Story: Linux ready to replace Windows? Not yet…Total Replies: 14
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Oct 07, 2008
2:04 AM EDT
Quoting:But for people who don’t have the time or the inclination to make fundamental changes, it’s a nonstarter.

Well, this applies to other things, too. Like, thinking. Or being a good citizen. Or whatever. So, like, whatever.

Oct 07, 2008
9:26 AM EDT
For most people Linux will be as different from what they are used to as vista is, the button for the menu will be in a different place, and the menu is layed out a bit differently.

The main thing keeping people who know about linux from switching is the stigma that linux has.

The main thing keeping people who don't know about linux from switching is they don't know about it.

Oct 07, 2008
9:38 AM EDT
> The market is doing a pretty good job of proving that they’re wrong, as this example shows.

Hmm...I switched. Life is a whole lot easier.

Wait, you mean it's possible that for some people a move to Linux is a good thing, and for others, it may not be? What a concept!

Consider the source...some sites exist for clicks, not for reasoned discussion. Isn't making a living as an internet troll about the same as making a living as an identity thief?

Oct 07, 2008
9:42 AM EDT
> Isn't making a living as an internet troll about the same as making a living as an identity thief?

Nah. One's illegal. The other isn't.

Oct 08, 2008
6:37 AM EDT
According Ed Bott

Quoting:Linux is a great choice for technically sophisticated users......

Given that I have a gaggle of little old ladies - women in their late 60s to early 70s, using Mandriva Linux, with very little, and mostly no additional input from me, other than the initial get them up and running (some explanations and demonstrations of where Linux is different from Windows, and why, and what that means), I have to wonder what that says about Ed Bott and his sycophantic Windows fanbois, who spare no effort to constant repeat the refrain that Linux is difficult and obscure etc etc.

Oct 08, 2008
11:51 AM EDT
I continue to think the future of LInux is in preinstalled systems, and there needs to be a lot more educating of the non-tech public about what a Linux distribution is and what it can do.

Oct 08, 2008
12:20 PM EDT
tracyanne -

The issue of technically sophisticated users is not all hot air.

Spend much time with Windows users and you will find that most of them "know somebody" who can help them when they run into trouble.

Linux is great if you are sophisticated, or if you "know somebody". If neither is true, it's great until you run into a problem.

Oct 08, 2008
4:30 PM EDT
Yes, I know.

I remember a time when the community colleges (TAFE here in Australia, Polytechnic in New Zealand) used to run special classes in how to use Windows, that was before moving on to the applications. Unlike a lot of the people who are involved in the arguments at Ed Bott's blog, I've actually been there (I started in the IT game over 30 years ago), and I've seen how hard Windows was to adapt to for the technically unsophisticated, I've also seen how hard it is, and we are still talking XP here, for those same users even now.

I don't have to give my "little old ladies" much help at all, the occasional assistance to get started with a new, to them, application, which they start trying to use, as they become more confident. At some point I will have to give some of them a refresher in package management, as they begin to explore more, but really Linux, in the hands of these women, is a lot less hands on from my perspective, than I ever expected, and definitely a lot less than the Windows fanbois would have you believe.


Oct 08, 2008
4:58 PM EDT
TA, would you care to write something more fleshed-out on your "gaggle"? Or maybe even one of them could write something. I'd be very interested to read what one of them has to say about learning Linux in retirement age.

Oct 08, 2008
5:10 PM EDT
I'll ask Liz, my 72 yo friend.

Oct 08, 2008
5:28 PM EDT
I still remember Ken's corruption of a nice old lady and turning her into an ace evil cracker. Nice work, ken!

Oct 10, 2008
11:29 AM EDT
If the people who buy the "new" Linux based machines can find help at the local level all the problems will go away.

Now if only there was a way...

Oct 11, 2008
7:16 PM EDT
> I don't have to give my "little old ladies" much help at all...

You're discounting the time and effort you put into setting their machines up properly in the first place, Tracyanne. That's 90% of the battle.

Oct 11, 2008
7:42 PM EDT
Quoting:You're discounting the time and effort you put into setting their machines up properly in the first place, Tracyanne. That's 90% of the battle.

Actually I'm not. You are right that is 90% of the battle. I've had enough experience supporting Windows users on Windows to know that most people use Windows as it's delivered to them. Maybe adding AV as an after thought, but in most cases it's panic when the AV free time has expired and they are being told to pay up or else.

But the secret to windows usage is that most people, certainly the type of people I'm helping get started with linux, use windows as delivered.

So in order to make Linux, almost any Linux distribution, palatable and easy to use, is to set it up properly at the beginning, after that you don't need to provide a great deal of input later.

The myth that Linux is hard, obscure, etc etc, is born from the fact that Linux must be installed after market, and for most people installing any operating system is insaely difficult and simply unthinkable - they are just as likely to replace the engine in their car. Provide people with the same starting point for Linux as they have for Windows and they don't have a problem, all applications are equally difficult to learn, as far as they are concerned.


Oct 13, 2008
11:42 AM EDT
I bought a video camera a couple months ago. Finally, I have enough material to make a DVD to send to family, so I grab the files and start masticating.

The disk that came with the camera, "of course", only works with Windows.

Being a good F/OSS ravening lunatic, the first thing I tried were the tools I used when I was pulling from the old DV tape camera. No good, the resulting video was abominable, the interlacing was way off and it jumped and muttered and yuck.

So I fire up VirtualBox, and install their software. It worked, with the usual minor irritations and lack of quality of Windows software. Good results.

I go looking for some Linux-based answers, LiNES, Cinelara, etc, and mention to the wife that once this utilitarian disk is finished I'll be experimenting to get better results.

Her response is, "See? Your "linux" system is such high-maintenance!"

This, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with "linux". It's all about applications.

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