Linked by David Adams on Tue 7th Jun 2011 17:54 UTC
Editorial Bob Cringeley makes a bold statement in a blog post responding to Apple's iCloud announcement: "Jobs is going to sacrifice the Macintosh in order to kill Windows." He says, "The incumbent platform today is Windows because it is in Windows machines that nearly all of our data and our ability to use that data have been trapped. But the Apple announcement changes all that. Suddenly the competition isn't about platforms at all, but about data, with that data being crunched on a variety of platforms through the use of cheap downloaded apps."
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Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Tue 7th Jun 2011 19:18 UTC
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

I just wish the "desktop" Linux distros would stop their colon-gazing and focus on enumerating and providing fail-safes for all the myriad things that can break just enough for geeks to not see a problem.

For example, last I checked, Windows and MacOS don't have an analogue to "Oops. You followed our simple update GUI and now your GUI won't boot. Please log into the console and manually use dpkg and apt-get to complete your interrupted upgrade".

I say this with the best of intentions as a geek whose mother runs Lubuntu quite happily.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by leech on Tue 7th Jun 2011 22:08 in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I just wish the "desktop" Linux distros would stop their colon-gazing and focus on enumerating and providing fail-safes for all the myriad things that can break just enough for geeks to not see a problem.

For example, last I checked, Windows and MacOS don't have an analogue to "Oops. You followed our simple update GUI and now your GUI won't boot. Please log into the console and manually use dpkg and apt-get to complete your interrupted upgrade".

I say this with the best of intentions as a geek whose mother runs Lubuntu quite happily.


I can quite happily say that is mostly an (x)ubuntu issue. I have seen more upgrades break Ubuntu than any other distribution (Fedora being a close second, but at least Fedora outright says that it's a testbed for new technologies) Personally I've been suggesting just Debian Squeeze for normal people. Though I do the initial set up. It's just simply more stable and you don't have to sweat it screwing up grub or something every time the user sees the update notification.

Ubuntu usually has a good initial setup, but it really stinks on the upgrades.

All this aside and being a bit off topic, but I don't see iCloud doing anything except for those iFreaks that think that iApple can't make any iShit.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by Brendan on Wed 8th Jun 2011 19:29 in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

I can quite happily say that is mostly an (x)ubuntu issue. I have seen more upgrades break Ubuntu than any other distribution (Fedora being a close second, but at least Fedora outright says that it's a testbed for new technologies) Personally I've been suggesting just Debian Squeeze for normal people. Though I do the initial set up. It's just simply more stable and you don't have to sweat it screwing up grub or something every time the user sees the update notification.


I'm not sure about other distros, but I've been running Gentoo for a long time and watching stuff break for a long time.

The last update I did (yesterday actually) I upgraded to Gentoo's new "OpenRC" init system, which deleted my "/etc/net.eth0" script. With this script gone the computer had no networking, and because this computer is the LAN's DHCP server it took out my entire LAN. It's funny how seriously screwed you are when you can't google for answers. I had to (temporarily) configure a different computer for static IP before I figured out what happened. It wasn't the only problem either - mysterious "unknown policy 'ne'" and "unknown facility 'menone'" messages from sysklogd (I gave up and switched to metalog instead), a few quirks (fixed with revdep-rebuild), and some other warnings (relating to the removal of HAL) I think/hope can be ignored for now.

It's not Gentoo's fault, or the fault of any of the maintainers for any distribution - they do amazing work trying to hide the symptoms of an insurmountable "herding cats" problem.

The real problem is a cultural problem - the idea of "choice is good" (until you're the poor sucker that has to deal with an unlimited number of variations) and "better is better" (if you don't consider global effects and the cost of changing from "existing/established" to "different but slightly better in theory").

All this aside and being a bit off topic, but I don't see iCloud doing anything except for those iFreaks that think that iApple can't make any iShit.


In my opinion "cloud" is an apt metaphor - rising on hot air, and likely to blow away when the wind changes.... ;-)

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by stabbyjones on Tue 7th Jun 2011 22:46 in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

where do you live? 2004?

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by tyrione on Wed 8th Jun 2011 11:22 in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

where do you live? 2004?


I live in 2011 and Debian Sid/Experimental routinely have dpkg/apt-get failures. Having 11 years of extensive experience in the platform allows me to fix it, but the average user will junk it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 8th Jun 2011 02:36 in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I've also never had that happen in the 10+ years of linux desktop use. But I'm sure it probably does happen. Linux breaks, but its so much easier to fix. Windows and mac have limited options if the gui really is broken, without a boot disc to rescure you're kind a screwed.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by daedalus on Wed 8th Jun 2011 12:57 in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

I've had Linux break. I've had Windows break. I've had MacOS break. None are particularly easy to "fix" when something bad goes wrong, unless you know the system much better than the average Joe. I don't think Linux is easier to fix, when with a Mac you can just install the system again in a new folder. You can do the same with Windows but your applications won't work any more. I've never even attempted it with Linux, but I suspect I would be a mess. In reality, for the average Joe, a format and reinstall is the easiest "fix" for serious problems, regardless of OS.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by koffie on Wed 8th Jun 2011 14:55 in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
koffie Member since:
2010-05-06

"Linux breaks, but its so much easier to fix"

Last time I've seen a non-linux GUI fail on a PC or Mac was when I still had Windows 98. Linux? Well ehm... let's just say I have an extensive history of having to edit xf86config and xorg.conf files by hand to recover my X11 and Xorg... Yes even in modern "point & click" ubuntu days I recently had to fall back to my in-depth knowledge of these config files.

So, easier to fix? Wake up. If something goes wrong on a linux system, and you can't get on the internet - you're screwed these days, unless you "fix" stuff like that on regular bases (which also isn't a very good sign). Linux is not for end-users.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ssokolow
by pantheraleo on Wed 8th Jun 2011 15:41 in reply to "RE: Comment by ssokolow"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

Linux breaks, but its so much easier to fix.


I'd have to disagree with that. I've had system upgrades and such break Linux in very weird ways that were definitely not easy to fix. Some of these required more than an hour of research on Google trying to find answers.

And of course, one only has to look at the number of threads in the Ubuntu forums that go something like this:

asker: "I have probmem so and so"

answerer1: "Did you try A?"

asker: "Tried that. Didn't fix the problem"

answer2: "Try B"

asker: "Tried it. Still having the same problem"

This will go on for a bit longer, until the answers just stop coming, leaving no answer that actually solved the problem.

I definitely don't think Linux is any easier to fix than Windows or OS X.

Edited 2011-06-08 15:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by demetrioussharpe on Wed 8th Jun 2011 15:32 in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

I just wish the "desktop" Linux distros would stop their colon-gazing and focus on enumerating and providing fail-safes for all the myriad things that can break just enough for geeks to not see a problem.


The Linux world's greatest strength for IT people is simultaneously it's greatest weakness for the common user. There's a such thing as having too many options. For the average person, some decisions need to be make for them & the basic rule of thumb is this: "The more technical the choice, the less the user needs to even know that the choice exists." And why's this? Well, because the user usually doesn't care about technical choices, they don't really mean much to the common user. Nine times out of ten, if the user wouldn't understand either choice, then they really don't need to be exposed to the fact that there's an option. Obviously, the opposite is true for the average computer savvy techie user & on up towards the true gurus.

For example, last I checked, Windows and MacOS don't have an analogue to "Oops. You followed our simple update GUI and now your GUI won't boot. Please log into the console and manually use dpkg and apt-get to complete your interrupted upgrade".


That's because all of the companies that didn't realize how wrong this was for users have already died out. There's a reason that Apple & Microsoft are still around today as OS providers & it isn't solely because of monopolistic practices. The same is true now as it has been since the beginning: "Normal people need to be provided solutions that work & they don't really care how or why these solutions work; they also don't usually care about the ideological differences behind each solution, it's all about the ROI value." Kernel panics == downtime == loss of money. When Windows does this, there's someone to point the finger at & they could potentially lose their job if it doesn't get fixed. This isn't always the case with Linux; there's a perpetual number of distros & there's always someone to tell you that you're free to try another one. Well, companies don't have time to rotate between the flavor of the month distro, since "DOWNTIME == LOSS OF MONEY."

I say this with the best of intentions as a geek whose mother runs Lubuntu quite happily.


We are a different breed of people. But, sometimes, we let our passions blind us from some of the obvious facts. There's the ideal way & then there's the practical way for the real world. They don't often match. At least you can see the difference & that's refreshing!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by ssokolow
by boldingd on Thu 9th Jun 2011 20:24 in reply to "Comment by ssokolow"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I just wish the "desktop" Linux distros would stop their colon-gazing and focus on enumerating and providing fail-safes for all the myriad things that can break just enough for geeks to not see a problem.


They actually are. The X server has definitely seen a lot of development aimed at ensuring some kind of graphical environment can always come up. The VESA driver is a pretty reliable fallback, even if it's not something you want to use all the time. This plus modern RandR has helped immensely (modern RandR so you can re-condifure a running X server, which helps with reliability in that if an X server is put into an unusable state, it can potentially be transitioned back to a usable state automatically).

Reply Parent Score: 2