Jump to content


The Other Side of the Coin


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

raymac46

    Discussion Deity

  • Forum MVP
  • 3,329 posts

Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:15 PM

As I sit here typing on a Thinkpad 430 that can boot and run Debian in 10 seconds and allows me to do just about any computing task i want, I wonder why after 10 years in the Linux biz I have almost stopped being an advocate for others to try it. This in spite of the fact that I think it has never been a better time to be a Linux user myself.
Why wouldn't I want other people to share in the good stuff? Well...
  • People cannot deal with change. Most folks I know locally began with Windows XP. They coped more or less with Windows 7, were thrown for a loop by Windows 8 and are slowly starting to understand Windows 10 - although they probably don't know about the privacy and update issues. They still use Internet Explorer and Windows Live Mail by and large along with whatever other 2003 era Microsoft programs they own. How can they be expected to deal with GNOME or Xfce?
  • People cannot deal with the fact that Linux is free. They's rather go to Apple as an alternative and pay more. I guess that makes them feel safer. Too good to be true, they say.
  • Sadly many folks I know are too dumb to use any sort of computer and the only one they know of is Windows. They'll screw up no matter what.
  • If I do convince someone to try Linux, I have to do the install and provide lifetime technical support. They wouldn't expect this from a Windows machine but Linux..that's different.
  • They'll always come up with one strange program they have to have that is Windows only. My personal bete noire is Adobe Digital Editions.
  • People always want new hardware. Linux does best to repurpose older stuff. They'd rather have a cheap laptop that boots  Windows 10 in two minutes than their old desktop with Linux Mint that runs like a champion. Go figure. My neighbor had a really slow, underpowered  Atom based netbook that ran Windows 7 Starter like a dog. He bought an i5 laptop and gave me the old machine which rocks Arch Linux now. I could have done that for him but he didn't trust the process.
  • Folks think if it doesn't come pre-installed by an OEM it's not worth having. You can't buy a Linux based machine anywhere locally and even if you could it wouldn't look like Windows 7.
And so it goes. Maybe it's because most of my prospective Linux clients are oldsters - the high school crowd might be more fertile ground. Certainly my grandkids have no difficulty with Firefox and Linux Mint.
This is the other side of the Linux coin for sure. A great operating system for those who'll invest the time - but so very few people will.
Posted Image

Registered Linux User 445659

#2 OFFLINE   saturnian

saturnian

    Topic Cop

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 988 posts

Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:48 PM

Yeah. I tell people that I use Linux. I never try to convince them that they should use it, though. Perhaps I should be a Linux advocate, but my thinking has always been that the people who would most benefit from Linux will find out about it and start using it on their own -- like I did.

That might be true, but it's also a lazy cop-out, I guess. Friends and family members of mine would certainly be better off if they used Linux, but they'd all be calling on me for help, I think. I haven't been able to find the motivation to be providing that tech support. So I've taken the easy way out. I'm not exactly proud of that, but that's how it is.

What's telling, I think, is that although I've told lots and lots of people that I'm a Linux user, I don't know of a single one of them who heard about Linux from me and then decided to try it. Not one. Not even my son, who was a preteen when I started tinkering with Linux, and who has at least done some web-browsing on computers of mine; he's a grad student now, and he uses a MacBook Pro. No interest in learning to use Linux, as far as I can tell. I never tried to push it on him, though, and maybe that was for the best.

Anyway, I guess I feel that if folks who have actually heard about Linux and open source software (from me or from someone else) don't wanna step out of their comfort zone and learn about it and try it out, then maybe it's pointless for me to expend the energy to try to convince them that they should.

#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

raymac46

    Discussion Deity

  • Forum MVP
  • 3,329 posts

Posted 06 June 2017 - 07:17 AM

I use Windows too. Don't get me wrong. I feel that I should keep my hand in the Windows universe if only to be able to help others who will run into problems. My wife thinks Windows 10 is just fine. She runs it on a quad core desktop with gobs of RAM, an SSD, discrete video, fast Internet, first rate security apps, FOSS software like Thunderbird and Firefox. Plus I made it look like Windows 7. o:)
I had some early success with old hardware and Linux that I gave away free to people that could not afford a computer otherwise. Many of them were quite elderly and benefited from the security and stability. Most of them required nothing beyond what Linux could do. The only time I had problems was when they got a printer from a relative who told them to download the drivers from the Web (they didn't work of course.)
My daughter and son-in-law run Windows and iPads although she did ask me to fix up an old desktop for her daughter's preschool. That runs Linux Mint 17 very well and can do all the office tasks the school needs to do.
When I think about why I started with Linux it was because I had a problem. Old machine, obsolete software, no money. Most people don't have that problem or if they do they just run an insecure system.
I suppose it's easy for me to talk - I have 50 years of computer experience.
Posted Image

Registered Linux User 445659

#4 ONLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

V.T. Eric Layton

    Nocturnal Slacker

  • Forum Admins
  • 21,156 posts

Posted 06 June 2017 - 01:33 PM

Yeah... my Linux evangelizing days are pretty much over with. I converted a few to Linux in the past (my brother, an aunt, a couple friends, etc.). Some are still using it and enjoying it. A couple got away from their desktop systems and went to new laptops with Win 10 or Apple devices of some sort. They call me for support every once in a while and I tell them, "Nope. Sorry. You'll have to call MS or Apple for support. I don't know anything about those products." They whine and grumble, but they don't call me for support again. :)

It is what it is. Most folks, particularly the older crowd, do NOT like change in any way, shape, or form. They prefer to stick with their old appliances, their old TVs, their old radios, etc. I can understand. I'm not much into new-fangled baloney either. I like stuff that's simple and works as advertised. I don't like surprises. I see a day coming when I'll just toss all these desktops, laptops, eReaders, etc. out in the garbage can and cancel my ISP altogether. I'll revert to a simpler life. I surely don't see myself advancing to hand-held devices or $3000 television sets.

Aw, well... I guess I'll just sit in the old rocking chair out on the porch and gnaw my gums and drool a little. It's all good. ;)

#5 OFFLINE   raymac46

raymac46

    Discussion Deity

  • Forum MVP
  • 3,329 posts

Posted 06 June 2017 - 02:12 PM

I've noted a fair number of older folks who have switched from Windows PCs to iPads - and have many of the same problems - mainly messed up wifi.
I have tried to draw the line at offering Apple support though as I have no Apple products at all - not even iTunes.
In my experience it isn't that the geezer set doesn't want the technology - they do. They just don't want to learn how to be safe and use it properly.
One of my coffee buddies - the one who managed to encrypt his data not too long ago - confessed today that he ALMOST did it again with a fake FedEx email. Oy...

Edited by raymac46, 06 June 2017 - 02:16 PM.

Posted Image

Registered Linux User 445659

#6 ONLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

V.T. Eric Layton

    Nocturnal Slacker

  • Forum Admins
  • 21,156 posts

Posted 06 June 2017 - 02:19 PM

"They just don't want to learn how to be safe and use it properly."

That is the case for most folks regarding anything in life... computers, lawnmowers, firearms, toothpicks, or beard trimmers.

I don't know about Canadians, but Americans have a tradition of eschewing instruction manuals altogether. Big HE-MEN don't need instructions. ;)

#7 OFFLINE   ebrke

ebrke

    Board Bigwig

  • Forum MVP
  • 2,706 posts

Posted 06 June 2017 - 03:04 PM

View Postraymac46, on 06 June 2017 - 07:17 AM, said:

. . . When I think about why I started with Linux it was because I had a problem.
I had a problem too, objecting to the hoops MS wanted us to jump through back in the day when XP was new. What a joke, considering the erosion of our tech freedom and privacy (from every direction, not just MS) that's proliferated in the last 15 years. No one else I knew seemed to care, although I did find that a consultant I was working with at the time had been running linux for a few years in addition to windows. I was glad when I stopped working and felt I didn't have to keep up with windows anymore, I just run openSUSE. My mother would have done fine with a linux install, since I already had her using LibreOffice and GnuCash on windows, and the only other things she does are email and web browsing, but she wouldn't hear of it. If she's still using a computer at win7 EOL, she's going to have to go to linux. I refuse to try to work with win10 or later and she couldn't make that change anyway. Linux would look and behave more like the windows she's used to than the current windows release.
Registered Linux User 344759

#8 OFFLINE   raymac46

raymac46

    Discussion Deity

  • Forum MVP
  • 3,329 posts

Posted 06 June 2017 - 06:41 PM

My wife had a friend who didn't have a computer at all. I fixed up an old desktop with Ubuntu and it worked pretty well. She was able to surf the Web, do email, write documents, print out her stained glass patterns, etc. This was 7-8 years ago.
Then her brother came by, felt sorry for her and got her an off-lease Dell Optiplex GX520 that ran XP. Much better machine but she immediately got into Windows with all its security software issues and just dumped Linux - although she would have been much better off to at least dual boot. Why? - because she could I guess.
Again a case of a naive user not doing what's best for her - for all I know she might still be running XP insecurely and be part of a bot army.
Posted Image

Registered Linux User 445659

#9 OFFLINE   raymac46

raymac46

    Discussion Deity

  • Forum MVP
  • 3,329 posts

Posted 06 June 2017 - 06:49 PM

Quote

I don't know about Canadians, but Americans have a tradition of eschewing instruction manuals altogether.

Same thing here but we get to throw away both an English AND French copy of the manual. :harhar:
Posted Image

Registered Linux User 445659

#10 OFFLINE   abarbarian

abarbarian

    Thread Kahuna

  • Forum MVP
  • 5,384 posts

Posted 07 June 2017 - 07:43 AM

View PostV.T. Eric Layton, on 06 June 2017 - 01:33 PM, said:



It is what it is. Most folks, particularly the older crowd, do NOT like change in any way, shape, or form. They prefer to stick with their old appliances, their old TVs, their old radios, etc. I can understand. I'm not much into new-fangled baloney either. I like stuff that's simple and works as advertised. I don't like surprises. I see a day coming when I just toss all these desktops, laptops, eReaders, etc. out in the garbage can and cancel my ISP altogether. I'll revert to a simpler life. I surely don't see myself advancing to hand-held devices or $3000 television sets.

Aw, well... I guess I'll just sit in the old rocking chair out on the porch and gnaw my gums and drool a little. It's all good. ;)

I had to struggle to get out of my rocking chair on the patio to reply agreeing with this.It is a good job I have a dribble proof keyboard. :drooling:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
"I did and I'm really happy"

Posted Image~~~~~~~~~~~~~Posted Image

#11 OFFLINE   zlim

zlim

    It's me, plodr

  • Forum MVP
  • 7,009 posts

Posted 07 June 2017 - 11:53 AM

I might be wrong on this because I haven't installed linux in more than a decade. (I use live USB sticks with persistence).
Linux used to be great for all those old computers but it seems that everything now is going to "requires a 64 bit processor". As the old hardware dies off, linux is now as demanding as Windows. I started up with linux because it wasn't.

I've now turned my attention to android; sorry linux users.

Android updates with no muss, no fuss, no reboot required and no dreadful BSOD scenarios. The devices I got (two tablets and yes, finally a smartphone) are ready to use out of the box. I research before I buy to be sure I have enough memory and storage.

I'm not one to go crazy installing apps. I think long and hard before I install something and I rarely look at the googleplay reviews. I read articles written by android tech writers to see what they consider good apps.My newest tablet came with Word and Excel so I could turn it over to my husband who needs to view documents and spreadsheets at times.
Liz
Registered Linux User # 401459
Posted Image

#12 OFFLINE   raymac46

raymac46

    Discussion Deity

  • Forum MVP
  • 3,329 posts

Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:06 PM

There are still a few 32 bit Linux distros out here - antiX and Lubuntu for sure. I still have a couple of old netbooks that need 32 bit.
As for Android I have that too but no tablet can ever take the place of a system with a real keyboard. I suppose you can get some sort of Bluetooth appliance if needed but I don't have that - yet.
Some tablets like my Nexus 7 from 2012 can't run the latest Android version so they get left behind like the old 32 bit hardware sadly.

Edited by raymac46, 07 June 2017 - 05:44 PM.

Posted Image

Registered Linux User 445659

#13 OFFLINE   abarbarian

abarbarian

    Thread Kahuna

  • Forum MVP
  • 5,384 posts

Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:23 PM

View Postzlim, on 07 June 2017 - 11:53 AM, said:

I might be wrong on this because I haven't installed linux in more than a decade. (I use live USB sticks with persistence).


You are wrong !!! Sort of :tease:

There are still quite a few 32 bit os's available. MX-16 is one of them and runs with persistence very well from a stick. I just used it on my UEFI mobo and it worked well.

https://mxlinux.org/download-links

There is also WPS Office which is multi platform and compatible with MS office and Excel. There is a free version but the paid versions are only $30 a year. I used it for a very short time but can not say much about it as I hardly ever use office programs. Seemed to work ok for me with .odt and MS stuff.

http://www.kingsofts...ffice-freeware

:breakfast:

Edited by abarbarian, 07 June 2017 - 01:24 PM.

Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
"I did and I'm really happy"

Posted Image~~~~~~~~~~~~~Posted Image

#14 OFFLINE   zlim

zlim

    It's me, plodr

  • Forum MVP
  • 7,009 posts

Posted 08 June 2017 - 02:35 PM

Quote

no tablet can ever take the place of a system with a real keyboard.
Blutooth.
Here's my 10.1" tablet with its bluetooth keyboard.
Posted Image

The leather case it is in allows me to rotate the screen. It isn't much smaller than the 11" netbook I use. The keyboard is as wide as my laptop.
Liz
Registered Linux User # 401459
Posted Image

#15 OFFLINE   abarbarian

abarbarian

    Thread Kahuna

  • Forum MVP
  • 5,384 posts

Posted 25 June 2017 - 04:21 PM

I thought this might be a apt place to post this,

The truth about Linux


:breakfast:
Install ARCH
You'll never need to install it again
"I did and I'm really happy"

Posted Image~~~~~~~~~~~~~Posted Image

#16 OFFLINE   Hedon James

Hedon James

    Thread Head

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 747 posts

Posted 26 June 2017 - 09:14 AM

View Postabarbarian, on 25 June 2017 - 04:21 PM, said:

I thought this might be a apt place to post this,

The truth about Linux


:breakfast:

BWAHAHA!  Funniest thing I've come across this week!  Okay, it's only Monday here, but still....that's gonna be hard to top!  B)




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users