The journal of Paul M. Watson.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Geeks don't get it

10 Things that make Ubuntu a Neophyte's Distribution starts off by saying that the reason why Ubuntu is a popular Linux distrubution choice is because it is easy to use. That is true, even I, a Linux neophyte, got it up and running with no fuss.

The article clarifies by saying:
Ubuntu is a distribution targeted at the non-techie crowd - those that want to get their job done and not spend time tinkering with the OS.

This is largely true as well. There was very little in the Ubuntu install and first start-up that I thought a non-techie could get confused over.

But then the article goes horribly wrong. Instead of focusing on the easy installation, nearly transparent internet connection setup and well chosen installed-by-default applications it mentions the following.

  1. Network tools like pinging, netstat, port scanning, finger and whois.

  2. The "Ubuntu Device Database Submission Tool" which I did not even know of and my mom couldn't give a tuppence about.

  3. GParted, a partitioning tool. A partitioning tool is something non-techies use? Save us all.

  4. The device manager. A microwave is a device, a toaster is a device. A hard-drive or soundcard are not devices to non-techy users.

  5. A tool to select what services start up on boot. Services? Do non-techies know of these hidden applications that run in the background? I doubt it.

  6. Users and user groups. Oh dear, non-techies administering the network?

  7. Troubleshooting via IRC! I went back on IRC just last night for a bit and had a headscratching few minutes trying to get into chatrooms that needed something new called a key.

  8. The Network Settings Dialog. More network?

If these are the non-techie friendly features of Ubuntu then no wonder computers are hard for non-techies. By all means the above make it easy for non-Linux techies like me but they don't make it any easier for my mom or yours.


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