- A girl asks on FB how to deal with a problem in her Windows computer: the system is asking her to introduce the serial key.

- I comment her the possibility of using Linux in case her use cases are simple enough (web, music, videos).

- First reactions are even enthusiastic, some people who had good experiences join the thread to express their delight with Linux.

- Then a guy arrives to tell us how irresponsible we are, telling a poor girl who does not even know how to introduce the serial key... to use Linux (a super complex system!)

- So I tell the guy that Windows is not simple at all, and that most of the times, people just rely o knowing someone else with higher expertise than them, who always end up paying the price of solving the problems caused by Windows, so the users don't really feel how painful is Windows compared to other systems.

- The girl, who was enthusiastic at first, and seems to be not very bright, to say the least, completely misunderstands my answer. She interprets that I'm insulting the poor guys that act as IT service for free, and calls me a "know-all/smartass" (those words are not even close to their Spanish counterpart on pushing down people who know stuff, we are experts on that there, we didn't loose an empire in the 17th century by respecting the wise ones).

This is, in part, why I stopped helping those dumbasses 18 years ago. I forbid myself to learn anything new about Windows (at user level) so I couldn't help these ungrateful and ignorant people who don't make any effort to learn anything by themselves.

  • 9
    Don't let the stupidity of others keep you from learning. Let them wallow in their own incompetence.
  • 4
    So you don't learn one of the most popular platforms in the world to not help a subset of users? That's really pulling off your face to spite your nose don't you think?
  • 0
    @projektaquarius Don't get me wrong. I specifically mentioned "user-level" knowledge.

    I'm mostly a software developer, and a curious guy. I don't say "no" to knowledge, but I state my priorities on what to learn (and even though, it's literally impossible not to learn anything about those things that we are not interested on).

    Besides that, I choose to "fake" ignorance on the topic (as I spent around 18 years mostly dealing with other systems, I have a good alibi).

    P.S.: This is also kinda related to the "forged instincts" that we develop as we gain knowledge & experience, that stop us from making gross mistakes.

    This, in fact, creates a language barrier between newbies & experts, who usually have difficulties understanding what are the problems newbies are facing. The biggest chunk of learning about Windows is mostly related to cover this communication gap, even more than about the system itself.
  • 0
    Estoy interesado en saber que palabras usaron exactamente :P
  • 0
    @AleCx04 Nos hemos equivocado!
  • 6
    "irresponsible" isn't the word I would've used. Suggesting the switch to a completely different operating system when someone just asked how to enter a serial number... That's overkill. That's typical Linux fanboy stuff.

    Sometimes just answer the damn question.
  • 5
    How exactly would she switch to Linux? Download a random distro and try it out? Would that be your preferred distro, or something made for Linux first-timers? What would you do if she tried to install it herself and accidentally wiped some important data not knowing which /dev/sdX is which disk? How about when she needs to quickly write a paper, and she realises Writer is like some 2003-era word processor she was too young to ever use? What about the games she occasionally plays? Itunes for her phone? Some software she may need for school or work? Drivers for her printer?

    Telling her to use something she's not familiar with, knowing you won't be there to help when she faces a problem because of it, is the very definition of irresponsible.
  • 0
    @hitko For the papers, LibreOffice is available on both systems, and nobody buys MS Office for private use. Or for academic papers, LaTeX also runs on both systems.
  • 1
    Your mistake was getting involved at all...

    I've learned that non-tech people were are not interested in tech people's opinions, despite the fact they probably have the most valid reasons for it.
  • 0
    @VaderNT That was already answered, there was no need to repeat. It was an extra insight, because that girl is ALWAYS having problems with Windows.

    I'm not a Linux fanboy, I'm very aware of its pitfalls and I also explain them when I talk about it.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop You see, I didn't say that Windows is a piece of shit (although it is in many aspects, if you ask me, I'm sorry for the unsolicited opinion).

    But what you say is just FUD. Most modern Linux distributions just work out-of-the-box, including all sorts of technologies without having to do any extra step (USB3, USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, webcams, printers, scanners, graphic cards, etc.).

    And Windows is no problems-free, no system is, indeed.

    So, when Linux can be a pain in the ass...? well, in some cases, for example:

    - You are a hardcore gamer that loves playing AAA games from the very first day. Ok, then Linux is not for you, but again, not because of Linux, but because companies rightly considered it wouldn't be profitable to release such games for Linux.

    - You rely on heavily-specialized niche software, usually for engineering purposes, which is usually quite expensive, and only released for Windows. Well, again, Linux is not for you.
  • 0
    @hitko I was very specific about that: "In case you consider doing it, first ask for proper advice to see if it really fits you".
  • 1
    @castarco Claiming the usual desktop Linux issues are FUD is one of the major reasons why they havn't been fixed. I'll leave just this here:


    Don't even think about advising distro hopping. That will at best lead to different problems.

    Also, Windows 10 with its forced and hardly tested updates is actually shitty, but MS rightfully thinks the Linux desktop won't be a killer. That was different back with the Vista disaster where there was a short time window for the Linux desktop, but of course they blew it.
  • 2
    @castarco Okay, so you actually suggester her to find someone who can help her getting used to Linux.

    Still, instead of helping her, you suggested she should consult someone about a problem she doesn't have, so they can guide her through a bunch of other potential problems, which in best case will get her nothing more than what she already has, except she won't need that product key.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop Perhaps nobody *buys* Office for private use, but most people still *use* it, either as OEM version, or through other means.

    LibreOffice Writer (or any related clone) is exactly like Word 2003 - everything is a toolbar icon with no explanation, and the only way to temporarily have, say, table formatting tools available is by adding another toolbar.
  • 1
    <-- 30+ years using Windows

    <-- 30+ trying to get Linux to work..

    After a lot, and I mean a lot of questions, and answers, I do finally just about having a working Linux system. (As long as I don't really do much with it, it doesn't break..)

    > that girl is ALWAYS having problems

    > with Windows.

    Me 2 !

    I suspect she would have a ton more difficult issues with Linux..

    > Most modern Linux distributions just

    > work out-of-the-box

    People have been telling me that for, oh 30+ years now !

    Maybe I've just been unlucky hundreds of times..

    If she got as far as installing Windows, I'd stick with the answer to her question, than trying to get her to start from scratch with a new OS.

    On the plus side, that new second hand microphone I got that is super nice, only works in Linux now since W10 buggered its drivers..

    So, was extra cheap second hand. :-)

    Now, will the cheaper Chinese microphone that cost 1/100 be so easy to get to work with Linux I wonder..
  • 0
    Now I wanna know what was that "spanish counterpart" they called you 😂
  • 0
    @projektaquarius I personally don't do it for that reason but yeah, I have better things to do and I'd rather not waste that on learning how a proprietary and mass surveillance integrated system works, if I don't have to for whatever reason.
  • 0
    @VaderNT I don't often agree on stuff like this but while I do appreciate OR's efforts, I kinda agree with you here.

    Edit: I did not read all @castarco's further comments until now so I guess its a different context and providing more options/information... why not?
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