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Windows User Experiments With Linux for 10 Days

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 9 years ago | from the user-gets-a-gnu-perspective dept.

Windows 1259

An anonymous reader writes "Clarence Ladson over at Flexbeta decided to kick Windows to the curb for 10 days in an experiment to find out just how hard it would be to 'quit cold turkey' and move entirely to Linux. It's amazing how many day-to-day operations require the inadvertent use of Windows in our daily lives."

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Article Summary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368201)


Necessary Evil (5, Insightful)

kkirk007 (304967) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368205)

As much as we all hate it, we have to keep Windows around for some necessary things.

If nothing else, then at least to play a lot of our games.

Re:Necessary Evil (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368223)

that and the fact that most of my pornos are in .wmv format.

Re:Necessary Evil (3, Informative)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368235)

dude, win32codecs. it can handle many types of files other than the ones you're interested in.

Re:Necessary Evil (2, Informative)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368246)

that and the fact that most of my pornos are in .wmv format.

Never trust pornos in .wmv format. They are almost always used for licence downloading, popups, short clips, or all three. .Mpgs are generally longer, less obtrusive, and totem plays them more easily.

Re:Necessary Evil (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368344)

You, sir, obviously have no knowledge of pr0n, and the fact you were modded to 3 shows that the /. crowd seem to be going on pr0n less often. WMV is smaller than other formats. That's about the only difference as far as any pr0n-go'er is concerned. This comes from the guy that has more pr0n files than you've got atoms in your body.

Re: Necessary Evil (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368364)

> that and the fact that most of my pornos are in .wmv format.

FYI, mplayer plays .wmvs on Linux.

Re:Necessary Evil (-1, Troll)

DoktorTomoe (643004) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368228)

I've said this for about 7-10 years now ...

If you wanna play games, go get a console. Computers are for serious work.

Besides, Solitaire runs just fine under Wine, not speaking of the countless clones.

Re:Necessary Evil (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368285)

If you wanna play games, go get a console.

I was round a friend's house the other weekend, and she fired up Halo 2 on her XBox, and I was struck with how primitive the graphics look. Sure, an XBox is a damn sight cheaper than my PC, but I can see why.

Computers are for serious work.

You elitist snob - my computer is for whatever I choose to use it for, and I'll not have anyone tell me different.

Re:Necessary Evil (5, Funny)

wfberg (24378) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368372)

Computers are for serious work.

You elitist snob - my computer is for whatever I choose to use it for, and I'll not have anyone tell me different.

Ok ok, let me rephrase that on behalve of the grand-parent poster; computers are for serious work AND porn.

Re:Necessary Evil (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368295)

i can't tell if you're a dick or have a dry sense of humor

Re:Necessary Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368351)

Grandpa? Is that you?

Re:Necessary Evil (1)

UserGoogol (623581) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368361)

Everquest is serious business.

Re:Necessary Evil (4, Interesting)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368231)

I don't use microsoft at home or at work. the last time I used windows was when I fixed my fiance's laptop. MacOSX at home, Linux at work. Bada bing.

Re:Necessary Evil (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368238)


You do not need windows to play games. You may need windows to play games designed to run on Windows though. But if you're dumping windows, you no longer have a need for those games.

Linux, as it exists today, is a philosophical choice. I'm not supporting Redmond or any of the companies that butter their bread using that damnable product.

Re:Necessary Evil (1)

jolar (905312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368239)

As much as we all hate it, we have to keep Windows around for some necessary things.

Who's we?

I have NOTHING that I need Windows for. My only exposure to Microsoft Windows is at work.

The games I care about work fine under Linux.

Re:Necessary Evil (1, Interesting)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368253)

I agree. I use windows. Alot of /.ers use windows. Most of my geek friends use windows. The only thing anyone of my geek friends have ever used Linux for, is to Tinker with an OS that gives you complete control of your Computer. The only problem with windows, is that it is designed for the Average User. Windows does alot of the System work for you, so you can do school work, and Work work. There are ways around the security of windows. It just takes some study. Linux is awesome cuz it's open source, meaning, it's what ever the user can make with it. Windows is awesome, because it's already done being made.

Re:Necessary Evil (5, Funny)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368276)

What ever are you on about?

Windows is awesome, because it's already done being made.

Which is why there is Windows 95, 98, 98 2nd edition, 2000, 2003, XP, NT, 2003 gold enterprise server plus pack edition 2, endless huge service packs.

I also gotta ask, what kind of geek friends do yu have that only use Linux to "Tinker with an OS that gives you complete control of your Computer" Sheesh, you gotta get some better geek friends dude!

Re:Necessary Evil (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368256)

> As much as we all hate it, we have to keep
> Windows around for some necessary things.

Who is "we"? Speak for yourself if you want, but I have *never* owned a Windows computer; I've been using Unix-like systems exclusively since 1988, and before then it was CP/M.

Re:Necessary Evil (5, Interesting)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368305)

Which games are those? I migrated to Linux a year ago for my sole desktop PC and rarely look back. I play the following on a regular basis in Linux:

World of Warcraft (emulated, faster)
Unreal Tournament 2004 (native, faster)
Neverwinter Nights (native, slower)
Warcraft 3 (emulated, slower)

The only game that has tempted me back towards Windows lately has been Battlefield 2, and that should be working in Linux soon.

Re:Necessary Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368314)

As much as we all hate it, we have to keep Windows around for some necessary things.


That's simply not true for everybody. I use Windows when I'm fixing other people's computers. Other than that, I have no use for it myself, so I use Linux.

If you're a game player, sure, you're likely to have different requirements. But not everyone is.

Re:Necessary Evil (4, Insightful)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368316)

As much as we all hate it, we have to keep Windows around for some necessary things.

Just because I don't use Windows that often doesn't mean I hate it. In fact, I don't even dislike it, I really have no problem with most of Microsoft's software. I don't entirely agree with their business tactics, but I give them credit for making software that is easy to use to even casual users.

Most people I run in to that claim they hate Windows are those who are really just frustrated with the OS because they don't spend the time to learn what exactly it is that they are doing. I'm sure many of the /. readers here would agree, Windows is a great OS for those people who don't have a significant amount of time to learn about open source alternatives such as Linux. You don't really think your grandmother wants to spend weeks learning how to read her email on Linux do you? If they just want normal day-to-day tasks, like reading email or the latest news, go with Windows -- there's nothing wrong with that.

However, I think this idea of dedicating a reasonable amount of time to attempting to learn how to use Linux is a great idea (if of course you have the time and you are genuinely interested). Not to say all the people who participate will stick with it after their ten day trial, but some of them may enjoy the system and either continue to use it on their spare time, to take what they've learned to the Windows community. I'd like to see more programs like this, and less about "schools completely switching to Linux". If you force someone to switch to a more advanced environment when they may not have been comfortable with using a more user friendly one, that's really not going to give you the results you are aiming for. People will become frustrated and lose interest, probably destroying any consideration of looking into the alternative in the future.

No we don't (2, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368328)

If you just decide not to use windows again, like i did back in 2000, and just not look behind, you can do it. I don't require windows for anything, I try not to use proprietary software, and when extremly needed, there is wine ...

Re:Necessary Evil (2, Insightful)

auctoris (888249) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368377)

Windows is most definitely not necessary. I have owned personal computers since 1984 (yes, started with the C64), and I have *never* owned a Windows machine. Currently I use OS X at home and we use OS X exclusively at my workplace. The only reason I have ever heard to justify the absolute *necessity* of Windows is that other people are using it. So if you want to make Windows unnecessary, just stop using it. :-)

10 days? (3, Funny)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368208)

Why stop there? Except for work, not using MS software is pretty much my life. Work, OTOH, I'm working on defenstration. Should be easier once I'm in management.

Now, if only that were likely. :)

Re:10 days? (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368230)

Work, OTOH, I'm working on defenstration.

While I don't have this particular problem, I imagine having to use Windows at work everyday would make me want to jump out a window. Or, if I was thinking more clearly at the time, throw the computer out the window.

Re:10 days? (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368240)

Or, if I was thinking more clearly at the time, throw the computer out the window.

You can see a window from where you sit? I'm jealous. :)

Re:10 days? (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368254)

I'm not sure what things the blurb poster was talking about, but I use OSX, Solaris and Ubuntu for my desktops at home and work EXCLUSIVELY and Debian on my production server on the west coast. The only thing Windows does for me is play my games - which I barely even do anymore anyway.

So seriously, what's so great about windows that linux or OSX can't do for you (obviously solaris isn't as geared to a few of these things, but still...)? Calendaring? Email? Managing your website? Writing letters and documents and spreadsheets? Personal wikis? Photo albums? Dinky little flash games? Instant messaging? Watching movies? Listening to music? Making music? Coding? P2P/Bit Torrent?

Exactly what is there that you can't do on a non windows box?

Re:10 days? (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368310)

OT, but your post reminded me that I wanted to ask some Ubuntu users their opinions of the distro -- I've just created a journal entry on that topic if you care to contribute. TIA.

Re:10 days? (4, Insightful)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368335)

Play "Blue Screen of Death" and "Guess Which Driver Is Causing A Problem Today."

Today the Microsoft database index at work ate itself and I'm waiting seven hours for it to re-index a couple of million documents. I said to one of the guys trying to fix things, "How come every time you guys tell me something bad it begins with the word 'Microsoft?'"

already /.ed (2, Informative)

Hank Chinaski (257573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368209)

not one comment >+2 and already /.ed :(

Re:already /.ed (2, Funny)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368220)

Not a Linux server? ;)

Re:already /.ed (3, Insightful)

vcv (526771) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368250)

Funny you say that.. because it is a linux server.

Re:already /.ed (1)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368252)

Pay /. some money and get the articles early to avoid dissapointment.

Re:already /.ed (1)

MentalMooMan (785571) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368274)

Not new (1)

TarryTops (888130) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368210)

people have been doing this for years. Trying linux I meant. It's time to force users at work to dump windows and use linux. At the rate where AJAX in taking off and windows apps are beingreplaced by web apps, so it won't matter which OS you use. Force users for linux! Yeaahhh!

Re:Not new (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368225)

Forcing Linux on users really fits in with the open-source mentality of choice.

Re:Not new (1)

TarryTops (888130) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368303)

Absolutely! Same applies to an ailing patient, forcing medicine saves his/hers life!

Re:Not new (1)

soma_0806 (893202) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368354)

This is hardly "forcing" Linux on anyone. It's someone taking a step many computer users would regard as scary and letting the general public know what happened.

Even taken to its most extreme, this could be considered little more than a challenge of, "Try it, it might not be as hard as you think. You might even like it." This perfectly embodies the spirit of open source. Linux being free allows one to truly try out and experiment with a new Windows-free environment without a financial investment. This could never legally be done with certain other OSes (you know who you are).

Also, the fact remains that a lot of people are still super intimidated by straying from the familiar. Seeing others do it (especially some student that was obviously pretty Windows dependant) even for 10 days, dispells some of the intimidation factor.

Wow (3, Funny)

Saiyine (689367) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368211)

There is a problem with the database that is preventing the site from working.

Looks like that a database is one of those windows-only thi
Dreamhost [dreamhost.com] superb hosting.
Kunowalls!!! [kunowalls.host.sk] Random sexy wallpapers.

Crap! (1)

Saiyine (689367) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368248)


Dreamhost [dreamhost.com] superb hosting.
Kunowalls!!! [kunowalls.host.sk] Random sexy wallpapers.

Only 10 days? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368221)

It takes at least five days to even get Linux installed!

Re:Only 10 days? (1)

ninboy (882101) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368284)

not everyone does a gentoo stage 1 install ;P

And In Other News.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368222)

Flexbeta gets slashdotted within 7.549 seconds after post...

Myth TV? (2, Interesting)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368224)

I had no idea Myth TV was so darn good. Does anybody know if theire is a 'plug'n'play' (umm, too many ' there and yeah, I hate that term too) Myth TV distros out there, something that just does Myth TV and nothing else? That would be pretty cool. Back to the real article, I have been using Linux for my main boxes for years now (Since umm, 1995ish) and converted from Windows, erm, 3.1 Hell, it's (Linux) moved on since then. I'd be interested in a similar article about somebody who switched from Windows to OSX (on anything).

Re:Myth TV? (0, Offtopic)

twicesliced (909083) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368270)

Anand of AnandTech's experience [anandtech.com] with Tiger.

I kicked Windows to the Curb, too! (2, Interesting)

FFFish (7567) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368227)

And replaced it with a BSD-based operating system, ie. a Unix-like system. It's called "Darwin."

It comes with a kick-ass graphical interface, too. You might have heard of it: OS X.

I can't imagine encountering any need for anything microsoft again. Their office suite is more than replaced by NeoOffice/OpenOffice. Their browser has always been a joke, so I use Opera. And... well, I can't think of anything Microsoft might have that I would wish to use. I simply don't trust them at all for anything involving email or other internet use, I don't play games, and I wouldn't run their server if you paid me. What else is there?

Microsoft: Offering Nothing For A Lot.

Re:I kicked Windows to the Curb, too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368258)

At least, on Linux, you can use the excellent OpenOffice.org..
On MacOSX, the own website of NeoOffice says that NeoOffice is nowhere near Microsoft Office. I wonder who will be crazy enough to use such advertised product on a production desktop.
Oh wait. actually i don't know anyone who do.

oh noes, no openoffice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368327)

whatever shall we do without a second-rate office suite?

Re:I kicked Windows to the Curb, too! (2, Informative)

croddy (659025) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368290)

if having some BSD networking code and userspace tools makes OS X "BSD-based", then by god, OS/2 is also "BSD-based" -- and there's a damn good argument that Linux is "BSD-based".

the Darwin kernel is based on Mach [wikipedia.org] .

Most Apple people I know also want MS (1)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368319)

*Most* people I know with OSX machines also have to use MS Word, Excel or Entourage on a daily basis. Not *all*, but most (more than 50% of the Mac users I know) fit into this category. They remind me of Mrs. Avery on the PJs, talkin about she "don't need nothing from nobody, as long as she got her welfare, her medicare, her disability, her social security and her food stamps!"

Maybe it's not an apt comparison, but I still think of that scene (and wonder where the heck the PJs went! That was a great show!) :)

Re:I kicked Windows to the Curb, too! (4, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368331)

Disclaimer: I use OS X, and openoffice.

There is NO WAY IN HELL NeoOffice/J or OpenOffice replace the MS office suite. No matter what people claim, they still break plenty of office docs that get emailed to me, and forget about replacing powerpoint. Apple's Keynote does a pretty good job but isn't anywhere near as feature-filled as powerpoint. I try to use alternate software as much as possible, but I keep a copy of MS office installed too.

And there's still the occasional app I run on my windows box at home that just doesn't have a replacement on OS X. I love my mac, but we're a long way from a M$-free world.

Re:I kicked Windows to the Curb, too! (5, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368380)

I'm not touching MS Office in part because I can't pay for it and I'm not going to do this copyright infringement thing.

I think it would be hypocritical of myself (and others) if I / they complain about GPL infringement when the complainers themselves don't care that they themselves are committing acts of infringement themselves.

gone already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368232)

One comment and it's inaccessible already.

Wow... (4, Informative)

Matilda the Hun (861460) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368234)

I didn't get past the first page yet (slashdotted), but it would appear that this is...stupid. One, from his references of going to school, this is still a student. Two, his mentions of "using windows whether we know it or not" basically come down to one, the ATM which may or may not have embedded Windows. All of his other examples aren't things that most normal people have, let alone people who chose linux over windows (a Windows CE palm? a Windows Media Center connected TV?). I call possible bull.

Re:Wow... (1)

martalli (818692) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368332)

Most ATMs run OS/2. I don't know if another OS
has supplanted OS/2 yet, but I know my local ATM
runs OS/2. Twice, the thing has rebooted while I
was trying to enter my PIN...and the (once familiar)
OS/2 boot screen appears...too bad I didn't have
my camera at the time...

Re:Wow... (1)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368333)

the ATM which may or may not have embedded Windows.

I know for a fact that Wells Fargo ATMs run Windows. Back in April I ran into the bank to get some cash, and I saw both ATMs stuck in the NT4 blue boot screen. Apparently, that branch had had an overnight power outage long enough for the UPSs to fail, and their servers were still down at one the following afternoon while they verified integrity.

Re:Wow... (5, Interesting)

Daimaou (97573) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368337)

That's funny. I worked at Microsoft a few years ago (2000-ish).

I remember the bank tech coming in one day to service the ATM machine in the cafeteria. As it booted up, you could see the OS/2 logo. I asked him about it and he kinda mumbled that he tried not to let people see that.

Re:Wow... (1)

flokemon (578389) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368350)

I really did enjoy the ATM reference to be honest.
It reminded me of one bank's ATMs a couple of years ago. They'd just changed their systems, and there was one near my house that had a bad habit of crashing: you would just see a Windows NT desktop, and nothing responded.
I will not be doing online banking with them.

Coral link (4, Informative)

JavaRob (28971) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368236)

This technically isn't working at the moment, because the site is well and truly hosed... but PLEASE only try this link instead of hitting the main one, and eventually it will recover:

coralized link [nyud.net]

Future submitters: PLEASE PLEASE use coralized links! It's easy -- just add .nyud.net:8090 to the domain name.

Re:Coral link (4, Funny)

Lord Haha (753617) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368267)

Just wait I managed to copy the text of the article....

  There is a problem with the database that is preventing the site from working.

An email has been sent to the administrator notifying them of the problem. Please try again later.

-> Hum must have went back to Windows and blue screened.

Re:Coral link (4, Informative)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368304)

Unfortunately, Coral only seems to have cached the error message about the database not being available, but here's the Google cache [] of the page. It's text only (naturally, since Google doesn't cache the images), but at least it allows you to read the article.

Almost totally.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368237)

Seeng how the site is down, I figured I could insert my comment about using linux exclusivley.

I use Linux for everything now except for games, which will end soon (hopefully). Every game I play on a regular basis I can run through Cedega. The only time I have to switch to windows is at a LAN party.

Everything else I can get by with Linux.

I also kicked windows... (1)

big.iron.wiz (773525) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368241)

... but i kicked it in the nuts!

Re:I also kicked windows... (0)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368300)


Apenas acontece assim que eu tenho pouco widget que fará apenas aquele para mim. Assim aqui eu estou afixando em sua língua, portuguese.

He Brings Up Good Points (3, Insightful)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368242)

I know myself, I haven't been able to quit Windows cold turkey. In general I use linux, but there are many Windows-specific things, several of which he mentions.

I'll list a few big ones.

Games, of course.
Certain programs.

Re:He Brings Up Good Points (2, Insightful)

mc_barron (546164) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368306)

Wow. Could you post a comment that is more useless? "Certain Programs"? "Games"? I don't think you could get more generic, dull, and uninformative.

Look, we all know there are programs (both applications and games) that run only on Windows. That's not any news. What would be MUCH more interesting is to hear exactly which applications you must use in a windows environment.

Re:He Brings Up Good Points (1)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368329)

Family? I made my wife use OSX, she loves it and has not touched the Windows box (available via RDP) for, well, about a year now.

Also that orrible office suite is available on OSX as well as good games so, now you have no excuse do you :) I'll look forward to your article How I switched from Windows to OSX on /. soon.

Re:He Brings Up Good Points (1)

einhe1t (900548) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368346)

I'll list a few big ones.

Games, of course.
Certain programs.

"Games"? I play all sorts of cool games (mainly things like q3a, ut2004, doom3, rtcw, et) and I don't use ms windoze. Lots of people play games without ms windoze, you'd be surprised how many options are available once you grow a pair and decide to make your move.

"Certain programs"? Such as what, for instance? In all likelihood you need e.g. a "word processor" or a "spreadsheet", but the sheeple have been taught to believe that they need "ms word" or "ms excel, or horrible things will happen to you. This is pure hype, with little or no basis in fact.

"Family"? I'm not sure what your point is, but lots of people have families without ms windoze. In fact, many of those families also have computers. the ones with ms windoze have constant worries about virii, adware, spyware, pop-ups, blue screen of death etc etc. The ones that are using mac or linux don't really have those kind of problems.

All in all, your "I need windoze" spiel really doesn't ring true.

COM (0, Flamebait)

shird (566377) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368243)

Until Linux gets a pervasive implementation of COM, I will not be switching anytime soon. It is used in Windows for just about everything, form OLE to shell extensions, clipboard management, component re-use, app automation etc. and for good reason. It is a great technology, and something that is completely missing under Unix/Linux - and I can't see it coming anytime soon due ot it being a standard, and a long standing one at that. Something an existing OS can't just pick up at a later date.

Re:COM (3, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368324)

Funny that you'd mention that, as COM and DLLs are just a weird hack for implementing shared libraries and IPC (inter-process communications.) *nix has had that functionality since the mid-eighties.

About five years later, Windows 3.0 was released. :)

moderation (0, Offtopic)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368336)

"-1 Flamebait": Because it's true. I need to find a new place to slum it online.

Re:moderation (1)

neurokaotix (892464) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368352)

Moderation here is a joke, don't let it get to you. If you're pro-Microsoft your chances of getting rated as a troll or flamebater go up by 90%.

Re:COM (1)

einhe1t (900548) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368382)

You're certainly drank the microsoft coolaid, and are able to spout the ms spiel, But COM is merely microsoft's solution, but beleive it or not, other OSes also have solutions to the the same issues, and have for years.

The ms buzzwords are all replaceable, and won't be missed at all. Those who cannot adapt will become fossilized dinosaurs.

10 days is not enough (5, Insightful)

andy753421 (850820) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368257)

"It's amazing how many day-to-day operations require the inadvertent use of Windows in our daily lives."

Maybe this is true at first, however after several months of using Linux I began to see the FOSS alternatives to using windows and now I haven't had windows installed for about 9 months.

It seems like switching to Linux should be more gradual. Linux has a steep learning curve. If you try to jump in all at once your more likely to get a bad impression when you can't figure out how to play a dvd, or even 'mount' the cdrom drive.

Trying to RTFA, (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368260)

but I can't get past page one. Shoot! If the other six pages are this good, I'll . . .not bother.

all depends (4, Insightful)

bigwavejas (678602) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368268)

Windows is business worlds industry standard, with companies using programs such as, Powerpoint, MS Project, Outlook (to name a few). It seems to even try to function as a business professional without Windows you're asking for HUGE headaches.

Linux strikes me as more the OS of choise for tech types (engineers, IT pros, etc), as its much more robust at those type of applications than Windows.

I think it all depends on the environment.

I'm sorry, I'm really, really sorry (0, Troll)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368271)

But who cares? If you have even the slightest interest in living without Windows for ten days then you've already done it. If you can't figure out how to do it without accidentally using Windows somehow then you have no business reading Slashdot.

  That pretty much sums it up.

My Wife, my mother and Linux... (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368275)

I put my aged PII 400MHz home computer over to Linux a few years ago (well 2002 actually) and since then my Wife has suffered not a single case of having to reboot using the plug-socket, not a single crash and not a single failed application.

Until she got her iPod... so now we are buying a new PC, just so she doesn't have to use my work machine for iTunes.

My mother had an horrific attack of the virii which has meant I had to do a complete re-install of windows, and I've lobbed SUSE onto the other partition to help the recovery next time. My mother has elected to use SUSE to access the internet, and just go into Windows when she has to use the software from work.

My wife does email, internet, work processing and accounts, pretty much the same as my mother. BOTH have faired perfectly well with Linux (SUSE), with less hassle to me than on Windows.

And here is the kicker... installing Windows on a SATA drive was a pain in the arse, my mothers machine having no floppy drive and Windows not being able to detect the SATA (even in an SP2 install) SUSE 9.3.... had no issues and went straight on.

I couldn't WORK on Linux yet... but for the majority of INTERNET users who just want EMAIL, a browser and OpenOffice.... it really doesn't matter.

No more windows (1)

big.iron.wiz (773525) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368280)

I also started my own 10 days experiement, but kept it going until today. It as been more then one year now.

Because i no longer play games, they are not the issue anymore, But when they used to be, wine did the trick very well.

I keep a windows xp at home for usabilitie and compatibilitie testing porpose only.

I know for a fact.... (0, Redundant)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368283)

--It's amazing how many day-to-day operations require the inadvertent use of Windows in our daily lives." I know for a fact. I cannot live without that dose of BSOD.

10 days? (2, Insightful)

mistermark (646060) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368288)

I tried windows for 10 days and boy, did I discover how much day-to-day operations on windows made me love *nix even more...

But a little more serious, 10 days? I mean like, what do you expect? Give it 10 months and you don't want anything else, but 10 days? What are these windows-users, shallow?

(They spent years and years trying to control this fuzzy-logic called windows and give something else 10 days... tsssss...)

How about.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368296)

We fuck computers.. and kill ourselves..

I can't wait for the end of the world.. can you?

P.S. Trey Spruance is GOD.. and you're not!


testes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13368298)


Brgle brgle brgle! (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368301)

Is that the sound turkeys make? ahh who cares. Ive never understood the phrase "cold turkey", as far as im concerned the only good turkey is a cold turkey anyway.
Is windows an addiction you have to quit? hmmm... Thats like telling an Americ...sorry, obese person to take up crack becuase Ronald McD's is bad for health. I.E. Windows:bad, Linux:vomit, MacOS:... Brgle brgle!

For most people... (1, Insightful)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368307)

...not using Windows is not an option. The reasons are numerous and well-documented and only the idiot zealots try to deny them.

The more stable and sane try to at least address the shortcomings and work on it and to them goes out my thanks and my encouragement to "get it" no matter what it takes as to why Windows continues to and probably will indefinitely kick Linux' ass on the desktop.

Okay, so maybe the various app writers are at the mercy of those who write the frameworks, those who press ahead with kernel designs, etc. But they really need to band together and say to those maintaining the core guts of Linux that enough is enough, we need a stable solid framework on par with what Microsoft has with Windows.

Personally, I wouldn't mind if Gnucash was a bit more friendly with exported MS Money files, if there were more friendly install scripts for webcam drivers (again, SPCA5xx farking rocks for those who don't blanche at typing "make"), if nVidia made their drivers a little friendlier, if Real bothered tightening up their player, and for that matter if Yahoo would finish porting all the nice doo-dads of their Windows messenger client to their Linux one.

Of course I could use some more and better graphics apps and format compatibility, and a lot of other things...

But I'm a techie sort so I can deal with whatever. The average user can't and since techies estranged from the average end-user's needs tend to be the ones building distros with the attitude that "we know what is best for you" rather than listening, I don't expect that to change.

What I'd really like to see out of the Linux world is a collection of several of the top apps per area together on a live DVD using Debian, one using FC, another with SuSE, etc. so that the users can get a better feel and then pick and choose their mix to get the best fit for them. Call it Distros On Demand if you will, but we need something like that if we're going to put more choice in the hands of the end-users to make them more comfortable with Linux.

Never mind hiding Vi and Emacs from them so their heads don't explode when they try to adapt from Notepad.

Office environment (5, Interesting)

flokemon (578389) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368313)

I cannot truly reply to the article considering it was /.'ed before any reply was posted, but I have been part of a trial of Linux workstations at work. Our sysadmins are Windows folks, but with a good original image, I can't see a Linux transition being that hard.

I haven't had many problems at all. Our main issue was that we still use a native OS/2 application, and because we have ditched OS/2 we need a remote desktop connection to a Windows box to then launch Virtual PC and our OS/2 app. Not the easiest and lightest of setups, but it works.

We need Wine for a few apps too, but they run fine under it. Sometimes I'll get Lotus Word Pro or 1-2-3 documents that I cannot return in their original format as Open Office won't let me save in .lwp or .123 format, but it has not been a big issue.
(If after all those hints you cannot guess what company I work in, you really need to think harder...)

Anyhow, maybe I wasn't sure after home use how easily Linux could be considered in an office environment, but our main problem really is some intranet pages being designed for IE only.

I eventually got the first page of that article to load, which leads me to think the author may be criticising how difficult it can be to get everything working - but if you have built a solid image, there is no reason why Linux should be any more difficult to use than Windows.

Cui bono? (2, Informative)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368325)

Actually I can't think of a single use of Windows inadvertently or otherwise that makes the slightest difference in my day-to-day life. The vast majority of those on the planet have never used Windows (or any computer for that matter). A working lavatory would be a leg up in most cases. Somehow I doubt a PC is top of their to-do list.

One thing that could make a great differnce to a person's daily life, though, is posting an article about their attempts to use Linux. Forget about how much you really know, or don't know. A thumbs up to Linux has propaganda sites crawling all over you. A thumbs down and ten thousand geeks will be queuing up to excoriate you. Perhaps Hollywood and a pay rise beckons.

I mean, is this guy for real? If you want to use Linux, then use it properly and fully. Amazing, really, that one guy anxiously dipping a toe in the water and then hastily running back to the apron strings should merit a slashdot write-up. On second thoughts perhaps he's going for an award for outstanding bravery.

Here is google cache with the story (1)

9gezegen (824655) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368330)

http://mirrordot.org/stories/97b43c53d0c03bb5f2a00 bf58400a484/index.html [mirrordot.org]

I know what you're saying, and I agree. The idea of spending 10 days in someone else's shoes certainly isn't new but do you really think you will ever see Mr. Spurlock record a show depicting a similar situation or setup? You'd fall asleep during the opening credits. Now, it might not be a life or death adventure but at least it's one that I've never heard of or read before and if I could just offer a small taste of how easy or hard the switch would be then so be it. That single reason is why I decided to put my body, mind, time and even lifestyle into harms way by going 100% cold turkey of all Microsoft software for a whole 10 days. "10 days? Well that hardly sounds hard enough!" Sure, it doesn't sound so hard but take in account that over 500 million of us use a Windows OS at least once, everyday of the week and you too will see that going cold turkey from XP to KDE might be harder or more limiting than first thought. Not surprisingly, millions of people and corporations are making the switch to Linux or another variant of Unix to save costs or maybe cut their chances of having to resort to piracy to continue to operate but from what we hear daily Microsoft and the news is that Linux doesn't seem to be any less expensive than the Windows platform and for some could limit the very things that they used to take for granted. Although I am a tried and true believer of the Windows platform, I do own a Mac Powerbook and have on occasion used Linux when setting up servers or for 3D modeling but never have I thought about using it as my primary desktop; in fact I even told myself that I would have to go insane before I shut the "windows" and let tux in the door How much of our lives truly run on Windows? Well, if you ever leave your chair (sadly, it wouldn't surprise me if some of you shrugged just now) and actually go outside then I'm sure that you've used Windows at some point and time during your outing. For emphasis, let me explain to you my full day's schedule on average: I wake up, take a shower and then groom myself. I then head downstairs and turn my television on which just so happens to have a Windows Media Center PC hooked up to it. I then head over to the kitchen which happens to have a Windows powered laptop which I use to somberly browse the net while I eat Captain Crunch out of the box and throw milk down my throat. I run off and get dressed but not before I synch my Windows CE powered pocket PC and then I drive off to school. On my way I forget I have no money on me and so I must stop by the bank to withdraw some and guess what? The ATM machine happens to run embedded Windows! I could go on and on but I think that I would start to freak some of you out with my weird pre-dinner rituals. Anyways, my point was merely to show that many of us use Windows whether or not we even know it. Now before I go off and potentially alter the very way I live my life, I thought I should do some research as to what the most popular Linux distribution is and exactly what I'm getting into. I looked at the most used and the most supported of distributions and came to the conclusion that I would go with the Mandriva (formally Mandrake) distro. Now, it was a really close call because there are literally thousands of Linux distributions and over a dozen that are primarily used but I chose Mandriva because it was possibly the most likely distro that newcomers into the Linux realm would choose. It's got 20+ languages in support, supports every processor imaginable, graphical installation and also has buttons that look edible. All of these things are possible "wow" factors that would grab a skeptic in, especially the purdy buttons. I'm set and I have selected a Linux distro so now I have to lock all of my Windows powered goods into my closet and the next paragraph you read of this will have been written from a Linux box. Be sure to join me and try to keep up as I venture into the land of taboo and exoticism that is open-source! ......

Require inadvertant use? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368338)

> It's amazing how many day-to-day operations require the inadvertent use of Windows in our daily lives.

That may be true for some people's lifestyle, but not for everyone's. I don't use Windows in my daily life. I don't even have easy access to a Windows system. My only interaction with Windows is every few weeks when I'm in a lab half-way across town for a meeting, and I decide to power up a machine to read Slashdot while waiting for everyone else to show up, or stay after the meeting to play a windows-only game (which I get by without at home, without any problems).

It's funny... (0, Redundant)

neurokaotix (892464) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368342)

...how so many people here seem to be under the impression that Microsoft only makes Windows, IE, and Office.

*ducks for -10 troll rating*

Each tool for the right job (2, Informative)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368348)

Last summer I got serious about using linux. Before that, I tried various versions of redhat and mandrake and it was alright. But I always felt once I started to go beyond the beaten path, it was a pain in the ass. By that I pretty much mean dealing with their RPMs when installing a package outside their package manager.

So I bit the bullet and spent several days installing and setting up Gentoo. Every step of the way was a learning experience. My reason for switching to linux is because I was bored with windows and I wanted to force myself to learn something new. So now it's approaching the end of another summer. I'm sitting in front of two computers running Gentoo.

However, both have windows XP on them. I have crossover office on each computer and the apps that are supported run fine. I'm a student and usually I can get by with openoffice, but sometimes I need office. I just got an ipod photo and I've been trying to get it to work seamlessly between windows and gentoo. It's been a struggle with iTunes, gtkpod and ipodslave for KDE, but I'm working on it.

I tried the OSX86 last weekend and I was impressed. I tried windows vista beta and I was very unimpressed. There is never going to be a magic bullet OS. Each will have it's uses. I've learned that it is mostly dependent on the applications for it. If the vendors made perfect linux versions of every program I needed, it would be a lot better. It takes time to figure out which OSS programs are just as good as the windows counterparts and which ones are shit. 10 days with any operating system isn't going to mean much.

And I have not had a chance yet to read the article bc it's down at the moment.

What if I don't want to have control of my comp?! (2, Interesting)

milktoastman (572643) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368355)

You know, I'm actually becoming a little bored with all the self-righteous promotion of Linux and vehement bashing of Windows. You know, I'm a scientist and I used both platforms a lot for my work. However, at home, I don't bother having anything but Windows. And you know why? Because, even though I'm in a technical field, there is a lot of other stuff I have to worry about than keeping my linux box running and up to date and making sure I know how to keep my files cross-compatible with what everyone else is using. And I value my personal relationships more than the state of my PC OS. What I'm saying is, is that using only Linux requires a certain committment that I don't have the energy to maintain or the need to do. It's almost a hobby in and of itself. And there are a lot of other people out there who deal with technology even less than me who really have no need for the responsibility that comes with Windows.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...despite all the freedom and independence that linux affords all you linux users out there, you don't need to be so snobby to the rest of us. It isn't that we're dumb or unimaginative...its just that we have other things to be smart and imaginative about and we don't want to be distracted by having to deal with Linux. If you like it, fine. That's your prerogative. But you don't have any place being indignant and snobby toward the rest of us. What we sacrifice in control and nuts and bolts access to our OS's, we gain in not having to think about our computers as anything more than a task-tailored tool for the other shit in our lives that's more important to us.


milktoastman (572643) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368373)

I meant to write, 'the responsibility that comes with LINUX.' I need grammar school more than I do either OS, apparently.

Cached verson of article (2, Informative)

aricusmaximus (300760) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368356)

Google cache of the "printable" version.

clicky. []

Where I stopped reading... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368359)

The ATM machine happens to run embedded Windows!

This guy isn't capable of having an opinion on anything technical, much less an OS. It seems clear also that the damage done by 'daily' exposure to windows is in full swing, at the least.

Google Cache Links (1)

Matilda the Hun (861460) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368360)

Page 1 []

Page 2 []

Page 3 []

Page 4 []

Unfortunately, that's all google cached, but it's better than nothing.

I already quit (1)

woddfellow2 (803295) | more than 9 years ago | (#13368366)

I have already quit and switched to Fedora Core 4. I hope he succeeds.
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