[Ilugc] Re: ILUC Meet on Saturday

Arun Khan knura at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 16 00:34:46 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:
> >
> > 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 help.
> Well.. I just say at this point of time, in my experience,
> proprietary people understand a "User" better than FOSS people...

Well, the proprietary people build support cost in their products 
(assuming you have licensed copies) otherwise expect *no* support e.g. 
unlicensed XP do not get any security updates from MS.  Compare this to 
Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu ... there is *no* charge for updates.

Heck, for paying clients I also hold their hands to the extent of 
placing in house tech. support in their offices/factories.  Whereas, 
when people send me private emails seeking help I simply tell them to 
post their queries at the LUG mailing list or pay consulting fee if 
they want personalized hand holding.

The proprietary people work on the same principle - no money no support.

From software useability point of view, we have had minimal issues 
migrating people from MS Office to OpenOffice once we have trained them 
on how to use the equivalent features in OOo (see above comment).  I am 
not a graphics designer but I suspect for someone who is familiar with 
Photoshop it should not be too much retraining to use GIMP, likewise 
for other domain applications ...

On another angle, take Vista which requires you to invest in a whole lot 
of other software that are no longer compatible with it e.g. I can no 
longer use my lic. copy of WordPerfect Suite 2000.

> That dragged me to that previous statement..
> What "Users" (again not Students & Computer Science Professionals)
> want is Software that works on installation, do things that they
> expect and not pointers how to make it work..

If you are referring to clicking on setup.exe and answering a few 
questions to get the software going then I agree that it is a mind set 
change that is required to do it the "Linux" way (package manager) but 
this is also the bane wherein a lot of the problems creep in through 
end user tinkering with their systems w/o fully understanding what the 
heck they are doing.  I had one end user tell me their 5 Win XP Home 
stations were networked with out any TCP/IP settings!  Upon closer 
inspection I showed them that all their systems were getting IPs from 
the broadband router's dhcp service.

Arun Khan

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