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-   -   How can I get people to use Linux? I'm bad at converting people over. (

Mr. Hill 03-24-2005 08:20 PM

How can I get people to use Linux? I'm bad at converting people over.
I am currently trying to get people to use Linux at my school. My friend introduced me to Linux about six months ago and now I'm hooked. It really didn't take much for him to persuade me (I'm a geek). Now I'll go around saying "Use Linux!" but most if not all with flip me off and/or say "what's Linux??". This has been an exhausting process, only about one or two people will actually listen to me praise Linux and are thinking about using it. Were you introduced to Linux by a friend who converted you over like me? Have you converted any people over? It's hard to persuade someone to use Linux, even if it is free. With his Windows world we live in I don't think I'll be able to get any people to use it.

My goal is to get as many Linux users I can at my school. I think that it would be a really cool thing. How should I go about doing this? Should I really try hard to persuade or should I just leave it alone and let Microsoft win this round? Thanks for any tips.

foo_bar_foo 03-24-2005 08:26 PM

when i first became enlightened i thought "man i'm gona open the eyes of the whole world"
then i realized "man i have a chance to change the lives of all the people in my town"
then i thought "man i'm gona turn all of the members of my family into sages"
then i relized i could only work on myself and must leave them to discover things on their own.

slakmagik 03-24-2005 08:49 PM

I don't care for evangelism of any kind, really. If someone has a problem in Windows you can say 'Sorry, I'm not familiar with those problems, I use Linux.' :) If somebody asks you what you use, by all means tell them. But to turn people around from their keyboards and yell at them 'Linux rules!' is just not a good idea. I'm glad I got pissed off with Microsoft and found out about Linux before anybody evangelized me, or I'd still be using MS stuff. I'd actually probably hate Linux. I think Linux evangelism produces Windows fanboys because I can't imagine anyone being militantly pro-Windows otherwise - they'd just use Windows in a kind of 'what else? who cares?' way. Like most people aren't militantly red-handled shovel fans if most shovels happen to be sold with red-handles. It's only when those green-handled freaks show up that they start having to consider the issue and may decide their red handles are damn well good enough for them.

The worst thing to do is criticize Windows in a kind of unwarranted way. Again, if somebody is having a problem and asking about it and it *is* a Windows problem, you can describe the problem in a matter of fact way that makes it obvious Windows sucks. :) But to just come out and say 'Windows sucks' tends to make people defensive. Basically, it's just a kind of passive magnetism, if you see what I'm saying. You pull people in by letting them discover the existence of Linux and becoming interested in it themselves because they know you're a happy camper. Just let your own Linux happiness radiate without trying to point out how miserable they are. ;) But don't be smug, either.

A good thing sells itself, basically, and doesn't need evangelism.

YellowFin 03-24-2005 09:07 PM

i first fouhnd out about linux from my dad .. one night he asked what is linux and how good it is... the next day i did my reserch, downloaded some isos.......(my first distro was redhat).. i was like wow i love this......after a while i ened up useing windows agin.. but till recently my computer science teacher installed knoppix on all the machines, and i got hooked again,... i found suse 9.2 andf in currently useing, and now i ahve only one problem...... printing..

you cant critize windows, bill gates is makeing billions off a operating system which to get that many ppl useing it, also when u get windows working, it usally stay working till you go onto a site w/ if u liek palying games , there are only a couple of good games for linux, i cant wait till all games can be used on linux, also theres the dvd problem, it will be nice once lindvd or xine can play dvds, you can only reely "breg " abopuit how nice linux is and how customizable it can be,

girls like to have evything "prertty", once you get that factor in then most girls will "like" linux and start useing showed my sister and she loves it.......and shes showing it off to her freinds.

and what you can do is go to ppls houses overnight, delete windows and install linux,lol

also simnce linux belongs to a limited number of people we dont have to woryy that much about adware/spyware/viruses...

gdivens51 03-24-2005 09:11 PM

i wouldn't worry about it. If someone is interested, then yes promote Linux. A person has to have an interest b4 they will take the initiative to learn it. I know several people who won't even make an effort or take the initiative to learn simple basics about Windows. Nor will they use a search engine to hunt down a solution to their problem. They come to me & want me to help out. I know one man who has used his computer for 5 years , yet still doesn't know how to copy & paste. And forget about preventive maintenance. Don't waste your time on someone who has no interest.

YellowFin 03-24-2005 09:14 PM

exaclty what ^^^^^^^^^^^^^he said....... some ppl just dont like

Mr. Hill 03-24-2005 11:24 PM

Thanks for the advice. I know that coming on too strong is really a bad idea and I try to really limit myself on Win and/or Mac bashings with other people. I really can't stand TV Evangelists so I know where you're coming from, digiot. There is a kid that sits next to me in English that has a brother that runs Knoppix and says he is interested so I'll work on him for the next few days. One other thing that made me write in was that I got my dad liking my desktop look quite a bit and he wanted to give it a try. I gave him Red Hat 9 (my first distro) and he tried to load it. I was stupid and did not moniter his install, it did not go well. He was using a Raid Array and he chose the wrong drive or something and everything was lost - he also thought that he was too macho to make a backup. He spent the next day cursing Linux and painfully reloading Win XP with all of his lost stuff back on to his PC. He now hates Linux. I am currently trying to persuade him again and surprisingly he took a huge interest in FreeBSD so we'll see how that works.

I do like digiot's plan though. I have had people in a class ask me how to get on the internet in Win because they screwed themselves so far up with Spyware and/or viruses so they can't access anything. I will tell them that I happily use Linux and cannot help them with their Win problems. (OK, I will also tell them to reformat their drive and put the OS back on). I guess I'll have to see how this works out. If I can get people to use Linux that's cool, if I can't that's cool too. Thanks again for the tips.

con 12-18-2005 03:50 PM

nevermind this...posted a real long one in a thread that is 9 months old...omg..

m_a_b 12-18-2005 04:11 PM

ok, here are my thoughts. I started dabbling with linux about a year and a half ago. Started out real strong and intersted, then for the last year or so, I cooled off about linux. Now, I am dabbling again. The thing is that I love linux and the more I play around with it the more I like it.


...the thing about Linux is that it is a lot of work. Windows is easy. Why is it a lot of work? Because the little bit of corporate support that Linux has is not oriented towards consumer-level end users. To prove it, when is the last time you saw a commercial for a linux distro?

The bad thing about linux is that when it is working, it is great, but when you need a new software package or need a new piece of hardware, it can be horrible. The fact of the matter is that right now, linux is in the same situation that Dos and Win 3.1 were in that in order to get software or hardware to function, you have to work at it to get things set up right. I mean, really, who wants to go through downloading an open source package, configuring it and compiling it for your system, then installing it and if everything was done right (for me, this is rare!) you can run the program, when you can go into windows, download an exe, double click it, restart :), and the software works.

The thing about it is that the older I get the less I want to work for things. I don't want to spend my time getting my computer to work - I just want it to work. This is where Windows has excelled - they have made computers from "geek only" to making them work for people who "just want to get on the e-mail, play WoW, and surf the porn sites". Geez, I remember the old DOS days of writing new config files because you can't get enough conventional memory to run the CD, then having to install seperate display and printer drivers for each program, etc. If it were like that today, most people still wouldn't use computers. In a sense, linux is that way now - just prettier and without most of the stupid stuff - you have to put effort into making things work.

The one thing that DOS and Win 3.1 had over Linux is that there was basically just one flavor - Microsoft. So, all the software and hardware companies started making it easier by making Microsoft "the one".

Personally, I don't ever think linux will truely hit the mainstream until using linux is easy. Who wants to go from a really polished (sometimes too polished) Win XP or Mac OS X to a distro of linux where you have a decent GUI, but still have to do things in a console? That is like going back to Win 95. Don't get me wrong - I love linux. I am writing this from linux now. But the mainstream is not going to put up with having to put out effort to make things work. Heck, that is why people go from windows to mac - because they want to be even further removed from technical things.

Just my $0.02

cousinlucky 12-18-2005 05:00 PM

The youngsters posting before me are all quite correct. Windows is easy. As a matter of fact it is geared toward self-teaching. My first computer with Windows 95 taught me how to use it. I did not have a manual or a teacher. The Gates Gang may be Big Extortionists but they are far from stupid.

I am old and retired but called a Libertarian because I strongly believe in freedom and liberty. I came to Linux because I was forced to. I have friends and relatives who use Mac's and the things always need fixing.

Microsoft had me in prison. I had to ( even at my age ) Dare myself to break out of that prison. So it will be with others. I do not see Linux ever becoming " user friendly " during my lifetime. I have only been with Linux for a few weeks and I am still leary of it because of my ignorance. It is the nature of human beings to resist change.

sundialsvcs 12-18-2005 05:26 PM

What most people look at, when they look at even Windows, is "the computer store." Mom decides she "wants a computer." To do what? Oh, e-mail... surf the web... write a thing or three. Or maybe an office wants a computer... an over-glorified expensive typewriter, basically.

Y'know, any fool system could do that, and it so happens that Microsoft Windows is "the fool system" that got there first. In nineteen-eightysomething, and although I hate to admit it .. :rolleyes: .. that was "a long time ago" now.

But now, the market is maturing. As it did so, hardware got a whole lot more powerful than anyone ever dreamed of (yeah, I said I hate to admit it...) in the 70's and 80's and even the 90's. The market now includes all kinds of dedicated hardware -- iPod, mobile phones, xBox -- all of which are spin-offs of the original concept. "Spun off" that exist now because, now, they can exist. (Even five years ago, they couldn't have.) What was "state of the art" at that time is now, indeed, "a prison."

A keyboard. A mouse. How quaint...

"Yeah, Bill Gates is a multimillionaire." So is Steve Balmer and a couple hundred other people at Microsoft and Apple and a few other places, but no one seems to talk about any of them. The Boy Who Lived. The Geek Who Made It Big. So What? Time to get beyond the foolish envy and look at where things really are today.

Windows is, frankly, in a world of hurt, and they know it. The market and the press and the folks in the red shirts at the computer store don't know it yet, but what do they know? They've got three aisles full of CDs, for chrissakes! The world of computing is splintered and Windows only sits firmly on one piece ... an old piece, at that.

MS has tried three times now to get Longhorn out .. "new and improved," you know .. and each time they had to throw away all the new stuff just to get something out with a "last_year + 2" number on it. That's getting old. Longhorn, as-promised, still isn't here, and it may never be here, and by the time it does get here, isn't Linux already there? Yeah, it is.

Meanwhile, Apple (in whom MS is, of course, a sizeable and astute investor) has an x86 line of products and an x86 operating system ready for release. Since OS/X (that is, BSD Unix...) can be ported to new platforms with little more than a recompile, there's no doubt that they can do it. (In fact, some folks on the Internet say that they are already running it.)

And, we conclude, that Microsoft can't "do it." And we don't have to wait for it, because ... Linux is sitting pretty. An OS that can run on more than twenty-four architectures with no more than a recompile.

But where's Linux going to "hit?" I'll clue ya: it won't 'hit' on the 'traditional desktop.' Probably not ever. Why? Because the 'traditional desktop' is a typewriter and it never was really anything more than that. Offices got rid of their calculators and typewriters and replaced them with computers. For anything more, they hooked to centralized machines and for that they used either terminal-software or HTML browsers. Most of "the web" today consists of .. centralized (server) machines.

Ah-hah! And, my kiddies, guess where Linux is? Where it has been, where it belongs, and where Microsoft Windows does not? Yes, those "centralized (server) machines!"

So, let's stop wondering when Linux is going to replace all those typewriters. Odds are, people won't replace their typewriters anytime soon. MS Windows will continue to "dominate" that "market" for, I am sure, quite some time to come, at least until the momentum runs out. Computing is not defined by what is, but by what will be. And Linux is already there.

fair_is_fair 12-18-2005 05:30 PM

Windows is a good starting point. Many will progress to linux on their own.

Most of us here are avid computer users but the everyday person who has a computer is mostly interested in email, chat, and music downloads. They could care less about alternate operating systems. They are quickly discouraged when they realize linux has different buttons, icons, and colours.

You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.

jamie_barrow 12-18-2005 06:39 PM

Tell them its free, and show them a Live CD demonstration (use Ubuntu it rocks!!!)

con 12-19-2005 12:31 AM


I do not see Linux ever becoming " user friendly " during my lifetime.
..dude..if that was true, we'ed all still be driving T-Fords.

cousinlucky 12-19-2005 01:52 AM

All throughout the sometimes tragic history of mankind innovation has met many different attitudes!!

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