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

  1. #21
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    I'd say that if my mom can do it, anyone can do it. Yeah, I set it up for her (and I'm a girl), but she likes it better than what she had before (XP).

    I'd also tell them to not be afraid to ask for help. Don't be scared away if a stupid guy says to stay out of it because of your gender. Guys have told me I shouldn't be into computers before too. It happens. Stick to it, and they'll STFU when you prove that as a woman you can do whatever you want. So, my advice is don't let guys dictate what women can and cannot do in order to scare you away from your techie side.

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

  2. #22
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    linux is as difficult or easy as you want it to be.....i run linux for more than 7 years now....

  3. #23
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    I am a guy. But I find that women see computers like cars. They aren't interested in which os is used or how it is configured. Just how the cars runs and looks. They just want to be taught an easy way to do what they use it for. A woman will call a man or her man to help her do what she wants with the computer.

    Difficulties between the OSs make little difference to her as long as she understands.

    and as a whole windows is not any easier to use than linux just chances are they are more familiar with windows. But women also can appreciate the cost/value ratio too



    To sum up my post I think that all women would use linux and well but struggle with transition just like I did or any Man would

  4. #24
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    The only advice I'd say, if you've never used it before to have someone you know on the side to help you. I had never used ubuntu, I had stuck with Gentoo and Fedora, Ubuntu is a lot more user friendly (and easy on the eyes!)

  5. #25
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    I've been using Ubuntu since Breezy....my partner (a software developer) has done the install each time to date and he's been showing me what I've wanted to know as I've wanted/needed to know something new. Now, with his help I've even done my first testing for Feisty....and yes, I did install it myself.

    I'm pretty sure though, that I wouldn't have got as far as I have if it were just me on my own....I would still be using Windows if it weren't for my partner, still grumbling about firewalls and anti-virus stuff too! I'd say now it's easier than it was two years ago (but that's from memory - and a fairly bad one at that!) to be able to use Ubuntu...but if I needed to know how to partition my hard drive forget it! I'm sure it's not that hard for someone who knows what they're doing...but even though I'd done a few IT papers at polytech at that stage, I still wouldn't have dared.

    It's not because I think it's hard...you have to want to know (and know where to go to find out how) to be able to do some of the things I've now come to take for granted and for most people (most I know, men and women) their fields of interest are simply not any where near Linux. I came across a book at the library the other day "Linux for Non-Geeks"..it's an interesting book so far, includes install discs for Fedora and, from a brief perusal, useful step-by-step instructions to enable anyone (the authors 72 year old mother for one) to be able to use Linux.

  6. #26
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    kevinlyfellow is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    This is a suggestion for anyone who is worried about the difficulty of a new os. Give them a livecd, and show them a program that they can enjoy playing with (knoppix is best for this). If they enjoy it enough to boot into the os every once in a while, tell them that you will install it on their computer for them. Eventually, they will explore the os enough and decide if they like it. This works great for people who enjoy simple games and don't really know much about an os. For instance, I once showed my mother knoppix, and showed her frozen-bubble. Pretty soon I had her using the command line to access her games (due to special options). She also named the penguins in the game "k-noppies". People who don't know what an os is don't think linux is nerdy, they just know its different and they will need to learn something new and they need a motivation to learn it. Also, don't preach to them, show them.

  7. #27
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    my GF actually wanted to switch from XP. her laptop has 128MB ram and so it chugged and chugged and chugged. it took literally 5 minutes to get a usable desktop after bootscreen. ony prob is she got the laptop with works office suite and has a load of essential docs stored as .wps, i tried getting works to install through wine but alas, too many :fixmes'. ill have to wait until OO has libwps integrated. i cant be bothered going through hundreds of files with a document viewer and copy pasting them to Oowriter
    until then i got permission to kill and reinstall xp with as streamlined amount of software as possible, no firewall or AV as its sat behind my ubuntu box using NAT. i use clamAV and AVG to check her drives from my machine every so often just in case. never found anything.

    she wondered what happened first time she saw ubuntu on my machine but didnt need me to figure out how to browse etc, its a great OS for switching people from windows, just needs publicity

  8. #28
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    - Do you find Linux hard to install, setup and configure?
    Linux was much easier to install, setup and configure than every version of windows so far, AND it's been more fun in its customizability purely in terms of aesthetics. However, the little issues and incompatibilities are somewhat of a hassle but the forums are thoroughly comprehensive. It's no more difficult, or even easier than say... installing a new sink. it can be a pain, but if you're not afraid to do it, it's very empowering.
    - Do you find Linux hard to use?
    using linux has been much easier to use than i had ever imagined. And it gets easier and easier every day esp. ubuntu. You can always find resources to help you out step-by-step.
    - Have you had someone install it for you or help you out to do stuff?
    my verge-of-puberty male cousin and I installed it together and we help each other out.
    - Does it meet your needs?
    all of them. writing papers, watching movies, listening to music, talking to friends, downloading the universe, playing some games to waste time.
    - Would you consider it a good alternative to Vista?
    I think it is a fabulous alternative to Vista. Not only is it free or really low-cost, it's not going to go nuts on you all the time making you feel like you're losing your head and having to plead the bratface kid to help you. You can just plead on the forums where you don't have to see the brat roll her/his eyes at you.

  9. #29
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    First I gotta say that I am CompSci graduate, so of course I would consider myself very confident in using and learning more about computers. Furthermore, I don't think there is anything inherent in women that makes them Linux-adverse. But if they aren't confident in using computers, the chances of them willing to make the jump to Linux are slim.

    If you want to convert a typical only-need-a-web-browser-and-word-processor Windows user, I think you have to keep a few things in mind.
    1. They are probably going to need or want someone to walk them through it.
    2. There needs to be a plan for them on getting continued support (whether for hardware upgrade, warranty repairs, workplace issues, etc.).
    3. They need training time (and willingness) to get familiar with the new interface.
    4. They are going to need a lot of patience with the very basics (e.g. Synap-what?!)
    5. They need someone who can explain things in an approachable and understandable manner.



    The great thing is that Ubuntu can really do a lot for these users. Their problems with viruses, spyware, and the like will just about disappear. They won't need to buy a lot of software (or cruise porn-filled webpages for serial numbers). And they get super cool features that Windows doesn't have for installing and upgrading software. Oh, also: their program menu will finally be organized enough for them to find the programs they need.

    I gotta mention a short anecdote too. I just recently saw on another open-source project a woman calling for help on the forums. She said she couldn't get the software installed correctly and would be willing to pay someone to do it for her. In response, she got several responses with a very "lecturing-tone" about how she should take the opportunity to learn how the software works instead of just copping out and paying someone. Others tried to offer some technical support but it was aimed at way too high of a level (using a lot of developer jargon). Though the people meant well, suffice to say, I don't think their kind of help worked for her.

    So here's my answers to the questions:
    - Do you find Linux hard to install, setup and configure?
    When I first installed Ubuntu (back when it was Warty) on my laptop, there was some problems. I spent a bit of time both learning how Linux works and figuring out the specific fixes. However, my latest update to Edgy (as a complete reinstall) was a breeze. As for configuring, well... I would complain about multimedia codecs but that issue will be mute with Feisty, I guess.

    - Do you find Linux hard to use?
    Well, it's not particularly *hard* for basic tasks but it's different than Windows. When I was a first-time user, it took some time to get used to. And if you want to recompile the kernel, build source code, install Compiz/Beryl, it's more demanding than "point'n'click". Of course, the fun part about Linux is that it encourages you to push your boundaries and do new things (hey! why not learn how to develop a GTK+ app so I can that program I want but can't find for Linux?). Windows, on the other hand, keeps you comfortable enough you don't push the envelope (oh look, it's already there on download.com *point, click*).

    - Have you had someone install it for you or help you out to do stuff?
    No, but when I first made the switch I had a Linux enthusiast for a roommate. He saved me hours of time and headaches by answering those dumb, newbie questions. e.g. How do I install stuff? How come when I install some random package from Synaptic, nothing shows up in my program menu?

    - Does it meet your needs?
    Yes, very well. It's my only OS now.

    - Would you consider it a good alternative to Vista?
    I haven't seen Vista, but I surely don't plan on buying it. The only thing that is going to make me use Vista is if I need to build up experience in it for my job.

  10. #30
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    Re: What advice would you give to women who think Linux is "hard"?

    SCALE 5x: Women in Open Source
    Written by Jem Matzan
    Feb 10, 2007 at 06:39 AM

    Today the Southern California Linux Exposition's fifth iteration kicked off with all-day mini-conferences on free and open source software in the health care industry and women in the free/open source software community. Since the sessions on women seemed to be the less popular, least business-friendly, and most interesting of the two subjects, that was the series I decided to sit in on. It was a life-changing experience for all who attended.

    Resources for women in free software

    Throughout the day, several Web resources were listed that reach out specifically to women in the free and open source software community, and in information technology in general:

    * Debian Women
    * GNOME summer outreach program
    * LinuxChix
    * GNOME women
    * Fedora women
    * Ubuntu women
    * KDE women
    * Apache women
    * Systers
    * Dru Lavigne's blog
    http://www.thejemreport.com/mambo/content/view/300/

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