Quick intro to Linux for non-techies - great idea.
Part 1 - quick distro comparison - nice start.
Part 2 - dual-boot - mistake; at least one reader has trashed their Windows machine.
Part 3 - it now turns out that this is a Ubuntu advertorial. And, far worse, it's just plain wrong. So wrong, it's difficult to know where to start.
> Linux is different: you get the OS, apps, drivers, media codecs and so on all from
> your distributor, who has assembled them all into a single, more-or-less integrated
> whole. So to add more software, and to get updates, you go to the distro-maintainer,
> not to the original source.
1 - This has nothing to do with Linux - it's just how some distros operate. This goes to the heart of the difference between Linux (the kernel) and GNU (the political philosophy), and is part of the reason why "Linux" (the OS) has failed so spectacularly.
2 - For anyone who uses a computer for real work - ie. not just "Flash, Java, MP3 and so on" - this is also just plain wrong. You have to get the software from the vendor; no commercial vendor distributes through a distro-maintainer.
> What you don't do is get program executables from unknown sources (such as
> downloading them from the web) and run them, like on Windows. Unix isn't trusting like that.
Wrong; this just confuses people about what Unix is. The Unix security model is *completely* compatible with downloading and running stuff from the web; this is how we do things in the 21st century. The GNU and Ubuntu *political* philosophies are the problem here, not Unix.
Quite apart from anything else, the whole premise of this article is misguided:
1 - It starts by telling us what the Ubuntu philosophy is, explains why that's a problem, and then gives detailed low-level instructions for fixing that problem. What?! If the philosophy is a problem, then don't use Ubuntu!
2 - There's an underlying, and unstated, assumption that a computer only needs to run "Flash, Java, MP3, and so on". Sorry, but those of us in the real world use computers for real work. An article of this sort needs to *start* from this premise, and recommend a distro based on this premise.
Sorry, but this article is part of the problem, not the solution. I've been using Unix since V7, and have been waiting 25 years for a usable desktop version. It looked like Linux would make it, but the GNU philosophy has completely screwed it, and the last 15 years of development has led to a vastly fragmented and bloated ecosystem, with absolutely no commercial awareness or sense of the marketplace, and a desktop share of essentially zero. 16 years after 'Linux' we're still getting articles like this, telling us that we're not allowed to download and run things from the web, and that "certain things don't work" for absolutely no logical reason.
Oh, and for anyone who may have been tempted to install Ubuntu, rather than any other distro: there's only one thing you need to know about Ubuntu. They're not interested in binary compatibility with *anything*; it's official. That makes it, pretty much by definition, a dead-end.