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Thread: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Beans
    75

    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    Linux can be "hard" fuppes was the bane of my existence for weeks cause I couldn't figure out the error. Whatever trouble I get from linux it doesn't match the hassles I was getting with windows XP. I got the blue screen of death too often. Linux hasn't crashed

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Beans
    49
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    I would loan her this computer and let her be amazed at its ease and speed. My signature is a link to a little article I wrote with suggestions on getting women and girls into Linux. Briefly:

    1. She needs to have her own reasons to seek a change. If it ain't broken, it don't need fixin'. So don't push it. But if she has a reason to change because her computer is slow, rebellious, BSOD, whatever, then it's just a question of what to change to. For most people, it's Mac because they don't even know about Linux or they imagine that it's too geeky.

    2. Letting her use a sweet simple Linux (my introduction was on a super-simple Ubuntu/LXDE remix) will go farther than any technical explanations of why Linux is superior. Let her own experience on a borrowed laptop demonstrate Linux's simplicity and power.

    3. If you are one of those techno-people who are always tweaking and fine tuning your computer, she may infer that you are "fixing it" because it needs fixing! Most people just don't know how highly customizable and configurable Linux is. You "tweak" it because you can (and because it's fun). But she doesn't know that. So don't be tweaking and fine-tuning and describing all the changes and improvements you've made, or she may imagine she'll have to do the same thing!

    4. To her the computer may be "just a tool." She doesn't mind maintaining it (and she's probably used to maintaining Windows anyway with antivirus updating and scanning and defragging and all that), but she doesn't want to know every detail of how it works and why. She wants it to "just work."

    5. Offer her the simplest option for any changes she wants to make or updates needed - even if it's the command line. I find Synaptic really easy to follow, or Add and Remove. Gimmie is a nice tool for simplifying the desktop too. She wants to run applications, not her operating system. For her, it's not the OS that matters, it's whatever works quickly and effectively with a minimum of fuss and bother.

    The article goes into a little more detail and I hope you'll anjoy reading it!

    Amy
    Dance Class: No Place for Wimps!
    Non-Geeky Girls Love Linux Too!


  3. #123
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Beans
    5

    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    - Do you find Linux hard to install, setup and configure?

    I've been around since 1994, so yes, I had the bad luck of owning hardware that linux didn't like for years and years. I tried redhat, mandrake, mandriva, corel linux, and the installation always had problems, some hardware did not work (the mouse, or the monitor), I'm even suspicious of a malfunction in a monitor being caused by a linux install intent. I had more luck with mandrake some years ago, I needed to install usb modems (ADSL) and that was hard. And finally ubuntu seemed to really work and did not ask what was the exact model of every bolt ans screw in my machine.

    - Do you find Linux hard to use?
    I find really annoying that I need to use the commandline for everything. I can't delete files because I don't have permissions, so it's commandline sudo all the time. Look, If I have to type "sudo" for everything, just treat me as someone with permissions already, I AM ROOT ok?

    - Have you had someone install it for you or help you out to do stuff?
    Yes, all the time. I'm expected to know lot of things from the beginning, but I just don't, for example the directory structure. Ok, I installed a program, where is it? I want to run it. Coming from windows, it is hard to find the equivalent to trivial operations sometimes.

    - Does it meet your needs?
    I still need windows for visual studio, I code in visual C++, I would love to code in linux but trying to install a new IDE and use it after checking-out some c++ code proved too hard. It was problem after problem, I can't spend weeks to just check-out some soft compile and run it, just to see if I find it a nice project to contribute to.

    - Would you consider it a good alternative to Vista?
    I use it everyday at home, but my professional needs tie me to windows, even if I don't like it. I would like to have a good IDE with debugging and understand clearly the steps to compile and debug C++ code, and no, not from the command line and not using vi, for chrissakes.

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Beans
    1,678
    Distro
    Kubuntu Development Release

    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    Quote Originally Posted by stringarray View Post
    - Do you find Linux hard to use?
    I find really annoying that I need to use the commandline for everything. I can't delete files because I don't have permissions, so it's commandline sudo all the time. Look, If I have to type "sudo" for everything, just treat me as someone with permissions already, I AM ROOT ok?
    You can create a launcher (right click somewhere on the desktop) and set it to have the command "gksu nautilus" to get a button that opens a root file browser.
    - Have you had someone install it for you or help you out to do stuff?
    Yes, all the time. I'm expected to know lot of things from the beginning, but I just don't, for example the directory structure. Ok, I installed a program, where is it? I want to run it. Coming from windows, it is hard to find the equivalent to trivial operations sometimes.
    You can usually just type the program name (all lowercase) in the command line (note: type the first few letters and hit <tab> and it'll list programs that start with that). Or hit alt+f2 and type the program name. The $PATH variable makes it so that you don't need to know the exact path to the binary.
    - Does it meet your needs?
    I still need windows for visual studio, I code in visual C++, I would love to code in linux but trying to install a new IDE and use it after checking-out some c++ code proved too hard. It was problem after problem, I can't spend weeks to just check-out some soft compile and run it, just to see if I find it a nice project to contribute to.
    C++ eh? I believe Eclipse has a C/C++ plugin. Though really, I think a lot of us just use a text editor for our programming, not a full-blown IDE.

    - Would you consider it a good alternative to Vista?
    I use it everyday at home, but my professional needs tie me to windows, even if I don't like it. I would like to have a good IDE with debugging and understand clearly the steps to compile and debug C++ code, and no, not from the command line and not using vi, for chrissakes.
    Not from the command line....meaning "no gdb"?

    LinuxChix | Linux User #432169 | Ubuntu User #8495 | IRC: maco @ irc.linuxchix.org or irc.freenode.net

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Beans
    51
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    - Do you find Linux hard to install, setup and configure?

    I've been using Linux off and on since the late 1990s, and it's gotten a LOT better, but even now I still run into hardware problems. I had a nightmare with a graphics card last time I installed Kubuntu, and I've had lots of trouble with wireless too.

    The actual installer is perfectly simple to use, and has been for several versions, it's just the hardware support that makes it more troublesome than Windows.

    - Do you find Linux hard to use?
    That depends....For web browsing, email, IM, simple document editing, it's really easy to use. I think someone who only wants to do that sort of thing would be quite happy.

    It's the more 'power user' types that I think would run into problems. I've found that I've needed to build a lot of other apps from source, and I've had a lot of trouble with specialist apps that are only available under Windows and don't get on with WINE.

    I've been using Linux off and on since the late 90s, and I have a lot of experience with servers, so I'm not command line phobic or anything. These days Ubuntu doesn't really demand the command line for much (unless things go really wrong), so I don't think that should be an issue for the average user.

    - Have you had someone install it for you or help you out to do stuff?

    I am the only Linux user I know, and have been for most of my Linux life (I briefly worked in tech support with a couple of other Linux geeks), so I did all my learning via Google, a big Linux book, and forums.

    - Does it meet your needs?
    For servers, yes. For some programming work, as a nice stable, low resource usage machine, yes.

    For anything else, no.

    I need some Windows only apps for my job, and they don't run well under WINE. Also, I'm a gamer, and the games I want just aren't available for Linux.

    I run several machines at home (one Ubuntu, one Xubuntu), and a CentOS server. I also have a DSL memory stick I carry with me for emergency usage. My netbook, though, runs XP, and my home system runs Vista.

    - Would you consider it a good alternative to Vista?
    It depends. For a gamer who wants DirectX 10 / DirectX 11 and Games for Windows Live + the ability to play all their favourite MMORPGs, no.

    For someone who just wants YouTube, Facebook, and IM, definitely.

    My niece didn't even notice when her computer got upgraded from Win 98 to XP, or from XP to Vista (she has no concept of what an OS is), so I think Ubuntu would be ideal for her.

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