Home > Rumors > Six Operating systems tested Six Operating systems tested Eugenia Loli 2005-02-02 Rumors 82 Comments Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows XP were easier to use than any of the Linux distributions tested – but not by much, says the report. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 82 Comments 2005-02-02 10:08 am When referring to Linspire… Good: Click-n-Run technology makes it easy to install other software Bad Hard to install other software ..well, which is it? A cut-and-paste review perhaps? I think the author didn’t RTFM for Mandrake or Xandros, despite them being part of the package. AFAIK Xandros’ software installs are just as easy as Linspire, and I know from experience that Mandrake’s URPMI is a piece of cake, but they give them bad ratings too. 2005-02-02 10:11 am These are the only reasons you’d buy a computer? We used each OS to perform the following common tasks: make a document print a document set up your internet connection (including set up an email program and instant messenger and check the computer’s security) back up to CD-RW/DVD-RW listen to music customise the desktop watch a movie attach a digital camera and view digital photos install new software set up external devices 2005-02-02 10:15 am i believe the prices were in $AU hence the difference 2005-02-02 10:20 am That is one seriously flawed article. I don’t know where to start on this one…. OK Windows CANNOT play DVD out of the box. A 3rd party codec is needed and a player. The whole paragragh about partitions is just misleading. Mandrake can resize NTFS partitions, and as far as I can remember, so can Linspire. He touched on directory structure, but simply said Linux is under the / directory, and left it at that… No mention that the users personal files are in /home and if needed /home can be on a separate partition. “SuSE Linux and Mandrakelinux also had confusing procedures to set up their email programs. ” WHAT ????? Kmail, or Evolution confusing ? Linspire does not include a DVD player… hmmm does it not have Mplayer included ? He says it hard to install other packages onto Mandrake…. hmm.. click on MCC, Add Software, make your choices, click install…. Whats hard about that ? Windows and Mac OS, download the file and double click to install… Yes, I agree, installing software is far easier on these two platforms. Anyway, I have had enough moaning, anyone else want a go ? 2005-02-02 10:20 am Pretty much, if you discount games. 2005-02-02 10:37 am They did never give a reason for what they found out… Wait, noone would actually confess to have asked the magic 8-ball… (or so it seems to me). Did they actually test the different systems? or did they ask around in newsgroups, then make something up? “Difficult to install software”… for rpm based systems… now, tellme, where is “rpm -ivh file.arch.rpm” more difficult than downloading an exe, then running it? especially when today’s kde-based distros most of the time wrap it up with kdesu so that all you need is clicking the file, then entering the root password? and with rpm, i can be sure that there are no “leftovers” floating around in dark corners of my filesystem when i choose to uninstall the software… Summary: written by the clueless, for the clueless. (in other words: should not have been mentioned here.) 2005-02-02 10:38 am even though i am in favor of Linux and OS X I must say the “report” isnt the greatest. “Windows failed to import excel files, Offic software is needed and needs to be installed.” Well this i nice and dandy and a Mac comes with Appleworks and Linux with OpenOffice but they still need to be installed and Appleworks is on a seperate disk so its not part of the retail version of Mac OS X (it wasnt in my box of panther). You could argue that its bundled with new Macs, well a lot of software is bundled with PCs running Windows. I think the report is incomplete or too shallow in someareas while it was drgging out in others. my 2c FR — http://www.2blocksaway.com 2005-02-02 11:07 am “Difficult to install software”… for rpm based systems… now, tellme, where is “rpm -ivh file.arch.rpm” more difficult than downloading an exe, then running it? It’s more difficult simply because after the download, a user must (eventually) open a terminal and type this command which has (probably) not much to do with the skills he possesses. Double-clicking on an icon is simply easier and faster and requires no prior knowledge. My grand-ma can double click. My accountant can double click. Both like to download new apps from the net and test them at times 🙂 2005-02-02 11:12 am That’s why there are nice graphical frontends that let you click and install the software you want. 2005-02-02 11:16 am Unlike Windows XP, the Linux distributions and Mac OS X also let you restrict a program, such as ICQ, to a single user account. Additionally, in Linux and Mac OS X, the administrator is the only account with access to universal settings and files. Author should know that WindowsXP actually allows you to restrict programs which can be run by users. Just because almost no-one does it, that doesn’t mean that it can’t… Author should also know that WindowsXP can handle ACLs so you can actually prevent users from accessing files / folders at user or group level. Again, just because almost no-one does that at home (while that’s quite common in business / server zone), doesn’t mean that it can’t. Actually, I’m not trying to defend Windows since everyone does what he/she wants and I usually don’t care but many don’t realize that systems can be pretty secure if you actually know what you do. Maybe you can’t be 100% sure, of course, but enough safe. Plus, in my opinion, this is another proof Microsoft should invest money to let people know what’s REALLY inside Windows as their rush for simplicity brought many users to stop trying to understand what’s there. If author reviewed Linux and MacOS X like he did for Windows, I’m sure there are many misleading things for such systems too. Reviewing doesn’t mean installing one time a software and then delete it… 2005-02-02 11:45 am “We’d also like to see inbuilt antivirus software in all operating systems — the tested operating systems don’t currently include a virus checker.” Yes, in Windows case but I don’t think that Mac OS and Linux need that. 2005-02-02 11:46 am Good: Click-n-Run technology makes it easy to install other software Bad: Hard to install other software ..well, which is it? A cut-and-paste review perhaps? Of course, the reviewer meant other other software. 2005-02-02 11:55 am The article may be flawed from a geeks POV but if you consider the source (the Australian Consumers Association usually does “appliance” tests and comparisons) then it is a great day for Linux recognition in Australia. Not only do they compare Linux favourably to XP and OSX but they went out and reviewed “4” Linux Distros. You can nit pick the technical accuracy of the content all you like but this is a publication aimed at mums and dads – so of course it appears clueless to OSnews readers. Btw If you want world domination then have a good look at the article. Linux is going to enter the mainstream media and consumer consciousness in exactly these kind of articles (and perhaps a lot worst too!) 2005-02-02 11:56 am Yet Another Linux vs. Windows review …. How about posing something interesting. This topic has been done hudreds of times and it’s getting really old really fast, not to mention that it’s completly out of touch with the real life. Tones of things were not mentioned …. What is the point of this “review” ? 2005-02-02 12:16 pm Included software table iMovie is not the movie player in this context, quicktime is To discover this the reviewer would merely have had to double click on a movie file… or look at the icon 😉 another point, appleworks and iMovie are both seperate chagable products (although it is HIGHLY likly anyone with a remotely new mac has a copy of both) 2005-02-02 12:20 pm Choice are generally well regarded for their comprehensive reviews of consumer goods like whitegoods and televisions. This review is by far the worst I have ever seen by them. I didn’t learn anything new from it, and it appeared that the reviewer had not even used half of the Linux distros. This is a bad thing, as many Australians regard Choice magazine as the best source for product information and reviews (usually for a good reason). This article was full of factual innacuracies, and they devoted almost as much time to installation (which should ideally be a one-off action) as to usability. As a new “switcher” to OS X, I was interested to see what they would say about its excellent usability, however their only real comment in this regard was that OS X “made it to easy to play a DVD”. This is the first review of operating systems that I have seen from Choice, and it is nowhere near their usual quality. I can only guess that the reviewer is a relative computer novice. Choice really need to hire some IT experts if they want to keep their reputation. Reviewing whitegoods and reviewing software require totally different skills. 2005-02-02 12:35 pm While the author did make some mistakes, I think he’s more or less on the money. The thing about needing drivers for Mac OS X while not needing them for Linux is a bit silly as they both use CUPS. I wonder how he missed this since it’s stated multiple times in Apple literature that it uses CUPS etc. Still though, the break down goes a little like this (each OS out of the box): Windows XP: Has some stability problems and a lot of security issues. You need to spend a bit more money on software to make it a productive environment. Things mostly work and you’ll feel the double edged sword of Windows being the most popular Desktop OS. Easy enough to install 3rd party software. Mac OS X: Is very stable although not quite as stable as some Linux distributions can be. It is very secure and the easiest to use out of all 3 groups. Cheaper than Windows by a long shot, especially when taking into account all the top notch software that gets bundled with it. 3rd party software installation couldn’t be easier. Linux: It can range from being very stable (and also, very secure) to more unstable than Windows (and not very secure either) . It can be hard to configure and it’s not as compatible with hardware as Windows and not as easy to set up with supported hardware as Mac OS X. There’s lots of free software available for it but a lot of it is not high quality. Installing 3rd party software is usually a PITA. 2005-02-02 1:18 pm One thing that showed me that the writer of this article didn’t do his homework is the following gem. “It was easy to install with very good help files but was more complicated to use for tasks such as burning a DVD and viewing digital photos.” Now I would admit, I don’t know too much about burning DVD’s, but using a camera with Linux (Btw. I’m on SUSE) is a lot easier than with Windows XP. For XP I need to install the drivers and then I had to configure it so that it downloads automatically. And the bloody thing still messes that up. In Linux it’s plug in, and the folder opens by itself. Then I just configure it for auto-download and I’m good-to-go. Anyway, for me, useless article. 2005-02-02 1:30 pm where is “rpm -ivh file.arch.rpm” more difficult than downloading an exe, then running it? OK I will. In both cases you have to find the software. Typically this will involve a web search which will be the same for all styles of system. Let us say that our user has performed this stage correctly and found their software. As downloading to Windows or OS X simply involves activating a link, which we have already given them the ability to do as it is required to do the initial web search lets start with the file downloaded or the “file.arch.rpm” known. When you download an .exe there are really four possible mouse actions (click, double click, click and hold, drag and drop) that are possible with the one button mouse that is standard with a Mac. For a windows machine you typically have two buttons this leaves these four actions with each button plus two others (left button then right button, and right button then left button) so ten actions in total. Had it been an english natural language command that you gave, which it isn’t, of the same size then given the rate of language of English to be about 1 bit per character there would only be about 2^7 or 128 possibilties. The command you gave, “rpm -ivh”, is 7 characters long, and not English or any other common natural language. If this was just the 26 english characters there would be 26^7 possibilities, or 8031810176 possibilities. However you are not just using 26 English characters and if you only include these three extra’s it would be 28^7 or 13492928512 possibilities. Since you could really use the full 128 possible standard ascii characters things get even worse to 128^7 or 562949953421312 possibilities. And in the process of working through all of these possible commands the chances of doing something very bad to your system are not negligable. Considering that 4 (for Mac OS X) or 10 (for Windows) actions is less than 562949953421312 (for the command line) then yes I would say that the GUI way is easier. The arguement would then be that they should read the help files and man pages (which people don’t do) or get help on a forum (where you would be vilified for lacking this ‘simple’ knowledge), and as that command is unique to getting software you could not use other knowledge of the system in the same way that is possible in a GUI. CLI is not easy, it never was (that was why GUI was created), and probably never will be. However it can be very powerful for an advanced user that already knows how to use it. 2005-02-02 1:36 pm Mac OSX lost points because its help files were not comprehensive… did he say how they weren’t comprehensive? Also I thought the firewall was turned on by default, inasmuch as the services covered are turned off by default. Of course, I could just be revealing that I don’t know what I’m talking about… 2005-02-02 1:42 pm The worst review ever? Hell this is atleast an honest attempt. I’d say the worst come from “xxxxx group(s)” who produce outright lies when paid to do so. I think it’s funny that people get upset with reviews like this: The person reviewing is likey an “experienced” or “seasoned” computer user in the eyes of most “end-users.” Having even heard of linux, and successfully a few distributions, definitely separates the reviewer from the mainstream. Elitest computer USERS need to realize that reviews like these will point out WHAT IS NON-OBVIOUS ABOUT LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS. Instead of ridiculing the author, this sort of information should be passed to those who design for “Ease-of-use.” Those who work for COMMERCIAL distributions should be particularly interested since making everyday tasks MORE OBVIOUS and EASIER (as in only using a keyboard to type in KWrite or OOo or a webbrowser address bar) would help to increase market share among ALL USERS, word-of-mouth and the number of people willing to switch. Personally I really like Ubuntu and knoppix (I’m partial to apt-get and synaptic,) but I do have parents, for which I setup an 802.11b network which call me atleast once every month or so frantic that “My e-mail doesn’t work! it says Error!”, “Neither does my Google,” “My winamp still works though.” I set the network up in 2001 (1st generation Linksys router, crashes once in a while and needs to be restarted.) Notice though, that they see ERROR, and freeze like a deer in head lights. They both use XP Home. Due to SPYWARE and pop ups (my parents click just about EVERYTHING in e-mail AND feel the need to personally tell off spammers [validating their e-mail address] now use Firefox. I set them up and gave them the option of both by putting icons on their desktop. They only use firefox now even though I setup Spybot for both computers and tell them to run it regularly. My father runs Open Office and thinks it’s “OK.” Print preview “Isn’t in the right place.” But other than that he likes it. My mother only uses MS Office (came with her laptop [school system bought it] and if they don’t complain, I don’t fix.) Next step, if they continue to get tons of junk mail is to setup Thunderbird and see if they like it better than Outlook. I setup the GIMP on both computers, my parents never use it though (I didn’t associate .JPG with it.) So can’t tell you about it. They both freak out when “The Printer stops working” ie, they both have HP inkjet printers that are ancient “3 years old.” They try to print a document, and sometimes the printer needs to warm up. Then if it is “Taking too long” they try to print, and print and print the same document, so nothing prints. The printer flashes lights in defiance and scares them away. Note: They both have 2 master’s degrees. They grew up before the personal calculator was invented. They started “Using” computers around 2001. They do not code in C++. They do not use vi to generate multiple HTML files or even know what HTML is. They do not create or edit movies. They do not sync to a cvs ftp for the latest source to examine it for bugs and to generate a GPL derivative of triple integral graphing software. Seeing source code to them is obviously not an advantage as sky seems to fall with minor printer problems. I can not see either of them “knowing” to install xmms in a root terminal by typing rpm -ivh xmms.rpm. I COULD see them use synaptic, or Kpackage or something similar. They are becoming more savvy computer users “Buying crap on eBay.” 2005-02-02 1:49 pm For one Xandros 3 deluxe is out, not sure why they would still review the older version? Also is the price list in Austrailian dollars. Because the prices listed are a good amount higher then in the US. I am not sure what they were smoking when they wrote this. 2005-02-02 1:50 pm “Perform a ScanDisk and Defrag before installing a new OS.” Why would I need to defrag a linux partition with a Windows utility ? ” Connect all your hardware (such as printer, scanner, keyboard, mouse, networking equipment, modem) before you install a new OS.” In Windows, there are components that must be connected after you have installed the OS (an internal USB card reader, for instance) “Setting up the internet connection using Mandrakelinux, SuSE Linux and Linspire presented difficulties, largely because each followed a different process.” In Mandrake, it’s a breeze to set up an internet connection during the installation. Must be the same for Suse and Linspire. Xandros gets points deducted for lacking a Live CD. What about Mac OS X and Windows ? 2005-02-02 1:55 pm Isn’t the first installer CD for Mac OS X a live CD? You can boot it up and quit the installer and run some utilities. I haven’t used it much (only to do a HD check) but AFAIK it’s a live CD. 2005-02-02 2:02 pm I have to say that d’s comment was awesome, and hits the nail on the head. The majority of users aren’t geeks like us who can figure out things easily, even if they have a phd. There is a serious generational divide, but beyond that, not everyone is a geek. At the very least though, even if technically inaccurate, this article might inspire readers to try out the different os for themelves. 2005-02-02 2:26 pm Allright where in the world are most of the reviewers buying Mac OSX and Windows XP. OSX doesn not cost 229.00 it costs 129.00, and a new copy of XP the home edition which most people will use is 216.00. Also lets not forget that most pc’s already come with windows installed so an upgrade from say 98 to XP home is only 99.00. Don’t over inflate prices to try to make a point. 2005-02-02 2:30 pm Australia. It’s one of those countries not part of the US and they don’t use “real” money, you know. 2005-02-02 2:57 pm [i] “We’d also like to see inbuilt antivirus software in all operating systems — the tested operating systems don’t currently include a virus checker.” Yes, in Windows case but I don’t think that Mac OS and Linux need that. [i] I agree Antivirus should be built-in to all three systems. Even Linux and Mac OS X, these systems still should have some form of AV protection, as a Linux user, I’d like to see more protection, for the “just in case” scenario. </2 cents> 2005-02-02 3:05 pm This review is so toatlly bad I hardly know where to start. The most obvious blunders: ** LiveCD ist cute, but it’s a purely Linux thing and not really essential. LiveCDs help explore Linux on a Windows PC without messing with your HD. On the Mac, LiveCDs do not really make sense. Microsoft does not use LiveCDs either because they rely on OEMS preinstaling windows. LiveCDs are a licensing issue as well: The Linux guys could not care less if LiveCDs are copied. ** Security: The article trots out the old myth that Windows is riddled with malware just because it has a larger market share. This is hogwash. Windows is so totally insecure that every Script Kiddie can take over your windows box. ** Windows gets marks for easy install procedure! Yes, but uninstallation of badly behaved software can be a huge issue, especially if the app does bad things to the registry. Mac OS X shines in these cases. Malware can hide on a windows PC easily, using the jungle-like registry to conceal its launch commands. and so on… 2005-02-02 3:14 pm First of all, it seems the reviewer cannot understand the primary role of an OS: to manage the sys resources for your otehr programs! Most of the issues described by the author should be classified under the “General Software Availability and Usability” catagory Using a scoring system for usability is a flawed way to evaluate user experience. In fact, the whole review is comparing apples with oranges (no pun intended) Some people just like the UI and just “just works” philosophy of OS X, other people put more value on the availability of softwares on WinXP and there are other people who feels they need the advanced scripting facility and customizability offered by linux. Even for a “average consumer”, their needs will differ: some need more Multimedia capabilities, others needs a nice clean office environment etc. Despite the article’s good intention, its internal flaws prevent it from being seriously considered. 2005-02-02 3:52 pm “Windows XP Home – $324” ? Come on… From Microsoft website: “Full Version WINDOWS XP HM ED EN NA INTERNAL CD SP2 $199.00” Can’t they make their comparison OBJECTIVELY ? Leo. 2005-02-02 3:56 pm Why were there four GNU/Linux distros included? Why not fit in another OS in there, FreeBSD, QNX, etc … The whole thing seems forced. I’m an avid *nix user but comparing OS-X, XP, and GNU/Linux in the same breath just doesn’t seem fair. Sure OSS DE’s have come a long way in a short time but most users aren’t ready to put up with all the minor quirks that come with the *NIX OS. Good idea, bad execution. 2005-02-02 4:06 pm Come on… From Microsoft website: “Full Version WINDOWS XP HM ED EN NA INTERNAL CD SP2 $199.00” Still a lot of do for an OS that hasn’t been changed,improved or otherwise upgraded since it’s introduction.Besides that on top you will have to spend a lot of money if you would legally make your Tool somewhat more personal and usefull upto the window blinds. 2005-02-02 4:06 pm The first thing that struck me about this review is that the author opted for KDE Linux desktops in all cases (correct me if I’m wrong here). While I’m a Mac fanboy, I really think Gnome has become a terrific environment. It’s clean and very regular in the placement of its menu items. If these reviews had taken user interface into consideration — and if they’d tried Gnome — I think Linux would have looked even better. Before anyone gets defensive, I’ll point out I’m not knocking KDE in any way. I’m not sure OS X’s automatic DVD start is a great thing. I turned mine off. There are times I insert a DVD to do something other than just playing it. I’d be interested to read if any of you think it’s absolutely necessary for Mac users to have their firewalls up by default. There are fewer nasties out there for Mac systems — today — and firewalls frustrate unskilled users. I’ve never required a print driver in OS X that wasn’t supplied with the OS. Must have been a bleeding edge printer. I wonder how setting up SUSE’s internet was “difficult”? It’s automatic unless there’s something wrong. Gotta agree that Linux’s multimedia is horrorshow. 2005-02-02 4:16 pm @Anonymous: >Still a lot of do for an OS that hasn’t been changed, […] I don’t agree, but that’s not the point. The point is that they seem to be lying about WinXP’s price… That’s lame. (btw, do you really think Unix/Posix had some many changes since 20 years ?!) Leo. 2005-02-02 4:49 pm “Windows CANNOT play DVD out of the box. A 3rd party codec is needed and a player.” Every dvd drive i’ve seen comes with a cd that has the player and codec. 2005-02-02 5:07 pm Quote “”We’d also like to see inbuilt antivirus software in all operating systems — the tested operating systems don’t currently include a virus checker.” Yes, in Windows case but I don’t think that Mac OS and Linux need that.” yet…. 2005-02-02 5:37 pm No, the point is that they are from Australia and a lot of people seem to dumb to notice this fact. 2005-02-02 6:26 pm My Mistake Appologies Leo. 2005-02-02 6:39 pm I bought, let’s see… four DVD drives: 2 bulk, Pioneer and Samsung; 2 retail, Pioneer and LG. Not _one_ came with a DVD player app or codec, only one even had a CD included (a Pioneer DVD-RW), with the manual and a cheap, useless DVD burner application. So, no DVD player out of the box I’m afraid… 2005-02-02 6:56 pm Well i installed websphere on linux 9.0 that is an application server and it has a gui based installer since 2002 2005-02-02 7:43 pm Do you think that the US dollar is the only dollar out there!! Please note the source of the article before making dumb comments. Second many of the differences in ease of software installing is caused by the fact that on Windows most people run Windows as administrator – and as a user on Linux which brings up a point completely missed by this and all other reviews; security hassles in my view make XP by far the hardest of these systems to use, mainly because it is a constant struggle to keep it clean and working right. I have setup Linux systems for Mom and Pop types and don’t hear from them again for months or years. Never in any reviews are some maddening things Windows can do to you that just dosn’t happen in Linux. In Windows Explorer if you drag and drop – if its on the same physical drive its a move if its on different physical drive its a copy – both are done without any notice that the action has taken place – many KDE and Gnome users find this behavior annoying. Another wonder of Windows is “Click wait click” to rename files and folders – be just a bit slow on the double click and the file is not accessed but you wind up in change the name (in replaced mode at that). These two wonderful features of Windows (along with the ability to write everywhere on any disk in the system) is why I get calls all the time from Windows users that have lost very important stuff on their systems. Linux users seem to never call me to help them find lost data files or missing icons. One final point – about a year and a half ago I set up someone on Linux (Suse 9.0 upgraded to 9.1) that had no computer experience at all before that time. When traveling and visiting in the States was lent the use of a Windows XP machine – Their comment about it – “Windows just felt clumsy”. I could go on and on — but “nuf” said for now 2005-02-02 8:34 pm ha i love these propaganda articles .. it always starts flame wars .. windows can do this linux can do that mac os x can do this .. give it a break already jeez no one forces any of use to use any of these operating systems .. get over it 2005-02-02 8:39 pm I’ve found them useful to stereotype linux, windows, and Mac zealouts. I’d tell you the results, but well that’d be another flame war! 2005-02-02 8:59 pm security hassles in my view make XP by far the hardest of these systems to use, mainly because it is a constant struggle to keep it clean and working right. If you’re spending more than 15 minutes a month keeping your Windows box secure, than you don’t know Windows security very well. 2005-02-02 9:42 pm “security hassles in my view make XP by far the hardest of these systems to use, mainly because it is a constant struggle to keep it clean and working right. ” Yea, I see what you mean. Setting up a firewall and running the antivirus and spyware removal programs when I am in bed once a month is soooo hard! Man, I cant tell you how much time is eaten up doing that! Especially since its been years since my last virus and many months since the last little bit of spyware (i’ll admit it was my fault for installing the program that came with it). Yea. Getting Windows secure is REAL hard. 2005-02-02 10:53 pm “Getting Windows secure is REAL hard.” You underestimate the ignorance of most computer users. 2005-02-02 11:13 pm “let’s see… four DVD drives: 2 bulk, Pioneer and Samsung; 2 retail, Pioneer and LG. Not _one_ came with a DVD player app or codec” I also have an LG oem drive and it came with powerdvd, my nvidia graphics card came with nvdvd bundled and i think my tv card also had some dvd software. And what stops you from using MPC?? it’s even open source. http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/video_players/medi… 2005-02-02 11:22 pm 1) The following link is a rant. 2) A really nice guy named Viro helped me get sorted and I did eventually get NVU installed. 3) I plan to update the page and link it to the page I’m building about getting NVU on, but I haven’t had any spare time lately. That said, I think it illustrates very clearly just about every possible thing that can go wrong with trying to install software on Linux … even when you read and follow instructions. http://members.cox.net/kadymae/installhell.html 2005-02-02 11:28 pm It is hard to say that linux is cheaper in all scenarios. For example, lets say a user is buying a new computer from Dell. Generally the machine is the same price with XP home or linux. Then you just go download the windows versions of OSS like openoffice, and the gamet of other free software out there. It doesnt cost anymore in this scenario. And heck, for the price of a new dell (less than $400 if you only get what you need) why would you even want to buy the OS seperately? Is w32 OSS a portal for linux migration? I dont think so, but I sure appreciate it:) 2005-02-03 12:04 am OS X comes with more softwares than listed Included software: iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, Mac Mail, iChat, Safari, Appleworks They also left out Quicktime. 2005-02-03 12:09 am Well-put. I haven’t laughed so hard in a while! 2005-02-03 12:19 am “”Getting Windows secure is REAL hard.” You underestimate the ignorance of most computer users.” I know how ignorant most computer users are. But ignorant users are going to create a problem for most any OS, regardless of who makes it. 2005-02-03 12:31 am Yes the price is in Australian dollars it does cost me over $300 to buy XP Home, OEM is cheaper but you need to buy hardware with that. That is equivalent to the price of a 300GB Hard drive which is outrageous. And No XP does not play DVD’s out of the box, I put a DVD in my system and it doesn’t work. I need extra drivers. Also this is a review for people who know next to nothing about computers, the lack of details is because the people who read the magazine don’t understand all that stuff you are talking about. So the review is for end-users not people who read OS-NEWS, this is the way these operating systems will work in the REAL WORLD 2005-02-03 12:55 am windows: (type 1) 1. leave the house/office. 2. shell out $$$ 3. drive back to home/office. 4. open box. 5. insert and agree to blah blah blah. 6. installed (type 2) 1. search internet for program. 2. download and save. 3 scan with whatever antivirus. 4. double-click and agree to blah blah blah 5. installed Linux (type 1) 1. yum install program 2. type “yes” 3. installed Linux (type 2) 1. type apt-get install program 2. type y (if I remember correctly, if I am wrong ignore this step) 3. installed Mac OS X (type 1–fink) 1. su apt-get install program 2. type yes 3. installed Mac OS X (type 2) 1. apple icon->get osx software 2. download and watch autolauncher open. 3. agree to blah blah blah & give admin password 4. installed yep, Windows is the easiest…the numbers don’t lie. 2005-02-03 1:03 am More distros need true portage systems. Users don’t want to search for some rpm or the right version of some app for their distro release. Users want software now, this is where apt-get, synaptic, yum and portage succeds. The other features people enjoy are binaries packages (for quick installation), GUIs (for those who need quick usage), command line access (for those who enjoy the command line and for those who need to automate the package system), and optional software compilation (yes for us tinkers, props out to Gentoo). 2005-02-03 3:05 am yep, Windows is the easiest…the numbers don’t lie. You miss the most important reason why its easier to install on windows. When you doubleclick on the installer you are usually asked where the software should be installed. To most users it is much simpler to keep track of drve letters A: to Z: than just one / where the installer automagically selects the best place for the installation. Not to mention that they miss the fun pasttime of guessing the use of all installed dlls in their windows catalog, as most package handling systems in Linux can inform them of such things without any guesswork. 2005-02-03 3:30 am ” the lack of details is because the people who read the magazine don’t understand all that stuff you are talking about.” …so by that reasoning, the people that don’t understand should be given less details? Interesting concept… 2005-02-03 3:34 am Linux (type 1) 1. yum install program 2. type “yes” 3. installed Linux (type 2) 1. type apt-get install program 2. type y (if I remember correctly, if I am wrong ignore this step) 3. installed Dood. You so lie. That or you leave out the average schmeddly’s reaction to step 3: Where the hell did the program end up?! Did it even install? I’m just back here at my blank prompt! Oh wait … and that’s completely missing the loads of sheer joy I had trying to get a tar.gz installed on my Ubuntu machine. Because, it’s like so completely obvious while parked at the $ prompt that I wanted to type jxvf and not jzvf. (And reading the man for tar, the one that hasn’t been updated since 1993 and ends in a little rant about how much the person hates technical writing, oh, that was just LOADS of help.) Tell you what. On my OS X box, it doesn’t matter if the file is a tar.gz, gzip, zip, hqx, or a bin. I make with the double clicky and I’m GOOD. TO. GO. All I need to know how to do to install software is: 1) Click 2) Double Click 3) Drag and drop 2005-02-03 3:47 am Quote “Where the hell did the program end up?! Did it even install? I’m just back here at my blank prompt! ” What a refreshing post!… I thought it was just me!! 2005-02-03 4:44 am “…so by that reasoning, the people that don’t understand should be given less details?” Yeah we call it a summary. As for choice not taking enough time to review these products. Choice has been reviewing products for consumenrs for many years if you look at the bottom of the first page you will see “(c) 1998 – 2005 Australian Consumers’ Association”. They know what they are doing, they often test some products for years to see the end result. They are completely consumer focused, there is no corporate influence. 2005-02-03 4:46 am what a crock… There were THREE operating systems tested… 4 different linux distros hardly counts as 4 different OS’s, as they are all the same damn thing with different names. 2005-02-03 5:09 am Please read the article not just the headline. 2005-02-03 6:17 am All I need to know how to do to install software is: 1) Click 2) Double Click 3) Drag and drop On Mandrake, Rpmdrake is quite easy to use, and requires only point-and-click. It’s great to install or upgrade lots of program at once. You can also have platform-independent installers (like Autopackage, the OpenOffice one, or the one used by XFce). But all of this is to be potentially blown away by Klik. This could be the simplest installation method ever devised. I’m jealous that it’s only for Debian-based systems (Knoppix, Linspire). This is a lot simpler than what you’ll find on Windows or even Mac OS X. Check it out: http://klik.atekon.de/ I still think that for system software a Rpmdrake-like tool is the best, however for “extra” software you can’t get more simple than that. 2005-02-03 7:17 am Dude is spelled dude which might be an indicator of bigger problems. Ubuntu is based on Debian so you would use “apt-get install package” as root. As for the whole tar thing try tar –h this should answer your questions. And if you don’t know where a program gets installed or how to launch it after installation…I have 4 letters you should live by…RTFM. 2005-02-03 9:38 am KEvin said. “Perform a ScanDisk and Defrag before installing a new OS.” Why would I need to defrag a linux partition with a Windows utility ? When you have been running Windows for a while, the fielsystem entries will be all over the place… one example is that Windows puts the swapfile at the end of the drive.. You need to move this out of the way to create enough free space on the drive to create a free partition to install other operating systems. Michelle said…“Windows CANNOT play DVD out of the box. A 3rd party codec is needed and a player.” Every dvd drive i’ve seen comes with a cd that has the player and codec.</i<> Michelle also said…[i]”let’s see… four DVD drives: 2 bulk, Pioneer and Samsung; 2 retail, Pioneer and LG. Not _one_ came with a DVD player app or codec” I also have an LG oem drive and it came with powerdvd, my nvidia graphics card came with nvdvd bundled and i think my tv card also had some dvd software. And what stops you from using MPC?? it’s even open source. http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/video_players/medi….. It is not the point that the drives came with the software and codecs, it was a comparison of OS’s. The simple fact is that Windows cannot play DVD out of the box without 3rd party apps and CODECS.. 2005-02-03 11:22 am Went there, read. Don’t see how it is simpler than what you find on Mac OS whatever number. It looks like exactly the same thing. 2005-02-03 1:10 pm listen very carefully, I shall say this only once. DVD drives should start bundling Linux DVD software. I mean, at this point in time I own two normal copies of PowerDVD, two ASUS-branded copies of the same, one copy of NeoDVD, and one copy of WinDVD. Of these, five came with discrete DVD drives. And they’re all for Windows. It’s the hardware suppliers who come up short. A statically linked Cyberlink PowerDVD Linux should be able to run on a lot of distributions. The reviewer could have mentioned that there’s at least one really easy way of getting DVD support, apart from buying a Mac: Linspire Click & Run. The reviewer could also have given points for ease of locating software to install. The huge repositories of Linspire, SUSE, Mandrake could have gotten points. Especially faulting Linspire for difficulty of installing non-Click’n’Run software (for which it isn’t primarily meant) seems unfair. 2005-02-03 1:43 pm The very first program that interested me (Maxima) has two comments that say it doesn’t work. Out of 13 kliks, that’s a disturbingly high failure rate. I trust that other Klik packages manage to get the failure rate below 10%? 2005-02-03 1:51 pm Went there, read. Don’t see how it is simpler than what you find on Mac OS whatever number. It looks like exactly the same thing. Even if it was as simple as installing an app in Mac OS, wouldn’t you say that this is a huge improvement for Linux (again, not for system software, but for “extra” software)? I think the difference is that, IIRC, in Mac you can have a folder for the application, while here all is included into a single file. The very first program that interested me (Maxima) has two comments that say it doesn’t work. Out of 13 kliks, that’s a disturbingly high failure rate. I trust that other Klik packages manage to get the failure rate below 10%? You realize that this is a very recent development, right? People are still learning how to package apps for this, so you’ll need to be patient. Also, it only works for Debian-based systems, though one of the developers did say that they were approached by another big distro. 2005-02-03 2:05 pm Yeah… Except for my non-working ALSA with cyclic dependencies: apt-get install alsa-base Error: alsa-base requires alsa-tools >=x.x.x.x but it is not to be installed. apt-get install -f alsa-base Error: alsa-base requires alsa-tools >=x.x.x.x but it is not to be installed. apt-get install -f alsa-utils x.x.x.x Error: alsa-utils x.x.x.x requires alsa-base x.x.x.2, but it is not to be installed Makes me want to smash my head through the monitor. thank you: apt-get update apt-get dist-upgrade for killing every debian BASED system I’ve ever used knoppix mepis damn small linux ubuntu morphix only seems to work ok with debian itself (i guess that’s why people always say ONLY USE UPGRADE, and NOT SMART UPGRADE in synaptic.) They should make their own version of apt that removes this functionality. somehow KDE always seems to get hammered with libs being removed or not upgraded–but none more than alsa. 2005-02-03 3:09 pm Dood, I know that Dood is spelled dude. I use “dood” to express mild but good natured exasperation. I whip out Dude when I’m serious. So, that said: “And if you don’t know where a program gets installed or how to launch it after installation…I have 4 letters you should live by…RTFM.” Dude, which manual, WHERE? I assure you, there was NO manual inside the package the nice people at Ubuntu sent me. And if the manual is written anything like the supremely unhelpful written by an Alpha Geek for his fellow Alpha Geeks manual for tar, dude, it it might as well be written in KOREAN for all the good it does me. It *assumes* that you know all sorts of arcane *nix terminology. I have no problem RTFM. In fact, where I work for a living, a big part of my job duties is WRITING THE FRIKKIN MANUAL. However, I would like to say that anybody who read my little rant on install hell is laughing at your LVF ass. Your exit is over there on the left. 2005-02-03 4:43 pm Just looked it over and it does look rather nice, exactly like the Mac OS X way in fact. One file (in OS X that would be a folder with the bundle bit on so it acts like a single file to the user) that contains everything, so you run from anywhere you want, there is no install just drop it where you want to run from. 2005-02-03 5:03 pm once again tar –h examples for use are at the top. While I take my exit on the left, I will do so being able to install software and use tar to….oh my god…package and unpackage. How can I do these mysterious things? Is it some sort of black magic? Do I have a special hot-line to the gods of tar? Nope…I simply spent a little time and….OMFG D00D, here it comes….Read The Fucking Manual. Which can usually be found at the homepage of the app or by typing “man program_name” at a command line in the terminal of your choice, or if you have chosen. As for the Ubuntu Docs… http://www.ubuntulinux.org/support/documentation/ 2005-02-03 5:23 pm You realize that this is a very recent development, right? Of course. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s a great development, and I’m immensely pleased with it. It will make my life much, much easier, if only I can convince people to move to Debian-based distributions instead of !@#$ Red Hate. (Oops.) Thank you very much for pointing it out 🙂 2005-02-03 6:00 pm Am I just unable to find the right link, or does this site actually want me to pay for this review? 2005-02-03 6:22 pm yesterday it said it would be free for ‘a short period of time’. Looks like that’s up already! 2005-02-03 7:34 pm My grandma is a little blind. She use Linux it’s debian without login option….. she 19` monitor and…… Pine in xfce becouse it’s easier to teach using text system than teaching how to clic………….. and use firefox (with some zoom)thats all she needs needs of ENDUser are the most important 2005-02-04 1:53 am What about Amiga? Morph? Not REALLY “6” OSs reviewed… And everyone elses points were very valid here as well. 2005-02-04 2:43 am do i need to pay 9.95 usd to know whats the best os on the market? god sake, dont treat me like an idiot, i know what i use, i know the benefits and the cons, if this osnews.com will become pay per view crap, dont count with me. best regards 2005-02-06 9:43 am This article is written by the Australian Consumer Agency, a government-funded group. Despite the fact that these guys get a chunk of our tax dollars, they have decided they’d like more money from us, and are now selling this article. That’s right – this is not some NYT-like situation where you have to sign up for a free account just to read their article – you actually have to pay to get past the first page (And there’s little enough of substance there). Unless the ACA has paid OSNews.com to run this post on this site, I really think it should be removed. 2005-02-06 9:46 am Your yankee dollar is not the only currency in the world. It’s the *AUSTRALIAN* consumer agency website, you illiterate fool.