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Aloha! I am Leonard Young and work as an aquaculture specialist for the
State of Hawaii. As a technical person in the office, i handle facility and
projects assessments/evaluations, permit advisement to farmers and
companies, development of policy issues and future planning for the
aquaculture industry. In addition, i monitor online information and
resources, and maintain the computers in the office with my colleagues
cooperating or not helping ;).
My background goes back to Apple computers and CP/M until i switched to
IBM/clones and MS. My experiences to Linux are limited to reading about it
as much as i could and taking the plunge to attempt an installation on a
desktop. After trying myself for a month, i went to a user group with a
laptop and asked for help. It took many hours and was not straight forward.
I used Linux for a little while for evaluation purposes and decided the
length of investment of time was not what i wanted. I was still not where i
had to be as a user without devoting large amounts of time, which was
tending to be very precious owing to my heavier workload then.
What were my goals at the time? I wanted to setup and use the
telecommunications tools built into Linux systems.
What were the drawbacks preventing my use of Linux? I found the
installation process very technical. As an end user i didn't know much
about hardware and compatibilities. I have a little more awareness now.
Information was diffuse and scattered, but could be found with much looking.
I did finally find Welsh and Kaufman's book published by O'Reilly and
Associates. That was a big help. And so was the realization of where the
software archives were located. The last points of contention were the
reading of the manual for Unix commands and building/compiling
programs/kernels from raw code. I found this a very difficult stream to
cross, but realize the potential for personal customizing of an operating
How to attract more simple minded users? I do consider myself a simple user
from the perspective of my experiences. Make the installation as painless
and straight forward as possible. Tell up front what hardware is supported
or work with a minimal system in-mind/assumed approach. I suspect that as a
testbed, we may/may not have to make changes in our hardware to install
SEUL's OS kernel. If possible allow for the co-existence of MS-DOS, or tell
us to start with a dedicated machine for SEUL. Writing simplistic
documentation without jargon is important. Often, i catch myself slipping
into jargon that loses my colleagues. Then, i backup and start from the
beginning and draw pictures if i have to, in order to communicate.