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Date:      Thu, 9 Aug 2007 08:26:12 -0400
From:      Bill Moran <wmoran@potentialtech.com>
To:        Latitude <robertjx@ix.netcom.com>
Cc:        freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org
Subject:   Re: Convince me, please!
Message-ID:  <20070809082612.b990026e.wmoran@potentialtech.com>
In-Reply-To: <46BA9682.7020203@ix.netcom.com>
References:  <46BA9682.7020203@ix.netcom.com>

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In response to Latitude <robertjx@ix.netcom.com>:

> 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.

Flame me if you want, I won't respond.  I'll speak my peace and be done.

First off, I don't know where you got the misguided idea that FreeBSD is
a "perfectly acceptable alternative for home desktop users who have previously
known only Windows."  It's not, and it never will be.

If you want something that endeavours to make your life easy, something that
takes control away from you so a corporate entity can decide what you want
and when you want it, something that lies to you about what's going on to
protect you from having to understanding it instead of _letting_you_actually_
_use_your_computer_, something that always has another license fee hidden
where you didn't see, but that license will (allegedly) take care of the
problem you have today, if you work for a big company where you want someone
else to blame if something goes wrong (because nobody ever got fired for
buying IBM) instead of actually doing your job, something where the people
who create it for you are inaccessible and there's no real "community" --
then you should use Windows and stop worrying about switching to something else.

If you want to be in control of your computer and things related to your
computer, then you'd better accept that to have control you've got to have
a better understanding of how things work (i.e. the jargon).  If you want
to have computer software that is open to you for inspection and improvement
without any hidden strings attached, then you'd better accept that you'll
need to have an understanding of what you're inspecting before you can
inspect it.  If you want to be part of a community and have the opportunity
to talk to the movers and shakers who are doing historically significant stuff
with computers, you're going to have to understand WTF they're saying when
they talk.  If you're willing to take on those responsibilities, then
FreeBSD is an excellent platform to allow you to pursue cool computer stuff.

If you want something that pretends to be Windows easy and FreeBSD free at the
same time, accomplishing both with acceptable meritocracy, then you should look
at PC-BSD.

-- 
Bill Moran
http://www.potentialtech.com



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