Re: Desktop Linux? Where is it hiding? Is this group a joke or something?
From: Kier (vallon_at_tiscali.co.uk)
Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 16:12:04 +0100
On Sat, 28 May 2005 07:44:02 -0700, lqualig wrote:
> You made some very good points. But you're completely off base with
> this one...
>>Wrong. Users should know everything about how the OS works,
>> about how the programs they use interface. This way, they can
>> actually use the system competently, and troubleshoot their problems.
>> Computers should NOT be black boxes.
> The first sentence would be better phrased - "Computer geeks want to
> know everything about how the OS works..."
The point being made here is slightly different, IMO. Computers (at least
in teh Windows world) have developed as black boxes to a large extent, and
are aimed at the lowest common denominator. Now, this is okay in some
ways, because it brings the many benefits of computers to the masses. But
on effect it encourages a lowest common denominator attitude, creating
users whouse the computer without understanding it, just as they might
drive a car. They are then at the mercy of third parties when things go
Of course, you may say, everything is like this. But it doesn't have to be.
> "Users" are the average Joe in this country. They want to start their
> computer and check email, surf the web a bit, write some letters, pay
> their bills and play a game or two. Sales and Marketing types need to
> use spreadsheets and create powerpoint presentations. Doctors want to
> access medical information. Etc, etc, etc.
> The average doctor, mechanic, mom, pilot, cop, etc DOES want the
> computer to be a black box. They could care less to "know everything
> about how the OS works." I'd estimate that over 95% of computer users
> in this world have zero inclination to learn everything about how their
> OS works. They just need to use a computer to get their work done.
This isn't particularly in dispute.. But not all those users will be
without some curiosity. It's like cars. Some people just want to drive
them, others love to tinker, or want to save costs by maintaining their
own car. They are pretty much ordinary users too.
> If the selling point of Linux to these people is - "With Linux you'll
> get to learn everything there is to know about operating systems" then
> people will run, not walk, away from you.
If it were the only 'selling point', that might be true. But of course it
isn't. And it very much depends on what type of users you're aiming at.
For the average person, you're going to talk about freedom from viruses,
stability, low cost, and fun. The latest distros supply all this, and more
under the surface for those who want it. It's just a matter of emphasis.