Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3103 mails)

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Re: [SLE] Linux isn't ready yet
  • From: Kevin McLauchlan <kevinmcl@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 22:17:24 -0500
  • Message-id: <200302172217.24472.kevinmcl@xxxxxxxx>
On Monday 17 February 2003 12:22, Praise wrote:
> > I don't
> > think Linux is ready for my Aunt either.
>
> My mama is using it all the time, and she is
> not a computer literate.

We've got two computers here at the house, plus the
laptops that my wife and I frequently bring home from
work. Now, these next few remarks are entirely my fault,
I'm sure, because I just haven't been smart enough or dedicated
enough....

I had a SuSE partition on my laptop for nearly two years,
and was recently asked to remove it because of the
inconvenience. I never got printing working, so I was always
booting back into NT to print. (The Red Hat on my other office
computer figured it out first shot, though....) There were other
problems that annoyed my bosses. So, instead of being a
fine example of how Linux is at least as good as Windows
on the desktop, I became a re-inforcement for the "let's stay
with what we know" crowd.

At home, I used to have dual boot with Win98SE. I turfed
Windows when I upgraded from SuSE 7.3 to 8.0, and I
have an ongoing love-hate relationship with 8.0 and now
8.1... chronicled elsewhere in this list. Suffice to say that
I've had lots of problems.
My wife has my previous computer, downstairs in her office,
and it has a dual-boot (Win98SE and SuSE 7.3) that she never
uses. Well, she uses the computer, but wouldn't touch Linux.
She's seen me swearing at Linux and tearing out my hair too
many times. She never has problems with Windows on that
computer, nor on her employer-supplied laptop. She's
very computer capable. Consider her lost to Linux, or a VERY
hard sell, some years from now.

Then there's my brother in New Brunswick. He had only user
experience with windows on a controlled system at his government
office.
I bought a second-hand laptop, put SuSE 7.3 on it, drove to
the coast and gave it to him, with several hours of introduction.

A couple of weeks after I left, he had one of his buddies come
in, wipe the annoying Linux and install bootleg Windoze.
Another one lost to Linux.

I bought a second-hand tower, plus the necessaries, installed
SuSE and drove 7 hours to give it to my other brother, a person
who had never used a computer in his life. I got him going, sorta,
and then returned home. A few days later, he called me with a
problem connecting to his ISP. The system was not showing the
same messages that it had when I introduced him to it. I tried talking
him through some re-configuring and failed. I didn't know anybody
in London, Ontario who could help him locally.... so one of his
buddies came in with Windows and had him up and happy within
a few hours. Another one lost to Linux.

I have worked with PCs since one of my first employers began making
early IBM PC 8088 clones, and I've gone through DOS (and its
predecessor, CP/M) and most flavors of Windows. I've had trouble
with Windows, many times. But, I've had more trouble with Linux in
the few years that I've been using it than I've had in all the years of
DOS and Windows since 1981.

I'm quite certain that I could install Win 2K on the PC that I'm
typing at, right now, and everything would work, including the MS
Sidewinder Precision 2 Joystick (USB) that YaST can't even see.
My two IDE drives would not give it a problem. My CDRW drive
and my DVD drive (both IDE) would not require SCSI emulation,
followed by some re-direction and other hocus pocus... they would
all just work. So, I'd be able to use FlightSim, and play DVDs and burn CDs
without a lot of messing around.

I am absolutely certain that the two-year-old ATI video card would
be properly configured and that the display would be crystal clear,
with nice clean screen-fonts, both in the desktop and in browsers and
other apps.

I don't think Win2K would be any better than SuSE 8.1 at making my
network connection, but it would be no worse.

I'm not going to do that, but I'm confident that it would work fine, with
no agony. On the other hand...

By the time SuSE 8.2 arrives, I'll have most of my system working under
8.1 -- though probably not the joystick -- and I'll install 8.2, just to see
what one more increment of usability has been achieved. Then I'll spend
the following four months discovering and fixing a bunch of broken
things, but maybe I'll actually get my entire computer working before
8.3(or 9.0?) arrives. I won't get the usability that Win2K would give me,
but I'll stick with SuSE cuz I'm a glutton for punishment. Unfortunately,
the people around me will be firmly frightened back to Windows by my
ongoing frustrations.

Life is good. :-)

/kevin

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