[Wolves] Linux for idiots

Kevanf1 kevanf1 at gmail.com
Fri May 20 10:13:08 BST 2005

On 5/20/05, mad-malc at tiscali.co.uk <mad-malc at tiscali.co.uk> wrote:
This leads me to still advocate linux as a better
> system than Windows as regards to what you get from as straight Distro still
> install, but also means that I can not extol the virtues of one Linux Distro
> over another.
> Looking at the question further WindowsXP gives almost no usability unless
> you have driver discs for basic motherboard components, so linux is in my
> opinion far more suitable for someone wanted a works from out the box solution,
> the problem to be faced is however down to hardware compatibility which is
> a bit of a lottery.
> Mad Malc

Ok, I'll play devil's advocate here.  Firstly, I think you'd need to
quantify it a bit better when you state Linux is better than Windows. 
In some respects yes it most certainly is but in others, I'm afraid I
think Windows beats it hands down.  It would take a long post to
explain that but in a nutshell it mainly due to driver support with
hardware.  9 times out of 10 hardware works out of the box with XP or
Win2k.  Or, it has done in my experience.  It would mean going off on
a side shoot but this is partly why Windows is so darn bloated.  So
that actually touches on your second point too :-)

For most people what they want is a PC that they can sit at and play a
few games, e-mail/chat to their friends and do a bit of web surfing. 
Windows will do this out of the box even to the extent of holding a
newcomers hand while setting up an account with an ISP.  That's
something that is easy enough for most of us in Linux but to somebody
who hasn't used a PC before let alone a Linux tin they wouldn't have a
clue.  As Peter has already mentioned this is where the pay PC World
bit comes in.  This is the reason Windows is so massive.  We all know
abouthe security issues with Microsoft software and have done for
years, the masses are only just starting to hear about it.

Let me give you a very quick example of what I mean about usability. 
Last night I loaded the latest SuSE distro (cheers Pete).  I was most
impressed by the fact that it did what Windows would do and found my
FAT 32 formatted slave drive (IDE channel 2) and just set it up with
correct permissions etc.  In the past this has not happened.  I have
been faced with scary messages about needing to format etc.  On one
occassion I did make a mistake here and lost a load of files
(thankfully none critical).  This is just a small step but it is in
the right direction.  I would say that ease of use with Linux in
general, not one single distro, is at the level of perhaps the first
iteration of Windows 95 from all those years back.  Then it was
amazing, so easy to do things comparing it to say DOS or Win 3.1  But,
now we enter the dumbing down phase of Win XP where the consumer aka
your average PC user has everything so easy it is ridiculous.  It
brings this thread back to what was said before on here about dumbing
down Linux and do we really want it to go that way?
Take care.
Kevan Farmer

34 Hill Street
Cheslyn Hay

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