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Poll: Do you want a Linux with an Interview Style Install and Setup?
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Do you want a Linux with an Interview Style Install and Setup?

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Results will be available after the polls close.

The nominees are:

I'm a newbie/novice and Yes, I love that idea. thats just what Linux needs.
I'm an occassional user, I don't care either way.
I'm an experience/hardcore user and I don't need it to be any easier. I am happy with it the way it is.

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Old 12-05-2003, 02:23 AM   #826
cseanburns
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I think what drew me into linux was that I am old enough to remember what it was like to work only in dos. I do not work in the computer industry, I am a professional cook and sometime chef, I have no programming skills or any kind of in depth computer knowledge, yet I enjoy playing with computers and I was very fond of playing around with dos back in the 80s. It gave me a lot of control over my then system (Tandy 1000sl, 80286, 640k ram, no hard drive-originally, 20MB later on, 5 1/4 floppy and 3 1/2 floppy, operating at a whopping 8 MHz) that I lost with windows. Working with the cli reminds me of my dos hay days, but better this time around, and a little more difficult of course, but then, only that much more fun and interesting. I think the people who will excel at linux are the people who grow up doing it the hard way, with the cli for instance. I've been reading lately about countries in Asia and southeast Asia and Brazil, entire countries that are switching all their governmental and educational systems over to linux. I think because people in those countries and their like who will grow up used to linux, these people will someday produce the most amazing things with this os. It's just a matter of getting used to it and re-training your mind to think a little differently. What I was able to assume in Windows, I can no longer assume in Linux. And I like that. I like going back to the fundamentals. I like trying to rebuild that sense of mastery that I lost when windows replaced dos. I am an extreme newbie to linux, but I was able to so many things with dos, have so much control with it, I'm excited about where I will be with linux this time next year, because it's just that much more powerful.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 11:22 AM   #827
unholy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tinkster
Geee dude, you still don't get it

You didn't even read the post you got the protect from
properly. The contorted bits are what YOU want ...
Linux is just fine, and it's written by the people who
"develop their own version". You are the aberration here.

The people who scream for an easier to use version
don't develop anything, they just bitch and whine.


Cheers,
Tink
What the thread title says, and what bruno said. This thread isn't "make linux easier for developers/programmers."

What you call bitching and whining, is the feedback that professional developers rely on to produce quality and competitive products.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 12:15 PM   #828
bruno buys
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Cseanburns, you're absolutely right. The main reason why brazilian govt. decided to leave MS was high cost. It's hundred millions dollars/year spent with software, and brazil is a poor country, can't afford that. And the main reason why we are going linux is that NOW this is possible. Five or six years back, it would be unfeasible.

Of course the hardcore user/developer/programmer don't need friendliness, this is so obvious that shouldn't even be mentioned. But this is not the point.

The point is whether there's any good in linux growing among general users. I believe so. Remember that each machine that goes linux is one more MS-free machine. Isn't it nice?
 
Old 12-05-2003, 01:12 PM   #829
justwantin
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Take that a step further and say that its a MS free machine for other people to se and possibly use.

How many people who have never used a PC will be using one by the end of 2004?
And how many of them will have Linux in their face?

Here's a snip out of an interecting article on the Thai govt initiative to improve PC literacy and access to PC's .

<snip>
Significantly, first-time PC users in Thailand are finding the Linux Thai Language Edition easier to master than Windows.
</snip>

http://www.linuxinsider.com/perl/story/32110.html

Cheers

Rick
 
Old 12-05-2003, 01:40 PM   #830
cseanburns
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Perhaps the sad fact is, I will never be able to develop anything for linux. I doubt I will really ever get into programming. I like playing around with computers, hope to build my own someday, and I sure as hell love learning linux, but I am a cook, I love to cook, I hope to open my own restaurant someday, and there are millions and millions of people out there who are like me, who will not get into programming because they do other things full time and that's their life. I will and have contributed in other ways, if I can, and when possible, financially and otherwise. The neatest thing about linux so far isn't that it's faster or more stable or open source or that I can run it on my four year old computer with ease, like this thing which I thought terribly obsolete is now a dream machine... although these are incredible, wonderful things, it's this forum and community and others like it. There are so many generous people here. That's really awesome. There are distros out there that are very newbie oriented and there are those on the other side of the spectrum and of course their are those in the middle, like the one I'm using. To those newbies who need really friendly versions, just do some research before you install, like I did. I chose a middle spectrum distro and I'm happy with it and am learning on my own pace. And to those who are hardcore, well, you already know the nooks and crannies of what you want. But that's another neat and awesome thing about linux, there are so many versions, so many flavors. All those flavors yield competition and progress. It's an incredible system now, just think of how great it will be in twenty years. But remember, there are all kinds of users out there, and one day, most of them will be like me, those who aren't computer trained and who will never be, but who believe in the other great aspects of linux, such as its community. I just think it's great to see that their is an operating system that is so flexible that it can appeal to those who are extremely hardcore, in whose career or life they have the time and passion to develop and make better this os, and to those newbies, like me, who can't dedicate their life to it, who have other things they need or want to dedicate the majority of their time to. And it will get better as more and more hardcore users and newbie users replace with this os the other os. But don't forget two things: one, linux can be really frustrating when you are first getting into it and perhaps for a while after you are into it. Like I said earlier, there are things you can assume in windows that you can't assume in linux. It takes adjustment! Which is wonderful, but it's still the fact. Please don't bang people up because they are confused. It's really easy to get confused when a, e.g., web page doesn't open because it was written for IE, but the newbie doesn't know or understand that, or when you're trying to figure out what directory is used for what. One can even get confused by the fact that there isn't a c: or a: or b: drive anymore. I've been working with c:, a:, b: drives since my first computer years and years ago---it takes adjustment to change to linux. To those hardcore users, please don't forget how confusing it can be for those like me. And two, the greatest thing about linux is its community and all the people here and everywhere else who seem to really care about the people who are running linux for the first time or who just need a little assistance. If linux is going to be successful, it can't be used by only hardcore users, most people will not be hardcore users, but my thanks to those whoe are hardcore users, thank you for your development, your time, your skills and experience and your dedication to this community. I will support you for the rest of my life in whatever way I can. As a sous chef I once worked for used to say, "help me help you."
 
Old 12-05-2003, 04:37 PM   #831
bruno buys
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Rio
Distribution: Debian
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Cseanburns,
By being a user, you are already helping. By talking to other people and trying to show linux to them, you are helping. There are a lot of other stuff to be done, besides programming. You can translate, for example. You can be a beta tester.
That's the spirit.

If I'm allowed to give you some advice, why don't you try to browse the OpenOffice.org project? They are always in need of people, and it's a relevant project.

I have seen some arrogant gurus out there sounding like "f**k the newbies", but they are, fortunately, exceptions. Most people like to help.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 06:28 PM   #832
ricdave
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Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 222

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<<< The people who scream for an easier to use version
don't develop anything, they just bitch and whine. >>>

A lot of them are business owners who need not only ease of use, but popular business software ported to Linux. More companies are beginning to develop Linux drivers. Why do you think that is? Out of the goodness of their heart? Or possibly in recognition of a commercial market ready to be developed? Are you against companies writing device drivers for their products? Or do you think one must be an IT pro or confirmed computer nerd before they are allowed to touch Linux?

I do want companies to write drivers for their scanners, cameras, etc. I want Quick books Pro ported to Linux. I recognize they will not do so unless it becomes profitable to do so. I am tired of maintaining 2 systems. Are you harmed if Linux develops to the point (I think it is there now, almost) where it is not only available as an option to Joe Six-pack, may his tribe increase, but desirable, nay, preferable to Windows. SuSE recognized the truth of this philosophy early on, and Mandrake is beginning to. Yes, Linux is open source, GLP, but it ain't free. You pay either in study or hard work, as in the days of DOS, or you pay for a user friendly product from a company like MS, Apple, SuSE, Mandrake, Elx, SOT, Alt, Asp, etc. Certainly the number of companies marketing Linux as a commercial venture, may their tribe also increase, is indicative of the hunger for an alternative to the tightening straitjacket which is MS and Apple.

Yes, I want Linux to be easier to acquire and use. I want a richer software environment than is currently available. I want to be able to purchase new peripherals without having to first research whether it is supported. I won't get either one until the Linux user base is demonstrably broad enough to make it commercially feasible for companies to do so. I fail to see how that threatens your interests or mine. Nor do I see where it would tarnish the 'Linux' experience for you if Linux does, indeed, move in that direction.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 06:36 PM   #833
bruno buys
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Rio
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1,509

Rep: Reputation: 46
"Yes, I want Linux to be easier to acquire and use."

Me too!

I want a richer software environment than is currently available.

Me too!

"I want to be able to purchase new peripherals without having to first research whether it is supported."

Specially this one, me too!

Ric, remember that any vendor willing to build for linux will have to cope with MS embargo, since they only do exclusive contracts. This issue is quite important and delicate.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 07:19 PM   #834
ricdave
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Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 222

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<<< Ric, remember that any vendor willing to build for linux will have to cope with MS embargo, since they only do exclusive contracts. This issue is quite important and delicate. >>>

Perhaps true in the past, but much less true today. Some of the peripheral providers are large enough to challenge MS. Obviously, since some of them are beginning to come across. Simply because it is now profitable to do so.
 
Old 12-05-2003, 08:12 PM   #835
vectordrake
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: NB,Canada
Distribution: Something alpha or beta, binary or source...
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That's why I am as patient as I can be with GNU/Linux. Things like incompatible hardware are not the fault of the developers. Quite to the contrary, actually. They hardware works because somebody MADE it work by hacking a driver for it. That's a big reason why M$ has such a foothold on th market (corcular). The company has deftly positioned itself so as to end up as the predom inant (by far) desktop OS, so the hardware manufacturers play the averages and write a driver for it. It hasn't got much to do with how easy it is to write on e for Linux, BSD, Solaris, BeOS, FreeDos, etc. The reality is that M$ has become the biggie. Our OS's developers have to guess at closed protocols. I think they do a great job. ex: my SB Live Gamer works great. No input from the company, as I gather.

" if you are used to using windows linux will feel strange at first but you need to remember these are different operating systems"

That is a great point too. There are sometimes several routes to a destination, and each has its good points - one may be faster, but one may be more enjoyable, etc. Both would satisfy to an extent.
 
Old 12-06-2003, 01:30 AM   #836
jfdlrr
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 6

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What the heck...I'll chime in too...

I think that with Linux, you get what you pay for, in a sense. When you pay money for something (Windows) you get what you want (or what someone THINKS you want). When somebody gives you something for free...you get what THEY want, and hopefully it works for you. Most Linux software is written to fill a need for the person writing it and they don't have any incentive to make it any easier or simpler to use than they require...which might not be easy or simple enough for some other person (although some DO selflessy work to make things easier for others).

Take emacs for example. People that use emacs, like the way emacs works and have no incentive to change it. People that don't use emacs don't care how emacs works, and have no incentive to change it. People that code Microsoft Word (for example), have great incentive to change it (whether they use it or not, and even if nobody WANTS them to), because they are paid to do it. I think the same argument applies for most Linux software. This is why the more Windows-like, easier-to-use Linux distros/software tend to cost you money. Programmers just don't have any other incentive to do that kind of work.

I agree that people who just want to USE their computer shouldn't have to (for example) spend 6 hours learning how to access their floppy drive, but I also agree that those people shouldn't expect the programmers/hackers/etc to spend "extra" time on their software projects just to make it easier for the non-geeks...after all, the programmers/hackers/etc just want to do whatever it is THEY do and not spend their time working solely for the benefit of others.

So that, I think, is the "problem" with Linux. Not necessarily good or bad...just so.

That being said, while Linux does have quite a steep learning curve, once you have traversed the curve, Linux is just as "simple" as anything else. For example, once you have figured out exactly what ifconfig, ifup, mii-tool, etc are supposed to do, it's very "simple" to get the network interface to do the "right thing" (I generally find the command-line tools to be much more reliable than the GUI-based stuff...but that's just me). It's pretty impossible until then, of course. I also find that Linux seems to react strangely and randomly when you are trying to get it to do something "new," but once you figure out how to do it (and how the mechanism works), you realize that it was acting neither strangely nor randomly, but doing exactly what you were telling it to do (that's the Do'h, I'm such an idiot moment, but it's usually pretty satisfying).

So, Linux, and free software in general, is what it is BECAUSE it's free...the thing that makes it good for some is exactly the thing that makes it bad for others.

For all of the people out there who are new to Linux, and frustrated...keep working at it (which means a LOT of reading) because eventually all of the right lights will go on and you'll never want to go back....because you just can't do that (whatever "that" is) in Windows.

Or something like that...
 
Old 12-06-2003, 08:04 AM   #837
ricdave
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Registered: Jan 2002
Posts: 222

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<<< I agree that people who just want to USE their computer shouldn't have to (for example) spend 6 hours learning how to access their floppy drive, but I also agree that those people shouldn't expect the programmers/hackers/etc to spend "extra" time on their software projects just to make it easier for the non-geeks...after all, the programmers/hackers/etc just want to do whatever it is THEY do and not spend their time working solely for the benefit of others. >>>

Perhaps not, particularly if you take only what is free. However, if you line up and put your money down for Mandrake, or Red Hat, or SuSE, expectations are a little higher. The only company which has 'got it' so far is Elx Linux. Any windows user can use Elx right out of the box and feel right at home. Everything works, including all of the available browser plug-ins. The only thing lacking for Joe Six-pack with Elx, or any Linux distro is an easy and foolproof method of installing and configuring software. And until we can make Linux that easy and simple to use, we ain't gonna get device drivers, or Linux ports for popular software. And let's face it, if you can't run the software you are accustomed to using the operating system, no matter how reliable or dependable it may be, is functionally useless.
 
Old 12-06-2003, 01:11 PM   #838
jfdlrr
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Tampa, FL
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Quote:
Perhaps not, particularly if you take only what is free. However, if you line up and put your money down for Mandrake, or Red Hat, or SuSE, expectations are a little higher.
Yes, that is a very good point, and that is where all of the great strides for Linux usability have come from. I think (and I'm just making this up) that there are two reasons why this process is happening as slowly as it is:

1. The amount of financial incentive coming to these companies from Joe-sixpack home desktop user is quite small. Linux companies can't devote as much paid resources to catering to that crowd, and end up taking a lot of the free stuff as is...something along those lines.

2. Microsoft started with a huge advantage in the usability area. When MS started writing software, nobody expected anything out of it (and software wasn't so complex and interdependent). When MS made something easier to use, they were setting the standard. When MS started making hardware easier to install, there wasn't so much hardware, and they got to help define how new hardware was specified. The Linux companies are having to come from behind. People these days expect their computer to do so many thing...easily. We need device drivers, we need a polished office suite, we need our hardware automatically detected and installed...and lots of other things that MS (and other developers) didn't have to deal with all at once.

So, I am agreeing with you 100%, but it really is a much bigger job than just "Make Linux easier for the general population," and it's a matter of economics. While Mandrake, Red Hat, SuSE, etc do take in money from their Linux offerings, they don't take in enough to devote paid programmers to everything at once. But it's getting there...slowly...but definitely getting there.
Quote:
The only thing lacking for Joe Six-pack with Elx, or any Linux distro is an easy and foolproof method of installing and configuring software.
Also true. From my point of view (which may be irrelevant to anybody else): When a software install breaks in Windows (which is pretty rare), it just breaks. and maybe doesn't tell you what happened and why in a meaningful way. When a software install under Linux breaks (which is more often) it almost always tells you exactly what happened and why (albeit usually in a very arcane way), and if you know what it's talking about you can almost always do what it takes to fix it. I can't really relate to this problem personally, since I don't encounter it often (and when I do, I can usually decipher the error messages as I have an MS in Computer Engineering ...that's cheating, I know), so maybe I'm not qualified to comment on it.
Quote:
And until we can make Linux that easy and simple to use, we ain't gonna get device drivers, or Linux ports for popular software.
Right again, and really the frustrating part. Software and hardware companies aren't going to devote their resources to improving Linux until there are a lot of people using Linux (some will, but not most)....but there won't be a lot of people using Linux until software and hardware companies write their software for Linux. Economics in action again.
Quote:
And let's face it, if you can't run the software you are accustomed to using the operating system, no matter how reliable or dependable it may be, is functionally useless.
Yes, this is another problem, but at least a small portion of it rests solely on the user. The operative word is "accustomed." Most computer users are accustomed to the MS way. The Linux way isn't necessarily "harder" or "worse" in many cases...it's just different (and of course not well-documented or documented in a "RTFM that only a programmer can understand" way).

That was the long answer. The short answer is a slightly qualified:

Yes, you're absolutely right.
 
Old 12-06-2003, 02:33 PM   #839
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally posted by ricdave
A lot of them are business owners who need not only ease of use, but popular business software ported to Linux. More companies are beginning to develop Linux drivers. Why do you think that is? Out of the goodness of their heart? Or possibly in recognition of a commercial market ready to be developed? Are you against companies writing device drivers for their products? Or do you think one must be an IT pro or confirmed computer nerd before they are allowed to touch Linux?
"More and more people are wanting to use cars
rather than walk, do you think they should sit a
drivers license?"
No, I don't think everyone needs to be an IT Pro,
but to drive a car you don't need the training and
experience of a Rally-driver, either. A basic under-
standing of how you car works is (at least in Germany
and New Zealand) required, along with an exam of
the road code as well as a practical test.

As for companies writing drivers for Linux. I'm not
really happy with that. I'd rather have them either
give their code to the kernel maintainers and make
it GPL'ed (like the broadcom ethernet, for example,
that is now part of the 2.6 kernel tree) as opposed
to nVidia's solution (just look at how many people
have problems with those!) or ATI's binary drivers.

Quote:
I do want companies to write drivers for their scanners, cameras, etc. I want Quick books Pro ported to Linux. I recognize they will not do so unless it becomes profitable to do so. I am tired of maintaining 2 systems. Are you harmed if Linux develops to the point (I think it is there now, almost) where it is not only available as an option to Joe Six-pack, may his tribe increase, but desirable, nay, preferable to Windows. SuSE recognized the truth of this philosophy early on, and Mandrake is beginning to. Yes, Linux is open source, GLP, but it ain't free. You pay either in study or hard work, as in the days of DOS, or you pay for a user friendly product from a company like MS, Apple, SuSE, Mandrake, Elx, SOT, Alt, Asp, etc. Certainly the number of companies marketing Linux as a commercial venture, may their tribe also increase, is indicative of the hunger for an alternative to the tightening straitjacket which is MS and Apple.
This isn't contradicting what I say... People here want
"Linux to be easier" - they're not asking the supplier
of their specific distro to clean stuff up after or for them.



Quote:
Yes, I want Linux to be easier to acquire and use. I want a richer software environment than is currently available. I want to be able to purchase new peripherals without having to first research whether it is supported.
I want to go out there and buy any spark-plug
and stick it in my car without having to check
whether it works or not?

Quote:
I won't get either one until the Linux user base is demonstrably broad enough to make it commercially feasible for companies to do so. I fail to see how that threatens your interests or mine. Nor do I see where it would tarnish the 'Linux' experience for you if Linux does, indeed, move in that direction.
Same again - I said that the people who want all
this will have to pay. The ones that just download
an ISO have -in my opinion- no right to rant and
rave. I'm happy to help people learn, and if the task
requires EXTENSIVE learning, maybe even do the job
for them giving a concise explanation of what/how and
why I'm doing what I'm doing. The ones who buy their
boxed packages can bloody well go an use the support
that they purchased with their system.

My primary argument for Linux to stay as it is is
that "ease of use" is bought at the expense of
"bloat", and also in consequence in a even higher
underlying complexity. Those "friendly" wizards by
MS never worked for me because my machines and
setup never were cheap stock stuff. And, not to my
surprise, Mandrake never installed properly on any
of my machines, either, because there's just too many
possible combinations out there to be able to thoroughly
test. In the end you'll have to go with computers that
meet MS specifications, and if worse comes to worst,
even that POS TCPA and Palladium will find its way
into every machine, and then you won't be presented
with the choice for Linux any more, either.

Knowledge and diversity are the only means
to warrant freedom. Freedom of thought, speech
and computer usage.


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 12-06-2003, 06:26 PM   #840
smcoptyltd
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Registered: Nov 2003
Posts: 41

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Hi Tinkster... It's me again! On Mandrake 9.2 in Mozilla.

What are bastards you are!!!

Now I'm another convert into Linux!

And... I like it. It's not for faint harted but it's a good start I think.

Thanx and cheers...

 
  


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