Why do new people give up on Linux?

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby eiver on Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:02 am

I am trying to persuade many people I know to try Mint. I can tell you about one example. I gave Mint to a friend and he used Mint for a day or two. Then he decided to go for win 7. When asked, he told me that his first impression or feeling was, that there was something "annoying". When I asked for details he just couldn't say what was actually wrong. Is Mint interface worse than win 7? No - He said. Is it the way you install stuff? No. - What is it then? - I don't know, just drop it - he said.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby hinto on Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:17 am

markfiend wrote:
hinto wrote:Silverlight on Linux:

http://www.mono-project.com/Moonlight

-H

Heh. I completely removed mono from my Mint system.


I haven't knowingly installed it. There are a few apps that already use it. (like Tomboy)
http://www.mono-project.com/Software

-Hinto
What brought me to Debian was one-stop shopping.
What brought me to SID was apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby eiver on Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:50 am

People do not like to change or use their time to learn new things. Most people used a lot of time to get their Win XP to work the way they want and to learn how to do their daily tasks on that os. They are simply unwilling to go through the same hell again with a new OS. This is true not only for Linux, but for Vista and win 7 too. 60% people still use Win XP, although it is almost 10 years old. Vista peaked at 18.6% and now its popularity is dropping. Windows 7 has only 11% now and until recently was less popular than Linux. People just do not want to change. They think: Ok, I've got my XP. It works. I can receive e-mail and play some games. I better not change anything or the 'thingy' might stop working again. They try a new OS, and if it is not a clone of what they had already, they will give up on that.

(Statistics source: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp)
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby ranyardm on Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:29 am

Just adding my two penneth to this discussion, because I've seen it sorta mentioned but not quite expanded enough :

On the sides of busses in cities accross the UK, I keep seeing these posters saying "Educashun isn't working"(sic), well it clearly isn't. I'm going to make a very bold and controversial statement here, and then I'll clarify what I mean afterwards :

In general, schools and colleges (and voluntary organisations too) do NOT teach people how to use computers. They advertise "computer" or "computing" courses, or even "Word Processing" courses and FAIL TO DELIVER.

This is because they don't teach computers, they teach MS Windows; they don't teach word processing, they teach MS Word. I actually managed, 13 years or so back to do my CLAIT qualification using WordStar on DOS; everyone else in the class was using MS Works. When I signed up for the class, I asked the teacher if I could do so and was told yes, as long as I didn't need any help doing any of the things the course needed me to do. This attitude still prevails. The ECDL (I know because my mother teaches it) is almost entirely about Windows systems.

The whole "people aren't born knowing Windows" argument stands very well, but I would take it further, people are indoctrinated into using Windows. Not because it's the right thing to learn, not because it's superior, but because that's what teachers are told to teach.

Of course, teachers who know about "My Documents" and that the "Desktop" is a folder somewhere on the "C: Drive" seem infinitely more knowledgable than a first-time computer user who moves the mouse, lets go and gingerly presses the left button hoping the computer doesn't explode. These teachers however do not know how computers work. A teacher who knows instinctively that "Page Setup" is under the "File" menu similarly so, when actually they should be teaching something along the lines of "we need to set up the format of the page, now in this application it is associated with 'File' because it deems it to be an attribute of the file we are working on, but other applications may put it under a 'Format' menu or 'Document'". This is much more long-winded than saying "Page Setup is always in the File menu" but actually teaches a transferable skill.

I could go on, about Files and Folders being valid transferable items but not Drive Letters and such things as "My Network Places" etc., but really I should move on.

The thing to remember when coming to a Linux-based system is not to feel frustrated because "Linux doesn't do it the way Windows does", but if you must feel frustrated, feel so at the indoctrination and lack of transferable teaching you have had. Ideally re-channel it into "hey, I'm converting my skills into transferable skills, if I ever find myself having to use a Mac/Acorn/Solaris/BSD based system at work/school/wherever, I know I won't feel as lost then!". So yes, you may sound silly asking "how do I make a shortcut on my desktop, usually I just drag it from a folder or rightclick and choose New->Shortcut" and get a response of "Ah, in GNOME, they're called 'Launchers' or 'Links', try right-click the Desktop and 'Create Launcher', or for a Folder link, find the place you want to link to, as you would in Windows Explorer, Right-click and Make Link, then move it to the Desktop; or for an application in the menu, choose Add to Panel, Application Launcher and then drag it onto the Desktop", but you were only shown how to make Windows give you a place to click, not what it was you were actually doing.

The light-switch analogy is probably a good one, because you don't normally think about it, but occasionally you will have to replace a bulb - do you call an electrician, no, you grab a bulb from the supermarket and put it in yourself. The same is true with computers, you get into the habit of not thinking about how to do something so it's frustrating when you're scrambling round in the dark trying to find a candle to light to see you to the fuse box because actually the bulb blowing tripped the circuit breaker.

So yes, things aren't like Windows, but that isn't a bad thing, it's just not "comfortable" - you have to make it comfortable for yourself - either by learning enough that it is, or changing things to work according to how you think they should - either way you'll end up learning enough that when you are faced with an unfamiliar situation again, you have the skills to deal with it.

And I apologise, I know my verbiage veers most verbose but that's the way I am.

ETA: I actually dual-boot Windows XP64 and LinuxMint on my machine I use for games, and LinuxMint with XP and OSX on an external disk on my laptop, for development testing and playing WoW when I'm away from home. I also purchase equipment I know will work but grudgingly buy nvidia graphics cards because I know they're suitable for gaming under windows and don't take too much effort setting up under Linux.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby markfiend on Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:39 am

hinto wrote:I haven't knowingly installed it. There are a few apps that already use it. (like Tomboy)
http://www.mono-project.com/Software

-Hinto

It's installed as part of the default mint (and Ubuntu).

Call me irrational but I just don't like the idea of my system having anything MS-related on it. So I removed Mono. I never use Tomboy notes, or any of the other Mono stuff, so I don't miss it.

But hey, this is off-topic.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby FedoraRefugee on Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:03 am

Of course there are as many answers and opinions here as there are posters. I have already included mine. But I want to tell of a further experience.

My son borked his F12 install. No biggie, in fact, cool! What an oportunity to experience a new distro. He has already used Mint, Ubuntu, and Fedora successfully. In fact, as I mention a few times elsewhere, at 8 years old I would pit him against most people in here short of Fred. He is not an "advanced" Linux user but he is no noob either.

The thing here is he needs his computer for school (I home school my youngest two using the Bob Jones University curriculum on DVD). He does not have a lot of time to screw around, he needs internet and DVD codecs. He has Puppy Linux on a USB key for a backup and enjoys using this distro very much.

Anyway, I had not messed with openSuse in ages. Not since they sold out to MS. So what the heck, I DL the ISO and Patrick burns it using K3b on my laptop. He installes it easily enough, using the KDE desktop of course, as Suse is KDE-centric. Everything is great until we try to get networking going using a Belkin USB wireless device. I have not had a problem with this wireless in years, every distro sees it and finds the network...Except Suse. :twisted: So Patrick gives up and calls in the troops. (me.) I spend an hour online on my computer and hunting through menus on his trying to get this thing to work. I suspect that if I could only enter my WPA2 key things would work. But THERE IS NO PLACE TO FILL THIS IN!!! I mean, I am pissed now. I hate Yast with a passion to begin with, I do NOT like KDE 4, the few times I have tried it I found it buggy and I am lost. I admit this is probably MY lack of experience with it, and I want to try it out in earnest, but I simply cannot make things work. I was expecting Suse to be the best and smoothest KDE4 implementation. Long story short, I gave up on Suse. Could I have eventually made it work? Sure, I have 10 years Linux experience. I have tackled harder problems. But that is not the point. I lost patience. It simply was not worth the effort.

So I downloaded Mepis. I used the release version as Patrick does not need to be cutting edge. I burned the ISO and gave him the CD. This time he had a problem booting it. Oh yeah, you have nvidia graphics son, no big deal. Choose the Vesa option. Cool! Boots great, albeit in 800X600 resolution. But we will fix that in a jiffy. Okay, first thing after a brilliant install is networking. Easy this time, simply enter the shared key and BAM! Online! Ha! Okey-dokey, now about this preschool resolution thing...How do I install the nVidia driver. We google "mepis nvidia" and first hit is their wiki. Ah, the mepis x wizard. Heck yeah, could not be easier! We install the current nvidia driver and reboot...Back into 800X600. :( Alrighty...No problem son, we can whip this easy...Three hours later...There is no selection for higher resolution, changing the unknown monitor does not help anything, and manually changing xorg.conf will not stick on reboot. I could lock xorg.conf with "chattr +i /etc/X11/xorg.conf" but this is just not right. You know what? Screw mepis too! :cry: Once again, if I was the patient type and I really wanted to use Mepis then I would straighten this out. But I am not and I couldn't care less about Mepis or Suse.

Two strikes against Linux. :x I would try Mandriva (mandribble) next, but I do not want to get into the codec thing with that one, been there, done that already. The heck with it. It is back to Mint for now, at least everything works right off the bat. Once again, these are not insurmountable problems. I am sure a little time spent with Google would yield fast answers. The point is, why bother? If this is the perspective a noob to Linux gets right off the bat then no wonder they do not stick around. I expect problems like this with Fedora or the more advanced distros, but Suse is supposed to be accessible to everyone and Mepis is supposed to be one of the easiest distros. 800X600 resolution problems? I last experienced that crap in 2002! I understand it is hard for Linux devs to cater to all hardware, but Patrick's computer is FAR from exotic. It is a newer onboard nVidia chip and a generic LCD. The Belkin USB wireless is recognized by every distro going. This should not have been a problem.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Webtest on Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:08 am

FedoraRefugee:
If this is the perspective a noob to Linux gets right off the bat then no wonder they do not stick around.
Thanks, FR. That's exactly the point I was trying to make about all the choices a Linux user has to make when none of the outcomes are known in advance - hardware AND software. MegaShaft is a blessing in some ways in that there aren't that many choices to start with, and 'most' of the outcomes are reasonably well known. At least there is a pretty well define 'beginning' path to learn. 10 years of experience, and you still get frustrated just trying to get a decent system running! Good luck!

Hey, what is a good BASIC Linux tutorial for a very experienced computer user to chew on?

"Love of knowledge without a love of learning falls into presumption" - Confucius

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby JoeFootball on Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:45 am

Webtest wrote:Hey, what is a good BASIC Linux tutorial for a very experienced computer user to chew on?

The Linux Mint Wiki and Linux Mint 8 User Guide have helped me a lot. Also, googling "linux tutorial" provides for lots of other options as well.

Joe
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby chris0101 on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 am

Unfortunately, none of this makes us any closer to solving the problem of increasing Linux's user base. I think that we should as a community aim for 5-10% because at that point, it will be easy for hardware vendors to justify supporting Linux more so than now. Naturally, they should be the 5-10% of the population that is most technically proficient.

I recently read an article saying that among the Windows users, browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Opera compete for only 1/3 to 1/4 of the Windows user base ... the minority who do not keep the Windows default settings or let a nerd do it for them. That is why Firefox's market share may have peaked at around 25%. Another survey done by Google suggested that only 8% of the US population could accurately describe what a web browser was. It's really sad that technology does so much for us and people in general care so little for it, save when it is not working properly.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby linXea on Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:30 am

You sure had some decent point in there, but I see something that I see way to often. From the point of view you're referring to linux in general you tend to compare linux vs windows on the same basic ground. In fact linux doesn't aim to be a free version of windows and nor should it. The point of linux is to take an alternate path. I find it somewhat amusing that you compare stability between the platforms mac/linux/windows. Stability = a combined bundle of factors. If you would try others less on the edge distrobutions and then put some extra work on optimizing your system you'll most likely be amazed how stable it actually can be. I've been running linux on both servers and desktop since early 2002 and one of my servers is still <strong>running</strong>, reinstalled once or twice and rebooted 5-10 times/year (power cuts, thunderstorms etc...). Sure desktops can't be as stable because of all the extra applications open/idle/close all the time but still you'll most often find it really stable even that considered. From the windows perspective I can't say much 'cause of the simple reason that I've never used it.

The support for linux I would personally say is awesome. Yes, you could probably ask your friends for 'windows-advice' but I'm SURE that if you use IRC or any maillist you find out how fast you'll have your questions answered, and totally free of charge. To use linux you more or less sign-up for giving something back, either in ways of spreading the word/word of mouth, or help others with common/uncommon issues you've already solved or even contribute with money. Personally I rather pay a group of talented programmers trying to make a difference ;-) ... I've been involved with slackware since I've started using it almost 9 years ago but still I try to help others on different distrobutions just like here on linuxmint. I'd like to think I've been a reason for some people around here decided to not give up on linux right away, and actually pull through the first hard parts.

My point is that linux itself isn't responsible for driving people back/away to widows/mac/others. In my opinion everyone that use linux have a responsibility to help others and try to make the transition as easy as possible. I also want to point out that it's the transition that needs to be really easy with lots of kind help available and not aim to make linux a FREE version of windows. This is one thing that scares me personally about companies like canonical/ubuntu, the willingness to give up linux-spirit to become more windows-like. This is a step in the wrong direction.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Anthorn on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:07 am

The #1 reason why people give up on Linux is that they can't do something on Linux that they can do on Windows/Mac. An example might be someone who is an avid player of Yoville on Facebook and decides to give Linux a shot and they find out that Yoville doesn't work on Linux: The trash can says hello to the Linux disk!
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby FedoraRefugee on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:30 am

chris0101 wrote:Unfortunately, none of this makes us any closer to solving the problem of increasing Linux's user base...


Is this a problem? Or a feature? :wink:
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby LinuxRetard on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:16 am

Having only used Linux for 1 week here is my experience so far:

My computer:
Intel d845GLVA mobo, Intel 1.7ghz Celeron (128kL2), 1gig Kingston ram, Seagate 40gig 7200 HD (80 pin cable), Aopen CRW2440 CDRW drive and Lite-On LTD163 DVD drive (40 pin cable), CTX VL700 17" monitor, Microsoft USB Intellimouse, PC Concepts Keyboard, Enlight case w/450watt PS.
Intel Corporation 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device (rev 01)

Clean install (no dual boot).
Compiz not installed, no effects.
Latest bios for my motherboard.
Tested all installation media for any defects.
Ran RAM tests.
Double checked all hardware connections and jumpers.
Video ram settings tried: 256, 128, 64, 32, etc. Settled on 64mb with 8mb buffer.

Glxgears:
Small window: 1024 frames in 5.0 seconds = 204.784 FPS
Max window: 213 frames in 5.0 seconds = 42.399 FPS

Finally figured out that "fast boot" in bios had to be disabled for any distro to load. "Plug&play" and almost everything else had to be disabled in bios also. Do not change video settings in bios after installed or might break distro or not have GUI.
Linux Mint 8 - freezes and breaks after installed. Poor flash video.
Ubuntu 9.10 - freezes and breaks after installed. Poor flash video.
Kubuntu 9.10 - cannot keep 1024x768 video resolution. Poor flash video.
Xubuntu 9.10 - freezes and breaks after installed. Poor flash video.
PCLinuxOS 2009.2 - Video resolution problems. Poor flash video.
PCLinuxOS LXDE 2009.4 - Bad video issues and breaks. Poor flash video.
Fedora 12 - 407 upgrades but upgrade fails. Poor flash video.
OpenSUSE 11.2 GNOME - Cannot get installed to try after trying all available settings.
Puppy Linux 4.3.1 - Great little OS for LiveCD but media freezes after installed to HD. Poor flash video.
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS - Various issues with flash video with various graphics drivers and flash packages. The only distro that had limited desktop effects working.
Kubuntu 9.04 - Okay. Flash somewhat improved with Konqueror browser.
Ubuntu 9.04 - Pretty good. Finally found one that is stable on my machine with no crashes or major problems. Youtube HD plays fine in Movie Player even at full screen, but not that great on Youtube site at 360p small frame. Hulu has sound but video freezes. Flash very slow and jerky on some sites in Firefox.

People probably get so frustrated that they just give up. I still don't understand why the DVD icon disappears when you insert a disk but a CD does not. DVD plays fine in VLC but not found by other players. I still need to use my Windows XP laptop to enjoy watching Youtube and Hulu even though it has similar hardware specs. Then there are the defensive Linux users on the forums that say to just go buy new hardware. How am I sure it would work right then?

I am enjoying Linux on my desktop and appreciate the time and effort put in by the Linux community, but there are still some issues.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby FedoraRefugee on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:32 am

delete post?
Last edited by FedoraRefugee on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby FedoraRefugee on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:33 am

linXea wrote:You sure had some decent point in there, but I see something that I see way to often. From the point of view you're referring to linux in general you tend to compare linux vs windows on the same basic ground...


Who is "you"?

In fact linux doesn't aim to be a free version of windows and nor should it. The point of linux is to take an alternate path. I find it somewhat amusing that you compare stability between the platforms mac/linux/windows. Stability = a combined bundle of factors. If you would try others less on the edge distrobutions and then put some extra work on optimizing your system you'll most likely be amazed how stable it actually can be. I've been running linux on both servers and desktop since early 2002 and one of my servers is still <strong>running</strong>, reinstalled once or twice and rebooted 5-10 times/year (power cuts, thunderstorms etc...). Sure desktops can't be as stable because of all the extra applications open/idle/close all the time but still you'll most often find it really stable even that considered. From the windows perspective I can't say much 'cause of the simple reason that I've never used it.


First off, I do understand your point. I am always the first to say Linux is NOT Windows. But you need to understand that the reason they are always compared is because they are SUPPOSED to accomplish the same tasks. They may do it a bit differently, but in the end they are both operating systems. By the way, while XP was like Swiss cheese with all the security holes and other problems, I have found Vista and now Win 7 to be very solid, reliable operating systems. With Windows and Linux I have found that 99% of all problems can be attributed to the user. This is not to say that either OS is perfect, but there are ways around the flaws so that a competent user can make things work.

BTW, my daughter has been running her desktop for a year and a half now with no updates or changes. Our personal record was a Fedora 4 install that my son ran from 3 and 1/2 years old to age 6. This install was locked down tighter than an internet kiosk though. With desktop Linux I have found that most times people do NOT like long term desktop installs. For all the complaining you hear about release cycles and such it is a small minority that will actually run the same desktop for much over a year. Not to say that it cannot be done though. Hey, if it works and you have no further needs then why change?

(personally, I like a fast pace myself. I tend to change installs every 6 months or less.)

The support for linux I would personally say is awesome. Yes, you could probably ask your friends for 'windows-advice' but I'm SURE that if you use IRC or any maillist you find out how fast you'll have your questions answered, and totally free of charge.


er...Yes and no to this. I do agree that a motivated Linux user can find any information and help they need online. IRC usually sucks but forums provide a wealth of information, and an observant user will find they usually do not even need to post a question, a simple search will provide their answer. On top of that, many distros have great wikis. Arch is the best example here, and the Gentoo handbook cannot be beat either. These resources can mostly be used for any distro as Linux is Linux. So yeah, for users that have half a clue it should not be hard to get into Linux. But not all users are like this, and I would argue that many/most people should not be using Linux.

It is not a question of intelligence but rather of interest and motivation. Most people do not know crap about computers nor do they WANT to! This is why Windows has the advantage here. People are not interested in solving problems, they want to pull the plug and take the computer to "the man" so HE can fix it. There are very few places to take a Linux computer. There are very few helplines they can call so they can follow the script. "Is it plugged in? Are the little lights on?..." Really, people have no clue, this is the great service Windows has done in getting computers into the hands of the unwashed masses. Any half-wit dork can call the Geek Squad and get their ad-ware removed. Linux requires people to help themselves. Unfortunately, the vast majority of folks have no interest in doing this.

To use linux you more or less sign-up for giving something back, either in ways of spreading the word/word of mouth, or help others with common/uncommon issues you've already solved or even contribute with money.


:?:

I failed to read that in the Linux EULA. :lol:

Listen, you are right. It is the unspoken rule that everyone contributes. But as more people use this OS you will find less giving anything back. In the end it is about freedom, not communism.

I used Fedora from F4 to F9. I felt I gave back to the community through the forum. I amassed 8,000 odd posts in there through the years trying to help people. I never considered myself a "guru" or a computer professional. I am a construction worker. But I do/did know my way around Fedora and I handled a lot of the "nuisance" questions. Answering the same things over and over. I knew the forum like the back of my hand and always knew where the posts were to link for the answers. I spent a lot of time there and felt that I gave much back.

But the developers seem to look down on the forum. They want you to join their mailing lists and IRC chat. Helping on the forum does not mean squat to the "official" project. Never mind that I spent years helping people fix the buggy crap they put out, I was not part of the project. Well...Fine, who cares. I liked the people there and enjoyed helping others. But to add insult to injury they wanted you to file bug reports on every bug you encounter. Er...Fedora is one huge bug wrapped in a cutting edge facade. But okay. I jumped through their hoops, learned to fill out bug reports, and filed a few. Only to have them ignored, rejected as someone else's problem, or just sit there unnoticed.

The split between the users and developers became too big. I suppose I was too critical and spoke out too much. I guess I became a "problem." Whatever...I have since lost all interest in Linux development or advancement. If I am passing by a thread and can help I will. But I no longer bother worrying about it. I am just trying to enjoy MY os while it lasts. Before it becomes something I am sure to not like.

Personally I rather pay a group of talented programmers trying to make a difference ;-) ... I've been involved with slackware since I've started using it almost 9 years ago but still I try to help others on different distrobutions just like here on linuxmint. I'd like to think I've been a reason for some people around here decided to not give up on linux right away, and actually pull through the first hard parts.

My point is that linux itself isn't responsible for driving people back/away to widows/mac/others. In my opinion everyone that use linux have a responsibility to help others and try to make the transition as easy as possible. I also want to point out that it's the transition that needs to be really easy with lots of kind help available and not aim to make linux a FREE version of windows. This is one thing that scares me personally about companies like canonical/ubuntu, the willingness to give up linux-spirit to become more windows-like. This is a step in the wrong direction.


I think I agree with you for the most part. Well...Except for the fact that it is the responsibility of the mature users to spoon feed the noobs. Wrong. This breeds the wrong kind of Linux user and coming from Slack I am surprised to read this from you. You experience and length in the Linux world are very similar to mine. In that time I have found that most people are just not suited for the Linux way. Again, it is not that they are unintelligent or that Linux is too hard. It is more that they do not want to bother. For whatever reason they do not like helping themselves. Linux cannot change this. The only thing Linux could do to correct this is to become identical to Windows. No one wants that. You cannot spoon feed new people. You can patiently point them to the answers, you can help with their problems, you can even encourage them. But you cannot do it all for them. Chances are good that if someone is too scared to even open a terminal then they are not going to be around too long. I'd like to think that I have been responsible for a few long term Linux users myself, in fact, I have seen a few stick around and have received many thanks for the part I played in that. But in the end it is the person himself who is responsible for learning what he needs.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby pokemoncatdog on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:59 am

Would the web as we know today be possible WITHOUT Linux? What do you think?

Were is Linux? Linux is everywhere.

Its in you cell phones, pdas, hd-tvs (yes linux powers hd-tvs), wii, ps2, ps3, xbox and xbox 360 (Look at that Linux on MS hardware, can it be, Yes it can), Web Servers, and your computer.

YES Linux is everywhere.

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/02 ... dex_01.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbqOqOuLTT8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPE9-YozpyQ
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby DrHu on Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:58 pm

I want to add this, and it is not Linux fault, that vendor lock-in exists
http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1000107
    Unfortunately, Hewlett-Packard is not alone in enforcing such unnecessary software dependencies. An increasing number of mp3 players, cameras, and even an external DVD drive that recently spent all of two hours in my home because it lacked an open/close button (and was therefore extremely awkward to boot from), do likewise. All too often, purchasers' access to basic functionality is being compromised or denied because of what seems to be a misguided attempt by the manufacturer to keep control. In the case of the DVD drive, even advanced Windows users were affected.

    In all these cases, engineering seems compromised by marketing into a design that is both inelegant and unfriendly to consumers. And, for free software users, the result is a kind of poor cousin to digital rights management that locks them out of functionality and quality that they have paid for.

Apart from the look and feel, and the general inertia most people feel for their OS and applications: I think this vendor lock-in, whether it is a device manufacturer or a software manufacturer, like Microsoft or Apple is a large percentage of the problem
    I don't know, but I think in business, that means protecting your turf, no matter how short-sighted it becomes, just like the quarter-to-quarter status updates for stocks, instead of year-over-year results
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby owend on Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:41 pm

Interesting thread to read! I'm 60 so my remaining grey cells aren't as nimble as some of the posters I've been reading, but I am computer-literate. I use the computer for basic stuff (wordprocessing, spreadsheeting, Internet, music management); no gaming or complex programming but I often have three or four full programs running at once (OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Rhythmbox all running at present) and Mint copes fine.

I migrated from Windows several years back, and after a few interims I now run Mint 8 on the desktop and Crunchbang on the netbook. Mint 8 simply, er, works. Sorry, distro-tinkerers! It worked straight out of the box (or iso) - it picked up the wired broadband with no input at all, printers the first time I used them with a few VERY simple questions, MP3 player with no setup needed, video after clicking once to get the latest NVidia driver.... I could go on, key point is it was far easier to get and set up drivers etc than Windows (I've tried XP and Vista - my first Microsoft OS was MS-DOS 1.20!!). Downloading new programs (when I'm bored I tinker) is generally one-click through Synaptic once I've found the program I want to try. And if it doesn't do what I want, I can try another: because they're free, I can try several until you get the one I like.

For Windows-migrators who are worried about compatibility, a few minutes easy work and OpenOffice saves as XP-compatible .doc, .xls etc ( not boosting Windows, but it IS the industry standard for now).

My wife is computer-phobic, but I've given her a separate user access (so she knows she can't mess the system up) and she browses and GoogleEarths away while I'm at work, and she doesn't even think about it being "exotic" or "geeky" - that's a bit of a label we bring on ourselves, I think. Linux (Mint, anyway) can be at a guess at most 75% as complex as Windows, more stable, most peripherals work, Windows-compatible programs available if you need Windows-compatibility. Also, 45 seconds from switch-on to a working desktop: Windows XP at work is up to FIVE MINUTES, depending on how many other people trying to log in at the same time, and people pay for that!

If you're buying or building a new computer, a few minutes checking on the compatibility websites beforehand will make sure you get printers, video cards etc that are Linux-compatible.

Last hint, for semi-computer-literates: get a book. I got Beginning Ubuntu (Thomas and Sicam); it's a bit lightweight in parts but that's good for a noob, and it's got a lot of help for the odd problems we'll all have at times. I write notes or stick bits in if I find hints and tips elsewhere, so the book is getting messy, but it's got a lot of help now!

Anyway, to summarise: Mint is the most straightforward and practical distro I've tried. Should meet most Windows-user's needs. Easily tweaked if necessary to meet more. Satisfying. Free. Stable.

How can we tell Windozers?

Happy Minting, all.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby FedoraRefugee on Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:46 pm

owend wrote:Interesting thread to read! I'm 60 so my remaining grey cells aren't as nimble as some of the posters I've been reading, but I am computer-literate. I use the computer for basic stuff (wordprocessing, spreadsheeting, Internet, music management); no gaming or complex programming but I often have three or four full programs running at once (OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Rhythmbox all running at present) and Mint copes fine.

I migrated from Windows several years back, and after a few interims I now run Mint 8 on the desktop and Crunchbang on the netbook. Mint 8 simply, er, works. Sorry, distro-tinkerers! It worked straight out of the box (or iso) - it picked up the wired broadband with no input at all, printers the first time I used them with a few VERY simple questions, MP3 player with no setup needed, video after clicking once to get the latest NVidia driver.... I could go on, key point is it was far easier to get and set up drivers etc than Windows (I've tried XP and Vista - my first Microsoft OS was MS-DOS 1.20!!). Downloading new programs (when I'm bored I tinker) is generally one-click through Synaptic once I've found the program I want to try. And if it doesn't do what I want, I can try another: because they're free, I can try several until you get the one I like.

For Windows-migrators who are worried about compatibility, a few minutes easy work and OpenOffice saves as XP-compatible .doc, .xls etc ( not boosting Windows, but it IS the industry standard for now).

My wife is computer-phobic, but I've given her a separate user access (so she knows she can't mess the system up) and she browses and GoogleEarths away while I'm at work, and she doesn't even think about it being "exotic" or "geeky" - that's a bit of a label we bring on ourselves, I think. Linux (Mint, anyway) can be at a guess at most 75% as complex as Windows, more stable, most peripherals work, Windows-compatible programs available if you need Windows-compatibility. Also, 45 seconds from switch-on to a working desktop: Windows XP at work is up to FIVE MINUTES, depending on how many other people trying to log in at the same time, and people pay for that!

If you're buying or building a new computer, a few minutes checking on the compatibility websites beforehand will make sure you get printers, video cards etc that are Linux-compatible.

Last hint, for semi-computer-literates: get a book. I got Beginning Ubuntu (Thomas and Sicam); it's a bit lightweight in parts but that's good for a noob, and it's got a lot of help for the odd problems we'll all have at times. I write notes or stick bits in if I find hints and tips elsewhere, so the book is getting messy, but it's got a lot of help now!

Anyway, to summarise: Mint is the most straightforward and practical distro I've tried. Should meet most Windows-user's needs. Easily tweaked if necessary to meet more. Satisfying. Free. Stable.

How can we tell Windozers?

Happy Minting, all.


You tell your story to people just like you did here. :D You especially talk about your wife and her experiences. You recognize that Linux is not perfect and that some people might not be able to use it due to hardware issues or lack of certain software. For instance, you mention OO.o and for 95% of people it will work fine even with .docx or the other Office 2007 formats. But be aware that these formats do not carry across perfectly. Some of the more advanced features like margin notes and footnotes do not work, which is especially troubling for college students.

There are also things you do NOT do. Number one is do NOT bash Windows! This immediately puts people on the defensive. For instance:

Also, 45 seconds from switch-on to a working desktop: Windows XP at work is up to FIVE MINUTES, depending on how many other people trying to log in at the same time, and people pay for that!


This is kind of unclear. Are you running Linux Mint at work on the same server too? Or are you comparing a home desktop situation to a work server that is operating an undisclosed number of users? What is the point of this comparison? XP Pro on my computers always booted fairly quickly, well under a minute even on 10 year old hardware. I am not trying to argue that Windows is faster (or slower) than Linux, just sayin'...

Windows does many things right. The point to make is that Mint can do AS GOOD a job in most circumstances for free and then you can elaborate on the ADVANTAGES of FOSS over Windows. But try to spark people's interest without selling them something. They have got to want to try it out themselves, not because someone told them it was better.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby ZBryan2 on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:32 pm

Here's my take on this. For me personally, I really wanted to give Linux a shot. I had to Google every step of the way and configurations would take 12 hours+ of searching and trying to get things working. Back then there was no swf support and my sound card was poorly supported. The pain of the change was too great and I switched back to M$. When my email started mass-sending spam to everyone in my contacts while I was away, and Avast would give the all-clear only to find a virus upon opening a folder it had just scanned, I couldn't download Mint fast enough! I would sacrifice games and relearn a work-flow. To my surprise Mint is far more refined these days but at that point I would have taken the terminal as my UI. So, just as elsewhere in life, change occurs when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change. The minute people experience trouble with Linux they're going to run back to Windows unless the pain of using Windows is so great that they're willing to learn, or sacrifice, whatever they need to.
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