Linux On the Desktop (Revisited)

Linux On the Desktop

Posted by V. T. Eric Layton on Apr 12, 2010

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

=====

This article was originally published on my Nocturnal Slacker | Lockergnome blog. You can click HERE to read it there along with the accompanying comments.

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7 Comments on “Linux On the Desktop (Revisited)”

  1. xpunged says:

    Maybe not everyone wants to pressure others to switch, but there sure is a lot of effort to make Linux seem to be designed for the unwashed Windows masses, when it is really meant for experts.

    :wq

    • Hi xpunged…

      Mmm… I’m gonna’ have to disagree with you just a wee bit here. You state, “a lot of effort to make Linux seem to be designed for the unwashed Windows masses…” That’s not true at all. You may be referring to Ubuntu’s efforts in that endeavor, but there are 100s of distributions of Linux out there that couldn’t care less about recruiting X-Windows users.

      And you don’t need to be an expert to run a Linux OS on your systems. You just need to be willing to do the same thing you did when you first started using Windows: learn how to use it.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading/commenting. :)

      ~Eric

  2. Kabamaru Iga-no says:

    And we didn’t know how to use Windows the day we were born. But people tend to forget that. We learned little by little.

    But I do get Gartenberg’s point.
    desktop_linux_experience=”learning 14,389 Emacs shortcuts”
    if [ $desktop_linux_experience == "learning 14,389 Emacs shortcuts" ]; then
    linux=garbage
    ms_and_apple=”the best thing since sliced bread”
    fi

    • “And we didn’t know how to use Windows the day we were born. But people tend to forget that. We learned little by little.”

      Precisely.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading/commenting, Kabamaru Iga-no! :)

      ~Eric

  3. [...] reading here: Linux On the Desktop (Revisited) « Nocturnal Slacker v1.0 Categories: Desktop Monitor Tags: from-writers, layton, layton-on-apr, Linux, michael, [...]


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