[clug] Linux and City News Canberra

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Tue Apr 8 07:25:56 MDT 2014

On 08/04/14 20:40, bryan at netspeed.com.au wrote:
> Ian:
>> However, from within the CLUG community there would be more that    
>> enough expertise to provide basic guidance in making the transition   
>>  if there were sufficient will to make it happen.
> The "sufficient will" represents a cost. And that is a hurdle to be
> overcome.

This and other lists already provide more support than people ask for -
certainly I don't recall anyone's post languishing on the list
unanswered. And that includes home visits, equipment loans, and training
- exactly the sort of community support people *don't* get with Windoof.
(see my comments further down about the key conversion points for Linux).
They've been installfests in the past - I don't recall any "cost"
issues.... perhaps someone will correct my misremembering?

>> After all how     different is Linux Mint with the Cinnamon Desktop
>> box from a Windows     XP box from the Desktop Computer users
>> perspective for example.
> There is an argument that "best" means "everybody does it".

Best == "everyone does it" is less an argument than an oxymoronic

Try "best" == "lowest common denominator" (mass market) to see why ;p

> So for example:
>      * eating McDonald's;

    NSW: Thai (22%)
    Victoria: Italian (17%)
    South Australia: American fast-food (39%)
    Western Australians: Chinese (32%)
    Queensland: Chinese (28%)

>      * driving Ford; and

January-June 2012 New Car Sales (based on drive.com.au)
1 	Mazda3 	21,813
2 	Toyota HiLux 	19,412
3 	Toyota Corolla  	19,026
4 	Holden Cruze 	16,437
5 	Holden Commodore  	15,860
6 	Hyundai i30 	14,000
7 	Nissan Navara 	13,180
8 	Toyota Camry 	10,948
9 	Toyota Yaris 	9836
10 	Mazda2 	9043

(currently almost twice as many Holdens on the road as Fords)

>      * praying Catholic.

1 out of 3 for "most common"?

Actually - Anglicans *are* Protestants (Reformed), so but for a bit of
ABS semantic pedantry Catholicism isn't the most "popular" Australian
branch of "Christianity". But I digress...

> To the conventionally-minded then, adopting Linux would seem as
> unconventional as voting for Bob Katter's party!

Most common phone platform is? (it's Android by a long shot).

What we call "Linux" (kernel and userspace) is not what companies call
it when talking to consumers - and most "users" are purely consumers.
It's easier for the "conventional" to consume Sony, Google, IBM. As long
as the "respected brand" dwarfs the Linux product. So it's not so much
about converting "most" people to Linux - they already have (it
dominates their lives) - IMNSHO it's about:-
;making them aware they already use it
;incremental instead of radical changes (be prepared to start them on a
non-free mix, let them enjoy the product before giving them the "rights"

We (most of us anyway) like computers all most as much, or more, than
what we use them for. Most people aren't like us in that respect - they
buy them because they are a status symbol, and because they use them.
What they use is greatly determined by those around them. If their peers
use Android they'll use Android, it their peers root Android they'll
learn about Linux. Many people are aware of Linux - and interested, but
unless they can find a supportive peer group they feel comfortable with
they won't make the switch.

For most - our passion for Open Source is a boring waste of time.
Expecting most people to throw off the shackles of corporate oppression
and think for themselves is, um, an enterprise dependent on optimism
overcoming experience.

I suspect a more productive approach is to educate people about what
they can *create* with Open Source (code, multimedia, etc), and the
community. These are other things that Linux offers - without
challenging "conventional" norms.
Intellectual and informational freedom, and lower TCO are powerful
motivators - but the entire audience is the choir (people that want
those things don't need evangalists - or directions). Saving money will
appeal to some, but many are happy to pay others to do the work instead.

Kind regards

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