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evil316
January 10th, 2008, 09:18 PM
Most people that use windows that aren't computer geeks like us use windows because they found there were things they wanted to do on a computer and there was windows right in front of them. For all intensive purposes it was their only choice being completely computer ignorant. Everyone else had one and that's all the main local stores sold. So when granny wanted a computer Windows was her only real choice being ignorant of any other choices.

How did the casual computer user learn to use Windows? Simple, out of necessity. Casual windows users learn just what they need to do what they want to do by trial and error and asking others. This same learning method can be applied to Linux systems as well as it can windows. The only real difference here is availability or at least perceived availability as we all know Linux is very easy to obtain but that's not what the casual computer user who doesn't know anything about computers thinks.

So I say to those of you that have family members that want a computer or a new computer get them a linux machine. Why not? Is linux going to be so much harder for them to burn a CD and surf the web than vista? It certainly won't crash as much or get as many viruses so I suspect their level of frustration will be much lower than it is with windows. Tell them how much money they'll save on not having to buy a new PC ever 2 years and not paying for software either. Even if they get free software with windows they can stop breaking the law and do it legally.

There seems to be this understanding amongst people that you have to be a computer geek to use linux. That it's simply not easy enough to use for the casual user. I beg to differ. I actually think it's easier for the casual user than windows not to mention more stable and more easily maintained.

I say when your loved ones go to bed tonight secretly load up linux and tell them you can't install windows and they'll just have to use it, they'll end up loving you for it.

Lord DarkPat
January 10th, 2008, 09:26 PM
give them a live demo of it, and go on ranting until they ask for proof.
it always works :D

Lostincyberspace
January 10th, 2008, 09:27 PM
You can get free disks from ship it (just don't get Edubuntu it isn't a livecd :mad:)

snickers295
January 10th, 2008, 09:30 PM
every time there windows computer messes up, say "this wouldn't happen in linux" and explain why and keep doing that and maybe get them to try a liveCD

bufsabre666
January 10th, 2008, 10:00 PM
keep copys of live discs on hand at all times and when the opportunity arises go for it

another good way is if you got family members who you make a computer for put linux on it and tell them about its good points and they may tell them to friends and create a cycle

zcal
January 10th, 2008, 10:13 PM
Here's a battle that's been fought and discussed many times over, especially in this forum. The fact is that many are just fine with their Windows install and see no reason, nor have any desire, to learn to operate within a Linux system, much less slog through all the different choices it affords them before settling on a configuration they like.

The best thing to do is continue to quietly use your favorite Linux distro. Eventually, you may find someone looking over your shoulder at your snazzy Compiz desktop (or your chic lines of Bash text). Feel free, then, to feed their interest.

evil316
January 10th, 2008, 10:28 PM
Here's a battle that's been fought and discussed many times over, especially in this forum. The fact is that many are just fine with their Windows install and see no reason, nor have any desire, to learn to operate within a Linux system, much less slog through all the different choices it affords them before settling on a configuration they like.

The best thing to do is continue to quietly use your favorite Linux distro. Eventually, you may find someone looking over your shoulder at your snazzy Compiz desktop (or your chic lines of Bash text). Feel free, then, to feed their interest.

True, but I'm talking about the casual computer user. The one that isn't interested in computers other than to use it for the basic tasks they perform such as web surfing, e-mail, burn a CD once in a while, view family pictures. If you read my post you'll see my contention is that if you put Linux in front of them replacing Windows they will then be Linux users. These users wouldn't have learned what they learned on Windows had it not been for the necessity that they had too. So if you put Linux in front of them they'll learn what they need to in order to operate it well enough to do the tasks they need to do.

crisnoh
January 10th, 2008, 10:31 PM
You could make all those peripherals and whatnot work as easily as they do in Windows.

bufsabre666
January 10th, 2008, 10:34 PM
True, but I'm talking about the casual computer user. The one that isn't interested in computers other than to use it for the basic tasks they perform such as web surfing, e-mail, burn a CD once in a while, view family pictures. If you read my post you'll see my contention is that if you put Linux in front of them replacing Windows they will then be Linux users. These users wouldn't have learned what they learned on Windows had it not been for the necessity that they had too. So if you put Linux in front of them they'll learn what they need to in order to operate it well enough to do the tasks they need to do.

my first operating system was dos, id say the learning curve from dos to windows was much longer then from windows to linux

granted i was 7 when we went from dos to windows 98 but still kids grasp concepts easier so who knows

i say for all basic functions its exactly the same, clicking the firefox icon is the same in any operating system, and the transition from outlook to evolution or thunderbird is very easy, multimedia is every easy

evil316
January 10th, 2008, 10:48 PM
my first operating system was dos, id say the learning curve from dos to windows was much longer then from windows to linux

granted i was 7 when we went from dos to windows 98 but still kids grasp concepts easier so who knows

i say for all basic functions its exactly the same, clicking the firefox icon is the same in any operating system, and the transition from outlook to evolution or thunderbird is very easy, multimedia is every easy

Exactly my point. Put Linux in front of a casual Windows user and it's really not a problem. The challenge is it's not the corporate world that will do this, it's the linux users themselves that alone hold that power.

bufsabre666
January 10th, 2008, 10:50 PM
I. HAVE. THE POWER!!!!

[/heman imitation]

Methuselah
January 10th, 2008, 11:32 PM
I was thinking about the future of desktop computing too...

I concluded that the linux desktop is a credible threat to windows and will become more so over the next few years.
Drivers are improving and the linux desktop is getting better with each update. Couple that with the fact that distros such as ubuntu release a couple new versions in the time it takes Microsoft to release an SP .

However, linux growth will be a kind of underground popularity.
Some people using windows are becoming more familiar with open source software.
They use firefox, thunderbird, openoffice and GIMP because equivalent windows exlusive programs cost hundreds of dollars or are less secure.
The transition to linux will be a lot easier when your most used programs already work flawlessly!

I also think that we can promote alternative OSs by using them.
That's how firefox grew, people told each other about it.
When people see what can be done on the linux desktop it wil shake preconceptions about it being HARD and geeky.
I have heard of people being prompted to try linux based on youtube videos of compiz effects.

BTW, I specifically say the linux desktop because linux is already a tremendous success, running on everything from cell phones to PS3 (and XBox..lol) and most of the most powerful supercomputers.
Powerful, IP-rich companies such as IBM have a vested interested in it and are willing to protect it.
IBM helped crush SCO, threatening GPL infringement countersuits among other unsavoury things.
So while linux itself is free, there are powerful business interests around it that make use of it.

http://www.linux-foundation.org/en/Members

So, I think it's pretty likely to be around and continue to grow and make headway.
People need to see it in action to appreciate it.
Remember, the notion of an operating system isn't clear to some computer users.
So have it on your laptop when you need to use it in the open.
Even some people who are fine with Windows might try somethign else out of curiosity.

So in the end, I think the saying, "first they ignore you then they fight against you then you win" will prove true in this case.
Not sure how long it will take but progress will be made.

That's ALL my thoughts on that.:popcorn:

sdowney717
January 10th, 2008, 11:52 PM
People who are naturally interested in technical stuff about computers and like to try out something new and different will try and like Linux.

People who just want to play games listen to music web surf will be happy enough with windows.

My father is comfortable with windows and can afford to buy windows programs. So he sees no reason to switch to Linux.

My brother likes computers and is interested in Linux, but he wont switch. He is very busy and wont take the time to try out something new.

Getting Linux on the desktop by offering it with new computers will expose more people to linux and make them want more linux systems. Linux drivers just need to keep on getting better and no more terminal commands required.

It is still too hard to install some linux programs from the command line for some people.

oldb0y
January 10th, 2008, 11:54 PM
I have tried to persuade some of my friends, and even installed it on some of their computers. The big issue for my friends, was gaming. They all game alot, and to be honest, linux isn't very compatible for games theese days, sadly.

My conclusion, get game-devs to focus a little on linux. There are 10mill. WoW players in the world!

Daveski
January 11th, 2008, 12:02 AM
True, but I'm talking about the casual computer user. The one that isn't interested in computers other than to use it for the basic tasks they perform such as web surfing, e-mail, burn a CD once in a while, view family pictures. If you read my post you'll see my contention is that if you put Linux in front of them replacing Windows they will then be Linux users. These users wouldn't have learned what they learned on Windows had it not been for the necessity that they had too. So if you put Linux in front of them they'll learn what they need to in order to operate it well enough to do the tasks they need to do.

This is true, but you must remember that you may have to keep an eye out to stop issues arising like them buying a digital camera or MP3 player and expecting it to work with their computer. Sure, most things will to some degree today (and this will only get better), but they will not thank you if they feel they have wasted a couple of hundred quid on a flash device that they can see does not work as described by the salesman.

smartboyathome
January 11th, 2008, 01:03 AM
Exactly my point. Put Linux in front of a casual Windows user and it's really not a problem. The challenge is it's not the corporate world that will do this, it's the linux users themselves that alone hold that power.

I would say if you want to give the casual user Linux, give them Linux Mint. It comes with codecs preinstalled so the user doesn't have to worry about it. It also has the "just works" meathod of Ubuntu. :KS

evil316
January 11th, 2008, 01:49 AM
This is true, but you must remember that you may have to keep an eye out to stop issues arising like them buying a digital camera or MP3 player and expecting it to work with their computer. Sure, most things will to some degree today (and this will only get better), but they will not thank you if they feel they have wasted a couple of hundred quid on a flash device that they can see does not work as described by the salesman.

That's a very good point. To me that would be the major drawback for a casual user moving to Linux.

I don't see gaming as a major issue Linux needs to address. With the gaming systems out and newer better one's coming out in a regular basis gaming on PC's will begin to slow in my opinion. Why should I spend a couple grand on a gaming PC when I can use my Wii and it's more fun?

jrusso2
January 11th, 2008, 02:10 AM
The best way to get a non technical user into Linux is to install it and configure it for them.

Show them what programs do the same functions as the windows programs they use.

Make sure all the codecs and flash are installed so they don't complain their mp3's and dvd's don't play.

Knyven
January 11th, 2008, 02:25 AM
It all comes down to pre-installed linux pc.

jken146
January 11th, 2008, 02:31 AM
It all comes down to pre-installed linux pc.

Totally right, I think. The casual user is just that, a user, who will in most cases be loathed to administer their computer. The difficulties of giving linux to casual users are not the fault of the OS or the community, rather they are problems with the users.

blackenedbloodx
January 11th, 2008, 02:44 AM
so true, but the people who do use their PCs for gaming have them for a reason. because the graphics are simply better and its faster if u get one thats good enough. i got my stepmom thinking about it but microsoft Live (which she uses) has a hard-on against Firefox and wont run under it. plus it doesnt support Yahoo's Launchcast radio. and i know what you all mean. my friends always get pissed off at me for even mentioning linux now lol. they just know im going to rant on about how much windows sucks!

barbedsaber
January 11th, 2008, 02:54 AM
The way to get more people to use linux, is to show them this ad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwL0G9wK8j4&eurl=http://www.throttled.org/googlegadgets/youtube_play.php?id=EwL0G9wK8j4&v=linux%20ibm%20ad%20prodigy) sure, they won't understand it, but it is freaking cool. and deep, tinngle down spine. <shudders>

just watch it, and dont give me the, it uses too much bandwithdth excuse, or the im on 56k just watch it.

barbedsaber
January 11th, 2008, 03:08 AM
have a look at this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BesI6NEPWlM&NR=1) as well

Pethegreat
January 11th, 2008, 03:51 AM
The best thing to do is continue to quietly use your favorite Linux distro. Eventually, you may find someone looking over your shoulder at your snazzy Compiz desktop (or your chic lines of Bash text). Feel free, then, to feed their interest.
That is what i was doing with a friend the other day. We have a lot of free time in a study hall. My friend had freespire running on his laptop, which got a kid asking a few questions.


I would say if you want to give the casual user Linux, give them Linux Mint. It comes with codecs preinstalled so the user doesn't have to worry about it. It also has the "just works" meathod of Ubuntu.
I am going to burn a Linux Mint Cd tonight and try it out on my friend's laptop tomorrow.

I want my own laptop now just to try/show off different distros.

Another selling point that could be taken as sweet or disturbing depending on the person: dirty pictures/videos without spyware or viruses!

zcal
January 11th, 2008, 06:18 AM
True, but I'm talking about the casual computer user. The one that isn't interested in computers other than to use it for the basic tasks they perform such as web surfing, e-mail, burn a CD once in a while, view family pictures. If you read my post you'll see my contention is that if you put Linux in front of them replacing Windows they will then be Linux users. These users wouldn't have learned what they learned on Windows had it not been for the necessity that they had too. So if you put Linux in front of them they'll learn what they need to in order to operate it well enough to do the tasks they need to do.

You're assuming that the casual user won't mind the change nor the "simple" relearning, when in reality these sorts of things will cause a lot of people to protest vehemently. For many, the computer = a thing with Windows installed on it. They learned how to use Windows because that's what it meant to learn the computer. Why should they bother to learn this Linux thing if they don't have to?

I do agree that it would be rather easy to swipe a Windows install out from under the noses of many a casual user and replace it with a Linux distro running Gnome or KDE, having it suit their needs easily enough. The problem is getting it there, and the only real solution, I think, is commercial distribution through OEM installs that would compete directly with the way Apple and Microsoft sell most copies of their operating systems.

matthewcraig
January 11th, 2008, 06:38 AM
I talked with a guy this week who insists on installing a dual-boot of Ubuntu every time someone asks him to fix their "Winfested" (his term) computer that has been crippled with spyware and Windows viruses. Contrary to what I thought, people are grateful for the alternative and they often boot to Ubuntu because of easy of use.

ryanVickers
January 11th, 2008, 06:52 AM
It depends on the person and their needs - all my friends hate Linux with a passion for no good reason like most people, but I can always impress them with Compiz Fusion ;)

For someone actually logical and looking for a better computing platform rather than a gamer, I would say it should be easy to draw them in with the concept its free has better hardware support runs faster always needs no anti-virus all great apps included and also free is more secure and stable has a control panel ram driver... etc except in nebraska!!! :p

(anyone know what I'm making fun of? ;))

bufsabre666
January 11th, 2008, 08:00 AM
(anyone know what I'm making fun of? ;))

wait i know this uuuuhhhhhhhhhh :confused:

Amstell
January 11th, 2008, 08:21 AM
I think the problem is people get really confortable with their O/S. It took me a while to get use to linux but once I got it I can't look back. Everyone who uses my computer tell me its so fast how did I get it to do that. I start to tell them about linux and how good it is and why it is the way it is. Really gets them excited so I burn a live cd for them to try. Some people pick it up and use it, some don't. it just depends on how much patient they have and what kind of hardware they have. Its a battle that can only be solved with help from other linux people.

matchstich
January 11th, 2008, 08:58 AM
i put ubuntu on 3 systems this week alone. and i am giving a live cd

to another person tomorrow, who is looking at the blue screen of death. this week end i am installing edubuntu on another box .

it is not that hard to get folks to leave windows.

vista is really helping out., a friend was given a new box with vista on it. froze the first day they were using it. and they could not shut it down. they did a hard boot to get it to work again. the person they got it from bought a mac.

that box has ubuntu on it now..


i just tell folks how stable this OS is. the hardest thing to explain is that it is all free.

Amstell
January 11th, 2008, 09:36 AM
i just tell folks how stable this OS is. the hardest thing to explain is that it is all free.

So hard to explain. But they love it once you prove it.

Cheers

hhhhhx
January 11th, 2008, 09:44 AM
i show people what it can do (compiz effects), and then tell them that they arent smart enough to do it. For my friends it works because they only want what they cant have, so a couple of them learned Linux (ubuntu) just because i told them that they couldn't. :lolflag:

Daveski
January 11th, 2008, 01:40 PM
a couple of them learned Linux (ubuntu) just because i told them that they couldn't.

Haha - Great technique!

PartisanEntity
January 11th, 2008, 02:08 PM
We've been over this topic so many times, my opinion has not changed: just let it be, people will switch if and when they are ready to do so. No matter what skills a computer user has, shoving something in their face that they weren't looking for in the first place, is the worst thing to do.

evil316
January 11th, 2008, 03:12 PM
We've been over this topic so many times, my opinion has not changed: just let it be, people will switch if and when they are ready to do so. No matter what skills a computer user has, shoving something in their face that they weren't looking for in the first place, is the worst thing to do.

I agree you can't force people. As head of my household I can force my family and did, well actually I didn't have to force them as they wanted a faster more reliable computer already. I'm just saying where you can make the switch for someone go for it. My kids are weened off Windows and are now using Linux and prefer it. There friends will ask them about it and the word will continue to spread. I would never force anyone outside my household to use Linux but inside my household I sure can and will.

ryanVickers
January 11th, 2008, 04:33 PM
wait i know this uuuuhhhhhhhhhh :confused:

lol look up "windows 1.0" on youTube and watch the one with steve bomber :p

matthewcraig
January 11th, 2008, 09:25 PM
I think the first thing you will do, if you want to help get your community using Free Software, is join your local LUG and Ubuntu LoCo team. Then, you can coordinate your efforts with others who are doing the same thing.

Advan
January 11th, 2008, 09:27 PM
my work got me to use it, so I'm using it and I really like it... still a noob at it .. but yea =P

alwiap
January 11th, 2008, 09:42 PM
I stumbled across Linux and ubuntu by accident, it's actually a funny story:

I was trying to pick an avatar for a forum, and since I had no idea what I wanted, and it had to be 320x400 or something like that, I just googled '320x400', and I found an image that had the ubuntu logo, so I used that for a couple months without knowing what it was, and one day I curiously googled 'ubuntu', the rest is history.

I have a few friends that seem interested in Linux and are marveled by its prowess, but I never have made them do anything about it (most are mac users), I think that if someone really wants to make a drastic change in their computing styles it has to be 100% their wantings. I'll be glad to wait until they really want to try Ubuntu, it doesn't bother me.

steeleyuk
January 11th, 2008, 09:51 PM
We've been over this topic so many times, my opinion has not changed: just let it be, people will switch if and when they are ready to do so. No matter what skills a computer user has, shoving something in their face that they weren't looking for in the first place, is the worst thing to do.

It worked for my mum. Dellbuntu laptop for Christmas, Set everything up like restricted codecs and DVD playback, showed her where the browser, office app, media player and games where then left her to it... :)

Admittedly my mum doesn't care what shes uses as long as A) it works and B) there's someone who can fix it if it goes wrong.

dgoodma
January 11th, 2008, 11:13 PM
The children.

I am going to setup a computer for my grandson, who is two, but seems to already have figured out the mouse, and enjoys clicking etc.

By the time he is school, computing, and Linux will be second nature.

pelicanghost
January 12th, 2008, 06:48 AM
show them Compiz.

boast
January 12th, 2008, 06:27 PM
tell them all the software/games they bought will work on linux. Tell them they won't have to waste time learning anything. And tell them to call you anytime they get a problem.

:)

Lord DarkPat
January 12th, 2008, 07:44 PM
I have tried to persuade some of my friends, and even installed it on some of their computers. The big issue for my friends, was gaming. They all game alot, and to be honest, linux isn't very compatible for games theese days, sadly.

My conclusion, get game-devs to focus a little on linux. There are 10mill. WoW players in the world!

If they can't port it, at least make it Wine compat.

matchstich
January 13th, 2008, 04:08 AM
just got another older box, ibm and installed kubuntu on it and am

giving it away tomorrow. to a woman on a fixed income whose xp

box just died. gonna set it up and show her the basics. ,

if y'all want to know an easy to get folks into linux is to join

freecycle.com i get a lot of older boxes that way.( got 2 today)

and there are a few

folks on there looking for a computer to use. every one that gets one

tells their friends. and then i get emails about installing linux on

a box for them.

am keeping old boxes out of the trash bins and giving to folks

who can not afford to buy one .

thanks

Babbage
January 13th, 2008, 05:07 AM
I've noticed it's the simple and less obvious things that can attract attention to Linux and get a conversation going, and possibly even a conversion! For example I'd mentioned to a friend that Microsoft had a new operating system out called Vista. I have Unbuntu on my main computer. I use the standard brown coloured swirling desktop, my friend saw this and said "That looks great. Is that the new Vista?" So there was an opportunity to talk about Ubuntu. The same has happened many times with the screensavers, the ones available in Ubuntu are so much better than Windows So I always try to use one of the more colourful and animated ones. I usually use Plasma or GLMatrix..They've been complimented and commented on. I've been asked many times what they are and how can they be got. Using some of the better looking screensavers can attract attention and make people realise I'm using something different and start a chat about using Linux.. Sounds simple, but it works.

MONODA
January 13th, 2008, 09:08 AM
HAHAHAHHA except in nebraska. that is the funniest thing ever!!!

How much do you think this advanced opererating system is worht? wait just one minute before you answer.

Nero_Flint
January 13th, 2008, 09:30 AM
As long as Windoze keeps producing Operating Systems it will also keep producing Linux users forever and ever Amen.

They do all the hard work by producing Crap. All we have to do is breathe and wait.

People are hard wired to move away from pain and strive for pleasure.

Their next step will be the lawsuits they've been threatening the last few years. It will backfire on them.

matchstich
January 19th, 2008, 08:33 PM
i posted on freecycle today that i was giving away the install disc's

six more disc's went out to folks who want to try it.

i tried to help one person who is looking at the blue screen of death.



but, she believes linux is a virus and refuses to try it. will spend another

$300 to fix the box. that is what they billed her for the last time she saw that screen.

ryanVickers
January 20th, 2008, 12:20 AM
wow, sad to know there are people like this in the world, but really there's got to be millions you never here about, until someone like you with a good idea comes along :p

zmjjmz
January 20th, 2008, 03:42 AM
Actually, I've been facing adverse effects on my Linux push from Apple.
Most of my good friends use Macs now, and it's very hard to convince them to switch.
Sure, they hate Microsoft, but they're still trapped in the Mac vs. PC belief.
I, having a MacBook with Ubuntu on it, often face this question:
"Is this Mac? It doesn't look like Mac"
So, actually, seeing as a) Security and Viruses don't matter to these people.
and b) Things like iChat and iMovie are better for these people, and not having them is something that would, quite frankly, turn them away from Linux, as most of them use it on a daily basis.
I do live in a rather affluent suburb though, as I have realized that the prices most people are willing to pay for Macs over here aren't nearly close to what people will pay in other places.
On an IRC channel I frequent (not linux related) there are actually quite a few who are knowledgeable about Linux, but most of them don't have the time/patience to use it.
I do have two possible maybe kinda sorta maybe maybe switchovers possible
My mom, who is gonna probably get a new Thinkpad soon, and I've convinced her to get one of the T/R61s with SLED10
My Global Studies teacher who I have yet to convince, I have yet to find a good LiveCD distro for displaying Linux at it's best (Elive's the most likely one).
Short story short, Mac's been making it hard to get people to go to Linux
and to keep compatibility with others.

suziequzie
January 20th, 2008, 07:07 AM
I sold my built-from-spare-parts Frankenputer to my sister's best friend (she just moved out on her own and needs a computer). I gave her my old Windows discs and stuff and installed that. But I also put Kubuntu on it. Her daughter fell in love with my sister's Kubuntu last year at Christmas because she's a huge penguin fan, and really likes Tux Racer and Supertux. Lara also liked that it was free, and was amazed that another OS besides windows or Mac OS could play Pogo games and use YouTube.

When I told her I could sell her my old computer and put a dual-boot on it, she was very pleased. So, I took the time to install it personalized for them, with their own home directories, and icons they'd like to have easy access to (internet, Open Office, Kmymoney, etc. for mom, and Internet and various games and Tux Paint for her daughter).

If people use a windows machine because it came with windows, then maybe they'd use a linux machine if it came with linux already installed. All they have to do is turn it on and use it.