3 part guest article by chikauuna did an outstanding job of showing us the bread crumb trail she laid between using Windows and converting to Linux. I want to personally thank her for that contribution and the time it took to write it.
It gave many of us some things to think about. Or if you are on the development side, things to further ignore.
Either way, what is written is written.
However...in reading her work, I was reminded that human behavior of the universal type comes into play here much more than many of us might think.
I believe one of those Universal Truths is that the majority of us resist change. We have our habits and routines, and you dare not stand within arm's reach while suggesting to someone they change them.
Here let me offer an analogy...and yes, it's the best way I know to illustrate the point. (1) Because it's an analogy and its function is to illustrate a point and (2) I'm pretty much a hack. I have neither the writing skills or the desire to obtain those writing skills in order to more creatively express my point.
Gas prices here in Central Texas have, for lack of a better word...plummeted. Three weeks ago, I was paying $3.88 per gallon of gasoline. Yes I know, people in other parts of the country were paying more. I get that. And should it be a temptation, let's not let this digress into a gripe session over the child-eating oil companies or the Evil Rich that do their food shopping for them.
The price of gasoline is just a bit player in this thing.
As an aside, I will ask you to gaze intently at the price per gallon sign at your local gas station and together we'll come the realization that this is probably the first time in our lifetimes that the price of gasoline has not shot up 6-8 percent in anticipation of a major holiday. Instead, it continues to go down.
It's the 4th of July for us in the US...not such a big deal for you elsewhere. Allow us our over-indulgence in alcoholic beverages, over-exposure to UV rays and rare meat while we pretty much ignore the actual reason for the red number on the calendar.
So, I'm on my way to fill the belly of the beast. I have my favorite place to buy gas and the few "quick stop" items I may need at the time. On my way there, I passed a Shell station and noticed that they were charging $3.49 a gallon.
In itself, that price wouldn't make sense. Two blocks down the street, my place was pumping gas for $3.12 a gallon.
How does that work out for them?
Quite well as it turns out. With a little thought, it became clear.
The major oil companies spend millions in mail costs each year, in order to tempt you into applying for one of their branded credit cards. Even with the economy in the crapper and many of us with suffering credit scores, they are still offering many of us a piece of the American Dream.
Once we get the card, it becomes too easy to pull into the Shell, Chevron or Texaco that issued you the card.
After all, it's pay at the pump...no pain, no cash exchanged and the upcoming billing statement is just a vague promise in the future.
Sure gas across the street is .25 cents cheaper, "But I've got credit!"
Interpret that as meaning I don't have the cash equivalent of that purchase in my pocket.
Not only can you purchase fuel at an inflated price on your credit card, you can buy all the handy little incidentals you might need at home. Milk, bread, a jar of peanut butter...
At about the same markup.
Are you getting where I'm going now? I hope so...this analogy is getting wobbly legs.
Over 90 percent of the people who sit down at a computer do so using Microsoft Windows. Sure they didn't apply for it, but they sure as heck pay for the "convenience" down the road. As chikauuna pointed out, she suffered the same "inflated prices" every Windows user suffers.
The bill often comes due with the same inflated price tag. Computer repair shops more and more choose scorched earth methods to fix an infected or broken system. Being a person who partially makes their living from the same pain, it is much, much cheaper to recover data and reinstall than it is to untangle the tentacles of a rootkit or sophisticated virus from the registry.
Even when things are running smoothly, the Windows user pays for the "convenience" by updating virus software, tolerating Windows updates and suffering sluggish behavior from a system that is six months or longer installed.
Still, every now and then, someone will look at the price posted on the sign and simply say:
But it doesn't happen very often.
It's too convenient to pay the inflated bill every now and then.