@ Doug Glass
> I'm going to get shot at I'm sure and that's fine.
No shooting I promise :)
>My experience, which is about thirty people, was an overwhelming rejection of >Linux as their desktop OS. The major cause was not being able to play a DVD >movie immediately after installation. I'm sure this is a minor point to many Linux >devotees but this is what happened to me. Once I showed them the repositories >and how to get to them and the two or three programs that had to be installed >and the codecs that were needed I just got blank stares. More than once I was >asked why the capability wasn't preinstalled. It may be in Ubuntu 8.04; I stopped >at 7.10. A few even asked where were the .exe files. Some even read the >"warning" messages when installing the files to play DVD movies and asked >would they be doing anything illegal! It was a surreal experience to say the least.
I had an interesting experience similar to that while trying to play a DVD in Windows. I installed Windows XP, put a DVD in and nothing happened. After I researched it I found out apparently I had to pay for some software to play DVD's. What kind of operating system is this?! It won't open Word documents either, I thought they were Microsofts own format?
While searching I found out that apparently in Ubuntu you have to just click add/remove programs and tick VLC to play DVD's. Still, at least if you buy a Linux computer from Dell you won't even have to do that.
>I had the exact same experience when certain web sites "didn't work right". Java >and various video players had to be installed separately. And again I was asked >why do we have to do that? Why isn't it included? They may be in some distros, >but you have to pick just one to demo.
Yep I can see how having to click add/remove then tick Java may be confusing. Flash just installs on mine the first time it hits a page that needs flash. If I try and play a video file that needs a codec I don't have installed it pops a window up asking if I want to install it, I say yes and they video starts playing.
>But the point is this. I learned that even the people I knew to be very intelligent >weren't willing to work to learn a product even though it was safer, cheaper, >faster, and etc. To a person they simply didn't want to venture outside their >comfort zone of Windows. I know, I know, "Windows" and "comfort" seem to be >at odds with each other. But the people I introduced Linux to simply wanted a >computer that ran well, was a known, and was relatively inexpensive. Please >note the term "relatively". The fact that Linux was a no cost OS was not a factor. >They wanted XP; Apple was never mentioned by anybody.
Exactly. Its not the ease of use or the difficulty using one system or another, its just outside peoples comfort zone. They can be encouraged for a while until they hit a snag like 'My phone software won't install' then panic.
>So what did I do? Using the retail license of those systems needing rebuilding I >installed a slipstreamed retail XP SP3. I installed Comodo Pro free firewall, free >antivirus, the ShieldsUp free programs from grc.com, anti-malware programs >and started the Windows update process. My deal was I'd set up XP for the few >that needed it if they allowed me to demo Ubuntu. which I did by the way as a >group and not separately.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. If you look after Windows computers you have to endure hours of trying to clear all manner of crap off it once it hits the Internet. (Cue 'I've used Windows for years and never got a virus or spyware bleat bleat')
>Maybe my tact was all wrong, but calling on my teaching degree and >experience, I think I did a pretty good job. It's kind of like the old saying, "The >operation was a success, but the patient died".
Linux (I'm referring to Ubuntu mainly) isn't perfect but all things equal its a lot easier than Windows. Any problems people have using it are down to incorrect expectations or their misfortunate choice of hardware. Its currently perfect for `Grandma` or an IT expert. The self-confessed pseudo-experts with Windows knowledge really aren't going to get on with it though.