[vox-if] How'd it go?

Alex Mandel tech_dev at wildintellect.com
Tue Oct 24 17:24:49 PDT 2006

Christopher James McKenzie wrote:
> Bill Kendrick wrote:
>> On Tue, Oct 24, 2006 at 10:25:44AM -0700, Christopher James McKenzie
>> wrote:
>>> You would be adding a machine with the assumed responsibility of
>>> loading on Fedora Core, Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, and Mandriva
>>> ***whenever there is a major update***.  Also, you would need to sync
>>> with someone like me, who has the installfest media - or you would
>>> have to take over that also. It is of no use to demo a *version* that
>>> you do not actually have.
>> I'm not sure the Installfest (where time is limited, and installs can
>> take
>> a while) is the best place to be demoing flavors of linux.
>> At least, not to the people who have RSVPd and brought their hardware in.
>> Maybe we could have a machine up for non-RSVPd people to play with,
>> hands-on, without any assistance from the busy installfest volunteers.
> I don't know if you get the point of the idea here, Bill.  I think the
> general idea is so that people can get a feel of what they want.  I
> contend that people either don't care, or if they did, this will
> probably not be an effective solution.
> I once described distributions through an analogy as grocery stores (to
> someone who thought that a Fedora ELF binary couldn't work on his Debian
> install)  In brief, all non-specialty grocery stores carry almost the
> same exact products.  They just choose to place them in separate places
> and in different quantities.
> Any traveling shopper can walk in and get what they would have gotten
> from their local store.  However, things are in different places.
> Believe it or not, most people are perfectly happy getting linux on the
> machine and being about to use it.  Just as many people are fine
> wandering around the store to find the items they need as long as they
> have them in the end and then leave.
> Very few shoppers will demand that soda be on the left hand side of the
> store facing west.
> Realistically, if you are trying to get work done - it doesn't matter
> what distro we put on the machine, as long as it's some major one like
> Fedora, Ubuntu, Mandriva, or SuSE.
> I feel like a fascist saying this, but giving people the options with
> that much information in front of them is a mistake.
I think you have a good point. The hardest part I find is explaining the
choice of window managers. So it would be good to give them 5 minutes to
look at Gnome, KDE, XFCE and maybe another really commmon one.

I personally had a really hard time with this when I first started using
Linux and I still can't decide which to use. It makes a big difference
to a desktop/gui oriented user because it changes the whole feel of the
When my friends use Gnome they get completely lost trying to open a web
browser which has a gigantic globe icon, but for some reason they can
handle kde's menu. I don't find as many people willing to wander the store.

The other major consideration is graphical package manager. Synaptic was
a life saver for me. I can search the descriptions of packages to try
and figure out what program I need. Oddly enough we usually blow through
  rpm and apt commands during the installs because it's more efficient,
but thats because we know what we're looking for. I make sure that I
show Synaptic to anyone I help with Ubuntu installs but I'm not very
familiar with the rpm managers, is Yum the prefered?

I don't even think I'm the norm either, I spent 5 years, and had to try
4 different distros before I finally dove into really using Linux more
than a couple of days a year. But I happen to be a computer hobbyist and
a huge fan of open source, so I had motivation.

And of course we can always say, try this one out. If you hear of
something else later that you think might be more of what you need you
can always switch. This does leave the question of whether /home should
be separate partition to facilitate changing flavors easily...
>> And I'm happy to link to as many of those as you'd like me to,
>> on the IF webpage. :)
What's a good for one with simple explanations about popular distros?

And I'll leave that as my rant for the month,

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