Our friend Ed Dunnigan wrote saying:
It is my impression the Linux users and Distros are sitting on our hands. We seem to have arrived.
I wonder how many new Linux users are out there now? I pull down three Linux Users Groups and it has been a long long time since I saw a new user asking questions. I have been using Linux since about '95 or so, and with my aging problem (memory loss) I always learned a lot at users group meetings. Now it seems to me the recent presentations I have noted are very specialised. Not the general subject about Linux.
Have we, The Linux Community, given up trying for new users?
I'll give my response and I encourage everyone to reply with theirs too.
2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Linux kernel. But when exactly was it created? One of the first milestones we have was the original comp.os.minix newsgroup posting that Linus wrote announcing his unnamed new OS. Here's a recreation of that posting:
From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Hello everybody out there using minix - I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things).
I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work. This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, and I'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them :-)
PS. Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.
So that post was sent out on August 25 but it is obvious that Linux has been around for a while... since April... but when was it started? I'm sure a better history is documented somewhere. I guess I'll break out one of my copies of Just for Fun and see if I can find it.
I'm not even sure at what point working name was changed from Freax to Linux. Note that in Linus' post, he doesn't give it a name. I welcome comments from others on what they remember! I started using Linux a little late myself... in January of 1995.
Oh... and it sounds like a good reason to have a party... but when and where? Anyone?
This is a quick video from The Linux Foundation. It is just a little over one minute long and compares Operating Systems to cars.
I am a PC, Mac, and Linux user. At night I dual boot between Vista and Ubuntu and during the day I use a Mac almost exclusively. As a result, there are many things I like about using my Mac at work and would not mind seeing them on my home desktop. Since buying a Mac right now for personal use is out of the question I have to make do with what I already have. At any rate, one of the Mac features I actually like is the Dock.
If you are reading this it is because I finally got around to taking Scott up on his request for Ubuntu content. I am not a well versed Linux user and over the years have had a love/hate relationship with Linux and the open source community. My beef is not with proprietary software as much as it is with outrageous pricing and no access to the code to make it work for you. I don’t believe Microsoft or Apple are 100% evil nor do I think that Linux or open source are always the best solution for the job - nor do I think Microsoft or Apple are always the best solution.
I wrote a rather long response to a posting I saw on Fedora Planet entitled, "Death of the Year of the Linux Desktop". I'm sharing it here as well.
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The desktop is dead? Some disagree. See this very compressed video on the "Death of the Desktop":
What makes someone a winner and what makes someone a loser? Linux on the desktop has tens of millions of users. While that might not be double-digit market share it is still a significant number of users. Anyone who looks at those numbers and calls them losing must have thought the game was winnable to begin with. It wasn't. FOSS does not spend hundreds of millions on advertising and billions on under-the-table deals with hardware makers... FOSS simply does not operate on the same playing field. The free hand of the market happens to be attached to a twisted arm.
In reality there aren't any winners and losers because it isn't a race. While those who are in it for money have certain ways to measure success, in FOSS you just make the best software you can and hope users will appreciate it. Of course the squeaky wheels always make the most noise and there are lots of complainers out there (see discussions on KDE 3.x vs. 4.x as an example) but that doesn't mean that vast majority of us FOSS users aren't very happy.
I found this video fascinating (although the editing is a bit erratic) so I decided to share it. I personally do not see the personal desktop (hardware nor software) dying any time soon.
There is a lot of passion in the discussion and as a result some passionate words are used that some might find offensive... so be prepared.
What do you think?
Just got done reading, "Confessions of an Ubuntu Fanboy". While I'm glad the author has decided to be more practical in his promotion of Linux and Ubuntu, I strongly disagree with some of his conclusions and I'll cover them below.
I have been using Linux for about 15 years now and over the course of that time I've helped more people than I care to count with Linux installs, removals and everything in-between. I've seen people try Linux out for a few days and give up on it. I've seen people tough it out and become valued members of our local Linux community. Linux isn't for everyone and choice is good. I no longer advocate Linux for someone who isn't willing to learn new things. I quit trying to push it on people and now I'm somewhat selective in helping people the second they say they want to try Linux. I state up front that there is a learning curve and that they will need to expect it. If I sense that they don't have patience to learn new things, I don't even bother.
The problem with the article in question is that the author seems to want to try to make Linux for everyone and in doing so, he advocates violating some important tenants. He primarily focuses on Windows users but it could be any proprietary OS or applications.
I wrote a comment to an LWN news blurb referring to a story about the future of Linux was in Google Chrome OS. The post was so long that I decided to cross post it here. :)
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I assume you (the person on LWN who wrote the comment I was replying to) were being sarcastic when you said that 10-20 million Linux desktops don't count. I'd argue that the numbers are actually larger than that (probably by as much as 2x) but let's stick with a medium number of 15 million... for my discussion below.
Some people want commercial software on Linux, some don't. I attended the Utah Open Source Conference 2009 in Oct. and attended a presentation by a big wig from Adobe where he talked about FLOSS and Adobe. Of course the usual question came up about when will we get Photoshop and various other Adobe products for Linux and the answer was something like, "when there are enough Linux users to guarantee sales of at least 50 million copies". That is a rather high hurdle. Seriously, you have to sell 50 million copies of something before it becomes profitable? What a poorly run company you must have.
A co-worker of mine inspired me to create a new enterprise CD with SP3 pre-installed the other day after I asked about an existing iso I had found on our network. I wondered if it were OEM or a new volume license with SP3 I had hoped it was.
He sent me a few links to some howto's and not all were the same. Looking over a few examples I quickly began replacing their Windows solutions with known Linux. Rather than recreate the wheel, I first searched how others have done it using Linux. These are a couple sites that have inspired my success:
- Slipstreaming Windows XP with Service Pack 3 in Linux by Jeremy Visser
- Slipstreaming Windows XP SP3 in Linux by Michael Gorven
- Intégration du Service Pack Windows sous Linux by Jacques Rouxel