User friendly Free Software Desktops

MJ Ray markj at
Wed Jul 18 22:24:43 UTC 2001

Alex Hudson <home at> writes:

> the Debian installer has had a problem on every machine I've installed at
> work, and seems to still have some bugs to work out (no, I haven't reported
> them, yes, I know I should, I have them written down somewhere.. :( )

Yes, you should.  The only machine I've hit a problem with that wasn't
caused by my own ignorance (eg not knowing whether it was an ne2000
isa or pci) is the Sun Blade and that's sort of niche just now.

> Goal-based rather than learning based. Alan Cooper (interaction guru, IMHO
> :) differentiates computer users into roughly two categories - 'Homo
> Sapiens' and 'Homo Logicus' :). [...]

Is this natural or symptomatic of the way technology has been
introduced so far?  I think there is space for a third sort of user,
probably more of your HS than HL, who is willing to understand *why*
something works, just so long as it works to achieve their goal.
That's just a castle in the clouds, though.

> > I'm not so sure that they have.  In fact, I think they've got even
> > less clue about it than most free software developers.
> I think some MS products are good in this respect [...]

Which respect?  That it's less stable, or that it performs less well?
Don't go changing the issue, now ;-)

> I think Free Software developers (who are, by nature, mostly Homo Logicus, I
> would guess) need to understand the nature of software use a lot better.

Probably.  You've said what it isn't and given properties of software
that has got it right.  So what is "it"?

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