[Ilugc] Re: ILUC Meet on Saturday

Arun Khan knura at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 15 23:08:49 IST 2008

On Monday 15 Dec 2008, ம. ஸ்ரீ ராமதாஸ்|Sri Ramadoss M wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 5:48 PM, Arun Khan <knura at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >> Isn't there a lesson in it? What a "User" expect is some one who
> >> sits and explains the way he has to use the software or a proper
> >> answer.
> >
> > Then they should be ready to pay some fee for hand holding.  IMO,
> > having the same expectation from a volunteer LUG group such
> We always site mailing list as a place where one can seek help. When
> one seek help it has to properly answered, whether it is paid or
> volunteered.

With so many forums, some specializing for newbies  with step by step 
howtos, a google search usually comes up with some solution; more often 
than not, this has been my experience.  In most lists, members are 
willing to help those who have tried to help themselves but when 
someone asks for "step by step" guide or repeats a query (without 
showing any effort on his/her part) that has already been discussed and 
solved, then it is not surprising to see "have you at least made an 
attempt to search for the answer?"  

I have also noticed that when end users are asked to give more details 
of their problems (with suggested tools) they just drop out of the 

> If a volunteered effort isn't going to be as good as paid one, then
> there is no wonder people considering it 'not for them'..

It is not possible to make everyone happy.  If some people feel it 
is "not for them," so be it.  Everybody does *not* have to switch.

Being a member of several LUG lists, I will say that the quality of help 
from FOSS/Linux mailings lists/forums is equal or better than the paid 
support especially when users have done some home work and then sought 

> >> not answers like google yourself first.. its there you take it..
> >
> > People who are not willing make *any* attempt to help themselves do
> > not deserve help from others.  These folks are *not* interested in
> > learning, all they want is a quick (and perhaps not so clean)
> > solution to their problem.
> I am not referring to Students or Computer Science Professionals.
> An end user.. We say we help you on mailing lists, When they come
> here, I believe We should not say, Google before you ask here.

IMO, mailing lists and even web forums are not the place for the end 
users to seek help, unless they are tech savvy due to their own 

Typical end users on the prop. platform go to the guy who installed the 
OS and the apps _or_ they ask one of their computer buddies to fix the 
problem for them.  Businesses, including small ones, typically buy an 
AMC to service their IT issues.  This has been my experience, I don't 
see them going to Windows forums to seek help.

> >> and proprietary people do not do that..
> >
> > Really?  MS charges $25-35 per incident for help (desktop OS) over
> > the phone.  More complex stuff - they refer you to their solutions
> > partner in your neighborhood.
> Off-course they do it for price. But they do it. They spoon feed for
> price.

Precisely, people should be willing to pay for spoon feeding service - 
there is no such thing as a free lunch.

To this end, I would suggest that there be a list of individuals who can 
spare time for hand holding (for a small fee).  A percentage of the fee 
can go to fund the various FOSS software projects and LUG activities.  
At the end of the day all parties should feel they are getting 
something out of it.

Arun Khan

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