4 Sep 2004 prozac   » (Journeyer)


Broad-sweeping statements are all actually pretty meaningless. "Linux users are..." That sort of thing. Since there are (WAG) 100 million Linux users there are 100 million different Linux users. However, we can look at basic facts and statistics to kind of get some insight into compter users. For example, when Linux began it was distributed through the Net and BBSs. "Linux users are hobbyists"? Well, perhaps. Because Linux became available for purchase on CDs (that is how I first got it). Then Linux became available even more widespread as RedHat, SUSE, et al. And at some point during all this Linux entered the server market and took it over. Is someone running an ISP who has a rack of Linux servers because it makes performance and economic sense a hobbyist? Most likely he or she is an entreprenuer. One thing that can be said of Linux users is that Linux users are Linux users by choice.

Windows users on the other hand, they had only the choice of MAC or DOS at first when PCs first became available. The ecnomonic system of going to the store (or catalog) and buying something has a phsycological "feel good" association to many people. ("What to you want for Christmas dear?" "A computer!") Millions of PCs bought from stores and catalogs--before the Internet--were either Apple or Microsoft. By the time of Redhat, SUSE, et al., many Windows users were fully ensconced with the idea that purchasing the PC with the logo and corporate jingle and installed software is somehow the only legitimate thing to do. Sure, for the longest time Linux was only discussed and passed around any never corporate-ized. Dad--knowing nothing about computers--would go to the store and never encounter Linux. But, by the time "Linux" got into most people's ears many Windows users were quite thoroughly brainwashed. (Which is why the RIAA, MPAA and BSA all have "kids" and "school" programs and agendas. Ever see Jack Valenti espousing the "goodness" of copyright to a class of grammar school kids? I have. It was deplorable--and sad.)

I think I can summarize the general differences between the hardcore Linux user and the hardcore Windows user like so:

When a Linux user flames a Windows user in a newsgroup it is most likely based on pride in himself and in the Linux community in general. (Pride is one of the seven deadly sins, but has its good points too. Re, "Pride of the Yankees" with Gary Cooper.)

Whan a Windows user flames a Linux user it is usually based on a fearful, herd mentality; and many times it has a viciousness too that is very disturbing.


In the early days on Linux, hardware support lagged Windows' for obvious reasons, and sometimes a distro just plain sucked, which, I am sure, turned off many a Windows user who was used to "easier" installations.

Reality is, of course, much more complicated than I record here. But perhaps there is something to these words. Perhaps not.

I am also a Windows user. But my other computer is Fedora. I also still own an S-100 bus CP/M computer, and a couple of Macs, and a couple of DOS boxes, and ....


I wrote this before posting in my own (silly little) "editor" I call Phase - a PHP Ascii Editor. There are more than a few editors written in hosted languages, but most are for programming or for part of a CMS or have WYSIWYG features. Phase is for straight text, plain text actually. I use if for writing stories and essays for publication where no formatting is wanted beyond for printing in a standard double-sided manner for sending to an editor.


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