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Thread: Ubuntu is still too complicated

  1. #21
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    Quote Originally Posted by ExSuSEusr View Post
    I would PAY money (and I realize that's completely opposite of the Linux ideal), but I would pay for a version of Ubuntu that I didnt have to spend 15 freaking hours trying to "adjust it" just to watch a freaking DVD.

    Ok, flame away... but I needed to vent. I just spent a hour trying to.... never mind.
    I don't understand. It shouldn't take you longer than 5 minutes to figure out how to watch dvd's on Ubuntu. First google result: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Re...ts/PlayingDVDs

    Games, on the other hand, well, if you didn't mention which games and if they're even supported by Ubuntu, then we can't help. But if they're not linux-native games, that's like asking why Windows-native games don't work on OSX.

  2. #22
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    Methinks responders are missing the OP's point. Or rather, missing the deeper point that underlies his expressed concerns, which is this: When push comes to shove, the problem with all Linux distros is that they are perversely and offensively technical. You can paint as pretty a face on these distros as you like. You can wrap them up in Compiz, dancing icons, translucent spinning cubes, and even include the freakin' codecs and problematic drivers as Mint does, but to get anything really solved on any of them, you need the mindset of a geek. Note: we're not talking about the knowledge of the geek, which is possible with effort and education... we're talking about the mindset, which is a very different thing.

    Example:

    It is impossible... not "difficult", not "obscure", not "convoluted", but simply and starkly impossible... to install the driver for the broadcom WIFI chipset without jumping through arcane command line hoops. For those who haven't had to deal it, it requires you to:

    1. Figure out that the chipset is the problem in the first place.
    2. Locate obscure instructions.
    3. Download the necessary apps.
    4. Use one of those apps to extract from the chipset itself a firmware blob.
    5. Compile the blob into the driver module.
    6. Install the module.

    I can already hear the howls of protest, the standard objections, the defensive explanations:

    1. it's Broadcom's fault for not releasing the firmware as open-source,
    2. Broadcom changed their firmware with each release,
    3. Broadcom should have provided comprehensive proprietary drivers,
    4. Linux can't automate this process because it pollutes the kernel,

    ...yada-yada-yada. I'm not going to even argue with any of these responses. In fact, in a narrow mechanistic sort of way, I even concede their validity. But despite the frustration, the anger, the "I-give-up... am-going-back-to-Windows" consequences, it's not the Broadcom process that is my real example; it's these responses.

    I'm going to be blunt. Anyone who cannot see that the process for installing Broadcom drivers is utter Cr@p, with a capital "C", is either in wilful denial or is so blindly defensive about Linux as to be intellectually neutered. And yet, the Broadcom case is only one instance out of dozens of similar cases. One only has to sample the support threads on this very forum to see that. Point being that to dismiss the OP's specific concerns is to miss the forest for the trees. And this tendency, ladies and gents--this penchant for dismissing the trials and tribulations of "newbies", to pooh-poohing their frustrations, to condescending at their clumsy efforts at solutions, even to the well-intentioned effort of addressing their technical issues while ignoring the bigger issue that's bugging them--this, ladies and gents, is the "geek mindset".

    I succumb to the geek mindset myself and with more frequency than I care to acknowledge. After all, I worked hard for my expertise. I spent years wrestling with this cussed thing, lurking in forums, blowing my system up, reinstalling, hammering at it, fussing over it, learning it, sweating it, until I could find my way around it without tripping over my own two feet. It was hard won, I'm proud of what I did, and now, some newbie is trying to tap all of that knowledge without even the effort of first doing a cursory Google search? Yeah, it may be understandable why veterans indulge in the geek mindset. But it's a pernicious mindset all the same.

    1. It diminishes our empathy. Sometimes to the point where we start resembling this OS that we love more so than the human race.
    2. Without empathy, we lose the ability to walk in others' shoes.
    3. This leads to a narrow-mindedness of the "if it works for me, it's good enough for everybody" sort.
    4. Which leads to poor, stunted, ugly, constrained, overly-technical design.
    5. And also, an environment revelling in geek-speak, acronyms, technobabble and portmanteaus not-so-subtly intended to separate, and yes, elevate, "us" from the unwashed masses.
    6. Result: Ubuntu/Distros/the-whole-Linux-Sphere loses.

    <Sigh> Now I'm the one venting.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


  3. #23
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHook View Post
    Methinks responders are missing the OP's point. Or rather, missing the deeper point that underlies his expressed concerns, which is this: When push comes to shove, the problem with all Linux distros is that they are perversely and offensively technical...
    You issue that all-encompassing damning characterization...

    It is impossible... not "difficult", not "obscure", not "convoluted", but simply and starkly impossible... to install the driver for the broadcom WIFI chipset without jumping through arcane command line hoops.
    ...and then you try to prove your point by focusing on one, just one, driver.

    Wifi on my Linux machines has worked fine for years, without any intervention on my part. Maybe I'm lucky, or maybe not. I'm certainly not going to argue that 10 years ago wifi was a piece of cake.

    I'm on a ThinkPad W530 at the moment. I've installed every version of Ubuntu from 12.04 and every version of Fedora since 18 (include the F20 alphas and betas), plus several other flavors of Linux. Guess what? I've never had to download or configure *any* drivers, other than audo codecs on Fedora (ideology applies there), to get this thing to work.

    Of course, if someone tries to run Linux on hardware without knowing if it is compatible with Linux, they might have problems. Same thing can happen the other way around with Windows.

    It's been more than 10 years since I used Windows on a machine I owned, but I certainly remember needing to do a fair amount of tweaking and configuring by hand to get things to work.

    If you define "ease of use" as zero-configuration and point,click, install, run, then few systems can meet that standard completely.

    It's no surprise the Linux drivers for hardware that vendors don't want to work on Linux are ocassionally a pain to configure. People with that kind of hardware should acquire different hardware if they want to run Linux. Just like people who want to run OS X don't got buy a $600 box at Walmart and then whine that they can't.

  4. #24
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post

    Wifi on my Linux machines has worked fine for years, without any intervention on my part. Maybe I'm lucky, or maybe not. I'm certainly not going to argue that 10 years ago wifi was a piece of cake.
    ... I've installed every version of Ubuntu from 12.04 and every version of Fedora since 18 (include the F20 alphas and betas), plus several other flavors of Linux. Guess what? I've never had to download or configure *any* drivers, other than audo codecs on Fedora (ideology applies there), to get this thing to work.
    Same as my experience, the only Linux that takes a lot of arcane commands to get my wifi to work is Debian. Fedora and Ubuntu always work out of the box.

  5. #25
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain20122 View Post
    Same as my experience, the only Linux that takes a lot of arcane commands to get my wifi to work is Debian. Fedora and Ubuntu always work out of the box.
    Debian's approach to firmware is a bit like a teatotaler who stocks up on booze for a party but tells his guests he won't open the bottles and fill their glasses.

  6. #26
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    I think DuckHook, used the wrong wifi manufacturer as an example, Broadcom drivers are probably the easiest to install, as they are included on the install media, you don't even have to download them.

  7. #27
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    Broadcom drivers are terrible. The problem with it is that if you hand somebody with only a laptop the install media for Ubuntu they will be able to boot the live CD and by judging how *everything* seems to work on the live cd assume that it is safe to install the OS. However once you login to the installed OS there is no WiFi, there is no indication as to why there is no WiFi, the option just is not there at all even though it worked on the live CD.

    How would anybody new to Ubuntu be able to solve this. Well they could Google it if they had internet access but guess what the WiFi is not working.

    Just getting to the realisation that it is the Broadcom chip set drivers used in the laptop can take longer than what is necessary.

    In the Windows world you get a CD with every piece of hardware you by. And the contents on the CD makes the hardware work correctly. Ubuntu / Linux need to have whatever is needed to make the hardware work be included on those CDs as well.

  8. #28
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    i suppose the also installed the OS while on battery power...10% left - 30 minutes... should be enough...

    plugging it to a wired interface should offer them wi-fi drivers to be instaled. though i am not sure why are they not installed offered to be installed if they are on CD.

    yes in windows world you get windows drivers on a CD along with hardware. why should linux OS have all the drivers? why shouldn't they also provide linux drivers on same CD? some manufacturers do (eventhough some offer crappy ones on their media). the problem is the manufacturers do not want to distribute them under license tha linux uses.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

  9. #29
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post
    i suppose the also installed the OS while on battery power...10% left - 30 minutes... should be enough...

    plugging it to a wired interface should offer them wi-fi drivers to be instaled. though i am not sure why are they not installed offered to be installed if they are on CD.

    yes in windows world you get windows drivers on a CD along with hardware. why should linux OS have all the drivers? why shouldn't they also provide linux drivers on same CD? some manufacturers do (eventhough some offer crappy ones on their media). the problem is the manufacturers do not want to distribute them under license tha linux uses.
    Actually a lot of laptops and netbooks comes with no Ethernet port at all, so the only way to get internet connectivity is via the WiFi, so having access to an electrical charging point does not imply having the ability to connect to the internet via Ethernet.

    As you mention though there is no reason why they make it so that it works when booted of the live CD but the proprietary driver is not installed when you actually install the system. Either don't have it at all or make it work on the installed system as well.

    But to be honest this (Broadcom WiFi chipsets) issue is the only real one that I have encountered personally with Linux, but it is a show stopper. Not everybody has the time to invest in hunting down why something that should work does not want to. This happened with my mother in law's laptop and I got it sorted out for her. But yeah, imagine convincing somebody to try Ubuntu and brag about Ubuntu to them only to have to leave with the machine under the arm to go and spend the rest of the night trying to resolve the issue on a laptop with no internet connectivity. You need more than the broadcom-wl driver deb, to install it also needs build-essential, now build-essential has a lot of other dependencies. Copying everything over with USB is no fun

  10. #30
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    Re: Ubuntu is still too complicated

    Quote Originally Posted by georgelappies View Post
    Broadcom drivers are terrible. The problem with it is that if you hand somebody with only a laptop the install media for Ubuntu they will be able to boot the live CD and by judging how *everything* seems to work on the live cd assume that it is safe to install the OS. However once you login to the installed OS there is no WiFi, there is no indication as to why there is no WiFi, the option just is not there at all even though it worked on the live CD.
    .
    Huh?? Since which version of Ubuntu? That is odd. I have installed Ubuntu on some machines with broadcom wifi, it never works in live session either.
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; October 10th, 2013 at 11:49 AM.

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