How simple are newbies anyway? - Linux

This is a discussion on How simple are newbies anyway? - Linux ; On Sat, 19 Jul 2008 11:29:32 -0400, Linonut quoth: > This is the thing. Somehow, some way, one should instill a bit of the > hacker ethos in the ordinary citizen. Show them that they can, and > should, dig ...

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Thread: How simple are newbies anyway?

  1. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On Sat, 19 Jul 2008 11:29:32 -0400, Linonut quoth:

    > This is the thing. Somehow, some way, one should instill a bit of the
    > hacker ethos in the ordinary citizen. Show them that they can, and
    > should, dig a little deeper into their tools, or at least show them
    > where their tools start restricting their fair rights. Even if they
    > still stick with Windows, they can be provided with tools.


    good luck with that! I suspect the problem is insuperable. but anyway,
    it's one thing to dig into tools and another to discuss fair rights.

    but about tools, most of the people I know - and many are very smart and
    some very educated people - are incurious even to the point that hurts
    them. for instance, they do not know how to do a search on a document
    where something like 'reg exps' or 'wildcards' are required yet this would
    often be helpful to them. fact is, they won't use an idle moment to 'dick
    around,' like Tim Smith put it, even if it might give them something
    useful for their work.

    I guess if you want to get people to dig into their tools, it would have
    to be by somehow demonstrating the utility of it. and major providers of
    systems and software would have to find that in their interest.

    Felmon

  2. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On Sun, 20 Jul 2008 15:26:44 -0400, Felmon wrote:

    > On Sat, 19 Jul 2008 11:29:32 -0400, Linonut quoth:
    >
    >> This is the thing. Somehow, some way, one should instill a bit of the
    >> hacker ethos in the ordinary citizen. Show them that they can, and
    >> should, dig a little deeper into their tools, or at least show them
    >> where their tools start restricting their fair rights. Even if they
    >> still stick with Windows, they can be provided with tools.

    >
    > good luck with that! I suspect the problem is insuperable. but anyway,
    > it's one thing to dig into tools and another to discuss fair rights.


    Interesting felmon....

    > but about tools, most of the people I know - and many are very smart and
    > some very educated people - are incurious even to the point that hurts
    > them. for instance, they do not know how to do a search on a document
    > where something like 'reg exps' or 'wildcards' are required yet this would
    > often be helpful to them. fact is, they won't use an idle moment to 'dick
    > around,' like Tim Smith put it, even if it might give them something
    > useful for their work.


    I run into this quite a lot even watching people Google for things.
    They don't know how to create good arguments and use wildcards effectively.

    I am certainly no expert at all, but I do know the basics.

    > I guess if you want to get people to dig into their tools, it would have
    > to be by somehow demonstrating the utility of it. and major providers of
    > systems and software would have to find that in their interest.


    Time is just too short for a lay person to learn the innards of yet another
    tool.
    Yes, I know in the long run it will save time but people just don't think
    like that.

    One of the more interesting learning aids that I have come across is SMIT
    or smitty in AIX.
    If you use the GUI and drill down to what you are looking to do,
    de-configure a piece of hardware for example, you will find it and click on
    the selection and watch the little man run as the command is executed.

    The learning part occurs if you look at the screen and observe how AIX
    build the command from your selections.
    IOW, you could enter that same command in a Terminal window and get the
    same result.

    I always found that very interesting.
    Maybe I need to get out more


    > Felmon



    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

  3. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Linonut wrote:
    "Sir William Buttcrust"

    lol!

    Sorry mate but the rest of your post just disappeared for me.


  4. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Andrew Halliwell wrote:
    > Phil Da Lick! wrote:
    >> Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >>> Commodore 64 and later 128 here.

    >>
    >> The 64 ruled.

    >
    > The speccy was better.


    Dream on. The 64 was king, emperor, lord and master.

  5. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Phil Da Lick! wrote:
    > Andrew Halliwell wrote:
    >> Phil Da Lick! wrote:
    >>> Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >>>> Commodore 64 and later 128 here.
    >>>
    >>> The 64 ruled.

    >>
    >> The speccy was better.

    >
    > Dream on. The 64 was king, emperor, lord and master.


    In america maybe. In the UK, the spectrum was overlord and emperor of all
    computerdom.
    --
    | spike1@freenet.co,uk | "Are you pondering what I'm pondering Pinky?" |
    | Andrew Halliwell BSc | |
    | in | "I think so brain, but this time, you control |
    | Computer Science | the Encounter suit, and I'll do the voice..." |

  6. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Verily I say unto thee, that Phil Da Lick! spake thusly:
    > Andrew Halliwell wrote:
    >> Phil Da Lick! wrote:
    >>> Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >>>> Commodore 64 and later 128 here.
    >>> The 64 ruled.

    >> The speccy was better.

    >
    > Dream on. The 64 was king, emperor, lord and master.


    The BBC Micro kicked both their arses ;-P

    (Actually I never had one, but I played a fair amount of Chuckie Egg on
    a friend's BBC B).

    --
    K.
    http://slated.org

    ..----
    | "The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining
    | armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos
    | neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second-rate
    | technology, led them into it in the first place." ~ Douglas Adams
    `----

    Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel 2.6.23.8-63.fc8
    00:15:12 up 212 days, 20:50, 3 users, load average: 0.13, 0.22, 0.25

  7. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Homer wrote:
    > Verily I say unto thee, that Phil Da Lick! spake thusly:
    >> Andrew Halliwell wrote:
    >>> Phil Da Lick! wrote:
    >>>> Moshe Goldfarb. wrote:
    >>>>> Commodore 64 and later 128 here.
    >>>> The 64 ruled.
    >>> The speccy was better.

    >>
    >> Dream on. The 64 was king, emperor, lord and master.

    >
    > The BBC Micro kicked both their arses ;-P
    >
    > (Actually I never had one, but I played a fair amount of Chuckie Egg on
    > a friend's BBC B).
    >

    Only trouble was... Only middleclass people could afford the bbc.
    And the spectrum had the lion's share of the software. (including chuckie
    egg and elite)

    Acorn tried to release a cheaper version called the electron, but it wasn't
    fully compatible due to limited screen modes and memory capacity.
    --
    | |What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack|
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk |in the ground beneath a giant boulder, which you|
    | |can't move, with no hope of rescue. |
    | Andrew Halliwell BSc |Consider how lucky you are that life has been |
    | in |good to you so far... |
    | Computer Science | -The BOOK, Hitch-hiker's guide to the galaxy.|

  8. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On 2008-07-19, Ben wrote:
    > Homer wrote:
    >> There's been a lot of discussion in this group recently about how
    >> newbies, or even so-called "average" users, "need" certain aspects of
    >> their computing experience to be childishly simple (ref: "cli V gui").
    >>
    >> Then in another thread (ref: "Windows sucks...") I read this:
    >>
    >> Verily I say unto thee, that JEDIDIAH spake thusly:
    >>
    >>> When people aren't paralyzed by fear whole new worlds open up to
    >>> them. Although feeling free to explore the computer is not just a
    >>> Linux thing. It's also something that Apple has been good about
    >>> fostering (certainly better than the Lemming crowd).

    >>
    >> It occurred to me that this notion of being "paralysed by fear" at the
    >> prospect of discovering something new (complex or otherwise) is wholly
    >> unnatural.
    >>
    >> I don't know what the average age of the posters is in this group, but
    >> I'm old enough to remember some of the first computers ever used in the
    >> home, such as the Sinclair ZX80 (no I never had an Altair, but I still
    >> remember the cover story in Practical Computing).
    >>
    >> With no GUI, only a limited manual, and no experience of even using a
    >> computer whatsoever, much less /programming/ one, I sat down at this
    >> machine and started using it.
    >>
    >> Was I "paralysed with fear"?
    >>
    >> No,
    >>
    >> Did I scream like a little girl because there was no GUI?
    >>
    >> No.
    >>
    >> Heck, this thing didn't even have a /mouse/ (what's a mouse?).
    >>
    >> The sensation I felt was not /fear/, it was /excitement/ and /wonder/.
    >> I learned, and learned quickly, because I was /enthusiastic/ about doing
    >> so. I knew absolutely /nothing/ about computers (beyond what I'd read in
    >> Practical Computing), and yet I joyfully /learned/ about them on this
    >> little machine. It was utterly compelling.
    >>
    >> So I ask quite bluntly, what in God's name is wrong with the whining
    >> idiots that supposedly comprise /newbies/ in today's world, that they
    >> cannot use the CLI, and seemingly cannot even /learn/ the basics of
    >> using a computer, without being guided through it like an infant being
    >> spoon-fed baby food?
    >>
    >> Is it that they are not really newbies at all, but have been dumbed-down
    >> by Windows, lending credence to the axiom that "Windows makes you stupid"?
    >>
    >> Is it that today's "average" person has an IQ that is greatly diminished
    >> compared to people in the 70's (perhaps as an accumulative and
    >> genetically inherited result of consuming decades of junk food, and
    >> perhaps only a largely geographical phenomenon)? This may also account
    >> for claims by those like Barry Schwartz that in certain cultures the
    >> prospect of having to make /choices/ causes "paralysis and fear".
    >>
    >> Or are these claims of stupidity merely hyperbole, and such people would
    >> in fact have no difficulty in learning how to use computers /properly/,
    >> were it not for the incessant propaganda that indoctrinates certain
    >> expectations?
    >>
    >> Are curiosity; wonder and excitement no longer sufficient motivational
    >> factors to learn computing ... or anything else for that matter, in
    >> today's society?
    >>
    >> If that's true, then its a very sad state of affairs indeed.
    >>

    >
    > Computers have changed a lot since then, and what people did with
    > computers in that day and age was significantly more primitive than it
    > is in this day and age. We take computers for granted, and most kids are


    Ah... not really.

    We're still trolling in discussion forums.
    We're still trolling in "the CB simulator".
    We're still sending electronic mail.

    Except now you can get a virus from it.

    We're still creating spreadsheets and electronic documents.
    We're still creating and editing images.

    > brought up with Windows on every computer, and often they can't use a
    > computer without seeing the Windows logo at least 10 times.


    Sometimes, you did similar things with a more primitive
    interface. Although this wasn't universally the case
    either.

    [deletia]

    > What certainly doesn't appeal to those people is "Come to Linux, but
    > remember, the CLI is mandatory if you're going to be able to do what you
    > want with the system." It just doesn't rub with those people, period.


    ....which is why such claims should be treated as slander.

    IOW, they aren't true and they are clearly malicious.

    My Linux experience includes the CLI but I also do things
    with my machine that don't yet have GUI counterparts (under
    any OS) for yet.

    --
    Sophocles wants his cut. |||
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  9. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On 2008-07-19, Gregory Shearman wrote:
    > On 2008-07-19, Ben wrote:
    >>
    >> It's not always about "excitement" or "motivation" to learn the inner
    >> depths of your computer, and it's certainly not down everyone's street
    >> to do such a thing. Some people have excitement and motivation to
    >> explore very diverse things, but something like computers just doesn't
    >> run for them, and the best way to get them interested in Linux is "Look,
    >> you can do everything you can in Windows in Ubuntu, word processing,
    >> Email, Web browsing, a few games, it even has some nice eye candy like
    >> Vista and OS X."

    >
    > Yep. There are only certain types of people attracted to computers. Most
    > just want to use it to get things done. I'm one of those who loves


    That's the key problem.

    A computer is a general purpose machine that can do pretty much
    anything. Therefore you can be confronted with pretty much any
    sort of interface. Games are notorious for this. Even DVD's
    present this problem.

    If you are interested in nothing more than "just getting things done"
    then you still need to have some willingess to explore the system.
    You need to have a certain tolerance level for "tinkering". If nothing
    else you need this because interfaces will eventually be changed on
    you.

    If you're not even willing to explore Windows or Macintosh your
    potential for doing things will remain dramatically limited.

    > tinkering with computers. That's why I choose Linux. If you aren't
    > prepared to either learn, or get someone to maintain the machine for
    > you, then GNU/Linux isn't for you. Go generic.
    >
    >> What certainly doesn't appeal to those people is "Come to Linux, but
    >> remember, the CLI is mandatory if you're going to be able to do what you
    >> want with the system." It just doesn't rub with those people, period.

    >
    > I agree. People like that should stick with Windows, or perhaps a Mac
    >




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  10. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On 2008-07-19, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
    >
    > ____/ Homer on Saturday 19 July 2008 17:49 : \____
    >
    >> Verily I say unto thee, that Matt spake thusly:
    >>> Homer wrote:

    >>
    >>>> So I ask quite bluntly, what in God's name is wrong with the
    >>>> whining idiots that supposedly comprise /newbies/ in today's world,
    >>>> that they cannot use the CLI, and seemingly cannot even /learn/ the
    >>>> basics of using a computer, without being guided through it like an
    >>>> infant being spoon-fed baby food?
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> You're being silly.

    >>
    >> Not at all, it's a serious point with serious implications for the
    >> future of GNU/Linux, based on my past experience of a time when
    >> "newbies" were not "paralysed with fear" as they seem to be today.

    >
    > Remember Linus and "real men writing their own device drivers".


    It would be nice if they could handle burning CDs in their own
    chosen OS on their own without having to run to the local Linux
    user to "bail them out".

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  11. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    On 2008-07-19, Tim Smith wrote:
    > In article <0408l5-ni7.ln1@sky.matrix>, Homer
    > wrote:
    >> I don't know what the average age of the posters is in this group, but
    >> I'm old enough to remember some of the first computers ever used in the
    >> home, such as the Sinclair ZX80 (no I never had an Altair, but I still
    >> remember the cover story in Practical Computing).

    >
    > One big difference between then an now is that the machines then, and
    > the software on them, were very simple, and of very limited
    > functionality compared to the corresponding software today.


    Nope.

    There were complex monstrous bits of software back then too.

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  12. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    JEDIDIAH wrote:
    > On 2008-07-19, Ben wrote:
    >> Homer wrote:
    >>> There's been a lot of discussion in this group recently about how
    >>> newbies, or even so-called "average" users, "need" certain aspects of
    >>> their computing experience to be childishly simple (ref: "cli V gui").
    >>>
    >>> Then in another thread (ref: "Windows sucks...") I read this:
    >>>
    >>> Verily I say unto thee, that JEDIDIAH spake thusly:
    >>>
    >>>> When people aren't paralyzed by fear whole new worlds open up to
    >>>> them. Although feeling free to explore the computer is not just a
    >>>> Linux thing. It's also something that Apple has been good about
    >>>> fostering (certainly better than the Lemming crowd).
    >>> It occurred to me that this notion of being "paralysed by fear" at the
    >>> prospect of discovering something new (complex or otherwise) is wholly
    >>> unnatural.
    >>>
    >>> I don't know what the average age of the posters is in this group, but
    >>> I'm old enough to remember some of the first computers ever used in the
    >>> home, such as the Sinclair ZX80 (no I never had an Altair, but I still
    >>> remember the cover story in Practical Computing).
    >>>
    >>> With no GUI, only a limited manual, and no experience of even using a
    >>> computer whatsoever, much less /programming/ one, I sat down at this
    >>> machine and started using it.
    >>>
    >>> Was I "paralysed with fear"?
    >>>
    >>> No,
    >>>
    >>> Did I scream like a little girl because there was no GUI?
    >>>
    >>> No.
    >>>
    >>> Heck, this thing didn't even have a /mouse/ (what's a mouse?).
    >>>
    >>> The sensation I felt was not /fear/, it was /excitement/ and /wonder/.
    >>> I learned, and learned quickly, because I was /enthusiastic/ about doing
    >>> so. I knew absolutely /nothing/ about computers (beyond what I'd read in
    >>> Practical Computing), and yet I joyfully /learned/ about them on this
    >>> little machine. It was utterly compelling.
    >>>
    >>> So I ask quite bluntly, what in God's name is wrong with the whining
    >>> idiots that supposedly comprise /newbies/ in today's world, that they
    >>> cannot use the CLI, and seemingly cannot even /learn/ the basics of
    >>> using a computer, without being guided through it like an infant being
    >>> spoon-fed baby food?
    >>>
    >>> Is it that they are not really newbies at all, but have been dumbed-down
    >>> by Windows, lending credence to the axiom that "Windows makes you stupid"?
    >>>
    >>> Is it that today's "average" person has an IQ that is greatly diminished
    >>> compared to people in the 70's (perhaps as an accumulative and
    >>> genetically inherited result of consuming decades of junk food, and
    >>> perhaps only a largely geographical phenomenon)? This may also account
    >>> for claims by those like Barry Schwartz that in certain cultures the
    >>> prospect of having to make /choices/ causes "paralysis and fear".
    >>>
    >>> Or are these claims of stupidity merely hyperbole, and such people would
    >>> in fact have no difficulty in learning how to use computers /properly/,
    >>> were it not for the incessant propaganda that indoctrinates certain
    >>> expectations?
    >>>
    >>> Are curiosity; wonder and excitement no longer sufficient motivational
    >>> factors to learn computing ... or anything else for that matter, in
    >>> today's society?
    >>>
    >>> If that's true, then its a very sad state of affairs indeed.
    >>>

    >> Computers have changed a lot since then, and what people did with
    >> computers in that day and age was significantly more primitive than it
    >> is in this day and age. We take computers for granted, and most kids are

    >
    > Ah... not really.
    >
    > We're still trolling in discussion forums.
    > We're still trolling in "the CB simulator".
    > We're still sending electronic mail.
    >
    > Except now you can get a virus from it.
    >
    > We're still creating spreadsheets and electronic documents.
    > We're still creating and editing images.
    >
    >> brought up with Windows on every computer, and often they can't use a
    >> computer without seeing the Windows logo at least 10 times.

    >
    > Sometimes, you did similar things with a more primitive
    > interface. Although this wasn't universally the case
    > either.
    >
    > [deletia]
    >
    >> What certainly doesn't appeal to those people is "Come to Linux, but
    >> remember, the CLI is mandatory if you're going to be able to do what you
    >> want with the system." It just doesn't rub with those people, period.

    >
    > ....which is why such claims should be treated as slander.
    >
    > IOW, they aren't true and they are clearly malicious.


    Or oft times, a pretentious "Advocate" going "whoo hoo! I can use the
    CLI, can you?"

    >
    > My Linux experience includes the CLI but I also do things
    > with my machine that don't yet have GUI counterparts (under
    > any OS) for yet.
    >


    If you spend any time learning to do anything other than the most basic
    things in Linux (web browsing, Emails, etc.) then you'll probably have
    at least some experience with the CLI. But it's not something to throw
    at newbies the moment they have their first problem with the OS.

  13. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    JEDIDIAH wrote:
    > On 2008-07-19, Gregory Shearman wrote:
    >> On 2008-07-19, Ben wrote:
    >>> It's not always about "excitement" or "motivation" to learn the inner
    >>> depths of your computer, and it's certainly not down everyone's street
    >>> to do such a thing. Some people have excitement and motivation to
    >>> explore very diverse things, but something like computers just doesn't
    >>> run for them, and the best way to get them interested in Linux is "Look,
    >>> you can do everything you can in Windows in Ubuntu, word processing,
    >>> Email, Web browsing, a few games, it even has some nice eye candy like
    >>> Vista and OS X."

    >> Yep. There are only certain types of people attracted to computers. Most
    >> just want to use it to get things done. I'm one of those who loves

    >
    > That's the key problem.
    >
    > A computer is a general purpose machine that can do pretty much
    > anything. Therefore you can be confronted with pretty much any
    > sort of interface. Games are notorious for this. Even DVD's
    > present this problem.
    >
    > If you are interested in nothing more than "just getting things done"
    > then you still need to have some willingess to explore the system.
    > You need to have a certain tolerance level for "tinkering". If nothing
    > else you need this because interfaces will eventually be changed on
    > you.
    >


    I know people like this. People above 60 tend to be *the worst* for it,
    too. For example, my grandmother who has been used to using analogue TV
    her whole life cannot for the life of her get her head around using
    digital cable, and it's almost painful to watch her try.

    Younger people can be almost as bad, though, but at least they know how
    to do the very basics with a computer. I have a friend, who turns his XP
    based computer on every morning, uses MSN, plays the odd game, sends
    some Emails here and there, and mostly browses the web apart from that.
    Anything else he wants to do, or if something goes wrong, he's straight
    on the phone to me. And I've given up trying to teach him to do things
    himself, it just doesn't work and it's a waste of time; in one ear and
    out the other.

  14. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    * Phil Da Lick! peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > Linonut wrote:
    > "Sir William Buttcrust"
    >
    > lol!
    >
    > Sorry mate but the rest of your post just disappeared for me.


    You should be thanking Sinister Midget for that appellation for the
    Vole's leerless feeder.

    --
    Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits.
    -- Robert Louis Stevenson

  15. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    * Ben peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > If you spend any time learning to do anything other than the most basic
    > things in Linux (web browsing, Emails, etc.) then you'll probably have
    > at least some experience with the CLI. But it's not something to throw
    > at newbies the moment they have their first problem with the OS.


    Actually, it is sometimes easier to talk them through the command-line
    over the phone, than it is to talk them through a GUI.

    --
    BREAKFAST.COM Halted... Cereal Port Not Responding.

  16. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    * JEDIDIAH peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > If you are interested in nothing more than "just getting things done"
    > then you still need to have some willingess to explore the system.
    > You need to have a certain tolerance level for "tinkering". If nothing
    > else you need this because interfaces will eventually be changed on
    > you.
    >
    > If you're not even willing to explore Windows or Macintosh your
    > potential for doing things will remain dramatically limited.


    Yesterday I poked around on a few Vista machines. Not only was the
    Vista user interface a bit different, just enough to slow me down, but,
    on two different Vista machines, the Properties dialog for the screen
    was very different (thanks, ATI).

    Oh, and my short little tours verified there's no compelling reason for
    the average person to switch to Vista, except that they have to switch.

    --
    "When people are least sure, they are often most dogmatic."
    -- John Kenneth Galbraith

  17. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    * JEDIDIAH peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > On 2008-07-19, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
    >>
    >> Remember Linus and "real men writing their own device drivers".

    >
    > It would be nice if they could handle burning CDs in their own
    > chosen OS on their own without having to run to the local Linux
    > user to "bail them out".


    Huh? They do the same kind of running on Windows, too.

    --
    Your nature demands love and your happiness depends on it.

  18. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Verily I say unto thee, that Linonut spake thusly:
    > * Homer peremptorily fired off this memo:


    >> Message-ID:


    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/com...d007cb838cb200

    >> Then in Message-ID: :

    >
    > "Article not available."


    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/com...26be9945abf1ba

    > Nice stealth comparison of Windows to nicotine ;->


    However, unlike cigarettes, it was not most people's /choice/ to start
    using Windows. That was the OEM's "choice", as mandated by Microsoft.

    In that sense, Microsoft are not just like drugs pushers, they're like
    bandits who kidnap their victims and then inject them with poisonous yet
    addictive drugs, in order to addict their victims to ensure future sales
    of that drug.

    "Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but
    people don't pay for the software," [Gates] said. "Someday they will,
    though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal
    ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out
    how to collect sometime in the next decade."
    http://news.cnet.com/2100-1023-212942.html

    > Cue a snarling DFS to appear...


    He has a violent aversion to the truth.

    --
    K.
    http://slated.org

    ..----
    | "The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining
    | armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos
    | neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second-rate
    | technology, led them into it in the first place." ~ Douglas Adams
    `----

    Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel 2.6.23.8-63.fc8
    14:32:57 up 213 days, 11:08, 3 users, load average: 5.02, 4.82, 4.62

  19. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Linonut wrote:
    > * Ben peremptorily fired off this memo:
    >
    >> If you spend any time learning to do anything other than the most basic
    >> things in Linux (web browsing, Emails, etc.) then you'll probably have
    >> at least some experience with the CLI. But it's not something to throw
    >> at newbies the moment they have their first problem with the OS.

    >
    > Actually, it is sometimes easier to talk them through the command-line
    > over the phone, than it is to talk them through a GUI.
    >


    Yes, if you want them to call you again next time they have the same
    problem because they didn't remember what the heck you told them.

    It's worth the extra time to explain it on a GUI once and never have to
    tell them again because they can remember it, IMO.

  20. Re: How simple are newbies anyway?

    Homer wrote:
    > Verily I say unto thee, that Matt spake thusly:
    >> Homer wrote:

    >
    >>> So I ask quite bluntly, what in God's name is wrong with the
    >>> whining idiots that supposedly comprise /newbies/ in today's world,
    >>> that they cannot use the CLI, and seemingly cannot even /learn/ the
    >>> basics of using a computer, without being guided through it like an
    >>> infant being spoon-fed baby food?

    >>
    >> You're being silly.

    >
    > Not at all, it's a serious point with serious implications for the
    > future of GNU/Linux,



    It may have been a serious question ten years ago.


    > based on my past experience of a time when
    > "newbies" were not "paralysed with fear" as they seem to be today.



    If you want Linux to ever be a majority OS, you will have to accept that
    it will eventually be used by a lot of dumbasses. By now, there is
    enough look-and-feel padding on top of Linux that rather few people
    should or should have to be using its CLIs.

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