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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Newbies - Puppy needs YOUR help too!
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dogle

Joined: 11 Oct 2007
Posts: 354

PostPosted: Sat 03 Oct 2009, 17:54    Post subject:  

Sarakay, welcome and heartiest thanks to you and everyone else who are contributing so much to this thread.

Quote:
documentation is a bit of a problem; we all know programmers would rather program than write.


Absolutely spot on! (IMHO this is the cardinal Linux problem,not just a Puppy one)

The salient consensus from this thread is very clear - new Puppy users are bright people who dearly want to learn more and who are struggling, above all, to gain easy access to up-to-date information.

The new Wiki is, I hope, going to be a hugely important resource in this respect, and one to which we can all contribute.

(PS the beginners' stuff in this forum is receiving attention right now, big hat-tip to Colonel Schell).
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KittyCat


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 67
Location: On a blanket in the sun

PostPosted: Sat 03 Oct 2009, 21:46    Post subject:  

dogle wrote:
The new Wiki is, I hope, going to be a hugely important resource in this respect, and one to which we can all contribute.


There's a new wiki? Where? Confused

I actually managed to find it. It's on http://puppylinux.org/main/index.php, and you can get to it by clicking on the Wiki Ho-To tab on the top of that page.

There are two major problems with that wiki: The first is that it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to finds links to it here in the forums. The second is that there are no guide sections in it. Until these two problems are fixed, the wiki will not be very helpful to any newcomers to Puppy.

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T_B

Joined: 08 Apr 2007
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Sun 04 Oct 2009, 18:05    Post subject:  

Let me start by saying "Puppy is amazing".
I am using Linux for more than a few years now, but I always feel like a newb when I am using Puppy instead of Ubuntu (or other major distros like Suse/Fedora).
I never have to ask a question in forums when I use Ubuntu. All questions have been asked and for most questions there is a good answer already or there is workaround.

In Puppy it is always the question if the program you want to run is available as a pet. If so, the question remains is the pet for the current version.. Does it have dependency issues.

Puppy is great for newbies if you *only* want to run standard included programs or if you are lucky that someone created a pet for you.
Of course you can compile something in Puppy with a dev.sfs, but that is not for newbies and tbh never really worked well for me (try compiling aMule...).

I love puppy, it is my favorite rescue cd. Every time I use it after a period of Ubuntu I am thrilled about its speed. Unfortunately after a while I always need to go back to Ubuntu because there is a program that I need/want that is not available for Puppy.
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dogle

Joined: 11 Oct 2007
Posts: 354

PostPosted: Mon 05 Oct 2009, 16:40    Post subject:  

Thanks, T-B.

It seems to me that Barry is well 'on the case' with improvements to the Puppy Package Manager and the development of Woof, but it is also abundantly clear from this thread that the 'newbie' feeling you describe is the real biggie re. Puppy acceptability to newcomers.

Quote:
I never have to ask a question in forums when I use Ubuntu.


Any comments/suggestions as to how Puppy information might better be brought to match that of the big distros are very welcome, and needed.
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ogodon

Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Mon 05 Oct 2009, 20:49    Post subject: newbie not giving up on Puppy despite :  

I am a XP refugee that keeps insisting on believing on Puppy despite several perpetual headaches... I hope I can list the things I find more frustrating. My computer knowledge is that of the average clueless Windows user, but I can't afford new computers to keep up with Windows massive hardware demand. I will learn to deal with Linux or die trying I guess... Puppy does it for me cause it is small and fast, I really like the philosophy behind, and those things I've managed to get going are working really well, hey, I love it... but it can be tough.

This is what I find makes it so hard, my hope is that this is of some help to someone. I wish I could help in other ways that pointing out things. Anyway here is my list of things that make migrating to Puppy tough :

1) The big amount of time dedicated to search for answers. Murga Linux is full of old threads, then the threads that probably contain the answers are full of things I don't quite understand. Most notably however are the endless comments of small particular details. If I look for a way to install openoffice, I find lots of stuff about unusual cases, but I can't find the ABC to it. Most questions in forums are asked by people that know a lot more than me. The answers to my simple stupid questions are not easy to find. For example, what do I do with a program in .tar.gz format? it took me a while to figure that one out, just enought to get by. Maybe I'm just not good at choosing where and how to search, but it is not obvious to me where and how to search anyway.

2) Everything is online. I can't find any manual or helpfile to download and use when I am not online. This applies for Puppy in general, and for most programs in Puppy. For people like me who don't have a good connection, it doesn't help to depend so severely on the net. I'd like to point out Puppy is a great option for people with little money since it runs so smoothly on old machines others have discarded, it is the case sometimes they don't have a high speed connection home.

3) As a total newbie, I never found a good place to start learning from. All I could do was put it on, install it, and try everything in it. It sounds good, but just pressing buttons will leave plenty of big blanks in the way. There are hundreds of Linux tutorials that start off with this great guy in Finland, and then they hop on to a distro other than Puppy. Is there something like this but related to Puppy? I think not, so I have considered learning a few things in a different distro and then back to Puppy, but I have still remained faithful to Puppy...

Well, that's all, this message is mostly a bit of an outcry. I know I am not good with computers, I just hope people will realize how really simple stupid stuff can be a huge problem for a beginner, and how hard it can be to find the help for that. I am a teacher myself and I am aware it is a big challenge to efficiently put together the basics, many guides really suck, but at least there is something to decypher.

Other than that, thanks a million for Puppy. It works amazingly for me, it has been a beam of light after a long dark night, and it keeps rewarding me for my efforts everyday. It's a challenge I enjoy, a tough challenge, and I can picture many, even myslef, giving up too soon.
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davids45


Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 655
Location: Chatswood, NSW

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 01:04    Post subject:  

G'day ogodon,
Welcome to the do-it-yourself world of computers known as Linux.
A quick suggestion about your first two points - finding stuff on the forum and off-line information.
You didn't write how big your hard drive is (assuming you are not a portable Pup only person), but assuming it is of a reasonable size, if you do happen to find a good forum page about something you are getting to grips with, you could consider doing what I do so I can look at useful forum information off-line.
Create a directory called, say, "Forum_pages"
When you find a very useful forum page, click File>Save As Page as a "Web-page Complete"
Give the "Save As" htm file+directory package a meaningful title - one relevant to why you needed it, and so you can find it again later and use it off-line if the same problem arises.
Save the useful forum page to your Forum_pages directory.

Past-their-use-by-date stored pages can be deleted when desired.
Threads that run to 100+ pages can be a pain, of course, if each page is useful. But if only one page is relevant, then it's the one to save.
David S.
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dogle

Joined: 11 Oct 2007
Posts: 354

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 07:21    Post subject:  

.. and especially, welcome to the Kennels, ogodon.

Quote:
Is there something like this but related to Puppy?


Yes there is!

http://www.cafepress.co.uk/puppylinux.302823859

http://www.lulu.com/content/5560578

Grant's book is designed for refugees (you can download for free if you have access to a good connection - it's heavyMB .pdf).

Don't miss Barry's excellent explanations, access to which is rather well hidden on the Puppy's jumping-off page at present - you need to follow the links for developer site/developer section to find them and I fear that lots of newcomers don't get that far.

http://www.puppylinux.com/development/index.html

Edit: Oops, must also draw attention to darrelljon's

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Puppy_Linux

and of course the great new Puppy wiki -

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/HomePage

Last edited by dogle on Sun 18 Oct 2009, 13:07; edited 2 times in total
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ogodon

Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 07:45    Post subject:  

Thanks a million. Perhaps all I should have done was ask earlier. I'll read the stuff, and hopefully improve.

Thanks again.
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Nikomachos

Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct 2009, 10:48    Post subject:  

Most things are surprisingly user friendly, but firefox didn't download and install automatically. I'm figuring how to do that now from the forums (there's a thread and a puppy), but of course I'd prefer for it to just download and run automatically.

Open Office would be nice too, though I realise that's pushing the size of puppy. I see where Office is added on the main site, and I'm going to work on getting that. I have a space issue atm, but that'll be resolved with the next install.

Wireless network connection wouldn't work until I both dropped encryption and made the router broadcast. Puppy did at least see the hidden router. My updating the drivers might resolve this.

Antivirus and something like CCleaner might come in handy. I like that there's a firewall. AVG has a Linux antivirus - dunno if that'd work well.

Thanks for raising Puppy!
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tobydog

Joined: 07 Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Wed 07 Oct 2009, 04:03    Post subject: Wireless puppy  

Thanks to an earlier poster in this thread, who has solved the problem of wireless not working. The trick is to enter the password in hex, rather than ascii.

For my 2Wire router, the following tool successfully converted my 13-character ascii WEP password to hex: http://www.einhorn-net.de/jstools/wepkey.html

Puppy (430 small) is the first Linux distro I've found that actually works on my old Gateway Solo 9500 laptop (128MB RAM). Congratulations and many thanks, to the Puppy team!
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hepcatfive

Joined: 07 Oct 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 07 Oct 2009, 22:42    Post subject: Newbie Experiment:
Subject description: Puppy on my girlfriend's laptop for one year.
 

I'm A+ certified but still consider myself a Linux newbie. To make a long story short, I needed a distro that would work on my girlfriend's old laptop and would be user friendly enough for her.

A year ago (September 2008,) I tried a few different distros (Mint, PC-OS, PCLinuxOS, Damn Small Linux, Knoppix, etc.) Most either didn't work (Mint, PC-OS,) or were too slow (Knoppix, PCLinuxOS,) or worked fine but were not particularly girlfriend friendly (DSL).

Puppy was the answer (hard drive install). I had some trouble getting the wireless PCMCIA card working but other than that it was a breeze.

More recently, I upgraded her from Puppy 4.1. to Puppy 4.3 (Specifically Puppies 4.3.1.1 Main X Server - way to go ttuuxxx thank you so much!)

http://puppylinux.org/news/releases/430-firefox-remaster

Again I had some trouble with the wireless adapter but this new version is truly better than ever! It still amazes me to see how fast Puppy boots up.

4.3 it turns out, is much more stable than its 4.1 predecessor: frequent reboots are a thing of the past. The laptop touchpad also works much better than before. As far as the remaster goes, my girlfriend really appreciates having the latest Firefox which handles Flash sites with no trouble right out of the box.

After one year I think it is safe to declare Puppy Linux girlfriend approved! She has had no trouble figuring out nearly all of the included software and even started her own Puppy powered blog back in April 2009:

http://www.thewordwire.com/

Many thanks to all the Puppy developers: you've done a truly remarkable job and are to be congratulated!

All the best!

PS: Linux Babes are HOT!!!
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puppyite


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
Location: U.S., Midwest, Central Time Zone, GMT-6

PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct 2009, 00:38    Post subject: Re: Newbie Experiment:
Subject description: Puppy on my girlfriend's laptop for one year.
 

hepcatfive wrote:
PS: Linux Babes are HOT!!!


That's funny. I needed a laugh, thanks. Women with brains usually are hot.

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Learn more about Puppy Linux: Puppy Linux FAQ
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puppyite


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
Location: U.S., Midwest, Central Time Zone, GMT-6

PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct 2009, 01:14    Post subject: Re: newbie not giving up on Puppy despite :  

ogodon wrote:
3) As a total newbie, I never found a good place to start learning from.


Hi Ogodon,
My favorite book about Linux is: Linux in Easy Steps, fourth edition by Mike McGrath. It's geared towards Ubuntu but I find it's generic enough to be a perfect starter book. It's $15. new, only 192 pages in length and utilizes language that average computer users can understand, I think you'd like it.

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hepcatfive

Joined: 07 Oct 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct 2009, 08:00    Post subject: How about a custom Newbie Puppy?
Subject description: Is there a Puppy remaster just for newbies?
 

Is there a Puppy just for newbies loaded with extra help files, virtual tours of installed software, manual PDFs, video tutorials, etc.?

BTW:
Thanks puppyite for the resource suggestions, (McGrath's book looks like a winner.)

Ogodon has got some good points:

Quote:
I just hope people will realize how really simple stupid stuff can be a huge problem for a beginner, and how hard it can be to find the help for that.


Yeah, we do. I remember when it took me a second, or two, (or ten,) to figure out that I needed to mount the cdrom drive before I could view the contents of the cd I had just inserted. Embarassed

There's a lot of little "Linux specific" things that have the potential to really trip up migrating Window$ users. I wonder if there's a good list somewhere? Strict sensitivity to upper and lower case letters with file and folder (excuse me, "directory") names is another one...

The do-it-yourself world of Linux can be daunting and frustrating but also very exciting once you finally do figure stuff out. It's ultimately very rewarding once you figure out ways to give back to the community. It's obvious that a lot of work had gone into make Puppy one of the least painful Linux experiences out there, and Linux in general has come a LONG way over the years.

Quote:
1) The big amount of time dedicated to search for answers. Murga Linux is full of old threads, then the threads that probably contain the answers are full of things I don't quite understand. Most notably however are the endless comments of small particular details.


The forums can be a little arcane at times for sure. There's some pretty decent puppy videos for those not used to trudging through forums.

http://puppylinux.org/wikka/Videos

Quote:
2) Everything is online.


That's another good point. That's a real problem for some people. This is why I suggest a custom Puppy remaster just for Newbies. I think some videos / virtual tours that launch on the first boot might be helpful. There should also be a desktop icon for returning to it as needed.

I have an old Linspire Live CD that had a very thorough flash presentation for beginners. It was actually a little too thorough, you couldn't really get through all of it in one sitting without getting bored stiff. It would be nice if there was just a quick overview with the opportunity to drill down for more info when needed. If these tutorials could be integrated with the help files that would be even better. I suggest a custom remaster because I'm not sure that all this should be incorporated into the main distribution: more advanced users won't need it, and Puppy of course likes to stay lean.

Quote:
Perhaps all I should have done was ask earlier.


It does take a bit of courage to post. No one really likes being a newbie, and no one wants to embarrass themselves. I risk revealing abundant ignorance when I post. I'm ok with that because I can see that this community is very accepting of all skill levels. In my post above I thanked the developers. I need to also thank all of you forum moderators / contributors. In looking through the forum I see plenty of newbie questions. The replies are always very polite and respectful. I think the positive, helpful spirit of the Puppy community has contributed tremendously to the success and popularity of this distribution.

Good job all!

Keep it up!
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct 2009, 11:02    Post subject:  

hepcatfive wrote:
Is there a Puppy just for newbies loaded with extra help files, virtual tours of installed software, manual PDFs, video tutorials, etc.?


Not as far as I know......but there is a suggestions section, or just post it as a suggestion in the beginners threads, a lot of stuff gets read & acted on, there

It'd certainly gain some support

How about this, to whet your appetite?

http://klu9.50webs.com/puppystuff.html

Aitch Smile
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