[ Date Index ] [ Thread Index ] [ <= Previous by date / thread ] [ Next by date / thread => ]
Having followed this thread, and as a relative newcomer to Linux, sorry, GNU Linux, I thought I would put in my 2 pennyworth. I have to say that if I hadn’t been around computing since 1980, I would have been a bit put off asking for help by some of this thread. A touch of condescension here and there with an assumption of quite a lot of knowledge in some of the answers, albeit clarified in others. The base of this thread was attracting people over from Windows to the brave new world and I think that what actually came out would have put off a lot more than it gave comfort to.
IMHO the average person who has Windows on their computer is a pretty sophisticated user. Forget the person from the mid nineties who thought that being familiar with Office apps was the bees knees. Word processing, spreadsheets, even presentation packages are a given with anyone who has ever worked in an office or on a shop floor. The person who has a computer now has:
More than one computer requiring networking
MP3 player (or Ipod, certainly not Ogg Vorbis)
TV and TV recorder
Etc., etc., etc.
And whatever you may think about Windows, these users have got their bits and pieces running under that operating system even though there may be a few warts with it. To transfer to GNU Linux is a major operation which requires that you change from being a competent computer user to being a computer technician, a bit of hardware savvy, a bit of software savvy and a damned lot of patience.
I had a main Win desktop connected to a secondary desktop via a wireless ADSL router. I decided to convert the secondary unit to Linux, sorry, GNU Linux, with a view to complete transfer. I wiped Windows and started installing from Linux Format discs. But nothing recognised wireless on install. I now know, or think I know, that this is because there are no open source wireless drivers, or at least a grave, shortage, but it is irritating that all installs warn you that they may be rubbish because they can’t access the net. I eventually got Mepis and PCLinuxOS to work. Not Suse, Redhat or Ubuntu, but I may have another go at them. Printing only cost a pinprick of blood. Cameras easy peasy. MP3 player a lot of manual reading. File transfer between computers a pint of blood. Wine a tortuous half work around
By this time I am only continuing out of bloody mindedness and I join the DLUG. And what do I read there? I must only use Open Source and be flogged as a sinner if I use some of the not quite Kosher drivers. So I look at what Mepis says about GNU Linux. They seem to think that it is an overwhelming burden that Open Source insists on having the source code with every distribution. And my other goer, PCLinuxOS, doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of Open Source.
I must install Debian and redeem my sins. And therein lies madness. One comment on the thread was that the manuals are generally dreadful and I agree. You cannot work with Debian without a passing knowledge of Bash. Having got into man bash, I ended up climbing the wall finding out how to get out of it. And having finally got back to the command prompt (ah, a nice familiar DOS term) I can’t remember how I did it. I am now ploughing my way through Rute which seems to be a nice sensible tutorial, so far.
So what would the Windows man, the man on the Clapham Omnibus, have done by now? Forked out in advance for his copy of Vista I suspect. The battle for the server is going very nicely thankyou but I suspect that the desktop user is back about where we were with Windows 3.
And a happy New Year to one and all.
PS KDE over Gnome any day
-- The Mailing List for the Devon & Cornwall LUG http://mailman.dclug.org.uk/listinfo/list FAQ: http://www.dcglug.org.uk/linux_adm/list-faq.html