SJVN Reviews Ubuntu 11.10

“I think you get the first great, unique Linux desktop. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a great desktop for hardcore Linux users. But, it is great for Linux newcomers.”

see SJVN

I don’t see that. I have introduced thousands of newbies of all ages to “old style” GNU/Linux desktops and newbies had no special problems. They were sufficiently familiar with that other OS that very little training was required. It’s a GUI. You poke around with the mouse and figure things out. Kids love that. Adults less so. How is a totally unintuitive desktop great for newbies? I don’t see being unique as a desirable property of a desktop OS. Newbies may or may not have some experience with a GUI. If they have experience, it is useless with Unity and all has to be relearned. Of course some of us love exploring but the vast majority just want to get the job done. Also, if the old guys don’t use Unity, how are they going to teach the newbies?

Maybe I am too old but change for the sake of change is not an improvement. There are hundreds of millions of GNU/Linux newbies who have been using XP for years. Why make migration to GNU/Linux more difficult? There are hundreds of millions of new PC owners coming on-stream shortly. Why separate them from us old guys?

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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7 Responses to SJVN Reviews Ubuntu 11.10

  1. Contrarian says:

    “Many Android/Linux phones have been demonstrated to do “desktop”-like things: watch a movie, browse the web (definitely not telephony)”

    The truth be told, the phones do not do those things very well and you have to really stretch the truth to suggest that is what people use desktop computers to accomplish. If you are going to watch a movie, it would seem most likely that you would watch it on a large TV, if not in a theater. Certainly the notion of watching it on a tiny screen such as provided by a phone is way down the list of user experience satisfaction. If you are mobile, you are likely outdoors and in motion and watching a movie in that mode is rather rare anyway. Better to watch the road.

    Putting an office suite on a phone seems kind of dumb, too. Office suites are for composing and analyzing, not for one-fingered text composition. You can get by with a lot less, I think.

    I don’t see where these devices even support big displays although some apparently have USB ports that would allow a keyboard and mouse in a pinch. Lugging that stuff around seems to defeat the purpose of tiny and mobile, though.

  2. Many Android/Linux phones have been demonstrated to do “desktop”-like things: watch a movie, browse the web (definitely not telephony). Many ARM CPUs on which Android/Linux runs have power similar to x86 CPUs from 5 or 6 years ago. e.g. Dual-core 1gHz is like a 2gHz single-core notebook of that era. Therefor, they can do the job and they can do the job much cheaper because there is no licensing fee of ~$100 and the ARM chip costs less and uses less power so less PSU etc. Therefor there is no reason not to intrude in the “desktop” space. Indeed the Motorola Atrix, docked, functions much the same as a notebook PC. The all-in-one PC can simply replace x86 with ARM and succeed as can thin clients. There is also less need for x86 thick clients as more use is made of servers. A key factor is video. Thin clients still need very powerful server resources to do it but we have seen ARM do video quite nicely so for consumers, ARM in thin clients is probably a way off but everything else can be done now. I note LibreOffice is being ported to Android/Linux and made a web application as well.

  3. Contrarian says:

    “Android will likely be on more FLOSS desktops than Ubuntu ”

    Android is currently at 0.00% on the desktop, #pogson. Where do you get swuch hopeful news?

  4. oiaohm says:

    TroRa learn todo numbers. Yes remove android from Linux total numbers.

    121,508-66,894 54614 2011
    81,701-17,940 63761 2010
    63,773-1,269 62504 2009

    There was growth all bar 2011. Remember those are in thousands. Also it partly makes sense for the drop. N900 nokia Linux phones reported to websites as debian same with a few other Linux phones on the market.

    Also the introduction of the android tablets has had an effect.

    Debian decline was perfectly expected in the numbers when Nokia openly back stabed there Linux phones.

    The numbers are telling a very interesting story. Particularly how big Linux was on phones before Android.

    Really in a long term battle if Android wins. Android will be simpler to compete against than windows.

  5. Android will likely be on more FLOSS desktops than Ubuntu for sure but at least it’s not that other OS.

    The GNU/Linux desktop works for many millions. It will be around for a long time as will I.

  6. ThoRa says:

    “Shot through the heart and you’re to blame
    You give Linux a bad name
    (Bad name)
    I play my part and you play your game
    You give Linux a bad name
    (Bad name)
    Hey, you give Linux a bad name”

    Bon Jovi knew it back then. I feel your Pain, Mr. Pogson, I really do.

    Well, don’t be sad. Wikipedia’s statistics indicate that Ubuntu is losing out:


    From 0.67% to 0.43% within 2 years! Overtaken by Android. So sad.

    But you know what’s even sadder? Debian’s decline! From 0.10% to 0.02%!

    There’s a real danger of you becoming extinct, Mr. Pogson. Along with the Linux Desktop, which is dead.

  7. Bob Parker says:

    I have to agree. Until Unity came into being the Mac had the most loathsome desktop I had ever used.

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