Re: Its the updates
The only only advantage the ~15yrs has given me is to reinforce the message always stick with the defaults unless you are absolutely sure you need to do something different, you understand why you need to do something different, you understand how the alternatives work, and then try it out on non-production system first.
14.5 years ago, I only had 6 months experience with apt, and I'd never seen a dependency problem. That is why I now have 15 yrs experience. 99.9% of what I have ever installed has come from the standard repo's.
PS when I mentioned apt in my OP, I meant the overall packaging system, not necessarily the command line. The synaptic package manager provides a very nice gui and is what I use most of the time, and would certainly recommend to noobs.