Tips for installing windows and freeBSD both.. anyone??

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Nov 12 20:23:57 UTC 2010

On Fri, 12 Nov 2010 12:47:32 -0700, Chad Perrin <perrin at> wrote:
> This sounds a bit like a common problem with people thinking that
> Unix-like OSes are not "user friendly" because they're "hard" to install,
> a frequent protestations of people who like MS Windows because it comes
> already installed on their computers, and that they think is easy to
> "install" because of the recovery partition that resets the system to
> factory settings. 

No. "Windows" is easy to install because someone else does it. :-)
What, on the other hand, is not "user friendly" when everything
you have to do is to follow the instructions on screen?

> Comparing this with installing from scratch is an
> apples and orange comparison.

That's true of course. See a professional IT person that does
NOT have "Windows" knowledge it may also be complicated to
install "Windows" as he can't say from the (wrongly) used
terminology what the installer wants.

A sidenote from the german point of view: "Windows" installs
require the user to "press the input key" (Eingabetaste), which
refers to Enter, Return, or "arrow down and left". This is too
complicated for the average user as he does NOT know where the
"input key" is on the keyboard. (I've seen that one many times

> Actually, with the amount of Web browsing people do, the default GUI
> approach to using a browser is incredibly inefficient.  Some people begin
> to get beyond that when they start learning the rudiments of driving an
> interface via the keyboard, using the keybindings for the specific
> browser they use -- such as Ctrl+L to get to the address bar, typing a
> word like "blogstrapping" there, and hitting Ctrl+Enter to automatically
> add a "www." in front of that word and ".com" after it then load the page
> at the other end of that resulting "" URL.

That's not how average users do it. They first enter google's URI,
then enter the URI they want to access in the google search field
and finally click on the first restult - tadaa! :-)

Many users are not familiar with the browser they are using.
The functionality used contains address entry, bookmarks, and
File > Print. Did I leave out page navigation (back, forward)?
Yes, I did. This seems to be the reason many web pages do
implement that THEIRSELVES - read: the web page contains some
functionality of the web browser. Advantage: can run in full-
screen; disadvantage: adds complexity advanced users are not
interested in.

> Most of them never realize the significant efficiency benefits that could
> be realized by spending fifteen minutes (at most) learning the basic
> interface of something like the Vimperator extension for Firefox, or how
> to use a natively keyboard-driven browser like uzbl. 

Don't miss the integration of keyboard AND mouse - this is also
very useful for desktop opreations, as game developers have already
recognized this and adopted - often requiring a mouse with 16
buttons. :-)

> True, these are
> still essentially GUI tools in many respects, but with those keyboard
> driven interfaces they effectively become CLI/GUI hybrids, using commands
> to control a graphical display.  In even the most GUI-oriented tasks, I
> tend to find that at least some hybridizing with a CLI approach results
> in a massive efficiency and productivity improvement.

I've seen this when talking to a professional video editor: She
mostly used the (differently colored) keys of the keyboard to
perform the main operations, only very few times the mouse was
used. This made her work look like Magic and Voodoo at the same
time - for ME, a keyboard guy. :-)

> Good.  A principle I apply to my own consulting work, which is relevant
> is this:
>     A true professional works toward the day when he is no longer
>     necessary.

But when he is not needed, who pays him? ;-)

You are right: The professional should concentrate on the complicated,
interesting tasks that require his fast mind, his creativity and his
knowledge, while leaving monotonous tasks to others (e. g. "baby-
sitting users to click on this, on that, and reboot"). The more
GUI is "in the game", the more a professional seems to be required
to "dumb himself down" to aid the novice users (who do not want
to read or learn something), finally resulting in HIM doing THEIR
work. That just cannot be.

> Empowering clients is much more rewarding as a career path than training
> them to be unhealthily dependent upon me.

That's true. I'm always happy when I can talk to customers who
tell me: "I'm not frightened of the keyboard. In fact, I want
you do make the program react on keyboard input as I have to
enter LOTS of numbers continuously, and I want to be able to
automate certain things so I don't have to do that manually for
every of my clients." When I then see that people actually have
learned things, I see them being more professional - leading
to being more happy, as they have less work to do (because they
are now ABLE to DELEGATE this work to the computer). "Thanks
you showed me that terminal thing, but can you help me getting
this idea of mine working?" is a situation that can follow, and
I'm more than willing to help the customer getting the thing
done HIMSELF (!!!) instead of doing it FOR him - which would be
much more expensive. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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