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[aclug-L] Re: Reactions to the following?

[aclug-L] Re: Reactions to the following?

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To: discussion@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [aclug-L] Re: Reactions to the following?
From: "James O. Harms" <joharms@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 16:27:43 -0600
Reply-to: discussion@xxxxxxxxx

John Alexander wrote:
> My honest impression and gut
> feeling is that Linux won't take off for the average joe/joan until the 
> install matches Windows '9x in simplicity, with all the inherent
> assumptions. But then, do we all want our OS to be making all of those
> assumptions for us?

NO, I don't.  Which is why I run Slackware and not Mandrake.  (The fact that
recent versions of Mandrake are seriously broken in places helped me make that
decision as well.)  

But I disagree with your basic premise.  Most MSWindows users couldn't install
MSWindows to save their life, so why do we expect this of Linux?  I work with
a lot of people who use MSWindows every day.  And if you asked them to format
a floppy they wouldn't know what you were talking about.  They know that to
run a certain program, they click on a specific icon.  That's all they know. 
They couldn't load a program or change a parameter in setup.  The reason they
use MSWindows is that it came on their computer, and probably on the one
before that.  If OS2 or Linux was the system that came on their computer,
that's what they would be using.  

And guess what.  It wouldn't make any difference.  They would use it the same

If you would say "...Linux won't take off for the average joe/joan until USING
it (not installing) matches Windows '9x in simplicity", I would agree. 
Someone who knows how can set up the machine can set it up.  But it seems to
me that common tasks a user needs to do while running the computer need to be
simplified.  If they know what it is to format a floppy, they should be able
to do this by clicking an icon without becoming ROOT.  Use an automounter, or
simplify the mount/umount procedure.  One way to simplify this would be to
have a mount/umount line in the menu of the kde file manager, instead of
having to do this as a separate operation.  If we would fix the little things
(hassles) that we put up with every day, I think it make Linux a lot easier
for those who know nothing but MSWindows.

The other problem, of course, is the huge quantity of .doc files that have
been generated over the years.  To be useful in the office, we need to be
compatible with MS file formats, even though MS itself keeps changing things
from one software version to the next.  It is quite possible that StarOffice
can read more MS formats than the current version of MSOffice can.  But still
people purchase the latest version of MSOffice because that's what they have
always used.  Even tho the new one won't read the output of the previous one. 
But they don't know that.  Oh Well...


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