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Re: list o' importants

 Just some ideas to follow up Pete's post and to get my feet wet. 
 >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)?
 Might I suggest grouping the questions into categories such as Price Issues
placing (cost, hardware),(cost, software) and (cost, upgrades)(slight rename
for    consistancy) together. I would be willing to give it a try. 
 Also I noticed the whole issue of telephony is missing.
 >> * 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.
 I've seen mention of a linux virus called Bliss.
 >> * 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'? 
 Multi-language support (there's two potential meanings here supporting more
than one language one at a time as above or supporting more than one language
simultaneously as I intend. Example neighbor is from Brazil and is fluent in
Portuguese. Microsoft employes her to translate Portuguese correspondence. She
needs to be able to deal with two languages on the computer.)
 >That's it for now. More later.

 Bob Hopcroft