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Re: Laptop new



At 10:15 17/07/2007, you wrote:

People tend to find things when they are ready for them, or when they
become interested in them. Either way, they are either prepared to put

The "plain people" you refer to, Karl, have had access to Linux since
it's birth; that has pretty much been the soul of the system since it
evolved past the stage of being graded by a crusty old professor.

When people want it, it will be there for them.

Just my opinion, though, apologies if it ruffles any feathers.

Andy

Andy,

No, it wouldn't ruffle my feathers even if I had any.

As I see it, there are two problems with Linux adoption:-

1) The "plain people" don't know it's there

2) Even when they are told that it's there, they still don't use it

The first is because of the relative sizes of the publicity machines. Flashy prime time TV advertising wins out over word of mouth every time.

The second, I'm not sure exactly why it is, but I can think of several possibilities:-
 They're incompetent
 They don't want to toss out products they've paid good money for
 They're scared of trying out something completely different
 They think something that's free can't work properly
 They're just plain stupid

The guy in the office next to mine discovered a few months back that for some time, unknown to him, somebody had been using his Paypal account, transferring large numbers of US dollars in, followed shortly afterwards by GB pounds out i.e. a money laundering operation. I pointed out that this was most probably enabled by a trojan on the windoze 98 machine he uses for everything. Having passed him a Dapper Drake installer CD to play with, to see if it operated his hardware or not, with the offer to install it for him and show him how everything works, after several months he hasn't even taken the Dapper CD out of the case to try it. So, I conclude that the last of the above possibilities is applicable in his case.

But at the end of the day, does the Linux community need to worry about the low rate of adoption amongst the "plain people"? Some would say that it's better to leave things as they are, that way we don't attract the attention of the virus and trojan writers. On the other hand, I say that the greater the take up the better. Linux has hardware support problems especially with graphics card drivers. These problems would, I think, gradually vanish with an increasing number of Linux users either putting pressure on existing hardware manufacturers to support open source, or hardware designed specifically for open source by new hardware manufacturers. Also, the world would become a far better place without the influence of what I will call here a gigantic financial parasite, sucking countless millions of dollars out of every economy in the world without any real benefit to the donors.

What am I doing about this situation? With a BSD enthusiast friend, I'm going to place a free advertisement in the neighbourhood magazine, to invite members of the public to come along to free meetings at the local pub and take part in a FOSS discussion and self help group. Hope we get some interest.

Dave


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