Hi, I am not here to start a flame fest. Just want to say a few words about
things that need to change to get more people migrating from MS platforms.
First of all, I am not a newbie to computers, I got my good ol Apple ][
clone :) in '84, and have had many machines since then. I have used NT since
3.51 because I get less blue screens than on the Win95/98 versions. I have
NT4, and my main reason to upgrade will be so I can play d3d games. Not a
great reason to upgrade!
So here I am installing Redhat 7.1 on a machine I threw together out of
parts (scary how many parts one accumulates!) Why am I doing this? Because I
am now a Java coder, and want to make sure my software does "write once run
everywhere", because I see some nice little markets on linux and mac.
So I downloaded and burnt RedHat 7.1. Popped the CD into the new machine,
and the installation starts up.
Fun thing #1.
I need to get rid of my old windows partitions on the old drive. Easy? Hah.
fdisk was in a catch-22, something like "you cannot remove partition X if
partition Y exists, you cannot remove partition Y is X exists". I wish I
remembered the actual details. Solution. Restart, boot into DOS, and format
Fun thing #2.
I think "redhat knows best, let them set up default partitions". Why do I
need a 80meg boot partition, isn't that just bootstrap code? Why does it
leave 2 gigs free? Some great defaults.
Fun thing #3.
"Copying image to drive" ... "not enough space on drive". Huh. Well, for
whatever reason, the great defaults setup by the installer don't even allow
the installation to begin. For what reason. How do I know?
Fun thing #4.
Restart, make my own partitions. 23 meg boot (will I ever need more, anyone?
tried 16, it took 23) 512meg swap, the rest as /
Installation begins, goes like clockwork. This is how it SHOULD be.
Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of fun. Cracked open a couple of beers, and
installed and drank till 4am. Got the network running, played with the
browser. Played around in KDE.
But this is way to much to ask from most users. Of course, I say to hell
with people who can't pick up a manual. But at the same time, if linux is to
spread, this is not going to help. These "fun things" equate to "painful,
hopeless, panic, etc. things" for many people.
Anyways, I am documenting my progress, and might make a "newbie guide" since
I didn't find one. I found lots of basic shell explanation. Windows users
don't want shells. They don't even know what a DOS shell is, never mind a
So my next fun thing is to get the Java Plugin to run in
Netscape/Mozilla/Konqueror ... no luck so far, this is very bad for Java.
Is there in fact a complete newbies guide out there, or would this be a good
thing. I think I am not the only one to realize that Wordpad functionality
is ok for most tasks, and Visicalc functionality is enough for most
spreadsheet tasks! I don't want to be stuffed with XP for the rest of my
life. Neither do others. This is a perfect chance for linux to grow, but by
my current install experience it will scare most people away. Most people
fear computers. Nothing to make them feel good and "clever" by a clean
Oh, just reinstalled linux, and since I knew the right path, it was
Constructively flame on if you wish.