Tag Archives: computer

Linux On the Desktop

Not happening according to Michael Gartenberg* over at ComputerWorld.

I really get tired of the Linux/Windows comparisons from writers and bloggers all over the Net. You know what the first thing is that I tell folks whom I’m attempting to introduce to Linux? LINUX IS NOT WINDOWS! Don’t start out thinking it is. Don’t start out thinking it’s even similar. Start out with NO preconceived notions.

The fact of the matter is that if someone wants to start using Linux, they’re going to have to LEARN… yes, that’s right! They’re going to have to read, research, search, study, use, use, and use some more till they’ve become comfortable with their new operating system. That’s just the way it is. You ain’t going to learn Linux by osmosis, folks.

Gartenberg states:

Return rates for Linux netbooks were much higher than for their Windows counterparts…

Of course they were. Folks who bought those Linux netbooks did so thinking that Linux was “just like” Windows and that they were going to just boot up and off they’d go. As a matter of fact, I’ve actually heard a salesman at a local computer store make just that claim to a customer whom he was trying to sell a used Linux Dell to.

Listen folks, I participate in many Linux boards and forums, where our goal is to help folks make the transition from MS Windows to Linux; not because we’re running around evangelizing about the benefits of Linux, but because folks come looking for us for help. I can tell you from experience that some folks just don’t have the wherewithal to learn Linux. They want everything spoon fed to them. They don’t make any attempts to learn anything on their own. They just say, “Show me how to install K3b.” or “Tell me step-by-step how to install Ubuntu on my system.” 30 seconds on Google would have gotten them 100 hits on either of those requests. Did they search Google first? No.

Gartenberg comments:

Since most of us would go back to using paper, pens, envelopes and stamps before using the open-source text editor Emacs, it still seems likely that it’s going to be a Windows and Mac OS world for the foreseeable future.

Seriously, what does a legacy command line editor have to do with whether or not Linux is a viable alternative to MS Windows on the desktop? My brother is NOT a computer geek. He just uses his computer to write an occasional document or send an email or surf the Net. He wouldn’t know a command line editor if it walked up and began masticating on his glutious maximus. Yet, I converted my brother to Linux about two years ago. He loves his Ubuntu Studio edition. Every once in a while he asks me how to do something. I show him and that’s that. He doesn’t call me with computer related issues nearly as often now that he’s not running MS Windows, I can tell you that much.

Gartenberg continues:

In my own case, Linux has given me no compelling reason to switch over from Windows 7 or Snow Leopard, and I can think of a lot of reasons to stay put.

Cool beans, dude. No one is twisting your arm here. What works for you and makes you the most productive and happy is what you should be running on your system. If it’s MacOS or MS Win 7, cool. Enjoy! That’s freedom. Ain’t it great! We of the Linux community are more than happy to assist you should you want to convert to Linux… or even if you just want to play around with it. We’re there for you. Give us a holler. We’re NOT trying to convert you, enlist you, assimilate you, or make a Linux-effing-zombie out of you.

Those commercial operating systems are welcome to compete with one another. The majority of Linux distributions out there could care less about competition. Let’s just all try to get along, huh. MS Windows is great. Apple/Mac is great. COBOL was cool. Octal machine code was tedious. I like Linux. I’ll use Linux.

~Eric

*Michael Gartenberg’s complete article at ComputerWorld

Advertisements

The Helios Project

Once there was a needy child who wanted to learn, but had no computer.

A man named Ken Starks in Austin, Texas saw that child and wanted to do something to help. Ken had been a student of Bruno Knaapen of Amsterdam, a tireless, selfless teacher of All Things Linux. Ken created something that served to provide that needy child with that necessary computer so that exploration of the world of the Internet could begin; quenching that burning desire to know what is out there to be known. How did Ken do this?

By creating The Helios Project, an Austin-based not-for-profit organization that provides computer systems installed with the GNU/Linux operating system to needy children. There are no paid directors or staff at The Helios Project. Everyone volunteers his or her time and effort to this cause. Bruno Knaapen himself deemed Ken’s project highly worthy of praise and support, as do I… as I’m sure you will also, once you become familiar with it.

A child who wants to learn but has no means to achieve that goal is indeed a sad thing, in my opinion. Knowledge should be the most free of the freedoms that a society enjoys. No child should be denied knowledge for monetary reasons. Those who hoard knowledge to themselves, guarding against its spread to the masses, are paranoid and selfish souls; securing knowledge to themselves and as a consequence… power.

FREE knowledge = FREE world = FREEDOM!

Help Ken and the Helios folks spread that knowledge. Visit the site and see if you have anything they might need in the way of hardware and parts. If not, maybe just consider clicking that Donate button, hmm? Feel really ambitious? Follow Ken’s example and set something like The Helios Project up in your own town.

Check out The Blog of Helios (on my Links You Might Like page also) when you get a chance. Also, Ken was just recently awarded the Dewey Winburne Community Service Award. Congratulations, Ken!

Until next time…

~Eric