Linux Snobs: Real Barriers to Entry

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by ronjor, Apr 19, 2006.

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  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Story
     
  2. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    Ubuntu is newbie friendly - i've never had one problem and i've never read a manual in my life. either the person in the article is meeting lunatic after lunatic, or he's not telling the whole story.
     
  3. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    Nah, some people just hang out on the wrong forums... ;)
     
  4. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    It's human nature that people like cliques, private clubs, and secret handshakes. To me, many in the Linux community seem especially attached to that aspect of it. Their "secret handshake" tends to involve: 1) making themselves look smarter than they really are by loudly professing Linux/Unix mastery, 2) making themselves look cool by bashing and tearing apart anything produced or advocated by Microsoft, and 3) making themselves feel elite by generally providing newbies with little assistance and only paying lip-service to the concept of promoting Linux as a realistic desktop alternative for the masses. The above is simply an ancedotal generalization and certainly does not apply to everyone by any means. However, there is some truth to it in my experience and even some of the more level-headed Linux advocates will confess the existance of this elitist sub-culture.

    It's part of being the underdog, too, I guess. Mac advocates often tend to equate the use of a Mac to the ownership of a fine automobile like a Mercedes or BMW rather than a Ford Escort. The eating of a fine meal accompanied by vintage bottle wine rather than eating at McDonald's with a Coke. It's the "me against the uninformed masses" attitude. It's really self-defeating in a way. Because although they would like more people to use their OS of choice, they would then have to give up their cozy, insular, elitist self-rationalization if their choice were to become popular... so they're sort of schizophrenic about it. On the one hand, they try to win over converts in a very aggressive manner, but then on the other, they tend to sneer down on you a bit if you are a such recent convert. You just have to wade through it and find the nice, helpful people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2006
  5. dog

    dog Guest

    I can't comment either way ... while I use Linux as my many OS ... everything I've learned has been self-taught ... there's tons of resources available if you're interested and eager enough to learn - I haven't spent any time in Linux forums looking for help. As always; if there's a will there's a way ... to me bumbling thru it on your own is the only way to learn. I'm the farthest thing from an expert, but I manage to do anything needed. :) ... I bumbled thru Windows the same way when I first started out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2006
  6. Ailric

    Ailric Guest

    Well said Alec!

    I just installed Mandrake Linux on an old laptop. Installation was super-easy but that's when the fun ended. Poor resolution setup. No sound. No internet. Boo hoo.

    The day that Linux comes fully setup to accept most peripherals, has easy to use wizards and has NO USE OF THE DAMNED COMMAND LINE, then it may be more for usable for the masses.
     
  7. Lamehand

    Lamehand Registered Member

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    Maybe 'userfriendly' is a dirty word with the linux crowd, if you see the list you have to wade through to find out if your hardware is compatible, you will get discouraged and turn away.

    I would think that they have their chance now to increase the userbase because not everybody is to happy with upcoming Vista and it's enhanced DRM.
    Snapping at people won't help that effort.

    regards
    Lamehand
     
  8. Fargo

    Fargo Registered Member

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    Try Xandros Linux or PCLinuxOS. Both are easy to use and have good user forums.
     
  9. sosaiso

    sosaiso Registered Member

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    The only thing that turns me off is the fact that Linux looks weak graphically. I like things that have a lot of text, buttons, and random text. I guess it's my growing up with Windows. Linux looks like it is an early stage of development strictly graphically speaking. [I've only tried unbuntu and red hat as of now. I can't say for the others.]

    But, it's got security and above all else, FREE. At the price of the need for more knowledge. If only that power could be more easily used. But if it did, wouldn't it just turn into another Windows? :T

    Sorry for the rant.
     
  10. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    As long as Linux stays so user unfriendly it is always going to be "that other operating system" and will never take a significent share of windows market share. Even if Linux has to sacrifice a little security to make it more user friendly it will have to be done if it ever really wants to attract more users in any quantity.
     
  11. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    the graphics are as good, if not better then windows. it's not the distro you use but the graphics card which is important. here are some demos, it's still early days, but lots of people use Compiz and Xgl and whatever else with no problems at all.
    http://cache.novell.com/cached/xglrelease/desktopspin.mpg
    http://cache.novell.com/cached/xglrelease/desktoporg.mpg

    if you want to know if your hardware is compatible, all you have to do is, while using a livecd, run this command in a command prompt -

    lspci -n

    then put the output in the box in the link below and click on check
    http://kmuto.jp/debian/hcl/index.cgi

    it will let you know if there are drivers for your hardware for debian based distros like, Ubuntu, Debian, Mepis etc.
     
  12. dog

    dog Guest

    I couldn't disagree more with Linux is too hard, because in reality it isn't. I'm amazed people don't/won't put any effort at all in to. Many seem to simply regurgitate what they heard without experiencing it for themselves, those that do try it, often don't stick with it for more than a few days - and they'll all happily share the opinion it's too hard. You're doom to be the minions of Microsoft's dominance and control ... cash steadily leaving your pockets straight to their coffers and those of third party developers, content to remain ignorant instead of empowering yourselves with knowledge. Linux won't be the "other OS" for long; look at web servers, Universities employ and develop Linux/Unix, NASA even uses Linux (Mandriva I believe), and users are converting all the time. Like I've said before; I'm no expert ... I occasionally run into problems (it's more and more rare as time passes), but when I do run into a hurdle, I'm determined to conquer it; researching/investigating as necessary to both understand the problem and remedy it. I do wish more people had the courage and conviction to give it an honest try with some effort - You'd be pleasantly surprised.
     
  13. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    The points made in the article could apply just as much in the Windows world - there are plenty of examples of hostile responses in support forums generally. Of course, being able to ask questions from a Microsoft Windows coder is not generally possible so there is no way to tell if MS has more "prima donnas" than the Open Source movement, but quality support means either a moderated environment (where negative replies can be removed/edited) or a "professional" source who receives a financial incentive to provide quality help (and even that is no guarantee).

    As for Linux usability, as long as people are prepared to accept that things will be different and that things learnt in Windows may need to be relearnt in Linux (e.g. filesystem structure, shortcuts vs links, permissions settings), the only major issue should be hardware support and failings here should be blamed on the manufacturers.
     
  14. Lamehand

    Lamehand Registered Member

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    Well, i'am not afraid to try something new and i had a live-CD from warty warthog on the shelf, to my surprise there where no hardware/driver conflicts and so far everything is working fine.

    The first time i tried this on this computer it wouldn't work at all, and now with the same release it does, i am puzzled. o_O

    regards
    Lamehand
     
  15. clansman77

    clansman77 Registered Member

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    well said dog and paranoid 2k.most of the persons opining about linux havent tried it honestly for even a week.i first tried linux about 2 years ago with redhat 9.i liked the idea of freesoftware but was a complete novice even in the windows field.i thought linux was really hard and after trying it out for 2-3 days switched to windows.gradually i learned much about windows and heard good things about linux that i thought i will try linux again.well i started with the ubuntu( my free cds i got from shipit).the first week was difficult.it is lil difficult for a windows user to start using linux.i persisted and in the meantime read about linux from sites and visisted ubuntu forums.i have never looked back and now ubuntu is my main operating system..xp is archived.

    if you wanna try linux u must atleat try it for 2 weeks.if one distro dont work for u try someother.u will come across a distro that work for you and your computer.and if you are afraid of the commandline there are distros in which you dont even have to type commands.but you will start liking the commandline once you start using linux..it gets it job done much easier than the gui of windows..
    linux is here to stay and lots of people are changing to linux..if i can change to linux i believe anybody can change and start using linux..but you should have a mindset to search for answers to your questions and a willingness to learn..
    @ lamehand a new version of ubuntu has come out since warty called breezy 5.10 and the newest version dapper is gonna out on june this year and that is said to be equaling vista..
     
  16. Lamehand

    Lamehand Registered Member

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    @clansman77;
    I Know, and i was just going to download it and install it on a empty partition i have here. ;)

    regards
    Lamehand
     
  17. sosaiso

    sosaiso Registered Member

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    Hum. I didn't mean it like that. Advanced, yet still missing something. Maybe it's just too Spartan?

    It just needs some getting used to I guess.
     
  18. TNT

    TNT Registered Member

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    Heh. I couldn't disagree more. I think Linux has been sacrificed too much for 'user-friendliness'; some distributions, like RedHat, are utterly, disgustingly removed from what I like about Unix. I had long abandoned Linux in favor of BSD since the day I saw the road most Linux distributions were taking. To me, there's (almost) nothing more satisfying that "building" and securing an OS the way you want piece by piece (and in this respect, Windows is incredibly, unbelievably frustrating).

    Someone some time ago said "Linux is for Windows haters, BSD is for Unix lovers". I couldn't agree more.
     
  19. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Once in a chatroom, a guy needed to connect a laser printer.
    No problem with his Windows-computer, but he needed a Linux-expert to make this printer work on his Linux-computer.
    He tried as long as possible, but he couldn't do it by himself.
     
  20. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i gave up trying to get my printer working with windows, it took seconds to work in Ubuntu, i uninstalled everything in windows after about 5 hours of trying, it still doesn't work!
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=118808
     
  21. squash

    squash Registered Member

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    I tried Linux, and I must say it does not compare to Windows as a desktop O/S
    With Windows, I can do everything I need (mounting DVD images, ShadowUser) - in Linux I only can do basic things such as web browser, text documents... and not all my software (namely my TV Tuner) works.

    Linux users like to promote their OS with hard propaganda, but do not take in that in the end Windows is the better Operating system, don't tell me about security, since any expert in Windows knows how to file permissions like in Linux with every usage in a Limited environment. Windows can be just as secure as Linux, provided you know what you are doing.

    That is why I still use Windows XP as my desktop OS, and Ubuntu (command line) as the OS for my backup hard drive, so I make a image of Windows with partimage (similar to Ghost)
     
  22. TNT

    TNT Registered Member

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    What, you can't mount DVD images with Linux? I suggest you look into Linux software more. Linux doesn't have the amount of software Windows has, but it's not far off. And it certainly, video games aside, has an alternative to Windows software for almost everything.
     
  23. sosaiso

    sosaiso Registered Member

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    Maybe that is what is keeping a lot of the younger generation from adopting Linux too. We like to game. Period. Linux games are... well... Have you really taken a look at Linux game graphics?

    What I don't understand is why. I mean same vid card, everything. Why is Windows stronger graphically? Strange.

    However, let's not forget. You need a Windows application? Get Wine.
     
  24. TNT

    TNT Registered Member

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    I know Doom3 came out for Linux but, from what I've heard, it ran heavier than on Windows (where it had already -- for the time -- very high system requirements).
     
  25. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Just to clarify my position on linux. i have tried pretty much every distro of linux I could find. I have been trying linux off and on for years and my preference in linux is Novel Desktop linux. (suse) but It is still my opinion that Linux has an extremely long way to go to start getting the mainstream computer users to convert. Simply as I stated before that it is a long way from being user friendly. A user should not have to start programing or mounting software and downloads just to get them to work. I realize that linux is making headway, but very little very slowly.
     
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