[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu/Linux is still not an OS for the masses - discuss

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Wed Oct 13 16:09:54 BST 2010

On 13 October 2010 14:54, John Matthews <jakewc2 at sky.com> wrote:
> On 13/10/10 13:49, Alan Pope wrote:
>> It's easy if you know what you're doing. Same as rocket science or
>> brain surgery. It's all about perspective. Many people who say 'ubuntu
>> is easy' are almost always people who have had the pain of
>> administering Windows systems for years and come to Ubuntu with that
>> baggage. They probably find that Ubuntu fits their brain better and
>> they feel at home with the way stuff works.
> But that is what I mean, you have years of experience, and to you its
> second nature. I have spent almost 4 years struggling to keep my Ubuntu
> working. I never had problems like this on windows, I was even able to
> help other people with windows problems.

You're missing my point, and illustrating it perfectly. People seem to
have an expectation that you should be able to install Ubuntu and it
works out of the box with zero effort, zero learning and no issues
whatsoever. That expectation isn't levelled at any other OS, so why

You probably haven't had many Windows operating system upgrades over
the years either. We've released 2 versions a year since 2004.

I bought a Mac for the first time last year having never owned one. It
was a steep learning curve learning OSX, but I didn't complain that it
was broken.

> But at least, if there is a problem, somebody is there to help. You know
> exactly what I mean there.

Yes, there is someone there to take your money, delete viruses and
reinstall the OS. There's very little else they help with. Ask them
how to do mail-merge with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Access and see
how far you get.

If you have a problem with Windows you get help from a Windows expert
(in this case Dixons).

If you have a problem with Ubuntu, you get help from an Ubuntu expert.

How is this different?

>>> Windows as much as I hate it, is easier to set up than Ubuntu.
>> I disagree. I recently installed Windows XP on my desktop computer for
>> some light gaming. It took the best part of a day to get the OS and
>> all the necessary patches and drivers located and installed. Some of
>> the drivers are quite hard to find. The printer driver alone was
>> hundreds of megs download. Even if I used the most up to date Windows
>> 7 DVD it would still require significant pain to setup.
>> With Ubuntu I put the CD in, ran the installer and all the updates and
>> software I needed was done in an hour and two reboots.
> That is you, you have the knowledge to deal with a problem, so it is
> going to be easy for you, your not really a good example of somebody who
> is new to Ubuntu.

You missed my point. My point was that it is not "easy" to install
Windows, and I've been doing it for years. It's tedious, painful and
time consuming. Ubuntu installed on the same machine in a fraction of
the time with no problems.

>> I have had very few calls from my mum asking for help with her Ubuntu
>> system. She uses the same kinds of apps most people do.

> Sorry, but from somebody who has had to struggle since I installed this,
> and still cannot get answers to problems I posted about years ago, such
> as my network shares, video not working, and other minor things, I still
> say sorry but that is wrong.

Please don't tell me my own experience is wrong. It's an indisputable
fact that I have had less calls for help from my mum using Ubuntu than
I have from my sister using XP.


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