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hortstu
December 11th, 2008, 07:19 AM
Hello,

This is my first post. I haven't downloaded Ubuntu or even know how yet. I'm a complete newb when it comes to this stuff. I don't even know if I fit into the "absolute beginner talk" category.

I have an acquaintance that has been trying to convince me to switch to linux for a while now. I basically know how to use the internet. I'm intimidated by the time I might have to invest in getting a linux OS up and running and anything I might screw up along the way.

Said acquaintance recommended I download "intrepid ibex" and partition my drive so that I still have windows.

I don't know where to start or if I even should.
Is Ubuntu really for someone like me?

AnLGP
December 11th, 2008, 07:24 AM
If you're going to start off using a linux distribution (OS) then Ubuntu is the best one to get started with, in my opinion.

What I would do if I were you is (just in your head) think of a small list of reasons why you'd want to try it out. The obvious choices for me were the FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) programs and philosophy behind Ubuntu (it's all free!) and the security and customization.

I'm a computer geek but if you come up with something and you're willing to put a small bit of time into learning how to partition your hard drive (it's not difficult) and installing Ubuntu (even less difficult) then I definitely think it's for you.

If you can't think of any reason to try stick with windows :)

jrusso2
December 11th, 2008, 07:24 AM
In my opinion no, Unless your friend is willing to work with you on the install and configuration.

hortstu
December 11th, 2008, 07:30 AM
I'm a computer geek but if you come up with something and you're willing to put a small bit of time into learning how to partition your hard drive (it's not difficult) and installing Ubuntu (even less difficult) then I definitely think it's for you.

If you can't think of any reason to try stick with windows :)

I like the idea of open source as well as the added security.


In my opinion no, Unless your friend is willing to work with you on the install and configuration.

No he's not. This is what I was afraid of.

If I partition the drive can I be sure that I will always be able to seek help on this forum via windows?

nothingspecial
December 11th, 2008, 07:34 AM
If I partition the drive can I be sure that I will always be able to seek help on this forum via windows?

Definately, this forum is the best. Many users of other linux distros come here for and to give help.:p

zvacet
December 11th, 2008, 07:41 AM
@ hortstu


Is Ubuntu really for someone like me?

Of course it is.There is nothing special about people who use Ubuntu.You can start reading this (http://psychocats.s465.sureserver.com/ubuntu/index.php) and if you have any questions come here and somebody will help you.Donīt give up!

anewguy
December 11th, 2008, 07:41 AM
As much as I love Linux and Ubuntu, I must agree that if your computer knowledge and experience is just getting on the internet, and if you have no friends who are more familiar with computers who could you, I would stay away for now.

My reasoning is that I'm not sure you have quite the experience needed to get it up and running. It's really not difficult, and Ubuntu has made that really easy, but sometimes something happens that requires a little bit more skill - with the wonderful help of the forum community of course!

What I would suggest is that you download the LiveCD image and then burn it to a Cd (you have to burn it as an image, not just a data CD - most burning software has this option - you just have to be sure to follow it).

After you have downloaded and burned that CD, boot your PC from it. This will allow you to test-drive Linux to see if you like it or not without making any changes to your existing configuration - your Windows install will still be just as it was.

I had an inexperienced friend whose laptop harddrive bit the dust and he couldn't afford a new one but still had to have internet access. By luck, his wireless card was supported right "out of the box" so I burned him a LIveCD and he used that as the OS and his access to the internet for several months until he could afford a new hard disk. So - it can be worth trying!

Best of luck - if you decide to go with Ubuntu, post back with any questions and we can try to help you!

Dave ;)

chavy85
December 11th, 2008, 07:46 AM
why don't you try the live cd. see if you like linux. or Ubuntu and or Kubuntu.
That is what i would do.
HR

spcwingo
December 11th, 2008, 07:47 AM
If you're that intimidated by it just install it in a virtual machine. That way if the install somehow gets messed up, no biggie. That's how you learn...through trial and error. By doing so, I am now proud to say that I am Windows free!

davidbilla
December 11th, 2008, 07:50 AM
Get an Ubuntu live cd and install it on your hard drive using wubi. Just give it a go. All you need is a minimum of 5 GB of space in your Windows HD.

Sorivenul
December 11th, 2008, 07:52 AM
My answer is "It can be". The choice is yours, and Linux is about choice.

Ubuntu is one of, if not the easiest Linux for new users. If you are unsure, test it out before you make up your mind. Download it from the website, burn the ISO to CD, and test it from the CD. Or you can install using Wubi, the Ubuntu installer for Windows; using this option should allow you to remove Ubuntu using Windows' Add/Remove Programs feature, just like any other program.

The support on these forums is excellent, as is the rest of the documentation. If all you know are the basics like internet use, you may learn something about computers along the way. The amount of time you invest in Ubuntu can be a little or a lot. After you get a working system, you can live with it and use it, or you can add too it and learn from it. Again, choice.

Whatever you choose, good luck.

vishal_mala
December 11th, 2008, 07:52 AM
follow my advice and thank your aquitance. my first linux was Knoppix(when i was 13 yrs old), I also waz at first curious and also stupidly afraid. But things went fine and one day i chanced to se ubuntu running on my friends laptop. that day only i formatted off all of my hard disk despite opposition from my brother and family and installed it with ubuntu. Ubuntu was one of the easiest for me, i quikly became failiar with it and on my 16th birthday i wiped out windows entirely from my desktop. Now i had no crampy viruses dangerous spywares, crappy virus scanners, crashing desktops and hanging applications. Try removing windows and installing ubuntu for a change and i bet you will like the freedom and the change. and as for running windows applications you can download and use wine and for playing windows games u can use cedega. you can email me if you encounter any poblem during shifting o ubuntu!

vishal_mala
December 11th, 2008, 07:57 AM
Yobuntu !!

dmizer
December 11th, 2008, 08:02 AM
Not many people have mentioned this (surprisingly), so I want to take time to stress this point. Ubuntu, unlike Windows, can be run and used without installing it onto your hard drive.

Boot to the cd and select the "try without installing" option in the menu, and you can test it out without fear of it doing anything at all to your hard drive, or having it interfere with your current Windows install.

Get to know the OS by use the CD regularly. Sure it will be slower than Windows (because it's running on a CD), but there's no commitment. If you get lost, or things aren't working right anymore all you have to do is reboot and you can go right back to Windows.

If you like it and you feel like you are ready to install it, DO NOT install it until you have made complete backups of your important data. The install proceedure is fairly simple, but it IS easy to make critical mistakes.

mick222
December 11th, 2008, 08:17 AM
why has no one mentioned Wubi.It gives a better experience than the live cd ,which is incredibly slow on my machine, and is easy to install and remoove.

WileyGaia
December 11th, 2008, 08:23 AM
I am also a complete newbie to Linux - 4 weeks or so on my home PC (still have a Windows pc though) - here's my experience so far:

Encountered my first problem a week ago, and can vouch that this forum is great for getting help, but that doesn't mean you will get to the bottom of the problem - I have still not been able to resolve my problem, so have basically been stranded without the pc for a week (albeit because I have also been studying so have only had 3 nights to try fix the problem - same as you I don't have a lot of time to spend on it).

SO: I do not recommend Ubuntu for "Absolute Beginners" unless you have a lot of time to invest in resolving problems...

I will persevere, and be free of Windows, but so far its been a rocky road...

hortstu
December 11th, 2008, 08:35 AM
you have to burn it as an image, not just a data CD

Ok so I've been trying to download it to CD and I'm already running into problems. I'm assuming an audio cd won't work. I will try a dvd-r. The first attempt said the md5sum was different. I'm trying again from a different mirror.

Also links would be helpful with suggestions.

anewguy
December 11th, 2008, 09:35 AM
I'm glad to see you are following my and others advice and downloading the LiveCD to try things out (as mentioned elsewhere, you can always install from that same CD later if you want to). Please remember it is a CD ISO image, so burn it as an image to a CD only.

Could you be a little more specific on the problem you are having? Perhaps we can help you through it. You see, we've all been there - starting with something new, and we've been fortunate enough to have the great people here help us. It used to be that people thought that a high post count meant you were "better" at Ubuntu than someone with a lower count - that simply isn't true - some of us have asked a LOT of questions and been fortunate enough to get help. I personally cannot claim to be any kind of expert at Ubuntu, but having had so many questions answered here I do my best to help on things that I think I can - sort of a pass it on sort of thing.

Let us know a little more specific what you've done, the error you have encountered, and we'll try to help from there.

Dave ;)

Paqman
December 11th, 2008, 10:01 AM
I wouldn't worry too much about having someone on site to hold your hand. It'd be nice, but it's not essential. Any help you need is available on this forum 24/7, and most of the problems you might run into after installing are pretty common and easily solved.

My advice: try Wubi (http://wubi-installer.org/). It'll automatically set up a dual-boot machine and you don't even need to fuss about burning CDs. Of course, if you want to test out your hardware before trying to install, then the LiveCD is a great tool, and a very useful thing to have lying around.

HavocXphere
December 11th, 2008, 10:28 AM
A couple of things I've notice about the whole ubuntu/linux thing:
->It does requires an initial time investment
->Not more difficult than windows, but it is very different, so windows users perceive it as difficult
->The online community is much more helpful than the windows counterparts
->It's cool

Finally, there are options to "just have a look":
LiveCD -> Run ubuntu off the CD without changing anything on the computer
Wubi -> Install ubuntu from within windows
Virtualbox -> Run linux within a windows window
You'll find plenty of tutorials for all 3 options with a quick google

catchytune
December 11th, 2008, 10:31 AM
hortstu,
if you have too much trouble getting a LiveCD burnt by yourself, you could also buy a magazine with an enclosed CD. Linux/Open Source magazines are full of them, especially when a new version was released. The CD is ready to use then. Another option is the nice ShipIt service from Canonical https://shipit.ubuntu.com/ the only disadvantage can be a long waiting time until it is delivered.

I started using Ubuntu a year ago, coming from XP, and wouldn't have considered myself being a master at the keyboard either. And nowadays it is the only OS I am using, though I have a dual boot with Vista, but never use it. If you're basically interested in Ubuntu, give it a try with the Live CD, use it for some weeks and judge from this experience. It is not necessarily a disadvantage that there's not a physically present person around to help you, these forums are a great place for getting help!

dmizer
December 11th, 2008, 10:51 AM
To burn the iso, try this software: http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm

After it's installed, you just right click on the ISO file and select "burn CD image".

capnthommo
December 11th, 2008, 10:52 AM
as dmizer said above, you can try it and run it without installing or altering your windows. so you can just dip your toe in the water.

now, i speak as a complete newb, and i mean totally. a definite non techie. i tried the run from disk option until i had decided i liked ubuntu enough to install (and also checked out whether it worked right for my needs) then i installed. but i would hesitate to say yes or no - whether to go for it is your own decision - nobody can make it for you. but i will say that i have found the degree of support from the forums (i had 5 pages of support over 3 days recently when i messed things up but - and this is significant - the supporters stuck with the problem (and my niaivety) until it was completely put right.
yes you would find it different from windows (but not all that) but most of the differences are really positive and in the end i can say I have found the experience really worthwhile. and there really is loads of help available (and they wont take the p*** either). as a non-tech i still found the download and installation pretty simple and straightforward - quite a lot of 'just go with the default' involved.

i dont suppose that's helped a great deal, but give it some serious thought, you could well find yourself as pleased as i am. (i have totally removed windows/vista and am completely linux now - and in less than 3 weeks too, thats how much i liked it)
whatever you decide - the very best of luck to you
regards
capnthommo
):P

Paqman
December 11th, 2008, 11:14 AM
->It does requires an initial time investment


Indeed it does, but what no one tells you when you start out is that once you've got it up and running, there's very little maintenance to do.

If you come from Windows and are used to manually defragging, virus scanning, disk checking and updating drivers then it comes as a nice surprise to find that all of these either happen automatically on Linux, or just aren't required at all.

JoshuaRL
December 11th, 2008, 12:23 PM
I agree. And most of the initial time investment can be put down to "perception change." See, it seems that Windows power users have a harder time with changing over to Linux. They tend to think that the way Windows works is the way computers are SUPPOSED to work, and anything different is just stupid. Actually, new users that have a little bit of determination tend to find Linux easier to work with day to day, and the transition overall easier.

So you might have stumbled (or been pushed) onto Linux at the perfect time of your life. But I'm sure you'll be on here helping new users with their problems in 3 months or so. :)

Welcome to Ubuntu!

Captain_tux
December 11th, 2008, 01:33 PM
If you're not familiar with the architecture and hardware of a computing system, you may have some difficulties installing Ubuntu. However, as far as using Ubuntu... if you can click a mouse and type on a keyboard (and even those aren't exclusive requirements), you ARE ready. Definitely give the LiveCD a try... there's no commitment and at the very least you'll become familiar (if nothing more than just visually) with Ubuntu.

As some have said, find a Linux-savvy pal and have him help with the partitioning and installation. One thing you'll have to keep in mind is that Ubuntu/Linux is not Windows, and thus you'll have to unlearn some habits and learn how to do certain things in a Ubuntu/Linux environment (you'd even have the same learning curve if you went to a Mac). Also, give the Beginner's Team thread a read.

Good luck and welcome to Ubuntu!

:guitar:

lametike
December 11th, 2008, 01:36 PM
ubuntu is for everyone! ;-)

Nico-dk
December 11th, 2008, 02:03 PM
I'm a Linux newb too (although with some expertise in all things Windows). Here's mu suggestion.

1:
Prepare by reading this excellent beginner's guide (http://www.breakitdownblog.com/a-manual-for-the-ubuntu-linux-beginner/). it'll explain the basic concepts in a way you'll understand.

2:
Then if you're still hooked, play with the Live-CD (as has been suggested many times)

3:
By now you're probably ready to dive seriously into Ubuntu, but still want to keep your XP installation.
Follow this guide (http://apcmag.com/how_to_dual_boot_windows_xp_and_linux_xp_installed _first.htm).
It's for XP / Ubuntu 8.04 (which has Long Time Support)

4:
Enjoy, and revel in the fact that you did this yourself :)

Paqman
December 11th, 2008, 02:44 PM
1:
Prepare by reading this excellent beginner's guide (http://www.breakitdownblog.com/a-manual-for-the-ubuntu-linux-beginner/). it'll explain the basic concepts in a way you'll understand.


That's generally quite a good guide, but is a couple of years out of date now. Some things have changed since it was written:


Latest version is now 8.10 Intrepid Ibex (with 8.04 Hardy Heron for Long Term Support)
64-bit is no longer a pain to use
We now have the Wubi installer that avoids any need to partition
Easybuntu and Automatix are strongly advised against. We now have systems built into the default install that do their job much better. Ubuntu can now install hardware drivers and multimedia codecs for you on demand, for example. The meta-package ubuntu-restricted-extras also takes care of a lot of little things Automatix used to do, without the risk of breaking your system that Automatix had.

ThailandTom
December 11th, 2008, 03:11 PM
Try Ubuntu? Perhaps -

Are you willing to learn a little? Are you strictly a Microsoft program user, or have you fooled around with different browsers (Firefox?) email programs (Thunderbird?) or productivity (Open Office?)?

The question is meant to gauge your adventurousness and ability to tolerate a challenge vs. need for comfort zone.

Ubuntu is pretty straightforward and very pleasant. There is nothing overwhelming - just learning where new stuff is. Even something technical like entering a command in the terminal is: opening a program (same as launching an internet browser), copying a command, pasting the command, entering a password, and allowing the machine to do its thing.

This is of course, after you decide what you would want to do a terminal command for. There are loads of newbie tutorials, so that helps. Go slow and read twice. The support fourms are exellent and folks really try to help.

I hooked the blue ethernet cable into the laptop, the machine found the net, found the wifi, downloaded the driver - pretty much nearly autopilot - some prodding me to do this (download updates...) and clicking "yes." but not a whole lot more for basic functionality. It is easier than you might make it.

I tried alive cd - worked. Then a boot from a USB stick - easy to set up, - a couple trial runs, then did a partition and a dual boot and now have erased vista totally. Slow and easy, with baby steps before the big jump - but am completely satisfied and the machine seems quicker, less buggy. The big jump in less than a month.

Why not? Can you handle a small challenge? Not freak out?

Back up your vital data first, before monkeying around.

There are other considerations: is your machine vital to your financial well- being/work life? Maybe wait a bit... learn some

Up to you, in the end... Good Luck and keep us posted.

hortstu
December 11th, 2008, 08:02 PM
# Latest version is now 8.10 Intrepid Ibex (with 8.04 Hardy Heron for Long Term Support)
# 64-bit is no longer a pain to use

So when I try to download the CD I'm given the option of 32 bit or 64. Is the general consensus that I should stay with 32? This really doesnt mean anything to me yet.


Are you willing to learn a little? Are you strictly a Microsoft program user, or have you fooled around with different browsers (Firefox?) email programs (Thunderbird?) or productivity (Open Office?)?

No I've used a variety of browsers but now use firefox and I haven't looked back.


There are other considerations: is your machine vital to your financial well- being/work life? Maybe wait a bit... learn some

Yes. I can't lose some of the things I have in here. It would be disastorous.

waspbr
December 11th, 2008, 08:30 PM
okay,

If you just want to try it out without commiting too much, wubi would a good choice, since you are begining at this stay with 32 (aka x86) bit, it is unlikely you are going to need 64 bits ( aka amd64), use that when you feel more comfortable. I would recommend you use ubuntu too, I reckon that GNOME (the ubuntu desktop environment) is a little more friendly than kubuntu (KDE), but they are both great still.

there are two options here

you can either download a live CD (desktop) at the ubuntu website, burn it, pop it in whenever you are in windows and a dialogue should open asking you if you would like to install ubuntu in windows(wubi).

or alternatively you could go to http://wubi-installer.org/, download wubi, run it and it will do about the same (you need an internet connection for this one since wubi will need to download an iso of ubuntu) .

If you get confused, there are loads of videos about using wubi on youtube, just search for wubi and you should be well served with information, this video seems to sum it up well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyWVfzm79hU&feature=related, though you don't need to go to the guy's website, the wubi website should be plenty.

The good thing about wubi is that it install ubuntu as if it was a program of windows, if you donī t like it you can simply uninstall it.

Take your time to learn the OS, don't feel pressure to rush it, learn it at your own pace.

There's a golden rule every time you tweak any thing in your computer, back up. Copy your important files to a USB hard drive/ stick before hand. Even though it is unlikely anything is going to go wrong, it is better to be safe then sorry.

if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask, I remember how intimidating everything seemed when I started with zero knowledge of linux, we understand you are just trying to be cautious.

good luck

ugm6hr
December 11th, 2008, 08:49 PM
Ok so I've been trying to download it to CD and I'm already running into problems. I'm assuming an audio cd won't work. I will try a dvd-r.

An audio CD-R will work fine. Audio quality CD-Rs are in fact generally higher quality than data (not sure why).


So when I try to download the CD I'm given the option of 32 bit or 64. Is the general consensus that I should stay with 32? This really doesnt mean anything to me yet.

I'm a 64-bit user, but would still suggest 32-bit (i386) for 1st time users. But if your hardware is 64-bit, either would probably be fine.

I know everyone has a view on being introduced to Ubuntu / Linux; here are some things to consider...

If you have programs in Windows you must use, make sure there are appropriate alternatives in Ubuntu. Since dual-booting / VMs are possible (and can be useful), I'm not sure the time invested will be worthwhile in the long run, unless you can see a Microsoft-free future on the horizon. Consider using FOSS on Windows in the interim (e.g. Openoffice.org, Thunderbird, Firefox, GIMP etc).

If you can successfully follow the instructions to download and burn a CD, then you will probably do fine with help from us here on the forum.

Be prepared to need help, and feel free to ask here. Or try google first.

If you have mission critical files, make sure you have everything backed up before you install anything. The LiveCD is safe to use without this safety net, as long as you don't just randomly click "yes" to questions like, "Do you want to install and completely erase your hard drive?" Installing and repartitioning is another story, though. Wubi is probably safe, although I haven't used it.

Essentially, the biggest reasons to use Linux at the moment can be summarized as: software freedom; increased security and safety against viruses and trojans; financial (possibly in the future, preventing need for MS upgrades).

rrashkin
December 11th, 2008, 09:11 PM
I'm quite new to Ubuntu and had been pretty savvy on Windows before I switched. Maybe I've been lucky, but I don't think those who are telling you that "you have to know a little something about..." or "there's an initial time investment" are necessarily right. Again, maybe I got lucky but I just made an install CD (at work where the connection is much faster than I have at home) and blew away Windows entirely on my Desktop at home. The installation "found" my ethernet card, my printer, my video, everything. Now, it probably depends on what you want to do. Internet browsing is right up front on the desktop (it's Firefox instead of IE but unless you're programming in javascript, that shouldn't make any difference to you). Instead of Microsoft's word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software, there's much the same thing (better in some ways in my opinion) from Open Office under the "Applications" menu.

Now, if you want to configure your system in some exotic way, or install software from somewhere other than the "Repositories", yes, you do have to know a thing or two and have some steely nerves as well. But it doesn't sound like that's you.

Answer this: if you got a new computer and it was running Windows, what would prevent you from using it right out of the box? If nothing, then go for it. Ubuntu won't be any different.

HavocXphere
December 11th, 2008, 09:37 PM
Yes. I can't lose some of the things I have in here. It would be disastorous.
Backups are always a good idea...even for experts.:KS

ugm6hr
December 11th, 2008, 09:38 PM
Answer this: if you got a new computer and it was running Windows, what would prevent you from using it right out of the box? If nothing, then go for it. Ubuntu won't be any different.

Good advice.

cdmike2k8
December 11th, 2008, 10:05 PM
After seeking help here many times and seeing all the help poured out by everyone, I would recommend that you do install it in some fashion, either dual boot or wubi. One thing that is really striking to me is the community support. When you have a windows's machine, you usually have to pay for professional support when something goes wrong. With ubuntu, I find the community support to be as good or better than what you can usually get professionally. There is professional support for ubuntu as well, but the community is very supportive of any issue. The one difference is if something goes wrong, you will have to fix it. I have had things go wrong and not known how to fix it, but every time I came here and had the issue fixed in less than an hour. People are willing to walk you though the issues that you can face. Overall, you might have to do a little more tweaking, but there is much more support here than you would get for windows. I hope this rant makes sense.

anewguy
December 12th, 2008, 01:14 AM
I based my advice to you about trying the LiveCD first given what you said about only using to access the internet - this left me with the opinion, perhaps mistakenly, that you are not an experienced computer user. If you want to keep your Windows as-is and still want to install Linux, you need to understand what a partition is on your disk (it's not difficult, just ask if you need to know), and MAY need to know more about what is "in" your computer - the video card type, wireless (if you have it), etc.. If you know these things, or feel comfortable in having us guiding you to learn those things (they're all easy to find out!!), then by all means post back and we can guide you.

Before you start, here is a small list of things I would do if it were me (and it was, quite a while ago now!):

- in Windows, defragment your hard disk. If you need help with this please just ask - it's easy and harmless!

- back up any important data

- know the total size of your hard disk and how much free space it has (again - easy, just ask us)

- know the video card (and wireless, if applicable) and monitor type you have (again - easy, just ask us)

Post back when you are ready, and we'll go from there! I would hold off on the defrag until right when you are ready to start with Ubuntu.

It really isn't difficult, it's just a little different (and fun!!). I'm sorry if I left you with the wrong impression in my first reply, but I would still start with just the LiveCD to get an idea of the look and feel of Linux, and ask any questions (we mean ANY by the way, we've all been there!! :) ) so that you might feel a little more comfortable before actually installing it. They do make the LiveCD for just such reasons!

If you have ANY questions - just ask. If you understand the above concepts, or feel comfortable in the idea you can learn a few very simple things (and remember most of all we are here to help with anything!!), then post back and we'll get you started!

It really may seem intimidating, but it really isn't!! And it can be lots of fun!!

Dave ;)

collinp
December 12th, 2008, 01:21 AM
Personally, I think this: If you have no experience with computer outside using the internet and related things, than Ubuntu is not for you. You will have to learn pretty much a whole different interface, along with possibly using the terminal and fixing possible problems along the way. If you want to install this, get someone with a medium amount of Linux experience in real life to help you with it.

Sef
December 12th, 2008, 01:37 AM
Read Psychocats Ubuntu (http://psychocats.net/ubuntu). It starts off with 'what is this?' and includes a section on how to dual boot.

Paqman
December 12th, 2008, 12:34 PM
If you just want to try it out without commiting too much, wubi would a good choice, since you are begining at this stay with 32 (aka x86)

One quick point: if you use Wubi it will always install a 64-bit system on 64-bit capable hardware, unless you tell it specifically not to. I wouldn't worry about it though, just let it install whatever suits your system.


Personally, I think this: If you have no experience with computer outside using the internet and related things, than Ubuntu is not for you.

I couldn't disagree more. I mostly use my machine for the internet and i'm more than happy with Ubuntu. For the casual internet user Ubuntu (or any Linux) is a MUCH better idea than using Windows.

stalkingwolf
December 12th, 2008, 01:39 PM
IMO, Yes Ubuntu is for you. Or can be. I have installed Ubuntu on systems
for people who's only computer experience is a Vtech laptop. Yup I have set
edubuntu up for 3 6yr olds and a 4 yr old. They all do fine. Well my nephews do fine when they can get PaPa of the poker site.

If you have problems downloading and burning, as mentioned there is shipit available. There is another resource available. Frozentech. You can buy
Live CDs from them usually at around 2.00 each.
Every now and then I buy Cds from them. I usually buy several, The last time
I got 16 different Os's for 21.00. Shipping is free over 20.00:p.

Again as mentioned I would run in the Live mode for a while. Just remember running in Live mode is a bit slower than when installed.

Also check to see if there is a LoCo in your area. A "friend" that wants
you to switch but wont help, aint much of a friend.

But then this community is in my experience the best resource you can have.

Poyntz
December 12th, 2008, 01:56 PM
In my opinion no, Unless your friend is willing to work with you on the install and configuration.

I second this. Whilst I love Ubuntu I'm also willing to commit the time to fixing, searching for and configuring everything so it works for me. That said, with everything configured I love it and haven't even thought of going back to XP.

Some scripting/programming experiance would be advisable if you like to tweak everything to your desires. - now this is where you'll find linux distros are much more desirable than other distros. Try to configure most things in windows and I'd take a strong punt that it's either difficult to do or not doable. Then again, you'll find a lot of basic handlers for filetypes, etc. will be included in windows/mac whilst will need to be installed on ubuntu. I prefer the latter however, because you can slim ride a lot easier, ie, not have your space clattered with programs you don't need

Nico-dk
December 12th, 2008, 07:58 PM
That's generally quite a good guide, but is a couple of years out of date now. Some things have changed since it was written:
[/LIST]
True, but it does work well as a general intro to Ubuntu. Of course brwosing through the Asolute Beginner's board doesn't hurt either. I know I'm ready for sunday, when my new comp arrives.

CatKiller
December 12th, 2008, 08:59 PM
An audio CD-R will work fine. Audio quality CD-Rs are in fact generally higher quality than data (not sure why).

Audio CD-Rs aren't any different from any other type of CD-R. They're just more expensive. When you buy an Audio CD-R, you pay a levy that goes to the music cartels, and in exchange you get a flag set on the cd that tells the recorder that you are authorised to use it. It's just another money grab in a long line of money grabs from the "entertainment industries."

(Sorry for the rant; I'm currently annoyed at my government's decision to retroactively extend the copyright term based on lobbying from the music publishers)

To the OP: Welcome to the community. You'll be fine :)

hortstu
January 12th, 2009, 09:00 AM
OK I know I've been gone for awhile.

First, I want to thank everyone that took the time to reply to me.

Second, I want to tell you where I'm at.

This is the family computer. We store and edit photos in here, my wife has every CD and record we've (including living and passed relatives) ever owned in here. Not to mention all the stuff she's bought electronically.

I use the computer for work. Office and word type stuff. I sync my work phone so I don't lose contacts and info if the phone crashes or accidentally goes through a chipper shredder.

Mostly I do research and internet browsing, but the other stuff is more important even though less time consuming.

While I think I could start learning linux on this computer my wife is afraid I'm going to screw things up. I can't promise her I won't so things have been put on hold.

I may have undersold my experience. I can figure out how to do most basic and some intermediate things on here... but even if I was a complete newb I want to use linux. The more I learn about it and the more I learn about MS and apple the more I want to use and support open source software.

So here's my plan. I'm going to get a used pc/ laptop or build one... Whatever is cheaper and will be suitable for my family needs. I want to eventually have everyone in the house stop supporting MS.

I want to eventually have the usb turntable plugged into the Linux computer and working... I want to have the audio interface I have for recording myself messing around on the guitar working with linux... Please tell me I can do this...

Now I'm looking for any suggestions as to what the most economical way to go is to get a linux ready computer built or bought is. I don't want to pay for an OS. What do I do?

Feel free to PM me or post suggestions or links... and thanks again everyone.

I understand this thread is long and this is throwing a curve in it so if moderators want to close, move, or split it please do so...

dmizer
January 12th, 2009, 09:56 AM
I (and several other people) have said that if you have critical data that you cannot afford to loose, that you need to make backups.

This is true whether or not you install Ubuntu. If you can't loose data you NEED backups. Even if you make no changes to your system and continue to use Windows, you can still loose data to damaged hardware or any number of unforseen circumstances. I really can't stress this enough ... you need backups if you install and use Ubuntu or not. Large hard drives are extremely cheap these days, buy one, put it in a NAS or USB enclosure (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=3.5+hdd+enclosure&x=0&y=0), and stick all your critical data on it.

As to recording you and your guitar (mixing etc), have a look here: http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=335

ajcham
January 12th, 2009, 10:01 AM
You could try installing Ubuntu in Windows with the Wubi installer. This way you don't have to mess around with the hard-disk - you could test things out and start learning without any risk of harming Windows.

Nevertheless, I would echo dmizer's point and advise that you take backups anyway, whatever you do.

Dj Melik
January 12th, 2009, 10:09 AM
IMO try installing through wubi.


http://wubi-installer.org

Test it out, if you like it.. you can move onto a real partition.

nothingspecial
January 12th, 2009, 12:54 PM
You don`t need a usb turntable to digitize your vinyl, I use a normal turntable and audacity which you can install with a few clicks or a command, so no problem there.

Recording yourself playing the guitar is acievable in a number of different ways, no problem there.

As others have said, whatever operating system you use data loss is possible. In fact I`d say probable. You`ve got to have backups. Believe me, I learnt the hard way. If you don`t back up, then switch to ubuntu and loose all your music, pics etc your wife will forever blame Ubuntu and that (if she`s anything like mine) will be the end of that. So please, what ever you decide back up.

As an aside, I`d not really used a computer before I got one already installed with Ubuntu, but my wife had used windows for years at college and work. She spent the first year saying "Why can`t we have windows like eveyone else". If something went wrong or she couldn`t figure out how to do something "It`s cause of this stupid Ubuntu"
When she said she wanted a netbook for christmas, I said "<sigh> a windows one?"
She said "No get me a cheaper linux one and put Ubuntu on it!"
My point is it didn`t matter to me, I was learning how to use a computer from scratch but my missus struggled for a while. It can be difficult and frustrating to switch from windows but given time you and her will realize that because of it`s freedom, stability, security and of course all these guys on here that will help you out if you need it, linux can be a far superior computing experience.

meindian523
January 12th, 2009, 01:22 PM
I think this answers the basic question you have of the fear of being a newbie.
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=63315

And I'm surprised no one mentioned it earlier.About the data,as everyone says,you need a backup,though it's easy to install and takes a half hour full through,it's easy to make mistakes,specially at the partitioning stage.Everything else is harmless.Be sure to pay your full attention at partitioning,make a backup,ensure your backup works,and you will be fine.

egalvan
January 12th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Step Number One:

MAKE A BACK-UP OF YOUR DATA!

Step Number Two:

MAKE SURE THE BACK-UP IS GOOD!

Step Number Three:

MAKE ANOTHER COPY OF YOUR BACK-UP!


Do you see a trend here, my friend?

If your data is precious, or irreplaceable, then MAKE BACK-UPS.
Your hard drive WILL die one day.

Step Number Four:

Yes, another computer to learn Linux with is an excellent idea.
Buy a cheap, second-hand computer.
Go to a local mom-pop computer repair place and ask for an old Dell machine, mayhaps an Optiplex GX110.
Try to get at least 256MB RAM, even better 512MB. 10GB drive will be enough to practice with.
A Celeron is a marginal chip, try to avoid them.
That said, more RAM is far more important than a "fast" CPU.

A computer club is another source for older, cheaper machines.

I just installed Ubuntu 8.04.1 onto just such a machine.
It cost my friend a total of $60 (he bought more RAM, 768MB).
It runs very well.
Installed Puppy, and it flies like the proverbial bat out of Hades.
My friend is now very happy, and his kids even happier that they have "their own computer, just like Daddy's" :)

Welcome to the Community!

ErnestG


and don't forget to BACK-UP your data.

meindian523
January 12th, 2009, 01:50 PM
lol.The red makes it beautiful.

redseventyseven
January 12th, 2009, 02:09 PM
I'd suggest starting a new topic so that you don't get replies to your first query mixed up with your second. Don't rely on the moderators to do that job for you! ;)

But anyway, I think getting your hands on an old computer and playing about with it is a sensible way to proceed. But don't expect to do it all at once! Also, remember that your experience on different computers may vary. You might find you run into problems on one computer than you don't on the other, and so on. But once you have linux working on one computer as you would like it, then encourage the rest of your family to try it and see how they get on.

Like the guy before me said, you don't need a USB turntable to record your vinyl, but if you already have one then it'll probably work fine.

Another useful investment would be a large external hard-drive, for making backups of your data before you begin.

newbee70
January 12th, 2009, 07:26 PM
OK I know I've been gone for awhile.

First, I want to thank everyone that took the time to reply to me.

Second, I want to tell you where I'm at.

This is the family computer. We store and edit photos in here, my wife has every CD and record we've (including living and passed relatives) ever owned in here. Not to mention all the stuff she's bought electronically.

I use the computer for work. Office and word type stuff. I sync my work phone so I don't lose contacts and info if the phone crashes or accidentally goes through a chipper shredder.

Mostly I do research and internet browsing, but the other stuff is more important even though less time consuming.


Welcome to the Forums

I think your question about getting help has been answered fully, you have shown that you will search out the answers for yourself-and are not afraid to ask for assistance. And everyone on this forum is and will be more than happy to try and help.

Just remember that pretty much everything you have done is MS software will be saved in proprietary formats, so make sure you convert it all to an open format before your switch to Linux. I was so noob when I started I didn't

theDaveTheRave
January 12th, 2009, 07:58 PM
Hello all, and particularly hi to hortstu and welcome to the forums.

In my experience I have used the live CD download to install Ubuntu from (so a very big confirmation of what others are suggesting).

In fact I break my system on a semi regular basis (my own stupidity I reckon :confused: ) and then run to the CD so as to do a fresh install.

I even upgrade as a fresh install, but it requires some extra "tweaking" of the HDD partitioning to ensure you keep all your personal settings in a separate \home partition, but again, it isn't hard.

Just a note, if you have a source CD for your windows partition then you are in a much better position should disaster strike. Also once you are happy with Ubuntu you can "easily" set a virtual machine of windows for those things you can't live without - another option to wine or other emulation methods suggested by others.

However, if you think that instalation is going to be a long painfull process here is my personal experience.

I "refreshed" a colleagues XP system a few weeks back, and the install CD had a lot of missing drivers - so I couldn't get to the network or use the monitor or DVD burner correctly without hunting them down in the office. With Ubuntu if you are going to be connected to the net via an ethernet interface it should work straight off the CD (so you would allready be one up on a Windows user).

The time the XP refresh took was painfull, and required lots of hand holding of the process, especially as I was ensuring that the system was properly secure in terms of admin user and general user. In ubuntu when I last did this due to the presence of the <sudo> process the creation of the first user is a real walk in the park.

My last ubuntu install (I last broke my system by upgrading to Intrepid, then had to hunt down a Hardy CD so as I could "go back" when I had all sorts of problems).

This leads to my last piece of advice. Allways have a copy of the old distro on CD, just in case an automatic update to the newer version kills your system. The last time I did this (see previous paragraph) was due to a problem I was having and I decided to upgrade, thinking this may solve the issues, but it made things worse.... I would now not advise people to upgrade to the "new release" untill it has been out for a good 4 or 5 months.

In fact some friends of mine are using intrepid and say that it was the easiest install they had had on ubuntu, and I thought that Hardy was easy!

the message I'm hoping you are receiving is that the install is in fact quite easy and painless, compared to windows, and the community here on forums is generally brilling to amasing, provided you can avoid flame wars :lol:

firstly enjoy your experience, and get your feet wet in the shallow end with the CD, then when you are happy, go for it via a Wubi install (i did this at work and it is an interesting instalation method, and works like a charm), but keep the CD handy, just in case!

good luck and post back on your install experience.

David

Drjim
January 12th, 2009, 08:57 PM
Yes!

Here is a totally no-brain, no-experience necessary program for installing Ubunto on your computer. It automatically downloads the program, sets up a partition on your hard drive so you can still use windows. It works like a charm. I've used it twice, once to install Ubunto on a separate hard drive and once to install it on my laptop. I switch back and forth between linux and windows very easily, just hit the "restart" icon and choose the os I want as the computer reboots. The download also comes with all the productivity and utility software you're likely to want for some time and it's free. See the info form PC World Magazine along with the link below.

Jim

Wubi
Version: 8.04
File Size: 958k
License Type: Free
Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows
Me, Windows 98

Interested in Linux, but hesitant to start playing around with drive
partitions, boot loaders, and other folderol which can leave you with
a completely useless PC? Wubi does one simple thing: It creates a
Linux partition within your Windows partition. You specify how much
you wish to slice off--from 5 gigabytes to 30--and it installs Linux
there. The next time you boot, you are given the choice of booting
into Linux or Windows. If you choose the former, Ubuntu Linux will
launch and will then format the reserved space for its own needs. One
more reboot, and you have two operating systems on your computer. The
only way it could be easier would be if Wubi downloaded the knowledge
of how to use EMACS into your brain.
--Ian Harac

Go to the download page now:
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,72716-order,1-page,1/description.html?tk=nl_ddxdwn

hortstu
January 14th, 2009, 04:17 AM
Just remember that pretty much everything you have done is MS software will be saved in proprietary formats, so make sure you convert it all to an open format before your switch to Linux. I was so noob when I started I didn't

OK I'm hazy on the backing up but figured I could find out everything I need to know with a search... I never even thought of switching formats! Can anyone hook me up with a link or links on this topic?

I appreciate everyone elses' input too, but I'm pressed for time. I will come back and go through the responses more thoroughly later... thanks again.

hortstu
January 14th, 2009, 05:50 PM
Yes, another computer to learn Linux with is an excellent idea.
Buy a cheap, second-hand computer.
Go to a local mom-pop computer repair place and ask for an old Dell machine, mayhaps an Optiplex GX110.
Try to get at least 256MB RAM, even better 512MB. 10GB drive will be enough to practice with.
A Celeron is a marginal chip, try to avoid them.
That said, more RAM is far more important than a "fast" CPU.


I appreciate the very specific advice on what to look for in a computer... any tips on what chips are ok?

theDaveTheRave
January 15th, 2009, 01:39 PM
Horstu

the issue of formats isn't a bad as some would like to make out. In my experience the formats for the majority of MS office products can be opened easily in Open Office equivalents.

If you want to be sure I would suggest getting a copy of open office on your windows partition, then if you can't open a document you can "copy and paste" from an "MSOffice window" into the "open office" one.

You will get some "strange" formatting things (mostly revolving around tab spaces and carriage returns etc), and may have to "play silly buggers" to make your copied document look like the original (ie moving pictures around and inbeded objects).

One thing I would say. If you send people copies of your documents that you have eddited in open office, and then saved in "MS word" or similar format, watch out for the changes in tab space size and the like, as MS word has a habbit of using the current installations defaults, this can play havoc with your beatifully formated documents, so my advice is the following
- export your open office document(s) into PDF format to ensure the formating is consistent.
- if your colleagues need to be able to edit the file, send it too them in msWord format as well, and simply explain the reason why.

in my experience people are quite happy with this, just say something along the lines of
"i'm sending you this in PDF and .doc format just in case the format get messed up during email transmission"
most people are aware that emailing did have a habit of buggering up files in the early days, and will not even flich at this, even though it isn't really the truth, particularly now ):P

Just out of interest, have you started loading up Ubuntu (or any other linux flavour) and how is your experience?


David

tegnoto89
January 15th, 2009, 01:53 PM
I would run the live CD and give it a day to see how you manage.

Personally I had to real computer experience, though just through experimentation on windows I did get a bit more of an in depth understanding of computing than just using the internet.. But really, everything you need is here. The forum is pretty quick about answering questions, especially if they're the common ones you'll have just starting out.

hortstu
April 21st, 2009, 07:32 PM
Just out of interest, have you started loading up Ubuntu (or any other linux flavour) and how is your experience?

sorry this took so long.

I finally partitioned the drive and i'm using ubuntu regularly now. I like it but i'm still more dependent on windows than i want to be. Working my way through the help files now.

halitech
April 21st, 2009, 07:37 PM
everyone moves along at different paces and in different steps. For me, I found when I had both windows and Ubuntu, if I couldn't do something easily, I'd boot into windows. After awhile (about a month) I decided that I'd never learn if I rebooted every time I ran into something I couldn't do and actually deleted windows and just installed Ubuntu. Now, while I did it I don't recommend going that drastic for everyone :) Just keep at it and you'll find that you will eventually use windows less and less, especially if you make an effort to learn the linux way of doing things instead of rebooting when you run into a snag. Good luck :)

Volt9000
April 21st, 2009, 07:42 PM
Don't force yourself to use Ubuntu if you don't want to.

Generally people move away from Windows because they WANT to, i.e. consciously make a decision that they would prefer to use something else. You shouldn't switch away from Windows just because someone tells you to-- if this is why you're using Ubuntu then you're in it for all the wrong reasons.

mvalviar
April 21st, 2009, 07:59 PM
Its all about choice.

Try a liveCD see if it fits your needs. I've your happy with what it provides then install it and reap the benefits. If I doesn't provide you with everything you need then stick to windows.

adamogardner
May 27th, 2009, 04:12 PM
In my opinion no, Unless your friend is willing to work with you on the install and configuration.

I didn't have a friend help me. I had the forum, and no expectations. I picked up Linux because I thought it would be fun to break my computer. I didn't enter this arena with massive goals like having every peripheral imaginable work in the first week. I entered knowing that, knowing nothing, I can only gain. Thus far, I have.

Chalfont
May 27th, 2009, 04:39 PM
No, it's not for a newbie, it seems you need to be a geek to get past the first stage: Cannot even get the display to show a reasonable size and the answer is Ubuntu doesn't support VIA chipsets!

So forget Linux and go with the awful Microsoft but at least they have drivers that work.

halitech
May 27th, 2009, 04:49 PM
No, it's not for a newbie, it seems you need to be a geek to get past the first stage: Cannot even get the display to show a reasonable size and the answer is Ubuntu doesn't support VIA chipsets!

if you had to be a geek to get past the first step then no one would have developed it in the first place. As far as the VIA chipset, don't blame that on Ubuntu, blame that on VIA for not releasing the information the developers need to develop drivers so VIA chips work in linux.


So forget Linux and go with the awful Microsoft but at least they have drivers that work.

as long as you can find them to download

overdrank
May 27th, 2009, 04:51 PM
Well said halitech =D>

halitech
May 27th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Well said halitech =D>

thanks, I started out 4 years ago after using windows for years and considered myself a power user and yes, when I first started using Ubuntu I found myself being very overwhelmed by the differences I had to face but if I could learn how to use Ubuntu and forget the windows way of doing things then anyone can. Far as people complaining that Ubuntu(linux) doesn't support a piece of hardware, I'm getting tired of it always being blamed on linux that something isn't supported when its the companies that are scared of MS into not supporting or supplying info so we can get devices to work. I speak with my money now and only buy things that have support for linux and let companies know why I'm not buying their products.

albinootje
May 27th, 2009, 05:02 PM
I have an acquaintance that has been trying to convince me to switch to linux for a while now.


1) Are you unhappy with using MS-Windows ?
2) Are you interested in using Ubuntu ?
3) Are you willing to invest time in switching, and in the future purchase only Linux supported hardware ?

If you've answered those questions with Yes, then let's continue.
If not, then Goodbye, and have a nice day.

Chalfont
May 27th, 2009, 05:48 PM
if you had to be a geek to get past the first step then no one would have developed it in the first place. As far as the VIA chipset, don't blame that on Ubuntu, blame that on VIA for not releasing the information the developers need to develop drivers so VIA chips work in linux.

as long as you can find them to download

So, let me understand this, and your other post:
Linux has been developed by technologically illiterate people then, not professional (or amateur) developers? That actually sounds even more dodgy!

Secondly, yes, the PC in question has worked well with XP, the drivers there and working, so therefore not an issue with downloading them. My despair is that across much media now the position strongly advocated by Linux supporters is that it is comparable, nay better than, Windows of any flavour. Plus that it is now totally mainstream, usable by Joe Public, the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

Yet much to my disappointment this is patently not so, otherwise the issue of drivers for such a widely used chipset manufacturer would not be an issue (whether the actual blame for lack thereof is the manufacturer or Linux). So Linux is mis-represented by the fan-bois, as you acknowledge yourself, there are many hardware configurations that won't run it due to hardware driver issue.

Just to re-iterate, this makes me very sad because I really wanted to escape the clutches of Microsoft. And disappointed that it turns out fans of Linux tell as many stories as Microsoft.

Penguin Guy
May 27th, 2009, 05:54 PM
If you're just starting out with Linux then either Ubuntu or Linux Mint is the way to go. I think you should take a look at both before making a decision.

Good luck! :p

rcayea
May 27th, 2009, 05:55 PM
In my opinion no, Unless your friend is willing to work with you on the install and configuration.

I think this is the best advice.

halitech
May 27th, 2009, 06:02 PM
So, let me understand this, and your other post:
Linux has been developed by technologically illiterate people then, not professional (or amateur) developers? That actually sounds even more dodgy!

the original linux kernel was developed by a college student that did it as a hobby because he wanted to develop a free alternative to Unix. The Gnu project was started by a pro at MIT (I believe and stand to be correct).


Secondly, yes, the PC in question has worked well with XP, the drivers there and working, so therefore not an issue with downloading them.

do a fresh install of windows and see what works "out of the box" and then tell me that finding drivers isn't an issue


My despair is that across much media now the position strongly advocated by Linux supporters is that it is comparable, nay better than, Windows of any flavour. Plus that it is now totally mainstream, usable by Joe Public, the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

better is in the hands of the user and what they want to do. For me, Linux is better as I have learned how to use it to do what I need.


Yet much to my disappointment this is patently not so, otherwise the issue of drivers for such a widely used chipset manufacturer would not be an issue (whether the actual blame for lack thereof is the manufacturer or Linux). So Linux is mis-represented by the fan-bois, as you acknowledge yourself, there are many hardware configurations that won't run it due to hardware driver issue.

unfortunately there are issues due to certain hardware that developers are working on over coming and compared to 10 years ago, the system is alot farther ahead then it was. Is it perfect? far from it and yes, Linux has its zealots the same as windows that don't admit or want to see the areas where it needs improvement.


Just to re-iterate, this makes me very sad because I really wanted to escape the clutches of Microsoft. And disappointed that it turns out fans of Linux tell as many stories as Microsoft.

You at least have the desire to learn and try linux which is the first step and hopefully in time it will be ready for you and your hardware. Be careful on painting all linux users with the same brush, not all of us are zealots and we can see where we need improvement.

albinootje
May 27th, 2009, 07:08 PM
My despair is that across much media now the position strongly advocated by Linux supporters is that it is comparable, nay better than, Windows of any flavour. Plus that it is now totally mainstream, usable by Joe Public, the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

Linux runs on variety of desktop computers, and servers, phones and all kind of embedded devices in factories etc.

I think you're exaggarating about the media promoting Linux as a mainstream products ready etc.

Search for "linux" or "ubuntu" on the BBC website e.g., you'll hardly find any article, and if you do it is either bitter and cynical, and inaccurate, see here :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7594249.stm

Or it mentions Ubuntu, with underwear photos, but no word about Linux or computers :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5388182.stm

Or finally a bit of a well written article : http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2008/06/linux_ubuntu_blog.html

Where are the Ubuntu is ready for Joe Public articles you're talking about ?
And where does it say that it will run perfectly on your machine ?

albinootje
May 27th, 2009, 07:10 PM
The Gnu project was started by a pro at MIT (I believe and stand to be correct).


Richard Stallman actually quit his job at MIT to work on GNU.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU

tacantara
May 27th, 2009, 07:41 PM
If not Ubuntu, then perhaps one of the other "flavors" of Linux will be better suited for you. No matter which flavor you choose, there will be a learning curve, just as anything new and/or different tends to be. I don't know enough about VIA to speculate on which Linux will work for you, but a Google search may reveal the information. Between Google and the Ubuntu forums, there's a wealth of knowledge out there on how to make Linux work for you.

halitech
May 27th, 2009, 09:19 PM
Richard Stallman actually quit his job at MIT to work on GNU.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU

as I stated, I stand to be corrected ;)

I remembered in the movie Revolution OS, Stallman saying he worked at MIT but it was fuzzy if he did any work on Gnu while still in their employ or he quit before starting but either way, he was about the only "pro" in the beginning that was working on Gnu/Linux from my understanding (again I stand to be corrected)