Introducing a friend to Linux must be the most frustrating and infuriating thing I’ve ever done, and I’ll not be in a hurry to do it again not because of deficiencies or unfriendliness on the part of Linux but because of the closed minded stupidity of people.
A friend of mine bought a laptop off of Ebay a few weeks ago which he told me was running windows 7 (which actually turned out to be XP) and one day for no apparent reason it refused to boot up with the all too familiar blue screen of death, he tried safe mode, last good configuration etc but it refused to boot, I suggested he remove one ram chip at a time and try that to see if it was a faulty ram chip, but that didn’t work either, so he contacted the guy he purchased it from who told him it was probably the hard drive and would send him another one with instructions.
In conversation I suggested to him that while he was waiting on the hard drive we could re-format the drive and install peppermint and see if that would run and if it did that would suggest the hard drive was ok, I explained to him that Linux is quite different from windows but if he sticks with it, he would end up with a faster, more stable and more secure laptop not to mention a spare hard drive
The following day he brought the laptop into work (minus the power supply) and I installed peppermint 3, I wasn’t able to set anything up because there wasn’t much time and we run out of battery power but I told him to take it home and try it and let me know if he has problems and I’ll try to help.
The following day the ensuing conversation took place
Him “I’m gonna have to put windows on the laptop”
Him “The missus can’t use Linux and we can’t get the printer to work”
Me “What exactly is she having trouble with” ?
Him “Well she said she used to have all her websites stored in Firefox but she can’t do it in Linux”
Me “ But she doesn’t have Firefox unless you’ve installed it have you” ?
Me “Well then she would have exactly the same problem with Windows it wouldn’t be any different, What’s wrong with the printer” ?
Him “It wont run the disc”
Me “What disc” ?
Him “The installation disc that came with the printer”
Me “That disc will only work with Windows I already explained that to you”
Him “ I think she just wants Windows, you know what women are like”
Anyway I offered no further help it’s a waste of time, but what was strange was I felt angry but why was I angry after all why should I care, it’s their loss, it’s the opening line in the conversation that angered me (“I’m gonna have to put windows on the laptop”), like the only possible solution to the problem was windows and no matter what I did or how good I made it work if it wasn’t windows she wasn’t gonna accept it and that was that.
So the moral of the story is I won’t be so quick to introduce Linux to a friend again because unless we can find a way to reformat, re-partition and in some cases completely re-install the human brain introducing a superior albeit different operating system to the closed minded will be nothing more than an exercise in frustration
Quite frankly they deserve all they get