Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Jun 2007 18:35 UTC, submitted by troy.unrau
PC-BSD "PC-BSD is not a Linux distribution, but rather it could be considered among the first major FreeBSD-based distributions to live outside of the official FreeBSD. Like most distributions, it has implemented certain features in a way that attempts to distinguish it from the competition, and I will focus mostly on these differences. This test drive is intended to give an overview of what PC-BSD is and why one would consider using it."
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How about recommending to Kubuntu users?
by Haicube on Tue 19th Jun 2007 19:08 UTC
Haicube
Member since:
2005-08-06

I find it a bit odd that the guy skips recommending it to Kubuntu users, especially as he previously mentions it's a lot more snappy than Kubuntu and loads faster.

I guess better performance is not a good reason these days....

Reply Score: 1

vondur Member since:
2005-07-07

maybe it had to with the fact that his X config was borked by default. ;)

Reply Score: 3

biteydog Member since:
2005-10-06

I certainly find it a lot more usable than Kubuntu - and it has a lot nore of the KDE features I aws used to under SuSE (before Novell wrecked it).

It runs really well on my wife's 533MhZ(Via) machine, and is very usable on it, unlike most distros - even Windows 2000 seemed to crawl along in comparison.

Reply Score: 3

Hmmm.
by Tuishimi on Tue 19th Jun 2007 19:20 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

I could have sworn that last year when I was running PC-BSD on my IBM, it came with KOffice preinstalled. :/

Anyway, glad to see it getting a favorable review. It worked very well and I was able to tunnel into work with it and everything. Snappy too.

Reply Score: 5

Not a fan
by Lengsel on Tue 19th Jun 2007 20:03 UTC
Lengsel
Member since:
2006-04-19

I gave up with PC-BSD, because they still don't have a release for 6.2, and I found the K menu a bit confusing with their add-ons with 1.3.01. So I just install FreeBSD, populate the ports and standard files, customize the kernel and recompile it and install it, and just compile X 7.2 and KDE from the ports. Yes it takes a long time to do all this, but I get the latest and greatest, and a customized kernel instead of the generic kernel is usually a faster kernel if done correctly.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not a fan
by poundsmack on Tue 19th Jun 2007 21:02 UTC in reply to "Not a fan"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

"...So I just install FreeBSD, populate the ports and standard files, customize the kernel and recompile it and install it, and just compile X 7.2 and KDE from the ports..."

that made me smile thank you ;) . the purpose for this distro is to be able to be used simply by the average user. what you did takes skill and an above average level of understanding of your system. most people want to just have something work, not have to work at it. I think PC-BSD has succeeded in that area

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Not a fan
by Doc Pain on Tue 19th Jun 2007 23:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a fan"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"the purpose for this distro is to be able to be used simply by the average user. what you did takes skill and an above average level of understanding of your system."

No, it just requires the user to be able (and wanting) to read instructions from the excellent FreeBSD documentation (i. e. the handbook). Installing and configuring a "real" FreeBSD is some work, I agree, but it's not as hard as you may think. Of course, it does require basic knowledge.

"most people want to just have something work, not have to work at it. I think PC-BSD has succeeded in that area"

I think so, too. PC-BSD does not aim at professional users who want to tweak their system to maximal speed and usability. The target is Joe Q. Sixpack who wants to click on the pretty pictures.

My neighbor uses PC-BSD for more than a year now - happily. For me, too, because I do not have to do any "free support". :-)

PC-BSD's preconfiguration and preloaded applications do fit the average home user's needs. It's a solution that's welcome there. One of the best arguments is the easy to use PBI package installation system (allthough "pkg_add -r xmms" is faster than clicking around, downloading and clicking again - useful for automated procedures). Another advantage is that you can use the PBI system together with the classical methods of precompiled packages (pkg_add) and the ports collection (make install). Furthermore, beneath all this KDE, there's a FreeBSD, which allows you to edit configuration files if you want to have your result very fast and without searching through dialog boxes.

Personally, I prefer a "real" FreeBSD where I usually use pkg_add to install software; the ports are used when special tweaking at compile time is needed (e. g. mplayer due to various options). If I would have to use PC-BSD, I first had to customize the CLI subsystem (which is no fun to use by default!), the console mode, then uninstall KDE and install everything I need. So, PC-BSD definitely is not designed for me, but it has its target audience.

As it has been mentioned before, a minimum kernel makes your system run faster. It requires you to know exactly what hardware you have. Of course, you can load kld modules along with the GENERIC kernel, but know that it includes much hardware that you usually do not have installed. The same is true for some applications that are build with a certain -O optimization. (NB: Do not -O2 or -O3 building kernel and world.)

Final note as always: Use the right tool for every task.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Not a fan
by Zoidberg on Wed 20th Jun 2007 01:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not a fan"
Zoidberg Member since:
2006-02-11

No, it just requires the user to be able (and wanting) to read instructions from the excellent FreeBSD documentation (i. e. the handbook). Installing and configuring a "real" FreeBSD is some work, I agree, but it's not as hard as you may think. Of course, it does require basic knowledge.

For people who barely know how to turn their computer on I think that is asking way too much. Again PC-BSD is not aimed at people who know that much about computers, or people who want to read technical manuals and do all that work.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Not a fan
by antik on Wed 20th Jun 2007 07:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not a fan"
antik Member since:
2006-05-19

I don't know from where this "PC-BSD is not suitable for die hard FreeBSD hackers" come from. In reality hackers need working system "right now" and won't tinker around for week to design their own custom installation because they just can. Time is money you know. More tinkerfree time- more beautiful code. PC-BSD is unmodified FreeBSD without any custom optimization, except preconfigured configuration, enabled functionality like OpenBSD PF firewall, DRM(Direct Rendering Manager for graphics acceleration) and ALTQ (QoS- Quality of Service) in modified GENERIC kernel.

Only major differences are written from scratch in Qt graphical installer (not based on RedHat Anaconda like some Linux zealot may think), PBI (Push Button Installer) and system configuration tools like "network/wifi/pppoe manager" etc.

Everything is BSD licensed and anyone who want to make PC-BSD tools available in FreeBSD ports are welcome.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Not a fan
by Doc Pain on Wed 20th Jun 2007 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not a fan"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"I don't know from where this "PC-BSD is not suitable for die hard FreeBSD hackers" come from."

Yes, I just like to add thatt PC-BSD is definitely not suitable for all "die hard FreeBSD hackers".

"In reality hackers need working system "right now" and won't tinker around for week to design their own custom installation because they just can."

Again, this is not true for all of them, allthough I agree with your statement besides this small consideration about allquantification here.

There are "FreeBSD hackers" around who don't feel familiar with the PC-BSD default installation, maybe because the CLI subsystem is a mess by default, maybe because KDE slows them down doing their work, maybe because the tools they usually use are not available via PBI. There are many reasons that are imaginable.

"Time is money you know. More tinkerfree time- more beautiful code. PC-BSD is unmodified FreeBSD without any custom optimization, except preconfigured configuration, enabled functionality like OpenBSD PF firewall, DRM(Direct Rendering Manager for graphics acceleration) and ALTQ (QoS- Quality of Service) in modified GENERIC kernel."

This is a good characterisation, in fact. Some "FreeBSD hackers" do require a certain grade of customization that they won't find in PC-BSD or FreeBSD by default.

"Everything is BSD licensed and anyone who want to make PC-BSD tools available in FreeBSD ports are welcome."

As far as I know, there is already an (experimental?) PBI installation manager for FreeBSD. As far as I know, most management tools rely upon KDE and are available for NetBSD or most KDE based Linusi, too.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Not a fan
by Liquidator on Thu 21st Jun 2007 09:43 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Not a fan"
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

maybe because the CLI subsystem is a mess by default, maybe because KDE slows them down doing their work

Could you elaborate? (I fail to understand practically)

As far as I know, there is already an (experimental?) PBI installation manager for FreeBSD

I'd like to see that. Could you give me the URL?

In other news, I think in OSNews that modding up whould be restricted to IPs that are different from that of the author of the message.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Not a fan
by Doc Pain on Thu 21st Jun 2007 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Not a fan"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Could you elaborate? (I fail to understand practically)"

Regarding CLI subsystem: FreeBSD's CLI subsystem does come in unaltered manner, the same is true for PC-BSD. There are lots of things that make CLI life comfortable, just to mention a few from /etc/csh.cshrc:

alias ls 'ls -FG'
alias ll 'ls -laFG'

setenv EDITOR mcedit
setenv PAGER less
setenv BLOCKSIZE K
setenv LSCOLORS ExGxdxdxCxDxDxBxBxegeg

setenv LC_MESSAGES en_US.ISO8859-1
setenv LC_COLLATE de_DE.ISO8859-1
setenv LC_CTYPE de_DE.ISO8859-1
setenv LC_MONETARY de_DE.ISO8859-1
setenv LC_NUMERIC de_DE.ISO8859-1
setenv LC_TIME de_DE.ISO8859-1

set autolist
set promptchars = "%#"
set prompt = "%n@%m:%~%# "

The last two ones generate a comfortable prompt, the line prior to them enables the C Shell's auto completition.

In Germany, we have Umlauts (a, o and u with two dots on top, and the Eszett ligature). They don't work in CLI mode by default, here, some settings in /etc/ttys and maybe exchange of console fonts is needed.

NB that KDE is not affected here, it has its own language configuration.

Regarding KDE: There are "FreeBSD hackers" (I'm not sure I'm using this term correctly) that do not like to use KDE because it does not offer them what they need, or it is to complicated to configure it this way. As you may know, there are people who do not need (and therefore do not use) desktop environment functionalities, because they prefer a window manager that is easier and faster in usage. They range fron tiling WMs over XFCE, Metacity up to WindowMaker. This may be seen in terms of keybpard configurability, too.

But please do understand that these are assumptions made out of own experiences and observations. It does not make them false just because they don't describe the majority of users.

"I'd like to see that. Could you give me the URL?"

I would be glad to do so, but I think I read that statement here at OSNews. Feel free to browse through PC-BSD related articles to find out more. If I remember correctly, someone replied to my "wish" to see a PBI installer on "plain" FreeBSD and tole me this tool would already be avaulable; I thought of something like "pbi_add" or "pbi_install", followed by a PBI package name.

"In other news, I think in OSNews that modding up whould be restricted to IPs that are different from that of the author of the message."

I don't understand this, sorry. Could you be more precise? Do you assume me to mod up my own comments?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not a fan
by Chuck Norris on Wed 20th Jun 2007 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not a fan"
Chuck Norris Member since:
2007-03-24

No, it just requires the user to be able (and wanting) to read instructions

And you know that geeks aside, no one wants to read documentation, so we shouldn't expect computer users will read documentation ever.

PC-BSD does not aim at professional users who want to tweak their system to maximal speed and usability.

You can do that on PC-BSD too. It's basically a FreeBSD system with additional configurations and tools. You can compile your kernel on PC-BSD if you want.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Not a fan
by Doc Pain on Wed 20th Jun 2007 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not a fan"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"And you know that geeks aside, no one wants to read documentation, so we shouldn't expect computer users will read documentation ever."

I know, I know... they even throw away the instructions coming with hardware, along with the driver CDs, then start complaining that nothing no work... :-)

If everything works by itself - fine! But in some cases this assumption will fail. Then, documentation, instructions and procedures are the tools that help the user solving the problem himself. But he does not want to do something by himself, he expects someone else to do it. Because that's real intelligence: Don't do work - let someone else do the work. (I think this is the reason why so many MICROS~1 products are considered "user friendly", "intelligent" or "working by itself" - the people who say this usually let others solve their problems so they do not get confronted with the problems most of us surely know.)

"You can do that on PC-BSD too. It's basically a FreeBSD system with additional configurations and tools. You can compile your kernel on PC-BSD if you want."

Because PC-BSD is FreeBSD, you can do anything with PC-BSD that you can do with FreeBSD in fact. But building a custom system that is not based mainly on KDE is easier when you do this using a bare FreeBSD installation instead of first ripping PC-BSD into peaces and then start installting everything else (except the stuff that came with PC-BSD).

That's why I think PC-BSD is a really great solution, because it's "good enough" for both stereotypes (Joe Q. Sixpack and Cody McHackman). :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not a fan
by Chuck Norris on Tue 19th Jun 2007 21:16 UTC in reply to "Not a fan"
Chuck Norris Member since:
2007-03-24

I modded you up because you made me laugh ;)

I think you did the right thing, which is adapt the OS to your needs and taste. But PC-BSD is aimed at people who don't know what a "kernel" is. Same for terms like "ports", "X", "KDE".

People who know what all these terms mean and who like to tweak just about everything will have a good time with FreeBSD (not that you can't do it with PC-BSD though).

Reply Score: 2

protagonist
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have been using PC-BSD for some months now and I thouroughly enjoy the experience. I tried FreeBSD and had a few problems getting it going. With PC-BSD I was able to install, boot and start working.

As far as software goes I use the PBI's and ports and both are pretty straight forward. I was palying around with Kubuntu/Ubuntu and just liked PC-BSD better. It is very fast and very easy to use yet it allows you to go the terminal route if you desire.

Also, PC-BSD seems to boot no matter where I install it. Ubuntu has refused to boot when I try to install it on other than the forst drive. Now that could be something I am doing wrong, but with PC-BSD it works. I have it installed on the second SATA drive and just press F12 and select the drive to boot and off it goes.

Anyway, I enjoyed the article.

Reply Score: 5

Bjorg
Member since:
2005-07-06

As someone said the average user (like me, economist) wants the computer to simply be of use to you. (and I am even taking the effort to understand Debian, apt-get, Bash, the inner workings of Linux ....)

I use Ubuntu because it installs easily and with simply GUI tools you can do what a normal user needs to do.

I just use "update manager", "install programs" and synaptic, and like to play with the themes, icons and wallpaper. Just that, no more, I want it to tell me when it needs to be updated. BUT I will never touch again the insides of my installed Ubuntu distro, I want it to update to 7.10 when the time comes, and I know that If I touch it, it wont, because already happened.

Understand me, I don't have time to be a Linux expert, and many people DON'T WANT TO BE AN EXPERT, my sister just want to use Office, to be able to visit Yahoo Weather, e-mail and play some videos of her little daughter. So PC-BSD would be ok for her, not FreeBSD.

I want (Ubuntu) a good office suite, to install Java with 2 clicks, ONE good music app, ONE good video app, and so, ONE good of each type, and get my job done.

I perfectly understand the passion for computers and OSs, but for the most people the OSs and computers are just tools to reach your goal, not the goal itself.

PC-BSD and Ubuntu (and many other distros, of course) understand that, and it's where Windows is good at. You know the interface, you know the tools (Windows Media Player, Excel, Access, etc...) and their interfaces. They cost money, but Vista comes with the computer, and maybe some specail offer to get Office.

My brother is an example of a person absolutely inflexible with that kind of issue, one day I showed him Beryl thinking he would find it amazing, instead he almost got angry with me, "I don't want that!!!, I dont need windows moving that way, that distracts me" maybe too inflexible but there are more people like him, he is also quite inflexible regarding the apps he uses for work, even OpenOffice. He is the perfect test, the model for a "nightmare user" when you study migrating from windows to Linux/Unix/BSD. Don't even tell him he needs to read the (good) FreeBSD manual.

This is the point I wanted to reach, PC-BSD fills and niche. FreeBSD is for software-engineers, sysadmins or the people really interested in OSs, that's 2% (maybe 1%) of the world.

Reply Score: 5

More things to think about.
by Bjorg on Wed 20th Jun 2007 13:25 UTC
Bjorg
Member since:
2005-07-06

I do not pretend to be discovering anything rith now, becuase if I do something it's to read a lot, OSNews, Digg, etc... I just repeat what I learn.

Computers were mainstreams mainly since Microsoft and Windows (before yor reply, I don't mean just by Microsoft, but more or less SINCE Microsoft) because they started to make things easier for the average people. Now they are the standard. We have forgotten that. I remember to feed my ego typing fast MS-DOS commands that my friends could not understand and even see in the screen, Wow!! I was a hacker, lol!! The good part came when you didn't need to type commands. My friends played the same games and did all that I could do.

Most of the people here (and I understand that, because it happens alot to me too) wants their preffered OS to be very exclusive, the best perfomance, high MySQL benchmarks, the best multiprocessor perfomance, scales well, no dependence nightmare, security... now try to change mindset, try to see it from outside, my sister, hematologist starts telling my about globules, blood diseases, ... BORING!!! I just want to be healthy and If I sometime am ill, I just want to take a pill (an interface) instead of having to know the inner workings of the pill (opening the shell and tweaking something)

Even some of you really don't want many people to use it, because then it would lose appeal, (I repeat, I understand that) but at the same time try to mention the word "MySQL", "PostgreSQL", "Scales well", FreeBSD having better "X" benchmarks than an Apple server, ... to an average user. In Spain they would call you computer-freakie. That is the very same people, in the other hand, that wants its preffered OS to be widely used.

Now think about windows:

Install a program: 3 or 4 clicks, in every computer, not need to know more. (In Debian: Apt-get inst..? What?!! Do I need to type to do something? or WORST, Do I have to learn something? Look for repositories???!! What is that?)

Security: Let's buy an Antivirus, this cost is assumed to be taken by everybody in this world, why? because if not, you would get a virus, that can be annoying one day that I need my computer for something important. Yes, windows has viruses, but with an antivirus I can fix it. Linux has fewer or almost no viruses ... ok, where's my Windows, I already know it.

Firewall: It comes with the antivirus, it takes care of it, or if not, I the worst case, I need to swith it on or off, not more. (Linux/Unix: policies? Ports open or closed? DMZs?

Wifi: Already running, or plug the USB device. (No need to find the drivers four your distro)

Again, try to say strange words to people, like "the ports collection", "bloated", flexible interface in KDE vs Simple in Gnome.

In 4 words: Windows is the standard, we need to make things as easy as in Windows, and I think the more you approach the interface, the location of things, the way of doing things of Windows the more you have an opportunity to be become MAINSTREAM, because I think that this is the game, isn't it?

If you want an average user changing OS you must achieve him/her having to read ZERO words, no manual, no instructions, a familiar interface. Because the interfaces are there for that, and if you give me a headache I will hate your OS and will go back to windows, where I feel confortable and safe, with my dear viruses (recommending my friends that Nod32, is cheap and good, better that yours, and by the way I prove that I know that little about computers).

Don't make me think, do make me think about the tool, becase the tool is there to help solve a problem, not to become the problem. (I would need another tool). I just want to type this memo or report and go out and have beer.

...because what I like is to have a beer with my friends, ... while you recompile the kernel or set those parameters to make it 4% faster. Then once you have mastered it, you will try to get it 10% faster, transparent windows in Plan9 or Inferno, or demonstrating that xBSD is better than OSX and Windows together (that is yor passsion, 2% of the word, engineer).

Meanwhile let me have my beer or play paddle, our average (guy) hobbies.

Every company needs to reach their customers, If you don't think about what your customers want you will not even enter their universe, you will be in your own universe, alone with your other 2% (Mr Engineer, getting paid a lot of money for your specailized knowledge), they will go with who are there, with them Microsoft and Apple, making everything beautiful and easy.

Why Ian Murdock is working at SUN now? What is his main goal? I think once they are able to get the Linux drivers they will play the same Apple game. Their "best OS in the world" put toghether with "run in almost everything" (Linux Drivers) and a little of the Ubuntu spice, "everything must be done with guy tools, 2 clicks, and precooked"

Why is Ubuntu there?, have you noticed that PCLOS is already nš2 in distrowatch?

Why iXsystems bought PC-BSD, to make you type strange commands at the shell, or to play the same game of Cannonical.

Less exclusiveness when what we want to get is to be as widely adopted as possible. If what you want is to beat benchmarks, that is ok, but do not pretend at the same time other thing.

You must approach the people, if you stay here but the people is there, the people will meet with who go THERE with them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: More things to think about.
by Doc Pain on Thu 21st Jun 2007 18:42 UTC in reply to "More things to think about."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"I just want to be healthy and If I sometime am ill, I just want to take a pill (an interface) instead of having to know the inner workings of the pill (opening the shell and tweaking something)"

Excuse me, your analogy is funny. Usually, we do car analogies here (because people like car analogies), but pill analogies are new to me.

Simply put: Computing isn't that easy in every cases. In computer science, we usually assume worst case. You can imagine why.

I may give you a car analogy that relatives your pill analogy:

I want to get from A to B, and I don't want to walk. I want to drive because my neightbor drives, too. I don't have a car. I expect my neightbor to give me his car for free. I do not own a driving license. I don't want to! Why? I'm tired of learning, learining how to handle the steering wheel, the brakes, the gear, the lights, learning which rules apply at a crossing, outside a city, on a highway - I just want to drive. I expect the car to know how to do this, it's its job. And if the car produces an accident it's not my fault, it's the car manufacurer's!

You may smile, but I think this analogy does describe the situation better than yours does.

But because you opened the medical sector, I may follow you. (NB: I do work in medicine, so I may continue smiling.) Taking pills never is an easy decision. If I smoke and drink alcohol, my body may say "thank you". I can take lots of pills in order to keep me alive for some time, but wouldn't it be better for me to change my habits? Start smoking less? Drinking less alcohol? And before I can take a pill, I need to know what disease I'm suffering from, this implies I need to do diagnostics first. First think, then do - a rule that's handy quite everywhere. Consider multifactorial diseases with participation of psychic components, too; what can you do there? Throw one simple pill that solves all problems? Sure, if it's potassic cyanide (KCn)... :-)

"In Spain they would call you computer-freakie."

In Germany, the term is similar: Computerfreak.

"Now think about windows:"

No, please! :-)

"Install a program: 3 or 4 clicks, in every computer, not need to know more."

Yes, but only if you're lucky. Know that "Windows" does not offer accaptable diagnostic tools if something is not that easy and does not work by itself. Reality may teach you.

"(In Debian: Apt-get inst..? What?!! Do I need to type to do something? or WORST, Do I have to learn something? Look for repositories???!! What is that?)"

In PC-BSD: Browse though the PBI directory, download the package, doubleclick the icon - done.

In FreeBSD: pkg_add -r xmms - done.

"Security: Let's buy an Antivirus, this cost is assumed to be taken by everybody in this world, why? because if not, you would get a virus, that can be annoying one day that I need my computer for something important. Yes, windows has viruses, but with an antivirus I can fix it."

No, you cannot tell for sure except you are educated enough to do network diagnostics (packet monitor etc.); in "Windows" you cannot tell what the machine is doing exactly. Furthermore, you cannot know about software's quality just from the shiny package it came in.

"Linux has fewer or almost no viruses ... ok, where's my Windows, I already know it."

People don't care about the danger they are to theirselves and to others that comes from their lack of knowledge and - mainly - interest. They don't care if their PC is infected, if it serves as a sharing point for child pornography or if it's sending spam along the Internet. More than 90% of the Internet's mail traffic - mind the percentage! - are spam today. Any idea why?

"Firewall: It comes with the antivirus, it takes care of it, or if not, I the worst case, I need to swith it on or off, not more. (Linux/Unix: policies? Ports open or closed? DMZs?"

PC-BSD's firewall is preconfigured well. OpenBSD comes with all ports closed by default. If I need to open a service, I need to know how I do it. Why? Because it's my responsibility, not anybody else's.

"Wifi: Already running, or plug the USB device. (No need to find the drivers four your distro)"

Same on BSD or Linux. The drivers are included, you don't need to install something.

"In 4 words: Windows is the standard, we need to make things as easy as in Windows, and I think the more you approach the interface, the location of things, the way of doing things of Windows the more you have an opportunity to be become MAINSTREAM, because I think that this is the game, isn't it?"

Just imagine how things change in "Windows" world: Location of settings, ways of doing things.

And please: If you use the term "standard", be sure to use it wisely. "Windows" is the most used PC OS today, that's a statistical value (i. e. modal value), but it's no standards. It even does not support the usual standards for GUIs, printing, storing files etc.

There are many Linux distros around that try to reproduce "Windows's" look and feel. But why abandon the advantages window managers and UIs give you in UNIX and Linux? You know: Choice is good. PC-BSD defaults to KDE, a mainstream desktop system, but you can anything else you want to use.

"If you want an average user changing OS you must achieve him/her having to read ZERO words, no manual, no instructions, a familiar interface."

Familiar interface? Which one? :-) People know "Windows" from their work. They want to have at home what they have at work. If the commercial use changes (maybe to a Linux + KDE combination), home users want to have this at home, even if they don't know what it is in fact.

"Because the interfaces are there for that, and if you give me a headache I will hate your OS and will go back to windows, where I feel confortable and safe, with my dear viruses (recommending my friends that Nod32, is cheap and good, better that yours, and by the way I prove that I know that little about computers)."

NB the difference: to feel save vs. to be safe. "Windows" makes the average user feel safe, that may be true, but reality shows you that this is just a paresthesia.

"Don't make me think, do make me think about the tool, becase the tool is there to help solve a problem, not to become the problem."

Know the problem, know the tool. See car analogy above. Add: Don't let my brain work, I don't want to get it dirty. :-)

"I just want to type this memo or report and go out and have beer."

Or have some beer first? Don't mind, I do understand your argumentation. PC-BSD and KDE, along with the preinstalled applications, just do this job. No need to install anything additional you first have to search for hours across the Internet, just type your memo.

But please note that the average home user's expectations are different. He does not write memos, he wants to download movies from the Internet and burn them onto DVDs - and some more stuff you surely know. Some problems are easy to solve, but some simply are not. Complex problems tend to need complex solutions. This is where PC-BSD offers you the opportunity to solve them instead of delegating them to someone else as it would be the case in "Windows". "My sound card does not work, come here and make it work!"

"...because what I like is to have a beer with my friends, ... while you recompile the kernel or set those parameters to make it 4% faster."

Too much beer is unhealthy, while 4% speed gain is not. :-) You've stopped talking about the work done with a computer, you're talking about what comes then. An interesting point of view. I hope the manufacturers of intensive care units do not follow this approach. "A routine to check the blood pressure? No, too complicated. Hey Bob, let's go drink some beer instead?"

...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: More things to think about.
by Bjorg on Thu 21st Jun 2007 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE: More things to think about."
Bjorg Member since:
2005-07-06

I may give you a car analogy that relatives your pill analogy:

I want to get from A to B, and I don't want to walk. I want to drive because my neightbor drives, too. I don't have a car. I expect my neightbor to give me his car for free. ...


No, my analogy is more like this: I know how to drive current cars, so it MAY BE cofusing having to learn a new way of driving. Yes, the pills one is funny, agreed.


"Install a program: 3 or 4 clicks, in every computer, not need to know more."

Yes, but only if you're lucky. Know that "Windows" does not offer accaptable diagnostic tools if something is not that easy and does not work by itself. Reality may teach you.

"(In Debian: Apt-get inst..? What?!! Do I need to type to do something? or WORST, Do I have to learn something? Look for repositories???!! What is that?)"

In PC-BSD: Browse though the PBI directory, download the package, doubleclick the icon - done.

In FreeBSD: pkg_add -r xmms - done.


That's way I say the PC-BSD approach is better for the common user .. .than the FreeBSD one.

No, you cannot tell for sure except you are educated enough to do network diagnostics (packet monitor etc.); in "Windows" you cannot tell what the machine is doing exactly. Furthermore, you cannot know about software's quality just from the shiny package it came in.


That's why I would like a better OS (Linux,BSD..) with the simplicity-in-mind approach of windows. Simplicity in mind because, as you also say, people don't care anyway. And I agree.

People don't care about the danger they are to theirselves and to others that comes from their lack of knowledge and - mainly - interest. They don't care if their PC is infected, if it serves as a sharing point for child pornography or if it's sending spam along the Internet. More than 90% of the Internet's mail traffic - mind the percentage! - are spam today. Any idea why?


Same as earlier, people don't care, so let's give it already done, but don't make them take the effort to learn somethign, because they don't care.


PC-BSD's firewall is preconfigured well. OpenBSD comes with all ports closed by default. If I need to open a service, I need to know how I do it. Why? Because it's my responsibility, not anybody else's.


That's why I consider both good OSs. Being PC-BSD ready for people who don't care.

"Wifi: Already running, or plug the USB device. (No need to find the drivers four your distro)"

Same on BSD or Linux. The drivers are included, you don't need to install something.


That's is only starting to happen now, and still needs polishing. But I wellcome the improvements, of course.


Just imagine how things change in "Windows" world: Location of settings, ways of doing things.


Yes, and I think that is happening with Vista, people will have to relearn something. That's one of the reasons Vista has got bad reviews, isn't it? But keep in mind I am not against innovation or the right to improve things. I just say the less you make think the people, the better.

And please: If you use the term "standard", be sure to use it wisely. "Windows" is the most used PC OS today, that's a statistical value (i. e. modal value), but it's no standards. It even does not support the usual standards for GUIs, printing, storing files etc.

There are many Linux distros around that try to reproduce "Windows's" look and feel. But why abandon the advantages window managers and UIs give you in UNIX and Linux? You know: Choice is good. PC-BSD defaults to KDE, a mainstream desktop system, but you can anything else you want to use.


I agree.

"If you want an average user changing OS you must achieve him/her having to read ZERO words, no manual, no instructions, a familiar interface."

Familiar interface? Which one? :-) People know "Windows" from their work. They want to have at home what they have at work. If the commercial use changes (maybe to a Linux + KDE combination), home users want to have this at home, even if they don't know what it is in fact.


The familiar interface is the most used interface, today is Windows. Not many people use an UNIX interface at work, statistically. Hopefully one day what you say will be more frecuent, good!!.

"Because the interfaces are there for that, and if you give me a headache I will hate your OS and will go back to windows, where I feel confortable and safe, with my dear viruses (recommending my friends that Nod32, is cheap and good, better that yours, and by the way I prove that I know that little about computers)."

NB the difference: to feel save vs. to be safe. "Windows" makes the average user feel safe, that may be true, but reality shows you that this is just a paresthesia.


Yes, FEEL safe, because as we know they (many, less and less each day, I want to believe) don't care, and don't want (have time) to care.

"Don't make me think, do make me think about the tool, becase the tool is there to help solve a problem, not to become the problem."

Know the problem, know the tool. See car analogy above. Add: Don't let my brain work, I don't want to get it dirty. :-)


That spirit you use is good. The spirit of improving each day, to learn something new each day, to be more productive.... now think in a lawyer, my other sister. Working hard each day about her work, trying to improve as a lawyer, updating the everyday changing laws, being competitive inside her workplace and of course at the judge. Tell her to learn how to use a new database of laws, that's ok. But don't tell her about learning Bash or how to set up a firewall. Understand what I mean. She is simply not interested in computers. She just likes that the computers allows her to work more productively, the computer is being a good tool. She doesn't enjoy the computer itself. (I enjoy computers, for me computers are also the goal, and inside my work, the tool too)

But please note that the average home user's expectations are different. He does not write memos, he wants to download movies from the Internet and burn them onto DVDs - and some more stuff you surely know. Some problems are easy to solve, but some simply are not. Complex problems tend to need complex solutions. This is where PC-BSD offers you the opportunity to solve them instead of delegating them to someone else as it would be the case in "Windows". "My sound card does not work, come here and make it work!"


I agree about the activities of the home user. The fact is that with windows (and Ubuntu) is not that difficult to burn a DVD, you don't have to open a terminal an "mount" any drive. So, again, we agree that the PC-BSD and Ubuntu style are better for the home user and the average user. The 90% of the users, so if we are talking about being mainstream, let's make things easy, and leave the command-shell for the hackers or lovers of computers, statistically, less people.


Too much beer is unhealthy, while 4% speed gain is not. :-) You've stopped talking about the work done with a computer, you're talking about what comes then. An interesting point of view. I hope the manufacturers of intensive care units do not follow this approach. "A routine to check the blood pressure? No, too complicated. Hey Bob, let's go drink some beer instead?"


lol, Did you know that a glass (only one a day) of beer or wine a day is better than not having beer or wine at all?

Edited 2007-06-21 19:57

Reply Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"No, my analogy is more like this: I know how to drive current cars, so it MAY BE cofusing having to learn a new way of driving."

A new way could be: Driving a car with automated gear shifting (I don't exactly know the terminus technicus in English, sorry), or reacting to a guidance system working via GPS.

A phone analogy: In 1940, the number dial has been used. Then, in the 60s, buttons were used. Today, you can even say the name of the person you want to call.

Because technology develops, users of technology are required to develop, too, if they want to be able to use new technologies.

Please note that there are implications that people just assume, but they do not need to be true in every case. Some of them are:

It's expensive, so it must be better than the cheap one.
It's new, so it must be better than the old one.
It's shiny, so it must be good.
It has dancing elephants, so it must be modern.

The term "good" can be seen in any regards: user friendly, fast, performant, efficient etc.

"Yes, the pills one is funny, agreed."

In fact, it is. Another example to illustrate this: You got into an accident and had your legs ripped off. You feel pain. Your primary target: having no pain. So you get pumped full of valium and don't feel any pain, so that's fine, exactly what you wanted. You repeat this treatment because it "just works", meanwhile your legs get infected and yellow slime follows your steps. :-)

"That's way I say the PC-BSD approach is better for the common user .. .than the FreeBSD one."

I would not try to claim the opposite. The average user feels comfortable with the PBI system - it's great, really!

But it's not the solution everywhere, for example if you need a program that has no PBI available of if you need to tune, let's say mplayer, to have various features enabled or disabled (maybe due to legal reasons).

"That's why I would like a better OS (Linux,BSD..) with the simplicity-in-mind approach of windows. Simplicity in mind because, as you also say, people don't care anyway. And I agree."

So PC-BSD's approach is good: Hide away all the internals the home user basically is not interested in (firewalls, partitioning, device drivers etc.), so he cannot be confused. The goal here: If you insert a new hardware component, it is recognized, the driver is loaded, the hardware works. It just requires the hardware component to be compatible (i. e. standard compliant) or coming with the needed drivers - I'd prefer the first one; a reason why I'm using FreeBSD on a daily basis is the fact that I don't need any drivers I first had to search via google, the OS and the apps have the drivers (kernel drivers, gphoto2 etc.).

"That's why I consider both good OSs. Being PC-BSD ready for people who don't care."

I agree.

"That's is only starting to happen now, and still needs polishing. But I wellcome the improvements, of course."

It's developing, true. While WiFi et al. are getting more and more popular, the driver support will get better, too. Just wait and develop.

"Yes, and I think that is happening with Vista, people will have to relearn something. That's one of the reasons Vista has got bad reviews, isn't it? But keep in mind I am not against innovation or the right to improve things. I just say the less you make think the people, the better."

That's what happened from 1.0, 3.11, '95, ME, ... all through the versions. Things always change.

Your last sentence makes me feel sad. Let me repeat and emphasize:

"I just say the less you make think the people, the better."

Isn't it a bit boring? What if everyone thinks this way? Okay, we can make computers accessible for everyone. We did this with weapons, too. An armament analogy? No, not at the moment. But you see what I want to say? If we're making everything as dumb as possible, what kind of people are we going to create? With which expectations will they rise?

Think less - feel good.

Sounds like propaganda from a nazi-like future vision...

I don't think it's a bad idea to improve thinks, but dumbing everything down to make it as stupid as possible is a step backwards, in my opinion.

"The familiar interface is the most used interface, today is Windows. Not many people use an UNIX interface at work, statistically. Hopefully one day what you say will be more frecuent, good!!."

Yes, statistically. With a wisely chosen sample, statistics can prove everything you want. :-)

Do you know the following statement? The worst solution always prevails. It has some implications: The solution many people use is not the best one. The solution less people use is better than the one many use. (NB: Interpret "good" as described above.) I won't say these statements apply everywhere, but you always can find proofs for them to be true.

"Yes, FEEL safe, because as we know they (many, less and less each day, I want to believe) don't care, and don't want (have time) to care."

It's not a matter of time. It's a matter of will. And I think the development is the other way round: People tend to care less and less, assuming someone else to deal with the troubles they are creating (even if they know it's their fault), see http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/cs_abuse.shtml#1 as an example. :-)

Like always in life, if you want to achieve a goal, you need to invest time, e. g. learn driving in order to drive a car, learn typing in order to type fast. It starts with elemental skills of your society: learning to speak, to read, to write, to count in order to get access to more complicated things.

"That spirit you use is good."

I don't believe in this principle because I like it. I do believe in it because it just works. It's a universal concept.

"The spirit of improving each day, to learn something new each day, to be more productive.... now think in a lawyer, my other sister. Working hard each day about her work, trying to improve as a lawyer, updating the everyday changing laws, being competitive inside her workplace and of course at the judge. Tell her to learn how to use a new database of laws, that's ok. But don't tell her about learning Bash or how to set up a firewall. Understand what I mean."

Yes, Sir. For these kind of users, special Linux distributions and PC-BSD (or DesktopBSD) exist.

There is another explaination: A solution that is cheap requires you to invest time - your time. A solution that does not force you to invest time implies someone else to invest his time, which makes the solution more expensive. People pay to have much stuff preconfigured, tested and certified.

"She is simply not interested in computers. She just likes that the computers allows her to work more productively, the computer is being a good tool. She doesn't enjoy the computer itself. (I enjoy computers, for me computers are also the goal, and inside my work, the tool too)"

As a car driver, I need a minimum knowledge what I can do when my car does not work, e. g. put fuel into it or charge the battery if it's down. If my own means do not work, I need professional help from someone who has more knowledge than me. I pay him to fix my car. BUT: I do no expect my car to have a car mechanic included in its loading bay. :-)

...

Reply Score: 2

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

...

"I agree about the activities of the home user. The fact is that with windows (and Ubuntu) is not that difficult to burn a DVD, you don't have to open a terminal an "mount" any drive."

There are good CD creation tools out there, some of them even integrate into popular file managers. Personally, I prefer mkisofs and cdrecord. Why? Because I am faster (and more productive) using these tools than searching and clicking around in KDE. While Linux and UNIX OSes allow me to use the applications I can work with best, "Windows" does not offer such a solution.

CLI tools are very useful if you need to use them via SSH or serial console (you see this solution usually in professional dataprocessing environments). Of course, they may not be that useful for the home user.

BUT: It's easier to send my neighbor a mail with some commands he can copy & paste via middle mouse button and mail me the results instead of describing him pictures I cannot tell for sure how they would look like and let him describe pictures to me where he does not exactly know how to name things ("the little triangle in yellow and the blue stuff with the orange stuff on top"). Especially in situations when you need to do diagnostics in order to find out the error - in order to repair the error - in order to make something work, you usually are happy about PC-BSD having a command line based SSH access.

While GUIs are good for the usual work, CLIs are good if they don't work.

Access to media is important to home users. But in a professional setting, you cannot allow anyone to insert CDs, DVDs or disks into their computers in order to steal data or to deploy malware (even if they think it's a cool card game). Or if you have an unlabeled CD, you just want to know what is on the disc, maybe you want to index it, or it does not have a ISO-9660 file system, so you just want to put it into the drive and nothing should happen by default. The same is true for automatic logins, or asterisks displayed in the password field - they may cause security problems. There are situations where the automation disturbs you. Note: This does not affect home users, but is most interesting for administrators in professional contexts. Example: I was at a hospital and plugged my notebook into the ethernet port in the wall. Guess what happened - I had access to classified data! Just DHCP, mount_smbfs and no password required. Embarrassing!

"So, again, we agree that the PC-BSD and Ubuntu style are better for the home user and the average user."

They are, I agree.

"The 90% of the users, so if we are talking about being mainstream, let's make things easy, and leave the command-shell for the hackers or lovers of computers, statistically, less people."

The dumb majority rules the world. :-) No no, don't worry. In fact, a dumb minority rules the world.

"lol, Did you know that a glass (only one a day) of beer or wine a day is better than not having beer or wine at all?"

I'm going to tell this to Bob in the stroke unit as soon as he gets accessible; meanwhile, I put some beer into his infusion. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: More things to think about. cont.
by Doc Pain on Thu 21st Jun 2007 18:46 UTC in reply to "More things to think about."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

...

"Then once you have mastered it, you will try to get it 10% faster, transparent windows in Plan9 or Inferno, or demonstrating that xBSD is better than OSX and Windows together (that is yor passsion, 2% of the word, engineer)."

As always: There is no "better" in general. Some OSes, applications or approaches are better solving particular tasks than others. If you don't know what you need, you can't tell which solution is the best one. There is no "the (only one) solution". Refer to reality for proofs.

Just think about prime numbers. It would be easy if all odd numbers were prime. 1? Is. 3? Is. 5? Is. 7? Is, too. Wow, works! 11 is, too! And 13! But... 9? I'm not interested any more, let's drink beer now. :-)

"Meanwhile let me have my beer or play paddle, our average (guy) hobbies."

Don't you mind potential that people have? Why do we go to school after the first class where we learned the letters and the numbers? Some OSes gain potential, some don't. Some OSes help you solving your problems by yourself, some hinder you doing it. Choose for yourself.

"Every company needs to reach their customers, If you don't think about what your customers want you will not even enter their universe, you will be in your own universe, alone with your other 2% (Mr Engineer, getting paid a lot of money for your specailized knowledge), they will go with who are there, with them Microsoft and Apple, making everything beautiful and easy."

Home users often do not know what they want, or they cannot express it, or they just can tell about the result - I want to have beer then.

In order to learn more, please feel free to refer to http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/ and see how strange ideas sometimes come to the user's minds. :-)

Only people with specialized knowledge are able to give the customer what he needs because they are the ones that implement the OS kernel, the drivers, the applications. They do the thinking the end user is that afraid of.

"Why Ian Murdock is working at SUN now? What is his main goal? I think once they are able to get the Linux drivers they will play the same Apple game. Their "best OS in the world" put toghether with "run in almost everything" (Linux Drivers) and a little of the Ubuntu spice, "everything must be done with guy tools, 2 clicks, and precooked""

You're talking about GUI tools? Of course they are more appealing to end users, but they require the GUI subsystem to work properly. But what if it does not?

The CLI always works. And it has a major advantage that to GUI can implement: it is fully programmable. A GUI just lets you choose from alternatives which the original developer thought of (simplified point of view). CLI applications allow you to concatenate inputs and outputs, do filtering and similar stuff.

Please try to imagine how the following task can be solved in "Windows": Bob has downloaded several files, but he does not know which file is the correct one. Joe asks him to send him the file names so he can tell. How does Bob send him this list?

Simple UNIX solution:

% ls | mail -s "My file listing, which one is it?" joesix@average.user.com

GUI solution: ?

"Why is Ubuntu there?, have you noticed that PCLOS is already nš2 in distrowatch?"

Because it's about chioce. Even if Ford does sell the majority of cars, does this force me not to buy a VW because I think this car is better for me?

"Why iXsystems bought PC-BSD, to make you type strange commands at the shell, or to play the same game of Cannonical."

Didn't you understand? PC-BSD allows you to use the superior CLI subsystem, but it does not force you to. The choice is yours, not iXsystems's.

Furthermore, shell commands are not strange. Some of them may have their roots in arbitrary conventions and consenses. Strange is how sometimes locations of icons and functionalities change...

"Less exclusiveness when what we want to get is to be as widely adopted as possible. If what you want is to beat benchmarks, that is ok, but do not pretend at the same time other thing."

So you think the least common denominator is the solution? Don't you think both goals are possible to achieve in one product - stability, security and a wide range of software on one side, and user friendyness and easieness of use on the other side? This is a goal I think working for is a good idea. In my opinion, PC-BSD does exactly try to follow this approach. It offers GUI solutions without predicting you to avoid your professional means for solving tasks.

A good solution is a solution that does not limit me in my ressources. It's okay to help those who do not have these ressources in order to solve their tasks, it's the way to go, I agree. But in professional contexts, you simply cannot reply "But it has dancing elephants!" if your MRT evaluation software does output nonsense that may harm the health of a patient. The last one is for the pill analogy. :-)

Reply Score: 2

v -
by twistys on Wed 20th Jun 2007 15:50 UTC
RE: -
by predictor on Wed 20th Jun 2007 16:31 UTC in reply to "-"
predictor Member since:
2006-11-30

If you pressed the above link, you've got yourself a virus I think.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: -
by evangs on Wed 20th Jun 2007 16:32 UTC in reply to "RE: -"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

Not if you're on the Mac or Linux ;)

Reply Score: 4