Hello people. Although I'm multiple booting Ubuntu, Debian Lenny, Arch and Windows on this PC, I've been using Debian Lenny exclusively for the last 2 weeks (without shutting down the PC, or rebooting, or exiting my current gnome session). Some minutes ago I happened to check my uptime and I realized something curious and funny: since my last login to my current gnome session (which was 2 weeks ago, as I said before), the only thing I have used the terminal for, is to check my uptime (see attached picture below. The terminal you see there is Guake, a terminal emulator for Gnome similar to KDE's yakuake).
This made me think about the most common and terrible myth about Linux in general (and in particular, about Debian): the belief that it's hard to use, and you have to use the CLI for everything. Don't misunderstand me here; I know the power and usefulness of the CLI for everything, specially for administrative tasks. I use linux almost exclusively at home, but I enjoy messing with the terminal, knowing and using new commands, knowing how the whole system works, etc (sometimes, when I have to, I compile/install some software from source, I've even compiled the kernel sometimes and I've installed drivers, etc.). What I'm trying to say here is: once a Linux install is finished, all the necessary programs and plugins installed and everything is properly set up, any regular user should perfectly be able to use it for anything he/she might need (like browsing the net, write documents, copy a file from some place to another, use a USB flash drive, etc.). Even my 58 years old mother, who is dual booting Linux and Windows, feels so comfortable with Ubuntu, that she uses it like in 90% of the times (or maybe even more than that) and just boots Windows when a project requires her to use some program named Visio I'm not sure what is for (I think it's used to create diagrams, or something like that). By the way, she is able to reboot her PC, wait for the grub menu and switch to windows (or linux) by herself (without any help from some geek or something).
And to stress the point a little bit more and finish my idea: the above goes for Windows all the same (and, I'm almost sure, for OSX, although I have never used it). I mean, a regular, average user doesn't install and set up Windows on his/her PC. Sure, there are some things that are probably easier on Windows, like auto-installing browser plugins (and auto-installing viruses, etc.), installing some software by double clicking (something that you can do on Ubuntu, if you have the admin password). But, there will always be the need of some geek, sysadmin, IT guy, whatever you want to call him/her, to set up an OS (any OS) for a productive environment in which a regular user can do his/her daily work (and to take care of an eventual breakage).
I guess all of the above has been said before in another ways probably one million of times, but these were the reflections and thoughts that came to my mind a while ago, when I saw my terminal. I just wanted to share them . And, if this has been discussed here before, and a mod prefers to move this thread to "Recurring Discussions", he/she is welcome to do so (although I'd prefer this would stay here, on the "Community Cafe", but it's up to you ).