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Alright you drooling idiots! August 3, 2007

Posted by Carthik in commentary.
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Jem Matzan thinks we technical writers treat you as stupid drooling idiots.

Do I? I can honestly say I don’t. I write for the competent computer user who has switched to Ubuntu. Anything that 90-95% of the people who formerly used Windows or Macs, and are competent enough to help others won’t be published here. Guaranteed. I can say that since I have a target audience of one – myself before I knew what I wrote here. I write so that, some day in the future, when I search for a solution to a problem, I get the pleasure that only a goojà vu (google + déjà vu :)) can provide – finding something you wrote as the result of a Google search is priceless.

There are some authors of blogs that write tutorials and guides that cover all and sundry. The installation of some software that should be pretty straightforward to install, and so on, ad nauseum. I understand that the pleasure of earning a check through Google’s adsense can be great, and I wish these authors good luck. There are also the book equivalent of these sites that really do treat Ubuntu users as dunces.

But Jem, what’s the problem with any of that? The world needed a “Linux for Dummies” – something that is inanely simple to install, setup, use and maintain – and that is exactly what Ubuntu is. Power users don’t need to fear it since it does not take away anything in doing that. So there you are – a Linux-based OS that is simple enough for the stupid and as (if not more) flexible and powerful than the best OSes out there. It’s not like there aren’t books out there that don’t address the intricacies of subjects that are technically complex. The wiki and the Official Ubuntu Book, not to mention all the documentation and books out there for Debian all address the power users’ documentation needs.

I was happy to read that article, especially the parallels drawn with how Mac users were once perceived the way the author perceives Ubuntu users now. I was happy because it is a sign that we are moving in the right direction – towards a “Linux for Human Beings” (regardless of IQ).

Comments»

1. Elaine - August 3, 2007

I’ve recently been encountering the opposite problem: I am working as an office manager and need to use Windows XP and Office 2003 after years away (using Ubuntu or Fedora Core). My most recent Windows experience is either 98 or NT. I’ve been very grateful for the online equivalent of “Windows for Dummies” sites to help me come up to speed quickly. When I have three things due tomorrow and only time to do two of them, I don’t have time to figure it out myself or plow through the convoluted Windows help.

2. Scott - August 3, 2007

Matzen’s attitude is something that I call the “power user delusion”. That occurs when someone who has a lot of experience with an app or an OS — especially at a technical level — thinks all (or at least most) and sundry hold the same views as them. But not everyone has Matzen’s knowledge.

Anyway, there are a lot of in-depth resources about Ubuntu out there. The more technically inclined Windows and Mac users will undoubtedly know how to find them.

3. Roy Schestowitz - August 3, 2007

Jem Matzan — while I appreciate his writings — is a bit of an elitist and he moved from Linux to BSD. I think he exaggerated here and it got him a lot of attention. Radu does the same thing.

4. Jem - August 4, 2007

Anyone who thinks that DOS is “both creative and intuitive” probably has some issues with reality.

5. Paul - August 4, 2007

I have always referred to Ubuntu as ‘Debian for Dummies’ as my first contact with Linux was a Debian install from which I emerged with a bleeding stump where my curious hand once hung. An OS is a wildly complicated collection of interoperable software components and everyone save the rarefied few is a ‘dummy’ in at least a few specific areas. I’ll take my Linux spoon fed thank you.

Tambunan - March 18, 2014

Jody,The PogoPlug is updated amltaaotcuily. Mine already supports HFS+ drives, I would guess that yours does already as well. Updates are pushed behind the scenes without us as users having to get involved.hman,I am in the same boat. Still trying to wean myself off of the PCs. Yes, you can format an external drive as HFS+, connect it to the pogoplug and access it from a windows machine through the pogoplug software. You also can connect multiple drives with a USB hub, so no need to buy another PogoPlug unless these hard drives are in different places.

6. Moniker42 - August 4, 2007

Or maybe it’s not “Linux for Dummies” so much as a Linux that doesn’t resemble the toaster in xkcd293

7. Moniker42 - August 4, 2007

hmmm… i take it html doesn’t parle with this blog, i meant xckd293:

8. Angela - August 5, 2007

I am assuming they are dumbing things down for users switching from Windows…and since there are more of us doing that than before, thus the increase in “dummyfied” articles. There’s *plenty* enough reading out there for advanced Linux geeks…so why the complaining? Everybody is a noob sometime.

9. Harlem - August 5, 2007

great post and excellent retort…

10. chocbuntu - August 8, 2007

Yes, I like this post also.

“Macs are for those who don’t want to know why their computer works.

Linux is for those who want to know why their computer works.

DOS is for those who want to know why their computer doesn’t work.

Windows is for those who don’t want to know why their computer doesn’t work.”

Jokes4all.net

11. frank - September 2, 2007

@paul: wtf dude, still perpetuating the myth that debian is difficult to install? that myth was dead five years ago.

12. geekgirlxx - November 14, 2007

I am a stupid drooling idiot thirsty for knowledge so thanks to all technical blog writers that spell it out for me.

Hiyah!

13. chris - December 11, 2007

“something that is inanely simple to install, setup, use and maintain – and that is exactly what Ubuntu is.”

That is a misleading statement. I’ve been attempting to install Ubuntu on my Gateway laptop for over a month now, with limited results.

14. HydroMan - September 17, 2008

I think the author of this blog article has stirred some varying responses from ubuntu users, but to be honest he has deserved the attention as i am sure most EXPERIENCED Linux users will probably find themselves agreeing to his statements, but you have to ask yourself “Is Linux for Experts or for everyone?” He clearly has some reservations about the latter…

[quote]
“something that is inanely simple to install, setup, use and maintain – and that is exactly what Ubuntu is.”

That is a misleading statement. I’ve been attempting to install Ubuntu on my Gateway laptop for over a month now, with limited results.
[quote]

True in many instances, i have performed many linux installs and ran into an abundance of problems on many different machines. I have had to perform a multitude of tweaks and changes to get ubuntu / linux correctly installed or simply work properly in my past. Some of the issues needed a very high level of knowledge that surpasses most Linux users’ (at least the ones i’ve met anyway). Can’t wait for the York LUG :-)

There are 11 type of people in this world, those who understand binary logic…….. but I do have multiple personality disorder….

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Anyway, there are a lot of in-depth resources about Ubuntu out there. The more technically inclined Windows and Mac users will undoubtedly know how to find them.

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I am assuming they are dumbing things down for users switching from Windows…and since there are more of us doing that than before, thus the increase in “dummyfied” articles. There’s *plenty* enough reading out there for advanced Linux geeks…so why the complaining? Everybody is a noob sometime.

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38. sibel kekilli - December 10, 2010

em Matzan — while I appreciate his writings — is a bit of an elitist and he moved from Linux to BSD. I think he exaggerated here and it got him a lot of attention. Radu does the same thing.

39. ryan - December 10, 2010

That isn’t a very nice way to talk about your followers!

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48. Alright you drooling idiots! | Ubuntu Info - James n Sheri.comUbuntu Info – James n Sheri.com - May 1, 2013

[…] Alright you drooling idiots! […]


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