I was reading the 50000th flamewar over why Linux should be just like Windows, and suddenly the light went off. It dawned on me that all of the complaints Windows users have about Linux sound familiar in the psychologic effect known as "prisoner mentality", when a person has been incarcerated so long that they can't function in normal society:
ex-con: "Now where do I live? There's too many places to go! I was always TOLD where to go! I think the outside should just be one big building where you get assigned a cell number!"
MS user: "What distro should I choose? There's too many to choose from! I always had just one operating system! I think Linux should be just like Windows where it's all one big system and I just type in my product serial number!"
ex-con: "How do I eat? Who does my laundry? Who tells me where to go and what to do? I didn't have to know anything in jail, I shouldn't have to learn anything outside!"
MS user: "How do I install anything? Who configures my system for me? Who gives me only one program for each function and tells me what to pay for them? I didn't have to know anything to use Windows, why should I learn anything to use Linux?"
ex-con: "What, I have to WORK now? That's stupid! Why should I have to work when jail gives me everything I need?"
MS user: "A command line? Compile a tarball? This is too hard! I just want everything handed to me without lifting a finger!"
I think I've finally nailed it. I think I'll call it the "Micro-prisoner mentality", acronym MPM.
That's also why systems like ReactOS and Xandros and Ubuntu make so much sense, now. Those are "half-way houses" to which we send Windows ex-cons so that they can be rehabilitated into society again.
See, it's called "Free Software" for a very good reason: It's about Freedom. And that's the problem with freedom, is you have to learn how to deal with it!
As millions of anti-Linux flamers have said:
"The more distros that come out the more people are going to not want to use Linux."
I agree totally. The more stores they put into the shopping mall, the less I want to go there. The way I see it, there should be only one store, and at that, should only have one each of every product, and furthermore, all the products should be picked out and fastened together as one bundle without anybody asking me what I want.
Hey, come to think of it, they should just automatically take the money out of my account and send my bought goods to me. In fact, since I really don't need money any more, I'll just stay home and they can mail me the stuff. Hey, wait a minute, my house is too big and confusing! Look I have a whole closet full of clothes - how do I know which ones to wear! And I'm wandering around lost in here!
Give me something smaller. Like a cell. Yes, that's it! Aaaaaah, this is the life! Just the same prison outfit for me every day, thank you! No choices to make, a prison buddy to bang, my meals decided for me, and a toilet full of fermented punch to swill every now and then. I have no responsibility, I can forget everything I know! This is how it should be.
See, after all, all we can do is free your software. You have to free your own mind!
UPDATE: See part 2, where we take one of the commenters to this post and daisy-chain it into yet another post!
Perfect timing! I just found this book, “The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read - an introduction to Linux for Windows users” just written and published. Finally, maybe we can get started building bridges instead of walls.