Closed source minds

Introducing a friend to Linux must be the most frustrating and infuriating thing I’ve ever done, and I’ll not be in a hurry to do it again not because of deficiencies or unfriendliness on the part of Linux but because of the closed minded stupidity of people.

A friend of mine bought a laptop off of Ebay a few weeks ago which he told me was running windows 7 (which actually turned out to be XP) and one day for no apparent reason it refused to boot up with the all too familiar blue screen of death, he tried safe mode, last good configuration etc but it refused to boot, I suggested he remove one ram chip at a time and try that to see if it was a faulty ram chip, but that didn’t work either, so he contacted the guy he purchased it from who told him it was probably the hard drive and would send him another one with instructions.

In conversation I suggested to him that while he was waiting on the hard drive we could re-format the drive and install peppermint and see if that would run and if it did that would suggest the hard drive was ok, I explained to him that Linux is quite different from windows but if he sticks with it, he would end up with a faster, more stable and more secure laptop not to mention a spare hard drive

The following day he brought the laptop into work (minus the power supply) and I installed peppermint 3, I wasn’t able to set anything up because there wasn’t much time and we run out of battery power but I told him to take it home and try it and let me know if he has problems and I’ll try to help.

The following day the ensuing conversation took place

Him “I’m gonna have to put windows on the laptop”
Me “Why”
Him “The missus can’t use Linux and we can’t get the printer to work”
Me “What exactly is she having trouble with” ?
Him “Well she said she used to have all her websites stored in Firefox but she can’t do it in Linux”
Me “ But she doesn’t have Firefox unless you’ve installed it have you” ?
Him “No”
Me “Well then she would have exactly the same problem with Windows it wouldn’t be any different, What’s wrong with the printer” ?
Him “It wont run the disc”
Me “What disc” ?
Him “The installation disc that came with the printer”
Me “That disc will only work with Windows I already explained that to you”
Him “ I think she just wants Windows, you know what women are like”
Me “Yeah”

Anyway I offered no further help it’s a waste of time, but what was strange was I felt angry but why was I angry after all why should I care, it’s their loss, it’s the opening line in the conversation that angered me (“I’m gonna have to put windows on the laptop”), like the only possible solution to the problem was windows and no matter what I did or how good I made it work if it wasn’t windows she wasn’t gonna accept it and that was that.

So the moral of the story is I won’t be so quick to introduce Linux to a friend again because unless we can find a way to reformat, re-partition and in some cases completely re-install the human brain introducing a superior albeit different operating system to the closed minded will be nothing more than an exercise in frustration

Quite frankly they deserve all they get


HAHAHAHAHA … infuriating isn’t it :slight_smile:

Hmm… Nice story.
I have one closer to home. My missus (holds MCSE to her name) will not touch Linux in any shape or form.
In her opinion it is a cheap imitation of the real thing (Windows)
Tried and given up on her ever using it (knowingly). :cry:
Yet she has no problem with making use of the home server, internet radio,
freesat recorder (also streaming video around the house), upgraded Xbox (running XBMC) all running some form of Linux

Bung Windows 8 on it for them :wink:

Bung Windows 8 on it for them ;)

Good luck with that, she just moved to Win7 ::slight_smile:
Funny enough the kids have no problem with Linux and their Android phones…

Ditto … Missus flatly refuses to move away from Windows, the kids MUCH prefer Linux, possibly a bit of a “geek-cool” thing going on as well, but they prefer not having to keep coming to me to fix Windows (suits me fine too) :slight_smile:

It’s only the already deeply entrenched can’t/won’t use Linux … even when they know its benefits.

The hardest thing is getting people out of their brainwashed mindset…

“But what about antivirus?”
“You don’t need it, Linux is secure enough without it?”
“But how??”
“Do you know anything about Linux filesystem configuration, root admin privilages or in fact how antivirus software works?”
“Then take my word for it.”
“But how do I install Microsoft Word?”
“You don’t. Use Libreoffice.”
“Hmm… I know how to use Windows though…”
“Well if you try Linux you’ll learn to use that as well!!!”

And it goes on…

I’m sure we’ve all had a similar conversation so you know how it ends… Normally I walk away mumbling something about Linux being better off without all these idiots anyway…


There is a good solution here and I can testify to an excellent success rate.

Sit and wait for the phone call;

“Help, I have a Virus, what do I do?”

  • The only safe solution is to completely format your hard drive, given it’s already gotten past your anti-virus.
    “Will you reformat it for me?”
  • No.
    “Why? You’ve done it before?”
  • Because I will be perpetuating the problem and in a year or two’s time I’ll be doing it yet again.
    “Oh, so what do I do?”
  • Here’s a Linux CD.
    “What do I do with that?”
  • Stick it in your drive and follow the instructions …

… might result in random later questions about printers / the Internet, but to date this approach seems to work.

If people think they can fix it with AV software, fine, let them try and go into wait-state again.
Ultimately, wait for one of the following phone calls;

“Help, I’m trying to license my new Windows install and they’re telling me I’ve installed the product too many times - what do I do?”
[buy a new copy of Windows @ £200?]

“Help, I’m trying to license my copy of Windows on the new machine I bought and it’s saying it’s the wrong machine, what do I do?”
[buy a new copy of Windows @ £200?]

“Help, I’ve upgraded Windows and now it runs really really slowly, what do I do?”

  • Downgrade, buy a new PC, or, here’s a Linux CD.

Microsoft are done, internally they know it (you only have to look at the people who’ve dumped M$ stock and those who’ve jumped ship) but there are still many people out there who’ve caught on … call them blinkered, slow, misguided, the term is irrelevant and it’ll take a few more years, but when they go (and they will go) it will be a monumental fail.

I guess the real question is; “when there is no more M$ and you HAVE to start using something else, how far behind the learning curve are you going to be by then?”

Just one example;

The problem seems to be what I call the “Facebook Phenomena” … ie. the followers … the people that joined and continue to use Facebook purely because everyone else does.

Those people will refuse to move from Windows until everyone else does.

You can ask them directly…

which is more important, playing “Blah Blah Ball” with your friends but running a high risk of loosing your bank details and having to call for support often … or a secure OS that will still allow you to play “Blah Blah Ball” but will have a very slight learning curve that you’ll help them with

Inevitably they say “the secure OS”

So you put it on for them … 2 days later they are willing to give up the security of their data because either they can’t figure out how to install something, or can’t play “Pong Pong Ball” … when asked the same question again, they’ll just refuse to answer and demand Windows, even if you offer to show them how to do what they want.

I’ve put Linux on systems as a dual booter in the hope that when Windows breaks they’ll use Linux rather than immediately call for help … NOPE, they try it for 2 minutes then call for Windows to be fixed AGAIN.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way forward is to take something that’s running Linux with you when you go to fix their Windows boxes … make a start on their Windows box whilst showing them that Linux is fully capable of doing what they want, and explaining its benefits … most will just Um and Ahh, but the occasional person will ask for a more in depth tour, then possibly get you to stop fixing Windows and bung on Linux.

It’s also generally much better to get them to ASK “what is that ?” so you’re responding to a question when you extol the benefits … you can respond to a question with “I don’t personally use Windows any more, so I couldn’t tell you … I use Linux because …”
Remember, they generally trust you know what you’re talking about or they wouldn’t have called you, but the Linux “push” comes across much better if they think they prompted it, otherwise they may see it as a “sales” pitch.

The rest are a lost cause for now … wait till they’re ready (which will probably only be when M$ dies) … but until then you’re wasting your time, they’ll know you’re right and understand the benefits but still want Windows ::slight_smile:

The good news is that after fixing their Windows boxes for the umpteenth time, you start to get a feel for who’s “ready” for a Linux re-pitch and when :wink:

To be honest I don’t really care what operating system anyone has on their computer, I’m not qualified or knowledgeable enough anyway to decide what makes a good or bad operating system, but I know what works best for me, and that’s all that should really matter to me.Windows served me well for many years starting with Windows 95 to XP until curiosity brought me to Linux.

Moving to Linux wasn’t an easy ride and I’ve needed a lot of help as some of you guys on here will know but rarely do the worthwhile things in life come easily at least that’s my experience and this one has definitely been worth the effort

But closed minded ignorance annoys me, I’m not saying everyone should use Linux because I’m telling them it’s better and I know what’s best for them but why can’t they open their eyes and their minds long enough to look at the whole picture and then decide.

It’s almost like we’ve been brainwashed by the multi billion dollar corporations advertising and marketing campaigns (not to mention governments) that as a species we’re gradually losing our individuality and the ability to think for ourselves that’s if we haven’t lost it already, sometimes I wonder


sometimes I wonder

Nah, that says you’re OK :slight_smile:

The rest are too busy on Facebook to wonder.

Can I add:-

Windows served me well for many years starting with Windows 95 to XP until curiosity brought me to Linux.

It probably didn’t, you just had (or knew) no real alternative.

That’s half the problem … people have learned to “accept” Windows faults to the extent that they think that’s the way computing must be.

that’s what i think about it too mate :slight_smile:

That's half the problem .. people have learned to "accept" Windows faults to the extent that they think that's the way computing must be.

I started writing a post earlier trying to say that but it was too verbose so I deleted it, you put it perfectly in a few words

@SeZo I know this is completely off topic but I noticed you said in your post on this thread you had xbmc running on an xbox, I have 3 I love them I think they are amazing, all that from 64mb of ram, everybody thinks I’m crazy because I keep buying all these old xboxes at boot sales but the missus can use it even my 5 year old Grand-Daughter can use it, I can’t understand why more people don’t do it, anyway do you think the xbmc4xbox project is dying, it’s just that’s the impression I get so just wondering what your opinion is ?


I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m finding successive generations of Windows more difficult to work with, and less like “Windows” … which is sort of playing into the hands of “well you’re going to have to learn something new anyway”.

Windows 7 in an office environment is great … when someone has a network problem, say they can’t send an email, ask them to telnet to their mail server on port 25 … standard Windows (and Unix) command;

telnet 25

Unfortunately M$, in their infinite wisdom, have removed the worlds most useful network debugging tool from Windows as of V7 - no more telnet.

  • they don’t really need the competition, they’re destroying themselves (!)

What makes you think that the project is dying? OK the age of the xbox is going against them, but judging by the activity here they are still going strong. ???

I’ve never seen that site before it certainly looks active so that’s good, I just felt it was losing momentum after all it is old hardware now and they’re down to 1 developer (Buzz) and there’s the site problems they had, it just looked like it was on a slippery slope.

But I’m happier now :slight_smile: