lunes, 2 de agosto de 2010

Linux Is not for Everyone...

Recently, Ken Hess from PC World wrote the article "Warning: Five Things to Know Before Switching to Linux."

He opened his article by saying "Linux isn't for everyone-yet. However, Ubuntu, Mandriva, and a few other distributions come close but for now, Linux is a little more difficult to use than Windows." Hehe, Mepis is always left out...What an invisible distro I picked! :P

Now, is it true that Linux is not for everyone?

In his article, Hess mentioned the following aspects to consider about Linux when someone wants to switch from Windows:

1. It Isn't Windows
2. It Isn't Quite Unix Either
3. Printers and Other Peripherals
4. Documents and Files
5. Technical Skills Required

I agree with the article on the point of printers and peripherals. Most hardware manufacturers don't want to include Linux compatibility and that adds extra complications for Linux users.

However, the author missed a very important point concerning aspects 3 & 4: Is Windows fully compatible? Guess what, Windows DOES HAVE COMPATIBILITY ISSUES AS WELL! Actually, part of Microsoft's business model rests on creating compatibility issues, not only with peripherals, but also with files and previous Windows versions! How does that sound? Nice? If you are one of those who use the word "upgrade" to mean using a heavier (and more expensive, of course) system with less functionality than its previous versions, then you have been happily brainwashed, for that system is more like a downgrade if we think logically.

About aspect number 5, "technical skills required", I agree, too. For using Linux, you need to have a very sharp and difficult technical skill: using your brain.

Those who say technical skills are not required to run Windows are simply lying. Most Windows users think they don't need any tech skills because someone else installed their hardware, software, and configured their system for them.

Oh, I love it when they say "unlike Linux, Windows has a great tech support". How many of them have actually called Microsoft's Tech Support when experiencing problems? At least in my country, what they do is turning for help to friends who know more. What if those friends got wise and charged for their services? These users with no tech-skills would have two options left: either calling MS or solving their problems themselves (which is virtually the same thing, for MS won't send any technicians to your house to check on your Windows system).

Mr. Hess says "If you're the type that likes to tinker with computers, to learn new things, and to celebrate a victory when you're successful, then Linux is for you." Reading such lines made me really sad! That means Linux is not for me because I am more the type that:

1. like my computer to tinker with me, bug me, and even haunt me in my dreams!
2. try by all means to prevent any new knowledge from entering my brand-new and ever-sleeping brain
3. love to mourn or curse whenever I am successful (if I ever am!)

The author ends his article stating that "If you want stay with the familiar and comfortable pitfalls that you're accustomed to, use Windows."

I do agree with the idea that Windows pitfalls are familiar, but comfortable??? Since when being infected with a trojan, having a nasty virus swipe out all my data or getting a BSOD in the middle of an important job or presentation became the standard of computer comfort? Whoa! Was that the voice of brainwashing that I heard or it is that Linux separated me from the world of computers that much?

Anyway, I agree with Mr.Hess. Linux is not for everyone. It is for those that, as he said:

"choose to suffer a little pain,"
[the pain of learning many things; some good, some bad. Among them that they were ripped off by M$soft in the past]
"make a few exceptions" [like learning to live without some peripherals on one hand and without viruses or BSOD on the other]

"use Linux to power your desktops and servers and experience a new level of computing freedom."

4 comentarios:

  1. I am not comfortable with Windows unless I have an antivirus, a zombie detector, good old Spybot Search-and-Destroy, an anti-malware, Hijack This, Zone Alarm firewall, and several USB vaccines...

    How I miss Windows ME! But maybe this will drag you to use Windows 7...

  2. You've used the correct 'etiqueta' for the Ken Hess article: FUD.

  3. @ pcolon: Yes, that article is a clear example of FUD. I wonder if MS is behind that as I've read that they have a tendency to buy the press.

    @ mechatotoro: Nope. If I wanted anime in my OS, I'd go to Linux Mangaka, even if it is an Ubuntu remix, before turning to Windows 7.

  4. Alarcón, J

    Windows defenders will always stigmatize the use of other operating systems such as Linux by pointing out the possible challenges for beginners and also the complications resulting from incompatibility of Linux and certain type of hardware. However, is Windows Operating System infallible or user-friendly at all? Most Windows users will consider that certainly it is, but they will answer based only on the experience and knowledge they have so far with Windows. I don´t think my system is functional when my computer gets stuck all the time, or my OS cannot start when I need to open an important file. I can understand that switching from Windows to Linux may concern users since Windows marketing strategy have trained and “washed” our brains by convincing us that the use of such OP is easy and also have the technical support in case of system failure. However, those reasons to keep Windows running on the computer are hard to understand when, as you said, most of the times we turn for help to friends. I think that the switch to Linux may pose a challenge for beginners, but the benefits resulting from the use of Linux will outweigh the mistakes of being a Linux amateur user, and certainly, it is made only for those who prefer to live free from virus rather than having unnecessary peripherals.