Disagreeing with a Friend

It’s very rare that Rich Johnson, aka Nixternal, and I disagree but today we do.  Rich let me explain where we disagree and also then ask a question that I don’t quite understand.  I do not agree the post is the worst writeup in regards to Ubuntu/Linux, I do think there is a problem with power users/Windows Admins moving to Ubuntu/Linux.

In an article on Information Week’s website and also the original post, along with several email lists including Kubuntu Users, I would agree with a lot of the points the made by the original article and even some of the follow posts by commentors.  There are still a lot of pain points involved in moving to Linux and also Ubuntu/Kubuntu that a lot of technologists are still having moving to the other operating system.  I think this is the problem that a lot of people do not seem to recongize.  For someone that has used Windows for years there is a way of doing things that is totally different then how things are done with Mac OS X or even Linux.

I know those that contribute to LInux development have spent a lot of time helping people who are brand new to Linux but aren’t power users, you know those type of people, my parents, my grandmother, etc… THose that want to get on that Internet, which is colored blue…. and do email from Yahoo, because they AT&T DSL or whatever… and these people get Ubuntu/Kubuntu.  You tell them to click on the new Internet Icon, which is Firefox and they can email and chat and do everything they need to do.

However the problem is these people are technically savy people, they can rebuild their computers themselves, heck they may even admin several hundred windows boxes at work.  But to do Linux work you have to think a different type of way and there is a new way to do things.  But we as Linux developers/evangelists have done nothing to help these people out.  We have documentation that is geared towards the beginner user, but not to the technological savy, power Windows and this is a problem.

The problem is this:  My family knows I am a computer person, I am a network admin who administrates Windows computers.  I visit my folks and they ask me questions about their computer, so I fix them.  And what type of problems am I fixing?  Windows related issues, why because that is what I know what to do.   I may have tried Linux, but when I run into problems I turn to the documentation…. Problems installing I should look at the install guide, but there is nothing in there to help me troubleshoot, etc…  So because I can fix Windows problems, my family is going to keep buying Windows computers, instead of trying out Linux because if they try Linux and I can’t fix it, they loose their “free” tech support…”

Sorry about the long post, I think I rambled a bit.  Here’s my second question:  What is so friggen hard about installing Windows?  I drop the disk in and follow the install, connect to the internet and install updates.  Now there’s a 99% chance the computer I am installing Windows in has a restore disk, so I drop the restore disk and follow the restore directions…. Wish I had a Kubuntu restore/recovery disk provided by my computer manufacture….

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