Linked by Mike Martin on Mon 14th Jul 2003 17:42 UTC
Linux After reading yet another "why Linux is not ready for the desktop" article/discussion, I decided that, as someone who uses Linux exclusively at home, its about time I wrote my response to the attitudes expressed. I have been using Linux since January 1999 (Red Hat 5.2 off of a cover disc).
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I've been using Windows and *NIX for years now, and I was feeling really good about where Linux is in ease of use. I was thinking in terms of ease of use, Linux is neck and neck with Windows, in some instances even ahead. I was thinking Joe User would easily be able to use Linux as their main desktop. At least I thought so until my sister came begging me to help her setup her computer for DSL usage via a home network. She has a Windows 2000 box and it literally took me a second to set her up. Then she asked me how I did it, and I quickly showed her. She took very good notes "right click on network places, select properties..." I was wondering why she was taking such good notes, and she proceeded to tell me her friend is also having a similar problem. I proceeded to tell her that the IP address she uses wont work for her friend. Then she wanted to know how IP addresses work so she can quickly set it up for her friend. I proceeded to tell her the whole concept of IP addresses but it went over her head. Not giving a damn about her friends computer not working, I told her to tell her friend just to call tech support to get his network connection up and running. At that point I realized that even though there are graphical tools to set things up in Linux, some even more intuitive than Windows, this choice that is the greatest asset of Linux is also its achilles heel. There is no standard Linux network configuration tool. There is no way one level one "engineer" would be able to assist another clueless person on how to fix their computer. There are no cue cards, no right click here, select properties, in Linux. Each distribution has it's own method of setting the network card. So regardless of how trully easy Linux has become, for the majority of people who confuse hard drive space with memory, it doesn't matter. They need someone to hold there hands and tell them the exact pixel to click on. Tech Support people, who usually are themselves clueless, won't be able to do that with Linux.