Here's my background: I ran a DEC-2060 mainframe. I ran VAXClusters. I've coded in BASCOM, PASCAL, xBase, REBOL. In short, I am no stranger to computing. I've installed 95, 98 and XP thousands of times. I've tested hardware configs for a supersized shipping corpo.
I tried Linux in the late 90s, both Caldera and Redhat, even wasting money on store-bought versions of these. Never could I get use from these. In 2003, I could get to the Internet with Damn Small Linux, but I couldn't do much more.
In many ways, Linux is little more than hassleware or crippleware. It's a pain-in-the-ass to get done even the simplest of acts. While tinkering might appeal to a tiny percent of all humans on earth, most want frictionless living. Computing is a means to an end for nearly all and not the end as it is for a select group of propeller heads.
Here I am with Slacko. I've set up a frugal install on one PC (clean HD, partitioned into FAT32 and ext3). On another PC, the method is no-install disk writing with .3fs and puppy-save.sfs.
Lupu failed to recognize industry-standard WPA2 AES. In fact, the wireless modem offers on-the-fly WPA and WPA2. AES is the method chosen over TKIP because a Wifi Kodak printer uses it.
To get Flash working with Opera, I had to go to adobe.com, download for other Linux (.deb), use deb2pet, which requires unrpm.undeb, both of which I found in another forum, a mostly useless one.
From an end-user perspective, nearly everyone wants to run these apps:
- Chrome and Firefox, though Firefox is junk. [Opera has a huge install base on phones and the Wii and is far advanced compared to Firefox.]
- Google Talk Video / Voice plug-in
- Flash in the browser (until the full conversion to HTML 5 happens)
To a lesser extent, many want to run these
While there have been advances in hardware detection as seen in Slacko, that the OOTB experience has changed little since 2003 for Linux in general is why uptake of Linux remains small, even if there is a huge installed base of Linux running devices.
While Slacko provides convenience with mounted drives (is that truly a feature of Slacko or Rox?), most trying to switch from XP or Win 7 wouldn't know to navigate in a file chooser, up one from home (root in Slacko), then to mnt, then to the named mount point.
Nearly everyone has preference to do other activities than to fritter away trying to memorize a bunch of stuff merely so they can get to pictures of their loved ones encoded to work on an FAT file system that has been layered on a primary partition.
More over, no one wants to convert packages or even to learn the difference between a package and an application bundled by an app installer a la Windows, iPhone or Android app stores.
As nearly everyone wants to push on the gas peddle and go, so too, they want to click and go. Trying to get something simple as Flash or Google Talk Voice and Video plug-in to work is a monumental hassle.
It's easier to suffer through a complete re-install of say, XP, every four months than it is to become a computer software compiler or systems admin.
While Puppy has leaped over the hassle state of Linux in 2003, Puppy fails the true wants of potential "customers", the push on the gas pedal, let's go, I am in hurry to see a video of my nephews, I want to voice chat with my G+ friends.