One’s progress from extremist zealot to where I find myself currently on the spectrum of being pushy with Linux probably takes most people less time to figure out than what it’s taken me. Here’s a short musing about what I would’ve done differently.
It all started back when i was sick of throwing away the cpu cycles required to run the virus scanner software. How could I use a product that couldn’t fly of its own accord? I had been ignorant, and started looking around for alternatives.
I found Linux, and then found the time to install it and play with it about a year later. It had its quirks, but most everything I needed as a Mechanical Engineering either started in Unix-land, or had obviously superior alternatives (LaTeX, octave, gcc, etc) that usually took a bit longer to learn, but that produces beautiful results. By this point, my desire to help people switch was at a feverish pitch: they obviously didn’t know the goodness, and it must be simple ignorance and laziness keeping them from switching!
Anyhow, I tried to help a friend by forcing her to install linux on her laptop. Obviously, this failed. Learned lesson: some people DO NOT WANT!. They are happy with what they have, and don’t care at all about how things work or perform. By this point I tend to want to interject some warning about the poison of tradition, but staying in shade of safety is what some people are wired to do, and that’s fine.
These days my burning loathe of ignorance has simmered down into a flavorless paste of apathy. A few things helped me get there. A non-technical friend in DC uses Linux daily, and if I ever get bummed about people enjoying the rectal pwnage of the Corporation of Microsoft, I think of him and smile. People can change if they want to, and that’s true Freedom.
Also, recently, my musician brother started using linux almost exclusively. He loves it. He’s quieted down during the last bit in reminding me almost daily that he loves Linux, but that’s probably because he’s so busy. He’s getting proficient with ardour; his pro-linux rants are usually geared at how awesome ardour is , and how seldom it crashes (by comparison to his previous setup). He’s (unfortunately) getting a ton of use out of open office. He manages his principal professor’s personal website (WordPress) using Chromium, and aside from issues coming from Dell shoving crap hardware into their mini 12s, hasn’t complained of the same randomness we’ve come to expect from the windowsland.
Anyhow, I didn’t mean for this to be long-winded. I did want to conclude that I still harbor the sentiment that people are probably just too lazy to really embrace Linux today, and that’s fine. I’ve finally learned that Linux isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. The main thing I’d’ve done differently is not have been so pushy. I probably would still smirk and guffaw at the ungodly amount of ram it takes to run windows, or how I could blue screen their system remotely by sending them a well-crafted message, but I no longer hold it that everyone should be using Linux. Only the leet who care about computer performance and security should really use it.
Everyone else should get an apple :)