[Haifux] W2L + Installation party?

Orr Dunkelman orr.dunkelman at gmail.com
Wed Sep 17 21:01:56 MSD 2008

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 6:48 PM, Adir Abraham <adir at hamakor.org.il> wrote:

> By whom? By someone who says so in the forums? And what is "Linux" for that
> matter?

By ha'aretz columns that says that Linux is ready.

Because this is no longer the end of the 90's where there was one
Linux in a million. Today, you see it in the army, you see it on most
Technion's computers, you even see this at friends. Yes, I have a
friend who installed Linux because he wanted, and not because of my
brainwash (of course, he is no longer my friend ;) ).

>> Someone who heard this would not understand why he needs to carry his
>> cumbersome computer to an event to get this done for him, or take specific
>> time out of his day to come in with his laptop.
> Yes, that's the spirit of the day. You have to arrive, and you either do
> that for the lectures, or the installation which should take no more than 30
> minutes. Those who will arrive with a computer actually need us. Later, at
> home, they might waste much more time, or they will give up on trying.

The question is whether the installation is the bottleneck.

I would like the newcomers to Linux in this mailing list to raise
their hands - was the first installation your barrier? Or was the
first barrier was something else?

(I know this is somewhat biased, as if you are on this mailing list,
you've managed to go around it, but this should give us some
understanding on what's going on).

>> He is told he can do this at his own leisure - and this is what he
>> prefers.
> He is told so by whom?

Ha'aretz. Ynet. Many talkbacks in websites.

>> Furthermore, he wouldn't want to install a yet-unknown (especially to his
>> neighbours' kid) operating system if he didn't know he could "handle" it
>> himself.
> That's one of the reasons why an installation party is needed, and the
> "support", afterwards, although the best distribution for the beginners is
> not only the one that makes you feel comfortable, but also gives you less
> "headache" afterwards. It sounds absurd, but we want to be able to give him
> as little help as possible. When he starts checking his distribution, he
> will ask the right questions and not because part of his hardware was not
> operative. The best way to show that something works is to let them see that
> it's working on their own machine. The installation itself is part of the
> support, but ofcourse not the only one.

I agree that for beginners you should use the less-headache distro.

> You assume that they will do it by themselves. In this case they can also
> search for any information in the Internet and not to arrive to lectures
> (they can listen to good lectures that are relevant for them). You actually
> say why SiL is not needed, because it's so easy... at worst we will upload
> the papers and let them read it and deal with it. If you understand the
> difference between a lecture and lecture notes, you should also understand
> the difference between giving instructions and helping someone doing it on
> his own computer. You don't understand the audience. It's something new for
> them (usually), and the things that look easy and trivial to you, might not
> look so for them. In addition to that, I am talking about a general
> audience, not only about the Technion (although it's true for Technion
> students as well).

Well, I can tell you that people would prefer to avoid a "Linux Club"
but come for a specially introductory lectures.
The thing is that Linux is not that new anymore. To get along you no
longer need command line knowledge. You'll need it only when things
will get screwed, and even that is less and less frequent these days
on a modern distro.

>> This creates a situation in which everyone would want to install Linux in
>> their own time, meaning they'd need any initial support at a different time.
>> For this reason, I send new installers to this mailing list if they have any
>> problems, hoping that they might bring their computer into the next Haifux
>> meeting so someone could help them. An organized event might raise
>> awareness, but installations would happen afterwards, at home.
> You are talking about some ideal that doesn't exist.

NUMBERS! How many people arrived to the last instaparty in Tel Aviv?
Or wasn't an insta party in August Penguin?

I remember an insta party in Tel Aviv (Dizingof Center) that got a
very nice PR, and 4 installations...

> If that was true (for beginners) - we shouldn't have needed a Linux club.
Actually, Haifux was founded for programmers.
The evengalism started due to the fact that we thought it would
increase the user base in Israel -> increase the programmers base &
increase the probability that someone would piss at our general
direction here in Israel.

Guess what?

Even banks start to understand that Linux is an issue (given their
slow learning curve).

> All we would need was an FTP server to upload lecture notes. If Linux is so
> easy for everyone, we don't need to do anything physical for beginners, and
> if it was so familiar, nobody would need us. But this is not the truth. The
> truth is that we need to help them to get into it in a better way. I believe
> that we miss a lot of people who want to know but they are just afraid, or
> not familiar, and the _result_ is googling everything, without necessarily
> getting the right kickoff they need.
Well, people like human interaction, and it is much easier to ask a
person a question than wait for the right second in the movie file.

But besides that, one of the better talks there are in w2l is the
"living in community" lecture, where they are actually taught how to
use google.

And W2L is different than insta party. W2L means introduction and
awareness, insta party means installations. Even if you think
awareness is needed, it does not necessarily means that installation
is needed.

Orr Dunkelman,
Orr.Dunkelman at gmail.com

"a scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, -- a mere
heart of stone" - Charles Darwin.

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