lunes, 25 de febrero de 2013

Some Thoughts on Learning, Freedom, and Operating Systems

Yesterday, after reading a novel, I decided to update my Pardus 2013 test system.  Well, it was more like an upgrade because I had Pardus 2012 Rc1 installed.  There were about 1GB of updates waiting to be done, so I started killing time while the updates got downloaded and installed.

First, I played some simple games.  Digger and Connectagram kept me active for the first 30 minutes.  While thinking to get my words right in Connectagram, I realized that I was doing something I had never dared to do during my Windows times.

You see, when Windows was downloading updates or patches, using the OS was out of the question.  Actually, that happened to my French teacher two days ago: she wanted to use the lab's PC, but was greeted by the unfortunate "Windows is installing updates" message.  It was 25 updates in total...and, according to the message, she should not stop the process nor turn off the computer until full completion.  She had to go to Plan B until Windows decided it was time for her to use the computer.  Unbelievable!!!

I must say I felt so free!  See, unlike my professor, who was running--or, better said, intended to run--a fully finished, commercial product, I was running a test system.  However, this Pardus (which is almost officially dead) is so stable that I don't mind using it as a production system.  While my OS carried on with its updates, I could go on with my normal tasks.  It is great to have an OS that does not restrain you!

When I finished playing, I dedicated some minutes to see the progress of the updates.  Again, I realized something.  I realized I have learned a great deal since my Windows days.  Now I understand a bit more about the different processes and components of my OS.  Of course, I am still far from being an expert, but I was glad to understand some of what was going on.

That made me think about Windows 8.  Now, fans of the newest Redmond's OS are using the same idea Linux users knew for years.  Windows 8 fans, when talking about Metro interface (I refuse to call that "Modern" because it is NOT!), say: "Windows 8 is good if you are willing to learn something new.

Oh, boy!  After so many years of telling people "why should you learn anything new with Linux? Better keep using Windows," these people are talking like Linux users at last! That's funny!

What's not funny is the unwillingness of many users to learn something new. Windows strategies over the years created a monster that now is giving their creators horrible headaches: most Windows users don't want to learn about their OS, and that's a fact. MS developers should have thought about that when trying to implement Metro so hastily.  That will also be true for Windows Blue and its rapid release ideology (another element from Linux that Windows fans loved to criticize!)

Microsoft, remember: Your users don't want to learn and hate change.  That's how you made them.  Forcing them into your new models might not be a good idea...

And to Windows users out there, good luck because a bumpy ride comes ahead!

I am glad I learned to be free!

1 comentario:

  1. I agree completely: M$ now has the daunting task of convincing users that, to use Win8, they must regard all the anit-Linux rhetoric as a lie. The problem is that I think it's too late: most Windows users refuse to learn about their systems and OS.