What does your relatives think of you, and your *nix hobby? - Psychology, Philosophy, and Licenses

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Long time nixers
What does your relatives(gf, friends, random people, family etc) think of you, your other(if any) geeky hobbies, and most importantly; your *nix system(s)?

I'll reply later, i'm quite busy now. but this thread should make space for some fun stories. (Especially from mafia? ;))
Grey Hair Nixers
Well my family and friends take it pretty seriously because it looks so leet when I'm on nix although it's chinese for them.
Long time nixers
I don't really know what other people think.
My ol lady doesn't know the difference between various OS'... To her, a computer is a computer.
My kids are a bit more with it, but they could care less about what I do.
Someone doesn't appreciate my php generated image!
[*] At home:
-my brother is a computer wiz just like me but he doesn't want to move to *nix, he just respect it.
-my sister love my *nix system but she doesn't know a thing about it.
However, she's always swearing that Windows sucks and that she can't use another OS because she has project with the Windows Office programs.

[*] With my Friends:
-They know that *nix is more secure
-They think I'm l33t because I'm on a weird machine they can't use (some can a little)
-They like to learn so they are not completely in the dark
-They always ask me to code some little programs/automations for them (then bother me with stupid bugs they find)

[*] At university:
-They are surprise that *nix still exist nowadays (without knowing that OSX is a unix-like OS)
-They respect *nix because I'm doing all my stuff on it and a lot better then they can do
-Some ask me why I'm using an Operating System like 'that' (pointing at the user interface)... I stay speachless because they don't even know what's the difference between a DE/WM & OS
(I always laugh when I hear the Windows XP & Windows 7 startup sound)

Add to this, I can rarely meet the 2-3 friends I know that uses *nix; and they also don't know a lot of stuff about it.

Overall, I'm not going to spread the world about pink words about *nix; I don't care what people think!
However, if they are interested and ask me about it I'll be glad to introduce them to it.
As always, people are usually impressed but think *nix systems are 100% cli blah blah blah.
My wife wouldn't touch a non Windoze machine with a 10 foot pole though.
The most I've gotten her to so is change songs using ncmpcpp via ssh.
Long time nixers
I'm proud to say that I have every member in my household using my Debian Xfce system. In fact, they haven't touched Windows (at least at home) for about 2 years.

Well, I suppose if you live your digital life in a web browser you wouldn't really care what OS you're using as long as it works.

The only bad thing is that when I move out of the house, they're going to have to go back to windows. There's just too many breakages that often occur after updates on even the Ubuntu based Linux systems that my family doesn't have the desire to learn how to fix. (And then they'll complain about Windows being 'slower', or 'less snappy'. YOU CAN'T WIN as an average user. I pity you, my parents.)

(As much as people accuse me of being a fan boy, I get to re-affirm my belief that the Linux desktop currently isn't for everyone...)

Everything about computers scares them. An error message pops up, PANIC instead of reading the error message! - That's their philosophy.

I think my little sister is their only hope. In fact, I'm training her as my replacement. She loves playing computer games and learning how things work, so that helps. In fact, she knows how to work my Xbox 360 better than my parents! (7 year olds can be surprising. Those little sponges!)

Anywho, as for their attitude toward me, they think I'm some sort of 'gifted' nerd.

I really wonder how many people would be at least considered 'tech savvy' if they put in effort to find the answers to their problems through effective googling?

Really, just think of how many needless queries would be eliminated by applying good googling skills? It makes me mad sometimes...
"Willful ignorance is a crime"
Long time nixers
I have just gotten quite a bit of respect, that's about it.
Oh, 2012, that was already 8 years ago.
This thread was very interesting at the time, everyone was young and the tech world barely started with the container hype. Windows users didn't have bash-on-windows and other kind of magic to get acquainted with what Unix-like systems are. There was still an age old disdain for anything related to the command line.

Now that we have a mentalist in town that can dig into our deepest secrets, let's revisit this thread. What do your relative and peers actually think of your Unix hobby?

Personally, the vision of my peers has not changed a lot. Similar to the reaction my sister had about Unix, my gf loved her easy-to-use Ubuntu machine. When we were forced to set a Windows machine for remote exams using some proprietary software (this dates from COVID-19 for anyone in the future reading this), she felt like she understood nothing of the system. My brother and friends still truly respect my hobby.
One thing that has changed though is the perception within my technical circle. I was still at university when I wrote the above post but now in the professional realm, knowledge of Unix-like systems in general is considered a true asset and something that penetrates everything we do.

Bump this thread with an update to your old post, or if you previously didn't post don't be shy to share your experience.
Grey Hair Nixers
My pals Wrote:Can't you just have a facebook account already ?
Long time nixers
My relatives agree with me that a computer had to just work for them.
So they use Windows.
Anytime my gf's macbook internet connection breaks for a second I hear "Is it because of the linux?" half-jokingly.

Jokes on her, her macbook bugs out and forces updates more often than that happens, so now it's "is it because of the mac?".

Most of my other friends are any of "l33t l33t l33t", "damn i should just install manjaro" (repeats for 2 years), or is an arch user. So other than my parents being passive aggressive about me not using whatsapp, I can't complain.
Long time nixers
Honestly, it became irrelevant. The times were anybody in my family used Windows are over. Now some only use their tablet, others only their smartphone, some use Apple, some Android, some Windows. They now all know first hand that there are multiple OSes/platforms and me using Linux is nothing special anymore. They have all experienced situations like "oh, $application doesn't work on my device, too bad, not going to use it". So, when I say, "this printer doesn't work on Linux", they just accept it.

So, yeah. There's so much diversity these days, it really doesn't matter anymore. At least in my little bubble of reality.

(Of course, this is also due to the fact that soooooooooooo many native applications just turned into web sites ...)

But don't get me started on "why don't you use whatsapp?".
Grey Hair Nixers
(08-09-2020, 12:46 PM)vain Wrote: But don't get me started on "why don't you use whatsapp?".

I actually (somehow) solved that problem. I have setup an IRC server for myself, with a matterbridge relay connecting it to a whatsapp account. The whatsapp application itself is running on an emulated headless android phone hosted on a VPS.

There are some limitations of course, but I can use whatsapp.

You can find some more context here gopher://z3bra.org/0/phlog/001-online-messaging.txt
My kids just roll their eyes when I get going on one my monologues about the wonders of Unix. They just barely tolerate me, like some people put up with the rants of a crazy old uncle at family gatherings.

The most feedback I've ever gotten from them was in response to one of my paeans to textmode interfaces. The oldest boy wryly observed how ironic it was that I was talking about programs running in a terminal emulator on a graphical desktop environment. I have a mind to cut off that smart aleck's inheritance!
My wife greatly disliked linux but as Vain mentioned: that's somewhat irrelevant now she's mostly using handphone anyway. My son complains sometimes because for schoolwork the teachers tell him he 'must' use word/excel/powerpoint And I have to admit that despite all the progress, Libreoffice is only 'nearly' a drop-in replacement for those.

Other relatives: my brother has been using linux since forever (as a manner of speech) and he has forced my mother to also use it, though she's happy to let him be her sysop.

I still remember an exchange with a former student:
- What's your Windows?
- I don't use Windows, I use Linux
- Oh, your Windows is Linux.
Long time nixers
(09-09-2020, 06:20 AM)Dworin Wrote: he has forced my mother to also use it

I see some parallels between Linux and medieval Christianity.
My wife has no interest in it but I installed Pop!_OS on my other laptop (lenovo YOGA) which she uses mainly, so she has no choice but to use it. I've taught her some basic keybindings and installed Brave browser for her. Every now and then when something isn't working she shouts at me and calls it stupid. Most of the time any issues she encounters are due to the VPN anyway. At least she knows what that is.

As for my Old Brick ThinkPad X230 running NetBSD.. She doesn't think much of it besides "Why bother". She thinks it's stupid that I put so much effort into building an OS that has seemingly half the capabilities of my YOGA.

As for extended family, they wouldn't have a clue. I've also only got one other mate who uses *nix and he actually works as a sysadmin for a bank. But even for him who uses Manjaro, tui/cli stuff isn't his thing. Sometimes he is amazed at how much I know for a hobbyist.
As I've seen most of you have split this between multiple social circles, I'll do the same with mine.

All of them already know I used Linux, they've gotten used to look at me staring at a terminal and don't even bother to figure out what's in there. If they see the terminal open, for them is like "he's working". As for their regular questions I'm blank most of the time since it's been quite some time of almost exclusive Linux usage. Other family members don't even know/care what I do on my computer.

They don't care about which OS I use, they do know what an OS is and couldn't care less; I'm just a geeky guy for them. When it comes to college partners I've been like a Linux evangelist for them since day one, getting some of them to learn a bit and start using Linux. They always laughed at me when I was forced to do projects/labs on Windows.

I might be the only one currently using Linux at the office, previous users have migrated to Mac OS or just got one when started. Most of them know basic navigation commands and the must-know build tools, but besides that and ssh, not many of them use the terminal, relying on IDE and GUI most of the time.

Most people I talk to are aware of multiple OSes but, and I quote,
(10-09-2020, 03:16 AM)Ramiferous Wrote: I've also only got one other mate who uses *nix and he actually works as a sysadmin for a bank. But even for him who uses Manjaro, tui/cli stuff isn't his thing.
Fun question!

Wife: A general state of mildly annoyance. She's tired of me talking about any philosophical or practical reasons why her Win 10 machine is a constant thorn in my side. There's also some disappointment that I can't play some of her Windows games with her. However, she knows I'm stubborn in my ways and likes that I can fix anything wrong with tech real quick.

Family: No one in my family is tech savvy at all, so they don't care and I don't bring it up. My brother is a big Windows gamer and has expressed interest in using Linux for gaming but he also runs a business and uses Office for everything so that's a non-starter.

Work: I work in a 100% MS shop... the pay, benefits, and awesome boss are so good I can't leave. I'm known as the "Linux nerd" in the sysadmin group and when there's questions about anything that isn't in Microsoft's documentation I'm usually the first person that gets asked. Has a lot to do with building skills around reading documentation and figuring things out. The guy next to me makes a lot of RMS jokes.

I also have 2 close friends that work with tech. Friend 1 is a youtuber that focuses on DJ and pro audio hardware and is also a DJ / audio guy. He is always very interested in what I'm doing and when I visit he always wants to see my OpenBSD laptop and whatever I'm tinkering with, but has no interest in doing it himself. Friend 2 is an embedded engineer who uses Linux at work but Windows at home. He's very interested in OpenBSD and I even got him to use it for a home server, so progress is being made :)