My mom is perfectly fine using Ubuntu on my old x61 for email, browsing, and YouTube. To be fair she could probably replace it with a tablet if it weren't for the fact that she visits a lot of flash sites (Chinese TV streaming sites).
Likewise my dad is on another Ubuntu machine at home. His work needs access to some software / printers that can't be run via Wine so he's stuck with Windows there.
I tried to convert my 25 year old brother as well, but he switched back to Windows after a month. Despite being the youngest, he hated learning a new system and preferred Windows.
My colleagues at work, Programmers, aren't able to get out of Windows, even though they are just writing python. They would rather stick with the pain of having to use git in a crappy console, and suffer loads of pain when shell-ing into ec2 linux boxes, Than learn a new UI and file-system
The available console or ssh apps are horrible compared to the same apps or linux or mac; and the unix tools have sort-of-been-ported, and I can use them through, say, cygwin but they're not 'nicely working' as they should be. I mean, it's simpler to just ssh to an ubuntu instance than get&use the same tools directly on your machine.
I dunno, I must have a different usage pattern to a lot of people here, but I've used tools such as git/ruby/node/telnet/etc across Windows(conEmu + bash)/Linux/OSX and don't really have a strong preference for any OS in this regard. I get that there are differences, and maybe I'm just lucky and haven't seemed to hit these issues that make Windows so horrible for a lot of devs.
Powerful tool, but the "we'll go our own way despite commonly accepted UI standards" has always made me a little crazy.
* Most simple grep and sed commands are entirely do-able. Bit more verbose syntax, but that comes with a hell of a lot of easy-to-access power
* It's all about objects, rather than plain text. This can often be a pain, but Import-Csv and Export-Csv are utter LOVE. Adding additional new properties could be easier, but it is an option and can be used to great effect
* It's basically .Net for the command line, and you can get to all the power locked away in the .Net libraries
* No installation required on modern windows machines. Assuming your network admins are not overly restrictive, you get a proper shell without having to install cygwin
But Cygwin is also usefull ;)
This might hold water were it not for the fact that pretty much all console unix tool users started off on Windows or Mac.
> GUIs are more natural, it's much better then learning each tools crappy mini console DSL.
Yes, GUIs are more natural. But for most of us, the time spent learning how to use common unix tools pays for itself very quickly by increasing productivity: it's an investment.
And msysgit (https://code.google.com/p/msysgit/downloads/list?q=full+inst...) which includes the "git bash" shell. It's got almost all the basic unix tools installed by default.
Its a fork of console2.
+ Adds Splitting Tabs into views
Console2 development seems to have slowed down.
The terminal _sucked_. It was the same crappy DOS box I'd seen since, well, DOS days and Win3.1.
That lead me on an exploration of MKS, UWIN, Cygwin, and finally, Red Hat, over the course of a few months. And I realized Linux Didn't Suck.
Another few months and I wiped NT off my hardrives and repartitioned with RH. Never looked back.
Conemu comes pretty close to solving the terminal software problem, and there are alternatie shells, e.g. Powershell or bash from cygwin.
readline completion à la bash:
nice console emulator with tabs:
gnu tools on windows without cygwin:
not perfect, but actually usable...
Our company has a lot of legacy VBA code that would need to be replaced. Don't get me wrong, I think it would be smart to replace this. I hated the way VBA changed on every release and broke my code base. The last straw was when I needed to access spreadsheets that used 3rd party VBA modules that were locked. I ported my whole back-end data analysis/report generation code base to Open Source R/Sweave/LaTeX. But I'm just one user and did it myself as a spare time activity.
I still think Visual Studio is a pretty nice development environment for C++. I'm trying to get up to speed with Eclipse. I do prefer Open Source. Now that our corporate budget is REALLY tight, that is a big help. Guess the IT folks think it would cost more to switch than pay the annual tribute to Redmond
She was against every subtle change, so putting another OS on her machine was hard. She even resisted to use a much faster Computer, because she likes when things "just work" and really doesn't care what the name of the system is or about the specs of the system, as long as things can be done the "usual way" and she doesn't need to wait 5min. for things to happen. Her old computer was a 1GHZ, this one has 3.2GHZ and for her it's the same. To be honest, things aren't really getting faster for an average PC user, except when you install an SSD.
I've found this myself. My Grandfather loves Windows 8, my mother absolutely hates it. My Grandfather loves his new Android phone, my mum hates Android and refuses to use anything other than her iPhone.
Younger people may be more "tech-savvy", but at least anecdotally for myself they are the ones who hate change the most. Perhaps it's because the older crowd have fewer preconceptions about how things are "supposed" to work?
In defence of 'younger people' generally I hand my X60 Thinkpad running Debian Wheezy with the default Gnome 3 desktop around sometimes in class. It does not take them long to work out how to access Firefox and a maths video on YouTube after suggesting they press the windows key. They generally find the trackpoint harder to deal with than the actual interface so I take a USB mouse in with me.
Seriously, just because you had too much free time doesn't mean I do. I appreciate your nonsensical condescension.
Also, stop being offended by every comment that doesn't agree with yours. fit2rule's comment could be considered a bit presuming, but it is neither nonsensical nor condescending. On the other hand, your comment is both of those things.
Of course, I could be doing things wrong. Who wouldn't want to have every waking hour consumed by other people?
You could be very cheeky and set the RedmondXP theme in XFCE4 just as a joke.
Mom is 55. Very non technical person, she learned how to send text messages a month ago.
Nevertheless, my dad set up the computer in their house with Ubuntu two years ago and she's been using it for email and web browsing ever since.
I personally really don't care at all for the ridiculous glassy look of Aero in Windows 7; it's ugly to me.
I think the biggest problem with Linux is that many people plainly prefer what they're used to. Additionally, if you're a so called Windows "power user" you have vested more knowledge in the Windows ecosystem - specialized knowledge that is useless in the Linux world. An older person doesn't have this specialized knowledge, computers are all the same to them. THAT'S why it's easier for them to switch. They're used to being n00bs and knowing little about the OS they're using. It really doesn't matter which OS it is.
You're rather rude there. I don't agree with what you said and I can say the same thing about your statement. I know plenty of people my age with Linux experience that don't use it as their primary OS precisely because of the UI. And no, they don't want to waste time on config files with a WM, they did that when they were 16-18. And BTW, I was talking about Windows 8, not 7.
Yes, you may not agree when I say Windows (7) looks butt ugly -- and that was my point. It's all quite subjective.
Linux has a big advantage, though, in that you can quite easily switch between different Desktop Environments and/or Window Managers. Configuring the look and feel of your desktop is just a lot easier. And config-file time wasting is entirely optional, I promise.
I find it ironic that you talk about wasting time on config files. My experience in Windows is that doing anything beyond the 10 tasks Microsoft determined to be common results in hours of clicking through menus, configuration dialogs, and in some cases dealing with the registry editor. Trying to troubleshoot a problem is a nightmare. Trying to set up something unusual is beyond a nightmare.
Personally I've never cared for Microsoft's design. XP always looked chunky and gaudy to me - I hated it. Aero looks unfinished compared to Compiz (but part of that might be down to the fact that Linux has been doing desktop compositing for years before Windows finally caught up). And Windows 8 just looks like Microsoft forgot the last 2 decades of OS design and reverted back to the 320x200 days of square windows, square widgets, etc.
So I'm happy you find Microsoft's design to be your particular eye candy, but don't patronise us by arguing that this preference is fact.
It's what Ubuntu should be, its what Windows 8 should be! it's classic and yet functional and customizable, both my parents laptops are using it as UI and I hear no complaints.
If we ignore the metro side of things, I agree with you however.
Yes, absolutely. My start screen is an empty, blue wall with a large tile taking me to the desktop. Despite the start screen I like everything else about the system.
Apple has a hard time matching the speed and flexibility of a lightweight GNU/Linux distro (presumably because OS X's focus on polish, integration and aesthetics means they want to tip the scale of compromises back in that direction, and that's fine). Some of us don't mind not having drop shadows and pervasive "cloud" integration if it means we can have full control over our own computers :)
It's also worth mentioning that Ubuntu has perfect support for the current Macbook Pro and Macbook Air, so I don't know what point you're even making by saying that OS X has hardware support for Macs.
She has been mostly happy, I found running printers to be less fun than it could be and the linux photo management apps aren't always that great. Recently gave her a thinkpad with Mint and she is still happy.
Does your brother need access to specialised software (e.g. having to hand in College/University work in some Windows specific system or using business applications)?
If you're not an expert on the one program you need that's only on Windows, I think you can get comfortable quickly with Linux without missing anything.
Heck, the last time Windows was my main OS was in 2007 or so, and I still think in terms of "Alt-Tab" with the Command button replacing Alt (since I'm in OSX). (And the never-disappearing menu bar, and the inability to tab between windows, and the fact that the maximize button is broken, still bugs me).
I'm pretty sure none of the nontechnical users mentioned here would be willing to do that.
Ubuntu moved lots of configuration to the GUI, making it easily discoverable and usable for people who don't already know where to look for things. Ubuntu may be sucky, buggy and inflexible, but it's much easier to use than old-style GNU/Linux.
End users don't want easy HDD partitioning and easy WiFi configuration - they want to avoid them altogether, and have everything work out of the box.
Interesting, I never thought this way.
By comparison my parents are rudimentary users of technology, and thus their switching costs are low. As long as there is Firefox / Chrome they're ok. Some Chinese sites still depend on ActiveX but they've been replaced with Flash for the most part.
If there was, the usage of Linux would double within days.
The main issue is that there is no drop in replacement for Excel. There are spreadsheets that do calculations, statistics, scripts, etc... better, but there aren't any that can perfectly replicate Excel and perfectly read XLSX files right now...
Excel is really stupid fast. There are old stories of the Excel team at Microsoft being the most performance-obsessed group around. Excel really is a very great product. Can you demonstrate equivalent performance with Gnumeric?
If you're really performance obsessed, a spreadsheet isn't really the best solution anyway...
I agree with this, but tell that to the millions of non-programmers the world over (including almost exclusive use in the finance sector) who use spreadsheets for, well, programming.
I have heard it's not unusual for huge spreadsheets that take upwards of 15 minutes just to regenerate all the calculations and VBA macros it contains. Yes, this is horrible, but it's absolutely ubiquitous and so performance does matter. VBA support also matters for backwards compatibility with these monolithic, battle-tested behemoth spreadsheets. Python support is a great extra, but drop-in VBA support is the feature Gnumeric needs to find widespread use.
I can't fathom what you mean by "more accurate". Accuracy is binary. Are you saying Excel is inaccurate?
There's a large difference, unfortunately, but it's the edge cases that the difference lies in. Some professions rely on those edge cases exclusively however.
BUT, having said that,I think there are tons of users that could use Calc for their basic calculations (I worked in a couple of banks and I think probably just 5-10% of users used it as "powerusers" and I suspect less than half of them used functions/code that have no equivalent in Calc)
In fact, my personal opinion is that Libreoffice should abandon PPT and Word - both with adequate online equivalents - and go all out only on Excel.
There is simply no equivalent for Excel on Linux or Mac.
Photoshop + Excel on Linux would be it's killer applications.