the entire system. It\'s almost impossible with Windows. (And it is impossible to shrink the registry while Windows is running at least up thru WinXP.)

kme
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:55 pm

Aptitude (like in aptitude install, aptitude remove...) does a slightly better job in removing dependencies, but otherwise I agree completely with Sylvan that maintenance is a breeze in Linux compared to Windows. Windows you sooner or later have to reinstall as it becomes unbearable slow, this never happens to Linux - at least not to me the 15 years I\'ve used Linux. Well, I had to reinstall once because I ... oh, too embarrassed to admit... but you better know where your stand before issuing a \"rm -rf\" (red ears).

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Burngate
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:46 am

Since this thread is titled \"Truly Noob OS Question\" can I ask one?
[quote]Quote from sylvan on December 13, 2011, 22:43
... and of course there is no registry to grow to enormous size with internal fragmentation and slow down the entire system. It\'s almost impossible with Windows. (And it is impossible to shrink the registry while Windows is running at least up thru WinXP.)[/quote]
Linux has no registry?

Showing my age, I grew up with RiscOs, which doesn\'t have a registry, and never really got into Windows. And I never really understood how the registry worked. I watched from the sidelines while the Mac flourished, but never used it, and had to learn a few magic phrases for some Unix systems at work (think cookery: I could burn some toast but not do the full boeuf bourguignon)

In my innocence I assumed the basic structure of Windows, Macos, Unix & Linux were all the same. After all, they all use the same underlying disc structure, which is totally different from the RiscOs (adfs) disc structure, and very similar (8+3) file structures.

So do I have to radically revise my mental picture of how Linux works?

na1pir
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:52 am

Probably yes... Because Linux is very elegant to use and for program for it...

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RaTTuS
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:05 am

[quote]Quote from ComeFindMe on December 12, 2011, 23:00
If it helps (now i\'ve stirred it up :)), i\'m a 25 year old guy who has only ever known Windows. Linux sounds absoutely fantastic and I genuinely believe that for £25 a hell of a lot of people would take the jump and give it a go...but...like one commenter here said, in the documentation i\'ve seen, often key knowledge is taken for granted.
[/quote]
that\'s no excuse - download a ubuntu 10.04 CD image , using http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ stick that on either a CD or USB - boot it and have a look
How To ask Questions :- http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
WARNING - some parts of this post may be erroneous YMMV

1QC43qbL5FySu2Pi51vGqKqxy3UiJgukSX
Covfefe

ComeFindMe
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:23 pm

[quote]Quote from RaTTuS on December 14, 2011, 11:05
that\'s no excuse - download a ubuntu 10.04 CD image , using http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ stick that on either a CD or USB - boot it and have a look[/quote]

I have - three times (two usbs and an SD card) - strangely, did the same thing each time (with different OSes) but only LinuxMint (the second attempt) worked - very nice - though spent an hour or so trying and failing to set up a wireless connection.

The Terminal Manager was fun though :D

I didnt use pendrive linux btw...I think from memory it was LinuxLive?

sylvan
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:03 am

[quote]Quote from Burngate on December 14, 2011, 10:46
In my innocence I assumed the basic structure of Windows, Macos, Unix & Linux were all the same. After all, they all use the same underlying disc structure, which is totally different from the RiscOs (adfs) disc structure, and very similar (8+3) file structures.

So do I have to radically revise my mental picture of how Linux works?[/quote]

Yup.

Basic structure of Windows is very different from linux and MacOSX. OSX is in some ways more similar to Linux than to Windows, but different from both. All three have analogous pieces, but the pieces are stored in different places on the disk, loaded differently into memory, execute with different permissions and have different interfaces to the other software on the system.

I\'m not sure what you mean by disk structure and file structure. Default paths are mostly different between all three (linux and OSX do have some common locations).

Current versions of Windows have nearly eliminated the last vestiges of the 8.3 restriction (on XP and Vista the restriction was only present in some corner cases in the system, invisible to most users, I don\'t know about Win7). However Windows still depends on the \".3\" portion to specify the file type and hence the default open action.

Linux and OSX have never had \"8.3 file structures\". If forced to use an old DOS filesystem you might hit that limit on any of the three OSs, but it is only for DOS backwards compatibility.

The current filesystem for Windows is NTFS. It is a fairly modern, fully featured and capable filesystem. For Linux the most common filesystem currently is ext4 (or ext3, the previous version) and is comparable to NTFS is most regards, but the journaling is more robust in my experience. HFS for OSX is in the same class as ext3 or ext4. Wikipedia has a good filesystem comparison chart if more info is desired.

So if you want then you can name files following \"8.3\". Unlike Windows, the \".3\" portion is convention rather than enforced for Linux and OSX, and on OSX the convention is followed even less than on Linux.

Linux has had support for OSX disk partitions for a long time, but it wasn\'t until recently that Windows was able to recognize that OSX was using the disk (GPT on OSX vs MBR). (MBR doesn\'t deal well with disks over 2TB and only the newest PCs are capable of booting from a GPT disk.)

While Windows now can tell that OSX is using a disk (rather than thinking it uninitialized or one big \"protected space\") it still cannot access the OSX filesystem. (Probably someone has an HFS driver that can be added to Windows, I don\'t know.)

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Burngate
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Re: Truly Noob OS Question

Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:11 pm

@Sylvan: Thankyou. As you gently pointed out, I should have looked in Wikipedia before asking!
So now I\'m going away to do some research, armed with what you\'ve said.
I might be some time.

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