Peppermint OS Community Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: perknh on August 09, 2014, 03:55:29 pm

Title: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: perknh on August 09, 2014, 03:55:29 pm
Quote
Linux is Linux .. learn with whichever distro and whichever method suits YOU, and don't listen to everything Slackware fans (or any other fans) say, no matter how often and loudly. ;)
-- PCNetSpec

Source:  http://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,747.msg6351.html#msg6351
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: rjm65 on August 09, 2014, 05:25:04 pm
He is a very wise feller ain't he?  ;)
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: PCNetSpec on August 09, 2014, 05:59:45 pm
Not what the missus says  :-X
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: perknh on August 09, 2014, 07:16:26 pm
When we court 'em, we can't do anything wrong.  After we marry 'em, we can't do anything right! 

Mother Nature is funny that way, but, of course, you never hear that from me!

Still, I bet we have all our missuses using Linux now.  That's proof enough for me that we Linux misfits are doing something right!   ;)
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: PCNetSpec on August 09, 2014, 07:48:46 pm
Nope .. My missus is still on Win7, and refuses to budge.

I've given up trying, it just aint worth the hassle .. when something goes wrong with Windows I have to fix it, when something goes wrong with Liinux, not only do I have to fix it but somehow it's MY $%^&% FAULT.

Granted things go wrong much less with Linux, but I also have to deal with "I don't know how to do it in YOUR $%^&* Linux" .. somewhere along the line I became the author/owner of everything Linux  :o

So ANY issues she has with Linux is MY FAULT, Windows issues on the other hand for some reason aren't  :-\

Life's simpler just fixin winders, doesn't hurt my ears half as much ;)
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: perknh on August 09, 2014, 09:14:45 pm
Believe me, when Windows 7 is no longer supported, she'll want to make the leap to Linux.  When she decides to make that leap, you have to say to her that she has a very good idea. Then you'll need to wonder out loud why you didn't you think of that!  Or, right now, or if you dare try this, you can become like Alad below.  His posts are fun to read.

Below is a link from Crunchbang forum where I had to introduce myself within the first week or risk losing my membership.  Alad stars within this thread.  Alad has his entire household believing they are using Windows, while all of the time they are using Linux. He's a pretty clever guy.   They are short posts, and I think you'll get a kick out of reading them.

From what I can see, and if you have the equipment for it, Mint's Cinnamon appears as if it would be excellent bridge from Windows 7 to Linux.  Heck, they  look nearly identical to one another -- only Cinnamon is much more attractive.

My line would be something like, "Sweetheart, it's just like an improved Windows 7.  Wow!  Incredible!  So easy -- even the printer works!"

Alad's posts #6 and #10.  They're fun reads.

http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=36106
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: PCNetSpec on August 09, 2014, 10:47:25 pm
I think it's well publicised (on my other forum) that I don't adhere to distros (like Zorin) that try to be Windows like

I don't think it's possible (or advisable) to try "con" someone that they're using Windows .. unless they're amazingly dense  :o

No matter how much Zorin (or any other distro trying to masquerade) tries to "look" like Windows, it doesn't address any of the problems that are the usual barriers to Linux uptake .. like the foreign software names, different software installation procedures, not running well known Windows software, etc..

In fact I'm of the opinion that trying to sell Linux as "Like Windows" is a massive mistake .. if anything attention should be drawn to its differences and why those differences are BETTER.



That said,. I'm well beyond trying to talk people into using Linux, my evangelist days are behind me ;) .. there's absolutely no point, the best you can do is make them aware of Linux existence and wait until they're "ready".
Pushing anyone into Linux inevitably fails .. as any small hiccup is magnified out of all proportion by the fact they could easily go back to what they "know" and didn't WANT to be there anyway .. there *IS* a learning curve attached to Linux (even if it's not a massive one any more), and people will only stick at it if they CHOSE to.
Pushing people towards it inevitably fails, and usually leaves them with a bad impression .. one they'll pass on to others.



Believe ME .. when Win7 support is over, I'll be expected to keep it working ;)

The ONLY way she's moving to Linux is if/when all her Fekbook friends do .. and I seroiusly doubt if any of them have even heard of it ;)
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: perknh on August 10, 2014, 01:04:35 am
Of course, you're right.  And I hope you know most of what I said earlier was meant to be lighthearted.  But that one desperate morning I needed Chrome to be working on whatever OS I could find.  And on that morning, when I saw my wife, who is not a native English speaker, sit down comfortably at our computer, do her tasks, and then dash off to work without any problems whatsoever, and do all of this using Linux; well, PCNetSpec, that was an aha! experience for me.  Really, if you did not look at the bottom left-hand corner of that desktop, I'd challenge just about anyone to tell me with certainty whether or not they were working with Windows or Linux that morning I had Manjaro on our computer.  I was absolutely astonished at how similar that Manjaro configuration was to our old Vista desktop we had been using back then.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

When my wife came home that evening I asked her if she had known in the morning that she hadn't been using Windows before going to work, but had instead been using Linux.   She told me she hadn't noticed a difference.  Of course, I showed her what to look for at the bottom left corner of the screen that would help give her a clue.  But it was that experience that was the beginning of us becoming a Linux only household.  We still tried Windows 7, then 8, and then 8.1, while continuing to use Linux too on an external drive.  This summer we finally admitted to ourselves there was really no reason to continue using Windows, so we stopped.  And we now both have Peppermint 5 installed on our personal laptops.

But, PCNetSpec, our computer needs here are very simple -- much simpler than most people's needs. We don't have a printer.  We do email, and keep a few favorites on out bookmarks bar -- and that's about it.

I still keep noticing however that there is this continuing mythology that Linux is not user-friendly.  While it is true that some distributions are difficult to learn (and some distributions seem to take great joy in being esoteric), it is obvious to me that the Ubuntu-based distributions are very user-friendly.  In fact, I believe, just about any Ubuntu-based distribution is easier to learn than most any Windows distribution  -- including Windows 7.  Is Linux perfect?  No.  But pound for pound I'll put it up against Windows any day of the week.  I'm convinced that overall it's a superior OS to that of Windows.

By the way, I see that the younger generations are all using Fekbook, and it seems to be slowly replacing email.  Therefore in order to keep in touch with family from the old country, my wife is using, and has to use Fekbook too.  From what I can see, Fekbook renders just as well in Firefox 31, in Peppermint 5, as it does using any other OS.  Even with Fekbook, Linux is a winner!
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: emegra on August 10, 2014, 03:12:10 am
Any mainline Linux distro is just as easy to use as Windows it's just a question of adaptation, and I think trying to make Linux look and feel like Windows is a pointless exercise that only makes the transition harder.
Linux is not a drop in replacement for Windows it's an alternative to Windows and should look and feel different because it is different.

Linux will always operate at a disadvantage because Windows has been the defacto OS for so long  even all it failings (BSOD, sudden freezes, slow boot, viruses etc) are an accepted part of computing, but if you introduce someone to Linux and they have a problem no matter how small they will make no attempt to figure it out for themselves,  it will be blown out of all proportion and it will be all your fault because you put that F@@k@ng Linux on their computer and you'll be made to feel guilty because of it.

I'm not knocking Zorin but no Linux distro can possibly look and feel like Windows better than Windows and attempting to do so will only make Linux look second rate

So in my experience never try to introduce anyone to Linux unless they want to go there and are prepared to learn something new otherwise it will just be an exercise in frustration for you and them



Graeme






Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: AndyInMokum on August 10, 2014, 03:40:20 am
I couldn't agree more.  Anything that is made to look like Windows is always going to a second choice, poor man's alternative to Window's.  If you want your computer to look like Windows, use Windows.  Having said that, I was at my local computer shop, (There are some crackers here in Amsterdam, the Dutch love their little shops).  The owner was selling some second hand, "obsolete" dual core desktops for 100.  They were advertised as converted to Linux.  I asked, what distro it was and was really surprised when he told me, Zorin.  He told me he got less whining from his customers because it looks like Windows.  I have to admit he does have a point.  Could you imaging coming over from years of Windows use to Ubuntu with Unity?  The novelty will soon wear off.   

I think that for people who are compelled to use Linux for whatever reason; these, "look alikes" serve as an ideal gateway to the Linux world.  For the rest of us who don't suffer from proprietary software, "tunnel vision";  there is a whole world of stuff to choose from   ;).
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: emegra on August 10, 2014, 04:55:22 am
Quote
He told me he got less whining from his customers because it looks like Windows.

Don't you think that what he was really saying was that he THINKS he'll get less whining from his customers

Linux should be judged on it's own merits not on how much it can be made to look and feel like an inferior OS,

I think it's a kinda paradox where the more a Linux distro looks like Windows the more the user will expect it to work like Windows culminating in a disappointment, whereas if it looks and feels entirely different (as it should) the user will freed from that expectation and have to make some attempt to learn how it works and gain it's benefits,

 I'm not saying there's not a learning curve but it's not difficult and there's plenty help available  if they can't be bothered to do that then they should just stick with Windows


Graeme
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: PCNetSpec on August 10, 2014, 05:31:48 am
What I don't like about Zorin and its proponents is that they push it as 'a Windows user friendly Linux", and 'Windows like', and 'You'd never know you weren't using Windows', etc.

Quote from: Zorin Website
The main goal of Zorin OS is to give new users easy access to Linux. That is why Zorin OS incorporates the familiar Windows 7-like interface by default to dramatically reduce the learning curve of this system while still experiencing the main advantages of Linux.

I consider those sentiments and statements very misleading to the user, unfair to other distributions, and damaging to Linux as a whole

Misleading - Tell me (besides a blue/grey skin) what Zorin does that helps Windows users adjust that the vast majority of Linux distros/DE's (KDE/LXDE/Cinnamon/MATE/XFfce) do not  .. the main perceived "problems" for Windows users such as the unknown software titles, package management, and the fact it won't run well known Windows apps, are all still present in Zorin.

Unfair - "Easy access to Linux", suggests other distros AREN'T easy .. again, besides the blue/grey skin what's "easier" (or even different) about Zorin than say Mint or indeed Peppermint or any other LIXDE distro ?

Damaging - Statements like "dramatically reduce the learning curve", is plainly not true and as it's aimed direcftly at people that obviously don't want a learning curve will inevitably result in disappointment, a switch back to Windows, and the resulting badmoouthing of Linux in general.

Linux should IMHO not be pushed as "Windows like" .. of course it's got a Menu, mouse pointer, clickable Icons, File Manager, Desktop, Taskbar .. so it *IS* Windows like (although none of those were actually Microsoft/Windows ideas), but people should be informed from the start of the differences then left to make up their own mind, heck it's the differences that make it BETTER :)



@perknh

Don't misunderstand me, you're 100% correct .. 99.9% of what she does could be done in Linux and if I skinned it like Windows she'd not knw the difference .. but my point is, when something went wrong no matter how small (like the router drops the internet connection for a second, and she tries to restart the network connection), then she realises it's Linux the whole world problems would suddenly become Linux's fault and therefore mine.

She simply doesn't want Linux .. in her mind (and I have to agree) she doesn't need a reason not to want it, she'd need a reason to want it (and the usual "virus free and more secure" are MY problem .. she's seriously not interested in something just because it would make MY life easier :o )  .. it's just a fact and the more I tried to push Linux, the more she dug her heals in .. "generally" it's futile trying to push Linux on someone that hasn't decided they want it on their own.
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: AndyInMokum on August 10, 2014, 05:55:35 am
It really is more of a psychological barrier than anything else.  It is as you say, Windows have been around and MS have done a fantastic job of branding.  People will accept Windows - warts and all because it has become synonymous with the desktop environment.  Anything else is either too fruity or, in uncharted territory - "Here be dragons"  :(!! Until that psychological barrier is breached; Linux on the desktop will remain in the position it is now. 

I do think that in a few years, the majority of MS software is going to migrate from the desktop to the Cloud.  MS's Office 365 is already making waves and of course it is fantastic in the public mind because it is MS.  Adobe are there too. The main competitors for the classical Linux  DE is going to be the Chromebooks and their clones.  MS know that they are never again going to have a 90% share of the market but they are still going have a significant chunk of it with their Cloud services.  They are going to fight the competition with every tactic in to book to keep that significant share too.  This where we as Peppermint users have the advantage over Windows users and other Linux users too.  We are embracing the inevitable change of direction computing is taking without selling out to "The Man".  I like to think of Peppermint standing ready at the cusp of change ;).
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: AndyInMokum on August 10, 2014, 06:25:12 am
I totally agree with you from a personal stand point.  I really think Zorin push the ethical boundaries of GPL.  Their pseudo-Windows approach is extremely damaging to the Linux community.  Unfortunately, so many publications and so called pundits, direct Windows migrants straight to Zorin as their first port of call. They totally prey on the new user's uncertainties.  In my opinion, Zorin should be avoided at all costs and anyone who buys into their philosophy has obviously taken a severe "silly stick" beating  :).
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: PCNetSpec on August 10, 2014, 06:42:42 am
Just as I was getting started in Linux (early 2010, so bear in mind this was prior to any knowledge of Android)) a wise man told me Linux will win on the desktop, not because people decide it's better, but because it'll be all that''s left when Windows market share diminishes to the point that it's no longer a viable proposition for a company of Microsofts size. He also added that though it will be Linux at the core, it will probably (as Linux does) have morphed into something unrecognisable compared to Linux as we know it.
(all this prior to Unity/Gnome Shell/Android/etc.)

I couldn't see it at the time, and thought he was a bit of a "Mad Penguin" ( ;) ) .. but what he said has turned out to be VERY prophetic :)

Windows (as we know it) is already dead, and Microsoft know it .. they're just wringing the last bit of money out of it whilst they can, and whilst they try to figure out how to fight the rise and rise of FOSS

His next prediction (about a year ago) was that Windows will become a cloud "service" based OS where a boot ROM boots the hardware, then loads the OS (as necessary) across the web.
(there's already been articles written suggesting that this *may* be where Microsoft is heading with Windows 10 .. though it's purely speculation at this point) .. I guess at this point it's a case of "watch this space".

Linux will (as is its nature) fill any gaps .. the "gap" in this case being what's left of the locally installed Desktop OS market when Microsoft have given up and gone home.

Linux will win the locally installed desktop OS market "by default" and without actually having to do anything .. though the market will be much diminished.

BTW, it's nt just Microsoft that realise this .. the rush to FOSS and Linux support has been snowballing and will continue to do so.



For clarity I'd like to add - I have no problem with Zorin as a LINUX distro (it's actually quite good) .. but it *IS* Linux not Windows, I just disagree with their "sales" tactic :)



[EDIT]

Heh, I'm beginning to wonder if perknh still thinks "Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux" is a good title for this topic
(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11876059/roflmao.gif)
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: perknh on August 10, 2014, 01:24:13 pm
Quote
eh, I'm beginning to wonder if perknh still thinks "Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux" is a good title for this topic
-- PCNetSpec

Actually, I'm delighted with this thread, and that this discussion has turned to that of deception.

Here's how I imagine Alad's household to be:  it's in London, or near London, conservative, and most definitely patriarchal.  Alad may be a software engineer, and may have emigrated to England from an less affluent third world country.  During his youth, Alad's first exposure to computers was with an old PC that ran some early Linux OS.

Now love in Alad's household is expressed through the eyes, through smiles and through laughter -- not necessarily words. Now Alad's wife is probably younger than Alad, and her first experience with computers was with Windows XP, then Vista, and then Windows 7.  But Alad has never given up his love for Linux, and soon discovers, after marriage, that his wife cares only that the computer does what she wants, and when she wants it to -- nothing more.  "Why use Linux?", she wonders.  "Windows seems to work just fine." (Thanks to Alad, I might add!)

But, Alad, just loves to watch the development of Linux.  He's used it since he was a teenager.  He may still use it at work, and he knows darn well it's more secure than Windows.  So what does he do?  He puts Linux on the home computer, but he makes sure it has all the bells and whistles needed to keep his wife happy.  Partly for fun he says, "I just put another Windows OS on the computer."  And he also says this partly because he doesn't want to hear about it!  But his wife, though not sophisticated with computers, knows darn well she's not using Windows any longer. 

Alad makes sure the wallpaper is pretty, and that he's synced Chrome to cloud.  Now he can change OSes at whim without ever having to worry about his wife's settings.  As he says, he keeps that big Chrome button handy.  Everyone in the family, including his better half, knows they are using Linux, but nobody says a thing.  Calling Linux "Windows" has become an inside family joke -- and the kids love it.

As for deception, the company that worries me the most with Linux is Google.  Android, behind the scenes, is grabbing ever bit of data than can on us.  When I spoke to some teenage girls yesterday at our nearby Walmart Supercenter, I asked them if they thought Chromebooks were "happening."  They all agreed that they were.  One girl already owned an HP Chromebook.  When I told them I was interested in Linux, they went silent on me.  I could see they had no idea the connection between Chromebooks and Linux.  I really don't believe these girls had even heard of Linux before I mentioned it yesterday.

Even a mother, to at least one of these girls, was listening to the conversation too.  I'm not sure how aware she was of Linux herself, but most likely not very much.

Oh, that tiny little HP Chromebook is going for $349.  They sure are not giving them away.  But, worse than this, if Chromebooks are anything like Android, they will be gathering as much of our personal data as possible, and even though we are mandated to agree to a user agreement before we can run the device, few of us realize, including myself, what the implications of agreeing to that user agreement actually are, or will be, for us.

This, to me, is a form of deception within the world of Linux after Linux becomes proprietized.  I can't call this Linux' fault per se, but this form of deception is now piggybacking off of Linux, and this bothers me.  Even here at Peppermint forum I wonder about the tracking practices of Google Analytics, Double Click, and Google Adsense.  I want to see ads in Peppermint to help offset its expenses.  I just don't want to be tracked.  I even wonder about Xapian's logging practices -- probably needlessly.

No, PCNetSpec, this is a great conversation.  I'm going to stand firm here.  Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux is the right name for this topic.  I say that when a self-confessed aging hippy/biker plus geek speaks, one would be wise to listen.  That's a personal background that's hard to beat.

By the way this "Mad Penguin" friend of yours sounds very prescient and wise  -- and cool too.  If he is still on a roll, this may be the time to ask him for the right 6 numbers.  Hey, it can't hurt to ask!  ;)

I'm enjoying this conversation very much, and I hope it continues.


Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: PCNetSpec on August 10, 2014, 02:58:30 pm
Trust me, the 6 number thing crossed my mind too .. but he won't prophesize to order  :(
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: perknh on August 10, 2014, 04:12:25 pm
PCNetSpec, I've seen this stuff before.  We have a fellow here in my home town, he's won big time twice on the lottery.
But that doesn't mean you'd ever know it.  Believe it or not, this guy uses duct tape in order to keep his wallet together.  Guys like this stay under the radar.

Your friend, a man this prescient,  knows the right numbers;  you just got to press him on it!   ;D
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: jocklad on August 10, 2014, 05:29:36 pm

 Well,

 Have done five installations of Peppermint 5 for friends in last two weeks.

 All these people have very little technical computer knowledge.

 Every one of them has told me the same............The computer runs much better and faster

 on Peppermint than it ever did on Windows.

Jocklad  :)
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: AndyInMokum on August 10, 2014, 05:35:19 pm

 Well,

 Have done five installations of Peppermint 5 for friends in last two weeks.

 All these people have very little technical computer knowledge.

 Every one of them has told me the same............The computer runs much better and faster

 on Peppermint than it ever did on Windows.

Jocklad  :)

Way to go jocklad, keep spreading the word  ;)!!
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: PCNetSpec on August 10, 2014, 05:41:20 pm
Great to hear :)
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: rjm65 on August 10, 2014, 05:42:37 pm
I think PCNetSpec should have his own thread where he can air out his daily wisdom to all of us on the Peppermint forums....
We could call the thread ( PCNetSpec - The Wise Guy! )   ;)
Title: Re: Some Wise Words From PCNetSpec Concerning Linux
Post by: perknh on August 10, 2014, 09:36:25 pm
Which now gets us back to PCNetSpec's wise words: 
Quote
Linux is Linux .. learn with whichever distro and whichever method suits YOU, and don't listen to everything Slackware fans (or any other fans) say, no matter how often and loudly. ;)

Whether or not jocklad put Peppermint on 2,3, 4 or 5 people's computers is not known from his post.  But PCNetSpec's "Linux is Linux" thesis has been reinforced here.  How can we call these friends of jocklad Windows-only computer users any longer?  We can't!  They are now using Linux!  Peppermint is as much Linux as the next Linux distribution.  It's not more Linux, or less Linux -- it's Linux!

As for rjm65's idea of listening, in one form or another, to PCNetSpec's thoughts on Linux.  I'm all for it.  Those old biker's arms have pulled me out of more ditches that I've fallen into while finding my way around Peppermint than I can remember.  And I bet hundreds, if not thousands, of people could attest to same experience here.  I think PCNetSpec could easily write a blog of his own on Linux -- its philosophy and approach with some how tos thrown in.  Or we could have a show, such as the shows on YouTube, where here rides up on a bike, keeps a straight face to look a little scary, and then pulls a laptop computer out a backpack, and then starts the show about Linux.  Although there are a lot of good shows about Linux on YouTube, there is no one like PCNetSpec out there.  He would add a welcomed and different perspective on the subject of Linux.

Now, rjm65, how we ended up with wise man and wise guy in the English language, I don't really know.  But you've got to careful when using that term.  You don't want to tick off a real wiseguy, I assure you!   ;)