Friday, 8 March 2013

The Future of Linux Pt 8 [Guest Post]


Continuing a series of guest posts sparked by a discussion over at the Hampshire Linux User Group. This turned out to be the best argued thread that we've had in some time, and worth wider reading. Greengrass had this to to say about Chromebooks to Ally Biggs question.

I see a slightly different future for Linux.  The desktop, for many, will disappear.  The Chromebook is a V2.0 successor to the Network Computer.  It's a computing device.  Read you email:  Open a browser tab for G-Mail.  Edit a document/ spread sheet/ presentation: Open a browser tab for Google Docs/Sheets/Slides  \

Chromebooks can do a lot of things, but they can do many things that many end users want to do.

Enter the Internet Computing Device: a Chromebook.  Want the latest version of your word processor.  Just refresh the browser window with a document in it.  Upgrade the OS.  Power down you Chromebook, then power it up.  What package manager?  Chromebook:  I'll take care of that for you while you just get one with what you want to do.

Gosh!  I'm beginning to sound like a Linux heretic, but I'm not an apostate!

Chromebook:  Where's the bigfg blue 'E'?  ;-)

Connecting to a password protected Wifi hotspot is about the most difficult task a Chromebook user will ever encounter.  You have to type in a password!  Gosh that difficult.

The Chromebooks 'remembers' the password and the hotspot.  Next you go there, is just connects and resumes what ever you were doing when you closed the lid and put it into sleep mode.

There is a simple command line interface for ssh.  I would add: "for now"  It's a 'bug' I expect to get fixed soon.

There is also 'dev' mode.  Drop into it, and all the bones of Linux are there for you CLI enjoyment.  I'll dual boot my Chromebook one of these days when a I get a large SD card and a bit of spare time, or when I run into a brick wall, computing wise and find I can't do something with my CB as it is.

All the Chromebook 'support' documentation is online.  Don't like group Reddit, try GPlus.

So how did you guys learn Linux?

With a Chromebook, I just logged in and started using it.  thx Jack for setting up Roundtop so I can get my e-mail on the Chromebook.

VCRs, now PVRs  Back in the bad old days of tape VCRs, a very large percentage of the VCR that display the time were set to 00:00  Most end users, needed a competency course to program their VCR.  I currently have a multi-function remote that will handle the TV, Cable, and DVD, but I can't program it to turn of the LCD screen.  YMMV

And Smart Phones, Tablets, TVs, Chromebooks and if Apple gets their way, your wrist watch will 'hide' the bones of computing and just let you point and click... and just get on with doing the task you wanted to do instead of trying to service the OS-Firewall-Version skew-Security Update-Major Upgrade  of you computing device.

Watch the trend to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work.  Smart Phones are the thin end of the wedge in this respect.  This might be more advanced in the USA than Europe, but it is trending up.

I most likely will not replace the desktop for me either, but it can, and I think will replace the desktop for many that just want to read their e-mail and browse the web and I think there are a lot of people that only want a computer for those two tasks.

I agree with touch devices.  The GF got an iPad mini for a Christmas present (not from me).  She hates all the smeary fingerprints on it.

Apps and into the cloud is currently 'just a trend', but I would add, a very strong trend.  Yes there are a lot of arguments against using a cloud to store you personal data, but there are a lot of good sound arguments for it  also.

I'll need at least one h/w refresh. I don't like the iApple stuff.  I like my freedom.  There are alternatives to almost all Google services.  Chromestuff can easily be avoided. Greengrass

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