Arranging Deck Chairs

Marketing OpenSUSE is an interesting problem. I installed it yesterday as a prior user of Linspire, and current (frustrated) XP user.

Imagine my excitement at using what I was first told was “the World’s friendliest Desktop Linux” and then during installation “the World’s friendliest computer system” or words to that effect.

Imagine, then, my disappointment at wiping XP from my hard drive, being guided through an exciting start up process, and realizing that when it’s all done simply plugging in a network cable from a VDSL router doesn’t allow me to connect to the Internet.

So once again it’s the same Linux experience of trawling through forums to find people who have encountered the same problem (and unsuprisingly, there are lots of them) and then relying on the time and effort of friendly, expert Linux amateurs to beg assistance with my particular problem.

OpenSUSE will never, ever, be taken up widely when the ability to plug in a ‘live’ network cable and go online to browse or send mail requires searching for information, posting code, and other little fixes. This simply does not happen with any version of Windows since 95, nor any version of Mac OS.

Marketing doesn’t make problems like that go away, unfortunately.

Hoping to win people on the basis that it’s not Windows, or that it’s free to download just isn’t enough.

Anyone who reads this , please treat as an observation, not a complaint; afterall I downloaded OpenSUSE free, and it’s not Windows ;-]

This simply does not happen with any version of Windows since 95

Quite simply not true I’m afraid. Can’t comment on OSX.

XP -> would be more like it

If you want help just ask.
Probably all you needed to do was go to Yast Network devices and configure your eth0

OK, OK…I concede that may be a bit of an exaggeration. What I can say is that I’ve been using Windows since 95 and feel that it requires less ‘skill’ (almost zero) to get a connection up and running, and that for many systems plugging a cable in the back is about as far as you need to go.

The idea of openSUSE is brilliant; my point was that whilst I’m up for learning more about how my PC works and getting help with fixes and workarounds from a community of experts, people like my parents (or my children) aren’t.

My observation was that marketing is a little besides the point when the basic problem exists that the openSUSE flavour of Linux is similar to previous versions inasmuch as it is not quite as user-friendly and ‘obvious’ as it could be!

(I’m searching through the forums for advice, before asking for help. My problem is that once I’m back at home, I can’t get on the net to post outputs or ask sensible questions.)

You are primarily right. However, with every OS ever built for as long back as I can remember there has always been issues with some piece of hardware not melding into the system seamlessly. While M$ tries to handle these situations they in fact don’t. M$ relies on manufacturers to provide much of the i/o structure. The biggest obstacle Linux has had has been lack of device support, followed closely with poor documentation.

I downloaded the openSUSE 11.1 distro and burnt it to DVD. When I did this there was info that explained how to download and install but absolutely nothing on the DVD or on the website that gave some pointers like visit Yast from the start menu to configure many settings that may not have been configured right.

Someone truely coming from M$ environment or with no PC experience would surely be lost right from the start.

Also whats with all this old Linux documentation with misspelled words, bad english etc… That’s a real killer to trying convince people that us nixers aren’t geeky, illiterate, children playing and jesting that “we can better than you can do… ha ha hahaha”

or that’s MHO!rotfl!

You are correct, I didn’t want to get in to the in’s and out’s of OEM and Vendor Bloatware.
I had it in a Vista Install that shipped with my Lenovo. When I wiped the disc and re-installed Vista using a Full Non-OEM DVD, all the rubbish had gone but I really had some leg work to get all the drivers. It was far from a commonly quoted phrase we see here: “In windows it just works”. Blah…Blah…

openSUSE on the other hand needed no such leg work. Worked literally out of the box!:wink:

Drivers and documentation (D&D). I agree that hits the spot. Although similar to caf4926’s point, I just hope we are not going to attempt a repeat of another marathon thread on new user turnoffs. It exists already under another title, and it’s easy to find. :slight_smile:

While we on the subject of user experience, there is one issue that should be addressed if any linux distro is to become mainstream on the desktop: a third “D”. There are some developers who are so disconnected from the DE and the user experience, that they still won’t get it! There is a big difference between the server and desktop marketplaces, in terms of user requirements and hardware platforms.

It wasn’t my aim to start a thread on new-user turnoffs, just to point out that there are issues that I have faced that I haven’t (yet)had with other systems. So, my experience was that, as far as marketing goes, some of the “World’s easiest…” hyperbole could be turned down a notch or two until it’s even vaguely applicable to new/average/home users.

Without any kind of partisan affiliation I find it interesting to note that an “Oh no it isn’t!” and “Windows is worse for the following reasons…” vibe has already crept into the above posts.

I realise I am talking to Linux die-hards, and am always grateful for the advice, but if it worked right out of the box for me, I would maybe have posted to say “Why doesn’t everybody try this?!” Instead of “Why doesn’t this work?”

Again, thanks to everybody for their interest.

So… to address your original point (or at least make explicit what others have said), it might seem like a waste of effort marketing something that ‘isn’t finished’, and you are certainly right that you should be able to plug in a network cable and have your network detected.

But it’s a chicken and egg situation - unless hardware manufacturers support Linux (and increasingly, slowly but surely, they do), that won’t happen.

Increased uptake helps massively with that, and marketing increases uptake…

[posted that before I read your last post. But I think you get our point, and we get yours :)]


(BTW I am going to persist with openSUSE, for all sorts of reasons, and have already got a few ideas on how to fix this particular irk.)

On one thing I agree: networking should always work. I know, a lot of work on that is being done, and we’re slowly getting past the point where the OEM’s cannot simply ignore linux. That would solve matters.

On ‘On Windows it simply works’: try this:
reinstall XP or Vista on a laptop from the hidden partition and see what happens. I spent over 6 hours on an XP laptop which on both wired and wireless networking to download the driver at the manufacturor. Another 2 hours to remove all reinstalled trialware.
It’s a matter of personal favor, but I’d rather have spent the 8 hours here to find out how to get the networking going. BTW both cards worked OOB with openSUSE 11.0…

Well, good luck. :slight_smile: If you post without searching, those answering you get annoyed. If you search without posting, you get annoyed. People here generally will try to help anyone that displays a little bit of good faith effort themselves - but you don’t need to go overboard.

I don’t think SUSE is the single friendliest linux forum, and it probably isn’t the single most technically competent either…

In this, as in most things, the trick is getting the balance right! :slight_smile:

Just a small 2c worth, as a notorious moaner on these forums, and still sceptical openSuse user, (hence my silly avatar, must get round to changing that!) I have to report that my notoriously unsupported networking hardware worked without any real intervention on my part, IIRC, I enabled the firmware, filled in a box with the access password, and have never had to tinker with it at all. In fact, now I think of it, the whole process was SO seamless that I do not know to this day how it is handled under the bonnet.

> So, my experience was

since you have only been here a few days i can only guess that your
experience was either a background in Windows[tm] or Apple[tm]
software and so you thought whichever of those you were most
comfortable with was ‘easy’…

whereas the 60+ year old Danish granny that began her surfing with
Firefox on SuSE 9.x goes on vacation to Spain and is forced to use the
Internet Cafe’s Window[tm] she complains how user UNfriendly and
difficult it is…

she is not a Linux die-hard, just another user but with a different
experience and view of the world from you…the sooner you cease
trying to pretend that your experience should be the STANDARD for
all users, the sooner you can get on with and enjoy the freedom of
open source software…

hmmmm…now that i think about it more i can probably guess you are
one of those Software Evangelist getting a regular paycheck from that
campus in Redmond Washington…the more of you i see around here the
better it makes me feel…i know both Steve and Bill are pretty tight
with their pocket change, and only begrudgingly hire folks to spread
FUD and lies…

i wonder if we will ever see you again after this particular eight
hour shift is over…or, if as usual you just come back with a
different ID…



I think it’s funny (and to a fair extent true). :slight_smile:

Interesting response platinum :sarcastic:

Tell me, do people call you that because of your tinfoil hat?

The problem is you are making conclusions from entirely differing base conditions. The Windows versions that you were using undoubtedly were pre-loaded and thus setup to work with the Hardware that came with the computer. Had you simply bought HW, and assembled your own computer than installed the Windows version, you may have found the same frustrations in trying to get everything to work. I understand that Win XP SP 3 is better at driver detection than earlier incarnations and is able to get the common ones loaded off the Net, however that does not happen if your means of getting on the net is not initially detected. Which would mean you would need a driver from the Manufacture to get things going. My last experience with Windows was 98SE so I am not totally familiar with XP though I have encountered it and 98 was anything but easy when it came to detecting and configuring HW.

As for Marketing would you have agreed with “the World’s friendliest Desktop Linux” if your stuff had worked? For many it does. If it had for you, would you have complained to the Forum or simply never bothered to post anything? If everything "just works’ for someone the chance of them, “trawling through forums to find people who have encountered the same problem (and unsuprisingly, there are lots of them) and then relying on the time and effort of friendly, expert Linux amateurs to beg assistance with my particular problem.”, is not likely. BTW finding those with questions and problems on a Help Forum are not too unlikely do you think?

It is actually a problem keeping Forums going when Linux and openSUSE has gotten so easy that the majority of the time no one needs help.

Good point, but…

My experience of XP was based on loading it myself; just saying that I found it easier.

The last version of Linux I tried was Linspire, that was few years ago, and it was my experience that it was still easier than this, because I put a cable in the back and surfed the net shortly after loading it. So at present I rate it as “easier”.

I wasn’t here complaining. I made an observation regarding overselling user-friendliness to inexperienced users.

If I’d had a successful first experience out of the box, it is very likely that I would have posted to recommend it. I made that point earlier.

Funny that people still seem to get hot under the collar about this…

I didn’t attempt to foist anything on anyone, just reported a negative first impression based on unrealistic expectations.

Chillax people.

I think this post is done.

BBQCH wrote:
> Interesting response platinum :sarcastic:

thank you i try to remain interesting yet mysterious…

> Tell me, do people call you that because of your tinfoil hat?

i guess by that you are attempting to label me a baseless paranoid…

no, they call me platinum because i’m worth more than my weight in
gold, by a LONG shot…

in fact i’ve been through all of this before, as i dealt with
Washington State FUD Merchants daily back in the ‘90s when Bill &
Steve were running scared from IBM’s OS/2…their success with
killing Warp was more a function of most of IBM’s Brass’ hate for the
little machine market siphoning off Big Iron’s ad budgets to fund
super bowl extravaganza than either technical capability or
advertising/marketing of FUD…

sorry, but the FUD won’t work this time…neither against openSUSE in
particular or open source in general…

hey, did you hear that the default browser on the Sony Vaio is
Chrome…hehe…Steve can cuss throw all the chairs he wants, he
ain’t gonna bury Google or Linux…

lets see, five years: GOOG +317%, IBM +40%, MSFT -8.9%, NOVL -28.8%

yep, both M$ and Novell are loosers…

Give a hacker a fish and you feed him for a day.
Label him a FUD pusher and you mark him for a lifetime.

And it was originally clearly stated. Some can’t read or listen, because they are waiting to talk about their personal issue/beef/axe to grind. :slight_smile:

Funny that people still seem to get hot under the collar about this…
Stay a while, you will come to know the usual suspects.

You actually achieved something by posting in Marketing. I haven’t seen a troll-sniffer here before. It’s amazing how they get wind of somebody mentioning “Windows does this a bit better”, as if it couldn’t happen lol!.

lol! rotfl! rotfl! That’s when the metal fatigue started.