Like Creative Blue, I had to chuckle at the premise of this article.
"Silly damn newbies. We told them how wonderful Linux is, and they're just so stoopid they can't figure it out."
I can understand where the attitude comes from, too. I started on an 8088 running DOS 3.2, and I've worked through every MS OS since, learning the way things work, the new features, all the tweaks, etc.
So I get that same eye-rolling feeling of contempt when somebody who calls himself competent with computers sits down at a Windows box and flails at it like a confused child.
The last several people I've seen do this were longtime Unix admins. And I just sat there thinking "I thought you knew how to use a computer."
So let's go point by point through the article for a while, and I encourage the Linux community to turn their brains on for a moment and try to imagine this experience from the point of view of that poor, stupid noob:
1: Assuming they are using Windows
Perhaps they "assumed they were using Windows" because their Linux advocate friends told them "No, really, you'll like Linux THIS time. It's just like Windows now, only so much better!"
2: Trying to make exe files work
Why wouldn't they? Exe files work on all the computers that MS end users have ever used, and it's still an Intel box, it's just got this Linux thing instead of Windows. Did you tell your poor noob friend that Linux is in fact nothing like Windows under the hood, and it's thoroughly incompatible with Windows software?
3: Choosing the wrong distribution
Take a breath, Linux guru, and forget everything you NOW know about Linux that you didn't know at one time. Just pretend you've only heard the word Linux and know nothing about it, except that you have some buddies who natter about it all the time. Now go here:
...and pick one out. Simple, right? You'll just figure out through osmosis that you want a Debian-based system, and that Ubuntu is popular and reasonably well-supported.
But hey look at this, Parsix says it's optimized for personal computers, and I've GOT ONE OF THOSE, so that would seem to be the logical choice.
WTF is Parsix? WTF do any of the words on that page mean to you unless you are already a Linux geek?
4: Not finding software
Damn those noobs. Here we make it so easy to find software, and they're still trying to do it like they used to, 30 minutes ago when their system was running Windows. Like by surfing around to websites created by the people who wrote the software, downloading a familiar file, and double-clicking it.
I mean, how dumb ARE these people??
I could go all day, but I only want to hit two more:
6: Avoiding the command line
As somebody who learned about computers on a command line, trying to make the blasted things do what I wanted them to do, let me remind you of a very basic fact:
GUIs were invented because the command line sucks for productive uses. If an end user has to use the command line for anything he or she wants to do, then you've failed. I'm not afraid of the CLI, and for some administrative things it's much more efficient, but only because nobody has bothered to develop a tool that'll do it better in a GUI.
Hey I have an idea. Why don't you tell your mom to edit her text files with vi? You know, it's just SOOOO powerful, mom...
7: Giving up too quickly
Giving up too quickly means booting a Live CD once, shrugging your shoulders and saying "so what"?
It doesn't mean trying to do the same things you can do on your nice, familiar Windows box and spending days trying to figure out how to do things that are trivial to do on your Windows box;
And when it just plain doesn't work and none of the SOOPER GENIUS Linux people in the forums will answer your simple questions, then finally saying "screw this, I have work to do, back to my Windows box."
That's not giving up quickly, it's entertaining the notion that Linux is suitable for what they need to do, and finding out that it isn't.
By the way, since I can already smell the first wave of "Oooh, another M$ drone!" about to be lobbed my way, I use both Windows and Linux, and I think they're both great, and I think they both suck.
Great for what they're good at, and festering piles of garbage for the really stupid things they make you do in order to get work done sometimes.
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