* Charles McManis <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> [2004-03-06 11:48]:
> My less than complimentary thought is that they all suck, but that's only 
> because 99% of the developers who are writing code for *Linux/*BSD don't 
> really care about the "new user experience." They care about whatever it is 
> they are developing. 
> Thus the difference between say "standard install" from a FreeBSD distro CD 
> and sticking a Windows XP install CD into your computer is vastly different 
> in favor of the Microsoft product. 

OTOH, this is a good example of why I was initially attracted
to FreeBSD.  I would much rather know just what's going on
during an installation than knowing only that "Installation
will complete in 37 minutes..."  When I see that, my first
thought is, 'what the heck could possibly be taking 37 minutes?'
But, of course, I can't find out.  All I get are repeating messages
about how Windows XP is going to revolutionize my desktop experience.
What is that?  No, to most people, ncurses isn't as pretty as a
Windows GUI, but give me sysinstall anyday.

> In a weird and scary way I helped contribute to this because I worked at Sun 
> back in the day when Sun was doing a 386 based workstation and the folks who 
> worked in Chelmsford were trying to put a much better "face" on SunOS 
> (4.0.2). Like other people in the systems group I was fairly disparaging 
> about "gratuitous changes" to hide unnecessary things from the user (Sun East 
> had a splash screen with a "thermometer" display like you see in Win9x/NT/XP 
> these days. I didn't realize just how ahead of the game they were. I look 
> back today and realize I made a big mistake by not being more supportive of 
> their efforts.

It doesn't seem like a splash screen can really tell you
much about the quality of a piece of software or an OS.
> To your direct question, I think newbies should install something tha someone 
> they know has already installed and become experienced on. Otherwise the 
> initial frustration of not being to get anywhere until it "clicks" can really 

OTOH, the initial frustration may just drive you to
read the manual, a good idea when starting off with
any piece of technology.  My newbie experience has
been (while frustrating at times) supremely rewarding
due to the hard work of the folks that have put
together the FreeBSD documentation, official and

The folks here at questions are extremely helpful,
too.  Another resource that makes my newbie experience
a positive one.

> turn them off to the thought of Open Source based systems. A friend of mine, 
> an engineer, spent a really rough day trying to get FreeBSD running on his 
> laptop. Debian Linux however came right up. I've been more successful getting 
> NetBSD and FreeBSD running, but I've got a BSD background so don't count as a 
> "newbie" so much (grumpy old fart perhaps, but not a newbie :-)
> --Chuck

Yes, I would agree that FreeBSD is not for the faint-
of-heart, but it's also really not that 'difficult'
to use.  Again, some reading is NECESSARY.  If you
want an absolute lack-of-effort install, then yes,
perhaps Windows XP is a good choice of OS, however,
if you're curious about FreeBSD, which the OP obviously
is, then by all means, jump on in!  The water's great!

> On Friday 05 March 2004 00:16, Loren M. Lang wrote:
> > I am curious what some newbies experiences were with FreeBSD who have
> > have no unix experience before.  I have someone that I might be setting
> > up a unix workstation of some kind for and I'm debating whether I should
> > use FreeBSD or some Linux distro like mandrake or debian.  I will be
> > there most of the time to help if needed as this is for work and will
> > not be his home desktop, at least not yet.  He only have some experience
> > with using dos and windoze, but he does have some technical background
> > with computers.


There's another way to survive.  Mutual trust -- and help.
                -- Kirk, "Day of the Dove", stardate unknown
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