Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Operating Systems Software Linux

Ubuntu 9.04 For the Windows Power User 727

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-you-can dept.
crazipper writes "Know a Windows power user who is (honestly) good with technology, but hasn't yet warmed to Linux? Tom's Hardware just posted a guide to installing and using Ubuntu 9.04, written specifically for the MS crowd (in other words, it talks about file systems, mount points, app installation, etc). Hopefully, by the end, your 'friend' will realize just how easy Ubuntu can be to use and start down a long path of exploration with a new operating system."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ubuntu 9.04 For the Windows Power User

Comments Filter:
  • Fantastic! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buttfscking (1515709) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:35PM (#28041311)
    Yessir! If there's one thing that will convince those M$ power users to convert, it's another tutorial about using Ubuntu!
    • Re:Fantastic! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:38PM (#28041365)
      Exactly. If they are actually good at tech and pay any attention to it at all, they don't have a reason to switch. Windows configured correctly, not installing random "codec packs", and used as a standard user will continue to work fine for them. It is the "not good with tech" people that we would need to work on getting to switch. They are the ones with problems.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stephanruby (542433)

        If they are actually good at tech and pay any attention to it at all, they don't have a reason to switch.

        It depends. For instance, if you're a web developer who's using linux boxes (or some kind of cloud) in production, using linux/unix/BSD/OS X is a far better idea than developing on Windows. The integration between your development machine and your production environment will be completely transparent in that case.

        This isn't to say that Microsoft doesn't have awesome integration within its own set of too

      • Re:Fantastic! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pugugly (152978) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @06:03PM (#28046491)

        I can't say I agree - as a Windows 'Power User' moving over to Ubuntu had advantages and disadvantages, but the main disadvantage is that is *sucks* to move from being pretty competent to fix your own issues to not being sure if you're even googling the right words.

        So, although this tutorial doesn't exactly fill an 'empty' niche (There have been quite a few every six months aimed at this skill-level), for making it clear that Ubuntu is equal (Well, lets be honest, better than) to Vista/7 in power and XP in ease of use, it is a good reminder to people that it's out there, it's improving at a rapid rate, and it's a lot easier to regain that feeling of being comfortable as a power-user in Linux than it originally was in Windows.

        Finally, although I am happy to see Ubuntu pulling more basic users over, a good cadre of previous Windows power users that can answer questions in the form of "Oh, yeah, that confused me too when I first switched - here's the logic, I think it's actually an improvement now that I know why they do it that way . . ." is an asset worth pursuing.

        Pug

        • by Unoti (731964) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @09:21PM (#28048361) Journal

          Ubuntu's not really better right now. I installed Ubuntu on my main windows machine. It's got 2 monitors running through an Nvidia card. The sound didn't work until I played with it for 2 hours (I think it's because I've got a motherboard with surround sound where any of the jacks can be used for any conceivable purpose), and I still don't know what I need to do to get my Twinview settings to persist. And I had all kinds of trouble with multi-monitor support, fiddling with which one has the main menu and which doesn't, and so on.

          With Windows, all that kind of stuff just works. It breaks my heart, and I want to use Ubuntu on my desktop, but not bad enough to spend a whole weekend messing around with it. For now, I'm happy with using Windows on my desktop and using samba shares to an ubuntu server. Well, I'd be happier if my config was all worked out, but it's not worth it.

          But as my machine continues to bug me about Windows Genuine Advantage, it's becoming more temping to rid myself of that windows plague...

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:41PM (#28041409) Journal

      I hardly see how this is a tutorial for "power users." The article makes out the terminal to be a big bad scary thing, but you'd think that most power users would at least be familiar with Start | Run | "cmd" | "ipconfig".

      It's basically a walkthrough of the installation process that goes into more detail about partitions than is necessary. There's only a couple thousand of those floating around the Internet already...

      • by TinBromide (921574) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:54PM (#28041637)
        I was hoping that there would be more tutorials for getting wine to work with apps that users like. I'm sure that there are a hojillion wine tutorials, but it would be nice to have seen the author pay heed to the fact that people don't use computers for their operating systems, they use them for the apps. When I fire up my computer, I'm not fiddling around with the command prompt or using the calculator. He could have gone over what it would have taken to get adobe photoshop or microsoft office to install, or get gimp properly configured with gimpshop or photogimp or whatever. I've been using photoshop for so long that its second nature muscle memory and when gimp doesn't do something the same way, it's like flipping the blinker to signal and getting a windshield washer spray. I'm sure that's what the "average" user or even some power users feel when they do A and would get B in a windows app but the linux app does C.

        I know that linux isn't windows, but for a lot of people, a computer is the tools you use for it, and people are probably less likely to give up microsoft office than windows. I wonder how much less successful OSX would be without office.

        Please, I am aware of open office and gimp and all of that stuff. I'm posting from my debian partition right now.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:07PM (#28041881)

          it would be nice to have seen the author pay heed to the fact that people don't use computers for their operating systems

          Whoa there cowboy! This is Slashdot. This is where OSes are for religious zealotry. What are these applications of which you speak?

        • by Tweenk (1274968) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:44PM (#28042589)

          I was hoping that there would be more tutorials for getting wine to work with apps that users like.

          I would not put this in a beginner tutorial. Wine should not be a deciding factor in your migration: if you use Windows exclusively to run Windows-only apps, you won't benefit from migrating to Linux. It works well if you have one critical app that you can't find an OSS replacement for, but for regular use it's a pain.

          • by TinBromide (921574) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:58PM (#28042831)
            if you look at what the "average" person does on a computer, listen to music/watch videos, type documents, do email, browse the internet, and deal with pictures, then replacing 1 app (microsoft office instead of open office) may be what keeps a power user from booting back into windows, or a novice user from complaining about this strange new os.

            Nobody will argue with me when i say that there are tangible benefits to switching to linux and linux based apps for 80% of what a user does on a computer, but there are those applications, like microsoft office and photoshop that users have a lot invested into learning and using that they just don't want to be bothered to replace. Its often those apps that keep people anchored to windows and prevent people from switching. I have too many first hand accounts where I've installed open office on someone's system so they can open a document in the short run, but when they have the cash, they go out and buy microsoft office. That is enough to convince me that to get people to switch to linux, you have to tell them that they can bring a few of their favorite apps and show them how.
            • by moniker127 (1290002) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:35PM (#28044525)
              Well, this article is pointed at power users. And speaking as a power user who mostly uses windows- The main thing that prevents me from switching is that I don't have any reason to! Why should I find alternatives to the programs I use when the programs I use are the best out there. Honestly- I like the gnome interface (not so hot on K), and its cool how customizable it is- but if it does not do anything useful for me- I don't care!

              See the difference is that people who use linux are OS buffs. Most people really dont care about OS- so long as it runs all the apps we need- and you cannot argue with the fact that -As it stands- Windows has by far the widest application compatibility hands down.
            • by gbarules2999 (1440265) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @07:09PM (#28047281)
              Easy Wine tutorial, right now:

              Open Terminal.

              Type "sudo apt-get install wine" and type password. Press enter. (A suggested step: "sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts" for better fonts)

              Once the process is finished, right click on any exe. Go down to "Run in Wine." Install and use as usual.

              If it does not run, google the software's name plus wine. If the software is known at all, there should be a solution.
        • by Thaelon (250687) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:51PM (#28042713)

          I use linux at work for linux, not for its apps. Specifically, the homogeneous file system (no c:\ d:\ e:\ monkey business), soft links and standard utilities that have been around for decades and are still useful. The default availability of powerful command line shells and utilities. Most of what I use that is linux specific shipped with the ISO I installed it from, some have no decent windows equivalents at all, and nearly none are built into windows.

          Most of the major apps I use (Firefox/launchy/IntelliJ/remote desktop) are available in Windows too, so it's not those.

          • by TinBromide (921574) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:11PM (#28043043)
            I used andlinux [andlinux.org] at work when i needed those linux apps. It runs a fully functional install of ubuntu (running the colinux kernel) with full access to the ubuntu repositories. Granted it doesn't get rid of the non-unified file structure of windows, but the unified file system of linux is something that I find just as annoying and apparently enough people do that debian's file system icon takes you to a separated view with individual drives. NMAP and other network tools worked with some fiddling, and I could still use the windows only apps at full speed without emulation or wine.
        • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:10PM (#28043023)

          He could have gone over what it would have taken to get adobe photoshop or microsoft office to install...

          If a user wants to use Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office why shouldn't he just stick with Windows?

          When I fire up my computer, I'm not fiddling around with the command prompt or using the calculator.

          Precisely. So what is the point of him installing ubuntu, only to have to fiddle around with WINE tutorials to manually install something onto an unsupported platform? He ALREADY has an OS that works, that officially supports and runs his apps.

          Installing Ubuntu only makes sense if he actually wants to play with a new OS and try new applications.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Endo13 (1000782)

          Not to mention that for many of us who use Windows, the "apps" we use it for are games. And in answer to the question TFA's author said we should ask... no, it's not worth the hassle.

          Until you can write a tutorial that makes it as easy to run every single popular app and remotely popular game as easily (and with all the same performance and features) as on Windows you're just wasting your time. Until that day comes, there's no room for Linux on my hard drive.

      • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:56PM (#28041689)

        I hardly see how this is a tutorial for "power users." The article makes out the terminal to be a big bad scary thing, but you'd think that most power users would at least be familiar with Start | Run | "cmd" | "ipconfig".

        I've met plenty of Windows enthusiasts that are either uncomfortable or outright hostile towards the use of a command line. This despite Microsoft themselves coming to admit the usefulness in such a thing.

      • by Spad (470073) <{ku.oc.daps} {ta} {todhsals}> on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:05PM (#28041841) Homepage

        It's mostly an age thing IMHO. Windows "power users" that never used anything pre-95 often don't know anything about the good old command prompt; even basic stuff like copying or renaming files.

      • I would argue that you're not a power user unless you regularly use Windows-R, have a shell in your quick launch, or have some other quick way to get to a command line of some sort. But then someone out there is probably sitting at nine computers at once calling me a schmuck, so the definition is clearly pretty hazy.

  • by Nick Ives (317) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:36PM (#28041337)

    I learnt this lesson the hard way when a close friend decided to ring me at 1am to bug me about a Linux problem. I don't even remember what the issue was, he was just a bit stressed cos he'd spent hours trying to figure something out and I had promised to help him whenever he had problems.

    I told him what to do in about three sentences and passed out again. This taught me you don't encourage friends to switch to Linux.

    Oh, and Ubuntu is a terrible start to Linux. Debian forever! (seriously: you only install Debian once, beyond that it sorts itself out)

    • by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:48PM (#28041513) Homepage Journal

      And how is that different then friends running windows calling you at 2am?

      A persons OS of choice doesn't negate them having issues. It does perhaps change the types of problems however.

      • by EvilRyry (1025309) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:57PM (#28041721) Journal

        Because they can blame you for pushing them into an OS they otherwise wouldn't have used.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        And how is that different then friends running windows calling you at 2am?

        It was implied in his post that this wasn't happening before the switch.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Nick Ives (317)

        And how is that different then friends running windows calling you at 2am?

        Because:

        I had promised to help him whenever he had problems.

        I was young, naive and did the "switch to Linux! It's easy! I'll help you with any problems you have!" thing.

        I think he still uses Fedora as his primary desktop now, many years later. It worked out in the end but it was far more work than I expected, so think twice about converting your non-techie friends to Linux!

        n.b. "Windows Power Users" are non-techie. Real nerds convert themselves to Unix!

    • by Hyppy (74366)
      Rabidly differentiating Ubuntu from Debian is like trying to separate CentOS from RedHat.
      • by idontgno (624372) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:55PM (#28041657) Journal

        trying to separate CentOS from RedHat.

        OMG how dare you! They are completely different.

        Actually, I was gonna make a joke involving crowbars, but I don't think it would work.

        And yeah, I do run CentOS on the household server. I like the RedHat heritage without the RedHat pricetag or the Fedora churn. YMMV. At least I'm qualified to fanboi about CentOS, even if I have enough clue not to.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tom9729 (1134127)

        Not really.

        Ubuntu uses Debian as a base, and while they have a lot of similarities they also have a lot of differences (Ubuntu is more concerned with flashy new features and user accessibility than stability or security). CentOS on the other hand is basically RHEL minus Red Hat's trademarks and live support.

    • The underlying issue (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:00PM (#28041767) Homepage

      While I agree about not helping them install Linux for similar reasons, I don't think it has anything to do with your friend calling you up at 1AM. Only a total jackass would call you at 1AM for something that trivial unless they know you're awake.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:37PM (#28041343)

    Dr. Pepper is not a valid substitute for Mr. Pibb.

    What I've found is that many Windows users are quite happy to try other operating systems, especially free systems like Linux. They download MS Virtual PC, install the distro, fiddle with it for a while, then return to their Windows world.

    It's not so much that there is something wrong with Linux that makes them reject it. It's not even really rejecting Linux so much as simply not finding their needs satisfied on the system.

    Maybe it's lack of apps. Maybe it's lack of quality. Maybe it's the pain of actually migrating over all their data.

    Whatever it is, Windows users usually seem to find their way back to Windows because it just does what they need. Emulating the look and feel of Windows isn't going to change the fact that their needs aren't satisfied by Linux.

    • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:42PM (#28041425)

      Emulating the look and feel of Windows isn't going to change the fact that their needs aren't satisfied by Linux.

      I don't switch primarily because of look and feel issues. I know how to do everything on a Windows system, anything that works differently feels "broken", even if it's a valid alternative choice.

      As one example, to install software, I can go on the web, find the primary site for it, make sure it passes malware tests, and install it. On Linux, there's a repository (as I understand, never figured that part out). That may be a technologically superior option, but that means I have to trust the repository buildier. And it's not as though Linux is somehow immmune to malware that lets me skip that step. Anytime I install software it can do something I didn't except, on any OS.

      Just a different flow means that little things I take for granted are missing, which makes it feel bad, which means I switch back to the land of "Start" buttons.

      • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:56PM (#28041681)

        As one example, to install software, I can go on the web, find the primary site for it, make sure it passes malware tests, and install it. On Linux, there's a repository (as I understand, never figured that part out). That may be a technologically superior option, but that means I have to trust the repository buildier. And it's not as though Linux is somehow immmune to malware that lets me skip that step. Anytime I install software it can do something I didn't except, on any OS.

        But generally with a repository they have already A) checked the source for malware (most malware scanners only search for patterns in the binary that indicate a virus) B) Tested the software to make sure it is at least (somewhat) working. You have to have trust somewhere unless you are really skilled in writing software purely in binary. With most Linux software you have A) The option of going through the source yourself B) Have a fully open environment C) Have a community that has no profit incentive. The reason of having no profit incentive is good is because they have to compete based on features. MS can cripple software to make a quick buck, trying to do that on Linux just leads someone to move to a better distro.

        There are many more paranoid Linux users than paranoid Windows users. Security is a great concern. If Ubuntu was adding in malware in a repository, someone would know and the software would be taken down. A site with a trojan on it for Windows is considered typical. I don't know of a single modern case of malware being in "trusted" repositories (such as Ubuntu's main repository, etc).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by socrplayr813 (1372733)

          I'm not taking a side here, but I want to point out that just because the problems are different doesn't mean they aren't there.

          Linux folks generally don't have profit incentive, no, but I've found that a good number of them have an agenda of some kind. I'm sure you've read or heard about some of the bickering that goes on... It's not uncommon for a developer to get stuck in his ways and refuse to change with the users. Usually that just results in a fork or migration to other software, but there must be

      • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:56PM (#28041703)

        It's far more likely that stuff in the repository is safe than something you just download off the net. In most cases.

        The normal repositories are provided by the same folks that put together your OS, and the downloads are signed by them so you know you're getting the software from a trusted source. Linux does let you skip the "check for malware" step with things you get from trustworthy repositories due to this signing mechanism. Unless the repo is contaminated, but that's somewhat unlikely and would be found very fast.

        And if you don't trust the people you get your OS from then... well that would be special.

        You should be as careful adding new repositories to your system in much the same way you would be careful trusting a third party website to get software from. And careful adding packages you download from the web in the same way that you are with windows.

      • by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:27PM (#28042271)
        As one example, to install software, I can go on the web, find the primary site for it, make sure it passes malware tests, and install it. On Linux, there's a repository (as I understand, never figured that part out). That may be a technologically superior option, but that means I have to trust the repository buildier.

        Yes. Your Windows method: you have to trust every single application vendor separately. Linux system: you trust one repository, which you can check out the reputation of if you're concerned. I fail to see why this is a problem, it sounds simpler and safer to me.

        By the way, many "repositories" also host Windows code; I get a lot of Windows apps from Sourceforge.

      • by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:43PM (#28042569) Journal

        I don't switch primarily because of look and feel issues. I know how to do everything on a Windows system, anything that works differently feels "broken", even if it's a valid alternative choice.

        As one example, to install software, I can go on the web, find the primary site for it, make sure it passes malware tests, and install it. On Linux, there's a repository (as I understand, never figured that part out). That may be a technologically superior option, but that means I have to trust the repository buildier. And it's not as though Linux is somehow immmune to malware that lets me skip that step. Anytime I install software it can do something I didn't except, on any OS.

        Your post displays a mix of FUD, lack of knowledge and lack of intellectual curiosity.

        Firstly, for a huge variety of software that a user might install, the process is a single command in a terminal, for example:
        sudo apt-get install <whatever>
        Alternatively, applications can be selected for installation or removal through nice GUI programs such as Synaptic.

        The system repositories are set up on installation and files in those repositories can be assumed to be secure. Contrast that with Windows, where the process often involves downloading a random exe file that may or may not be trusted.

        There are some applications and libraries that may require adding repositories, but, in my experience, those repositories provide detailed instructions on how to add them. Your failure to grasp these simple steps shows a lack of effort on your part and not any difficulty with Linux.

        Under Windows, after installing an application, can you be sure about what the installer did? Under Linux, I can query the package manager for the files installed and the scripts run. Under Windows -- no. So under Linux, I can feel more secure and trusting of the package that I just installed. It's Windows that should make you feel insecure.

        I fully expect this post to be downmodded to hell by the Windows fanboys, but, fortunately, I have some karma to burn!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by twidarkling (1537077)

          I fully expect this post to be downmodded to hell by the Windows fanboys, but, fortunately, I have some karma to burn!

          Every time I read something like this, I think about the unmitigated arrogance of some posters. It's basically saying "I don't care what you think, and I expect to be persecuted by those opposed to my views, which means I'm better than you." Seriously, is there anything wrong with just saying your piece then shutting the fuck up, and *actually* having a high-ground against "the fanboys", rather than putting in an early insult?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cream wobbly (1102689)

        J'accuse.

        I could bet all my money and then some that you don't read the Windows Update release listings and install Microsoft packages piecemeal. You use Windows Update or Microsoft Update.

        Similarly, with Ubuntu, you'd be using ubuntu-main, ubuntu-restricted, ubuntu-universe, and ubuntu-multiverse.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rantingkitten (938138)
        As one example, to install software, I can go on the web, find the primary site for it, make sure it passes malware tests, and install it.

        Let's be a little more clear on this process, because you're simplifying it way too much.

        You want some new program for Windows?

        1. Search the web. Come up with page after page of results.
        2. Find a bunch that are either crippled trial versions, or you have to pay for them.
        3. Finally find one that looks like it'll do the job, and is free.
        4. Download an untrusted
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by amicusNYCL (1538833)

          Let's be a little more clear on this process, because you're simplifying it way too much.

          And you're seriously over-complicating things.

          1. Search the web. Come up with page after page of results.

          Yes, Google searches often result in many, many pages. That does not imply that the result you're trying to reach is not listed first. Do a search for "context", "gimp", or "opera" on Google and tell me how far you need to look before you find home pages for a text editor, image tool, or browser. This step can be replaced with "Search the web, find what you're looking for".

          2. Find a bunch that are either crippled trial versions, or you have to pay for them.

          Nice assumption that all Windows programs require money. This step can be left out.

          3. Finally find one that looks like it'll do the job, and is free.

          Not

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I thought Mr. Pibb was supposed to be a substitute for Dr. Pepper. Either way, I'll take a root beer. Thanks.

    • by A Friendly Troll (1017492) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:56PM (#28041705)

      Whatever it is, Windows users usually seem to find their way back to Windows because it just does what they need. Emulating the look and feel of Windows isn't going to change the fact that their needs aren't satisfied by Linux.

      In my case - I just don't feel like it. Back when I was a kid and when DOS ruled the lands, I fiddled around for weeks with Slackware and its dozens of floppies, and that was the time when Linux really didn't have much to offer and nobody had internet access. Configuring X for my Cirrus Logic 5426 VESA card was a pain, but I was a hacker and it was fun (I think I still have my old Linux home dir somewhere on my HDD). When I was in DOS, I used to spend a lot of time tinkering around with assembler and running programs through debuggers; a hex editor was my favourite toy.

      When Windows 95 came out, I still booted to DOS most of the time. It was around 1996 or 1997 when I finally switched to Windows and told DOS to FO. Now I'm on XP SP2 and I can't even be bothered to upgrade to SP3.

      Linux would suit my needs perfectly. I don't do anything special on my PC - I rarely play games, and let's face it, most of the time we spend online is in the browser or inside an IM app.

      I can't be bothered. Windows works, it's stable, it's secure because I have a long background with computers. The only time I had a virus infection was in the above-mentioned 90s when I wrote my own virus and it accidentally spread to ".." (which happened to be the root of C partition) instead of "." (whoops).

      Any OS would do what I need, and that's exactly the point - I have no incentive to switch to anything and waste time on it. "I'm too old for that shit."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by whoever57 (658626)

        I can't be bothered. Windows works, it's stable, it's secure because I have a long background with computers. The only time I knew that I had a virus infection was in the above-mentioned 90s when I wrote my own virus and it accidentally spread to ".." (which happened to be the root of C partition) instead of "." (whoops).

        Fixed that for you.

    • by EdZ (755139) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:57PM (#28041711)
      For me, it was the lack of support for hardware. My netbook came with Ubuntu pre-installed (bypassing my previous experience where Ubuntu managed to hose the partition tables of two discs). It's a netbook, so the usual problem of 'no games' and so on weren't really an issue as long as it could run Firefox and a basic text editor.
      And then I plugged my mouse in.
      I have my MX Revolution (the Best Mouse Ever Made) set up with shortcuts for manipulating tabs rather than the silly default fwd/back buttons. However, after about half an hour of googling and fiddling with repositories, I was no closer to a working mouse. Now, I'm sure some will be quick yell "but it's the manufacturers fault! They don't provide any drivers!". This'd be fine if:
      a) there weren't custom drivers for both windows and OS X available
      b) the custom drivers for Linux didn't require me to DOWNGRADE THE OPERATING SYSTEM in order to install.
      It was at this second point where I decided that Linux was not the choice for me. If I have to reinstall the entire operating system to get a mouse working properly, then there's something very wrong.
      • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:07PM (#28041905)

        Netbook + MX Revolution?

        And that doesn't seem like a weird combination to you?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Yosho (135835)

        I have my MX Revolution (the Best Mouse Ever Made) set up with shortcuts for manipulating tabs rather than the silly default fwd/back buttons. However, after about half an hour of googling and fiddling with repositories, I was no closer to a working mouse. Now, I'm sure some will be quick yell "but it's the manufacturers fault! They don't provide any drivers!". This'd be fine if:
        a) there weren't custom drivers for both windows and OS X available
        b) the custom drivers for Linux didn't require me to DOWNGRADE THE OPERATING SYSTEM in order to install.

        Setting up fancy mice is, without a doubt, one of the biggest pains in the ass of Linux. However, it is possible to actually get them working if you're willing to do some work at the command line, and you actually don't need to install any special drivers. Most Linux distros come with a mouse driver called "evdev" that does a great job of recognizing all of the buttons available on any given mouse. Here [rootsmith.ca] is some information about setting up X to use the evdev driver, specifically for an MX Revolution.

        The

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dotancohen (1015143)

        I recently called Logitech asking if the MX would work on Ubuntu, as it is not stated on the webpage. The tech said no, in fact, Logitech does not make any mice that work with Linux. Then I called Microsoft and discussed the Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000 with the tech. The MS tech was very helpful and I'll be receiving the mouse in a few days (ordered on the 'net).

        As crazy as it sounds, Logitech has no interest in selling Linux users it's hardware. Therefore, I have no interest in giving them my mo

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by krewemaynard (665044)

      It's not so much that there is something wrong with Linux that makes them reject it. It's not even really rejecting Linux so much as simply not finding their needs satisfied on the system.

      My sound didn't work at first. Then I realized it was picking up my onboard sound, so I pointed it to my sound card, and it worked. Oh wait, no it didn't...flash would play in Firefox, but with NO SOUND.

      Sounds like a small issue, but part of the reason I went back to Windows as my primary desktop was that I got tired of hunting for solutions to all the here-and-there problems. Also, trying to explain to my wife and kids why something as basic as printing didn't work quite right, or why a certain app woul

  • Wrong Crowd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:43PM (#28041447)
    As a Windows desktop user who has considerable experience with Linux (I run a bunch of Linux servers and spent some months exclusively with Linux on the desktop), I believe this is the wrong crowd to try to get to switch to Linux. Experienced Windows users simply don't have the problems about which everyone complains about Windows. Windows just works for experienced users who don't install viruses and ad/spyware. Windows hasn't crashed on me since before XP. Ever. Never frozen... nothing. I'm currently on 7, spent a year and a half on Vista, and the rest of the decade on XP (after it was released).

    Technically inclined people who aren't programmers simply don't need linux, and programmers will already know about it.

    That's my 2 cents.
    • Re:Wrong Crowd (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:21PM (#28042145)

      As a Windows desktop user who has considerable experience with Linux (I run a bunch of Linux servers and spent some months exclusively with Linux on the desktop), I believe this is the wrong crowd to try to get to switch to Linux. Experienced Windows users simply don't have the problems about which everyone complains about Windows. Windows just works for experienced users who don't install viruses and ad/spyware. Windows hasn't crashed on me since before XP. Ever. Never frozen... nothing. I'm currently on 7, spent a year and a half on Vista, and the rest of the decade on XP (after it was released).

      Technically inclined people who aren't programmers simply don't need linux, and programmers will already know about it.

      That's my 2 cents.

      You're exactly right. Those of us in this situation, whether we're on Windows, OSX, Linux, or whatever, have a rock solid, lightning fast, powerful and adaptable OS experience. We don't get any malware, we don't have problems configuring our hardware, and we have all the applications we want and what we need very efficiently. In my experience, we're also not the fanboys. They seem to be the much less experienced users who primarily relate to their own and other operating systems through the lens of marketing (or anti-MS holy wars from the Linux brigade).

  • market ball size (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:45PM (#28041469)

    It's simply a ball size competition.

    MS is a playah and is willing to do dirty sneaky deals with OEMs to get their shit pushed.

    Ubuntu, as FOSS, rightly stays away from such tactics, and unfortunately runs afoul of the fact that the majority of computer sheeple really couldn't give a clue about patents, open source, and whatnot.

    Linux's technical strengths are also economic weaknesses.

    What would help IMHO is for linux to have advocacy, a marketing department, and general user friendliness polishes.

    But nothing except legal action is going to correct the fact that microsoft simply holds most of the IP cards, as proven by their ambush against TomTom which in theory could lock linux out of the flash-drive market, as well as any other device that exposes it's data with VFAT internally.

    • by FishWithAHammer (957772) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:52PM (#28041595)

      What would help IMHO is for linux to have advocacy, a marketing department, and general user friendliness polishes.

      What would help Linux is to run games without WINE. Or, if you have to use WINE, make the use of it completely seamless. Somebody clicks on a game installer from a CD they put in the drive--"This is a Windows application, but Ubuntu can run this if you install a compatibility layer [don't name WINE by name, nobody cares]. Would you like to install the compatibility layer?" They click yes, you automatically apt-get WINE, launch the app. That alone would help with the grandma cases.

  • by Manip (656104) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:49PM (#28041547)

    I actually read the article and it seems to lack one important thing... Why? Why should a Windows Power User wish to install Ubuntu? I mean it is "free" but my time certainly isn't, so I guess what is in it for me? What advantages does it have over, let's say, Windows XP?

    PS - "Free" "Open Source" "You can compile it yourself!" don't count. People don't buy software because it is cheap, they buy it because it enriches their lives or increases their productivity.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:21PM (#28043211) Homepage

      Let's see, some reasons I like using Ubuntu over Windows XP:
      - Free updates more-or-less forever. Along with that is only one update program that needs to run, rather than 15 little icons sitting in the bottom left corner for every single piece of software that needs to check for updates periodically.
      - UI effects that are often prettier than what XP in particular can offer. For instance, translucent windows.
      - Easy setup for multiple users with different preferences. The same machine can look completely different for Mr and Mrs.
      - Utility programs that you often need to find and download in the Windows world (from sources you may or may not trust) are already installed on most Linux setups.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:43PM (#28044685) Journal

      What advantages does it have over, let's say, Windows XP?

      Virtual desktops that don't suck. A command line that doesn't suck. KIOslaves. Windowshading. sshd. Screen. Apt-get.

      It's not so much the apps, but the workflow is so much nicer in Linux.

  • by idontgno (624372) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:51PM (#28041583) Journal

    In the fine summary, I mean.

    Scare quotes? Like "he's not really my friend, I'm humoring him until he coverts to Linux."?

    "so-called" quotes? Like "He's more than a friend, but I won't come out of the closet for him."?

    I don't get it. It's distracting. It reduces whatever value this tutorial may have had. It certainly seems to reinforce the arrogant attitude "You're smart, I don't understand why you aren't doing exactly what I do."

  • No way (Score:4, Interesting)

    by papabob (1211684) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:52PM (#28041599)

    When somebody is a "Windows power user":

    a) he's really a Computer power user. You cannot be a "X power user" without knowing the internals, and of course all the explanation about filesystem and mountpoints is useless.
    b) he doesn't need a "guide" to download an iso, burn it and follow a series of on-screen instructions to install anything.

    Taking into account a) and b), probably your "windows power user" has already tasted some flavor of linux and decided to stay in Windows (inferred because he's a "Windows power user" and not a "linux power user"). If it wasn't the case, i.e. if he never tried a distro, it was probably because he heard some of the limitations of linux compared to windows (only a bunch of commercial games, no photoshop/whatever, etc.) and then no guide is going to convince him to change.

    Or are we talking about another kind of "power user"? Maybe "average-but-no-stupid windows user" fits better with the TFA.

  • by blcamp (211756) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:53PM (#28041615) Homepage

    I'm not an MS fanboy... but using MS dev tools, writing software to work on MS operating systems, and with a user audience where MS software has a nearly-100% market share by choice... is my day job.

    As such, I don't have the luxury of time either in or out of my regular work hours to explore other things. I'm busy enough keeping up with current trends on the .NET Framework, which is exactly what the folks who fund my living want and need me to do.

    End of story.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:43PM (#28044669) Journal

      I'm busy enough keeping up with current trends on the .NET Framework ...

      You should be careful restricting yourself like that. I'm also a .NET developer (C++ as well, though), and I, too, follow the new developments in .NET in most detail, closely followed by C++0x standardization process (I read the committee monthly papers and mailings as soon as they are published). But it doesn't mean not looking elsewhere. There are plenty of interesting things going on all around, and some of them may well end up in .NET eventually (see: IronPython, IronRuby, Phalanger, F# ...). It helps to know bits and pieces of everything, even if your main focus remains in one or two areas.

      Among other things, no technology lasts forever as a dominant market leader. .NET may be there for years to come, but there will come a point at which the next step won't be evolutionary. Just remember VB6 -> .NET transition. For many people getting stuck in that, it was a very unpleasant experience. But those who happened to also know Java or Delphi moved on fairly easily. More recently, same thing happened with LINQ - people with at least cursory knowledge of FP welcomed and embraced it, and hordes of programmers who never looked out of C# box (or only looked at Java at most) ended up being thoroughly confused. Same goes for F# in .NET 4.0, only to a higher degree.

  • by ouimetch (1433125) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:54PM (#28041641)
    I purchased a bargain laptop not too long ago with Vista pre-installed, and I gotta say on a low spec computer it was a pretty painful experience. So my girlfriend convinced me to give Ubuntu a shot, and I gotta say I am really happy with it.

    There has been a bit of a learning curve, and I honestly wished there was a built in tutorial explaining the OS better then just an on-line guide. Something that could directly compared the various tools directly to windows (Took me a while to figure out that you had to go to sessions to alter your startup) would have been EXTREMELY useful in my beginning days of Ubuntu.
  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:03PM (#28041825) Homepage

    I once read a thread where posters advocated Firefox by trying to convince everyone else they were dumbasses for using IE. By the end of it, one person was completely convinced that the only reason anyone used Firefox is because they were bullied into it.

    So when dealing with these issues, whether it be a web browser, an OS, or any other lifestyle choice, it's best to let people choose on their own.

    And then you can call them a dumbass BEHIND their back.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:13PM (#28041987)

    I'll admit I am a Windows person. I am a novice to linux based OS since college courses about four years ago. I am using a Dell Mini 9 netbook running Ubuntu 8.0.4. I setup my system just fine, wireless was connecting to my WPA-TKIP hidden network, and the world was grand. I did switch to the classic desktop instead of the 'netbook dashboard' that is default.

    A few updates were available. I updated to 8.1 I believe. This caused my wireless to no longer be available and will no longer connect via NetworkManager since the updates. Yes, wireless network is still on and is able to be used by other Windows laptops.

    So i updated to this newly touted 9.x version of Ubuntu using the Netbook Remix version available. Now I have this wonderful thing where apparently gnome-panel doesn't auto-start. So logging in I go directly to a blank desktop, no panels, no short-cuts, no nothing really. I can change my background and create a new folder on the desktop just to access my file system. I am a novice so I don't know how to get around this.

    I have been on MyDellMini and short of 'rolling my own fix' and others pointing me to known bugs identified months ago with no fix nobody has been able to help me at all. SO from my standpoint this OS really is terrible for Windows people to come over. Sure, when they do they'll have to learn every inch of the OS because most if it doesn't work or they'll spend it troubleshooting problems that most of us Windows people have had experience doing since 95 release.

    Thats just MHO though. I don't recommend it for anyone used to Windows. My recommendation for Windows users to jump over is to ignore Ubuntu like a venerial disease that is for some reason popular among some, and just go to Fedora or Mandriva. Something that mostly works as you'd expect. It will save you time having to google on your Windows machine why your Ubuntu machine doesn't function right.

  • Sound in Linux (Score:3, Informative)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:26PM (#28042249) Journal

    Sound in Linux still isn't completely stable across different hardware. I (knowing I'm going to be using Linux) buy specific hardware so I don't have issues at home, but other hardware (Dell Dimension anyone) sometimes have lots of sound issues. I have a a few guys at work with a Dimension E521s that have to reload alsa everyday due to something screwing off in Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04. (sudo alsa force-reload)

    I have a feeling it is a mixture of Skype and Flash in Firefox doing it, but Linux should be able to gracefully handle this stuff.

  • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:28PM (#28042273)
    So last weekend, I buy/build a new computer. My intentions are to use this as a Media PC for my basement. XBMC is awesome, and now runs on Linux. Great, let's get some practce using Linux.

    Installation of Ubuntu is a breeze. So easy, very fast. (It's a good thing too). Ubuntu boots up fast, and even output it's video through the HDMI port on the back without any additional configuration. AWESOME!!

    Cool, time to start installing apps. This is going to be running XBMC, so let's install. I go to xbmc.org click download, then choose Linux. Apperantly there is no download for linux, you use the package manager. Okay a little different than Windows, but sounds kinda fun. Sure.

    So I learn about packages, and package managers, and adding third party software repositories, and signing keys. So far so good.

    I follow the instructions, add some links to the third party source. I get key signing error messages (even though I followed the instructions 5[!] times trying to get it working). I give up on that, and just ignore the scary warning messages.

    So I open the synaptic package manager and install the xbmc core. Everything goes great. A new entry is added to the "start menu" and all! It launches first try!

    Cool, let's get some skins, from another thrird party source. I add it to the software sources again and reopen SPM to download. Download some skins but I guess I selected something wrong, because at next reboot, the computer will not boot to a windowed environment. All I get is the command line login and my password/user combo does not work. Lame.

    Reinstall Ubuntu. Re add software sources. Can't find XBMC anymore! WTF?!?! It was worked last time. Reinstall ubuntu, still not working. GRR. Reinstall Ubuntu. No dice. anyways on the 5th time I got it working again. Still not sure where I went wrong.

    Here are my thoughts on Ubuntu:
    1) Installation is awesome.
    2) Adding third party software is a MAJOR PAIN IN THE ASS!!! Following instrustions meant for a noob, I screwed it up 3/5 times. I swear I can follow instructions. I earn a living on fixing comptuer problems and following instructions.
    3) Why do Linux programs close themselves? I dont' think they are crashing. Like I add a software source then hit close, it updates, gives me an error about my key not working, then terminates! So I have to reopen it.
    4) Step 3 gave me an error, so naturally, I copied it to the clipboard. I click on okay and the error dissapears, terminating the program. My error, that WAS in the clipboard is now gone... Awesome.
    5) Key signing for software packages is a pain in the ass & comlpicated. Surely there can be an easier way to get this working. How about downloading a file that contains the software source, and the key togeather and then import the file? I still can't get this thing working...
    6) Synaptic Software manager's sorting is crappy. I open it up search for xbmc and see packages availalbe for installation. I can click the column headers and sort, but for some reason, when I select a package, the list unsorts! This makes it hard to select packages of similar type (skins in this case).

    Overall, I think that Ubuntu is pretty cool, and I can't wait to learn more. However, given the issues that I came across, this is still not ready for the masses. Software installation is too convoluted and hard. I want to click to download, then click to install. Clipboard should not kill your data if the host program has been terminated. Programs should not terminate with no warning. Sorted lists should not unsort for no reason. Installs that will make your computer unusable should come with a warning.

    I don't want to sound like Ubuntu is a POS, because that is not the case. I am impressed with a number of aspects, but there are sill a number of usability issues, IMO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by maztuhblastah (745586)

      I don't want to sound like Ubuntu is a POS, because that is not the case.

      No no, you'd be justified doing so. The sheer number of regressions (combined with the attitude that folks get when they're reported on Bugzilla) indicates that Ubuntu is all about adding the latest flashy features with little to no regard for stability and reliability.

      Still, I do feel I should respond to a few of your points:

      Key signing for software packages is a pain in the ass & comlpicated. Surely there can be an easier way to get this working. How about downloading a file that contains the software source, and the key togeather and then import the file? I still can't get this thing working...

      Unless I'm misunderstanding your point, this would completely defeat the purpose of signed packages.

      Synaptic Software manager's sorting is crappy. I open it up search for xbmc and see packages availalbe for installation. I can click the column headers and sort, but for some reason, when I select a package, the list unsorts! This makes it hard to select packages of similar type (skins in this case).

      Hm. Sounds like a problem with the version of Synaptic shipped with Ubuntu then.

  • by non-registered (639880) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:29PM (#28042297) Homepage
    By coincidence, a friend's Vista computer stopped booting after a series of power blackouts. Recovery disk didn't work. It was the straw that broke the Vista's camel's back. I suggested Linux, not expecting to be taken up on it. She said bring it on. I burned the latest version of Knoppix and Ubuntu and brought them to her. As it turned out, I didn't get a chance to explain what the point was of those two disks and she ended up taking them home and using them absolutely cold. Incredibly, between her and her son, also not a power user, they ended up installing and using Ubuntu. She got on FaceBook last night declaring she will never go back to Vista. She "shouted" it because her caps lock was stuck "on". As I posted a lengthy description of how to troubleshoot it, she fixed it herself. She says she really likes it, but she leaves open the possibility of going back to Windows 7. Incidentally, I use Gentoo, so I have little idea what she went through in the install. My impression is that Ubuntu Linux is ready for the Desktop.
  • You think you are a power-user when you know the depth of Windows registry, what all the files do, made your own slipstreamed installation DVD, and know all the cool tools.
    But you don't know shit yet. And I didn't too.

    The key difference: Bash scripts + everything is a file.
    Seriously. I could never go back, because I became dependend on slowly growing my one-liners to whole applications, and integrating them into everything (cron, kde, config-files, etc).
    And the other key difference is the full control of the kernel and services.
    It's just another level of in-depth knowledge.

    Of course the amount of stuff to learn is overwhelmingly gigantic. But this is ok, because you're a power-user.

    I could not even imagine, how I would create a file system out of an encrypted compressed tunnel via http , which goes to a zfs-fuse or LVM2 disk system which is mapped trough an encryption loop. (Something I needed in a workplace with an idiotic firewall, so I could access my home server.) Or similar stuff.

    The power to slap it all together out of small parts is just about the best thing that ever happened in computing, since transistors. :)

    And the only sad part is, that the desktop environments completely ignore that philosophy, and fight over who imitates Windows the best. (Especially the dumbed-down "features".)

  • by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:25PM (#28043285)
    Nice 17 pages Ubuntu install guide. The 850 pages guide "Getting used to Open Office from MS Office" is yet to come.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

Working...