[ubuntu-uk] FW: Leaflets

Ian Pascoe softy.lofty.ilp at btinternet.com
Fri May 4 21:03:48 BST 2007

Whoa there guys, get off your horse and drink your <insert dringk of choice>

Got to be careful here that we don't shoot our own feet.

Firstly, I agree with all the potential hang ups about using the term "free"
to Joe Public.  So we use another phrase.

My preference is FOS as opposed to Open Source, only because it's quicker to
say and if the person's interested in what you've started to say they'll
listen to what FOS is, and not sub-consciously attribute all those things
that have been mentioned so far for "free".  If any one else can think of
another short sharp name / acronymn then go for it.

Next, remember that most Windows users have the option of "free for Personal
use" of things like AV and Firewalls, which all the major Windows PC mags
advocate them to get.  So the arguement about paying subscriptions is not
really valid unless you identify that they have a paid for subscription.

So, turn it around and say that although you get this super free service, it
still requires you, in the case of AV, to maintain up to date signature
files; but Hey!  Linux is cool and because it was built from scratch with
security in mind, it doesn't need AV (at the moment).

And along the same lines, remember that quite a lot of projects run multiple
OS versions of their applications.  It may be that some people out there are
already using Open Office as an alternative to MS's offerings for example.
We don't want to alienate them before we have even started.  Actually,
thinking about it should we be instead of advocating a whole OS replacement
get them onto the FOS equivilants and use that as a stepping stone?

An area that has so far been missing from the thread is the ability of
Ubuntu to live in harmony with Windows on the same computer, as people like
myself need to still have access to Windows to deal with the daytime job.
For those who are scared about the thought of potentially loosing all their
precious pirated software, there's always just using the Live CD.

Lastly, and the point I expect to get shot  for, is that most of your local
High Street computer vendors have an OEM contract with MS that specifically
states that if they ship anything with an incumbent OS other than MS, the
Men in Black will be around (see LWN fortnight ago for this reference).
However, muy local vendor gets around this by sending out computers with no
OS's on them and directs the purchaser to a shop just up the road where one
of our LUG members runs his own, non-computer, business!

OK, we've had lots of ideas and some quite warm debate, and a secret need to
find out about the Veeches mate's girl friend (!) but what and where do we
go from here?  Or is there still plenty to mull over?

A couple of general questions though.

Has anyone ever tried talking to a local newspaper about what Linux
represents to the user?

For the Thanet Hampshire and other LUG guys who've contributed to this
thread, what type of responses have you had from your attempts?

For those who've done installations for friends and colleagues how many of
them are still using the Linux distro installed regularly and how many have
wandered back to MS, or are somewhere inbetwen?


-----Original Message-----
From: ubuntu-uk-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com
[mailto:ubuntu-uk-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com]On Behalf Of Jim Kissel
Sent: 04 May 2007 19:49
To: British Ubuntu Talk
Subject: Re: [ubuntu-uk] Leaflets

Mark Harrison wrote:
> Jim,
> You make a lot of good points.
> 1: Your list of extra applications that users want that I'd not come up
> with is excellent, and I'd certainly want to include it.
> 2: Your observations about the "ongoing licencing cost of carrying on
> with the copy of Windows you already have doesn't take into account
> Anti-Virus and other subscriptions" is a DAMNED GOOD ONE, and gives me a
> fantastically better answer to the "so what if it's free - I've already
> got Windows" argument when talking about "as in pizza."
> BTW, I know that pizza isn't the traditional one here, but I don't drink
> beer, and the phrase "free, as in red wine" just doesn't translate :-)
> I want to further explain myself in a couple of areas, and disagree with
> you on one :-)
> 1: The logic of the "linux is stable... most of the www and email
> servers use it" was not intended to imply "These people use it, and they
> have needs similar to yours..." Instead it was meant to imply "The kind
> of people who REALLY care about their machines not crashing choose
> Linux", and "because Linux is build to this level of reliability, then
> it's certainly going to be reliable enough for your needs."
> 2: The NTL problem is specific to some regions. NTL have grown not by
> rolling out a standard system, but by buying up legacy local cable
> companies. As a result of this, there is a mismash of odd "cable
> broadband" solutions out there under the NTL brand. (This is why I wrote
> "...in some areas.") In some areas, for example Clanfield (just north of
> Porstmouth), a friend of mine had exactly this problem. The broadband
> solution was two-box - a set-top-box that was provided, and a specific
> USB network card, that came with Windows software that "registered" as a
> one-off, the MAC address of the NTL card with a particular subscriber.
> Looking back, I was trying to set up a router as well as a Linux box,
> and in the end the only way we could get it to work was to firstly
> register the MAC address in Windows, then go into the router's config
> and use MAC address spoofing to make it look as if it was the USB thing
> that NTL had supplied, then set up the linux box via the router. This is
> why I said something that boiled down to that "you may need a local
> expert to set this kind of thing up". Had it been a single PC running
> Windows, it all worked out of the box.
> 3: I want to disagree with you on one thing you pulled me up for. And
> it's a "taken in context" disagreement rather than an absolute
> disagreement...
> I wrote:
>  >>Ubuntu applies a set of defaults that mean that, even if a user
> clicks on a virus by mistake, they won't make it infect the PC.
> You responded:
>  > Don't just single out Ubuntu for praise. All *nix's share these
> attributes.
> Firstly: We're in the middle of a thread about Marketing on the
> Ubuntu-UK mailing list :-) I make no apology for promoting Ubuntu
> generally, but specially not on this particular list :-)

Apologies.  I forgot that the thread was Ubuntu.

> Secondly: It is, alas, not true that all *nix's share these attributes.
> There have been well-publicised examples of Linux distributions where
> the ONLY user account created was root, and that all applications the
> user ran ran as root. I agree it doesn't apply to Debian / Suse / Gentoo
> / Fedora / [insert your favourite here], but the point behind this is
> that the security model is only as secure as its set of default choices.
> I wanted to allude to the fact that in choosing Linux, the average user
> is in fact choosing a specific distribution, and wanted to play up (as I
> did again later about applications working together) Ubuntu as a good
> choice :-)
> Regards,
> Mark

Simple effective migration to Open Source based computing

Jim Kissel
Open Source Migrations Limited
w: http://www.osml.eu
e: jim.kissel at osml.eu
p: +44(0) 8703 301044
m: +44(0) 7976 411 679

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