Going forward [Re: Automatix?]

Alan McKinnon alan at linuxholdings.co.za
Wed Mar 29 15:36:55 UTC 2006

On Wednesday 29 March 2006 10:48, Daniel Carrera wrote:
> Chanchao wrote:
> > Sorry, I was not advocating to try to teach them 'everything',
> > merely the bare essentials they NEED to successfully use Ubuntu
> > beyond just opening up Firefox and OpenOffice.   I'm talking a 10
> > minute explanation of where to get software ("Synaptic, not off
> > the web yourself"),
> You are, I think, contradicting yourself. Your previous post
> presented the premise that usability must come at the expense of
> security (a premise I disagree with). Here you give an example of
> the contrary (Synaptic).

I'm with Daniel on this one. Security, when properly implemented, 
doesn't get in the way of usability. When you are logged in, 
everything you have permission to do can be done without further 

What security does do is introduce a few extra steps to the 
installation process and logging in.

> It only took a couple of minutes to teach Synaptic to my kid
> brother. It's not that hard, and it doesn't drop security (there's
> no reason why atp-get is more secure than Synaptic).

You could argue that Synaptic is more secure and safer in the hands of 
non-experts than apt-get, because Synaptic makes it easier for them 
to see that what they are telling the computer to do really is what 
they want, not something else because they made a typo

> > why they need to enter their password (use sudo) to do those
> > things.
> Another example where usability does not have to mean a drop in
> security. My mom understands that Linux separates users and you
> need a password to do things that are potentially dangerous. She
> likes that because she knows she can't get a virus into it (there
> are other things she doesn't like about Linux, but this is one of
> the things she likes).

A password is like keys to your front door - a perfectly normal and 
reasonable thing to do. It lets you in with minimal hassle and keeps 
out people who don't live in your house.

Alan McKinnon
alan at linuxholdings dot co dot za
+27 82, double three seven, one nine three five

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