Thursday, April 17, 2008

Use the Ubuntu Forums!

I've posted before about how Linux deals with tech support, and I have to say - I think it works really well. I had two technical issues involving gifts from my in-laws. My mother-in-law gave me her old laptop, and for a couple of days there, the sound card wasn't working. So I scoured the Ubuntu Forums for answers to my issue. Since there are many ways to skin a cat, I got several solution ideas and tried a few. Not only were the solutions I found close to the solution I was going for, several were exactly on point, with the same model sound card and some with the same model computer. We also were given a brand-new Canon Pixma MP210 model all-in-one copier/scanner/printer, which did not work "out of the box" with Linux like our HP did. I drove myself crazy trying to get this to work, especially since I knew relatively little about how Linux device drivers work. I posted to the end of an older thread, but didn't get a response for about three days. So I started a new support thread and emphasized that I was not some cranky Windows user who just wanted Linux to act like Windows (which annoys many in the Linux community), but a new user, eager to learn an important Linux skill. Once I did this, the response was nearly immediate and very helpful. Meanwhile, the older thread yielded the most useful results, and the ones that ended up working for me.

It wasn't fast, but I didn't wait on hold and I was shown solutions that worked!

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