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Tass
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Sun May 06, 2012 10:38 pm

Alun said:


My six year old daughter is amazed that something so small can do so much. She spent ages pointing out the components to my dad yesterday ("brain", memory card, connectors etc...) and we spent a happy hour playing with Scratch today. Nothing we could not have done on her laptop which runs XUbuntu but it is more real when you can see all the components - and that is the point of it.


Just my opinion here, but THIS is the whole point of the project, being put into action!!  My son loves it too!  He's going on 4 so he probably doesn't grasp how impressive it is, but he still finds it enchanting.

Smartybones
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Sun May 06, 2012 10:49 pm

My Missus just spotted how much they go for on ebay and is pestering me to sell mine...

no effin way !! lol

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Gert van Loo
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Sun May 06, 2012 11:01 pm

I came late to this post. To be honest: I read the start text and then some of the follow up comments.I did not read all the comment on all four pages.

It is exactly what I have been predicting for a while: there will be lot of people who are used to 'normal' computers and think the Raspberry-Pi is an alternative for their 3GHz, 4Gbyte processor with a 500Gbyte hard-disk. I also think that it is no use to go into a discussion with them. The product did not meet up with their expectations. End!

I blame this somewhat on the revieuws thusfar which keep saying 'It is a bit slow but you still get a lot for your $35.' I personally think it is more then a bit a slow. It is very slow for web browsing and various other tasks. So I don't use it for those fields where it is slow as I have a $600 PC (more like $900 if I add the two screens) to do that.

I also think it is a good idea that somebody writes about that. He will not be the only one who finds that Raspberry-Pi does not do what he expects. Fine, write about it! It might prevent others from having the same experience and prevent a lot of PIs landing on the scrapheap.

I just hope the article will objective enough not to chase away those for who it IS suited for: User with little money but who do have enough time and don't mind waiting a minute or two for a screen to appear.

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nick.mccloud
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Sun May 06, 2012 11:20 pm

Max said:


JamesH said:


I think hexxah does slightly more that make&zip..


Yes, I know he also creates modified builds with additional kernel modules and such.

I do agree that is useful work, and am not challenging the decision to hand him out a board early.

But I do believe statements like "he is the creator of Chromium OS" and suggestions that everyone that doesn't have a board by now must be a lesser developer are a bit misplaced.


I for one wasn't suggesting any status levels other than proven track record - otherwise the Foundation is going to be mobbed (well, Liz, and I gather she generally is mobbed anyway) with people with wacky ideas after a piece of Pi. It's those that have done the long haul that should be prioritised. Some of us never get around to publishing. Some of us are too busy having fun as well as being a paid geek. Some of us merely dabble. Some of us found out about the Pi late in the process. I think I'm all four. But I've got mine now so I'm having a ball (and a serious dip in billables). It's all a big crap shoot, as the Yanks might say.

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scep
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 8:39 am

I think Gert is spot on. The main problem is that computers are a closed box (literally) to the average person. They have no yardstick for something like the RaspberryPi. They see a review titled "The Little Computer that Could" and sign up because it looks brilliant (well, it is ).

No one would never buy, say, a moped thinking that it would do the same as their car. They would buy one for the price, fuel economy and being able to nip through traffic. They know what cars and mopeds can do. But the average Joe doesn't have the experience to make a smilar judgement when it comes to PCs  - typically the only choice they've had before is and Intel/Windows box or an Apple.

So yes, we are going to see a lot of this before it all settles down and matures (though I expect, eventually, this type of PC will become one of the 'standard choices').

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Dave_G_2
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 8:43 am

Spot on.

Media hype + little knowledge of computers + purchase of RPI = frustration/disappointment/anger.

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nick.mccloud
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 9:32 am

Dave_G_2 said:


Media hype + little knowledge of computers + purchase of RPI = frustration/disappointment/anger.


Or a more cynical general version:

Media hype + expecting something for nothing + little or no research + ambivalent approach to learning + purchase = frustration/disappointment/anger

bamboozled
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 9:42 am

It"s amazing how many people assume I"m computer-illiterate and then take cheap shots. FWIW, I started with a ZX-81, loved my BBC B and have stayed in touch with computing since, including a stint working on embedded control and launching some quite successful products of my own design. PICs, for instance, whilst somewhat simpler than the R-Pi, hold no fears for me.

The thing that is coming over to me from replies to my original post is that ther are many who want to show how superior they are by making snide comments, including "the information you want is on the Forum". Clearly, they know where, but are protecting their superiority by not telling anyone else.

Take the issue with the too-small image surrounded by a sea of black. Eventually, I discovered that the magic word was "underscan" and that I needed to edit a file called "config.txt" (not, as one poster unhelpfully said, config.tx, and pointing people to a link that doesn"t exist). Eventually I discover this should be in a folder called /boot (from one forum area) and (from another forum area) that it needed some empirically-derived numerical values.

I searched, but the file didn"t exist. I tried using Leafpad to edit and save a suitable file, but I wasn"t allowed to save anything in that folder (why not? it"s my computer!). Then, on yet another forum I discover I can do this with my PC and Notepad. So it"s back and forth to my PC with the SD card, finding appropriate values. Now, I"ve got a working display that fills the screen.

Wouldn"t it be helpful if someone, somewhere, wrote something like this:

You"ve probably noticed that the R-Pi graphics don"t fill tha 1080p (ie Full HD) screen. This is due to something called "Underscan", and it can be fixed easily by creating a simple text file on your PC. Here is what you do.

1. Shut down your R-Pi, remove the power and remove the SD card.
2. Put the card in your PC"s card reader and browse the contents. There should be some text files and others that the PC doesn"t recognise. That"s fine.
3. Look to see if there is a file called config (or possibly config.txt). If there is, open it with Notepad. If not, create the file with Notepad.
4. Type the following:

overscan_left=-20
overscan_right=-20
overscan_top=-20
overscan_bottom=-20

Then save the file.

5. Take the SD card out of the PC, put it in the R-Pi, and power up the R-Pi. You should see that the graphics area has increased, but probably won"t fill the whole screen.
6. Making the R-Pi graphics fill the screen is a matter of adjusting the numbers you put in the config.txt file. To do this, shut down the R-Pi and edit the config.txt file as described above. Change the numbers - try jumps of 5 or 10 at a time. Bigger negative numbers reduce the black borders (so -48, which is what I use on my system means less black border than -20). The numbers do not have to be the same - you can use this to centre the display on the screen.

OK, so maybe the above isn"t technically 100% but it"s an awful lot more use to an ABSOLUTE absolute beginner than "look at the forums" or "watch a video".

Just my 2p worth.

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Tass
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 10:22 am

Let's be honest - you didn't start this post with a "I'm a bit stuck - could someone please help me" attitude, did you?

tufty
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 10:23 am

bamboozled said:


It"s amazing how many people assume I"m computer-illiterate and then take cheap shots.


I think most of it came from the tone of your first post, which certainly appeared to be totally linux-illiterate (which is no crime) and didn't appear to have been preceded by much, if any, searching for answers.


The thing that is coming over to me from replies to my original post is that ther are many who want to show how superior they are by making snide comments, including "the information you want is on the Forum". Clearly, they know where, but are protecting their superiority by not telling anyone else.


Actually, they probably don't know exactly where, because the search feature on the forum is somewhere between "godawful" and "actually harmful".  You can get some better results by using a site-specific google search, by the way.

Now, if you'd been searching, your original post probably would have been preceded by "my Raspberry Pi doesn't appear to be much cop, but it least it's better than the <expletive deleted> search on this forum".

On the other hand, you're 100% totally right that telling people to search the forum for answers is an actively hostile way to treat them.  Even in normal circumstances, sending someone off to search when they don't actually know what they're searching for wouldn't be very nice, but in this case it's downright malicious.


Take the issue with the too-small image surrounded by a sea of black. Eventually, I discovered that the magic word was "underscan" and that I needed to edit a file called "config.txt" (not, as one poster unhelpfully said, config.tx, and pointing people to a link that doesn"t exist). Eventually I discover this should be in a folder called /boot (from one forum area) and (from another forum area) that it needed some empirically-derived numerical values.


Let's ignore the fact that, by "eventually", you mean "within 2 hours of posting I had both the required magic incantation and a link to the wiki".

Yep, the underscan issue is a bit of a bugger.  It is, as James pointed out, an issue with TVs, and not with the Pi per se.  But you're right, it does need making explicit. Apart from missing the fact you *can* edit the file on the Pi (but that requires a tiny bit of command-line-fu, and you can be more than forgiven for that), your writeup above is very good.  Please feel free to add it to the troubleshooting page in the Wiki.

Overall, I suspect that what's required to stop people being rude is asking the questions the right way, and hopefully showing a bit of initiative.

Simon

bamboozled
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 10:54 am

tufty said:


On the other hand, you're 100% totally right that telling people to search the forum for answers is an actively hostile way to treat them.


So true!



Let's ignore the fact that, by "eventually", you mean "within 2 hours of posting I had both the required magLic incantation and a link to the wiki".


It seemed like forever...


...your writeup above is very good.  Please feel free to add it to the troubleshooting page in the Wiki.


Done. That's a really positive suggestion - thanks. I can *do* Wikis, having practiced on Wikipedia for some years!

 

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scep
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 11:05 am

bamboozled said:


The thing that is coming over to me from replies to my original post is that ther are many who want to show how superior they are by making snide comments


Perhaps because the thing that comes over to them from your original post is that it is peppered with phrases such as :

unneccessarily intrusive step ...  So far, so crude ...The display seems really poor ... Reminds me a bit of the old 80s micros ... [not] like my real computer ... seems to be named after a bright green Japanese liqueur ...  fiendishly complicated ... BOY IS IT SLOW! ... I"m rather bitterly disappointed ... device that can't even achieve what my four year old mobile phone can do effortlessly ... Most of it is total Greek ... I don't have three lifetimes spare to go through it.

It's all negative statements and opinion. Nowhere do you ask for specific help and so it just comes across as a moan.

bamboozled
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 11:23 am

scep said:


It's all negative statements and opinion. Nowhere do you ask for specific help and so it just comes across as a moan.



I just reported my first impressions, clearly identifying them as such. Since then, I have been actively contributing in my own little way.

woodinblack
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 12:04 pm

bamboozled said:


The thing that is coming over to me from replies to my original post is that ther are many who want to show how superior they are by making snide comments, including "the information you want is on the Forum". Clearly, they know where, but are protecting their superiority by not telling anyone else.


I would agree with that point. Unfortunately as the Pi is a linux computer at the moment, it does attract a large amount of linux geeks, and having been on many linux forums before there is a higher incidence of assumption that if you don't know everything about linux you are a complete idiot. Luckily here it is tempered by a reasonable amount of humans too!

The couple of incidence of this I have had is searching for installing java, there is a thread where when asking how to install java someone in a few posts says what the package is and adds a link to google to how to install packages. Luckily someone in another thread actually posts how to do it (which requires actually less words).

I spent 10 minutes trying to work out how to run gparted in the desktop without the password but search here just came up with people saying to search the forum as it was somewhere (eventually googled what they said to search for and found it). And still haven't got the network to go right, but luckily found somewhere with how to do fixed addresses in debian.

So yes, I agree that there are problems with the forum, or some people on the forum, but really don't agree about the raspi which is just so far above fantastic that I can put up with the rest of it!

Look at it - its there in front of the monitors, with leds on, wires sticking out and mine is running a webserver for £30 - how fantastic is that???

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nick.mccloud
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 12:25 pm

I guess what's needed is a few succinct lines on how-to-help-yourself and the first one of us to get to one of these 'special' topics grits our teeth, posts a link to the how-to-help-yourself and then adds a response. If they can't or don't have time to point the way to a reasonably comprehensive answer then they should back out of responding.

The how-to-help-yourself would have:


Links to the FAQ and eLinux
A short note on searching
An addendum on approach/attitude

If bamboozled is wondering why we have to grit our teeth, it's because the volunteers that answer questions have spent time researching answers and we were also taught that it's better to start a new foray in to a community with a polite intro that shows some effort to find answers has been made. If we spoon feed people they will drain our time. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to Google and he can ...

Hexxeh
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 1:00 pm

JamesH said:


I think hexxah does slightly more that make&zip..


Yeah, a whole lot more than just make && make install or make && zip...

Chromium OS only has an armv7 target at present, and armv6 support is uh, interesting, to say the least. I'm working on improving that, and hope to have an image out within a few days of decent Xorg drivers becoming available.

Then I can start working on some of the bits of Pi-candy like accelerating HTML5 video with OpenMAX and such... :V

I'm trying to make full use of my board by whipping up other tools and niceties like the FW updater while I wait for the previously mentioned drivers.

Smartybones
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 1:15 pm

I can understand the frustration of people who post asking for help on whatever they need help on and being told "its in the wiki" its been asked before, search the forums... as a relative Linux newbie, although I have over 30 years of computer knowledge built up, only in the last 2 years have I had any Linux experience. I set up a Linux server (ubuntu), but have only in the last few months had a full time desktop Linux environment. Asking for help on a forum regards Linux has been a bit of a risky business.

That said...

I can understand the point of view from the point of view of the Linux nerds...

Before last week, I had never compiled software from source on Linux, but i needed to compile a custom version of ffmpeg for a serviio server, all the information IS there on the web, and when it came to compiling openELEC from source, again, all the info is there. its just finding it and understanding it.

And there is the thing with Linux. its not a OS you can just get by on. you have to learn it, you have to learn the command line. Its a very steep learning curve, but you have gotta walk before you can run....

And also, the thing with Linux, particularly servers, a lot of the Linux gurus make their living from Linux, they have invested a lot of time and money in the education of the OS, they are not going to give that away for free, else it will go the same way  as windows support services. I spent a lot of money on certification, only for the job to get devalued as the OS got more user friendly (going from £22 per hour (1997) down to not much above minimum wage(2005) .

Myself, I will help anyone that is willing to help themselves first. but when the question has been asked and answered several times over, and a quick lesson on how to use the google site search will be a lot more valuable than spoon feeding answers over and over. As they say, give a man a fish and he will feed for a day, give him a fishing rod and he will feed for life.

tufty
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 1:18 pm

smartybones said:


As they say, give a man a fish and he will feed for a day, give him a fishing rod and he will end up in hospital having carbon fibre shards removed from his throat.


Fixed that for you

Simon

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rurwin
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 1:21 pm

I prefered nmcc's Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to Google and he can … browse until he dies of starvation.

Smartybones
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 1:23 pm

nmcc said:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to Google and he can ...

damnnit nmcc, I took so long writing my post you stole my line, and my point..

I need a "how to" on how to shorten my posts lol

Smartybones
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 1:29 pm

tufty said:


smartybones said:


As they say, give a man a fish and he will feed for a day, give him a fishing rod and he will end up in hospital having carbon fibre shards removed from his throat.


Fixed that for you

Simon



I was thinking more of a nice piece of willow,

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Tass
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 2:10 pm

I find threads like this rather strange.  I'm a Linux novice myself, coming from a Windows background (in both personal life & my career), but I don't recall ever receiving a condesnding, arrogant response - on the contrary, I've found everyone on these forums to be quite helpful.  There have been times when I've received a suggestion to use the search function, but I can honestly say on all those occasion searching showed the solution was blatantly out there if I took a bit of time to put in some effort myself.  Then again, the OP did mention he didn't have the time....

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TheTap
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 3:05 pm

give a man a fish and he will feed for a day, teach him to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

woodinblack
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 3:42 pm

smartybones said:


And there is the thing with Linux. its not a OS you can just get by on. you have to learn it, you have to learn the command line. Its a very steep learning curve, but you have gotta walk before you can run....

And also, the thing with Linux, particularly servers, a lot of the Linux gurus make their living from Linux, they have invested a lot of time and money in the education of the OS, they are not going to give that away for free, else it will go the same way  as windows support services.


Agreed, and some of the reasons it is a pity in a way that the pi is linux (and shows it). Those early computers that people learned to program with didn't have a huge learning curve or require a lot of searching to work out how to use.

Also agreed it is tiring answering the same question over and over again, but in some of these forums, especially the absolute beginners ones, if you can't think of an answer that doesn't involves saying STFW, then maybe not answering is the best thing for you to do (and yes, I have done technical support, and couldn't do it now which is why I don't!).

Note, I am saying this about the help on the forums, when I have done searching, not specifically the OPs post, which I found misguided and a bit rude, clearly he did buy the wrong thing (and I don't know how as he must have been up early, mine only came on saturday and I was up very early!).

I guess in a way I was just hoping to not see that sort of thing. When I first enthused about the PI in another forum someone was telling me it would be impossible to make an educational linux machine as it was hard to use and the people who knew how to use it didn't know how to teach others who weren't like them, and I would really like that to not be right.

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nick.mccloud
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Re: First impressions - Slow, Scary & unfriendly

Mon May 07, 2012 4:21 pm

There's not much about the Pi that's hard to use if you follow the instructions - I've taken the Debian build comprehensively round the block and am now exercising my learning curve against Arch which I'm not familiar with.

The problem comes from people thinking that just because they've mastered one subset of a topic means they've mastered it all. If they take some time to learn about new things, it's all good.

So as long as the Pi is presented as a new experience that needs some time set aside to learn about, we'll be fine.

But as Gert says, people translate the tag line in to 'computer like you're used to but cheap' and come unstuck.

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