Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Fri Jul 16 17:00:07 MDT 2010

On 07/16/2010 02:34 PM, Henry Hertz Hobbit wrote:
> I needed people with Linux expertise to help leverage people off
> of Windows onto Linux for security reasons.  Specifically, I see
> the following two areas as ripe for the picking:
> 1. People at home.  Many have very little technical knowledge
> and will need assistance from time to time.  A good LUG is the
> place to get this.

A large part of my extended family uses Ubuntu, but I doubt I should 
tell them to visit any Linux user group for help.  The kinds of things 
they need help with are usually simple, yet the users don't understand 
the problems well enough to explain them.  If I just sit at the keyboard 
and fix it myself, I can finish in a few quiet minutes instead of 
spending hours of confusion on the phone.

That's why I rarely recommend Linux to anyone outside my family, 
regardless of its many benefits.  I can't add anyone else to my support 
list.  If stores like Best Buy offered Linux service, I would gladly 
recommend Linux.

Perhaps we could have a regular meeting where less-knowledgeable Linux 
users bring their computers and experts fix them for free.  I don't 
think PLUG has ever been that kind of service, but if it did offer such 
a thing, I would happily volunteer as an expert on these conditions:

1) There must be a fixed time limit.  If I have to spend extra time on 
something, I can not afford to come back again.

2) Users must agree to no warranty, even if their computer gets broken. 
  Ideally, they should sign a form to that effect.

3) Users must bring their computer and let the experts drive when 
appropriate.  I will not do phone tech support outside my family. 
(Phone tech support within my family is only acceptable because I retain 
root access via OpenVPN on all their computers.)

4) I can not promise I will come to the next meeting or help at other 
times.  I probably will help occasionally, but I can not afford to 
*promise* to help.

Such a meeting, if successful, could serve as a seed for Linux support 
businesses and would encourage sharing of Linux expertise.


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