[PLUG] FOSS Activity and Non-Technical People

Mayuresh mayuresh at acm.org
Thu Sep 30 12:21:09 PDT 2010

On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 05:34:37PM +0530, Dnyanraj Mali wrote:
> source e.g. frequent blue screen, virus problems, software ones developed by

Precisely such are the things that will get a buy-in from common people
than any amount of philosophy.

I remember telling a relative about Linux, who was turning a deaf ear till
I said in last decade or more I had to never format my hard disk because
of a "crash"... The person was just overawed with this... and at least got
into "ok let me try" mode.

Stability, security, efficiency, flexibility, ample choice of software for
a given functionality - that too inter-operative so that you do not have a
lock in, easily available updates, time to wait before an issue gets
fixed, vast community support in simple matters related to setting up and
using the software and of course supporting points like illegality of
pirated software, costs otherwise etc.

On each such aspect some digests (appealing examples etc) are needed for a
non-tech person to understand.

Also needed at times is some convincing about "different" does not mean
"difficult". Most users who get acquainted with one certain way of doing
things don't like to visit a learning curve again and mistakenly call the
new thing they come across as "difficult" to use.

I have read somebody's experience in some forum where this person
introduced his elderly family members who had no prior exposure to
computers with Linux computers.  After a few months of getting used to,
when they had to use Windows for some reason, they found many things
awkward. First thing they said was "What do you mean I have no home


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