Convince me, please!
keramida at ceid.upatras.gr
Wed Aug 15 12:39:59 PDT 2007
One of the best emails I've seen as a reply to a user coming from the
Many thanks for taking the time to write all this :-)
On 2007-08-15 03:14, David Southwell <david at vizion2000.net> wrote:
> I see where both sides in this argument are coming from.. basically a
> lack of understanding of the others point of view. As a user of
> multiple operating systems..Freebsd, Windows 98, 2000, XP and XP 64,
> Linux and apple I thought i might throw in a remark or two which is
> intended to help a newcomer to a freebsd world.
> First lets think of the MS windows user. As a newcomer to a unix OS,
> such as freebsd, you are faced with two very large sets of challenges
> or, as I would like you to think of it, educational opportunities.
> Because the vendor of the operating system is also the vendor of major
> applications, including its most commonly used browser, office
> applicatiions and compiler systems non-technically minded users do not
> easily have a clear grasp of the distinction between the roles of an
> OS and the role of applications. To use any Unix system effectively a
> clear and reasonably detailed understanding of the way applications
> interact with the operating system is essential.
> For its own commercial reasons Microssssoft are keen to blur that
> distinction in the minds of its users to maintain a false notion that
> only MS windows can fulfill its user's needs.
> Secondly because MS windows operates in a commercial environment it
> fosters a dependency culture in which you pay for your OS, you pay for
> your applications and in return you EXPECT a level of support and
> therefore users are not encouraged to extend their capabilities beyond
> understanding the applications they use.
> In the freebsd world most applications and utilities are there for
> installing without charge. The users include people who develop and
> everyone partakes in a foem of voluntary mutual support. It is a world
> in which expectation of support is anathema and in which a combination
> of striving for greater personal comeptency and voluntary sharing of
> knowledge and responsibility is the dominant ethos.
> So if you plan a move to the unix be ready to learn to build a greater
> understanding of how the operating system works, how applications are
> installed and maintained and above all to realize your basic needs
> will not be fulfilled in the same way as they are fulfilled in MS
> windows and that that you will need to put in a lot of effort to
> understand how to benefit from the much greater opportunities provided
> by OS's such as Freebsd.
> So your first first set of educational opportunities are to learn how
> reconstruct your expectations and to construct a set of relationships
> that will work for you in a unix world.
> The second set of educational opportunities are to study the
> practicalities. You need to decide the basic things you need to get
> on board freebsd. You need a browser.. that is no problem there are
> many to choose from .. you need office tools well there is a complete
> office suite. Whatever you need there will be a tool for you and the
> choices are a rich but usually free!!. The draw back is being faced
> with the challenge of learning how to choose.
> That is daunting challenge and those of us who are familiar with unix
> system, and accustomed to communicating with other freebsd users, are
> often guilty of failing to understand that people who come from an MS
> Windows find the terse ways in which we tend to communicate to be
> My suggestion to you would be to proceed without risk. Dabble with
> freebsd alongside your MSWindows system until you reach the point at
> which you are ready or not (as the case may be) to change over
> completely. You do not need the latest hardware to get started.
> Freebsd is much less bloated and, in that respect, more efficient than
> MS windows. Follow the instructions and play with the system and see
> where you want to go with it. Like countries all IT systems and
> applications have their own language. MS windows has its own language
> !! Every territory has a language needed to discuss its inhabitants
> understandings. If you use the pejorative term jargon to describe a
> language you will need to learn you will never learn to adjust. I
> recomend you treat this adjustment process is an educational
> If you are not willing to learn the words that describe how a world
> that is new to you functions then, like a immigrant in a foreign land,
> you will not feel you understand either the practical systems or the
> cultiure of your environment.
> You will not find anyone here wanting to sell you the system!! The
> unix world does not work like that. Those of us who have used unix
> since before MSDos was developed do not easily realize just how
> difficult the adjustment can be for those whose experience is limited
> to MS windows. Forgive us if we seem terse or harsh at times. Our
> tendency is to indicate resources and trust that others will put in
> the effort to use those resources to solve their problems. That is
> because we have learned that way ourselves and trust the process. The
> adjustment to this way of thinking is not an easy path for newcomers.
> Good luck
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