The once Mac-skeptical, David Coursey (executive editor at ZD AnchorDesk), seems to have turned into a huge Mac fan, it seems. In his latest editorial he says that “These desktop Linux people are just like the adherents to any concept that has failed in the marketplace of ideas: They don’t know when to let go, and make fools of themselves as a result.” and “How you build a vibrant computing platform when nobody is willing to spend money on it escapes me.” and “Linux servers are a cause for concern in Redmond and a source for happiness in data centers worldwide. Desktop Linux, on the other hand, is rapidly being assigned to the trash pile of computing history. Like scientific socialism, it will go down as an idea that sounded good on paper but didn’t work in the real world.“
Hey, Desktop Linux Fans: Buy a Mac!
2002-02-28 Linux 74 Comments
Coursey seems to forget that a huge reason why many people like Linux (especially the ones he’s aimed his editorial at) is because it’s free. MacOSX is not free, nor is the hardware required to run it. And all the arguments about superior hardware quality and testing won’t change the minds of too many Linux users.
I wonder which drives users to Linux most: the platform, the cost or the open-source nature of it. I could see some people who enjoy Linux merely for technical reasons (and have the cash) would love OSX. For everyone else though, he’s wasting his breath.
Wow, that’s really offensive.
You know, it’s one thing to compare the relative merits of different operating systems/environments; it’s another thing completely to belittle the users of a system for no other reason than the fact that one doesn’t like that system.
How incredibly offensive.
And in response to Big Al, I have to agree completely. If I happened to have a couple thousand dollars lying about I’d replace my perfectly functional thinkpad with a titanium powerbook. But you know what, I *don’t* have a couple thousand lying about. As such my thinkpad is fantastic and runs linux beautifully. With luck I’ll keep it for several years to come. I see no pleasure in buying a new computer every 36 months.
Repeat after me:
who cares of MacOSX, we use GNU because we like to be free
who cares of Aqua we have enlightenment and GnuStep.
WellI think it comes down to the understanding to the normal PC/Mac users about consistancy and where the rules are standard somewhat. I like Linux alot and have had my eye on Yellow Dog for quite awhile, though I am still skeptical about installing it on my Ti-Book being that I already have UNIX under the hood in Mac OS X, which has made my life almost heaven like working in a cross platform environment (Solaris/Linux/NT). I am very satisfied with my investment and will probably not purchase a new PC anytime soon, unless BeOS (OBOS) takes off again, except I am involved with the ‘GE’ project which could change my mind on the subject!
The guys comments above do have a great point about free verses cost… and when Linux becomes more integrated with the desktop environments and so forth, then there should be no reason for Linux not to become viable for the desktop market… now if you can get KDE and GNOME on the same drawing board!@#$%^&*?
the article is ok, being a windows at work/linux at home user I can’t deny how inconsistent is the linux desktop.
as a mac hater I cannot wait ’till jobs decides to pors OSX to PC… sad but true that’s not going to happen…
He forgot quotations: [SARCASM]…[/SARCASM]
How “single minded”, aren’t you “fed up with his stuborness”? There is a Talkback so go and tell him to “grow up”, “stupid single-minded football zealot”.
Be free, “speak your mind”, free your harshness.
PS: Does Dave Coursey know about OpenOffice? (it doesn’t seem so). I vote this one for Worst News Headline Of The Month.
“MacOSX is not free…”
“…nor is the hardware required to run it.”
In most cases, wouldn’t you say that’s the same case with Linux? I know I paid for my PC, how did you get yours?
>>Like scientific socialism, it will go down as an idea that sounded good on paper but didn’t work in the real world.<<
“free” will only take Linux so far, and I believe its run out gas already on the worlds desktop.
Yes, Mac’s are expensive. In fact thats the only reason I’ve not purchased one yet. However, after using Linux for several years and watching it slowly turn to crap with every new distro, coupled with brilliant efforts like BeOS falling by the Windoze wayside; I think its about time to start saving some money for that dual ghz tower so I can taste OS X and see how the other half lives. Maybe.
this guy told me to my face to go buy a mac I would simply tell him to fuck off. I’ll never purchase Apple products. Both Apple and Microsoft stifle innovation as far as I’m concerned.
I long for a custom built hot rod like the BeOS/BeBox combo.
I am a Linux nut, Love Linux/BSD and OSS. Someday Linux will be excellent on the desktop, but right now its just not there. If I had the money I would buy a Mac in a second to get away from the legacy of x86, IRQs, bios, etc.
A new Mac is basically a commercial RISC BSD box, its a geek dream.Download and install all of the GNU tools and you have quite a system.
I hope Apple sells millions of OSX boxes because we need Unix to have a presence on the desktop now to make it easier for Linux later. OSX will also help Linux and BSD on the sever side, one Unix box talking to another. Also if their are millions of Macs out there running Unix MS will have a harder time totaly taking over the net.
Oaky Apple all you need to do is kick Motorola into gear.
Then Frizbe is your answer;
Until the OS X I really thought that it couldn’t be done, but I was wrong. I’ve used Linux/FreeBSD/Solaris for 4 years and I never thought that anyone could make an easy to use, no need for the cli, unix os.
What I dont understand is if Apple can do it why couldn’t these other Unix OSs do it? What is up with Linux? Its had plenty of time to try and accomplish what Lycoris is trying to do now. I think its too little too late. I tell you what, I can’t afford it now but the first chance I get I will buy me an Apple. To be able to have the power of a unix cli and the ease of a gui all in one system has seemed like a dream until now. Thanks Apple, finaly.
“who cares of MacOSX …”
Peoples who cares for quality.
“who cares of Aqua …”
Peoples who cares for real desktop experience.
I think I’ll start saving my cash me too. I think there’s *at last* a real desktop oriented unix that worth working and geeking with.
I think Coursey missed a subtle point here. OSX is based on the BSD kernel, which for practical purposes is the same as the Linux kernel, except that Apple doesn’t have to release their proprietary bits. BSD is essentially a server OS, just like Linux. A big player (Apple) simply pasted a nice GUI on top of it and ported a few apps. If another company did the same for Linux, would he then applaud them, as he has Apple?
Most users couldn’t even fathom the difference between BSD and Linux kernels. It could be argued that the only reason OSX uses BSD is because of licensing issues. Why does Coursey think the BSD kernel is inherently preferable to the linux kernel, realizing that each could run Quartz?
Last time I looked, the popular distros of Linux are far better desktop OS’s than their BSD counterparts.
It seems this guy really has something against Linux on the desktop… telling people to give up and that it will not succeed… heh, and he is fighting for what? What would he have to gain by it succeeding/failing on the desktop? It seems to me there has been a lot of hype as of late about Linux being ready/not ready for the desktop market. My only question is this: as a linux user myself I have to wonder, why do reporters care so much about it on the desktop? All the years of hearing M$ bashing have them rooting for the “underdog”? Strange, it would seem to me that the only people who would be really concerned about “desktop readiness” would be vendors, and lately I see they are going more after the server market. Hey I use it at home and at work on the desktop, its fine for me, and if it continues to be ok for me that is where it shall stay, but all of the “it won’t make it!” or “its going to make it and kill windows (RMS)” stuff has got to stop. Its getting rediculous.
Ah yes, another famous POV from ZD, champion of corporate interests, most of them advertisers. All of ZD’s writers have had a hard time wrapping their brains around the words “free” and “open.”
Forgotten are the early days of Windoze, when common wisdom said that desktop would never succeed.
No, it will not be a “Linux” desktop, but it will be a Linux/UNIX desktop.
And it will achieve World Domination. 🙂
Read through the talk-back comments on the ZDNet site. That should give you an idea of why he has something against Linux on the desktop. Although I don’t think he specifically has something against Linux on the desktop but against users who insist that Linux on the desktop is better than anything else out there and if you don’t agree you’re just not a *real* computer user.
I’m going to buy the new iMac and beat this guy over the head with it. I might get lucky and beat some sense into him.
Introduced in 1991, linux has come a long way. It works great as a server and is getting better everyday. As for the desktop, it still needs more work, but it’s not that bad. You have to remember that linux is only 11 yrs. old. Linux is relatively young when compared to windows, Macs, and other UNIX versions. I started using linux when Redhat 5.0 was introduced. The current version of Redhat (7.2) is downright user friendly when compared to version 5.0. Give linux some more time and it might just give windows and macs a run for their money on the desktop.
With that said, I would buy a mac. The GUI is really nice, the hardware designs is innovating, and OS X is now based on a UNIX kernel. What is stopping me from purchasing one? PRICE!!! That’s right. I said it. If a mac was comparable to a PC (specs. and price), I would pick one up in a heartbeat. I would set that baby to dual boot linux and OS X and then kiss windows goodbye.
…why he cares about Linux desktop users. Nobody is forcing him to use Linux.
Some reasons why I use Linux/FreeBSD instead of OS X:
1) Cost. I was able to build a decent computer for considerably less than I would pay for even a bottom-of-the-line mac. No cost for the operating system, or for most of the applications I use.
2) Freedom of choice. Not only as far as hardware is concerned, but also the UI I use. I chose each piece of hardware I purchased carefully. While you may be able to change the hardware around a bit in a mac, your selection is much more limited. As far as I know, there is only one choice for mac UI. There are more different window managers and desktop environments for Linux/FreeBSD than I can count. One of them is likely to suit you, and if not, you’re free to write your own.
There are some ideological reasons I prefer Linux/FreeBSD too. I enjoy using operating systems/programming languages/applications written for a love of programming and not commercial gain. I enjoy being encouraged to learn to program and customize to my heart’s content, and to give back to others in some way. I enjoy having to learn in order to get things working. Not everyone will agree.
I admit that there is some appeal in the broader selection of commercial applications that are available for OS X. But really, I don’t need Photoshop or Office. (Nor could I afford them if I did!) Available, free applications suit my needs nicely.
I’m not saying Linux/FreeBSD are for everyone. But then, nobody should tell anyone else what OS he should use.
If a mac was comparable to a PC (specs. and price), I would pick one up in a heartbeat. I would set that baby to dual boot linux and OS X and then kiss windows goodbye.
There are a lot of ppl that would move to Mac hardware if it were reasonably priced and/or they had more flexibility in configuring their machines, judging by the talk here. Yet Apple is ignoring this market, and wants to keep the hardware to itself. Fair enough.
I DO think they should be more flexible though. They need to do something to tap this market.
With Unix at its belly it is flexible. Have you seen fink.sourceforge.net or GNU-Darwin?
>>The current version of Redhat (7.2) is downright user friendly when compared to version 5.0. <<
And only three times slower. Brilliant!!!
Well tom, OSX is not an speed champion either!!!
This Apple thing strikes me as a recursive echo of what was old news in 1996.
>>>The computer was never the problem. The company’s strategy was. Apple saw itself as a hardware company; in order to protect our hardware prfits, we didn’t license our operating system. We had the most beautiful operating system, but to get it you had to buy our hardware at twice the price. That was a mistake. What we should have done was calculate an appropriate price to license the operating system.
(http://www.woz.org/pages/wozscape/Articles/Newsweek_FailingApple/Fa… , By Steve Wozniack, 19-Feb-1996)
If paying $1200 some odd dollors is to much for you, then you must be buying a frigen Dell POS or a gateway POS….or building your computer…..if you are building…well you are a minority…..and the builders are the ones who know quality and would never by dell or gateway……you look at a Mac and you see quality….well how is it compaired to Dell or Gateway? yes it is more, but it is also a better machine all around….for $300 more I will take it.
#OSX is based on the BSD kernel, which for practical
#purposes is the same as the Linux kernel, except that
#Apple doesn’t have to release their proprietary bits.
#BSD is essentially a server OS, just like Linux. A big
#player (Apple) simply pasted a nice GUI on top of it and
#ported a few apps. If another company did the same for
#Linux, would he then applaud them, as he has Apple?
This is completely wrong. Mac OS X doesn’t use a BSD kernel. It uses a microkernel (Mach 3.0 derivative) with BSD API running on top of this (Darwin). Check your fact before you spewed out such crappy stuff.
I’m not trying to create a flame war here, but it seems to me that Linux monolithic design has prevented from being a true desktop OS. The complexity of the kernel plus big locks make it hard for media applications to achieve desired performance (though I heard there’s preemptive patch going into 2.5 kernel which is supposed to make media apps more responsive).
Look at all successfull desktop OSes NT (XP in the same manner), Mac OS, BeOS … They all share a common design – microkernel which gives great flexibility to move components around.
In addition, Unix and Linux developers tend to be hooked on a 30 year-old X which is a resource hog. Unless there’s some new change, Linux will not make it in desktop market.
First, his articles always seem like a Troll. If he posted that article on any reputable message board, it would have been modded down.
Now, a few notes about my recent experiences…
1) I had to install an old copy of Windows NT 4 and a copy of Lycoris Desktop/LX on identical machines in the same day. On the Windows NT box, it was a festival of reboots and installing drivers. On the Linux box, it was a one-boot install with no driver installations. The Linux box had more functionality out of the box, with built-in word processing and web surfing support, and a host of other things (see below). So Desktop Linux is currently at least as good as the original release of Windows NT 4.
2) I had to install Windows 2000 a few days later, again on an identical machine. Between patches and drivers, it took me LONGER than the NT install. The number of built-in apps on the Linux box was still better — not only word processing, presentation software, spreadsheet, instant messaging client, web browser and mp3 player, but CD burning software, television viewing software, an FTP client, a handful of games, a bunch of screensavers and nice background wallpaper. Oh, and it let me browse windows shared drives over the network using a ‘network browser’ application. Oh yeah, even better, the GIMP is installed (for those who don’t know, it’s Photoshop for Linux, essentially.) I also got virtual desktop support, which rocks.
So the way I see it is this: I got more out of the box with Lycoris Desktop/LX, I paid less, I got an install experience that was easier and faster than Windows NT or Windows 2000, and all I gave up was the ability to play certain games and run certain office software…
…so I installed VMware to run Windows under Linux when I need to. Remindes me of Apple users several years ago, before the iMac, who ran Windows under Virtual PC.
So there’s my opinion, for what its’ worth.
> A big player (Apple) simply pasted a nice GUI on top
> of it and ported a few apps. If another company did
> the same for Linux, would he then applaud them, as
> he has Apple?
No I think he has the point dead on. I can’t answer for Mr. Coursey, but I *would* applaud them, and I would even buy a Linux box, and I’m not alone.
As it is, though, none of the distros has successfully done that. I’m not even sure they’ve really tried. Linux distros make me go through lots of hurdles to do some very simple things, like add an item to the dock (or panel or whatever you want to call it). One gets the impression that window managers are due more to “GUI envy” than an actual desire to make Linux useful to someone besides the programmer.
I own an iBook with the latest version of OSX and what do you know, I manage to get what I want done without much trouble — even running X apps like Lyx under XDarwin.
There is no financial incentive whatsoever for Linux distros to be as easy to use as OS X. Linux distros make money through support and such. Why should they make their computers easy to use? Apple on the other hand…
Coursey hits on the advantage BeOS started with by not being free. Yes, <strong>advantage</strong>. Proportionally to the userbase, BeOS had a more vibrant community than any platform I’ve worked with in the ’90s.
And, yes, for all the blathering about “free as in speech, not as in beer,” virtually every time a new distribution release is mentioned on Slashdot there are dozens of whines about the $30-70 “official” price and dozens of responses pointing people to $2 CDs at CheapBytes. Poll time: How many of you Open Source Rah Rah Rah advocates ready to flame Coursey for calling you all cheap have “paid” for their free software by, say, buying a $30 GNU Emacs manual from the Free Software Foundation?
The bottom line is that software <em>does</em> cost money to produce, either directly or indirectly. Up until fairly recently most free software was effectively subsidized by universities, from Berkeley Unix to, yes, the entire GNU Project (Stallman gets paid by MIT to work on it). Hobbyists have their development “funded” by their day jobs.
But companies that have to fund developments on user profits generated from free software have had, to be charitable, a piss-poor time of it. Why? Because their products are <strong>free as in beer</strong>. If it’s a true open source license–no restrictions on usage of binaries, no distinction between commercial and non-commercial use, of the full “burn copies for homeless street people if you want” shebang… there’s virtually no incentive to buy.
I think the idea of having source available is a great idea, and I think there’s a place for both BSD and GPL licenses. (Yes, I like the GPL. If I <em>choose</em> to release my software for free, I may damn well want to prevent anyone else from taking it and making money off it.) But people who make software need to be compensated for it somehow. and fully open source licenses make that difficult at best.
I’ve been following his articles for a while. I don’t think he has any solid knowledge or opionion on computer matters. I think he just writes crap to instigate people. I read it more for entertainment value rather than anything thought provoking. He seems to be a journalist, self appointed computer expert. His journalistic opionion flops around like a fish out of water.
For ones who cannot even afford to buy a new PC and who just have old machines, linux and/or *BSD are the answer to their needs on the desktop. That means linux and/or *BSD run quite well even on old machines where as MacOS X on iMac or other low/mid-spec G3 machines is really slow. that only for viewing ( this is what ppl claim about MacOS X on their machines )
i guess most ppl cannot afford to buy a new Mac (quite expensive, need huge saving for students like me) or even a PC and therefore linux/*BSD may appeal very much to them, not MacOS X.
If I can afford decent Mac, I wish to taste the MacOS X.
You’re right, of course, I don’t know where my brain was. Still, there is nothing inherently wrong with the Linux kernel (I prefer microkernels as well but that’s not the ONLY right way to do things)
My point is that a company _could_ take the Linux kernel and “run with it” just like the OSX guys did with Mach.
I keep reading this, that Linux will/won’t “succeed on the desktop”. What does that mean? Is success market dominance? Is OS X a failure because it hasn’t achieved greatest popularity?
People already use Linux on desktops. More people probably will in the future, as distributions get easier to install and people grow tired of increasing commercial OS costs. Is this not success?
I suspect when people say “Linux won’t succeed on the desktop” they really mean “I’ll never want to use it”.
Why didn’t somebody tell me 5 years ago that Linux sucks on the Desktop!?! All the time I’ve wasted doing absolutely everything I could possibly wan’t to on my computer for free when I could have been… Wait a minute…
“>>The current version of Redhat (7.2) is downright user friendly when compared to version 5.0. <<
And only three times slower. Brilliant!!!”
Agreed, RedHat is slow. However, I have been using both Caldera 3.1.1 and Libranet (a very nice Debian based system available for a modest price at http://www.libranet.com) and they are both quite fast and very stable.
Libranet has some install issues for some users, but they have bar none the best support mechanism available anywhere.
Caldera is the most stable RPM based Linux distro out there. Many people give Caldera a bad rap because of some bad press they received about a year ago, however, they do offer their distro, in ISO form, for free on their web site for non-commercial use. Caldera also makes an excellent desktop environment. Oh wait, I mean they don’t, because Linux can’t be a desktop.
If you really want to see a slow system, install Windows XP. I’m using it to send this, so I know what I’m talking about.
“If you really want to see a slow system, install Windows XP. I’m using it to send this, so I know what I’m talking about.”
Really funny. I had for few times both WinXP and Mandrake 8.1 on the same exact machine. XP was extremely fast (booting, using, etc). With Mandrake, it took me at least twice time to boot, and the overall desktop feeling was sluggish, unclean (UI refresh very badly compare to XP), and an extremely “bloating” feeling.
So, the only reason I see you call XP slow is because… well maybe you just never really tried it …
I guardedly applaud Coursey’s “conversion”– much like Saul being struck down off his horse with a lightning bolt on his way to Ephesus (was it Ephesus or Canaan?). But I don’t trust the guy. I think at the end he’ll find some “compelling” reason why he HAS to stick with Windoze, and he’ll just wrap up with “gee, that was a nice little experiment, but I CAN’T LIVE without Win Solitaire (or BackPage, or FrontOrifice– one of those). I like OS X because it lets a humble chemist with advanced Mac/PC skills but pretty meager UNIX command line skills enjoy some serious power. I Coursey is wrong to pit X against LINUX. Really, its UNIX against the people using legacy OS’s, like Win2K/XP.
1) Linux isn’t free, it costs blood, sweat, and tears. MacOS on the other hand is a real time-saver and is easily worth the cost of the hardware.
2) Why do people keep saying that OS X uses the Mach microkernel? This simply is not true! OS X uses “xnu” which is a kernel which incorporates Mach 3+++, some stuff from BSD, and a new driver architecture all in one binary. It’s more like a macrokernel.
Well to understand why Mac’s cost so much you must look at the hardware being bought. The hardware is expensive because not a lot is made, and you need to make hardware somewhere, when demand for the product is low you can’t make tons which means what is made is expensive. Apple puts together a computer with low demand parts meaning that what they make costs a lot more.
This is kind of the opposite of the supply and demand cycle. If your not going to sell a lot of your product you might as well sell what you can for a high price.
It kind of becomes a vicious cycle though. You don’t sell any hardware therefor you charge a high price. Nobody buys your hardware because of the price.
I do own a Upgraded PM 7300 that runs OS X, so maybe some people that really want to run OS X should look at that option. Total package cost $400 and OS X runs quite respectable on my G4 Upgrade.
Try Lycoris Linux and then tell me Desktop Linux is a lost cause.
I’m sorry, but I don’t get the point of the artice. To the best of my knowledge, OS X is not yet successful on the desktop, or am I missing something? The same people using mac 10 years ago are mostly the same people using OS X today. Don’t get me wrong, I do actually want Apple to succeed, but at the moment, the mac and its OS X remains a niche thing, pretty much like desktop linux. Even if the mac takes over the entire Unix desktop, it would still have a looooong ways to go.
So take your fight to Redmond, not to Linux. I will listen to this man, but only when I see the mac getting a mere 7% of the desktop market.
>>So take your fight to Redmond, not to Linux. I will listen to this man, but only when I see the mac getting a mere 7% of the desktop market<<
It could happen quicker than you think?! But who knows what the future holds. I could care less about marketshare since the percentages seem to change like the weather these days 🙂
Wow… are we to say that the desktop on Linux is dead? I don’t think it is dead. It has only been around for maybe 5 years? Apple and Microsoft have been around for many more. I give an applaud to KDE, GNOME and other desktop environments that run on Linux. They have had less time and less resources to accomplish the task of proprietary operating systems.
I’m willing to bet 50% plus of the market share of desktop OSes goes to Win95+98+NT. Wait for a few years for the world to upgrade out of that crap, and watch them baulk at the licensing costs.
Oh, and don’t forget that 75% of Windows OSes installed are illegal. I think the legal statistics could be quick a rude awakening as Gnome and KDE continue to come on by leaps and abounds.
I hate seeing these mac lover articles, if i wanted to see this crap, I’d be reading over at osopinion. I used to have nothing against mac people, but as of late, they think they have this god of a unix based OS, and are out to convert all the Linux users to foreign hardware and operating systems. Well screw that, I use Linux to do all of my work, as far as I’m concerned there is nothing that I can’t do with linux that these mac zealots can do with their macs. I’d definately say that linux runs better, and I’d say that Enlightenment when configured properly has a much better feel than OSX, and I have the option to actually configure my gui. And what’s with everyones whining with linux gui inconsistency, for one, that’s not a big deal to most anybody, and for two, I can go download an aqua gtk and enlightenment theme, and add a dock, and it’ll take the mac user a little bit to figure out that it’s not OSX, so it’s not a big deal. Also who wants to go out and buy mac hardware that costs much more and is harder to upgrade? not me. So take your bible belts, and evangelistic mac ways over to the windows place, where you actually have a better system, because OSX doesn’t stand a hair to linux as far as I’m concerned. I’m just waiting for the mac people to start saying that OSX beats Solaris in the server market.
Why compare a new release of linux (licorise) with OLD
versions of Windows ? NT4 and NT5 are old.
NT5.1 has a much improved install experience…
(meaning it recognised all my hardware)
(the only hard part is getting the 25 chars of serial number right 🙂
haven’t tried licorise yet, it seems promising.
Pot. Kettle. Black.
pot. kettle. black. no application. I didn’t say that OSX had no place on the desktop, I said Linux can do anything a mac can. There is a large diffrence inbetween saying that both products can do the same thing, and that one operating sytem can’t compete with another operating system in a diffrent area. Maybe I was a little ranty about it, but I really am sick of this crap. I may be calling the kettle black, but I am not the pot.
Sure! I’ll buy and MacOS X box. Just one problem, I don’t have the money.
The one thing I hate about macs is only apple makes them. Thus, you can scrounge around for cheap parts and build a really cheap MacOS X box.
Man… if there was MacOS X for x86 (i know, it would be extremly hard to do) I be so happy! No more windows!
Several points (please bear with me):
1) I mostly agree with Coursey on this point, however the manner in which he did it was pretty derogatory and mean-spirited. /me slaps Coursey on the hand. Hopefully his vitriol will not drown out the deeper message.
2) I am a major Mac fan from long ago, and I have “recently” (5 years ago) started working exclusively with Linux boxes instead of Windows boxes for work. At home I use a Mac (I wish work used macs too!) However,
2a) Recently I switched to WindowsXP at work instead of a Linux workstation because, despite the fact that I have used Gnome and KDE desktops… I found that I am just so much more productive with XP and the CygWin UNIX utilities (it also helps that I can SSH into a “code server” to vim my code 🙂
2b) Linux just is NOT ready for the desktop. Compared to its Proprietary brethren, Linux is jsut a mess. Fewer and lower-quality GUI applications, inconsistent UI, severe loss of UI functionality, and X just plain looks gross. I was having severe headaches from a HIGHLY tweaked Linux system, but WindowsXP got my video card setup just right the first time, no tweaking.
3) Hey guys, I like OpenSource, too. I hope that *WE* (as in, humnaity) wins by collecting our knowledge and skills to make a better system… HOWEVER, when I have to get work done, I need the best. “Good enough” gets annoying after a while
4) The roots of OSX are OpenSource. Darwin. So far, I have not been impressed with various features of Darwin, but it is getting better all the time, and (get this WORKS ON x86!!). Now, if someone ports over the OpenStep stuff (like display postscript instead of X11, and the GNUStep tools) then we will have a decent X86 desktop. Right now, I will stick with OSX when I can.
5) Anony mous (above) made a great point: In a way, OSX is the beach head for Linux. The sooner we end the “Windows Way” of doing things, the better. OSX is the improvement upon both Classic MacOS and UNIX. Now let’s see the OpenSource movement do the RIGHT thing and copy and extend OSX instead of Windows (Gnome and KDE are, IMHO, dead ends).
6) I wish BeOS had been given a chance to shine. I think it could have been the OSX of the x86 world: nice GUI but with a cool core.
I think an underlying problem with Linux is that a lot of the things Linux users like about the OS are what keep average joes from using it. Mac spends a hell of a lot of energy on the interface and they can afford to. Linux has less resources and money for this, and since most linux users are really good with their PC’s, the interface doesn’t have to be a top priority. Beyond that, people’s efforts are divided between GNOME and KDE (and whatever else).
The thing is though, if you really want to stick it to Microsoft, I think you have to go with a Mac. Imagine if the Linux community switched to Mac (which it could do with a clean a conscious now that OS X uses Unix). Mac’s market percentage jumps up a bit, university interest might also jump up as well as they replace older UNIX and Linux machines with UNIX based OS X machines. Apple then can offer better educational discounts and suddenly high schools are switching back in small numbers. That takes a chunk from Microsoft, and who know what it grows to in the future?
Personally, I gave up on Linux recently, I’m just not savvy enough nor driven enough to learn it.
You want to buy Apple? Great. You want to buy an SG station? Great too. Just keep in mind that you are buying into a tiny very small minority, stay happily in there and make everyone know how niche happy you are. Some niche enthusiasts go as far as to think they are few because of some price/quality barrier (Steve Jobs bible).
When we talk about The Desktop, we are not adressing particular niches but a big computing pie which direction affects us all in one way or another. Linux may overcome its nuisances there with no particular drastic changes (but with major changes). In the other hand, to overcome its nuisances Apple should go into that clones revolution: an old no-no-no.
So forget Apple when talking of the big computing desktop picture, ’cause it simply doesn’t count.
I think Coursey and most of the posters here miss a point. Each operating system has a business model that the primary companies and the satellite companies work to.
The Windows model is to dominate the world by building proprietary software API, and controlling who has access to what. It has worked for them up to now.
Linux is build on an open source that is flexible to use, and nearly free to anyone. Its major deployment has been on the Intel bases designs because those systems are low cost and flexible. For a lot of reasons this model has done well in the back end market.
The Macintosh has been to build an integrated hardware and software platform that eliminates a need to understand the operation of the hardware and limits the need to understand the OS. Note that an Apple has modified their model slightly by choosing to use more standards in there operating system than the past. This allows OSX to interface with other devices more easily than past versions. You can argue about Apple’s success with this model but who else from the pre-Windows days has survived?
Each business model has it disadvantages as well as its advantages. These weaknesses limit or moderate how far or fast a the OS can penetrate a market
The proprietary nature of the Windows API has been its weakness in the backend server market. Many MIS professionals get nervous about trapping their applications forever on a single OS. Thus Windows has not been able to completely dominate the server market like they have the desktop.
The Mac weakness is the proprietary hardware. It is more expensive and Apple doesn’t have the resources to quickly design, and build hardware for every niche of the market (read servers). Apple could port to standard Intel boards. But that would break their business model. Breaking the business model should never been done lightly. Look at when they tried cloning. I owned a Mac clone; it never worked as well as a real Mac. And breaking the model almost killed Apple. They will think long and hard before they break the model in that way again.
Linux has its weaknesses also. Really good user interfaces are expensive to build, are very time consuming and require lots of central organization. (Apple has been refining the Mac OS for over 20 years). No one person can do it. Ad hoc groups would be hard pressed to organize tightly enough, for long enough. It would also be difficult for any company or University to justify the cost of such a development only to give it up to everyone else for free. Linux will grow in the desktop market, but it will never have the market share of the Macintosh. Is is simply not part of the model.
Linux has its weaknesses also. Really good user interfaces are expensive to build, are very time consuming and require lots of central organization. (Apple has been refining the Mac OS for over 20 years).
Yep. And Be did it in, what, 8 or 9 years? mabye less.
i’d love to see an OS as good as MacOS X for x86! BeOS might have been that OS, but it’s not. That’s not mainly Be’s fault though.
OpenBeOS and AtheOS seem very promising, but it’s going to take them a long time to get far enough along for “normal” people to use them…
anyone want to sell me a mac with macos x for 20 dollars
>>>Linux will grow in the desktop market, but it will never have the market share of the Macintosh. Is is simply not part of the model.
DL, you have calmly assumed the ownership of a Linux business model. Something you know it is simply not true. No one owns the Linux business model, that’s one of its strong points. It’s versatile.
Once you’ve thrown some light on that “part of the business model” fallacy you just stated, you may understand that Linux will grow in the desktop market, and may perfectly have Macintosh very little share and a lot more. Of course this last point falls into high probability, as we are not delphi oracles.
I agree with the rest of you post, specially on User Interface as one of Linux weaknesses.
WattsM, it has been a long time since Richard Stallman was paid by MIT. He quit his job there around 1984 because he was starting GNU and didn’t want MIT to have any remote claim on anything he wrote for it, which would’ve ruined the project from the beginning. I think they still point ai.mit.edu at an FSF server, and maybe they mirror some archives, but that’s about it.
> The thing is though, if
> you really want to stick
> it to Microsoft, I think
> you have to go with a Mac.
Woow! So you really think people should spend all that money to buy proprietary hardware just to “stick it to Mr Gates?”? That’s a curious kind of thought, brother. I mean, Linux has only about 2% of the desktop anyways.
Listen, you are evangelising to the wrong crowd. The only way to stick it to MS is to go after their 95% grip on the desktop. Denting that 95% is the only thing that would count. I don’t see how Apple can do that as long as they tie a proprietary OS to a proprietary hardware. If they made OS X for intel machines, some of us might just dual boot.
> they replace older UNIX
> and Linux machines with
> UNIX based OS X machines.
Ya! We can even put the aqua machines on the mainframes!!!
In my opinion, those who want the productivity aspect of OS should use Window$ product line. Mac product line (even OSX)can do less thing compared to the Wintel platform. OSX maybe have quite a beautiful GUI however GUI just nothing without a reallly useful application (can you imagine OSX without Office suite). And the worst thing in my mind is that Apple are as greedy as MS (maybe more) but luckily they only control the minority share of the market. Maybe they want everything belong to them whether it is the OS or hardware whereas MS just interested in software and other PC vendor interested in hardware.
I use Linux/GNU because of the principal behind it, everyone have access to the source code. I agree with comment that X is suck, the GUI are slow and not as nice as OSX but those Linux/GNU hater must know that the good thing does not come easily. Mac/DOS should remember the early days where everything is just CLI. For me the memory when first time getting “syntax error” output from Apple terminal still very fresh although later I used MS platform for half of my life. Windows then came later with a good GUI application even before Linux were born. But I choose Linux/GNU starting around five years ago instead of the good and productive Window$. And in my opinion OSX just will never make me convert once again.
I will wait for the time when X are efficient enough and Linux/GNU/Unix GUI are good and user friendly enough. Another thing non Linux user should bear in is that, Linux/GNU grow due to the user where the development cost are share all over the world. It need the honesty in you to compensate the time, cost, tears etc given by the developers of the OSS. It maybe not very good for the business oriented software developer but everyone got their piece of benefit by getting involving with Linux. Nobody will force you to use Linux if you won’t not like Apple that force you to buy their low performance computer if you want OSX.
Steve>>>”If you really want to see a slow system, install Windows XP. I’m using it to send this, so I know what I’m talking about.”
Really funny. I had for few times both WinXP and Mandrake 8.1 on the same exact machine. XP was extremely fast (booting, using, etc). With Mandrake, it took me at least twice time to boot, and the overall desktop feeling was sluggish, unclean (UI refresh very badly compare to XP), and an extremely “bloating” feeling.
So, the only reason I see you call XP slow is because… well maybe you just never really tried it … <<<
i believe that camel said that he was writing the post on an xp machine as i am right now. why don’t you pick on someone your own size. comparing xp to mandrake 8.1 is like comparing who would win in the a fight between a 900 pound gorilla and a 50 pound ape. my point, mandrake was a bad release so why don’t you compare it with mandrake8.2beta3 which is more current and is alot better (way better).
the linux desktop works just fine. comparable (superior) to windose by far, & sleeker than the mac. why does EVERY paid rhetoricyst attempt to defame linux et al? you can smell the fear.
Is David Coursey trolling? – first of all he asks “linux zealots” to leave him alone and stop bothering him, but then he proceeds to trash Linux in such a way that such responses are guaranteed to be provoked. Bit like walking up to a thug and slapping them in the face saying “leave me alone”.
It strikes me that his entire article (maybe career?) is based upon maximising hits more than anything. I deliberately don’t bother reading his articles any more because of this.
btw – Linux is usable on the desktop – it is being used successfully in the commercial world.
When I first started at my current job I was told to go buy any computer I wanted. The only requirement I had was that it had to be a laptop and it had to be able to build our source tree. I got a top of the line Dell and installed Win2K on it. It worked fine, but builds took 5 minutes even if no code had changed. (It took 5 minutes to decide nothing needed to be rebuilt.) The same build took 8 seconds on Linux. So I wiped the disks and installed Linux.
I’ve come to abhore Linux as a desktop. A machine that works fine one day, won’t boot the next. Configuring the machine requires editing text files all over the system using odd obsfucated command sets. Applications are completely inconsistant. Installing a new piece of software means going to library dependency hell. (Try installing the latest version of GnuCash or Balsa on a Redhat 7.0 desktop.)
I am to the point of spending my own money to replace a working Linux laptop with an Apple iBook running MacOS X because I hate Linux so much. Linux has to be the worst desktop OS I’ve ever used. The only thing that is keeping me sane is Ximian Desktop and in particular Red Carpet. It does a good job of sorting out library dependencies so i can do my job rather than waste time fixing a broken Linux partition.
One last thing to put things in perspective. I’m one of those people who hates configuring computers. I just want to turn it on and have it work. I don’t have a cute desktop background. My machines are pretty much stock out of the box. Even when I was programming on the BeOS the only change I made was to make the desktop color a darker shade of blue. That’s it! I want to use the computer, not play with it. I have work to do so I don’t want to waste time configuring the OS.
Oh, I almost forgot. Why do you think Sun and especially IBM are embracing Linux on the desktop? Yes, it’s true that they don’t have to pay anything to Microsoft for the OS. But the real reason is that they are able to sell huge amounts of service to companies to keep their Linux desktops running. It’s the best of both worlds for a service company. A free OS that requires huge amount of support to maintain. WOW!
> Why do you think Sun and
> especially IBM are embracing
> Linux on the desktop?
Oh, they are? I didn’t even know Sun was a desktop company!
I’d be lying if I said I read every one of these comments, but anyway …
I don’t think Coursey has anything against Linux on the desktop per say, but I think he just gets tired of the zealots who constantly ramble on and on about the superiority of Linux on the desktop on his Talkback forums, no matter what the article is. It’s always Linux this, Linux that, M$ sucks, Windoze bloatware/crashware/spyware, .NOT/.NYET, Linus is God, etc .. etc … I’ve heard it all.
The thing that pisses me off (and I think what pisses Coursey off as well) is that Linux desktop zealots can’t just use Linux and be happy about it. They’re not content unless they are insulting or belittling those of us who choose not to use Linux on the desktop as they do.
As somebody else mentioned, I can’t count how many times I’ve heard somebody say that if you don’t use Linux, you’re not a ‘real’ computer user. I have been told personally by a zealot that the reason I don’t like Linux on the desktop is because I’m too stupid to understand it. And to that, I just have to say fuck you and the OS you rode in on.
I could write volumes as to why I don’t like Linux on the desktop, but the fact of the matter is that it’s none of your damn business, and I am sick and tired of having to justify the OS I use to a bunch of pundits who treat Linux like it was some sort of religion.
If you like Linux and it works for you, that’s great and I am happy for you. Now, if you could just shut up and leave the rest of us the hell alone already.
It strange to say a desktop is going down the drain when
people are still developing to make it better, perhaps
a little patience will show which is the better. I cant
touch WIN since my switch…and macOS…phew…why?
Id rather use BeOS…using KDE or Gnome is getting
better by the minute…the same way LNX stole the server
market (piece by piece…) it will succeed. Everytime I
boot up Mandrake, Gentoo or SuSE Im getting more and
more amazed at the rapid way it is being updated…Im
feeling more then confident of the sweet taste of winning
since more and more of my friends are switching!!! David
Coursey is clearly basing his asumptions on
headlines…but who gives a f***…I dont,
I’ll never switch…its not worth the downslide!
without entering into all kind of comparisons between apple stuff & gnu/linux stuff :
Are you willing to give up your liberty for commodity/style in computing ?
it always boil down to that simple question, re-read “the right to read” by RMS and try to digest the issue.
In short, gnu/linux may be hard to use/setup and have issues about usability, speed etc… but you are keeping your liberty by using it. If you’re willing to give that up for pretty ui, more software or less setup headache, feel free to do so, it’s a bit like religion, no one has the right to question your choice.
“If you’re willing to give that up for pretty ui, more software or less setup headache, feel free to do so, it’s a bit like religion, no one has the right to question your choice.”
Yes, many of are willing to trade certain freedoms that come with using open source apps for a pretty UI, more software, and less setup headaches. We understand that by using closed source software, it’s possible that some corporation(s) may have access to peer into my hard drive(s), and we live with and accept this possibility on a daily basis. I know that hardcore open source/*Nix pundits can’t comprehend this fact, but that’s just how it is.
And I’m glad you think that nobody has the right to question our choice. It’s just too bad that many in your camp don’t feel the same way you do.
is that people treat everything like a Religion. Computers aren’t gods they aren’t idols they are our machines. We control them, if somebody uses Windows because they don’t understand or enjoy the pleasures of custom configuring their computers. Hey! I’m fine with that.
If somebody likes Mac OS X because it runs really well and is a big improvement for doing work over OS 9, and if they like Mac’s more than PC’s, hey! I’m fine with that too.
I love most Operating Systems, there are things that I like about Windows (mostly the programs for it), Linux (because it’s so configurable), BeOS (because of it’s ease of use, and that sweet GUI), and last but not least Mac OS X (because it’s amazing GUI and how it improved Multi-tasking on my Mac). Most things have good qualities everything has it down sides, you can’t have everything work to everybodies satisfaction.
I’m not arguing with anybody here, but in my opinion we need to strengthen the cross platform support so that we can come as close as possible to having our machines run everything we’d like.
Let’s take this point by point.
I like free beer and free speech both, but free beer satisfies me more directly. I’m cheap, therefore I like free software.
I am not averse to paying for software, even though the free speech side of me believes that source code should always be included.
I’ve only looked at screenshots, but in my opinion the apple platinum interface is superior to aqua. But the underpinnings of OS X are superior to previous MacOS.
I believe that apple hardware is superior to x86 hardware, but I can’t afford it (even used).
The linux world is filled with some zealots who cannot take any criticism. Most of them are just trolls, though. The real movers and shakers in Linux aren’t so thin skinned. For the trolls, I think that it is an inferiority complex.
X by itself isn’t slow. With a simple toolkit like GTK+ or others, X is not slow. But through in Gnome or KDE and the user responsiveness crawls. I think these “desktop environments” are trying to do too much. On my 400MHz machine, Nautilus is unusable because it is so slow.
I was ready to give up (again) on linux recently until I realized that the problems I was having weren’t related to the default install (which worked just fine), but rather to the fact that I was trying to configure the desktop to look/feel the way I wanted which is admittedly non-standard. Out of the box, my Mandrake Linux 8.1 works just fine. I just want it to be different.
Anyway, since I cannot afford a Mac and I doubt that my hardware would be supported by XP (which I’m too cheap to buy anyway) I plan on continuing to try to make Linux work for me on the desktop.
Plus, Win98 still works just fine. The only reason I dislike it is ideological. But it is the OS used most by my family and me.
If I had my druthers though, I’d be running BeOS on recent Apple/PPC hardware. That is not an option though because of both cost and lack of compatability. Not to mention that Be went the route of my previous favorite operating sys, from bankruptcy to limbo.
(not that anybody is going to read this, considering that it’s Old News ™ – oh the wonderful world of webfora)
It is funny when a Linux zealots complains about Mac/Windows/otherOS zealots, or that a web site about Operating Systems in general indeed talks about OS other than Linux.
It is nice that you can do all the things you need to do with Linux, but that is just you. Other people have other needs.
GUI consistency is important, and we’re not talking skin-deep appearance here. As you said yourself: with an Enlightenment-Aqua theme it will “take the mac user a little bit to figure out that it’s not OSX”, but they _will_ figure it out – and that is the important bit.
gobe is charging for be os??!!!
what the f*ck?!
be os should be free, gobe for beos should be free,
offer them for every walmart pc os free and be should take off
>> Why compare a new release of linux (licorise) with OLD
versions of Windows ? NT4 and NT5 are old.
NT5.1 has a much improved install experience…
(meaning it recognised all my hardware)
I mentioned it for one reason: when NT4 came out, it was considered a viable desktop. It seemed appropriate to see if a recent Linux desktop distribution was equally viable.
I’m sure you’re correct that 5.1 has more support for hardware. I’m just not likely to drop more $$$ to go from a 5.0 install disk to a 5.1.
Mostly, I just presented it as a chronicle of an experience, nothing more.
Ah yes now I remember it’s Yellow Dog Linux! I personally have not tried Yellow Dog, but I use Debian GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, and BeOS on my x86 machine and love all three. I also use my roomate’s iMac w/ OS X. I think I can speak on behalf of at least some of those involved in this discussion.
Here is my point.
Linux users tend to complain about how mac hardware is expensive and how OS X is proprietary. They hate Windows but they refuse to switch from the main platform that runs Windows. If every Linux user switch to Mac hardware, Mac hardware would become alot cheaper and they’d still be able to use their “Holy Linux” ala X desktop or even dual boot OS X and Linux. They’d still be getting their Linux fix and maybe get Apple to sell the motherboard with out the case (I admit that is long shot but I can dream can’t I?)so that do-it-yourselfers won’t be left out. I use x86 because it is a commodity. If Mac hardware was cheaper, I’d switch to that(I’m currently looking for an old PM w/daughtercard cpu).
I believe (in my opinion) that Mac hardware is better than x86. If more people bought Mac hardware it would be on the same price level as x86. I love the concept of OSS, the GNU, BSD, and all projects that are making computers and their OSes better(including Apple).
If you find KDE and Gnome slow you can try windowmaker
http://www.windowmaker.org it seems a lot faster.
Are you willing to give up your liberty for commodity/style in computing?
I use Windows most of the time.
I can still write my congressman, protest in front of the county courthouse, work where I want (if they chose to hire me), eat what I want, spend my money any legal way I want, etc. I haven’t been thrown in jail yet for not using “free” software.
Yes, I can still download or purchase any software I need to do what I need done. I can do that on cheap hardware and without the constant Linux headaches. Windows meets ALL of my computing needs; Linux does not.
What liberty have I given up?