Hi Dark,

Last message on this topic, but you are right about terminology. Its
often times not that the technology or in this case operating system
is so different from what you already know, many concepts cross over,
but if you don't have a decent understanding of the terminology being
used its easy to be confused and thus associate the technology as
harder, more difficult, or more confusing than you already know.

For example, lets compare the Linux graphical environment to Windows.
Unlike Windows where you get a single common shell and desktop
environment Linux has a number of graphical user interfaces called
desktops that look different, operate differently, and some have
specific applications that only work with that specific graphical
desktop and/or toolkit. This is, I,E. one of the differences, between
Linux distributions. One distribution might use the Gnome desktop,
another KDE, and another Unity. All of the desktops, graphical user
interfaces are certainly different, but they all have things in common
that is similar to Microsoft Windows as explained below.

On Windows you might have a number of icons that launch a program from
the desktop or Start Menu. On Linux most of the desktop environments
call them launchers, and although it is a different name its still
basically nothing more than an icon. Different name but same function.

Diddo for the Start Menu. On Windows when you press control+escape it
opens the Start Menu. On Linux pressing alt+f1 will open a menu. In
the Gnome desktop environment the main menu is called the Panel Menu.
In Unity it is called the launcher Menu. Same basic concept different
name.

All in all though all graphical desktop environments weather we are
talking Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, or the Linux desktop environments
all share common ideas, concepts, and even terminology that you should
understand once you see it in action so to speak. Linux has all the
normal things dialog boxes, push buttons, check boxes, radio buttons,
list boxes, context menus, and all the rest. Just slightly different
from what you already know and use every day.

Last but least you don't have to buy a different computer to try
Linux. Many distributions such as Ubuntu can be installed side by side
with Windows using a Windows swap pertition so you can switch back and
forth between them. There are also versions of Linux that can run
directly off of an inexpensive thumb drive or USB memory stick.
Although, it is slow, Vinux and a number of other distributions can be
run live directly off the cd. Its slower than installing it, but you
can run and demo the OS with speech, internet access,etc right off the
cd if it detects your hardware correctly. I've demoed Linux to a lot
of people just by letting them run it live off the cd drive.

Cheers!



On 7/3/11, dark <d...@xgam.org> wrote:
> Hi Tom.
>
> One thing I have noticed about alsorts of information technology issues, is
> that they fall into what the philosopher and logician Witkenstein called "A
> language game"
>
> This is a situation where so many unfamiliar and specific terms are used,
> only those in the know, those in the game so to speak, can understand them,
> and those outside the game have litle notion of what's going on.
>
> I've used windows for a very long time, and thus am familiar with things
> like what an exe file does, what a registry key is, what archives are etc.
> I'm certainly no expert, but I would say i'm familiar enough with the
> technology to have a reasonable discussion with other people.
>
> With Lynux though, it seems that all the processes change, and with them the
> terminology. Thus, when reading Lynux instructions, intended for advanced
> lynux users who are familiar with all of the terminology, I'm simply
> unfamiliar with the game.
>
> It's much like reading any advanced text book on any subject, there is so
> much specific terminology that only workers in that subject know, it becomes
> hugely difficult for anyone outside to understand without a direct
> dictionary.
>
> This does however make things rather inaccessible to those outside the game,
> which was actually Witkenstein's point.
>
> I think generally I wouldn't be comfortable with lynux until I'd had chance
> to play with a lynux system for a while, learn some of the terminology and
> try things out.
>
> However, obviously sinse that would mean completely abandoning windows and
> everything I have had experience of thus far, it's not a move I'd be too
> willing to make, and I imagine I'm probably not the only person in this
> position which might explain why people stil stick to using windows.
>
> Had I enough money to simply buy a new machine to play with, I'd probably
> try lynux, but as it is, I can only afford one desktop and one laptop, so
> wouldn't be keen on switching to something which I'd then have to learn to
> use without an alternative.
>
> I will remember though, and if I ever get the chance to play with a lynux
> system, as at one point I had a fairly long play with Jaws, i'll try it just
> for the experience.
>
> Beware the grue!
>
> Dark.

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