Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

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Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby expat_tony on Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:56 am

It's Springtime 2014, and I wonder how many people there are worldwide who think, like me, that the end of security updates for XP is an opportunity to wave bye-bye to Windows. I'm just starting out in Linux Mint, and I'm prepared to invest some time and brain work into it. But I also have to hold down a job and just don't have the time to become a geek, let alone a guru.
With the Mint menu and the software centre, I can get some of what I need "pre-cooked". But I'm grateful to Google for introducing me to sites like itsfoss.com and techsupportalert.com (home of gizmo freeware) with their lists of tips and tricks. These collections are real timesavers.

So please consider this, I believe there's a window of opportunity this year to make the Linux world irresistible to many more people who are currently consumers rather than configurers of their PC's system. But for that to happen, they ought to find software and setup options bundled into application topics, at the level of "So you want to know about <examples: PDFs in Linux, e-Book Publishing in Linux>".

Such topic threads could start with a guru's 'sticky' overview of what quality level you can expect to achieve, what basics you need for that and where to get them, as well as being a home for the most relevant existing and new posts from single contributors.

You may counter that the forum offers something like it already, I'd reply that I'd rather find the box of needles ready at the foot of the haystack than have to go looking for separate ones inside it (it = a big forum). This issue touches on the fundamental question of where the Linux community wants itself to go and how big it wants to grow. Can you assimilate millions of consumers, and do you really want to?
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby PKing on Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:02 am

As a new Linux user i must agree that installing a distro can be a pain in the you know wat :wink:

And i think the commotion about XP is a little overdone, it are mainly the banks that are making problems.

One day u use XP and the next day it is not safe anymore?...(Where the question Always is how safe is windows anyway)
I am not gonna try to learn my mother in Law (79) to use another OS, she can use my Linux comp :D
Or my wifes W7 comp wat has illegal software and therefore is unsafe:-)

Point is that most of the XP users will go to another Windows version, or simply buy a tablet.

Just my 5 cents...
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby FirebirdTN on Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:38 pm

I have another thread here basically asking if Linux will finally take off on the Desktop due to the demise of XP. I guess the harsh reality is, probably not.

Although I have dabbled in Linux for a number of years, I've never really took to it...until Mint about 3 weeks ago now.

Although not *perfect* I am continually blown away by what can be accomplished by Linux. Right now I am installing Windows updates in my XP virtual machine. Now granted I ran Mint in a virtual machine under XP when I was evaluating it, but man...guess I am easily amuzed. I just can't believe how well a lot of this stuff actually works.

For the first time I find myself looking MORE forward to making things work on Linux (especially legacy stuff) than playing with the latest and greatest offering out of microsoft.

-Alan
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby Painter on Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:19 pm

Those kinds of tutorials would be great to have for newbies. I don't know how much it would help 'advertise' Linux though.

For most, if not all, of my non tech friends, a computer is just that, a computer. A tool. Some of my friends don't even know what a Macintosh is, much less Linux, and have a hard time understanding what they are.

They didn't know that Windows is a 'part' of the computer, not the whole thing. Most don't understand that the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, are separate things also. Also, for them a tablet, is a tablet, is a tablet. As long as they can A) afford it, B) it does what they want, it doesn't matter to them if it's an Android, Windows 8, or an iPad. Which, when it comes to tablets, isn't necessarily a bad thing, just an entirely different viewpoint.

They don't want to understand either. They just want it to work. Which is hard for us to comprehend.

Once they're interested in digging deeper... Well that's a different story entirely. :)
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby wh7qq on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:42 pm

Several answers for several questions:

XP has never been a "safe" OS due to multiple vulnerabilities since its introduction. To the extent that it shares vulnerabilities with newer versions of W$, as u$oft releases fixes for vulnerabilities in the newer OS's, those vulnerabilities will be exposed to the hacker universe and they will flock to apply hacks to those on XP like flies on poop. And the banks are victims, not the cause, as they are having to either pay ridiculous prices for u$oft to patch their XP machines or invest in new hardware and software to run a newer OS.

As for running Linux in a virtual machine on XP, I submit that you would be safer (marginally), and maybe faster, running XP from a VM on Linux. It would be good to disable the XP VM access to the internet for safety.

I know the learning curve seems steep at first, finding and learning new software and methods...but it is worth the effort...if for no other reason than to break free from being tied to u$oft's business plans that obsolete older hardware at a marketing dept. whim. After some experience, you will find as I did, that distributions like Linux Mint are fantastic and stable and the forums are very helpful and friendly to the newbie. Oh, did I mention the amazingly quick installation (vs hours for XP), all the free software like Firefox, Chrome and OpenOffice (that you don't have to purchase or bootleg) and of course, the price!
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby rustguard on Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:09 pm

PKing wrote:Point is that most of the XP users will go to another Windows version, or simply buy a tablet.

Just my 5 cents...

yeah well.......using XP can give you a real headache
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby Jack Daniels Esq on Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:31 pm

expat_tony wrote:It's Springtime 2014, and I wonder how many people there are worldwide who think, like me, that the end of security updates for XP is an opportunity to wave bye-bye to Windows. I'm just starting out in Linux Mint, and I'm prepared to invest some time and brain work into it. But I also have to hold down a job and just don't have the time to become a geek, let alone a guru...... This issue touches on the fundamental question of where the Linux community wants itself to go and how big it wants to grow. Can you assimilate millions of consumers, and do you really want to?


Great question ...

I have used Linux for many years - first time with mint [17] - use MS for all our serious production work - work off-line, pretty safe

Dont believe anybody takes the XP is finished argument seriously - US Military bought a 10 year XP license recently because Vista,
et al, were so appalling - lock XP down, harden it and its stable - Mint is probably the most user-friendly and complete Linux
package out there - it simply continues to amaze me as to how polished it is ... all my Linux installs were CLI in the past

I believe Mint is doing excellent work - small wonder it is the 4th most used OS in the world - and I believe that the Linux
community as a whole is losing the shorts & sandals mantra - going down the road with a more corporate image in mind

One of Linux huge strengths is its sense of community - these forums are gold - the mods can make or break a distro

There are one or two I will never touch again, simply because the mods were such douches ....

Have fun here - you are in good hands - plus this distro appears to be bullet proof (Irish)

Regards

Jack ............[ex pat in Phuket]
:mrgreen:
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby knight76 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:40 pm

I don't think Linux has much chance of converting people who point to the computer and call it "the box", or reset their computer by turning the monitor on and off. Not unless computer manufacturers like DELL et all start having Linux as an OS option straight out of the box.

Most people who own computers have no clue how they work, why they work, and that there are other ways of doing things. They buy it, turn it on, and take it back to the store whenever anything strange happens. I can't see these people converting to Linux as it is not the default option. Not the commonly used and accepted norm. Sheep mentality I guess you could call it.

The people who will convert from xp rather than go to 7 or 8 will be those who already know what Linux is but have yet to try it, or have tried it previously but it didn't take. I've never seen a Linux TV advert, or radio/newspaper advert in the mainstream where the above people will hear about it. So I can't see how they will learn about it unless they go looking for it, and they don't know to go looking for it in the first place.

Can the Linux community accept them if they do make the transition, I think so. some will hate them, some will welcome them, no different to any other cross section of society.
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby Mangar on Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:49 pm

Hey I google it the other day that some PC's can come loaded with a Linux OS from a small amount of companies. But you be better off getting just the laptop and no OS installed. Also seen a graphics card recommend on these boards which Linux sees and you can install the drivers it goes for about $144. I have 5 former XP desktops and a laptop I am turning over to Mint. Also the gamers are on Steam and more talk of modders doing stuff in Linux as well.
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby knight76 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:20 pm

True, but to most computer users, steam is what comes out of their ears when Windows crashes. :D
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby Mangar on Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:50 pm

Here's an older article of PC sales with Linux preloaded
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/t ... ndors/9313
Vendor links work, some look like light hardware but another few look more robust brands.

I am sure some vet member might have better source links.
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completely new to Linux here is a quick overall for 1st timers Lingo curve http://www.linfo.org/newbies.html
Alternative applications to what Windows users do things http://www.linuxalt.com/
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby rbmorse on Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:05 am

UbuntuFourms.org had dedicated sections for ASUS and Dell PCs that were sold preloaded with Linux. Those sections are now closed.
Hope is not a plan
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby Linee on Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:49 pm

I agree with several posts here. I happen to be one of those people who knows diddlysquat about Linux but knows just enough to get by on a computer (how it works, what to do when something goes wrong, how to open it up and change a few things if necessary, etc.) and therefore I have been more than willing to try out many different ways of doing things. In the past I went from Windows to OS/2 Warp and a few others, then when I eventually got tired of the bland Windows appearance, I headed for Stardock and liked what I saw. Then that wasn't enough, so I discovered Ubuntu 8.10. I've been dabbling around with different Linux distros ever since and so far it's been mostly good. I am not like most pc users though. At least everyone I know uses either Android in some form or Windows pcs, just one uses a Mac, and none of them are interested at all in how their systems really work. They want to push a button, turn on, and go--that's pretty much it. For myself, I am quite happy switching back and forth between Linux Mint 17, Windows, Android, and yes I admit it I have an ipad. I'm just one of those people who enjoys having the best of all worlds... can't deny it sometimes turning into the worst of experiences though, especially with Windows...
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby JohnBobSmith on Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:29 pm

I find the mentality of most computer users to be really, really sad. As mentioned, the "Push a button and go!" setereotype (if you can call it that) really drives me bonkers. People simply don't care. Its that simple. People don't care how their computer works, who goes into making it work, etc. Also, a lot of internet users are ignorant towards the fact that malware can be a serious problem. However, its mostly spyware theses days. Spyware is nasty stuff, because it is designed to sell your online profiles to advertising. Or worse, steal personal/sensitive information.

As for migrating Windows users... I have migrated to Linux myself, but I do keep a Windows around. A lot of it is that people simply are not educated enough and don't care to use a different OS. This whole "I don't care" attitude really drives me nuts...

All in all, there is no real way to change the attitude of society. No, thats not my goal, and no, I dont think think I will ever be able to change the world. But I do believe in making a difference, even if its small. I hope to continue helping people on IRC when I can, and try and maintain a positive learning environment. I hope others can do the same, and if not, at least be respectful. I hope to read more posts soon!
Running on ancient hardware and a now super-charged linux only laptop. :D
Windows free since September 4th, 2014 @ 19:47 Mountain standard time.
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Re: Can the community welcome a new kind of user?

Postby Couch_Potato on Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:31 am

i have read all these posts and find concurrence with them all. Linux has no marketing department. So the only other way to get/initiate new users to the world of FOSS is GET'em while the're YOUNG!!! Schools could be a big factor in supporting the next generation of Linux lovers/users. Sadly in my travails as a Field Service Tech for a Major hardware vendor (whose name has received both scorn and praise in this thread) most educational customers barely touch Linux in their courses, Particularly Community Colleges/Post Secondary Tech. Schools. Of course this is from my informal discussions with the onsite IT support personnel. Ah in the end WOM (word of mouth) will still be the best way that FOSS/Linux spreads.
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