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Thread: Wanted: Aunt Tilly's OFFLINE Guide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Wanted: Aunt Tilly's OFFLINE Guide

    Hello to the Forum! --
    I'm brand new to the whole Gnu/Linux / Xubuntu / FOSS world here. I'm mildly literate in a simple Windows environment (XP and earlier), though I've heard about the Unix world for years and admire the philosophy (Bug #1 indeed!). Bear with if I'm clumsy. (Edit -- or verbose! Sorry!)

    ~~~Brief Bio/ Background~~~
    I'm a mid-age, unemployed, semi-Geek /semi-Luddite. No internet access, landline or cable at home, a (non-smart) prepaid cell phone and a Ramen Noodle budget. The ancient second-hand Dell w/ Win XP I was using at WiFi spots died (for good) shortly after I was laid off, and family / health issues killed finances, etc. So I have been on the wrong side of the "digital divide" a few years now, doing job search computer tasks at workforce center and library computers (when they are available). Used to surf at coffee shops, but the last one near me finally disconnected their last terminal (still have WiFi, but BYOD). Not unwilling to join the 21st century, but forces beyond me are making it pretty tricky!

    I was so thrilled when a local volunteer group was making repaired /older machines available at Thrift Store prices for the desperate. Kudos to FreeGeek TwinCities! Last week I came home with a Dell Latitude 110L (Celeron M) clean installed w/ Xubuntu (12.04, I think). A brief tutorial on getting to the desktop w/ a tour of the aps they included, deletion of their SysAdmin login and addition of mine, suggestions on update management and off I went! Surfed at the coffee shop, browsed Ubuntu / Xubuntu info on Google, found this forum and registered, with intention to ask Q1 (below) before Easter, but the shop was closing.

    Over Easter (no WiFi!) I played (offline) with a few simple docs and games at home to learn the differences and regain touchpad coordination. Discovered the battery has more life than I could have hoped, but I'm safest if no more than an an hour or so passes before I can get back to AC.
    Q1 -- I'm fairly clueless about the Op sys, including how to find more hardware details (device manager?), and want to get up to speed. I understand the concept of a terminal emulator but am clueless as to commands and what they might execute (or I might kill as a result!). I've browsed a few library/ bookstore books, but they seem either outdated (2010 or earlier) or way over my head for now. I know Google is my friend (how do ya think I got here?), but I'd like to have something at home to learn from when I am offline. The more "Aunt Tilly" and the less "Geekspeak" the better.Think of me as Aunt Tilly's niece. Suggestions please!!

    The link seemed helpful, but how do I get an actual OFFLINE copy as the pagename suggests? (Remember, I didn't install it, and they didn't include any recovery disk or USB files). I will go back to FreeGeeks, but they are only open a few afternoons a week, and this ain't one of them.

    Q2 -- In addition, It seems to be having an issue now, and I cannot get rebooted (I'm at a rarely available public access terminal to post this). The Xubuntu splash screen comes up and hangs a minute, then I get a dark screen with "BusyBox v1.18.5 . . . {snip} . . . (initrmfs)" Huh? Now whaddid I do? I'll go to Google while I'm here, but any tips before FreeGeeks is open would be fantastic!

    MN Xu Fan (or Zoo Fan) Kris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Re: Wanted: Aunt Tilly's OFFLINE Guide

    I think the offline docs should be included somewhere in the actual Xubuntu install. Not sure, but check the main menu for a help item.

    As for the booting issue, sounds to me like you might have some hardware trouble. Unless you changed anything (and it sounds like you probably haven't), it could be a hard drive problem causing boot to fail. This wouldn't be unlikely on an old piece of hardware, especially a laptop.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Re: Wanted: Aunt Tilly's OFFLINE Guide

    Yeah, hardware. That's what I'm afraid of, as well. I don't know enough to know how to check that (yet).


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SW Forida
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Wanted: Aunt Tilly's OFFLINE Guide

    If you want specific info on a command, you can use man on a terminal with the command i.e.
    man info
    But that is usually just bare minimum of details.

    Gobs of info, but not sure how much is downloadable.

    A master thread on learning/books/terminal/bash/Linux etc
    Linux Command Line Learning Resources - cortman

    Thread on books:

    Ubuntu Documentation:
    Official Ubuntu Documentation
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Re: Wanted: Aunt Tilly's OFFLINE Guide

    Thanks guys!
    It was a hardware issue, which the folks at FreeGeeks helped me resolve. Then a fresh clean install of Xubuntu and this time I have a recovery disk.

    Now I'm back where I was a week ago -- ready to learn but woefully underinformed. I'll be checking out those links, and perusing the fora, when I can get online, but still interested in anything simple I can read /review slowly off a PDF.

    I'm bumping this up one more time for any other suggestions, then will tag it solved.


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