Thanks, Nick. Your comments are entirely valid.
My interest is not how to get a cheap or free operating system for me or for
others, rather is it to find a way to make it easy for others to see that a
cheap or free operating system called Linux actually works, that open source
is the way of the future, and that we can ease the transition.
Linux installation is definitely easier than ever. However, I've tried it on
loads of different boxes, and you'd be amazed (or not?) how many problems
arise with installation on some of the really popular computers out there.
Even recent issues of Linux Format have come with versions of Linux that are
bug-laden, virtually impossible to install, and downright damaging to the
changing reputation of Linux. Installation of software (games etc) from
zipped and tarred files can be really unnerving for 'us' newbies.
The difference between the myriad of Linux-related websites and the ILUG
group is that whereas the websites are virtual sources of help, the
potential is there for the ILUG group to be a REAL source of inspiration.
For example the simple presence of the ILUG stand at the RDS was a more
potent message than any website.
That's why a hands-on exposure to Linux, the opportunity to see it running
on a few computers, the chance to play a game, run a DVD etc is so
important. But, of course, I'm a newbie, and not a jaded head who would find
an installfest a busman's holiday. I don't blame you for not wanting to
spend an evening doing what you do all day, but only wonder how to develop
the enthusiasm of those who might have some in the first place.
On Monday 27 May 2002 09:29, Pearse Stokes wrote:
> This raises the question of the InstallFest that I've brought up a number
> of times.
> Although I've offered a premises, coffee, computers, network, etc. there
> has been no constructive response.
The current argument goes like this: Linux is now as easy to install as
windows, therefore newbies need no help getting up and running.
Now, I can agree with this to a certain extent, but then again, most
people have never installed windows 2000, which is a world of pain
when something goes wrong.
If there are lots of people on the list who feel this would be valuable,
speak up now! (Not that I'm volunteering to have anything to do with it
of course :)
> From a marketing viewpoint, this gives the impression that the Community
> has achieved its targets. When an experienced user comes up against an
> obstacle relating to a complex issue, the ILUG group seems to respond in
> force. However, when a newbie shows some interest, OK there's a response,
> but the potential value of the Newbie (in terms of the new users he/she
> bring later) seems not to be recognised.
> Every time a newbie gives up on a difficult installation, you can be sure
> they'll ridicule Linux to everyone they know.
Hmm, you realise ILUG is just made up of people interested in Linux?
This isn't some sort of paid support team. Newbies are well catered for
by websites and other online documentation. What ILUG is good for is
specific problems. Not many people have the time to write long introductory
essays off the top of their heads (like Steffen did).
> Every time a newbie succeeds, that's one more box with Linux, one more
> opportunity for the success of Linux to be seen by family, friends and
> Two years on, I'm still a Newbie. I've installed Linux on loads of
> some successfully, some not. I use computers, I need them, but I'm not a
> computer professional. I don't see myself ever achieving independence of
> the experts. The Linux community needs to find a means of making entry a
> bit easier, and perhaps it has to become more creative in making this
> Any ideas?
Books? Training courses?
Don't get the idea that because Linux is free (as in libre) and quite
often free (as in beer) that you can do it on the cheap. If you feel you
need to learn it quickly, you may need to spend a bit of money. A lot
of this is pure experience -- there's not much ILUG can do to directly
transfer experience into your brain. You've got to learn this stuff
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