[LINK] Coyote Linux

Steven Clark steven.clark at internode.on.net
Wed Jan 6 21:26:21 AEDT 2010

> On 06/01/2010, at 12:18 PM, Steven Clark wrote:
>> Like a lot of home-built FLOSS, I doubt this person has any such lofty
>> ambitions.
>> Though if random householders are going to venture into networking,
>> usable *and* robust tools are needed. I suspect this will still be
>> largely restricted to those with more than a modicum of Linux/Unixen
>> know-how: especially as the command prompt is apt to scare many/most
>> GUI-tethered technophiles.
>> [I tend to think of this kind of distro to be more like iphone apps than os replacements per se ...]
> Steven what you say is reasonable.
> Cutting through my previous snark, I do still have a concern, and that's that householders already DO create their own complex networks by stringing together computers and network-enabled TVs and PlayStations and whatever else, and do so without the knowledge that they are, in fact, creating a network on the Internet.

So do I Stil.

What most people want is something that *works*. And so long as it
*looks* like it's working, they're more than happy.

I wonder how many households *actually* embark on the adventure of
hooking up a bunch of (almost exclusively) Windows-based systems via a
console Linux box. Lots of wanna-be-geeks, perhaps. but most folks I
know don't have the time, or the inclination, to 'fuss with all that'.

Most people are stunningly ignorant of how technology works. (Especially
the so-called 'digital natives' who have grown up with the Start button
and the GUI-as-computer.)

A great deal of the 'easy to use'/'user friendly' tech around the place
is more complicated to set up properly than most end users will ever
bother with. Even the old plug-and-play fad glossed over the real need
to actually 'customise' settings to properly match the real
use/environment of the devices involved.

Windows sells because it is familiar. Macs likewise. ipods and iphones
sell because they're hyped, but also because everyone knows someone who
has one and figured out how to use it in half an hour. Very, very few
users explore below the first few menus, let alone delve deep into the
box. [which is the reason why Apple insists on shallow menus]

> Note that I don't blame "ignorant n00bz" here. The industry has been selling them on the idea that this all "just works". And, indeed, one of the selling points for Windows Small Business Server 2003 was that you didn't need to be an "expert" to run it, that a small business owner could handle it all themselves. Which is complete rubbish, but there it is.

teaching, *educating*, people is hard. much easier to sell them the idea
of "plug-and-play". if there is anything that underpins apple's recent
success it is building devices that *work* - 'removing' the complexity
by extreme standarisation of hardware and streamlining software.

linux and windows go the "choice is good" route ... but nobody can cope
with all that choice. so they just go with what's easiest right now.
[dell figured that out and reduced the scope of customisation in their
online ordering. you get access to a lot more choices over the phone]

> I know this is ground that Link has trampled over many, many times, but pretending this stuff is easy and that anyone can learn what they need to know in a few quick lessons over coffee is a MASSIVE disservice.

I have some twenty years of tech (about ten of those in tech support)
under my belt, and networking is still largely magic to me. those who
talk about how easy it all is are generally those who spend a lot of
time playing with it all. they're *used* to it, and have some
understanding of how it works (or at least, they believe they understand
it - they have *operational* understanding).

most FLOSS coders are in that category. they're writing what they know,
and what they get excited about. the great masses are not really on
their radar - if they get 'known' within the FLOSS community, that's
awesome - but mum's and dad's ... 

[Note: I wrote device drivers for linux kernel versions 0.1 through
0.994, mostly for hard drives and other storage devices]
[Also: I bought an iPhone 3GS 32G today ^_^]

Steven R Clark, BSc(Hons) LLB/LP(Hons) /Flinders/, MACS, Barrister and
PhD Candidate, School of Commerce, City West Campus, University of South

More information about the Link mailing list