I have picked up two remarkable stones down this one-year road of using Mandriva. They are two little gems of truth that have shaped my thoughts and have redefined my interaction with computers.
A. There is no such a thing as an easy OS.
Regardless of their preference, users will have to learn, sometimes by trial and error, how to work the OS of their choice. Of course, after walking the same road for a period of time, we believe that our OS is easy to use. This is a mirage created by long exposure to the sun of practice. I see that some of you doubt my words. Well, let's run a quick challenge then: If you are a Windows user who claims that Windows is easier to use than Linux, tell me... What do you need to do to get rid of the "nice.exe" virus? Remember that antivirus programs fail to remove it and you have to do it manually.
In Windows, the process goes like this:
1. Temporarily Disable System Restore.
2. Reboot computer in Safe Mode.
3. Locate nice.exe virus files and uninstall nice.exe files program. Follow the screen step-by-step screen instructions to complete uninstallation of nice.exe.
4. Open the registry editor.
5. Delete/Modify any values added to the registry related with nice.exe.
6. Exit registry editor and restart the computer.
7. Clean/delete all nice.exe infected files :nice.exe and related,or rename nice.exe virus files
8. Delete all your IE temp files with nice.exe manually.
9. Run a whole scan with antivirus program.
10. Run the antivirus program in your USB drive.
Very easy, right? The process can take more than an hour (that is, if you know where to start!)
In Mandriva Linux, you say good-bye to Mr. Nice by doing this:
1. Select nice.exe from your USB drive.
2. Delete it. If you get a message saying you cannot do it,
3. Change the permissions of the file and delete it.
That's it... Less than a minute. Which one looks easier to you?
Of course, if we talk about installing a program you downloaded from the internet, nothing will beat the "next, next, next, reboot" formula you get in Windows.
B. Decisions will always have to be made
In Linux, decision-making starts from the moment in which you consider using Linux. "What distribution is right for me?" is, doubtless, the Queen of questions. But that question can fork, too. Take the case of Mandriva, for instance. Which version? Free, One (that is also free), of PowerPack? And then, do you want 2010 or 2010.1? Freedom to choose can be a pretty confusing experience when you have a large assortment and little information...
Windows users might be laughing at this dilemma while they think that they do not have that problem because "everything comes bundled in Windows". WRONG. Let us see some typical decisions Windows users can face once they made up their minds regarding an upgrade of their Windows 7 Starter OS: "Do I want Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate ($120, $200, $220, respectively)? And then the clerk approaches, all smiles: "Do you want an MS Office suit to go with that, sir? We offer you Office 2007 Basic, which includes powerpoint, Home&Student (no powerpoint with that one), or Standard. We also have Small Business (with publisher), and Ultimate."
Maybe you prefer not to complicate your life. Hence, you forget about Office 2007 and settle for the brand-new Office 2010. Then your options are Starter (no powerpoint, publisher, outlook), Home&Student, Home&Business, Standard, Professional, or Professional Plus...Your call now.
In Linux, after deciding which distribution you prefer, you DO GET all the software (office suite included) in one installation that happens to be free most of the times.
Thus, the reality about operating systems is that they are called as such because they help the computer to operate, but they must be OPERATED by the user who, liking it or not, must make decisions and will have to learn how to run the computer. Therefore, we are still very far away from a truly easy, free-from-hassle OS, my friends...