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Make Linux "Gorgeous," Says Ubuntu Leader 688

OSS_ilation writes "They say beauty is only skin deep, but when it comes to Linux and the free software movement, people like Mark Shuttleworth think looks have an important part to play. On his blog and an article on, Shuttleworth and a slew of open source end users say that the look and feel of open source is also a matter of wider acceptance among enterprise players who are used to Windows, yet crave Mac OS X and the functionality of Linux. 'If we want the world to embrace free software, we have to make it beautiful,' Shuttleworth said. "We have to make it gorgeous. We have to make it easy on the eye. We have to make it take your friend's breath away.' With the early success of Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, Shuttleworth and company may be onto something."
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Make Linux "Gorgeous," Says Ubuntu Leader

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  • by Salvance ( 1014001 ) * on Monday October 30, 2006 @03:53PM (#16646879) Homepage Journal
    Finally, someone who is addressing the root cause of why Linux continues to trail market leaders in desktop share. In addition to making it "beautiful", developers need to continue adding out-of-the-box widgets/features to prevent someone from ever needing to modify a script or enter a terminal window if they didn't want to. If they could address both of these 'issues', Linux would have a fighting chance against Windows desktops.

    IMO - Microsoft doesn't dominate because it is better, it dominates because of great marketing and ease of use (even for groups such as the disabled). My grandmother can use XP Home, but if I have Linux up, she completely freezes. Sure, there's some grandmas that know perl scripting, but who wants to jump in and start compiling code just so they can play bridge with their friends over the net?
  • by mbkennel ( 97636 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @03:56PM (#16646929)
    It doesn't matter what they first go up to.

    The point is that the "feel", and that means deep, cognitively focused ergonomics, matters more than eye candy.

    Candy rots your teeth.

    If something looks good and it communicates function and state well, then that's fine.

    Remember: beauty is skin deep, but bitch goes right down to the bone.
  • by blackcoot ( 124938 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @03:57PM (#16646949)
    and when things don't Just Work (tm), make it Really Easy to Fix (tm). gui eye candy is nice and all, but it does no good if the underlying software is flakey and generally hard to use.
  • by augustz ( 18082 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:00PM (#16646995) Homepage
    Imagine having a clean and clear desktop. Make things a little bigger for your mother. Make them a little smaller for the numbers nerd.

    When you buy that ridiculously high resolution dell laptop, all the icons and text doesn't shrink to the size of warnings for health meds.
  • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:00PM (#16647005) Homepage
    I dispute the hard to use part of Linux. Yes it's a bugger to get working sometimes but so is Windows. How many of us here provide tech support to otherwise intelligent people who have a complete blind spot when it comes to using a Windows box. If Windows breaks in a confusing way how many non-geeks do you know who can sort it out? My dad is the only one I know and I support a lot of family, friends and co-workers.
  • Re:Ironic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IflyRC ( 956454 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:06PM (#16647115)
    Linux actually needs both to really compete on the desktop. Sure, don't let drivers and other core libraries slide but it needs serious help in the UI department. Linux developers always speak of standards and fault MS for never following them - how about Linux having a UI standard? Too many things I use I have to relearn the UI to some degree. At least in Windows (for the most part) there is a standard in the tool bars and menus. File, Edit, etc.
  • by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:08PM (#16647151) Homepage
    Why can't you have well-designed ergonomics AND great eye-candy? Why deny that both serve a useful place at the table?

    Another thing that's needed is something similar to Apple's original User Interface Guidelines, so that all of the applicatons on the platform are consistent from both a usability and visual standpoint.

    Having consistent dialogs, button placements, menus, and so on tend to make a platform a LOT more accessible.
  • Doubtful (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:10PM (#16647189) Homepage
    In principal, I agree.

    In practice, it's not what makes people switch. They will switch when there is an overwhelming need for something that is not provided by their current PC.

    Otherwise, they don't switch.

    Despite Apple's temporarily high visibility (pre vista media onslaught) these days, they know from experience getting people to switch even -if- you have a beautiful desktop and good advertising marketing budgets is tough.
  • Re:Imagine... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mikachu ( 972457 ) <> on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:12PM (#16647215) Homepage
    It really doesn't matter. You're not competing against a world that has never seen a computer before. You're fighting against a world where Windows owns the market share, and Mac OSX is often shunned aside, where Linux is called the nerd OS.

    So essentially, Mark Shuttleworth is right. It's not enough to be just barely the best in anything when the market leader has almost all of the market. You have to truly jump miles above the market leader before people will notice. It's unfortunate but true.

    How do you think the Apple iPod worked so well? When it came out, nerds said "less space than a Nomad, it's shit." But what happened? If you really compare, the iPod blew the Nomad away in terms of ease of use and beauty. Not to mention marketing, but that's a different story altogether.
  • Ain't gonna happen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by melted ( 227442 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:13PM (#16647255) Homepage
    Too many people need to give up their egos, use GUI toolkits they don't like, and admit they don't know jack about what looks good and what doesn't.
  • by Salvance ( 1014001 ) * on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:17PM (#16647323) Homepage Journal
    I couldn't agree more ... the unfortunate thing is that any time I make similar suggestions to Linux programmers or just tech groups in general I get responses like "PEBKAC, not my problem", or "If you can't do XYZ, then you're not smart enough to be using a computer", or even "if Linux were easy to use, there'd be less jobs for support guys like me". These are REAL responses I've received from legitimate Linux developers.

    As backwards as it sounds, I really think the Linux world needs to find some investors to plop down BIG money for PR, Marketing, and Focus Groups just for increasing desktop penetration. These may all sound like swear words to a techie, but I think they're essential to increasing Linux adoption.
  • Sooo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Klaidas ( 981300 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:18PM (#16647337)
    Sooo, if Mark said that "pretty" is a feature, will we see less members of the I-hate-vista-because-a-lot-of-people-will-use-it-a nd-also-it-looks-nice-so-it's-even-worse-and-it-ha s-nothing-my-good- old-terminal-couldn't-do club?
  • Somewhat unrelated (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:35PM (#16647707)
    Does Thunderbird interoperate well with our exchange server?

    Why would anybody want to do this? Take a full-featured office management server and strip it down to basic email because that's all the client can handle? Huh?
  • Better yet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cereal Box ( 4286 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:35PM (#16647725)
    Instead of making it look "gorgeous", how about focusing on making Linux look "consistent"?

    Windows and Mac OS sure didn't achieve their easily identifiable "looks" by promoting dozens of inconsistent GUI toolkits.
  • Re:Ironic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:38PM (#16647781)
    There has to be a balance, that is true. You can't have an OS that is completely window dressing, but at the same time, if you want people to sit in front of your machine for hours and hours without having to be the sort of person who are attracted to computers for their own sake, it has to look good and function well.

    If you build an OS that is rock solid, but its UI is command-line or a crappy GUI, you may well have a successor to the mainframe on your hands, which would be profitable, but it was my impression that Linux was not supposed to be some cryptic mainframe update.

    A big issue, that I think actually plays into what you are saying is the sheer number of possibilities that exist for Linux desktop UIs. I think one of the best and worst things about Linux (and Unices in general), is the fact that you can have a bazillion UIs and every other distro has their own UI or variation on that UI.

    Fact is, more than having a "pretty" desktop, you need a *standard* desktop. One that people can learn to use on Ubuntu, and if they want to go to a Red Hat distro, or possibly even Gentoo, they see the same thing on their screen. When they go to their friend's house, they can access the same interface (personalizations excluded) that they have at home. BUT, they don't just have the option to have it, they MUST use that default unless they know enough about the system to figure out how to enable another Window Manager.

    Yes, I mean that the selection of Gnome, KDE or whatever needs to be removed from easy selection on the login screen. They need to login with Linux GUI (whatever the heck that would be) and then, only if they know enough about the system, can they change it.

    Yes, I can hear the howls about options and freedom, but honestly, you have to review your goals here. People like having freedom, but need standards to function, at least as an initial default. Linux succeeds because it is diverse, but it also falls short in some areas, like user acceptance, because it is diverse. I've been a UNIX user and admin for over a decade, and even today, I can barely stand to use a UNIX (or Linux) box as a desktop machine, even through its 10x more stable than my stupid Windows XP box. It also means that if I want to try another distro, I'm stuck trying to relearn where stuff is or have to retreat to the command line. That works for me or you, but not for Mom or Dad or Grandma who don't even grasp the concept of a UNIX command line.

    We don't need a "pretty" UI. We need an "attractive" UI which is standardized and has enough out of the box default acceptance across distros, so that anyone who has ever used a Linux box can find all of the internals they need by clicking on the same things, and at the same time, is sharp enough looking so that people feel like someone has taken the time to make the system friendly for them. At that point, the other UIs need to become hobbies, and shed the wasted development resources that could be used by the kernel and or drivers. Or at the very least, stop trying to push their interface to the top.

    Personally, I think Linux acceptance will really come into its own when "Linux" means the same default user experience no matter what distro they are using. Think about it, Windows desktop users don't give a shit if their box is running AMD or Intel or if it is using FAT or NTFS, *Windows* to them is the interface that sits on top of all of that stuff. The only way *Linux* will evolve into a competor in that space is to realize that desktop users only care that their programs run fast enough (Linux already has that covered), that they can use popular tools and that they know where everything they need to use is in the UI.

    A GUI does not have to be super-awesome. Not the default one anyway. "Linux", the brand, just needs a good UI that everyone knows and everyone uses right out of the box. The distro can still have Gnome, KDE, or any window manager, widget set or anything else that they want, but they have to be an option for power use
  • by mbkennel ( 97636 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:47PM (#16647975)
    No kidding. I don't think the US has even thought about the turban part.

    Not enough TurbanWare makers in the districts of the appropriation committee congressdroids.
  • Re:Imagine... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:58PM (#16648185) Homepage Journal
    ``A person who has never used a computer turns on three which are arranged in front of them... A Windows box, a Mac box and a Linux box... all look identical on the outside. They receive no prompting. Which do they begin to try to learn to use?''

    The one that finishes booting first?
  • by 14CharUsername ( 972311 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:11PM (#16648403)

    Linux is great for beginners. And its perfect for experts. But it doesn't work very well for those people in between... the "Power Users". They get on a linux box and the first thing they say is "where's the C drive?" Then next its "where's Program Files?" Then they bitch about when stuff is installed it gets spread all over in places like /usr/bin, /usr/share, /usr/lib, /etc, etc. (see what I did there?).

    For beginners its great. "where's My Documents?" "How do I get on the Internet?" "How do I log out?" After a few minutes they figure these things out and are on the way.

    The experts get to the console and type ssh, rsync, grep, sed, find and the like and they're in heaven.

    But the "power users" have so much knowledge of registry hacks and all the little things that you have to do just to make windows work. They know that the hard drive is C: and if you have more than one hard drive, the second on is D:, if not then D: is the cdrom. Apps are installed in their own folders under C:\program files\ (unless you specified something else in the installer) but you can't remove them by just deleting the folder, you have to go to add/remove programs in the control panel. If that doesn't work then you nuke the app from the registry and then delete the folder in program files. To all the "power users" out there, that is how computers are supposed to work. Show them anything else, then they are just as helpless as the beginners. They don't want to give up all that windows specific knowledge without a fight.

  • by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:19PM (#16648561) Homepage Journal
    I don't agree with you. While I personally find it much more important that things Just Work, a lot of people care about eye candy. Thus, eye candy is a good thing to spend energy on. Even if this is at the expense of other things, it might still be a Good Thing; for example, Ubuntu could be the Gorgeous OS, whereas Mac OS X would be the OS that Just Works.

    Looking at the way things are, I would say it's rather the other way around at the moment. OS X is definitely more attractive than Ubuntu as far as looks go, but Ubuntu (especially versions before Breezy) provide a better Just Works experience. Sure, OS X is fine for Apple stuff...but getting third party software to work on it can be somewhat involved, hardware support isn't stellar, etc. YMMV, of course.
  • by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) * on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:20PM (#16648595) Homepage Journal

    I'm glad that a lot of OSS developers don't have the same mindset as you. It sounds like you're saying, "Who the hell cares if Linux serves the needs of other people. As long as it serves my needs, everything else is wasted effort."

    We as open source developers don't have limitless time and resources to spend making our software usable by everyone, or EZ enough for grandma to use.

    I've never seen it implied that you must. But if you want other people to use it, you're going to kinda have to make it easy enough for other people to use it. Maybe you're the type that doesn't care whether other people use your software or not. If so, then fine, write code that is as single-user (i.e. you) usable and obscure as you want, and don't sit around and scratch your head when you're the only one that uses it.

    Fortunately, a lot of OSS developers have decided that as long as they're coding something that's useful to themselves, they might as well make it a little prettier so that it's usable (or even developable) to others as well, and eventually, we end up with software that grandma can use. Maybe you don't care, and if so, fine, don't care. But if you're the one who has to pay for grandma's copy of Windows just so she can send an e-mail, you start to appreciate all of the time and hard work those OSS developers have spent doing something that you're incapable of doing.

    Linux doesn't have to become a product, it does not need popular appeal.

    Wow, is that ever a gross misstatement. How pretty does pretty have to be before you consider it crossing the line from being "designed for experts to use" to being usable by "the average person"? What if the guy (or gal, or group) who wrote, oh I dunno, IDE disk drive drivers decided that he didn't need to simplify those gnarly function calls, and that every time you wanted to open a file on Linux, you had to make some low-level interrupt calls? I mean the fact that you can just call a function named something like open() was just a simplification to make your life easier, right? Wasn't it just a way of increasing that programming languages popular appeal? Does that mean that languages that implement an open() function are evil or just a waste of time?

    I don't care how much of an expert you are, unless you're programming in assembler, you're standing on the shoulders of giants. And even if you are, you're probably still standing on the shoulders of a giant that wrote the editor you're using, the keyboard driver that's interpreting your keystrokes, the display driver that's showing you your code, and so on.

    So yeah, I find it incredible arrogant to essentially say, "Hey, you all have programmed it well enough for me to use, so if you make it any easier for other people to use, you're really just wasting your time."

    As for me, I'll gladly take whatever OSS developers give me in terms of ease of use, and I'll be extremely grateful for it, even if it's something I feel is pretty well developed already. And if grandma can use it too, all the better.

    Why must compromises be made so that Linux can be prettier and easier?

    I'm sorry, I must have missed the memo that said that now that Linux is prettier, you can't still run it as a lean mean special-purpose machine. What compromises are you referring to? What exactly is it that you can't do now in Linux that you used to be able to? What nugget of "expert" functionality was it that was removed that had you all up in arms now? Last time I checked, I could get just as down and dirty with the low-level stuff as I always could. Yes, even in Ubuntu.

  • Re:Imagine... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:29PM (#16648765)
    Keep in mind thye average user will probably also have an mp3 player and a thumb drive connected as well as a cd/dvd burner. What if the user has multiple hard drive, potentially from an upgrade (not that uncommon) or maybe from their old machine (ie: salvaged during an upgrade by whomever did the upgrade for them). If you just use /home the user will be quite confused as to why all that new space they jsut bought isn't showing up. And /home/username is just as unintuitive, most will dump stuff onto their desktop or whatever folders are linked from their desktop.
  • by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:33PM (#16648867) Homepage
    Unless you're planning on creating a new ideomatic language and teaching it to the rest of the world, we're kind of stuck with that whole letter-word-sentence-paragraph thing. Which gives rise to the idea of a page or document or file or folder that encapsulates a bunch of them.

    Most sites or interfaces that try to overlay reality with other metaphors fail, usually because the metaphor doesn't communicate (why is the home page the "Town Hall"?) and because most graphical systems aren't as dense as text. To take your example, do I want to navigate a virtual building trying to find Fred's desk, or is it faster to find Fred in an alphabetic list and click on it.

    I actually expect search and metadata (aka Spotlight) to take us further than 3D spinning virtual worlds...
  • by styrotech ( 136124 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:34PM (#16648885)
    Agreed, it isn't computer novices that find Linux Desktops any harder to use than Windows. It's the more experienced Windows users that generally find Linux harder to use. They have preconceived notions about how computers are supposed to work and have forgotten how long it took them to pick up their current Windows knowledge. They underestimate how much new stuff they will need to learn when moving to a different system.

    eg: I'm very experienced with both Linux and Windows, but still get lost and confused with OSX because I'm still very new to it. Even so I'd accept that OSX is probably the easiest to learn after watching my wife buy an iMac and pick it up without much knowledge of any other systems.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:54PM (#16649239)
    Amen brother. I used to feel bad about my Linux fonts until I saw screenshots in professional articles where the fonts looked just as terrible.

    Linux fonts are absolutely hideous out of the box. And don't get me started on the evil, which apparently contains code to ensure that no matter how good you get your fonts looking system-wide, they'll still look like dogshit in OpenOffice.
  • by Ian-K ( 154151 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:09PM (#16649485) Homepage
    For linux to catch on you really need to do away with all the tweaking of config files and all the config/make/make install.

    I speak as an ex linux fan who got tired of having to tweak a million things on every install so as to
      - get the soundcard working (plod along forums XYZ to find out that you need a kernel recompile, what a joy)
      - try one of 10 different hacks to get my logitech mediaplay to work under X (still haven't figured it out)
      - upgrade kde to 3.5.5 in SuSE. You need a phd to sort out the dependencies (yes, that was recent history)
      - be able to see & use the "network neighbourhood" (samba shares)
      - have NTFS write support, anyone? For my external HDDs?
      - etc. etc.

    So after losing a couple of days at work (re)configuring my brand new linux pc, thinking I'll eventually get rid of the silly windoze environment again and get back to good-old linux, I got fed up.

    So I stopped fiddling about, reassured myself that this is for people who've got time on their hands (like I used to when I was at uni), and popped a windows cd again. Took me 5 hours to get all my programs sorted and fully working (I do keep a fixed set of apps I install) along with all my hardware running smoothly.

    The bottom line: Not everybody has the willingness/time to mother-hen an alternative OS. As much as I like linux, I'll stick to windows until a better time comes (I have time to waste or I don't need kernel recompilations). Things like gui slickness are details. Both KDE (my fav) and Gnome are doing really well on that aspect.

    Or maybe I'm getting rusty. My real linux days finished with slackware (still my fav. distro) and suse about two years back, having used every single linux/unix distro there was, even irix/solaris (on SGI/Sun boxes :)
  • by CreatureComfort ( 741652 ) * on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:37PM (#16649995)

    Well, that's all part of it, isn't it. If I want to listen to music on a Windows machine, and I don't like WMP, it is easy for me to find out about Winamp, iTunes, or other good, highly polished apps. I can then go to the website, look at screen shots, read reviews and feature lists, etc. When I see one that looks good I click the big friendly download button. If I'm a complete novice and running IE, when the download starts I click the "run file" button when it asks to start the download, otherwise I save it to desktop, or to my hard drive. When it's done downloading, I click the friendly 'run' next to the file in download manger, or double-click the .exe wherever I saved it on the disk or desktop. Boom, the installer runs and my new application has a start menu entry and/or a desktop icon, and I can start using it.

    On Ubuntu, it is search through Synaptic for applications whose description look like they might do what I am looking for, making sure to check all repositories. Fire up a browser to try to do research on them. Weed through the forum flamewars and cryptic support documents to figure out if it might work and look they way I want. Screenshots? HAHAHAHAHA. Go back to Synaptic and select the application for install. After it installs hope that it added itself somewhere to Applications (usually it doesn't). If it doesn't then go find the executable and get it to run, just to see if you like it.

    Now, I'll get the replies of, "Why not just install and play with them all, then remove the ones you don't like." My answer is that I don't want to spend that kind of time on something that really in the grand scheme of things isn't that important. In the windows world, I can spend an hour searching for and finding the app that works best for me. In linux, I find it takes me all day.

  • Re:Imagine... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30, 2006 @07:44PM (#16650889)
    Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

    But why is (I assume you meant less-than, not greater-than) 1% marketshare a problem? Linux does everything I want it to, and it does it with completely free tools and far more efficiently than anything else. Typing in 'apt-get' is easier, in the sense that it's more direct and takes far less time than opening up Synaptic, searching for the package and then clicking apply ...

    Linux is for the people who can understand that and for the people who care about free and open software - and they happen to be fairly rare. There's no prize in appealing to the masses when you're creating a free system, except for the rather dubious merit of having an OS that appeals to the lowest common denominator.
  • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @08:00PM (#16651109) Journal
    Yeah like I really like how in windows app where hitting OK sometimes closes the present window and sometimes opens the child window.
    How about how if you open your browser, a single click on a hyperlink follows to the links URL, but the file-manager that looks just like the browser needs to double-click the links (shortcuts)?
    Here's a good one how about downloading an executable to a user's desktop, then right-clicking and run-as admin, ever try that it don't work, Windows says admin has insufficient privileges! Then you get sneeky and down-load it to a shared folder, and run-as, but that still doesn't work, you have to copy it into the shared folder, I've pleaded with every windows guru for 3 years to tell me how to do that, nobody knew! as far as I can tell I'm the only one! This is so unintuitive, admin is untrusted and to make a file shared, it has to be moved into a shared folder, and downloading into the shared folder doesn't count!

    I don't want to to things the "new" windows way, I want some sanity, I want the old tried and true, rational, expandable Unix way!
  • by injury0314 ( 797702 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @08:31PM (#16651427)
    I totally agree, that the color scheme is hideous.

    So when I upgraded to ubuntu dapper for my parents back home, I made an effort to set up a better color scheme.

    To my surprise, when they began using the computer, they were disappointed that it didn't come with the ubuntu color scheme they love so much. And no, they have had other os'es and distros setup in their computer Win2k,XP,Mandrake,Debian.

    So, maybe it just boils down to people's preferences.
  • Re:Imagine... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @05:46AM (#16655035)
    It seems like most people are looking at linux through the eyes of about 5 years ago. I don't use "apt-get", i use synaptic. all my installs happen through synaptic or downloading a deb, clicking on it, confirming that yes I do understand that to install this software i am becoming administrator, and then its done....

    It's a little tiring to see people go on about lack of user friendlyness to an os they tried 5 years ago. Perhaps this is due to the fact that people using windows aren't used to a nice fast 6 month release cycle where things can dramatically improve each time.. Ubuntu, to which this article is about to some degree (mark shuttleworth, founder) has been around for several years now and is a joy for people to use. You can't call an OS harder simply because it does things differently, and your not used to it.. Linux is easier to install, it's easy to configure and manage. People who are familiar with XP have a hard time on Linux, and the same is true for OS/X. Basic users who use the internet and wordprocessing have little difficulty, as they have less to unlearn, or learn again.. I have installed it for many basic PC users and they haven't complained or noticed much difference (complexity wise), "the fox is internet?" "This is office? OK. thanks."

    Yes I will admit that you can't download an executable and run it straight away, you must choose to make it executable (right click, make executable). And then run it.. But guess what.. That's a good thing. Virus' and Worms.. This is why they have a hard time spreading on Linux, because they can't install so easily.. It's a very small price to pay for the benefit of knowing exactly what is installing itself..

    Something like 80% of computer users would not really notice much difference betwen os/x, windows and modern linux distributions. These are the sorts of people who never install anything on their windows box, internet is the blue e, email is outlook and word is for writing letters. That's a large portion of the world's computer users.. These tasks are well and truly handled in all three OS's, and function in much the same way also. These people would freak if you asked them to install a printer or whatever as much on windows as any other os.. They have a nephew or cousin or someone who does this sort of thing for them... Those are the people who hate Linux (the nephews etc..), 'cause they don't find it user friendly, because THEY don't know how to do this, that or the other.. and Linux doesn't do it any harder or complicated than in windows, it just does it differently.. in fact in most up to date distros, with not too bleeding edge hardware, most things "Just Work"..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @09:33AM (#16656467)
    Honestly, I wish I could hack it at that linux stuff, but no matter how hard I try, I just can't.

    I feel sorry for you. I'm an old programmer of retirement age, but I had no problem converting to Linux (both using and programming). If you truly are unable to pick up new things (like Linux), how are you able to do your job?
    Just about every technology has changed greatly over the past 10 years.

System checkpoint complete.