Linked by Preston Liam Whels on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:07 UTC
Linux Put yourself in his/her shoes. You're a budding young technical writer and the one word you hear popping up in almost every tech-related conversation is, you guessed it, Linux. Now look in the mirror and try to tell yourself you're more than a writer. After all, you write about technology because it not only interests you, but you're accurate and fair enough to tell it like it is. Maybe not.
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True
by tom on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:26 UTC

This guy has a lot of good points about the linux community. Why is it we HAVE to replace the evil OS?

You run Linux, great, you don't have to give a crap what other people run.

Not a technical writer?
by Matt on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:27 UTC

Not a writer at all. This article is inane, useless, and not written well at all.

Decent Article...
by jstn on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:27 UTC

IMHO, I'm kind of tired of reading about reviews, and analysis of reviews and analysis of analysis of reviews. Then reading reviews of those analysis.

If people are curious enough to use Linux they will. If they think it's something they'll use on a daily basis, maybe as a desktop enviroment or as a server, they will. Trying to coax users into Linux with all these reviews is hardly making converts of these Window users.

Give me more news please...

-j

RE: Not a technical writer?
by jstn on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:28 UTC

I couldn't agree more but I didn't want to be the first to say it ;)

-j

Almost
by harnate on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:29 UTC

The author makes a lot of good points, but does gloss over some things - I like the truth though in the statment that too many people like Linux simply because of irrational hatred for MS.

They're a major problem because they are the ones you hear complain loudest about MS and give some people the idea that is what all Linux users are like.

re: Almost
by Fizzol on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:36 UTC

>I like the truth though in the statment that too many people like Linux simply because of irrational hatred for MS

I don't think it's entirely irrational (possibly largely irrational but not entirely). I started looking at seriously switching to Linux when I first heard about MS's 'secure computing' initiative. I've no interest in a computing furture dominated, controlled and legislated by corporations and thier governmental lackeys.

I'm now a Linux user 100% of the time though I do still have a windows partition.

.
by HAL on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:37 UTC

You run Linux, great, you don't have to give a crap what other people run.

Companies who sell distributions have to. Developers funded by companies have to. Every user has to as without the above he wouldn't have an as advanced OS as he has now. And if they don't and push their own agenda further, development of Linux will stagnate. It's not only a simple hobby developer scene anymore. Go ahead, those people these users don't care about are the ones who in fact don't care as they are fine off with Windows.

games
by uncjohn on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:39 UTC

wow this is far from reality! he should try the new gentoo live cd. and it's real easy to install games. oh but wait linux is for the office. shure most things a 3 years behind.
are getting better very fast lately! i like it it's very adictive. i just hope pepole don't stop bitchin about.things get fixed faster that way.

Hmmm....
by Adam Scheinberg on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:41 UTC

Well, this is an interesting read. While I concede that he's thought things through, I'm not in complete agreement. I don't view most Linux users as those who want to "take Microsoft down.' Taking Microsoft down is not the same as "wanting to move off of MS products." I don't want to use pirated software or battle blue screens after I install new USB hardware. I also like the challenge of Linux - it reminds me of the older days when I really had to work, and not fruitlessly, at getting my computer to run properly. The payoff is great - my system is exactly as I want it to be.

Furthermore, this article says some things that are getting to be old hat for me. Admittedly, some of the points are probably the same things I've said in past articles, but put simply, we're running in circles in the community in that we constantly harp on the same issues without ever really making progress. RTFM is something I have seen a lot of in the past, but in truth, lately, I've gotten A LOT of help from people, and no one has told me to read any manuals. In fact, people have gone WAY above and beyond - one guy helped me tweak Apache's mod_bandwidth and mod_throttle to an astonishing degree. The community is improving and deserves some credit. Also, 'everyone working together' is easier said than done - no one is trying to make things complicated or wrap up their projects in red tape, but coordinating projects en masse takes time and skill, and not every project can pull it off.

Lastly, one thing I do agree with is your summation - Linux is ready for the desktop, but most people aren't ready for Linux. I relish eye candy and pretty and responsive GUIs. I trade off a lot of the polish for 'good enough' because there are other benefits for me. I carry on, but I'd never put it on my mother's computer. It's a rare breed that can use Linux without Windows. You're totally right about this - as much as it's ready for you, you have to be ready for Linux too.

Well said
by Gabriel on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:43 UTC

Well said, but hard to say because of who needs to hear it. The fact is, you aren't going to be able to silence those who want to make it Linux vs. Microsoft, or Why Isn't Linux Exactly Like Windows, because these arguments aren't really about Linux at all; they are about money. After all, most people I know who enjoy Linux never give a second thought to Microsoft and haven't probably ever even run XP. Most people I know who use Linux like their OS just the way it is, and would rather deal with problems from the standpoint of "Can we get ACPI running in Linux? My laptop doesn't work right otherwise" rather than "Windows has decent ACPI support, Linux is sucky by comparison, how sad and masochistic I must be to use my crippled OS."

Listen the update stuff about recompiling the kernel and all that is just silly. I have not recompiled a kernel in about 3 years. The last time I did so I did for some obscure option that I later decided was best left off and never bothered again. However, all commercial and many small-time open distros all have some way to update the system and kernel without any need to re-compile.

However, many good points are made as to why NOT to use linux.

It is an alternative OS despite the companies that are backing it.

It is not as widely supported hardware-wise in many other regards as Windows and never will be.

People that give linux a try have to understand this before they try it out not only so they can give Linux a fair shake but also as a gauge of whether or not the trouble is worth it for them.

For me, I like linux. It is my desktop of choice right now.

Is it right for everyone?

Heck no.

Some good some bad
by Al Pettit on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:50 UTC

I dont agree with everything, but some of it had to be said and it applies to all platforms. If you like the one you are using the other person doesn't have to be a moron, lazy, stupid or (insert you own here).

Overbearing
by milos on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:53 UTC

Wow, six printed pages and time wasted for an article with a promising title but awfully written. The author is the essence of a polished Linux inquisition, be aware you infidels.

Couldn't have said it better myself
by Jesper Juhl on Wed 16th Apr 2003 18:57 UTC


It's all a matter of what works best for a given task. If you want to do something that can best be done using Windows, then by all means use Windows. Same goes for MacOS, FreeBSD or Linux.

I personally don't care how many people switch to Linux or some other operating system. Why should I?
I know that Linux works perfectly for my needs, that's why I use it. That doesn't mean I want all my friends to switch to Linux if they are perfectly happy using something else.

Should we strive to make Linux more user friendly? I don't know. First you'd have to realize that user friendlyness does not mean the same to everyone. For some people, the ability to chain different commands together on the commandline to achieve some unique result is important, for other people the ability to change a setting by clicking a button is important and yet other people have completely different needs/desires.. I want a system that I find easy to use, and for me that is Slackware Linux. I don't care if everyone else finds my OS of choice easy or hard to use - the point is, it works for me.

If you are not willing to learn to navigate a new operating system, then why would you want to switch to it? I am personally getting sick and tired of new users who want everything to work 'just like in windows' but don't want to invest the time in learning how to achieve that or at least realize that Linux *is not* windows, and works differently. Those people who just want a Windows clone should just stay with the original.

And he's not the only one...

Period ;-)))

My eyes! The goggles do nothing!
by TestType on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:04 UTC

http://everything2.com/Thousand-word Thousand-word paragraphs give me a headache.

Some Linux users seem to think that any distro that tries to simplify itself for the average user is junk and anyone who doesn't want to spend hours reading through rendundant man pages for that one elusive paragraph that actually has something useful in it only to find out it didn't work shouldn't use Linux. Or if the thought of recompiling a kernel doesn't have the same effect as taking viagra.. you shouldn't use Linux. Linux is finally evolving beyond the elite geeky OS to one that can satisfy a broad range of users and some people don't like it.

Then some of them complain about MS lock on the desktop market.

These are things I've noticed in the years of going to Linux forums. I remember when Mandrake was thought of the same way people now think Of Lindows, Lycoris, Xandros. 'It's too easy, you'll never learn about your computer that way.' 'You need to learn how to configure everything, not have it done for you or not use a gui'

Some people want a stable OS with little downtime and easy to use for the average person, now they can have one.

hehhhhhhhh
by hmmmmmm on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:19 UTC

all you complainers should pay attention to one thing:


even though he said he was going to argue against using linux... he gave good reasons why he liked it as well.. without being dishonest and claiming it is everything to all people like many people do....

if more people had that HONESTY the linux community ~might~ turn away people who want something that does everything they want now... but they would also draw many, many people who are tired of the "used car salesman" pitches that they normally hear

not sure how I feel
by Walt on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:21 UTC

I think the author perhaps makes some valid points, but I think his description and analysis excludes Linux users and potential users like me who come to Linux not because they want it to be like Windows but because they want a choice and do not support the direction in which Microsoft is heading.

I am not a technical guru and not likely to be, but I believe this is and ought to be a place for people like me in the Linux world. While not all distributions need be "dumbed down" for people switching from Windows (which is itself insulting, as if Windows users have lower IQs - actually, it's just that we inhaled too many paint fumes ;) ), there ought to be (and increasingly are) distributions geared toward desktop users and needs and distributions that, while not necessarily like Windows, are somewhat intuitive when it comes to set up and configuration.

I recently switched to Vector Linux SOHO 3.2 not because it is the "easiest" to set up but because it is somewhat intuitive and the users and developers are friendly, supportive, and extremely helpful.

The one thing I have noticed about Linux is that it is - or should be - big enough to accomodate and embrace users of different needs and skill levels. I'm not as sure about some of the users themselves.

these articles are getting boring
by Aerick on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:30 UTC

The last time I visited OSNews about a week or so some dude was writing about "Linux on the desktop" or some other similar topic. These "articles" are still being written, and yet nothing new is being said.

Who the hell cares? Stop treading over the same ground for god's sake. The people that feel the need to write about this topic don't even do it justice anyway. If you like Linux, good for you. If you don't like it, well, go jump off a cliff ;) Let's see some more original articles, maybe about the OS ITSELF instead of the media-whoring culture that seems to be surrounding it.

See you in about a month, OSNews. Maybe you'll be talking about something different.

Aerick

Learn how to write
by Mark Hamlet on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:30 UTC

Some one should introduce this guy
to the concept of a "paragraph".

-Mark

Re: Couldn't have said it better myself
by Walt on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:34 UTC

"If you are not willing to learn to navigate a new operating system, then why would you want to switch to it?"

In a word - CHOICE. I want to be able to have a choice of OS for my hardware (which means no, I do not want to buy and cannot afford to buy a Mac).

"I am personally getting sick and tired of new users who want everything to work 'just like in windows' but don't want to invest the time in learning how to achieve that or at least realize that Linux *is not* windows, and works differently. Those people who just want a Windows clone should just stay with the original."

Good thing it isn't all about you, then, isn't it?

I also think many of us who switch or contemplate switching to Linux hope it is not like Windows. After all, if I wanted BSODs and restrictive licensing, I'd stay with Windows, wouldn't I?

I don't have a problem with Linux being different. I just wish some things didn't seem so arcane and confusing to me. (Translation != I want Linux to be the same as Windows.)

I also have a problem with those who suggest newcomers RTFM. (Despite what others say, I still encounter this response all too often.) Sometimes, the FM is on the web, which doesn't help if we're having trouble configuring our modem or our ppp connection. Beyond that, some of the FMs are so sparse to be almost worthless.

Man pages are sometimes no better, written as they seem to be for those who already know what it is they are looking for or are trying to do. Either they are so verbose the new user is lost under an avalanche of verbiage or they are so sparse as to be cryptic with the code only available to those who are already secret decoder ring wearing members of the brotherhood.

I have no problem with the idea of having to learn some things about my new OS. But I shouldn't have to learn the equivalent of another four-years of college, and whatever I do need to know should be presented in a clear, easy to understand manner.

Despite all of these things, I intend to continue using and, hopefully, learning Linux. It does not yet do everything or have everything I want from my OS, but it does give me much of what I want and offer the one thing I value above all: freedom of choice of OS on my PC.

come again?
by rockwell on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:38 UTC

Since when does stream-of-consciousness-babble-crap make an article worthy of posting to OS News?

I couldn't get past the first two 'graphs. Talk about incoherent.

LINUX READY? That Makes Me Laugh Hard
by DBarros on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:40 UTC

You can't possibly be thinking on some shit like that. 90% of worldwide computer machines run Windows. 4% of them runs Machintosh. 2% of them uses Linux. 3% uses another form of OS. YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING LINUX IS THERE...

Applications? You can't substitute full commercial, guaranteed, supported and full documentation written, expensive applications to some CRAP posted on FRESHMEAT that barely compiles or doesn't even have the infamous F*#%^@ manual.

Wake up for the reality. Windows REIGNS on the desktop, and it will there for a long time.

@Walt
by rockwell on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:41 UTC

//After all, if I wanted BSODs and restrictive licensing, I'd stay with Windows, wouldn't I? //

Only if you're dumb enough to be running Win 9.x or NT 4.

BSOD's are a dim memory for the 10 servers (Windows 2000 Advanced Server) I maintain.

Same with my home machine, running Windows XP.

Come up with something better ... like default security that's full o' holes. But lay off the stupid, outdated, and mostly untrue BSOD crap.

Re: Couldn't have said it better myself
by Fizzol on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:45 UTC

>I personally don't care how many people switch to Linux or some other operating system. Why should I?

I'll go ahead and state the obvious. Market Share. More users means more and better software and hardware support for Linux. I think that's a good thing.

>I am personally getting sick and tired of new users who want everything to work 'just like in windows'

I think this is a strawman arguement. I've yet to see anyone in all the threads and boards and discussions I've read where anyone wants Linux to work 'just like in windows'. What people want, at least newbies, average users and non-elitests, is a Linux that works better, and is easier to use.

There will always be the command line, and there will never be a lack of distros aimed at users such as yourself. Why you begrudge distros aimed at more average users like me I have no idea.

re: not sure how I feel to Walt
by Johnathan Bailes on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:50 UTC

Ok, Walt if I was ever going to make a list of the kind of users that should try out linux, you and the other people would make that list.

It goes like this.

You said the magic words to quote you:

come to Linux not because they want it to be like Windows

Cool. You want something on x86 software that is not like Windows?

You have a chance of perhaps liking linux.

You are willing to learn a different way of doing things?

You have a chance of liking linux.

Do you understand that no matter who many companies try to make money off you with linux that it is still an alternative OS and hardware support and other things are possible headaches?

You have a chance of liking linux.

Do you understand distros have gotten better but everything still usually does not work right out of the box and postinstall tweaking when you install a new OS of any kind?

You have a chance of liking linux.

not all distributions need be "dumbed down" for people switching from Windows

Honestly, that is the not the point for me at least. I got away from Windows and I do not want a distro that supposedly acts just like Windows ( Lindows for example ). Also, I knew this would happen and said so when the very first linux on the desktop articles started popping up. A slew of people (not you BTW) popping up complaining about every other thing not being exactly like the Windows they were already use to. It ain't Windows and I hope it never will be.

Am I old fart who does not Linux to change for the better?

No, package management and improved tools for sytem management and server management are needed and there are some holes in terms of desktop functionality I would love to see get plugged.

there ought to be (and increasingly are) distributions geared toward desktop users

They need to improve but they are out there like Lycoris, and I think that Mandrake and SuSE are pretty good desktops.

You like Vector so go for it.

I hope you end up liking the same OS I like.

But that does mean that I would ever want to flame someone for not liking or wanting the same things I do.

Hope you have fun and find the OS that is right for YOU not me not a pundit and not an OS zealot but the right OS for YOU.

Looks like linux from what you have said may be it.

Good luck.

I can finally breath again...
by Thijs Thiessens on Wed 16th Apr 2003 19:51 UTC

Finally someone have pointed out the fact that we should not try to let Linux look and feel like Windows. Im so glad. GNU/Linux needs to be unique, to be special. I have a very big family, and they all run GNU/linux, and i'm the only computer expert. They switched, because it is NOT windows, but because Linux is Linux.. special and unique! I offered redhat 8.0, but they all said:
"Is that linux?? boomer... I thought it was special."
-
But it's all more an issue for the distributors. All reviews, analyses, articles.. etc, which are very boring by the way, are talking about a certain distro, not about GNU/linux. They usually refer to a company who is using linux to sell a certain product, but they call it mistakenly GNU/Linux, so please, refer to a distribution instead of GNU/Linux.
-
GNU/Linux is great. Most distro's are not.


Thijs Thiessens,
The Netherlands

Re: LINUX READY? That Makes Me Laugh Hard
by Erik on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:00 UTC

> You can't possibly be thinking on some shit like that. 90%
> of worldwide computer machines run Windows. 4% of them
> runs Machintosh. 2% of them uses Linux. 3% uses another
> form of OS. YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING LINUX IS THERE...

Oooh.. I'm scared now. Since 90% of people use windows, that must mean that I need to too! Weak. If you read the article it mentions that it ISN'T ready for the desktop for most people... I for one (along with some others reading this article), use it as a desktop... I better not let any Windows user know that.

> Applications? You can't substitute full commercial,
> guaranteed, supported and full documentation written,
> expensive applications to some CRAP posted on FRESHMEAT
> that barely compiles or doesn't even have the infamous
> F*#%^@ manual.

You can't substitute full commerical apps with crappy ones. Duh. Who's to say that Linux doesn't have commerical apps., expensive applications, and games? Sure they're aren't as many (or close to) as Windows, but there doesn't need to be. I don't need 50 different paint programs. I don't need 150 differnet ftp clients. I need GOOD software, and sometimes there are SOLID opensource programs that fit my needs. Let's face it.

As more people use Linux, the more people will write software for it.

> Wake up for the reality. Windows REIGNS on the desktop,
> and it will there for a long time.

Yes. True. But this doesn't mean anything.

RTFM. WHERE!!!!!
by Chris on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:01 UTC

Even when I was a newbie, I never, ever heard RTFM... You know why (at least why I think why) ? Because I made an effort to look things up. And I was sure I said that in my email to whatever mailing list I posted to:

---------
Hey, I've looked here, here, and here, but I can't figure out how to do X, Y, and Z. Any help?
---------

A little curdisy goes a long way. Don't post to a mailing list demanding help! You're going to get a cranky response from some idiot on the list. I had the same kind of thing when I was a tech a Staples (an office warehouse...). Everyday, I'd have about 5 to 10 people come in and ask me 'Where are you printer cartiges?' You just get sick of hearing it. 'Look, lady. There in the front of the store underneath the big blue sign that say's 'Printer Catriges'!' But I couldn't say that. Because I was getting paid.

What the author says in this rant of an article is very true: If you're not willing to learn a differnt (different != difficult) way of doing things, don't try linux! If you're not willing to do that, it dosen't make you a bad, slow, or stupid person. Just makes you different from me. I love the 'thrill' of the hunt, looking for tidbits of info on how to set this up, or configure that. To me, thats fun! Its my hobby. Some people play with trains, some people fish. I play with a computer.

To each his own, you know?

Spare me!
by Sean Pecor on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:09 UTC

As a Linux user, this is the last "Linux isn't ready for the desktop" article I will ever read again.

Perhaps a different real-world example can better illustrate why this discussion just needs to stop. I have a Porsche. I love it. Some people like Porsches. Some people hate them. Others have absolutely no opinion. No, Porsches are not for everyone. Yes, they're harder to get into, even harder to afford, etc. But once you've adjusted, you find yourself using what seems like the perfect tool for the job. This, my fellow geeks, is Linux. If you don't like it, go buy a Ford Focus and shut the fu** up.

And the last time I checked, any idiot with a computer can comment on a public forum. I'm direct proof! It's the beauty of the Internet. Just as one idiot is free to post "RTFM you jag off!" on a forum, this article proves that another idiot is free to read the message and use the negative tone of a single idiot as Anecdotal Evidence to represent the Entire Community.

Finally, the last time I checked, the desktop Linux experience was improving on a daily basis. This is primarily because some of the people who are using Linux are (gasp!) feeding back ideas DIRECTLY to developers, and developers are (gasp!) implementing feature requests with astonishing regularity. After all, ten redundant article commentaries don't measure up to one simple email to a developer that starts with "Hello, I use and love your tool, but here is a feature suggestion..."

If you don't like my opinion then get your own!

:)

Sean.

Re:
by Walt on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:14 UTC

Only if you're dumb enough to be running Win 9.x or NT 4

Micorsoft deserves all the bile it gets, it's users don't.
by pnghd on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:22 UTC

"Why is it we HAVE to replace the evil OS?"

Because it is evil. Ectreme word for an extreme company.

"..too many people like Linux simply because of irrational hatred for MS."

Nothing irrational about it. Deserved is the word that comes to mind.

Hey, I love my car, but just because " it just works" doesn't stop me from reconginizing that the World would be a much better place if we all got off the Oil.

Jealousy of being #1 doesn't cut it as an explanation
for why MS is the most despised company since Standard Oil.
Some people think they can use the simple rhetorical device of characterizing opposition to MS and it's practises as extreme to disarm it. Because we all know
that if a viewpoint is extreme it must be wrong.

Sure, Linux users shouldn't diss Windows users, but
MS itself you bet.

Remember, freinds don't let freinds use Microsoft

operating systems aren't religions
by dr_evil on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:25 UTC

well... i didn't expect the spanish inquisition !

Wow ! Finally someone that KNOWS IT :-)
by Ioao on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:33 UTC

and can spread it.

I agree with you 99.99%

Very well said.

Cheers

Re: Rockwell and Spare me!
by Walt on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:34 UTC

"Only if you're dumb enough to be running Win 9.x or NT 4"

Now that my intelligence has been called into question, I'm sure you'll read no further.

Yes, I did run Windows 98SE (didn't know there was a version 9.x although I remember 3.1, 95, 98, etc.). Your insult notwithstanding, it was not because I was stupid but because of two factors:

a) my equipment was older and XP (or 2000) was unlikely to run on my notebook (which rules out upgrading) or was likely to provide spotty performance at best.

b) I did not want to provide financial support to a company I find to have questionable ethics and believe to be guilty of criminal behavior in terms of its business practices.

"lay off the stupid, outdated, and mostly untrue BSOD crap"

It isn't outdated for a large number of people. I don't have exact figures, but the last ones I saw indicated that there were still quite a few people who were using flavors of Windows other than 2000 or XP. I can also tell you it was not untrue for me. And when an update to one of Microsoft's own software packages cause the system to hose up and forced a reinstallation (the only way to ensure the entire upgrade was removed because the uninstall command would not uninstall), that was when I first began to think Windows was not in my future.

I also don't run a server (I'm an end user who visits this site for information), so I won't even try to speak to that.

"And the last time I checked, any idiot with a computer can comment on a public forum. I'm direct proof! It's the beauty of the Internet. Just as one idiot is free to post "RTFM you jag off!" on a forum, this article proves that another idiot is free to read the message and use the negative tone of a single idiot as Anecdotal Evidence to represent the Entire Community."

In my case, it wasn't a single idiot; it was any number of people who were condescending to new users (the term newbie is, in itself, a bit demeaning in my view, even though many people do not intend it that way). I personally never said this represented the view of the entire community. If it did, there would be no distribution that would or could be satisfactory.

However, I have run across this attitude too many times and it is part of why I have given up on several distributions in the past. Some users (unfortunately, more than one single idiot) seem to believe other users and their questions are beneath them.

On the other hand, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I have found the people who use and develop Vector Linux to be extremely helpful, extremely friendly, and extremely supportive of new users. They believe, as do all good teachers, that the only stupid questions are those left unasked by the would-be learner. That means that some questions will be repeated by different new users in different situations with different levels of understanding.

I have also found any number of people on the ExtremeTech Linux forum to be very supportive and helpful.

The old song may argue that "one bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch," but it sure doesn't help.

Hate to say it, pnghd, but I think you're dead wrong. All the "evil" Microsoft does has to be separated from the good they have done. In my book, Microsoft is more responsible for making computers what they are than anyone else.

While the real work has been done in universities, advanced government engineering facilities, and drunk Canadian hackers' bedrooms, Microsoft put computers in every house by making an OS that people understood better than anyone else that was affordable. Now, sure, we could say they're evil, but I still want my mom, dad and sister to use it, because they know it and it's still getting better.

One day this won't be true, but it boils down to this: they are a company, and they provide the best product for many. That's not evil, that's capitalism.

(please, don't anyone respond with all the monopoly and anti-competitive stuff, I know it already. I agree. Doesn't change what I've said though, in my opinion)

and speaking of Trolls...
by pnghd on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:35 UTC

"Why Linux is Not for You: The Lengthy Rebuttal of a Linux User"


LinuxIt is not for me?
Funny, why am I happily using it?

Maybe be you meant

Why Linux is Not for Everyone: The Lengthy Rebuttal of a Linux User"

Re: my earlier Re:
by Walt on Wed 16th Apr 2003 20:36 UTC

Don't know what happened to cause the one line post above. Guess I shouldn't mix personal commentary with trying to work ;)

if some bad is important bad then it's bad.
by pnghd on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:02 UTC

"Hate to say it, pnghd, but I think you're dead wrong. All the "evil" Microsoft does has to be separated from the good they have done. In my book, Microsoft is more responsible for making computers what they are than anyone else. "

Well, I never said they were _all_ evil.I don't deny they
there are good things they have done.

Hmm. I like the MS Natural Keyboard, Original version.

But whatever good they might have done neither excuses nor was needed for the bad .
You almost make it sound like we needed the bad stuff to get the good. OR that the good excuses the bad. Neither are true.
Apple was the one that made computing easy and
affordable,( at least compared to mainframes and mini-computers.) PC became even cheaper as much or more due to IBM pcs being cloned than any thing MS did.

I will say this though. If MS didn't do it , we wouldn't be where we are today.
We would probably be someplace much better.

PS. I do not post drunk and don't live in a basement.
I do sometimes forget to check my spelling.

cheers




I stopped reading when he tried to characterize me
by Anonymous on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:06 UTC

the author obviously spends too much time online, and in particular slashdot.

if he spent a little more time with real people, he would realize how ignorant he is.

I attend linux user group (LUGs) meetings, cisco study groups, and do a lot of consulting work. I can tell you that in my experience, a lot of people ARE interested in linux and what it has to offer. I'm NOT seeing a lot of Microsoft bashing. Quite the contrary, most of us are still heavily involved with Microsoft products, and a not insignificant percentage of us make a living supporting MS products.

For a writer, using the ole "point 1, point 2, point 3..." system, sure looks like he lacks an ability to write a cohesive and cogent article about linux.

an old tactic created to look like you have more evidence on your side.

bah.

and to the rest of you who agree with him, logoff once in a while, go find a real person that you can shake hands with, AND is proficient in two or more platforms.

you'll find that your slashdot/osnews molded perspective is quite wrong.

> > "If you are not willing to learn to navigate a new operating system,
> > then why would you want to switch to it?"
>
>
> In a word - CHOICE. I want to be able to have a choice of OS for my
> hardware (which means no, I do not want to buy and cannot afford to
> buy a Mac).

I have nothing against choice. What gave you that impression? All I'm saying is that if you are going to switch OS you should be willing to learn how to use that OS (no matter what that OS is).
We can probably both agree that choice is good, and I don't believe I've said anything to the contrary. But when you *do* choose a new OS I think it's resonable to expect that you then put a little effort into learning that new OS - and amazingly a lot of people don't do that or expect every OS to just magically behave the way /they/ expect/want it to, and I find that to be the major problem.

> > "I am personally getting sick and tired of new users who want
> > everything to work 'just like in windows' but don't want to invest
> > the time in learning how to achieve that or at least realize that
> > Linux *is not* windows, and works differently. Those people who
> > just want a Windows clone should just stay with the original."
>
>
> Good thing it isn't all about you, then, isn't it?

Ofcourse it's not all about me - did I say that?


> I also think many of us who switch or contemplate switching to
> Linux hope it is not like Windows. After all, if I wanted BSODs and
> restrictive licensing, I'd stay with Windows, wouldn't I?

I don't use Windows and in fact I've only ever used it very sparingly, so I can't really comment on the BSOD issue. But I do hear from my Windows using friends that Win2000 and WinXP are quite stable these days - that's good.


> I don't have a problem with Linux being different. I just wish some
> things didn't seem so arcane and confusing to me. (Translation != I
> want Linux to be the same as Windows.)

That's fine with me. You are free to wish for anything you like, just remember that what you call arcane and confusing seems perfectly logical and natural to some of us. It's a matter of what you are used to. The few times I've used windows I've been having that same feeling - stuff being buried several levels down in some menu located somewhere where I had no idear I should look for it. No ways to easily script administrative tasks, no easy way to remotely manage the system, no debug info available when something goes wrong etc...
Besides, Linux is not the only choice - if you find it arcane and confusing, then why don't you choose something else? there are plenty of alternatives to both windows and linux. And, there are plenty of different Linux distributions available, geared towards different users with different needs. Maybe try a different distribution..

> I also have a problem with those who suggest newcomers RTFM.

Suggesting to someone to refer to the documentation seems quite sensible to me. If I was using some foreign system that I was not used to I'd be quite happy to be pointed at the relevant documentation so I could research the matter.

> (Despite what others say, I still encounter this response all too
> often.) Sometimes, the FM is on the web, which doesn't help if we're
> having trouble configuring our modem or our ppp connection.
> Beyond that, some of the FMs are so sparse to be almost
> worthless.

This seems to be about the *quality* of the documentation and not about the issue of refering people to docs in the first place.
We can quickly agree that not all docs are good. Some documentation is good, some is bad, but if you are unhappy with the quality of a certain document then why don't you get in touch with the author and suggest improvements (point out stuff that is incorrect, stuff that could be explained better etc.) - this is how Open Source works, not only for code but for documentation as well.


> I have no problem with the idea of having to learn some things
> about my new OS. But I shouldn't have to learn the equivalent of
> another four-years of college, and whatever I do need to know
> should be presented in a clear, easy to understand manner.

Then maybe you've made the wrong OS choice. Some OS'es require more effort to learn to use well than others.
How is it that you somehow think you are entitled to having the system present itself to you in a way that /you/ find easily accessible? Linux was/is created by a community of people for use by that community - everyone is welcome to join in the game and influence it, but it's mainly a OS created by the users for the users.
Also, not everyone cares about the OS being accessible to new users, but somehow a lot of people seem to think that they can demand that it be easy to use for them and assume that the community cares about them - that may be true for some members of the community, but certainly not for all.
The only way to play the game if you want Linux to be different is to get involved in some projects that deal with the things you want to change.

Why is it that somehow a lot of people assume that we all want Linux to be the major Desktop/Server/Embeded OS?
A lot of us just want it to serve our own purposes, and as long as it does that people are welcome to also make it common on the desktop, put it inside every set-top box etc.. but don't expect everyone to care about that..


> Despite all of these things, I intend to continue using and, hopefully,
> learning Linux.

I hope you'll like it - a lot of people do :-)


> It does not yet do everything or have everything I want from my OS,

Help improve it. :-)

> but it does give me much of what I want and offer the one thing I
> value above all: freedom of choice of OS on my PC.

I agree with you, it offers a lot of freedom, and it's a great tool for a lot of people, but it's not the best tool for everyone, but since it's not the *only* choice available (neither is Windows or MacOS) that's not really important.

Yes, It's Linux Vs Windows
by linux_baby on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:21 UTC


I don't know why anyone would want to "tear down microsoft". MS is a business, hiring thousands of people, and innovating on a lot of fronts. I have no desire to see them die.

But ..and please get this .. COMPETITION IS GOOD. A world in which everybody uses a Windows desktop is NOT good, at all. Such a world would be no better than a world in which you could buy computers from on Dell, or databases from only Oracle. This would be true, even if MS were a benevolent company, which it definitely is not. So, finding alternatives and making sure MS doesn't dominate the entire computing landscape is important.

New and Improved Nightly
by Scorched Earth on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:23 UTC


>Finally, the last time I checked, the desktop Linux experience was improving on a daily basis. <

Why do people say Linux is improving daily? I want to spend my time doing other things than downling nightly builds. Yes, this is nit picking but unless you are living on the edge, it is better to stick with the stable software.

I would suggest that Linux is improving every six months. Next year, Linux will be better than now. <grin>

Author's reply...
by technodev on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:24 UTC

Thanks for all the GOOD comments everyone... as for the bad, well, I didn't expect them to be all good. Let me respond to a few things here real quick though.

For starters, it's interesting how a lot of you have read this as a "Linux isn't ready for the Desktop" article, when it's not that at all. I began the article putting you in the place of a technical writer for a reason, because it's the technical writer who has skewed the views, goals, and overall ideals that most people seem to feel the Linux community has. Most technical writers are prone to write the "Linux isn't ready..." stuff, while this (I thought very clearly, but apparently not) says to them that they simply aren't ready for Linux.

I'm and avid user of Linux on the desktop... I use it probably 99% of the time I'm on my system (which hosts 7 different operating systems at the moment). The reason I use Linux so much over all the others is because it does exactly what I want it to do, and most of the stuff I need it to do. Since it doesn't do everything I need it to do, I have the other options.

I do realize the article is poorly written, and I do apologize for it. Yes, it's long paragraphs (if you want to call them that), but I was attempting to group my overall points and explainations in that form not to "look like I have more evidence on my side," but so that people wouldn't lose focus of the point I was trying to make.

Overall, my article's purpose was to argue not that Linux or even the Linux community is unable to embrace the normal windows user, but that often times we are portrayed as already having done so, and we haven't. Furthermore, to clarify, this article isn't about whether we should or shouldn't, it's about that we should do whatever we want as a community and not feel we have to generate a user friendly OS simply because of market share desires of large companies or analysts and technical writers who think we need to.

I feel that Linux is a great option for a vast number of people, but it's not the option for everyone, and somehow it's been made out that it is (or so I feel). In essence this article is to tell everyone who writes "Linux isn't ready..." articles that they're approaching it from the wrong perspective. In my opinion RPM based Linux installs/distributions is not really Linux. It doesn't give me the feel of what I think Linux is or should be, and therefore I personally see it as a bad thing. At the point where your Linux (as an OS) becomes unrecognizable as Linux, it's probably not really. This is why it's called the Lindows OS and not Lindows Linux Distribution.

If anyone has any further questions for me, I'd ask that you e-mail them to me. Some of you seem to have misread what I've said (which may be mostly my fault), others have read it just right and summarized it in a way I apparently wasn't able to do. I do want to thank all of you that responded with your honest opinions though, and thanks for the "suggestions" (on writing) and on other things... along with the flat out compliments, criticisms, and general comments.

Cheers!

*Yawn*
by Maxamoto on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:31 UTC

Same old drivel, except its 2003 now. Aren't all the Linux backers going to be suprised when TCPA kills Linux dead as disco. And before you flame that with all the pre-configured responses I expect, remeber this: TCPA isn't just for home computers. It can also be used by servers, routers, repeaters, firewalls, switches, hubs, add-on hardware, etc. Linux as an OS has 5, maybe 6 years left before Microsoft flips the switch and your Linux distro either bombs on install, or it bombs on the Net because none of the routing hardware will accept packets from it. Never underestimate the powers of denial, I always say. And all I've seen from the Linux community is denial about the fate of OSS. maybe if they chose a common desktop environment instead of fighting about Gnome or KDE being the best? Maybe if they actually grew enough sack to commit to developing a superior OS, instead of just talking about it? Remember, Microsoft is probably *the* most competitive company on the planet, and if you think they're just going to watch their server sales slip away, you've got another thing coming. So, on to my totally pre-configured and completely expected finale: I use Windows because it is more secure, more stable, faster, stronger and easier than Linux. And, unlike Linux, I'll be able to surf the 'Net in 5 years with it. Here's to your dropped packets-

Whoah... zzzz
by CK on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:31 UTC

Don't want to be mindlessly critical but..

This guy has a choice few useful points and quite a few factually incorrect ones. Worst of all its tied together in the most overly verbose prose I've ever seen. This argument could be explained far more clearly in about 2 better written paragraphs.

To Maxamoto
by Adam Scheinberg on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:41 UTC

Interesting....

ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Your "drivel" is only going to push your assertion towards reality. If in a few years, there's even a measurable group of people using Linux/BSD/other OSS, there will be demand for non-TCPA chips out there. Trust me, technology only catches on if it catches on (ponder on that). You're doing more, as a reader of OS News preaching this propaganda, than Microsoft, to further the fate of Palladium.

I couldn't read it all
by Paul on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:57 UTC

Too much talk. Too little substance. Severe chip(s) on shoulder.

MuuuuuuHaHaHaHa
by Glanz on Wed 16th Apr 2003 21:58 UTC

This is by far the funniest, most inacurately written article I have ever read. The author reminds me of Sahhaf, the now missing Iraki Minister of "Information"..., and the English is on the same level. Eugenia should hire this guy to work PR for the site. It needs someone like this.

Poor
by Carl on Wed 16th Apr 2003 22:01 UTC

Poor article too long.

Personality Traits
by John Marranca, Jr on Wed 16th Apr 2003 22:04 UTC

Warmest Greetings, all!
Well...I have obersved many things in the time that I have been interested in "computers". The Linux gurus (no insults intended, mind you) always seem to be angry militants...destined to firebomb Microsoft. The Mac afficionados are in denial, the Alternative OS crowd (myself included) endlessly search for the proliferate "perfect PC buzz". I use BeOS, QNX, Windows 98, and Basic Linux all on the same PC. I use different OSes for fun. Curiously, I ponder why the masses amongst us can't get along. Proof is found in this website's "OS Wars" section. Name calling, baiting, juvenile insults, etc...seem to be the norm as one OS's groupie's defend its honor against someone with a different opinion. As I said before, I LOVE BeOS...but I don't expect it to rise from the ashes, like the mythical Phoenix. And I wouldn't roast someone just because they either asked a SIMPLE question (because I ask some simplistic ones, too), or that person makes an "off-color" remark.

Every OS has its fans...whether it's C-64 (yes...they're still out there!), or Unix, or even Windows. I use MS-DOS everyday at work, because it's the ONLY way to program Comdial Corporation's Small Office/Debut voice mail. Everyone should just try to agree that the whole idea of being able to configure YOUR PC...YOUR WAY...with YOUR OS of choice is the most fun. And isn't that what it's all about?

John

PS: PLEASE...I didn't try to offend anyone in this observation. If anyone is, my humblest apologies.

Linux is fine.
by Mark on Wed 16th Apr 2003 22:27 UTC

The writer needs to get with the program. Linux is here to stay. Hell with AMD releasing a 64-bit processor where is MS? Why is Intel lagging in releasing a 64-bit processor-MS is'nt ready. Is there a 64-bit Linux-yip. I personnally use a varity of OS's. The fact is MS products is not the end all-be all solution ;) .

v Linux ? bah what a laugh
by Seth on Wed 16th Apr 2003 22:39 UTC
Linux is fine.
by Mark on Wed 16th Apr 2003 22:47 UTC

The writer needs to get with the program. Linux is here to stay. Hell with AMD releasing a 64-bit processor where is MS? Why is Intel lagging in releasing a 64-bit processor-MS is'nt ready. Is there a 64-bit Linux-yip. I personnally use a varity of OS's. The fact is MS products is not the end all-be all solution ;) .

Where can I get the cliff notes?
by Jim on Wed 16th Apr 2003 23:15 UTC

Almost 5000 words that could have been probably been covered in about 750.

v Seth
by John Marranca, Jr on Wed 16th Apr 2003 23:20 UTC
erm.
by Monkey on Wed 16th Apr 2003 23:22 UTC

wow. that was boring.

v ...seth
by Robert Renling on Wed 16th Apr 2003 23:23 UTC
re: True
by hmmm on Thu 17th Apr 2003 00:23 UTC

We don't need to replace the EVIL OS, just knock it off the top of the hill.

Its one thing to have a dominant OS that everyone uses that is open so everyone both understands how it works and has the right to build on top of it or change it. That situation would not be so bad. And that is where we would be with UNIX. But that never happened. Instead we have a monopoly that sells us a closed source OS and EVERYONE maintains that it is the industry standard. This is a bad thing because it is closed, it is controlled by a monopoly and it is anti-competitive.

Competition is a good thing, but not on my desktop. I don't want advertisements from AOL competing with advertisements from MSN for my screen realestate. I want my desktop to function the way I want it to. I want it to function the way it is advertised. I want to get what I pay for and never be asked to pay any more, ever again.

Show me a single commercial entity that can provide that, monopoly or not, and maybe you can convince me that there is such a thing as a proprietary industry standard. Until then you better make some money and you better make it fast cuz GNU is coming for ya baby!

Please do not respond to "Seth"
by Eugenia on Thu 17th Apr 2003 00:45 UTC

He has already being moderated down, he is known to just be a troll. Ignore him please and any other troll, not just him.

Technodev--
by WattsM on Thu 17th Apr 2003 01:03 UTC

Despite a lot of nitpicks people are having, it's a well-written article. One can argue whether it'd normally be appropriate for OS News, but given the rash of odd "My OS rulez" guest editorials and the influx of, well, generally none too informative Linux distribution reviews, it probably is for right now. People are just getting nerdy.

But I will make one nitpick: If you mean "technical journalist," then in the future please say that, not "technical writer." A technical writer is someone who writes technical documents, like operation manuals or program specifications. It's a job title in precisely the same way "software engineer" is. Technical writing is as distinct a field from journalism as fiction writing is. I may be the only person who was thrown off by this (I've done professional writing, including both technical documentation and articles for technical publications, in the past), but it definitely left me scratching my head for a while.

I agree with this article
by Richard James on Thu 17th Apr 2003 01:11 UTC

Well at least the bits I read, because I skipped a lot because of the oversized paragraphs.

I hate Microsoft but that is not why I use Linux.

I use Linux because I like to toy around with the computer. And Linux gives you the most amount of toying next to writing your own OS.

Back on the Road
by milos on Thu 17th Apr 2003 01:18 UTC

This guy really likes to type, first his article (I attended a couple of even more boring lectures in my life) and then his rebuttal. Jeeezzzzz!!!

200 different desktop managers

It's called choice dipstick. If you don't like it stick with XP and that is cool. XP is a good OS but it is funny reading responses from people that have NO clue.

no commercial apps

Oracle. vmware. Fax2send. Vexira Antivirus. Kerio MailServerTM with McAfee® Anivirus v.5.5.1. Mindrover Majesty. Linux General Ledger Demo. Castle Wolfenstein. Veritas Netbackup. Metrowerks Codewarrior. Realmedia servers. Netscape Enterprise Server. Most companies that make Enterprise Unix products have linux versions, period.

No commercial software. Yeah whatever.

slow as hell

Launch times are slower for some apps. I admit that. But response is just as good and linux has performed better under heavy load for me.

buggy

Every OS, desktop environment and application has bugs buddy. I have had less trouble with show stopper bugs in linux than I have in XP or 2000. You like XP stick with it.

Deal is that I like linux but not everyone should use it.

Not everyone should Windows or Macs.

You show yourself as a zealot in your responses.

SCO is getting ready to shut you down

SCO makes linux products you silly bugger. They just want IBM's money. There are no real deep pockets for linux and they do not want to hurt their own linux business.

TCO is lower on Windows

All depends on who you ask I have read twice as many articles about TCO being actually lower on linux. But it is very testy in the long run depending on what you actually use your computers for and what your computer needs are.

When I get the news on Linux's death

Its free software silly if every giant company like IBM stopped supporting linux solutions tomorrow, if all the distro companies went out of business tomorrow, there would still be linux. Development would be slower. That is for sure. But FreeBSD survives without a half dozen corporate sponsers spreading development resources around. Linux would too.

Linux can never hope to beat Microsoft.

I actually hope it never does. I hope that Linux grows. I wish that Microsoft was punished in a significant way for illegal business practices but I would not delight in the complete downfall of MS.

I am not a zealot and I feel that Win2000 and XP and 2003 server all have their place in a hetereogenous server/desktop environment.

You relish in the word zealot but that is exactly what you are. Zealots are dangerous in the IT world. Just like they are dangerous in politics and religious discourse.

In the end, though you are just a troll voice trying to get a rise out of people.

v LINUX SUCKS DAMNIT!
by ANTI-LINUX on Thu 17th Apr 2003 01:40 UTC
Nothing to say - in six pages
by Chully Scorbus on Thu 17th Apr 2003 01:45 UTC

This guy has nothing to say - and takes six pages to say it. His babbling, incoherence sounds like the rantings of somebody who's high on some kind of exotic weed. Aren't there editors at OSNews to correct people's grammar and edit their copy? Boy, a few more pieces of crap like this (we already have to put up with Eugenia's stuff) and I won't bother visiting this site any more.

Fairly detailed
by Thoreau on Thu 17th Apr 2003 01:50 UTC

I liked the article. It sort of demonstrates the terrain in which we are now deployed. The kernel recompile thing is a bit over the top, as everything is made modular, but the rest is pretty good.

Geez
by Aitvo on Thu 17th Apr 2003 02:05 UTC

200 different desktop managers

It's called choice dipstick. If you don't like it stick with XP and that is cool. XP is a good OS but it is funny reading responses from people that have NO clue.

no commercial apps

Oracle. vmware. Fax2send. Vexira Antivirus. Kerio MailServerTM with McAfee® Anivirus v.5.5.1. Mindrover Majesty. Linux General Ledger Demo. Castle Wolfenstein. Veritas Netbackup. Metrowerks Codewarrior. Realmedia servers. Netscape Enterprise Server. Most companies that make Enterprise Unix products have linux versions, period.

No commercial software. Yeah whatever.


Let me add:

Intel C++ compiler, Win4Lin, Netscape, Maya, LinDVD, PowerDVD, Crossover Office & Plugin, Adobe Acrobat, DB2, Domino, Workflow, MQ Series, Tivolli, Unicenter, WebSphere,
Sybase, Star Office, Java, SimCity 3000, etc.

slow as hell

Launch times are slower for some apps. I admit that. But response is just as good and linux has performed better under heavy load for me.


Which is faster?

Linux: Load, wait work work work done minimize.
Windows: Load, work crash. Load, work crash. Load, work crash. Load, work save crash.

Don't tell me it's not true, I see it all the time on lots of other people's machines, as well as my own. "Oh crap, my cpu is at 100% and there's no associated process!" -- reboot.

Mind you Windows can also be solid. I have print servers, and exchange servers with uptime you would kill for. It's like pulling a name out of a hat whenever you put it to work for you, sometimes you get a winner but most times you don't.

buggy

Every OS, desktop environment and application has bugs buddy. I have had less trouble with show stopper bugs in linux than I have in XP or 2000. You like XP stick with it.


See above. Lets not even go into viruses!

Deal is that I like linux but not everyone should use it.

Not everyone should Windows or Macs.


Exactly, use the best tool for the job.

You show yourself as a zealot in your responses.

I concur.

SCO is getting ready to shut you down

SCO is past due for bankruptcy. Why they are still holding on I'll never know.

SCO makes linux products you silly bugger. They just want IBM's money. There are no real deep pockets for linux and they do not want to hurt their own linux business.

TCO is lower on Windows

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I've got this bridge, I'll make it real cheap just for you.

When I get the news on Linux's death

You don't like zealot's huh? THEN STOP BEING ONE!

Linux can never hope to beat Microsoft.

SO WHAT! The only people that really care are persons not unlike yourself. All most if us want is market share to grow enough to get MORE APPLICATIONS than we already have.

I am not a zealot and I feel that Win2000 and XP and 2003 server all have their place in a hetereogenous server/desktop environment.

RIIIIGHT, not a zealot. Nope, no way, never! HAHA

i agree, linux isn't for anyone else really.
by timothy on Thu 17th Apr 2003 02:10 UTC

i agree with a lot of this points for a different set of reasons.

i believe the computer is a tool. i am not loyal to any OS, brand or anything like that. i will buy and use whatever suits my needs best.

i come from the design stream, graphics, motion, 3d, etc. and for a while, i tried to switch to linux (back in highschool, rh5.2 i think) for the next year or so i had a linux partition that i loved to explore and play with.

eventually though, this tool became much more like a hobby. instead of producing or designing graphics, short films or basic flash projects - i was spending more time trying to get my cd drive to work.

thats when i eventually had to give it up. i realize that as much as those who think linux could (technically, that's obviously possible) become the standard desktop - its an utterly foolish notion. i was laughed at for trying to use linux because i wasn't in the tech stream, and i asked all sorts of stupid questions. fair enough. the author may not have written the article too well, but he's right, the linux community doesn't need or want any more windows users.

Re:@Walt
by quan2mst8 on Thu 17th Apr 2003 02:16 UTC

I'll take your bait Walt. Actually Windows 2000 AS(s) does BSOD and quite . Especially when you are dealing with MSCS or SAN environments. I am a SAN Engineer for one of the largest SAN Storage vendors in the world and let me tell you. Windows sucks ass. I support Linux, Solaris, AIX, and Windows (I was hired because I am an MCSE in NT4 and 2K as well as having a great deal of Enterprise experience with the product and that's why I hate the product.) I would rather troubleshoot a *nix anyday. But hey, ya gotta pay the bills... Also... the error reporting in Windows blows goats.

Load, work, crash....
by John Marranca, Jr on Thu 17th Apr 2003 02:22 UTC

I LOVE IT....it's SO true.
(I'm actually laughing so hard, that I can't breathe! Welcome to my hell with a Win Me laptop for programming phone systems!!!)


John

to give some readers perspective
by hmmm on Thu 17th Apr 2003 03:04 UTC

I use several OSs on a daily basis. Windows 98se, Windows 2000, RedHat 9, RedHat 8.0, Slackware 8.1, OSX 10.2.x and Solaris 9.

I also have access to RedHat 7.x-9, Mandrake 8.1, SuSE 8.x, HPUX 11.x, Solaris 2.6-9, Irix 6.x, AIX 4.x, OSF and stuff. And KNOW how to use them.

So... does that make me a Win98 user?

On my recent poor rating as troll.
by Lee Nooks on Thu 17th Apr 2003 03:21 UTC

After what I thought was a carefully worded comment in response to another reader, I had the displeasure of seeing my comment classified as trollish.

Reviewing my words I saw, indeed, an unexpected interpretation could transform my rather pessimistic view of "IT reality" as an attack to this site (which it was not).

Just for clarification, I could also use the same kind of sarcasm to say I would need to drop Linux and adopt Windows zealotry soon (and, mind you, I have no intention of trolling myself).

I won't have the trouble of explaining what I wrote to you, Eugenia. I'm sure that you, living in the USA (or UK, I'm not sure), are perfectly capable of mastering this "wonderful" (again, sarcasm) English language. Suffice to say you got a possible, but unintended meaning.

Now, I understand pressures can be overwhelming sometimes and it's not easy to deal with the many trolls that pass by here. This understanding alone is what dimnishes my indignation.

I maintain my previous declared (here) opinion that I don't find OSNews biased towards MS; notwithstanding, from many of your previous posts (and mine, surely) it has been already been made quite clear that we embrace totally opposed views in many aspects.

Who you consider heros, I deem slugs; those whose work I appreciate, you call them incompetents. While difference of opinion makes life less boring, such extreme incompatibility contributes to a less pleasant experience overall for me on this site.

Regarding your answer, which I can only take as a mistake, I assure you I wouldn't aim "such a terrible treatment" at you, personally, or at this site -- which I consider very valuable as an information source.

Thanks for everybody's attention and sorry for any inconvenience, even one such unintentional as it was.

BSD--Linux' ugly sister
by Grim on Thu 17th Apr 2003 04:51 UTC

The hardware support for Linux is about to be a thing of the past. What, with OSX and XP both using BSD under the hood. More and more of the newer hardware has to be certified OSX and XP compatible. Try pluggin one of these devices up to your Linux box and I'm pretty sure you'll be surprised.

If nothing else, Linux has definitely made an impression on Apple and Microsoft. I think Microsoft understands that people are sick to death of the blue screens, Apple users are tired of the reboots. I think they both are starting to grasp multi-user environments, more fault-tolerant operating systems, etc.

Apple's embracing the Open Source community much more freely than Microsoft, but it's all a matter of time. Eventually there'll be ports for all the popular applications for all of the OS's involved, and everybody can choose thier OS according to their tastes, or the depths of their pockets.

Insights into the common user
by Ben Howard on Thu 17th Apr 2003 05:00 UTC

Having played with all sorts of OSes (every Linux Distro under the sun, *BSD, etc), I must agree with the arguments of the writer. The fact remains that the reason that Microsoft has its OS on 90% of the desktops is because it is simply the best. And it does for people what they want a computer to do. If Linux or my personal favorite, FreeBSD could do what I wanted it to do then I would have no need for Microsoft. I too love the Open Source Model and better yet the free software, but until Linux gets to the point of Windows, the average, every day, run of the mill user will have no need for it. My room mate who changes Linux distros on a daily basis, looking for the coolest one, was shocked when I advised the other room mate to just use Windows. If you don't want to tinker around and tweak, then Microsoft is just fine.

re: Ben Howard
by dwilson on Thu 17th Apr 2003 05:38 UTC

The fact remains that the reason that Microsoft has its OS on 90% of the desktops is because it is simply the best. And it does for people what they want a computer to do.

You misunderstand the point of the article completely. He is simply saying if you want linux to be a free version of windows you shouldn't be using it. He did not say windows was the best and there is a reason for that: it isn't true. The reason Windows is on 90% of peoples desktops is because of anti-competetive measures holding OEMs captive. We are all aware of that.

I agree with the author. If you are migrating from Windows to Linux simply because you hate MS, with no desire to learn to use another operating system, you will fail. You will whine, you won't like it. However, if you are a first time computer user, or you want to learn a new OS, then linux may be right for you. Migrating is always harder because you have learned to do things a certain way. You can't successfully migrate unless you are willing to relearn.

Good article, a few disagreements
by gtanghookup on Thu 17th Apr 2003 06:26 UTC

The article was good, I agree with many of the points given. The only point of disagreement that I have is about people switching from MS to Linux. I have used Windows since 3.1 and within the last 6 months I have switched to Linux because of well... dislike for Microsoft. After using their OS through XP, I was sickened by the amount that it crashed. And even more sickened by the laws and agreements which come with the software. Such as when you buy a copy of their OS you don't own it, you lease it from them. That is disgusting. If I pay $250 for their OS I want to own it and put it on any one of my computers that I own. I don't need to put it on someone elses computer, but I would like to put it on any number of my personal computers, as well as any future systems that I may get. Microsoft does not condone that, and it makes them out to be quite the tyrant.
I have built a strong dislike for Microsoft for mainly political reasons, and thus have converted to Linux. Since then I have taken up a strong liking of Linux for experimentational reasons, however it took me getting very fed-up with MS to make the switch to Linux.
I don't think that myself in switching to Linux for political reasons was a bad thing. Any reason is valid, and it correlates with life outside of the OS standpoint. Such as, people who rally against their government to put an end to some unfair situation. I think some of the agreements that Microsoft forces people to agree to are very unfair and THAT is my reason for not using their OS. I can't play many popular games made for that platform, but I don't care, I am one less person supporting them. I do not have a hatred for them, such as trying to put a stop to them, converting everyone I know to not using them, or holding unfounded views towards them. However, if I do not agree with them, thus, I seperate myself from MS as much as possible. As an abused child later seperates his/her self from thier abusive parent.

just plain good.
by noeffred on Thu 17th Apr 2003 09:07 UTC

This is by far the best article I've ever read here. It's not bitching about GNU/Linux, nor bitching about Windows. I'm sick of the Windows people bashing the Linux folk and vice-versa. Linux is about co-existence and having a choice, so if Linux puts an end to the "evil Redmond enterprise", we'd again have no real choice and somebody would have to come up with an OS to turn over Linux - ironic somehow.
I remember times where you would use Linux because it was more fun, more fun to tinker and tune with. Since now there is so much money involved the fun is dimishing and ultimately, driven by the need to release first and be faster than the rest, the quality of the software developed will go down.

Good point...
by keith on Thu 17th Apr 2003 09:37 UTC

I'm one of the many Linux user's that decided to use Linux purely out of hatred for Microsoft, but after a couple of years using Linux, my hands feel tied when I use Windows just because I can't do the same stuff on it as I can with Linux. So now, it's not because I hate Microsoft that I tell anyone and everyone about Linux. It's because, well, I like Linux because it's a better fit for me.

I was just a kid when my Father brought home a Tandy TSR-80 (or is it TRS-80?), and over the years of upgrading I became accustomed to configuring everything manually and sometimes wasted hours upon hours just trying to make the latest and greatest box do what we wanted it to do. My interest in computers waned with Windows, because it seemed like the solutions to everything were reboot and/or re-install.

Then I bought a Linux distro after seeing one too many BSOD's on my newest computer running Windows ME. And suddenly I was lost and had to work to get my system going, and frankly, I loved it.

But this brings me to the point of all my rambling. Would I recommend Linux to my Mother who just wants to turn on her computer and accomplish the two tasks she has planned out? NO. Do I recommend it to people who just want to download crap from Kazaa and surf the net, and don't even like to learn anything more about their O/S? NO. I recommend Linux to people who A) are fed up with Windows, AND are willing to try something new, or B) are technical in Nature and want to do more with their computer, but lack the tools.

I believe this author has some good points. And I think that people should choose an O/S based on what they want to do with their system. I like seeing Linux grow, but I don't really want to be explaining how to edit text config files and read through MAN pages to my Aunt who can't even figure out that she needs the TV on channel 4 to use her VCR.

Agr
by Robo on Thu 17th Apr 2003 09:49 UTC

Even if you're not a technical writer, you need to break the paragraphs down. It's really hard to read big chunks of text.

It' too damn bad
by Jago on Thu 17th Apr 2003 09:53 UTC

that distributions that seemingly spend a lot of time on "making things easier" for the Joe Average seem to cut down on time that should be spent testing, fixing and polishing the software and binary packages. You always have to pick either one: Debian and Slackware if you want absolute stability or RedHat, Mandrake or Lycoris if you want ease of use. Too bad there doesn't seem to be a distribution that would spend time equally on both things.

Well said! And I don't want MY OS to continue to be dumbed down for freaking market share.

Thanks,
- Peace -

I'm a technical writer ...
by Tech Writer on Thu 17th Apr 2003 12:04 UTC

Arts degree and all. And while I use Linux extensively (including for writing), I never make the Linux vs. Windows comparison. I like Linux; Windows I'm not too fond of. And, yes, I know of what I speak -- I've used every version of Windows since 2.0.

What I like even less is most Windows applications. The only ones I find useful are FrameMaker, Paint Shop Pro, Yeah Write, HTML-Kit, and a few other utilities. With the exception of FrameMaker, I can find equivalents of the others on Linux. And I don't have to give up a vital organ pay for them -- even the commercial apps.

Really nice article
by Kyriakos Sidiropoulos on Thu 17th Apr 2003 12:23 UTC


Hats off.

Great article
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Apr 2003 13:41 UTC

Loved the article...

"I'm not sure when using Linux became synonymous with trying to run Microsoft out of business, but at some point in the past year or so, it did happen. My question to you is, who made it that way?"

I remember seeing a large increase in this kind of thought recently as well, my guess is that when Microsoft started up it's 'linux isn't good enough' campaign this tended to enflame the real anti-Microsoft zealots.

@Aitive
by rockwell on Thu 17th Apr 2003 13:41 UTC

//Linux: Load, wait work work work done minimize.
Windows: Load, work crash. Load, work crash. Load, work crash. Load, work save crash.
...Mind you Windows can also be solid. I have print servers, and exchange servers with uptime you would kill for. It's like pulling a name out of a hat whenever you put it to work for you, sometimes you get a winner but most times you don't. //

Wrong. Windows 2000 Pro/Server/Advanced Server/Datacenter Server work *FREAKING FLAWLESSLY* on *APPROVED HARDWARE* if you *KNOW HOW THE HELL TO TUNE IT*.

Windows can run just as well as Linux. You just have to know what you're doing.

Rambling Nonsense
by tux on Thu 17th Apr 2003 13:43 UTC

a self-important, pretentious piece of writing, taking 5 pages to write what can be said in a paragraph, full of conjecture and opinion portrayed as fact, and overall is mostly a waste of time.

and as an aside, the author asserts with customary authority:

"The most obvious answer to who made the Linux philosophy, "destroy Microsoft," would be that the Linux users made it that."

first - it is not "THE" Linux users, but "SOME" Linux users, despite the urgency and importance the author interprets, not everyone agrees.

second - if anyone "made the philosphy" it would be MICROSOFT itself, by abusive practices and by insulting and attempting by illegal means and in bad faith to destroy all competitors.

@quan2mst8
by rockwell on Thu 17th Apr 2003 13:44 UTC

//I'll take your bait Walt. Actually Windows 2000 AS(s) does BSOD and quite . Especially when you are dealing with MSCS or SAN environments.//

Funny. The distributed failover cluster of DELL Poweredge 2650's running SQL Server 2000 that I built hasn't had a BSOD in 11 months.

And I don't even have my M(ultiple)C(hoice)S(election)E(xpert) certificate.

simple preference
by Wanda on Thu 17th Apr 2003 13:45 UTC

Sometimes it's simple preference. I started with a Trash 80,
did the MS/DOSs and all sorts of MS Windows.

Basically I just prefer Linux. Debian is on one machine at
home, Slackware on the other. Which is "better"? That's
another evil temptation to argue without getting anywhere!

Wanda

?
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Apr 2003 13:50 UTC

" You can't possibly be thinking on some shit like that. 90% of worldwide computer machines run Windows. 4% of them runs Machintosh. 2% of them uses Linux. 3% uses another form of OS. YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING LINUX IS THERE...

Applications? You can't substitute full commercial, guaranteed, supported and full documentation written, expensive applications to some CRAP posted on FRESHMEAT that barely compiles or doesn't even have the infamous F*#%^@ manual.

Wake up for the reality. Windows REIGNS on the desktop, and it will there for a long time."



Spoken by a person who attempted to recompile a kernel and lost their porn stash for sure....

A few comments..
by Good Grief on Thu 17th Apr 2003 15:01 UTC

Decent article =) Yeah, it could have been broken into paragraphs, and it could have been a bit more concise -- but the viewpoint and the way it was expressed was novel and interesting. Good show.

1) Maxamoto:

I use Windows because it is more secure, more stable, faster, stronger and easier than Linux.

*blink*

*blink blink*

2) Aitvo: You mixed up Jonathan Bailes' reply with the quoted sections to which he was replying.

3) rockwell:

Wrong. Windows 2000 Pro/Server/Advanced Server/Datacenter Server work *FREAKING FLAWLESSLY* on *APPROVED HARDWARE* if you *KNOW HOW THE HELL TO TUNE IT*

I agree that NT-based Windowses can be stable, sometimes, but... "tune it"? How? Where do I set inode density? Where do I configure the kernel for compilation? How about cleaning up my inetd.conf?

Or did you mean reboot/uninstall/reboot/install/reboot?

Rockwell
by Aitvo on Thu 17th Apr 2003 15:53 UTC

"You just have to know what you're doing."

I'll bet I know 100x more than you do.

Good Grief
by Aitvo on Thu 17th Apr 2003 15:58 UTC

I know, I was attempting to reply to both at once. I didn't do a very good job though HAHA.

Also note that he totally ignored my Exchange and print server comment, as his "if you *KNOW HOW THE HELL TO TUNE IT" comment should have been "*YOU KNOW HOW THE HELL TO TUNE IT". ;-) When he has more than a few months experience in a data center, or more than a half a dozen servers, he'll see the big picture like the rest of us do.

Lets keep this little club cozy..
by yclept on Thu 17th Apr 2003 16:20 UTC

"Well said! And I don't want MY OS to continue to be dumbed down for freaking market share."

Yeah, let's stop all development of ease of use and simplicity of configuration and management of sofware and files. I don't want to see ordinary jerks using MY OS!

This VS That
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Apr 2003 17:47 UTC

Windows vs Linux vs Mac vs Sun....
Intel vs AMD vs Cyrix vs .....

Choice is good. Don't like what your using, try something else. That's the name of the game. CHOICE!

Re: Linux
by Seth on Thu 17th Apr 2003 22:02 UTC

Linux sucks, 200 different desktop managers, no commercial apps slow as hell, buggy in other words I wouldnt let my dog use Linux, All you Linux zealots out there be prepared your OS is about to die, SCO is getting ready to shut you down. Windows is more reliable, user friendly and the TCO is lower on Windows, When I get the news on Linux's death, I will be here laughing at every Linux zealot as they install Windows on their machine. Windows is the best, Linux is not. Linux can never hope to beat Microsoft.

A GNU/Linux History
by David Tansey on Fri 18th Apr 2003 00:37 UTC

This was not only poorly written but poorly researched as well. I have wasted enough time reading it so I'll only point out a few things.

The GNU/Linux movement has recently become an anti-Microsoft movement? I think not! I've been using GNU/Linux for seven years. When I got into it, it was an anti-proprietary software movement. The Microsoft monopoly was the head of the proprietary software movement. The GNU/Linux movement, therefore, was also largely anti-Microsoft.

It isn't about "what platform best suits you;" it is about Free Software. This doesn't directly translate to "down with Microsoft," but it certainly isn't much of a stretch.

I would argue that the "Linux" (note the lack of the "GNU") movement has recently, and progressively, become less anti-Microsoft. As companies buy into the platform the anti-Microsoft team has a harder and harder time staying away from corporate dirt. It is unfortunate.

I happen to use GNU/Linux for ideological reasons. I recently purchased a laptop with Windows XP preinstalled. I immediately wiped the hard drive and installed Debian GNU/Linux. I will not use Windows, even if it does have more game support. I will not use Windows even if it is easier to configure or supports a more robust program that I'm wanting to use. I will not use Windows and I will not use proprietary software.

People like are now in the minority. Richard Stallman is not at the tip of most people's tongue when they discuss the "Linux" movement. Using binary NVIDIA drivers are okay to most people nowadays.

I don't see the diversity in the Free Software movement as a bad thing though. When you're fighting a dominant system you have to fight with people you would usually not call your friends. When we've won, and proprietary software is in the minority, then we'll celebrate and again redefine where we want to go from there.

So I object to this article. Not only is it a false representation of the current situation, it does not provide a solution.

As more and more Free solutions arise, the price of proprietary software will have to fall. When they can no longer sustain themselves, they will have to find a new form of software development. This is capitalism. We are not trying to mandate the use of Free Software, we are only trying to provide a more compelling product; one that will compliment the user's needs and morals.

Feel free to email me. I love talking (if you couldn't tell by the length of my comment.) If not, check out the links below.

http://www.fsf.org http://www.gnu.org

One wants Microsoft defeated for the same reason one wants the school bully defeated, or the Sheriff of Nottingham, or John Gotti, or Saddam Hussein (stopping before tripping over Godwin's Law). They're evil, and it's axiomatic that evil should not prevail.

One more reason...
by Mikel Kirk on Fri 18th Apr 2003 01:21 UTC

Linux is not for you if...
The BSA thugs can get you fired.

Linux is for people who hate Windows...
by David Johnson on Fri 18th Apr 2003 03:06 UTC

You dispute the saying that "BSD is for people who love UNIX, Linux is for people who hate Windows." You are correct in your assessment that this, like most witty sayings, is false. But there IS a tiny element of truth to it.

There is a small but significant number of Linux users who use Linux simply because they hate Windows. They are significant only because they happen to be the noisiest advocates of Linux.

Skimming any random Linux or Windows story on Slashdot, one could easily come to the mistaken notion that the goal of Linux is to defeat Windows, and that everyone who hates Windows needs to run Linux. I have personally been told that I should stop using *BSD and switch to Linux because running *BSD does nothing to further the defeat of Microsoft. You see similar sentiments on many other Linux forums.

I personally know a few people who switched to Linux for Windows precisely because they couldn't stand Windows anymore. It's pretty hard to dispute that these people are using Linux because they hate Windows.

Where does this hue and cry come from that shouts that Linux needs to be easy enough for my grandma to install, needs to eliminate configuration options, or needs to replace XFree86, in order to win. Does this come from people who love UNIX or who hate Windows? What is there to win other than the Windows "crown"?

To be sure, the majority of Linux users love Linux for its own sake. But you guys are too quiet! The tiny minority of malcontents are drowning out your opinions!

Who cares who you think linux is for?
by Claude on Fri 18th Apr 2003 03:34 UTC

I have used Windows for many years, have an IBook to travel and use Redhat 9 on my MAIN computer at home.
Bottom line: Linux ROCKS and Windows sucks.
You can have it your way if you still have the right .dlls on your hard disk, or would that be in your RAM, or maybe in your spam defrag.cache or wherever...
By the way, RTFM is the way to go if you're going to any place worth going to.
Ciao,

*WHO* uses Linux?
by DBarros on Fri 18th Apr 2003 03:46 UTC

Not in a 10 square miles I can find a computer running Linux as a daily desktop OS. You Linux zealots all crazy, preaching that Linux has conquered your heart and the world?

That makes me remember the Iraqui Information Minister: "The troops are not even near Bagda, we are completely untouchable".

Wake up for reality.

I love to use Windows XP, and it is the best software OS available for everyone. Paid or pirated.

Another deeply buried comment
by Kirby on Fri 18th Apr 2003 03:51 UTC

The fact that Apple can swallow up a lot of BSD code, yet legitimately market OSX as a different operating system, shows that the identity of these code bases is fluid, at least in principle. We needn't suppose that the current
landscape of desktop and/or server OSs is going to settle out. It might, but it doesn't have to.

As with religion, people don't always consider the possibility of as-yet-unknown religions becoming important in the future, but I take this to be a realistic view. What we call Linux today may be raw material for ?? tomorrow. For example, if we go for "dwelling machines" that are a lot higher tech than houses of today, we'll need to program them. A lot of people will feel very strongly about wanting only open source controlling their homes, whereas others will settle for a closed proprietary solution with a good track record. But the brands and tech talk in this new industry may have only historical links to our shop talk in 2003.

I use a number of platforms and have kind and unkind things to say about all of them. I don't cultivate strong feelings of hatred towards Microsoft. It's not really in the weapons of mass destruction business. I think it's great when capitalism succeeds at doing something that is basically a civilian enterprise. That's a sort of "proof of concept" in my book. But this is not a remark about the relative technical quality of the operating systems.

Filibuster
by jklava@oic.lv on Fri 18th Apr 2003 07:15 UTC

Sure got a lot off his chest but what a waste of time

Taking down MS
by Christophe Thill on Fri 18th Apr 2003 11:14 UTC

My own view of things:
I don't think that Linux is going to destroy Microsoft.
I think that the increasing use of free software (including Linux) will severely damage Microsoft's dominant position. And this is wat will MS near-monopoly. In other words, if you prefer, it's going to destroy itself through its dramatic need for market domination...

linux vs Windows
by Don on Fri 18th Apr 2003 14:21 UTC

Often I say to writers that "redundancy is the mother of communication." However, it can be taken to an extreme. The author makes a few good points but wears out the whine about linux users wanting to destroy Microsoft. Sure there's a little of that mentality out there, but where does it come from? It comes from the childish, predatory and illegal practices of the Microsoft cadre. They don't play fair and for years they haven't even tried to play legally. The outcome has been a monopolistic stranglehold on software development.

Last spring we saw MSFT engage in heavy-handed extortion of the Portland, Oregon schools. Last summer, new licensing terms from MSFT were pushed onto enterprises already stung by a shrinking economy. The effect was MSFT choking the very goose that was laying its golden eggs.

Linux offers an alternative. No it needn't be the same as Windows, but similarities to a standard interface make adjusting to a new interface easier. Think of autos: controls may differ slightly from brand to brand but the paradigms of driving are the same. The result is that a Chevy owner can sit in Ford and drive it off with no trouble. Some of that paradigm similarity, at least in one choice of UIs, should be part of the functionality of linux.

I use linux and I use Windows (under Win4Lin in linux). I use what I like in either OS. I don't mind at all that enhance ease of use and enhanced office apps in linux are making MSFT seek new (conventional business rather than pirate) ways of pleasing customers. Balmer recently went to Munich to make an offer that represented supposedly generous pricing terms. MSFT didn't do that because they're kind and benevolent. They did it because there is a real alternative to Windows.

Insecurity?
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Apr 2003 15:02 UTC

Is this the root of your rage? Are you afraid that if everyone uses Linux you won't appear to be so smart after all? Gone are to good ol' days of connecting computers via a modem and looking like Mr. Wizard. It would seem to me you'd be happy to show off your knowledge to those that ask, unless you don't know much and are afraid you'll be found out.

What is this argument about people wanting their hardware to work and to work with all its features. I wonder if your opinoin in the same when it comes to cars. Do you run to your local repair shop to cry about the mysterious noise or do you get under the car and deal with it yourself? Asking for help is a sign that someone knows their limitations. It is not a weakness or an assault. You are not a victim.

Why not use OpenVMS? There's far less support for hardware, which seems to be of no concern to a number of people. There's less software too!!! Isn't this what you really want? in an OS? Go for it! Use a real alternative OS. You won't be alternative-chic and no one will really care, but than means nothing to you to. Right?

Linux is an operating system, not a lover.

Additional note
by Kirby on Fri 18th Apr 2003 15:43 UTC

I think it's obvious that an open source operating system is deeply satisfying to those with great curiousity as to what's going on under the hood, and a desire to tinker with the internals. Some people *like* messing around with their car engines. Some people just want a car that'll run, and if something goes wrong, they expect it to be fixed under warranty.

I understand DBarros (a few posts above) when he raves about Windows XP and how smooth it is. But he's missing the whole point from the point of view of a Linux lover (we have car lovers, so I think we can have OS lovers). The point is that Windows XP is a black box -- we can't see inside. It's like a fancy sports car with a padlock on the hood (OK, bad metaphor -- padlocks are easily broken). What fun is that?

Another point that needs to be emphasized is that open source and Linux are not synonymous. Python, a programming language, is open source. You can read every line of C code used to create it. You can compile it from scratch. You can mess with it, extend it with new C code if you want to etc. etc. But you can do all this on Windows. In other words, Windows users have access to open source software as well -- it's just that Windows itself is available only in binaries.

A lot of the flaming back and forth misses the obvious, which I think is the main point of this guy's article: we don't all consider the same stuff to be 'fun'. Messing around at a low level, tinkering with the OS itself, is a nightmare for some -- the antithesis of what they'd like to be doing with their time. But for others, getting under the hood and studying the internals to an arbitrary degree of detail is the pure embodiment of fun. It's a big part of what makes computing enjoyable for them. So the author is saying, and I agree: if you don't share the Linux user's idea of "fun", that's fine. Why start an argument?

RE: Additional note
by Anonymous on Fri 18th Apr 2003 16:06 UTC

I agree. My favorite feature of Linux is its tinker-ability. My biggest gripe with the attitude that if someone includes great hardware support and a few wizards for those that want them, Linux will somehow become less configuarable. Some people want ease of use AND low cost in an OS. These people should not be attacked for wanting something so basic. Nor should they have to listen to the RTFM arguments for the sin of not knowing something. I feel that this attitude will do far more to hurt Linux than MS telling a developer he can't run foxpro under Linux.

I maintain a small office network from a friend of mine. He appoligzes constantly for having to ask me to work on his servers/desktops. I keep telling him that I'm glad to have the opportunity to keep my skills sharp. He doesn't seem to believe me. One mans nightmare is anothers dream.

Second Author's response...
by technodev on Fri 18th Apr 2003 16:49 UTC

I figured I'd give this another of my own responses since it's pretty much doubled from where I last gave a response. Onc again I'd like to thank everyone for all the positive comments. I've been getting a lot of e-mail from people since my last comment. Lots of people seem to find the article refreshing, which I suppose it is. Other's have said they feel the article is one of the few fair articles out there. Yet others have disagreed with my opinion and gave good argument to why they differ. It's great to see such a large amount of responses aswell.

Anyway, I'd like to respond to a couple of earlier comments here. As I think I've mentioned before, if you're reading this article as a Linux vs. Windows article, you need to take a step back and think about what I've said again. More importantly, if you're in any way thinking that I'm trying to say Linux doesn't belong on the desktop, you need to do the same. I use Linux as my Desktop OS, and I think it's more than ready for that market.

The problem I have is the "Desktop review" end of things. As I had said to one person who responded by e-mail, there are plenty of times where Windows hardware detection fails, or another piece of Microsoft software screws up, or a piece of software FOR windows screws up... This happens all the time, if you think it doesn't, then you've probably only used Windows on a small number of systems that simply happened to be highly compatible. Windows is not the end all be all for the Desktop computer and I think if we had even half the people who experience problems installing and configuring windows systems writing articles that said, "Windows isn't ready for the Desktop," we'd all be able to see that.

This next thing is more of a direct response to titled their comment, "Insecurity?" You make a lot of assumptions here. Firstly, you assume I haven't used OpenVMS... I'll one up you on that, I've used the original VAX/VMS. Granted I haven't used it extensively or administered it on any level, I merely used a shell. I fail to see how you managed to perceive this article as me attempting to dessuade people from Linux as if a mass growth in Linux usage would somehow affect how I'm perceived by my peers.

The fact of the matter is, and I thought I made this clear in the article, I don't use VMS or another OS as my major Desktop system because no other Operating System does what Linux does for me. It could be simply because Linux was the first real Open Source operating system which I used. I've effectively grown up on it. This helps a lot in knowing what I need to do to get what working, but as I'm sure you know, it's constantly changing, and there are always new things to learn.

I don't feel I need to justify WHY I use Linux, the same way I don't feel Windows users don't have to justify WHY they use Windows. My argument here is simply that if people want something that, to them, resembles Windows on almost every level, they should probably just stick with Windows. But instead we see a mass of people trying to switch and getting fed up, and when they do, they write articles or go around trolling and spreading baseless arguments to other people who may actually enjoy Linux very much (and not have any problems with it).

I'm going to guess that you assumption that I'm somehow trying to protect my technical manhood can only be attributed to a fear that you quite possibly have yourself. As for me, I have no quams about having people exceed me in technical prowess, there are thousands.

As for using alternative OSs... I boot 7 operating systems on this machine. Linux, BeOS, QNX, DRDOS, Novell Netware 5.1, nG.linux (an experimental version of Linux me and a friend were working on), and Windows 2000 professional. If none of those seem alternative enough for you, then maybe you'd like a list of what I've used. FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, Unixware 7.1, AIX 4.0, VAX/VMS, OpenVMS, Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, System V... errr I think that's about it. I also worked for a couple months developing my own OS (it hasn't gone anywhere, but it was mostly to develop theory)... if it was completed it would have had things like an Programmable Filesystem (and if you don't know what I mean you can e-mail me and ask about it), Separate parts of memory for read/write and read/execute as to minimize the possibilities of buffer overflows, Variable security levels (specified at boot), and an intergrated user interface, such that the shell is more of an extension of the kernel an acts as it's own litlte Virtual Machine than it is an application run on top of it.

Conclusion: I didn't write this article because I hate Windows. I didn't write it cause I love Linux. I didn't write it cause I want to keep Linux my own dirty little secret. I wrote it because I wanted people to understand that Linux and Windows are two very different operating systems. I believe the more we try to clone Linux into Windows the more we are taking away from Linux and the possible new users it could attract that would use the OS for more than checking their e-mail. Linux is great the way it is, and the way it was, and I think there's a fine line between making Linux appeal to more people and making it into something that most users probably don't want it to be. As I said in the article, if Linux ever grows to the point where I don't recognize it as Linux, or feel it doesn't fit me, I'll use something else. I won't use something else simply so I can say, "Hey, I use an alternative OS," however, I'll use it because I simply won't like Linux anymore.

Honesty, at last!
by Michael A on Fri 18th Apr 2003 18:05 UTC

I'm glad to know that there are people out there who don't practice the art of self-deception.

It Toasted My 21 Inch Monitor
by LiteD'Nite on Fri 18th Apr 2003 18:24 UTC

I followed the install instructions and United Linux / Suse Toasted my 21 in. Monitor. Hate Linux? What is to like? The Evil OS never broke my hardware... So Im swearing off Penguins until they get it ready for prime time.

Matt and milos, that's not good logic
by cyclist1200 on Fri 18th Apr 2003 19:02 UTC

Let me understand your thinking. You are dismissing his argument because of his writing skills? That's a logical fallacy.

linux on the desktop question
by Pasquale on Fri 18th Apr 2003 19:14 UTC

Do polls and analyists take into account all the people who use linux on their desktop without buying it?

i own a dell laptop which came with windows, but i use slackware linux on it, no windows. how would i show up on some sales information, as a windows user or linux user.

probably as a windows user for my desktop.

if anyone knows how these polls, numbers are generated let me know by email, i would really like to know.

Much too long
by Me on Fri 18th Apr 2003 21:57 UTC

That guy may have done some thinking while he wrote. But he should have edited later. It's much too long. 2 pages max. That's it.

You're wrong about technical writers!
by David Neeley on Fri 18th Apr 2003 22:14 UTC

All the way through in this article, you have written about "Technical Writers" when you should have been writing about "Computer Journalists."

The simple fact is that the term "technical writer" has a somewhat more specific meaning--tech writers are the people who write things like user manuals, installation instructions, repair manuals, online help systems, and the like.

From time to time, though, we *may* also write articles for the public about various technologies under our own bylines...but this part is still not "technical writing" in the strictest sense.

It should be obvious that people who do magazine reviews, for instance, may not be very "technical" at all (although many are very well educated and experienced in technical issues). However, there are a few details about updating the upgrade manuals for a digital telephony switch that are somewhat more stringent than writing an opinion piece about operating systems!

In fact, perhaps the greatest lack among the Linux community is the general lack of competent tech writers to work on better user documentation! As I become more at home in Linux, in fact, I intend to contribute to that part of the open source projects I use the most.

All the best,

David

I like this article
by manicka on Fri 18th Apr 2003 23:49 UTC

I enjoyed reading this article. This guy hits the nail on the head about why some people love Linux and some hate it. We use it because we love Linux, not because we hate Windows, MacOS or any other OS. We were prepared to learn how to use a new OS and not whinge about it's comparisons with Windows. At the moment Linux does what I need it to and has rejuvinated my interest in using a computer again. I like that it is different and sometimes really hard to get things working. It's interesting, challenging and most of all rewarding when you get it right and working just how you need. Over the years I've chopped and changed my main OS many times. At the moment I'm using Linux and loving it.
PEACE

BSOD's are still alive!
by Don B on Sat 19th Apr 2003 03:35 UTC

I installed a BRAND NEW Windows 2000 server today. I loaded the OS, installed a gagillion Windows updates and delivered it to my customer. I loaded up Nero for their tiny little backups (they have little data and they're cheap) and while formatting the CD's for packet writing and ejecting a CD it crashed. When it came back up it was pretty well unresponsive for the next five minutes due to software mirroring on the two drives (again, they're cheap).

Market Share
by Michael on Sat 19th Apr 2003 04:09 UTC

I have recemtly started using RedHat linux. Mainly because it was free. I don't know anythng about Linux, but I do hope to learn enough to use it. I also use Windows and have not had too many complaints about how it runs(not since I switched to Windows 2000 Pro). I started using linux somply out of curiosity. My first computer experience was on a Windows machine. So for now that is all I know. I didn't start using linux because I hate windows or because I think linux is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But I have liked what I have seen thus far. I do very much like the stability of linux. I also would like to see a linux distro that will compete in the market place with windows. Only good can come from this. Apple has made a good effort, but I would like to see a nation wide chain of stores selling more distros of linux other then red hat and suse. I would also like to see them sell computers with linux on them. I think that this could only bring about good. I want there to be many competetors to microsoft. That would make them create better software and make people create better software. I believe that the competition is good for all computer users. I don't anything wrong with people trying linux if they really only want it to do what windows does. The only downfall I see for linux is if it doesn't get more people using it and interested in writing software for it.

Please remember interdependence
by Torben on Sun 20th Apr 2003 16:38 UTC

It is true that Linux does most of what I want it to. But sometimes I want to do something with other users on the net, using Linux.

And that works most of the time (else I would not be able to communicate here, would I).

But for example homebanking is not working for me, because "most people use Windows". I find it important to make people aware of Linux, so it is accepted by online services. I know it is not Linux per se that has to be considered. It is open standards. Linux applications are usually better at complying with open standards. We must insist that service providers acknowledge standards.

It is not (ultimate) fun playing with Linux entirely by myself...

Linux
by Seth on Mon 21st Apr 2003 18:05 UTC

Linux sucks, 200 different desktop managers, no commercial apps slow as hell, buggy in other words I wouldnt let my dog use Linux, All you Linux zealots out there be prepared your OS is about to die, SCO is getting ready to shut you down. Windows is more reliable, user friendly and the TCO is lower on Windows, When I get the news on Linux's death, I will be here laughing at every Linux zealot as they install Windows on their machine. Windows is the best, Linux is not. Linux can never hope to beat Microsoft.

I still promote Linux
by Rick Galbraith on Fri 25th Apr 2003 19:33 UTC

I still promote Linux. I realize that not all people can use Linux. Sometimes it is just a case of not wanting to.
Just like I was not successful in teaching my wife to use Windows (others had to do that) so I cannot get her to move to Open Office after she has used Word. She goes to a public access location where she uses their computers for free, winds up with umpteen copies of the same file on her floppies.
Of course, I'm still using 2.2.20 linux kernel, have not got True Type fonts working, and in general just get by with the system, and I guess you see why.
Everything is available in the way of help, but some of us need more help than others. And I do tech support! (on a windows based product)