[Techtalk] What distro?

Little Girl littlergirl at gmail.com
Mon Oct 18 13:12:28 UTC 2010

Hey there,

Akkana Peck wrote:

> > On 10/17/2010 04:34 AM, Little Girl wrote:
> >> I could go on and on about the benefits of choosing Linux over
> >> Windows. The only thing I don't understand is why Linux isn't
> >> more popular. So I pondered it.
> I suspect the biggest reason is that nearly every computer you can
> buy comes with Windows preinstalled, whereas to use Linux, you have
> to
> - know it exists
> - somehow choose one distro over all the others
> - download an ISO and burn it to a CD
> - install it, facing the scary prospect that it might somehow wipe
>   out your Windows install
> - Deal with any issues specific to your machine (special wireless
>   drivers, suspend issues or whatever).
> That's all a huge barrier compared to just buying a machine and
> turning it on, so it's no surprise that fewer people run Linux.

True, but we need to nibble away at that by making ourselves known
and getting people interested in trying what we've discovered.

> Billie Walsh writes:
> > 2) When someone does try Linux out and joins a mail list for
> > help, the replies they get and some of the messages flying around
> > turn them off and they go back to Windows.
> Definitely a problem. I wonder if Windows lists are any better?
> But most people don't ever go searching for online Windows forums;
> either their machine works out of the box, or they have a relative
> or neighbor help them or they pay some local person for help.

That reminds me of another thing I meant to address. Many of the
Windows users who complain about the geekiness or difficulty of use
of Linux are the same users who have problems with Windows and then
find others to solve those problems for them, so it's not like they're
having an ideal computing experience and measuring that against the
imperfection that is Linux.

> But since Linux users DO have to go to online forums, I wish more
> of them would be nicer to newbies. I hope we're helping with that in
> our little corner of the net ...

I think we are. I've been on this list for a while now and haven't
once seen anyone be rude or mean. This is a very helpful place. (:


> ... and so on, and sometimes it can take 45 minutes just to get to
> the right menu to *start* diagnosing the problem. And the new Linux
> user isn't learning anything from any of it, because when you're
> going through 50 different menus rapidly in the space of half an
> hour you're not going to remember which one was finally the right
> one.
> Alternately, you can tell the user:
> "Bring up a terminal window, type ifconfig -a, and paste what it
> prints out."

You can also explain what ifconfig does and what the -a argument
does, and point them at the man page so they can verify it for
themselves instead of blindly trusting you. I've always been big on
taking commands apart to make sure the person who gave them to me
isn't trying to do something malicious. (:

Little Girl

There is no spoon.

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