Fortunately for me, I'm a hardened Windows 98 user.
I think Linux as a system for ordinary folks is a bad idea. And it irritates people who knwo a bit about computers, too.
Here's some random opinions and ramblings of mine on Linux:
- "Where the Hell are the .exe files?!?" Despite continued exposure to Linux at school, I'm at a loss to locate them. The closest I was able to find were .rpm files that actually do something productive when clicked. All else are shortcut-like icons, I don't where they point to, though.
In Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems, executable files are marked by their attributes, not by their extension. If you do an "ls -l" you should see a column filled with "r"s, "w"s and "x"s. Those are the file's attributes, "r" for readable, "w" for writable and "x" for executable. If there's an "x" beside the file then it's executable.
At any rate, this is pretty much irrevelant anyway since a "Joe sixpack" user is just going to use the package manager to install programs and their desktop environment to run them. Still, if you absolutely positively have to see where your executables are, they should all be in the /bin directories (/bin, /usr/bin, /usr/local/bin, etc.)
- I just want to meet the person who came up with the naming scheme for folders in Linux. Hell, even Microsoft realized that capitalization of some of the letters is aesthetically more pleasing than cryptic stuff like 'bin' ("What bin? Is this the Trash directory?"). Badbadbadbad. And what's the point of adding 'hd' in front of drive letters? I can figure it out whether it's a hard drive! And if I can't, would I care?
No, you shouldn't. You shouldn't be messing with that sort of thing anyway if you don't know what you're doing, and with modern Linux distributions you won't have to. Just stick to managing the files in your home directory and let your distribution's automated functions handle the rest. Actually, I'd say that giving the vital system directories cryptic names is a good thing, as giving nice, friendly names to that sort of thing encourages users who don't know what they're doing to start poking around there, which can seriously mess up the system (if they're logged in as root, that is.)
- The console should be linked with a name like 'Don't Touch' or 'Danger'. What genius thinks typing in commands is better than clicking stuff? Commands I must memorize, too. Another thing is that some stuff can only be ran from the console -- what gives? Seriously! Why do installed applications seemingly integrate themselves into the system, make themselves their own console commands?
If a program is installed to the right place, it'll be runnable from the console regardless of what your current working directory is. I don't see what the problem is there. As a matter of fact, back in the old DOS days I'd often do that sort of thing manually, moving frequently used programs to a special directory in my path so that they'd be more easily accessable. As for being "forced" to go to the console to run certain programs, that can get annoying, but it's becoming less and less of an issue with modern distributions. Whenever I install a program, it's pretty much always automatically added to my Gnome Applications Menu, and I use Gentoo, which isn't a distribution known for its user-friendlyness.
You really should give the console a try, though. Sure, there's a bit of a learning curve (although you don't
need to memorize everything. Just type "man <programname>" and you'll get a listing of all the options for whichever program you want to run,) but once you get the hang of it a lot of things are easier that way. The way I see it, using a GUI, fiddling with buttons, menus, sliders and the like, that's work. I have to physically pick up my mouse and do whatever needs to be done, however many times it needs to be done. When I'm using the console, on the other hand, I'm just telling the computer what to do. The language I need to use may be a bit awkward, but untimately it'm much less of a hassle to do things that way, especially when it needs to be done more than once or when I need to chain a few different programs togeather, two things that are very easy on the console but pretty much impossible with a GUI.
- Why do I have to watch all that ASCII crap shuffle on the screen when I turn the computer on? It's not like I need to read it if it all starts correctly, anyway. See, I wouldn't mind error reports, but why should I care for every bit of useless info the system can dump on the default output? Can't it give me a line like, 'Everything OK. Starting OS.' and be done with it?
Most modern distributions hide that sort of thing from you anyway these days, or at least can be set to. Which distribution are you using, anyway?
- It's slooooooooooooooooow. And eats a lot, too. What does it need all that RAM and processing power for? I wouldn't even mention the GUI being slow, you see, graphical interfaces tend to be like that. The problem is that the console itself has visible typing slowdown. What gives?
My experience has been the exact opposite, with most things being faster in Linux than in Windows.
- The games on some distibutions are cool. Frozen Bubble!
No arguments there.
- It needs a special partition to run 'smoothly'. Exactly, how many normies can actually operate fdisk? One in a thousand? How many knwo what a partition is? Not a lot more, methinks.
Again, this sort of thing should be handled automatically by your distribution's installation program. If you're using a distro that's actually geared toward desktop users, you should never have to touch fdisk.
- Linux is not any more stable than Windows. I managed to crash it a dozen times. It all depends on the user -- if the user knwos how to handle a system, it won't crash.
I'd really like to know what you were doing when you managed to crash a Linux system...
- When I push the 'Reset' button Linux frequently damages itself somehow. I don't knwo how. It just displays error messages, something pertaining system damage or disk problems. What kind of effing system doesn't tolerate a hard reset? Hard resetting is not a hobby, it's a way of life, for God's sake!
Again, if you're using a modern distribution that makes use of one of the journaling filesystem this shouldn't be an issue. Running chkdsk on a hard reset in Linux is equivalent to running ScanDisk on a hard reset in Win98, and with more recent versions of both Linux and Windows neither are necessary.
- Mount? Unmount? What is that for? Can't the system just assume that if it's plugged in then it's mounted? Sheesh.
It can, if you set it up that way, and most modern distributions geared toward desktop use automatically do set it up that way.
Now, before you take the above as a personl insult, don't. I hate Linux, not its users. I still think you lot are a coupla beans short of a full bean bag, but no, I don't hate you.
Thanks for reading!
It's obviously been quite a while since you used Linux last as nearly all the problems you mentioned have long since been fixed. Maybe you should give it another shot.