This is off the NTLUG (North Texas Linux User Group) mailing list.
As a new user of Linux I am entering a very interesting world, and one
that is changing drastically! Even just a year ago the home user desktop
was present in Linux but not really accounted for in the mainstream. A
bit of a history buff I am seeing history in play in what I see as the
evolution verging on revolution of home computing... I am seeing in
myself as a new user and in the entries for NTLUG and in other areas a
growing interest from the everyday user, hobbyist maybe, but still less
than IT quality players coming into the Linux/Open Source domain. I am
not really sure yet if the old guard (ouch do not mean to offend with
that term) is going to be accepting of this emerging user base, but the
sense I have personally received in my efforts to learn this different
(and what I feel improved) method of home computing is VERY positive.
Kudos to you NTLUG folks.
I see that Linux is a very real alternative once the initial hump of
intuitive usage has been passed. I do recall my early fumbling days in
the GUI system on Windows 95 (double click what? Drag and drip? huh?).
As an new convert I have been preaching the good word on the usage of
Linux and how it is not "too hard" to change and the benefits are
incredible for the everyday user.
1). The whole security issue is mitigated a great deal. I keep an eye
out for virus and spyware soup de jour security breach in Linux and it
is so minute compared to the latest Trojan/Worm/Whatchamajiggy rolling
in and out of Outlooks and IE in America today. Lord knows who is in my
system and stealing what from me under MS. The "fear factor" alone makes
Linux such a worthy endeavor. Sure the attention is on MS and as things
move elsewhere, so does the effort for axe wielding hackers, but in the
mean time Linux just makes me feel safer as an everyday user.
2). COST! Not only does my system come with every software package I
REALLY need, but the cost is incredible when the entire perspective is
taken into account. Office package, DVD burners, Players, and all the
$39.99 programs that you find you don't need that much until they have
been bought and installed, come bundled up all in the initial load. Not
to mention the software that comes with a Dell Dimension is overall
useless and only serves to add cost to something when you don't want or
need it in the first place. With Linux, Bingo need it, its there, no?
Then no worries it is not bundled into the prices you pay for the OS (at
least not at a cost that leaves you pissed, and wondering why you have
to pay for it).
Second in the cost concept is that I can run Linux on my HP 650 MHz box
bought in 2000 with no signs of slowing. Sure I upgraded the memory but
it runs super quick! Being able to use an older box to run with the big
kids is NICE and very cost effective.
3). Freedom... there is something liberating about getting away from
that damn song when Windows starts up! Paying for an OS that gives Bill
Gates an 85% margin makes me sick. Kind of feels like my first step away
from the Starbucks $3.50 a cup of coffee back to the diner for a $.25
cup of bottomless. The good news is Linux tastes better than diner
coffee but the feeling is the same, just like the caffeine rush of the
petroleum grade coffee from my favorite truck stop HA!
What is this blog all about? The old guard... again a big fat KUDOS for
helping me get going. It is your willingness to help in an Open
Source/MS Free world that will turn an evolution into a revolution.
Companies like Novell (with SuSE) and Xandros are shooting at the home
user. That will make the edge in the business sector I believe. MS
Windows made the PC a viable home solution beyond the Apple IIe and Mac,
early doses of appliance hardware. In hind sight I feel this home use
will be seen as the catalyst for the Windows explosion into the entire
market (business and personal). Its here in the Personal Home User
Market that Linux will undo what MS has done so painfully well. Remember
that the Execs that make the Business call on the desktop are more
influenced by what their wife and kids can do on their home PC with
Linux than what the IT guy can do on a projection at work (this is from
an actual business experience from a VERY large corporation). If we get
the home in the game, the Exec will follow and Linux will abound in the
market place. Novell and Xandros can only be marketed to the everyday
user, we as the converts have to support it by continuing the GREAT
support we have offered in the past, stepping it up a bit if need be for
those less savvy!
To finally end my sermon to the Choir, with more "everyday, casual"
users the NEED for more investment will grow. With the growth in the
home market the businesses will follow... and with that Linux and Open
Source will be the true David to MS's Goliath. Keep up the good work...
and we will ALL benefit in the end!
Andrew M Brown
User of FC2 on my desktop
and Novell SuSE 9.2 on my laptop
Convert from MS 2003