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Re: SEUL: Things I would like to ask

George Bonser wrote:

> Of all linux users.
> 1) Were you ever a CP/M, OS/2, or DOS user?

DOS. And BBC Micro!

> 2) Were you a Windows or GUI OS/2 user?


> 3) How long did you use CP/M, OS/2, DOS? #

DOS: couple 'o years - until Win3 came out, really.

> 4) Did you have exposure to Unix before trying Linux?

No. (except one day watching somebody use a Sun...)

> 5) Was your exposure at work, school, or at home?
> 6) Do you use Unix exclusively or a mixture of operating systems?

Mix. I use Linux for all internetty stuff, Win95 for much else due to lack of
Linux knowledge. And 'cos I like M$ Word - it's one of the good products they
have done.

> My reasoning is this:
> I am presuming that many people were quite interested in computers and
> computing and absorbed quite a bit of their time learning DOS and OS/2
> along with Windows.  They eventually advanced to a point where they
> reached the limitations of the OS and stepped to Linux to get beyond those
> limitations or to provide services that were cost-prohibitive given their
> resources.

Reason: Got frustrated with Win95 crashing all the time. I like the Win95
interface, but that's about all. I use NT 4 at work, but can't afford it at
home. Linux is free, including setting up SMTP servers and stuff (not that
I've got that working yet) which would cost under Win.oh, and the

> I also presume that a great number of current Windows users are relatively
> new to computing.  A great number of people have become computer aware
> only in the last several years.

Yeah... a problem that we will face is that I know a lot of the computer
newbies I know associate Win95 with being what 'a computer' looks like. They
have no concept of an OS, so it may actaully be quite hard explaining that
Linux has NOTHING to do with 'doze, or how they can use a PC without...

> In the near future, many of these people
> will also reach a competency level where they will be ready to advance
> beyond the limitations of DOS/Win to provide their own services such as
> mail, news, and web serving.

That's not really the job of SEUL, is it?

> Multiple computer users in the household
> along with advances in networking such as xDSL and cable modems will allow
> them the bandwidth at reasonable cost to build in-home LANS and provide
> central household servers.

Ah. This is just the kind of market M$ is good at. Underfeatured,
memory-guzzling proprietory systems - but with good interfaces. (until IE4
M$ were good at interfaces. I think even Linus T admitted that at some point)

> The current Microsoft model makes obtaining these services quite
> expensive. More of these people will be turning to Linux to provide
> multi-user services in the home and community. It will not be long before
> people begin interconnecting their household LANS with those of their
> neighbors to share resources and costs. A grass-roots community intranet
> is just around the corner and Microsoft is not going to be there to serve
> these needs for the kind of money they want for multi-client systems.

But you can bet M$ *will* produce a 'personal news server', personal mail
server', etc, in the same way as it did the Personal Web Server. They
recognize that the average home user doesn't care about ultimate flexibility,
they just want it to work - something which the Linux community needs to take
note of.

> Thoughts?
> George Bonser
> Just be thankful that Microsoft does not manufacture pharmaceuticals.

;-) (or air traffic control systems...)


Simon Waldman            email:  swaldman@bigfoot.com
Surrey, England.                 swaldman@seul.org
SEUL : Simple End-User Linux     http://www.seul.org
'Face' on Mars proved to be optical illusion; NASA now
                    investigating 'vase' on Mars.