[clug] A most interesting read, most interesting

Randall Crook rcrook at vtown.com.au
Tue Dec 26 23:43:31 GMT 2006

I would like to relate an experience to you all.

I have had 20 Years of Unix and 13 years on Linux experience so I think I
am fairly good when it comes to setting up linux on most systems.

But. This weekend I decided to see if I could expunge Windows completely
from my household, by installing ubuntu on the last Windows box in the
house, my laptop.

I have a Toshiba Satellite A100 (No laughing, was the best for my budget
at the time). The experience I must say was not an overly fun or quick

I am serious, I only just got the last Item I wanted going last night. Now
it was not because I had hardware issue that it took so long, but because
of the amount of time I spent googling to find out how I get this piece of
software to do this and find what libraries I needed to get that piece of
software to do that. (EG: mp3 play back, Video Play back, Mother board
monitoring software, perl support for vim.... the list goes on.)

I had trouble getting all the programs that have sound support that I wish
to use to all work in unision (still haven't been able to get audacity to
work properly yet).  I spent 3 hours just trying to see if I could
get my video capture device to work. It isn't supported . And I spent 4
hours trying (unsucessfully) to get a a windows graphics program to work
under wine. (Yes I know use gimp, well Gimp wont do some if the things I
can get the windows graphics program to).

And the real kicker. I use a webcam when talking to loved ones over seas
and while the webcam is supported and will fire up, it has a tendancy to
work for 2 to 5 minutes before hanging the laptop completely. Yes
completely, requiring me to turn the power off and back on again.

I love linux, have done since I first played with SLS back in '93. I am
not having a go at anyone and I am not having a go at linux, I am how ever
pointing out that if it takes me 3 to 4 days to get a linux installed and
running  to the point where it is usable for all the things I want it
to do. And it takes hours of googling to actually find the info I need to
get it working (with lots of messing around in text editors and config
file) then can you imagine the trouble a computer illiterate windows user
is going to have?

The linux universe has come a long way since '92, but when a computer
illiterate can still get their windows box to do most of what they want it
to by just a few mouse clicks here and there, while it takes a geek hours
of googling and mucking about in config files, then linux is still along
way away from world domination. 

What I am trying to say is the general gist of the discussion about the
linux community being isolated is still true and we still have a long way
to go before that changes.

I hope I haven't offended anyone by my words. I If have, please accept the
following general apology.





Randall Crook


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