Interview with Fred Miller

This is a very interesting interview with Fred Miller, a GNU/Linux evangelist.  I don’t know if you’ve all seen it, but it came to me by way of the “Linux and Lip Gloss Blog”.  Quite interesting, if you ask me.

My favorite part of the interview:

How long, on average does it take to train users on the new GNU/Linux system?

As I said, with SUSE Linux, most average Microsoft users are able to find their way around a system after a half hour or so. I have preferred SUSE over other distributions for a number of reasons, which include the great installation and administrative utilities, and that it’s the most complete distribution available.

One of the mistakes I think a lot of instructors make, is in the way they approach a class. They most often reinforce users fear my using terms like, “you’ll have to learn to……..” Or, “OpenOffice doesn’t look like Microsoft Office and creates a different format……..” This is ignorance! Users know it’s different before they even look at it. Why reinforce any fear or negativism? We can make a conversion to Linux a lot smother, if we get users to understand (once again) that ALL GUI’s basically work the same way. If you know one well, you can work with another just as easily. Trainers need to spend time showing users the really slick things Linux and applications for it can do, and never mind how something was done in Windows.

It mostly focuses on SUSE Linux, but I’m sure the same can be said about Ubuntu or Red Hat or whatever-have-you.  All that matters is that you’re using Linux; the flavor is less important.  That’s what evangelists have to get across.  The bickering in various IRC rooms about distros is juvenile and irritating, IMHO.  Same goes for the KDE vs. Gnome holy war.

Bolds are my emphasis.  This is an important point.  If people see the cool and shiny things that Beryl/Compiz can do, then there might be some converts.  Especially since the same effects can be gained with Beryl/Compiz as with Vista with lower computer specs.  This is important to me.

Just thought I should pass this little tidbit along.  It looked quite interesting.

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1 thought on “Interview with Fred Miller”

  1. That’s pretty cool. That bold section is the real kicker. I don’t know how many times i’ve said stuff like that, or warned people away because it might take a little more time to do things.

    My mother doesn’t do administration on her Windows PC. Why should i worry that administering a Linux PC would be difficult for her?

    Besides, if i set up SSH and other remote tools, i could administer her computer from home, instead of driving 100 miles out everytime her PC hiccups…

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