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Date:      Thu, 09 Aug 2007 09:30:25 -0400
From:      Bart Silverstrim <bsilver@chrononomicon.com>
To:        Latitude <robertjx@ix.netcom.com>
Cc:        freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org
Subject:   Re: Convince me, please!
Message-ID:  <46BB16F1.8010802@chrononomicon.com>
In-Reply-To: <46BA9682.7020203@ix.netcom.com>
References:  <46BA9682.7020203@ix.netcom.com>

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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.

A) I don't think the FreeBSD team is on a crusade to convert the masses.

B) If you want to try it, download the CDs, learn how to partition your 
drive or get a spare hard disk or buy virtualization software, and you 
can install it side-by-side with Windows to tinker and learn the OS.

C) If Windows is annoying you so much that you're driven to learn 
another OS, welcome aboard.  If you're just hoping for a turnkey 
solution you may need to switch to a Mac, where you'll still have a 
learning curve.

I'm not trying to chase you away from trying it, but it's a fact that 
there's no way for you to just go out and get a "Windows that works". 
There's no instant fix to whatever frustrates you about your OS on your 
system.  There's going to be a learning curve.  Some are steeper than 
others, and UNIX has a heritage in the server environment and high-end 
workstation environments, and it shows.  The whole "home user" bit was 
not a priority.

You may want to invest in a book or two from Amazone or B&N, or spend 
time reading the FreeBSD handbook, which you'll get as a response more 
often than you'd like on this list because most of your basic questions 
are answered there.

Really your best bet is to use virtualization software or familiarize 
yourself with dual-booting.

-Bart



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