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Fighting FUD with Humor

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the laughter-the-best-medicine dept.

Books 530

Technophiliac writes to tell us MadPenguin in running a review of "Fighting FUD With Humor" Marcel Gagné's 2nd edition of "Moving to Linux". From the article: "The biggest obstacle is fear. Modern Linux distributions are easy to install and easy to use. Unfortunately, we are constantly presented with messages telling us that it's too hard and that the average person couldn't possibly grasp the complexity. That's rubbish. People aren't stupid and people who use computers learn new things all the time."

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Given what a joke this place is (0, Troll)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884973)

I'd be hard pressed to say if it's working.

Re:Given what a joke this place is (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885161)

Look at him [lightspeedgalleries.com] . He is ready for you.

It's not that it's hard (5, Insightful)

ankarbass (882629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13884976)

People don't want to switch because they think they need office. Simple as that.

Re:It's not that it's hard (1, Interesting)

OzPhIsH (560038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885002)

My mother works for the local school district, and in order to check her e-mail from home, she is told "you must use outlook." I won't even mention how stupid it is for them to be using outlook considering all the security problems. Err, wait. I guess I just did.

Why don't you explain it to her? (1, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885267)

Why don't you explain to her that she may not have to use Outlook, even if they say that she does? Don't get technical. Maybe even set up Seamonkey or Thunderbird for her, just to show her that it can be done and how much better off it will make her.

Re:It's not that it's hard (5, Funny)

mctk (840035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885003)

Screw office, I need games.

Re:It's not that it's hard (1)

shirishag75 (893320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885028)

It's one of the ways in which we can tackle. More importantly what is ignored is not FUD but support. Atleast the part of the world where I come from many people are looking for people who can support this for no. of yrs. going ahead. Unless we've people who say we'll support there will be FUD.

Re:It's not that it's hard (2, Informative)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885039)

Try Cedega ($5/month, minimum $15 dollar purchase) if there is just that one game you can't live without. Also, WINE has increasingly good support for DX9, so you might want to try that as well. I do admit, though, I do keep a seperate windows box just for gaming (but my main system is linux).

Office? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885019)

Are you kidding me!

I don't know what i'd do without wordpad or notepad.

Re:It's not that it's hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885067)

Life is too hard. Just end it all now. Yeah. Give up. Don't even try. That's the spirit. If you ever get a kernel panic, DON'T go through the code and try to see why it happened. Just accept it.

Re:It's not that it's hard (1)

Mancat (831487) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885187)

People don't want to switch because they think they need office. Simple as that.

And guess what? Some of them DO. Believe me, I'd love to move some of my small office clients to OpenOffice or StarOffice, but they require the calendar and scheduling functions of Outlook. Still, if Microsoft Office were less expensive, I wouldn't even be paying attention to the free alternatives.

Outlook and VBA are the real killers` (1)

Bradac_55 (729235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885382)

Yup until Novell throws real development time behind porting Evolution to Windows (fat chance)
80% of the SMB's (Small-to-Medium Businesses) will have to stay with Outlook for Calendering.
And a smaller portion will always be stuck with Excel due to heavy VBA development.

That's what's killing OOo adoption, that and the huge FUD campaign MS has been waging in the
Windows only IT groups for the last decade.

HAHA (5, Insightful)

buttwidget (926171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885006)

People are smart... Someone doesn't deal with the public...

Re:HAHA (4, Funny)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885066)

People are smart... Someone doesn't deal with the public...

"A person is smart, but people are dumb, stupid and panicky." ~Agent K, 'MIB'

"'To start, press any key.' Where's the any key?" ~Homer Simpson, 'The Simpsons'

FUD??? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885007)

Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) is a sales or marketing strategy of disseminating negative but vague or inaccurate information on a competitor's product. The term originated to describe misinformation tactics in the computer software industry and has since been used more broadly.

Had to look that one up. Wouldn't it be nice if the editors or perhaps even the article itself defined these strange acronyms?

Re:FUD??? (3, Funny)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885051)

FUD is the 4th most common word used on slashdot. Please refer to any Linux, BSD, Apple, or Microsoft article.

Re:FUD??? (1, Offtopic)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885173)

So is it:

1) RTFA - Read The F***ing Article
2) Dupe!! - This article has been done before on /.
3)torrent - short for bittorrent

I think we could use a /. glossary. Wikipedia has one for general internet talk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_internet_slan g [wikipedia.org]

Re:FUD??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885069)

Or, better yet, if they were used correctly?

Re:FUD??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885164)

The editor obviously believes that Slashdot readers are familiar with FUD since it is so common in articles and comments here.

Results 1 - 10 of about 220,000 for slashdot FUD. (0.20 seconds) [google.com]

Re:FUD??? (3, Interesting)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885258)

They assume a certain level of knowledge in their readers. And in this case, its a damn reasonable one. Is this your first time on slashdot or something?

Clearly... (5, Insightful)

fatcatman (800350) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885013)

People aren't stupid and people who use computers learn new things all the time."

Clearly, this person has never performed basic tech support. I mean, come on. If you have that much faith in humanity, you've never done time as "The I.T. Guy" in a typical office. Turn in your geek card, sir, and report to AOL for further processing.

Re:Clearly... (1)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885088)

Right on fatcatman, most people aren't even smart enough to know how to use their car right, let alone understand how to navigate a windows-based graphical interface. How do you think they will react to one that depends more on the command line? You'll end up with people who refuse to use their systems if you try to get them on a Linux distribution, because a text command is scarey.

Unix-like systems are not for all operating system users and operating systems are not for all people. Hell, do you realise how many people cannot manage to set a clock on a VCR or microwave?

Re:Clearly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885352)

It's YOU who should turn in the geek card. Real geeks are only asked once by the unsuspecting lamer-victim. *harhar*

Bzzzzt! (5, Insightful)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885014)

People aren't stupid

No, but they're easily confused.

and people who use computers learn new things all the time.

Hard to believe, given that most non-technical people (and some of the technical ones) in my building haven't even learned not to double-click URLs. When things don't work, it's attributed to gremlins, and when it does work, it's attributed to a higher diety.

I'm sorry, but the REAL obstacles (hint: fear isn't one of them) to adopting an entirely new operating system don't go away just by putting your fingers in your ears and shouting, "NAH NAH NAH, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!"

Re:Bzzzzt! (2, Insightful)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885124)

People refuse to think outside their training. This is much the same as being stupid, to most geeks. While technically different, the fact we make a distinction is what makes us different! What happens when encountering something strange and new? MOST people IGNORE it. Linux is still too difficult for the average person to install and use. Yes, a LARGE portion of humanity (including these new-fangled-savvy-kids) still double clicks URLs. If you aren't going to accept that kind of mental lock, there can be no more rational discussion on the matter. This is a "self-flaggellating" article. next!

Re:Bzzzzt! (4, Insightful)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885224)

This

"... people (and some of the technical ones) in my building haven't even learned not to double-click URLs."

contradicts this

"...the REAL obstacles (hint: fear isn't one of them) to adopting an entirely new operating system..."

If they don't understand double-click how will the OS make any difference? They aren't configuring hardware or apps anyway.

I'm the last person to ascribe extraordinary technical prowess to the general public and yet sucessfully converted a staff of 50 to what in effect is PC-based multimedia editing from tape without a hitch. One staff member just celebrated his 50th year in the industry and has never required our help. Step one: make them part of the application selection process. Step two: an orderly rollout with scheduled training. Step three: encouraging self support and establishing staff 'experts' outside of the normal support channels. It's not that hard.

On the other hand, we're also a distinct division outside of the normal 'MSCE' pool. If there's any group with finger in ears here it's the latter, imposing solutions on users as mandates and forcing them to work around bugs and unresolved system idiosyncracies from memory. 'Lusers' can do a hell of a lot more than most IT support gives them credit.

Let's be HONEST here (2, Insightful)

Work Account (900793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885023)

I'm smart, most of us here are smart, but I'll admit that sometimes I run into the occasional road block where I can't do something in Linux that I can do in Windows.

I did spend at least an hour getting Quake III to work in Linux properly. It still doesn't quite work as well as in Windows.

I also took some time to get my mouse wheel working in Linux. Granted, I use text-only installs of Slackware or Gentoo where I build my own optimized kernels, but still, I had some difficulty.

Linux isn't easy and it's not a pretty shiny desktop OS. Let's just admit that. I mean heck, would we want it any other way? I enjoy the challenge and I enjoy the OPEN ness of it.

Re:Let's be HONEST here (2, Informative)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885040)

Those are the types of issues you should expect when using distributions like Gentoo and Slackware. If you want stuff to just work right away, consider using Debian or a Debian-derived distro, or perhaps even SuSE. But stay away from Fedora. It's been nothing but problems for me, and the alternatives are far superior.

Re:Let's be HONEST here (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885218)

I've never had a problem with Fedora

Re:Let's be HONEST here (0, Troll)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885246)

Did you actually try to install it, let alone use it? Just downloading the ISO images doesn't count as using it, you know.

Re:Let's be HONEST here (3, Insightful)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885282)

I spent 15 minutes yesterday trying to disable autoplay (for all drives, not just the cdrom) in Windows. In the end I had search on the internet to find the solution, download a program and do some very non-intuitive stuff.

In GNOME I just go to System->Preferences->Removable Drives and Media.

Everybody has stories of how they have had a hard time with an OS. It's all just anecdotes which don't prove anything. For me, Linux is easy and pretty because it's what I'm used to. When I have to use Windows it's unfamiliar and illogical. And it sure as hell isn't pretty.

BTW, the reason I had to disable autoplay is because it was going crazy grinding the system to a halt whenever I connected a usb drive. Never happens in Linux. But again, that's just another anecdote. Doesn't prove anything. I just wish folks from the other side could admit the same thing whey they're talking about the problems they've had with Linux.

Re:Let's be HONEST here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885297)

You're smart? Aren't you the guy who a couple of days ago was making comments about the "average salary" of someone working on Google's Summer of Code without knowing the average number of hours worked?

Re:Let's be HONEST here (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885386)

I'm smart, most of us here are smart, but I'll admit that sometimes I run into the occasional road block where I can't do something in Linux that I can do in Windows.

Linux isn't easy and it's not a pretty shiny desktop OS. Let's just admit that.

By that definition, nothing is easy. Whenever I boot into Windows, I find a load of things frustrating. Same goes for when I'm using my iBook. Where are the multiple desktops? Where is the proper maximise? Where's the decent shell?

Yes, if you learnt Windows or spend most of your time in it, you are going to find Linux more difficult to use. That's true with any combination of different operating systems. You're using that as a stick to beat Linux with, but it's true of any operating system.

Not easy to configure (5, Insightful)

mymaxx (924704) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885031)

Not for someone from the Windows world, anyway. If you need to configure anything that isn't out of the box, like latest graphics card support or wireless, you're left out in the cold. You'll have to spend hours Googling for people that have gotten it to work or clues as to how it might work. Then more hours editing configuration files, compiling, rebooting...sometimes all spent in vain.

If there is ONE thing Windows is good at, it is getting stuff configured. It may not be as powerful or flexible, but at least it is easy. Sometimes, you just need to get things done.

Re:Not easy to configure (1)

Feyr (449684) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885329)

yes, it is easy, until it fails.

i had a problem installing windows recently, where it installed the "wrong" IDE controller driver (wtf? why is there even different drivers for that?) and the box would simply crash, before even getting to a gui. mind you it did this without asking, without telling me and without confirmation of anything. worst of all, there is no way to fix it short of a complete reinstall (thankfully, this was already a clean disk, so no lost data)

Too Much WoW... (1)

Chucow (572393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885032)

But wait," you say, "WFTL? WTF is that?"

I must be playing too much World of Warcraft, because I immediately thought Windows For The Loss.

At the danger of coming across as an elitist... (-1, Flamebait)

teutonic_leech (596265) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885074)

... but most people on this planet AND in this country are pretty stupid, sorry... Case in point: GWB was re-elected! Any country with an average IQ higher than that of the outside temperature (and I'm talking 'fall' here) would have kicked this guy to the curb.

On a serious note: in GUI design one constantly works around the 'stupidity' of people - they are really not that smart out there... look at the chaos that reigns the world - does this look like the work of educated, smart, sophisticated people to you?

Re:At the danger of coming across as an elitist... (3, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885128)

Remember- the average IQ is 100. And half the people are dumber than that. Its a truely horrific though. (Yeah, yeah, I know difference between median and mean. On a bell curve like IQ its a good approximation to say they're equal).

Re:At the danger of coming across as an elitist... (1)

KylePflug (898555) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885303)

What do you mean it's a horrific thought? It's normalized. Of course half the people are dumber than that. That's the whole point.

Re:At the danger of coming across as an elitist... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885328)

Ever met someone with an IQ of 100. I may well be an intellectual elitist, but they seem pretty damn dumb. And half of the people are even dumber. Get the idea now?

Re:At the danger of coming across as an elitist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885155)

Obviously you live in a very warm country - oh wait, you mean Fahrenheit :)

Re:At the danger of coming across as an elitist... (1)

canesfan (607211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885171)

Well actually depending on who you choose to believe, the media or the conspiracy theorists we didn't re-elect George W. Some rigged electronic voting machines provided the edge he needed to come out the better man. Or did they? Hmmm... let's think about that.

You're more in danger of coming across as a whiner (1)

Prof. Pi (199260) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885228)

GWB was re-elected! Any country with an average IQ higher than that of the outside temperature (and I'm talking 'fall' here) would have kicked this guy to the curb.

Right now it's 290 degrees K outside.

Actually, Kerry won the high-school dropout vote, as well as the Ph.D. vote. Bush won the high-school graduate to 4-year degree sectors.

Re:You're more in danger of coming across as a whi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885334)

The poor vote for the democrats because the democrats support social welfare policies that attempt to help those less fortunate. The very learned and intelligent (PhD etc.) vote for the democrats because they are intelligent enough to see that compassion for their fellow man is something that deserves to be promoted.

The religious vote for Republicans because they are ignorant, selfish and fearful of others and themselves.
The high school graduates and some university graduates vote for the Republicans because their innate selfishness and greed overcome their ability to realise that a socially responsible and supportive community is best for all - they epitomise the American "I've got mine" syndrome.

America as a whole is more selfish, ignorant, self-centred and greedy than other Western countries. Hopefully, they will eventually achieve enlightenment.

Re:You're more in danger of coming across as a whi (0, Flamebait)

wbtittle (456702) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885378)

The pHD vote for democrats because they have lost touch with reality. Having compassion for their fellow man is a crock. If they truly had compassion they would do less for the common man.

If you never let a child do anything, will he ever do anything?

Compassion is great, but you have to do it so that the person receiving it doesn't actually know it is happening.

Re:At the danger of coming across as an elitist... (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885292)

Don't confuse stupidity with vote rigging.

The BEST way to fight FUD (5, Funny)

Fermatprime (883412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885076)

I must not FUD. FUD is the mind-killer. FUD is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face Microsoft's FUD. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye upon its path. Where the FUD has gone there will be nothing. Only Linux will remain.

Re:The BEST way to fight FUD (1)

Inaffect (862616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885102)

And it will still take you 3 hours to get a game to work properly. Sounds like you are really facing SDAA, not FUD. Shock, Denial, Anger, Acceptance

It's true (5, Interesting)

Prof. Pi (199260) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885086)

I knew someone who hand-coded HTML to make web pages around 1997, before HTML-authoring tools were common. And these were pages with graphics and menus. But she was absolutely convinced that she should use Microsoft products because you'd have to be "a computer genius" to use anything else. I couldn't convince her that writing a file in LaTeX was structurally very similar to hand-editing HTML. She had a complete psychological block, and would even get mad at me for daring to use anything else.

Re:It's true (1)

Inaffect (862616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885131)

She should have downloaded a hot dog. That was the premier Windows HTML-authoring tool for quite some time. http://www.sausage.com/ [sausage.com]

Re:It's true (-1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885156)

You should have pulled down her pants and rubbed Tux on her clitoris. Tease her vaginal hole with his round head. Just put it in slightly, to get her really excited. Then slip his beak in her wet pink, and have it gently rub her g-spot until she orgasms in a shower of woman juice. If she still doesn't want to use Linux after that, then she's a lost cause.

Bwuah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885101)

It doesn't have to be false to sow Fear, Uncertainty, or Doubt.

There's another name for it when it's false. It's called Marketing^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hlying.:)

not easy enough to install, not easy enough to use (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885107)

Modern Linux distributions are easy to install and easy to use.
I'm a computer geek. There was a period where Linux was too hard for me to install -- I tried and failed a few times. Finally, about four years ago, the installs got easier (and I learned more) so I got a working install. But it's simply not true that Linux is now easy enough for most computer users to install and use. Most computer users are not computer geeks, and in fact, no OS is easy enough for them to install. They'd have trouble installing Windows from scratch too, but they never had to do it because Windows came preinstalled.

Just last week I installed the latest Ubuntu. There were two problems that it took me some time and hassles to work out: (1) The sound software I was trying to use didn't work in GNOME, because GNOME uses ESD. I had to do a "killall esd" before it would work. This took some detective work, because none of the software gave me an error message that told me this was what the problem was. (2) I couldn't install some libraries (such as libc6-dev) because they were in a munged state at the point where I did my apt-get update.

These were time-consuming, frustrating annoyances for me, but for someone who's not a computer geek, they'd be total showstoppers. The average person simply is not going to go looking for help on usenet or IRC (and my experience with posting on the Ubuntu forums has been that I don't get any useful replies, either). The average person will give up.

And BTW, Gagne might want to update the subtitle of his book, "Kiss the blue screen of death goodbye." I have to use Windows a lot at work. I haven't seen a BSOD in years.

amen to that (1)

conJunk (779958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885230)

The average person simply is not going to go looking for help on usenet or IRC (and my experience with posting on the Ubuntu forums has been that I don't get any useful replies, either).

And how many times on IRC did you get responses along the lines of "sort it out for yourself, n00b, the rest of us googled our way through..."

My biggest complaint about linux is the community. I've got a happy fedora install at home that does everything i need it to, but when it comes to the nitty gritty of the trackpad or the sound card, it's not only *really* hard to get good information, but you have to fight your way through attitude to find it.

I have a suspicion that a lot of the people giving first-timers a hard go of it on IRC are the same people screaming about how their grandmothers could install Linux so what the hell is wrong with everybody else.

Re:amen to that (2, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885340)

how many times on IRC did you get responses along the lines of "sort it out for yourself, n00b, the rest of us googled our way through..."

Personally, I offer a lot of tech support on message boards. When someone comes to the board once in a blue moon with a really difficult tech issue, I'm more than happy to help. But there's a certain class of user who will continually post questions that can be answered with 30 seconds of googling. Questions like "Can I use this 1MB SIMM in my P4 box?".

It's rather akin to someone walking in to the emergency room with a paper cut... 4 times a day. The "experts'" time is better spent on those who have more severe problems. Learn to apply your own bandages, dammit!

There's a difference between needing help with a truly obscure problem after conducting your own exhaustive research, and being completely unwilling to learn at all. Believe it or not, if you're willing to take the time to research, and learn on your own, you can do just about anything. If you decide that you don't understand computers, never will, and shouldn't even bother trying... Well, that's a self fulfilling prophesy, and a waste of my time.

Re:not easy enough to install, not easy enough to (2, Interesting)

shark72 (702619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885354)

"And BTW, Gagne might want to update the subtitle of his book, "Kiss the blue screen of death goodbye." I have to use Windows a lot at work. I haven't seen a BSOD in years."

Me neither. That's the author's way of trying to spread a little FUD himself. Maybe it's an attempt at irony.

Suuuure People are smart.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885113)

And it's Marcel Gagne, not Marvel....

But... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885117)

How do we fight the FUD of the FUD fighters?

Can we be honest with ourselves for just one second?

Claiming that Linux is "easy" to configure is a prima facia falsehood.

Install is still only about 80-85% not the 99.9% that it needs to be.

Maintenence of a 6+ month old distro, any distro, is a nightmare as about that time updating no longer works because dependancies on updated dependancies reach an unmanageable threshold. And no, ignoring maintenence is not an option.

It doesn't anyone any good to spout platitudes about how "easy" Linux is when there are still huge gaping holes in it's ease of use.

The only way to fight FUD is with truth, not more FUD!

Re:But... (0)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885198)

The problems you mention are often caused by using a distro that's based around RPM files. While revolutionary a decade or so ago, they're quite terrible today. Like you mentioned, the dependencies are a real killer. That's why it's best to use a distribution like Debian or Ubuntu, or even FreeBSD, to get around those problems. Systems like that have real packaging systems that take care of dependencies. Avoid Fedora, perhaps even Slackware, and instead stick with Debian.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885248)

Apparently, you are still living in the Linux world of a decade ago. RPM management is just fine now with yum or apt-get/synaptic. If you are too stupid to use the right tools, then you deserve what you get.

Re:But... (0, Redundant)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885383)

It's pointless to use APT with RPM files, because dpkg files work far better. APT tries to convert RPM files into dpkg files before installing them. And it quickly becomes a mess. It's perhaps even worse than the situation a decade or so ago.

Re:But... (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885271)

Try comparing rpm to dpkg instead. rpm is a fine file format. It has all the information required to do dependency checking. However, like dpkg, it's not rpm's job to do that dependency checking. One could, for example, write an application on top of rpm which handles remote software retrieval and dependency checking.

I believe some exist. Let's see; yum, urpmi, and, oh yes, APT!

Re:But... (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885346)

Have you ever actually used APT with RPM packages? It's awful. Why is that? Because APT tries to convert the RPM to a dpkg package. And do you know what? It rarely works, even with packages that are without any major dependencies. Once you start working those in, well, you're truly screwed. That's why it's best just to avoid RPM files completely.

Yum and urpmi, amongst others, do not compare in any way to APT. They try to solve the same problem, but unfortunately they fail quite miserably. That said, the only other packaging systems comparable to APT is the FreeBSD packages/ports system, as well as pkgsrc.

Re:But... (1)

Mancat (831487) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885238)

He may be anonymous, but he speaks the truth. Why the mod down?

Ho-ho (1)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885125)

I'll bet Marcel chuckled when he realised the poster had spelled his name wrong. What's the chances of that happening!

Individuals may not be stupid... (5, Funny)

SuperAbe (264159) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885129)

People aren't stupid and people who use computers learn new things all the time.

Obligatory Men in Black [imdb.com] reference:

Agent J: Why the big secret? People are smart, they can handle it.
Agent K: A *person* is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.

No problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885130)

People who believe that Linux is too difficult should stick with Windows.

That would be a win/win situation.

08/15 users can keep downloading emails with Outlook.

Passionate users can stop introducing crap to linux and spend time on projects again (and eventually port them to Windows).

Uh, yeah. I disagree. (3, Funny)

slackingme (690217) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885132)

People are stupid. Case in point: USA's 2004 elections.
People are disgustingly stupid, not because they're born that way, but because we breed them like that. People want ROBOTS to DRESS THEM, FEED THEM, and do their JOBS for them.

And you want them to install/use one of the many Linux distributions out there? Hell, people don't even install Windows! It comes on their "cum-pu-tors" and all they do is click the Internet Explorer icon.

You can't ask people to think when it comes to elections, and day to day life, you certainly can't ask them to "think" and "learn" and all that other business when it comes to their COMPUTERS--devices kept around so they can keep up with the latest episodes of "LOST" and google for "porn."

Mod me down, I'm already in the hole. Someone just had to say it..

"There's no such thing as bad publicity... (1)

Dr. Mu (603661) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885134)

...as long as they spell your name right." -- Mark Twain

The author's name is Marcel Gagné. He writes an excellent column in Linux Journal, as well.

Marvel Gagne? (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885139)

Presumably this is actually Marcel Gagne, best known for his excruciating French chef-themed columns? Consulting him on humor is like consulting the Slashdot editors on spelling.

Incidentally, writing introductory books like "Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!" seems to me to be a dead end. Seething haters of Microsoft (and even they haven't seen a BSOD in five years) don't make up a significant share of Windows users, and pandering to that mentality seems counterproductive.

That's not the point (1)

Piroca (900659) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885141)


Modern Linux distributions are easy to install and easy to use. Unfortunately, we are constantly presented with messages telling us that it's too hard and that the average person couldn't possibly grasp the complexity. That's rubbish. People aren't stupid and people who use computers learn new things all the time

It's not that Linux it's too hard, the problem is that it doesn't work for the average user. GUIs are not consistent, there are problems with basic things such as drag-and-drop, copy-and-paste, there is a huge lack of specialized applications, and so on. Even with the niceties of modern distributions, things like installing a software that is not directly supported in your distribution or installing 3rd-party drivers is not for the faint of heart. It's sad to say that Linux is years behind things like MacOS or Windows, it really puts a tear in my eyes, but it's true folks, better to admit it and start working into a real foundation before it's too late.

Easy Install and Use is not the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885153)

The problem is there is no compelling reason for people to switch. They have already invested in their Windows box and know how to use it. You want them to give that up on a whim and install linux for the mere hell of it? FAT CHANCE of that happening. What is the motive to use linux over Windows if all the applications work the same? You need something different, something that will bring them to linux.

Linux is not easy to use..... yet. (1, Interesting)

linuxishard (926179) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885157)

We all know Linux distros come with a really nice suite of software and they are easy to install. But when it comes time to seek out and install a new piece of software, or find an equivalent product that is only offered on Windows, Linux FAILS. A Linux newbie will only spend so much time tinkering with dependancies and editing text files before they give up, or nuke their install. In Windows, they just double clicked an EXE and the thing worked! BIG DIFFERENCE GUYS!

I love to play with Linux as a toy, but it simply fails as a mainstream operating system for the masses in the current form, even if that includes nice looking GUIs.

You lose! Good day sir!

Re:Linux is not easy to use..... yet. (2, Interesting)

lunchboxj (814920) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885349)

I totally agree. While I spend most of my day in a research lab on Fedora machines, it is not very nice to come home to a suite of incompatibilites on a linux box. I mean, it might work well after a month or so of tweaking, but, if my buddy comes over with his new digital camera, I have to recompile my kernel to even have a PRAYER of seeing his photos. And don't get me started on scanners... there still is no support for like 90% of them.

It seems to me that Apple so far is the only one that's gotten this message. They made a beautiful operating system based on BSD, and managed to do so while still making a famously user-friendly interface. This gives all the power and flexibility that the most advanced techie could need, but also keeps things easy when they need to be so. I love opening up my powerbook wherever I am, knowing that I don't need to jump through hoops to connect to wifi, and then busting into the root filesystem when things get screwy. All my favorite unix apps work just as well as they do on a linux system (thanks to Fink), and absolutely any device can be connected to it without the faintest headache. Whenever I need to install something new, I just double-click on the .app inside any .dmg, and byu.

All I'm saying is that the linux community needs to keep more of these compatibility issues in mind when updating the features of the newest release. Stability is certainly an issue worth dealing with, but the os will NEVER be successful until it has the ease of use of os x.

C'mon... if I tried to put linux on my mom's computer, I would never sleep because of all the midnight trouble calls. I love the OS as much as anybody else, but it is simply not practical for the average person..... yet.

Glad to hear they're anxious to learn... (3, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885170)

If Gagne's so sure the average user is more than willing to learn new things, then he can be the one to walk my mother through downloading ISOs for the latest Mandrake build, helping her pick which items to install, explaining why she needs a "gui" (and what it is) and then helping her pick between KDE, Gnome...

Re:Glad to hear they're anxious to learn... (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885223)

Get her to use Ubuntu, rather than Mandrake. They'll most likely ship her CDs free of charge.

I've even seen my grandson install it, and he's 9. Yes, it really is that easy.

Re:Glad to hear they're anxious to learn... (1)

KylePflug (898555) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885355)

Yeah, it's that easy. To install. Can he get wifi to work? Can he get email from an exhange server? Can he get it to work with most recent games easily and with decent performance?

I doubt it. I'm a computer geek, but I gave up on Linux after spending countless hours with three different distributions trying to get either HPNA or wifi to work reliably (or, hell, at all).

So I just went back to windows. The one where wifi worked on the first boot and installing things involves double-clicking something rather than excruciating package dependencies, config edits, etc., that are never well documented (or at least, not easily and clearly) and vary by distribution.

Well ... (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885195)

I guess I'm pretty dumb. I tried to install the latest Ubuntu distribution on my (admittedly somewhat dated) PIII-600 Compaq laptop. It hung halfway through while installing the packages. I restarted it and it hung in the same place. Undaunted I switched to Redhat (FC4). It threw an error about a quarter of the way through and then quit (offering to send a bug report - shades of Microsoft). Frustrated I stuck in my Windows 2000 CD and 45 minutes later I was up and running.

On the flipside, I put Ubuntu into a newer desktop (Athlon 2000Xp on an ASUS motherboard) and the install went smoothly. And I was very impressed when I was able to immediately access my file server (running Windows 2000) and load up a Word document from that network share. Of course then I tried to play an mp3 from that same network share, but learned that mp3 support is not in the distribution. Some web searching revealed the solution, which was not trivial (involved enabling repositories and such). When I finally got the mp3 codec installed (I would estimate this task was beyond the vast majority of casual users) I again tried to play an mp3 from my Windows share - but again, no joy. I ended up having to drag the song to the Ubuntu desktop to be able to play it. I never did diagnose what that was all about - some Samba switches no doubt.

So, I don't think it's *ALL* FUD - there are legitimate issues that still need to be worked out.

Re:Well ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885288)

A Compaq is not a computer. A Compaq is a pile of feces enclosed in a computer case. Apparently Windows 2000 can be installed on shit. Pretty amazing, Microsoft...

Re:Well ... (1)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885338)

I, too, curse when the new distro I just installed won't play an mp3.

But, then I remember this is not a technical problem, but an IP problem.

If you're not paying anyone for the software then expecting them to take the heat for patent violations rather than yourself would be a bit rich. Not a dig at you I must stress, but thems the breaks with FOSS.

I just remeber to take my statically linked mplayer binary with me from system to system so I can play mp3s, aacs and most videos at the drop of a hat. Then I just add the big zip of binary codecs for most everything else :)

Re:Well ... (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885390)

Very simple reason why Ubuntu doesn't have MP3 support built in: They legally CAN'T. That's it. Nothing to do with Linux; everything to do with the codec creators.

Well, sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885200)

Sure, people love to learn new things. They just hate having to relearn how to do things they used to know how to do.

Suse is pretty easy BUT (1)

vandit2k6 (848077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885212)

Yeah so SUSE 10 is wicked easy. Veryy user friendly. I am really happy. GUI is great let me tell you. It almost comes near Windows but not quite yet. It still doesn't like my wireless card and thats very important for me. Back to Windows :) and on my XP (constantly windows updated, virus updated and spyware updated hasn't crashed once :-) ).

Easy as Pie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885260)

Surely linux is not problem for such a masterful geek as I who can fix two keyboards in one day by instructing user XYZ to "Turn on numlocks by pressing 'Num Lock'" (yes two keyboards, one user, same problem. It seems (s)he roams), repaired a CD-RW on a Latitude C640 by pushing it into the laptop until it 'clicked' into place (as opposed to sticking out the front a quarter inch), and magically fixed a "black screen of death" that occured after 10 minutes of PC innactivity (Yeah... That was a new one for me too) by changing the default screen saver from blank screen to 3D pipes.

But for the average user... impossible!
(OK, maayyy-bee my users set a bad example)

Marcel? I thaught this was some new Marvel comic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885261)

I thaught that would be like superhero comic strips and stuff.
But its just some french guy.

yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885278)

dun dun dun

They just want it to work (1)

ferreth (182847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885287)

This attitude prevents the general public from using Linux. The general user doesn't want to think about swap files, network configs and boot preferences. Ideally, they want to click "Install" and at the end come up with a system that has their applications ready to go. Command line?! Come on, anyone not interested in computers in general does not want to learn any commands - they want to double-click their application of choice and get on with their day.

I'm smarter than the average bear and I sometimes just want to do something - I'll just install an application with the default settings, learn the minimum nessesary to get the job done and move on. This is the norm for the average user, and computer geeks forget this all the time.

The biggest obstacle is not working right (0)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885296)

Swear to God, there are actually problems with Linux. Not newbie fear. Problems.

There are merits too. But a common reason people don't use Linux is that it isn't the best option for them.

45 mins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885305)

i spent 45 minutes with my sister telling her how to install a program by double clicking on an exe and then copying a file into the install directory in windows. i cant imagine her using linux for anything other than a screensaver, if she could configure the timer correctly. dont get me wrong i love linux, but.. userfriendlieness is not one of its forte's.

Marvel Gagne? (1)

sampowers (54424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885306)

There is a typo in the original submission. The author of Moving To Linux's name is Marcel, and not Marvel, Gagne. Speaking of Marcel Gagne, who else thinks his Linux Journal articles are BEYOND annoying? (I know, if I don't like it, don't read it. Believe me, I don't.)

It's not stupidity (1)

max born (739948) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885308)

People aren't stupid ....

No but they sure can be lazy. I've migrated a lot of systems from Windows to Linux and the main problem I've had is that Windows admins often can't be bothered to read the docs. Many of them have learnt most of what they know by hunting and pecking through a myriad of menus and sub menus to find the right icon to click on. When presented with a man page they throw up their arms in dispair and complain about how complicated Linux is.

not a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885316)

jim: you're strategy is going to destroy all hope, causing widespread suffering, and death.

craig: bwah hah a hh a hahah, lol, rotflmao......phew. sniff sniff. ohhh jim, now _i'm_ the antichrist, i'm demon spawn right? (raises elbow), oh look! my wings and horns (touches head). Next thing you know I'll be turning you to ash.

jim: first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you...

Dumb can be fixed.... (1)

thundergeek (808819) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885323)

But stupid is forever!

No, not really so easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885336)

I love Linux. I love my home MythTV/mt-daapd/file server (built twice: Sarge, then Ubuntu), and my office file/email server (Sarge), but no way can I say it's as easy for the enduser as Windows for many of the things you have to do.

Here's a key example: MythTV (great, love it, yes too fscking hard) rides on top of the ivtv drivers for my TV card. The MythTV project and the ivtv project don't really talk to each other, never mind that probably most users of ivtv are running MythTV. There's nobody in charge of the multiple elements that make up a single end-user application. That's not the problem per-se; the real problem is that the Linux community seems to LIKE IT THAT WAY.

I certainly don't think that Windows "Just Plain Works" in the mold of Mac OS X, but frankly it "Just Plain Works More Often" than most of the Linux stuff I've tried. Linux is still the private preserve of geeks, at least until developer communities get some Project Managers working to coordinate the end-user apps.

DC

Free is bad (1)

denidoom (865832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885343)

I think a big reason people do not switch is because it's free. They are suspicious of anything where there is not a fee attached. "How can it be any good if there isn't some big corporate machine behind it?" They might think. It's like people who goto Red Lobster, even when there is a better, cheaper fresh seafood mom and pop restaurant down the street. I've seen people eat the worst dish with a high price tag and grimace, mumbling, "It's good." Another example is in the self-publishing world, you should never give anything away for free because there is no perceived value.

But who does value something free? People who don't have a lot of money? I sometimes wonder why inner city schools aren't using Linux machines rather than getting expensive grants for Apples. How come no one ever evangelizes to the poor? My first experience with Linux (I think it was a little lite thing called Dragon Linux) was because I couldn't afford Windows to put on a whiped Thinkpad I had bought used.

maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13885353)

but you haven't met my mother!

bullcrap (1)

tehgimp (885736) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885356)

I know I'm not an idiot. I went to top university and got almost perfect SATs (if that means anything). I graduated with a great gpa in computer science and work as a software engineer... and I think linux is annoying to work with. Yes, I have worked and developed on Linux. I can get by. But I just don't want to have to remember a bunch of obscure command lines nor deal with searching for oddly named utilities. It is such a pain in the ass to install applications and what not... If you think the "average" person can work with Linux, you're out of touch w/ reality... OS X on the other hand is a much friendlier OS...

Duff? (2, Funny)

ElNerdoJorge (923041) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885360)

Homer: Got any Duff?
Bartender: We only sell Fudd in these parts.

Wow! (1)

kuzb (724081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13885368)

People aren't stupid and people who use computers learn new things all the time.

You've obviously never worked in tech support anywhere, have you?

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