Sometimes, things go wrong. It is in these situations, especially, that John appreciates the intuitive, user friendly nature of Windows. Usually, when this happens, John can click through some settings menus and… presto, it’s fixed! But, sometimes things go very wrong. Sometimes, John has a deadline to meet, it’s one in the morning, and he just cannot access his files, or get the application he’s using to work. Sometimes, after drudging through every conceivable menu, changing settings he’s not always even sure about, John just cannot figure out what the heck the problem is. When this happens, it’s time for the dreaded OS reinstall. John doesn’t mind this too much. He’s actually quite good at reinstalling Windows. It’s just having to do it at 1:00 am, before a deadline, that frustrates him.
Despite these occasional glitches, John really likes his computer. John’s computer has all of the applications and features that he needs. John uses Microsoft Office almost every day. He loves having the power of Adobe Photoshop at his fingertips. He just wishes he could have all this and have it all be reliable.
Fed up with Windows, John decides to make the switch to Linux
Recently, John’s computer has become very slow. John can’t figure out why this is happening, but he’s pretty sure a fresh system install will fix the problem. It’s just that John is starting to think that the cumulative time he’s spent reinstalling Windows is ridiculous. John even has an excel spreadsheet where he’s tracked all of the hours he’s spent reinstalling Windows. The amount of time he’s spent on this kind of thing has gotten so out of hand, the spreadsheet he has now uses days as the unit of measure, instead of hours. So, John figures, if he’s going to have to do a reinstall anyway, why not try something new. Maybe there’s an operating system somewhere out there that will just let him get back to work, instead of getting in the way.
John keeps hearing rumors about Linux and how it could drastically improve the performance of his computer. So, he excitedly deletes the ailing Windows partition from his computer and installs one of the so called beginner distributions of Linux. After a few hiccups involving his specialized mouse, the installation process goes smoothly and everything seems like it’s going great. With Linux installed, John’s computer seems like it’s faster and more responsive than it has ever been before. Except… Where’s the start button, John wonders…
The Linux configuration nightmare begins
The problems really start when John tries to watch Netflix. Despite many hours of tinkering, Netflix just won’t work. John is already getting nostalgic, remembering how easy it was to install Microsoft Silverlight and get Netflix working on his late Windows system. Not making any real progress, John decides not being able to watch Netflix on his computer will make him more productive. So, frustrated, he decides to give up on this one.
Next, John plugs in his eight button mouse. He had to use an old, dumbed down mouse during the installation process. He could have done the whole install with just the keyboard, but that would have required a lot more reading and John wouldn’t even know where to find that information. Using a different mouse just made things easier. But now, he would really just like to use his favorite eight button mouse… Well, eight hours later, the mouse still isn’t working. Several days later (John isn’t a quitter) he’s got limited functionality. He figures that’ll do for now.
After some more tinkering, John has all of his hardware functioning, although some of it in a more limited capacity. With that done, John decides it’s time to get some apps installed. First up, Microsoft Office. When John first installed Linux on his computer, it actually didn’t occur to him that he wouldn’t be able to use Office on his computer anymore. The ubiquitous office suite from Microsoft had become so ubiquitous in John’s work, it never even occurred to him that there might be a situation where he wouldn’t be able to use it. After some searching around the internet, John found something called Open Office. Touted as a complete office suite, compatible with Linux, John decided to download it and give it a try. Unfortunately, even though Open Office technically does support Microsoft Office documents, John had some pretty serious problems with formatting. It had never really occurred to John that his entire library of work documents were in some specific format. He never had to think about that. It just worked. John labored away for several days trying to find a good way to convert his documents, but to no avail.
John has now spent several weeks with Linux. He’s spent most of this time trying to find and install software. John would really like to just start using Linux to be productive. To get real work done. John is getting pretty tired of installing things, and settings things up, and configuring things, and reading about configuring things.
The trouble with trying to use desktop Linux to be productive
The amount of time John has spent reading about configuring things, and Linux in general, is considerable. He’s now a little more knowledgable with Linux. So, he decides to try an application called Wine. From what John understands, Wine will allow him to run Windows programs on his Linux system. Downloading and installing Wine went well, with a package pre-made for his system. The trouble began when it came time to actually get those Windows applications working…
John has now spent a whole month configuring and setting up his Linux system. And what does he have? A half baked, half working system that isn’t really suitable for doing anything useful. John realizes that Linux is a giant waste of time. He erases Linux from his computer, reinstalls Windows (again), and never looks back. John even destroys the disk he had the Linux installation image on, figuring it must be evil.