Re: BE MORE SIMPLE!!!!
John Hall wrote:
> Webmaster at Debian,
> How in the world do I download Debian? I've been at your site for 30
> MINUTES and have gone to every distribution link on it, but there's no
> singular link that actually downloads ALL 2250 files of Debian, and WHO
> in the world is going to down load TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY
> FILES one at a time!! Please, if you expect any users other than
> 24-hour computer junkies to use your software, get your act together
> and SHOW me a very obvious link that allows me, the USER, the Customer,
> to easily down all 2250 files in one hit. As of this moment I don't
> even know where to start, even though I've been at you site for 30
> minutes! If you haven't recieved hundreds of e-mails like this, I can
> assure it's because the potential Debian/Linux user gets so fed up,
> that they simply give up and stick with Windows because even Microsoft
> knows how to deal with actual people. I don't want you to do everything
> for me, but PLEASE make a SINGLE download, even a zip containing all
> those files, so that I don't have to spend 5 hours trying to install
> YOUR software! The public wants Linux and Open Software, but your
> making it very hard to adjust, even for some one who is a hobbiest in
> writing simple java and C++ apps. Thank you for reading.
> -Hopefully, a soon to be satisfied user
I'm not the webmaster, but I was a beginner fairly recently, so I'll
make a few comments. I assume the site you're going to is
www.debian.org. On the left hand side of the screen at that page is a
blue section with several categories ("Home", "About", "News",
"Distribution", "Support", etc); Under the "Distribution" link is an
"Installation Instructions" link. It could stand some improvement, but
overall it's readable for most people, much more so than a lot of the
documentation I've seen. This document will give you the basics of
getting started, and is highly recommended reading.
Concerning the 2250 files: you don't want to download all those files.
Those are collections of programs, kindda like if you went to your local
Joe's Super Software Store and walked along the shelves of software
packages. "You need a text editor? We got text editors; we got Joe, we
got emacs, we got vi, we got vim, we got...etc etc etc". You don't want
every package; just the ones you'll use.
Further, the basic install is MUCH smaller, only about 10 files or so
(about 10 diskettes worth). Of course, the basic install is VERY basic.
However, it's your first step. Once you have the basic install done,
then you can use the tools in it (dselect, dpkg, apt) along with some
sort of networking (LAN, dial-up PPP to your local ISP, etc, again,
included in the basic install) to install additional packages, such as
the X Window system, and games, and web browsers, and word processor.
Aalternatively, and this is what many people have recommended, purchase
a CD set from one of the dealers, such as CheapBytes. That way you have
all the files you need right there locally; no downloading needed. (By
the way, trying to download all 2250 files would be like trying to
download all of Windows NT and Service Pack 5 and Office 97 and it's
latest service pack and etc etc etc - you don't want all the packages,
just enough for what you need today.)
Be aware that, in my opinion, Linux is NOT ready for the average Joe
User on the desktop, this year. It's getting close, and for the brave of
heart such as yourself it will be very rewarding. But it will not be an
easy journey, especially coming from the world of Windows. Microsoft
excels at glitter and shine; Linux excels at stability and power. This
stability and power has been developed at the expense of glitter and
shine, although that is coming along fairly well now. I say this so you
won't get too frustrated along the way and think how Windows is easier;
part of that ease is simply that you're more familiar with it; part of
it is that Microsoft did a good job on some of the ease factors.
Again in my opinion, one of the weakest areas of Linux is documentation
for the beginner. However, this list is an excellent resource for those
pioneering Windows users who choose to try out Debian.
I can certainly understand your frustration; but you'll do okay. Read
the Installation Instructions as I mentioned, and then holler when you
hit a snag (you will hit a snag; trust me).
It'll be hard, but fun, and rewarding.