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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Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

"No, my analogy is more like this: I know how to drive current cars, so it MAY BE cofusing having to learn a new way of driving."

A new way could be: Driving a car with automated gear shifting (I don't exactly know the terminus technicus in English, sorry), or reacting to a guidance system working via GPS.

A phone analogy: In 1940, the number dial has been used. Then, in the 60s, buttons were used. Today, you can even say the name of the person you want to call.

Because technology develops, users of technology are required to develop, too, if they want to be able to use new technologies.

Please note that there are implications that people just assume, but they do not need to be true in every case. Some of them are:

It's expensive, so it must be better than the cheap one.
It's new, so it must be better than the old one.
It's shiny, so it must be good.
It has dancing elephants, so it must be modern.

The term "good" can be seen in any regards: user friendly, fast, performant, efficient etc.

"Yes, the pills one is funny, agreed."

In fact, it is. Another example to illustrate this: You got into an accident and had your legs ripped off. You feel pain. Your primary target: having no pain. So you get pumped full of valium and don't feel any pain, so that's fine, exactly what you wanted. You repeat this treatment because it "just works", meanwhile your legs get infected and yellow slime follows your steps. :-)

"That's way I say the PC-BSD approach is better for the common user .. .than the FreeBSD one."

I would not try to claim the opposite. The average user feels comfortable with the PBI system - it's great, really!

But it's not the solution everywhere, for example if you need a program that has no PBI available of if you need to tune, let's say mplayer, to have various features enabled or disabled (maybe due to legal reasons).

"That's why I would like a better OS (Linux,BSD..) with the simplicity-in-mind approach of windows. Simplicity in mind because, as you also say, people don't care anyway. And I agree."

So PC-BSD's approach is good: Hide away all the internals the home user basically is not interested in (firewalls, partitioning, device drivers etc.), so he cannot be confused. The goal here: If you insert a new hardware component, it is recognized, the driver is loaded, the hardware works. It just requires the hardware component to be compatible (i. e. standard compliant) or coming with the needed drivers - I'd prefer the first one; a reason why I'm using FreeBSD on a daily basis is the fact that I don't need any drivers I first had to search via google, the OS and the apps have the drivers (kernel drivers, gphoto2 etc.).

"That's why I consider both good OSs. Being PC-BSD ready for people who don't care."

I agree.

"That's is only starting to happen now, and still needs polishing. But I wellcome the improvements, of course."

It's developing, true. While WiFi et al. are getting more and more popular, the driver support will get better, too. Just wait and develop.

"Yes, and I think that is happening with Vista, people will have to relearn something. That's one of the reasons Vista has got bad reviews, isn't it? But keep in mind I am not against innovation or the right to improve things. I just say the less you make think the people, the better."

That's what happened from 1.0, 3.11, '95, ME, ... all through the versions. Things always change.

Your last sentence makes me feel sad. Let me repeat and emphasize:

"I just say the less you make think the people, the better."

Isn't it a bit boring? What if everyone thinks this way? Okay, we can make computers accessible for everyone. We did this with weapons, too. An armament analogy? No, not at the moment. But you see what I want to say? If we're making everything as dumb as possible, what kind of people are we going to create? With which expectations will they rise?

Think less - feel good.

Sounds like propaganda from a nazi-like future vision...

I don't think it's a bad idea to improve thinks, but dumbing everything down to make it as stupid as possible is a step backwards, in my opinion.

"The familiar interface is the most used interface, today is Windows. Not many people use an UNIX interface at work, statistically. Hopefully one day what you say will be more frecuent, good!!."

Yes, statistically. With a wisely chosen sample, statistics can prove everything you want. :-)

Do you know the following statement? The worst solution always prevails. It has some implications: The solution many people use is not the best one. The solution less people use is better than the one many use. (NB: Interpret "good" as described above.) I won't say these statements apply everywhere, but you always can find proofs for them to be true.

"Yes, FEEL safe, because as we know they (many, less and less each day, I want to believe) don't care, and don't want (have time) to care."

It's not a matter of time. It's a matter of will. And I think the development is the other way round: People tend to care less and less, assuming someone else to deal with the troubles they are creating (even if they know it's their fault), see http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/cs_abuse.shtml#1 as an example. :-)

Like always in life, if you want to achieve a goal, you need to invest time, e. g. learn driving in order to drive a car, learn typing in order to type fast. It starts with elemental skills of your society: learning to speak, to read, to write, to count in order to get access to more complicated things.

"That spirit you use is good."

I don't believe in this principle because I like it. I do believe in it because it just works. It's a universal concept.

"The spirit of improving each day, to learn something new each day, to be more productive.... now think in a lawyer, my other sister. Working hard each day about her work, trying to improve as a lawyer, updating the everyday changing laws, being competitive inside her workplace and of course at the judge. Tell her to learn how to use a new database of laws, that's ok. But don't tell her about learning Bash or how to set up a firewall. Understand what I mean."

Yes, Sir. For these kind of users, special Linux distributions and PC-BSD (or DesktopBSD) exist.

There is another explaination: A solution that is cheap requires you to invest time - your time. A solution that does not force you to invest time implies someone else to invest his time, which makes the solution more expensive. People pay to have much stuff preconfigured, tested and certified.

"She is simply not interested in computers. She just likes that the computers allows her to work more productively, the computer is being a good tool. She doesn't enjoy the computer itself. (I enjoy computers, for me computers are also the goal, and inside my work, the tool too)"

As a car driver, I need a minimum knowledge what I can do when my car does not work, e. g. put fuel into it or charge the battery if it's down. If my own means do not work, I need professional help from someone who has more knowledge than me. I pay him to fix my car. BUT: I do no expect my car to have a car mechanic included in its loading bay. :-)

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