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osOpinion: “We Teach Linux Too!”: The Dangers of Over-commercialization

[ Thanks to Kelly
McNeill
for this link. ]

“While enjoying my one-sided verbal bout with the radio advert
announcer, a phrase came out of the speakers that made my blood run
cold. It wasn’t just what he said, it was the way it was said. He
said it as if Linux were just another application, an afterthought
to the gallons of time he spent extolling the virtues of MCSE
certification. The tone of voice also suggested that Linux was some
sort of “quick-n-easy” thing, something to be learned in less than
an hour….”

“While I should have been grateful that Linux is mentioned as
often as it is, There is a danger here… if you promote Linux
as some simplified item, then the student will quickly be
disillusioned and frustrated when he or she faces Linux’ raw power
(and sometimes in its raw fury, especially if you screw up a
command as root.)
A disillusioned Linux student stands a very
good chance of becoming a hardened anti-Linux decision-maker
further on down the road.”

“In my own environment, I usually go out of my way to stress
that Linux isn’t something that can be learned in a day. It is not
impossible to learn its secrets, but once you know them (that is,
put some serious study and effort into learning them), the OS can
become a very powerful tool, one that will faithfully serve you
better than any other operating system alive. This is, in my
opinion, the best attitude a teacher can have while introducing a
novice to the Domain of The Penguin. A cavalier attitude, or worse,
an intimidating one that scares a student stiff, will do no
good.”

Complete
Story