New Linux User Questionnaire

Before installing either Xubuntu or Linux Lite on a brand new Linux user’s computer, I always use this questionnaire to customize their machine with the proper applications, themes, panel(s) set-up, icon sets, etc to make their first experience as awesome as possible:

1. What do you want to use your computer for?
2. Are you “technically challenged” and just want to keep it simple, or would you like to explore your “inner geek?”
3. How old is your computer and what Operating System did it ship to you with (example: Windows XP or Vista, OSX, etc)? How big is the Hard Disk Drive and how much RAM?
4. Do you like “eye candy” and pretty special effects on your desktop, or do you prefer a faster, basic desktop with fewer bells and whistles?
5. Please list your favorite and most-used computer applications (programs). Try to categorize them if you can, under headings such as Web Browsing, E-Mail, Music Editing, CD-burning,
Office/Word Processing, Photo Editing, etc.
6. Would you like the latest “bleeding edge” stuff or do you prefer older, proven, rock-stable programs?
7. What’s your favorite color?
8. How will you connect to the Internet (if applicable)? Dial-up, wifi, Cable
9. Will you tell all your friends how awesome Linux is (and how nice Robin is for getting it up and running for you)? Don’t answer this one yet…

 

2 thoughts on “New Linux User Questionnaire

  1. Oooh, am I the first one to respond?
    I had a problem with q4: I don’t need eye-candy but of course I want all the bells and whistles function-wise.
    q8: Fibre. Will you help me anyway?
    q9: Yes!

    That I’m not happy with your restriction to the XFCE desktop, I guess you know. But, really now, why not branching out a bit more? Linux Lite, by all I hear, isn’t the super duper n00b distro anymore, bog standard Mint is doing the same only a bit more en vogue. And Xubuntu is basically the same as Lite, no? It’s Ubuntu with Xfce slapped on top. So that’s not really a widespread choice.

    We often tend to forget that most n00bs on Linux aren’t kindergarten kidz but fully formed, responsible adults with maybe 25 years of Windows and Mac life under their belts and a wide range of personal tastes and workflows.

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  2. A reader asked:

    >> That I’m not happy with your restriction to the XFCE desktop, I guess you know. But, really now, why not branching out a bit more? Linux Lite, by all I hear, isn’t the super duper n00b distro anymore, bog standard Mint is doing the same only a bit more en vogue. And Xubuntu is basically the same as Lite, no? It’s Ubuntu with Xfce slapped on top. So that’s not really a widespread choice. <<

    Fair questions: I have tried almost all of the other desktops, and am still looking at Plasma by the way. I just find Xfce the simplest desktop so far, and apparently the developers of many Linux distros aimed at old folks, children, and technophobes think so too. Xfce has been the chosen desktop for most distros aimed at simple folk like, and kids, and beginners. But is fun to experiment with the others if you have the RAM and processing power for it. And did you forget I got really brave and tested BSD? 😀

    >> We often tend to forget that most n00bs on Linux aren’t kindergarten kidz but fully formed, responsible adults with maybe 25 years of Windows and Mac life under their belts and a wide range of personal tastes and workflows. <<

    Agreed. Most of the newbies I have helped are kids, but I suspect the great majority are competent, experienced adult users. But Linux isn't something you can just use any ol' software from the shelf at Best Buy, or download and install some .exe from a web site. It's still very different from Windows and Mac.

    The reason I'm a Linux Lite fan is not the Xfce desktop, the easy installer and all that stuff. It’s the tool set that comes with Linux Lite. All of the regular maintenance and cleaning can be done in seconds with a mouse click. Kernel manager, cache cleaner, set kernel swappiness, all kindsa stuff. For newcomers to Linux, even MX and Mint don’t provide that level of “hand holding” for users, whether they are newcomers to Linux or very experienced – but forgetful, neglectful, or just lazy. That’s my main big reason for recommending Linux Lite. M’kay?

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