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Old 07-06-2001, 12:28 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0 Official
Posts: 181

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OPINION: What Linux users need

I'm not a programmer, or an experienced UNIX user (my last experience actually working within a UNIX command line was in 1997, when I had to fire up PICO to do things on the company server). I'm a user, who first used Macs and then switched (for expediency in work) to Windows. Work, for me, means Photoshop, Powerpoint, Illustrator and other graphic applications. I'm trying Linux Mandrake 8 now because I'm interested in this new OS that I keep hearing so much about. Windows is too unwieldy and Macs are too expensive.

It took me a week to install Linux successfully. Since then, I've tried to acquire and install additional programs. When I couldn't do this, I posted questions to this (and other) lists about how to install an app on Linux. The answers that I got showed me that if I want to use Linux, I have to learn to think of it as a "codeset" (is that a good term?) and to use this thing called a "shell" with its command line to perform program installations.

I'm an OS ignoramus, not knowing what's "under the hood" and not wanting to know. I'm remembering 1991, when I had to learn DOS and type things like "A:install.exe" as I waded through cryptic README documents. <<shudder!>> I haven't had to do that since '94 and I don't want to go back. Since I would like to use Linux as an alternative OS (with KDE as my desktop environment), I'm going to want to install programs that didn't come with my Mandrake distribution. I'm surprised that I haven't come across an equivalent to the Installer programs like InstallWise that proliferate in Windows and Mac-ville. Is there an initiative under way in the Linux community to provide an installer app like these with the programs that get distributed in Open Source? Would installers compromise the open source initiative?People like me who just want to accomplish certain tasks with our computers are going to need such a thing. Is Linux intended for people like me?

What do you all think? Thanks for reading this.
Old 07-06-2001, 12:55 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,149

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Well the way I see it is this:

If you want a point & click and let Windows do all the behind the scenes stuff for you, then Linux isn't really for you.
Linux is an OS where you see what is going on cause your doing it most of the time. Its for people who want full control of their system.
There are some programs out there getting better, like Star Office, you start that install and its like your back in Windows again.

If you want full control, use Linux, if you like the point and click, let the OS do everything for you, then go with a alternative.

Just my opinion.
Old 07-06-2001, 04:42 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Cambridge, England
Distribution: Slackware 10, Fedora Core 3, Mac OS X
Posts: 617

Rep: Reputation: 30
rpm is the closest that you will get (it is in the k menu). you can install most things with it and it just one click and you;re away.

but as tricky kid says, you really need to want to learn some of the 'under the hood' stuff. it makes things alot easier and you;ll know what to do when we ask for more detail and/or give advice/answers.

it;s a lot like a car really. you can;t just jump into any old car and drive it the same way as you drive your car. you have to learn the new system and all its suble neunces that come with it. in the same way, you don;t _need_ to learn how all the engine, clutch exhaust etc. work to be able to drive it.

os's are the same.


P.S. btw, you get used to this way of doing things. i remember trying to get games etc. to run in dos and the hassle of remembering the archane switches that it used such as /L /P /W:S and so forth. the linux commands are alot more logical and there is much more extensive help which is easier to use/read than the help that came with ms-dos


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