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himagain
March 11th, 2008, 10:45 PM
Hi there people,
As a new user to U/Kbuntu on Linux, but 20 years experience on User Support issues in the Computer industry, would-be helpers need to be reminded/ aware of 5 things:
1. YOU may have a knack for computers. 92% of the population does not. (You are probably hopeless as a dancer/singer 99.99% are)

2. People who come here HAVE usually done their best to understand their problem. FAQ's and KBs are pretty well useless 90% of the time because the Newby does not know how to frame (tech terms) the question. AND the KB is not logically designed or constructed.

3. Are you genuinely trying to help new users, or are you simply smartarssing? (Showing off?) Who taught YOU?

4. They are usually quite frustrated when they arrive because programs are VASTLY oversold as to their ease of use/installation. Worse, the fault is usually with the program design, not the intelligent new user.

5. Support documentation - particularly in the O.S. world is atrocious. REALLY atrocious. It is written by volunteers who are usually programmers who have very little interest in anything not on the command line. After all, THEY like it and have no trouble with it.

The 98% of people ( always coming from the more aware/smarter in the society) who try out the Linux world and who give up and retreat to THAT other one, or worse, believe the ads and buy a Mac, are lost SOLELY because of the poor support at the entry level to Linux.

That is why such a vastly superior system doesn't even make it on to the user scene. DESPITE such horrors as Vista.........

I always search the KB and FAQs and Forums search, and less than 5% of the time is it of any use.
Ubuntu is a great leap forwards in Linux as Lindows was, but it is a minefield for refugees.

If you are serious about helping in the battle against the Borg, the support forum is the only weapon better than a real friend showing you.

If YOU know where it was answered - politely offer the URL and/or the search term. Politely. Or don't answer at all, you aren't helping the cause.

Peace!

luisromangz
March 11th, 2008, 11:59 PM
I don't think you are right. It is true that most new computer users don't have technical background, but, in the forums people is actually trying to help. They are helping, for free, so maybe they deserve at least to be allowed to help in the way they want, for example by directing someone's searches, instead of actually solving the problem.

About documentation being written by volunteers, well, you know, the community of free software is mainly composed of volunteers, so what's bad about it? And programmers don't care only about command line programs, or I wouldn't be using an graphical web browser on top of a graphical desktop environment.

Solving problems using the command line has many benefits for the new user, too.

First, is fast and easy to write the required commands in the forums, much more than explaining a series of mouse clicks on buttons that maybe are labeled on a different language, which can be a problem.

Second, that way you are teaching the user a very valuable tool. In Windows, if the GUI gets screwed, you are hopeless. Not in Linux. So the command line is a very powerful tool that should be known by every Linux user, even if I agree in that it shouldn't be needed.

It's my opinion, as you gave yours.

zvacet
March 12th, 2008, 08:28 AM
I don't have technical background and when I first time installed Ubuntu it was shock.I didnīt knew how to connect to net,installing programs was SF to me.But step by step I learned something because pepole on this forum help me and I searched forums to find answers to my questions.Iīm aware that Iīm not expert or guru but I try to help if I can.If you have any problem,just post it here and somebody will answer you.If you donīt understand answer (because you are new user and somebody who answered you assumed you will understand) just say so and ask again.If I was able to understand basic I belive you will do the same.

PmDematagoda
March 12th, 2008, 11:19 AM
This thread has been moved to the Community Cafe.