Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Tue 30th Jun 2009 16:48 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes While traversing about the web this afternoon, I came across a rather funny subject title for a forum post. The person asked if any "normal" people use Linux, but went on to ask forgiveness for the lack of a better word than "normal." He wonders if anyone who isn't an open source, uber-geeky, stay-up-until-dawn-exploring-code fanatic actually uses Linux. Though the congregation here at OSNews is (obviously) comprised of very many of the aforementioned fanatics (in a sense; wear the title with pride), I also believe there to be many readers who are more or less "normal," for the lack of a better word, and plenty who may fall in between both spectrums of nerdiness.
Order by: Score:
It depends
by Warnaud on Tue 30th Jun 2009 16:58 UTC
Warnaud
Member since:
2008-07-07

Do people using Windows/MacOSX are normal?
And in Linux I would say there are also different types of distributions... some easy some geeky. But in fact most users are computer fanatics because except for "limited" devices the vast majority of computer are sold with Windows/MacOS so you need to know a littl to switch.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:01 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Many normal people do use Linux, but I would suspect in most cases that a suitably knowledgable friend has installed and configured it first as there are very very few computers in shops shipping with Linux—but often there’s nothing inherently difficult about them, Firefox is the same &c. It’s maintenance and compatibility that are the most difficult aspects of Linux IMO.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by systyrant on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

I would bet you are correct. Most people can't even install windows. Of course I really don't think it's that hard to install Linux anymore either. In some cases even easier (no hunting for hardware drivers).

Reply Score: 2

no hunting for drivers anymore
by Drumhellar on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

[edit] nevermind

Edited 2009-06-30 18:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: no hunting for drivers anymore
by Amiga64 on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:36 UTC in reply to "no hunting for drivers anymore"
Amiga64 Member since:
2009-06-30

Ooo, sorry dude, that's not my experience. I've installed Win7 on four different machines. Only one of them had 3D working out of the box and my USB wirless card wouldn't work with Win7 at all. Both these things work straight out of the box with Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

RE: no hunting for drivers anymore
by jonathane on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:38 UTC in reply to "no hunting for drivers anymore"
jonathane Member since:
2009-05-31

Oh, I'd have to disagree. I bought a new Toshiba laptop with OpenSolaris preinstalled and no windows. I have a copy of Vista Ultimate that I wasn't using, so I made a partition for it and installed it. There was no ethernet, no wireless, and no appropriate graphics drivers. I got on a different machine and downloaded all these drivers and the other Toshiba software from the Toshiba site, all the x64 stuff. Unfortunately, Toshiba did a half-assed job on their x64 drivers, especially the graphics driver, which kept crashing randomly. I had to reinstall Vista, this time as 32 bit, just so that I could get drivers that work, for Windows no less.

So I would disagree that Windows is ready to roll on a clean install.

It would be more accurate to say that it's ready if you get it OEM.

Reply Score: 1

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06


It would be more accurate to say that it's ready if you get it OEM.



Yes, that's true, but that is the way the majority of all windows users get their windows.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

It would be more accurate to say that it's ready if you get it OEM.

Yes, that's true, but that is the way the majority of all windows users get their windows.


True, and all end users experience are relative. When an end user tries Linux they'll always compare it to the experience they had with the OEM customised and installed version of Windows. Love it or loath it, until Linux is as slick and easy to use as a pre-installed Windows installation, end users will always believe that Linux is for the 'geeks' and Windows and Mac's are for everyone else.

The problem isn't helped when there are developers who refuse to listen to end users problems - when they find that showering them (the end user) with a torrent of abuse for be 'clueless' is a whole lot easier than addressing the short comings of their given pet project. If all you're interested in is serving your needs then don't turn around with the same breath berating the fact that Microsoft is the position that it holds.

Edited 2009-07-02 06:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by gustl on Tue 30th Jun 2009 19:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

The most difficult things in Linux are getting badly supported Hardware to run with all functionality.

If you go into the store with Linux in your mind, you will not have troubles regarding hardware.

Maintenance of Linux is dead-easy. Everything can be managed by GUI applications by now, and let's face it: There is not much to do in any of today's Linux distributions, once everything is set up properly.

I have seen Linux getting better every year since 1998, and it is getting better real fast. With free 3D drivers for graphic cards just around the corner we will see Linux making a step ahead when they hit the disks (no more graphic driver install headaches).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc - maintenance
by jabbotts on Wed 1st Jul 2009 15:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Preconfigured is nothing new, most get there Windows or other platform preconfigured. Either the store does it or the neighbor's kid does it. Self install is still an anomaly among general users.

As for maintenance:

aptitude update && aptitude full-upgrade

... or watch for the task bar notice that you have updates available in synaptec. There is not a great deal more maintenance than that. Actually, thinking of it now, I'd be interested to hear what regular maintenance most people are doing.

With a server, it's a little more work due to reading logs and updating your rkhunter and tripwire data weekly. That's to be excpected though.

What general maintenance are the other admins doing out there?

Reply Score: 2

I'm normal
by systyrant on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:05 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

I'm not a code jockey, but I am an IT person. I use Ubuntu on my laptop at work. I work about 35 hours a week. I'm no super geek, but I am on the higher level of computer knowledge.

I call myself normal because I literally only spend about 40 hours a week on or thinking about computers. Besides computers I spend time taking pictures, practicing martial arts, reading (non computer related books), and hanging out with my not techie friends. I'd say that's about as normal as a person can get.

I still say that Linux would do much better if it had better application support from some of the major players. After all it's not really the OS that makes you productive. It's the applications.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I'm normal
by Moredhas on Tue 30th Jun 2009 21:43 UTC in reply to "I'm normal"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

Well, I'm not a qualified IT guy, and except for the stuff about donating time to schools the guy posting this article is practically me! (my passion is writing too). On the one hand, I don't care about the code, I use Linux for it's security and performance, and I spend a lot of time on my computer. Being unemployed means I'm well versed in the culture of web comics...

On the other hand, I play Magic: the Gathering on a regular basis, so I think that pushes me over into the uber-nerd category. I'm probably not the best example of a normal person who uses Linux, but my computer use is very "normal".

Reply Score: 2

Comment by snorkel2
by snorkel2 on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:06 UTC
snorkel2
Member since:
2007-03-06

My 70 year old father in law uses Ubunut :-)
I built the PC for him though.

I suspect lots of non geeks use distros like Ubuntu.

I myself use ArchLinux.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by snorkel2
by portamenteff on Fri 3rd Jul 2009 17:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by snorkel2"
portamenteff Member since:
2008-05-25

I am currently using Ubuntu. I don't consider myself a geek. I do have programing tools on there though, and I use other version of the *nixes with virtual machines. Not all *nixers are geeks though a majority are.

Reply Score: 1

My family is using GNU/Linux
by Jonix on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:08 UTC
Jonix
Member since:
2007-02-14

Hi,

I am the only non-normal one in my family, and I have coerced them into using Ubuntu.

My sibling is really frightened about the IT security threat that normal news covers so it was easy to tell them that other systems were less risk of being a target.

And I am sure that a lot of other people have similar stories

Reply Score: 1

RE: My family is using GNU/Linux
by Lennie on Tue 30th Jun 2009 23:51 UTC in reply to "My family is using GNU/Linux"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

My parents use Ubuntu, I've not had any more stupid questions, maybe even less as with Windows.

Reply Score: 1

alex.loula Member since:
2006-07-19

I have 3 computers at home and only a desktop has Windows Vista dual booted with Ubuntu 9.04. The other desktop runs FreeBSD 7.2 for NAS and the laptop runs Linux Mint. The only reason I still have a machine with Windows (not default on GRUB), is to make home video edition. My wife and kid have started to use Linux last year and they are very happy. The first opinion from my wife was, do we bought a new computer? it's running much faster than the previous!

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Gaming keeps a WinXP install on my hardware and a few prefered win32 only tools keep a WinXP VM installed.

For gaming it's great because I can fine tune the system for the specific game rather than having a do-everything install plus games. It has it's hardware support problems (how is bluetooth still such a mess) but it's only there to push whatever game I'm in to.

My network would be boring if it was only one platform though too. I can't imagine being limited to a single OS anymore. Even my work notebook is two hard drive installs plus a liveCD.

Reply Score: 2

RE: My family is using GNU/Linux
by ChrisA on Fri 3rd Jul 2009 14:11 UTC in reply to "My family is using GNU/Linux"
ChrisA Member since:
2006-05-06

So basically you used a fairytale to get him to use Linux. Can I have his bank account numbers and pins so I can make sure his money is OK. You know those bank hackers could go in there and snatch it up.

Reply Score: 0

Jonix Member since:
2007-02-14

It was not I who told the fairy tale, the mass media is telling tales all too often how people are being robbed and their identity stolen, leaving the actual person debt-ridden.

I did gave them a more safe operating system.

Reply Score: 1

Sure they do
by alcibiades on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:08 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

They don't get it and install it for themselves, they don't maintain it themselves. But then, they can't do either of those for Windows. As an example, here are three just about totally computer illiterate users I have on Linux (Debian and Mandriva).

An author, who writes books and articles for academic journals, swaps files with his co-authors, and does the usual web and email stuff, the occasional presentation which we do in pdf format to guarantee it to work in the venue as it does onscreen. Lots of printing. Occasional queries about how to get some sort of formatting effect, or how to open a particular file that a co-author has sent, but on the whole minimal input. This is on Debian Lenny, and rather to my amazement, he does upgrades unaided. I only found out when dpkg blew up the other week.

The support here is about what it used to be on OS9 Mac.

Then there is a charity with three machines, not networked, one running a database, one doing general office with half a dozen people using it, one running the cash register. Networked printer. Minimal intervention. They do their own backups. Not a problem. A few people with their own accounts for privacy.

Another case is just general office type use with email, web and word processing. On Debian, using Konqueror for the web. A bit more support needed, but nothing excessive.

Set it up for them, and its not a problem. However, do explain about user accounts versus admin, and above all demonstrate, explain, and have them use in front of you, multiple desktops, find file, and so on. It is a change, and you do have to be prepared to put in the time up front to get them comfortable. Do this, and its no problem.

Edited 2009-06-30 17:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sure they do - aptitude
by jabbotts on Wed 1st Jul 2009 16:26 UTC in reply to "Sure they do"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If your user is doing upgrades from command line then I'd recomment aptitude be used unless that is already the case. Of the command line tools, it's been the best I've used including the urpmi wrapper for borked Rpm. dpkg is pretty low level and apt-get doesn't track dependencies where aptitude does.

Granted, it's more likely they are using synaptic.

Reply Score: 2

Not me, but my wife!
by Flecko on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:09 UTC
Flecko
Member since:
2009-06-30

I wouldn't qualify myself as a normal person that uses Linux. But, thanks to the great strides open source software has taken over the last 5 to 10 years, I have been able to switch my wife from Windows to Ubuntu linux.

She has generally been very positive about the switch, with my help, but still finds shortcomings with Open Office. She also doesn't like the CD burning apps that I've tried to set her up with, but for 99% of her needs, it works great! And she's normal, trust me.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not me, but my wife!
by bryanv on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:17 UTC in reply to "Not me, but my wife!"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

She married an Osnews reader, and you're -still- claiming that she's normal?

Sorry, but I object.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Not me, but my wife!
by sbergman27 on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Not me, but my wife!"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

She married an Osnews reader, and you're -still- claiming that she's normal?

Obviously, he was a closet case. She cannot be faulted.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not me, but my wife! - k3b?
by jabbotts on Wed 1st Jul 2009 16:28 UTC in reply to "Not me, but my wife!"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If you've not tried K3B it may be worth a look but somehow I suspect that's already been tested.

Reply Score: 2

Sure they do
by piquadrat on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:15 UTC
piquadrat
Member since:
2005-11-26

I'm not sure I can be considered "normal" in the sense of the article as I'm a CS student and part time developer. But my two brothers both use Ubuntu, both of them without any influence from my side. To be honest, I even advised them against it out of fear that I'd be the one they called when something broke. They are very happy with Ubuntu and rarely need my help (and thanks to SSH, I'm much faster in remotely diagnosing and solving a problem than with Windows). One of them even talked his girlfriend into Linux ;)

Reply Score: 1

segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

If 'normal' people are using Linux then they don't know they're using it. Currently, there are just too many hoops for 'normal' people to jump through to actually know or care.

Reply Score: 3

My entire family uses linux.
by bryanv on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:16 UTC
bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

Every time they check their email.

Oh, but that's using linux because it's serving up their IMAP mailbox, authenticating their accounts with OpenLDAP.

But still, if you ask me, it counts. They may not know they're using it, but they are at some point logging into a linux server to retrieve their email.

Reply Score: 1

RE: My entire family uses linux.
by ChrisA on Fri 3rd Jul 2009 14:09 UTC in reply to "My entire family uses linux."
ChrisA Member since:
2006-05-06

That is the most half-a$$ed response I have ever seen. So your entire family uses AIX? HP/UX? Solaris? as well as Linux everytime they surf the web? That was a bone-headed remark made by Jonathan Schwartz and its still as boneheaded today as it was when he made it.

Reply Score: 1

My Wife
by fretinator on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:17 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

My wife is a "Much To Learn" to "Passable" computer user. She uses Linux everyday. I have a netbook with EeeBuntu installed. To her, it is her Firefox machine. She launches the browser (there is a nice icon on the desktop for her) and checks her email, does the Facebook thing, and maybe googles a few celebrities. She could care less that it is a linux machine.

So there are many "Normal" users of Linux, but as has been mentioned previously, I, the Geekoid, set it up for her. However, if it came pre-loaded from an OEM, I don't think she would have too much problem using it without me, other than setting up the network (clicking the network icon, selecting our network, and entering our key - not exactly rocket science). However, she wouldn't be able to setup the network unders Windows or Mac either.

In summary, I don't think a modern Linux is hard for anyone to use. The only problem is a little initial setup (mainly the network), but this is the same for all OS's. Windows Geeks help Windows newbies, etc.

Reply Score: 3

I know those that do
by sirhalos on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:17 UTC
sirhalos
Member since:
2007-04-04

After my dad got a virus on his laptop I didn't feel like redoing his laptop, installing drivers, etc so I put Ubuntu on it. He's never been happier he likes it so much he told his girlfriends, daughters husband. He had some questions about it and gave the list to my dad. I answered his questions and told him to go to the Ubuntu Forms to get the answers to anything else. Months later he called because he wanted to burn a new CD (lost his and wanted to install it on second computer which had a bad cd burner). His wife decided she liked his computer so much more that he end up installing it on her computer as well.

Reply Score: 2

My parents, my girlfriend
by spinnekopje on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:21 UTC
spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

My girlfriend and my parents use ubuntu and I could count myself also as one looking at the things I do on my computer (although I have an IT background).

Reply Score: 2

I am using Linux
by lukic on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:22 UTC
lukic
Member since:
2006-09-23

... and I am just a law student. And I love it. I started with Ubuntu 6.06 but then I discovered KDE so now I am using Kubutnu 9.04.

Reply Score: 1

Yes we do!
by alte on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:23 UTC
alte
Member since:
2009-06-30

I definitely qualify as normal by our society standards, working as top manager in one of multinational management consultancies. My work is related to finance, no IT connection whatsoever.

I've been using Linux at home for the last 10 years. At work I use what my employers request me to use, which is always Windows.

Just do not mistake 'dumb' for 'normal', and this may change your perspective on the question.

Reply Score: 3

Normal people don't use operating systems.
by sergio on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:24 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

Linux isn't for normal people, Windows isn't for normal people... normal people don't use operating systems, they use programs to accomplish tasks: MSN, Office, Facebook, you name it.

PS: Lots of people use Linux in their routers, TiVOs, phones, dvd-players... and they don't even know it!!

Reply Score: 6

Blackhouse Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree, most people don't use their operating system and with the rise of the clouds and the advance of web 2.0/3.0/4.0/etc more and more programs will become platform independent.

Years ago, I always needed a Windows machine for gaming, but honestly the PC gaming market is declining and more and more releases are (only) for gaming consoles. My guess is that the importance of the OS will further decline as the web moves along, until a certain point where the users will no longer want to pay for an expensive OS, when they can get things done for a fraction of the costs. (look at ideas like gOS or the CherryPal).

Reply Score: 1

My business desktop users
by sbergman27 on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:30 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

I guess the 60-70 folks I have using Linux desktops would qualify as "normal". Probably about twice that many who don't use Linux desktops, but operate cash registers which run a customized Linux configuration of mine.

And pretty much all the "normal" employees of Lowes Hardware use Lowes Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE: My business desktop users
by JayDee on Tue 30th Jun 2009 19:50 UTC in reply to "My business desktop users"
JayDee Member since:
2009-06-02

And pretty much all the "normal" employees of Lowes Hardware use Lowes Linux.


I would like to add to that by saying that Autozone uses SUZE Enterprise Linux. I'm pretty sure they didn't set it up themselves but they definitely know how to use their inventory/cash register program which is all they should need. 'Normal' people using Linux :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: My business desktop users
by Blackhouse on Tue 30th Jun 2009 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE: My business desktop users"
Blackhouse Member since:
2005-07-06

It's Suse (but that's just my inner geek talking ;) )

Reply Score: 1

RE: My business desktop users
by Sabon on Thu 2nd Jul 2009 13:53 UTC in reply to "My business desktop users"
Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

RE: Lowes Hardware. I was wondering what they used. I knew they used FireFox and not IE. But I (happy face) didn't see any bar at the bottom shows what OS they used.

Reply Score: 2

My parents
by Mark Williamson on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:31 UTC
Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

My parents have an Ubuntu box, though I set it up for them. Their old PC came with Windows ME and after many years surprisingly reliable service it trashed the hard drive. The drive was physically OK, as far as we could tell, so I helped them put Ubuntu on it.

The setup of the system required some effort but to be fair it *is* "weird" hardware (an all-in-one PC from about 2002). I had to help with the install because it initially chose to reboot from install into a resolution that wouldn't display, which needed my skills to fix (Ctrl-Alt-Minus to change Xorg resolution, then go into the GUI to change it permanently) and in order to configure ndiswrapper for the weird USB wireless dongle they had going spare . I set up a Samba-based fileshare and print server, which they use for most of their printing needs - most of the trouble there was that I didn't understand Windows very well ;-)

They don't use the machine that much but they seem reasonably pleased with the Linux setup on it and do use it for browsing the web etc occasionally. I also use it when I visit them but then I'm not "normal".

My Dad is somewhat technical, my Mum less so - neither had previous Linux experience but seem quite happy with using Gnome. A shame that it didn't install smoothly but frankly I was surprised Linux worked at all on a relatively odd machine.

Reply Score: 2

perfectly normal person
by rogerufo on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:33 UTC
rogerufo
Member since:
2007-04-28

I am the most perfectly normal person that I know of. I dabble with different linux distributions, with the idea in mind of completely replacing Windows on my computer(s). So far, there a still a few improvements that need to be made to be able to do that. Actually, I could do it, but my wife needs certain specific Windows software, and she can't. One program that comes to mind is the voice software that came with her Sony digital voice recorder. I haven't been able to find a Linux equivalent - but then I haven't looked for awhile and I am far from being a Linux expert.

Reply Score: 1

How is this
by Yamin on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:35 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

Normal people do you use Linux. I think my router at home uses Linux ;)

Only abnormal people care that they use Linux. I don't even see any 'moralily' in terms of open source. Not any real use to it either from my perspective.

I've gone on and off various Linux distros. I don't really see myself returning. Not for any grand reason. It's just easier being in the windows world.

The main things I like our linux are slowly making their way into windows (command line scripting....). Right now, I use cygwin a fair bit, but I might switch to powershell once i get used to it.

Reply Score: 3

I'm not normal
by TaterSalad on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:37 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

I consider myself to be a computer geek so I'm not normal. I have a laptop that dual boots between windows and linux but its rare for me to boot into linux unless I want to update the kernel, once in it I just play around then its back to windows.

I once tried suggesting that I was going to load linux on my girlfriend's laptop and that was shot down rather quickly and she is what I would call a normal user. She plays games, web browses, checks email, and does some photo stuff. So based on my experience, normal people do not use linux and that's including my girlfriend and some of my other friends. They could just care less about it.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by frantisheq
by frantisheq on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:37 UTC
frantisheq
Member since:
2008-07-25

well i was using it until i needed photoshop so from my point of view the answer is "yes"

Reply Score: 1

Coming out
by RogerBryce on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:42 UTC
RogerBryce
Member since:
2008-07-07

I've been using Linux for a long time. I think since 1997/1998. I know a few tricks, I know how to build my own system and I can help others when they have problems. I think I'm normal and I'm using Linux to test a new system right now. I always use a live Linux distro to test PC's (Puppy, DSL and now Fedora live with KDE). That said, I think I'm normal and I do use Linux. I don't hate myself for that. Actually, I never have...

Reply Score: 1

well..
by Boldie on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:44 UTC
Boldie
Member since:
2007-03-26

... what do I know? If I could I would make love to my Nokia N800, my popcorn hour and my Frugalware-desktop.

When my android phone arrives I'm not sure, but I think I might have to lick it a little.

Reply Score: 4

Then again....
by silicon on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:55 UTC
silicon
Member since:
2005-07-30

Then again, 'normal' people don't visit this site.

Reply Score: 2

Ubuntu is spreading
by deeptingler on Tue 30th Jun 2009 17:56 UTC
deeptingler
Member since:
2009-06-30

I think its completely correct what I read on this... I am the "geek" in the family and was always called on to rescue my friends, sisters and mothers pcs from the constant crashes and virii..... In the end I told them enough was enough and I was at the end of my tether with reinstalling windows (any version) then all drivers and their usual programs... I asked who would try something new.....

My friend tried Ubuntu on his aging lappy and has loved it ever since, even saying he finds it easier than windows to use. Turns out that my mother came to the same conclusion as she found Vista too cluttered and confusing and even though she had never used a computer in her life, she won't go back to windows.

My other friend wouldn't move from Windows at first and I had to rescue her system 3 times before she finally decided to try Ubuntu, this was because my first friend (the first man I was on about) had been taunting her about what he was doing on his laptop while she was just having a fight to get hers to work! lol.

its been over 2 years since all this went on and now when I ask if they would like to go back to windows, the answer is a resounding "NO!".

I've gotta say it, I was surprised myself at how it changed their perception of using the machines, and now I actually have plenty of time to myself to lead my own life instead of forever "fixing" something on someone elses machine. They're happy and so am I!

Reply Score: 1

Sure they do.
by boblmartens on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:09 UTC
boblmartens
Member since:
2009-06-30

Well, I'm counting the machines I have set up for people because, honestly, I have to set up their Windows machines (or Macs) anyway ... this just makes it a ton easier for me and them in the long run.

My completely non-technical father and brother both use Linux every day. People who want to surf the web and look at pictures of tractors and implements don't need a Windows machine and it would just cause more trouble. No problems for them and no complaints either. Truth be told, they prefer the old Athlon 64 3200+ machine to the Athlon 64 X2 5200+ machine I have running Windows ... to them, it "runs faster." I can thank Ubuntu 9.04 for that one.

Reply Score: 1

At least one
by Alleister on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:26 UTC
Alleister
Member since:
2006-05-29

My sister uses Linux. She isn't dumb, she managed to learn LaTex for her Biotechnology study, but she knows next to nothing about computers.
So, yes. There are people out there that use Linux (and loving it) who hardly know how to switch a computer on.

Reply Score: 3

RE: At least one
by WorknMan on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:38 UTC in reply to "At least one"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

My sister uses Linux. She isn't dumb, she managed to learn LaTex for her Biotechnology study, but she knows next to nothing about computers.
So, yes. There are people out there that use Linux (and loving it) who hardly know how to switch a computer on.


Yeah, but did you set it up? Note: If an uber-geek did all the installing/teaching, it doesn't count ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: At least one
by Alleister on Tue 30th Jun 2009 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE: At least one"
Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

I talked her through it. It wasn't any challenge though and she would have been able to do it herself. Not more than insert the XUbunut CD, start and click install.

Installing Windows a few months earlier required my personal attendance, so i guess Linux is easier to install than windows, not to forget getting LaTeX installed was much easier as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: At least one
by michelebot on Wed 1st Jul 2009 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE: At least one"
michelebot Member since:
2009-07-01

What's the difference between a geek setting up Ubuntu and a computer store setting up Windows?

Reply Score: 1

Normal users don't use operating systems
by ddc_ on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:28 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

Well, I know that many "normal" people "use linux". My mother's and my grandmother's laptops both run linux, while my mother's knowledge of computer is somewhere between "normal" and "passable", while my grandmother's computer knowledge quickly moves from ignorant (three months ago she had no access to PC) towards "established nerd". Both have linux simply because I installed it, and none is suffering. They feel comfortable (with notable exceptions of dealing with internet provider tech.support which has absolutely no idea of Linux).

The case is that normal users don't use Linux, Windows or OSX. They use internet, document editing, spreadsheet editing, music and video player and so on. They just know enough to find a way around and not interested enough to care about technical details.

Reply Score: 1

13,000 students use it everyday
by phoenix on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:29 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Our local school district (approx 13,000 students) uses Linux everyday ... and they love it! With the exception of:
* 3 high schools (which will be converted over the next two months)
* the occasional special-purpose lab (video editing, yearbook, etc)
* some admin/office computers

every computer in the school district is running Debian Linux 4.0. All nicely network-booting off a single server at the site (diskless stations).

So, yes, "normal" people use Linux every day. And most even enjoy it.

However, they are just "normal" end-users, running applications. They are not "power-users" or "administrators", in that they do not install anything, configure anything outside of their personal preferences, or even touch the hardware beyond USB flash sticks.

Wait, isn't that what most "normal" Windows and MacOS X users do? ;)

Reply Score: 4

I used to be normal, then I found Linux.
by Amiga64 on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:31 UTC
Amiga64
Member since:
2009-06-30

Well ok, I've always been interested in computers. I've even done a bit of programming.

But Linux gives you so much opportunity to learn geeky stuff - like the command line and bash scripting - that it would just be churlish to refuse the opportunity to turn into an out and out geek.

What's more there's always so much news around that you can spend all day thinking about Linux. That just isn't possible with Windows. It's waaay too boring.

I've been trying out Win7 recently and I hate it. It's really good at helping me do whatever I'm doing but it does it's damndest to prevent me from learning anything while I'm doing it. Windows wants the computer to remain a mystery to you. Linux wants you to learn about it.

Therefore, if you use Linux, you will become a geek. Ergo, no normal people use Linux (or at least not for long).

Reply Score: 2

Yes, friends and family
by soulrebel123 on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:42 UTC
soulrebel123
Member since:
2009-05-13

I currently mantain 5 Ubuntu computers for my family, my girlfriend's family, and two friends. That makes 8 normal or computer/ignorant users.

It takes very little work. after the initial configuration. Nobody has yet infected or messed any of the machines. Most ot their tasks they manage to do without calling for help.

Reply Score: 2

Normal people use linux until.............
by rakamaka on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:45 UTC
rakamaka
Member since:
2005-08-12

until they face abnormal problems...
until they have to install peripherals.....
until they have to install and uninstall any software/programs....
until they don't have 2 hrs to set their sound card..
till then everything is rosy rosy...
and then they turn to what 90% of normal population uses....

Reply Score: 1

boblmartens Member since:
2009-06-30

Huh?

Everything you listed I already have to do for ANY Windows machine. Like I've said, those people who have used it have LESS problems and I end up doing LESS technical support for them.

Reply Score: 1

renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

until they face abnormal problems...
until they have to install peripherals.....
until they have to install and uninstall any software/programs....
until they don't have 2 years to set their sound card..
till then everything is rosy rosy...
and then they turn to what 90% of normal population uses....

So, fixed that for you. Yeah, mod me down if you want to, but your time is better spend fixing alsa/oss/pulseaudio/jack/esd/aRts/GStreamer (humor me and list the ones i forgot),

Reply Score: 2

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

and then they turn to what 90% of normal population uses....


Their local friendly geek? That's what most non-geeks I know do if they need to add new hardware or software to their machine (Windows or otherwise)...

Reply Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

until they face abnormal problems...
until they have to install peripherals.....
until they have to install and uninstall any software/programs....
until they don't have 2 hrs to set their sound card..
till then everything is rosy rosy...
and then they turn to what 90% of normal population uses....


Sounds just like all the Windows XP users I know (home users).

If it doesn't come pre-installed and pre-configured, very few people know how to "fix" things, or add peripherals, or install new software, or even how to run Windows Update.

Since I'm the family "computer geek", I get all the phone calls to do all the things you've listed. Even from the younger cousins (those in their early 20s)!!

Reply Score: 4

Normal?
by troy.w.banther on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:51 UTC
troy.w.banther
Member since:
2008-06-28

My first response would be to define normal.

Normal to me is the average PC user who who sits in the center, or just left or right, in a usability study and a statistical bell curve.

There may be anomalies which pull data left or right but most people are not at the extremes.

If a person is using Windows for their daily business or private entertainment, then that would be considered normal for that person.

The same can be said for a BSD, Linix or OS X user.

My daily has me nose deep in three operating systems. Windows because there are some programs and databases which are Windows only. Linux and OS X are my bread and butter.

For me, this is normal.

My question to a normal Windows user would be, "Is Windows worth the cost?" Is the cost of a Windows-driven PC considered normal?

Most of the people I know who have switched to Linux have required less of my time to repair their formally Windows PCs. They are formerly normal Windows users.

Edited 2009-06-30 18:56 UTC

Reply Score: 1

My wife!
by jack_perry on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:51 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

My wife uses it, because for a long time we didn't have Windows working on one computer. My wife is wayyyyy normal.

Reply Score: 2

linux
by apraxisz on Tue 30th Jun 2009 18:52 UTC
apraxisz
Member since:
2009-06-30

I've installed Linux on my father's browsing pc and laptop, since all he needs is the ability to browse, and read email. The browsing PC is an oldie, with not much ram, and an ailing HDD. But thanks to the low-end friendly localized distro and not needing to run a resource hog virus scanner, it was a considerable speedup compared to XP, and he likes it. That said, he wasn't dependent on any Microsoft specific feature/product/education to begin with, so it was an easy enough switch. I ended up just rsyncing everything over to a partition on the laptop, so he has the exact same desktop on there as well. Also, I introduced a local pub owner looking for a simple MP3 and CD playing solution to GeeXboX, that worked just fine on a trashy p2, that's bios didn't even see the entire HDD, for years. They might still be using it.

Reply Score: 1

Super Evil and Normal
by Zyyx on Tue 30th Jun 2009 19:07 UTC
Zyyx
Member since:
2008-10-23

I am a super evil villain and I use Linux in order to take over the known universe. I consider myself to be absolutely normal whereas the rest of you are quite strange and abnormal. Kidding...

My 68 year old, did not touch a computer until about ~47, mom uses linux. While I did install it for her shes done everything else including setup her modem and printer. It should be noted that when she ran Windows 95/98 I also did the installs but I also had to setup the dialup etc.

Reply Score: 1

Retired folks use it
by dpederson on Tue 30th Jun 2009 19:19 UTC
dpederson
Member since:
2005-07-07

I know a large number of retired people at the retirement center that my parents live in who are using Ubuntu. After all the hassles with viruses, spyware, etc. that caused their systems to slow to a crawl with Windows, you couldn't get them to give up Linux. It just works for them.

Reply Score: 1

Am I normal
by DRIQ on Tue 30th Jun 2009 19:52 UTC
DRIQ
Member since:
2008-04-28

I am married with three children. Am I normal?

My CIO is gay. Is he normal?

I use Debian and Mac OS for desktops, Solaris, SLES, Debian and FreeBSD for servers, do look after 5000 XP, 1500 Windows servers, 4 Solaris and 100 SLES at work.

Friends and family had called for help with the 2000 and XP Pro issues all the time. Thanx for the Vista, I told them that I know nothing about Vista. There you have it, I have a normal life, no longer need to go out to help them out.

Recently, I told everybody that I look after servers only, and know nothing about desktops. Guest what? I no longer need to go out to support XP and Vista, can spend the time at home with my family. When I have nothing to do, I just look at my tank of gold fish swimming. Am I normal?

Reply Score: 2

anecdotes
by MamiyaOtaru on Tue 30th Jun 2009 20:14 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

From my family, I have a sister who usees linux on her eee, and a grandfather and parent who gave it a go on desktops but eventually moved away.

It's all well and good to say someone only needs to browse + email + write letters, but there's always something else, like geneology programs for my grandfather or Word Perfect for my mother.

They don't want to spend the time or know how to find alternatives, and don't see why they should have to.

From this small sample, I'd bet most "normal" people who use Linux are those that got it integrated with an eee like device and haven't replaced it with windows yet.

Reply Score: 2

Yes, some do
by WereCatf on Tue 30th Jun 2009 20:15 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

My mom is one of those "normal" people who does use Linux on her laptop. She did not install it herself, I installed and set it up for her, but after that she did not complain about a single thing. I showed her only once how to install updates and explain why and she has dutifully kept it updated when the system notified her of such. True enough, she doesn't do that much with her computer; browses the web, uses messenger and keeps her budget there, but atleast that's one rather computer-illiterate person who is happy with Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yes, some do
by michelebot on Wed 1st Jul 2009 17:24 UTC in reply to "Yes, some do"
michelebot Member since:
2009-07-01

Ditto that. The lack of anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall questions from my mom has been refreshing. Once it is set up, she knows how to run the updates. It is very rare that she has problems.

Reply Score: 1

Uh
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 30th Jun 2009 20:22 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Uh, no idea where I'd belong on that scale. I'm pretty knowledgeable, but I'm often dwarfed by what others have to say here.

No idea.

Reply Score: 1

Yes there is
by Anusko on Tue 30th Jun 2009 20:54 UTC
Anusko
Member since:
2009-06-30

I'm a CS student so not normal lol
But my girlfriend, sister, brother-in-law and one cousin all use Ubuntu and they are as normal as it gets.
I see my girlfriend almost every day and I take care of little admin tasks for her but the others I rarely seem them and also rarely get phoned with problems.
My brother-in-law was the hardest to covert since he was really comfortable with Windows. But now he thanks me and don't want to go back so... good experience so far.
Almost forgot, it's been two years since they all begin to use it.

Reply Score: 1

It depends on your...
by mrhasbean on Tue 30th Jun 2009 21:50 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

...definition of "normal" really. That scale is what most "techie" types consider to be normal. However those at the bottom end of that scale would argue otherwise, as would those who spend most of their working days supporting computers used by people at the lower end of that spectrum.

The biggest percentage of the population still fall into the "where the hell is the on switch" category, so for them using Linux is not an option unless it has been set up for them - which is how they get their Windows or OSX box. And therein lies the problem for LInux - well one of them - there are simply not enough vendors that provide the option of pre-installing it. Then there's the general lack of options for getting more knowledgeable "friends" to help with configuring or when something goes wrong - which can actually be a good thing ;) . Then there's the availability of apps (remember we're talking about people who's DVD players and Microwaves have the time flashing 12:00), if it doesn't come from K-Mart they don't know how to find it. The list goes on.

When Linux manages to address these problems it will gain more presence on the desktop of "normal" people...

Reply Score: 1

I am that "normal" person!
by ruel24 on Tue 30th Jun 2009 21:53 UTC
ruel24
Member since:
2006-03-21

I'm the "un-geek". Sure, I like gadgets and such, but what guy doesn't? I hate the command line, and I'm just a normal old computer user. I can fix my own problems in Linux, though, which is something I have some problems at in Windows. In Windows, I poke around and try some stuff to see if it works. In Linux, I can actually fix some things on purpose. Funny, huh?

I absolutely hate geeky Linux's and this is why I'm using PCLinuxOS, and I also like Mandriva and Granular, a PCLinuxOS derivative, a lot too. You can keep the rest of them. They're simply too much work. I just want to be able to install it and use it without any fuss. Other distros like Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSuse and such are a lot of fuss. PCLinuxOS has nothing really to setup after it's installed. No repository garbage to setup to get everything I need, and it does a wonderful job of finding my hardware and getting it up and running for me. I just have to customize my desktop and I'm off and running. That's what I like: to actually USE my computer, not fiddle with it!

Reply Score: 1

It can be
by Xaero_Vincent on Tue 30th Jun 2009 22:11 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

My father uses Fedora and he never really learn "how to use" Windows when that was his platform. There were problems in the beginning but I solved those for him (ex.: lack of media codecs, DVD playback, Flash).

Applications aren't a problem at all. When he needs Windows software, he'll use Wine for software rated Silver or better on Wine's AppDB. For software rated Bronze or Garbage, he connects to my Vista terminal server (with patched termserv.dll for simultaneous connections) as a seamless remote session, using a specially patched version of the rdesktop RDP client.

Linux is a great platform as long as you're conscience of the hardware you buy. Unlike Windows, the level of support for specific hardware varies from poor to excellent. Not all drivers in the kernel are at the same level of maturity. Linux can become a nightmare with cryptic, non-graphical error messages when dealing with poorly supported devices or when you run across distribution and packaging bugs, which is more frequent then it should me.

Reply Score: 2

"Normal???"
by fukudasan on Tue 30th Jun 2009 22:14 UTC
fukudasan
Member since:
2006-06-04

It all depends what you mean by "normal" . . . I suppose anyone who can do text/picture processing, surf the Net, do e-mail etc. is "normal".

But most users (as stated here already) do not install their own choice of OS but buy Windoze pre-installed, and presumably trash their box when it gets too old . . . and just buy another one with Windoze pre-installed.

Here in Korea, I have been running Mandrake/Mandriva on-and-off for about four years, dual-booted with XP Home/Pro. I prefer Linux because (a) it doesn't get in my way and most importantly (b) because I do not have to suffer constant loss of time and efficiency with endless virus/adware/malware/greyware scans; it's more secure, more bang for your buck (and yes, I DO pay for software).

The quality of what I am producing is great. The other week I had to produce a whole set of documents (fourteen or fifteen in total, using only OOO 3.x) for a three-day summer camp. I got this response last night:

"Hi Andrew,



Thank you for your work. We are impressed about your well-organized lesson plan and worksheets. We have to decide one recipe among the 5 recipes you sent. As to make it easy to prepare ingredients and to cook in a short time, it would be better to choose only one recipe with simple precess, and consider in advance if it is easy to get ingredients in Korea. Choose one thing and let me know which one you chose until next Monday.



Thanks,

Rachel"

So the quality of what I produce is considered OK. I maintain my own system and do my own installations; I have a Degree in Cell and Molecular Science, I teach English and I do text, graphics, video etc. I also measure my own blood pressure and do little snippets of HTML.

Does that make me a geek???

Andrew ^_^


PS . . . the plural of "spectrum" is "spectra".

Reply Score: 1

fixing the scale
by dougsk on Tue 30th Jun 2009 22:42 UTC
dougsk
Member since:
2005-07-01

I think your scale is wrong

Just to the right of the "Normal" demarcation should be where fanatic resides. It's always the newbs proselytizing anyways.

It seems to me as one progresses to the right of "Extremely Knowledgeable" the ultimate goal is "Pragmatic" where one determines the optimal solution of cheap, fast, and good for the project requirements.

Oh and as for the article, in a word:

No

.. at least not directly. But I think that's the point of the question, so I'll stick by it.

Reply Score: 2

eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

But what is the definition of "using"? Cause If the definition is too tight (like using it on a device you can touch), perhaps it's not too many people (though it's growing... even if people don't notice it)... but if the definition is a bit untight, then who isn't using google or yahoo or tivo or cheap cisco routers (those two I think would fit in the tigh definition but...), etc? In other words, a lot of normal (and to its left) are using Linux.

Anyway.... I think I'm knowledgeable in your scale, Thom.

Reply Score: 2

Normal?
by SonicMetalMan on Tue 30th Jun 2009 22:58 UTC
SonicMetalMan
Member since:
2009-05-25

I think you have to define what you consider to be "normal". Around 70% of the people that I support cannot really do much more than turn a PC on and use what is there. This means that some of these fine people use applications not appropriate to the task at hand, which could be related to training but is more apt to be "I use Excel for everything because I'm used to it". All are Windows users. In my mind this slants typical Windows users towards the left of center scale.

The Linux users I know are definitely right of center. All are equally at home on a Mac, Ubuntu, or XP.

You have to just consider core competency and leave it at that.

Reply Score: 1

My parents
by Lennie on Tue 30th Jun 2009 23:50 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

(sorry for the double post)

Edited 2009-06-30 23:54 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Define 'normal'
by thelastdodo on Tue 30th Jun 2009 23:54 UTC
thelastdodo
Member since:
2008-10-07

Nobody is 'normal'. Everybody is different, Geek or not.

Reply Score: 1

Wrong scale: Fanatic
by Lennie on Tue 30th Jun 2009 23:56 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

I'm sorry, but I've seen many people be fanatic about something, but they were hardly knowledgable.

Reply Score: 1

Not using Linux for Desktop
by Babi Asu on Wed 1st Jul 2009 00:17 UTC
Babi Asu
Member since:
2006-02-11

I'm Extremely Knowledgeable, and I use OSX on MBP. I used to play on FreeBSD or Debian via terminal, but I don't like FreeBSD/Linux Desktop.

Reply Score: 2

Yes
by nbensa on Wed 1st Jul 2009 00:24 UTC
nbensa
Member since:
2005-08-29

My mom uses Linux (Ubuntu)

My GF uses Linux (Ubuntu) at home and at work. She owns a pet-shop and there I've setup LTSP for three terminals.

Yeah. I think they're pretty normal.

Stop thinking about Linux as an OS for engineers. I find Windows way more complicated, so I could ask you: does "normal" people uses/understand Windows????

Reply Score: 3

Lots!
by 3rdalbum on Wed 1st Jul 2009 01:54 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

Lots of "normal" people use Linux on their computers. But because they are not interested in computing, and they're not having any problems with their computers, they don't actively advocate Linux and they don't register on computer-related forums.

Reply Score: 5

Linux==Normal
by aking469 on Wed 1st Jul 2009 02:17 UTC
aking469
Member since:
2006-01-16

I am normal. I use OS X and Linux.
I am normal. I use OS X and Linux.
I am normal. I use OS X and Linux.

See, 3 of the voices in my head agree.....I am normal. We won't talk to the others....they are not so friendly!

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Wed 1st Jul 2009 02:38 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

"In behavior, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average."

How many people use linux desktops again? Was it up to 1% of total recently?

1% isn't normal. There is your answer.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by Luminair
by lemur2 on Wed 1st Jul 2009 06:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"In behavior, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average." How many people use linux desktops again? Was it up to 1% of total recently? 1% isn't normal. There is your answer.


The thread topic is 'Do Any Normal People Use Linux?'

The answer to the thread topic is: everybody uses Linux. Most (western) people would use more than one copy in their various devices. Who said anything about desktops? Linux desktop usage is about 5% (and growing) anyway.

What question where you trying to answer?

Edited 2009-07-01 06:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Luminair
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 1st Jul 2009 06:40 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

"In behavior, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average."

How many people use linux desktops again? Was it up to 1% of total recently?

1% isn't normal. There is your answer.

I drive a '97 Chevy Malibu LS. Am I normal? I seriously doubt the percentage of Malibus on the road is high, let alone the 1997 model year, and an LS at that.

On the other hand, I think the percentage of people who are old enough to drive, and do drive (whatever their vehicle may be), is probably pretty high. Similarly, I'm sure there are quite a few people who "run" Linux, although they may not think or even know about it. Some examples might be routers, DVRs, and TVs.

Then again, there are many car manufacturers out there, each developing entire lines of vehicles, and coming out with new models to compete for your money every year. In personal computers (including Macs, which I don't consider much different), the most common systems to be known to run an operating system almost never come with anything BUT Windows, despite many alternate choices. [Clarification on the previous sentence: How many people even *know* that their router or other device is a computer running an operating system? I think the whole PC-runs-an-OS thing is more well known. Hell, many of them don't even have a "boot" screen.]

OEMs have only recently started showing even the slightest hint of looking at open source operating systems as an alternative, and so far their offerings have been disappointing at best. [Watch 'em all flock to Windows on netbooks, which were started in the first place with the help of Linux... oh, and enjoy your wallpaper while you're at it, Windows 7 Starter will reserve that for itself (ie. Microsoft, their partners, and possibly cell phone companies).]

So I guess due to Microsoft's monopoly, which they've illegally gained (I sure as hell wouldn't say earned) and maintained, not even the car vs. computers argument works perfectly here. They're the ones who have, illegally, changed what "normal" is.

Edited 2009-07-01 06:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

...
by Tuishimi on Wed 1st Jul 2009 05:04 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

I eat crackers. Yeah.
Flowers are pretty too. Yeah, they are. Yeah.
I use linux. It makes me wiggle inside.

STOP IT! STOP BUZZING AROUND INSIDE MY HEAD!

Reply Score: 3

not really
by stabbyjones on Wed 1st Jul 2009 05:43 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

short answer: no

long answer: yes with a but;

i'm going to first up say that i'm not normal and have worked in IT since i was but a teen BUT because i only run on Debian at home people around me are forced to use it.

Namely my girlfriend and housemate have had to come to grips with using GNOME and while they initially go "WTF is this!" complaints have slowly subsided.

Normal people don't want to use it but when they don't have a choice they'll use it.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://education.tmcnet.com/topics/education/articles/50828-userful...

Would they all count as normal people, do you suppose?

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/06/28/0344234

How about over 20% of the State of Munich's desktops (due to become 80% by 2012). Normal enough users?

What about the French gendarmes?

What about educational use in Russia, China, India or Spain?

What about all of the OLPC users? (since the contraversial Windows option for OPLC was not taken up)? Normal?

What about all the people who bought the original (Linux) EEEPC in such numbers as to start the whole netbook thing, (and consequently give Microsoft such a fright they had to change their whole policy on sales of XP, bring forward and change the design aims of Windows 7, and scrap Vista)?

What about mobile phone users?

What about users of most embedded devices in general?

Edited 2009-07-01 05:56 UTC

Reply Score: 7

Normal?
by dbolgheroni on Wed 1st Jul 2009 08:09 UTC
dbolgheroni
Member since:
2007-01-18

Just installed OpenBSD/hppa on a HP 9000 712/60.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Maki
by Maki on Wed 1st Jul 2009 08:22 UTC
Maki
Member since:
2009-06-28

Normal users as in people who don't thinker with the PC ?
If so, then i would say there are a lot od people that use a linux box mantained by a friend/family.
If you assume normal = installed linux themself then your idea of "normal" is wrong

Reply Score: 1

l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

OSNews Asks: 'Do Any Normal People Use Linux?'

Let me be the one who summarizes it all up:

Yes.

Thank you, thank you.

:P

Reply Score: 2

linux for geeks?
by xoulis on Wed 1st Jul 2009 09:14 UTC
xoulis
Member since:
2006-05-25

So I consider my self a geek. I use both windows and linux 2 out of my 3 pc's run windows....Shame on me!

My wife, a clueless user, uses linux because kde4 is very beatifull and openoffice.org is much simpler than MS office 2007

My father hopeless uses linux. It is better translated and never needs to format his pc like his neighbor George.

My mother uses linux but if you ask her she only knows that by pressing this button she is online. Her laptop was setup by me with opensuse few years ago and since then I have nevr saw it again.

My conclusion is that normal users JUST DONT CARE!!! THEY JUST WANT THEIR PC TO WORK !!!! This is absolutely true with linux. No go there download this progy and that driver and...Pc's with linux 80% of the cases they just work..

Reply Score: 3

Who cares?
by bolomkxxviii on Wed 1st Jul 2009 11:02 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

I've been using linux since Corel Linux came out (around 2000). Some will call me a geek on this site, but I am also a scuba diver and a biker. I doubt many of you would call me a geek to my face if we met while I was on my Harley.

Reply Score: 2

In A Normal Family
by qroon on Wed 1st Jul 2009 11:02 UTC
qroon
Member since:
2005-10-21

:) My daughter (7 year-old) is the typical normal user who don't care about the Operating System. She can use her account on my Netbook (Fedora), her mom's notebook (Fedora), 2 Windows desktops (XP and Vista) and her iBook (G4).

She just ask us which is the browser and how to power off the machines ;) As for us (me and my wife), we are in the IT field but we are OS Agnostics. I'm a system administrator (Linux and *NIX) but I use any OS with SSH client. While my wife is a data analyst and use any OS available.

Are we normal? Yes! After office works, we read books, play music instruments, watch movies/TV. Oh and as a bassist, I record my tracks on 3 popular OSes (garageband on OSX, Ardour/Audacity on Linux and Cubase or Audacity on Windows ;) )

Reply Score: 3

Definitely not normal.
by desentizised on Wed 1st Jul 2009 12:06 UTC
desentizised
Member since:
2008-12-09

I think I'm definitely "not normal" in the sense that I'm very passionately ignorant about what my digital life has to look like.

I'm the absolute Fanatic when it comes to Windows. I have a Core i7 machine with a GeForce GTX295 and this huge amount of power would just go to waste on anything but Windows for me.
On the other hand I use an Aluminum MacBook as my mobile solution and I hardly ever find the need to boot into Windows there.

I do virtualize a lot of OS's in those 6GB of RAM my Core i7 has though.
Among them: Ubuntu x64, Windows 7 x64, Server 2008 x64, FreeBSD x64, WinXP x64/x32 and Windows Me (don't ask, don't tell).
Most of them are for testing of course. But i do know my way around UNIX based Systems besides OSX. It's just that I have no room in my digital life for something like Linux. This whole Open Source thing just doesn't do it for me while clearly having its advantages. And believe me, I spent more than just a few hours on working with Linux.

As I said I can't waste the power of my Desktop PC on something where I wouldn't know what to do with it and OSX on my Laptop is serving me so well there are no lacks there either.

Maybe an Android-based Mobile Phone in the future?
At least that's where I see the future of Linux. Besides mobile devices it'll always be established among Servers of course but on the desktop I think you still have to be "not normal" to really use it with passion.

cheers

Reply Score: 0

The 99th Percentile
by bbonw3 on Thu 2nd Jul 2009 15:28 UTC
bbonw3
Member since:
2009-07-01

About 99% of the normal people I know use Windows on their personal computer. That's what it came with, so that's what they use. They will not install another OS on their PCs - only "geeks" do stuff like that.

Linux enthusiasts will have to find some way to get the major PC vendors to push Linux for it to ever break out - and I don't see that happening in my lifetime based on current trends.

I can install, configure, and optimize just about any OS out there... What do I use at home? Windows XP Pro (and no, I will not downgrade to Vista!) Why? Because most of my expensive peripherals were designed for this OS, and I don't care to spend my precious free time hacking another OS to get it to "kinda" run my scanner in a suboptimal way just so I can have free beer...

Let's face it: The "Designed for Windows" label is like an impermiable barrier to Linux adoption by normal people.

Bomber Bob

Reply Score: 1