Latitude wrote:
I'm interested in changing over to FreeBSD from Windows, but I'll have
to say, you guys don't really present a forceful argument to Windows
users of how easy the switch may be.  I get knee-deep in FreeBSD jargon
the second I get to your webpage. I need to see an overwhelming argument
that FreeBSD is a perfectly acceptable alternative for home desktop
users who have previously known only Windows.

For instance, if I download and install FreeBSD, will I instantly have a
desktop windowing environment that I can navigate in while I figure out
what's going on?  Will I have a browser and way to setup an internet
connection right off the bat?  How will I migrate files from other
operating systems?

I understand you guys have been around for a while, but you don't seem
to understand the monumental "fear" involved in switching operating
systems.  You need to address those concerns head on from the start.  I
need to see several screenshots of apps that I can use as alternatives
to what I have.

A) I don't think the FreeBSD team is on a crusade to convert the masses.

B) If you want to try it, download the CDs, learn how to partition your drive or get a spare hard disk or buy virtualization software, and you can install it side-by-side with Windows to tinker and learn the OS.

C) If Windows is annoying you so much that you're driven to learn another OS, welcome aboard. If you're just hoping for a turnkey solution you may need to switch to a Mac, where you'll still have a learning curve.

I'm not trying to chase you away from trying it, but it's a fact that there's no way for you to just go out and get a "Windows that works". There's no instant fix to whatever frustrates you about your OS on your system. There's going to be a learning curve. Some are steeper than others, and UNIX has a heritage in the server environment and high-end workstation environments, and it shows. The whole "home user" bit was not a priority.

You may want to invest in a book or two from Amazone or B&N, or spend time reading the FreeBSD handbook, which you'll get as a response more often than you'd like on this list because most of your basic questions are answered there.

Really your best bet is to use virtualization software or familiarize yourself with dual-booting.

-Bart
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