Non Ubuntu question

J dreadpiratejeff at
Sun Feb 28 18:41:31 UTC 2010

On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 12:19, Pastor JW <pastor_jw at> wrote:
> Not such a strange reply; it is like those insurance commercials, easy
> even a cave man ...  Well, WUBI makes a Ubuntu installation so easy even a
> windoze user can do it!!  ;)
> A lot of Ubuntu users never used windoze but came from a Amiga or Mac or even
> C=64s, all of which are a better working OS than windoze, and get tired of
> all the time having to answer or even read windoze problems.  It is a serious
> waste of time for a Ubuntu user so they sometime get testy.  It amounts here
> to well over half the traffic and it really is not a windoze list contrary to
> all appearances!!  This one however was done in a lot better way in that the
> subject line told you in advance that it was NOT a Ubuntu question!!!  Kudos
> to the OP!!

First, let me say that the general ideal behind all the replies to
this thread are spot on.  This is a Linux list, not a Windows list.
Non-linux discussions are off topic, and in reality, even this
discussion is not really on topic, as this is a tech support list,
and, as the list name says "not for general discussions".

However, the thought behind pretty much all the responses is horribly flawed.

I've been using linux since the mid 90s.  When I was first installing,
destroying, re-installing, and teaching myself how to use,
troubleshoot, fix and modify linux distributions, I relied heavily on
a community of people who were open to the fact that I came from the
Windows world.  They understood that, accepted it, and helped me
still.  What I find most disturbing on this list, and quite a few
others, is this over-zealous righteousness that people tend to have.

Using derogatory terms like lusers, windoze, winblows, etc, all you do
is alienate the very people that this community should be embracing
and welcoming.

Look at it from an only tangentially connected analogy.

How well do you think a Rape Crisis center would do, if the first
thing that counselors did when a rape victim came through the door was
to ask, "What did you do to deserve it?"

Not very well...  and yes, that's a bit of an extreme comparison, but
the ideal still stands.  Treating windows users as idiots, belittling
them, making them feel somehow inferior does NOT engender good
feelings towards Linux.  After all, why should they even bother with
Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuSE, or any of the 800 other distributions, if
their first experiences with this community is being treated as second
class citizens, outcasts or worse?

Ostracizing the very people that we, as a community WANT to welcome
with open arms, teach them a better way, and make the world that much
better is NOT a good way of going about things.

Besides the fact, you'd be surprised how many of these people that
vociferously decry the Windows OS as being, I believe the terms were
"Pro-capitalist, war-inspired, anti-humanist" actually use other MS
products without even thinking about it.

This is not to excuse MS for their software practices, such as the
restrictive licensing that we do not have in the F/OSS world, but even
in that, it's not the person's fault.  The vast, vast majority of
computer users in the world know and understand Windows, Office, Media
Player, Internet Explorer and so forth.  We, as a community, are still
comparatively small beans to the number of people who either have
never heard of Linux, don't understand Linux or Open Source, or have
heard of Linux and other Open Source projects.

Look at the inroads Firefox has made.  Yes, FF is starting to really
suffer from feature-creep, but look at how fast FF was adopted OUTSIDE
the Linux world.  Why was that?  It was not because the Mozilla
Foundation constantly told IE users that they were unworthy, stupid
people.  Instead they took the positive approach of saying "IE is
dangerous.  It's flaws could lead to your computer being taken over,
infected with virii and your personal data being sent to parties with
evil intentions.  Try Firefox instead.  It's faster, more secure, and
safer for surfing the internet."

And you know what?  It worked.  And let's not forget that Firefox
comes from the Mozilla Foundation, which was started back in the 90s
by Netscape (an entirely for profit company that did some of the same
nasty things MS does) which is/was in turn owned by AOL, yet another
"evil giant mega-corporation" in it's day.

If you think Linux is better, and I think it is, then let Linux stand
on it's own two feet.  Let it stand on it's stability, scalability,
robustness, openness and freedom.

Also, we may get tired of answering "windows questions" but the truth
is, that's 90% of the market.  Instead of just dismissing outright, we
should kindly, and compassionately point them to the far better
choice.  Starting out with attacks and insults really does our cause
no good at all, and simply pushes the potential new user to form the
opinion that Linux users are just a bunch of asshats who think they
are better than the rest of the world.

For what it's worth, I use Windows.  I use Linux.  I make my living on
and with Linux, and I've based my entire career on Linux and Open
Source software.  But I still use Windows for certain things.

73 de Jeff, W4KDH

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