I would prefer to have all the information NOW, rather than in monthly installments over six months. Perhaps the article could be the outline as you have suggested with each section linked to a web section?
In one short answer: NO. What good would this do for users having difficulty setting up their internet connection? The "collected" articles will later appear in a Special Edition of the magazine, after all the articles have been written and appeared in the monthly magazine -- just as we've done with all of the other Special Editions of the magazine.
Additional section - something like things I wished I had known. eg backing up your system, backing up files (rsync), backing up .kde4, remembering to regularly update the machine, read the forums......
Also have one author and as many helpers as needed.
As with almost all other series in the magazine, there WILL be multiple authors. The magazine staff is a VOLUNTEER staff, who also happen to have lives away from the magazine. We work, we have families, we have other activities -- call it life -- that also require our attention. Given how so very, very, very few members of the PCLinuxOS community are willing to write and submit articles for publication in the magazine, you are describing a situation that is completely outside even the remotest of possibilities of what we can achieve. I am the editor of the magazine, and I will have a hand in all the articles that are published. I suspect (rather, I know) that Meemaw, the assistant editor of the magazine, will be just as involved as I am.
It's fine to come up with a "wish list" of things that we all "wish we knew" when we started with PCLinuxOS. But we also have to remember that we a) must leave some things for the user to discover/learn later, and b) that we MUST limit the scope of the articles to helping Windows refugees in getting a basic PCLinuxOS system up and running, and show them how to use PCLinuxOS to perform the most common tasks that they would normally perform under Windows. If we don't limit the scope, then you're talking about writing a book that has no end. How many Windows users actually know how to do the similar tasks you list in your "things-I-wish-I-had-known" section? The number of those who know how to do it, vs those who actually perform them, are even smaller. While many of your ideas have merit, some of them may appear as a "Windows Migration" article, while others have a stronger chance of appearing as a regular article in the magazine that all PCLinuxOS users can benefit from. What we are discussing here is a series of "Windows Migration" articles, which will later be compiled into a Special Edition of the magazine for future reference for all who choose to migrate later. Anything outside the scope of "need-to-know" information for a user making that migration is ripe as a regular article in the magazine. Also, since the magazine is published monthly, that "other" information is something that ALL users can read on a regular basis, after they've made the migration to PCLinuxOS.
(was there a section on dual booting?)
(maybe a section on how to recover your windows system if it all goes horribly wrong)
I like the first one above. When I migrated to PCLinuxOS, I initially set up a dual boot system. After discovering that I almost never booted into Windows, I eliminated Windows from my computer's hard drive -- after I preserved all of my data.
The second one is, IMHO, one that is wrought with pitfalls, and one that has as many different solutions as there are hardware configurations out there in the wild. The better approach, I think, is to tell users to BE SURE to have backup media so they can reinstall Windows, should everything go horribly wrong. To try to recover your Windows system would take 10x as long as it would take to just simply reinstall it.
I'm a firm believer in the K.I.S.S. principle -- Keep It Super Simple. If we overwhelm these new users with 10 tons of information to digest, they are just going to go away with the idea that this whole endeavor just isn't worth it ... and they will return to using Windows. If we keep it simple and limited in scope to just that information they need to make the transition from the Windows world to the PCLinuxOS world, then we will have achieved our goal of assisting them and making their transition as smooth as possible.
I used to teach in a college (respiratory therapy instructor), and all so frequently I would have students who wanted to "know it all -- right now." One of my jobs was to hold them back a bit, until they had all the pieces of the puzzle necessary for them to have a complete understanding of the concepts that I was teaching them. It worked. I had one of the highest pass rates at the school, and most of those students came away with a much broader view of how everything fit together. It enabled my students to pass their national boards with a higher level of success, and it also made them better respiratory therapists when they entered the workforce.
Phil ... you have some good ideas. I hope you join the magazine staff in helping to produce these articles.
Paul Arnote [parnote]
PCLinuxOS Magazine Chief Editor