Mørnin’ guyz n dollz,
you know how often, as a Linux aficionado, you got to hear and read and, much worse, think about this term? “Newbie friendly”, “cool for new users”, “perfect for newbs”; that shit is everywhere and seemingly on everybody’s mind. All the time. Even the super unfriendly and particularly impatient Orca makes it a point to mention the usability for that special snowflake group of Linux users, whenever she writes about a new distro. Stupid girl! 😦
So here’s a question that popped up in my pretty shampooed noggin this morning, a question to myself, the blog readers and the GNU/Linux community at large: Why bother?
Anyone took you by the hands and prayed you through your first text document or spreadsheet on Windows? Or Mac? And showed you how to install iTunes for playing your bestest disco tracks from the 70s? Fuk nope! You had to figger that out for yerselves, didn’t you?
And, did it werk?
Of course it did. I don’t even assume that, but I know so. Else how could you read this bloggy? … assuming you’re actually in fact reading this bloggy. Yeah, we all, even the not so smart among us, and eventually even Orca, managed to clue up enough to do our daily tasks and amusements on computer-ish machines. Some ultra clever folks even learned to embrace their inner child and smeer with fatty fingahz on a screen to get kinda similar results as if they’d use a mouse/keyboard combo, like grown ups do. Some super duper ultra freaks got even rid of their computers in toto and are using handheld telephones … to do computer work on them. That’s technological advancement on a whole new level. 😮 A whole new level of gaga if you ask me. So, yeah, better don’t ask me then.
In the end I gathered people are kinda awesome and not nearly as helpless as many Linux developers and distro maintainers are assuming. Yes, even the kinda stupid shortsighted cellphone types. I guess, or rather I know from experience, GNU/Linux is at a very high level of functionality and usability by now. It offers many many different Desktop Environments, so there is something fitting everybody’s workflow. Just pick what’s right for you and go your merry ways. Can’t be that hard, now can it?
Yes, of course, I know there is a learning curve involved. More or less steep, which depends on the type and flavour of your chosen Linux distro – or the one chosen for you – and your recent abilities on other systems. When you’re one of those users who still paints by the numbers, even on Windows (kinda understandable) and Mac (really?), why do you expect Linux to be any different? If you’re, on the other hand, one of the clever types and know your system inside out and can do the coolest geek stuff on it, why do you expect Linux to be any different?
Easy answer: Because it fukn is!
Of course does GNU/Linux differ from the big two, as much as they are different from each other. There would be something wrong in the computing world if they’d all be the fukn same, no? I can’t promise you the mostest smoothest transition from Win/Mac to Linux. Nobody can. It can be smooth tho. If and how smooth depends to 99% on yourself. Finding an approachable and patient and understanding Linux guru is super helpful, so is joining a fitting community. That’s one of the big advantages of Linux over the older Operating Systems, you can find answers and help for all your problems inside of minutes/hours/days, on the internetz. When I stumbled into Windows the first time, the internet was but a wet dream in some geeks’ undergarments. Hubby and me fiddled with our computer until it didn’t werk anymore, and then, kinda once a month, we took the machine and visited a friend (IT student) who made everything werk again.
And that was Windows 3.1, a super simple and primitive system, right? If you remember you will agree with me on that. But it was new and exciting and intrinsically complex for our untrained brains. Still we slowly, very slowly learned what is what and how to do shit with the computer, our pride and joy. Sooner or later got a printer – whoa, the opportunities it opened for us – and then a laptop. Big heavy with an ultra small black on grey screen. That was the ultra-nerdy higher end of computing and we felt like super geeks, taking that thing to the campground with us on weekends. Couldn’t do much with it but typing short stories and manuscripts, stuff we viewed as entertaining back then.
But I digress, thinking back to our early days with computers, and what problems we encountered and solved, or got solved by geeky friends. Today, in 2018, a simple switch from Win/Mac to GNU/Linux should be a walk in the park. Yes, problems will occur. It would be strange if they wouldn’t. But solutions and help are never far away. It can all be helped and sorted out. We’re modern people of the new millenium, not some old hippies with all the time in the world. We expect instant gratification. And in the case of GNU/Linux we shall receive it!
And you won’t even need a special snowflake n00b friendly Linux distro for it!