Re: file issues, sheetrock damage....
There are no stupid questions!
Your concerns are common coming from Windows users new to Linux. They are valid too, not saying they're not; but Linux is not Windows, and is not intended to be a drop-in replacement for Windows--even a distro as friendly as Ubuntu. Concepts such as separation of the user and administrator accounts and the security model based on that are deeply rooted (pun intended!) in Linux's Unix roots, and it's doubtful they're going to change. Use of command line shell is similar, it's the lowest common denominator of both administrative tasks and system configuration. There are many GUI tools available to do many (but not all) of these tasks though.
I hope you will give Ubuntu a chance, I really believe it's a worthwhile OS to both learn and use.
Re: file issues, sheetrock damage....
I will be the first to agree with you that Linux is obscure, arcane, finnicky and intimidating. However, you must realize that the people on these forums are not developers. In fact, the developers rarely visit this forum. We may be enthusiasts, but have little if any input into the development of Ubuntu. So the idea that "its time to move beyond some of this arcane command line stuff, and give users some easy "click here" kind of tools" is a misapprehension about what powers we have to do anything about it.
Originally Posted by alabamatoy
Oddly enough, this expectation is unreasonable in the following sense: unlike proprietary software, Linux is a volunteer community effort that evolves through code contributions from its volunteer base. In this communal development model, the hacker base contributes such coding themselves as they seek to fulfill their own needs. Unlike proprietary software, the source code for every single component is available for download straight from the repository. As one with an IT degree, you can add this functionality yourself. In my case, I could not code to save my life. Therefore, I am content (well... mostly) to adapt to the constraints of the OS because I have made the decision to avoid having to learn how to code.
For example, the partition access issue you kindly assisted me with above. Is it unreasonable to expect a "make available to all users" in the GUI somewhere?
I don't want to sound like a paragon of patience. I've ranted about the shortcomings of Ubuntu just as you have and was reminded by a moderator that my rant was pointless and counterproductive. He pointed me to the developers' site where I could affect the changes I was ranting about (gulp). That very effectively brought home to me what it was that I liked about Linux in the first place, and why just complaining about it was hypocritical of me.
It is impossible to use anything without learning. This is as true of Windows as it is of Ubuntu. The fact that Windows is prevalent means that people just take their sunk investment in their Windows learning for granted and want to port that learning to Linux with no further effort on their part, which is not only an unfair expectation, but itself creates all sorts of problems, mainly having to do with atrocious habits and awful security behaviour.
Like I said, I really didnt set out to LEARN Ubuntu, I set out to USE Ubuntu because of its reputation for security and stability.
Ubuntu's reputation for security and stability is well-earned. But it is secure and stable for precisely the reasons you don't like: disabling admin account, sudo for everything, minimal permissions to everyone, treating every new user as a potential threat, requiring password to wipe your nose, etc. What's funny is that when I started, I took exactly the same exasperated stand you do "Why do I need sudo? Just give me root access dammit!" until I wiped out my entire root directory one day with a boneheaded deletion while logged in as root. I learned the value of sudo the hard way. Problem is, I don't know how to convey this sort of experience to new Windows users who have been lured into a lifetime of bad habits by the frankly horrific enablement philosophy of Windows so that they now think of the abnormal as normal and the unnatural as natural. See this thread.
I might--just might--agree with you on printing and remote desktop, but your choice of copying this particular folder in fact serves as a counterexample to your position:
What I have learned thus far is that intuitively simple things (copying a folder, setting up a printer, getting network functioning using remote desktop) are incredibly difficult to do for the beginner
As difficult as you found it, at least it was possible to mount your NTFS partition and make it available to all users. The tools, though obscure, are already part of the standard Ubuntu install. By contrast, please describe, in the same detail as I have, how to mount an ext4 partition in Windows and make it available to all users. This is simply not possible in a default Windows installation. Windows can't even see non-native partitions, never mind read them. So, I disagree with your characterization of your particular "copying a folder" exercise as "intuitively simple". You are mischaracterizing the depth of the problem and misattributing the reasons for its difficulty. Ubuntu sees its native partitions with as much if not more ease than Windows. As a bonus, it can see non-native partitions, but not with the same ease. You have focused on the lack of ease and ignored the fact that it's a bonus.
This is more than a slight exaggeration. I suspect that your initial install went pretty smoothly. Your home directory was probably set up correctly right out of the box, and you were able to use all of the standard Ubuntu tools seamlessly and properly. Libreoffice likely launched ready to use, as did Gimp, Rhythmbox, Firefox, Thunderbird, and on and on. And here are a few areas where Ubuntu is far easier and simpler than Windows:
NOTHING thus far with my Ubuntu experience has been easy or simple.
1. The installation process took 20 minutes from start to finish.
2. You didn't have to put up with activation codes, agreeing to intolerable EULAs, or generally being treated like the vendor is doing you a favour allowing you to use their precious OS.
3. You didn't have to configure any anti-virus, wait for interminable signature downloads, or put up with twenty minutes of disk thrashing as the anti-virus app sniffed through every one of your files.
4. You don't have to defrag your HDD every week just to get it back to a fraction of the speed it had at install.
5. You can adjust any configuration file using a simple text editor instead of having to wallow around in the guts of some registry that is more obscure, more fragile and more impenetrable than any Linux config file in creation.
6. You go to one repository to get most everything you need and don't have to hunt all over heck's half-acre to download stuff that you just pray isn't infested with trojans, spykits or malware.
7. Last but not least, you didn't have to pay for the privilege of being abused in any of the above ways.
As already said, your frustration is completely understandable and we sympathize. The dissing observation came from your comment that "Ubuntu sux". However, this is one user, at least, who understands how we can sometimes say things in the depths of frustration that would have been better phrased in calmer circumstances.
With all due respect to the community (and I sincerely mean that) I would think this would be taken as something more than "dissing their favourite OS" when its coming from a sincere person simply trying to use the "favorite OS".
You don't come across as snide or destructive or I would have simply not bothered to help. Believe me, the vast majority of us who strive to help have walked in your shoes. I do confess that I repaired my share of sheet-rock when first starting out. We're on your side.
Thanks for the help, and I really, truly mean my "dissing" as constructive criticism. I do not mean it as snide or destructive.
As oldos2er has already said, "There are no stupid questions". In fact, I encourage you to ask on these forums rather than trying to muddle through on your own. You will find that, despite its inevitable blemishes, one of the best things about Linux is the Linux community itself--always ready to help. I've never found another one like it.
Thanks to all who have assisted and educated me thus far. I will probably be asking more stupid questions.......
...and I, in turn, really mean it when I say,
Good luck and Happy Ubuntuing!