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Linux is not yet a fully ready drop-in replacement for Windows or Mac for most users. But for the things I use a computer for, it has in fact completely replaced Windows. Gaming? Pft. That's what my Playstation is for!

This li'l blog is intended to be just an expression of gratitude to the wonderful "geeks" who have made Linux easy enough for even simple kids like me to use. And to encourage other simple kids like me to try Linux too.

And perhaps along the way, to put some of the "geeky stuff" I've learned from just ordinary use, into words that other non-geeks can understand.

-Robin
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Victims of Their Own Success?

Posted 02-08-2010 at 06:32 PM by dixiedancer

I have a new saying...

I prefer to run applications rather than operating systems.
There are so many wonderful super-geeks who have worked very long and very hard to produce a desktop Linux that is simple enough for even a non-geeky kid like me to use. But not uncommonly, I hear them complaining that too many Linux users rely on the graphical interface and don't bother to learn the command line. It's kind of ironic, dontchya think? You wanted to make Linux easy enough for the non-geeky ordinary desktop user, so what did you expect to happen? Please don't get mad at us non-geeks when we use Linux "without contributing anything." Huh? Contribute? I thought Linux was free!

I do contribute in my own way, though. I introduce friends to Linux, I advocate Linux and FOSS at school and among friends, I donate directly to favorite projects, and I help out when I can with projects (the Qimo project for kids is one of my favorite causes). But I'm still a non-geek, and I still have no interest in becoming a techno-wizard. I want to contribute, but I'm not gonna spend hours or whole days just playing with an operating system. I've learned a great deal and had a lot of fun installing Ubuntu, Crunchbang, Mepis, Slax, and Debian. I even "customized" my own desktop by adding LXDE to Crunchbang, and tweaked Firefox to make it much leaner and faster. It's been fun!

But I didn't buy a computer just to tweak it. My computer is just a tool. I use it for school work and blogging, writing and publishing, printing papers and pictures and keeping in touch with friends.

In fact, that is the very thing that brought me to Linux from Windows in the first place. The freedom to just use this tool instead of being held hostage to it's demands! Linux gives me that.


But the point is that there is Linux now for us "ordinary" people who ordinarily just point-and-click our way along, thanks to you super-techno-wizards! The Terminal (command line interface) is an awesome secret weapon that it's really helpful to be a little familiar with. But with the ever-increasing number of super-simple graphical Linux applications and desktop environments, it's every bit as easy to configure and use as Windows or Mac.

The irony!! A lot of super-geeks worked very hard for many years to invent and perfect these tools that make Linux usable by us simple, ordinary folks. What's ironic is that they are victims of their own success. Ordinary non-geeks are discovering and using Linux, and some super-geeks are disappointed to have "their domain" filling up with newcomers who don't know all the deep technical details of Linux and don't want to know. They just use it. Oh well... you super-geeks brought this on yourselves, y'know. And you have my respect and gratitude. But I'm not going to study computer engineering to operate my home computer any more than I would become an ASC-certified mechanic in order to qualify to drive a car, or become a jet-engine specialist in order to qualify for an airline ticket. C'mon. My computer is a household appliance. It's a toaster. Not an end in itself. Sorry if that offends you, Super-geeks, but you're the ones who made Linux easy and simple enough for even this kid to use.I'll always be grateful! But please don't call us names like "dumbed down" because we use your wonderful invention!

A grateful and appreciate non-geek liberated by Linux,
Robin



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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Linux is a kernel, first. If you talk about Linux distro, that is a different thing.


    Good developers never call end-users "dumbs". In any case. Where on the internet have you ever heard that?
    There are end-users who think that developers call end-users dumb, that is where that comes from. I didn't really get the point of this post. No one really expects any end-user to be a hacker. No one really expects end-users to even understand what is really going on when he goes this or that way in a program. That's not needed. Developers make their tools open in order to share their code and energy with other developers, there is no actual difference for end-user in a choice between open source tools and freeware(closed-source) tools. It isn't expected as well.

    Developers are not a victims in any way either, I don't get your point here. If they were developing some CLI tools with many options, they would expect end-users to read manuals and think before he does anything. If they were developing an app with simple GUI, they were planning to share it with everyone, probably, it will not be so fast and effective as CLI app may be, but that is accessibility to almost all users. Where is the irony? It goes exactly as planned.
    Posted 02-09-2010 at 01:14 AM by Web31337 Web31337 is offline
    Updated 02-09-2010 at 06:12 AM by dixiedancer (spelling, punctuation)
  2. Old Comment
    You Musta had a bad day Robin

    I find myself ranting sometimes when I get frustrated because my day is not going as planned.

    I know you luv Linux. You use it all the time and I see you enthusiastically contribute back to the community via forums and jumping in when somebody even more clueless than you (by the way, I am clueless also) is thinking of running Linux.

    So hang in there boy. Keep doing whatchya do.

    Happy Trails, Rok
    Posted 08-24-2010 at 07:42 AM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline
  3. Old Comment
    P.S. Misspellings done on purpose to convey my Southern Slang. :P
    Posted 08-24-2010 at 07:43 AM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline
 

  



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