Monday, August 20, 2012

the gathering

We got a local PC user's group and it is not bad. Mostly Microsoft users. They tried to stir interest in a Linux user's group, there is a diff that cramps things.

In the Microsoft oriented group, it is about applications like Office and Photoshop, Outlook, how to do things on the Microsoft platform. Not about the OS it self. MS does not have to be explained, it is in common use. It is unsaid but applications or programs are for doing stuff that "users do".

With Linux on the other hand, every thing has to be explained, the OS and the applications and what you can and can not do and what to expect. Linux, OH what's that? What can you do with that?, Can you use Microsoft programs with that? That from people who have no clue. Linux has been primarily a server OS so you get a glut of server administrators. They talk about various servers and databases, virtual devices, and hooking into Microsoft networks with Samba and the command line. There are few to none casual average semi-savvy users in the Linux clutch.  You won't get a class in using GIMP because everybody uses Photoshop in MS Windows, what's GIMP. The casual user is strangely absent from Linux user's groups. There are few casual users. In the usual Linux group, it's all about the OS. The only way to get average semi-savvy Linux users is through the promotion of Open Source Software. Then you get a mix of MS PC, Mac and Linux users because the softwares are available for all three platforms. For Linux only users the care and feeding is not there similarly to MS PCs and Apple platforms.

The point of groups is to pool experience and get help and the best use out of your hack of choice.

OK, on the home front, my two Dell M90 laptops share a common plight, the graphic cards displays abstract art. My faithful desktop a Dell Precision 380 is now bearing the brunt of my daily computing. I did have a problem downloading YouTube videos. I tried a couple of different downloaders that work in Firefox web browser to no avail and a YouTube client application. All delivered a file with '0' data in it. So I went to Firefox, Google search and typed in my problem. In one forum someone mentioned going into Firefox preferences and erasing the cookies for Google. I just erased all the cookies and BAM!, ZOWIE! it worked, I now can download YouTube videos. This is the kind of help you could get in a user group. You couldn't find this in a user manual (besides, Linux doesn't have a manual, but there are a lot of good Linux books. I don't read many books of late because of YouTube videos on GIMP, Inkscape and Sketchup and other stuff like John Coltrane and Black history.

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