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Author Topic: VL v Windows 2000 - A newbie view  (Read 14121 times)
vans
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« on: September 18, 2009, 05:28:25 am »

I have two old Compaq M700 laptops, one is 750 mhz the other 850 mhz. They have not been used for ages, so I decided to set them up as netbooks  for the younger members of the family, who are just getting into the internet, mostly for school homework. I thought that perhaps you may be interested in feedback from a complete newbie.

Both laptops have Windows 2000 produce keys, so I thought I would load Windows 2000 on one and a Linux Disto on the other.

Windows 2000

The beauty of Windows 2000, is it is easy. If I had a spare copy of XP it would have been even easier. Just put the disk in the CD and hit OK a few times and you have an operating system. Windows updater works OK, but you to keep rebooting.

Drivers are easy, download a few from HP and Linksys and I have WiFi.

Add free versions of a firewall and virus checker, plus Open Office, Firefox and Thunderbird and I have the start of a nice laptop.

Because it is a clean install it boots quicker than VL.

Linux - General.

Linux, is not simple for a beginner. The first issue is which Distro. There are loads of them. Ofter the homepages are not helpful, written with an established user in mind not for a clueless would be user. I spent two weeks going through Distros. Some would not load, other would partly load. This meant lots of time Googling and using strange commands to prevent drivers loading etc. Some would load without a problem, but I would then find something important would not work (normally WiFi). More Google.

So my first impression of Linux is it is hard. You have to really want it on your PC. I accept my laptops are old and a new PC may well have been easier.

The upside, is that they come with complete software packages. The other upside is the forums. The one that really stands out in my very limited experience is the Slax forum. I asked three or four basic questions and the answers came back very quickly. In one case in a few minutes.


VectorLinux


I found VL outstanding. It is really easy to load and has lots of software built in. My WiFi worked perfectly within a couple of minutes. The forum is very helpful

Conclusion

So far, I would say that VL is much quicker to install and setup than Windows, because of all the Windows software that has to be installed individually.

Windows 2000 boots quicker, but will slow as I add more software.

Adding new software to Windows is much easier than VL (you just hit the install button).

In use, my young testers show no preference.

I think I may well stick with VL, I think it has a lot going for it.

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M0E-lnx
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3179



« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2009, 05:37:28 am »

I think there will always be a learning curve anytime you move from one OS to another.

I supposed if a linux user who has not used windows in ages might find himself missing a few things if he suddently went for windows.
Same can be said about just any OS I guess.

You see, Linux is not for everyone. There are people who are not willing to do anything other than point and click. If they have to so much as search for a driver or search for an application to open a document or find a way to change a setting, will turn around and give up. Linux is not for that kind of people.

But I'm glad you're willing to stick with VL. I hope you're using VL-Light on that laptop btw, should be a better fit for it than STD is.
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2009, 10:44:03 am »

As everyone on this forum knows, I'm not a Windows basher. But here are a couple of points against W2K:

* It is very obsolete. You will be limited to older software because new Windows software often requires at least XP. Microsoft no longer supports W2K, which means security holes won't be patched.

*  Drivers for new hardware may be hard to come by. Manufacturers don't bother with drivers for obsolete operating systems.

*  I've never had W2K on any of my computers, but I do support some computers that have it. I don't recall boot time comparisons. I do know that on my XP computers and my now-deceased Vista computer it took a lot longer to boot and *be ready for use* than VectorLinux takes. Although the desktop shows quickly with Windows, you can't really do much because there is still a lot of disk activity. After the desktop loads, you still have drivers, antivirus downloads, stuff that runs in the background, etc. It can take two minutes or more before disk activity stops and you can have full use of your system. With VL, I'm using programs in less than a minute. Once I log in, the system is ready for use.

I'm glad you are enjoying VectorLinux. I've come to the conclusion that it's actually not harder than Windows, it's just that most of us have used Windows and are used to the Windows way, which is not the same as the Linux way. I think if we were all starting out with a blank slate and we used Linux first, the Linux way would seem easier than the Windows way. It's all what you're used to. Years ago Linux was definitely harder to use, but now it is very easy to set up and use a distro like VectorLinux.

"Adding new software to Windows is much easier than VL (you just hit the install button)."

Actually, it's even easier in VectorLinux if you use the VL repositories and Gslapt. You just find what you want, click on Install, click on Execute, and everything you need to run that program will be downloaded and installed on your computer and an entry to start it will be put in the system menu (like the Start button). You can do the same for multiple packages and have them all installed without doing a thing except click on Execute.

"In use, my young testers show no preference."

I don't let visitors (especially children) use my Windows computers. Too much risk of getting malware. You never know what they might click on. So my grandchildren use Firefox under VL when they visit. The computer users' ages range from 8 to 13. They have never complained or shown the least sign of being unhappy. They also don't ask for help because they can figure out what to do on their own and heaven forbid they asked Granny how to do something. Smiley  Granted, they're not administering the system, but in use they are perfectly contented. They also like Frozen Bubble (so do I) and when I set up a laptop with VectorLinux 6 Standard for my 11-year-old grandson, I installed several games that would work decently on the fairly anemic hardware.

Being much less of a target for malware because of design and a small user base, Linux is infinitely easier to keep clean. This is an advantage for every user but especially when children will be using the computer.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
Andy Price
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Vectorite
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Posts: 237


« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 01:24:25 am »

Just to add a little to the other comments. Win2k is regarded by some as the best version of Windows - compact, fast, stable and with the "classic" Windows interface. It is certainly less demanding of hardware than XP, which is really just Win2k with a pretty face and a lot of fancy wizards. I still use it on a couple of low-spec notebooks (P2s with 128 MB RAM) and find that nearly everything which runs on XP will also run on 2k. Granny Geek is of course right that it is now obsolete and unsupported by MS, which is a shame in my opinion.

It's very interesting how our experience colours our judgement. I used to think that Windows was much easier too. But if, Vans, you re-read what you said about installing drivers and software on Windows and then asked a complete novice to do it without help, I think they would not find it easy to go scouring the internet for drivers (especially) or free versions of virus scanners etc. and then answer all the questions during the installation process. When you've done it for years it's second nature of course - which is what makes Windows "easy".

Anyway, welcome to VL and it will be interesting to hear what you think on this subject after a few more months.
Andy
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Diggs
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2009, 07:48:29 am »


VectorLinux

I found VL outstanding. It is really easy to load and has lots of software built in.

Are you kidding or is this a seasoned VL user who has no idea of the new Linux user experience and is just trying to pump up this distro?  I run several other Linux distros and this is by far the worst for a new user I have ever seen.  A new user is supposed to know if they need X11.tlz, dev.tlx, Samba and utilities?  Or heaven forbid if you make one of those choices, say Xorg for example, then the user has to decide if they want cups, jre (WTF is jre?), gftp (a multi-threaded ftp client with both text and GYI)!  Pffft!  I don't need to go on.  These choices shouldn't even be on the install but aptget or a synaptic package manager.  This is a distro by Geeks for Geeks and leave a new user totally baffled. New Linux users should run, not walk away from this distro.  Say it up front so you don't get casual users who want to try Linux blundering into this distro and getting so pissed and confused they never try a Linux distro again.

And along with several Linux distros I run a couple of machines with Win2KPro on them.  Security updates still come through on a regular basis thank you very much.  I don't mean to be a newbie here bashing away, but the false information seems to flow.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 07:57:11 am by Diggs » Logged
kidd
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Posts: 682


« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 07:54:28 am »

For a windows user, there's nothing better than another windows install.

If that's your point, I think I understand you.

If you have something more interesting to say, please, go on.

We won't ban you if you take a more constructive direction.

Have fun.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 07:56:12 am by kidd » Logged

Diggs
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Posts: 3


« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2009, 08:00:14 am »

We won't ban you if you take a more constructive direction.

Have fun.

You won't ban me for pointing out the falsities in your discussions?  How nice of you.  The reason I am here is I am totally frustrated with a distro that is promoted as one thing and in actuality ends up as something entirely different.  For that you don't seem to care and will do me the favour on not banning me.  How straight of you mate.

Window user?  As I mentioned, I run several Linux distros including my main machine.  There was no comparison to Windows done, only other Linux distros.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 08:02:29 am by Diggs » Logged
kidd
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Vectorian
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2009, 08:26:27 am »

Diggs,

I wouldn't like to start a flame (that's not the spirit of this community), but you have to understand that being your first post and just writing that newbies should not walk but run away from VL is not a very (ehem) nice way to break into a community.

If you have installed slackware or gentoo, or arch, you know what does it means a newbie scaring distro.

I suppose the comparison with ubuntu is a must.

Well, IMO vectorlinux needs a little more knowledge than ubuntu to be installed, but not that much more knowledge to have a functional box.

If a total newbie wants to install linux wihtout knowing anything about linux, and without wanting to read/learn anything about linux, then, for me it's ok he/she stays far away from here (maybe ubuntu will be a better choice then).

But (IMO) if a newbie that wants to start learning while having a functional box, vl is a nice distro for him/her.

Does one need to know what's X11? Well, in case one doesn't want to install X, yes.  I don't know how to install ubuntu (desktop) without X11.

JRE is the same java runtime environment that the user has to install on windows.  I'm not saying that a given newbie should know it, but everyone knows about google, right?

One of the reasons I use vl is that I install it (20minutes) and I have a system that can play mp3,avi,mpg, flash, java applets and the like.  I can't do this in any other distro I've tried.  And I can take a cd with me, install, and have all that wihtout the need of an internet connection.

Maybe it's a little more difficult than other linux distros, but I thing the tradeoff for flexibility is well worth .

Obviously, noone is going to ban you, it was only my sense of humour + I'm not native english speaker, so that joke may be bad written + I don't have permissions to ban anyone Smiley

Said that, you're very welcome to point out rough edges and so, but please, think a bit of them, pros, cons, and alternatives.  We're not a closed community, we like to improve VL, but with a post like "this sucks", we can't make much of it.

Have fun
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 08:51:25 am by kidd » Logged

Diggs
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2009, 08:41:43 am »

My apologies for coming on more than a bit strong.  I took the time to register not to bash (no pun intended) but to truly point out the fallacy of VL being a simple distro.  What got me here was on Distrowatch the description of VL is-

"The creators of Vector Linux had a single credo: keep it simple"

I am not a newbie with Linux.  As I mentioned, I run several distros on several different machines (yes, including Ubuntu for my daughter).  The level of my frustration during the install was such that I backed out and went looking for another distro.  I would not use the word simple for the VL install.

Obviously this is not a distro for me or most others it appears for that matter.

 I wish all the best. 
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kidd
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Vectorian
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Posts: 682


« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 08:48:15 am »

Now that you say it, you make a good point.

Keep it simple.

I never actually thought about it, but it can be misleading.

I think that the Keep it simple motto, refers more in a techie sense than a user side sense.

I always read keep it simple like in a KISS meaning. Using this meaning, slackware is the most simple distro.

It usually means it doesn't run special daemons that manage mounting points, or access rights to partitions.

Should we try to change the motto? or we can try to make up a sentence that specifies the difference between "keep it simple" and "keep it easy" or "click and run".

It's nice you have noted it nonehteless.

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Daniel
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Vectorian
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Posts: 704


WWW
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 12:17:43 pm »

I think the "Keep it simple." is good but a few things need to follow that more closely. The installer was one of the issues mentioned and (though it is a definite improvement over the text installer) it could still be a little more user friendly. The package selection for example: (which has already been touched on) Some of the package descriptions such as the one for X11 might need a little clarification so that new users would know that they need that package to have a GUI. Something like this: "X11: You will need this package if you want a graphical desktop." which doesn't tell them what exactly the package is but says what it does and why they would want it. The description of Gftp (which has also been mentioned) might be reworded from "A multithreaded FTP client" (which confused me a little when I first installed VL) to: "An FTP client capable of using several different file-transfer protocols." Yes, these are not the "official" package descriptions but they could be worded this way for the installer to make it easier for new users to know what packages they want.

Another thing that might be done to the installer is to provide more details on the screens of the installer or have detailed help files available from the installer.

If new users can find it easy to install VL, then they will likely stay with it. We need a balance between technical details that seasoned users might want and new user user-friendliness that a new user will want.
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The following sentence is true. The previous sentence is false.

VL 6.0 SOHO KDE-Classic on 2.3 Ghz Dual-core AMD with 3 Gigs of RAM
nightflier
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Vectorian
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Posts: 4022



« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2009, 01:00:54 pm »

I guess it depends where you apply the label of "simple".

A manual auto transmission is mechanically much simpler than an automatic one. I think that's what the credo refers to.

Of course, it takes more practice to learn how to drive a stick than an automatic.
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StrayBit
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Posts: 373



« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2009, 01:54:21 pm »

After frantically working on getting VL to work for more than a year, I will say that it is the one that I COULD work with!  After all this time, I've come to the conclusion that my HDs were failing.  (I've been using machines that had only run Win98!)  At first, I did have many errors - probably of my own making - with the new gui installer.  My last half dozen installs went flawlessly with it and it was the same cd I burned last Spring.  I will say VL is much more newbie friendly than Slackware that it is based on - I had no idea with that one what I needed to install and what not to as I had smaller HDs then.

Before I started with VL, I had tried SW, DSL, Puppy, Ubantu and a few others.  While DSL or Puppy did allow me to salvage some files from NTFS, I could do nothing with any of these.

I'm no expert but I will say that VL is easier for the newbie than any others that I have tried.  And when I've had difficulties, the people here went overboard trying to help.
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w2ibc
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GAHHHHHH!!!!!


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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2009, 02:01:54 pm »

Keep is Simple - idk with that i can take it 2 ways. keep it simple for linux-newbies or just keep the os as simple as possible (ie you install just a basic system and you add on what you want like pidgin,opera,ect)

i seen a point about the installer - its not to bad, but if you dont watch carefully you can bugger it up.. maybe over time VL will get to a simple "ubuntu" type installer. but it dose take time and testing.

I wish i had found VL much much sooner
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kidd
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2009, 02:06:12 pm »

Let's be pragmatic.

What we can do to effectively improve things?

If putting more verbose descriptions will help (while not hiding the real techie info), we should do it.

Is there a way to reach the text strings of the installer? if anyone knows where to get it, please, open a thread in the "Distro Develompment" section with the descriptions and we (community) could try to make up something.

I'm not particularly good at finding good descriptions, but if other people volunteer, it could be a good movement for the distro.

What do you think guys?
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