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Author Topic: Is it really so bad?  (Read 1202 times)

Offline hailukah

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Is it really so bad?
« on: June 30, 2010, 05:53:39 PM »
First off, thanks to all the devs for making such a great distro.  It's exactly what I've been looking for.

Second, as I've been purusing past forum posts I've noticed a lot of posts regarding the ease of use of TC for new users.  I'd like to make an argument for not worrying about TC's ease of use.

When I started dabbling in Linux, the first Distro that I had any success with was DSL 0.7.2.  The first good thing about it was the automagic hardware detection.  The second was that I could easily reboot to a pristine system everytime I, invariably, borked it.

But borking it is how I learned to use it.  Linux is such a different beast than Windows, and there can be a large learning curve.  Coming from Windows to Linux has to result in a complete paradigm shift.  Or does it?

I happen to enjoy totally breaking a working system and then restoring.  But I know that I'm a minority in the general computer user world.  I'm quite positive that my wife hates it when something on her Ubuntu install breaks, and she will usually just re-install the OS to fix whatever problem she's having.  I'm sure that most new Linux users would likely do the same.  They treat their Linux install just as they would Windows.

And that's not a bad thing.  It's impressive what Ubuntu has done in the last several years.  If a person wants a Linux system that works they way they want it to (and all they want is an open source rendition of a Windows-like OS), Ubuntu is superb.

But I'm in the market for a little bit different OS.  I want to go back to the days of DSL and be able to just reboot (quickly!) to get back to a pristine state.  I don't want my HDD being written to every couple seconds (I'm running from and SD card).  I want just the programs installed that I want to use.

But I also know my way around Linux.  And that's important, I think.  I'm not afraid of CLI.  I prefer text config files.  I like mucking around in init scripts and scripting my own wifi automagic.  I want something different from the plug-it-in-and-click-firefox-and-click-the-facebook-icon-and-be-happy ditros that top the charts.  I don't like Firefox.  I don't like graphical text editors.  I don't like two-dozen menu entries for apps I will never use.  I don't like wasting three gigs of and 8 GB SD card on an OS that will do little more that act as my portal to the web.

My point is that TC is here for those of us that want a 51.4 MB install that cold boots in 20 seconds and simply surfs the web in a modern full featured web browser with Flash and also has a snazzy little bit of eyecandy for when I'm editing something in nano.  If a new user wants a system like this and they don't know how to get it to work right, then maybe they just need to roll up their sleeves and bork the system a few times.  If they don't stick around then so what?  Maybe Ubuntu, or Puppy, or something else is for them.  If they do stick around, then it's almost certain that they learned something new.  And if that user is like me, and they got their system running perfectly in just a few short (20) hours, then maybe they're wearing a big grin of satisfaction and absolutely enjoying every minute of their new, slim, pristine system.

Is it really so bad that it takes a little work to install TC?  Let's not worry about those who don't want to work a little more.  I like it just the way it is.

Again, a big thank you to the devs of this wonderfully tiny, customizable, geeky little distro.

josh

Offline OldAdamUser2

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Re: Is it really so bad?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 06:19:57 PM »
I'm sure a lot of us agree with you, Josh. Like you, I used DSL way back (in fact I still use DSL on one computer)--and that probably is related to my enjoyment of TC. That said, I do think some things should be relatively easy. It should be easy to boot TC from a CD or a USB key (and I think the team has generally succeeded in making that fairly easy).  It also should be easy to establish an internet connection, since Tiny Core depends on such a connection for downloading apps. That may remain a work in progress--especially for those of us without access to an ethernet wire. Getting wifi up and running can be a challenge.

Offline hailukah

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Re: Is it really so bad?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2010, 08:21:44 PM »
You're right that setting up wireless isn't the easiest, but it wasn't any harder than setting up a madwifi box without ethernet.  It's only a matter of copying the appropriate files to the boot media.

Perhaps a remastered iso with wireless tools installed would be appropriate.  I don't necessarily think a full blown desktop iso is needed.  I also don't think it should automatically copy the extra wireless packages to an install, if one is made from that iso.  Still let the user decide what to copy.

But then at that point a DSL-esque help page on boot would be nice to give new users a boost.  And then who knows what else would be helpful on such a modified iso.  It would be easy to add and add and add...

I think it really is tough to decide how much rope to give users.  On one hand it would be bad to become some elitist distro (trust me, while I like the tools from suckless.org, the community can be a pain in the butt sometimes).  But it's also not right to try to attract a user base that doesn't understand the concepts that such a small distro entails.  I wonder if some amount of in-built grunt-work isn't a bad thing.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 08:40:50 PM by hailukah »

Offline thane

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Re: Is it really so bad?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2010, 10:42:41 PM »
Generally agree with you, hailukah. Although in my experience it's not the Windows refugees (like I was) that have the biggest hassles with TC, but users of other Linux distros who already have fixed ideas about how Linux "should" work.