I've just gotten through reading an awful article from the BBC about one reporter's unsuccessful attempt to "get to grips" with Linux.
So Gary Parkinson struggled with Xandros, but decided to use the Ubuntu logo for the article's cover image. He also infuriates me by using the word "it's" as a possessive, which is a nasty habit seemingly infesting the BBC these days. Journalists are illiterate and sub-editors are being made redundant by bosses who thinks free spell checkers are infallible.
Gary couldn't sync his music with his iPod with "the" music management program (which one is that, then?) which is really Apple's fault for keeping its stuff proprietary and locked down tight. Right at the end of the long article, by which point the casual reader will have already decided to ignore Linux entirely, he admits:
While Linux is founded on the philosophy of free and easy access to its code for anyone who's interested, Apple is not. That means no iTunes for Linux, and nor is Apple likely to release such a version. But I've not given up hope. There's software out there that promises to do what I want. I just haven't got round to downloading and playing with it yet.
He also equates the operating system with ridiculously over-complicated depictions of technology in film.
It's a text-based operating system, which means that a fair few of the things you may want to tell your computer to do requires you to actually type text into the little window. It's a bit like the way all hackers in Hollywood movies furiously crash out lines of incomprehensible text on their laptops when they're trying to bust into the Pentagon's defence network.
Of course, it really isn't, and the vast majority of computing activities shown in Hollywood are deliberately exaggerated for dramatic effect.
Essentially it seems as though the article can be summed up as: "I don't know how to use a computer, so I will blame the computer and tell everyone else to use a calculator instead."
I'm not saying that running a Linux machine is easy, because it's not. I just don't get why people assume that computers should be as easy as 1-2-3. Why shouldn't they require training, practice and patience like any other complex piece of machinery?
Gary has just encouraged a lot of people to remain locked into a buggy, costly and proprietary platform based on an purely subjective experience without any logical merit whatsoever. Indeed, when so much of the article is dedicated to self-deprecation and the conclusion that the author must be too "stupid" to get his Linux installation working properly, I find myself wondering just what is his point.
Maybe Mr Parkinson's position as Editor of "Wake Up To Money" has him slightly biased away from the "hippy" and towards the corporate.