Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Jun 2007 18:35 UTC, submitted by troy.unrau
PC-BSD "PC-BSD is not a Linux distribution, but rather it could be considered among the first major FreeBSD-based distributions to live outside of the official FreeBSD. Like most distributions, it has implemented certain features in a way that attempts to distinguish it from the competition, and I will focus mostly on these differences. This test drive is intended to give an overview of what PC-BSD is and why one would consider using it."
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More things to think about.
by Bjorg on Wed 20th Jun 2007 13:25 UTC
Bjorg
Member since:
2005-07-06

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

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

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

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

Now think about windows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reply Score: 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Germany, the term is similar: Computerfreak.

"Now think about windows:"

No, please! :-)

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

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

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

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

In FreeBSD: pkg_add -r xmms - done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bjorg Member since:
2005-07-06

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

In FreeBSD: pkg_add -r xmms - done.


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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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


I agree.

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

Edited 2007-06-21 19:57

Reply Parent Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simple UNIX solution:

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

GUI solution: ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reply Parent Score: 2