The Vectorian Lounge => The Lounge => Topic started by: nightflier on July 09, 2009, 06:42:46 pm

Title: Think I scared one away
Post by: nightflier on July 09, 2009, 06:42:46 pm
I usually don't preach to Windows users, I just kinda do my thing. However, the other day I was sitting in the cafeteria talking to an old friend. He still uses eComStation (OS/2), so obviously doesn't take to change very easily. Still, Bill's pretty open-minded so I thought I'd show him my laptop. Demonstrating VL Light was easy enough, but I got the impression that using the command line was not preferred. Fair enough. I also have Ubuntu loaded on a partition (another friend dumped XP for Jaunty, and since I'm his help desk, I keep a copy of it). Figuring the simplified interface would be more attractive, I fired it up, showed him Kompiz and all the bling. So far so good. My buddy uses Seamonkey in OS/2, so he would like to see it in action. Great, an opportunity to show him the package manager. Well.. the dang thing kept dropping the wireless connection (no such problem with VL, btw). After several tries we managed to get it installed. Launch, and what do you know, a warning pops up telling us our version was outdated. Two versions behind, actually. There was a link right there to download the newer version, so of course Bill clicked it. Again, several wifi restarts later, we had the whole .tar.gz file. Before I could explain, Bill double-clicked on the appropriate line in the download manager. Home folder opened up... interesting. Oh well, I now had to go into the whole thing about different package formats. And the fact that what we had was just a compressed archive with generic pre-compiled binaries. Here comes the command line again. It wouldn't install of course. It wanted the older libstdc v5 rather than the installed version 6. Installed that, got it running (again from command line, because no menu entry got installed). The glazed look on Bill's face told me it was time to quit. No sale.

If I'm gonna try to push Linux, I need to stick to what I am used to. Maybe keep a VL partition with KDE installed. I could put together and rehearse a little demo with pre-tested applications and procedures.

Or I can just kinda keep on doing my thing.
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: rbistolfi on July 10, 2009, 08:38:44 am
I wonder about this myself sometimes. I do try to show Linux to people I think could be interested, but in general, I keep on doing my thing.
In any case, sticking with what is known and tested sounds like a good idea ;D
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: Windozer on July 10, 2009, 11:33:53 am
Looks like it's time to PartedMajic that drive and make some room for VL.  ;D ;D

No slighting intended to your friend - but I do feel for those imprisioned by OS2 (I developed on it for a while - one of the more ugly  :'( experiences in my life ;-)

- Howard
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: Arioco on July 10, 2009, 11:44:02 am
Have you noticed that when you try to show off something is when that something decides to behave in an abnormal way, linux doesn't fail for me unless i'm trying to make an demonstration  :-[

By the way, like two months ago I forced Linux into my best friend PC, he was always calling me to ask me for help with his box, at least twice a month i had to format his hard drive (i wonder how he managed to put so many virus in there  ???). So I decided to install Linux in there (also installed wine for the games he likes to play) and I told him: "you stay with that or pay a computer tech that repairs your windows every time you break it" (he was willing to try linux only cause he is so cheap lol) now that he doesn't have administrations rights and has no problem with virus, he just call me once in a while to explain something to him.
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: GrannyGeek on July 10, 2009, 06:55:48 pm
I haven't had much luck with getting people to try Linux, either. I'm low-key and just explain that they would have much less trouble with malware and would be able to do the same things they do now and if possible, I show them my system in action (which is good-looking and fairly familiar-looking with XFce or IceWM).

So far, no takers. In the past week I spent three days in hell trying to get a Windows laptop that's headed for my 11-year-old grandson in working condition. It was so loaded with trojans and a worm and virus that it ran slower than any computer I've ever used going back to my DOS 3.2 days. With the help of Malware Bytes, Avast, and Windows Defender I seem to have found and removed all the malware and the computer is actually usable now. I can't guarantee that there isn't some file damage, though, and the best thing would be to reformat and install Windows fresh.

The computer has just 256 megs of RAM, so XP runs leisurely. I am trying to persuade Grandson and his parents to let me install VectorLinux on it. The computer would certainly run better, not only because VL is more efficient, but also because having resident antispyware and antivirus checking every file as it is opened slows down the computer, which isn't that fast to begin with (it's a few years old).

Alas, so far my gentle urgings to install VL have been met with worried looks in eyes. I've had the same reaction when I've suggested Linux to other family and friends. They are afraid of the unknown and the idea of not using the few programs they are used to using does not appeal to them.

On the bright side, on the infrequent occasions when my faraway grandchildren are here, they use Firefox in Linux hour after hour and I haven't heard a complaint yet.<g> I'm not even sure they're aware that they're not in Windows.
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: sledgehammer on July 10, 2009, 09:06:26 pm

We have a Presidential Scholar in our Linux-only Computers for Kids group.  6th grader.  4.0 average.  No kind of nerd.  Kids fight over linux whenever we get together.  Wonderful kids.  Love Simutrans and Blender, both Open Source.   If they want the other stuff, we let them go. Got there too late.  Gates already owns their brain.   God, I suppose, needs chimney sweeps and janitors.

Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: Windozer on July 11, 2009, 10:57:24 am
Blender is a great program even though it's UI is a bit counter-intuitive at first. The Win version is pretty similar. Both use Python for scripting.  Crossing the platforms fairly seemlessly, Blender can bridge from one to the other.  As GG and John (S.Hammer) say between the lines - if you're having fun, you probably won't care what OS you're using :))

[And in another unresistable fit to bash OS2: it's not fun, thus it's painfully noticable :-P ]

- H
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: GrannyGeek on July 13, 2009, 11:48:13 am
To my great surprise, my daughter-in-law and grandson were quite open to putting VL on his soon-to-be laptop. They said I could wipe out Windows, but not being sure they had a disk to restore or reinstall if they change their minds or run into Linux problems, I losslelssly shrank the XP partition down to 5.5 gigs after moving stuff (data) to a flash drive and will put VL6 on the remaining 13 gigs. They can always wipe out the Windows partition later.

I unfortunately run into a problem when I tried to install VL 6. The computer can't see any of my home-burned CDs! It did boot with the Partition Commander disk I used to shrink the Windows partition and it does see commercial CDs, but I tried six home-burned CDs and it not only couldn't boot from them, it couldn't even see that a CD was in the drive. All my other computers have no problems booting from and seeing the files on the CDs. So I think it's a CD/DVD drive that doesn't do well with anything but commercial CDs or that is flaky and on the way out.

So now I'm reading up on installing from a USB drive. I'll try UNetbootin and hope it will work because I'd REALLY hate to pass up this chance to get an OS on grandson's computer that won't run like a slug and that won't quickly become a happy home for trojans and other malware. There is no floppy drive, of course. The computer does appear to allow booting from USB.

By the way, three of my grandchildren and their cousin spent a good bit of yesterday online with Firefox and VL 6 Standard. They were all perfectly content. In fact, we even had a couple of skirmishes over whose turn it was to use the computer (2 computers, 4 kids).

Wish me luck with the USB installation!
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: Windozer on July 13, 2009, 12:24:17 pm
GG -

I'm sure you've jumped through these hoops already...
you've got more than one machine, right?

Did you try those CD's on another machine besides the laptop and burn machine?

Optical drives are notoriously finicky.  I've got two that write, but can't read their *own* CD's (DVD's ether) - but here's the freaky part - the other drive reads the others CDs and DVD's.

Had another recently that wouldn't burn properly and could read OK - except for CD's from one specific machine (not listed above :)

Ah. modern technology, eh?

At least my real toaster toasts bread OK :)
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: nightflier on July 13, 2009, 07:26:33 pm
CD-ROM/DVD drives have given me a lot of trouble as well. I keep some old, but known good, optical drives in my parts bin, along with an extra long IDE ribbon and some power extension cables. I also try to have two different brands of media available.

Another story about burned discs: my daughter has a Mac notebook. She bought an upgrade to the OS, and the installation kept failing due to drive read errors. This was on a weekend, and she needed the computer for school on Monday. Time was of the essence, so I popped the dual layer, commercial disc in my VL desktop and made a copy of it. The Apple "Superdrive" was much happier with the (probably illegal) copy. We successfully got the machine upgraded and ready for work on time.  ;D

@ Windozer: don't connect that appliance to the Internet. If it gets infected, it'll be toast!
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: GrannyGeek on July 13, 2009, 10:14:44 pm

I did an installation from a USB flash drive following stretchedthin's superb video tutorial for UNetbootin. It was all very easy and VL 6 Standard Gold picked up all the hardware, including the USB wireless (Belkin). Wicd is working perfectly. I've done all important updates and I installed games I thought he might like. He'll be back in the area next weekend and I'd like to be able to  give him the computer to use then.

I installed VL 6 Standard because XFce is much easier to configure than IceWM, especially since Granny will be 1000 miles away. The computer has just 256 megs of RAM and it's not running as fast as I thought it would. I think his parents will get more RAM if it's easy to replace it in this Dell Inspiron. I'll see if I can find a manual on the Web.

As for the CD issue, I tried about 6 home-burned CDs and none of them were recognized. All those CDs worked easily on other computers. This Dell had no trouble with a commercial CD.

I've had experience with drives going flaky. I had an external USB DVD burner back when they were very expensive and after the one-year warranty ran out, the DVD portion stopped working and couldn't burn or play DVDs.  I recently replaced two internal DVD drives. One was a CD-R/DVD combo drive that was unreliable. It might or might not boot a home-burned CD. Always an adventure! The other drive was a DVD burner whose burned DVDs always failed verification. I replaced both of them a couple of months ago.

Anyway, I'm thrilled to have VL on Grandson's computer and will try to set it up so he'll enjoy it and be able to manage it easily.
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: rbistolfi on July 13, 2009, 11:11:46 pm
Thats great Granny, congratulations.
Tell us how he likes it one you give it to him :)
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: Windozer on July 14, 2009, 08:01:44 am
Way to go GG!

Speaking of adventures with CD drives - just tried to read an old CD in an old machine that I use for experimenting. The drive used to work fine with this CD, but didn't this time.

Guess what I did?


I whacked it upside the case - like you'd kick the tires on a car :)

Guess what that did?


It started to work again.
... so much for fine tuned alignment of optics.
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: Arioco on July 14, 2009, 10:09:03 am
especially since Granny will be 1000 miles away.

Well, now that he will be using VL you can always have him join to the community, everyone here will be happy to help him. don't you think GrannyGeek?
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: GrannyGeek on July 17, 2009, 08:37:59 pm
It's a hit! I had Grandson and one granddaughter try the computer out today. Grandson didn't spend much time with it  because he was busy at my Athlon 64 desktop playing Internet games with Firefox. Total satisfaction. My older granddaughter said she really likes Firefox. She's been here for a couple of days and spent a lot of time on the computer, so she certainly gave Firefox a workout.

Younger granddaughter tried out grandson's laptop, playing Frozen Bubble. She loves it! Her mother took a look and took a turn playing Frozen Bubble and she loves it, too. As do my older granddaughter and grandson. They may all wind up fighting over who gets to use grandson's VL laptop so they can play Frozen Bubble. I put other games on there from our repos that I think he'll like. His mom wondered if there was a word processor he could use for homework. I showed her AbiWord, which should be an excellent choice for him, easy to use, and will do all he needs.

He just turned 11 and is rather shy, so I doubt he'll want to show up on this forum, but his mother may take advantage of this excellent resource.

I'll have grandson's laptop for another week and have a couple of minor X issues to resolve. VL 6 Standard runs way better than Windows XP and not having to deal with all those viruses, trojans, and worms clinches the deal.
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: nightflier on July 18, 2009, 05:36:15 am
Congrats, Granny! You made up for the one that got away.
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: Arioco on July 18, 2009, 11:07:59 am
This deserves a celebration, cheers!! ;D
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on July 19, 2009, 07:13:50 am
I don't quite get Linux evangelism.

What makes more sense is open source application evangelism since operating system is largely a background thing for most people, and it's much less of a huge hassle.
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: nitehawk on July 19, 2009, 09:01:33 am
I don't quite get Linux evangelism.

...I totally understand Granny Geek on this one!  Where family is concerned, worry about their computers crashing or messing up (especially if they use it for important things).  For instance, daughter uses her computer for her internet store,...and for her college nursing classes.   I know she HAS to use windows software provided by the college (and hence, has to use wXP for that).   BUT,...for her internet store,...she is quite open to all kinds of things.  Unfortunately, she is like the rest of the family, and won't even consider Linux (or BSD).
  I (like Granny Geek) have been showing my little 3 yr. old grandson the educational games on Linux (Gcomp, ChildsPlay),..and he LOVES them!!!!   It's getting my daughter's attention,....
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: GrannyGeek on July 19, 2009, 08:01:37 pm
I'm not a Windows basher and not much of an Linux evangelist. However, when you see a situation where you know Linux would be a much better solution than Windows, I want to at least make the suggestion.

In my grandson's case, the computer I'm preparing is a 2.4 GHz Celeron laptop with a 20 gig hard drive and 256 megs of RAM. It came a few years ago with Windows XP. With just 256 megs of RAM, it's not up to good performance with XP. The other problem was that due to being used by kids, it was infested with trojans, worms, and a virus that slowed the computer down to the point of being unusable. I got rid of the malware and performance improved, but having even lightweight antivirus and antimalware running in the background slows down the computer some, a situation it can ill afford.

To me, the obvious solution was to put VectorLinux on it. VL would run better with more than 256 megs, but it runs much better than Windows does. They may add more RAM, but even if they don't, Linux performs better than Windows. Not needing AV and antimalware software running all the time gets rid of the performance hit the protective software causes in Windows. A full installation of VL 6 Standard plus additional software takes up less drive space that XP requires. That makes it easier to live with the small hard drive.

My grandson uses the computer mainly for Web browsing, in particular playing games hosted on Web sites for kids. He may use AbiWord for homework, isn't really into e-mail at this time, and doesn't edit photos. He should not have to deal with managing the operating system much.

It's certainly no harder to browse the Web under Linux than under Windows--easier, actually, because you don't have to worry so much about drive-by infections and clicks that unintentionally install malware.

I think there are millions of people in this same situation who would have everything to gain and nothing to lose by adopting Linux. I think one reason they don't is they have no idea what Linux is like. "What does it look like? Can I do the things I do now under Windows? Is it hard to use? Will my Internet connection work?" I wish there were more opportunities to show Linux in action. We need a billionaire to fund TV commercials that simply show people doing everyday things with Linux.
Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: sledgehammer on July 19, 2009, 11:42:54 pm
Can I rant?

I sometimes forget that Gates is not the culprit, that he is just doing what monopolists have done for the past 150 years, and that the real culprit is the government, for not having stopped him. Bush didn't bring even one anti-trust case in 8 years. But Obama is firing up the anti-trust laws, if for no other reason than to keep the Europeans from usurping our traditional role as the economic center of the world. I for one, am tired of constantly hearing that companies that should have been broken up years ago are now "too big to fail." Monopoly is, always has been, and always will be the cancer of capitalism. Why do we have to keep re-inventing the capitalist wheel?

Title: Re: Think I scared one away
Post by: nightflier on July 20, 2009, 05:23:58 am
I think it is important that there are choices and alternatives. It helps maintain balance in society. Too many are not aware of the freedom that is available to them. I try to explain to those who show interest, without being an "evangelist". It is important to be very honest, and not make unsubstantiated claims and promises.