2011-03-26

Ubuntu: Even the Computer-Averse Can Use It

Yesterday, I was talking to one of my relatives (whom I shall refer to as $relative) about computers, and I inquired as to whether $relative was still using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" that I had installed on $relative's laptop shortly before I left for college. Do note that $relative is pretty computer-averse when it comes to anything other than using a browser or using a productivity suite. To my surprise, $relative said yes! I also asked if $relative's printing issues were sorted out, because the printer connected is made by Lexmark, and Lexmark printers play as badly with Linux as Broadcom wireless cards do (i.e. they don't mix). To my further surprise, $relative said yes again!
At this point, I figured $relative was switching to Microsoft Windows XP to print documents, printing from another (Microsoft Windows) computer at home, or just printing in school by means of a USB flash drive. To my total and utter shock, $relative countered that all printing was being done in Ubuntu on that connected Lexmark printer and $relative was able to connect and configure the printer alone, without help. Woah!
Not too long ago, $relative was unable to find and set up drivers for the Lexmark printer on Microsoft Windows XP, and I don't know how much has changed since then. Yet, on Ubuntu, it was totally doable.
What further surprised me is that $relative's laptop previously had Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope", with which I struggled long and hard to no avail in order to get it to recognize that printer, yet with an Ubuntu version just one year newer, a previously impossible task became darn easy.
I know now without a doubt that (a) Ubuntu is getting exponentially better with each release and (b) many user-friendly Linux distributions are in fact more user-friendly than Microsoft Windows. Would someone like to try to convince me otherwise?

7 comments:

  1. I have an ex-wife i still get along with who never bothered with computers till a few years back. Her computer knowledge consisted of literaly "the mouse thing moves the pointer and i know what the keyboard is for" She had no idea what windows was and no idea of what an operating system is nor how to use one. I decided to teach her to use ubuntu for various reasons and she has never looked back. When she tries to use her mothers pc which runs xp she gets fed up and says "Its so hard to use and you have no programs mine i just click and it works i hate this thing,"

    I do love ubuntu.....

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  2. Innocent BystanderMarch 27, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    Here is my "$friend": a person who, after two years, cannot still figure out when to single click , when to double click. The right-click is total mystery. This person doesn't understand why you can't just hit the power button to turn off the computer instead of selecting Shutdown in the menu. As a result, she never turn off, b/c she is not sure she remember the shutdown process.

    For this kind of user, a Windows machine will last less than 1 month.

    I installed her Ubuntu, but she still managed to delete the top panel. I guess she tried to do something and clicked on every mouse click possible. At the next upgrade, I will install her Linux Mint.

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  3. I'm not an Ubuntu user but I couldn't possibly agree more. Being a former Windows user all the way back from 3.11 to XP, I must say that once you really know Linux, you realize it is indeed friendlier than Windows. Of course, people think otherwise because they are used to their old ways, which sometimes are not the easiest.

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  4. I like the latest ubuntu. I like the feeling that it recognised my printer straight away and printed a test page without any fuss at all
    ...This above all gave me incredible confidence in it.
    Of course it will be better than windows, if it isn't already it will evolve to be superior in time....

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  5. @joeoshawa: That's something that some Microsoft Windows-promoters will never get — for someone who has never used a computer before, it doesn't matter what the first OS introduced is, because they'll all be equally [un]friendly.
    @Innocent Bystander: Honestly, those types are truly lost causes. Right-click and left-click confusion is fine, but not shutting down because you don't know what it means to shut down? That's bad!
    @Megatotoro: You don't really need to know Linux to know that it's friendlier than Microsoft Windows. $relative is a testament to that. :)
    @Anonymous: It's great to know that you were able to configure your printer easily and quickly.
    Thanks for the comments!

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  6. bla, bumtu's suck. there are other, easier to use linux distros, that are not poor coped clones of real linux distros. boooo, down with buntus....

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  7. @Anonymous: Could you please clarify your issues with Ubuntu? I am aware there might be other distributions that are easier to use, but could you please give me examples other than Linux Mint? And how can you be possibly contesting a genuine experience about which I have written here? Anyway, thanks for the comment.

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