"Last Friday in this space I took Mark Kellner to task for an
article he wrote in the Los Angeles Times about a two-week
experiment with Linux. At bottom, it seemed to me that two weeks is
not enough time to tell anyone very much that's useful about Linux;
even if one were in an enterprise and an expert came in and set it
up and trained the brigades, it would probably be more than two
weeks before people became sufficiently accustomed to it to form
the beginnings of valid opinions. Qualitative issues aside, Linux
and Windows are entirely different, and skills gained in one do not
translate to the other."
"In the days since that column appeared, Mr. Kellner and I have
exchanged email. He's not an unreasonable guy. Nor is he clueless.
Our communication has caused me to revisit a question that I (as
many other Linux users, I suspect) have avoided even trying to
answer: what is an orderly way of giving Linux a fair trial? What
should we tell friends and associates who are thinking of taking
our favorite operating system for a spin? What are the minimum
requirements that a would-be user must meet?"
"With that in mind, I'm now going to try -- with no idea whether
I'll succeed -- to figure out the advice I'd give to those who are
not especially computer savvy, but who want to explore Linux for
whatever reason, from wishing to be trendy to support of the idea
of free software to a dislike of Microsoft. Mostly, I want to see
if such a thing can be done without asking a great deal more of the
user than is required by whatever came on the computer. Here
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