Why do new people give up on Linux?

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby gordon.cooke » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:39 am

Sorry for the long post- maybe this belongs in the promotion area or somewhere else, but I got the idea off this thread.

Im currently reading a book called The Invisible Computer by Donald A Norman. If you are into technology and innovation (how engineering things develop and come to be) I recommend any of his books. I havent finished it yet, but this discussion makes me think of a few things. Its a look at where the computer (in general) needs to go into the future so that it stops being a 'difficult' piece of technology and instead just becomes invisible to the user, where the end user doesn't need to understand anything about how a computer itself works to make use of the appliances it is in. The book looks at the development of technology products over time as they become more widely adopted and makes some points about why products that may be technologically better can fail and some products that are less capable succeed.

OK, so why the book report? Norman proposes a product is supported by three things, the technology, marketing, and the user experience.

Norman points out how he user base for a product changes. Initially a new technology is picked up by early-adopters, people that are into technology and want the bleeding edge. These are people willing to deal with bugs or poor user interface so that they have a new technology. In this stage the technology is the key thing, market focuses on tech specs, and user experience just needs to do something new, even if its really hard. Remember when a PC came with a schematic and four or five three ring binders to explain DOS? Id see this as where Linux is coming from. Especially if you consider Linux as a Unix clone and Unix was the OS of early adopters of computers; where Unix is aimed at these early adopters.

However, Norman goes on that as markets develop the customer base changes, and in order for a product to survive it needs to recognize this, especially since this main consumer market is the majority of consumers far larger than the early adopters. This is the point where a product switches from being high-tech to being regular commodity. The biggest sign of this comoditization is the fact that the technological capability exceeds the average consumers need so new R&D advances are not needed to create a usable product (instead the advances drive down cost to be more competitive). At this point marketing and user interface become equal to technology in importance. The late adopters dont want the technology, they want the capability it brings. Marketing focuses on what will get average consumer to buy the product (note initial purchase is different from use) and is a much more emotional appeal (it will look good in your office, you'll be cool and hip, theres a choice of color etc) User experience also has to pick up. Late adopters dont want to deal with the tech, they want to use it as a tool to get some other task done.

I propose that Linux (as a product) is at this turning point. As an OS it is fully capable of what the average user needs. There are plenty of forum posts here and other sites from 'average' user who just surfs the net, doesnt program and are very happy with Linux. Marketing, well Linux has almost none, but still people come. So user experience. This I think is where the Linux community will need to adjust if Linux is to pick up, or else it will stagnate. Many in the community are in the early-adopter mindset and provide help form this veiwpoint. Some are even offended at the idea of non-geeks using linux, or the idea of not using the CLI. Why wouldn't you want to understand what is going on under the hood, you really should if your going to make best use of the system. Well, someone doesn't need to be a mechanic to appreciate and desire the superior ride of a Porsche vs a Kia, even if a mechanical engineer appreciates even more. For Linux to continue its growth in the desktop market it needs to meet the user experience expectations of the late-adopters. Anything that gets in the way of just using the computer to do the end task (surf web, listen to music) is going to interfere with adoption and drive users away. Getting my wifi to work is not an end task for these users.

Now some people have an opinion that Linux shouldn't go after the mass market and thats fine. I'm not against that. If you dont care if Linux expands then let well enough alone and keep developing for what you need. Personally I think Linux is worth a project to make it aim at the mass market of average users and compete with MS or Mac. If I had my druthers when you walk into Best Buy there would be a table, just past the Mac display with a few computers running Linux for customers to check out just like all the other computers there and have a third choice in their computers.

For those of you that made it through this post, thanks. Its always fun to have interesting discussions on here.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby tenfoot » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:15 am

pompom wrote:Hi Chris,

When you see for yourself die-hard Linux enthusiasts from an 8 year old to the 92 year old grandma rubbing elbows together, you will never buy prepackaged "commodity" hardware the same way again. Period.



Not quite 92 -14 years to go :lol: However, I agree with you. I came to Linux at the age of 75, with no idea what a terminal command was. It was a pleasant surprise to find I didn't need to know for day to day operations but I took the time to learn some simple commands, 'cos it's much quicker.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby shane » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:16 am

jpete wrote:If I'm posing in a forum called "Newbie Questions", then I think it pretty safe to assume.

But lot's of answers start out with "Just edit your xxxx file"

"Just" is the worst four letter word in the English language.

Newbies need "who, what, where, when and WHY" answered for them. Not some off the cuff answer that assumes they know where to go to make the change needed.

I went round and round with Ubuntu and eventually got fed up and went back to XP.

This time around I'm giving Mint a try. I'm still having issues but I think they are solvable. If they aren't, then Win7 is only $200. I don't want to spend it, but I don't have time to mess around with a futile project.

I hope I didn't come off as mocking, because I didn't mean to. It was in good humor, intended to show that assumptions can be made by both parties.

Speaking of assumptions, not everybody who asks for help wants a detailed reply for every simple question... and that is assuming the helper has the time to give those detailed explanations. I have found that for most eager newbies, all that is required is to get them out of a sticky situation ASAP and point them in the right direction from there onwards. My general method of replying is a quick fix followed by links to useful/relevant documentation. It saves my time and is sufficient for anyone interested in learning more.

What you do with your money is your choice, but calling Mint futile is a little less than appreciative of the hard work that has gone into what you have gotten freely... don't you think? Mint is growing by the day, so obviously the team has got something right. I'm sure you wouldn't want someone to say that about your hard work.

Anyways... let me stop hijacking this thread.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby JimQ » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:25 am

I almost gave up, I started with trying BSD as that's what the smart guys at work said to use. I go it to load but discovered I didn't know how to get anything done i.e. surf the internet etc. Then while trying to figure it out I bought some magazines and discovered most didn't help me too far above my head, except for one Linux Format. That gave me a good intro to linux and I tested out Ubuntu and some how stumbled upon mint, which was a good thing. I have to maintain my wife's and 2 grownup kids computers. I plan on retiring in a couple of years and the price of maintaining the software for 4 or more computers is just too much. So I'm determined to learn linux and switch everyone to linux. Most of them don't do much with their computers (surfing email, chat etc), I'm the tough one to convert, I'll probably run an XP computer for sometime until I can do all the things with linux.

Here's what was dumped on me today, remote access to my wife's work is going to require a citrix client install with an RSA key fob so my only choice to get it done right away is on her windows pc. So not switching or giving up linux is sometimes due to outside forces beyond the person's control, corporations mostly don't support linux desktops in the real world.

Hope this helps and makes sense.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby mick55 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:01 am

Linux is just as easy to use as Windows.
Getting it setup the way you want may require more effort. :wink:

It's an individual choice.You get stability, security, bucket loads of free
software, infinite customization possibilities, all free and open source,
and all you need to do is apply a little effort.
Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby adrian_badertscher » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:43 am

Good morning people,

i'm using linux since 8 years ago, many distros, many trouble. But the learning effect is great. Everybody who wan't to use linux, needs to know that this isn't windows, it don't work like windows. It can't be the way for linux system, to be windows!

The greates problem I think, is that the newest hardware won't be supported. The hardwareindustrie supports the linux community marginal. But ... If you take a one year old hardware, and use linux on it, you have the same performance like on a new hardware with windows. Linux has a greate range of software! You can use all you want.

Why the linux community needs peoples which wan't a windows system?

Linux needs to stand for it self. I think the way of linux is to the desktop pc - But then, it needs more inovation for this idea, and not inovation for covering the linux kernel...

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby markfiend » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:54 am

Part of the problem as I see it is that people who write free software (the kernel, the applications, the desktop environments, whatever else) are aiming at a "target market" of people like themselves, whether they mean to or not. It's easy for developers to forget that the end users of their software may not be comfortable with "go into such-and-such a config file and comment out the section between lines 37 and 42", simply because that's what the devs themselves do, and are used to doing.

I work as a web developer, and I know that it's actually very hard to design a foolproof user interface. Even a simple UI can have pitfalls that an inexperienced user can fall over, but the UI designer doesn't even notice. (And of course this is one of the strengths of free software; one programmer can find a pitfall in another's software and correct it.)

And this means that the system as a whole isn't really geared towards the "newbie". People like Clem can bring us Mint, which is a fantastic distro and very newb-friendly, but there will always be times where it will be necessary to hand-edit a config file, or open up a terminal and input some text commands.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby DrHu » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:13 am

I don't want to go through all these statements, because I think most of them are plain wrong

Items on the list given
[4,5,6,7,8..10,11] and [ 12, 13, 14,15]
None are correct
    They are all statements about why Linux is not windows
    --the idea that Linux should act and look and be like windows (which version of that OS, or the latest) is simply fantastic, but not in a good way. Linux and any distribution worth its salt doesn't or shouldn't want to emulate windows style/methods and ideas in any similar way
    --for that we have some commercial Linux versions like Xandros: a minor player in the OSS and Linux worlds..

It is also not true that Windows users have already paid for the OS, they might have (except we all as consumers pay for that monopoly power that such mass marketing has wrought; but that they don't even realize that the cost is built-in to the hardware purchase, or that there is even any other choice available

Both Apple OS-X and Linux suffer from device driver issues; especially all-in-one (multifunction) printer/scanner/fax/copier
Try printing to some canon all-in-one from OS-X, well for some devices they can use CUPS or Gimp-print
    Should anybody still be using a FAX in any business ?
    --it was OK as a solution before the Internet or email, but its day is long past due
Last edited by DrHu on Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Pierre » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:20 am

Many computer users don't fix their own software issues.
Therefore with Windows, they think that is what a PC repair person will be able to fix.

I was in my local computer shop the other day, & got onto the subject of Linux.
His reply was something like :-

" Most home-users don't know any different & most Businesses will stick with what they are familiar with"
" Thats how we make our money" :(

I'd kinda agree.

Most home-users, most certainly could use Linux for their mundane daily needs,
& not "know any different". - In fact, from what I've seen, better than 90% could. :)

Their not "Gamers", they don't use any special software program, unless you call Office - specialized.

Should anybody still be using a FAX in any business ?
--it was OK as a solution before the Internet or email, but its day is long past due

I was in a home office a while back, to fix their FAX that was not working - wasn't the FAX,
it was the 'phone line.
She said something like :-
90% of our correspondence is via Email, BUT somethings always will need the FAX to be working.
which is why I was there - to fix the FAX.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby MALsPa » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:55 am

monkeyboy wrote:Fighting for Windows users is a fools game because in the end the only way to compete is to become a shadow of Windows. My take is to accept the fact that Linux is a niche market OS and to make it the best OS it can bee given its own strengths and limitations. Sure that means that some Windows users will not convert, so what?

That's how I feel. And, this:

shane wrote:The short answer is this: Linux is not for everybody. The computer is just a tool and we just have to choose the right tool for the job.

@ chris0101: You mentioned that you're in your 14th year with Windows. Just imagine if you stick with Linux that long. You didn't learn what you know about Windows in a month. I came into Linux expecting it to take a few years for me become really comfortable with it. It did, but now I have no need for Windows and in fact feel kinda uncomfortable when I have to do anything on a Windows machine.

I thought most of your points were pretty good points, but:

In #7, you said, "Linux distros still have many bugs and crashes are not uncommon." I'm sure that this is true but this hasn't been an issue for me with any of the distros I've been using over the past five years or so. I guess I've been very lucky.

In #10, you said, "They actually have to download it." No, they don't. I get my Ubuntu CDs thru Shipit (for free.) I get other Linux CDs from vendors like the ones shown on DistroWatch's home page. Very inexpensive.

I don't worry anymore about whether other people switch to Linux. If they want to take the time to learn to use Linux, they'll be glad in the end that they did. If they don't want to put in the time, that's fine, too.

But I think that people who are considering Linux should expect it to take time, and expect to have to learn some things.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby johnjust » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:54 am

My personal experiences:

While I was in college, my roommate was a big time Linux guy - I was in for Web Design, he was in for Networking, but we both loved playing PC games (we had been friends at a community college before becoming roommates). I would frequently use his Desktop while he was in class to play WoW and some FPS games he had on there, which ran Windows. However, he also had a laptop he dual booted between Windows/Fedora, which I would also play with occasionally. One day, when my laptop crapped out (not sure why, I just started getting random blue screens, freezing, etc...), I went to the school bookstore and picked up my copy of Windows XP for $12, but when I got back to the room, he talked me into dual-booting to give Fedora a try.

I must admit, it wasn't pretty. Fedora is DEFINITELY not a beginner distro, but I didn't know that back then. I eventually went back to Windows XP, but I experimented with some different distros along the way, including Ubuntu Feisty, PCLOS (forgot the version I used), and Mint 6 eventually. In my last year there, I used my saved up financial aid money to buy parts for my own desktop, which I built at school and installed Windows XP on.

Two months after I was done at school, the computer crashed, and I needed a reformat. However, the XP disc I was using ran out of License Key uses (you could call MS to have it extended, but why bother), so my reformat was to Ubuntu Hardy - the first time I went completely to Linux. Shortly afterwards, my laptop (5 years old at this point) became a Mint 6 laptop. Soon after that, the motherboard on the desktop crapped out, and I got lazy and didn't replace it (still to this day, actually...). I used my old laptop for a couple months, but eventually splurged on a new Lenovo Thinkpad. Little did I know the model I was using wasn't "compatible" with Linux - meaning some of the hotkey buttons didn't work, and no Fn buttons worked.

So, I spent about 2 days total (maybe about 4 hours a day for 2 days) getting Ubuntu Jaunty installed on there, and I had it working perfect. To that point, my experience in Linux was minimal, and anything I ever needed to fix I did myself, with a little help from Google and Ubuntu Forums.

When Karmic came out, I opted for a fresh install, home directory and all. Despite all the problems the rest of the community had with it, my install went perfectly, and I had the whole thing up and running in about 2 hours. After an update just about 2 months ago, my Xorg server got all screwed up (no window borders, couldn't move windows, and a bunch of other stuff), so I decided to give the new Mint 8 a try.

Well, here I am now, Mint 8 running excellent on my laptop. At this point, my Linux experience has been excellent, with very little going wrong. When anything did go wrong, there's Google and the forums to guide me through.

That was my story, and I only share it to set up the next point: my friend's story.

When I was in school for Web Design, I knew my way around a computer. I knew past the fact that (as other have said in this thread) my computer had more to it than most people know. I knew how to play with the registry in Windows, and I knew how to troubleshoot problems, etc... A friend of mine who was also in college for Programming eventually needed a laptop for school. When he was done in school, it crashed, and he needed a reformat.

I suggested that he try Ubuntu, so he downloaded/burned the iso and installed it. Little did he know a problem happened during burning, and the OS install was a little botched, so I burned him a new copy of Ubuntu, and he installed it with no problems. He knew his way around the computer as well, I would just say probably not as well as I knew it. Commence the phone calls. I helped him through some of his problems, including wireless (everyone's favorite), NVIDIA drivers, etc...

Well, in short, he didn't like Ubuntu, and the reason was because even though stuff was easy to fix, he didn't like the fact that he HAD to fix it. He simply wanted everything to work, and he also hated the fact that Wine wouldn't run everything he needed. However, despite the fact that it wasn't set up like Windows, he had no problem finding his way around. In fact, he like the organization of Ubuntu/GNOME better than Windows.

It's practically the same thing, but I recently had him install Mint 8 just to give it a shot, and its weird, but none of those problems carried over to Mint. He installed it, it worked right out of the box, and he's still using it. He's since told me about one minor problem he had with his audio acting up, but Google turned up the answer he needed, and he was pumped that he fixed it on his own.

Here are my points in this long post...

1. Linux isn't for everyone, but we know that already. If you don't know how to use Google (in other words, type words into the box and press a button), and you don't want to do any work on your PC that you didn't have to do on Windows, it's DEFINITELY not for you. But then again, if you don't know how to use Google, you're in some trouble anyway...

2. If you do like working on your PC, and you don't mind getting your hands dirty, Linux is awesome. I didn't really like the whole concept of getting a PC to work at first, but now I see it much differently.

3. If you're looking for the closest thing to Windows, I have to suggest Mint. Mint has been awesome during my time with it (from Elyssa to Helena), and who can argue with the way the desktop is set up? It's Windows at first glance, but a much more powerful OS under the hood.

4. Unfortunately, I don't see Linux EVER competing with Windows. Fortunately, that's for the best. When I got into Ubuntu back in Feisty, the forums was a place to go look for help, and get it rather quickly. Lately, I've been noticing a post only stays up for a few seconds, because 50 other people are making posts to the tune of "Ubuntu doesn't work, I'm going back to Windows". These posts are the offspring of Linux getting into the hands of people who cannot and should not be using it. People like my dad. I love him to death, but the man simply cannot use a computer AT ALL. If it wasn't for the "Blue Internet Icon" (which has since become an "Orange Internet Icon") on the desktop, he wouldn't know how to check his mail. God forbid he EVER touches Linux, he'd probably end up taking a sledgehammer to the computer, then start moaning about it not working because there's a giant hole in the side of it.

That's about it, I just want to end this by saying I love Linux Mint, it's been a pleasure to use so far, and I look forward to using it for years to come. If anyone wants a Windows alternative that won't turn them off, I personally think you can't do better.

And for everyone out there who can't use Google... you'll never become the local computer expert. That URL was found by typing "xkcd computer expert" into Google, by the way.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Fred » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:32 am

Why do new people give up on Linux?

I think the biggest single reason is that many people are mislead into using Linux in the first place. They are over sold. They are told it is free, (as in cost), better, drop-in replacement for Windows. Of course the reality is that in most cases you will have to install and configure it yourself and learn to use an entirely different kind of system and culture than you are used to. This is more than many had bargained for, so many just don't make it.

But that is ok. The Linux community continues to grow along with increasing installation rates. When a Windows user is willing to put forth the effort to learn a new way and a new system he will come. Until then we don't need him anyway. The people that complain the loudest about Linux not working the way they think it should, ie like Windows does things, and are not willing to learn are the ones most of us could easily do without. No big loss. After all they are not customers.

Along that same vein, there was a nice post above about products and comoditization etc. Only one small problem. Linux isn't a commercial product and never has been. As long as the licensing and ecosystem remains as it is, it never will be either. It was never intended or designed to compete on a commercial bases with Windows or anything else.

What most call Linux is a conglomeration of disparate projects that are glued together to make a working system by distro aggregaters. Sometimes these are commercial ventures like Red Hat. or nonprofit projects like Debian, or commercial end users like Google.

The bottom line is that Red Hat, Novell, HP, IBM, LinkSystems, Belkin, Mandriva, etc. have customers. Linux has user/contributors, but no customers. :-)

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby camjam » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:49 pm

While I do see people get oversold on linux, I usually see people just get too frustrated trying to use it. Most people now are comfortable with the fact that writing docs, surfing, editing photos may not be the same as with Windows. Heck, between versions of windows and between versions of applications on the same versions of windows things are always changing.

In the Helena version of Mint friends and family have begun using linux more and even have better out of the box experience than with Windows. Case and point - using an MFP HP product is a complete nightmare with the HP software that runs on Windows. Following a few posts friends were able to print and scan immediately.

The frustration lies mostly in the dead ends at this point. As an example there's an issue in 2.6.14, through to 2.6.19 where the screen just hangs and a hard reboot is required. This is apparently linked to the Intel video chipset on the mother board. Buying a new video card isn't always possible. And the information for troubleshooting and working around it hasn't resolved the problem.

I don't know how to resolve issues like this, but merely pointing out as someone who's used everything from BSD, Minix, Linux, and Macs there's a frustration point that is often hit with Linux that you don't see with Win/Mac. These barriers will often push people back - and keep them away for sometime.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Katzedecimal » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:59 pm

I believe Fred is correct, many of the people who give up on their Linux were sold incorrectly in the first place. I don't offer Linux to hardcore power gamers and I don't offer Linux to people who don't want to know how their machines work. That's the biggest point right there, really. I offer Linux to people who truly want to learn how their computer works, who want to gain control over their machines, instead of feeling that their machine controls them. I ask them a lot of questions, Does the terminal intimidate them? If so, are they willing to befriend it? Are they willing to pop the hood and learn to edit config files or run a few terminal commands, if instructed to? Are they willing to search for answers themselves, if I'm not there to help them? I tell them what hardware they may have issues with, are they willing to work for the solutions? I'm also honest about my experience with Linux; fact is, every problem I've had with Windows, I've also had with Linux -- the difference is in frequency (a LOT less often), and most importantly, I can usually find a fix. I don't have to live with it.

For people for whom these answers are all 'yes', Linux Mint is an excellent distro to learn on and I prefer it to Ubuntu, which tends to neuter everything "for your own good." Every system is a little bit different, a different blend of hardware components, yet most of the issues in Linux Mint are fairly common and well-known, and the tweaks to solve them are fairly minor. To one who wants their computer to 'just work', they are frustrating; to those who want to gain control of their computer and learn how software interacts with hardware, it's immensely satisfying. More than that, it's empowering.

Regarding hardware support, I must say that I've had far fewer issues in Linux Mint than I did in Windows. My all-in-one printer/scanner worked 'out of the box', and my e-quaintence's Blackberry Pearl and digital camcorder both 'just worked,' syncing up immediately. Nvidia still provides good Linux support. Last year, ATI chose to designate a large number of their cards as 'legacy', and chose to discontinue support for these legacy cards. This move is affecting Windows users as well as Linux users.

I quite agree about the attitudes of users towards newbies on many other forums. This forum is mostly clear of such prejudice, and in the past I've reported users who have chosen to mock newbies. Over the past year and a half of using Linux Mint, I have come a long way by the simple method of "I don't know how to do this, please hold my hand and explain it step by step, I will ask you to explain terms I don't understand, so please be patient with me." Many new users don't like such a humbling approach, particularly those who've viewed themselves as power users in Windows. However, it works for me here on the Mint forums, where people like exploder, Fred, FedoraRefugee and mmesantos1 have responded very favourably. Because of that, I've learned enough to be able to provide basic-level support to the friends and e-quaintences who've chosen to try Linux Mint.
"Dance without sleeping, I'll dance without fear
Dance without senses, no message I hear
Dance without feeling, I'll dance 'til I'm numb
Dance 'til I think I can overcome" -- Melissa Etheridge

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby CaptHilts » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:33 am

Was just reading through some posts here and I gotta say I like the topic discussed...

As for me it was more like "why couldn't I give up on Linux?"

A bit over two months ago I decided to dual boot Windows/Linux. All started with a new laptop last year. It came with Vista and it didn't work at all. Now the funny thing is that I got myself a copy of Win7 and it ran pretty smoothly and still, I was very curious about Linux (tried Ubuntu about 3-4 years ago and...gave up on it).

This time I thought about Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Tried the first one, worked out of the box, tried Mint...had problems, quite a few actually. I decided to drop Ubuntu and stick with Mint. Thanks to the possibility to install it to a USB flash drive I thought it could be fun to just try and figure out what's wrong. And it was...basically I screwed up a bunch of times BUT in the process I also learned quite a lot of things. Once I got it to work the way I wanted it, I started looking for replacements of every single program I use in Windows (not many but still) and after a week the job was done.

I am still dual booting although since I practically never use Win7 you could even call it mono booting. The netbook I'm using for uni tasks is only running Linux tho.

Anyway as far as I've seen no OS comes with the guarantee that it'll work just fine a 100% of the time, although Linux is still more demanding than any other OS I've seen so far. In my opinion people who'd like to give it a try should just use either the USB flash option or dual booting. And at least know about how to install/uninstall an OS (seems crazy but most of the people I met don't even know how to do that). However, patience is certainly the most important thing. I had a two months break so...in my case there was no excuse.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby JoeFootball » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:33 pm

ikey wrote:From my standpoint on IRC, new people give up on Linux because they want an easy life.
Tell them they have to install a graphics driver for that "awesome sick w00tness Compiz whatchcallit i seen on youtube",
a common reply happens to be "I'm going back to Windows". Even though you need drivers in Windows too....

From what I've seen, that's very true. I've always preferred the "teach a man to fish rather than giving him a fish" disposition, both for when I receive new info, as well as when I share what I've learned. (even if it's much more the former than the latter)

That said, I've encountered many people who literally do not want to learn what to do to resolve whatever issue they may be having, which is unfortunate for them. I doubt any of us will ever encounter an OS that seamlessly works on every architecture with every peripheral & plugin without some level of user intervention. With that, I think the "easy life" people are damned to live in disappointment.

Lastly, along those same lines, I've found that many people instantly view "unfamiliar" as "difficult", simply because they don't want to learn how to do something that's different from what they're used to, even though the new way may be just as easy, or even easier in some cases.

My $0.02.


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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby jpete » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:58 pm

shane wrote:Speaking of assumptions, not everybody who asks for help wants a detailed reply for every simple question... and that is assuming the helper has the time to give those detailed explanations. I have found that for most eager newbies, all that is required is to get them out of a sticky situation ASAP and point them in the right direction from there onwards. My general method of replying is a quick fix followed by links to useful/relevant documentation. It saves my time and is sufficient for anyone interested in learning more.

No problem. I'm sure there are many helpful people in the forums.

I've spent most of my time in the Wireless forum because that's the only issue I'm having. That place is lousy with new threads all day asking essentially the same thing.

Here's an example. viewtopic.php?f=53&t=41632

I guess i do have the windows drivers available because I'm double booting with windows, so if you could direct me to a "how to" if this doesn't work it would be great.

Here's the answer.

You just go to Windows Wireless Drivers, click Add and find the .INF file on the drivers disk (NB. there are other files needed besides this). You'll also have to gksu gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and add ipw2200 to the end to stop the native driver loading. Then restart.

There's that "JUST" word I was talking about. I'm sure lots of people looking at this right now know EXACTLY what the person who answered means but how does that answer help the OP in learning anything? How does the answerer know that the OP has any idea where to find that information?

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby ZekeMenuar » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:39 pm

The view from the land of noobs goes something like this.


Like it or not, this is how a lot of computer users think of Linux, myself included. Mention a Linux desktop to my wife and her eyes glaze over.

Joe Computer user doesn't want to deal with Terminal. He doesn't care about kernals and file systems.
For better or worse, Joe User works with Windoze and knows what to expect. He just wants to boot up his box and have it work.
He doesn't want to wrench under the hood of his operating system. He won't spend a ton of time fussing with a problem.
He'll boot into Windoze and download it from a GUI interface.
It's not people giving up on Linux, A lot of people won't even try. There are over a hundred distros. Too many choices. It was pointed out that most people don't know how to download an ISO and burn it. Most computer users are just plain lazy. You have the Evil Empire to thank for that.
This is the guy we need to get on board.

There is a sector of the Linux community(not here thank god) that is just plain hostile towards noobs. I can think of two boards that treated me badly.
I got myself banned from one board. Sorry, I don't compose code from scratch.
Does anyone here watch "The Big Bang Theory"? There are a lot of Sheldons" out there crapping on noobs. That attitude has to change.

This board has been very good about welcoming noobs. That's a big reason why I keep using Mint.
We need to get the word out that Mint is very user friendly and there is very good support.

The way to get more folks using Linux operating systems is to de-mystify it and get the word out. I've got a few converts from other forums I hang out on.
Then get Dell or HP for example to pre-load Mint 8 on their big desktops. That's a tall order but it's the only way to get more people on board.
The Evil Empire forces us to use Windoze by cutting deals with the big computer makers.
Is anyone trying to get a user friendly Linux OS pre-loaded on a major line of computers?

This is my opinion. Your opinion may vary.

For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.
Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby AndrewH » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:45 pm

As a relatively new Linux (Mint) user, here are my frustrations that I could easily see leading someone back to Windows:

1. Networking with a Windows computer. I've Googled, I've read forums, I just can't figure out how to get my Linux machine to talk to my Windows machine on my home (Windows) network.

2. Gaming. Sure, there are lots of games available for native Linux. However, I have yet to find one that doesn't look like it wasn't made 20 years ago. Then there's Wine... but it doesn't work that well (for me). Call me shallow, but if I'm using a modern computer with 4 processing cores, 4 Gigs RAM, et al, I'm not going to be happy running games that look like they belong on my phone, or on an old 80486. :lol:

I don't blame Linux for not being "a gaming platform". It's certainly capable of it, every bit as much as Windows (if not more so). It's largely the fault of the commercial software developers who traditionally don't develop for Linux.

I'm sticking with Mint, but I'm keeping Windows 7 on dual boot for gaming. Maybe someday I'll figure out the networking.

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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Postby Husse » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:57 am

Make a topic in the networking section for your problem
It's no big deal connecting Windows and Linux - even I have managed :)
What can cause problems is that Linux and Windows treats authorization differently
Mint has no problems but I think Windows must have the same user name as in Mint
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it

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