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A Linux User Goes Back

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the stuff-to-think-about dept.

Linux 1852

An anonymous reader says "A friend of mine recently switched to using Windows XP after three and a half years of Linux. I thought the community might benefit from reading his story. Even as a dedicated Linux user, I agree with many of his points. 'Unix on the desktop" has come along way in recent years, yet could still stand much improvement. It is no longer an issue of having a fancy GUI (KDE can't get much better), but rather the real problems lie in the foundation.' Some of his points are wrong, but it's a reasonable article.

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look ma! (-1, Offtopic)

rev_doc80 (578317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858178)

first post! (yeah RIGHT!)

MOD PARENT IN SOME FASHION! (-1)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858200)

Damn you! Now I will have to wait 6 hours for someone to post a new story to complete my hat trick! I'll probably get it on some pile of shit Katz writes.

::sigh:: I congratulate you, nonetheless. At least some fool AC did not receive the creamy goodness. I Agree With This Post.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858180)

fp

Re:fp (-1)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858193)

IM A SMARTY programming MAGICAL WIZARD GUY!!!!!111

RIP, Larry Augustin (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858181)

VA Software CEO/Founder Larry Augustin Dead at 39, Apparent Suicide

by ASSOCIATED PRESS [ap.org]

VA Software [vasoftware.com] (LNUX) [msn.com] CEO, president and founder Larry Augustin was found dead in his home in Fremont, Calif. early this morning. The death was an apparent suicide, caused by a close-range shotgun blast to the face and head. He was 39 years old.

Police reports indicate that strewn about the room in which Augustin carried out his fate were empty cartons of ramen noodles and discount bulk oat bags. His house was bare of any furniture or furnishings of any worth, and his garage which once held several classic cars was emptied.

An autopsy revealed several thousand VA Software stock certificates, neatly rolled and bundled, in Augustin's rectum. Police are investigating how the five-inch-wide bundle appeared in Augustin's lower intestine unlubricated without any sign of strain on his anal sphincter. Also discovered was an abnormally high concentration of dye in Augustin's bloodstream, which was determined to be the main component of "ledger red" ink.

VA Software, which at different times has been called VA Linux Systems, VA Linux and VA Systems, has seen financial difficulties of late. Most likely to be soon delisted from NASDAQ, the company shares a struggle for profitability with many other dot-bomb era corporations whose business plans include the line "???" directly before "PROFIT !!". VA Software child companies, such as geek weblog Slashdot.org [kuro5hin.org] and Star Wars fan site Sourceforge [sourceforge.net] have felt the pinch of the economic downturn.

Augustin is survived by his domestic partner and two adopted children.

FP (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858183)

FP for the CLIT

CLIT can rim me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858184)

Cabal of
Lower
Intestine
Tonguers

ASDF (-1)

This_Is_ASDF (587337) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858185)

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That should keep you guys.. (3, Funny)

djsable (257312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858189)

Ha!

that should keep you guys posting for days!

It's all about the games. (-1)

Troll Messiah (215206) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858194)

Heh, I switched back to Windows just because Minesweeper for Linux sucks.

Denial? (5, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858198)

Some of his points are wrong, but it's a reasonable article.

Isn't the first step denial??

I'm joking, I'm joking.

Actually, I'm surprised /. has posted this article. I'm impressed by the maturity of the staff to do so.

Now everyone else be mature and comment instead of flame, k?

Re:Denial? (3, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858241)

I'm impressed by the maturity of the staff to do so.

Come on, Josh. We all know maturity = agreesWithMe.

Joking, joking. ;)

Re:Denial? (0)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858243)

I'm sorry, but posting one semi-pro Windows story is hardly cause to raise Taco onto our shoulders. I think whatever maturity Malda and Co. exhibited is going to be overwhelmed completely by the "LiNuX is teh r0X0rZ! M$ suX0rZ!" posts sure to come out.

YOU'RE CORRECT SIR (0, Funny)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858269)

LiNuX is teh r0X0rZ! M$ suX0rZ!

Re:Denial? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858319)

While you may impressed, I certainly am not. Witness the smug "Some of his points are wrong" comment while providing *ZERO* counterpoints.

Woo Hoo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858199)

Windows Forever!

goes back in the closet? (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858206)

doesn't matter - once you have been taco snotted, you never go back. Just ask this guy [slashdot.org]

the other direction? (3, Interesting)

dirvish (574948) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858210)

If this guy switched from Linux to Windows XP what hope is there for me switching from XP to Red Hat like I have been trying to do? So far I have had problems with getting sound and printing to work on Linux and I havent' even tried to get my scanner or CDRW drive to work. The Linux communities' intentions are certainly in the right place but why does *nix have to be such a pain in the ass for workstation use.

Re:the other direction? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858233)

screw leeenooks - it's shit

Re:the other direction? (1)

Branc0 (580914) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858237)

Why does the community has to be a pain in the ass?

Well... that's problably the same reason that users are a pain in the ass to admins... you don't know why... they just are, still i love to be a sys admin :)

Re:the other direction? (-1)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858315)

HELLP ME!!!!111 my EMALE crax0rde ootlewk ecsrpes

Re:the other direction? (1)

dirvish (574948) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858326)

I said why does *nix have to be a pain in the ass. Not the community

Re:the other direction? (3, Insightful)

dhamsaic (410174) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858244)

why does *nix have to be such a pain in the ass for workstation use
It doesn't. http://www.apple.com/macosx

Re:the other direction? (2, Informative)

SiO2 (124860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858249)

Well, *nix doesn't have to be a pain in the ass. Go buy an Apple box with OS X on it. In my opinion, *nix doesn't get any easier than that. OS X is Apple at it's finest. Having problems with your peripherals under Red Hat? Apple has the whole plug-and-work thing nailed. You plug things in and, surprise, they just work!

Re:the other direction? (5, Insightful)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858268)

I would imagine in a lot of cases, especially for peripherals like scanners or printers, Windows users get drivers provided for free by the manufacturers, along with support in case something breaks, whereas a sizeable portion of Linux drivers are reverse-engineered with no help from the people who make the hardware (especially if the hardware folks want to keep their "proprietary" information locked up). A lot of times, the Open Source driver developers just have to make do with what they can get, and the functionality of the drivers suffer.

I've got a UMAX scanner that won't work under Linux because UMAX refuses to release either a driver or the specs. Printers are a hit-or-miss proposition for the same reason. However, I haven't had any problems with IDE CDRW drives or sound cards in a long time.

If you want to run Linux on the desktop, like I've been doing for about 4 years now, you just have to accept the fact that most hardware vendors are, at best, noncomittal about Linux support, and at worst downright hostile to it. So you really need to take more time planning for supported hardware, rather than expecting anything you can get off the shelves at Best Buy to work.

Another direction (4, Informative)

nullard (541520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858303)

I've used two mature UNIX desktops. One is Solaris (on Sparc). It works well and is useable if you don't mind the occaisional x11 hicoughs. Then there is Mac OS X. It is a real UNIX. It is much more stable, powerful, and easy to use than any version of Windows. Many of the problems people experience with x86 Linux and Windows are attributable to the poorly designed design x86 platform. It's understandably hard to write an OS for an amorphous platform like x86.

In any case, if you want UNIX on your desktop, your best bet by far is to get a Mac [apple.com] .

Re:the other direction? (4, Funny)

billnapier (33763) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858330)

From the fortune file:
Unix is very user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are.

Stupid users (4, Funny)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858212)

I had to laugh at this...

Stupid users don't doggedly stick at something for three and a half years, trying distribution after distribution in the hope of finding the holy grail of Linux desktops.

Hmmmm.... I don't know about that...

No no no no no (5, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858214)

Tell your friend that if you want to switch, you're supposed to go here:

http://www.apple.com/switch/ [apple.com]

not here:

http://www.microsoft.com/billgates/ [microsoft.com]

Friends don't let friends use XP.

Re:No no no no no (2, Insightful)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858256)

And spend yet more money on a machine? No thanks!

As a Windows user I'm a bit surprised. (4, Informative)

tshak (173364) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858215)

I'm a bit surprised he didn't go to Win2K. WinXP has some cool features, but unless the latest service pack really changed things, it feels very unpolished (read: Rushed to compete with OS X).

Re:As a Windows user I'm a bit surprised. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858264)

that and XP is ugly, so much fluff. i hate the colors and the 3d style bars. give me a win2k anyday, (or linux with kde which can be made to look different with ease)

Re:As a Windows user I'm a bit surprised. (1)

andrew_lewis (534971) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858328)

You can easily turn off all the 'fluff', when you do that it actually makes quite a nice OS (with ClearType!)

Re:As a Windows user I'm a bit surprised. (2)

sehryan (412731) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858349)

Actually, if you turn off all the fluff in XP, it looks and acts just like 2k, but with better hardware support.

Re:As a Windows user I'm a bit surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858362)

Compete with OS X? You believe that?

Really good points (1, Troll)

SpatchMonkey (300000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858216)

After reading through some of his points, I have to say I agree.

Unix on the desktop has been a complete disaster. I mean, they tried hard, but compared to the intellect and programming/designing skills at Microsoft, they didn't have a chance.

Remember, Microsoft puts money into actively researching this stuff. Guys who tap away at in their basements on an evening just can't compete.

Re:Really good points (2, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858304)

The Desktop ain't rocket science... It just takes time effort and experience to get it workng the way most people want it to. Ximian [ximian.com] is doing a pretty decent job at it and will only get better. I personally love the redcarpet feature for installing updates or new software. It just handles everything for you like it should.

I think this guy got into it too early and bailed at the wrong time. This is just the start of Linux on the desktop, before now nobody but a commited hacker could install and work with a linux desktop, now I think things are changing. Still could be better, but I would say things are in some ways better than the windows desktop. How many people install windows from scratch?

Linux just needs to come pre installed and pre configured on desktops and laptops, then we can start having some real fun.

Re:Really good points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858305)

tThat is very true. The problem with Open Source is it a relatively disorganized effort.

when your programmers are miles apart, just what can you do though?

Re:Really good points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858327)

I'm sorry, but there are too many zeros in your user ID --we are going to have to mark you as a troll.

ummmm... (0, Redundant)

jrg (98378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858217)

has the guy never heard of os x? or does he not want to get new hardware? it seems to me that os x is the best of both worlds.

james

Re:ummmm... (1)

stackdump (553408) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858298)

he mentioned osX in the article (itwasalink)

Re:ummmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858355)

Well maybe he doesn't want to pay ridiculous prices for Apple hardware?

Is it just me or are people side-stepping the real issue here: Linux is just not good enough for day-to-day use for (like the article said) Joe Average.

Yes, OS X is great and Windows 2000/XP are a whole lot better for the average user than Linux, but why don't you do something about Linux instead of bashing Microsoft (either directly or by pointing users to Apple)?

*BSD is dying by poopbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858218)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] [amdest.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying


- poopbot: providing truth in a deceitful world

Why Not Mac / OSX? (4, Interesting)

idonotexist (450877) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858222)

This user's wish:
I wanted something simple. I was getting tired of the 'stable' Debian release being so out of date, and the 'unstable' distribution being so... well... unstable. I got tired of having to recompile my kernel every time I got new hardware. I got tired of using command line to talk to my PC. It was time for a change.

I wouldn't be surprised if this guy, again, becomes frustrated with his OS because it sounds like he is looking for something that just works, is refined, and has new technology (wanted to use latest unstable Deb, didn't he?). Well, Win XP scores maybe 1/3 of that criteria. However, a Mac seems to fulfill 3/3 IMO. Sounds like a Mac / OSX user.

Re:Why Not Mac / OSX? (5, Insightful)

blakestah (91866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858317)

That is exactly where I kinda thought he was making it all up. I actually use Debian unstable at work, and upgrade regularly.

Yes, there have been about 2-3 hiccups per year, but it is really nothing that someone who can set up RedHat, Mandrake, Debian, and SuSE cannot handle pretty easily. The truth is that Debian unstable is still more stable than most other distros.

I also agree about Mac OS X. I would definitely check it out before going Microsoft. It can run Microsoft Office, and it has an X server (Darwin), and it makes multimedia trivial (especially, for me, simple home digital movies).

Other OS's? (0, Redundant)

micq (266015) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858225)

Linux was all you tried? You didn't try Mac OS X [apple.com] ?

I agree with you on Linux not being ready for the desktop, but I would have tried other things before going back to M$...

Umm... 'scuse me? (2)

Da VinMan (7669) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858339)

I will concede that Macs have their good points, but how is using a Mac ethically equivalent to using Linux? If you're using Linux, you're either doing it because it does something better than the rest or you're using it because you believe in the ideals of Open Source software.

Why do people use Macs? Because they like them. Why do people use Windows? Because they like it or don't care enough to look elsewhere. Using a Mac is no better than using Windows from an ethical standpoint because they're both offered by companies that would/have monopolize/d the market given the chance.

Aside from that, you disregard the fact that the author did not (to our knowledge) have a Mac around that could run OS X. Why should he go buy all new hardware just to run OS X? Does that make any sense?

Re:Other OS's? (1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858360)

Um. Most people aren't going to run out and buy all new hardware just to *try* a new OS.

Linux is not ready yet for Average Joe (1, Redundant)

i_luv_linux (569860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858230)

Linux may never become Windows replacement at all. The beauty of Linux is mostly because geeks can use it, change it anyway they want. Not that it is easy to use, but it is mostly possible to modify.

This story's interesting but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858234)

How about this one: A Gnutella protocol developer commits suicide [cnn.com] .

OS X (2, Informative)

kitzilla (266382) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858242)

His complaints mirror some of those from people I know who have migrated from Linux to Mac OS X. To me, that's a better play than a return to Perdition.

I sadly have to agree... (1)

pympdaddyc (586298) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858246)

Though I will continue to use Linux and BSD because I want to avoid becoming dependent or supporting M$, it is certainly true that I have spent more hours getting *nix systems up than I care to admit. (of which drivers is a major fraction)

Of course, there is an inherent beauty/comfort knowing that once I've gone through hell and back setting it up that I won't have to worry about it again for a long time (as opposed to Windows)

He's right about the fonts (5, Insightful)

geophile (16995) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858253)

KDE is beautiful. Browsers look horrible until you install xfstt and decent fonts (any distributions do this out of the box?). StarOffice and OpenOffice are decent enough. But those applications look absolutely horrible because of the fonts, and I haven't figured out how to get either to use TT fonts, even after setting up xfstt.

Imagine a marketroid given a linux box with email, a browser, and OpenOffice. He's going to absolutely hate it because of the fonts. I am a hard-core techie and I have a hard time looking at OpenOffice. But give the marketroid the same box with great-looking fonts and his tolerance for linux will go way up.

Fix the @#$%ing fonts!

Re:He's right about the fonts (5, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858329)

apt-get install msttcorefonts :)

They're something Microsoft got right, and you're free to use them, even on linux! I haven't looked at an ugly bitmapped font in over two years.

Re:He's right about the fonts (2)

geophile (16995) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858348)

But do you use OpenOffice? How do you get OpenOffice to use the tt fonts?

Re:He's right about the fonts (4, Informative)

gid (5195) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858342)

Under debian you can "apt-get install msttcorefonts" and have nice microsoft fonts that they provide, including arial, ahhh arial... Under other dists, you probably have to manually find them and install them the trutype way.

It is a royal pain in the ass to install a ttf under linux, it's not just copy it to the directory, you have to do all other retarded things, add it to config files, etc. Maybe that's because I don't have xfstt installed, and rely on X11's built in ttf support.

If you use the debian mozilla, it gives you the option to turn on antialiasing on install of mozilla... ahhhh much better, it's not too overdone, thank goodness...

Re:He's right about the fonts (2)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858384)

It just comes back to X11. It is great for what it was designed for. It was not, however, designed for the desktop. He's right, its ugly and slow. A local framebuffer that supported the latest hardware and had a good fontbuffer would do more for Linux than anything else would. I'd even pay for it.

will jamie ever go back (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858254)

to just buggering animals instead of molesting boys? I hope so.

This applies to business users also (5, Insightful)

chicagothad (227885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858255)

kNIGits says: "Mr Joe Average is someone who wants to install their OS, boot it up, and it works. He wants to be able to upgrade his PC , and have the hardware work in a few short minutes. He wants to read email, browse the web, talk to his mates online, and play some games."

How is this different than a business user or someone who works in desktop support (aside from the games part)? It isn't. Until this scenario can be neatly met by Linux, it will forever be a server OS.

If anyone out there is support an installation of over 1000 linux desktops I would like to know their experiences.

Re:This applies to business users also (2, Informative)

mocm (141920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858364)

Mr. Joe Average doesn't install his OS. If he would there would be even more complaining about M$.

Best Point (5, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858260)

The greatest point he makes is that, although there are plenty of gurus willing to help newbies with simple questions, there are even more elitests that will either flame your question or give you a "RTFM!"

I say, if you are friendly and willing to help newbies, answer their questions. If you want to flame, or send a RTFM, stay silent. If they don't get an answer, they'll eventually look their, anyway.

Elitests are the biggest weakness of Linux.

Re:Best Point (2)

pgpckt (312866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858340)


I agree fully. I can't tell you how many times I have gone to various Linux chat rooms for help, only to be flammed for my choice of distro (Red Hat).

For crying out loud, it's all Linux! Don't berate your fellow Linux user!

Re:Best Point (2)

bilbobuggins (535860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858367)

actually, the problem isn't elitists saying RTFM it's not enough people realizing that TMFB or The Manual F*cking Blows

A subtle point that is missing (5, Insightful)

hubie (108345) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858272)

One point the person in the article seems to miss is that he clearly was into chasing the latest distributions whenever they came out, as he seemed to have jumped up the Mandrake/Redhat/Debian releases when they came out, and he even seemed to run the unstable releases too. In the Windows world you don't get to do this much at all (except for installing the security fixes and extra clipart upgrades). It sounds like that a good deal of his problems would go away if he stayed with a distribution when it stopped giving him problems just like if he sticks to WinXP for the next few years.

Holy bat-Loonix-troll, Batman! (2, Funny)

Robinn (590048) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858273)

Golly, it looks as though there's trouble once again in Gotham! Someone appears to have assembled a variation on the tried-and-true Lunix troll and gotten it posted to the front page of Slashdot!

He remembers to point out that X is slow, that Windows problems can be fixed with "a point and a click," and even throws in some prime bait about driver support and stability in Windows XP.

Re:Holy bat-Loonix-troll, Batman! (2, Funny)

Batmann (590046) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858372)

Good sighting, Robin. Lunix trolls have long been a problem in this area, and we can't take this too seriously.

If we build up a collection of pro-Linux rants, find some anecdotal (and likely apocryphal) evidence of Linux's superiority on the desktop, and manage to execute a few well-timed jabs at "Micro$oft," we might yet be victorious.

Re:Holy bat-Loonix-troll, Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858374)

Perhaps when these issues are no longer valid then these "trolls" will stop. This kind of feedback is invaluable to the community. It is the kind of information that companies like M$ and A$$le pay good money for. And here it is for free. If the community knows about the issues, then why haven't they been addressed, and if not, well, they can now address them.

Re:Holy bat-Loonix-troll, Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858383)

So wait - he's a troll because what he states is TRUE?

Linux is a great OS but *IS NOT* for the novice desktop user.

some advice for your "friend" (1)

macsox (236590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858274)

here's a little bsd based os that i ran across the other day -- seems pretty stable: Puma / Jaguar [apple.com]

Hear, hear! (2, Insightful)

ishamael69 (590041) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858276)

"...I haven't completely abandoned the Linux community. My home server still runs Mandrake, and IPCop on my gateway/firewall. There is no way I'd ever put any form of Windows on my server, nor would I ever connect a Windows PC directly to the internet without a *NIX gateway in between. Microsoft has a history of poor security, so I protect myself the only way I know how; using Linux. I will continue to advocate the use of GNU/Linux in the server arena. This is where its strength lies at the moment."

I am the only IT at my company, and all of our workstations run XP. Why is this? Because,

1. The software we need runs well on them.
2. Our users (not extremely computer literate) have problems, at times, doing things in Windows. How could I ever expect them to run Linux?

I run various flavors of boxen, but only on our servers or at home. I do not believe that Linux can hang with the ease of use of Windows.

Sure, Linux might be a better all around OS, but if it adds training time and cost to our infrastructure, it comes out to be much less useful than letting our employees run Windows with almost no training.

Why I use Linux (4, Insightful)

BlueFall (141123) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858280)

I use Linux (and various kinds of Unix) for the interface. I detest the mouse. Clicking all over the place is much too slow for my tastes. Clicking alternated with typing is even worse.

Tab completion is one of my favorite interface inventions ever.

Just my opinion.

Re:Why I use Linux (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858380)

XP has tab completions.

Bingo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858282)

Well I think M$ has found a spokesman for their booth at LinuxWorld. Now if this guy was a hot chick this would be perfect...

Subjective reposting at its finest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858284)

Some of his points are wrong, but it's a reasonable article.

Is this what /. commentors talk about when they mention the editorial staffs' maturity and ability to objectively report the news (wrt. Blizzard v Bnetd, etc.)??

Sheesh, try a mac (1)

Rantastic (583764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858286)

If he wanted a killer unix on the desktop, he should have bought a new Mac instead of that MS crap. Right and left, people are switching [apple.com] to macs from Windows, linux, and ??... Or so Apple would have us believe.

if he wanted the perfect desktop OS (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858287)

why didn't he just use BeOS. His main concerns seem to be ease of use, attractive interfaces, stability and cost. Be got good marks in all those areas. If he had really done his homework about OS's, he should have come across BeOS.

It's all true. (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858290)

Linux on the desktop still needs some serious work before it can become mainstream.

Linux on a server, that's a different story. :-)

Sad.. (1)

RumorControl (82735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858294)

"Hear now my sad tale of why Linux isn't suitable for my desktop."

My standard response to anyone who complains about computers, even Macs

*YAWN* .. go buy a Mac.

"his points are wrong"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858297)

Wow, talk about bias! jhc...

"A friend of mine recently switched (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858302)

to using Windows XP." Ahh, it's nice that you have retarded friends. They really are special folks.

Good points, but why? (2)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858308)

The article makes good points, all of which are pretty common knowledge. All of the points, with the exception of replacing X though are pretty easily done.

Here's the thing though: nobody's doing them. Could someone write a package manager that hid all of the "critical" packages? Sure. Could someone write something to autodetect hardware, recompile or add a module for hardware? Yeah.

People that write for Linux don't though, because they don't want it. People don't need it. Linux isn't an OS for your mom or your gandmother. It's an OS for elitist nerdy shmucks who code a little and want to dabble with their OS.

oh wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858310)

Truly interesting*.
*-not truly interesting

by the way your lameness filter is retarded.

Why I shifted to OS X (3, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858316)

You know, I had the same problems with Linux on the desktop - I like it as a server, but many desktop pieces are just a pain in the ass to do. (Change screen resolutions, get some games running, etc).

I went to OS X because I wanted the power of Unix - but I didn't want the hassle - I wanted to be able to enter rm por[TAB] and ln -s and all the stuff I'm used to - but if I want to pop in Warcraft III, I want it to run, not try and figure out why Mesa3D isn't configured right for my video card.

But that's me. Like I said, I still like Linux on the server side, but it just drove me crazy on the desktop.

Max Os X (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858321)

for all you people saying "how about max os X".

i would love to switch, oh wait, they dont have it for x86. too bad. im not about to buy a mac to run their OS.

i see no purpose in buying a mac. why pay more for a mac when i can build a computer myself for FAR less than a mac and quite a bit less than a Dell or other pc mfg

anyone know what the hell the internet has to do with iDVD. or any of their other stupid names.

EH (4, Insightful)

sehryan (412731) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858322)

Some of his points aren't wrong, they are just different from yours.

The problems: fonts and X (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858323)

It looks like the big problems are fonts and X-Windows. I'm surprised that Red Hat hasn't gone through everything and fixed the font situation. That's just grunt work; there's no problem doing it. (Are there any other major commercial Linux companies left?)

X-Windows is an idea that sucked over a decade ago, and it hasn't improved much since. The whole concept, dumb graphics terminals tied to application servers, is obsolete. The problem is that it's marginally good enough that it hasn't been replaced on Linux by a better windowing architecture. More than anything else, X is the boat-anchor of Linux.

/dev/null (1)

jiminim (104910) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858324)

"Flames will be automatically sent to the Windows equivalent of /dev/null, once I find where that actually is."

Linux:
mv big_meanie_spammer /dev/null
OR
mv bi TAB /d TAB n TAB

Windows EZ:
Locate mouse pointer
Find big_meanie_spammer
Drag it to Recycle Bin
Click "Yes I am absolutely sure I want to delete this file"
Empty Recycle Bin
Reboot

Similar Story (1)

Junky191 (549088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858325)

I did a similar thing after after spending close to three weeks trying to get the drivers functioning properly for my GeForce2 under Redhat. After wandering Nvidia's site, half a dozen forums, and newsgroups every day for this amount of time, I swore off of ever using Linux again until they have a straightforward, simple way to get 99% of video cards working. To me a machine without a working video card is like a car without the wheels, and every distro needs to have them working on install. 2000 works much better for me now, although I do miss building things from source. oh no wait...

But we want to! (5, Insightful)

hansendc (95162) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858333)

One of the overriding things that I hear over and over when people compare Linux to Windows is how they don't want to mess with the configuration, the want it to just work.

Linux is an OS for those who want to mess with their computers. It is for those of use who desire the largest amount of control possible and pull our hair out every time they click Start->Settings->Control Panel->Something Simple.

I want to have to recompile my kernel because I like knowing exactly what I'm getting. It isn't enough to just tolerate Linux's differences, you should embrace them! If you don't, Linux probably isn't the OS for you.

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858344)

I have to agree with this guy. I'm using Redhat and FreeBSD both at home and am REALLY trying to like them. It's been over a year for me and I just hate having to search for 30 mins + to find out how to enable a device. It was probably 3 months before I figured out how to install applications correctly. I've got a mail server, DNS, Apache, etc working but have all kinds of trouble with things like Samba, X-server, firewall, etc. Having all of this makes both machines crash just as often as my 2K workstation. I'm sure it's over 1/2 configuration errors...but that's the whole point. Why so hard?

This guy is right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858345)

Here's my view of the current situation:

Microsoft
Microsoft has a few fatal problems: the software registry (makes programs unstable, makes them hard to move around), proprietary data formats (Word, Exchange, etc), mono-corporate impulses (DRM, WMP, etc).

If, in a perfect world, one could resolved the effects of those Microsoft-isms in their OS, it would be much better off. The lack of a real command line is still really sad.

Apple
Apple is kind of like the MS above without the worst of those strange corporate impulses. However, they came out with their snazzy OS, but released it two years before it was really done. It's a little cruel, but launching a polished OS is a hard thing to do, and at least they got it out the door -- BeOS is gone, natch.

Unfortunately, their hardware lock-in suffers because: the economy went sour; their CPU chips could be faster.

Still, it's what I fantasize about running if, well, I wasn't f*cking unemployed.

Linux
It's the Right Thing to do, but as a desktop OS, it sucks rocks. Headless servers, 2u rack boxes, etc -- it shines. KDE and GNOME both suck, and since they still can't get cut-n-paste to work properly, it still leaves me in tears. I've had my Compaq laptop for over a year (first mistake) -- it shipped with ACPI instead of APM and Linux is still not close enough to supporting this. Imagine! 1 year old hardware that I can't properly run Linux on. W2K, WinME and WinXP all support it. Where's the community advantage here?

Compromise
My compromise of late has been to run open source software on my XP laptop and RH on my server. I get the urge to play with GNOME/XIMIAN on my RH server on occasion, and it doesn't leave me too happy.

keep in mind... (1)

Illandir (514613) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858347)

This is a story about the difficulties of him handling linux as a desktop OS. At the end of the article he states that he still uses Linux for his servers.

As far as using it for desktops, he's right - Linux does not make for a happy relaxation box, unless you're trying to impress someone... and people usually are.

Here we go (2)

mfos.org (471768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858350)

chuck@debian:~$ exec re-linux Tony Collins

Tracking Tony Collins ....
Subject Found

Initiating Microsoft Deprogramming Unit
Deployed

Deprogramming Subject ........

Deploying Linux Attack Monkey Squad
Deploying Alan Cox

Subject Retruned

----------------------

Remeber, L.A.M.S - saving Linux one user at a time

This guy deserves an award. (-1, Insightful)

RTFA Man (578488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858351)

A troll posted on the front page of Slashdot. Well done. And he even tossed "Three dead trolls in a baggie" into the story. Schweet.

redhat 7.3 is much easier than the old days (1)

calarts_nutmeg (545745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858356)

Well, he does have a point, it did used to be that you really had to be a programmer on some level to use linux. But, when you get over the fear of programming, it takes very little skill, just enough to run ./configure; make; make install; to compile most programs from code. Also, Sharp's Zaurus is super easy to use, and the .ipk packages are also dead on easy to use. I also had a great experience installing rehat 7.3 on my laptop. In the past I actually burned out my video card trying to get xwindows to work, back in '98, but recently with Suse 8.0 and Redhat 7.3 thibgs are getting much, much easier for newbies. I don't actually code much c/c++, don't know assembler, most of the programming that goes into using linux can be done with bash scripts. Once you have some knowledge of the basic command line utilites and bash, you're really good to go. I know it is a struggle, and I do miss some win software like acid pro, protools, but good alternatives are sprouting up every day and the momentum behind multimedia linux is growing every day.

OT: /dev/null equivalent in Windows (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858358)

I just found this out the other day, and it's not really too useful, but there is a file that exists in every Windows directory called "nul". I'm not sure exactly how it functions, but I know that if you > stuff to it, nothing happens. I found it when I needed a way for my login script to test if a user's directory exists. Once I roll out ActiveState Perl to all my user's, I'll definitely be rewriting the script in Perl... it's so much easier. :)

slashdot infiltration team (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858365)

It seems that MSFT's slashdot infiltration team has reached a new level of sophistication.

Their AC emulator has reached the point in evolution where it is able to fool even CmdrTaco.

Breath of Fresh Air (2, Insightful)

quakeroatz (242632) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858371)

What an excellent article, I'm so glad /. had the balls to post this. One thing he left out, GAMEs.

Games run slow on Linux when compared to win32. They also crash more often, integrate poorly and often result in full system lockups (can't even magic sysreq).

As much as I love Linux, it's far behind windows as a gaming OS.

I agree (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3858377)

I went through a very similar experience and now use Linux/BSD for server related tasks only. I still have high hopes for Linux on the mainstream desktop, however there are some very big hurdles that MUST be overcome first.

We desperately need a SINGLE desktop environment. Though I adore the simplicity of GNOME I'm going to have to lean toward KDE simply because of its maturity and polish.

We desperately need some type of software package management. Compiling from source or installing RPM's can simply not be asked of a user. I will always compile from source everything I have, but not for the average user by any means.

We have to do some changes to X, don't ditch X, just modify it. Freetype needs to mature as well. My fonts in X as compared to Windows don't compete even with antialiasing, sub pixel rendering and using the exact same TTF fonts at the same DPI and font size. They still look different and worse in X.

That's the other thing. I'm surprised how little people are aware of proper DPI settings in X. I have mine set to 96, the same as in XP. Way better than a default install. We need some MAJOR automation in X installations/detections.

Even if all this is done, we need to develop some type of API for manufacturers to port their drivers over. Perhaps if the above are done, they'll come over anyway. So far it's been a steady climb which I hope continues.

He makes some good points... (2, Insightful)

djsable (257312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3858378)

I read through the whole thing, and like the other poster, I am impressed that /. actually posted this. Probably so they could hang the Heretic out to burn, and poke him with sticks, but it was posted regardless.

Some of the points I thought were very telling were:

- Elitism: This is a real big turn-off for the casual user. No one likes to feel inferior, and the attitude of the average Linux user in my experience has been one of uber-litism, or condescending as hell. Not a good way to bring people into the fold for sure. Get off your high horses people. :)

- Ease of installation: One nice thing about windows, and mac is the semi standard interface for installers. you seen one you seen them all, eh? That helps a casual user of linux (is there such a thing?) get from point A to point B with out really worrying about what happens in between.

- Server vs. Desktop: before you totally roast this guy, keep in mind he is still using Linux for its real strength, Server. Linux on the desktop has LOOONG way to go, and this is a good example of why, and what it needs to address. So, after you guys finish torching this guy, stop and think about what he said. There needs to be some big strides in USABILITY for linux. The average user just can't use linux, he needs to spend a lot of effort to figure things out, while that can be fun, its not the real aim of the software. You don't want to spend tons of effort on the process, as opposed to using the software you aquired for some purpose.

Linux has come a long way, but its got a long way to go. I'm sure I'll get a few flames, but these are my opinions, and I'm sticking to them.

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