16 April 2007

Linux for Newbs :-)

Well, here's a change from the usual posts - I'm going to do a bit of a rant, I guess...
Taken from DistroWatch:

Speaking about downloads, here is an interesting piece of statistics found in the latest Linux Mint weekly newsletter: "Seven mirrors were made available for [Linux Mint 2.2] Bianca. Three of them counted 592,950 downloads." Linux Mint has been climbing rather dramatically on the DistroWatch's Page Hit Ranking statistics and the download figures -- nearly 600,000 (!) downloads recorded by just three of the seven available mirrors -- confirm the simple truth: many Linux users are looking for a distribution that works out of the box, without any post-install installation of device drivers, multimedia codecs and browser plugins. Linux Mint has delivered exactly that. And although the advocates of Free Software will not be pleased by this fact, there is little doubt that many computer users are attracted to Linux not because it offers the freedom to modify the source code, but because it's good, it's fun, and it's free of cost.

My thoughts:
How exactly does this "Linux Mint" help the overall state of free software? They are catering to new users, and perhaps by doing so, they are getting more "market share" (whatever that means). Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh, but as a whole, those "new users" are most likely lazy - they don't want to have to do any research on their own or figure out how anything works. Furthermore, since they're drawn more to the lack of cost as opposed to the open nature of the software, those users are almost certainly not going to be contributing financially to their distribution of choice. Maybe I'm missing something, but what's the point? So you've got users who are too clueless to help with development and too cheap to pay for it. Congratulations - I hope you're proud.

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15 April 2007

SlackWorld Feature!

For whatever reason, the guys over at The Slack World thought I was worthy of this month's "Persona Grata" feature, so they fired off a few questions and gathered some responses. You can find it on their home page (linked above) or go directly to the interview.

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