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Date:      Thu, 9 Aug 2007 10:22:51 -0400
From:      Mark Moellering <mark@msen.com>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Cc:        Latitude <robertjx@ix.netcom.com>
Subject:   Re: Convince me, please!
Message-ID:  <200708091022.52692.mark@msen.com>
In-Reply-To: <46BA9682.7020203@ix.netcom.com>
References:  <46BA9682.7020203@ix.netcom.com>

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There is a lot to your question that you may not realize.  I think before=20
answering your question, a brief discussion of computers is appropriate.

A computer is a phenomenally complex system of parts.  If you go to the=20
website of a major Motherboard manufacturer, you will see a huge list of=20
specifications; including chipsets, ports (USB, ethernet, firewire)=20
connectors (SATA, EIDE, SCSI, etc) and so on.  The operating system has to=
=20
know how to talk to all these different systems.  There is no real standard=
=20
for all these parts, although many of the basic components are somewhat=20
standardized, there are specific drivers for USB, ethernet, drive connector=
s=20
and especially video.

Windows does an excellent job of running on almost any hardware.  (how well=
 it=20
runs is up  for debate)
=46reeBSD is also pretty good at running on just about any hardware, howeve=
r,=20
you may need to do some file manipulation to get your video display soundca=
rd=20
or some other peripherals to work.
Depending on what hardware you are running, FreeBSd may load and have you u=
p=20
and running with a windows like desktop with a minimum of fuss.  If you nee=
d=20
to edit and recompile your kernel or hand edit your X windows configuration=
=20
file , it will become a nightmare. =20
 [ or to put it in english; if you have to specify a special driver so that=
=20
the Operating System knows how to talk to a particular component of your=20
computer, then you need to change the kernel, which controls all of the=20
general hardware of a computer. =20
Unix systems are designed to be a command line OS.  The 'X' windows system =
is=20
what generates the GUI.  If you have a non-standard video card and/or=20
monitor, you may need to specify things like horizontal and vertical refres=
h=20
rates for the monitor, special settings for the video card driver, and othe=
r=20
information found in a configuration file to get the GUI to run.
]
=20

The general philosophy of most FreeeBSD users is that we are willing to spe=
nd=20
time learning about the inner workings of the OS to get the computer to do=
=20
what we want.
=46rom your e-mail, it sounds like you are looking for something that will=
=20
install as easily as windows and that is not FreeBSD. =20

I would suggest you look at http://www.openoffice.org, if you haven't alrea=
dy,=20
which will show you some alternatives to the standard MS software that you=
=20
can run on windows. =20

I hope this helps

Mark Moellering
Psyberation, inc.


P.S. I tried to keep the hardware discussion at a basic level and i will=20
ignore any messages pointing out errors in my description of the kernel or =
X,=20
etc ...



On Thursday 09 August 2007 12:22 am, Latitude wrote:
> I'm interested in changing over to FreeBSD from Windows, but I'll have
> to say, you guys don't really present a forceful argument to Windows
> users of how easy the switch may be.  I get knee-deep in FreeBSD jargon
> the second I get to your webpage. I need to see an overwhelming argument
> that FreeBSD is a perfectly acceptable alternative for home desktop
> users who have previously known only Windows.
>
> For instance, if I download and install FreeBSD, will I instantly have a
> desktop windowing environment that I can navigate in while I figure out
> what's going on?  Will I have a browser and way to setup an internet
> connection right off the bat?  How will I migrate files from other
> operating systems?
>
> I understand you guys have been around for a while, but you don't seem
> to understand the monumental "fear" involved in switching operating
> systems.  You need to address those concerns head on from the start.  I
> need to see several screenshots of apps that I can use as alternatives
> to what I have.
>
> Help me (and yourselves) out.



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