Friends Don’t Let Friends Beta-Test Linux Distros

Here’s why:

Like an addiction, playing with it until it breaks and learning how to fix it can become an all-consuming fire, eating up entire days of the victim’s life. And the people you meet in those support forums are so nice and helpful, it becomes another trap: You feel a sense of belonging, a kinship with other nerds when you always felt out of place before, and maybe a little ashamed of being “too nerdy.” Look at you now – part of a wonderful open-source community. No need for a secret identity or anything.

But I let my Hero down for a time, being too consumed with making this Linux thing work when I’m really just a beginner, relatively.

“But we like beginners,” my fellow nerds will say, “and we need them to test this distro because it’s aimed at exactly the kind of casual user you represent.”

Beta for newbies? Please, is it really that hard to put yourself in my shoes? Was it really so long ago that you were a Linux newbie too? C’mon, I don’t believe that. Get your kids to test it. Ask your family or neighbors or some kids on Spring Break, or retirees at the clubhouse. People who don’t otherwise have lives or obligations or a Hero to put above all else.

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