The good news, is that there are a few that speak geek here.
I'm on the other side of the planet, so it might be a bit hard to help you real-time, but if there's noone closer, I'm happy to assist.
Righto.. here's what you'll need before you kick off.
* Access to the computer.
- Sounds like the previous owner provided you with a username/password to log in.
- There's a chance that it automatically logs
in for you. If that's the case, we'll still need a password for the stuff that'll come next. With a little luck, they either provided you with a 'root' password (equivalent to an 'Administrator' account), or better still, the account you currently have access to, will have special privileges to install software
(this is more likely).
- Either way, grab any username/password records that came with the computer, and have 'em handy.
* Access to the internet
- Is your laptop connected to the internet
at the moment? If not, make it so.
- If you're not sure how to do that, yell out.
Now, updating software on Linux is both harder and easier than Windows. It's not as user friendly, but it's a hell of a lot simpler to make sure that packages aren't stomping all over each other, and creating crazy problems. There are some nice user-friendly graphical ways of doing stuff... but we're going to ignore them, and get down and dirty at the command line, since this isn't something you're likely to need to do every month.
So, once you're logged into your box, and have the internet available, you'll need to fire up something called a 'terminal'. This is a bit like a really advanced "DOS prompt" if you're old enough to remember stuff before windows 95.
Your laptop is running Ubuntu by the sounds of things - good; that'll make things a bit simpler.
Open the Dash by clicking the Ubuntu icon in the upper-left, type "terminal", and select the Terminal application from the results that appear.
That'll bring up a new window. Probably black with white writing (or the other way around). The terminal is a bit scary, but it's how you get into the guts of your computer.
At the moment it'll have some writing on it - something like "user@system:~$ " and a blinking cursor.
Righto.. here's what we're going to run:
Type that into your keyboard, and hit enter. It'll come back with something like this:
[sudo] password for user:
Type in your login password here. (it won't actually echo to the screen
- it'll look like you're typing nothing - that's ok.. keep going and press enter at the end).
Your command prompt (assuming you got the password right), will change to this:
If you don't get this, stop there, and post.
Type the following and press enter:
A whole BUNCH of stuff should appear on your screen
after that. It'll look something like this:
root@system:~# apt-get update
Ign:1 Internode :: Residential :: Entertainment :: File Download Mirror :: Directory Listing
Hit:2 Internode :: Residential :: Entertainment :: File Download Mirror :: Directory Listing
Hit:3 Internode :: Residential :: Entertainment :: File Download Mirror :: Directory Listing
Hit:4 Internode :: Residential :: Entertainment :: File Download Mirror :: Directory Listing
.... etc etc - the hostnames will be a bit different... but it'll look vaguely similar.
It should finish after maybe 20 seconds or so, depending on your internet speed, and eventually take you back to that prompt above: root@system:~# ('system' may be different - it'll use the name that has been assigned to your laptop).
Righto.. with a bit of luck, the previous owner installed opencpn via the normal process. If that's the case, give this a shot: (NOTE: Before you go further, there's a chance that your old plugins may not work
any more until you reconfigure them. Since we're heading to winter in the northern hemisphere, I suspect you're not heading out on the water
in a hurry, so that's probably ok..)
apt-get install opencpn
That might take a while to finish. It may ask you some questions along the way (probably something along the lines of "I need to install all this other stuff too - is that ok? (yes/no). Follow the bouncing ball. Post here if there are worries. You can shut down the computer at this point if you need to, and start from scratch again, if something is confusing.
It might take 10 minutes or so. Probably less with decent wifi
At the end of the process though, with a little luck, you'll have an upgraded version of opencpn - probably version 5. Close the terminal, and opencpn should be available from your normal user-interface menu.
Now, there are a few things that could go wrong along the way.
* The previous owner could have installed opencpn using a different method.
* We may have to add a different software repository
* Your user/password might not have the right access.
If you encounter problems along the way, stop, update here, and we'll see what we can do. If you have someone closer who can help, feel free to grab them, and ignore everything above.