posted by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Tue 30th Jun 2009 16:48 UTC
IconWhile 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.

If you're one of those people who don't care to read about other people's personal information, by all means skip the below paragraph as it is essentially an anecdote that will get to be repeated many times in varied forms in the comments. If not, read on.

I wouldn't personally describe myself as "normal," though I often feel rather small and like a child when communicating with some of the hardened, salty people here at OSNews; I'm the local nerd in my community and am frequently approached by my family and friends (and even by people I don't know) for technological assistance that ranges from mere instruction of how to copy and paste to the troubleshooting of operating systems and networks and the building of computers. Though I haven't officially started a business, I have earned very good money as well as free piano lessons for said services, and have donated hours in the triple-digits of these services for a local school. I work for OSNews as well, of course. On the other hand, I have no degree in any sort of technical field (but will consider getting one). Where my true calling lies is in writing imaginative fiction. I am an author, and whether it becomes a lucrative occupation or not, I intend to pursue it. At any rate, I would rate myself somewhere on the scale between "normal" and "extremely knowledgable." Probably around the area of "established nerd."

The Great Scale

The above is a scale I devised in order to place a person's technical aptitude in a graphical and easier-to-describe environment. It's grossly inaccurate (how can such a thing be truly accurate?), but for the sake of argument, let's use it. "Hopeless" is a person who doesn't know how to use a mouse who is old enough to have been taught that tactic, and "fanatic" is, well, self explanatory. A person also may feel he is "normal" with his Linux knowledge, "Has Much to Learn" in the *BSD area, and "Extremely Knowledgable" in Windows. It all really depends.

Now, for the fun part. People generally like to talk about themselves, but we know it's rude. Now is the time to not feel rude; let all of the "normal" people who use Linux here step forward and tell their stories in the comments below, and we'll see just how many "normal" people do use Linux. However, don't feel left out, "fanatics." Everyone's invited-- even if your OS of preference isn't a Linux distribution.

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