The Linux learning curve is flatter than ever.

One of the biggest so called barriers to adopting Linux is what is called the learning curve. Many people describe the learning curve for Linux to be a steep one. It used to be but not any more. A steep learning curve is where to be able to use what you are learning effectively you need to learn a lot. The more you have to learn the steeper the learning curve. The less you have to learn the flatter the learning curve (duh!). With the advent of microsofts latest operating system and office programs the learning curve rose up sharply. This is because microsoft changed the user interface around quite considerably from the previous versions. Still it is windows and people can adapt. What it does mean is that the difference between the Linux user interface and the new windows interface are now on equal terms. I think that Linux actually has more of an advantage with some window managers being closer to the previous windows user interface than the new windows interface. Just the graphical way of navigating the operating system is not enough. After all a menu is a menu and anyone can click through one. In this respect the learning curve is almost a flat line. The real difference is in the programs that we use on a daily basis. More and more Open Source programs are available for multiple operating system platforms and as such the user experience for people using those programs is exactly the same. No matter what operating system you are using. In this case the learning curve is non existent. Some windows only programs and their Linux equivalents also mimic each other in their user interface. If only because that is the most logical way of laying out the program. Similar tasks beget similar solutions. So even more now than before, as the desktop versions of Linus proliferate, the visible and usage differences between Linux and windows reduces to the stage where anyone with any experience on one platform can easily, with very little effort, use the other platform. This means that the learning curve is very, very gentle. As a user becomes more proficient in using the Linux operating system and wishes to start using more advanced functions then the learning curve steepens. As it does for windows as well. For Linux it may mean editing text files. For windows it means editing the registry. The big difference here is if you mangle a text file you only lose that functionality and it is easily restored. If you mangle the windows registry then quite often it is time to get out the rescue and backup disks. So not only is Linux as easy to use and learn as windows is. It is more forgiving of mistakes that you may make on your journey to knowledge. More than ever that journey is less stressful and the hill is easier to climb with the rewards being greater than ever before.
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"Thanks oz_ollie and Locutus for the pointers, really appreciate it.

I don't really want to hijack this comment section to discuss my issues with WoL, I will probably start a blog post on my own blog and then invite people to reply.

Just a final point, I DID get WoL to work eventually performing similar ""hacks"" as mentioned in some of those articles you pointed me too (I define adding a Kernel Option as a Hack, capital H) but ONLY when I use the shutdown command (shutdown -h now), it does not work with the Standby/Hibernate feature which is what is just killing me. I do not understand what the difference is between those features and the shutdown command. I configured my server to go to sleep by itself (e.g. after an hour of inactivity) which I think is invoking the Standby/Hybernate feature. If it goes to sleep this way I cannot Wake it on LAN, drives me nuts :-) "
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"Ubuntu? Linux? aren't the code words for Windows 7? :-) lol only joking so fanboyz of both camp can point those flamers somewhere else, ok? :)

@Locutus - I love some of the remote admin stuff you can do with *nix boxes in comparison to the Microsoft offerings and am looking to get some in at my place of work to replace the older servers.... but that's another fight.

One quick comment though - have you seen the ""no gui"" install of server 2008? for something that's not supposed to have a gui it looks awfully like one to me. I queried an 08 evangelist about this at a conference recently and apparently it is because the error messages are still pop-ups so you need the gui to be able to see and read them! Laugh? I giggle a lot at him and he agreed it was a bit daft. Good to see someone at MS has a sense of humour though. "
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"Thanks Locutus.

While I am running a ""server"" (it is really nothing more yet than a machine I use to serve files, i.e. a NAS), the issues I encountered would also occur on a desktop machine. People add HDD all, everybody uses Wireless LANs the time and power management is by no means a server feature, in fact it is usually considered the opposite, you let it run 24/7 normally. I agree that WoL is a bit out there, but the rest?

I'll take you up on the offer of help, maybe somebody can explain to me how WoL is suppose to work on Ubuntu :-)

Mark. "
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"I'm sorry but I totally disagree with the premise. I have just moved to Ubuntu for managing my server after having used it for years at work and I need to look up literally everything I do, either in a book or online. Even something as simple as adding or removing a program took me a while to find out (yeah yeah, packages are much cooler than .exe files, but really can't they call the module ""Add/Remove Programs""?). Have you ever added a Hard Drive to a Linux system? I can't recollect having to manually modify a file (/etc/fstab) in windows when I did this, even just the mounting process in itself is clumsy. Otherwise try getting Standby/Hibernate to work or, if you are really masochistic, Wake-on-Lan. I hear trying to get a wireless LAN to work also requires voodoo magic (although I must admit I haven't dared going there myself, only wires for me). I got so fed up after a few weeks that I started a blog to jot down my experiences and the occasional rant. It was either that, therapy or back to Windows.

I am not technophobe so I can live with these flaws and try to get passed them (with some help), but to declare that Linux has a flat(ter) learning curve would require my mom/wife/little brother/ to be able to perform these acts and there is no way that they could or that they would want to stick around long enough to find out if it just works on another OS. "
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nevertheless the truth would still remain intact... Linux would always be seen as a server and windows like a client
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" and I noted an install of Ubuntu of the weekend. Painless. Done in under 30 minutes, no questions other than localization and identity.

I do wonder... no root user?
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