Pirx-Danford
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:36 pm

Reading and participating in this thread makes me realize something.

The OS wars have been an ongoing historical struggle.

First between different technical concepts then even between different social concepts.

If you so will the open source movement put pressure on the software companies to continously invent better systems, else no one would pay for them. And at the same time it allowed collaboration of people to develop solutions no one would try to create for financial gain.

It was about getting things done for other reasons than earing money.

For me it looks like the RasPi might be a cornerstone of a new movement that is slowly building up.

Maybe after having open software the world is ripe for having an open hardware movement on a larger scale than just geeks and nerds?

Alchemy
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:57 pm

Pirx Danford said:


It was about getting things done for other reasons than earing money.


I see this very differently money is an issue here. Firstly RasPi is a cheap "talent checker" like the Recorder is in music. Secondly If programmers and other nerd jobs made more money. The kids wouldn't want to kick a football for a living or go into media or law.

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ArborealSeer
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:57 pm

But its a fixed hardware platform? RPi isn't going to magically fixes linuxs problems getting drivers for new hardware adoption.

What it means is everyone is equal / no one is more equal than the others.

(other than the differences between model a and b, in which case the difference is more memory)

It means like a console or iPad, everyone gets the same experience.

This is why microsoft axed the 95 based O/S after Windows and called the first of the new NT based generation for home users eXPerience after all... its still very widely used.
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hayesey
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:00 pm

Alchemy said:



I think simple text Python programs won't capture the imagination for long. And Qt5 looks like an environment. Its like riding a bike and then changing to  a car. I can imagine it feeling like a big jump to learners.


This is going to be the big problem.  Back in the BBC Micro/Sinclair days writing a program that made a few squares move about the screen or a kind of firework effect with lines was enough to impress yourself.  And it wasn't a million miles away from the graphics of games back then.  Now-a-days kids have a lot of exposure to extremely complex games and graphics, I fear anything good enough to impress them on a Pi will be far too hard for them to code up.  Then again, if this in a school were turning the Pi off and turning the Xbox on isn't an option then maybe this will work, surely typing things in Word is still as boring to kids as it is to me (well OK Libreoffice to me...)?

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johnbeetem
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:02 pm

mole125 said:

And there was I thinking that Tux being a nice and cute mascot was one of the big things that made linux less scary! Which logo gives a better warm fuzzy feeling on system startup - a nice cute penguin or a disintegrating window?
Neither -- what you want is a nice stuffed GNU from FSF: http://shop.fsf.org/category/s.....uffed-gnu/
You get extra points if it's signed by RMS

ArborealSeer said:


I've never seen it stated that RPi's goal is to promote linux by stealth.


That reminds me of this quote by Linus Torvalds:


Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft.  That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.  ["The Way We Live Now: Questions for Linus Torvalds". New York Times. 2003-09-28.]


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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:15 pm

Joe Schmoe said:

Linux will never "catch up" with Windows, because in order to do so, it would have to *become* Windows.   Windows is what it is because of what it is -- one of which is that it is backed by a trillion dollar company (OK, I exagerate slightly).  What we like about Linux is that it isn't backed by a whole corporate behemoth.  But, the general public sees that (being backed by a corporate behemoth) as a feature, not a bug.
Yeah, I guess GNU/Linux is only backed by tiny companies like IBM, Google, and Oracle.  And non-FLOSS Unix is backed by a tiny company called Apple.

Windows is backed by an extremely aggressive sales and marketing giant.  GNU/Linux spends next to nothing on sales and marketing, yet has won over Windows everywhere except the desktop and laptop.  If you compare all computing platforms including servers, smart phones and tablets, the competitiveness of Linux becomes quite a different picture.

XAPBob
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:25 pm

Ease of use I think Linux has Window beaten hands down.

If I give a non techie a PC and a windows disk it takes several hours to get to a point where they have to start downloading updates, and then buying/downloading software.

If I do the same with an ubuntu disc (the last disk I burnt) then in 30 minutes they have an installed, and up to date, system with most basic software installed.

The Ubuntu install impressed me.  It asked me which hard disk to use (with easy options, and an "Advanced" button) then started to prepare and install onto that disk whilst it asked me all the other questions it would want answers to later.  When they were done the install had almost finished in the background.

No brain required (unless you want to do the text based installer)

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abishur
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:25 pm

So this thread seems to be going around in circles... maybe ellipses? Whatever point is it seems to be going nowhere (but I appreciate that it's going nowhere while remaining respectful )

It seems like the arguement going on here is

Side A: Linux has the stigma of being difficult.  This is not to say that it is difficult but that people believe it to be difficult, ergo something needs to be done to rebrand it as easy to use.

Side B: But Linux isn't difficult!

Side A: I know!  I use it, but we're talking about kids who have grown up on Xboxes and iPad and one button mice, if they hit the slightest bit of resistance they give up

Side B: But Linux isn't difficult!

So Side B is missing the point of Side A, but Side A is missing the point of the r-pi .  Kids who have their own Xbox and mobile devices the kids who have the cash to run out and buy Call of Duty and lack the ability to appreciate anything other than instant gratification don't really need the r-pi   They need some more love and attention from their parents so they can appreciate things that take more than a half hour, but these are some relatively rich kids we're talking about (I can't even afford to run out and get CoD!)

The goal of the r-pi is to increase programming education.  For the kids who get it because their school program requires it, they'll be required to use it and quickly get past the misnomer that Linux = elitist = hard and != Mac therefore = sucks.  For the kids that get it because it's donated to them because they can't afford one themselves, then they'll be so absorbed in their ownership of a PC to care what OS it is and quickly figure out that this Linux thing is easy.

To be sure there will be some who just refuse to give it a shot, but these are kids who aren't going into programming anyway, their rejection, while lamentable, is no loss to the r-pi in general because they wouldn't be getting it even if it has IOS on it because it's not branded with their sacred brand.
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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:29 pm

Linux isn't a matter of life and death, it is a lot more important than that.

with apologies to Bill Shankly.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:31 pm

Use Linux you MoFo!


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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:40 pm

Just wish there were more sides.......

At the moment the problems I used to see in Windows (bloated etc.) are now apparent is some linux distros.

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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:42 pm

adlambert said:


It"s very normal for the linux community to be in denial about the inscrutability of linux OS. To suggest that it is not totally user friendly will usually draw anecdotes about how they installed in on this relative or that friends PC and they never looked back etc.

> gh

Syntax Error.

>


Because that"s the truth.  How many people do you know that could install Windows on their own PC?  A full version bought "off the shelf" and not an OEM version made for a specific model PC?  Even a re-install with manufacturer provided CDs is way beyond most people.

But I can install Mint on an old PC and give it to grandma and she can use it "OOTB" that I gave her.  And not be calling me every other month "cause she infected it clicking on some freebie she came across surfing or found in her "Inbox".

It is not the Linux users that are "in denial".  Try looking in the mirror for the closest "denier" around.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:52 pm

It is certainly the case with Windows that if you just have the install disk and a blank genericcPC, it can take hours to research, obtain and then install and configure all the various motherboard, video, monitor, sound, ethernet drivers, etc. With Linux it is generally all there during the install itself.

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ArborealSeer
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:56 pm

^ If your hardware is 1) Non WHQL, or 2) So new it's not on there. 3) a chinese ebay special

Most laptops are a &&£*$£ for that! as they're one off builds where the drivers aren't maintained the same care as those with a bazzilion seats as the laptop provider is off concentrating on their next range..

Over the years I've learned to maintain a cache of the hardware drivers for each of my machines.

The biggest problem with Windows is/was the Adminstrator role being granted to all home users.. UAC has helped, but its also a royal PITA.

As a Windows developer.. my main problem with linux is easily illustrated by this :

http://futurist.se/gldt/wp-content/uplo ... dt1201.png

* mind blown *
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adlambert

Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:03 pm

lewmur said:


Because that"s the truth.  How many people do you know that could install Windows on their own PC?  A full version bought "off the shelf" and not an OEM version made for a specific model PC?  Even a re-install with manufacturer provided CDs is way beyond most people.

But I can install Mint on an old PC and give it to grandma and she can use it "OOTB" that I gave her.  And not be calling me every other month "cause she infected it clicking on some freebie she came across surfing or found in her "Inbox".

It is not the Linux users that are "in denial".  Try looking in the mirror for the closest "denier" around.


Now then, calm down, it won't take much for Liz to close this thread, and I am quite enjoying raising these concerns. Please try not to get personal.

There have been 2 posts about installing an OS. I will ask what people do with their PCs over the duration of the ownership? Do they install an OS every day? Most Windows users never do it, they don't have to. Installing is not a general user task. Usability is normally concerned with everyday tasks.

As for drivers, if the PC is mainstream and HCL then there will be drivers auto-installed by the Windows install and then the updates will come over the web. The Windows PC I have at home happily prints over WiFi to my Wireless printer. My linux PC has to print via a USB cable because the Wireless doesn't even walk.

And remember, I am a linux person, not a windows one. Just a realistic linux person.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:05 pm

ArborealSeer said:


^ If your hardware is 1) Non WHQL, or 2) So new it's not on there. 3) a chinese ebay special

Most laptops are a &&£*$£3333 for that! as they're one off builds where the drivers don't maintained the same care as those with a bazzilion seats across.

Over the years I've learned to maintain a cache of the hardware drivers for each of my machines.

The biggest problem with Windows is/was the Adminstrator role being granted to all home users.. UAC has helped, but its also a royal PITA.

As a Windows developer.. my main problem with linux is easily illustrated by this :

http://futurist.se/gldt/wp-content/uplo ... dt1201.png

* mind blown *


I do agree with this. What is the point? Why do we need hundreds of different versions and what do they do? I can see that Lubuntu is lighter than Ubuntu, but what about the other 999?

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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:06 pm

Grumpyoldgit said:  

It is certainly the case with Windows that if you just have the install disk and a blank genericcPC, it can take hours to research, obtain and then install and configure all the various motherboard, video, monitor, sound, ethernet drivers, etc. With Linux it is generally all there during the install itself.

Are you sure about that?   It has always been my experience that it is the other way around.  You are right in one sense, aka, "up to a point" - that is, *if* the Linux driver exists and *if* it is included in your distro, then it will "just work", while with Windows you do have to jump through some hoops.

But the fact remains that if you buy a "weird" piece of hardware (for example, a TV recording device [aka, "video capture device"] - or a telephony device [example: Magic Jack]), there won't be any Linux drivers for it.  And the companies attitude will be "Linux?  What's that?".

And while I am here and bashing on this subject, I should add that most "commercial" web-sites don't work under anything other than Windows-based Internet Explorer (and, possibly/usually, Firefox).  That's not the fault of those other browers (or, more specifically, those other browser/OS combinations), but rather the fault of the people programming the web-sites. Remember: Programming has gotten "competitive" - which means anything that can be done to cut costs will be done.  If it is the case that you can bash something out in an afternoon that will work under IE (and nothing else), the PHB's will say "OK, we're done".

P.S.  All of this is written from a USA-centric POV.  I realize (and applaud) the fact that things aren't as bleak in Europe as they are over here.

 
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:11 pm

ArborealSeer said:


As a Windows developer.. my main problem with linux is easily illustrated by this :

http://futurist.se/gldt/wp-content/uplo ... dt1201.png

* mind blown *


I am also a Windows developer, but find it amazing that on Linux I can compile a program on virtually any of those distros and it will work on virtually all of those distros.

Microsoft never really got the hang of that.. Maybe the internal depts at Microsoft don't communicate as well as the very distributed Linux community does.

Linux vs Windows is like playing top trumps.. each have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day they both on the whole work and both have complexities.

A custom OS for the R-Pi would be great in principal, but cost too much to do and then what software would be available for it... Linux is a good choice for the resource available on the machine.

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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:12 pm

The big graphics problem is a significant hurdle, but there are two arguments against it.

1. The RPi has some of the best graphics around.

2. If you give a bunch of kids a camcorder and an editing suite they will make a movie. It will be jumpy, the story wont make much sense and the acting will be dreadful, but they'll have great fun, and they wont for a moment say that their effort was rubbish because it didn't look like Avatar.

I'm coming to the conclusion that the problem with Linux is everyone keeps talking about it. Try talking about overhead cams, air:fuel ratios, and V12s sometime and you will see just the same glazed expressions. Most people now have at least as many Linux computers in their house as Windows and Apple combined. If we just shut up and stop making an issue of it, there's a good chance the problem will go away. And the RPi is part of that, not because they want to be, but because the driving force that puts Linux on the RPi is what is putting into routers, set-top boxes, smart-phones and televisions; it's there, it's cheap, it can be customised, and it works.

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ArborealSeer
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:14 pm

PHBs are universal, as are time constraints i'm afraid.

(Many moons ago we actually licenced Dilbert for our advertising so people'd get a free one via our marketing – but at one of our global clients Dilbert is actually BANNED)

Theres little excuse with the tools out there now, many do a lot of the hard work like cross-browser stuff for you, be it in the front-end (dreamweaver style) or in the java toolkits used.
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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:19 pm

It's quite a while since I did stuff on Windows but if I went to a site and just installed Windows on the box, in Device Drivers there would be a host of little yellow circles. This indicated that generic drivers had been used rather than the correct ones. You would have to search around for a drivers disk or disks and then sit there searching through the menus trying to find the correct drivers. Often these would not be available or what you were given was for an earlier OS so it was a matter of getting up on the internet to the manufacturers site to track them down.

The most obvious problems experienced without the correct drivers related to video. The user would just not be able to get the correct screen definition and often text was too small/big, buttons could not be viewed and generally the client would be pissed off. Without the correct motherboard or chip drivers performance could be sluggish. The list goes on.

People could often work on a computer for months, if not years, completely oblivious that they were running a load of kak.

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ArborealSeer
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:19 pm

rurwin said:


2. If you give a bunch of kids a camcorder and an editing suite they will make a movie. It will be jumpy, the story wont make much sense and the acting will be dreadful, but they'll have great fun, and they wont for a moment say that their effort was rubbish because it didn't look like Avatar.


So true it made me LOL... my g/f is a teacher and she was finishing the editing on her tutor groups mini movie project last night.. I get forced to watch that kind of stuff
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TheManWhoWas
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:34 pm

This thread has gone wildly off topic. In my OP I wasn't complaining about Linux being too difficult per se, I was pointing out that all modern OS's are rather complex for beginners TO LEARN TO PROGRAM ON.

Being dropped into Linux doesn't get kids programming anymore than being dropped into Windows does. They'll just surf the net and email their friends the same as on any other computer.

The issue is that new programmers need a fun and exciting programming environment that is really easy to get into like the machines of the 80's. That doesn't mean writing Python scripts in nano to solve anagrams, it means something more like RobotC Virtual Worlds http://www.robotc.net/download/rvw/ where you get funky 3D graphics and your programs make robots move about.

And I was wondering if there was anything in the pipeline for the Pi like this, because otherwise it is just a super cheap Linux box for existing tech heads to play with.

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ArborealSeer
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:41 pm

You mean like AMOS ?

That really got me going BITD at one point between learning a bit of Pascal on a college PC, and me switching courses and get getting my own PC/Learning C.

(AMOS has been discussed here in another post, apparently its been open sourced but don't know what it was written in)

There is the PyGame thing some people on here want to work on Pi ?
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Re: Isn't this all too complicated?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:41 pm

Joe Schmoe said:


But the fact remains that if you buy a "weird" piece of hardware (for example, a TV recording device [aka, "video capture device"] - or a telephony device [example: Magic Jack]), there won't be any Linux drivers for it.  And the companies attitude will be "Linux?  What's that?".

And while I am here and bashing on this subject, I should add that most "commercial" web-sites don't work under anything other than Windows-based Internet Explorer (and, possibly/usually, Firefox).  That's not the fault of those other browers (or, more specifically, those other browser/OS combinations), but rather the fault of the people programming the web-sites.

 


Second point first - I use Chrome (sometimes Firefox, but its slow in comparison) on Windows and Linux and have not seen any issues on either platform with any of the websites I visit.

First point second, most companies have heard of Linux, but because it a relatively low takeup (only 5% of desktops), it's not worth their time porting drivers. However, an awful lot of drivers have been developed by the Linux community, so a lot of stuff I don't expect to work, does work. Bought a  webcam the other day which said Windows compatible, worked first time on Ubuntu. But, weird hardware is indeed less likely to work, but datasheets are becoming more popular from device manufacturers as they realise they can get community support to write drivers. I expect more devices in the future to work well with Linux.
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