Forum OpenACS Development: Re: New linux distribution to replace defunct RedHat consumer?

Some interesting followup points:

* True Fedora will continue to support - but no up2date system

* HOWEVER, Ximian has indicated that their red carpet updater will continue to channel the appropriate updates.

* Speaking of Novell subsidiaries, Novell buying SuSe (and IBM investing on Novell on condition of that purchase) makes SuSe look sensible.

* Red Hat's chief executive tells consumers to buy Windows instead of running linux, makes RedHat look stupid.,39020390,39117575,00.htm

Interesting times we live in!

Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Unfortunately, while Szulik (Red Hat CEO) could have explained it a lot better, his basic point that Windows is still a better choice than Linux for most home users is, unfortunately, probably correct. This has nothing to do technically with Linux vs. Windows, though.

Fact is, I have more than a few computer-clueless friends and family. Linux is far and away better than Windows, yes I think that's true. But would I advise those particular friends and family to install Linux? No. Why not?

Generally, your only real resource for answering your questions and solving the problems that you really have are your peers who have similar problems, and maybe know a little more about how to solve them than you. Look at, say, my aunt and uncle in Florida. Like it or not, their peers don't run Linux, they run Windows. So counseling them to run Linux is to either sign myself up as their personal Linux help desk, or consign them to the hell of never having anyone to ask questions of at all.

Ironically, none of those home users want to have to deal with all this computer administration nonsense, they've just been forced to. It would be very nice if some service bureau offered a low cost subscription service (say, $15/month) that would really do a solid job of keeping your Linux desktop running, automatically answering all your, "How do I open this MS Word document?" questions, etc. Then I could just point people to that service. I'd hoped AOL might eventually offer that, but now I guess not. Maybe Lindows will become that, I dunno, I haven't been keeping track.

Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Hm, it's been a year and a half now, so it's probably worth asking this again.

Is there any Linux distribution and support service uitable for the completely clueless home desktop computer user? It has to be something inexpensive and dead-simple which Just Works, yet gives them, out of the box all the Internet browsing desktop bells and whistles the expect - Java, Flash, mp3 and mpeg players, etc.

Does Linspire meet those requirements? Last time I looked (when it was still called "Lindows"), they were having the desktop user log in as root - ugh, sorry, no way in hell will I recommend any system doing that. Is that fixed now?

Any Linspire competitors? (And any that are Debian or Ubuntu based?) Mepis might be the ideal Linux distribution for this, except AFAIK there is no one you can buy AOL-like support from.