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

From: address@hidden
Subject: Re: When Will GNU/Linux Be Ready for Joe User?
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 15:29:10 -0400
User-agent: KNode/0.7.1

Simon wrote:

> I'm doing a survey.
> When do you think GNU/Linux will be ready for the average Joe?  What
> obstacles must it overcome first?

Depending on what you do, probably before I started several years ago.

I'm a writer, not a computer nerd. When I was still using Windows 95, I had 
moved to StarOffice 5.2 for all my work. It does pretty much everything 
that Microsoft Office does, except flatten your wallet. Then I switched to 
Linux and used--get ready!--StarOffice 5.2.

I'll let you imagine just how hard switching over was.

There were some differences between Windows GUI programs and Linux GUI 
programs--learning new program names mostly--and some small problems I had 
to solve because of my equipment, but nothing insurmountable. If I upgraded 
to a more modern version those problems probably wouldn't even crop up now.

One of the nice things about Linux is the diversity of programs. Although 
StarOffice still exists, as someone who writes all day long I found that 
Emacs was the better way to go. But if for some reason I'd become 
disenchanted with StarOffice, I'd have KOffice and AbiWord to fall back on, 
even others. AbiWord, by the way, also has a Windows version. It's good.

Such is the Linux life: Choice, free programs, stability, security, fewer 



Author of "Linux for Non-Geeks--Clear-eyed Answers for Practical Consumers" 
and "Boring Stories from Uncle Rod." Both are available at

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