The Ubuntu Linux learning curve………..

Some weeks ago I blogged that I was installing Ubuntu on my laptop as I was going to give another operating system a try. It's been over a month now and the learning curve has been slow. It's not because Ubuntu is difficult and arduous it is Bill Gates who has a firm hold on me.  We all learn new things different ways and the trick is to find how best you learn.  As for me the best way I learn things depends on what I am trying to learn. When it comes to operating systems...well.... it has and always been the Windows systems.  When one of Bill's OS's where changed there was the frustration factor of just trying to make it work. This is where I am at with Ubuntu; I have downloaded some programs and once downloaded for the life of me I can't find them. It occurred to me the other day that I am looking for these programs with a Windows mindset.  I began to head over to Youtube to check out some learning videos. The problem here was I would have to keep stopping,
trying what they said then getting back to the Youtube video and then back to the same spot in Ubuntu again. That was just a receipe for frustration as this game plan was far from smooth going. It was off to some user groups but that turned out most of the time to be a hunting trip. I would end up going to so many links that the original question was forgotten and at my age that process does not take  long.  I came to the conclusion the written word in the form of books was the way to go to solve this monkey on my back.   I hope to become more familiar with the Ubuntu OS now and get past the wall I have come up against. Over the Christmas break I will be taking a leisurely approach with the help of some books and hands on learning to get Ubuntu in check.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

10 Responses to “The Ubuntu Linux learning curve………..”

  • Cliff Fox KU4GW:

    Hey Mike,
    Where did you buy the books and how much did they cost? I finally figured out how to run my programs, but now the PC is freezing up when I run the Chromium(Google Chrome)Browser for Ubuntu and it had been working fine.I tried uninstalling and then re-installing it to no avail,still freezing up! Also, I downloaded Wine so I could run Windows based software in Linux Ubuntu, but don’t know the first thing about how to do it. Good luck on your learning curve and I know what you mean about being forgetful. I’m 50 years old and it happens to me from one minute to the next! Getting old just sucks! Very 73!

    Cliff – KU4GW ku4gw[at]arrl[dot]net

  • Gary ke2yk:

    Guys, Depending on the version of UBUNTU you are using and how you install the programs depends on how accessible the applications are going to be. Newbies should use the built in UBUNTU Software Center since the installations will be most – Windoze-centric.

    Here is a link to look over:
    Regards and Happy Holidays!

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Cliff, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I will also email this post to your email address you gave me on the blog post. I purchased two books as you can see in the pick. The first one is The official Ubuntu Book sixth edition (cost 40.00 U.S) and it’s by Hill, Helmke, Graner and Burger. The other book is called Beginning Ubuntu Linux by Raggi, Thomas, Parsons, Channelle and Van Vugt. (cost 40.00 U.S) I purchased them both from Chapters here in town I would imagine Amazon has both books as well. From first glance of them I thing The Official guide to Ubuntu is a more hands on book and the better of the two.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Gary, I did use the software center for a tweak program and it did work very well. But some of the other programs that I downloaded like a CW program wanted me to use terminal to use the program…or at least that’s what I thought it was asking me to do. I did some searching on the net about the terminal program but not to sure of it. So thus the books to try to get a little deeper into Ubuntu 11.04.
    Thanks for stopping by Gary and taking the time to comment.

  • jason ke7tdy:

    hey all~
    I’ve been using Ubuntu Linux for over 5 years now. I’ve found it far superior to Windows in many aspects [security, security, security, available software, stability … and we can’t forget the price; FREE!]

    There are a good number of Amateur Radio software programs available in the linux world … and when you add the program wine , you can get many windows software to work 😛

    I am willing to offer my assistance to anyone reading the thread who needs help in Ubuntu. Also I would suggest installing Ubuntu Tweak as it helps you easily fine tune many things in Ubuntu … and it also helps you install some otherwise overlooked software that can be of real assistance to you 😛

    My catch all email address, the one I am willing to post because I don’t use it except for to post, is ubuntujason ‘at sign ‘ yahoo ‘dot’ come [uhm that should make sense lol] and if you email me there, tell me you’re from and need ubuntu help, then I’ll get ya my real email info and we’ll go from there 😛
    73 all …

    oh, my favorite ham software for linux:
    kLog [for logging]
    flDigi [for digital work]
    callGit [not working but they are working on a fix so it’s one to watch as you can look up call signs]
    echolink [via wine]

  • Matt - N0BOX:

    Learning any new operating system from the ground up is a lot of work. Just think seriously for a moment about how long it took you to learn Windows or Mac OS. It’s not likely something you picked up overnight, but since you wanted to use a computer, it just didn’t seem like that much work.

    Learning anything as central to how you use your computer will be pretty tough, especially when you go back to thinking about how you “already know how to do that” using Windows. It really is a matter of finding what works best for you. I had the luxury of having two computers to work on side by side while learning to use GNU/Linux. It helped a lot to have one “working” Windows computer handy so that I could search for answers online, chat with other users on the internet, and email some mailing lists I’m a member of when I screwed up networking on the Linux computer. Videos and websites are also handy to have up on a separate screen so you don’t lose your place, too.

    I hope the books help you learn what you need to about Ubuntu. I’ve been using Ubuntu almost exclusively for Linux work lately. I still have Windows 7 on my “main” computer because I use that computer for 3D video gaming (I really wish the big game designers would release their games for Linux), but I would otherwise use Ubuntu on every computer I own.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Jason, that’s great you are offering your help both to myself and the readers of the blog as well. I for sure will copy the email address down and use it. I do have Ubuntu tweak installed but have not had the time to go over what it offers. But it is good to hear that it can simplify my Ubuntu ride. So over the holidays you may hear from me to get your “real” email address.
    Thanks again for the offer and Merry Christmas
    Oh and thanks for the ham related software programs as well.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Matt, that is a good point and sometimes is forgotten theses days…that some things just take time. We get used to just “it works or does not work” there is the learning curve and I have to understand that. Matt I too have two computers…..well more than that. I have Windows XP which is my staple for ham stuff. I have Mac with the lion OS, a laptop with Leopard OS and a net book with Windows 7. Then there is my laptop with Ubuntu on it. I have always found that books work for me fairly well for learning.

  • Ruud PE1R:

    As a Windows convert you probably like the classic gnome more over the default Unity desktop engine.
    If you are planning to use native windows programs don’t use wine but setup a dual-boot system by first installing Windows and thereafter The Linux distribution of your choice
    Linux Mint comes to mind for a first time user .
    Happy computing / holidays , Ruud

  • Mike Ve3wdm:

    Good afternoon Ruud, and thanks for the input and taking the time to stop by. I checked out the link and will look into gnome. I have heard of Wine both good and bad but at this time I don’t plan on using any Windows programs.
    Have a great holiday Ruud

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