Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 18th Jun 2012 05:29 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Over at the Goodbye, Microsoft web site, Brad R. takes Ubuntu to task for abandoning dial-up modem users. Apparently Ubuntu no longer includes the GnomePPP dial-up package in the distribution, without which you can't get online via dial-up. It gets better: if you do have some way to connect, when you download something from the Ubuntu repository, the first thing Ubuntu does is update its 16+ megabyte repository index. Happy waiting! Brad concludes that "Ubuntu is for broadband users only."
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RE: seriously
by woegjiub on Mon 18th Jun 2012 06:10 UTC in reply to "seriously"
woegjiub
Member since:
2008-11-25

Ubuntu frames itself as being for everyone, with a specific Africa angle.

They really think most people in Africa are going to have a broadband connection?

I always removed it upon installation, so it is not harming people in Australasia/Europe/North America for the most part, but for them to be targeting Africa in particular, and then leave out such an important tool for the kind of obsolete tech it seems like most people have over there seems like a bad move.

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: seriously
by dsmogor on Mon 18th Jun 2012 07:32 in reply to "RE: seriously"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Couldn't agree more. I still remember how painful was the Linux update process on a dialup. All repository goodies that you praise on a broadband working against you. There were some primitive tools to help but they were primitive and buggy, I ended up writing my own.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: seriously
by Soulbender on Mon 18th Jun 2012 07:47 in reply to "RE: seriously"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

They really think most people in Africa are going to have a broadband connection?


Most people in Africa doesn't have internet at all. Internet adoption is like 10-15%.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: seriously
by vodoomoth on Mon 18th Jun 2012 15:01 in reply to "RE[2]: seriously"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

So what's your comment saying? That they've done right by dropping dial-up because it's only 10-15% anyway?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: seriously
by earksiinni on Mon 18th Jun 2012 08:46 in reply to "RE: seriously"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Poor people use dial-up, Africa is poor, therefore Africa uses dial-up. Syllogistic logic at its finest.

If anything, dial-up is a luxury that only the industrialized world can afford. Landline penetration in Africa is very low and most personal internet access is carried informally over cellular networks. Tethering is your best bet in Africa.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: seriously
by vodoomoth on Mon 18th Jun 2012 15:16 in reply to "RE[2]: seriously"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Well, your deduction is based on wrong premises.

First, nobody wrote "poor people use dial-up". The fact is that this "primitive" technology that the whole world used to use 15 or 20 years ago to access the Internet is STILL used in Africa. Nobody ever said that it's still being actively promoted and deployed.

And guess what, broadband here in France is also mainly based on landline. Cellular networks in the parts of Africa I know use GPRS at best. No 4G, no 3G. That too is an old technology.

Second, "most personal internet access is carried informally over cellular networks" is also wrong. Data over cellular networks is so expensive and so slow that I, living normally in Europe, gave up squandering money over unreliable data link that had problems that even Opera Turbo had a hard time overcoming. And like hundreds of thousands of other people, I turned for the rest of my stay to Internet cafés, all of which use DSL via landlines, often coupled with Wi-Fi. My next stay starts in a week and, being now a freelance worker, I only hope (in vain, I'm sure) that things got better.

Most internet access may indeed be carried over cell networks, but not because it is the best option or the most affordable option. It's simply the only option. Even using Skype to call people in Côte d'Ivoire or in Benin ends up with countless interruptions. And the people I call are using… pricey mobile data access.

The real problem is Africa is that there isn't money to build and maintain the infrastructures, whatever their price (mobile equipment) relative to more massive investments (building a correct landline network).

People who haven't experienced first hand the Internet access conditions over there don't know what it's like to not be able to speak to your family on a Skype call.

dial-up is a luxury that only the industrialized world can afford

You've had me laughing there. Do you imagine anyone willing to use dial-up when given another option?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: seriously
by lucas_maximus on Mon 18th Jun 2012 12:44 in reply to "RE: seriously"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

How is one going to update a distro without at least a 1mb/s connection?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: seriously
by Soulbender on Mon 18th Jun 2012 12:55 in reply to "RE[2]: seriously"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It's possible but requires some patience.

sudo apt-get -d full-upgrade
...wait for the updates to download...
then just run the gui update tool from the unity menu

I use 12.04 on a less-than-stellar mobile broadband connection and that works for me.
Wouldn't want to do it on dial-up though but that's where tools like Keryx comes in.

Edited 2012-06-18 12:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: seriously
by gan17 on Mon 18th Jun 2012 13:52 in reply to "RE: seriously"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03


They really think most people in Africa are going to have a broadband connection?

If you go by that school of thought; Most people in Africa probably wouldn't have the 32 cpu cores and 8000 GB RAM required to run Unity anyway.

I know Ubuntu is an African word and Shuttelworth is South African, but I don't recall ever reading that they were "targeting" Africa specifically. Even if they were, they sure aren't now looking at the system requirements.

It does sound a bit strange, though. Pppoe-whatever packages are probably just a few kb, and someone living in a rural place with only dial-up wouldn't have the ability to download the packages if he couldn't get connected in the first place. Then again, I suppose someone with dial-up wouldn't be downloading a 600mb ISO anyway.

Edited 2012-06-18 14:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: seriously
by galvanash on Mon 18th Jun 2012 16:40 in reply to "RE: seriously"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Ubuntu frames itself as being for everyone, with a specific Africa angle.

They really think most people in Africa are going to have a broadband connection?


Two things.

One, Ubuntu does not and has never had a "specific Africa angle". Mark Shuttleworth is South African - that explains the name. There is nothing else to explain. The stated goal of Ubuntu is simply to make their software available free of charge on equal terms to everyone, and well that is it. If they were trying to solve Africa's problems I'm pretty damn sure they would be doing something completely different...

Second... You don't know what you are talking about. Less than 3% of the population of Africa have landline telephone, and only a fractional percentage of those with landlines even have dialup capability. The number WiMax/Cellular internet users in Africa far outweigh the number of dial up user (by at least a few orders of magnitude). WiMax/Cellular data use in Africa is growing dramatically, about 4X faster than the rest of the world in the last 10 years (although it is still relatively small). Dialup? Never even got off the ground there. Africa will likely never have more than maybe .25% dialup users, if that.

90% or so of ALL internet users in Africa are in South Africa, Morroco, or Egypt. About half of them are on some form of wireless. In the rest of Africa it is closer to 98% wireless, because they simply don't have the infrastructure for anything else - even dialup.

In short the about the last place on earth where this matters is Africa. It is a much bigger problem for the US, which still has a very sizable dialup userbase.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: seriously
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 18th Jun 2012 18:01 in reply to "RE: seriously"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Other than their name, what makes you think Ubuntu is targeting Africa? Is Apple a company that focuses on selling devices for Fruitarians?

Reply Parent Score: 3