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 Post subject: The pretension of Ubuntu (and how antiX made me see it)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:48 am
Posts: 28
Hey all. I've been pondering about which OS's are which (as in, what makes them them). I'll start with a brief history of my Linux usage and compare that to my recent experiences with antiX

Back as early as 2011 I had tried out Ubuntu 10.04 (I was 15 then) and I had a partition set up for about a month until I ran into an issue and had to switch back to my previous OS, Windows 7. I ran Windows 7 exclusively for another 5 years. In the beginning of 2016 I had an issue installing a printer on my recently forced-to-upgrade to Windows 10 PC. It really highlighted to me the systematic problems with Windows and why I think it all comes down to laziness.

I called up HP about the printer. They connected to my PC through remote access and repeated the same process over and over for 3 days. They kept installing the printer driver, checking to see if it would work, then it would not work obviously and they would reboot my PC. I had to call HP 3 days in a row to receive this "customer service."

But that customer service made me realize something: It's impossible for these Windows based support lines to really do anything to help us. Because they simply cannot see the code. If they don't have access to the actual driver causing the problem, to the actual SOURCE of the problem, then how can they possibly know how to fix it? I think to call up a Windows support line and expect results would be expecting too much out of them, because they just don't have a clue, because the system was designed for people to not have a clue on purpose. Microsoft sees this as the only way to keep themselves rich. Hide the code and take our money. But it causes the systematic problem of nearly all Windows users not knowing how to use their computer, including those working on tech support lines/forums and even doing paid technical support. It means no matter how far someone has advanced in their knowledge of Windows, there is still infinitely more to learn (at least infinitely more compared to Linux or BSD systems). The reason is as I stated: if we don't know the code that is causing these problems, then we don't know what the hell we're talking about and we're just guessing , and I would say that is what troubleshooting a Windows problem feels like, compared to Linux based systems.

So after the 3 day long nightmare with HP that never even fixed my printer (eventually reinstalling W7 solved the problem as well as turning off updates which causes a whole bunch more problems), I decided to burn a live DVD of Ubuntu 14.04 to see just how much faster the printer would set up (I was guessing about a matter of seconds). I clicked "try Ubuntu" and went to my printer settings and it was already there and ready to print. I have probably booted up windows about twice since then (in the span of a year and a half!), for minor stuff like comparing PlayOnLinux Windows game performance to performance on the system itself (spoilers: Windows 7 is almost always slower at its own games on this PC).

With Ubuntu, I noticed my downtime for fixing problems was shorter, even though everyone screams that Linux is "harder" (I don't think these people have heard of duckduckgo). A simple command or a simple editing of a configuration file would fix a problem whereas it felt like I was blindly groping around in the dark looking for a light switch trying to solve similar problems in Windows.

My problem with Ubuntu and it's flavors is that it artificially differentiates itself from the crowd too much, and does not provide much "Unity" in the community I've found. For example, things like the Software Center in Ubuntu, or Muon in Kubuntu, are completely redundant and cause more problems than they solve. These software centers do not list any -dev packages for source building or graphics card drivers (although in Ubuntu they previously did). That means that when the system is at it's default state in a Buntu-like, you CANNOT properly troubleshoot. Before you're allowed to troubleshoot you have to install Synaptic package manager which should already be installed in every Linux distro. But no... this is where the community turns into a disaster. The idea is: we're all [artificially] different! We've kept that Synaptic package manager preinstalled for too long... it's "outdated" (even though its as utilitarian and necessary as it gets). This is where I see almost all of users issues stemming from in Buntu-likes... the system will by default pre-configure the wrong proprietary graphics drivers and you'll need to download your necessary driver... but how? You gotta go to the middle man, Askubuntu or the like, first, because they have a special `sudo apt install` command that will fix you right up. Except they aren't fixing anything up. If they simply included Synaptic I could open it up, look up `gtx 460` for example, find my driver then install and reboot. I would not be needing to copy and paste a wall of commands if we simply all just agreed on which GUI to use.

antiX fixes this problem by being lightweight, and having a truly unified design. Not such as the likes of Unity, which is basically a mishmash of Gnome and Unity which ironically the developers can't agree upon! I previously had ubuntu 32 bit on my antix netbook and it was extremely slow in comparison. It all comes down to Ubuntu and it's community being an entire mess, which I think causes too much clutter and endless lines of code typing which wouldn't be necessary if we could bother upgrading things like gconf, or including Synaptic, etc. By antiX not being weighed down with all the thousands of people it is trying to please at once, it gets the job done much more efficiently than the "most downloaded", "most trendy" Linux OS.

_________________
Using current version of Antix 32-bit (secondary PC--a netbook.)
Compaq Mini 110
Intel Atom n270
GMA 950 graphics (at least it works for SuperTuxKart! The pre 0.9 versions anyways)
2gb DDR2 RAM

On my desktop I use Kubuntu 16.04 (64-bit).


Last edited by Skyroz on Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The pretension of Ubuntu (and how antiX made me see it)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:29 am
Posts: 1263
Overall, I believe Ubuntu serves its diverse audience well. The removal of synaptic in favor of Muon, I noticed it during kubuntu liveboot, but I wasn't aware that was an across-the-board change (fubuntu/lubuntu/mubuntu...)

On the flip side, synaptic is preinstalled in antiX, in MX, and... yet many users don't know to use it, don't know how to use it, can't understand how to make use of it. Maybe Ubuntu is correct in understanding/empathizing that such users need a graphic-y SoftwarezCenter ~~ considering the size of the userbase Ubuntu has amassed, they're obviously doing something(s) right, eh.

Considering that antiX juggles 3+ window managers (plus mate-desktop, in recent tests), multiple file managers... it's remarkable to me that you've mentioned "a truly unified design". Perhaps ironcally, from my happy perspective, my antiX system is comprised of dis-unified components. Although sometimes I mention "avoidance of bloat", I'm really hep on avoiding component interdependence resulting from proprietary middleware. Call it "pursuit of resilience"? I've been fairly successful choosing apps which leave my system unaffected as each new gnome version 3.3.3483whatever introduces new breakage.

Quote:
I called up HP about the printer. They connected to my PC through remote access and repeated the same process over and over for 3 days. They kept installing the printer driver, checking to see if it would work, then it would not work obviously and they would reboot my PC. I had to call HP 3 days in a row to receive this "customer service."
To me, that's an amazing anecdotal story. I wouldn't have had the patience to endure that -- and wouldn't have permitted remote access noway-nohow -- but the story suggests, to me at least, that HP was actually trying earnestly to solve the problem. It's reasonable to guess that someone was tweaking the driver between attempts & using your in-the-wild system to confirm whether or not a fix was achieved.


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 Post subject: Re: The pretension of Ubuntu (and how antiX made me see it)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:48 am
Posts: 28
skidoo wrote:
Overall, I believe Ubuntu serves its diverse audience well.

Considering that antiX juggles 3+ window managers (plus mate-desktop, in recent tests), multiple file managers... it's remarkable to me that you've mentioned "a truly unified design". Perhaps ironcally, from my happy perspective, my antiX system is comprised of dis-unified components. Although sometimes I mention "avoidance of bloat", I'm really hep on avoiding component interdependence resulting from proprietary middleware. Call it "pursuit of resilience"? I've been fairly successful choosing apps which leave my system unaffected as each new gnome version 3.3.3483whatever introduces new breakage.


I agree that Ubuntu serves its audience well, at least better than Windows. They just have a lot of misguided ideas of superiority compared to other linux distros, such as the whole GNOME desktop thing that you mentioned (GNOME isn't broken guys! You just can't minimize or maximize tabs anymore that's all! No biggie *sarcasm*). However, in terms of antiX being dis-unified I agree and disagree.

For example, the antiX control center has settings for all 3 included window managers. Furthermore if you right click on the desktop there is an easy to access button which allows the user to instantly switch desktop and terminal emulator. In my opinion, although it is giving the user the option how to proceed, the system is using more unified principles than Ubuntu (though it would definitely be difficult to fit all the Buntu flavors in one DVD), because of those menus, for example. It provides Unity by allowing the user to choose their preference, instead of forcing down their throat which WM and Terminal and Software Center they should use. For example antiX does not have a software center, only Synaptic, which I suppose causes problems for noobs like you said but in my case it has only made my life easier... However it all still comes down to the end user. Synaptic is probably a lot harder to figure out for people than just copy and pasting a `sudo apt install` command from somewhere which is why I think it has "fallen by the wayside" (even though it shouldn't).

_________________
Using current version of Antix 32-bit (secondary PC--a netbook.)
Compaq Mini 110
Intel Atom n270
GMA 950 graphics (at least it works for SuperTuxKart! The pre 0.9 versions anyways)
2gb DDR2 RAM

On my desktop I use Kubuntu 16.04 (64-bit).


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 Post subject: Re: The pretension of Ubuntu (and how antiX made me see it)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:48 am
Posts: 28
skidoo wrote:
Quote:
I called up HP about the printer. They connected to my PC through remote access and repeated the same process over and over for 3 days. They kept installing the printer driver, checking to see if it would work, then it would not work obviously and they would reboot my PC. I had to call HP 3 days in a row to receive this "customer service."
To me, that's an amazing anecdotal story. I wouldn't have had the patience to endure that -- and wouldn't have permitted remote access noway-nohow -- but the story suggests, to me at least, that HP was actually trying earnestly to solve the problem. It's reasonable to guess that someone was tweaking the driver between attempts & using your in-the-wild system to confirm whether or not a fix was achieved.


oh no believe me they weren't tweaking much of anything. I sat there watching them for 3 days. They installed the same exact (wrong) printer driver for 3 days in a row until I had to figure out for myself that I had to downgrade back to Windows 7. That's abysmal customer support!

_________________
Using current version of Antix 32-bit (secondary PC--a netbook.)
Compaq Mini 110
Intel Atom n270
GMA 950 graphics (at least it works for SuperTuxKart! The pre 0.9 versions anyways)
2gb DDR2 RAM

On my desktop I use Kubuntu 16.04 (64-bit).


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 Post subject: Re: The pretension of Ubuntu (and how antiX made me see it)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:44 am
Posts: 4022
Location: Pecos, Texas
Ubuntu 7 and 8 and early Mint Fluxbox editions were OK for me on my antique gear but I was not learning much running them.
Kinda like walking through NYC and asking for directions/instructions and everyone was too busy to hold my hand and instruct me
on anything.\

I am loyal here because AntiX. MX. Mepis. Has a small town mentality and everyone has the time to hold my hand in a friendly way.

It is the nature of the beast so to speak. Do you want to follow the herd and be another user lost in the masses.
Or do you want hang out with friendly folks that try and be helpful < If you are polite about it >

Now a days. Most linux kernels keep up pretty good with hardware and driver writers are more numerous as well as coders as Linux systems
become more main stream outside of the USA. So any distro really supports hardware pretty equally across the board.
Apps can be installed using source tar balls.
Things are just easier all around as things mature.

That is all my jaw jacking on this subject for this weekend. I look forward to being outside after this post.

Quote:
until I had to figure out for myself


That has been the story of my life since I turned on my 1st pentium one , 64MB of ram, ?KB hardrive. Compaq 1540 DM laptop that my wife gave me and used dialup to wrench on that laptop and get linux to run on it.
Cuz Windows 95 was EOL by then .

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 Post subject: Re: The pretension of Ubuntu (and how antiX made me see it)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:46 pm
Posts: 757
Location: Surrey/Hants Border UK
I've seldom used synaptic, I have no need, I use apt or dpkg. :)

AntiX is great for keeping out of your way, whilst you go about doing the things you want to do.

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Linux (& BSD) since 1999.
(Now also ukuleles & harmonicas.)


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 Post subject: Re: The pretension of Ubuntu (and how antiX made me see it)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:17 am
Posts: 573
I usually use Synaptic. I've tried Ubuntu and its children many times and always ran into trouble. When in trouble, mc is my friend.

_________________
Too many computers, in use now:
1-Dell D620 2gb
2-HP DV9917 4gb
3-Dell E5540 8gb
4-Dell Inspiron 15 7559 16gb
various older machines


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 Post subject: Re: The pretension of Ubuntu (and how antiX made me see it)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:48 am
Posts: 28
thriftee wrote:
I've tried Ubuntu and its children many times.


You make it sound awful lol. As if using Buntu-likes is like babysitting. If they really called the Ubuntu flavors it's "children" I don't think I would have ever used it.

I wouldn't say it's that painful. Though the pretension of the community is. A perfect example would be the propping-up of GNOME desktop even though everyone knows that it's currently broken. But since Canonical has much more momentum and cash than the vast majority of Linux distro-ibuters, it doesn't matter what crap they fling in the face of the populace (like a brat throwing a booger) because the community at large will still flock to it since it is seen as a form of "beginners Linux"

_________________
Using current version of Antix 32-bit (secondary PC--a netbook.)
Compaq Mini 110
Intel Atom n270
GMA 950 graphics (at least it works for SuperTuxKart! The pre 0.9 versions anyways)
2gb DDR2 RAM

On my desktop I use Kubuntu 16.04 (64-bit).


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 Post subject: Re: The pretension of Ubuntu (and how antiX made me see it)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:24 am
Posts: 76
Skyroz wrote:
Hey all. I've been pondering about which OS's are which (as in, what makes them them).


hey thats one of my favourite things. in fact i decided a year ago to work on something to open and compare a large number of puppy isos to figure out what was in what and summarise it in an html table.

i was surprised that no one was interested, but from there i created "distdiff," which compares two iso files (at least to my own satisfaction. it doesnt touch the initrd, unless i updated it.)

im sure someone can do better, but again, no one seems interested.

i would agree with you on ubuntu. their attitude seems almost microsoft-like in their willingness to drag people through costly ui/software/infrastructure changes that seem designed to benefit canonical mostly... only to drop that idea a year later. upstart, unity/dash, whatever screen-dohickey they had planned...

regular (experienced) users hate the new stuff and new fanboys say basically "if you were COOL, youd like it and get on board-- who cares what you think anyway?" which makes what they do with it a year later a lot funnier. but i guess the alternative is taking more careful steps, and thats not how you get "rich" let alone famous.

its too bad though-- i mean i thought upstart was a solution in search of a problem. yet when it finally became a valuable (or viable?) alternative to systemd, they folded and went with the latter. i liked breezy! in fact xubuntu was the "have it all" distro that made me windows-free for the first time since... caldera opendos.


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