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comfurtn
February 9th, 2007, 10:13 PM
Now, I recently dug out an old 500MHz pII computer that I had lying around, and installed Ubuntu on it for my parents. I must admit that the initial setup with Gnome was a bit too slow for this old computer, but after installing XFCE and tweaking it a bit, I believe the old thing might shine once again!

My parents don't have much experience with computers.. their knowledge goes about as far as playing solitaire and checking Gmail on WinXP. I wanted to make the switch to Ubuntu as simple as possible for them.. so I made the desktop look similar to the traditional XP (one taskbar at the bottom, a few desktop icons) and I copied the classic windows version of solitaire to run under wine. My mother absolutely hates the AisleRiot Solitaire that's bundled with Ubuntu. But so far they've been fine with the setup, and the computer has been running smoothly.

In the bigger picture of all this, how do we go about switching the typical PC user from windows... when all they really care about is playing their solitaire and checking their email? Most of the time these users don't want to have to learn anything knew, or for that matter even have TWO panels on their screen. How do you go about breaking that stale model from windows, without scaring away the user from Linux? AND, how do you best introduce the concept of packages, and a central package manager? People tend to just want to double-click on any downloaded .exe file and expect it to "just work," whether it's actually beneficial or just some spyware crap. "Good things come in small PACKAGES," perhaps?

Just a thought and discussion provoker.... I know I'd like to share experiences with such cases so that I can easily switch people to Ubuntu in the future.

Let me know what you guys think.


UPDATE: I've been keeping up with this thread and all the great ideas that we've come up with. Here are some lists:


Issues for the typical user:

Driver availability and support: Certain device drivers, mostly for obscure and 3D video hardware, are hard to find, if they exist, and are just as difficult to install.
Improve the native card games. The average convert from Windows wants to play “pretty” versions of Solitaire and Spider Solitaire.
People use Windows because that’s what they’re used to, and it probably came pre-installed on their machine. Until a significant dealbreaker comes along, they’ll remain satisfied.
Lack of application support: there are replacements for many commercial Windows applications in Linux, but most of them are not as good, not user-friendly, lacking in features, and not designed for Joe User. Others just don’t have native replacements (i.e. Tax software)
Proprietary applications: People pay money for Windows, anti-virus software, and tax software, so it goes without saying that they will pay money for applications on Linux. Availability of proprietary applications does not corrupt the philosophy of Linux, it simply provides certain users with a way to get what they really want from their system. It’s not fair to tell them they cannot have these things.
The last thing a home user wants to do is learn an entirely new operating system, that is, unless they are fed up with their current OS.
Upgrading software: new users have difficulty understanding the packaging system and software repositories.



Other obstacles:

Hardware vendors have a financial advantage in supporting Windows.
Pre-installation of Windows operating systems prevents most people from seeking alternatives. “Hey, I’ve already paid for Windows, I may as well go ahead and use it.”
Linux has too small a market share and too fast an update cycle to attract and keep major software vendors.. not to mention the division between Gnome and KDE desktop environments.
There are many things you can do with the GUI that users just don’t know about.
Command-line: Get rid of the console. Most users should not have to deal with the command-line to install anything. And this includes telling new users how to do things in the GUI, instead of the command-line (i.e. Use synaptic or Add/Remove Programs to install new software).


On spreading the word (“Soldiers of the Open Source Movement”):

Continue to spread the word that there are alternatives to Windows. Host install-fests, distribute Live-CDs, and show new users how great the community really is.
Linux works great on current, existing, and outdated hardware. Vista requires cutting-edge upgrades.
The desktop structure between Windows and Ubuntu (both Gnome and KDE) is basically the same.
ScreenCasts: This concept will definitely help new users. People watch TV more than they read. If they can watch how to do something then it will be easier for them to implement themselves.


We’re making progress:

Dell, already, is selling almost all their small-business hardware with FreeDos installed instead of Windows.
You can, occasionally, get money back on your Windows license if you never intend to use it.
Linux desktop vendors like System76, though still a minority, are becoming profitable.
Linux on the desktop is gaining momentum every day. We just have to keep up the good work.


Keep 'em coming... and if I've missed anything, let me know!

ingo
February 10th, 2007, 08:45 PM
I agree with your mum on the native card games, they are ugly (but I don't know nothing about programming, so my mouth is kept tight shut :))

As for exe:
The reason why linux does not suffer from spyware, trojans and viruses or keyloggers is because any "foreign" piece of code does not have the right to execute itself. Simple (I think this is correct, anyway).

I'm sure you could tweak it so everything would have executable rights, but not on my machine, thank you very much :)

Once people have understood that principle, they should understand and admire the rest.

borris.morris
February 10th, 2007, 08:50 PM
All that comfurtn is really saying is how do we make it so that peple don't use windows yet they can still think that it is windows. make ubuntu look and act like windows.

Zuph
February 10th, 2007, 10:03 PM
All that comfurtn is really saying is how do we make it so that peple don't use windows yet they can still think that it is windows. make ubuntu look and act like windows.

Which is exactly the wrong approach.

If you make Ubuntu act like windows, then it will begin to suffer the same flaws as windows does. If your goal is to emulate something, then you can be no better than that which you are emulating.

Right now, Ubuntu IS better than Windows in most respects: It is more secure, it is more free, the community is more helpful, and it is faster (generally).

The only thing that Linux doesn't have going for it is application support. Even though there are replacements for a lot of commercial windows apps on Linux, a lot of them aren't as good. A lot of them aren't as easy to use, a lot of them don't have the same features, and a lot of them are not designed with Joe User in mind. For some areas, the utilities do not exist (Tax software, for example).

We cannot force people to switch. People use Windows because that is what they're used to, and until Windows includes a dealbreaker for a lot of these people, they won't look elsewhere.

The majority of people out there have heard of Linux, and know some extremely basic things about it, so much that if those dealbreakers were included, they would look at Linux more carefully. If we just let Microsoft keep screwing up their own software, the converts will come, and with the converts will come the apps that these people need.

"But Zuph!" you cry, "This will be the end of Freedom on the Linux platform!" Quit whining. The platform itself will remain open. The fact that you'll be able to get proprietary apps on Linux is not a bad thing. It doesn't corrupt the philosophy of Linux, it just makes the people that are pissed off because Ubuntu is able to use non-Free (speech) repositories. Be realistic here.

The only thing that we can do as proud soldiers of the Open Source movement is to keep getting the word out there that there is an alternative. We can host install-fests, hand out CDs, and show how welcoming this community of computer users can be. You cannot force someone to be a convert. You can only convert the willing. As long as the word is out there, people will have their faith in Microsoft shaken, and come looking for us.

borris.morris
February 10th, 2007, 10:27 PM
i didn't mean it that way. i meant make it easier for the joe scmoe to use. make it look like windows and as much support as windows. am i right this time? make it easier for the average user. oh and i saw an article in "Popular Science" about how easy Ubuntu is to install.

sharperguy
February 10th, 2007, 10:45 PM
I think the question is, how do we help new users/converts to use and not be afraid of linux, without it having to look/act like windows?

How do we show people that our way is better?

borris.morris
February 10th, 2007, 11:15 PM
show them how ubuntu could ride circles around windows. metaphorically speaking of course.

comfurtn
February 10th, 2007, 11:31 PM
All that comfurtn is really saying is how do we make it so that peple don't use windows yet they can still think that it is windows. make ubuntu look and act like windows.


Not quite... if I convince someone to switch to Linux, I don't want them thinking that it's still windows.. what I was hitting at is how do we make windows users feel comfortable enough with the ubuntu desktop to keep them from getting frustrated and screaming "SCREW THIS, GIVE ME WINDOWS BACK!!." ... which is not something I like to see happen, simply because we have a great support community that many people don't give a chance to help them..

FLPCGuy
February 11th, 2007, 12:09 AM
I've been struggling with the idea of switching PC users for awhile now and don't have an easy answer. I see a number of significant roadblocks.

1. Driver availability & installation difficulty in Linux is too much for most users.
2. User knowledge & patience with anything technical is less now than pre-Y2K.
3. Hardware vendors have a financial advantage in supporting Windows.
4. Pre-installation of Windows keeps most people from trying/using alternatives.
5. Killer applications tie many to Windows...gaming, tax software, etc.

The last three are significant. Dell & HP pay less than $45 for Vista which is perceived to be worth over twice that amount and costs that much for individuals or small vendors. Linux is free [as in beer] so it is not valued by non-users. Plus, Vista all but requires a major upgrade or a new PC to run. Those are powerful reasons hardware vendors don't install free Linux.

Linux remains too fragmented with too small a market share and too fast an update cycle to attract and keep major software vendors. Apple can hardly get major software support anymore, not even from Microsoft.

Finally, I see a significant burnout in the users I support since Y2K. Most people feel overwhelmed by or fed up with technology. The last thing they want to do is to learn a new OS or even the one they struggle with now. Ironically, this would help slow the transition to Vista if it wasn't pre-installed.

I'm not sure there is much we can do to overcome these issues. Try to make Linux better. Spread the word. Demo and document what Linux can do and HowTo do it yourself. Welcome and support the people who make the effort to learn enough about Linux to install and use it successfully. Pray for continued financial and technical support from benefactors, developers and hardware makers.

Zuph
February 11th, 2007, 04:59 AM
I've been struggling with the idea of switching PC users for awhile now and don't have an easy answer. I see a number of significant roadblocks.

1. Driver availability & installation difficulty in Linux is too much for most users.
2. User knowledge & patience with anything technical is less now than pre-Y2K.
3. Hardware vendors have a financial advantage in supporting Windows.
4. Pre-installation of Windows keeps most people from trying/using alternatives.
5. Killer applications tie many to Windows...gaming, tax software, etc.

The last three are significant. Dell & HP pay less than $45 for Vista which is perceived to be worth over twice that amount and costs that much for individuals or small vendors. Linux is free [as in beer] so it is not valued by non-users. Plus, Vista all but requires a major upgrade or a new PC to run. Those are powerful reasons hardware vendors don't install free Linux.

Linux remains too fragmented with too small a market share and too fast an update cycle to attract and keep major software vendors. Apple can hardly get major software support anymore, not even from Microsoft.

Finally, I see a significant burnout in the users I support since Y2K. Most people feel overwhelmed by or fed up with technology. The last thing they want to do is to learn a new OS or even the one they struggle with now. Ironically, this would help slow the transition to Vista if it wasn't pre-installed.

I'm not sure there is much we can do to overcome these issues. Try to make Linux better. Spread the word. Demo and document what Linux can do and HowTo do it yourself. Welcome and support the people who make the effort to learn enough about Linux to install and use it successfully. Pray for continued financial and technical support from benefactors, developers and hardware makers.

Any more, driver support in Linux, save for a few old and obscure devices, is pretty damn good. With the exception of some 3D cards, and, as I said, obscure devices, driver support is not an issue for Joe Desktop User. User knowledge and patience is less and issue now than ever before. Even with Gnome, and especially with KDE, just sitting down at a Linux machine for Joe Windows is no different than sitting down at a Windows PC that isn't his own: All the applications are there, and they're named pretty intuitively, you just have to learn where they are. The difficulty comes to Joe User when he wants to install, upgrade or add functionality. I'll get to that soon. The last three are the big issues today, and they're the only ones truly left to be overcome, and we're getting closer everday. Dell, already, is selling almost all their small-business hardware with FreeDos installed instead of Windows, and you can, occasionally, get your Windows license money back if you never intend to use it. For once, Linux desktop vendors like System76, though still a minority, are becoming profitable. Linux on the desktop is gaining momentum every day. We just have to keep up the good work.

We're going to hit a wall, soon, though. We're going to run out of "Power Users" to convert, and then advancement will be reduced to a trickle. At that point, what do we do? We've already gotten rid of dependency hell and hardware issues for the most part. What's left?

Here is the sure-fire way to make Linux something every desktop user can use:

Get rid of the console. Get rid of it. A user should not have to TOUCH the command-line to install anything, Drivers, Programs, anything. When the day comes that I can so something as complex as downloading the source-code for a program, and compile and install it myself, Linux will be truly ready for the dumb masses.

ralanyo
February 11th, 2007, 07:20 AM
I see what everyone is saying about converting people to ubuntu. I have just about gotten rid of my windows partition and am spending 95% of my time in Ubuntu. However, there are some programs that tie me to windows still.

I own a small company and I have been trying to think of a way that I can implement Ubuntu desktops for all employees. This is mainly due to the fact that Microsoft has made all of my current pc's pretty much obsolete with Vista. Also, I have been using Ubuntu personally for about a year now. However, my employee's are used to using Windows. I am nervous that I will be spending most of my time troubleshooting because of their lack of knowledge.

I think in a business environment it is easier to dictate what the end user will use. It is also an easier sell when you talk about the advantages of security and such.

The average home user or non power user is used to windows and doesn't know anything else. If ubuntu is going to appeal to them, it has to be easy. Home users don't want to think, they just want to use it. Although i enjoy using the terminal, making it optional would definately be a plus.

comfurtn
February 11th, 2007, 07:32 AM
I own a small company and I have been trying to think of a way that I can implement Ubuntu desktops for all employees. This is mainly due to the fact that Microsoft has made all of my current pc's pretty much obsolete with Vista. Also, I have been using Ubuntu personally for about a year now. However, my employee's are used to using Windows. I am nervous that I will be spending most of my time troubleshooting because of their lack of knowledge.


In that situation, you could probably make the switch easier by making all your installs of Ubuntu the same, and make the desktop appear similar to a windows desktop, at least for the time being, to make your users feel comfortable. If you install all the software you're employees will need to use daily, and make shortcuts to these on either the desktop or panel, then they should have few problems navigating day-to-day. If you go with a stable release, say dapper LTS, then the systems should be fairly stable, and the users themselves would not have to get their hands dirty with command-line, etc... just some thoughts... your situation might actually be doable, since you'd be the one installing Ubuntu.

_nax
February 11th, 2007, 09:01 AM
Get rid of the console. Get rid of it. A user should not have to TOUCH the command-line to install anything, Drivers, Programs, anything. When the day comes that I can so something as complex as downloading the source-code for a program, and compile and install it myself, Linux will be truly ready for the dumb masses.

That is the key right there. I consider myself to be quite a bit above the average computer user, and anytime I want to try and install something, right to the forums I go. While the answer is almost always there, the average user will not put up with something like that.

_nax

comfurtn
February 11th, 2007, 09:08 AM
That is the key right there. I consider myself to be quite a bit above the average computer user, and anytime I want to try and install something, right to the forums I go. While the answer is almost always there, the average user will not put up with something like that.

_nax

Totally agree. I just pulled up the Ubuntu Help Center, and i notice that it covers many things we see users complaining about in the forums... people simply do not want to read help files... even if they are easy to find, easily understood, and give step-by-step instructions. Although, I feel that the help center could be vastly improved, so that brand new Ubuntu users would have a vast archive of easily searchable howtos right on their desktop the first time they boot the new system.

Until we can automate things with GUI processes, the command line will continue to scare people back into computer hell.

etank
February 11th, 2007, 01:45 PM
People want things to be as easy as possible. When possible they don't want to think about how to do things. In some ways the normal is just lazy (IMHO). I deal with users and IT staff all the time that ask questions that are easily answered by reading the documentation that came with the product or looking up the error message that they got. In saying I am definitely not saying that we use the RTFM approach. I am just pointing out what I have seen.

In my opinion the ScreenCasts (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ScreencastTeam/) team is going to really help new users. People watch TV more than they read. If they can watch how to do something then it will be easier for them to implement.

sharperguy
February 11th, 2007, 02:20 PM
We're going to hit a wall, soon, though. We're going to run out of "Power Users" to convert, and then advancement will be reduced to a trickle.


Well, believe it or not, the one person I've managed to convert so far, is not really a power user at all. Neither are the other couple of people that are thinking about switching.

In fact, the one person I know who is a power user, decided to install Linux without influence from me, but just got really annoyed at it and gave up.

The problem is, that all the "average Joe's" (and I don't mean, me, Joe being my name :P) only really want to browse the web, listen to music, copy stuff to their ipod (or other media player of course) and maybe play a few games.

Whereas, the techie people find it hard to migrate to linux, as all the technical things are radically different. They're also more likely to want to use obscure hardware or software, they're also more likely to be bugged by issues others would consider to be small.

The funny thing is, the person who has installed ubuntu, used to always rave about how rubbish linux is, then one day I gave him a dapper live cd, and he came back saying, that it was really cool and he was going to install it as his main OS.




Get rid of the console. Get rid of it. A user should not have to TOUCH the command-line to install anything, Drivers, Programs, anything. When the day comes that I can so something as complex as downloading the source-code for a program, and compile and install it myself, Linux will be truly ready for the dumb masses.


The main problem here is that there are a lot of things you can do with the GUI, that people just don't know about.

For example, with installing programs, you can use add/remove to install programs, and its really easy and intuitive, however, when you ask on the forums about installing anything they'll tell you to go "sudo apt-get install amarok" or whatever.

This quite often isn't because that's the only way to do it, but because its the easiest way to tell someone how to do it.

All the user has to do, is copy the code into the terminal and hit enter and put in their password.

The forum user could've told them to go to applications>add/remove, do a search for amarok, click on it and press apply. But its a lot more complicated and could even confuse the person asking the question.

But that's still a problem because "sudo apt-get install amarok", doesn't really help them learn how to install other programs, or worse, they'll think that's the only way to do it, and they'll use it as a complaint against linux.

I know I haven't really suggested anything here but at least I've tried to explain a bit about why things are the way they are.

agurk
February 11th, 2007, 02:29 PM
We're going to hit a wall, soon, though. We're going to run out of "Power Users" to convert, and then advancement will be reduced to a trickle. At that point, what do we do? We've already gotten rid of dependency hell and hardware issues for the most part. What's left?
Cutting Vista support. Let me explain. I, like many or most of you here, am the family sysadmin who also looks after some of my friends' computers when they run into trouble they can't deal with themselves. I have drawn the line at Windovs Vista - I'm simply not going to support it. I'll speak about and show them Linux and I'll continue helping them with XP problems, even reinstallations, but I won't touch Vista. Period.

ndefontenay
February 11th, 2007, 02:52 PM
I've seen a lot of excellent comments on this thread.

We need more:

1) hardware support
2) Drivers (I can't run my webcam righ now and it's a creative)

and I want to say that finally, despite Linux being very strong and stable, it's easy to screw up anyway! I know, I just did!

I've installed a few things using Automatix2 and apt-get only. I suppose something went wrong... I ended up with no Xserver at all. No desktop...

Sure, Linux is very stable, neither fails. GUI was gone but I still got a command line...

But as Average Joe, what am I supposed to do with that.

I was thinking that it would be good to have something like windows that says: Restore to the latest stable version/Linux/environment (strike the unwanted description)

Finally, if we want Linux to go to the masses, we need Linux to come with the box...

Concerning the small business and users switching fully to Linux, I don't think it really needs to be like windows.

The working tools just need to be really accessible. They'll just need a training to learn the new names and then just put it on the desktop,

If Open Office is a confusing name, call the shortcut on the desktop Office. It will be less confusing.

Concerning windows Vista, this is what makes me shift now.

My previous reason was like of driver support at the time of winmodems. Not with ADSL these are old days.

I'm even planning to find my game for Linux and bug all the game companies with email asking for games on Linux. (I mean I'll play only games found on Linux)

I suppose if we all do that they'll think that there might be a market on Linux after all.

Last thing... We should quite the: Linux is better than windows comparison. We have to say Linux is a good OS.

Just last night, I had a friend on msn, and she said I didn't had a picture (because I was on Linux, so it's crap). I added a picture. She said she couldn't see my picture so Linux is crap.

I said, well I can see your picture and my picture. I'm not the one with a problem here! It's not my OS which is crap!

Anyway that is just to give an idea of what we usually face.

comfurtn
February 11th, 2007, 06:09 PM
The working tools just need to be really accessible. They'll just need a training to learn the new names and then just put it on the desktop,

If Open Office is a confusing name, call the shortcut on the desktop Office. It will be less confusing.

Bingo, this always works for people who just want to use their computer for their daily tasks.. And the best part is that many users are satisfied if they can easy access their favorite programs.


Last thing... We should quite the: Linux is better than windows comparison. We have to say Linux is a good OS.

Also agree with that. If you use the words "better than," then there is always someone who's going to start throwing around bogus comparisons... by saying that Ubuntu, or Linux for that matter, is a good OS, we draw more attention to the highlights of it, instead of how it does this better or that worse.


I was thinking that it would be good to have something like windows that says: Restore to the latest stable version/Linux/environment (strike the unwanted description)


This goes along with something I was thinking about just yesterday.. If there was an option, say in GRUB or something at boot time, to restore a working state of your operating system... then users could easily get back up and running, with a GUI, after something screws up their system.... what comes to mind here is a botched kernel upgrade, or errors with X and screwing up the conf file or partially upgrading the server. I've had these things happen before, and a restore option at boot would have done wonders, especially for users who are not willing to use the command line to fix the issue themselves. Problem is, how would you implement such a thing?


For example, with installing programs, you can use add/remove to install programs, and its really easy and intuitive, however, when you ask on the forums about installing anything they'll tell you to go "sudo apt-get install amarok" or whatever.

This is a VERY valid point, and its something that is all too common.. I do believe that if we leaned more toward telling people how to use the GUI tools already in place... it would make things much easier.

borris.morris
February 13th, 2007, 04:54 AM
Well, looks like this is getting to be a pretty popular thread. I can definitly agree with all of these things. My dad just bought a Gateway laptop with Vista Home Premium with it and I must say, it's pretty cool. It's exactly like Beryl, minus the snow, the water, etc. It's just transparent. I do like Office 2007. The ribbon is awesome. It can do everything I can do in linux too. We just need to highlight the goods and say, "Yeah, Vista is cool. But how much would it cost you to upgrade all of your computers in your house to Vista? How about to Ubuntu? Oh, and everything you can do in Vista, I can do for free. Oh, one more thing. I won't ever get a virus. Wait, the list keeps going. I can update EVERYTHING from one spot. Can you?"

bkingx
February 13th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Great posts, guys!! I really enjoy reading your opinions and suggestions for the future!

Keep them coming, they are being seen and I'm sure are making an impression!

FLPCGuy
February 15th, 2007, 03:08 PM
It is surprising that someone hasn't implemented a way to easily roll-back to the last known good configuration. Part of the problem is that there are so many configuration files scattered all over rather than a central repository. There isn't even a single install point for applications and their libraries [not even in Windows] since they can be installed for one user or shared by all. Linux is far less disciplined about where things are stored, as Windows was pre-registry. Since Win2k, driver rollback has been implemented for Windows. Linux has nothing comparable that I know about.

It would take a rather lengthy process to update an archive of all key configurations, libraries, and apps on shutdown. If the system crashed, the last good version would still be in the archive and could be restored from the GRUB boot menu. Ideally, you would make a small separate daily differential backup so you could rollback incrementally as needed to the last full backup. I'm not even sure you can back up the kernel [for driver rollback] and all files while the system is running.

This process would also constitute your automatic backup except for the home directory which you probably wouldn't want to rollback unless you overwrote a vital document. Of course, WINE or other software that installs in your home area complicates matters considerably.

I remain convinced that installations and backups should always separate user data from system data since it is rare that you would want to restore both. More likely you would restore just your data, typically to a different system, or want to restore a system without affecting your data.

While it is good to have all the feature sets and convenience of Windows, I wouldn't want to make Linux into a copy of Windows or eliminate the terminal as some seem to suggest.

Zuph
February 17th, 2007, 03:34 AM
It is surprising that someone hasn't implemented a way to easily roll-back to the last known good configuration. Part of the problem is that there are so many configuration files scattered all over rather than a central repository. There isn't even a single install point for applications and their libraries [not even in Windows] since they can be installed for one user or shared by all. Linux is far less disciplined about where things are stored, as Windows was pre-registry. Since Win2k, driver rollback has been implemented for Windows. Linux has nothing comparable that I know about.

In the very near future there's going to be an extremely easy to way to implement this. Processors in the very near future, as well as video cards, etc. are going to have virtualization layers built in, so they're optimized to run on a virtual machine. With processors becoming faster and faster, the 1 or 2% performance hit on these virtualized machines will become negligible. Once you have your machine running in a virtual sandbox, you can do all sorts of cool stuff with it. In a virtual machine, it would be trivial to write a new "snapshot" image to the hard drive on ever clean shutdown. This way, you could easily recover to the last good snapshot. Hell, it could even store snapshots, and you could go back in time. This will also allow the hypervisor to more intelligently manage threads and processes on modern multi-core chips. Additionally, because the machines are virtualized, you can run multiple OSes on one computer. You have Alt-tab between windows and linux, for very little performance hit.

Condoulo
February 20th, 2007, 07:53 PM
Personally, I would not want to remove the command line. I use it all the time, and find it pretty handy at times, such as when using ndiswrapper to install my DWL-G122. Plus, if I know the commands I need, why change it? Plus, it is possible to copy and past commands into the command line, so it shouldn't be a problem unless you are wanting to go directory using the cd command.

comfurtn
February 20th, 2007, 10:06 PM
Personally, I would not want to remove the command line. I use it all the time, and find it pretty handy at times, such as when using ndiswrapper to install my DWL-G122. Plus, if I know the commands I need, why change it? Plus, it is possible to copy and past commands into the command line, so it shouldn't be a problem unless you are wanting to go directory using the cd command.

We're not saying that the command line should be removed, it should simply not be such a necessity for the average user. New users that know little or nothing about linux should not have to resort to copying and pasting commands to get things to work. For example, installing drivers with ndiswrapper should not require use of the command line, but at the present it does. Until newbies can get by without the command-line, we have an issue.

Zuph
February 21st, 2007, 05:07 AM
Personally, I would not want to remove the command line. I use it all the time, and find it pretty handy at times, such as when using ndiswrapper to install my DWL-G122. Plus, if I know the commands I need, why change it? Plus, it is possible to copy and past commands into the command line, so it shouldn't be a problem unless you are wanting to go directory using the cd command.

I agree completely with what Comfurtn says.

Your average computer user is an idiot. The current surge in Linux on the desktop is a combination of people getting smarted about computers, vista pissing people off, and Linux actually getting better. The latter is probably the least important factor, actually. Unfortunately, after the people that have already converted, you have a large group of people that can use a computer because of the help files and the fact that things are named intuitively. "Install driver" is simple, and something you can understand. "Using ndiswrapper to install DWL-WIREMAJIG NUMBER 38848B" Is not. Until Linux gets to that point, it is doomed to slow growth and no major penetration.

pirothezero
February 23rd, 2007, 09:40 PM
I've recently made the move to linux final. Converted all my drives off of ntfs and haven't looked back. I tried many times (5+) to make the move over the last two years and when I was doing it I just didn't have the time at the time to look stuff up on google or searching these forums for the solution to various problems it'd get. Documentation in my opinion is the biggest area in all linux regardless of distro that needs help. There are very few terms you can type into google that will give you a one stop resource on everything linux.

One of the daunting things about linux when you first come to it is that programs are so flexible their control paths can result in really weird and hard to track down problems, and that is a nightmare when you want to fix it. Problem is its impossible to have documentation on every possible errors when you have so many variables with depencies and the way systems are setup from the base install to have a collected guide somewhere that can help everyone.

Getting help on irc and the forums is one thing, but thats for the generation that knows how to do that. My parents 54 wouldn't get help from a forum, she wouldn't know how to. As you decrease in age you the pool increases with people that would until you hit the sub 20s where everyone is at least a member of some forum. Support just can't happen that way though. Esp with so many guides on here where one isn't sure if the guide works 100% or it will only if you have done step A, B but not C (but oh no you did step C in some other guide and now what do you do).

So general documentation with open ended questions that narrows a broad field down is key. These forums have increased on that from what I remember 2 years ago with key terms at the top of each thread etc. A lot of people have posted so many helpful and (most working) guides/solutions on here that they should be categorized into one system, that doesn't depend on searches since sometimes your solution is middle of the way down 13 pages into the original thread.

That's always been my main problem. Oh and normal people who use a computer should never have to open a console to do something that needs to change too, it was mentioned though.

etank
March 3rd, 2007, 04:01 AM
There has been some talk on this thread about the console so I thought that I would post this http://kmandla.wordpress.com/2007/03/01/why-console-apps-still-rock/. I just found it on digg a few minutes ago.