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Date:      Thu, 09 Aug 2007 20:20:13 +0200
From:      Rolf G Nielsen <>
Cc:        Nikola Lecic <nlecic@EUnet.yu>, Wojciech Puchar <>, Latitude <>, Reid Linnemann <>, Bill Moran <>
Subject:   Re: Convince me, please! - too much about "GUI"
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>	<>	<>	<200708091459.l79ExbIU016932@smtpclu-5.eunet.yu>	<> <>

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Reid Linnemann wrote:

> My ten year old niece has been brainwashed by the GUI quagmire. She saw 
> my FreeBSD 6-STABLE console on my amd64 3000+ and wanted to know why i 
> was using such an "old" computer. She had the visual aspect of the user 
> interface ingrained as a measure of the capabilities of the machine. 
> Granted, it could be only because she's ten, but I think we'd find a lot 
> of people think that something has to have more blinky lights and chrome 
> to be better or faster.
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> ""
I seriously doubt that it's only because she's ten. A friend of mine 
(who's 37) defines user-friendliness based on the number of tasks he can 
complete through a GUI. I used to think like that too, but not any 
longer. I first tried FreeBSD in 1998, but I couldn't get anything 
running. I just had no idea how, and I was expecting a nice 
"user-friendly" GUI, like Windoze, but without the constant crashes.

In 1999 I purchased "The complete FreeBSD, 3rd edition" with CDs 
included, and this my second try was a lot more sucessful. I was still 
after a fancy GUI, but this time I got things working. Not without 
effort though.

Over the years since I first tried FreeBSD, my ideas about ease of use 
have changed quite a lot. I no longer define user-friendliness based on 
what I can do in the GUI; actually, I'm often annoyed by all the menus, 
submenus and all the whistles and bells. It's really a lot easier to 
edit a text file to change some setting, than browsing through heaps of 
buttons, drop-down lists and all that.

Where most Windoze users find Windoze user-friendly, I find it 
user-hostile, because it hides the simplest things under tons of graphics.

For some applications, like image manipulation, a good GUI is a must (at 
least that's my point of view), but good doesn't mean complex. And a GUI 
is certainly not needed for running a computer.

My friend, whom I mentioned above, says my computer looks like a green 
screen from 1970's movies. I once tried to guide him over the phone 
through downloading a file using Windoze's built-in cli FTP client. He 
didn't even know that such a procedure was possible; he had the idea, 
that downloading a file required a graphical progress bar. After the 
file was downloaded (a GUI FTP client), he said it was the most horrible 
thing he'd ever done, and had comments about this being the 21st 
century. So, I doubt your niece's comment was just about her being a child.



Rolf Nielsen

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