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Re: Michael Dell Speaks About Linux

 "Roy"posted the following on 2006-03-08:

> http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS3822185143.html
> ,----[ Snippets ]
>|  "If we say we like Ubuntu, then people will say we picked the wrong one.
>|  If we say we like and support Ubuntu, Novell, Red Hat, and Xandros, then
>|  someone would ask us, 'Why don't you support Mandriva? The challenge we
>|  have with picking one is that we think we'd disenchant the other
>|  distributions' supporters."
>|  [...]
>|  One company has not played a role in Dell's Linux decisions.
>|  "Microsoft has not talked to us about Linux. If they did,
>|  I wouldn't care. It's none of their business," concluded Dell 
> `----

And one of the many reasons that Windows users stay from from
Linux. It really is all well and good saying that having 340 Distros
"is a good thing" when you know what you are looking for. Its not when
you dont : and guess what? Most dont. There are enough subtle
differences between these distros to make it hellish for the
non-initiated to install/fault find a Linux system. Subtle start up
sequence changes, different package managers, different installers :
nothing hugely major but certainly the sum of the parts makes for
quite a number.

Just today I did a clean install on a brand new "surfing" box : Nvidia
6100 gfx. X wouldnt work. Fine. I was told that Nvidia was the
way to go with Linux, but from previous issues on another machine I
knew to switch it to Vesa driver by sudo editing the xorg.conf. Another
interesting thing was the Ubuntu installer not seeing the USB mouse or
keyboard until after the system was installed. End result : works
fine. Brilliant, but heres the interesting part : a friend was
watching the install and commented how easy it all looked. Until the X
part :: then he said "yeah, it was something like that that made me
give up". Now remember he just wants it to work : he is a
journalist. He did not have another PC at home when he was installing,
he had no prior knowledge of Linux and certainly didnt know anything
about switching to root to modify an X config file and this combined
with no internet google help made him give up.

Personally I think the first thing these installers should do is to do
an X test THEN the user has the option to carry on the install. I read
that a graphical installer is on the way so maybe, just maybe, this
will be an integral part of the new installer : I think it would win a
lot of interested but cautious users over to Linux. Without X the Linux
newbie is as good as dead : command lines are a thiong of the past for
them and they want their GUI system admin tools - apart from the
obvious fact that GUI Sys admin tools prompt you for what they need
rather than you needing to guess from a 20 page man page : and thats
if you know the command/config file you are supposed to play with.

"A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world" - LeCarre.

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