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Learning Curve


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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 07:35 AM

Whenever I have advocated that a new user try out LInux, I start out with all the advantages:
  • Good security
  • Fast, lightweight - doesn't slow down.
  • Community support
  • Lots of choice
  • Plenty of software available
  • And it's free!
They inevitably ask - what's the catch? And I have to say to them: "There's a learning curve. You need to invest some of your time and brain power." Why?
  • You need to learn that Linux is not Windows. It has a different structure and administration approach. You don't download and install Windows programs.
  • You'll have to decide if you can do without one or two things - Adobe or Microsoft likely or maybe Turbo Tax - that will not run well or at all under Linux.
  • Gaming still isn't as good in Linux although it's getting there if you use Steam.
  • You might have to learn GIMP instead of Photoshop.
  • There are a wide variety of distros to try. Some are quite frankly for experienced users so you need to stick with a mainstream user friendly one like Ubuntu or Mint until you learn more.
  • Hardware will be a potential minefield so do your research. You'll be in a world of hurt trying to get Debian to work with some obscure wifi USB adapter if you don't.
  • Using the Terminal is fast and efficient - not a return to the DOS days of 1985.
  • There is lots of support out there but most folks who do it don't get paid - so they expect you to put in a bit of "sweat equity" and not just ask questions that have been answered many times in the past.
I am sure you can come up with some other points you need to learn to be comfortable as a Linux user.
The learning curve is the main reason I never expect Linux to be as successful as a desktop as it is as a server O/S.
Android is a separate case - more idiot proof and similar to a Mac O/S. But it isn't free.
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#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 10:04 AM

Nice list and suggestions!

Honestly with the hardware part, it really is not an issue as much with most distros. Debian has a problem as they do not include non-free drivers in their set up but I am sure a new user would not start out on Debian. Not that it is not one of the most solid distros out there but it does not have all the bells and whistles out of the box. I push new users to distros like Linux Mint and Elementary OS which gives a nice and easy transition. It's usually LinuxMint but Elementary is pretty nice too.

That said, your average user only uses the browser anyway. Most people use a computer to access Facebook and other websites. The games they play are simple browser based stuff. They may use tax software but other than that, most are happy with doing them with the browser based software the sites offer.

Everything else you listed, I completely agree with and use some of the same phrases with them. I have not converted any new users in a couple of years. The last one was a coworker who has been using LinuxMint for almost 2 years now. Then again, he is in tech support so he already knows his way around computers. He has been completely happy and has even converted his wife to Linux Mint as well.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984




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