Linux Ready for Prime Time?
aqua at atlantic.devin.com
Tue Jun 20 20:01:51 PDT 2000
On Tue, Jun 20, 2000 at 06:33:39PM -0700, seank at gracie.santarosa.edu wrote:
> Well, that's not exactly correct. My claim is that I've walked my mother
> through countless problems with her Win '95 system via the telephone,
> but god forbid I should ever have to do so if she were to get a white
> hair up her you-know-where and decide to install GNU-Linux.
My experience with this has been that unless the user has a good aptitude for
learning what things mean and how they work, the choice of OS makes little
difference. Macs are good because they're intuitive, so if there's intuition
available, but not a lot of ability to learn whole concepts (access control,
e.g.). If the ability or willingness to learn on a conceptual level is really
limited, then it makes little difference whether you ask them to check on
/dev/psaux or a mouse-and-keyboard control panel, it amounts to memorization
or writing things down regardless. The ability to ssh in yourself and fix it,
though, is a major benefit, as is the accessibility of all the components.
After introducing two elder family members to Linux, I did come to appreciate
how with Linux, once something's fixed it stays fixed, whereas with Windoze
and MacOS you tend to have to reinstall or replace hunks of software as
bit-rot catches up with them. The reactions, FWIW, were:
1. Frustration and anger at nonintuitive stuff, to a degree slightly
less than that vented at Win95 (unlike Win95, it didn't crash). Retreated
back to MacOS and since uses little else. Didn't like minimized applications
or multiple desktops (couldn't figure out the win9x taskbar either).
2. Utter adoration and devotion, despite having little idea what's
going on. Liked simplicity (KDE) and lack of crashes. Favorite feature is
now multiple X desktops. No comprehension of the commandline, but knows what
buttons to press.
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