Paul on 10 Sep 2004 13:02:03 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] Interesting Article from eWeek

Howard Bloom wrote:

It would appear that although he liked it very much, many things are not as
easy to use as windows especially for the novice.

No doubt.  I think the important points end there.

"A few complications
But overall, (and here's where staunch Linux fans will take exception) this
machine is not as easy to use for most computer users as the same machine
running Windows XP or (if it could) Apple's OS X. You still need to know a
lot more about the inner workings of a computer to excel on a Linux machine.

That last sentence is written with a negative ring to it, but it is one of the benefits of Linux. The ability to get to the inner workings, and the knowledge that is gained by doing so. Granted, in some cases you must deal with the computer at a lower level than you prefer, but not always.

For instance, software installs aren't as easy to figure out as on a Windows
or Mac computer. You must figure out on your own things like where to store
the software and associated programs and how to handle permissions. These
are not things most consumers want to do. Installs should be easy to find
when completed. That's not always the case for new Linux users.

I can't say that using RPMs is that difficult.

Yeah, home users don't want to deal with permissions. That's one reason why viruses wipe out their harddrives. Administrators, on the other hand, may need to make use of access controls for business users. Actually, even individual users in a public environment should secure their own system to some degree.

Linux systems receive criticism when features like automatic login are used, especially if it logins in as root. There is a reason for that which is lost on typical Windows users. With ease of use come limitations and vulnerability. Flexibility, security, and empowerment also come at a cost.

Then there's how the notebook handles the little things like WiFi
networking: although the HP/SuSE notebook now automatically connects to my
access point, it only remembers one group of settings. I have two access
points at home, not to mention others to which I regularly connect. With the
nx5000, you need to change the access point and WEP settings separately for
each location. Tell that to Windows and Mac users and they'll laugh."

Recently I read an article about a KDE program which handles multiple wireless networks. Again, you're correct; Linux users need to think more and be more aware. Is that such a bad thing?

How many Windows users use WEP? No offense intended, but it seems like it would take too much effort to implement. Actually, I don't even use WEP right now; I'm running OpenVPN. WEP would have been easier! I'm still wondering if my wireless is more secure with OpenVPN instead of WEP with a routine key change.

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