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Re: Who's the Fedora user?

On Wed, 2005-08-24 at 12:05 -0500, Patrick Barnes wrote:
> Rather than spout off about what we should tell her, I'll take the
> approach of writing a draft letter:
> ----
> Dear Judy,
> I am sorry that you have not fully enjoyed your experience with Linux so
> far. Linux and Windows are drastically different operating systems, and
> it can be a frustrating change when you are just starting.
> One of the complaints we hear the most is about games that do not work.
> Because Windows and Linux are different operating systems, Linux cannot
> run programs that were built for Windows. Many programs, such as
> Firefox, are built for both. The games that you have on CDs are most
> likely not built to run on Linux. You can contact the manufacturers to
> see if they have produced Linux versions. As an alternative, there are
> many games available for Linux. A lot of these are available as packages
> for Red Hat's distribution. There is a big advantage here: they're free!
> <insert installation instructions here>
> If there are games for Windows that you really want to get running, you
> can look into Transgaming's Cedega. This is a commercial program that
> may be able to get some of your Windows games running under Linux.
> As for your anti-virus software, there really isn't much need for
> anti-virus software on a Linux desktop. That's one security advantage of
> Linux. If you would feel more comfortable having anti-virus software,
> ClamAV is readily available and completely free.
> <insert installation instructions here>
> We understand that you probably don't want to spend a great deal of
> money to learn Linux. Most Linux users are tech-savvy folks who read
> information online and use Google a lot. There may, however, be less
> expensive and easier options for you. You might be able to find basic
> classes in your area, or you might be able to connect with a local Linux
> User Group (LUG) that can help you get started or point you to useful
> resources. We have looked it up, and found the following information for
> groups in your area:
> <insert information here>
> We are always working hard to make Linux systems easier and more
> intuitive to use. We don't want you to be stuck with Windows because our
> systems aren't easy enough. There are very large community teams
> constantly working to make Linux work for you.
> One of the best ways to really get moving with Linux is to get in touch
> with the community. You'll find that while there are many people who
> speek what sounds like Greek to you, there are also many average folks
> out there who are ready to answer your questions and work with you to
> help you get things done. Forums, IRC chat, and mailing lists are all
> popular options. We have put together a short list of links to put you
> in touch with the community.
> <insert information here>
> We do understand your frustration, and are working hard to ease the
> transition. We hope that you will not give up on Linux, and will stick
> with us as Linux grows. We value feedback like yours to tell us where we
> need to focus. We look forward to hearing from you again in the future,
> hopefully with better news.

Another possible paragraph (or maybe someone can turn pieces of this
into something more useful):

It is true that Red Hat, the company, primarily supports businesses as
opposed to individual home users.  This is how they make money, but they
also contribute a lot of time and manpower to the Fedora Project, which
is a Linux distribution intended for people like you.  While it is still
Linux, and it may require a learning curve, Fedora is under constant
heavy development by thousands of people who are eager for your
comments.  These people form a community that is growing every day, from
expert computer programmers and systems engineers all the way to brand
new users.

The editor of Red Hat Magazine is a member of the Fedora community and
forwarded your letter to the Fedora Documentation group, whose mission
is to provide professional quality, yet easy to read, tutorials and
guides for people just like you.  They are very interested in your input
as a home user who is not a Linux guru.  They, along with other Fedora
groups, are developing a Fedora Mentoring program that would help new
community members learn how to use Fedora.  If you would like to learn
from other Fedora community members, visit the Mentoring web site at:

<Insert information here>

= = = = =
Is this useful?  After all, mentoring doesn't have to be just
expert-to-expert.  In my job, I taught Linux to thousands of law
enforcement and intelligence community professionals who weren't
computer experts by trade.  Most of them are still using it to some
extent today, and many embraced it.  (A few even switched to it!)

Paul W. Frields, RHCE                          http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
 Fedora Documentation Project: http://fedora.redhat.com/projects/docs/

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