Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 15th Jun 2010 21:06 UTC
Linux All of us who use computers create a problem we rarely consider. How do we dispose of them? This is no small concern. Estimates put the number of personal computers in use world-wide today at about one billion. The average lifespan of a personal computer is only two to five years. We can expect a tidal wave of computers ready for disposal shortly, and this number will only increase. And as if that isn't challenge enough, there are already several hundred million computers out-of-service, sitting in attics and basements and garages, awaiting disposal.
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kbloodstone
Member since:
2009-06-03

I love how the article puts the upfront pricing of Windows yet curiously omits the time expenses of Linux.


Sorry, but no.
It all comes down to your level of experience. I am a SysAdmin, with plenty of experience with both, and you could say much more on Windows, and I can tell you this:

I can get a full working computer with Ubuntu, all set up the way I like it, with all the applications that I need, MUCH MUCH faster than with Windows XP.

And that's without cloning the hard drive, which works perfectly 99% of the time with Linux/Ubuntu with different hardware, but works 0% of the time with Windows XP with different hardware.

In other words, I have never experienced the frequently heard myth: "What you save in money with Linux, you pay in time." In fact, it's the other way around, I save time AND money with Linux.

And freedom, of course, can't forget the freedom... I like being able to give Ubuntu CDs to my friends, the way it's meant to be: you share good things with your friends.

2 * 1/100 of your currency here.

Reply Parent Score: 10

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


In other words, I have never experienced the frequently heard myth: "What you save in money with Linux, you pay in time." In fact, it's the other way around, I save time AND money with Linux.


Because when something goes wrong in Linux it can take a lot longer to fix.

Never had XP require me to track down drivers and then compile them for a common wireless card.

Never had XP break working hardware with a system update.

Until a Linux distro can be relied upon to update the system without breaking applications or hardware it isn't ready for the typical consumer.

I have said before that crunchbang is a great distro for old computers but I really think it is a bad idea to put Linux on charity computers if there is an XP key available.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" In other words, I have never experienced the frequently heard myth: "What you save in money with Linux, you pay in time." In fact, it's the other way around, I save time AND money with Linux.
Because when something goes wrong in Linux it can take a lot longer to fix. "

Never so in my experience. I put Linux on machines that have parts that support Linux, just as you would install Windows only on machines that support it. For example, you wouldn't even try to put Windows XP on an ARM smartbook. So, treat Linux the same, and simply don't install Linux on a machine with closed-Windows-driver-only hardware, and you are good to go.

Never had XP require me to track down drivers and then compile them for a common wireless card.


Neither have I for Linux on a machine with hardware that could run Linux from the outset.

A refurbishment effort such as the one being discussed in this topic would simply toss hardware such as closed-XP-driver-only wireless cards, because such hardware is no longer supported. By anything. One would get a replacement wireless card as a reclaimable spare part from a machine that was otherise going to be scrapped.

Never had XP break working hardware with a system update.


Likewise with Linux, for a machine that supported it.

Until a Linux distro can be relied upon to update the system without breaking applications or hardware it isn't ready for the typical consumer.


So, it was ready about six years ago then (for hardware that supported Linux)?

I have said before that crunchbang is a great distro for old computers but I really think it is a bad idea to put Linux on charity computers if there is an XP key available.


Very, very bad idea to put XP on machines meant for ordinary consumers.

XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, so vulnerabilities will no longer be fixed. Even in the past when they were supposed to be being fixed:
http://gorumors.com/crunchies/malware-infection-rate-worldwide/
http://www.sunbeltsoftware.com/About/Security-News/?title=Researche...

Oh my. These showstopper security issues are in addition to the "planned obsolesence" and slowdown-over-time issues of XP surrounding the registry.

Edited 2010-06-16 05:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

kbloodstone Member since:
2009-06-03

1999 called, they want their Microsoft propaganda lines back.

Oh, you mean you were not joking? ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Because when something goes wrong in Linux it can take a lot longer to fix.

And when something goes wrong with XP it can take a lot longer to fix, depending on what the problem is.

Never had XP require me to track down drivers and then compile them for a common wireless card.


I've never had to do that in Linux.

Until a Linux distro can be relied upon to update the system without breaking applications or hardware it isn't ready for the typical consumer.


By this metric Windows isn't ready for the typical consumer. I've seen numerous reports of people having their Windows boxes hosed by various updates.

Reply Parent Score: 4

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Because when something goes wrong in Linux it can take a lot longer to fix.


That is very rare. Usually the fix to the problem is known and it takes virtually no time to fix the problem. And competent persons know how to apply the fix before the problem bites them.

Never had XP require me to track down drivers and then compile them for a common wireless card.


Naah, but you have to track down binary blob-drivers and install them for common hardware. Or in the case of Windows Server 2008: Replace buggy Microsoft drivers by upgrading to an older version of the same driver, but this time from a third party (true for my NIC - the MS driver kept giving me BSOD's - solution: said "upgrade").

Never had XP break working hardware with a system update.


I've tried that. Also with Win2K3 Server. Reminds me of Windows Update fucking up when installing updates to Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. Takes forever to work around - even with known solutions (which often don't work due to the closed nature of Windows).

Until a Linux distro can be relied upon to update the system without breaking applications or hardware it isn't ready for the typical consumer.


In that case Windows isn't ready for the desktop. Besides that: Windoes isn't ready for the desktop. Even with Win7 and a 20 megabit connection it takes several hours to download all the fixes - not to mention installing them and restart several times. In that same time I've long finished installing XYZ binary Linux-distro incl. OpenOffice, KDE, Gnome and whatever. Only sourced based distributions still take longer than installing Windows.
Oh yeah. Windows doesn't support Danish fully. The keymap is buggy and for instance doesn´t support Ǿ / ǿ. Linux does ;)

I have said before that crunchbang is a great distro for old computers but I really think it is a bad idea to put Linux on charity computers if there is an XP key available.


I'd recommend GNU/Linux or *BSD anytime over XP if security and ease of use are important. You cannot get both with Windows XP or any other pre-UAC Windows.

Reply Parent Score: 3

froh Member since:
2009-03-01

Our company manages 3000 desktops or so, only HP hw. The support department had a lot of fun wen we rolled out xp sp3. Some of them bluescreened on every boot. Good thing we use fully automated RIS and sw deployment so the users accualy could recover by them selfes. Btw. if dell ships ubuntu preinstalled, they'll have to follow proposed-updates and take note when something breakes. Using linux doesnt free you from QA responsibillity!

Reply Parent Score: 2

ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

Because when something goes wrong in Linux it can take a lot longer to fix.

That's a matter of opinion. Linux hardly ever breaks. With Windows I often get the following (and this happens very frequent in our office with others too). Windows worked fine at 5pm. Switch off the pc and go home. The next day when you switch it on, there is a problem with Windows and it can't boot or doesn't connect to the network any more etc. WTF! Linux never does this.

Never had XP require me to track down drivers and then compile them for a common wireless card.

That might have been Linux some 10 years ago. I haven't had to compile a single driver myself in years (6+ years since I have been using Ubuntu).

Never had XP break working hardware with a system update.

I have never experienced this, and I maintain 5 systems between work and home.

Reply Parent Score: 1

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

In other words, I have never experienced the frequently heard myth: "What you save in money with Linux, you pay in time." In fact, it's the other way around, I save time AND money with Linux.

I can second that. Just yesterday I had to do a Windows 2000 installation. Getting Windows installed itself was a relative breeze, but installing the drivers and some basic applications afterwards was extremely time consuming.

Finding the drivers, getting them from the net, putting them on a thumb-drive (2000 didn't have the right ethernet driver OOTB), copying them over and then install, reboot, install, reboot, install, reboot. Then trying to install some apps only to find you need a newer Internet Explorer and a newer MSI installer first. Quite frustrating.

With Linux I can just pop in the Live-CD, klik install, answer a few questions and then I can rest assured a basic, preconfigured and usable desktop is copied to the harddrive. During the installation I can just go about using the Live Desktop to get some stuff done. There might be some post install handholding necessary with some hardware, but that is mostly a quick afair.

Plus I can install a large batch of applications in one simple command and be certain they will be fetched, installed and made ready to use from the menu, without any further interaction from me. Huge timesaver.

To all the people who think: "Linux is free if your time is worthless". All the benefits of Linux will only materialize if you are familiar with the system. If you never take the time to get to know the system (or even resist it), then everything will be alien and time consuming. So yes, the learning curve is an upfront investment in time, but don't add that time to the time it takes to work a Linux system in day to day use. You never add learning time to the regular time you need to administer Windows, yet you did make that upfront investment when you started using Windows.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

That comparison sounds a bit unfair : you compare a 10-years old release of Windows with a modern linux distro... Modern releases of windows have a bit improved in terms of OOB hardware support, too, even though things like graphics and sound support can still be lacking. And around 2000, desktop linux was just horrible in that area.

Edited 2010-06-16 10:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3