Ted Mittelstaedt said:
>>I agree that these 3 groups exist and that FreeBSD is probably not
>>appropriate for those in group #3. However, I think there is another
>>group that is not represented here. That would be those that are not in
>>group #3 because they DO care about understanding how things
>>work, but are
>>also not in groups #1 or #2 because, although they may be relatively
>>knowledgeable about computers when compared to group #3, they have never
>>used a non-Microsoft OS. Lets call these people group #4.
> That group isn't targeted by FreeBSD or Linux which is why I didn't
> include it. In fact there are several other groupings of non-Windows
> operating system consumers that you could make.
I agree that FreeBSD and Linux do not specifically target group #4.
FreeBSD does not for the same reasons it doesn't target group #3. I'm not
sure why Linux does not. Perhaps it is the whole
competition-with-Microsoft mindset that drives them to target the group
that is Microsoft's bread-and-butter.
> For the sake of discussion, your group #4 is too broad. Rather, group 4
> is divided into the knowledgeable non-UNIX users (4a) and the wannabe
> users (4b).
I agree that my group #4 was too broad. I was hoping that someone would
want to discuss this further.
> The Windows users that Linux 'converts' are pretty much 4b users. These
> are people who consider themselves power users, and know just enough
> to be dissatisfied with Windows. But, they will not make the effort
> to really understand how something works. Linux allows them to use a
> non-Windows OS without really understanding it, which is what they want.
> The 4a users, by contrast, may be attracted to Linux initially due to the
> ease-of-entry issue your bringing up. But they try it and find out that
> dumbed-down interface gets in the way just as much as the Windows
> interface. That's where I think the majority of new FreeBSD converts
> come from
> - people that started with Windows, outgrew it, tried Linux for a while
> got disgusted with the hand-holding, then went to FreeBSD and never
> looked back.
I think you're probably right. This pretty much describes how I came to
FreeBSD. I just wonder if there is some way to shorten the trip and take
Linux completely out of the loop. Looking back, I wish I had known about
FreeBSD sooner. It would have saved me quite a bit of frustration. I
think FreeBSD would have been a much better platform for me to learn UNIX
on because I wouldn't have had to endure a paradigm shift in order to
continue the learning process. However, I suppose that having used Linux
made me appreciate the fundamental quality of FreeBSD more than I may have
>>I think that projects like PCBSD are also targeting group #4 by lowering
>>the bar for entry into the "enlightened" world of BSD. Having installed
>>PCBSD a while back, I was impressed with the easy installation.
>>I, being a somewhat experienced FreeBSD user, would prefer more control
>>over the installation process, I feel confident in recommending PCBSD to
>>friends in group #4. This is something I had stopped doing with FreeBSD
>>because of the hand-holding necessary just to get it installed and
>>configured enough to be even remotely usable by someone with their
> The question you have to ask is: are your Group 4b friends who end up
> liking PCBSD eventually graduating to the full FreeBSD system? If they
> aren't, then PCBSD isn't meeting a goal of acting as a transition from
> Windows to FreeBSD.
I guess it remains to be seen as to which group those friends will fall
into. I have only recently started recommending PCBSD. If they turn out
to be in group 4a, then they will already be somewhat familiar with
FreeBSD and I will be happy to help them move into group #1. If they turn
out to be in group 4b, then I have made a mistake and created another
headache for myself.
> Now maybe PCBSD is going to have an independent future in it's own right,
> if so more power to it. But how will that help FreeBSD?
Since PCBSD really IS FreeBSD once you get it installed, if PCBSD attracts
a bunch of 4a users, it could help FreeBSD by strengthening the community
with valuable new members. If, however, it attracts a bunch of 4b users,
it could hurt FreeBSD by weakening the community with a bunch of dead
weight. Wether risking the latter is worth the former is something that
I'm not sure about.
> The problem isn't 'having what it takes' Most computer users who have
> sophistication 'have what it takes' The problem is WANTING to use what
I agree. I was including the desire to use what you have as part of what
> It takes a certain kind of person to be able to look at a big mountain in
> front of him or her that is in between him or her and something he or she
> and not be daunted by it, and to just do it. The majority of people are
> inherently lazy, and partway up that mountain will start making
> and end up never climbing it. They have the ability to climb it, but
> own laziness hamstrings their ability.
You make a good point here. I suppose this is what separates the 4a and
> Remember Aesop's fable about the Fox and the Grapes. Most people on the
> mountain when their own laziness gets in the way of what they want, will
> start spurning the goal. That is why there's so much hostility in some
> the Linux community against BSD. They of course claim it's because BSD
> ignores GPL as much as possible, but secretly it's because they know they
> are too lazy to put the effort into becoming well versed in BSD, and
> existence is a constant reminder of this.
Interesting analysis. I have noticed some irrationality to many of the
arguments made against BSD by the Linux community. I suppose you could
have something here.
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