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Re: [Computerbank] interesting article from el reg (fwd)

Echoing Marks' comments - an excellent article.

If Linux is to be broadly accepted by computer users, two things are

1/ Remove the 'geek' factor - People need to feel comfortable asking their
next-door neighbour how to solve a computer problem - they don't need (or
want) to have to subscribe to some 'geek-speak' intimidating mail list just
to have a simple question answered. Even though some Linux die-hards will
always try to convince people otherwise, Linux is laughably easy to use if
you do take advantage of the GUI add-ons - it's just as easy as Windows - so
why make it sound so tough? - It's not.

2/ Remove the philosophical factor and promote the product on it's merits -
Who cares if it's free? - Windows is also free to the average Joe who buys a
computer pre-loaded with MS software (the salesman at Harvey Norman doesn't
tell them they are paying for an operating system - they are buying a
computer) - and even if they are aware of the cost of the OS, to most people
a few hundred dollars on top of a $2,500.00 machine is no big deal. If we
want people to adopt Linux, it has to be for the reason that it is better
than Windows - easier to use - more powerful - more reliable - everything we
all know it be, however the message is lost in the argument that people
should use Linux simply because we all hate power-hungry corporate
monopolies, and should loudly protest against them from the nearest mountain
top. Hey, most of us are employed by companies like this!... very few people
really share the philosophical will to change their purchasing decisions
just because someone else doesn't like Microsoft. People will use Linux if
they think it's better and easier... so why don't we simply tell them the
truth, instead of trying to promote an anti-commercial worldview, that the
vast majority of people really couldn't care less about.

Sorry for rambling... yesterday I caught one of our production operators on
the phone to our SCO Unix Support Desk because he had lost a file... the
damned idiot techo was talking him through using the Unix VI Editor (on a
server mind you!) to modify a simple file - and our bloke was so totally
confused with all the R 3 <esc> shift etc. nonsense, that he was one
key-stroke away from losing the days production figures. I hung-up on the
tech and in the space of 30 seconds showed him how to edit and save the file
using a graphical editor. The main payback was that he learnt what to do
should the problem occur again - had he followed the tech's advice, not only
did he risk causing further damage because he really didn't understand what
was going on, but should he try to replicate the process in the future, no
doubt he would have stuffed something up and caused yet more damage, because
he was never going to remember the procedure.

One example of how NOT to train people.

Rgds, Don

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