Linked by David Adams on Fri 26th Sep 2008 20:22 UTC, submitted by Caffeine Deprived
Linux This article takes a look at five great but not very well-known desktop-focussed Linux distros, including SimplyMEPIS and Mint. It focuses on distros that are easy-to-use.
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RE[3]: Five?
by Quag7 on Sat 27th Sep 2008 23:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Five?"
Quag7
Member since:
2005-07-28

I was asking the question relative to other Linux distributions. In point of fact I am presently helping get a guy in his 50s *who has never used computers in his life* online. I have worked as a phone tech support agent. I know full well the issues surrounding any OS, and those peculiar to Linux.

My question was about Debian in relation to other distributions.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Five?
by alcibiades on Sun 28th Sep 2008 06:09 in reply to "RE[3]: Five?"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

I think its a good question. For a long time I hestitated to put in Debian for people. The reason was, compared to Mandriva, with Mandriva I could send them to the 'configure your computer' entry in the menu, and know that everything they wanted to do would be there and findable and usable. Debian, I was not so sure. Add a printer, for instance? Could one really be sure of talking them through it? Then I have to send them to Synaptic, in another part of the menu structure for upgrades. Surely it is true that if they are going to do admin on a distribution, its easier on Mandriva than on Debian?

However, lately I've been putting in Debian, on the grounds that they are never going to have to do any admin on Debian anyway, so who cares if its a bit more difficult? And it turns out to be true. All the calls are about how to do things in Open Office which would be equally problematic in any distro, including XP. Like, has anyone ever been able to do mail merge in anything indluding MS Office without tearing their hair out? Secretaries must have a special part of their brain that they use for that. And of course the bonus on Debian is that you do not have to go over there once a year and do the total system upgrade/reinstall, they can keep it up to date themselves.

So maybe the answer is, Mandriva and derivatives seem a lot easier because of the control centre, but nowadays its something of an illusion, because its used so little post installation. And because the Gnome or KDE control centres are so comprehensive and do so much of what the user needs to do.

In fact, one of the surprises has been how little configuration to taste people want to do. Their basic attitude seems to be, you set it up how you think is best, I get used to it. Not, you show me how to change this to suit what I want. They're either very unenterprising, or commendably tolerant and adaptable, I don't quite know how to characterize it.

Reply Parent Score: 3