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Using Linux as an actual person

Last week's episode of <In Beta> was when I finally gave in and talked about ... Linux. +Linux as a desktop. Linux as a desktop for someone who isn't a programmer. We've gotten some good feedback on the discussion, and I'd love to hear what you think. Does Linux (+Ubuntu, specifically) make sense as a desktop for someone who wants to learn more about technology?
Jorge Castro's profile photoJames Swoger's profile photo
Nice podcast! The stereotype you're looking for when you're talking about the culture is "1990's linux guy". 
I think so Kevin. Back with, I think, Ubuntu 9.10 I set up my mother's old hp for her with it because I needed something I could help troubleshoot from school (a measly hour and a half drive, but still). It worked very well for her to get on the Internet (with dialup) and transfer her photos off her camera. Now to get to your actual question, she still uses words like mount when trying to explain what went haywire with her new laptop (which runs windows of some sort.)

I think Ubuntu hides quite a bit from the user, and not great if you want to learn anything in depth. In the almost 10 years I've been running Linux as my primary operating system, nothing taught me more about the hardware than gentoo did; and nothing more about how the software works than Arch did. I now run Ubuntu because I want it to "just work", and don't want to fight with configuration files on my main desktop. I basically came full circle (no Ubuntu pun intended.) I never use the gui configuration tools though on Ubuntu, except to set my wallpaper. 
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