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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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

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

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.


It isn't about me or you, it's about the typical consumer. Should people that get these machines be expected to buy Linux compatible hardware?


Likewise with Linux, for a machine that supported it.


This article is about putting Linux on random machines. But more importantly they are installing a variant of Ubuntu which in the past has broken Dell machines that were pre-installed with Linux. For a consumer OS to break a working wireless card or dump the user to a command line after an update is unacceptable.


XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, so vulnerabilities will no longer be fixed.


XP is supported to at least 2014 and I have no doubt they will continue to provide security updates past that date.

Reply Parent Score: 2

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

testman Member since:
2007-10-15

Slashdot called and they wanted their meme back.

Seriously though, which of his points do you consider a "joke"?

Reply Parent Score: 1

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

cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Atheros cards required this for some time, after madwifi stopped being supported, and the kernel became incompatible. Many distros had the drivers in the repos, but by .28, they would typically load and not work, even though they built fine (or some common network setting would make them not work, like using WEP or WPA, or bridging interfaces). It took a very long time for the kernel drivers to properly support the B/G chips. I took the opportunity to move to a Ralink, but since many notebooks had Atheros integrated, it was not a fun time for many people, trying to use up to date software.

HAL and such would often require a newer kernel, but wireless only worked with older ones, and the newer HAL, or newer dependencies that also needed a newer HAL (or directly needed a newer kernel, for API reasons) for themselves, left you only able to use older software. Meanwhile, you may want or need software which is decidedly newer, and start having problems, requiring a great deal of time, manually resolving dependencies, and possibly doing static builds.

Lesson learned: if it's not in mainline, it's not really supported.

Edited 2010-06-17 03:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

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

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

That was a cause by a rootkit, and is well known. Google is your friend.

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