Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 17th Mar 2007 00:26 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu During my 8 years of Linux on and off usage I have tried more distros than I have chocolate bars. Each one of my previous encounters meant that I had to spend at least 2 days configuring before I have a desktop that I was somewhat comfortable with. With Ubuntu Feisty Fawn's latest test beta --for the first time ever-- this was not the case. I was up and running with all the niceties I wanted within 2 hours.
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RE[4]: Much Better?
by Doc Pain on Sat 17th Mar 2007 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Much Better?"
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

Still today, users have PC composita of the most impossible parts that they expect to work properly. Wrong cables, incompatible GPUs, CPUs overheating, defective RAM modules. Linux (and UNIX) deal fine with it (note ECC diagnostics in Solaris), while "Windows" just does bluescreens that do not help the user.

"You must compare apples with apples. In this case, you are talking about an ordinary user installing the OS."

I may tell you from how this is handled in Germany: The users don't install any OSes. The OS is preinstalled on the PC. If it's not working, the PC is returned to the shop or a new one is bought.

If it's neccessary to install an OS, another person is adviced to do it, usually someone from the office or a neighbor who can be bothered with it. He comes along with a pirated copy of "XP professional". Furthermore, he has to identify the hardware by extracting it. Then, he has to google around and download all the drivers needed because the OEM CDs coming with the devices do not exist anymore.

"Most ordinary users trying to install Windows wouldn't know that they had to put in the driver CD for a video card, they wouldn't even know that default 640x480x16 wasn't the best resolution that their computer was capable of."

Therefore, some MICROS~1 OSes start at 1024x768 @ 32 bit, 90 Hz and blast older CRTs into heaven. :-)

The usual printout is something like (translated) "Press the imput key to continue." The novice user does not know what an "input key" (german: Eingabetaste) is and where it's located. (It is the enter or return key on the keyboard, not on the mouse.) So he's completely confused and cries for help.

"Even if they did know about it all, they wouldn't be able to find the CD that came with the video card, and they probably wouldn't even know that the computer even had a video card."

Yes, the basic knowledge is not present. Even schools do not teach basics, they teach outdated crap like "Powerpoint" instead.

"On the other hand, Linux will install correctly at the correct resolution for most hardware. It is only the odd configuration that has a problem, and Linux can use the Vesa-modes fall-back just as easily as Windows can."

That's true. So it would be great to have this fallback implemented by default, instead of presenting an X server error.

"Finally, many Linux distributions offer a live CD version. You can boot the live CD, and tell instantly if Linux has drivers for all your hardware, even before you try to install. There is nothing like this sort of ease-of-install available for Windows. "

That's an interesting point. While Linux distributions allow the user to test them in order to find out if they work and if the users come to like it, "Windows" does not do this. It comes preinstalled, without giving any choice. Even if a user buys a new "Windows", he cannot test it. If it does not work, he may not return it to the shop. If he insists on testing it, he's forced to wipe off his old installation (or use another HDD / partition) to install it. He has to confirm the restrictions MICROS~1 imposes on them. And he has to register (if he does not have a crack or pirated serial number).

I think especially with its liberate license Linux will step forward on the home market. Allthough users do not care in using pirated software, they can avoid punishment by law if they use free software. For the usual home user, Linux is what he needs.

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