Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

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Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby mintnoob on Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:30 am

I just created a dual boot of XP and Mint 8 on my girlfriend's laptop so she could try Linux. I gave it some eye-candy, imported her Firefox bookmarks and other day-to-day files, and she loves Mint so far.

She's more of a "simple" computer users, mostly surfs the net, burns DVDs, use a word processor every once-in-awhile, and rarely tweaks her computer. I'd describe her as a non-computer geek.

I'm definitely somewhat of a computer geek since I spend more time on the computer than her, I do more complex things with a computer like web building and video editing, and I somewhat like to tweak my computer to make faster and for eye-candy.

I have a dual boot with Windows XP because Linux just doesn't have good enough apps that I'd be suitable with for some of the more complex things I do on my computer, but I can't wait for the day that I feel I would be truly comfortable going windows-free.

Now you'd think that people like me who are more of a computer geek and somewhat experienced on Linux would more likely be able to comfortably go Windows-free than non-computer geeks.

But the irony is that non-computer geeks, like my girlfriend, could easily go Windows-free without regret, than computer geeks like me!
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby markcynt on Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:57 am

mintnoob wrote:But the irony is that non-computer geeks, like my girlfriend, could easily go Windows-free without regret, than computer geeks like me!


That's very easy to believe.

Linux has everything the average computer user needs, especially a distro like Mint that comes with all that multimedia stuff pre-installed.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby viking777 on Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:04 am

Easy to believe?

Wow not to me it isn't. I have had Linux on my wife's computer for years - she never touches it, always Windows. Like your girlfriend her computer is just a tool to use not a plaything as it is for me.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby markcynt on Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:15 am

viking777 wrote:Easy to believe?

Wow not to me it isn't. I have had Linux on my wife's computer for years - she never touches it, always Windows. Like your girlfriend her computer is just a tool to use not a plaything as it is for me.


That's also easy to believe.

Most of people don't like any kind of change.

I'd bet that if your wife started out with Linux she'd hate Windows.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby Kaye on Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:38 am

I feel the exact opposite of this is true. Most "normal" people don't care enough to touch anything other than Windows. Really what normal user is gonna go through the time and learning curve required even to do something simple like write a conky script? The reason they like Windows is the exact reason I hate it - everything is simple and anything even remotely in-depth (read: anything that matters relating to the system) is completely blocked from you.

If you're truly into computers I feel that you will always choose Linux over any other alternative.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby mintnoob on Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:31 pm

Kaye wrote:If you're truly into computers I feel that you will always choose Linux over any other alternative.

If Linux wants to truly compete with Windows & Mac, Linux will have to cater more to those types of people since they make up the majority by far.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby Kaye on Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:58 pm

More to what types of users? That sentence didn't really make sense.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby Aevum on Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:38 pm

Kaye wrote:I feel the exact opposite of this is true. Most "normal" people don't care enough to touch anything other than Windows. Really what normal user is gonna go through the time and learning curve required even to do something simple like write a conky script? The reason they like Windows is the exact reason I hate it - everything is simple and anything even remotely in-depth (read: anything that matters relating to the system) is completely blocked from you.

If you're truly into computers I feel that you will always choose Linux over any other alternative.


I do completely agree with this post and that's the reason why I fell for Linux and, after trying it, I uninstalled Windows from my PC not to install it anymore! :P
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby Gramps50 on Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:46 am

It was just the opposite at my house. My wife could never get a handle on Windows so she barley used it. I put Linux on an old laptop I had and within a short period of time she was off and running. She's suprizes me as to what she can do. The good thing is I don't have to worry about her catching a virus while she out surfing.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby DrHu on Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:36 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geek
    Whither the geek be..

I think Geek is the term best applied to those who buy (consumers), and that non-geeks don't have that interest in that niche (computers), whether the niche is bigger (windows) or smaller (Apple/Linux); could also apply to cars (enthusiasts), but is generally thought of as technology fans (geeks)

I used to buy a lot of magazines, because I liked the relatively small size and easy readability as opposed to say IBM system magazine, which was more like a book than a magazine, every month
http://ibmsystemsmag.blogs.com/the_buzz ... nuary.html
    But I spend/spent too much money on that, and was loath to throw any of them away

Now, I do agree that non-geeks as self identified, are more likely than the geeks for Windows, Geeks for MAC (you know who you are, the fanbase); the people who might think a USB fridge for your computer was cool, even if it can't cool down a warm soft drink..
    I would have thrown in geeks for Linux, except I think we are more sensible..
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby gravelbay on Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:59 pm

It sounds to me like the bigger split is between those who reject changes and those who embrace them. My wife is far from a geek. I think she would thrive in Linux because day-to-day use is enough like Windows that she would adapt quickly. But she is comfortable with (of all things!) Vista. Of course, guess who gets to maintain all the stuff needed to keep the computer healthy! She's not interested in changing because what she has gets done what she needs to do, even if I find it a major pain in the drain. I suggested Windows 7 to make at least some kind of improvement, but she shot that idea right out of the sky.

Her sister is a real computer Luddite. She hires a guy to maintain her 'puters. The tech guy told me once about one of his customers who had gotten a computer for his dad. About once a month the guy was bringing it in to have the garbage taken out and get it running again. One day they asked him, "Is there any way to put a stop to this?" He said, "Sure, install Linux." So that's what they did and now the thing just sits there and runs. The tech guy may have lost some business, but I'll be he gained a satisfied customer. :wink:
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby speedyx on Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:23 am

I have a lot of experience on the installing linux on windows user's pc.
I installed Mint, Kubuntu, Pardus and Mepis (KDE forever) and I have seen a lot of joy on their faces.
KDE is more familiar for ex-windows-user than GNOME. This is, I think, a reason for the Mint-gnome original desktop.
The only problem is with some hardware compatibility, regression, ...
My wife's microphone on her new pink Sony Vaio CW doesn't work with opensuse 11.2 and kubuntu karmic (the latest kernel) out of the box.
She should use my Logitech QuickCam Pro for notebook.
Mint-kde is the only kde distro I tried that permit us to share the internet connection without any router, only with network-manager. It is great!
I hope mint-kde will stay with gnome nm-applet for the moment.
I use with satisfaction a lot of distros: mint-kde, kubuntu, opensuse, chakra but mint is the perfect distro for a stable and funny desktop (no philosophical issues, no hardware compromise...)
I will help her to switch to mint-kde with the next kde-ce distro release.
The freedom technologies are available!
I recommend everyone Linux Mint KDE as the simplest GNU/Linux distribution for the common user
and the italian Santech notebook, 100% linux compatible!
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby butchydave on Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:59 am

I'm a wrench turner and been too busy to learn how to be a geek. Don't know anyone who uses Linux or CLI so it's a slow go of learning. Everyone knows windows whether you like it or not. I don't like being chained to windows and the almighty $. So yes this is one non-geek learning to fly! So being a noob bear with me and some of the crazy and stupid things I do while my wings get stronger! :wink:
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby MALsPa on Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:51 am

butchydave wrote:I'm a wrench turner and been too busy to learn how to be a geek. Don't know anyone who uses Linux or CLI so it's a slow go of learning. Everyone knows windows whether you like it or not. I don't like being chained to windows and the almighty $. So yes this is one non-geek learning to fly! So being a noob bear with me and some of the crazy and stupid things I do while my wings get stronger! :wink:


I'm with ya, man. This ("I don't like being chained to windows and the almighty $") was my primary reason for deciding to learn to use Linux. I had to go slowly with it because I was too busy with work, kids, etc., so I came into it expecting it to take some time. It did. Then you wake up one day surprised at how much stuff has sunk in, realizing you've become a Linux user. 8)
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby FedoraRefugee on Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:21 am

MALsPa wrote:I'm with ya, man. This ("I don't like being chained to windows and the almighty $") was my primary reason for deciding to learn to use Linux. I had to go slowly with it because I was too busy with work, kids, etc., so I came into it expecting it to take some time. It did. Then you wake up one day surprised at how much stuff has sunk in, realizing you've become a Linux user. 8)


I think it is one of those things that you just need to "do." It really is not that difficult to change over, it is just letting go of preconceived ideas of what you think Linux should be like and discovering what it really is.

The funny part is I got into Linux 10 years ago for the same reason you both mention. I liked XP but was tired of the security issues and the fact that I kept building new computers and modding them and didnt think it was fair that my purchased copy of XP was tied to one machine. So I started dabbling in Linux on my other computers and soon found myself not using XP at all.

But after being totally Windows free for 5-6 years (not 1 MS product in my house including x-box!) I had a need to go back to Office 2007 for school. I purchased Vista Ultimate through school for $17 and even though I wanted to hate it I actually came to love that OS. Now I have upgraded to Windows 7 and find it even better. I still use Linux for fun and pleasure but I have lost my anti-MS feelings and do not mind using Microsoft's OS too.

So what does all that mean? I don't know...I guess all I am trying to say is that an OS is just a tool. No matter which OS you use they all have good and bad points. Anyone can learn Linux, it is not a matter of being smart or being a geek. It is a willingness to open your mind and just do it. Linux is no harder than Windows.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby Aevum on Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:44 am

Word.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby Fluxx on Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:47 pm

To me, it seems that people who are geek-y in Windows have the most trouble abandoning their way of doing things long enough to really get into Linux. Conversely, those who weren't as advanced can make the switch to Linux, especially Mint, without much pain or fuss. This is assuming, of course, they can stand up to the challenge to not have everything the same as everyone else: "What do you mean you don't use Windows?"

Recently, my septuagenarian in-laws got a computer and an Internet connection, and the very simple, basic things they didn't know about computers and the Internet that my wife and I have had to guide them through has told me we made a mistake: we should have started them out with Linux Mint 7. It would have been less painful for us, and they would not have had to be coached on the necessity of running two forms of antivirus, antispyware daily, just like washing the dishes.

In an unrelated recent event, a co-worker of mine sneaked his netbook in to work to listen to some tunes on the sly. I was very excited to see the Ubuntu logo in the corner of the screen, but to my amazement, he was not even aware that his system was running Ubuntu. Someone in his family had given it to him, and He only knew how to download music and play it. I was speechless, but later I did tell him that if he ever wanted to learn more about it, I could help him. I'm not holding my breath, though.

At least he shouldn't get viruses...
Now running a slightly modified Debian Lenny.
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby lcfr666s8n on Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:23 pm

I probably started using Linux for the oddest reasons there are. I have used windows for years, from 3.0 to Vista, and have gotten to know each OS very well... in 2006 I glimpsed at linux, (Dont even ask what type/build/distro/brand...Unsure how to word that part//) and was a little mortified by the #1 simplicity f the desktop along with its speed, yet #2 the technical knowledge it appeared to require... Therefore I said... Linux, no thank you.

BUT, after using Vista for almost 3 years or so, and let me tell you, in all the other versions from 3.0 to Vista, I have never had so much trouble with a Computer... (The fact its an Acer, Walmart special asside...) Utterly disgusting to me how horrible the system runs with Vista..

I had been dealing with it, puttering along when suddenly I saw Ubuntu Satanic Edition... I said "Huh?" and looked into it...(Being as I am a Satanist, I loved it..) I downloaded Ubuntu SE, installed it as a dual boot on my Acer and jumped into Linux... THEN I find out in the Linux world I am running the equivilent to Windows 95 SE. :twisted: ... Amazing how often Linux systems are upgraded...(makes Microsoft look rather stupid lol...) I have fell in love with Linux so far though, and am amzed at the different types of Linux OS's there are... I might go for Mint... ITs billed as the best and also the most multimedia usable..(Games I use with Win look at linux and croak... Wine...Well it goes nutty LOL)

The only thing keeping me tied to Windows is my wife... She only uses the Computer for Music, Facebook (The games on FB do not work in Linux... At least my current build of Ubuntu lol)....Flash even looks at my computer weird... I look forward to a Linux build that can use these things as well as Windows does... So that way I can shov ewindows up MR. Gates's....well... Sorry, :oops:

Im a noobie tough... so while everyone is reading this going.. "What a dipstick lol" dont laugh to hard cuase I know you all were noobs one day as well lol... Looking forward to more Linux.... Odd.. Never thought I would say that one ...lol
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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby lexon on Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:01 pm

I have mentioned this here before but again. I am nearly 70 now and have been using Linux full time for nearly five or so years. I bought a Acer laptop at a very good price with Vista Basic. Drove me nuts quick. I thought I would see what Windows is like. Put it aside, ordered a replacement hard drive and put Mint on it. It was terrible to try to use Vista after now having used Windows in some time. This might be why there are so many crazy people now a days.
My stepson use to work in a IT department as a programmer and he mentioned many businesses have many people who are clueless Windows users working for them.
I kept the drive in case I ever need to sell the laptop. Found out I need the Vista drive to view Sony Memory Stick Duo Pro media. No Linux drivers. Only reason now and not too often.

Many people my age have no idea of what a computer can do for them or even care.
Two people at the Senior center in my town only teach Windows and will hardly even acknowledge me when I go in the center.
This conky script stuff amuses me. Some techies just will not let go. I have no idea what it is and do not care.
Mint default with a few downloads and regular upgrades does everything I want it to.
Best security ever.

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Re: Linux irony, non-geeks more likely to go Windows-free

Postby exploder on Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:10 pm

I was drawn to Linux because I was tired of Microsoft's business practices. Linux gave me a lot of freedom, more than I ever knew existed. Here was a system that I could configure any way I wanted. I could choose a desktop environment or install as many as I wanted. I could change the appearance and just about anything else I could think of. Linux worked decent and I did not mind having to fix things by hand every now and then. When I ran Windows if something did not work there was no ability to fix it like there is in Linux.

When I saw how many applications were available for free in Linux I was floored. Windows freeware was mostly crap and I was tired of shelling out money for applications that I would just have to buy again in a few months to stay current. When my IT job ended I could not afford to upgrade my hardware all the time or buy the latest Windows and applications. With Linux I did not need to buy new hardware or applications. The latest version of Linux seemed to always work just fine on whatever hardware I had and new applications were only a couple of mouse clicks away.

The real turning point for me was when my Wife brought home "Point and Click Linux" from the local library, from that day on I have never had Windows on my machine. My Wife is a gamer and has Windows 7 and I honestly can't stand the look of it let alone to use it on a daily basis. All I see when I look at Windows 7 is a lot of bloat and a look that was popular 5 years ago in KDE. When my Wife got her new machine, she spent a couple of days loading applications and setting things up and that's with the operating system already installed. I can have my machine loaded from scratch and completely set up in about 40 minutes.

I don't have anything against anyone using Windows, it's their choice. I don't really care to try and convert people to using Linux because too many people think that Windows is all there is and most expect Linux to be just like Windows. I figure the word is spreading, Linux keeps improving and eventually more people will come around on their own, I did. Ubuntu seems to be real popular in my area. I see computers for sale fairly often with Ubuntu pre-installed and it is very popular at Ball State University where my oldest Daughter goes to school. I am surprised how many young people are starting to run Linux.
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