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Rant Mode Equals One: Majority Rule

[ The opinions expressed by authors on Linux Today are their
own. They speak only for themselves and not for Linux Today.
]

By Paul
Ferris
, Staff Writer

Picture a seething crowd pounding at the door of your office.
This isn’t your everyday crowd, like you might see in a movie
theater. No, this is a mob. The mob is mindless. The mob is
demanding. The mob thinks with a common thread. The mob wants
Windows.

They are bashing your door down. Lead by a team of Pointy Haired
Bosses (PHB)s, They close in on you. No Unix! No Mac! No Linux!
They scream at you. They close in further…

You awake in a cold sweat.

No, it’s not a nightmare, it’s reality. I’m going to get
severely flamed for this one but I can’t help but point it out. The
people that are demanding Windows at work are usually the ones that
are most clue-less about things that you are not.

That is, if you live your life as an administrator.

As an admin, you have basically three responsibilities:

  1. Make sure things work.
  2. Make sure nothing gets stolen.
  3. Make sure everyone is happy while conditions 1 and 2 are
    met.

Not than 1 and 2 aren’t challenging, but it’s number three
that’s impossible.

No one is ever totally happy. There’s that MBA in cubicle 3 that
is sure that the best server operating system to run is Windows,
even though the most networking she’s ever attempted in her life
has been hooking up the answering machine at home. When she talks
to you about computers, she explains in small child talk, and
sarcasm, how you are not using a modern operating system when you
can’t do it all with a GUI.

Yes, the armchair quarterbacks are always baffled at your
seemingly endless quest to make your job more difficult. They know
it, you chose Unix as your server OS because you wanted things to
be more obfuscated and difficult. Not because it is more secure,
less expensive, more stable, or any of the other positive reasons
to choose it.

Forget that they couldn’t last 5 minutes in your shoes. Forget
that they don’t have the understanding of computer equipment and
software that you do. Forget all of that, because they have fired
up Excel and Powerpoint at home, and made an OLE presentation. Even
if they lost a few hours work, and experienced crashes attempting
it, they know that the company should depend upon that software
everywhere.

Folks, this is why Linux must become idiot-proof in setup mode.
This is why easy Linux installation, although not the pinnacle for
the true geeks in the audience, must be embraced. Why? Because if
the masses can’t install it, and run it at home, then they will
assume that you are an idiot for not running it on mission critical
servers at work.

Microsoft marketing people understand this inherently. They know
that a lot of IT shops are driven to use Microsoft products by the
masses. The mob. We must not bash brain-dead Linux users. Those
same users are going to be coming into work and demanding Linux
there if they have it at home.

Either that, or make some way to overrule the majority. If we do
it that way folks, we’re no better than Microsoft. That’s pretty
dawgone low. I know even I am not going to root for us if it starts
to go that way.

Which one do you think is going to work? Let me know, I’m taking
a vote 🙂