Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: I did the deed!

Author:Eric Kidd
Posted:5/12/1999; 6:12:59 AM
Topic:Installing RedHat 6.0
Msg #:6073 (In response to 6070)
Prev/Next:6072 / 6074

I don't really think it's that far from Windows. Mostly it's a mixing thing. There seem to be two or three ways to do things. That's the no-no. I only want one command line, not three. I don't care if there are two other ways of doing it. I just want one. I don't care if it isn't perfect.

Interesting. That would be easy enough to do--just leave the alternatives off the menus.

For example, I can't find the equivalent of the Windows Explorer or Mac Finder. I see the screen shots in the book, but how do I launch it?!?

That's the semi-clunky file manager I was telling you about. It's called "gmc", which is short for Gnome Midnight Commander (of all things). However, gmc is supposed to get launched automatically--you shouldn't need to take care of it by hand.

One thing to check: Are you running as "root" or from a regular user account? If you're running from a regular user account, you should have typed in something like "dave" or "dwiner" at the login prompt.

Root is equivalent to NT's "Administrator". If you run as root, you have the authority to completely hose your system. Under normal circumstances, you'll want to run from your user account. Most other Linux distributions make this distinction very clear during the installation process.

If you try to run gmc as root, it will pop up a warning dialog, explain the problem, and quit. Did you see this? If so, you're running as root, and will need to create a regular account. If you're already running from your account, you've got a new and different problem. :-(

Anyway I'm happy to share my burnt braincells. Read the first sentence. It's a lot further along than I thought it would be. Now I think it's a matter of a feature mix, making choices and documenting and streamlining. It could be as good as the Mac or Windows, it appears to me.

This is great praise. Since the programmers in question aren't here, I'll thank you on their behalf. ;-) The MacOS and Windows have set an excellent standard for usability, and the Linux community is not ashamed to borrow good ideas.

We also know that a server story just isn't enough anymore. We want deep, mature, friendly desktops (with a few too many knobs, just in case somebody needs to tweak something). Everybody in the Linux community knows how they want to improve Gnome and KDE, but the current versions were deemed useful enough for a public release. Sometimes, you just gotta ship something. In two years, though, Gnome and KDE will be twice as old as they are now.

In the meantime, some Gnome goodies to look at:

Gnumeric: The XML spreadsheet. This will soon be connected to a scientific graphing package called Guppi using CORBA components.

The GIMP: It's not quite as good as PhotoShop yet, but it's easier to script and comes free with every Linux system.

Theme Selector: Pining for that Windows look-and-feel? Gnome can oblige.

FreeCell, Gnome Mines: Stealing more good ideas from Windows. Big thanks to the folks in Redmond!

Panel applets: Several dozen little applications for your panel. Don't miss the fish--it's so useless, it's almost cute.

Launch everything on the Gnome menu, right click on everything and try out some of the stranger options. You'll probably discover a bug or two, and get into trouble at least once. But there's some pretty neat toys tucked away, and you can't break anything permanently unless you're logged in as root.

If you somehow manage to toast your desktop, hit Control-Alt-Backspace (not Delete) and you'll return to the login prompt.

Cheers, Eric

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