(The following is a paper by a college girl who has been using Linux for the past 2 years and her thoughts on the whole computer mumbo jumbo. Which I think developers need to listen more to. [note: article has grammar and spelling mistakes...deal with it.])
The easier the better. What I look for in my computer operating system is that it should be fast, easy to operate and updated frequently. A lot of times, I find that the Linux software fits this criteria but often lacks in how easy it is to manoeuvre. For most people, the Mac software is the “easiest” to use because everything is very straightforward and simply organised. But what really excites me about using my computer every day is the style of the software and how I efficient multitasking can really be if you have the right software that fits your needs.
The first thing I look into is what programs I most commonly use. Personally, I have my Internet browser which is Google Chrome, my Word Processor and then my Music Player which is Rhythmbox. All of these programs work extremely well with my work and is easily accessible by placing the icons on my “Favorites”. The other format I really like about Ubuntu Linux is how the Update Manager has consistent reminders for update packages and thus, increasing the new and improved software of your computer. But often times I find myself having trouble downloading certain programs that I want or need for other purposes such as Skype or other convenient programs for more social networking. I also notice that many people like these types of programs to keep in touch with family and friends that may be overseas and so on. For Windows and Mac, applications such as these are easy to install whereas Ubuntu Linux is a little more troublesome. But besides this, I think people really like to use the Internet as their main application. Another factor to consider is the entertainment of what a computer is capable of; there are various applications for movies, music, games, pictures, and all sorts of interesting programs to spend hours at end on. I, personally, see myself using my computer to connect with others and to find a means of entertainment.
For people like me, who are less knowledgeable of how computers really work, I think simplicity is the key. Because most people when they think of any software connected to Linux, they are unfamiliar and think it is too complicated. My instinct of the matter is that yes, it can be hard to use if you aren’t ready to be open-minded for a bit of new style and formatting and no, Linux is not just for “geeks”. I, myself, love Linux’s operating system because I feel connected with everything I do ,when I want to do and how I want to do it. I enjoy going on my computer because to me, it’s not a Mac, Windows or Linux, its part of my way of expressing myself through what I do whether I am with my friends, family or just by myself – it is my personal storage of my thoughts, ideas and creativity. A computer gives a person a chance to create and by this the access to programs that are openly constructed and easy to adapt is the most beneficial factor. Most people look for software that fits what programs they will be using, but what they don’t realise is that every computer is capable to do as you want it. That is if you learn how to use it the right way, which includes the software it has as well. It really doesn’t matter what operating system is the best because overall, every system has it’s individual formatting.
I, do however, admit, that I don’t use all the applications available on my computer. I’m not sure if all of the applications that came with the operating system are all useful to me but I do plan on exploring more of these options. But I do like how my applications are set up and organised because it makes it easy to find what I need in a more efficient way. As far as what I know, a lot of the applications on my computer give a good amount of options. For example, in the the “System” tab, a layout of various icons appear, all of which have different functions. In the first part, there is a choice in the style and design of your computer layout with a wide selection of color preferences and even settings for other manual functions such as the keyboard and mouse compatibility. After the preferences there is the administration section. This section is full of interesting programs and applications to help organize and update your computer. One of the main programs being the “Synaptic Package Manager”, other useful tips include managing various accounts on your computer as well as disk utility and computer management. What I find most useful about my computer is its speed and accuracy in assisting me with my organisation of important files and documents and the ability to have me connect with people through various social networks while getting my work done at the same time. There’s nothing better than being accomplished and having some entertainment on the side.