Weblog:   Open Source vs. Mac vs. Windows
Subject:   support...
Date:   2004-02-09 03:45:23
From:   jwenting
What sets companies aside from the Linux "community" is support.

While there ARE good Linux users, many of the hardcore ones have only utter and complete contempt for those who are less proficient than they themselves.
I believe it's called a god-complex?

When asking for advice on getting something to work at all (let alone properly), the typical answer will be something along the lines of "RTFM, noob", in other words "don't waste our time and go play elsewhere".
Of course the manual referred to is the manpage of the program in question, which is all the documentation the gurus claim is needed for a perfect understanding of the operating system and its concepts.

Now, if the system were as userfriendly in its installation and use as is Windows or MacOS (for the average user) there would be little problem with such an attitude (how many people call Microsoft tech support asking how to get their printer to work?) but Linux is anything BUT that simple.
I spent 5 months (from september last year to january this year inclusive) attempting to get my laptop set up with Linux.
After about 3 weeks I stumbled upon a website that gave me some crucial hints which got it working, sorta.
I still had no network and the video was unstable, but at least I got a prompt where I could type the reboot commands when things went bad again.
Then I found out that the source for my troubles: the network, USB and video modules I needed depended on incompatible versions of core libraries AND were broken in different versions of the kernel.
In other words, there would be no way whatsoever to get the machine working at any time.

I decided to pull the plug at that moment and reinstall Windows 2000.
Not needing any support from anyone I had the machine installed, running, and fully updated with all needed servicepacks in under 2 hours (most of which was spent waiting while it copied data from the installation CD or the internet).

I've been working professionally in IT since 1997 (and as a hobbyist and student since the late 1980s), and I can't get a simple machine (no ultramodern hardware, it's 4-5 years old) working despite knowing my way around the only source of information available: the internet (and that with a second machine running Windows to access that information, remember one of the problems I had was with networking...).
How is someone who has no other computer connected to the net, no experience with arcane command prompts (mind, I like command prompts but many people have never seen them and don't want to), and not versed in the spitting inside sourcecode and logfiles going to get even as far as I did?
If they give up in frustration after a day or two I can perfectly understand that.

1 to 2 of 2
  1. support...
    2004-02-10 03:12:30  sequitur [View]

    • support...
      2004-02-10 21:08:07  techcynic [View]

  2. support...
    2004-02-09 09:00:20  jinjelsnaps [View]

    • support...
      2004-02-10 03:44:48  sequitur [View]

    • support...
      2004-02-09 11:49:15  cascadefx [View]

      • Linux support...
        2004-02-09 15:04:52  klinux [View]

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