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New to SDR, and Linux, total noob...

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I super-apologize in advance for posting something that's probably already been posted before a million times.

I went a little "ape" one the Hak5 store, and bought a bunch of stuff (this stuff is awesome). One of the items was the SDR $20 USB dongle with antenna.

I've hooked it up to my laptop and realized it doesn't just "work." ...that I need to install software to make use of it. I installed a dual boot on my laptop with Ubuntu and Windows 7 64.

I can't seem to get the device to do anything in either Windows 7 or in Ubuntu.

So here's where my interest is. I'd like to be able to use this to manually sweep through signals. I have some experience with the Oscor Green from REI, and I'd kind of like to be able to use it in a similar fashion (IE: tuning through frequencies and seeing the "waterfall").

What is the best OS that I should be using? Linux, or Windows?

For what it's worth, I "installed" GNU Radio on my Linux, but beyond that, nothing happened that I could see... hahah.

I did the usual SUDO SU, and then ran the install command that it mentioned. All I see however are C files that are uncompiled. What am I missing? Do I have to compile all of those individual applications? Why wouldn't they have pre-compiled them?

I guess I just don't understand what the heck I'm supposed to do to get to the point where I can actually use it.

I also tried booting with the Ubuntu ISO that has all the stuff installed, and I still didn't see anywhere that I could actually USE the radio device.

Again, super-noob here, totally cool with that, but it seems unreasonably complicated to make work. What am I doing wrong?

I've written pathology medical applications for 2/3rds of the pathology labs in the US, and wrote all the scouting applications for an entire NFL team, and none of that seems as complicated as getting this SDR TL;DR to do something, hahah.

Appreciate any help!


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Hairbag and Cooper! Thanks guys, I really appreciate it! I always feel like such a dumbass when I have to post a question that I KNOW I'm sure has already been answered. I really appreciate the responses. I'll go through that list... now realizing that I didn't run the install command in the home directory, hah...

By the way, love Holland. Been there a few times. Nothing like being drunk and walking around Madurodam pretending like you're King Kong while eating a stroopwafel.

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