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Thread: Answers needed for my project at university

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  1. #1
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    Answers needed for my project at university

    Hi everyone,

    I'm doing a project for my university that involves immersion in one technology for three months with the goal of being able to teach its basic and most important functions to someone who knew nothing. I chose Ubuntu. Which probably sounds crazy...

    Anyway.

    What would you say are the most important functions of Ubuntu that a person should know? Especially a person in the prof./tech. writing field.

    Thanks for your help.

    victoria

  2. #2
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    Re: Answers needed for my project at university

    Hello,

    I think the terminal and it's functions are important. It's great.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UsingTheTerminal
    Last edited by GwL3eNC; September 27th, 2013 at 07:29 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Answers needed for my project at university

    Who is teaching whom, here?

    I think that you are missing the point. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution but you do not want to know about Ubuntu or Linux but about the professional/technical writing field. Think of a computer operating system as a kind of type writer+research assistant combined. Other people can find information for you. A machine can present that information in a form that you can view but only you can experiment with teaching the information.

    The best way to learn a subject is to teach it. I learnt that 50 years ago as an example of paradox. Why don't you install Ubuntu and start using it and at the same time write a tutorial about what you are doing and then use that tutorial to teach someone else to do what you have done.

    Regards.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  4. #4
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    Re: Answers needed for my project at university

    Who is teaching whom, here?

    I think that you are missing the point. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution but you do not want to know about Ubuntu or Linux but about the professional/technical writing field. Think of a computer operating system as a kind of type writer+research assistant combined. Other people can find information for you. A machine can present that information in a form that you can view but only you can experiment with teaching the information.

    The best way to learn a subject is to teach it. I learnt that 50 years ago as an example of paradox. Why don't you install Ubuntu and start using it and at the same time write a tutorial about what you are doing and then use that tutorial to teach someone else to do what you have done.

    Regards.
    Indeed, grahammechanical, however part of the project is ask the opinions of those who are currently using it and report upon the answers I am given. I have it installed and have been using it.

    Professional and technical writers often ask the opinions of others who are more familiar with the project due to the amount of time we spend on any given technology. The project, conduced by myself and a few other writers, is being done to further investigate the 'immersion' aspect of the field and its benefits (as well as its abundant issues).

    Thanks for your reply.

  5. #5
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    Re: Answers needed for my project at university

    Quote Originally Posted by victoria4 View Post
    Indeed, grahammechanical, however part of the project is ask the opinions of those who are currently using it and report upon the answers I am given. I have it installed and have been using it.
    Perhaps my own experience may be helpful in this case.

    My original training was as a professional writer and I began as a newspaper reporter in 1954. Interested in electronics as a hobby, I began moonlighting technical articles to magazines a few years later to supplement the low pay of a reporter, and in 1959 abandoned journalism to become a tech writer/editor. That remained my primary employment for the next 31 years, but in 1965 an after-hours discussion with my boss and a misunderstood wisecrack led me to enter the world of software.

    The wisecrack happened during a discussion of what we expected the world of 1970 to contain. My boss said he thought we writers would be obsolete since computers would do all of the tech writing by then. My reply (the misinterpreted wisecrack) was that in that case, we ought to become the people who taught the computers how. And the boss replied, "Great idea, Jim. Do it!" and gave me carte blanche to begin learning how...

    Talk of immersion, I dove in to the bottom of the pond. I got access to G-E's on-line computer system and spent hours, both during and after work, learning to program in the original Dartmouth BASIC language, and also in assembly language for the various machines about which we were writing service manuals. This eventually put an end to my moonlighting, but by 1975 I had learned enough to have put together a system of computer-aided writing tools that we used to create all the service manuals for Honeywell's "Page Printing System" which was one of the first non-impact printers, that could crank paper through at an amazing rate.

    One of the most important things I learned during that time was the close resemblance between writing software for machines to read, and writing prose for people to read. Software templates and writers' style sheets serve the identical purpose: making it easier to create usable output. Many other similarities exist. My "Automated Document Editing and Publication Technique" or ADEPT was built on that; as a writer, I could copy a template, fill in a few blanks, and have a complete test specification in a matter of minutes rather than days. Creating a complete manual was similarly sped up, since the template took care of a multitude of production details.

    Since ADEPT ran on time-shared mainframes, it had nothing at all to do with today's desktop publishing, but it did turn me from a tech writer into a computer nerd. When I eventually got a layoff notice in 1990, I moved into software to stay -- although I had adapted ADEPT to run on my PC by that time, and used the same principles to make moonlighting as a tech book author easier.

    That same correspondence between writing for machines, and writing for people, continues to guide me in retirement, although today the majority of my writing takes place here in the forums.

    I hope this may assist your project; it's good to try to pay forward for all those years of learning from others!
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

  6. #6
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    Re: Answers needed for my project at university

    Multiple desktops are default on most Linux distributions, they are incredibly handy for grouping applications.
    For example, you are a writer and you are researching a subject.
    On desktop one you have Firefox with multiple tabs open.
    On desktop two you might want another instance of Firefox again with multiple tabs related to a different branch of your research.
    On desktop three you might like your text editor.
    And on four maybe an image viewer/manipulator and file browser.
    Flipping between desktops is easy, press Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right Arrow keys or use Super+S. (where you can also drag windows to a different desktop)

    Of course you can always create more desktops, up to 32 I believe.
    If you were running Windows (I only know about XP) you could of course scour the internet, download and install a similar utility. The problem is that you don't know if that utility is trustworthy or if it also installs malware of some sort. The same thing applies to many other utilities that come by default in Ubuntu.

    I hope this helps

  7. #7
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    Re: Answers needed for my project at university

    1. Ubuntu applications can mimic programs an end user might be familiar with. This leads to shorter learning curve.
    2. Due to the speed of the OS itself, the work duration can be decreased. (Other OS's take longer to load programs.)
    3. The amount of programs (for instance graphic manipulations) give opportunity for an individual to find a program that fits better on how they work. This again decreases work time.
    4. The Forum here is a great example. Help Desks cost or take a long time for answers. Answers to your questions here are very fast, combine and grow collaboration with some of the smartest people on earth, and is a HUGE "Lesson Learned" for those from beginner to Expert to easily search for answers.

    Hope this helps!
    Warp
    Warprunner
    This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.
    ...Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

  8. #8
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    Re: Answers needed for my project at university

    Hello,

    I think the terminal and it's functions are important. It's great.
    Great suggestion! Thanks!

    1. Ubuntu applications can mimic programs an end user might be familiar with. This leads to shorter learning curve.
    2. Due to the speed of the OS itself, the work duration can be decreased. (Other OS's take longer to load programs.)
    3. The amount of programs (for instance graphic manipulations) give opportunity for an individual to find a program that fits better on how they work. This again decreases work time.
    4. The Forum here is a great example. Help Desks cost or take a long time for answers. Answers to your questions here are very fast, combine and grow collaboration with some of the smartest people on earth, and is a HUGE "Lesson Learned" for those from beginner to Expert to easily search for answers.

    Hope this helps!
    Warp
    Yes, that helps a great deal. Thanks much!

  9. #9
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    Re: Answers needed for my project at university

    Quote Originally Posted by victoria4 View Post
    I'm doing a project for my university that involves immersion in one technology for three months with the goal of being able to teach its basic and most important functions to someone who knew nothing. I chose Ubuntu. Which probably sounds crazy...
    I wouldn't say it's crazy, to be honest it sounds very easy, this is not the terminal world of linux in 1999 with configuration files and command line journeys, Ubuntu has one of the most innovative and easy to use desktops out there, one of their UX studies had Ubuntu easier to use than Mac OSX for most functions, and if you are trying to appease windows users there is the KDE desktop or Cinnamon desktop which has the familiar start menu and taskbar, this is generally what I recommend for businesses.

    There are many businesses who convert to linux and pick it up with good pace. For the average user reading email, browsing the web, using skype and writing documents are more than adequately supported and easy to use.

    A problem is what is the right way to fix an issue when the computer explodes. If they are in a business the user should go to the help desk/support team, no matter the operating system.

    Quote Originally Posted by victoria4 View Post
    What would you say are the most important functions of Ubuntu that a person should know?
    I would say there is very little to know about Ubuntu, it's most important functions are the same for windows and mac, you need to know how to install programs, how to open programs, and how to manage your open applications, but none of this is difficult from an explanatory point of view, and the people I speak to daily frequently struggle with these no matter which operating system, there are hundreds of millions of windows users who don't know how to multi-task for example, if they want to go from email to web, they quit the email app and open internet explorer, and then the same in reverse to go back.

    I would argue that in 2013 the terminal is not an important function of the Ubuntu desktop for the average user or a business user, there is simply nothing a user should be doing in it.

    For me the best and most important function of Ubuntu is that it lets me run the programs which I want to run (spotify, sublime text, chrome, VLC, Steam), and I find the Unity Launcher the easiest "dock" to multi task with.
    // Blog

  10. #10
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    Re: Answers needed for my project at university

    Quote Originally Posted by ikt View Post
    I would argue that in 2013 the terminal is not an important function of the Ubuntu desktop for the average user or a business user, there is simply nothing a user should be doing in it.
    I used the terminal all the time during my Ubuntu months, and I still do now on Archbang, Debian Sid, Fedora, or Debian Testing. Just prefer the CLI, I guess. -shrug-
    Metal: HP dc5750 | OS: Arch Linux 32-bit | Kernel: 3.14.0-1-ARCH | 1.8GHz AMD Sempron 3400+ | 1.5GiB RAM | 80GiB HDD | DM/DE combo: LXDM + MATE.

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