Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-kde (183 mails)

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Re: [suse-kde] Print Manager
*** Reply to message from Patrick Shanahan <wideglide@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> on
Tue, 27 Jul 2004 21:34:37 -0500***

Well, to begin w/ I'm a bit late getting to this discussion... but IIRC
there isn't any easy way , that I can think of to bypass the creation
of the root user.. you are asked for a password for this user and then
to confirm it, you are also told it is important NOT to forget what you
put in as a root password, as root is the controling user.. no root
user, no other users , since one must , at least have root access to
create users...

As for it making folks run screaming from Linux because of these
oddities (?!) I think that is not happening as often as you may think.
In the first place newbies are terrified of making a "stupid" mistake
and havine all the teen aged Linux masters jump all over them and
embarrass them for all time.. So they tend to go slowly and carefully
thru the setup.. Where they get hooked is in using root as their full
tiime user and doing something they *think* they understand, but w/o
the benefit of a handy teen about and it's not something that is
covered in the instal instructions, so an error is made , because the
root user is allowed to make stupid moves ( not sure why THAT isn't
changed but still, say removing , recursively everything from / ...
This isn't accompanied by lots and lots of "are you sure?. Areyou
Really really sure? Have you considered the danger to your system and
your data, as well as your users data if you do this??? " if it's root
that gives this command,... whoops! Better hope there are good backups
that are recent, like at least close of business yesterday.

The biggest problems we are facing now seem to be to convince people to
use root , or some other priviledged group, to get set up, but once
they have their home directory working, programs needed or desired (
games!! installed and setup so they can be used by our clueless
newbies) They settle down very quickly, and go about doing work... web
surfing, booking airline tickets to Tanganika and printing them on
nearlly all current models of printers , at least they seem to work w/

They do email, check on the kiddies grrades at school, order in dinner,
or go to one of the new ediet sites ( May the Gods protects us all from
those!) and have their menus and shopping lists done for each day..
one bright market no doubt is going to arrange for their patrons to
simply come buy on their way home and a prepared meal will be ready for
them to take home and spread out on the dinner table..

In other words It doesnt' really take acres of time and hand holding to
get someone who has been using any modern OS , up and running in a
reletively short time, and so long as you don't try to teach them the
theory behind everything , and why computers work as they do.. ( like
who cares, where's my email, and when is dinner!!?!)

It is tougher for some of us to do some of the simplest things than it
is for newbies I think, because we all start from the idea that we
*should* know how to do everything and they why behind it as well...
and when , as often happens, some bit of stuff gets changed, like from
the old print mode to cups, suddenly there is panic all over the
mailing lists and we are doomed !!

It *might* be harder on someone coming from say 6.5 or whatever it was,
as teh changes from that, thru the sevens and the eights, were really
massive, and basic things got moved about... now, presumably, it wont
be long til any linux distro user could pick up another distro, and at
least they would know where to look to hand edit all those files that
used to have to be hand edited.. and which some of us still prefer to ,
at least keep a close eye on what the system is telling those files
they need to contain...

Imagine that, unified file sytems... at that point, it becomes a matter
of habit, ease or enjoyment to run the thing, at home or at work..
There will always be administrative stuff that has to be watched or set
up in the begining .. we will probably have to learn teh hard way to
try to stay a step or two ahead of the little skriptikins looking to
make a name for themselves about getting into a Linux network and how
it wasn't so tough..

But we all know how to setup Mum and Dad's system so they don't have to
worry too much ( especially if you don't give them the root password,
at least unless they really MUST have it to do something) And because
they are family, you keep an eye out for any sort of danger they might
unknowingly walk into.. And w/ teh ways to run updates etc from your
box to update theres. well, they don't need to even do that until you
are sure they are comfortable as their own "user". Even Windows is
starting to have some tighter controls and locks on things. A bit too
late an a lot more than a dollar short. But it's happening, so even
that sort of differeing passwords for differing levels of control of
the system, won't seem all that strange any more either.

But frankly, that still seems to be trustiing that the person you are
having an electronic *conversation* w/, by "chat" room, IRC, or even
email, actually is who they say they are...

IT has been the hardest thing for me to convince my family of.. the
ones who live on the other side of the country, and who actually
believe the nice person they are exchanging personal information w/ is
not interested in cheating them. Frankly those folks spent too long in
the mid West... And need some New York or LA *toughening up*.

Quit worrying about how hard it is do do windows things in Linux and
how much stuff you need to learn to make it run. ( Not all that much
when it comes down to it) Let your family members know that you or
better yet, one of the kids , will be happy to help out, and that when
they get a message that says "talk to your system operator" , for the
time being, that will be you.

As they take their first steps, you can point them at these lists, at
the freenode IRC network, which has a lot of general Linux help, and
even a "Specific" SuSE ( or SUSE) channel, where they can usually get
pretty good help from other users who have gone thru the same things..
And even on occassion, as w/ these email lists, Suse folk watch over

But that doesn't make Linux responsible for the problem, nor make it
too difficult to learn the basics of safe computing, or even computing
at all. Those things are the same , pretty much, for any OS.. nail it
down as tight as posible w/o making it unuseable, and keep reminding
the trusting souls our reletives seem to have become ( I don't recall
this much benefit of the doubt, when it came to who wore the cashmere
sweater last when we were all kids!! ;^) )

IF you wouldn't hand your credit cards , your SSI numbers , or any
other banking or savings data over to soemone you just saw pull up to
the curb, no matter how nice the car, how well spoken they might be or
how well dressed.. Why on earth would you do that for someone you can't
even see their face to try to make some sort of guess about their

IN other words, because it is important to get our families and friends
off that "less secure" OS and preferably into a Linux system ( Xandros
will act almost windowslike in it's introduction, it has a real 4 click
install and doesn't assk your thinkg like what is your Is[ps Dns
numbers) Not only for their sakes but for our own, so we don't have to
be perpetually putting out forrest fires that come about because of all
those holes in that other system.. And where Banks can INSIST you do
your banking only w/ IE; and have the webmaster fix everything so no
other browser will work, "for security" That Browser that will let
anyone w/ a modicum of knowledge steale your banking info, CC numbers

Just do it.. they can learn to do their email and web browse w/ Konqui,
w/ Mozilla, w/ Firefox ( the last two even have IE type "skins"!! ) and
that is pretty much all they want to do , at least to start w/. As they
become ready to take on more, you add it. Just like w/ your kids... or
your significant other.. whom you wouldn't hurt for the world, so you
bite your tongue very hard before you utter words like (l)user, or
allusions to the much lower than normal IQ you never suspected them of
having.. or indeed, anything at all that might get you a bed in the
bath or on the couch in the Living room for your tactlesness. ;^)
True you didn't waant to be the family systems engineer, but then there
are likely a lot of people in all families doing jobs they never
wanted, but they do them because someone has to, and after all we are

And the larger Linux family will also try to help ... IT's the way we
do things.. And even tho one might get a brusque remark from someone
who may not have had the best day, or week , or month even ...
generally there will be folks who will try to help..

nemo me impune lacessit

it's just an afterthought; okay ? : All true wisdom is found in taglines.

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