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Re: SEUL: User Profiles (?)

Greg Bell wrote:
> A new Linux user:
> 1) has had computer experience, most notabaly with DOS/WIN/S7
> 2) knows little or nothing about how an operating system works.
> 3) has had little or no experience with *NIX

I have trouble with 4) for two reasons: First, LINUX doesn't
have any NEED for a "cutting edge" computer. Second, this will
rule out the vast majority of users. While the PC market is
growing rapidly there are still a lot of 486 class machines
out there. This is true in the Mac world as well where many
users have old PPC601/Nubus based PowerMacs. In either case,
since LINUX will run quite nicely on either a 486 or a PPC601
we should target those machines as the base model. Anyone who
has a better machine will just get better performance.

> 4) has a "cutting edge" type of computer
>   (to any/all MAC users provide info please)
>    By cutting edge I mean (looking at the latest catalog)
>    cpu: Pentium level
>    memory: 16 MB
>    video: Advanced 3d type card (Matrox, S3 ViRGE, etc)
>    moniter: VGA, 14 inch
>    modem: 28.8 bps w/fax
>    HD: >1.0 GB
>    sound card
>    CD-ROM

With the above critique in mind I would adjust the hardware
profile like this:

4) Intel PC                  PowerMacintosh
   486-66 or better          PPC601 or better
   8 MB RAM                  (what is the MkLINUX minimum?)
   VGA or better             (what does MkLINUX support?)
   VGA monitor               (see above)
   300 MB hard disk          (what is MkLINUX minimum?)
   3.5" floppy               N/A (all Macs have standard fd)
   IDE or sound card CD      SCSI CD
   pointing device           N/A (all Macs have standard mouse)

This configuration should cover a large majority the prospective
users and has the advantage of actually being pretty speedy as
a LINUX system (The Intel PC setup is pretty similar to what I
use right now. Its not the fastest thing in the world but its
not painfully slow unless I'm doing a kernel compile)

> 5) has little or no experience with programming
> 6) doesn't know what a command line is or what a shell is
> 7) just wants to play around with the new OS and see what
>    it does
> Now as for the second outline, what features should be installed:
> I know from my own experiences that when Linux is first
> installed the user is presented with a hodgepodge of options
> (meny of which he has no knowledge of what they do).  Let's
> just look at a 'normal' installation (for this I am going by
> memory of my last install of Slackware).  During installation
> the user is presented with weather or not to install 3 versions
> of C, TEX, Emacs, VI, JOE, JOVE, Fortran, Lisp, ADA(?) in other
> words the user in inundated with selections.  How about a
> 'directed' installation.  For example, if the user wanted to
> program install C, with the option to install Fortran, pascal,
> et al. This idea is not fully fleshed out as of yet (mainly
> because even after 4 years of playing with Linux I still don't
> know/remember all of what is included with a distribution) but
> I think that you get my general drift.

If we are aiming at the end user I think we can assume that they
won't be wanting to program in C. Similarly, anyone who will be
writing C programs can probably handle a more complicated and
involved installation process.

I think that we should settle on a small set of basic tools
(editor, news reader, mail reader, web browser, shell, etc.)
and not trouble the user with choosing one or more: The user
doesn't know what the hell any of them are and doesn't care
so long as they can use the machine.

If we want the SEUL distribution to be able to install tools for
more experienced users we should put that into a custom install
process (think of the MacOS Easy Install and Custom Install
options) and let the new users just run a default config at first.
If we choose the tools carefully, if they are easy to use and not
too crippled, the user will be plenty happy until they get a
little more experience. One they have their LINUX legs they can
go back and install other things.

- Jeff Dutky
Simple End User Linux Mailing list
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