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Re: list o' importants

Just some ideas to follow up Roger's post...

> * local networking (connecting to other computers at my office, home,
>   or other location)
> * being able to auto-setup local ethernet connection
> * wide area networking (connecting two or more locations)
> * internet connection (direct)
> * internet connection (dial-up)
> * being able to dialin to an isp automatically
> * being able to use (read/write/both) other file save formats
>   [should probably reword into 'industry standard file formats']
> * being able to read the source
> * being able to modify the source [and redistribute, I guess]
-All of which so far seem important.

> * cost, hardware
     I'm not so sure this is an issue: are there _many_ peripherals
     which can be used within WinDoze but not within linux (save some
     types of WinModems)?

> * cost, software
-Always an issue.

> * privacy (ability to keep other users from reading my files)
> * security (ability to prevent unauthorized people from using my
>   system(s).
> * stability (computer and applications run without crashing or
>   requiring restart)
- Yup, pretty important.

Suggest inclusion: stable software
    From what I've seen, most linux programmers tend to be
perfectionists. It follows that most linux software out there is pretty
rock-solid. Perhaps it might be useful to separate system stability from
application stability?

> ? prompt bugfixes (or hey, bugfixes at all)
> * adding/removing software in an easy and familiar way
> * upgrades, ease of installation
- Definately.

> * upgrades, ease of finding/getting
     This question is probably quite relevant for the linux community.
As a newbie to the whole linux phenomenon, I know of several places to
look (comp.os.linux.announce, www.linux.org, etc) for all kinds of
information. However, I feel that it is easy to get lost in all of
these places. I realize that this is probably what linux.org was set up
for in the first place, but it seems to me that not everyone informs
linux.org of software developments.  Could the suggestion be made to
the community that linux.org be the *other* prefered means of
advertising new linux-related developments (in addition to their
favorite means of advertising)?

> * upgrades, price
> * having the installation stage for a program verify that all necessary
>   components are present and functional
> ? PnP support in hardware
> ? availability of a wide variety of apps (commercial, freeware?)
     Perhaps this should play a more important role, if it is to be the
drawing card for new linux users.

> * support, vendor [what is a 'vendor' for an end-user, anyway?]
> * support, internet [could use rewording. I can't tell if this is
>   'newsgroups' or 'ISP']
> * support, applications [this needs more thought]
> * being able to connect to the machine remotely
> * being able to run graphics remotely
> * running servers (mail, httpd, samba, telnetd, ftpd, etc)
suggest rewording like: 'Able to run servers for email, web pages, file
access, telnet, file transfer,' etc., as I would presume that many of
the folks we're trying to reach don't understand the meaning of the
abbreviations, let alone the relevence of the 'd' suffix.

> * speed of graphics rendering
> * speed of overall machine
> * compatibility with existing systems [hardware]
> * compatibility with prior versions [software]
> * being able to run something like doublespace (dynamic disk compressor)
Suggest change like 'able to run disk compression program', because
what some folks know as doublespace (aka 'File Damager'), others know
as Stacker or DriveSpace. Others just use the NTFS :-)

> * being able to taskswitch between applications quickly
Suggest: 'being able to switch between running applications easily
True, this isn't a proper definition of multi-tasking...

> * having many large applications open at once [easier than asking
>   "supporting >64 megs ram"]
> * using a system which protects the user from making potentially
>   dangerous changes to system configuration
- Yup.

> * automatic virus protection (the system takes care of it for you)
> * manual virus protection (you run a program to scan or detect)
     Good idea. Seems to me though that both of these can coexist on
the same machine - after all, the autoprotect is usually a memory
resident scanner where as the manual is a file checker.

Suggest Add: * Being able to obtain up-to-date virus information
     As more and more folks make the jump to linux, we can probably
expect more and more virus hacks to do likewise; the downside being
that we should expect a similar 'virus arms race' to unfold on the
linux platform. Given what little I know about the priority / access
levels that individual processes have to the OS, it may be very
difficult for that to take place. But not impossible.

> * automatic hard drive defragmenting (the system takes care of it for you)
> * manual hard drive defragmenting (you run a program to defrag)
> [the above pair are leading questions. I need to figure out a good way to
> word the difference between linux (viruses just don't happen) and windows
> (where it's important to take precautions and run anti-virus software)]
     Don't think I agree with the former, viruses WILL happen. It's
just a matter of time once dedicated folks start putting the brain
sweat to the problem.

> * being able to make a backup of your system
> * being able to make backup copies of large data files
> * being able to undelete files
> * administration questions [suggestions?]
    - being able to automate certain administrative tasks (backups,
      defrags, virus scans, send/receive email via ISP after hours?,
      update software database)
    - being able to rapidly obtain a list of resources used by the
      system and hardware (IRQ's, DMA's, I/O ports, device names, chip
      type, speed, RAM present, amount used by system, by processes,
      free, current VRAM, max VRAM, average VRAM used)
    - getting a good measure of performance of the system (don't know
      if this is possible since all marks are relative to some extent).
    - getting a list of all installed software, fixes, patches, version
      numbers, etc.

> * multi-user (several people can use machine at different times)
> * multi-user (several people can use machine simultaneously)
> * applications (I need to run specific applications on my computer)
> * uses (I need to use my computer for specific tasks.  Specific
>   applications don't matter as long as they fill the need).
> * ease of use (this *MUST* be split up into "what constitutes EOU"
>   elements). [no progress here yet :( ]

- consistent graphical and / or textual user interfaces, and the
  ability to exploit both to the user's advantage (Roger deals with
  this later).
- dumping error messages to a text file as well as to the screen.
- having a program which explains error messages (wishful thinking).
- being able to access context-sensitive help information.

> * consistent user interface (things behave the same way even comparing
>   between two separate applications)
> * having a graphical interface to applications and system
> * having a command-line interface to applications and system
> * documentation, printed
> * documentation, electronic
>   [might ask about "documentation, obtainable-from-internet" as well]
In these forms of documentation, perhaps a distinction can be made 

- printed docs from the distribution
- printed docs from the internet (and a directory of said docs)
- printed docs available at book stores
- having the os send each new user an email containing 'how to use MAN,
  APROPOS; where to find docs, how to read docs, etc...'

> * corporate reputation (vague -- good or bad reputation is
>   important.)
>   Note that responses here scale differently from most of above.  Maybe
>   "importance of vendor satisfaction, ..." would fit better.
>   I still don't know what a 'vendor' is for our audience. I don't like
>   that word -- the computer might come from a different place than the
>   support, and the OS from a still different place.
> * Support in my native language (how can I ask this so as to not
>   have them confuse things if their native language is English?
>   "Support for a non-English language"?)
     How about 'Support for a language other than English'? 

That's it for now. More later.



Pete St. Onge - McGill U.  Limnology - Fun with Ropes & Buckets
pete_st_onge@iname.com         http://wwp.mirabilis.com/4322052
SEUL Expert Group - Linux for All!          http://www.seul.org
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