xubuntu-devel Digest, Vol 99, Issue 16
raleigh75 at bellsouth.net
Sun Dec 15 16:39:20 UTC 2013
On 12/14/2013 12:59 PM,
Richard Elkins<richard.elkins at gmail.com>
> I have converted neighbors and family members to home-PC-Linux since
> 2003, lately exclusively to Xubuntu. They were all non-computer-tech
> people with various levels of experience and education. My simple
> approach (like an interview):
Linux may be easier to sell to non-techies. I've actually had an uphill
climb with affluent, high-tech users. It seems impossible to persuade
them of anything. They either see the merit right before their eyes or
they don't. Force of habit is an extremely strong influence. A lot of
very intelligent people in the middle class and above would rather pay
$1000 - $10000 in additional costs, over the course of a lifetime (a
cost they consider peanuts), using Windows products rather than learn
> * During the migration, stored data must be backed up from Windows and
> restored to the new Linux system.
> * Learn a new desktop and set of programs. Essentially, learn how to
> go find things one uses and operate, in general, in a different
> manner. Change is always a pain. Intelligence and curiosity
> helps. People locked into habits will probably not succeed.
Well, the force of habit is also strong in otherwise in intelligent and
curious people. There has to be something to motivate them to change. I
have been corresponding with a strong player in my online chess club,
and he doesn't like Windows 8, but he sticks with it anyway. His
perception of Linux remains at "difficult to use" and "technical
problems" and nothing I say will ever persuade him otherwise. He's used
to the OS and programs he likes and would not change for any amount of
money saved or any security consideration. Affluent people don't seem to
mind paying whatever they have to pay to keep doing things the way they
are used to doing them and the way they think is mainstream and wise.
> Potential large hurdles:
> * Gamers and XBox owners. I said "potential". If this is a teenager,
> you can try to sell them about the rebellious open source
> community! (-:
Good luck with that ;-)
They might like the fact they can download and try a lot of games for
free. I know when I was a teenager, I didn't have much money at all. I
often tried free or low-cost games.
> * Migration of Microsoft Office to LibreOffice - Fortunately, the
> Microsoft Word-documents, Powerpoint-presentations, and
> Excel-spreadsheets are normally converted without too many issues;
> some will probably require some manual cleaning up. The big
> obstacle here is the Visio drawing tool. There isn't a way that I
> could find to convert their drawings to be imported by `dia` or
> other Linux drawing tools. Mine too.
I've heard that Microsoft Office can be installed via Wine, so that may
be a potential solution here. A lot of people have Microsoft Office
I should tell you guys that I had difficulty installing Wine on Xubuntu
13.10. There was an error during installation (I did click "Report to
Ubuntu"). However, when I checked Wine on Ubuntu Software Sources again,
the "Installed" indicator was there. I have never used Wine before, by
the way. The Windows programs I like do not run on Wine.
My theory is that possibly a temporary hiccup in the Internet was to
blame, or perhaps the fact that I have tmpfs-ed my /tmp directory, which
Eero Tamminen on this list believes may cause problems, and he could be
right about that in certain scenarios. I suspect that Ubuntu Software
Sources makes heavy use of /tmp. I like having tmpfs for /tmp, because I
have 4 gigs of RAM. However, Ubuntu online documentation recommends
using tmpfs for /tmp at least in cases where an SSD drive is being used.
> * Outlook mail/calendar/etc. - I converted myself a long time ago by
> doing a lot of Windows and Linux programming which effectively moved
> me from Outlook to Yahoo almost-equivalents. I don't recommend this
> approach. This is probably an individual by individual solution,
> assuming there is one for a given individual (no other stumbling
Unfortunately, many non-techie users use their browsers to access email.
It is a pernicious habit that ISPs have sold them upon, because from the
point of view of a business, you want to drive your customer away from
mail readers and onto your web site, where you can pitch products and
services. From the point of view of a virus, a non-techie checking email
via browser is an easy target for infection.
Yahoo requires a subscription to use a mail reader, unless you are using
your ISP address. Gmail supports mail readers for free. I use Thunderbird.
I don't feel that editing messages on this list is easy for me, because
the quote indicator ( "|" ) along with the indentation tends to
disappear if I happen to delete the wrong space. Also, quoted text
always is introduced by the Xubuntu mailing list address, which I
replace with the individual to whom I am replying. I do not know how to
restore the quote indicator other than by Ctrl-Z to undo changes I made.
That is not always convenient. In some cases, I may resort to typing the
old-school quote indicator, ">".
>>>* Photoshop to The Gimp? Photoshop is very complex to operate and so
is the Gimp. I could not find a way to migrate one artist (my daughter)
from Windows to Linux because of this single issue (she is already a
Firefox and LibreOffice user).
Photo management and editing is an issue with Linux. The Gimp has a very
unusual user interface. Some people seem to have grown accustomed to it.
I use programs like gthumb or Ristretto to manage small numbers of
photos in Linux. When I need to edit photos or manage a large
collection, I go to my Windows PC. Another indispensable Windows program
in my view is Call Clerk, which screens unwanted callers. I know a lot
of people would love to have that on their cell phones, but I don't know
whether Rob has a cell phone app out yet. I use it on my landline and
run a PC 24/7 to screen my calls. I don't know whether Call Clerk will
run via Wine on Linux. It's possible. The main dependency is .NET. The
wineapps web site gives no indication. One day, I may try running Call
Clerk via Wine in Linux.
>>>>Everyone that I have converted said it was worth the effort because
Linux is an excellent financial deal. All have gained a new respect for
open source in general. Me too. Richard
Affluent users are a harder sell. They don't care Linux is free. I have
an uphill climb with anybody with a fat wallet. They understand they pay
more for Windows, but they think "you get what you pay for." With Linux,
they are afraid of the unknown. They expect technical problems. They
expect program incompatibility. They think they will be dependent upon
you (the techie) for support. They think it's a trap. I think Linux has
more appeal to people that want to save money, those who are willing to
invest a little bit of time (and it is a little, actually) to save money
and have a more secure system customized to their needs.
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