Today I went to National IT eXpo, some computer exhibition at Jogjakarta Exhibition Center (JEC). My objective is simple, after three years spent my “IT-live” in no-flashdisk condition, today I want to buy one. The last flashdisk I owned were missing in action, somewhere between my room or my office. Then, in the end I put my choice on 1G’s Kingston Data Traveler with a price of Rp 60.000,00. You ask me why I didn’t want to buy the 2G ones (which only priced at Rp 90.000,00)? Simple, I don’t need that much space for now ^^
Okay, lets skip that part … what I want to write today is about a phenomenon I saw when I take a walk through the exhibition. Passing so many notebook stalls, I saw that almost all of the sample is using Linux as their operating system. I saw from some-new-brand like advan and forsa, until big market owner like Acer and HP is using Linux. You ask me about ubuntu? Yes! I saw some compaq V3000 and HP 520 series who displaying our so-familiar brown login screen. And of course what interesting is still the scenery of some people who stands between curious and lost desperately trying to operate Linux.
Now, let’s think … what would happened to those brown login screen as soon as a customer buy the notebook? Incredible! What pops on my head is “dear myself, of course it would changed into blue login screen with bling-bling and some windows logo on it. And you know? It won’t take long to the customer to decide to do so” … ironic huh? Linux is only used at exhibition, after that it’ll became history …
I remembered some time ago, when a lady suddenly called me and ask for help about her Ubuntu. Her problem is simple, but the idea about “who the hell is installing ubuntu to this lady? She is totally new user here!” is bugging me. After some chit-chat, I found out that the one who encourage her to use linux is the shop owner where she bought the notebook. Yup! Not her boyfriend, not her parents, not her friends, not some geek she found at the street, not some rules from the government, and definitely not me! And I were so glad to found out that there still a computer shop out there who care about linux.
This is what Linux needed. A marketer, a helper, someone who would speak for Linux, someone who are willing to sell linux on their product. And definitely not a geek who can’t speak in human language, but someone who know how to speak and of course understand what he’ve been talked about. Until now there is always a stigma that linux is all about playground for the experts. And we need to diminish that.
In the other side, I do believe that linux maybe still too hard for some people. Our society is grown in the ease of acquiring a software, and the ease of using a software. Linux maybe too hard for them, but I do believe that with a proper explanation and little bit of practice, even a dull-minded guy could use Linux in a few minutes (oh yes, maybe hours). For Linux developer, the most challenging part is to develop an operating system who easy to use yet secure and stable. And for Linux user (yeah, meeeeee!!!!! and youuuu!!!!!), isn’t it will be challenging to try transform ourself into a Linux seller??
Spread the penguins, and don’t let her only showed up on the exhibition.