puddle247
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Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:08 pm

OK Peoples,
I have had about enough of Raspberry and Linux to last me a lifetime. Which, i may add, is not going to be as long as some of you that write on this forum. No, not cryptic, just the fact that I’m old.
Would anyone like to buy my Raspberry Pi?
The reasons will become clear as this blog continues. I am utterly fed up with having a computer for which no language seems suitable unless you’re in the local barrack room. Linux is a laugh. I have heard that Esperanto was a language invented in the late ‘40’s as a universal language for a Europe in which so many displaced persons were struggling to have themselves understood in their new countries – refuges. Linux seems like that, although, Linux appears to have withstood the years since its inception rather better than Esperanto. Both are now the preserve of a select few who seem to perpetuate a secret code that allows its users almost exclusive access. The RPi runs on a derivative of Linux known as Debian squeeze.
It is NOT user friendly; as I will demonstrate.
My RPi came from RS Components Ltd together with a Micro USB Euro power supply and a 4gb SDHC flash memory card. All of these were classed as “Country of Origin – China” The cost £44.53. It arrived about 17th June. I immediately realised that if I was not to use my 42” HD tele I would need a DVI cable and a back-up SDHC 8gb card at a total cost of £18.76. So by this stage my £25 credit card sized computer had cost a mere £63.29. I downloaded the image files and transferred them onto the 4gb SDHC, slid it into the RPi and it booted first time. I managed to set the time and date and use the username and password. I entered startx and after a wait up came this blank screen which had some icons tethered to its base. OK so far so good. Oh, but hang on a minute I forgot to mention the power supply. It didn’t have a three pin 13 amp plug; Oh no! It had to have a 5 amp non-earthed two prong Euro plug. I eventually found my shaver adapter being used by my wife to charge her toothbrush. (I wet shave these days having found nowhere to sharpen my philishave blades). I borrowed it (I remembered her saying – what’s thine is mine and what’s mine is me own!) and waited for her to ask where it was!
Blank screen, mouse on file manager didn’t tell me anything. There was no text file of instructions but there was an internet connection called ‘Midori’ which took so long to load and then came up with a page without much help. A small – tiny- google search entry box in the top r.h. corner. Not what I expected. I still don’t understand how it managed to get through the router without as much as a password or security ID entry? But it did! I stumbled around the internet and eventually came across a site which looked interesting. Setting up LED’s using RPi power and programmed in Linux.
Realising that Leafpad was similar to notepad I swiftly copied and pasted the program, went out to my local Maplin store (52 mile round trip) and bought a breadboard, some LED’s and resistors, connector cables, soldering iron, stand and a helping hands magnifier. Total cost now £136.19. It took me a long time to setup the GPIO module to find that the program would not recognise the ‘import’ command. Solved that one eventually (days not hours) to find syntax errors that were irresolvable without a manual.
My background is DOS and Windows. When I bought my first PC – an Amstrad - it came with a programmers manual for DOS. These PC’s were new then; the RPi is new now, but no manual or help file.
We are now at the end of August and I am still only a little way forward. I know about easy install and apt-get, about gunzip and tar, about apt-get update and upgrade. I have tried my hardest to get Tkinter to work but cannot. I have managed to get a giggle and a count from my LED’s. I enjoy Raspberry forum and Raspberry on facebook.. I’ve been to a Hack session, but I am not particularly amused by Linux published programs. The ones I have tried have been continuously amended because they were so poorly written that they could not have been tested before publication. Unless. They all seem to have quirks in them to the extent that I felt I have done something wrong on my RPi. Unless. Perhaps I am running a different Linux version to everyone else. 2.7 or 3.0, or a different version of Tkinter after 8.5 or running the wrong version of GPIO to make the programs work. So I’m about to give up.
I have tried to understand Python but using a game to explain it leaves me cold. I need a maths explanation. Using Hello2.py to illustrate tkinker which doesn’t produce a dialog box makes me freeze up. To enter sudo python (prog name.py) to find all it does it return the cursor to the root directory and sudo nothing gets my goat and leaves me sleepless at night.
How do I put a CD/DVD writer into the system. How can I connect a hard drive. Is there a short way to get my home Win7 network to recognise the RPi which is on the same router, I might then be able to use my Kodak networked printer. Is there a method of getting wine onto it, or some other program that will allow .exe programs to run in dialog boxes etc.. Can icons be placed onto LXTerminal to be used as they are in windows? Can a hotmail email carrier be used. Can a chat facility like MSN be used, if so where is it and does everyone know about it?
Help!

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mahjongg
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:25 pm

Nice monolithic rant, :lol: it seems you have learned a lot from your PI already!

As you seem to have discovered by now the PI isn't about hiding the complexities that lie behind what a computer really is, but rather exposing them.

Yes, not much documentation is available yet, although there are the Magpi magazines, and the official book that eben wrote. I expect a lot more to exist, a complete curriculum, by the time of the educational release. This is a community effort. For now the PI is only in the hands of hacker types and developers, and the people interested in a $35 "media center". Its certainly not "kid ready" yet, but it will be. Hopefully after most of the hardware and software bugs will be ironed out.

I'm certain the people in these fora will try to help you with your issues and questions.

felix123
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:30 pm

How do I put a CD/DVD writer into the system.
How can I connect a hard drive.
Is there a method of getting wine onto it.
Can a hotmail email carrier be used.
Can a chat facility like MSN be used?
USB
USB
Go buy a bottle of chardonnay at your local supermarket. (Seriously though, no.)
Go to hotmail.com on Midori
Try aMSN or Pidgin

Hope that helps :)

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jojopi
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:27 pm

Dr Esperanto's Unua Libro was published in 1887. RS sell both UK (726-3069) and EU (726-3053) power supplies. Did you order the wrong one, or did they ship incorrectly? Incidentally, CEE7/16 Europlug contacts are rated 2.5A not 5A.

Any authentication details that are required by your ISP will usually be stored in the router. The router assumes, when you plug a device into it, that you want it to allow access both to your LAN and to the internet. (By contrast, if the router has wifi it will probably not be so trusting of wireless devices, and will require an access code.)

It seems that you have being using the Pi as intended, actually to experiment with programming. I am not convinced there is really any such thing as "user friendly" programming. We would need a lot more information to be able to explain why "sudo python prog.py" did not do what you expected it to.

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alexeames
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:51 pm

The OP was not user friendly - no white space. I gave up reading after a couple of "paragraphs". :lol:

Why do you need a backup SD card if you're not using your large telly?

Judicious online purchasing from places like 7dayshop, amazon and even Maplin would have saved you a lot on the amount you've paid out.

Good to get it off your chest though. :D
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

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redhawk
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:59 pm

The PI was designed to be a learning educational tool it was never intended to be used as a PC substitute.
As for "Linux is a laugh." most of the web servers you find on the internet are powered by Linux / Unix based computers and they're no laughing matter.
This reminds me of a highly amusing blog I read years ago a Windows loving Linux hating user who wrote a 3 page angry rant about how crap Linux was.
However she had to eat humble pie when it pointed out by several users that the server she was posting on was powered by Linux haha.
(btw if anyone knows the blog I'm talking about please send me the URL I lost my bookmark)

If you think Linux is bad try installing Windows 98SE or XP on a SATA hard drive then you'll know what a pain Microsoft Windows can be. :)

Richard S.

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Burngate
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:07 pm

Been there, done that. Even got the t-shirt. As for age, you sound as old as my father-in-law, but you're doing better than him.

The power supply was a bit of a downer, because you should have been supplied with a UK one - I almost made the same mistake, then when I'd put in the correct one I almost forgot to cancel the euro one. But at least you don't seem to have the stuttering keyboard syndrome.

Yes, Linux appears to be designed to annoy. You can't do anything worthwhile without declaiming 'sudo' at regular intervals. The thing is designed for a large organisation, an enterprise with one large facility tended by arch-priests and with mere users consigned to the peripheral. Nobody uses their Pi that way, so why do I have to masquerade as a priest to get anything done?

But beyond that, I see your problem as being deeper than that. "I want to learn programming" isn't the way forward - "I want to do this - how do I do it?" would work better. You need a more short term goal.

Yes most languages are complicated. That's because they can do an awful lot. They're defined very precisely, unlike English or Esperanto, because a computer is stupid and can't use common sense to work out what you meant. A mouse pointer on a GUI such as you have on Windows is precise, but you're limited in what you can tell it, so it's easy to use. You can't point at a shortcut to Google and tell it to ping them, all you can do is go there. To ping google, you need a keyboard. And you know what ping means, but someone had to write the program that does what you want when you type 'ping '.

And yes most of the programs you can download make assumptions, and many are badly written, because they were made by someone like me. If/when you can do better, write your own version and make the world a better place 8-)

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Grumpy Mike
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:33 pm

Burngate wrote:Yes, Linux appears to be designed to annoy. You can't do anything worthwhile without declaiming 'sudo' at regular intervals. The thing is designed for a large organisation, an enterprise with one large facility tended by arch-priests and with mere users consigned to the peripheral. Nobody uses their Pi that way, so why do I have to masquerade as a priest to get anything done?
Yes I quite agree with that assessment of Linux. I find it to be a most patronising system. Things like "The kernel owns the GPIO pins"
No, I own the GPIO pins, I payed for them, they are mine. The contract that says you run Linux therefore you relinquish your rights, would not stand up in a court of law. It is my computer I want it back.

I think it is ironic that the C is a language that gives you the freedom to do what you want, has spored an operating system that tries to stop you doing anything. Full of unseen bureaucratic rules about the "proper way" of doing things. Of course such rules do suite some people, those who like to think they are rebels but are more conformist than anybody in a suite.

If the best you can say is it's better than Microsoft you are not saying much.
However she had to eat humble pie when it pointed out by several users that the server she was posting on was powered by Linux haha.
No you don't get the joke. An operating system that is good at producing a server is NOT the sort of operating system that is good for a personal computer, and Linux proves that most precisely.

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PeterO
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:36 pm

Grumpy Mike wrote: I think it is ironic that the C is a language that gives you the freedom to do what you want, has spored an operating system that tries to stop you doing anything. Full of unseen bureaucratic rules about the "proper way" of doing things. Of course such rules do suite some people, those who like to think they are rebels but are more conformist than anybody in a suite.
Thanks for the best laugh I've had all day....
PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),Aeromodelling,1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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Grumpy Mike
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:46 pm

Thinking a bit more about it Linux is like a classic Star Trek plot.

The one where they are stranded on a paradise planet with all the comforts, technology and knowledge they could wish for, all they have to do to achieve this nirvana is to give up their freedom.

Given that a lot of Linux geeks are also Star Trek geeks it is amazing that they don't get the joke.

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jackokring
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:01 pm

Linux is quite nice. Try bare metal programming for a fun ride into single tasked programming. That whole thing about C was funny. Using an insecure systems language to actually build security into a system which remains working while doing experimental things is known as a 'bootstrapping' the next level of function. If only all the tasks in

Code: Select all

sudo ps ax
..were understood to have to happen to keep the system working. The windows task managers process list is not that different in size.

As for the 'ownership' of ports. Maybe you should

Code: Select all

man chown
..and see it as part of the security system for the Pi. If you don't like the security, maybe a virus on your SD card should be something to get.

Linux is defiantly not perfect, and neither is the Pi. If you think computer perfection exists, or the Pi would be as cost effective to manufacture with say DOS, AmigaDOS, TOS/GEM or maybe even NeXTstep or Windows 6 Mobile as an alternative, then just add noughts on the price and get an 'easy to use' netbook instead. You'll learn so much more about bing!

A few easy one liners (one by one, not all together), an don't forget Q exits man

Code: Select all

man man
ls -l
sudo cd .. && ls -l
cd ~
man bash
sudo echo "yes now you don't need sudo, but all done sudo till 'exit'" && bash
man rm
Pi[NFA]=B256R0USB CL4SD8GB Raspbian Stock.
Pi[Work]=A+256 CL4SD8GB Raspbian Stock.
My favourite constant 1.65056745028

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jojopi
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:44 pm

Grumpy Mike wrote:Thinking a bit more about it Linux is like a classic Star Trek plot.
The one where they are stranded on a paradise planet with all the comforts, technology and knowledge they could wish for, all they have to do to achieve this nirvana is to give up their freedom.
Right! Except, did you mean Apple? Because Linux is the one where you have the source code. So if there is anything obnoxious you can remove it. (Adding things that you want might not be so easy.)

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Lob0426
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:04 pm

MS-DOS was not friendly either. That is why they came up with Windows. LXDE reminds me of early Windows. Every OS has it bad points.

I actually found it easier to use Linux from the command line as their GUI's keep acting up unless you are a root user. Why have a GUI if you have to open a terminal window to do it anyway. Yet it is recommended that you not install anything as root. Of course nothing wants to install without root privileges. :cry:

And why is it, that once you invoke "sudo su" you still have to use sudo. :cry: That is just ludicrous.

Ok my rant is over.

Linux could go bigger in the world if it just was easier to use, knew when you needed elevated privileges and helped you (Ubuntu does this somewhat).

We need an upgrade, update and rpi-update button. Synaptic Package manager is a real help when looking for packages. Aptitude is ok but time consuming to use. Remember to use your up arrow key to cycle back to past used commands. Also use Tab to help complete folder names to save some typing.
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W. H. Heydt
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:25 pm

Lob0426 wrote: And why is it, that once you invoke "sudo su" you still have to use sudo. :cry: That is just ludicrous.
Use "sudo su -" to get root's OWN environment instead of the login ID pi's environment.

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jojopi
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:41 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:Use "sudo su -" to get root's OWN environment instead of the login ID pi's environment.
There are no important differences in environment on debian. The main difference is that "sudo su -" changes directory. See:

Code: Select all

diff -u <(echo env |sudo su |sort) <(echo env |sudo su - |sort)

Joe Schmoe
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Re: Not user friendly

Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:28 pm

I have one small comment, that really says it all - to all the "Not User Friendly" posts on this and any other forum, past, present, and future.

That is: I use Linux extensively but never use the GUI. Everything is command line only.

If I want Windows (and, frequently, I do), I know where to find it.

If I want MacOS (and, frequently, I do), I also know where to find that.

Personally, I think all the effort that has gone into making Linux like Windows/Mac, and it has been a LOT of effort over the past 5 or so years, has been a waste. It has been like chasing the leaders, in a game that they'll never win. And shouldn't have any desire to win.
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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Burngate
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Re: Not user friendly

Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:17 am

I keep wondering if there's a definative answer to the question "What's Root for?"

Keeping users out of Root seems to be in two halves - stopping users from damaging the OS and other users' environments, and stopping malware getting in and causing damage.

On an enterprise system, it is clearly an advantage to stop oiks seeing the company finance data. But the Pi (and most home Linux systems) only have one user, so there's nothing to protect.
And even if you have sensitive or valuable data on a system, breaking the OS and thence losing that data is only a problem if it isn't backed up.

And I'm not convinced that malware can't be written in such a way as to get round whatever security is written into the OS

Minz0r
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Re: Not user friendly

Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:15 pm

Grumpy Mike wrote:Yes I quite agree with that assessment of Linux. I find it to be a most patronising system. Things like "The kernel owns the GPIO pins"
No, I own the GPIO pins, I payed for them, they are mine. The contract that says you run Linux therefore you relinquish your rights, would not stand up in a court of law. It is my computer I want it back.
If you think that Linux is stealing Control of the System from you than you have to learn what Microsoft is trying to do with things like "TCPA" and "Secure Boot".
They want to completely draw your power to control the computer from you to them.

GNU/Linux simply is a multiuser OS and therefore designed with a User Concept in Mind from the Ground. This today is one of the stronges pro sides of this OS and Microsoft somehow implemented this concept something inferiour in there Operating System/Gameloader.

In Reality GNU/Linux gives you the best Control over your System and the GPL License gives Us (the Code) the most Freedom that cant be undone.
There are Users and Groups, that all makes sense and even on actual Windows Microsoft advises you to browse the Web as an unprivileged user,
even if using the inferior MS Internet Explorer.
Grumpy Mike wrote:I think it is ironic that the C is a language that gives you the freedom to do what you want, has spored an operating system that tries to stop you doing anything. Full of unseen bureaucratic rules about the "proper way" of doing things. Of course such rules do suite some people, those who like to think they are rebels but are more conformist than anybody in a suite.
This is the biggest crap i read for a long time ;/

Joe Schmoe
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Re: Not user friendly

Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:52 pm

Minz0r wrote:
Grumpy Mike wrote:I think it is ironic that the C is a language that gives you the freedom to do what you want, has spored an operating system that tries to stop you doing anything. Full of unseen bureaucratic rules about the "proper way" of doing things. Of course such rules do suite some people, those who like to think they are rebels but are more conformist than anybody in a suite.
This is the biggest crap i read for a long time ;/
Indeed. It is classic Republican-speak, right out of "1984". War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery.

Orwell would be proud.
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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jojopi
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Re: Not user friendly

Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:08 pm

Burngate wrote:On an enterprise system, it is clearly an advantage to stop oiks seeing the company finance data. But the Pi (and most home Linux systems) only have one user, so there's nothing to protect.
And I'm not convinced that malware can't be written in such a way as to get round whatever security is written into the OS
Discretionary access controls are really not ideal for restricting access to information. If you had very confidential data you would probably not store them on a machine that a lot of people had access to. Nor on the same machine that served the company website. (Regardless of operating system.) And you would not restrict access to root, because the root account is for changing the system, not doing normal work.

You are right to assume that if malware can be introduced and run arbitrary code as an unprivileged user, then it will quite possibly be able to escalate its privileges to root, either due to security flaws in the OS or configuration mistakes by the sysadmin. That is one of the reasons that some server-oriented distros configure SELinux so that a compromised service, even if privilege-escalated, still only has access to the files it normally needs access to.

Basically it is a misconception that Unix is over-secure. It really has the most simplistic and minimal security model of any multi-user OS. It is well suited to an environment where the users are intelligent and cooperative, or only mildly hostile, such as a university. As configured in the recommended Pi images, it is also emphasises convenience and recognises that the default user has full administrative rights.

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jasonclark
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Re: Not user friendly

Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:01 pm

I sympathise with the OP. I'm a lead product dev for the day job, so embedded programming and also high level product lead, so pretty technical.
I've enjoyed my PI. I simply got the board from RS (late 40th present from Mrs Clark), and had the PSU, SD card, HDMI cables lying around.

Most of the early adopters will have the same.

I use Ubuntu on my main Laptop, but at user level only - certainly not messing with Kernels etc.
So, the PI has been fun. I doubt it will ever be a primary device for web surfing, but its usable.
I treat mine as a souped up microcontroller. I don't expect it to replace even my netbook for processing power, but its currently recording webcam images using Motion and running a webserver and FTP server. I can reach it from my Office.

Age is just a number, I know many fantastic developers and users who are far older than my 40yrs.
I say, stick with it. For web surfing, I'm finding Chomium to be pretty good. I've also got an email client installed.
I'm slowly learning Python, its been a while since I've needed to learn a new language, but I'm enjoying the challenge.


The forums here are really helpful. There is such a loyal community working hard to ensure the PI is a success.

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Grumpy Mike
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Re: Not user friendly

Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:02 pm

Minz0r wrote:If you think that Linux is stealing Control of the System from you than you have to learn what Microsoft is trying to do with things like "TCPA" and "Secure Boot".
They want to completely draw your power to control the computer from you to them.
What a totally facetious, moronic argument that. It is like saying one mass murderer is not so bad because because he did not kill as many as the other one. Yes I agree Microsoft is many times worse but that does not make Linux any good.

Minz0r wrote:This is the biggest crap i read for a long time ;/
And that is the most stupid, uneducated and ill considered thing I have seen posted on this forum
There's non so blind as those who will not see.

When you have had 45 years working with computers, like I have, then let me know, you might have learned some perspective by then.

Joe Schmoe
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Re: Not user friendly

Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:51 pm

When you have had 45 years working with computers, like I have, then let me know, you might have learned some perspective by then.
I think your 45 years with computers were working as a cashier at Walmart.
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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Burngate
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Re: Not user friendly

Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:55 pm

Cool it, or this thread will get locked, and then where can I go for some quiet ranting?

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mahjongg
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Re: Not user friendly

Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:06 pm

Guys guys guys. Give each other a little bit of credit. :P
I totally get Grumpy Mike, he seems to be a big fan of the "Arduino ways of computing" (at least I know he is a big Arduino fan) and seems to be loathing the way things work on a modern desktop system. I think he would prefer it if at least everybody would switch over to RiscOs which seems to lack a lot of the things he has a philosophical difficulty with (actually I quite like the idea of RiscOS gaining popularity as an alternative to Linux). That or perhaps he just prefers the "bare metal for embedded computing approach".
And Joe Schmoe, well let me only say he is a bit fiery. :lol:

Try to keep it civil please. :|

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