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Author Topic: VL v Windows 2000 - A newbie view  (Read 13309 times)
GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2009, 04:42:59 pm »

I think it would be a good idea to have more complete descriptions. For example: X11--you need this for a graphical desktop. dev packages and kernel sources--you need this if you'll ever compile a program. Samba--you need this if you will network with Windows computers. And so on.

However, when I use the text installer I can't read the descriptions we already have because they don't fit on the screen. The right part gets cut off. I don't know of a solution because I don't know if type size can be selected in a text install.
--GrannyGeek
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toothandnail
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Vectorian
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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2009, 04:50:37 pm »

Type sizes probably not. However, it is possible to select the screen resolution that the install runs at. For example, entering

Code:
linux vga=791

at the boot prompt will set the screen resolution to 1024x768 for the install. I don't know if it would be possible to add a prompt to select the screen resolution for the install - I suspect it would need to be too early in the boot process. Maybe extra explanatory text could be provided to guide people to the best screen resolution.

paul.
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nightflier
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3939



« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2009, 05:35:52 pm »

An option similar to Microsofts "Let Windows decide" approach could work. Initial screen has two buttons, one labeled "Install", the other one "Advanced". The first one re-sizes any existing windows partition, sets up dual boot and installs everything, no questions asked. The second one allows the user to control the process.
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kidd
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Vectorian
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Posts: 682


« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2009, 05:50:19 pm »

I don't quite like it (at least with its namings) because if there's a defaut and an 'advanced' option, chances are that people (no matter what linux knowledge they have) will chose Default in 99.5% cases.

For example, I wouldn't like a distro that after clicking the 'default' option, it repartitioned my hard drive adding mount points for thinks it thought might fit me.  I can't stand distros that tend to think for me.   They're just to clever.

Smiley
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GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2009, 06:56:13 pm »

I don't quite like it (at least with its namings) because if there's a defaut and an 'advanced' option, chances are that people (no matter what linux knowledge they have) will chose Default in 99.5% cases.

Then I guess I'm in the .5% because I always use Custom, or at least see what sort of choices it gives me. Like you, I hate distros that decide for me what I should want.
--GrannyGeek
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Daniel
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Vectorian
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« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2009, 07:09:56 pm »

I kind of like the idea of a "Default" and "Custom/Advanced" option (though, like GrannyGeek, I also like doing custom setups) but taking into account kidd's thoughts, what if the "Default" option figured out what it was going to do and then told the user what it was going to do. The user would then have an option to change different steps, not resizing/not resizing a Windows partition or deciding that they don't want a full install for example. I think the part that's most confusing to new users is the partitioning step. (Not a fault of the installer but just in general.) Partitioning the drive, using primary or logical partitions, figuring out which filesystem to use... I think it would be good if this part at least were automated in the "Default" setup with the option of user intervention to change certain things if they want to.
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VL 6.0 SOHO KDE-Classic on 2.3 Ghz Dual-core AMD with 3 Gigs of RAM
w2ibc
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Vectorite
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GAHHHHHH!!!!!


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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2009, 01:22:04 am »

how about defult

defult - *WARNING! this will reformat and install vector linux on the entire hard drive, if you plan to dual boot with another OS please go back and chose advanced install (and make sure they have to press OK - ie. Defult -> above promplt = OK -/- Back (back takes you back to defult-/-advanced install) OK -> are you sure? YES -/- NO (no takes you back to defult -/-advanced) YES -> begin install

Advanced, gives you all the controll (what to install, partition edit,ect.)

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kidd
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Vectorian
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Posts: 682


« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2009, 03:01:59 am »

For me, the naming would be:

Default: lets you specify everything

Super Simple Install try-to-autodetect-everything-and-format-my-hdd: Use this only if you want vl to do what it thinks is better for you.

My message here is that people take the defaut option as the good one, without thinking much of it. I think it's more difficult to make an undoable change in the chose your options path than the easy one.

As an example, say I'm a windows boy that want to install linux, I install VL because I read somewhere about "keep it simple" Smiley. When I boot with the install CD,  one option (default) tells me it will do everythin for me, doing its best to give me good defaults.  The other option though, is scary and tells me lots of words I don't know their meaning: 'format, partition, package selection'... As I don't know a word about all this, I chose default thinking: "I'm sure default package selection will be better than the one I'd do". I won't finish the story, but I think you understand.  For me, the word default creates a fasle feeling of safeness.

On the other side, the installer is being rewriten, and probably, none of theese changes would make into the vl 6.0 soho.

One 'little' last point is that uelsk or vector should approve it.

Another one is: When we arrive to some kind of agreement, would there be any volunteers to help with this? (I'm very busy for next months so I cannot take the challenge)

« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 03:04:37 am by kidd » Logged

nightflier
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3939



« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2009, 05:06:49 am »

Super Simple Install try-to-autodetect-everything-and-format-my-hdd

Which brings us back to the question: What kind of simple do we want?

The above "Easy Button" would require a lot of underlying complexity. The effort involved would be considerable, only to cater to those who want constant hand holding. To keep them happy, a fully automatic installation would need to be accompained by a similar system after install. It would be necessary with myriads of daemons constantly working in the background, making decisions for the user. The rules need to be so good that they always make the right choices for all users. I will not be volunteering to write those.

There are distros spanning the spectrum from the extremes of "do it all yourself" to "all pre-packaged". VL is somewhere in the middle. I think it has a nice balance between useful tools and user control. This is why I settled on using it years ago. I would like to see it remain this way.

My vote is for keeping it "technically simple", where the user accepts a high level of manual control in return for speed and stability.
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M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3134



« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2009, 05:49:28 am »

Ironically enough, this is exactly why I chose vectorlinux as my primary system in the first place.
This was well before GUI installer and a lot of new gui tools were available.
VL has always been about "choice".

The truth of the matter is you simply can't make everybody happy.
The "try-to-autodetect-everything-and-format-my-hdd" thing will work for the n00b user that comes and goes after finding out he might have to open a terminal window to do something.

I think if VL is to live up to the "choice matters" motto, it cannot simply automate everything. Try for example installing the brown distro without a GUI, or without a bootloader. I'm sure it's possible, but not the most intuitive thing from their installer.

This is what gives every distro a personality... VL is not for everyone. Neither is the brown distro (that's why there are many linux communities out there).
Simply put... Linux IS NOT Windows and it NEVER will be.
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kidd
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Vectorian
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Posts: 682


« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2009, 06:01:43 am »

I mostly think the same as M0E and nightflier, this hybrid thing is what make me settle with vl.

That said, I think we cleared some things I'll try to summarize:

Installer requires a minimum knowledge, and this gives enoght flexibility to be able to install it in many forms

A Hand-holding install would require a horde of devs (that vl doesn't have).

If any brave programmer wants to have a stab at this feature, he/she will be very welcome.

Installer texts probably can be improved, but anyway, it won't make a great difference for total newbies that do not want to learn what a partition is.  Anyway, we could try to improve package descriptions in the new installer.


Anything else?

« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 07:36:47 am by kidd » Logged

GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2009, 05:09:05 pm »

I'll join the crowd that likes VL as a middle way: easy enough to install if you know a little but not for someone who doesn't want to fill in the blanks in his/her knowledge, yet not so difficult that you need to be a true geek to install it.

I wonder if many prospective users know that there is pretty complete illustrated documentation on the CD. I also wish prospective installers could be informed about opensourcebistro.com, with its many helpful videos. Those videos demolish the VL learning curve.

Although I went through a period where I tried out many distros, the reason I stuck with VectorLinux was the speed and the stability. Those are still more important to me than hand-holding and "do it for me."
--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
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2009, 10:21:29 am »

I think the installer is simple enough for most people as it is. Some distros are annoying with the hand holding, some are just impossible to install unless you have alot of linux knowledge. I think vector has a good compromise between the two.

I think vector is just as simple as say, a windows xp install, maybe it requires just a bit more general computer knowledge, but not much...

Steven
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RonB
Vectorite
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Posts: 120


« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2010, 04:02:27 pm »


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.

A few comments. Most Linux newbies do a full install because they don't understand what the various components do anyhow, so navigating through the choices in Vector Linux is a moot point here. I still usually do full installs, then selectively uninstall what I don't want. W2K may still get security fixes, but there's getting to be less and less application updates available. I think AVG recently stopped supporting W2K, for example.

As for ease of installation, Vector Linux was very easy for me -- but it's hard to gauge now if that's because I've stuck with Linux for 2 years now and just automatically know certain things. I do think some people tend to *overthink* everything and that gets them into trouble. I usually just do the standard install with Linux distributions and then learn enough to customize later.

Once Vector Linux is installed you have a complete system. Listen to music, play DVDs, watch AVIs, watch YouTube videos, burn CDs, write and read Microsoft documents and spreadsheets... all "out of the box." And it takes about 20 to 30 minutes.There is no way a Windows install will do that. I rebuilt my brother's kids' computer a month or so ago (it had gotten a nasty virus). I did a dual-boot install, Windows XP/Vector Linux Standard 6. (Games on the Windows side *all* Internet usage on the Vector Linux side.) The XP install, using the OEM Dell XP disk, took much longer. First I had to install XP, but then I needed drivers for the motherboard, built-on network port, built-on audio chip, and built-on video chip. I couldn't get to the Internet without first getting these drivers -- a Catch-22 situation. I could have downloaded the drivers on another machine but, since I had my Puppy Linux flash drive, I booted it up, was able to get to Dell's site within a minute or two, and was able to download the needed drivers to the Windows partition. Once I rebooted to Windows, loaded the drivers (which required a couple more reboots), I was on the Internet with XP. The first thing I do at that time is download Avast! (*before* doing the Windows updates) -- then Firefox, ect. But even then, you don't have a DVD player, no AVI or MP3s will play, you can't burn CDs, YouTube won't work, you can't read Microsoft Word or Excel documents -- you've still got a lot of work to do. It's something Windows users have been doing for years, so it's automatic and they don't realize how counter-intuitive it really is.

Vector Linux, on the other hand, takes about 20 minutes to install and another ten or so to update (using the high-speed Internet). Then you're done. You have a secure, stable and a very agile system that does everything you need "out of box." So, from that point of view, Vector Linux *is* simple, even by Linux standards. Even Ubuntu requires loading proprietary codecs and applications, although it's not much of a challenge anymore (though I don't use Ubuntu because it seems to "heavy" for me).

And, since I'm on my soapbox, one more comment. Others have kind of mentioned this, but some people in Linux need to quit trying to make it into Windows. Windows users, those who have learned enough to be able to fix other folks' Windows installs (which, unfortunately, is where I am) need to understand that they've put some time into learning Windows. It's come in bits and pieces, but if they look back there really *has* been a learning curve. Linux is different than Windows so it also requires a learning curve. But it's kind of like trying to learn to write with your left hand (or your right hand if your left-handed). Since you already know how to write with your right hand, you're impatient with your clumsy attempts to learn to use your left one. You don't want to apply yourself, because it's frustrating to not be able to just *do it.* That's where I was a couple years ago with Linux. I had played with it for years, dual-booting, trying it out, getting frustrated and giving up when I couldn't get something to work the way I wanted it to. But two years ago XP was going out and I knew I wasn't going to Vista (and I was fed up with all the anti-virus maintenance) so I decided that I was going to stick with Linux no matter what. And that's the point you have to get to if you really want to move to Linux. It does require a little effort, a little learning time. But, after a few months the bits of info start adding up and soon Linux becomes "intuitive." Once you get to that point, you realize how much simpler and more elegant Linux is than Windows. But you don't get there if you don't work your way through it. Now I'm forgetting Windows stuff and I absolutely hate fixing Windows computers -- because I find it convoluted.

(Man I rambled, sorry.)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 04:18:19 pm by RonB » Logged

RonB
Registered Linux User #498581
Vector Linux Deluxe 6.0 -- Optiplex GX270
Daniel
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Vectorian
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2010, 04:50:48 pm »

Once Vector Linux is installed you have a complete system. Listen to music, play DVDs, watch AVIs, watch YouTube videos, burn CDs, write and read Microsoft documents and spreadsheets... all "out of the box." And it takes about 20 to 30 minutes.There is no way a Windows install will do that. I rebuilt my brother's kids' computer a month or so ago (it had gotten a nasty virus). I did a dual-boot install, Windows XP/Vector Linux Standard 6. (Games on the Windows side *all* Internet usage on the Vector Linux side.) The XP install, using the OEM Dell XP disk, took much longer. First I had to install XP, but then I needed drivers for the motherboard, built-on network port, built-on audio chip, and built-on video chip. I couldn't get to the Internet without first getting these drivers -- a Catch-22 situation.

AMEN!!! That's one thing I like most about VL, (usually) no drivers to install after the main installation. I also went through the Windoze driver fiasco a while back.

Once I rebooted to Windows, loaded the drivers (which required a couple more reboots), I was on the Internet with XP. The first thing I do at that time is download Avast! (*before* doing the Windows updates) -- then Firefox, ect. But even then, you don't have a DVD player, no AVI or MP3s will play, you can't burn CDs, YouTube won't work, you can't read Microsoft Word or Excel documents -- you've still got a lot of work to do. It's something Windows users have been doing for years, so it's automatic and they don't realize how counter-intuitive it really is.

Heh, heh. Exactly.

And, since I'm on my soapbox, one more comment. Others have kind of mentioned this, but some people in Linux need to quit trying to make it into Windows. Windows users, those who have learned enough to be able to fix other folks' Windows installs (which, unfortunately, is where I am) need to understand that they've put some time into learning Windows. It's come in bits and pieces, but if they look back there really *has* been a learning curve. Linux is different than Windows so it also requires a learning curve. But it's kind of like trying to learn to write with your left hand (or your right hand if your left-handed). Since you already know how to write with your right hand, you're impatient with your clumsy attempts to learn to use your left one. You don't want to apply yourself, because it's frustrating to not be able to just *do it.* That's where I was a couple years ago with Linux. I had played with it for years, dual-booting, trying it out, getting frustrated and giving up when I couldn't get something to work the way I wanted it to. But two years ago XP was going out and I knew I wasn't going to Vista (and I was fed up with all the anti-virus maintenance) so I decided that I was going to stick with Linux no matter what. And that's the point you have to get to if you really want to move to Linux. It does require a little effort, a little learning time. But, after a few months the bits of info start adding up and soon Linux becomes "intuitive." Once you get to that point, you realize how much simpler and more elegant Linux is than Windows. But you don't get there if you don't work your way through it. Now I'm forgetting Windows stuff and I absolutely hate fixing Windows computers -- because I find it convoluted.

I definitely agree. Windows is not Linux.

(Man I rambled, sorry.)

That's ok. (though it was one of the longest posts I've seen here  Wink )
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