[Nottingham] Better than Windows? was: Response on awareness day

Martin martin at ml1.co.uk
Thu Nov 3 16:44:15 GMT 2005

Matthew Walster wrote:
> On Thursday 03 November 2005 09:40, Andrew White wrote:
>>I've been using linux as a desktop for ten years. Am I missing something?
> Sorry, I always fall into that trap - we are not average users. We can use it 

And there is a lot of that :-)

I've been sharply reminded from recently helping a friend with starting 
up with WindowsXP. Brand new PC, WindowsXP and a few other bits OEM 
pre-installed. And to a complete computer newbie, even the first boot-up 
"Let's get to know you" wizard was scary.

Giving further guidance and it quickly dawned on me: Non-technical 
computer users see no distinction between "The Computer" and the 
software running on their computer, or on some internet server for that 
matter. It all 'looks the same'. There might not even be any concept of 
where their documents or other work gets physically stored!

(And the Marketing coercion in those wizards was cruel... Some very 
dirty FUD in there.)

All the kinds of clues that we take for granted that lets us see what is 
happening and at what level of whatever computer-OS-application system 
is all unknown and mysterious to most users.

This was reinforced while talking on the bus last night. The (#2) Joe 
Public was grouching about how much "servicing" his computer had cost. 
The highly convoluted elaborations as to what might have been done was 
surprising. More like a description of some Voodoo Witchcraft!

There's much that we take for granted that the rest of the world haven't 
got a clue about. Hence why so very very few people have ever noticed 
the word "Linux".


Martin Lomas
martin at ml1.co.uk

More information about the Nottingham mailing list