1) There are groups out there to help the noob, but typically your noob only knows about CompUseless and Best Buy. The LUGs are out there, but I don't know if an average user can find them. Also there are your local Linux service centers (if they are in Albuquerque, the must be everywhere). Sure, they are mom and pop, but they typically know their stuff.
2)www.transgaming.com is where you want to go. It will cost you $15.00 to get it, but it is so worth it! cedega is the command line and Point2Play is the GUI.
3/4) Part of the image are the few bad apples. I call them Linux Nazi's (Godwin invoked?). They tend to make the whole Linux community look like tin foil hat wearing unibombers. I don't know HOW to part with that image, but there has to be a way the quiet majority that can squelch it.
I also agree with the short-cut creation and installation of some programs. While many have made an install script (like webmin), some are stuck in the stone age. 'Course now many users are creating RPMs and uploading them to various repositories. Hell, getting the lastest video driver is even easy now (magic!). It is coming along, but it still has a few features to catch up to...
I also agree with the marketing. I think Red Hat has done a bang up job in the corporate sector. Now if only we could find a distro that did the same thing for desktops.
I'll do it, but I need a VC and about $3 million in invenstment capital for marketing and desktop support
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