Linux Mint woes

michael norman michaeltnorman at
Thu Jul 9 06:35:13 PDT 2015

On 07/09/2015 01:38 PM, Alan Milewczyk wrote:
> 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....
> Alan
> _______________________________________________
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> get_iplayer at
But, you were told by Jon how to install GIP using the package he built 
and maintains, following the instructions he provided. on Linux Mint. 
Your difficulties with that were asked and answered, I assume that If 
you want if it works as he told you it would, it will still do so.   He 
told you eaxactly how to "get under the bonnet"

If you choose for your own reasons to use GIP on Windows carry on and do 
that. Whether or not Windows or Linux is easier or more or less 
"intuitive" is your decision.  Vangelis, as you say provides utterly 
brilliant help here acknowledging that he uses Windows.

Now you launch into this huge rant about your problems with Linux and 
tell us that you can't get "under the bonnet" and that you've built 
loads of pcs and some users, qualified in other fields couldn't work out 
how to use a pc and you helped them through patience etc.  I've built 
all my own pcs too and helped people who "just wanted it to work" You 
are not the only person who has been there and done that.

You say you are an "engineer" in what "computer engineering" If you have 
ever studied that subject you might understand more than you appear to 
the difference between Unix and its derivatives. which include amongst 
other things Linux, Android (which is a reinvention of Linux) Apple IOS 
(based on BSD) and Windows


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