BBC Breakfast Talk on Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

Rory Cellan-Jones is officially a Technology Correspondent in BBC and was called the Internet Correspondent till around 2000. Currently a BBC Breakfast host, Rory Cellan-Jones, had a hard time a week ago when he made some comments about Ubuntu on the show with Sian Williams and Bill Turnbull.

Rory was having a talk with Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams on Windows 7. It all fired up when Bill Turnbull mentions the presence of other Operating systems which are available for free.
Rory replies with,

Absolutely, I was just showing one off here. There’s something called Ubuntu’ which is launched next week. It’s a whole sort of little community of enthusiasts building operating systems for absolutely nothing and trying to persuade us that we don’t need to be in with the big boys but actually most computer users frankly they don’t want to bother with that sort of stuff they want something that’s there…

Bill seconds him with a

..that everyone else uses..

Popey gets upset with all this and puts a transcript of the show on his blog.

Next, Canonical approaches Rory with an offer to try out Ubuntu 9.10 and send him a Dell Inspiron Mini loaded with Karmic Koala. Rory likes the faster startup of the Ubuntu box he received. But that seems to be the only thing he liked. He did not quite enjoy the possibility of using Window softwares with Wine

I also gave up on attempting to use the music streaming service Spotify, after a warning that, as there was no Linux version, I would first need to get hold of something called Wine which allows you to run Windows apps. Too much bother…
Navigating around an unfamiliar system was fine once I’d worked out that the Ubuntu logo in the top left hand corner of the screen took me home, and for all my simple computing needs – from word processing to e-mail to web browsing – I found Ubuntu pretty satisfactory.
But, even after some help from a Canonical advisor who came and installed a few add-ons such as Flash, I struggled to work out how I would organise photos, music and video with this system.
So would I actively seek to install Ubuntu or any other Linux variant on a machine I already owned?
To be frank, no, because it would not make my computing life any simpler and more pleasurable than it is now.

Now, having said all that, he receives 300+ comments, each averaging to around 150 words.

I am not saying whether it was right or wrong for him to say all that. But when you are addressing a whole bunch of people right in the morning, everything that you say stays in their heads and makes up the gossip for the day.

All that happened might be covered by three kinds of people.

First, those who are complete Linux noobs, they will only get more frightened to even think of running Ubuntu now, especially when that big “NO” comes from a BBC Technology Correspondent. They would never know anything outside of Windows for the rest of their lives.

Secondly, there is a certain bunch of people who are primarily Windows users and also enjoy using Linux. Windows is the most popular OS strictly because of its ease of use. Linux can be easily hacked and modified. The user’s choice of an OS depends completely on his needs but familiarity with one particular OS is no reason to stick to it. It is fun for them. This bunch includes me.

Thirdly, there are Ubuntu enthusiasts who found this very intimidating, indeed it is for those who get involved in free and Open Source developments of this huge a scale and receive this kind of a feedback.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.