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posted by martyb on Friday June 30 2017, @10:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the thank-you-captain-obvious dept.

Bryan Lunduke at Network World calls out what other mainstream media have been too timid, or bought out, to call out. He starts by pointing out that choosing Microsoft Windows for your organization should get you fired and that if you haven't already replaced Windows, across the board, you absolutely stink at your job.

There. Finally the topic is broached in mainstream media and a proper discussion can now start among decision makers who can arrange complete migrations to GNU/Linux, Chrome/Linux, one of the BSDs, or a combination of them.

As Microsoft security problems continue to escalate since even the pre-networked, MS-DOS days, managers and front-line grunts will find themselves increasingly culpable for selecting unviable software, such as Microsoft Windows. If they wish to pay big bucks for maintenance, there are plenty of companies around to participate in the money. Canonical, Red Hat, M:Tier are just a sampling.

[Ed. Note: I debated whether or not to run this story — in some respects it's just the Windows vs *nix argument all over again. Also, there are proprietary programs which are critical for certain industries which currently only run on Windows. On the other hand, gaining a mention like this in the more mainstream media, does that mean we are approaching an inflection point? Witness the increased displeasure with Windows 10's telemetry and the difficulty in completely blocking it. What programs do you use that are only available on Windows? What keeps you from moving to another OS? --martyb]

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  • (Score: 2) by linuxrocks123 on Saturday July 01 2017, @05:05AM

    by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Saturday July 01 2017, @05:05AM (#533822) Journal

    Or, a tax on people who value their time and would rather spend it being productive than screwing around trying to get things to work.

    Whenever someone makes this argument, I have to wonder when the last time they actually tried running Linux was. I support multiple nontechnical users (family members, friends) who use Linux full-time. I support three machines for them in total, not counting ones primarily used by me and not counting the MythTV boxes. They're not constantly futzing around with the hardware constantly, and neither am I -- supporting them takes almost none of my time.

    Are there problems? Sure, but the problems are rare. Meanwhile, talking students through installing Alice (toy programming environment from or Chrome Remote Desktop so I can help them with some problem is often very frustrating. And the Mac students tend to have more trouble than the Windows students installing Alice, actually, because of MacOS's "we're only going to let you install software if Friend Computer has given it clearance" policy. The Windows students only need to figure out how to unzip a file.

    And getting a little off-topic, the single most important concept almost none of my non-tech students understand is files. My non-tech students almost universally have no clue whatsoever how files work. I say, "don't try to open the file from your web browser", and they don't know what that means. They don't know what it means to open a file from a web browser, or, alternatively, not to do that. From my interactions helping them, many of them don't understand that downloading and opening files are separate concepts.

    And this is important, because Alice doesn't register file associations, so they think they can't download Alice files, because they try to open them from the web browser and it doesn't work, and they then have no idea what to do. I tell them what they need to do is run the Alice executable and open the file from the program's open dialog box, but they often need to see it actually done before they understand what that means.

    So yeah: non-tech users really need dedicated training in the basic concepts of the file system. If they could get that down, I think they'd have a lot fewer problems when something marginally unexpected but not erroneous happens. They'd also be able to backup their machines like everyone always tells them to. I have some slides on files ... maybe I'll make it an actual part of the class next semester, like with homeworks and all. Hey, wait, it's summer: this is going on my todo list.

    I just taught a basic computer usage class as an online class. There's a painful bootstrapping problem with teaching students how to use a computer in a class where they need to use a computer to access the materials.

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