[Ubuntu-US-CA] Starting Out With Linux
kdemarest at gmail.com
Sat Mar 12 19:19:52 UTC 2011
I read your write up.
*puts on asbestos long johns* I am convinced that the philosophy behind
FOSS is really what needs to be spread, but I'm not sure the best way to do
that (probably by selling systems bundled with a GNU/Linux <just a partial
joke!>). I am aware of the caveats of pushing a philosophy, but without
being able to develop AutoCAD Linux for my brother, or "envelope printing"
in open office that works just like in m$ office, i am hard pressed to
convince people i know to switch from windows.
In my experience, people don't really care about the inner workings of their
computers, or the philosophy driving the innovation, they just want the
thing to do what they need it to (which, to narrow this down, i believe to a
"typical user", means "on par functionally with windows", based on their use
case scenario, since windows is what most people know).
This lack of "on par functionality" is the main reason why, regrettably,
most of the people I know don't use Ubuntu or some other Linux Distro.
Not trying to be a downer, this is just my experience with it.
But, there's hope! Perhaps the best way to really convince people to switch
is by showing how good natured and kind Ubuntu users are. Friendship is a
highly valued asset, but this tactic probably wouldn't work with people who
already have a bunch of windows friends :|.
The other option I've considered, after seeing cute Meerkat Stickers at
SCaLE? Market to kids.
On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 12:10 AM, Grant Bowman <grantbow at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> A question I hear sometimes is how do I get started with GNU/Linux?
> The question is difficult to answer as everyone has heard of and
> understands different pieces of the "computing puzzle" and start from
> different places. To me this boils down to a lack of knowing beginning
> keywords. I often start searches at wikipedia to get an overview of a
> topic and recommend others do too.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_(operating_system) Adding
> additional keywords help. For newcomers to Open Source / Free Software
> there are many new terms to understand and to relate to the ideas they
> already know.
> Ubuntu is where newcomers often want to start and it's a great place
> to start. "Humanity towards others" is an attractive philosophy from
> Africa and as the most end-user focused distribution it is a great
> place to start. Version numbers and code names can be confusing, but
> once people understand the version number is associated with the date
> I often see a light bulb go off. Understanding LTS versions can help.
> I often describe what the Linux Kernel is and what a Linux
> distribution is, mentioning Ubuntu, Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora and
> Debian. Distrowatch.org can be a bit overwhelming to newcomers but
> it's a useful site to see the variety and flexibility of how Linux is
> used in many different ways. I often mention Mark Shuttleworth,
> Thawte, Canonical and the structures of the Ubuntu communities.
> Understanding that all the parts of a distribution are legally
> distributable is a big hurdle for some.
> Describing how a "live CD" works is important as this is where one
> starts. Understanding partitioning can be a scary thing for those who
> haven't backed up their machines or those that have never installed an
> OS themselves. Installers take care of installing and partitioning but
> it's always wise to be careful and not rush through installation
> screens without taking the time to understand what they are really
> asking you.
> With the help of BerkeleyLUG.com folks Jack has shepherded the
> creation of two tri-fold pamphlets as an attempt to summarize what
> people need to know about Linux before deciding to try it and where to
> go after they have installed it.
> http://www.berkeleylug.com/Contributions/ I think this effort is
> outstanding. Additional resources of this nature can be found at
> http://spreadubuntu.org/ Among other very innovative designs, this is
> a great quick reference for windows users to find software similar to
> what they use now. http://spreadubuntu.org/files/Screenshot_0.png
> Windows and Mac power users come to Linux with widely differing needs
> to get started. A few Windows users may know that the Windows NT
> systems and following Windows versions trace many features to Unix but
> most do not. Some Mac users may know they are running a form of BSD
> (Darwin) but some do not.
> For those wanting a book or narrative form the best places I know for
> Ubuntu are http://ubuntu-manual.org/ online. For a dead tree (or
> kindle) option covering 10.04 I recommend
> of the many that are now available as Ubuntu becomes every more
> popular. Again the plethora of choices can be a barrier to newcomers.
> User groups in our local area are often a big key to encouraging
> people to try a Linux disc. dvlug.org sf-lug.org and berkeleylug.com
> are great ones among a raft of others in areas further afield to me.
> Online resources abound, some good, some less useful to beginners.
> Our golden state has a group that promotes Ubuntu:
> http://www.ubuntu-california.org and
> http://wiki.ubuntu.com/CaliforniaTeam are our "external" and
> "internal" websites. We hold IRC meeting every other Sunday night at
> 7 PM though people talk in the channel whenevery they want. As this is
> a real time form of communication, it is often useful to wait many
> hours for a response to questions you might raise to give people a
> chance to respond when they see what you asked. Giving up and leaving
> too quickly is a common mistake to understanding how to use IRC
> Understanding basics like what an Operating System does and what
> applications are available is where the boxes at the bottom of
> wikipedia pages really help me, understanding the context of how ideas
> fit together.
> Too much freedom can cause paralysis and leave people less satisfied.
> ( video: http://on.ted.com/8wIZ ) Opinionated decisions help things
> move forward for the most common cases at the risk of alienating some.
> One of the problems is the constant stream of new versions. This has
> been a problem for linux distributions for a long time, balancing the
> newest software with stability and reliability.
> Is there a "best" way to introduce people to knowing more about
> computing without limits? Let me know what you think.
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