Linux Mint woes

Alan Milewczyk alan at
Thu Jul 9 05:38:21 PDT 2015

I've no intention of getting into a pissing contest with you but you 
seem to want to resurrect the issue...

On 09/07/2015 11:22, Jon Davies wrote:
> On 5 July 2015 at 09:40, Alan Milewczyk <alan at> wrote:
>> (I'm afraid replies along the
>> lines of RTFM/"works here" aren't helpful when I thought I'd done all that).
> I'm glad it's working for you now, but you hadn't "done all that".

Ah but the point you fail to grasp is that I genuinely thought *I HAD 
DONE ALL THAT*.  I'll admit that I don't find Linux easy - I've followed 
the route from CP/M, through all versions of DOS then onto Windows from 
version 3.0 through to 7. Apart from laptops I've built every single PC 
I've used from 1992 onwards. While I don't think Windows is perfect I do 
find it intuitive, perhaps because of all my experience.

Linux is a different matter for me, I can't get my head into gear about 
how it works so for me it's like being in control of a massive tanker 
and not knowing what the hell I'm doing. OK it's my fault for not 
investing the time to "get under the bonnet" but I've a thousand other 
priorities in my life and that one is way down in my list. I'm pretty 
sure I followed DP's installation instructions but as my confidence 
level is low with Linux I don't know why it didn't work - frustration 
builds to the point where you can't remember the fine detail of what the 
hell you did actually do - hence my appeal to the list.

As an engineer, I spent some time in tech support for a local authority 
and its 10,000 users - I recognise the "blind spot" I have with Linux is 
identical to the same blind spot our users had with Windows. Some of my 
colleagues chose to be snarky about these "dumb asses" who didn't 
understand computers while failing to recognise that those same "dumb 
asses" were expert lawyers, accountants, civil engineers, etc in their 
own right - for them the computer was just a tool to get various tasks 
done. What it takes is patience in trying to put yourself in their 
shoes, holding their hand and walking them through the problem to a 
successful conclusion. I can say with great pride that many users asked 
for me personally because they knew they would get a sympathetic ear, a 
helpful response and a successful outcome to their problem without them 
being made to feel like an idiot. If you don't have that patience, fine, 
but recognise it does nothing for me.

For a number of years I provided part time technical training for a 
product I happened to use at the time (when I had a different career) - 
the software author was a real whiz kid, really knew his stuff 
technically, far more than me. What he lacked was the ability to explain 
it in layman's terms, something I was able to do, hence he hired me to 
train his new clients. I would never be able to do his job (software 
design) but he recognised I could train others better than he could. I 
recognise the effort made  by all here, including yourself, but Linux is 
just a tool for me, as I said I haven't the time to go under the bonnet. 
That's just the way it is. When I was doing my upgrade I thought I'd got 
it working, I hadn't, God knows why, but anyway now I have.

> You've been getting short shrift from some because a conversation on
> the lines of "aarrgghh it's hard"; "here try this simple way"; "oh,
> but I insist on doing it the hard way, why is it so hard" just doesn't
> make sense to some of us.  just follow the instructions *once* and it
> works, and updates automatically, and all the other goodness that's
> available if you want it.  What you appear to be doing is a bit like
> complaining that MS Office is hard to install on Windows because you
> "have" to unpack lots of individual dll files from the installation
> CD, and put in lots of complicated registry entries, and run commands
> to register individual dlls, and.. and...  I (generally) install
> windows applications using the installers provided; similarly I've
> built and maintain an installer for ubuntu and mint to make it easy to
> install get-iplayer and keep it updated.
> rant over.
> Jon

I hope you feel better after that.

As a parting shot I'd just refer you to Vangelis' postings here, always 
considerate, thoughtful and helpful. He gets my vote for top tech 
support here.

Now let's just drop this....


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