> In light of this, I would really enjoy seeing a "Ubuntu" like movement
> in the FreeBSD corner.
> What I mean is that it would be nice for my mother to install and use
> FreeBSD.
> I am not saying that a Windows user should be able to feel right at home
> on a box running FreeBSD, but a computer user should.
> The problem herein, i am afraid, lies not with FreeBSD(or any other BSD
> flavour), nor with it's community, but with the computer user.
> Most computer users see an operating system(and the application they run
> most) as part of a computer.
> How many people say "My computer is broken" when ยต$ Office doesn't start
> anymore.
> They don't care about which kernel they run, or which browser they use,
> they care about typing e-mail, chatting and watching youtube video's.
> (However sad it makes me that most people use less then 10% of the
> features/programs/potential/computing-power the computer came with, they
> do make sure we pay less for our components.)
> Even though I'd feel less "cool" or "nerdy" (which is basically the same
> thing ;-) ) if I'd run(or USE) the same OS as my 76 year old
> grandfather, it would be nice for him to be able to buy a computer for
> $20 less because it runs FreeBSD.
> To achieve this, there are two things that should be made easier:
> 1. Installing a basic desktop system(next to any currently installed OS)
> 2. Keeping the base system and ports up to date.
> And when I mean "easier" I mean it should be done without bothering the
> user unless you about to "rm -rf /" as root, so to say.
> Since most people never reinstall their computer, making it easier to
> install a basic desktop system won't help my 76 year old grandpa, but it
> will make it easier for unsatisfied Windows users to try FreeBSD.
> Besides, in making it easy to install a basic desktop system, comes the
> hardest part of any *nix like system: defining a basic desktop and
> collecting the basic/standard applications.
> It's hard just to pick either one Gnome, KDE or XFCE (or iceWM ;-) ) let
> alone mail-clients, internet browsers, IM, etc. etc.
> One of the advantages of using a descent operating system is the freedom
> of choice. However most users don't care!
> I am more then happy to tel anyone which e-mail client not to use (Lotus
> notes, outlook express, anyone else's neck hears standing up?), but I
> don't want to tell people they HAVE to use Thunderbird(I do tell them
> they SHOULD but that's different) or evolution etc.
> The problem is, most people don't want to make this choice either.
> And the circle of life continues.
> So basically, to make sure people will be using freeBSD (or any *nix
> operating system) it needs to be easy to install (So that
> PC-manufacturers will ship their pc's with it), a nicely filled standard
> desktop environment with lot's of youtube/chat/word process capabilities
> and "I won't bother you with it but i'm updating" functionality.

What you're talking about is indeed needed and does, to an extent,
exist; It's called PC-BSD, Ubuntu (as you mentioned) or even Microsoft

I think it's great that such things exist. (Yes, even Windows.) I
think it's great that they can help people, who would otherwise be
helpless, use a computer to get their work done. I even applaud the
efforts of the tyrannical Microsoft for largely accomplishing this
feat. Hats off to all involved! But it doesn't end here...

On the other end of the coin there is also a need for an operating
system which does exactly what I, the user, commands it to do,
regardless of what that could mean. For some things, I need a system
which trusts me, the user, to make the right decisions. Knowing this,
I must be willing to accept the consequences of my actions, should my
choices prove to be incorrect.

"If you prevent stupid people from doing stupid things, you prevent
clever people from doing clever things."

While one cannot throw any philosophy, in a blind fashion, at a given
problem, there is some truth to the statement. Both types of systems
are needed, and I sincerely hope that both continue to exist.

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