Anyone got any ideas for how to get Linux adopted, that aren't just victim-blaming Windows users?

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@octet33 People are generally hesitant to try new unknowns, especially if they don't have a strong feeling about future benefits. I think we'd have to make Linux "the default" in some places, so people are made to naturally use it and can realise themselves that it's not magical or for-programmers-only.

As someone else said, schools could be a good place to start.

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@JenLA Exactly. We need to treat it as the horror that it is, that our education since elementary is tailored to a proprietary operating system.

@JenLA
I have raised dozens of kids on linux since the late 90's. They all insisted on taking it to college with them too.
Typical office staff will NOT even notice that the firefox, libre/open/office and thunderbird are now running under linux vs windows.
Just waltz them along.
They suffered far more jarring changes with MS versions and 'the ribbon' bs.
I've done this over and over again in many offices of smb.
Maybe you retain 1-2 ms boxes for some govt or corp bs, but that's it.
@octet33

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@gemlog @octet33 Yea, exactly. The difficulty isn't with getting people to use it, is it with getting them to *start* using it. Therefore it's important to ensure linux OSs just exist on computers people naturally use, like those in schools.

It would also help greatly if major retailers offered laptops without Windows installed next to thr current offerings, to show customers exactly how much windows costs (though maybe bloatware deals offset the windows license on mainline laptops?)

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@gemlog @octet33 Also: Glad to hear, that's inspiring! May I ask in what position you had the opportunity to "raise dozens of kids on Linux"? :)

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@JenLA
Ah. Privileged position. I'm "that" 'uncle'. I only have two kids myself, but have friends with quite large families. Like 9, 10, 12 kids. Also a few with 2, 4 and 6 kids.
- I'm the neighbourhood geek for all my friends (read: use linux or find another geek) and
- I LOVE reading to kids and getting them to read aloud.
Result: lots of *nix-friendly kids who love Asterix and Obelix ;-)
I can also french braid ;-)
@octet33

@clacke Here's a fun thing to do if you know a young family, but grandkids work too.
Get some Asterix & Obelix. Be the narrator. Have kids compete to voice the various characters. Even the littles that can't read can "do the noises". 'Grrrr', 'Bonk', 'Woof'... they will come to recognize the bold text and the !!! marks - their siblings whisper to them what to say.
Bonus: puns!
Bonus: Latin
Bonus: go get the dictionary
Bonus: history lessons
Make them do the accents too ;-)

@octet33 @JenLA

@gemlog @octet33 @JenLA I did learn a lot of history from Asterix and supplementary lookups in the family encyclopedia. Far more engaging than school.

@clacke
A very long time ago the second largest family I know was reading tin tin. Pathetic.
No, no, no!
Their computer had microsoft on it.
I fixed them :-)
Now-a-days some of the older ones are 'in the world'. Eldest is in charge of our local medical imaging at the hospital. Next is forensics with rcmp. Next is philo major...auto mechanics.. geo-sci... Still a few to grad yet. Not many :-(
@octet33 @JenLA

@gemlog And the biggest bonus of them all is that the kids are introduced to the proper, real, the one that matters, classic literature.

@clacke @octet33 @JenLA

@Iwalkalone
With my own kids, the happiest days (and I remember them) were when I asked what they were doing and they were reading books for pleasure. Yay! :-)
If you can manage simple times tables and algebra and read and write, well, you can do anything. My job is done!
"Now, get out there a get a job and quit mopping up calories. You are 9 years old for goodness sake!" "Do I look like I"m made of money?"
And get a haircut!
youtube.com/watch?v=PbAoXw_Dqv
@clacke @octet33 @JenLA

@gemlog I still read and so does my wife. My 9 year old has picked it up too. Can't ask for more.

@clacke @octet33 @JenLA

@Iwalkalone
Rope in K1's friends :-)
First there's a child on either side of you on the couch and you read.
Then same, plus a new little on your lap and the book is on their lap.
Next there are two on each side.
Then kids standing looking over to read their parts from behind the couch.
End game: you are now sitting on the floor in front of the couch flanked by two on each side, one in your lap and a full couch with more rotten kids standing behind it.
@clacke @octet33 @JenLA

@gemlog @Iwalkalone @octet33 @JenLA So happy that the 7-year-old now sneaks away and reads his Dog Man comic books when I fall asleep reading them. 😁

Still, I need to tell him that he was really supposed to be sleeping. Also I hope we can upgrade to text novels soon!

@clacke
Oh yes! I remember! :-)
In the car on the highway, it's quiet in the back (children aren't allowed up front when they are little in my country). Why? What's going on? "What are you doing?" "Reading" "What? What are you reading?" "I'm reading a chapter book - I got it from the library."
SCORE! I WIN! :-) I don't need to worry about that child in life :-)
Now... about her dodgy younger brother... Hmmm.
That was years ago - now I'm in the grandad zone...
@Iwalkalone @octet33 @JenLA

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@JenLA @gemlog @octet33

I'm not exactly sure how they get round tax or other regulatory regimes, but Redmond seem to subsidise /heavily discount Windows licences for OEM equipment, to the point a small family business in China can sell a whole miniature computer *with* Windows licence for less than 200€ across Europe (to be fair they do try and help those who install Linux on it via their forum).

I *very* rarely see new hardware sold with no OS these days... >>

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@JenLA @gemlog @octet33

there is a young lass in Essex, England, who was selling refurb Thinkpads with Linux (tested to ensure they work out of the box and there are no issues with hardware whitelists in firmware etc) but she has had to scale down her business due to being overwhelmed with orders and encountering both supply chain and personal health problems (it seems the profit margin on these isn't enough for her to hire others to help which is a big shame)

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@JenLA @gemlog @octet33

OTOH there is a possible worldwide opportunity to refurb former Windows 7 (and even XP) machines that are still functional can't easily be upgraded to Win10 to run Linux - a lad a the community radio station is doing exactly that at this very moment, I will hopefully be helping him once it is safe for me to visit the region where the hardware is at (I work in healthcare so have to take anti-Covid19 precautions at this time)

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@vfrmedia @gemlog @octet33 That's a great initiative, there should be huge possibilities in that area. Sadly it's probably difficult to turn it into an especially profitable business (variability of supply, high expertise personell required, unconventional logistics) meaning it'll likely remain relatively small scale, like the Essex woman you mentioned.

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@vfrmedia @gemlog @octet33 Still, I hope anyone in a position to influence sourcing of computers for public use remembers to check for such suppliers. This would perfectly match the value bases of ex libraries, state-run universities or public service media.

(This is also a note to a potential future me)

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@JenLA @gemlog @octet33 there are already lots of refurb equipment suppliers here in Northern Europe, but unfortunately Redmond has heavily embedded itself into the ecosystem by offering discounted Windows licences (they even say "Windows for Refurbished PCs" on them)

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@JenLA
I was recently gifted with two "slow" win7 boxen. These are now two very happy KDE Neon boxes :-)
It's just that pre-2004 is too long ago to satisfy nearly any current pc user.
Anything that old is only good as a server or controller of something.
@vfrmedia @octet33

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@vfrmedia
Someone made me work on an XP box at a cement plant yesterday...
NOPE. Unless you want a simple server, you never make anyone happy with that.
It may make a lovely planter for micro greens or mushrooms and the mobo could be part of an interesting art installation. Or melted for bits...
@JenLA @octet33

@JenLA @octet33 @gemlog From I understand, bloatware deals *do* offset the Windows license cost. At least one vendor charged extra if I wanted a Linux pre-installed rather than a Windows.
Or actually I think it was FreeDOS pre-installed. I guess that makes sure nobody calls them with Ubuntu/Mint/Fedora support questions.

@clacke
I used to buy pre-built boxes without microsoft from Richmond, BC (like a little China) and even with shipping it was cheaper than paying the microsoft tax. Wasted money since I was going to zap the drive and install linux anyhow.
As asus/acer/hp/compaq prostituted themselves more and more, local boxes from Staples laden with bullshit-ware became the cheaper option.
Protip: If you actually need win10, d/l a usb image from redmond and zap it onto the box to save time.
@octet33 @JenLA

@gemlog You mean, save time with a fresh install compared to cleaning up the bloatware? That sounds like a really good idea.

@clacke yes, exactly.
There is still two pages (my notes) of bs to turn off and mine fields to avoid, but the boxes come up to their actual speed - or nearer to it anyhow.
It's still a lot faster than fighting with acer and friends.

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@JenLA unfortunately, Windows as OEM on a laptop you buy at a mass retailer is so inexpensive that the cost of designing and maintaining an alternative-OS line might actually offset or exceed it

Which makes it difficult to show end consumers what they're really paying for Windows (or macOS, for that matter)

@gemlog @octet33 @vfrmedia

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@Calcifer
Laptops and PCs are so heavily subsidized with bloatware and ads that it is impossible to buy a blank one anymore. And the ms license is baked into the mobo. Just buy it and nuke the drive. Repartition and format. Linux and BSD cost zero to install. You can buy pre-linux for a reasonable price pine64.org/ but if you really want microsoft, make a key and reinstall your acer/asus/hp from redmond. Painless time-saver.
@JenLA @octet33 @vfrmedia

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@gemlog this is fine for someone like me who has been using a Unix OS (mostly Linux) as primary since 1997. It's not great advice for most people, b/c:

1. Windows is "good enough", so there's friction to switching
2. It costs them more (in time and effort) since they're already bearing the Windows costs
3. It's terrifying to most; replacing an OS feels like a huge thing and there's fear about it going wrong

@JenLA @octet33 @vfrmedia

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@gemlog that situation is the reason MS invests so heavily in OEM market in the first place. Defaults are powerful, and so is uncertainty

@JenLA @octet33 @vfrmedia

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@Calcifer
Absolutely true.
Not everyone has friends like you and I.
But if they do, it's simple to ditch msw in the vast majority of cases.

@JenLA @octet33 @vfrmedia

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@Calcifer
I can not accept that defeatist attitude I'm afraid.
I know from my experience supporting Amiga (!) and linux users that All normal non-geeks, without exception can't really tell the difference between using common programs like open/libre office, tbird and firefox and w/e file manager on any operating system.
The biggest hurdle in the beginning is getting them to stop being terrified of every new virus and security scare they hear on the radio.
@JenLA @octet33 @vfrmedia

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@gemlog understanding the nature of the problem is not defeatism. We're discussing a particular solution you proposed, which is that people should just buy Windows PCs and replace the OS

I've been helping people do that now for 23 years. It's not a viable solution for people at large; it requires someone personally convince the user that it's better to take the effort and risk to swap OSes, and that's not reliable

@JenLA @octet33 @vfrmedia

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@gemlog the cost of Windows use has to be made clearer to users so it's a meaningful choice. The best way to do that is through fixing the legal systems that allow MS to essentially price-fix preloaded OSes, not to tell the average user to figure out how to replace it

@JenLA @octet33 @vfrmedia

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@Calcifer
Oh! I see!
A misunderstanding.
I thought I was talking to my fellow linux geeks in need of acquiring modern hardware.
That was NOT meant as general advice! :-)
It used to be that when I needed to build a new linux box I could buy a box with no MS on it and save money.
For over 10 years now it has been cheaper and easier to simply source an ms box from staples/newegg and nuke it.
That is all I meant.
I don't evangelize.
@JenLA @octet33 @vfrmedia

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@Calcifer
Further, I have in more than a few small shops (say 25 staffers) simply replaced windows with linux over the weekend. The apps are the same, the shares are the same. No one cares.
Only gamers care - and the odd proprietary CAD or finance/govt thing.
I too took up linux in 94 after amiga died the death.
Long time msw janitor - never a home user.
@JenLA @octet33 @vfrmedia

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