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Windows Tech Writer Looks at Linux 664

An anonymous reader writes "Three days ago I accepted Linux into my life and while I'm not yet a convert, the experience has shaken my faith in Windows. It's hard to reconcile because for nearly 20 years I've mostly stayed on the one true Windows path."
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Windows Tech Writer Looks at Linux

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  • by viniosity ( 592905 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @01:33PM (#6325522) Homepage Journal
    Even if the audience for this article is the uninitiated there does not seem to be much here except that there are many applications for linux. Given that there are many applications for windows too it's not really a convincing article. Okay, so maybe you're saying the article wasn't meant to convince but rather to share a story of how easy it was to install linux. In doing that I feel it did a poor job as well. At the very least the author could have made this more useful if he had even spit out some of the obvious advantages of linux over windows. As it is he doesn't even bother defining 'dual boot' (assuming again the audience is the newbie). Nor does he talk about having a virus free OS environment. At the very least he could define 'free' as both being free as in beer and as in speech..
  • by dna_(c)(tm)(r) ( 618003 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @01:36PM (#6325547)

    But that is exactly one of the problems another contender (Linux, OS/2, ...) in the market faces. Users are so used to buying PC's with windows, they don't even consider a change.

    In this context, only OSS has a real chance of becoming relevant to 'house-garden-kitchen' users. Because it doesn't cost to test it out.

    What's interesting about the article is that it shows 'missionaries' spreading the news, might be an approach to enlarge the userbase

  • by eddy ( 18759 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @01:38PM (#6325554) Homepage Journal

    Yeah. Just today I saw a post [] by a web-designer, explaining how he/she had never used Mozilla.

    Sad, sad, sad.

    (as if the original topic wasn't sad enough)

  • by Chyeburashka ( 122715 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @01:40PM (#6325566) Homepage
    From the article:
    I was a disciple from the beginning when it was called Dos, and kept the faith through the buggy, painful years of Windows 1.0 to 3.11.
    Windows 1.0 was released around November 1985, so nearly 20 years is not an exaggeration, especially since he is counting the DOS days too.
  • by TummyX ( 84871 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @01:43PM (#6325593)
    I especially the last line.

    I think I'm becoming a believer.

    I've heard that so many times from so many people, but it always goes away after the "oooo new" factor wears off. They say it to sound "hip" and tech savvy.

    How long do you think it'll be before he deletes the partition and returns to windows full time?
  • Defrag? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by joto ( 134244 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @01:44PM (#6325605)
    No why on earth would he need to defrag his diskdrive before installing linux? There are two ways of doing this, either repartition the disk drive, or you install it on a FAT partition with the VFAT file system (not really recommended but it works). None of them requires defragmentation though...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2003 @01:47PM (#6325619)
    I've never run Linux. I am more intrested in what someone else who hasn't used it has to say than the average Slashdotter. I used to have a job where I had to use Unix for a few tasks every morning and I can't imagine ever wanting to use it by choice for home computing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2003 @01:59PM (#6325675)
    Oh I know it's not an exaggeration, just sticking to one OS for that long sounds rather bizarre to me.

    I have my preferred OS, and I use it regularly. I also quite often try new systems to see what options they throw into the mix.
  • Did anyone notice? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pettifogger ( 651170 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:03PM (#6325706)
    Did anyone out there notice that a Linux Installfest is mentioned? The link to it is right here:

    As you can tell, it's only going on in New Zealand. Good for the Kiwis, but is there anything of the sort being done in the United States? I think we need Installfests here, too.

    As for the article, I think everyone should quit carping. This is good press for Linux. I had the same experience in March when I made the "switch" on my main PC. Only difference is that my machine does not dual boot, and I'd had Aurora Linux on a Sparc since December '02. At any rate, though, the message needs to get out that Linux *IS* a genuine alternative, and this article does just that.

  • by WegianWarrior ( 649800 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:08PM (#6325719) Journal

    Having RTFA and most of the comments, I'm a bit baffeled by the slasdot community today. Even I see this not as a article in how to use Linux or anything, but more as the sort of commentary that you can read on page three of most computermagazines these days. Saying things like "we knew that" and "is this news" actually misses the point, as he isn't speaking to those who already uses Linux but rather to those who still sees Windows as the only operating system out there. He isn't preaching to the choir my friends, he is preaching to the heatens, like myself.

    The article / editorial / comment is more of a key than a crowbar... it may wet peoples appetite for the 'free*' OS they can get from their nerdy friends - even if the setup can be more of a hazzle than Windows is (well, than Windows can be; I used several hours patching up my spare PC yesterday after upgrading to XP). As such, I would say this is a good little article. He mentiones several of the pros of Linux, a few of the drawbacks, points out that it isn't a scary thing to try and that it is realivelty easy to do. He even adds a numer of links to distros, info on opensourse and the Linux Newbie Administration Guide... The only thing he don't add is the URL to knoppix [] so people could try Linux without having to change anything on their 'puter.

    *) However you want to define 'free' as far as Linux go...

  • by faaaz ( 582035 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:14PM (#6325741)
    I don't think so.

    Using myself as an example:

    I was introduced to Linux far to early on in my life. I was young and running a turbocharged 166MHz when a friend brought over this Red Hat thingy. Installation went ok, but we could not get the modem to work. I never considered actually using Linux at that time, and my modem not working made me delete the partition and stick to Windows.

    Later on I tried using Mandrake on an off, it was perhaps version 7 or 8? I don't remember really.

    Anyway, about a year and a half ago I started using Mozilla full time and became aware of open source and it's principles. It was of course intriguing and all, and I became aware of other open source projects.

    In December 2002 I began using Mandrake 9 full time, reverted to using Windows again after one month.

    The experience left a mark, it's like tasting coffee for the first time. Even if you didn't like it the first time you end up loving it after a while.

    I have now used SuSE full time for a few months and I keep a windows-partition that is rarely accessed (the only app installed over a base install is mozilla ;).
  • I want to believe. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Glonoinha ( 587375 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:15PM (#6325751) Journal
    Ok, I want to believe. I honestly do.

    I loaded RedHat around version 5.1 or 5.2 long, long ago - dedicated a machine to it, got it working, don't remember any of the particulars such as which shell I was using, hell it was 5 years ago (plus or minus.)

    I got it running one afternoon, configured the modem (external modems by Hayes / USR - accept no substitutes) and got it talking to my ISP, used some version of Netscape that easily adequate for surfing at the time, I totally dug the 8-way virtual display under the GUI, I almost understood where everything on my drive was and why, had fun with the screen backgrounds (XEarth, etc..) and then ... what?

    What did I do next? Not much else to do. None of my apps (read : games) were available at the time for Linux. I was unable to find replacements for any of my tools (read : an XTree clone such as ZTree, Office, Visual Studio, Drive Image, etc.) - I know now that there is a viable replacement for Office, but my professional experience doing development is on the MS platform. I have an entire support system for coming up with software on the MS platforms that I just haven't found (either where to find, or even that they exist) for Linux.

    And of course there is the real reason we own home computers (and yes, I already mentioned it) : games. Flight simulators. Everquest ( MMORPGs) MechWarrior 2/3/4. Battles of Destiny. Yes, I know that Q3 is available on Linux, as is Unreal (well I believe it is) and the UT series. Anything else?

    And as for cost ... people please. XP you have to pay for. Win9x, WinME, Windows 2000 are pretty much available for the asking on a trial basis. Assuming people are actually purchasing their applications the OS is a tiny fraction of the overall cost when you include their 3D modelling package, Photoshop, Games (Q3A for Linux wasn't free last time I checked, nor any of the Unreal series.)

    I would love to run a Linux box at home if for no other reason than the cool 8-way virtual desktop in the GUI ... but I don't think I could find 8 apps to run, one for each virtual desktop.

    Linux is good enough. Quit making it better and spend some time coming up with apps - now THAT will get people to convert.
  • Nice article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cnik70 ( 571147 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:22PM (#6325780) Homepage
    It's nice to see a good article like this one. Sure it lacks depth, but it shows that even a hard core Windows user can see what draws many of us to use Linux instead. I would love to see a similar article where various people are forced to give up using Windows (or Mac) for a week and made to use Linux for their daily PC routine (of course with someone to help them along the way nearby) to see how quickly they adapt to the new environment.
  • Re:Favorite quote (Score:2, Interesting)

    by andy666 ( 666062 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:29PM (#6325821)
    you know, you joke about that, but it is exactly stuff like that that keeps people from using linux. when your actually using your computer for something, you can't spend your time with stuff like that.
  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:30PM (#6325828) Journal
    To appeal to the common man they Linux has to be something there are already aware of and as much as I hate to say it copying the Windows interface, or at least a similar style is needed.

    Given that the windows look started out by creating a graphic interface on top of MS-DOS which "looked like Macintosh", I'd say that Microsoft agrees with you.

    Yes there are differences. And some of them are REALLY significant. But windowing systems are far more similar to each other than any of them are to a command-line interface. Don't be surprised by comments like that from other Windows users trying a Linux distribution for the first time.

    And starting them out on a windowing system that is a close match - in detail - to the one they're used to is a great way to ease them over the transition. Once they've learned the differences in the underlying utilities and paradigms, they can explore other graphic interfaces at their leisure.
  • by NEOtaku17 ( 679902 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:36PM (#6325855) Homepage
    Neverwinter Nights is on Linux...
  • by Da VinMan ( 7669 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:53PM (#6325956)
    What the hell does defragging have to do with anything?

    Maybe nothing. Maybe his buddies didn't know what they were doing. He is just the messenger here, so don't shoot. That said, it used to be that you needed a defrag to be able to do a OS multi-boot on the same physical drive. Isn't that still the case?

    Now for the meat...
    No, not all distributions are free. Some companies may choose not to GPL their proprietary bells-and-whistles, such as installers and configuration utilities. I also dislike this article's erroneous insinuation that all Linux software is free.

    You're absolutely correct. And it doesn't really matter one bit that you are correct. You see, the average person is quite content to use Windows until something better comes along. By something better, I mean it had better be (a) significantly faster/stable and/or (b) significantly cheaper and/or (c) significantly more feature rich (and easy to use) and/or (d) significantly more entertaining. Linux may or may not be faster/stable (it's debatable these days), it is more feature rich (but it's not easier to use), and it definitely is not more entertaining to the average person. So what does that leave? Cheaper. And how does every rabid Linux advocate start Linux evangelism? "Hey it's free! Here, take one."

    The fact is that Joe Blow will choose Linux over Windows when doing so allows him to dodge the extra $200+ of cost of Windows + Office on a new computer. Joe had also better not care that most of the new games out there won't be usable under Linux. THEN he will choose Linux.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Linux on the desktop. But please be realistic about why most people will choose it.
  • by Trurl's Machine ( 651488 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @02:56PM (#6325966) Journal
    Nethack and MAME. Really, those are just about the only two forms of computer entertainment I need, and they are certainly available on Linux (and Windows, and Mac, and even PocketPCs)

    And that's the problem! As long as gaming is concerned, Linux has exactly nothing to offer that wouldn't be available on other platforms - but some platforms do have lots of stuff that is not and will never be available on Linux. I think portability is both the biggest strength and weakness of the Free Software. For all its virtues, you end up in a situation when everyone else can do what you can do - but unlike you, the users of proprietary systems have their "exclusives" (like games or commercial apps).

    Oh yes, you can peek into the source code and they can't. But how many computer users actually care about the source code?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2003 @03:19PM (#6326087)
    I am a real person who installed SuSE for the first time yesterday. This is my first Linux install. I have used more than one OS (if CP/M on my Imsai 8080 [] counts). But since 88, I've been using DOS and then windows in 90.

    I downloaded the trial iso that allowed me to run SuSE from my CD drive to see if it works with my hardware. The AMD 2500 machine that I built this year froze in the boot sequence. No biggie, I just glanced at the compatibility info. I didn't check to see if my components were compatible. It's probably just a case of user error (RTFM). I popped the CD in an old 700 mhz machine, and I'm off and running. I had absolutely no issues with the install. I am extremely pleased with the interface, and I'm excited to start learning how to control an OS from the command line again.

    When I worked for a large sw company in Redmond, I was just down the hall from the prez and his PR cronies. They were nice enough people, but extremely cocky. I remember overhearing one say something to the effect of ?I hope Linux does well, it makes it look like there are OS choices out there?. I thought with that attitude, employees like that would give away the keys to the kingdom. Complacency can destroy an empire more quickly than any lawsuit. As real people are forced to call an 800 number to 'activate' the software they payed good money for, they are going to get disgusted and start looking elsewhere.

    Have I said anything that hasn't already been said on /.? Probably not, but I'm one more convert, and one more nail in the coffin of the M$ empire. Isn't that something that the /. community traditionally embraces? Or has your cockiness led to complacency?
  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @03:38PM (#6326174) Journal
    [There's not] much here except that there are many applications for linux. [] there are many applications for windows too [so] it's not [] a convincing article.

    [] maybe [] the article wasn't meant to convince but [] to share a story of how easy it was to install linux. [] it did a poor job [of that] as well.

    At [] least [he should have mentioned] some of the obvious advantages of linux over windows. [But] he doesn't even [define] 'dual boot'[, mention the] virus free [] environment[, or] define 'free' as both [] as in beer and as in speech.

    I think you missed the point of the article.

    What this article does is inform Windows users that Linux is SO ready for prime-time that a man who has built his carreer as a writer about Windows is ready to swtich. And to bet his carreer on it (because he can expect never to hear inside info from his usual channels again).

    It does it succinctly - fitting the major points into the limited size of his column:

    - Been a Windows carreerist/true believer for 20 years but faith shaken.

    - Once tried Mac but went with Windows. (Therefore Linux is better than both.) Ditto OS/2.

    - Know ALL the Windows versions so Linux beats 'em all. (MAJOR credentials established by now. This is not your high-school basement geek talking.)

    - It's free.

    - There's free support, too, including experts who will do the install and configuration for free.

    - And advise you on making the choices that require expert knowlege to get started.

    - There's no army of anti-piracy police to retroactively extract licensing fees and penalties for your free software.

    - There IS an army of volunteers, bigger than Microsoft, who already wrote enough to do what you need, and are writing still more. As a result the mass of free software mushrooms.

    - The free software means your machine is cheaper. (No built-in "Microsoft Tax" for the minimum needed to get it to run - plus the standard stuff they foist on you.)

    - It LOOKS LIKE WINDOWS - so much that you can dig right in without a tough retraining. You're ALREADY over the hard part of the leraning curve.

    - The hard part is getting it configured. But these experts hold regular festivals where they'll do this FOR you. For free.

    - Even if it's HARD on your particular machine due to SPECIAL PROBLEMS. And they get it done in a couple hours.

    - They'll set up so you can ALSO use your machine with Windows - until you're weaned, or if there's something Linux won't do yet that you need. (And yes he DID explain dual-boot.)

    - But it turns out the Linux distribution has LOTS of stuff already on it - for free - add-ons that would cost you an arm and a leg in Windows. (Implied: Enough that you might not need the dual-boot training wheels for long.) And MULTIPLE TYPES of the major components (like user interface and browser). So you don't have to commit to one, and buy it untested. And it's fun to test drive the sedan/sports car/luxury car/SUV version of each until you find the one that fits your lifestyle.

    So what he's done is ENABLE Windows users: It's free, quick-to-get, fun, powerful, opens a vast world to you, doesn't cut you off from your current stuff, and YOU CAN DO IT. So why are you waiting?

    And he does it in what - about four column inches? Astounding. (Took me about as much text just to deconstruct and SUMMARIZE all he did.)

    Yes some of the points you make are missing. But they're the points EVERYONE makes, over and over. There's no need for Barton to hammer on them one more time, when there's other points - and a complete coherent argument - that need to be made.

    Especially since anybody following Barton's advice will immediately be hooked up with his local Linux community, where plenty of other people will bring them up repeatedly.

    This column could be a major breakthrough in the general adoption of Linux by the home users (which will creat
  • by DShard ( 159067 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @03:39PM (#6326183)
    It took me about 8 years to dump microsoft from full usage. I used windows for games and my job. Lukily when I came back to my current job my boss said "I am surprised you didn't put linux on that..." I did and after six months of waffling, I only use linux. I can actually do things outside of a gui. I guess you could have in winblows but why? After getting used to not unix I don't know how I ever used windows in the first place.
  • by rickymoz ( 533931 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @03:56PM (#6326261) Journal
    Ok, so some have already pointed to the inacuracy of "public domain". But this one?
    It's quite liberating to try out five different web browsers - Galeon, Konqueror, Mozilla, Quanta Plus or Screem - until you find one you like
    I guess he didn't try out Quanta Plus and Screem, since they are not really web browser, but rather web-editors.
  • by rutledjw ( 447990 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @04:31PM (#6326419) Homepage
    It goes beyond that. RedHat service is a great thing for large corporations. AdvServer is to expensive IMHO but a controlled, stable release cycle is great when you're dealing with tens, soon to be hundreds, and possibly eventually thousands of machines.

    Secondly, what about service beyond that? How about getting complex configurations down for 3rd party apps? Oracle RAC is a good example, DB2 EEE is another.

    The trick is that these companies need to be able to provide (cover your ears, over-priced consultant babble coming) VALUE over what is commmon knowledge.

    You and your organization may have a wealth of technically competent people, but many organizations do NOT. Even with the glut of people on the job market, there are an awful lot of SCUDS / decent skillset. Further even for someone like myself who has very good skills (let's pretend), I need info from these guys on specific matters. I don't have time to go pick and hack for a day or two on these things if I can get an answer in an hour. I'm busy as h3ll and I'll push for these service companies so I can get my bloody job done!

    Just the other side of the coin

  • by Quixotic137 ( 26461 ) <pjennings-slashdot2&pjennings,net> on Sunday June 29, 2003 @05:07PM (#6326572) Homepage
    Are you looking at this line or something else?

    [hemos] OK, FYI: Windows is 72% of traffic on Slashdot.

    Unless I'm missing something, hemos says 72%. Granted, that's less than 95%...
  • by Eminor ( 455350 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @05:20PM (#6326627)
    I know people may see this as "Propaganda", but considering the foothold Microsoft has on the industry, I think it's good to find more positive news relating to Linux. I find microsofts ad campain to be very propagandic. It's good to see some counter balance.

    This story reminds me of my own conversion. It wasn't that long ago (This January) that I switched over to Linux completely. I was quite impressed with all the applications and how well they worked. I have always been a fan of GNU tools. It's nice to have both without dual booting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2003 @05:48PM (#6326762)
    > Show me a Linux replacement for Adobe FrameMaker

    If you're truly a technical writer, I can't beleive you've never heard of LaTeX. I do a lot of technical writing, and at least for the academic world, LaTeX is the defacto standard for technical writing (and is native to Unicies)
  • by Shippy ( 123643 ) * on Sunday June 29, 2003 @06:13PM (#6326915)
    No, they don't.

    Any program they run will have the privileges of that user which includes removing everything from their /home directory, which can easily piss people off. Furthermore, it will have access to read their files which means it could read the text file which holds the person's Mozilla addresses. It would then be easy to open up a port and, if the code includes its own ability to send mail, forward itself to other unsuspecting users.
  • by AvitarX ( 172628 ) <me AT brandywinehundred DOT org> on Sunday June 29, 2003 @06:58PM (#6327126) Journal
    The article felt like a first impression, so he probably didn't try out any yet.

    They are all in the same part in Mandrake's menu, so he probably assumed they were all the same thing. My guess is that after dealing with a few things like this he writes a fallow up. "Linux, too much confusion in the menu with all the 1000 apps I was excited about".

    This article was about the feeling he had right after and install, not about actually using the beast. I say "beast" affectionatly, I use Linux at home almost exclusivly.

    Also, I don't know if this guy has ever installe windows or not, but 1 hour to find and get a driver installed is not too bad. It has taken me that long to find all my drivers dowload and install them on windows with practivaly every install. And it is a pain in the ass opening the case to identify what brand components you have.
  • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @07:18PM (#6327207)

    Oh yes, you can peek into the source code and they can't. But how many computer users actually care about the source code?

    Oh yes, you can peek under the hood of your car. But how many drivers actually care that they can open the hood?

    Answer: almost all of them. This is because you can buy your car and get it serviced by the dealer (if you want) or any local garage. Right now, when you buy commercial software you can only get repairs (bug fixes and new features) from the dealer. As the software industry becomes more service oriented, this will have to change.

  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @07:37PM (#6327332)
    That's what Wine is for.

    Too bad some people persist in believing that fairly vague things like ease of use and immaturity are the biggest problems that desktop linux has today. They are problems yes, but the biggest is, and always will be most likely, compatability.

  • by stanwirth ( 621074 ) on Sunday June 29, 2003 @08:03PM (#6327447)

    Australasia's largest consumer electronics shop, Dick Smith's [] provides pre-built systems off the shelf, with LINUX and OO already installed [] .

    Again, if North American and European retailers aren't up with the programme, their loss

    Australia and New Zealand are regarded as test markets for the introduction of new computing and electronics gizmos for the rest of the world because it's a culturally similar market, yet smaller and more receptive to new technology, particularly when it can be used to communicate with the rest of the world.

    What you see succeed down here will soon take root in North America and Europe.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2003 @08:16PM (#6327501)
    If only you could classed as both 'Funny' AND 'Insightful'. Maybe 'Ironic'? ;)

    My first professional (ie. paid for) use of Java was in 1996 (waaaaaaay back when it really was crap in terms of performance and usability), and I remember even then there being agencies requiring '5 years of Java at senior/architect level'. I thought that was funny then (for those who don't know, the first 'versions' of Java appeared some time in 1995)

    I've been using Java exclusively for a while now, and the sad thing is that the attitude has hardly improved; IT job agencies I deal with will typically ask you about your JSP & Servlet & EJB experience and THEN say 'that sounds like what this company is after, but they also really need someone with good J2EE skills. How are yours?'
  • by yuri benjamin ( 222127 ) <> on Sunday June 29, 2003 @11:03PM (#6328143) Journal
    Linux will not enter the marketplace as a 'End User' OS, but rather as a server OS. Then, slowly, more and more people, lured bythe appeal of a free, non-MS OS, will start switching. SLowly, game makers will start making games for linux.

    Server yes, but also firewall. More and more home users have cable or dsl connections, and many are looking at linux or *BSD as firewall options.

    I work for a Telco/ISP/Cable TV provider in New Zealand.
    I'm noticing an increase in customers who say they intend to use linux as a firewall for their cable connection.
    The techs who install the cable modems officially only know how to configure windows, but are happy to tell the customers what the settings are so they can configure their own linux boxes.
    It's only a matter of time before linux set-up instructions are included in their manuals.

    Also, more and more people are wanting to host their own web servers.

    So I predict households with multiple PCs will soon have a linux box doing server/firewall stuff and a windows box for games.
  • Newsflash (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:16AM (#6329231) Homepage

    Most computer users don't know how to defrag their hard drive, and would be scared to carry out such a frightening sounding operation.

    Remind me again why we want Linux to take off on Joe User's desktop? Isn't it hard enough giving free tech support for friends-and-families Windows installations without having to deal with setting up and fixing various Linux distros? In response to "Can I get product X for my machine", would you rather answer "Yes, plus a Dummies book for it" rather than "Not as such, but I'll spend four days finding an alternative, another two days installing it, then an indefinite amount of time trawling newsgroups and fora to give you free tech support for it."

    Look, I'll spell it out. If you're not a software developer, then you're not contributing, and I don't want to support you, nor to have you bombard the developers of my favourite apps with appeals to make it idiot proof. I don't want idiot proof apps written for the benefit of Joe User. If I wanted that, I'd have stuck with Windows.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.