Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Jun 2007 18:35 UTC, submitted by troy.unrau
PC-BSD "PC-BSD is not a Linux distribution, but rather it could be considered among the first major FreeBSD-based distributions to live outside of the official FreeBSD. Like most distributions, it has implemented certain features in a way that attempts to distinguish it from the competition, and I will focus mostly on these differences. This test drive is intended to give an overview of what PC-BSD is and why one would consider using it."
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RE: More things to think about.
by Doc Pain on Thu 21st Jun 2007 18:42 UTC in reply to "More things to think about."
Doc Pain
Member since:

"I just want to be healthy and If I sometime am ill, I just want to take a pill (an interface) instead of having to know the inner workings of the pill (opening the shell and tweaking something)"

Excuse me, your analogy is funny. Usually, we do car analogies here (because people like car analogies), but pill analogies are new to me.

Simply put: Computing isn't that easy in every cases. In computer science, we usually assume worst case. You can imagine why.

I may give you a car analogy that relatives your pill analogy:

I want to get from A to B, and I don't want to walk. I want to drive because my neightbor drives, too. I don't have a car. I expect my neightbor to give me his car for free. I do not own a driving license. I don't want to! Why? I'm tired of learning, learining how to handle the steering wheel, the brakes, the gear, the lights, learning which rules apply at a crossing, outside a city, on a highway - I just want to drive. I expect the car to know how to do this, it's its job. And if the car produces an accident it's not my fault, it's the car manufacurer's!

You may smile, but I think this analogy does describe the situation better than yours does.

But because you opened the medical sector, I may follow you. (NB: I do work in medicine, so I may continue smiling.) Taking pills never is an easy decision. If I smoke and drink alcohol, my body may say "thank you". I can take lots of pills in order to keep me alive for some time, but wouldn't it be better for me to change my habits? Start smoking less? Drinking less alcohol? And before I can take a pill, I need to know what disease I'm suffering from, this implies I need to do diagnostics first. First think, then do - a rule that's handy quite everywhere. Consider multifactorial diseases with participation of psychic components, too; what can you do there? Throw one simple pill that solves all problems? Sure, if it's potassic cyanide (KCn)... :-)

"In Spain they would call you computer-freakie."

In Germany, the term is similar: Computerfreak.

"Now think about windows:"

No, please! :-)

"Install a program: 3 or 4 clicks, in every computer, not need to know more."

Yes, but only if you're lucky. Know that "Windows" does not offer accaptable diagnostic tools if something is not that easy and does not work by itself. Reality may teach you.

"(In Debian: Apt-get inst..? What?!! Do I need to type to do something? or WORST, Do I have to learn something? Look for repositories???!! What is that?)"

In PC-BSD: Browse though the PBI directory, download the package, doubleclick the icon - done.

In FreeBSD: pkg_add -r xmms - done.

"Security: Let's buy an Antivirus, this cost is assumed to be taken by everybody in this world, why? because if not, you would get a virus, that can be annoying one day that I need my computer for something important. Yes, windows has viruses, but with an antivirus I can fix it."

No, you cannot tell for sure except you are educated enough to do network diagnostics (packet monitor etc.); in "Windows" you cannot tell what the machine is doing exactly. Furthermore, you cannot know about software's quality just from the shiny package it came in.

"Linux has fewer or almost no viruses ... ok, where's my Windows, I already know it."

People don't care about the danger they are to theirselves and to others that comes from their lack of knowledge and - mainly - interest. They don't care if their PC is infected, if it serves as a sharing point for child pornography or if it's sending spam along the Internet. More than 90% of the Internet's mail traffic - mind the percentage! - are spam today. Any idea why?

"Firewall: It comes with the antivirus, it takes care of it, or if not, I the worst case, I need to swith it on or off, not more. (Linux/Unix: policies? Ports open or closed? DMZs?"

PC-BSD's firewall is preconfigured well. OpenBSD comes with all ports closed by default. If I need to open a service, I need to know how I do it. Why? Because it's my responsibility, not anybody else's.

"Wifi: Already running, or plug the USB device. (No need to find the drivers four your distro)"

Same on BSD or Linux. The drivers are included, you don't need to install something.

"In 4 words: Windows is the standard, we need to make things as easy as in Windows, and I think the more you approach the interface, the location of things, the way of doing things of Windows the more you have an opportunity to be become MAINSTREAM, because I think that this is the game, isn't it?"

Just imagine how things change in "Windows" world: Location of settings, ways of doing things.

And please: If you use the term "standard", be sure to use it wisely. "Windows" is the most used PC OS today, that's a statistical value (i. e. modal value), but it's no standards. It even does not support the usual standards for GUIs, printing, storing files etc.

There are many Linux distros around that try to reproduce "Windows's" look and feel. But why abandon the advantages window managers and UIs give you in UNIX and Linux? You know: Choice is good. PC-BSD defaults to KDE, a mainstream desktop system, but you can anything else you want to use.

"If you want an average user changing OS you must achieve him/her having to read ZERO words, no manual, no instructions, a familiar interface."

Familiar interface? Which one? :-) People know "Windows" from their work. They want to have at home what they have at work. If the commercial use changes (maybe to a Linux + KDE combination), home users want to have this at home, even if they don't know what it is in fact.

"Because the interfaces are there for that, and if you give me a headache I will hate your OS and will go back to windows, where I feel confortable and safe, with my dear viruses (recommending my friends that Nod32, is cheap and good, better that yours, and by the way I prove that I know that little about computers)."

NB the difference: to feel save vs. to be safe. "Windows" makes the average user feel safe, that may be true, but reality shows you that this is just a paresthesia.

"Don't make me think, do make me think about the tool, becase the tool is there to help solve a problem, not to become the problem."

Know the problem, know the tool. See car analogy above. Add: Don't let my brain work, I don't want to get it dirty. :-)

"I just want to type this memo or report and go out and have beer."

Or have some beer first? Don't mind, I do understand your argumentation. PC-BSD and KDE, along with the preinstalled applications, just do this job. No need to install anything additional you first have to search for hours across the Internet, just type your memo.

But please note that the average home user's expectations are different. He does not write memos, he wants to download movies from the Internet and burn them onto DVDs - and some more stuff you surely know. Some problems are easy to solve, but some simply are not. Complex problems tend to need complex solutions. This is where PC-BSD offers you the opportunity to solve them instead of delegating them to someone else as it would be the case in "Windows". "My sound card does not work, come here and make it work!"

"...because what I like is to have a beer with my friends, ... while you recompile the kernel or set those parameters to make it 4% faster."

Too much beer is unhealthy, while 4% speed gain is not. :-) You've stopped talking about the work done with a computer, you're talking about what comes then. An interesting point of view. I hope the manufacturers of intensive care units do not follow this approach. "A routine to check the blood pressure? No, too complicated. Hey Bob, let's go drink some beer instead?"


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