This is just a rant (hopefully it will be regarded as pertinent and non-'laming') on why Windows users try Linux and return frustrated to Windows after several hours or days. I won't praise Linux and the way it works, I won't even compare and say 'here Linux is easier because ...', instead I have a few questions for all of you who blame Linux for not being and behaving like Windows.
The following issues address the problem to the Windows users who had their first computer with Windows pre-installed and were simple beginners not only in the computing world, but in Windows as well.
Installing software. How many of you didn't install an application or game at least once directly into directory C:\, messing the entire directory structure, not being able to find your music or pictures since all the C drive had over 100 folders? I know I did, and that was after around 1 week of playing with Windows.
Partitioning. When did you do your own partitioning on your own? I'm sure you didn't use fdisk or Partition Magic in the first three days of your Windows experience, when even the term 'booting from CD-ROM' was unknown to you.
Drivers. How much did it take until you fixed drivers for a sound card or modem on a Windows Me/Windows 98 installation after something went wrong?
Mounting ISO images. Don't tell me you knew about Daemon Tools the first day you used Windows. I know I didn't, and it took a while only to find out about CD images and that they can be mounted as a virtual drive. Note for Linux: it can be done not only using CLI as root, but with a graphical menu in your file manager of choice, and you don't have to use an entire application for it.
Video and codecs. Was it long before you settled upon a video player and a codec pack of choice, like the Classic Media Player and K-Lite Codec Pack combination? Lately I tried Vista on my mother's laptop, and surprise: you still have to install codecs!
And the list goes on...
Again, it's not my intention to disrespect the Windows users, it's only to point out, once more, that Linux is not Windows. Installing software is different than in Windows, getting drivers is different than in Windows, gaming is different than in Windows, mostly everything which works some way in Windows is done in another, different way on Linux. Which leads to the conclusion that you need to invest time and a learning curve in order to use Linux, just like you did first, when you started with Windows.
As a final advice: don't make the switch with the philosophy that in Linux you'll find a free Windows, and that's the only difference. You'll find a completely new operating system, working in a completely new different way.
Updated: Jul 08, 2008 (Created: Jul 04, 2008)