__/ [rex.ballard@xxxxxxxxx] on Monday 20 February 2006 23:52 \__
> A few problems with this article.
> I don't exactly know what my real worth is on the open market, but at
> my rapidly advancing age, I reckon $50-100 an hour is a very
> conservative estimate. I personally think my time with family, friends
> and clients is worth a lot more than that but let's not split hairs.
> So we have here an older gentleman, appearantly in his fifties, who
> seems to have little or no experience on any platform other than
> Windows. Nothing wrong with this, but it does set a context. Almost
> no other information about his credentials. One can assume that this
> is an individual who is extremely biased toward Windows. Unix,
> Solaris, UnixWare, and Linux would be like another planet to him. He
> also seems to have no friends or aquaintances who are familiar with
> Linux - or was simply to ashamed to admit that he was attempting to
> install Linux.
Notice the fact that he only ever /speculates/. Judging by traffic ranks of
his site (Alexa & Netcraft), which is often the first thing I glance at in
the Web browser, that site is nothing beyond a hobby. He is not reporter. He
doesn't say how much he gets paid, so it's all wishful thinking, which one
can immediately bin. If someone reported in this impulsive fashion and
passion, I can assure you he will never, /ever/ become a real journalist. An
editor would have to moderate his biased and narrow-minded views, as
expressed /twice/ in the 2 articles I read.
> The point is that, in this day and age of plug and play online
> computing, Baby Boomers, Gen X's and even Gen Y's don't have time
> to waste. If they're anything like me, they certainly don't want to
> waste a weekend trying unsuccessfully to install a standard Linux
> distribution on a Microsoft Windows computer. By my reckoning, the 12
> or so hours I've spent so far could have bought me a copy of Windows
> XP and Office 2003 or even a new computer.
> This clearly shows that this man has no clue of the world of Gen X's
> and Gen Y's.
> Most of GenX could not easily get salaried jobs, so they created their
> own businesses and jobs by doing web sites on Linux and Unix servers.
> Many of them picked up Linux when they couldn't afford the hardware
> required to upgrade to Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0. For many in this
> generation - Knowing Linux, Perl, PHP, and Java was the "edge" required
> to stay ahead. Yet this individual has no knowledge of anyone who
> could help him with his research on Linux.
That's another intersting point. It is evident that the author does not know
anyone (with Linux expertise). He speaks with great vanity about "a copy of
Windows XP and Office 2003 or even a new computer". Why does he not just
turn to one of the many vendors who sell a new computer with Linux
pre-installed and properly configured? he is not as clever as he imagines,
and worse -- he has an attitude problem, in my humble opinion.
> Last week, I was determined to find out for myself what the real story
> is with Linux for the desktop. I knew that I could have gone out to a
> computer store and bought myself the latest Red Hat distribution but my
> view was that since everyone is telling me that the software is free,
> why should I pay for it? Anyway, I'm not totally computer illiterate.
> I used to fiddle around optimising the autoexec.bat and config.sys
> files back in the DOS days of the 80s. Heck, once I even managed to
> install OS/2 in a dual boot configuration with Windows 3.1 off a wad of
> floppy disks. So I should be able to handle a simple internet download
> and dual boot Linux installation - or so I thought.
> A whole WEEK! WOW!! This guy seems quite proud of the fact that he
> has used nothing but Windows for almost 20 years, and MS-DOS for 5-6
> years prior to that.
> He did manage to install OS/2 and Windows 3.1 together!! IBM had the
> rights to Windows 3.1 as part of an embezzlement case settlement and
> included Windows 3.1 with OS/2, you could run both Windows 3.1 and OS/2
> applications concurrently.
The value of one's skill are all a matter of self perception. I have known
people who consider themselves computer-literate because they know where to
download software to remove malware.
I can never forget a particular talk at the local LUG, where the company
manager told us about a guy he had interviewed for a job. The guy
interviewed had /never/ seen the command line before. He did not even know
that it was. *gasp*
> He seems to have completely forgotton how difficult it was to get
> Windows properly running and configured on any machine on which it was
> not preinstalled. Anyone who purchased IBM's PCs from 1992 to 1994
> usually had the option of OS/2 WITH Windows. Most people didn't like
> OS/2 because you had to use disk caching to get decent performance, but
> disk caching increased your risk of desktop corruption - which meant
> that you had to reinstall the desktop. In 1994, Warp 3.0 made it
> possible to save and recover desktops or start with a "core" desktop.
> Warp 4.0 fixed the race condition in the hard drive driver that caused
> the fatal traps, and was quite stable - but IBM was forced to withdraw
> this product from their OEM products as a precondition of getting
> Windows 95
> So after 15-20 YEARS of Windows, he is doing one WEEK of research - and
> is comparing a preinstalled, OEM configured version of Windows XP,
> which he has been using for at least a few years, to a freebie version
> of UNIX - NOT a Live CD, and without consulting any other information,
> advice, reccomendations, or much of anything else - appearantly less
> than 2-3 HOURS of research - decided to install Linux on his PC.
The presumption that Linux is Difficult (TM) is what guided his through the
process, I assure you.
> Put very simply, he chose the most difficult form of introduction
> possible, something targeted for the most experienced Linux user, and
> got upset because he couldn't just download it and run it like an
> He could have downloaded the UBUNTU live CD version and booted from the
> CD, but NO he had to INSTALL it!
> He could have downloaded the KNOPPIX LiveCD and booted it from the CD -
> but NO - he had to install UBUNTU.
> He could have downloaded VMWare Player and one of the Linux images on
> the VMWare site and run it from Windows - but NO, he had to do it the
> hard way.
Exactly. No-one I know wrote to the hard-drive without a prior demo or a live
> He could have purchased one of the commercial distributions - designed
> to support new Linux users - Linspire, Mandriva, or SuSE Live-CD, and
> had a working system with a minimal amount of assistance.
And... a graphical installer...
> He could have asked about 30 friends if they knew anything about Linux
> or knew anyone who knew Linux - and gotten the help he needed to get
> Linux quickly and properly installed.
I think his first essay neatly relates to a previous post, which was shrewdly
phrased by one of the readers. If he vexes people by shattering the image of
Linux, people will jump in and offer help. Those who just enquire about
problems without throwing flames will less likely get any help.
> I can understand someone getting confused. I can understand someone
> having to ask some questions of someone. I can even understand him
> saying - look I don't really know what I'm doing - and I got lost.
> The irony is that he makes the case for Linux in the second paragraph.
> He points out that his time is worth a great deal of money. The fact
> is that most people who spend a great deal of time working on computers
> - as users or as programmers, are quite valuable. Most office workers
> now spend almost 70% of their time in front of the compuuter. The GenX
> and GenY people even use chat, IRC, and IM to conduct business
> conferences via computer. Many can be in multiple meetings at the same
> time. Most people work AT LEAST 2000 hours/year, and most wil work for
> at least 30 years. That's almost 60,000 hours - and at $100/hour,
> that's over $6 million dollars.
Let me pose this scenario differently. If the author required a week, or even
just a day, to unsuccessfully install Ubuntu (failing to burn a CD counts
indeed), that would require a fat budget, assuming a company would employ
him at the rate of $50-100 per hour. I know some people who serve food at
daytime and could easily install Ubuntu within 20 minutes. And yes! They
also know how to burn CD's and set their BIOS properly, at least at a
> If Linux only increased your productivity 20%, wouldn't it be worth
> more than ONE WEEK of research and self-training? Most people would
> spend at least ONE MONTH learning new applications or even getting
> acclimated to upgrades of Windows, Office, or e-mail programs. Most PC
> users spend 2-3 weeks getting acclimated to a new computer. Based on
> his article he spend a whole 12 HOURS working on Linux.
> That 20% increase in productivity would be - at minimum $1 million
> dollars over a lifetime. When you consider that most computer users
> have productivity rates of 10/1 or even 20/1 - that could be $20
> million per worker.
> Here's the clincher, most of those who have actually MADE the
> transition from Windows to Linux/Unix - the productivity increases as
> much as 80%. That's an additional $1million/worker/YEAR in
> productivity for most companies.
I don't know where these figures come from. I do, however, know that when
forced to use Windows, I am most likely to SSH with X forwarding to a Linux
box. Still, I lack virtual desktops, keyboard accelerators and mouse
gestures, which I sure get when SSH'ing from Linux. All in all, Windows is
highly unproductive. This doesn't even account for the factor of maintenance
of Windows boxes, plus installation of additional yet fundamental software.
Roy S. Schestowitz | Useless fact: 12345679 x 8 = 98765432
http://Schestowitz.com | SuSE Linux | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
3:20am up 3 days 15:39, 7 users, load average: 1.25, 0.84, 0.68
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