[sf-lug] [LINUX USER QUESTIONAIRE] How did you become a Linux user?
jackofnotrades at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 09:30:21 PDT 2009
Gradually and inexorably.
For me, it took awhile for familiarity with MS to yield to the power of
Linux. Using it daily (both at home and at work) helped a lot to highlight
the real advantages of using Linux (which in my mind have little to do with
Microsoft). Ultimately, Linux allows me to do just about anything I want to
with it; it seems like much more of a fight in any other OS I've tried. As
a hacker (in the non-noxious sense), that appeals to me a lot.
On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 8:50 AM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
> your questions are not disruptive in my
> mind. i like that people are interacting
> over your questions--it's interesting to
> see the variety. my take is that it will be
> better to have the questions one at a time
> (in separate emails), so that each discussion
> can be tracked separately.
> On Tue, 2009-07-28 at 18:41 -0700, Edward Janne wrote:
> > On Jul 28, 2009, at 5:32 PM, Rick Moen wrote:
> > > 1. Edward, how long _is_ your questionnaire?
> > I have six further questions. Some one suggested I post them one at a
> > time, but perhaps in the interests of brevity I should simply post
> > them all at once.
> > But I should like to wait to see if others feel this research is too
> > disruptive.
> > > 2. As long as you're plowing onward:
> > > Quoting Edward Janne (tigakub at mac.com):
> > >
> > >> Question 2: How did you become a Linux user?
> > >
> > > As stated, this question lacks context, i.e., we can't tell whether
> > > you
> > > are asking _by what method_ each respondent became a Linux user, or
> > > why.
> > > The literal-minded interpretation of your question is the former
> > > one, i.e.,
> > > that you're asking after the mechanics of initially installing and
> > > running Linux -- but that doesn't make a great deal of sense. Why on
> > > earth would you want to know? What possible use would you (or your
> > > professor) have for that information? Don't you also need to know
> > > _when_? If you do, why don't you say so?
> > The aim is to obtain qualitative data which describes cultural
> > characteristics, rather than quantitative data which often become
> > meaningless statistics that tempt the researcher into drawing
> > conclusions where none can really be made. Certainly "when" one first
> > started using Linux could be considered an indicator of how familiar a
> > user is with Linux, but doesn't really account for frequency or depth
> > of use. Asking "how" someone first became a Linux user will reveal to
> > me many things. Was it out of necessity? Was it out of curiosity? It
> > goes a long way to revealing different types of Linux users, although
> > of course not an exhaustive taxonomy.
> > And if the questions sound open ended and vague, that is how it should
> > be. I am not supposed to steer the study one way or another, but to
> > leave it up to the respondents to decide how they wish to respond. How
> > you choose to interpret my questions is interesting in its own right.
> > Your responses, for instance, have already answered several of my
> > other questions.
> > > And, actually, the question also fails to say what you mean by
> > > "become a
> > > Linux user". Do you mean "used a shell account on a Linux
> > > machine"? Do
> > > you mean "installed a Linux distribution"? Do you mean "used in any
> > > way
> > > a device that runs Linux"?
> > You have identified three broad categories. I presume you consider all
> > these to be Linux users in a narrow sense. Are there sub-groups within
> > the Linux community? Do those who can rebuild the kernel regularly
> > gather to guffaw at the antics of less proficient users?
> > > Hundreds of millions of people use devices that run Linux, including
> > > all
> > > TiVo users, all Palm Pre users, all Google G1 users, all Motorola
> > > RAZRv6
> > > users, all users of the Google search engine, users of many and
> > > perhaps
> > > most of the world's Web servers, and pretty much anyone who's used
> > > software that's done DNS queries. Among others.
> > It certainly never occurred to me that one may be a Linux user without
> > even knowing it. Makes sense though, just as most iPhone users don't
> > know they're using OS X, or even care for that matter. That will be
> > fascinating to discuss in my paper. I'm especially interested to know
> > how incidental or unwitting users are perceived by "true" (and I use
> > this word tentatively) Linux users.
> > Questions that come to mind: Do you like or dislike the idea that some
> > users are not even aware that they are using Linux? Is recognition of
> > the platform important? Why?
> > > I first became _aware_ of being at that moment running processes on a
> > > Linux machine in 1992, when I logged into a shell account on a
> > > friend's
> > > experimental machine. I first constructed (i.e., software-loaded) a
> > > Linux machine in 1993, using downloaded copies of H.J. Liu's boot and
> > > root floppy images for constructing such systems.
> > That is very cool! How did it feel to do that? What do you think of
> > how easy it is to install Linux now?
> > -edj
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