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View Full Version : So you're given 5 minutes to describe linux....you say?



Lazy-buntu
May 10th, 2008, 03:17 PM
Hey Linux users! I'm an engineering student who is taking a summer course in technical writing. An upcoming project for the class is finding a topic for a group project. What each of us has to do is come up with a topic, briefly research it, and give a brief 5 minute presentation on the subject. After reading a little summary of the assignment, I thought: "Well, this sounds like a job for Linux! (or at least and opportunity to spread the word about Linux in general)"

However, I'm still a self-proclaimed 'linux-noob.' I've messed with lightweight distros on an old computer, tinkered with ubuntu on a laptop, and I currently dual boot Windows Vista and PCLOS GNOME 2008.

Here's where the community can help me: I have 5 minutes to tell my class a little history on Linux, why the world (or atleast technically inclined people) should use Linux over Windoze, and general benefits of using Linux (not just ubuntu) without coming off as a Linux elitist :lolflag:


So here's the list that made me think Linux:

Students should consider these elements as "selling points" (selling class members on an idea, getting students to want to “vote for” or form a group around a particular project idea):


The need or marketing opportunity;


The feasibility (Is it “do-able” as a project even if the final answer for the idea itself is no?);


The scope of inquiry – what the investigation will cover, include, and what it will not cover or include;


The costs involved;


The benefits (to society as a whole, or the end user, but particularly for students involved in the project and for the class – as a learning experience);


The availability of information (Internet sites, library sources, experts, questionnaires, surveys, etc.; also in terms of being able to understand the information available, avoidance of classified, “cutting-edge,” or abstruse info or technology);


The challenge, the interest or fun involved.


P.S We are allowed to make a power point as a visual aid (used on a computer lab computer: projected on to the screen). I was thinking about taking a live cd to see if it would run near flawlessly as a visual aid too.

Thanks!

gameryoshi600
May 10th, 2008, 03:21 PM
Best OS ever

Lazy-buntu
May 10th, 2008, 03:25 PM
I'd have to say that extremely slow to make it last 5 minutes lol. I don't think I'd get any votes from the class either =P

spamzilla
May 10th, 2008, 03:27 PM
*Hands over LiveCD and boots to it*

'Nuff said :D

vishzilla
May 10th, 2008, 03:28 PM
Linux is a no-nonsense OS

songshu
May 10th, 2008, 03:29 PM
freedom

nuff said

SuperSon!c
May 10th, 2008, 03:29 PM
whatever you do, don't bash other OS's are you'll be doing the community a disservice.

darrelljon
May 10th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Explain what an operating system is - or possibly just say a free alternative to Microsoft Windows.

Then perhaps discuss security and usability of old machines today and why Windows encourages upgrading of hardware to support new software.

Lazy-buntu
May 10th, 2008, 03:34 PM
More specifically, what would points would I make? e.g. linux has a million distibutions, some are free as in freedom and free as in beer, live cds don't make changes to the current OS, linux can be used for data recovery off a windows box, linus torvalds was a canadian curling champion (jk), privacy, a huge community that looks over the source code for bugs, etc.

you know, the whole thing you'd tell your friend if you were trying to get him/her to try out linux

Barrucadu
May 10th, 2008, 03:43 PM
Explain what an operating system is - or possibly just say a free alternative to Microsoft Windows.

No, don't. Saying that makes people think it is just a free clone of Windows.

EdThaSlayer
May 10th, 2008, 03:49 PM
GNU/Linux is an alternative open-source free operating system to Microsoft Windows or Apple OS. It's very well known for its security and reliability. Unlike with other OS's, you have a choice of more than 3 desktop environments! It's also the OS that I love to use the most.:KS

klange
May 10th, 2008, 03:53 PM
*Hands over LiveCD and boots to it*
Same here.

Eisenwinter
May 10th, 2008, 03:55 PM
You have complete control over the system and can customize it in any way you want, up to changing bits in the source code, and recompiling.

Nearly every single program you have installed, you can look at the source of, change it, fix bugs by yourself.

I'd say, speak more about the freedom which comes with it, FOSS (Free Open Source Software) in general, and linux in particular as the main spirit of open source today.

Eisenwinter
May 10th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Unlike with other OS's, you have a choice of more than 3 desktop environments!
Well, the choice is actually endless, seeing as how you can make your OWN desktop environment also.

vrangforestillinger
May 10th, 2008, 05:17 PM
Here's where the community can help me: I have 5 minutes to tell my class a little history on Linux, why the world (or atleast technically inclined people) should use Linux over Windoze, and general benefits of using Linux (not just ubuntu) without coming off as a Linux elitist :lolflag:


Some points (apart from the OpenSource-benefits):
-Security modell. E.g. not being superuser by default, thereby not being able to do systemwide damage.
-The Debian package management system (on many distros): Install and remove programs with one line of command. Oh, brings me to the
-Powerfull CLI (Command Line Interface), once learned is one of the things I really miss when on a windows-box.

And also. *Boot the live-CD* :)

Technical writing -> using LaTeX? Now thats a field where the package management really comes in handy.. (All those packages, ams-math, babel, SIunits etch. installed in a snap.)

swoll1980
May 10th, 2008, 06:11 PM
If I'm a noob I say "Wtf! Just works my @55! Why doesn't my wireless card work? My printer might have been detected :confused: did it or didn't it? Why is it that I can't see my network shares? That Mike Shetland (or whatever his name is) is full of crap!

A year later I say Ubuntu is the best os around hands down.

pbpersson
May 10th, 2008, 06:33 PM
You can start out by talking about Unix, how it is one of the oldest and most respected operating systems around, how government and industry depend on it exclusively to run their mission-critical applications and for data storage and retrieval because it is so dependable and highly secure.

Then you can talk about this computer science student in Finland who in 1991 decided to create a clone of Unix that would run on everyday desktop machines. Originally Linux was created as a teaching aid so students could learn about Unix in their own homes - have their own "mini-Unix" to work with.

From there the project blossomed as thousands of developers around the world started to contribute to this new project. Today Linux is one of the best desktop operating systems in the world.

1. The Linux kernel is very stable due to its heritage
2. The Linux platform has thousands of free applications available with more appearing every day - mention open source and the GPL
3. It is highly modular - meaning you build your own system when you install Linux - you get to choose the windows manager, the features, and all the applications such as browser, email, etc.
4. It is highly secure - due to the fact that it is modular and also because you are by default running with limited power (not admin)
5. It is much easier to install applications - all installations are done from one screen - you can install one hundred applications in just a few minutes
6. In the last couple of years, Linux has become much friendlier and the Linux community on the Internet is huge and growing all the time - it is easy to get support for any problem (not that you can always get it solved, but people will try their best)
7. Ubuntu is one of the easiest distributions to use and a new version is released every six months.

Your demonstration of the Live CD should do the rest - show them an awesome screen saver - the screen savers in Ubuntu are SO much nicer than Windows and it speaks volumes concerning the entire Linux environment, in my opinion.

liquidfunk
May 10th, 2008, 06:43 PM
If they are all Windows users say that:

It doesn't slow down over time.

You don't have to get a new computer to run the new version.

You don't have to worry about Viruses, malware.

It's free, and you can get thousands of alternatives to your daily programs for FREE.

You can customize absolutely anything.

It will run on that 12 year old computer that is sat in your garage.

If you don't want a certain program, don't have it, just uninstall what you don't need and keep what you do. (Most of my friends only use Firefox, MSN and iTunes, why have the rest of Windows on there?)

Your Phone probably runs it, your Toaster, Dishwasher and Wireless Router does too.

Super computers run it.

There is no ONE boxed version, so you have the freedom of choice, if you don't like this one, have that one.

My thoughts ^^

myusername
May 10th, 2008, 07:31 PM
If they are all Windows users say that:

It doesn't slow down over time.

You don't have to get a new computer to run the new version.

You don't have to worry about Viruses, malware.

It's free, and you can get thousands of alternatives to your daily programs for FREE.

You can customize absolutely anything.

It will run on that 12 year old computer that is sat in your garage.

If you don't want a certain program, don't have it, just uninstall what you don't need and keep what you do. (Most of my friends only use Firefox, MSN and iTunes, why have the rest of Windows on there?)

Your Phone probably runs it, your Toaster, Dishwasher and Wireless Router does too.

Super computers run it.

There is no ONE boxed version, so you have the freedom of choice, if you don't like this one, have that one.

My thoughts ^^

that is probably exactly what i'd say

liquidfunk
May 10th, 2008, 07:52 PM
It's what I say to my friends when they spark an interest in it.

bomanizer
May 10th, 2008, 07:55 PM
Don't fear the penguins.

Lazy-buntu
May 10th, 2008, 08:45 PM
@vrang: It's basically just a composition class where we focus on writing useful things (memos, formal emails, etc.); things that we will need to be able to do well in the engineering field vs. a literary analysis of a character in Huckleberry Finn (not using anything but MS Word or OpenOffice)

I'll try out some Live CDs on my own on Tuesday (incase one distro goes horribly wrong and i embarass myself rofl). I'm pretty sure that any recent distro will work.

I will definitely mention how you can ADD programs via package manager vs. Windows add-remove programs. Stability and no viruses I'll make sure to talk about.

When I go to demonstrate the live cd, what should I make sure to absolutely show? I'll see if I can get an internet connection on Tuesday before hand (since I'll probably have to login through the university to get access). 3D desktop effects I'll have to explain since those computers won't be able to use it physically (I'll bring some pictures or something).

Maybe I'll bring multiple CDs and have Ubuntu on one screen, Fedora on another, PCLOS on another...

madjr
May 11th, 2008, 07:17 AM
@vrang: It's basically just a composition class where we focus on writing useful things (memos, formal emails, etc.); things that we will need to be able to do well in the engineering field vs. a literary analysis of a character in Huckleberry Finn (not using anything but MS Word or OpenOffice)

I'll try out some Live CDs on my own on Tuesday (incase one distro goes horribly wrong and i embarass myself rofl). I'm pretty sure that any recent distro will work.

I will definitely mention how you can ADD programs via package manager vs. Windows add-remove programs. Stability and no viruses I'll make sure to talk about.

When I go to demonstrate the live cd, what should I make sure to absolutely show? I'll see if I can get an internet connection on Tuesday before hand (since I'll probably have to login through the university to get access). 3D desktop effects I'll have to explain since those computers won't be able to use it physically (I'll bring some pictures or something).

Maybe I'll bring multiple CDs and have Ubuntu on one screen, Fedora on another, PCLOS on another...

if you don't want to embarrass yourself because of unexpected technical glitch (remember what happen to Bill Gates... after months of preparation and huge amount of $) then try not to boot the live-CD on those old PCs and do the following:

**Download Cool Videos of Compiz-Fusion (but nothing too long... 2 minutes or less is more than enough)

**Show them some cool pics of the desktop (check the May desktops thread)

**Let them know that Most of the windows problems don't exist in Ubuntu (No virus, no spyware, no defrag, no key/password loggers, no registry problems, no daily maintainance, more stability, etc.)

**Installing programs is easier than in Windows with ADD/REMOVE or getdeb.net (don't speak about complicated repos, synaptic, etc.)

**Let them know that most of the more popular windows programs can run in linux (show them a pic of wine-doors and that wine is not an emulator), have their own ports or have even better alternatives.

**Burn at least a few extra copies and take them to class (probably a few will want it) Also take along a copy of Linuxmint (it already has codecs, flash, etc pre-installed and has a faster to learn interface for someone who never used linux before) Also you could take a look at the Edubuntu add-on CD (yes, it's an add-on now)


**Tell them about Wubi (no need to partition, super easy install like a regular program etc.) a few videos available (the CNET video of wubi one is the best. it's in youtube)


**Tell everyone how over 70 - 80% of world wide web runs on Linux and Open source software (blogs, forums, complete websites, etc.) How Google too runs on OSS and how it's contributing.

**Speak about the eeePC and how easy it's to use linux and the huge amount that has sold

**Let everyone know that that Thousands of linux developers work for free to fight off the software monopoly specially in poor developing countries


**Speak about the OLPC project and how linux is contributing (show some pics of the poor kids who never seen a computer before and now have a chance for an education)


**The code linux documentary mini videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ReV20
User ReV20 has some awesome parts of this great documentary and other videos you'll find useful

**Let everyone know with the videos that Open source and Linux is a world movement along the lines of "Greenpeace", "global warming and "alternative" energy", "eradicating poverty"


**Linux is the future: the world is moving to the cloud and that's exactly where Linux has always been King. The open source model and software as service (SaaS) makes viruses and malware struggle.


The best you can do is show of some videos (let them work their charm), a very small slideshow in openoffice presentation and let everyone ask you questions.

OK that should be enough, HAVE FUN! :guitar:

Desterie
May 11th, 2008, 08:19 PM
Some points I would make in the presentation. Linux is virtually immune to viruses.

Its free and any accessory programs you may need like office suites, video editing programs, graphic manipulators.., etc. are also free.

Also, Linux distros have communities of real people behind them with a genuine desire to help one another without profit for themselves.

And Kudos on the live CD idea, that would do more than any powerpoint presentation

cardinals_fan
May 11th, 2008, 08:34 PM
I have nothing against the Ubuntu thread, but the Arch monthly screenshot threads are usually pretty amazing.

Mattaus
May 12th, 2008, 03:32 AM
I'd say "Try it and please be open minded. It's truely wonderful if you actually give it a chance to show what it can do".

Then I'd show all the windows alternate programs (word, chat, games etc), use compiz to full effect and finish with "And its free"

I'd be an awesome salesman. lol.

Bubba64
May 12th, 2008, 04:07 AM
Looks like Hummus tastes like chicken.

Mr. Picklesworth
May 12th, 2008, 05:45 AM
I sometimes try to describe Linux as something more like a community choir, a local sports team or a book club :)

Sorts of organizations that anyone can join, that work on interesting things together and often share with the outside world. It's an approach that people aren't very used to with computer stuff, so I think it works well to grab attention. It's also not far from the truth; more than the code, the developer community is Linux.
I also like that approach since it instantly explains away skepticism: "but why free? I bet the evil government has all sorts of back doors". This way, not a single moment of the explanation of Linux (or Ubuntu) the product's functionality is tainted with that skepticism, instead constantly backed up in the listeners mind with "world-wide community project".

Lazy-buntu
May 14th, 2008, 03:14 AM
Physically, (and I guess theoretically) the computers could run an ubuntu live cd, but they are set up to network boot only. There's no way to change the boot order or boot to CD options.

So I figure I've got two options:

1. Bring pictures/video of Linux in action
2. Take my laptop to class (which I'm highly protective of--no chance of buying a new one any time soon)


Side question: what type of material would be useful to bring up from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Windows_and_Linux