Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Tue 31st Oct, 2006

Brief notes on a working laptop

I'm still working on my page about installing Fedora Core 6 on a Dell Inspiron 6400. That will contain all the bits and pieces I've had to do to get it working to my satisfaction. But I have to say at the outset I've been very happy with how easy it's been to get working most of the things a laptop should do.

In my opinion, we're now at the stage that if Dell did the same process of installing, configuring, patching and testing on a modern Linux distribution as they do with Windows XP Home, the user would get the laptop with the same amount of functionality 'straight out of the wrapper'. Imagine that - an everyday person with average, non-technical experience with Linux, just opening it up and everything working just as it should. This is what Windows XP and OS X try to ensure, and for Linux it's really starting to become a reality.

Of course, we'd still need to train people. Scarcely anyone these days is completely computer-agnostic - they all have some prior experience, and that's usually Windows. The desktop experience may be quite similar, but it's not the same, and we do need to provide easy ways for people to get used to the different technologies 'under the hood'. Applications install in fundamentally different ways. The drive is layed out differently. Even simple things like training them that they use Evolution instead of Outlook and FireFox instead of Internet Exploder take time and patience. These are not difficult things; this is what the Make The Move project is trying to do. It takes time, but people are always adaptable. If you don't tell them it's a hassle, half the time they'll find it easy anyway.

(Make mental note: I must write the "Paul's friendly guide to finding your way around your new Linux system")

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