Who is the typical Linux user?

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Phil Hughes LJ Edit » Thu, 09 Dec 1993 16:57:39



Our publisher is attempting to put together a profile of a typical
Linux user.  I keep attempting to tell him there is no such thing
as a typical one.  Below is my guess at what the Linux community
looks like today and what it will look like in a year or two.  I would
be real interested in either hearing a confirmation of my guess or
any ideas why I am on the wrong track.  In particular, if you are
way out of my profile guess I would like to hear about you.

Today I see the majority of Linux users as people who have at least
some Unix experience.  Most are fairly technical and ranging in
background from students to Unix systems programmers.  Many of
these people are work with a "real" Unix system at work and have
a Linux box at home.  And some of those people are attempting to
convince people at work that Linux would be a reasonable alternative
to a commercial system for some work-related tasks.  The remainder
of this population is the MS-DOS hacker that has seen Linux as
a chance to run a real operating system without even having to
change computers.

In one to two years I think the population will be much less technical
with tens of thousands of people moving from MS-DOS to Linux
because Linux offers more functionality and at a lower cost.
Some of these people won't really know much about Linux itself but
will pick it because it will do their job.  I also see a large
increase in the number of commercial uses of Linux systems.  This
will include imbedded applications as well as a platform for
scientific and commercial applications.

--
Phil Hughes, Editor, Linux Journal, P.O. Box 85867, Seattle, WA 98145-1867 USA

 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Chris Flatte » Sat, 11 Dec 1993 08:21:10



   In one to two years I think the population will be much less technical
   with tens of thousands of people moving from MS-DOS to Linux
   because Linux offers more functionality and at a lower cost.
   Some of these people won't really know much about Linux itself but
   will pick it because it will do their job.  I also see a large
   increase in the number of commercial uses of Linux systems.  This
   will include imbedded applications as well as a platform for
   scientific and commercial applications.

Wishful thinking, I'm afraid.  PCs sold today generally include MS-Dos
(or a clone) and MS Windows as part of the kit and this is likely to
continue into the indefinite future (most novice users will buy
machines with a bunch of software preloaded) so the cost of
DOS/Windows will not be perceived as an issue.  Non-technical DOS
users will not switch to Linux unless there is some clear reason to do
so and most won't see any such reason (I would guess most of them just
want to run Quicken and TurboTax and games for the kiddies).  Pretty
much the same argument will hold for many commercial DOS/Windows users
(with the additional argument that they may have already made fairly
large investment in DOS/Windows software).

Linux users will probably continue to fall into three main groups.

1 - Programmers and hobbyists.

2 - Students in computing related areas.

3 - Technical users with scientific or technical backgrounds who
    use workstations at work and want something similar at home
    but don't want to pay for a RISC workstation.

There will be a few commercial users (I have heard of an outfit
using Linux boxes to offer a commercial Internet service) but
probably not that many.

        Chris Flatters


 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Uppi » Sat, 11 Dec 1993 18:46:51



>Wishful thinking, I'm afraid.  PCs sold today generally include MS-Dos
>(or a clone) and MS Windows as part of the kit and this is likely to
>continue into the indefinite future (most novice users will buy
>machines with a bunch of software preloaded)

Not just novice users...you can't buy a damn PC anymore without
all kinds of DOS junk plopped on it from most companies.  (You can
request that they not include the stuff, but you won't get a nickel
off the price.)

Quote:>Non-technical DOS
>users will not switch to Linux unless there is some clear reason to do
>so and most won't see any such reason (I would guess most of them just
>want to run Quicken and TurboTax and games for the kiddies).

Quicken is actually a pretty nice program; it's the whole reason I got
dosemu running (it works great under it).

Quote:>Linux users will probably continue to fall into three main groups.
>1 - Programmers and hobbyists.
>2 - Students in computing related areas.
>3 - Technical users with scientific or technical backgrounds who
>    use workstations at work and want something similar at home
>    but don't want to pay for a RISC workstation.

Or scientific users who just can't afford workstations period, but need
to be able to run UNIX-only applications of one form or another for their
work.

--
Jeff Uphoff -- "Uppie"

uppieland.async.vt.edu will be no more at the end of this week--please send

 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Kai Petz » Sat, 11 Dec 1993 22:02:55




>>Wishful thinking, I'm afraid.  PCs sold today generally include MS-Dos
>>(or a clone) and MS Windows as part of the kit and this is likely to
>>continue into the indefinite future (most novice users will buy
>>machines with a bunch of software preloaded)
>Not just novice users...you can't buy a damn PC anymore without
>all kinds of DOS junk plopped on it from most companies.  (You can
>request that they not include the stuff, but you won't get a nickel
>off the price.)

Yes, and hard disks get bigger and bigger.  Today, they make
one big 350 MB partition, and put DOS and Windog on it.  I
expect, that soon, someone will start to format these big
drives into two partitions, say 150 MB and 200 MB, and tell
people, that they can use the second partition for the OS of
their choice - OS/2, Windows NT, SCO, ...

But then, it is only a small step left to put one of free
*nixes on that partition - as an extra, unsopperted "gift".
--
Kai

Adverti*t by Microsoft in a well-known German magazine:
        If you don't like our programmes, then make your own ones.
However, they expect you to use Microsoft products for this -:)

 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Harald T. Alvestra » Sat, 11 Dec 1993 23:01:23


Current usage pattern of Linux, based on the Linux Counter:

PLACES WHERE LINUX IS USED
==========================
 Self Other   Sum %Sum  Place
 2351    25  2376  55% home
    9     1    10   0% home, school
  837     2   839  19% home, work
    1     0     1   0% home, work, school
   52     0    52   1% not used
    1     1     2   0% school
  226   508   734  17% somewhere
  254    12   266   6% work
    1     0     1   0% work, school
--------------------------
 3732   549  4281 100% TOTAL

(I will improve upon this layout!)

I read this as 74 % home, 25 % at work, 17 % replied something else.
Note that there are more than 250 users who *only* use it at work, out
of my 4000 registered ones!

--
                   Harald Tveit Alvestrand

      G=Harald;I=T;S=Alvestrand;O=uninett;P=uninett;C=no
                      +47 73 59 70 94
My son's name is Torbj?rn. The letter between "j" and "r" is o with a slash.

 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Dan Mattraz » Sat, 11 Dec 1993 23:11:06



Quote:>Our publisher is attempting to put together a profile of a typical
>Linux user.  I keep attempting to tell him there is no such thing
>as a typical one.  Below is my guess at what the Linux community
  [ ... ]
>Today I see the majority of Linux users as people who have at least
>some Unix experience.  Most are fairly technical and ranging in
>background from students to Unix systems programmers.  Many of
>these people are work with a "real" Unix system at work and have
>a Linux box at home.  And some of those people are attempting to
>convince people at work that Linux would be a reasonable alternative
>to a commercial system for some work-related tasks.  The remainder
>of this population is the MS-DOS hacker that has seen Linux as
>a chance to run a real operating system without even having to
>change computers.

        The above describes me; I'm a student who uses UNIX at school
        _AND_ I'm a messy-DOS person who is looking for a REAL OS
        (though I do already have OS/2, more power is always better :) )

Quote:>In one to two years I think the population will be much less technical
>with tens of thousands of people moving from MS-DOS to Linux
>because Linux offers more functionality and at a lower cost.
>Some of these people won't really know much about Linux itself but
>will pick it because it will do their job.  

        [ ... ]

>--
>Phil Hughes, Editor, Linux Journal, P.O. Box 85867, Seattle, WA 98145-1867 USA


        Now THIS is where is see you might be getting off track.  I
        beg to differ with your assumption that Linux is _less_ technical
        than MS-DOS.  Yes, the communinity may be getting less technical,
        and Linux has more to offer, but do think your mother or your
        10 year old could install and administer Linux on thier own?

        Once again, yes the _LARGE_ majority of Linux users are technical
        and have a good deal of computer knowledege _NOW_, but unless Linux
        evolves (alot) into an install and forget system like MS-DOS is,
        then I don't see this happening.  And I think this also has alot
        to do with just the fact that it's UNIX, and you've got privs,
        shell scripts, Xconfigs, etc.

        But you wanted opinion and this is mine. :)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------    
        Dan Mattrazzo                          

        Mastering that Parallel thing  
        Graduate Studies
        Computer Science
        Rochester Institute of Technology

 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Larry Doolitt » Sun, 12 Dec 1993 06:31:24




> [ .. stuff deleted .. ]  Non-technical DOS
> users will not switch to Linux unless there is some clear reason to do
> so and most won't see any such reason (I would guess most of them just
> want to run Quicken and TurboTax and games for the kiddies).  Pretty
> much the same argument will hold for many commercial DOS/Windows users
> (with the additional argument that they may have already made fairly
> large investment in DOS/Windows software).

There is a glitch in what you are saying.  You assume that non-technical
people can run DOS/Windows without help from the technical people.  My
experience is that such people *always* need help, no matter how simple
the computer (same folks whose VCR is flashing 12:00 all the time).
If all the technical people abandon DOS (as I have), nobody is left
minding the shop.  DOS installations will run worse and worse (not that
they were all that good in the first place), and there will be real
motiviation to shift to a platform that is *supported*.  This is in
the sense that some guy down the hall can stop by for a minute to tell
you why your spreadsheet won't print.  Maybe the paper jammed, or maybe
the permissions on /etc/printcap got messed up.  How is a MicroShaft
support engineer on the other end of a 900 number going to figure *that*
one out?

I predict that the long term future for Linux derived and influenced
software is rosy.  Heck, we might even *call* it Linux, just like the
name Fortran stuck around for many generations and rebirths of of the
language.

Quote:> Linux users will probably continue to fall into three main groups.

> 1 - Programmers and hobbyists.

> 2 - Students in computing related areas.

> 3 - Technical users with scientific or technical backgrounds who
>     use workstations at work and want something similar at home
>     but don't want to pay for a RISC workstation.

Or those like me who don't even want to pay for that RISC workstation
for their *work* machine, and find a double advantage to using exactly
the same software at home and work.

Quote:> There will be a few commercial users (I have heard of an outfit
> using Linux boxes to offer a commercial Internet service) but
> probably not that many.

This number will take off as soon as Linux deserves and gets the
repuation for having rock-solid networking and DOS emulation.
I hope that is only another month or two.


 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Shun-Chang Ts » Sun, 12 Dec 1993 17:21:25





>There is a glitch in what you are saying.  You assume that non-technical
>people can run DOS/Windows without help from the technical people.  My
>experience is that such people *always* need help, no matter how simple
>the computer (same folks whose VCR is flashing 12:00 all the time).
>This is in
>the sense that some guy down the hall can stop by for a minute to tell
>you why your spreadsheet won't print.  Maybe the paper jammed, or maybe
>the permissions on /etc/printcap got messed up.  How is a MicroShaft
>support engineer on the other end of a 900 number going to figure *that*
>one out?

Do you mean that if a DOS app goes wrong and the person doesn't know
what to do? Ask the same guy down the hall. ;)

Quote:>I predict that the long term future for Linux derived and influenced
>software is rosy.  Heck, we might even *call* it Linux, just like the
>name Fortran stuck around for many generations and rebirths of of the
>language.

Yeah, into Ada 2.... Well, maybe Linus will start his own software
firm or something; maybe he'll go for a Ph.D ;).

Quote:>> There will be a few commercial users (I have heard of an outfit
>> using Linux boxes to offer a commercial Internet service) but
>> probably not that many.
>This number will take off as soon as Linux deserves and gets the
>repuation for having rock-solid networking and DOS emulation.
>I hope that is only another month or two.

Also, won't you need commericial apps developer's support as well?
The biz people can be fairly skeptical when it comes to getting this
new cool operating system called Linux for free: "Why are they giving
it away when it's so good? Windows is good and they're not giving it
away!" They'll want shrink-wrapped packages that are easy to use and
do not require training.  (Need to convince them that their
secretaries won't have a hard doing TeX to write a simple memo.)
They'll want tech support (provided by some people, to a certain
degree, I heard.)  All these are best provided by commericial
developers: I don't think that the people writing, say, dosemu will be
too thrilled about writing a quicken clone (but then again I might be
wrong about this).
 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by David Sibl » Mon, 13 Dec 1993 01:09:23


I don't know who the Linux users are, but I know who they aren't.  Me.
I'm one of those technical people who use a UNIX box at work and would
like to have the same environment available on my PC at home.  (Right
now I make do with the MKS Toolkit.)  I want to have a DOS partition,
too, though.  And I want to be able to back up my entire DOS setup on
tape before I install Linux.  Right now I don't even have a tape drive,
so it would seem to make sense to buy one that will work reliably under
both DOS and Linux.  Yet there doesn't seem to be such a thing, as far
as I can tell from recent threads here.

I can't even make any sense of most of the questions in the Linux
newsgroups, nevermind the answers, so I'm very reluctant to install
Linux without being able to back out easily.

David Sibley        | "Accurate reckoning.  The entrance into knowledge
Amateur radio NT3O  |  of all existing things and all obscure secrets."

 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Jim Grah » Tue, 14 Dec 1993 01:14:48



Quote:(Uppie) writes:
>Not just novice users...you can't buy a damn PC anymore without
>all kinds of DOS junk plopped on it from most companies.  (You can
>request that they not include the stuff, but you won't get a nickel
>off the price.)

I have an easy solution to that one.....  You go from store to store,
getting pricing information for a system (or the individual components
to build a system) with a list of things that you want.  Allow room for
optional changes (e.g., ``you said you wanted a 250 Meg hard disk---you
can get a 360 Meg hard disk for only $50 more if you want it''), but
make it clear that you aren't interested in pre-loaded software at all,
and if they insist on including this and charging you for it, it's going
to count AGAINST them, not for them, in the comparison with their
competition.

Then, if/when a vendor gives you a price for a whole system, including a
bunch of pre-loaded junk you don't want, you remind them that you aren't
interested in the pre-loaded junk and that if their price is higher because
of this, it will hurt them in the comparison with their competition.  If
they don't care enough at this point, they probably aren't worth doing
business with anyways, but that depends on other aspects of their attitude,
too, so it's hard to say....

Btw, yes, I am the type of customer that vendors with an attitude problem
don't like...not only do I not come back, but I also blab a lot about how
lousy they treated me, and so on.  Vendors with a good attitude, on the
other hand, love me for similar reasons (i.e., I do come back, and I blab
a lot about how well they treated me).

Later,
   --jim

PS:  Sorry for the only partially Linux-related post, but since this does
     deal with buying hardware to run Linux on, well, it sort of works
     out...maybe...just a little bit...I hope....  :-)

--
#include <std_disclaimer.h>                                  73 DE N5IAL (/4)
-------------------------< Running Linux 0.99 PL10 >--------------------------

AMATEUR RADIO:  (packet station temporarily offline)       AMTOR SELCAL: NIAL
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E-mail me for information about KAMterm (host mode for Kantronics TNCs).

 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Tommy Marcus McGui » Wed, 15 Dec 1993 06:07:47




>They'll want shrink-wrapped packages that are easy to use and
>do not require training.  

The only response I can come up with for this sort of comment is to
quote Alan Perlis and give them a lollipop.

(Then explain who who he was and point out that packages that
are easy to use and don't require training are either
(a) functionless or
(b) nonexistent.)

-----
Tommy McGuire


"...I will append an appropriate disclaimer to outgoing public information,
identifying it as personal and as independent of IBM...."

 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Barb Be » Wed, 15 Dec 1993 08:41:28


Dan Mattrazzo seems to think that 10 year olds and mothers are too dumb to
handle linux.  I have met several 10 year olds much more capable of
doing something on such a system than some cs grads.  My GRANDAUGHTER should
start learning something about it soon.
                                         GRANDMA Beck
                                         A linux user
 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Thomas Haywo » Wed, 15 Dec 1993 09:19:21


Well the only reason I installed it is that I was spending massive amounts
of money on phone bills to uni. So I thought that this would save money
by being able to do all my work at home. Of course it being free helped.
--
Welcome to my new mail box...........

2nd Year BCSE, Monash Uni/Clayton, Vic, Aus
Home: Wantirna Sth, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by Remco Treffko » Tue, 14 Dec 1993 17:00:43



alot of stuff...
: --
: Phil Hughes, Editor, Linux Journal, P.O. Box 85867, Seattle, WA 98145-1867 USA

I admit it, I am the typycal Linux user! You got me. What now?
--

Remco Treffkorn, DC2XT

(408) 685-1201

 
 
 

Who is the typical Linux user?

Post by David Simmo » Wed, 15 Dec 1993 20:51:25



Quote:>Dan Mattrazzo seems to think that 10 year olds and mothers are too dumb to
>handle linux.  I have met several 10 year olds much more capable of
>doing something on such a system than some cs grads.  My GRANDAUGHTER should
>start learning something about it soon.
>                                         GRANDMA Beck
>                                         A linux user

Well, I'm taking a terminal home over the holidays, and I'm going to wire
my 10-year old brother's room into my Linux box.  He is definately going
to be Unix-literate before I leave. :)

--

Mississippi State University Electrical and Computer Engineering
"Linux:  Because a PC is a terrible thing to waste."                  

 
 
 

1. Typical behavior patterns of Linux users -- Businessweek.com

"Stowell said SCO had no indication who was behind the attack or why it
was launched, but the Utah-based company has incurred the wrath of many
Linux enthusiasts infuriated with its lawsuit against IBM. SCO seeks
more than $1 billion in the suit, which accuses Big Blue of taking Unix
intellectual property to which SCO owns rights, and moving it into
open-source Linux. On Thursday, SCO Chief Executive Darl McBride said
Unix source code had been copied line-by-line into Linux."

"SCO's Internet service provider, ViaWest, told SCO that about 100
high-speed T1 data-transmission lines of network capacity--about 90
percent of its total bandwidth--was being consumed in the attack. "It
was a large, extremely well-orchestrated DDoS attack," ViaWest told
SCO."

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/cnet/stories/999584.htm

--
Coming Soon: UNSEALED (see IMDB)

2. Slackware reset not working

3. Typical Users (Part 4 of 3)

4. Limiting bandwidth on Apache?

5. Typical Users (Part 3 of 3 (...looks like 4))

6. Cyrix processor with GCC 2.7.2.3 is there a compatibility problem?

7. Typical Users (Part 2 of 3)

8. Slow telnet (I've read the previous)

9. how many startup services [daemons] should a typical dialup modem user have enabled?

10. Typical Users: Explained

11. Typical Users (Part 1 of 3)

12. My last posting - I am a PROSPECTIVE user; no Linux access here...

13. A new user to Linux...oooo I am excited...