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Re: When Will GNU/Linux Be Ready for Joe User?

From: Circuit Breaker
Subject: Re: When Will GNU/Linux Be Ready for Joe User?
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 12:58:51 -0400
User-agent: Pan/0.11.2 (Unix)

On Wed, 19 May 2004 01:07:23 -0400, John Smith wrote:

> :) wow is your circuit breaking? (j/k no offense intended)
> as a programmer and a tinkerer myself, i generally agree with you. but
> there are things that my mom, sister or lil nieces and nephews need to
> be able to do with the computer without spending too much time learning
> how to use the computer. linux on the desktop, just to be fair, does
> need some improvement in this general area. i think that's what the guy
> meant when he asked when it's ready for the average joe.

I agree it does need improvement, but we can't argue that Windows has
plenty of room for improvement itself.  I agree that it comes down to
using the best tool for the job.  For the job of being A.J.'s home
system, either could be used equally effectively IMO.  In my case, it
came down to personal preference.  My computer is slow, so constantly
rebooting to solve problems is not an option.  I'd rather pop to tty1 and
killall a runaway task, or ssh in from my other computer to do the same.
I'm sure I could do these things in Windows if I *really* wanted to, but
I've never seen how.  With Linux, I was seeing how almost from the very
beginning.  And I learned.  And I liked it :-)

Last time I learned -- really /learned/ -- something useful about windows
was back when I installed Win 2000 on this machine several years back.
I learn stuff about Linux all the freakin' time.  And it's not hard stuff
to learn, either.  Just a lot of it.

Of course, I could quit reading newsgroups and stick to simple stuff like
browsing the web and watching TV on my comp;  I already have these things
installed and operational.  However, since I have the option of learning,
I'm going to use it to my advantage and take in as much as I can.

I've got a chance at an experiment.  My sister is bringing her husband
and three children -- kids about 7 to 12, the husband about 30-ish --
to my area for my other sister's wedding.  They will be staying at my
house, and undoubtedly, the kids will want to use the computer(s).  The
oldest, Joey, he's 12, will probably not be using the comp since he is
grounded for reasons of scholastic discipline, but the girls, 7 and 10,
will probably be using it.

I plan to set each up with individual user accounts.  I then will
probably set them up with KDE or GNOME so they get something remotely
Windows-ish.  I'll point out what the icons are, if necessary (I don't
know what they look like in KDE/GNOME as I don't use those two), and I'll
watch over them for the first little while to see if they have any
trouble.  If they're doing fine, I'll leave them alone and see how
they're doing later on.  I'll have the internet already connected, as I
use wvdial for that and it needs root to use it (for now).  Also, they're
used to cable, so they don't have to dial anything.  They just open a
browser and go.

Anyway, I'll have Gaim on the desktop, maybe get an ICQ client (don't
know if they have any accounts, but oh well), games galore, and I can't
imagine that any of them will want to use any office productivity apps,
but I can install those real easy too.  Then, of course, there are
browsers installed, including Netscape (pronounced "Mozilla") and Mozilla
(also pronounced "Mozilla"), so they should be able to recognize those
icons rather quickly.  

So, I'll see how they do and probably post the results.  Of course, they
may not have any interest at all in playing the computer.

> we're all just working folks trying to put foods on the table here;

Some of us are.  I want to be, just haven't found anything yet for my
limited experience level.

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