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Linux may never gain widespread success, that we, the Linux fans want it to, because it's just too complex for the average computer user. Sure, we now have KDE, GNOME, XFCE, and other fancy graphical user interfaces that attempt to mimic Windows and the Mac OS but underneath the shimmering polish, it's Unix and that scares people. I'm not so sure that this is a bad thing.

When I first compared PCs and Macs around 1988, I decided that Mac users would be more efficient at Microsoft Word or drawing pictures than a PC user but the PC user would know far more about computers. This was because the Mac OS protected its user from the underlying workings of the computer whereas the PC did not.

Nowadays, the PC is becoming the "dumbed-down" operating system of the masses and the Mac OS is more for tinkerers. The Mac OS, since the introduction of version 10 (X), is now a blend of FreeBSD (A free, open source operating system like Linux) and Mach64 (NeXT) architecture. Basically the Mac OS is more like Linux than its former self.

I assumed, in those thrilling days of yesteryear, that Mac users weren't as smart as PC users. Basically, if you're dumb (and have a lot of money), you use a Mac. These days I think that PC (Windows) users are the less skilled of the three user types. Each new version of Windows that emerges is smarter than the previous one, the new applications are released without some of the more sophisticated features they once brandished, and our gadgets (with the exception of cell phones) are built with a minimalist design.

This is all to our own detriment.

Think about it. If software companies continue to make smarter operating systems, we'll in turn, get dumber because there will less for us to do and tinker with, fix, and enhance. In essence, our skills will atrophy from lack of use. Then, the software companies, one in particular, will have us where they want us: At their mercy.

I don't want to be in that position. I want my technical skills to remain sharp by working with an operating system that's close to the hardware. I like to configure, enhance, tinker, tweak, and build something that's better than what's handed to me.

The question doesn't mean, "Do you have the required intelligence to use Linux" but rather "Are you smart enough to make the decision to use Linux and keep that technical edge?"

So, the question remains: Are you smart enough to use Linux? Write back and let me know.

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Last Post by asciid
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> it's Unix and that scares people

No, it's a collection of poor user interfaces that offer no advantage over Windows.

> Nowadays, the PC is becoming the "dumbed-down" operating system of the masses

Now there's a completely nonsensical claim.

> I assumed, in those thrilling days of yesteryear, that Mac users weren't as smart as PC users.

Basically, if you're dumb (or have a lot of funny), that's what you thought.

> the new applications are released without some of the more sophisticated features they once brandished,

Examples, please.

> Think about it. If software companies continue to make smarter operating systems, we'll in turn, get dumber because there will less for us to do and tinker with, fix, and enhance. In essence, our skills will atrophy from lack of use. Then, the software companies, one in particular, will have us where they want us: At their mercy.

You might enjoy the writings of Ted Kaczynski.

> I don't want to be in that position. I want my technical skills to remain sharp by working with an operating system that's close to the hardware. I like to configure, enhance, tinker, tweak, and build something that's better than what's handed to me.

That's because you don't value your time. Other people pick their computer systems based on their usefulness, not their uselessness.

Are you smart enough not to use Linux? Write back and let me know.

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having used linux, windows all versionand dos and done some programming , pascal c++, prolog, basic and now entering the third age I value enormously being able to change the things I want to change. However using Linux (without relearning a new language) I find the commands just too complex (try setting linux to talk to a windows network with all security in place!!).

I also dislike having to put a new windows engine into the computer every three years. (still on xp!!)

On hte other hand windows seems to me to be too bloatware too expensive and too resource consuming. I shall not go to Vista (many of my clients regret this) nd I look forward to the day when an operating system is

easy
humanly reliable
configurable
doesnt fall over
lets the machine work at full speed

adn above all if friendly in ALL its operations.

still one can dream!!

M


latest version of Linux is good and as a professional I also carry Buldows (linux) in order to cope with the problems that windows refuses to allow me to do... so much for security!!

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@Rashakil Fol
You said: "That's because you don't value your time."

Porsonally, one of the main reasons I use linux is because I value my time. I want to be as efficient with my computers as possibly, thus I choose linux. That is also why I use SVORAK keyboard layout instead of QWERTY and why I use Ion3 Window manager and dont like Gnome, KDE nor Windows explorer as a good GUI. I dont see how windows could save me any time - quite the oppocite. When in 2002 I installed, for the 1st time linux I had planned to make a dual-boot system with windows - after 2 weeks with linux I ditched the idea of installing Windows, kept using only linux and have never ever wanted to go back - and yes, I have had enough (more than that) experience with windows outside my house and that has only strenghtened my opionion. I am a desktop user, web surfer, programmer, a gamer and much more and I have not had any need for Windows since 2002.

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For people who work in the other million job fields that don't have anything to do with programming or some other form of computer/web development, the computer is a tool. It's purpose is to get things accomplished quicker and with better quality. Saying that "normal" computer users should use Linux over Windows is like saying everyone should drive race cars instead of normal cars, instead of just having the professional race car drivers drive the race cars. (Horrible analogy, but if you're smart enough to use Linux, you can figure it out.)

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@robsku, I wasn't talking about you and your time -- I use linux too, and find it perfectly babying, without spending any time at all getting it working the way I want.

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>Linux may never gain widespread success,

it already has. - look at the Eee PC

>because it's just too complex for the average computer user.

it isnt really. i have an 8 year old cousin who is autistic who can use linux.

>Sure, we now have KDE, GNOME, XFCE, and other fancy graphical user interfaces that attempt to mimic Windows and the Mac OS

well done for saying lots of names, they weren't designed to be like that. desktop effects have evolved from linux. and they werent originally designed to mimic, users have just created themes

>it's Unix and that scares people.

linux != ux, it has a different kernel.

>The Mac OS, since the introduction of version 10 (X), is now a blend of FreeBSD (A free, open source operating system like Linux)

Mac has always used a BSD kernel.
FBSD is nothing like linux.

> I assumed, in those thrilling days of yesteryear, that Mac users weren't as smart as PC users. Basically, if you're dumb (and have a lot of money), you use a Mac.

not really. in professional use, the Mac architecture is really useful and certain industry-critical applications are based off it. not dumb at all (but i agree with you about the money)


>These days I think that PC (Windows) users are the less skilled of the three user types. Each new version of Windows that emerges is smarter than the previous one, the new applications are released without some of the more sophisticated features they once brandished,

yay. someone agrees with me. but the settings are still there. windows NT3.51 is still being used in some large environments because nt4, and xp are still not yet "officially" secure as can be. let alone windows vistag

>Think about it. If software companies continue to make smarter operating systems, we'll in turn, get dumber because there will less for us to do and tinker with, fix, and enhance. In essence, our skills will atrophy from lack of use. Then, the software companies, one in particular, will have us where they want us: At their mercy.

it's the end of the world! you may want to go use a unix!


>The question doesn't mean, "Do you have the required intelligence to use Linux" but rather "Are you smart enough to make the decision to use Linux and keep that technical edge?"

Actually with distributions such as ubuntu, i find that all of the work is actually done for you. and local logins from root are explicitly forbidden (just for when everything goes wrong), everything is packaged.

people are expecting computers to work out the box and end users dont want to spend hours tinkering.

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