[TriLUG] Software for Linux newbies
Tue, 28 May 2002 16:45:12 -0400
Just a quick note about the Linux for newbies thread.
When compared to the people in this group, I am a Linux newbie. Despite the
fact that I've been using ocmputers for 20 years, learning any new operating
system tends to be an arduous task at the best of times.
Like it or not, I do find Microsoft Windows fairly intuitive, and I
appreciate it when someone tries to put Linux into "Windows" terms for me.
I also appreciate the work that has gone into KDE to "Windowize" it.
Microsoft operating systems are a way of life for me - I make my living on
them, and most of my data is currently stored in some Microsoft format that
I need to be able to access in the future. I love the idea of Linux, and I
wholeheartedly embrace the philosophy behind the open source programming
The weak point for me (to put a personal spin on this) has always been the
networking between Microsoft and Linux/Unix. There *always* seems to be a
hitch in the process - whether it's file or peripheral sharing just seems to
depend on which distribution I'm running. Things have gotten a *lot* better
than they were in the past, but they're far from perfect.
To illustrate this point more clearly: I can install Windows on four
machines, hook them all up to a hub, and assuming the NIC was detected
during the OS install and the workgroup name matches on all four machines,
there's a VERY strong chance that they will all talk to one another
seamlessly. Granted, Windows networking isn't exactly great, but if it lets
me hook a printer up to one computer and a big hard disk on another, and
access them all from my laptop, then in my books it has done its job.
I am sure I will be innundated with emails about how it can be just as easy
to do file sharing in Linux - and that's part of the reason I'm involved
with this group in the first place. However, I hope people recognize that
it's not always an intuitive process, and any little bit that can be done to
bridge that user interface gap between Windows and Linux is greatly
appreciated. Help in the Linux world often comes in cryptic commands and
scripts, which doesn't make it any easier. In my humble opinion, KDE goes a
long way to bridging that gap.
And here's the really great thing about Linux: there will always be
distributions that cater to the more Linux/Unix saavy customer - people who
know this stuff inside and out. I believe that there is far more room for
the experienced Linux junkie and the rank novice in the world of linux open
source than there is for the same users in the Windows world, which is a
"one size fits all" world.
Anyways, I'm heading home in a bit to give Caldera OpenLinux Server 3.1.1 a
try. I really liked 3.1.
-- Mike Helms