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Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:55 pm
by sambot
I have cruised through boards for about 10 days now, trying to learn how to do fairly simple things. What strikes me is that there are 2 levels of comprehension for XO users - they are either technologically savvy, or completely clueless.

I fall into the latter category. I am struggling to learn, and I am making lots of mistakes. It would be a lot simpler if people who are kind enough to take the time to post instructions to assume that for every individual poster they are trying to help, there are probably another 25 readers trying to follow the instructions.

For example, one post prompts the reader to "Run in a terminal activity." I have no idea what that means. Because I'm used to a windows environment "Run" to me has always meant start > run > <whatever I want to run>.

Some posts state that terminal should be opened as root, others state not to use root, use a pseudo root.

So please, for the benefit of the less informed, the less skilled, the hopelessly frustrated, please assume your pithy instructions will be read not only by the experienced user and by the clueless. Thank you to those of you who do this already. Because of your understanding, I successfully loaded Flash. :lol:

Step-by-Step PLEASE!

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:30 am
by CBSXO
I'm in TOTAL agreement. Numerous times I have tried to follow someone's suggestion ten or twelve times, and some small step was left out which made it impossible to accomplish the task. PLEASE don't make any assumptions about what the other forum members know!

Thanks,
Charlie

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:20 am
by KayTi
Great points! I'm somewhere in between the user types you mention and still encounter all kinds of problems because I don't know linux at all. I think there is a difference, though, in that for me the problems I encounter don't throw me too much (yet. There's time, LOL.) I go "Huh. That's not what I was expecting. What else can I try?" where someone less techomfortable will have things not work right and be stuck because they don't know what else to try.

One suggestion to make this whole community work best for the users - you, me, all of us, is to post a request for clarification when instructions you are trying to follow don't work for you.

From the techie side, I can say that the most useful thing for a technical person in reading a request for clarification is to have the DETAILS - say where you were when the problem happened, exactly what you saw on the screen, etc. Try to repeat it step-by-step if the problem is not still up on your screen, so you can say "I was following your steps, but after item 3 when I typed FOO, the computer said BAR instead of BOO." For me, I find that having my "real" laptop set up with the forums open next to the XO gives me the chance to type in exactly what I see on the XO screen (I'm still finding copy/paste to be a bit of a mystery on the XO - works between Write and the Opera browser I installed, but no idea how to copy out of the Terminal activity, for instance.)

And of course for the truly motivated, copying instructions that really work to wiki pages on wiki.laptop.org is a great idea.

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:46 pm
by gday
In the spirit of trying to help but cautioning people who use this that I too am learning all the time, here is a set of instructions to disable the automatic frame that appears.

This is what I did and it worked. I have gleaned most of this from the kind postings of others but had to dig a bit further for some underlying bits that they may have assumed I knew - the posters cannot know our levels and I don't think people are being evasive with helping - I understand their hesitations I think, but I learn by trying things in small chunks "safely" and every gem they give us has helped - my thanks to those who share the bits and especially the links to get more information.

Here goes:
This modification disables the auto-frame when you move your mouse to the 4 hot corners. Once you make this modification you will be able to hit the key on the top right of the Keyboard to toggle the frame or go back the Home screen.

Goal: to comment out (add a # in the first column) lines 56 & 57 of the following file:
/usr/share/sugar/shell/view/frame/eventarea.py
This means you can change back if you change your mind later - just remove the # marks and save.

1. Run Terminal (program along the bottom that has a $ inside a rectangle)

2. Click next to the right of the $ on the main screen then go to su (root) mode – key in su plus Enter

3. Key the following:
cd .. plus Enter - takes you back one directory level (repeat to go back one more level)

cd usr/share/sugar/shell/view/frame plus Enter Puts you in the right directory

dir plus Enter - you should now see the file eventarea.py

4. Key vi eventarea.py plus Enter (this will put you into an editor called Vi)

5. Key :set nu plus Enter to see the line numbers - go to 56

invisible.connect('enter-notify-event', self._enter_notify_cb)
You will also be adding to line 57 below it.
invisible.connect('leave-notify-event', self._leave_notify_cb)

6. Move the cursor to the far left of the first line - just to the right of the 56

7. Key in the letter i (this puts you into Insert mode - look near the bottom of your screen)

8. Key in #

9. Move the cursor to the far left of line 57

10. Key in #
The lines should now look like this (there is a gap between the # and the text in each case):
# invisible.connect('enter-notify-event', self._enter_notify_cb)
# invisible.connect('leave-notify-event', self._leave_notify_cb)

11. Press the ESC key - top left corner of keyboard - this exits edit mode of Vi

12 Key :w plus Enter - to save the changes

Ctrl – Q exits Terminal mode - reboot XO. Ctrl - Alt Erase after you exit Terminal also works.

Hope this helps. If you find errors please correct them and share.

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:37 am
by KayTi
Gday, you rock! I have debated turning off this feature, which seems to confuse my kids more than help them (they're ages 4 and 6.) I wonder if you could tell me (you can probably tell at a glance where my evaluation would require some squinting, a lot of ctrl+tabbing between windows, and some uncertainty because I'm a linux newbie) if these instructions on this wiki page match yours:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Ask_OLPC_a_Question_about_Software#How_to_disable_the_auto_Frame_appearance_when_mousing_into_hot_corners

If yours are different, do you think you could (or would you mind if I did) add your instructions to this page as an Alternate Set of Instructions for Disabling Auto-Frame?

Also, meanwhile, I found a somewhat good use for the darn frame today. My second OLPC has recently developed the nasty "stick alt key" bug that has been posted about quite a bit. My first RMA'd on it in early January (got the replacement yesterday, so far no keyboard issues, but my other one didn't have keyboard issues until 4+ weeks of use.) At any rate, because the sticky key doesn't always want to come unstuck (and in my case it's the ALT key, which makes many of the keys on the keyboard non-functional, including the frame key as well as the home, neighborhood, and group keys.) SO - all this to say, I'm going to delay my plan to disable auto-frame on that stick-key affected laptop because I fear if I do so, I will find myself having to reboot much more frequently. I may try it out on the second one, though.

Thanks again for posting your detailed steps!

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:45 am
by Lace
Surely one day someone will write "OLPC: The Missing Manual" ;-)

I also am in the clueless category. Postings that had more detail would be more helpful, particularly when I am passively lurking. OTOH, I wouldn't want to overly burden the volunteers and employees in the savvy category by making them spend a lot of time writing blow by blow instructions. It would be better to allow them to dedicate more bandwidth to solving problems and extending the capabilities of the XO and its SW. What's great about this community of savvy's is that they are more than willing to answer questions of a newbie like me. Monitor the IRC OLPC-Help to see what I mean. (ref: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Communication_channels)

The gorge between clueless and savvy is not that hard to wade across. (Well, maybe the river currents do put me downstream a little.) After floundering on this side of the river in frustration due to not having any knowledge about Linux, I got the book "Beginning Fedora: from Novice to Professional" by Shashank Sharma. I skipped all the chapters on installing Fedora and all the stuff about using office applications. The middle few chapters of the book are most useful. In those Sharma writes clearly about getting around the Linux file organization, using the command line, and he gives sensible descriptions about using vi, tar, etc. That investment of a few hours of reading while trying things out on my XO along the way gave me enough knowledge to make the discussions of the savvy much more accessible -- and enjoyable.

I think, though, that clearer instructions are beginning to emerge in the body of OLPC knowledge as more in the community get their XOs and contribute to the wiki and this forum. Instructions like what gday made about disabling the automatic frame are great. There are also a few like Walter Bender who have been trying to collect such information into more obvious spots in the wiki and the forum. Areas of the web site such as http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Getting_Started have been evolving rapidly even in the last couple of months since the XO started hitting the streets.

Still, to kayTI's point, it's worth asking for clarification by using IRC, the forum, or one of the lists. The people on the IRC helped (bailed) me out of a couple of sticky situations already.

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:46 am
by blinky
Thank you thank you thank you for those clear instructions. Agree about the missing manual.

I also wonder how, if some kid somewhere in eg the mountains of Peru wants to turn off the auto frame (I can't think why anyone would want it on) where do they go for instructions? I mean, even though they never touched a computer before, I'm sure they could follow clear instructions like this that tell you what button to press every step of the way, but it's so difficult to get to this page. A great big web page with about a thousand numbers 1:how to turn off auto frame. 2: how to etc etc would be great. Instead you have to trawl the web, from post to post for hours trying to find simple instructions and working out how to phrase your search term to get to those instructions.

Incidentally, is there anyone here who likes the auto frame?

Since writing the above, I've just tried and failed to install firefox/the opera olpc app to give the XO tabbed browsing. Anyone have the time to explain or know where I can find equally clear instructions?

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:53 am
by gday
Glad they were useful. I know the feeling of being new to the system.

KayTi wrote:If yours are different, do you think you could (or would you mind if I did) add your instructions to this page as an Alternate Set of Instructions for Disabling Auto-Frame?


Re. the comparison with the other instructions. They use a different editor so getting around may have different instructions - it seems to show a "find" function. Mine did not ask for a copy because reverting to the auto frame was just a matter of removing the # marks, although I think having a copy is a good idea since it is possible to mess up things I am sure. You would however have to change the name of the copy in the event something goes wrong and I am not sure how to do that. Probably a simple command in vi - I assume the copy would be kept in the same location otherwise there would be a moving necessary too.

One difference that may be relevant (probably not) is that the other instructions were for an earlier image than the G1G1 machines. I have 653 on mine now - they come with 650.

I will add my instructions to the other location although I am definitely not an expert! However I know what people mean re. finding things - hopefully someone who is an expert will correct them if necessary.

KayTi wrote:At any rate, because the sticky key doesn't always want to come unstuck (and in my case it's the ALT key, which makes many of the keys on the keyboard non-functional, including the frame key as well as the home, neighborhood, and group keys.)


Re. the frame. I confess I do not use the Alt key much (you can see how much of a novice I am - actually I don't use it on my Windows machine either - just a habit) and to get the frame I simply use the frame key that is on the very top right of the keyboard which I assume still works for you. I am not sure what you mean re. needing the Alt key for the four main keys to move between screens. I just press them to get to the various screens.

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:07 am
by blinky
I guess he means, if the alt key is permanently pressed down, the frame keys and home etc keys don't work.

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:18 am
by gday
blinky wrote:Since writing the above, I've just tried and failed to install firefox/the opera olpc app to give the XO tabbed browsing. Anyone have the time to explain or know where I can find equally clear instructions?


I followed the instructions at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Opera and it worked.
The installation does not seem to be as stable as I would like. If you change some of the Preferences things "happen" - I learned how to re-image the XO before doing it and that was needed when I inadvertently messed up Opera. This is likely my ignorance and not a fault with the program!

It does offer a lot more than the standard Browse.

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:24 am
by gday
blinky wrote:I guess he means, if the alt key is permanently pressed down, the frame keys and home etc keys don't work.


Ahhhh - now that is ANNOYING! I just tried it and now fully understand.

Thanks blinky. Forever learning . . .

I wonder when "spare parts" will be available?

Re: Clearer instructions please, please

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 6:14 pm
by xook
Oh my gosh - thank you so much for such clear instructions. I am new to the file editing 'behind the scenes of icons and buttons" crowd. I have tried different directions from different sites and achieved absolutely nothing. (But by golly was I one determined human!)
One mention that saved the whole shebang - type i to insert ....

Such a simple thing to take for granted for those who know.

Thank you again. It rekindled my 'need to know' all over again. :P