Friday, March 27, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 31

Easter Eggs - fish, cows, elephants, and snakes Oh My! :)

Thanks again to Mackenzie I have learned about Easter Eggs. She had this command at the bottom of one of here posts to #Ubuntu-devel (apt-get moo), I figured she was safe so I ran the command. It gave me an ASCII Cow that says "Have you mooed today". I thought it was great. pgraner heard me laughing and looked over my shoulder for a change and said, "it's fun watching you learn all this."

I googled the command (apt-get moo) and learned that things like that are called Easter Eggs. For those who don't know the definition go to www.eeggs.com. I learned that Easter Eggs aren't just in software, you can find them in movies, video games, even TV shows.

I freed fish yesterday, I love having a fish swim across my screen. (Alt+F2 then type "free the fish" without the quotes. I even killed the cows with the fish in an strange asteroid's type game (Alt+F2 (run), then type: "gegls from outer space" (without the quotes).) There are some other ones too I found but, it was more fun finding them for myself than having someone tell me. I'll give you a hint. Snake and Elephant. ("The Little Prince" is my favorite book, from when I was a kid, so if you find that one and you know the quote from the book you should enjoy it.:) )

What else am I learning. Right now I am just using my computer. I need to go an see how many updates are for my MAC (G4) as I haven't picked it up since I started this. It might even need to be dusted off. The poor MAC air is still in my backpack. Eek....I might need to take it out and make sure it is still in awesome working order as well. (I am chuckling as I type this, I never thought I would ever, in a million years go without them. anyway.)

I am learning to be patient with myself in this learning process. I think I want everything yesterday. (Don't we all do that at times?) Then we settle in to a routine and away we go. I think it's like when we are children, we learn without knowing we are learning. For instance, we learn to walk and talk about the same time. We toddle and say a few words, then when we are walking without falling over we begin to put sentences together, and get into trouble (those terrible 2's and troubled 3's), but we learn the rules and how to become a productive yet an individual member of our families and as we grow, our communities, but we learn all of this without someone telling us, "now you are learning."

I think that is what is happening with Ubuntu and I. Going from a Stable release (Intrepid) to Jaunty (Alpha) then Jaunty (Beta) I am learning how an operating system "grows up" and I see this and learn about how that happens, I too am learning.

So today, I am learning. Growing a little more each day. So I hope there are those who will go "Easter Egg Hunting" even before Easter Arrives. The site I listed has the definition, and all the places you can find them. I love the movie ones and can't wait to re-watch a few just to see.:)

Have a great day, more later.... I think every average end user, should be excited, this stuff is great! (yes, I am really that excited...You should have been around me when I got my Mac...I went around forever saying "it just works!" now most people in my family have Mac's. Now I am saying, "you gotta' try Ubuntu".) :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 30

Education and Apologizes through Comments - Thanks Everyone! I love learning Ubuntu and the personalities which make it what it is. :) Isn't it GREAT!

MPT - Thank you for clearing up the reason for your remarks. (see comments post 29). I did not in any way mean to paint you in a bad light. Which was the reason I stated that I was surprised by the remark. My sincere apologizes if that's the way it seemed. I am trying to figure out where in the Open Source Community end users like me (those who only use, and try when appropriate to give back.)

ScottK - I realize that developers are users too. If I inadvertently inferred that everyone: contributors, developers, and average users alike were not all users that was not my intent. No matter what skill level you have anyone who uses Ubuntu (or whatever flavor of Linux) are all users and part of the Ubuntu community and the greater community of Linux users.)

Ted - I am not trying to speak for all users in anyway. I am trying to encourage users like me,(the non-technical, non-developer), to seek and find a place in the community. That they have a voice and should use it. If they don't know they have a voice, how can they learn to use it.

Also, why do I need to update daily, because I am running Jaunty, Beta after today. However, even before I ran the script that Mackenzie gave me, There was NO window popping up. Something is/was broken. I had nothing telling me there were updates, yet I knew there were updates some days during alpha you can have updates every couple of hours. It is not that my computer is doing that much work, it is that thanks to the developers things are being fixed at a steady pace. (and that is a sincere THANK YOU!, for all the hard work you all do, I WISH I could do 1/10th of what you all can do) That is what Alpha is all about if I understand it correctly. Beta things slow down. So, that is why I want to update daily. I mentioned that I waited a week and it took a few days to get everything synced back up.

I posted to Jono's ( Jono Bacon) new sampling of Art of Community yesterday, that my understanding of Community is narrowing, yet my understanding of participants (contributors) is growing. I hope that makes sense. I am anxious to read Art of Community this summer and see if my perception changes or if my understanding is in focus.

The user group I was referring to is those who use the OS Ubuntu, like me, who don't write code, don't hack the kernel, can't do the artwork, haven't learned how to edit documents yet, those things, they all require some level of skill that the user like me does not have (yet). The process of learning takes time. I am a desktop user, I want to help. I find it exciting to learn the ends and outs of this Ubuntu community. (Please before someone else say it's user vs. whomever, that is not my intent, but unfortunately there is a separation, and that's OK. :) ) I think the Universe that Ubuntu and other Linux distros circle in and around is big enough for that.)

I find that it is like moving to a new city. I enroll my kids in the school I choose. I figure out what church to go too. I see what the community offers new people. Where I fit in. If I had a job I'd figure out how that works into the community. All these things have many different avenues to participate in, and some of them even overlap into other areas. Home, School, Church, Job, City, this and more make up the Community. It ripples out to all areas. I could keep going, but I think you get the idea.

It (Ubuntu) is easy to use. I just find it hard to find a place to contribute. So I am working on my skills so that other than saying, 'I like this" or "I don't like this", I'll be able to do something else. I am trying to show other non-developers that they have a place in this community, without taking anything away from the significant contributions of those developers, because without them (the developers), then people like me would not have a place to even begin to use a Linux OS and in this case Ubuntu. It is circular.

Thanks Everyone! I'm enjoying learning but, where's my GPS for the Ubuntu Community. :) Again, thanks for all the comments. There is so much to learn and so many places to go to find things. I learn so much from all the comments please keep them coming!

ps I think I fixed it, but I wanted to apologize to Noel J. Bergman for accidentally putting Joel instead of Noel. Should be correct now. (post 29)

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 29

Update Notifier Icon

Thanks to a friend of Mackenzie's and the command he gave Mackenzie to help me, I have my Notifier Icon BACK :) and it works! I didn't use the command line I used Gconf editor but still followed the directions. The only time I used the command line was to kill and restart. Here is what she gave me so if you are wondering how you can get yours back just in-case Canonical/Ubuntu is not going to give it back automatically here it is.

gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false and then kill and restart update-notifier will get the icon for update-notifier back.

killall -9 update-manager (that will kill it)
run update-manager (that will restart it)

Also, I was asked to comment on the following Bug: 332945
I saw the thread and I think there is nothing I can add except say, "me to", to wanting it back, but thanks to Mackenzie and her friend, I now have it back.

Now having said that I found some of the comments interesting and I thought I would share some of those comments here. I was very surprised at the responses from the Canonical/Ubuntu folks. You can decide for yourself what you think as an end user or developer. Right, Wrong, or indifferent. I think this is just one thing that points to why some end users should be part of the decision making.

I am sure there are some end users that know how to watch and listen then comment where it's needed. Those who can go to UDS to be the End User Reps/Advocates (or whatever you want to call them). Those who go not to get support, not to be in the way but, take the list and say this is what the average user wants (puts a name and face on the end user). I know there is a team of people to represent the "community" and to a greater extended community. I am not sure that Community had been defined to the degree it should be. I don't think there is anything wrong with separating the two ("community and user community) However, just make it clear and define the groups within each community in a positive way without putting one above the other, but side by side working together. I looked up the non-technical things that users could do, those things still require some technical skills. (Artwork, Wiki Pages, Translations), but that's another story.

Below are some of the comments on the BUG listed above.
(Bug Number 332945)

Matthew Paul Thomas
comments (complete comment can be found in the bug, or click on Matthew Paul Thomas above and see the complete comment.

"Curses, our secret plan has been uncovered! Canonical is indeed trying to degrade Ubuntu, make it less secure, and drive average business and personal users away. The orange star icon was a paragon of obviousness and clickability, so it just had to go.

But seriously, we did not design this behavior yesterday on the back of a napkin. We discussed it publicly at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in December..." He goes on to say that is is a security issue is why they changed it. However, discussing it publicly at UDS in like "preaching to the Choir" in my humble opinion. When he says "discussed publicly at UDS" that really translates to "it was discussed among developers". Why does scarism have to go into the comments. End users just like certain things, there is no reason to be condisending to us.

Noel J. Bergman's comment makes the rebuttal to Mathew Paul Thomas.
Matthew Paul Thomas (green) Joel (Blue) for those who get the feed with no color >Matthew Paul Thomas and the one below those are Noel J. Bergman's.

"> Curses, our secret plan has been uncovered! Canonical is indeed trying to degrade Ubuntu,
> make it less secure, and drive average business and personal users away.

No one has said that there is any malicious intent. That's just a defensive reaction on your part. But nor do we like the direction that you have taken with this change.

> We discussed it publicly at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in December

Yes, I was there. Oh wait, no I wasn't. Nor was more than an insignificant fraction of the Ubuntu community. Most of us first got wind of the change when it dropped in our laps, and now we're letting you know how we feel about it..."

As I mentioned above, if you go to that bug you can read all the comments.
You can decide for yourself or add to the bug.

Thanks Mackenzie for the Fix, and thanks BUGabundo for the link to the BUG. Much appreciated.

I have found that unless I update my computer daily, then things are out of sync and I only get partial installs. I am told that that is normal for an alpha release. I hoping from Beta forward things should be different. :) I have a spare machine that I will use to test the Beta release on Thursday. I have recently found out about the QA Team's testing procedures.

Here are a few example links..
http://testcases.qa.ubuntu.com/Applications/Nautilus
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Testing/UbuntuTestingDay/20090302 (There are details on the page for today's testing)

I am not trying to be difficult in this matter...it's just if you don't know something is broken how can you fix it. I think the end user's voice is really not being heard. Having said that I know that Jono Bacon has sent out a list of the top Brainstorm ideas to the developers and that they will be discussing them at UDS in May. To me that's cool.

See I am learning more and more each day. This is great stuff! :)
More later...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 28

Beginner Areas and Awe

The last post of Community v. "Community" was supposed to invoke discussion on the subject, and I think it got a little of track, but that's OK, I got some great information for me and other new users and have listed them below.

I freely admitted that it was just a bump in the road and could be fixed. Perception is reality. That was my perceived reality a few days ago. I found it difficult to find a place to begin (not to use just to contribute). (I am impatient and have indicated that in several posts, as I am sure more people than me have this wonderful trait;) )

I have since been directed to several places that I did not even know about. Since pgraner was not allowed to help me I wish someone would have pointed these out weeks ago. ;)

Ubuntu Forums
Ubuntu-news
Brainstorm (as mentioned before)
Beginners Team Education Focus Group
Ubuntu Classroom
Absolute Beginners Talk - Forum
Ubuntu Pocket Guide - PDF
#Ubuntu-Classroom - freenode

So there ARE ways for people new Ubuntu to learn and become more involved. I have to tell you I am also learning about how to use google as a focused search tool, and how important "key words" and "Tags" are.

I waited a couple days to see what new and exciting insights the comments would bring. As you can see discussions about many things have occurred. I am excited about the new avenues for me as well as other beginners to pursue. I am sure there are other wiki's within Ubuntu, I just haven't found them all yet.

To the people that posted UDS was not for users/beginners; then change the wording. The wiki has the best wording. I read three different write ups all within Ubuntu and words like "guests and gurus" (that to me suggests all ranges of users) "Social and strategic highlight of each release" (suggests it is work and networking for all) The first paragraph on UDS (Ubuntu News) sounds like it is open to anyone, when it says "Open to the Public", I was just disappointed when I got to the end and it said, "not for the end user". I guess that's why it's called Ubuntu DEVELOPERS Summit, I am learning more on that subject as well. I'm just excited..That is all. The excitement doesn't end just because I got schooled on UDS! ;)

I thought if UDS wasn't open to end user then there might be a Ubuntu User Conference of some type somewhere. There is no big user event sponsored by Canonical/Ubuntu. I guess I was hoping there would be something like the MACWORLD User Conference that's all (not on that scale but small conference by comparison). Before I get "beat up" I understand why there isn't. That just might be the next cause I champion. I'll have to let you know.

Realizing that since Ubuntu 4.10 released in Oct, 2004 and it's only 2009 now, Canonical/Ubuntu has come a long way, I have to say I am humbled. I saw the Open Source Community and Linux develop since 1993; never a user only watching over pgraner's shoulder and the things he was doing. What I saw of Linux over the years; 10+ years of watching and then around 2004/2005 I tried Linux and I still could not use it on my own. Now Ubuntu comes along, and what Canonical/Ubuntu has done in a short 5 year period of time, I am in AWE that it (Linux) is now usable by beginners like me.

Thanks for comments!!!! Please keep it up...I'll keep blogging..(AND LEARNING)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 27

Community V. "Community"

Here's my bump in the road...I am sure it can be fixed I am just not sure how.

I said when I started I was going to point out what I thought was "the good, the bad, and the ugly", from me the novice average user Linux person (with the understanding I don't know the why behind things, but only what I see and use)

I also mentioned in an earlier post, I learned about the Ubuntu Brainstorm. For me the average end user, it seems like a gaggle. Meaning I could not readily see which ideas were being implemented (as some of the ideas are implementing changes in things I'm not familiar with) However, there are thousand's of ideas and in some cases thousands of votes. The wiki page does tell you some info, but the ideas aren't commented that they have been implemented on the Brainstorm page.

The things I had trouble with is when I searched the Brainstorm site was how do I (or any average user) know, (since it is for average users to leave comments on):

1)what has been implemented (siting Version it was implemented in and thus keeping people from adding comments and time on something already in place),
Move it to a Brainsorm place: ideas implemented.

2)what can't be done, because it is out of Ubuntu/Canonical's hands due to 3rd Party constraints, why can't a comment be made as to the why not and move to a Brainstorm Place: Ideas we can't do yet (Voting and commenting can still continue)

3) What won't be done and why. Move to a Brainstorm Place: Won't be done and why.

4) What might be considered at a later date. Move to A Brainstorm Place: under consideration and voting and commenting can still continue.

I talked to people about the Communities and what that does that mean to the average/novice Linux user? Community means those who are any combination of the following: advocates, users, contributors and developers.

However, in just 4 weeks I am getting the impression that when it comes to having input on a new releases that "Community" means contributors and developers only. That only technical people's ideas and contributions are the only thing taken into consideration. The only input the average user has is to go to brainstorm. Here's the wiki for Brainstorm.

So Ubuntu says we want all the Community to participate in our developments yet, what they are really saying is we only value the opinions of the "Community" (developers and technical contributors)

I am sure the idea of allowing non-technical users to say "hey this is what I would like and why" letting them ask questions and have someone explain in terms the average user/Novice user can comprehend is a new maybe out of the box idea. (We are not stupid, it's just like learning a new language it takes time) However, if you are marketing to the average user, then the average users opinion should be taken under consideration.

I am NOT saying that the Channel Communities see it that way. I guess what I am saying is those who make the decisions on these Linux distro's "talk the talk", but I am not satisfied that they "walk the walk"

Please don't come back and say "hey you've only used this for 4 weeks, what do you have to say, translated what can you contribute? Newbie."
Sometimes it is the new person that will see things others don't. Asks the questions that people who have been "doing it that way forever", don't ever think about. You know "written for and by techies" seems to stand true.

I am not saying this for me alone, but if there are over 8 million Ubuntu users then they all aren't developers or technical people, they can't be. What happens when more and more (and it will happen, because ubuntu is easy) average users decide to go the way of Ubuntu, they realize that all the literature they read says "there is a place for you regardless of you technical knowledge", you get pointed to a direction, only to realize that even though you are a quick learner you need a little more help. Only to be pointed back to Brainstorm with a note that we might think what you have to say is important. However; if you were more technical you could contribute more then we could take what you have to say more serious. See how circular this is.

I for one like the ease of Ubuntu and I like the Community as it is intended to be for everyone. The Channels such as #Ubuntu-Women are great. I watch in some of the other channels because I am learning a process.

When I mentioned that the Linux OS you choose comes with a community and this is a great thing because you can contribute. I meant it. However, for people like me I am getting the feeling from "community" that it's the "oh that's nice, how sweet you have transitioned to Linux (any distro), yet thinking "oh jeez, here's another newbie we have to deal with."

I am not saying this and then walking away. When I a was in the Hospitality industry above almost every door in the "back of the house" (the part of the hotel you don't see) was a sign that said, "90% of most people won't complain, they just won't come back." Meaning the people who care and take the time to comment, want to see the hotel improve and they want to come back because they expect you to work on whatever their issue was. If you can't fix because it is out of your control you let them know and give them the channel they need to go to to help you fix the problem, and do what you can to make their stay more satisfying. I said that to say: I want to stay with Linux, Ubuntu is just the flavor right now, so I mention this to say I am sure I am not the only one feeling this way, and I am willing to learn and help where ever I can, but do I need to be more than an average user? That's the feeling I am getting.

Anyone else every feel this way? Just curious...

Here's an example:

http://www.ubuntu.com/news/spotlight/uds Look at What the Ubuntu Developer Summit Is "Is open to the Public" then look in Who Should Attend "It's not for end users...." So it's open to the pubic of developers, or did I get it wrong? So for the end user like me it feels like Mac and Windows, "hey you get what we give you, have fun." I am sure this is not the feeling that any distro of Linux wants the average end user to walk away feeling.

I bring this up, to invoke discussion and find ways to make the user community's voice heard in the direction of all Linux Distributions.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 26

Average user Mom and Linux

This Blog post is an answer to a comment I got from Mr. Pink.

Yes the Initial Project got a little of track. I'll give you that. However, in less than 3 weeks I was able to transition to my Dell Using Ubuntu (while sampling Fedora 10) and now 4 weeks later I still haven't picked back up my Mac yet.

Having said that, yes I am engaging in other aspects of the Open Source Community - because I can. It's an exciting part if the transition. I would have been perfectly happy to stay with Intrepid however; I was comfortable enough in 3 weeks to use Ubuntu and do all the stuff I needed to on a daily basis.

So, NO the experiment was not a failure in fact it was a success in under 3 weeks.

It took me over a month to get used to the Mac, there were moments when pgraner had to help. I almost threw the Mac out the Window. There were moments I wanted to go back to Windows. However, in a week with no help from pgraner I was comfortable with Ubuntu, and in 3 weeks was ready to learn more.

When I got my Mac I read books, I went to the Mac store to learn things, I bought new programs and had to figure them out. Learning is a natural progression of any transition. Just because you know the basics doesn't mean you stop wanting to know what else you can do with your computer.

I think you fail to realize that transitioning to any Flavor of Linux it comes with a community. This average user mom finds the community aspect of the transition fascinating. Who gets an operating system be it Windows or Mac and doesn't learn about it. (Where are those communities?, Where were they when I transitioned)

The same can be said for what I am doing with Ubuntu. The option to participate is there so I am exercising that option. Once anyone gets involved with any flavor the Linux you can't help but want to know more. "Linux Cheerleader" I don't think that is me other than I am enjoying learning (you can call it what you will). It's my opinion, and experience, that the transition to Ubuntu was easier than my transition from Windows to Mac. However, I transitioned from DOS to Windows, then to Mac.

In short, failure, NO! Far from it. In less than 3 weeks you can do it. Or at least I did. Now I am going on to the next step. Becoming involved. WHY?because I can.

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 25

I installed Alpha 6, but I was waiting for the update button to show up on my tool bar. I knew it had been released so I waited. Nothing, notta...

I was complaining how come everyone else said they had their updates. I was wondering how do I get mine and how will I know when they are out.

Well to my frustration the little alert that stays on your toolbar to let you know there are updates is not in Jaunty..ARRRRR! So learned that an update box pops up and lets you know there are updates but, if you don't install the updates when the box pops up it goes away after a while. Well that's great if you know what to do. I need something on the tool bar, I can even deal with a box that pops up, but it needs to go away only after I tell it to.

I learned to get the updates you go to Systems, administrations, then Update Manager. Then you can get your updates. To many mouse clicks. I liked one mouse click and bam there the updates. I liked the little notification on the tool bar. I guess I can deal with that. I can tell you that the average user would rather have something to remind them and not just pop up once and go away. I was disappointed to learn this. However, I can go with it. More average users need to join this. I know I saw it on a comment on Pete's blog "duh it's written for an by techies", but 90% of the desktop market is average users, and pulling them away from windows will be the test. I admire all the technical skills all the people who write the program and the things they do. However, I think they forget how average users work. I am not asking for Ubuntu to become windows or mac, I am just asking make it an easier transition.

I must admit it is really easy to use Ubuntu, I think as more average users transition and see how much input they can have they will like buttons too. :) The more they learn then more they will want to know the more technical and command line stuff and what happens behind the scenes, but until that happens....I like my button on the tool bar.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 24

I found an on-line Ubuntu Desktop Users course. In the 1st Module (overview) It is based on 7.10 but, it walks you through the history of Linux, Ubuntu, and Open Source.

The next Module/Lesson walks you through how to set up other users and work your way through the basics of the tool bar and some other applications.

It uses your OpenID account to login, and you can try out the 1st two modules/lessons for free.

I thought it was interesting since I love e-learning anyway. Now I am trying to convince pgraner to let me take the rest of the course.

Just trying to see what there is out there in the way of bringing a novice "up to speed" so to say. I think I mentioned I am a 3d learner; meaning reading, seeing, then doing - hands on but being walked through the basics.

When pgraner was at Red Hat there were all these courses that took you from zero (like this is a mouse stuff) all the way through to becoming an RHCE...(jeez I think I missed an opportunity for learning there, but my heart wasn't in learning Linux (in any flavor then) remember I was just frustrated with the whole thing then.

I found some places on-line, and people have given me some great links to start with but by and large the consensus is "just do".

Well when I switched from windows to Mac, by "just doing" I almost threw the Mac at pgraner, then it out the window. (Notice I am a little impatient) With Ubuntu I am allowing myself the time to figure out things and see what all the buttons do, and that sorta stuff. I decided to read a few books I found on pgraner's book shelf in his office. I go up there and find a book on GIMP I almost threw it at him, he saw me struggling to make my hackergotchi and never told me the book was up there. His answer, "You didn't ask and I am not helping - Remember." Now why did I say he couldn't help? Oh yea...because most average user moms don't have a kernel person in there home for instant support.

I am realizing that in the Maze of Ubuntu Wiki pages I am amazed at all the information that can be found. I ask people in the community and they point me in a direction and off I go.

I just learned about Ubuntu BluePrints. A better statement would be I learned how to find them, search through them to see if any I am interested in exist, and now the next step is to build upon those or create a new one. I was informed it is best to build upon an existing one.

I found there is a Ubuntu brainstorm area, and like most brainstorming you get from one extreme to the other, and go from there. That's why it's called Brain storming. I had a Col. in the Army that liked the term "skunkworks" which is a form of Brainstorming, but I am digressing.

I wanted to try the evolution email client. Well I found the instructions online and was reading them aloud, to make sure I had them right, pgraner heard me say ok Pop.whatever.com...(He said, stop...you want IMAP, so that's what I picked. He said something about having my mail stay on the server or get moved to my computer, I said stay on the server. I guess I almost moved over 5000 emails from the server when I really wanted them to stay. Ok, so something else I have to learn what is the difference in POP and IMAP protocols? Tomorrow is another day) It would have worked the other way too. pgraner usually tunes me out when I am talking or reading to myself, however when it comes to major changes I think he listens a little.

Evolution does remind me of Outlook (a lot). So if you are a Windows User and you like outlook you should like evolution. I think I will stick with google and all their stuff, but at least wanted to try it for a few days. Again I can use it if I have too. I just like the look and feel of gmail better (plus I don't 1000's of emails a day). Evolution locked a few times on me, and I had to restart it. There were a few emails that did not come through. So I rechecked all the filters and they should have made to Evolution but didn't. It's easy to set up if you know how to set-up and email client. I have always relied on pgraner. Again, I am learning I need to do some more things myself.

Though it he did mention that since I started all this, I haven't stopped talking in 4 weeks. I think he even mentioned I am not allowed in his office anymore between the hours of 8am and 5pm EST. I am just excited. Really excited, I realized my family was getting a little weary of my excitement too, when my sister called and asked, "does she read you her blog too, instead of just letting you read it." So now the joke is people only get my calls because pgraner isn't listening to me talk about Ubuntu any more. (he is happy I am learning; he just doesn't wait to *hear* a blow by blow account of everything I say or do as I am learning it.) Everyone else is the same way...."Amber we can *read* it, you don't have to read it to us."

See I am just excited. :) I feel like I just hit on an area of my brain that said "hey I'm awake now, where are we going next."

I know you all that have kids see this all the time, when they finally grasp a sport, or decide the new instrument they are learning can make music and not noise, (though I am still at the noise level myself no Ubuntu music yet.)

Ok Average User Description of the Open Source Community

I know the Open Source Community has existed for a while now, decades even. To those who aren't familiar with this Community let me try to explain to you. We have all been to a gathering (either at school, work, church, family etc). So picture the Open Source Community as a *large* gathering. Most gatherings have several groups within the larger group represented at the gathering. Also, at most gatherings there is a table or two that have various foods and drink on them. Everyone is invited to this gathering. Maybe you have heard the word Linux and Open Source but never accepted an invitation to attend. I have now decided to accept this invitation. I made in the door. Then wondered over to the corner to watch and see what was going on in this place. Finally, I decided to go to the table and sample the goodies on the table, except at this gathering the flavors aren't food but different disto's of Linux. I have sampled a few distro's and found one that agreed with my"palette". Which is Ubuntu. Now that I have sipped from the proverbial Ubuntu punch bowl it seems soothing and something I can comfortably navigate the gathering with. Now I am standing in front of the table holding my "cup" of Ubuntu trying to decide where to wander to next. The Ubuntu Community is a large group withing the gathering (Open Source Community) and, one you don't sprint through, you walk calmly though it exploring many things along the way. Where I go from here is any one's guess, but this is going to be a great "gathering"/Community to explore. I know I will meet those who enjoy the taste of many flavors of Linux and can learn a lot from them as well. Maybe that helps some people relate to this overwhelming Free and Open Source/Linux Community. Remember the invitation stands. Come join in.


Now I am off to manually download Alpha 6. If I am blogging tomorrow, then you know it worked. I not in two days you'll here why it didn't and what I had to do to fix it...:)

More tomorrow...:)

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

Part 23

Parental Controls part 2

I think people have misunderstood what I was trying to say about parental controls and Linux.

1) I wasn't speaking about me and my kids. - pgraner has put all the things on our network that are possible, and necessary, and I set up the parental controls on the Mac on top of that.

2) I raised the questions because my friends who I am trying to convert to Ubuntu or just look at the possibilities of Linux of any distro raised the questions. The honest answer was nope they don't come with parental controls built-in.

3) I am trying to get other groups such as churches and schools to take a look at Linux as well. (This is important issue to these groups as well)

I know that kids aren't necessarily smarter than kids of other generations they just have more technology at their disposal. There is no system that is not impenetrable, but our kids need to know and understand that we as parents are going to do all we can to protect them. We talking to them, spending time with them, making sure that if they are at a friends house the other other parents are informed and taking care of our kids when they are there, we send our kids to schools and we expect them to be safe in that environment as well.

I am not saying lock them in their rooms and keep them from the "big bad world". I am saying that I like Linux and I want to make sure that if Parents and the average users know that they can use Linux; and should they choose Linux, parents (and any group that deals with children) need an easy way to use parental controls.

I want more people to understand that Ubuntu is an easy, cost effective way to go. I want to be able to tell people, my average user friends, that the option is available. That's all no more no less.

I just wanted the conversation to begin.

Having said that, since people wondered about "predators" being on the internet, and the when did the Internet become scary, and why do we need to even worry. I am including a few websites that have some information that speaks to that.


http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-pornography-statistics.html#anchor
The information below comes from the above link
Children Internet Pornography Statistics

Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography 11 years old

Largest consumer of Internet pornography
35 - 49 age group

15-17 year olds having multiple hard-core exposures

80%
8-16 year olds having viewed porn online 90% (most while doing homework)

7-17 year olds who
would freely give out home address

29%
7-17 year olds who would freely give out email address

14%
Children's character names linked to thousands of porn links 26 (Including Pokemon and Action Man)

The below link is from the Center for missing and exploited Kids...
http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/ServiceServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=3072


Hope this helps people understand why the questions were raised. I thank everyone who gave me the names of applications to use.

Again, I was looking for any Linux OS that had built-in parental controls so I could help the average user make the transition, and this was part of the discussions they had with me.

Enjoy! More later...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu (this part includes Fedora and other Linux distros)

Part 22

Alright, I downloaded the LiveCD's of Both Fedora 10 and OpenSUSE (the bright green was bright). I have to say running both Versions live was the easy part.

However, when it came to installing, I was back to the same issues I had with Fedora 10 the 1st time. I could not install my printer without help and I wasn't going to ask pgraner for any help. I didn't have to with Ubuntu so my goal was not to this time.

So that ended my continuing any further with Fedora 10. (for the second time, the 1st time pgraner helped me. See earlier posts for the full details)

I went to install the LiveCD with OpenSUSE and even when I told it to use the whole HD it still would not overwrite everything and told me it could not be installed. (I tried every way it had but it would just not install)

So there ended my continuation with OpenSUSE.

The whole point to that was ease of installation. Neither were as easy as Ubuntu . I could spend everyday trying out a new flavor, however, for now and until I gain some more user knowledge of Linux ( I am reading Linux in a Nutshell now), then Ubuntu is the flavor I will go with.

However, I will say just getting the LiveCD's so you can play with them they are all easy. Some of them just get a little more complicated when you go to make a printer, or YouTube work.

I know this may sound like I didn't give it a fair shake I ran Fedora 10 and used it just like my Ubuntu machine for a week. I would have OpenSUSE as well but I could not get it installed so therefore I didn't have the opportunity to do so. The only reason I even installed Fedora from the Live CD is because I was told that Using the Install DVD was an unfair comparison. It was still hard for me, to install from the liveCD. However, I did learn that I really do need to know more about *my* equipment set-ups instead of just letting pgraner do all the hard work.

I must say though with my Mac and with Ubuntu I just told (well answered a few simple questions) for it to find my printers and they did. I guess you can tell printing is important to me.

For now, I just want to settle in and use the computer and enjoy the operating system, and I honestly went back and forth with Fedora and Ubuntu. With Fedora I needed too much help to install new things and it felt *heavier*, not the computer, but somehow just the program. The best and only way I know how to describe it, is it felt like walking in water, and Ubuntu felt like sailing on water. I decided that Ubuntu would be my flavor for now.

It may not seem like I gave anything else much of a chance since I am not detailing every step. There is no need to do that again. Refer to earlier posts for that level of detail.

I am sorry if this post is shorter and the spirit of the post is rushed, however, I have spent the day writing essays, preparing surveys, and all the other mom stuff, like cleaning, laundry, kids to school, (we get up at 5am), and walking animals, as well as figuring out what to have for dinner. ( I am sure that is more than most you wanted to know, but average user mom here well has been busy today. I barely had time to Facebook and didn't even Micro-blog at all :) )

Thanks for continuing to read as there are more Ubuntu Chronicles to come....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu (this part includes Fedora and other Linux distros)

Part 21

Parental Controls...


I was looking around for built in Parental Controls like Mac and Windows have. OK, I admit the solutions are not perfect, however, I can't find anything that's pre-configured or is just a drop in solution for Linux (any disto).

I know before you scream censorship, let me explain, it is everyone's option for turning them on or off, but if Linux wants to be the desktop OS of the future that you want the Average User (mom :) ) to use then I for one need some built-in controls.

Just to clarify before I go any farther, the examples I am using are not all things I have personally encountered, but as I discussed the easy changes (with my friends), from Mac or Windows to Linux these are the questions and comments that came up. Also, before anyone screams "if you are were a better parent" you better think back to your teenage years and the dangers that lurked and for most there wasn't even an Internet. Also I would not say "my kid would never do that" just as soon as I would just wait and see what happens. Those of you who have children, especially teenagers, know if they are determined they *will* find away to do what they want to, however, parental controls allow them to get caught in the process.

Case in point: I have two kids, that is no secret, my friends have kids, My friends, friends have kids, and one thing that came up in my discussions with them were, what does Ubuntu or other Linux OS have for protecting our children. Hmmm, I could not answer that question and had to go on a hunt.

Keep in mind all of the parents I am trying to recruit do not want a complicated system of doing these things. They no nothing of running a Black/White list through a proxy server, or going out and adding an extra application that may or may not be in the add remove and adding it, then setting it up.

All that we as parents want (and yes I am the parent and I have the right and duty to protect the innocence, mental, and physical well being of my child). As well as educate them at age appropriate times about the dangers and the good points of the Internet. This is why my kids are still on a Mac, though not perfect the Mac (built in), Windows (built in) & the Linux Parental Controls (not built in, these are something you have to download and setup, the average parent has enough to do without figuring out how to do this, this is something that should be built-in), Ubuntu Parental controls (read it and add your $.02 cents I will after I finish this as I am NOT happy with the responses from the Ubuntu developers as a whole based on the responses here. Teach all you want, and wait until a predator stalks your child then tell me what you should have included for the parents), Fedora Parental Controls (could be me but I am not getting a vibe that Fedora wants to include parental controls either), OpenSUSE Parental Controls. (same not getting the indication that they are leaning that way either.)

Ok..so what average parent wants or even knows how to write a script, configure a proxy server, install one of a dozen programs they have to configure. NONE, we want a parental control icon, that allows us to set up these things with minimal understanding of the operation system. We want it to give us boxes to check ,and just tick of the things we want or don't want, timekeepers, and the ability to block those things we deem as parents do not want out kids to have access to. This alone will keep me from moving my kids to Linux, as Average User mom, I don't know how to set up these things, nor do I have the time to figure it out. The Linux community as a whole seems to think this is unimportant. If you don't want to enable that feature then don't, but at least make it available.
  1. I want to lock down their time, and have the computer shut down or log then out once their time limit is reached. why? (what happens if you go to bed and teenager 1 thinks they are going to be smart and test the limits (all teenagers do as they try to find there place between child and adult, just to varying degrees). You get up at midnight to find your child chatting with their friends.

  2. that means not only is your child up at that time but so is someone elses child. (so you contact the other parent and figure out what needs to be done to help all involved and stand united as a group so no child gets to say but "so-and so gets to)

  3. Your child is creative enough to create other accounts: Yahoo, Aim, Hotmail etc, and used a false age and is chatting with inappropriate people, that covers a couple issues.They need to be locked out at certain times and those sites need to be blocked.

    • Your child receives porn and clicks on it then they start getting all kinds of stuff in there in box, because when they started using the computer it wasn't age appropriate to explain those things now you pre-teen is getting a lesson on why that is not healthy for them to know at the moment.

    • You may even be right there in and out of the room looking over their shoulder and again one of their friends whose parents may not know what they are doing or are too busy to watch every moment, send your child a link to something. (There is no parent that can watch over their child 24/7. Children need to grow and learn to handle situations on their own, but learning to handle porn site, or other inappropriate material is not one of them.)

    • You have told your child the dangers of having an account with MySpace, Yahoo, Aim, etc, yet they have created their own accounts.

      • If they were locked out they could not use them very long.

      • if you can easily block them they can't use them.

    • I don't need to go into the statics of children and the harm unsupervised Internet use can do. Even if the Child is in a stable loving family. They are children, and as parents we do all that we can to protect them. To include parental features on operating systems. I have friends that will choose operating systems based solely on the parental controls.
    Just a concerned mom, who wants to do everything possible to make sure her kids and all kids, learn more then just Mac and Windows, as well as make sure they have safety controls as they learn.

    Just a mom.....

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu (this part includes Fedora)

    Part 20

    I was asked a question in a comment to one of my postings about how I came to download the Fedora Install DVD instead of a liveCD.

    I'm paraphrasing but the spirit of the question was: short of walking in and handing me a Fedora T-shirt and a disc how could the process be made simpler for your average user like me. (well 2004/2005 time frame, I was handed a Fedora CD and T-shirt and it wasn't simple then, and I know it's come a long way, but tongue in check remarks like that don't always make me smile. They make me feel like I do when one of my kids is being a wise%^&)

    However, here is how I got to the point of using BitTorrent and getting the Fedora 10 Install DVD.

    1) I asked someone at Red Hat if the Raleigh office had the CD's or DVD's available. I was told no and was given several websites where I could order one for a nominal fee. Nope wasn't going that way. They also advised since I was wanting to learn BitTorrent that it (BitTorrent), would be a fast and easy way to download Fedora. (side note, I thought it was taking forever, not understanding that once you get the image you need; you allow others to take some of the image from you...I even apologized for implying it was taking a long time. Once I understood the BitTorrent Process, I realized it really doesn't take that long to get an image)

    2) I went to www.fedoraproject.org.

    3) On the left of the page I clicked the link Get Fedora

    4) on the right side of the screen it has boxes with links, KDE fans, go here! (not what I wanted), Below that box another box, Have a PowerPC? Go here! (still not what I wanted) last box, Show me all download options on one page! (That's what I wanted) So I clicked that link.

    5) I knew I wanted to install Fedora and not play around with the live CD. So I chose the Option to Install Media, BitTorrent, x86_64 - Install DVD.

    (of note on the 1st page there is a place that says: Get Fedora 10 Desktop Edition Now, (Installable Live CD), and under the Install Media on the show all options page there is another place that allows you to choose Fedora Desktop Live Media.)

    I point that out to say that it has been brought to my attention that I may have been comparing apples and oranges and that the Fedora Install DVD would have been like Installing the Ubuntu Server instead of Desktop. (maybe I'll just have to try the server one too, though why I would need it is beyond me, but just to say I did it, then I could compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges)

    So, I will once again Download Fedora 10 - this time the Desktop liveCD and reinstall and while I am doing that I will go ahead and grab OpenSUSE and just take a look at it all with Fresh eyes.

    I have to tell you - people in the open source community are very passionate about the work they do. I can tell you without that passion and drive that was there late 80's early 90's the Open Source Community you have today would not be there. I misspoke when I said that pgraner was handed a stack of disk in the late 90's it was actually the early 90's as I was still in the Army, and was privileged to see some early testing using Linux and Government systems. (Notice I said see, in other words I watched as the attitude began to change about Linux in the world, slowly over time). I can also compare the passion that people have for their flavor of Linux as that of the passion a Mom has for her kids: NOBODY MESSES WITH MY KIDS! kinda thing. However, most wise parents (Moms) would not be caught dead saying, "Not my Kid!". Instead they listen and see what happens/ed.

    I also think that what people feel for Linux/Unix and/or a particular flavor can be associated with how people are for/or against particular religious practice.

    I admire the passion, and I can feel the excitement as I want to continue to be involved in the Open Source Community. (though I am not quite sure where my place is as I am so non-technical. I will, however, figure it out)

    I was recently speaking to a few of my friends about my latest project, and they were reading the Blogs, and said, "I could never do that?", My answer was, "you can do whatever you want. why not try?"

    So I have a few goals. Three computers, three operating systems, and three people. I want to see what they think. They are average users as well. Some use windows, some use Mac.
    (And yes they will be LiveCD's same media type and almost the exact same computers)

    OK, so three isn't exactly a focus group but it's a start. Again it's not a them v. us thing. I just want to see, if the people I hang out with can install and use a flavor of Linux for a day. (note the people I hang out with are moms just like me, not computer people, though I do have friends in the industry, but again they don't get to play.)

    Again, Thanks for all the input and comments. I must admit some just make me ask, "why?" even put that on there. Others, make me think a little, and still others just make me smile and make me want to continue to document my introduction to the world of Free and Open Source Software and the community therein.

    Like most places you visit you find that perfect restaurant, or the place that over looks the most breath taking view in the world, others you go to you never want to go back, it's all the perspective and attitude. Visiting the communities gives me ideas of where I am comfortable and where I am not, but it also gives me hope in the idea that all Linux users regardless of the flavor are like most parents they want to see all kids succeed, because they are the future of our world (no matter where you live), and Linux is becoming the future (though slower than I would have hoped) of the desktop user. So in about a week to 10 days I will settle in on the Linux OS distribution that is the easiest for me to transition to and navigate and offers the more comfortable community. (the distribution and the community go hand in hand for me anyway)

    So far it is no secret that Ubuntu is winning the race. However, I will go back and reinstall Fedora using the Live Desktop CD, and I will give OpenSUSE that try. I have to be honest, each Flavor has a little to be learned from the other one. I am not just talking about the OSs, but the communities as well. Who wants to be part of a community that is stand-offish and doesn't welcome new people. I guess that's why there is "upstream".

    Go buy a house in a neighborhood that looks awesome only to find out where you live you have terrible neighbors and see how long you stay there. I like the LiveCD idea, at 1st I thought is was like test driving the car before you bought it, but now I think it's more like renting a house and checking out the house and the neighborhood before you make a commitment to stay there.

    But that's just my humble mom opinion.......:)

    Thursday, March 5, 2009

    The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu (this part includes Fedora)

    Part 19

    OK I have decided to also give openSUSE try....even as I write this I am wondering what is that like? I have had more requests to try it; so I will.

    Last night, I was looking for a way to shut down my Fedora box (Note: Ubuntu has a button), and accidental clicked "other" under my name and locked the machine hard. Black Screen, locked mouse, no cursor. So in my frustration I had to just turn the machine off, and haven't turned it back on yet. I'll do that tonight and see how it goes.

    I downloaded Jaunty Alpha 5 to USB and am now running it instead of Intrepid 8.10. So far so good. Haven't broke anything yet. I even had to go out on the Internet and get the Pidgin Plug-in for facebook Chat as it was not in the add/remove list and managed to install it easily.

    I had to install the Adobe Flash as well, and neither one of these installs required me open a terminal window. Took less than 5 minutes to install and update both of them. (note ease of insatllation on Ubuntu)

    Also on the cool factor list: I was contacted by Rikki Kite, Associate Publisher, of Linux Pro Magazine who came across The Ubuntu Chronicles:... and plans on writing about them in her Blog which discusses women in Open Source http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/roseblog . I can't wait to read her postings.

    I think the more I am getting involved in and reading blogs like Rikki's, and Planet Ubuntu Women the more I am learning that women don't have to be the minority in this community. There are more events each year to involve women in the Open Source process. You don't have to know how to "patch a kernel" or even write code. There are an endless number of possibilities to help the cause of involving women in the Open Source Community and growing the number of users and contributors overall in the forward motion of the world that is the open source community.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu (this part includes Fedora)

    Part 18

    Day 3 Fedora. 3rd week Ubuntu

    OK, so I have to say that Fedora comes pre-configured with a download folder, (I did not have to create it) and when I download anything it goes into that folder (downloads)(again I did not have to tell it to do that)

    That was what I as trying to get the Ubuntu/Firefox team to do and was told it was not going to happen.

    I guess my question is (and maybe it just seems like a simple thing to me) if it can be done in Fedora, why then can't it be done in Ubuntu. (I was told it wasn't going to be fixed "upstream" by the Ubuntu people, I think maybe they misunderstood what I was trying to get fixed, not sure what
    it had to do with "upstream" anyway?)

    I think that's a fair question.

    Also, both Ubuntu and Fedora use an email application Evolution , that I could best describe is like using Microsoft's Outlook. It comes with both flavors and if you like outlook then you this should be pretty easy to get used to.


    So I am getting asked to try OpenSUSE...and KDE, I think that will be for a later time. I don't want to keep switching up what flavor to use. I think that as I get used to Linux as a whole I will want to. Right now, I just wanted to get a taste for both Ubuntu and Fedora. (Again not a them v. us thing) I have wanted to try Fedora since the early 2004/2005 time frame, see my 1st post.

    My husband back in the late 90's was handed a stack of discs by a friend and was told to type "man man", with a see ya man, gotta run. I saw this and ran the other way. pgraner, however, took to it like water. I stuck with my work computers and pursued other interests. Linux wasn't the easy install back then, and well I just didn't see the use.

    Then when he started working at Red Hat. I thought I needed to "speak his Language" I tried and it just wasn't happening for all the reasons I listed in my 1st post.

    Now that he works for Canonical, and I have watched and listened (which I did as well when he worked for Red Hat) when he came back from his meeting in Berlin with the T-shirt and the installation CD, I thought it time for me to "speak his language". Plus the "Linux for human beings" made me think "yeah right?" and roll my eyes. Now I think, "Yes! They do have it right. Just ask me, I'll tell you all the reasons why it works. (I tell and show anyone who will listen.)

    My Background in Computer's is not limited but I have stuck to average user stuff.

    My 1st introduction to a computer was a TI-99, then a TRS80-Model 3 and 4, I was in about 8th grade then. In High School I only used the computers that were available to me at my Uncle's house (he too has loved computers since they 1st became available for the household desktop user; he is now 85 and uses Ubuntu). After that I joined the Army where I got to help try new systems and see if I could "break" them. (what is called bug testing today). Usually I found something that would break recreate it and have the person say, "that's not supposed to happen." Well it did and they would have to fix it. I enjoyed giving my input and seeing things become adaptive to the user. If there was a feature that made sense to the developers but had absolutely no practical use for us in the field I had to show them why and they would fix it. Not always but most of the time.

    However, I am still your average user. I did not know then as I do not know now, the why and how of how things work. I still just want my computers to do the things I want them to.

    I guess what I am trying to say is, that my history with computers goes way back. I am not afraid to use them and see what happens, but it has taken a long time to try Linux and want to become a user and participant in the Community.

    Ubuntu is great for people like me. Fedora is great as well but you need to know a little about the how things work, why they work that way, and you need to understand the command line terms. Not so easy for me yet. I can see both sides and have witnessed both ideals and philosophies in action. However, this is the 1st time I have been on the user end. The biggest issue I have is ease of installation and use.

    So far other than when I go to install something (again ease on installation) Fedora is working. It is just getting to that point, and when I have to install something I still need to have pgraner's help. Which is something I did *NOT* want to do. (you have *no* idea how much I did not want to have to ask him for help).

    I think for the average user to make the switch (from Windows or Mac), or become a user for the 1st time Ubuntu is the way to go, then when you have some advanced skills, then if you wish try Fedora. Or you could (I will be trying in a few weeks), dual boot and use them both. No one says you have to only use one flavor. Like I said I can drink Pepsi I just prefer Coke.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009

    The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu (this part includes Fedora)

    Part 17

    I got a comment that talked about how the Linux communities came about and they even used the RTFM term, and that -women groups were created for friendlier environments for women. (Ok having a Military and a Hospitality Industry background the spirit of this comment grated on me and required a follow-up post) See comments part 16

    While the -women groups are and should be for building camaraderie and community because women users *are* a minority within the Open Source/Linux community they are great ideas and have wondeful resources; #Ubuntu-women is great but I have found all the other Ubuntu channels just a helpful.

    However, they should not exist just the be a "less aggressive" place to be. Women who have the skills should be equally respected and valued in the communitities. Also the main channels should be there to help anyone regardless of length of use.

    My point was not that I was a woman and needed a friendlier place but to show that choosing the flavor of Linux to use is not just the Operating system, the community and how they treat each other also goes into that decision.

    *Example*: A global company may make a superior product and have terrible customer service, I would rather go out of my to support the local store, wait a little longer, but since they know my name and treat me like I am their only customer, rather than become a number in a queue talking to someone who could care less about how long I had to wait, how many times I got hung up on etc. Even if I have to pay a little more for the local product, common courtesy, heaven forbid, manners goes a long way. There is no excuse for people being rude just becase they can.

    The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu (this part includes Fedora)

    Part 16
    Day 2 with Fedora; 3rd week with Ubuntu

    *INTRO TO IRC COMMUNITY*

    Here's a sample of whahttp://t I encounter in the #fedora channel.
    The only reason I bring it up is because when I said something similar in an #Ubuntu Channel not only was I pointed to the wiki page, but someone said, "hello nice to have you here" Then asked, "How new of a user I was" Then I was given some time to read the page and asked, "do you understand"
    I got none of that in the #fedora room. Below is what I encountered. I can tell you that in the #ubuntu channels I can watch and learn in just a few moments I learn something, or I can ask a question and not get insulted.

    #fedora room
    User 5:I'm a new user, and I need adobe Flash, it took me to Linux _86 but I don't understand the choices....

    User 5: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Flash


    User 1: Thanks...
    --

    > User 2 g
    hello i have fedora live kde cd is there a boot option that will not load the k desktop and give me a prompt? so i can install the system outside kde? I already have the newer kmod here for today's kernel

    User 2: add 3 to the line
    really? so it should be hitting your mirror within the next couple hours

    User 2: I suspect it asks you to hit tab or something.. hit tab, then add 3 to the end
    ah great

    User 1: i'll keep banging on yum at odd intervals. :)


    User 3: on the live media/


    User 1: pretty sure it's just isolinux?
    I dunno after i got to a ttyX prompt. is there a console install through? Dunno. Idunno either, I would not touch the live media with your.... ummm a ten foot pole aw so with a live cd i cant install it without loading the desktop first?

    User 2: just get the normal install media
    cool where? are your parents.... Never mind you are not worth it you deserve what ever you get

    (*note* I changed the IRC nicks to user X. The nicks aren't what was important but the over all spirit and feel of the channel/community was. Before I get beat up I know the Fedora community as a whole is not like that, but this was my introduction.)

    I tried to take out most if the noise but no one came back and asked me did it work etc. I know this kinda stuff happens regardless of the channel, but this was my 1st impression of the fedora channel community. I'm a little gun shy about going back in.

    *ADOBE FLASH*

    This what I had to do to get Adobe working...With Ubuntu I just clicked a button...and it installed and worked I don't understand this. Had to ask pgraner to help. I asked people in the fedora room and they just sent me to the wiki even after I said I was a new user. hmmm you can see from the comments above it just wasn't a comfortable place to be at least for me.

    For x86_64 Adobe Flash 64-bit alpha At the time of this release, Adobe also has an alpha version of a 64-bit plugin. When that product is more mature, these instructions will cover its use more fully. In the meantime, the short version is to download the tarball and extract libflashplayer.so to either just your user's ~/.mozilla/plugins/ or to the system-wide /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins/ and /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins dirs (for other browsers to find) After installing the repository configuration, run the following command to install the Flash plugin and ensure sound is enabled: su -c 'yum install flash-plugin nspluginwrapper.x86_64 \ nspluginwrapper.i386 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i386 \ libcurl.i386' You may see a message indicating that nspluginwrapper.x86_64 is already installed. This is not a problem. Checking the plugin After the installation, exit all copies of Firefox and start it again to enable the plugin. Then type the following text in the Firefox address bar: about:plugins A section similar to the following should appear: Image:Flash-check-2.png This information tells you that the Adobe Flash plugin has been successfully installed.

    It took over 40 minutes to get it working just so I could check to make sure I had the right video link, and it would work in my Blog.
    (heavy sighing here, this was not a *simple* process)

    There were so many things, I have never had to type my password in so many times, it was driving me crazy. I had to either reboot or log out of something and start again I just quit keeping count. I thought Fedora was going to be easy for "average" user - NOT! You still have to know the Techie stuff.

    When trying to find out if The Fedora Project was going after the desktop community I found their core values - Freedom-Friends-Features and First, only in the core value labeled "First" did it mention desktop users. I liked the values, but it is not easy for the average user to use and maintain so far.

    To be fair I thought I would also list Ubuntu's Philosophy as well.

    When Starting with Ubuntu I was light years ahead of where I am on day two. To be honest I'm a little intimidated to try and install other things without help. (pgraner is really getting tired of me saying help! Which is something I did not have to do with Ubuntu. Sorry folks but this Average user needed a lot of help and I tried to do this alone, but it's *hard*.)

    I'm not sure to be honest if this is the right Linux flavor for me (Fedora).
    Kinda like Coke or Pepsi. I can drink them both but for me Coke is just a more satisfying. (If Pepsi is your think that's cool too) I think that is the way it feels with this. I can use it, but I need more help. That is the big Key factor, what can I do alone and do I need to ask for Techie help.

    In just a day and a half, I have had to have more help than I did in two weeks with Ubuntu. I think if you are a technical person or you have a techie at your disposal then Fedora is for you. However, if you want to go it alone then Ubuntu works!

    I'm sighing as I write this. I wanted to say Fedora was just as easy and "average user mom" could do this on her own but I'm sorry I can't. I struggled way to much last night with just installing one thing.

    I will try it again some more today, but if it gets any more frustrating then I will be undoing 4 the little screws and my other hard drive is going back in.

    Hope this helps....More tomorrow....

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu (this part includes Fedora)

    Part 15

    *WARNING LONG POST.....I INSTALLED FEDORA 10*

    Ok so I couldn't wait for the new computer to show up (I think I mentioned this in early Posts I'm impatient), so I grabbed a new disk drive for the Dell Inspiron 6400 and and screw driver. 4 screws later and a new hard drive and the Fedora 10 DVD the installation was under way.

    The first thing I noticed was it didn't tell me how many steps it was going to take, so I wasn't sure what was going to happen. It asked me for a Root password then it said it was weak. No other system I have ever entered my password into has ever told me that. Not Windows, Mac or Ubuntu system, then it asked me if I wanted to continue. I kept it and continued.

    Then it told me it has detected the hard drive. It had a box selected for the hard drive, but the words looked embossed you could hardly read it. I left it checked only because I knew what hard drive I had just installed a few minutes earlier.

    Just like Ubuntu I had no idea about this step, and what it REALLY means. I knew it was going to partition the HD to use Fedora. Just like Ubuntu did for the other hard drive. Except Fedora asks more questions, like do I want to Encrypt system...dunno, or Add Advanced Storage...dunno I could check Review and modify partitioning layout...I sighed. I just left alone and went with it.

    However before deciding I didn't want to Encrypt my system I checked the box, and tried to cancel and go back and undo it. I had to to this 3 or 4 times before it would let me back to the screen to un-check the box and move on. It was like it was stuck. When I checked the box it just looked scary. I did encrypt in Ubuntu, it was very simple. It said do you want to encrypt your home director I clicked the button and that was it. This OS, I decide I did not want my whole system encrypted, just seemed over my head.

    Then I got the following message; I will give it word for word as much as possible...(Fedora communty correct me if I got this step wrong please.)


    The default installation of Fedora includes a set of software applicable for general inter user. What additional tasks would you like your system to include support for?

    • Office & Productivity (this was checked)
    • Software Development (not checked and I left it unchecked)
    • Web Server (Not Checked and I left it unchecked)


    Please select any additional repositories that you want to use for software installation

    • Installation Repo (this was checked)
    • Fedora 10 – x86_64 (not checked and I left it unchecked)
    • Fedora 10 – x86_64 – Updates (not checked and I left it unchecked)


    (how would I know, “Average User Mom” here)


    +Additional software repositories Modify respsitory

    You can further customize the software selection now, or after install via the software management application.

    • Customize bubble (radio bubble) (was filled in left it that way)
    • Customize later (left it alone)

    Again, I had no idea how many more steps were left. As you can see I just didn't understand some things so I just went with the default.

    At this point I realized Ubuntu was already installed in 7 steps and in less than 15 minutes I was setting up my desktop and programs. I was wondering what I had gotten into.

    I forgot to count the steps on Fedora, there are 1063 packages to install. I wasn't sure what all that meant. I assumed it was the OS and the applications. I didn't mind looking a the blue screen it is really nice. As pretty as it was it was not a fast download, and there was only so long I could wait on it. I folded a load of laundry, put a load in the dryer, and started a new load and when I came back to my computer is was still installing the packages. I did not hurry either, I took my time and did laundry, I even took more time than I normally do hoping it would be finished.

    Once it was finished it did not automatically eject the DVD. I guess I was supposed to know how to do that. I didn't. So when it said to reboot I did and it tried to boot from the DVD I tried to escape out of it, I finally had to Ctrl+Alt+delete, then eject the DVD manually. On Ubuntu it ejected once it was finished. I sighed again.

    Once it rebooted I got a WELCOME screen. Create User, Button for Network login, Button for Kerberos or NIS????? “Average User Mom” could this be any simpler? I sighed again.

    Date & Time Got this one..1st tab set the date and time 2nd Tab Network Time Protocol (had to think about this one.) I figured this will use the time on the Server you are using, I think (as I found out I was wrong *sigh*). So I clicked the box for enable Network Time Protocol. When I checked the Box Enable Network Time Protocol NTP servers darkened and Advanced Options darkened as well. I went with it.

    Ok so I'm and hour plus into this process. Curious about the Welcome stuff, I checked and all the stuff I did like setting up User etc, I did during the 7 steps on Ubuntu. There are way too many mouse/button clicks to get this thing installed.

    Hardware Profile Why? I know there is a whole paragraph about giving back and why this is important. Not sure I like something scanning my computer and telling someone what all I am using. Seems a bit “Big Brotherish (1984 – by George Orwell), to me, but what do I know. So I thought about it and decided that if at a later date there ought to be some button I could click and send this information later if I so choose.

    I decide not to send profile, clicked the box, another box pops up and asks me to reconsider. Clicked the box that said NO, do not send. Didn't I just tell it that the 1st time I clicked the box? Do not send the profile? Reminded of Windows stuff asking me constantly if I am sure..UGH.

    Then I get a box, I see my name and under it is says restart or reboot then another one that said shut down. I almost rebooted, but then I thought let me see what happens when I click on me. On windows & mac (yes and Ubuntu) I have to type my username. In fact the buttons for reboot & shutdown were so big I thought that a reboot was needed. I didn't notice my name until I "questioned" why I needed to reboot or shutdown. Its just not consistant with what I would have expected at this point.

    Now this was a long process, when I started I was at 100% battery, and when I finally got to where I could start setting up things I was at 21% still sighing as I plug in my computer.

    Well Fedora found my network and the type of encryption right away. Got on the Internet no problems. Then I made sure I could get to

    • Facebook – Done
    • My Blog -Done
    • My University Classes – Done
    • My website – Done.

    That was all easy.

    On Ubuntu I was able to find my printer with no problems, with Fedora I couldn't. I had to select other or so I thought. It said enter URI (????) Then I stopped and asked pgraner he just smiled and said "you figure it out". I tried the whole time he was on a call, still no luck.

    After I humbled myself and asked pgraner for help again, he told me to select LPD/LPR Host or Printer he gave me the IP address of my printer. I put it in as host and clicked the probe button. Nothing happened. Is it supposed to add the printer or something? I waited and decided it couldn't hurt to just go forward, I could always go back. I clicked the forward button, and a box popped up telling me it was searching for drivers. It found Dell, then I hit the forward button and there was not an option for the right drivers, I got so frustrated that I hit cancel and started over. I selected Add New Printer and this time my Printer was in the list. I clicked it. (Note: pgraner told me that most likely that autodiscovery hadn't occured due to be doing so early after starting the network. My question is why did it work with Ubuntu out of the box, I did the same things in the same sequence.)

    I had to pick the memory for my Printer the highest I could pick was 576mb but I actually have 1gb. I had to set up the trays. Why? Ubuntu picked the right values (I had to go back and look and it never asked me). After answering all the questions I could print a test page. It worked. I was extremely happy about that. But Ubuntu didn't ask me any of those questions. It just picked the right printer and I printed a test page in less than 2 minutes.

    Then it said I had Updates. In Ubuntu when I first set it up there were 247 updates and they installed in less than 10 minutes. I clicked the updates and it started doing its thing. It took close to 25 minutes for Fedora to do its thing. Again I waited and searched for the Pidgin plugin I needed to do the Facebook chat. After I downloaded it and it said it was installed, I looked over the list. It wasn't there. I closed Pidgin and re-opended it and it was there. Got that set up. Again I was happy. Tired but happy.

    You know it is said that 1st impressions are made in the 1st 7 seconds you encounter someone or something. My 1st 7 seconds are not what I thought they would be with Fedora. Just so you know I own a Red Hat Fedora (thanks to pgraner working there) and I Love it! When the Truth Happens Video came out for the RHEL 3 release it quickly became one of my favorite videos. I point people to it all the time. Please understand I am not trying to be overly critical of Fedora. Just looking at from the average user point of view, I expected it (the installation) to be more user friendly because it had been around longer. It was not easier for me to install. With that said... I am going to use it for a while.

    I was getting pretty frustrated quite a few times during the installation. I just waited and got it all installed and working.

    After using Fedora for most of the afternoon, I don't see any real difference between Ubuntu and Fedora. So far the real difference has been in ease of installation, for that Ubuntu wins hands down. To me it seems like Ubuntu has more attention to detail and polish. Again, not them verses us but more like what does my palate like. Flavors that's what it boils down to.

    The cool factor is I *can* install it, and will let you know if I can use it as well as I did with Ubuntu... thats for the next blog post.