Linux and Main: Olden Days
Apr 15, 2003, 01:00 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)
"Is it the same kind of mistrust that leads some of us to think
that computer use ought to require some knowledge, that there is
danger in making everything too easy? That's a tough one.
"Today, just about anyone who cares to use Linux may do so.
There is little or no prior knowledge involved. It has probably
been a couple of years since the majority of Linux users had burned
a kernel. We're probably past the point where the majority of users
has compiled anything at all. Users can configure everything on the
machine without ever opening a configuration file in a text editor.
Linux is still a great platform for hackers, but you no longer need
to be a hacker to use and enjoy Linux (though to get the most out
of it, hacking skills are still a plus). Is this a good thing?
"Certainly, if gaining users is the goal, it is. But there is a
risk, that such an overwhelming percentage of users is drawn from
inexperienced computer owners that it will come to pass that Linux
is aimed only at them, as is the case with Windows today. What
happens then is that the pool of people who have the skills to dig
out of a problem becomes smaller. As, frankly, does the pool of
people who know how to get the most out of Linux..."