[conspire] SuSE Personal/Prof, apt4rpm, Newbie Ed. -was- Distros for novices

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 9 10:09:51 PDT 2004

On Thursday 09 September 2004 06:09, Mark S Bilk wrote:
> In-Reply-To: <20040909054111.GZ30789 at linuxmafia.com>
> Organization: http://www.cosmicpenguin.com/911
> On Wed, Sep 08, 2004 at 10:41:11PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:

> If you install the Personal version, you can point the
> installation/ administration program, YaST, to a SuSE website
> from which everything missing can be installed.

I am a GUI-dependent simple end user, and I am able to use SuSE Pro 
9.1 just fine.  I can even install it, but that's probably because 
I have some sys admin friends whom I can call with questions.

It's really a big big boost to spend some time with a newbie.  It 
helps them get over the hump and get comfortable with Linux, and 
then they will  never go back.

> Actually, all computer users really need to have some idea of the
> meaning of bytes, files, directories, directory trees, file
> managers, ASCII, WP docs, executables, data, CPU, RAM, disk,
> MIME, etc., in order to be productive and not a nuisance to
> others.  Otherwise they do things like writing text with MS-Word,
> "saving it as an icon on the desktop", and have no idea what they
> actually did or where their file is, and e-mailing 200KB of
> advertising gifs with their 6 lines of text in HTML.
> Kind of like teaching people what the steering wheel, brakes,
> traffic lights, etc., are before they drive a car.


As a simple end user, I can tell you that it very much IS important 
to encourage the end user to develop some skills so that they are 
not dependent on their mentor, and so that they can be effective 
advocates for open source.

> Presumably there is a level of AI that would render this
> unnecessary ("Computer!"  "Working..."), but MS is certainly
> nowhere near it, judging from the appalling Windows quandaries
> that I sometimes try to help with over the phone.  Of course the
> worst part is the ones that are _sure_ they don't need to learn
> anything in order to cope, and get angry with me for wasting
> _their_ time when I try to teach them.  

As a simple end user, I would say that such people are wasting your 
time, IMHO.  If you can see that they are not willing to learn from 
the beginning, just pass.  There are tons of people like myself who 
are willing to learn. 

I'm sure that Windows tech support has horror stories abounding 
about end users who expect people to do everything for them for 
free and are not willing to lift a finger.  Eventually, computers 
will get as easy as TiVo, but for right now, general purpose 
desktops or notebooks are still not completely "done".  

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