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Thread: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

  1. #1
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    Angry Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    I was originally introduced to Linux as part of my job in the late 90s but had never used it in a personal environment, untill recently.

    After seeing Ubuntu gaining so much popularity in recent years I decided to give it a shot a personal PC.

    I thought perhaps after a decade and a half of improvements Linux was finally ready for the living rooms of common mortals. I wasn't wrong, but I wasn't right either. Ubuntu has come a long way, and is now leaps and bounds ahead of any other linux distro (for home usage) and most things work great on Ubuntu right out of the box.

    The trouble, is when things do NOT work right out of the box. This is when your inner geek must be tested.

    All the information is out there, multiple solutions to all problems ready to be googled and implemented. For every problem exists a foot long command for you to paste in a terminal.

    But after a career of being a professional geek TBH I'm a bit weary. The last thing I want to do in my time off is spend hours scouring the internets for a solution that may or may not work.

    Now I may not be the brightest bulb in the box but I'm not exactly a moron either. If I can't get my stuff to work, I see little hope in people like my wife who can barely check her email without screwing something up.

    IMO Ubuntu is not as ready as its deems itself to be. The general mass of people who don't know and don't care about IT, they just want their stuff to work...now.

    I really don't mean this to be a rant, just a little heads up. Ubuntu may seem like childsplay to those of you who have been using it for years, and advanced linux users probably have long forgotten how complicated everything seemed when they first started tinkering with it. Well it still is. It just looks a hell of lot better now.
    Last edited by QIII; December 21st, 2013 at 01:12 AM. Reason: asterisk removal

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    There are two reasons that Windows seems more ready than Ubuntu (or any Linux distro):

    1. The vast majority of users buy a machine with Windows pre-installed with all the drivers for the machine's hardware.

    2. When someone installs Windows, the drivers have to be installed just as they do when someone installs Linux. The difference is that the OEMs work very hard at making sure their drivers work with Windows so that they can be included in the Microsoft driverbase or be installed from included media that says "Made for Windows". Microsoft doesn't write the drivers for that hardware. The hardware OEMs do.

    OEMs are simply not going to expend the same amount of effort on a Linux driver for a particular piece of hardware for a very good reason: ROI. They simply make a wise business decision not to expend virtually the same resources on a driver to make 2% of the market happy as they do to make 90% of the market happy.

    It's important to understand that distinction. Windows doesn't support the SpitFlame 64 Wireless Card. Microsoft doesn't write the driver. The manufacturer of the SpitFlame 64 makes sure it supports Windows so Microsoft will deem it worthy. If they get around to it, they might throw something together that sort of works in Linux. Or they won't bother at all.

    The "fiddling around to get things to work" is a function of the fact that drivers for Linux, if they exist at all, are often inferior to the Windows versions.

    It's not a matter of Linux being "ready for the market". It's a matter of the market being ready for Linux.

    The practical outcome, however, is that one must consider this state of affairs before approaching Linux. We who use Linux make do as best we can in a world made for Microsoft. So we have to fiddle. It's a fact of life, but not a failure on the part of Linux.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    Moved To Recurring - Discussed Many Times
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  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    Usually when newbies resort to the terminal, it's due to one of two reasons:

    1. They have exotic hardware that causes a problem
    2. They don't know there's a fully-GUI way of doing it.

    You haven't mentioned what your problem was, so I don't know which one you are experiencing.

    The only times I've had a bad out-of-the-box experience on Ubuntu were in 2005 and 2007, both of which were fixed for future versions. You assume that Ubuntu is difficult to set up for everybody just because it's difficult for you; this is certainly not the case. My 65-year-old father has never touched the terminal window of Ubuntu, yet he has set up a freshly-installed Ubuntu, installed programs and codecs, and even yesterday did a successful dist-upgrade to 13.10. Okay, I did the initial install of 13.04 for him so I could be sure he wouldn't accidentally format his existing data drive; but he did literally everything after the installer finished running. He's not a Unix geek or an IT professional, he's a typesetter who originally learnt his trade with hot metal.

    Just because you had some difficulty (which may or may not have been avoidable on your computer) does not mean that Ubuntu poses the same problems for everyone else. Sometimes, idiotic hardware is the cause, and it's not easy for any operating system to deal with it.

    I have to leave now, but if you want you can PM me, I'll see what I can do to help you, and I'll tell you some stories of how difficult it was to install Windows Vista a couple of weeks ago...
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    Ubuntu work perfectly fine except for the Wireless fn key (all the other fn keys work) and Optimus ( lower FPS in games, I can use the nvidia card with bumblebee) but that's nvidias fault for being a buch of pricks at the start with the early optimus systems and the only reason they are playing good is because Torvalds put them in there spot (I can get roughly the same performance as windows though with the Experimental Optimus support in the driver but its super buggy), companies for you :\
    Last edited by seanmoir99; December 21st, 2013 at 09:00 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    I have the opposite experience to you. I have found Ubuntu to install painlessly on most machines. There will always be some hardware that causes problems.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    There are many people, including a 70-something grandmother under my very roof, who have bought a pre-configured computer from System76, plugged it in and never had another problem. https://www.system76.com/desktops/model/ratp2

    There is a vast difference here. If you want the plug and play experience, buy a pre-configured machine and plug and play, just like Microsoft's and Apple's business model. On the other hand, I think it's unrealistic to install Ubuntu from an iso and then complain that it doesn't work seamlessly with any and every old arcane collection of hardware absent some tinkering and tweaking.
    "Oh, Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system" --Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    I had faced problems with two devices.

    Hp Scanjet 2400. Sadly there is no Linux driver for the device so I sold the scanner.

    Internal tv tuner. It had a philips chipset. I just had to google and I found the solution. But now the tv tuner is gone too so there is not a single device which doesn't work out of the box.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    Every Sunday I speak with an old friend on the phone and during that conversation there is always the "How do I fix (or do) this in Windows" portion. My wife sits across the room from me on Windows 7 and swivels around in her chair to either ask for help or complain at least a half-dozen times a day. When I get finished helping them I head back to my older computer running Ubuntu and go on with my life...
    "Been thinkin' about IT!
    IT being something totally undefinable..." (Van Morrison)

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu not as ready as it deems itself to be

    Stick with the LTS releases. Don't upgrade to any future LTS until six months after its release. The fewer moving parts the better (a minimal install here with only what I want/need). If it ain't broke, don't fix it (and my LTS is, touch wood, never broke unless I break it).

    My 2cents.
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; January 7th, 2014 at 07:29 PM.

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