KaelaStreet
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At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 12:54 pm

Hi
I have the Rasperry Prompt on screen, asking me to do something on the command line interface.
I loaded debian6-19-04-2012 as per instructions on the Raspberry PI Site.

I guess I have to learn Linux in order to get the command line to start something.

Must admit, if that is so, I couldn't be more dissapointed. I fully understand how PC's work having started by teaching Basic Computing theory and practical in 1974, Im conversant in Visual Basic, php, MySql.

Tell me I dont have to learn Linux in order to be able to use the RaspberryPI.

KS

obarthelemy
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 1:00 pm

Given that Linux is the Pi's OS, you do have to learn a bit of Linux to use it.

You might want to try typing startx

KaelaStreet
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 1:39 pm

Thanks for the help, typing 'startx' at the command line prompt has taken me to the desktop.
Ouch, did I say 'Desktop'?

Sadly, my fears are confirmed. The Raspberry PI is not a tool to teach new users how computers work, it's a tool that forces the user to learn a technical language. There are easier ways to explore Linux than this. Cripes is it slow, clunky, and filled with meaningless stuff. If I KNEW Linux I guess it would all be crystal clear.

So there we have an issue, if I understand Linux, why on earth would I want to use the R-pi, it is not user friendly, it is not even equipment friendly.

This is most definitely a gadget created to showcase the builders talents and is restricted to competent Linux Users. It has no interchangeable parts, no case, no power supply and no program storage.

I sure wish this had been made clear earlier, it is not a tool to teach new users how computers work, it is a novelty created for Linux competant Techies.

andyl
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 1:59 pm

KaelaStreet wrote:
obarthelemy wrote: May 28, 2012 2:00 pm
Thanks for the help, typing 'startx' at the command line prompt has taken me to the desktop.
Ouch, did I say 'Desktop'?
What is wrong with the desktop? The speed issue is known about and is being worked on.
Sadly, my fears are confirmed. The Raspberry PI is not a tool to teach new users how computers work, it's a tool that forces the user to learn a technical language.
Learning technical stuff requires technical knowledge, and a certain amount of technical language.
This is most definitely a gadget created to showcase the builders talents and is restricted to competent Linux Users. It has no interchangeable parts, no case, no power supply and no program storage.
WTF does "no program storage" mean? You store programs on the SD card, or attach an external USB drive, or use a server or even a NAS.
I sure wish this had been made clear earlier, it is not a tool to teach new users how computers work, it is a novelty created for Linux competant Techies.
Well it is still in the development phase - a few things need ironing out and the packaging needs polishing. It is quite clear to me however that people have been talking about linux and learning to program from day one. If you weren't prepared to put in any time in to learning stuff then you shouldn't have wasted your money.

Joe Schmoe
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 2:20 pm

I'm quite convinced that most of these "Wah, wah, wah - it's not Windows!" posts are just MS-funded trolls. Aren't you?
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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piglet
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 2:24 pm

Totally. There needs to be a forum reply-bot which can filter these out and reply. "Yes. It's not Windows."

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nick.mccloud
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 2:31 pm

I move the mouse to the bottom left corner. I click. I am presented with menu items. I don't understand all the names.
Am I using Windows or LXDE?

I want to learn something new. I open the box. It's all unfamiliar. I give up.
Do I have a negative or a positive mentality?
Last edited by nick.mccloud on Mon May 28, 2012 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rurwin
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 2:32 pm

I'd love to know what this guy does with a fresh installation of Windows. Windows does less than a semi-curious person could find on the LXDE menus.

It's a computer, not a cure for... whatever.

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croston
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 2:34 pm

There's none so stupid as those that won't learn.

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stevepdp
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 3:05 pm

Joe Schmoe wrote:I'm quite convinced that most of these "Wah, wah, wah - it's not Windows!" posts are just MS-funded trolls. Aren't you?
Not really, I just think a lot of these people are too deeply invested in Microsoft's culture to break away from the social inertia.

I can't find it in me to delete these particular trollish posts, because I feel that we, as well informed technologists, have a responsibility to highlight and correct the problem. But keep the posts friendly folks ;-)

Evidence shows that children and young-adults take a liking to this sort of thing. Getting their hands dirty and such. Fortunately they haven't yet developed the fears that adults might have, worrying only about practical benefits and consequences of time investment.

Too many adults don't seem to recognise the pure thrill and pleasure one experiences in learning something new, building structures, making machines do stuff etc.

The question is: what should we, as a community looking to make the next generation of programmers and makers, do to solve the problem? Throwing flames at each other isn't going to get us anywhere.

jonv
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 6:32 pm

I think there is a large amount of Windows literacy out there that does not easily translate to general computer literacy (bit of a generalisation as I am sure there are Windows experts here who can apply themselves more generally). Not sure there is an easy solution but the fact the Raspberry Pi is cheaper than a Windows license should be a step in the right direction.

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Psycho Squid
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 6:40 pm

KaelaStreet wrote:Thanks for the help, typing 'startx' at the command line prompt has taken me to the desktop.
Ouch, did I say 'Desktop'?

Sadly, my fears are confirmed. The Raspberry PI is not a tool to teach new users how computers work, it's a tool that forces the user to learn a technical language. There are easier ways to explore Linux than this. Cripes is it slow, clunky, and filled with meaningless stuff. If I KNEW Linux I guess it would all be crystal clear.

So there we have an issue, if I understand Linux, why on earth would I want to use the R-pi, it is not user friendly, it is not even equipment friendly.

This is most definitely a gadget created to showcase the builders talents and is restricted to competent Linux Users. It has no interchangeable parts, no case, no power supply and no program storage.

I sure wish this had been made clear earlier, it is not a tool to teach new users how computers work, it is a novelty created for Linux competant Techies.
The fun part is when you learn to communicate with this dedicated hardware.
Try to program the GPIO to do some fun. I promise you will spend hours. :)
Rasberry Pi model B
GNU\Linux
Andreas Eriksson
Karlstad, Sweden

KaelaStreet
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 7:49 pm

GPIO I guess is the general purpose input output port. You know I would love to actually let the r-pi 'do' something, along the lines that I enjoyed making the Arduino do stuff. And I do find it a challenge.

But forgive me a moment while I am unwrapped in the hype and realise a couple little things.

The new user will HAVE to be competant in linux to address the r-pi. Either they have a linux system, or access to one. Why linux, because its free and often filled with frighteningly alarming names that often do not allude to what they do. Most new users I will hazard a guess, will have access to a mac, or windows machine. That machine will emulate unix commands for learning, or even run a gui that is fast, polished, supported and fairly free of glitches. Therefore, they will not need a r-pi to "learn" on.

I am sure when the first mentions of the r-pi hit the news, there was no mention of a specific operating system, so the choice of linux tells me its because linux is cheap, free and the responsibility of someone else.

Sorry, but think back to the BBC, or the sinclair spectrum, or the ohio scientific, at or after switch on they had a curser that said 'ready ok'.

Ready because the bootstrap or bios had done its trick, and OK because it was ready for user input. This doesnt, it has a command line prompt that is meaningless to anyone not schooled in linux. It doest even give me a choice...

There are plenty of new scientific languages out there, and there are plenty of stable fully supported language type interfaces out there. This fails to take advantage of a lot of material already available. New users are not going to develop an interface gui to enable a ported platform of windows or forth to run on it, even if it could support such.

Sorry, I dont see how this can be sold or given away as a training aid to teach new users how computers work. New users are not by and large linux proficeant, and if they are, they understand for the most part how computers work.


So its a gizmo, linux proficiant uses can play with as they explore things that linux can do.


KS

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nick.mccloud
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 8:07 pm

KaelaStreet wrote:so the choice of linux tells me its because linux is cheap, free and the responsibility of someone else.
And the millions of active users that can expand on it ....

KaelaStreet wrote:Sorry, but think back to the BBC, or the sinclair spectrum, or the ohio scientific, at or after switch on they had a curser that said 'ready ok'.

Ready because the bootstrap or bios had done its trick, and OK because it was ready for user input.
Prepare card or buy prepared card, insert, switch on, and you're at a cursor.

If you change the hostname to 'Ready OK' will that do it for you ;)

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jbeale
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 8:08 pm

You mention enjoying the Arduino, so I'm curious how you got started with that. I'm guessing by compiling some provided example programs, and then changing them to do other things. The same approach is possible on the R-Pi. It's a little more involved right now because this is the initial release of the hardware, originally intended to allow the developers time to write those programming examples and create the documentation that will make it friendly for absolute beginners to get a toehold. This is NOT the "educational release" intended for schoolkids (although, some have picked it up and run with it anyway).

There has been a bit (maybe a lot) of hype in the media about this device, suggesting it is great for anyone to pick up and use as of right now, without explaining about the "developer release" which by demand was made open to all, and "educational release" which is still in the works.

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stevepdp
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 8:31 pm

KaelaStreet wrote:I am sure when the first mentions of the r-pi hit the news, there was no mention of a specific operating system
Since about this time last year, we have known that Linux would be a first class citizen on the Pi.

See this which is the earliest Archive.org snapshot of the website which mentioned it might ship an Ubuntu stack. We ended up with Debian instead as the reference OS, but it's more or less the same under the hood.

With the enormous wealth of development packages free of costs and restrictive licensing, GNU/Linux is the best tool for the job.

slacker
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 8:36 pm

KaelaStreet wrote: New users are not by and large linux proficeant,
They won't necessarily be proficient in anything else either. You're making the assumption that everyone magically knows how to use Windows, they don't they have to be taught how to use it. If you as new user were sat down in front of a Windows machine and told there you go get on with it, you'd have exactly same reaction as you had with the Raspberry Pi.

bredman
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 9:12 pm

KaelaStreet wrote:The new user will HAVE to be competant in linux to address the r-pi.
There is a lot of development ongoing to make specific images for education. In these images, the user is likely never to see a command prompt or any other aspect of Linux unless they go exploring.
KaelaStreet wrote:I am sure when the first mentions of the r-pi hit the news, there was no mention of a specific operating system
This is blatant rubbish! For as long as I have been visiting the raspberrypi.org website, the banner has ALWAYS stated "And ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!" I can't understand how you could have bought a Raspberry Pi on February 29th without knowing this.

There are a lot of developers wanting to help get the Raspberry Pi for general use. They are willing to donate their time and expertise for free, but a lot of them do not have access to a Raspberry Pi yet. It is unfortunate that the developer release was hijacked by people like you who wanted to buy the latest shiny gadget. But it is really insulting that you then complain that these developers did not have the system ready and polished for you to use.

If you really have such a bad attitude, I suggest that you should donate your Raspberry Pi to your local hackerspace or Linux user group. You have obviously no intention of using it.

Bluemerlin
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 10:05 pm

bredman wrote:
This is blatant rubbish! For as long as I have been visiting the raspberrypi.org website, the banner has ALWAYS stated "And ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!" I can't understand how you could have bought a Raspberry Pi on February 29th without knowing this.

There are a lot of developers wanting to help get the Raspberry Pi for general use. They are willing to donate their time and expertise for free, but a lot of them do not have access to a Raspberry Pi yet. It is unfortunate that the developer release was hijacked by people like you who wanted to buy the latest shiny gadget. But it is really insulting that you then complain that these developers did not have the system ready and polished for you to use.

If you really have such a bad attitude, I suggest that you should donate your Raspberry Pi to your local hackerspace or Linux user group. You have obviously no intention of using it.
I agree whole heartedly with this. It makes me frustrated to see these type of threads.

Elegor
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 10:38 pm

Just because the Pi uses Linux doesn't mean it's hard or incomprehensible. Within 30 minutes of my pi arriving, my 7-year old son (who has only ever known Windows) was writing his first program in Scratch. A bit of reading-up on my part beforehand helped of course, but only to the extent that I could tell him when to type 'pi', 'raspberry' and 'startx'!

To me, that shows the Pi fulfilling its primary aim immediately and completely, even though it is very early in its life and is still aimed at developers rather than school kids. Next stop is a bit of Python programming for both of us, although I've already played around with XBMC and Raspbmc as well - both of which show a lot of early promise.

obarthelemy
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 10:46 pm

Actually, I think this type of thread is a semi-useful reality check. Hackers tend to have tunnel vision, and see what they achieved, not the hoops they had to jump through to get there, and how hard it will be for non-tech users to duplicate their results, especially if there is any kind of incident along the way (and there always are several), and/or some pre-required konwledge (and there always is.. lots).
I think the lesson is that we need specific images so things are as plug and play as possible. including working defaults. The guy would probably have reacted differently is startx had been on autorun, and he'd have gotten to a WIMP environment that didn't make him feel totally clueless.
Then again, maybe we don't really care about this kind of users... but they will further tarnish Linux's image.

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scep
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Re: At the Prompt, Now What?

Mon May 28, 2012 11:30 pm

KaelaStreet wrote:This is most definitely a gadget created to showcase the builders talents
Most definitely! They re-mortgaged their houses just to plug their mad engineering skillz and yet they have now been found out because they forgot the 'interchangable parts' and the 'program storage'. The fools! (I warned them that their charity cover story wouldn't wash...)

@obarthelemy: you are right about it being hard to stand back and look at something with the eyes of a beginner. But the phrase "Sadly, my fears are confirmed" is a very telling sentiment and a world away from, say, "I haven't got a clue what to do now - where do I go from here?!"

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