Is Ubuntu ready for the masses - I don't think so - From Ubuntu forums - another happy user!!!

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Spanky de Monkey, ESQ, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Is Ubuntu ready for the masses - I don't think so


    As per title I am not sure that Linux / Ubuntu is ready for the masses and
    fear that the sudden release of Linux netbooks from the likes of Tesco to
    the man in the street is going to put people off big time.

    I would consider myself to be reasonably computer savvy but nowhere near as
    knowledgable as some people on here. I have modified and built PCs, built a
    Windows server and set up a home network but I have little software

    Over Christmas I had an old P3 800Mhz PC lying about doing nothing and
    decided to load Ubuntu 8.10 to try it out having seen an article in a PC
    magazine. Wow, was I impressed. It loaded quickly and everything just
    worked. No third party drivers, just one Live CD and away you go. Within
    minutes I had updated to Open Office 3, was networked (wired) and sharing
    files with my Windows Home server. Wow! This lookedthe way to go. I am not a
    gamer and have no reason to stick with Windows for what I need a computer

    From that experience I decided that the netbook I was about to buy would be
    Linux based and after a lot of consideration opted for the Dell Mini 9. It
    comes with Ubuntu (Dell modified 8.04) and is very easy to modify re RAM,
    SSD, Wireless Cards etc. It arrived just over a week ago. The RAM was
    immediately swapped for 2Gb, a 32Gb Runcore SSD ordered and an Intel 5100
    Wireless N card snapped up off ebay.

    However, that is where being impressed with Ubuntu stops. The netbook has
    been nothing but a nightmare to get working. It still isn't fully

    Within a couple of days, an upgrade to Network Manager (suggested to help
    with a networking problem) broke the wireless connection. In trying to
    revert to the previous version it broke Ubuntu to the point it would not

    Restore No 1

    This time, networking was OK but I still could not access my WHS files. I
    could mount the folders and see the files but could not open them. The only
    was to open them was to copy them and then open them - they could not be
    streamed. The correct application would start to open and then just close.
    Never mind, a linux knowledgable chap I met advised me it would likely be a
    Samba problem so I installed various Samba updates but no change.

    Restore No 2

    Maybe 8.10 would be better. There is a good guide on the net for installing
    8.10 on a Dell Mini so I grabbed it and all went well. Got sound working,
    got networked and this time could open my WHS files. Some of the Fn keys
    don't work but, hey, that's no big deal. But then, all of a sudden
    networking stops, and I can no longer open the WHS files. It reverts to
    previously where I can see them but not stream them.

    Restore No 3

    Perservere with 8.10. This time all goes to plan. Everything is working,
    even file sharing with my WHS, then update manager reports some more
    updates. I let it install and lo and behold wired networking breaks. A quick
    google reveals I am not alone. The latest kernel release breaks wired
    networking and no fix is yet available. Now, OK, I accept that MS is a multi
    billion $ professional outfit compared to the unpaid OSS network of
    developers but can you imagine the sheer furore / uproar if MS released a
    patch that broke people's ethernet connections?

    My old PC has lost its wired connection as well. It doesn't have a wireless
    connection so I can't even download the fix when it beccomes available. It
    will need a re-install.

    Restore No 4

    Back to the Dell modified 8.04. It all works but I still can't open files
    from my WHS other than by copying them across first. The system is hardly
    firing on all 4 cylinders but it works and is useable although every time it
    reboots it forgets previous settings for the keyboard, airplane manager
    (Wifi,Bluetooth) etc. Then, along comes another upgrade and completely wipes
    my keyboard settings and I can't find them in the drop down lists.
    Fortunately, a quick post on these forums gets it back again together with a
    fix to ensure the same layout loads on startup every time. Restore No 5
    avoided (for now)

    Now my question is this - would the average man in the street have
    perservered like this with a system that keeps breaking with updates.
    According to my local Tesco, NO! They are seeing a lot of linux machines
    being returned to them as faulty but suspect that the users just don't
    understand them as the purchaser usually asks for a Windows replacement.

    It has been a frustrating ride fron initial euphoria at a system that works
    from one installation CD to sheer frustration at its inability to cope with
    networking and updates that break previously working systems. I really don't
    think that Ubuntu is a finished product ready for roll out to Joe Public.

    What is that going to do for linux. I think a lot of people are going to
    give up on it. I have to admit that I am close to giving up.

    I have my Runcore 32GB SSD arriving any day and am sorely tempted to go back
    to XP though I am not a quitter, I love a challenge and will probably stick
    with Ubuntu (8.04 or 8.10 I don't know). It's 50.50 at the moment.

    I like the Ubuntu format, I like the package manager for installing
    programs, I like the fact you don't need a myriad of third party driver
    discs but the networking side of things is, well to put it bluntly, crap. No
    other word for it. Given the sole purpose of netbooks on which linux is
    being installed is the Net then there are going to be a lot of disappointed

    Over the years I have had the odd problem with Windows but I don't remember
    an update that broke anything as major as networking (I once had a conflict
    with Sony's proprietary MP3 software but that's all I can remember and it
    was fixed in a matter of days).

    The XP install disc is getting closer to hand.
    Spanky de Monkey, ESQ, Oct 18, 2009
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