Linux

10 Windows annoyances (that Linux doesn't have)

From disappearing resources to cumbersome printing to mysterious application crashes, Jack Wallen has a list of Windows beefs that he says are simply not an issue with Linux.

Being a long-time Linux user, and accustomed to the way Linux (and the Linux desktops) work, I often feel like I'm running into brick walls when using Microsoft Windows. Although Windows is a useful operating system -- and the vast majority of computer users use it -- that doesn't mean that any user can sit down and work in a trouble-free environment. And as much as Windows users claim they run into challenges with Linux, I find my experience to be quite the opposite. So I thought I would share with you the frustrations I encounter on a daily basis with Windows that I don't have with Linux.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: Antivirus/malware

A Windows machine without antivirus or anti-malware is like roughhousing with a cat -- it's inevitable, one day you are going to be bitten or scratched. It's not a matter of "if," it's a matter of "when." And even with antivirus or anti-malware, you still run the risk of getting infected. It doesn't seem to matter what flavor of protection you use. We've seen viruses and malware get past the best solutions. And to make matters worse, when you do have antivirus solutions on a machine, they get in the way of other tasks. (If you've ever had to run Combo Fix on a machine that uses AVG, you know exactly what I mean.)

With Linux, you don't worry about this. And even if you do employ an antivirus solution on Linux (to save your friends who do NOT), you will rarely, if ever, see it get in the way of other tasks or duties.

2: Flaky network connections

I could approach this one in various ways. But suffice it to say, the Windows networking tools are not nearly as powerful or flexible as the Linux networking tools. Sure, it's common knowledge that Windows has much more support for wireless networking hardware, but that doesn't mean the result is better. It has been my experience that once you have a network configured on a Linux machine, you will rarely experience problems. If you do experience networking issues on a Linux box, they can usually be tracked down to an external source. On the rare occasion that the Linux box is actually the cause of the networking issue, it can most always be overcome by simply restarting the networking system. Linux was, after all, built to be on the network.

3: Mysterious slowdowns

Quick: Think about the last time your Windows computer mysteriously slowed down. What eventually was the cause? Fragmentation? Virus? Malware? Operating system hogging too much resource? Or were you ever even able to discern the problem? With Linux, those slowdowns (especially of the mysterious types) are next to nil. This is especially true on a Linux server.

4: Mysterious application crashes

When a Linux application is up and running, it will almost always run until you finally say "no more." And even if it does crash, it's easy to figure out why. Worst-case scenario: Start that application from the command line and check out the information it feeds you when it crashes. Windows? Good luck. You can try the Event Viewer, but that is rarely any help with third-party applications. And try to debug a Windows (or third-party) app on a Windows machine. It's not nearly as easy as it is with Linux. When applications crash, I like to know why.

5: Lack of troubleshooting

This fits well with number 4. Linux troubleshooting is most always as easy as looking through /var/log for whatever is ailing your machine. You will most always find out what's going on from one of the many log files. Or you can always open up a terminal window and follow a particular log file (such as /var/log/messages) with the command tail -f /var/log/* (where * is the log file you want to follow). If you're not so fond of the command line, you can always install a GUI that will allow you to scan through the log files for issues. And for applications that are giving you real trouble, run a backtrace to get all of the debugging information you need and either fix it yourself or send the results to the developers. The problem will be resolved. And we don't really need to get into reporting, watching, squashing bugs with bug tracking software or sites. Linux far surpasses all other operating systems with regard to bug squashing.

6: Outlook/Exchange headaches

Okay, I will say that the Exchange/Outlook combination is a serious one-two punch within business and/or enterprise organizations. Although there are good Linux alternatives, they all tend to be Web-based. The problem with Outlook/Exchange is that headaches caused by either/or tend to be fairly massive and on going. Outlook itself is a serious beast when something goes wrong. Between keeping PST/OST files free of problems, keeping Outlook actually online with the Exchange server, keeping add-ins from bringing Outlook to a screaming halt, and everything in between, it amazes me when Outlook actually works like users expect it to.

7: Cumbersome printing

Let's all say this together: "Printing in a Windows environment is a pain." Of course, printing in general is a pain... but never so much as it is in the Windows environment. There is always the issue with whether a printer will work in Linux. But when a printer works in Linux, it ALWAYS works. I have set up Linux printer servers that have worked, without fail or restart, for years. And with the most recent releases of GNOME, printer sharing in Linux is incredibly easy. On any given network, with a Linux machine sharing out a printer, I can set that printer up on any operating system. Try to share a printer between Windows XP and Windows 7 without feeling like you are going to tear out your hair.

8: Windows 7 heterogeneous networking nightmare

This goes along with the printing issue. I can't tell you how many times we face problems when trying to share Window's resources between different versions of Windows or Windows and other operating systems. Generally speaking, the other operating systems do not have trouble, but the Windows operating systems do NOT like anything but their own kind. Although Windows 7 is the best iteration of Windows to date, it does not like to play along with older releases. And the Windows 7 Homegroup -- how much hate has that inspired? Plenty.

9: Lack of multiple desktops

This is a nit to be picked, I realize. But when you're used to the multiple desktops of Linux, going to a single desktop environment (unless you have multiple monitors) is just inviting confusion and inefficiency. Windows users can experience what having multiple desktops is like by purchasing a second monitor. Once you have grown used to this concept, you'll see why Linux users have always had such trouble using the Windows desktop.

10: Disappearing resources/resource hog

Working on a Windows 7 desktop that has less than 2 Gigs of RAM is like working in slow motion. And when that RAM is gobbled up by a poorly coded application, it makes your work ay nothing short of miserable. I have found that most all Linux distributions do a much better job of allocating resources and handling RAM than does Windows. Linux uses RAM to cache files until the cached files exceed the amount of RAM available. Windows 7 will use memory for cache only when there is no other demand for said memory. In other words, if an application running on Windows needs the RAM, it will get it. By contrast, Linux hands out the RAM to whatever calls for it. When RAM is exceeded, it then uses the swap partition. Although the swap partition is much slower than RAM, this method (IMHO) is a much more efficient use of system resources.

Your take

I realize this is very much biased toward Linux... but wasn't that the point? I have been a Linux user since the mid '90s, and I simply find Linux better suited to my needs and my style. I do use Windows when necessary, but always seem to want it to behave more like my Linux desktops. What do you think? Do you have issues when migrating from Linux to Windows? Or what about the other way around? Share your thoughts with your fellow TechRepublic readers.

Additional resources

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

105 comments
williamwt
williamwt

To put my comments into some context: First, I have used every version of Windows since 98SE (including Vista and 7) on both 32 and 64 bit architectures and I (generally) like them. Second, I am new to Linux/Unix and have tried switching a number of times in the past. Last, although I like to get my hands dirty with customizing (i.e. editing the windows registry, altering programs) to learn advanced skills, I always start with learning the basics in a stable environment. With Linux, I tried only the stable releases of a variety of versions (Debian [etch], Ubuntu [Feisty, Hardy, Jaunty, Natty], Kubuntu [Jaunty, Natty], Fedora [Sulfur, Leonidas], Mandriva One, OpenSUSE, Solaris). So why am I trying yet again? To be blunt - the future: Windows 7/Office 2010/Live. In my opinion, 7 is a blatant attempt by MS to grab the Mac/Apple user through a Mac-inspired GUI with absolutely no software improvements over Vista. Office 2010 is a nightmare from a user-upgrade learning curve perspective (most business users are coming from 2003 not 2007). Live (the new hotmail) doesn't even work in all browsers. I can list more problems with MS technologies but I'll stop there. My point, I just don't see myself using MS after Vista or Office 2007 become obsolete. However, I do feel your points need some balancing from someone in the exact opposite corner from you. You, a Linux user, dabble in MS, and I, a MS user, dabble in Linux. Here is my feedback on your points numbered to go with yours: 1 (Anti-virus). Requiring an anti-virus in Windows is a disappointing result of our society. I wonder though, if the proliferation of Windows/Linux was flipped wouldn't all efforts to create viruses then have been targeted at Linux resulting in the exact same security situation that Windows has? PDF's used to be considered safe too remember 2 (Networks). With Vista (under normal conditions), I have never had any problem with my network or internet connections. However, Windows XP and 7 do have difficulty maintaining network connections (especially wireless) if settings are changed while the connections or hardware are enabled. Problems due to power outages or unsupported hardware occur regardless of the version. I found the same problems in Linux. Trying to install third party Linux-drivers for wireless devices is extremely difficult for the novice. 3 (Slowdowns). On XP and 7, this drives me nuts. On Vista though, 99% of mine are the result of 3rd party software installed incorrectly by the user. Usually because the installed software needs elevated (admin) rights and Vista doesn't tell you that; it just cancels the process (assuming you haven't disabled UAC). 7 just follows what you told UAC when you installed the program, and is therefore no safer than XP. 4 (Crashes). Define "crash". If you mean just an application (e.g. MediaPlayer), the only crashes I get are--again--the result of improper installation. I have seen many users grab a 64-bit system and install a 64-bit OS then force an install of 32-bit software or force the use of the "best-choice" driver instead of the right driver. If you're referring to BSOD's, well, no I've never had one on Linux, but trying to get a Linux version to install has caused grief. 5 (Troubleshooting). True, it is difficult in Windows, but unless you know how to use the shell or how to read those Linux log files you aren't any better off 6 (Exchange). Outlook and Exchange do everything I need them to do from a user perspective (that the admin policies allow). 7 (Printing). Difficult? How could it be any easier? Setting up a printer is UPnP, connecting to a network printer is as easy as: highlight it in the list, right-click, select "connect". Once that's done you can set your default printer in ControlPanel > Hardware > Printer. Now every time you select "Print" the document goes to the same printer. 8 (Windows 7). Agreed, now I need to jump through more hoops to connect two Win7 machines but if my machines are different WinOS's then ... (yikes) 9 (Multi-desktop). What good is multi-desktop when I still cannot see both at the same time? This seems no different to me then opening multiple windows. At least with multiple monitors I can have a supplier document open on one and a client doc on another without needing to flip back and forth between desktops or reduce the screen size to fit both on a tiny 17" monitor 10 (Resources). Task Manager let's you set Priority and Affinity for processes and really cuts down the affects of resource hogging. As for usage on systems without any 3rd party software and with equivalent functionality, I see very little difference (on my machine) in the amount of RAM (+/- 2%) or Page/Swap file size (+/- 4%). A cold restart into either Vista (53.2 secs) or Ubuntu (52.8 secs) shows practically identical boot times. Shutdown for both was 18.6 secs.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

:( , to clarify I was saying Outlook isn't part of an OS, it's part of a distro, which is what you said without mumbling.

himanshusaklani
himanshusaklani

...I have thousand things to say...But let it be short. i have been using windows since 1999....and touched linux only arond 2005...after one month i stopped using linux as it was too complicated for me. I re entered linux world in 2009..and swear still i was using windows and cursing linux for its complications. Of course i had lot many problems with windows but then i cursed Virus authors, Hackers, and all who created trouble for my windows..but by the mean time i started getting use to linux...and falling in love with it...Windows is still lousy...it crashes...doest have support for old applications ..has compatibility mode that usually doesn't work...BSOD...and yes this was funny i remember how much i struggled while creating work group and sharing folder between two flavors of WIN7 and when i switched to linux ..it worked right out of the box...no trouble...dont no how it happened but linux impressed me again. After that i have been using linux for some 2 months and tell you.. now i dont feel like moving back to windows and even when i do thats only for playing games. I feel insecure and working in inferior environment when in windows. Windows is OS which doesnt know how to protect itself ..forget about security to our personal information. For me now OS stands for Open Source...so now I do not support closed source OS any more.

Chi-7
Chi-7

Dear Jack, As almost always entertaining and straight for the crazy bone, after perusing the comments I could almost hear the caps popping on blood pressure prescriptions, few subjects raise the TR community's passion the way this one does. I am a Linux guy 'cause in my world it's the right tool for the job and admittedly few people expose their systems to the high risk hazards my professional disciplines require. I'm like a professional glazier averaging $1.60 a minuet to fix broken Windows??, when I need to get work completed in a timely, workman like manner I use Linux, but that's in my world. Although I share many of your observations and opinions it is within my realities, you see that hive of yellow jackets and just have to throw rocks at it, I admire your tenacity. This being said I wouldn???t go into an assembly of fundamentalists and inform them that their Deity is a transsexual, disrespecting one's best informed choice isn't a sound policy to gain acceptance and or respect of our choice. You use what works within the environment one is expected to perform the required tasks. (the boss may not always be right but there always the boss) Reality Check, we enjoy near immunity to common exploit / attack vectors and I stress near immunity. Security through obscurity is not protection it is a state of mind and a dangerous one, once it becomes lucrative enough more imaginative and devious overachievers will bust the bubble, nothing in this world is fool proof. Yes Virginia, there are Linux viruses, worms and such, I have never personally encountered one but they are a reality, for a few examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_malware In all conscience we cannot lure devotees with a false anything, especially a false sense of security. I think our community aspect of support, bug reporting and security issue response time is admirable in the industry as a whole, apps tailored to the distro eliminate OS vendors, app vendors and hardware vendors pointing at each other chanting ???not my problem???. The support forums, staffed by volunteers that do it because they want to and believe in the concept are more likely to be interested in finding solutions. Our update process is comprehensive per distro and responsive, we have really evolved and matured in a grand fashion, all in all we got a lot going for us as a cohesive community Jack. We also have more challenges to overcome, more than we can possibly imagine at this point but look at how far we have gotten in a very few years. Our goal should not be dominance but supplementing and protecting the consumer based structure which exists doing what we already do so well. Tell me, do you really want to see a Linux desktop on every computer in the land? Does dilution of open source's mission statement and objectives hold any reservations for you? MS has plenty of challenges ahead, look at web apps, the hype, posturing and potential of disastrous confidentiality / security consequences. There is a lot of wisdom in not carrying all the eggs in the same basket. There are three things I want to see from Microsoft, continued movement towards true interoperability, stop thumbing IE's collective nose at W3C standards and keep cranking out Windows??, keeps the economy moving. Would I like to see a far greater Linux user base, absolutely but I'm not holding my breath. It's kind of a ???Zen??? thing there are those who ask a different question when it's their time and not one second before, just like Pepsi or Coke, what does it for you and is it right or wrong? Only you have that answer! There is no right or wrong answer besides your own contentment. If it makes you happy I couldn???t be happier for you if I were two people. For me, I treat my glazing gigs just like walking on stage in a jazz club with my Tele Bass, the man calls ???Goodbye pork pie hat??? I put on my sleazy lounge face stomp the unmute sw and here we go, just like 20,001 times before, ???Yes sir make that check to....thank you??? Jack, I'm not trying to bust your &@**$, I actually find considerable amusement when you began raving and the community raves back at you, stomach acid and all. The thing is we must get our own house in order before we have any right to assume any attitude about what somebody else needs to do their job effectively weather we like it or not they don't tell me what to use and if they did, I'd tell them to go scratch their posterior. Besides those folks already have more than their share of challenge in a day, I'd rather try to help support their efforts than bust their &@**$. There???s enough busted glass around here, we don't need to keep chucking bricks at something nobody is making us use. That's my two cents, I'll go shut up and watch for a few months now.

david.hunt
david.hunt

One of the issues between Windows folks and non-Windows folks, when it comes to networking is that they are talking bananas and oranges!! To anyone but a Windows person, the network is the first three layers of the OSI stack and the equipment needed to make them work. Server resource directories, file servers, and the like are part of the application environment. To a Windows person, NETWORKING is host networking configuration (host name, Domain and IP / DNS details) and SMB/CIFS. After all, what do yoy see when you click "Start-->Network" on a Windows Box... Oh yeah... icons of the servers and other PCs it can see.

hbandoni
hbandoni

I have been working with Windows and Linux the last 20 years and comparing the evolution of both operating systems I believe that Linux is a better operating system than Windows (in design, performance, stability and efficient resource usage) and it has been a better evolution path aon the time, I also think that the huge Windows market share is a gap very difficult to close. Regarding the article I agree with almost all points, and I think the behavior of the windows desktop is similar at home, in a small network or in a corporate network with AD in place. I have to agree that AD simplify the burden to admin a Windows network and its components but I think that AD is a consequence (a good one) of the complexity and some incoherences of windows OS configuration and administration. However, isolated windows users or small networks with low level of support have to suffer windows problems like the mentioned in the article without knowing the exact cause of the problem or scarce troubleshooting.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

This seems a little "over the edge" for my taste. From "antivirus/malware" to "lack of multiple desktops" - there are a lot of holes in the arguments, and this tends to make (us) Linux supporters look more like dogs foaming-at-the-mouth with a visceral hatred of Windows unsupported by fact. Sorry, Jack, but if you don't think Linux has viruses/malware, you haven't been hit yet. Yes, there are far fewer, but they exist for all OS's. Denying the existence of malware for linux is preposterous. Yes, there is good/free anti-virus for Linux available, and it's just as essential to install anti-virus on a Linux machine as on a Windows machine. Network connections - rather than nebulous, blanket statements: "you will rarely experience problems [on Linux]" specifics would be better. I've had my share of headaches getting Linux networking set up, too. all the way down to "lack of multiple desktops" - I'm running the MS Virtual Desktop from MS's PowerToys for Windows XP - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx and it gives me almost the same functionality as KDE's 4 virtual desktops in linux. In short, an article like this just sounds like another flamer condemning Windows, with little basis in fact. It hurts all of us when someone does it. (And I still can't believe I'm defending Windows over Linux...)

mainframe85
mainframe85

TOTAL WASTE OF WEB SPACE! it's like an ex-girlfriend telling her friends stuff she didn't like about the boyfriend. The next girl that he finds might like those things or better yet..NOT NOTICE THEM!

dcolbert
dcolbert

an impact on my productivity. Because there aren't any decent office productivity applications on Linux. I'm never bothered by Linux machines making me coasters when I'm ripping a DVD to burn it, because there aren't any polished ripping, authoring or burning applications for Linux. I'm never frustrated by Linux crashing, slowing down, lagging, or losing my save files in games I play, because there aren't any commercial games worth playing on Linux. I use Linux to surf the web, to run web-apps like Google Docs and Mail, to store and consume media. It does really good at all of that. So does an iPad. Gimp is a hassle compared to PaintShopPro, let alone to Photoshop. All of the native Office suites are poor. Perhaps the problem with Linux isn't so much Linux itself, as the limits on what you can do with it. I've *never* used an app in Linux where I thought to myself, "This is SO much nicer, so much easier, so much BETTER than doing the same thing on a Windows or Mac PC". I've frequently found myself going, "You can DO this on a Windows or Mac... why does it seem that I *can't* do it on Linux at all", though. Let me add that if I needed to set up a multi-node cluster to do modeling of global climate patterns and global climate change forecasting - I might think *nix was the Bees-Knees. Speaking of the Bees Knees, if I were doing modeling on Colony Collapse Disorder, a custom Linux environment and apps might be the most suitable solution. But I'd probably want to write my paper for submission to the scientific journals on a Mac or Windows machine, once I'd gathered all my data. The problem is, a very small portion of a very small subset of the population requires these first examples. Almost everyone writes.

thoiness
thoiness

Oh yes I do... Ok, I'll play: I tried to set Linux up for my parents as they didn't want to spend too much on an operating system. My mom needed Silverlight to log her hours at work. Guess what? Yep, Linux in the trash again as Moonlight didn't even remotely fit the bill. So if I can't even give it away for free to my elderly parents, remind me again who this operating system benefits? Let's continue, shall we? So Linux is ALWAYS better than Windows, is it? Direct3D vs OpenGL? Let's compare Tonka to Caterpillar. And you need Flash? Maybe you do, just remember not to full-screen it! Want an app that the Linux community doesn't feel you need? Read thousands of forums and try a half dozen ways using 50 command line commands and pray to God that it actually works (chances are, you're pretty much hosed at this point). Printers? "When you do find a compatible printer for Linux???" What can I say, besides... FAIL. Multiple desktops... While a pain in the butt from this developers perspective, stop being a stingy bartstool and pay the $20 to one of the several multi-desktop application developers out there. Or, if you're running on XP, why not just get the original 3D switcher that Linux borrowed from? It's free after all (this is the dirty little secret that Linux fans have been kicking under the table for years as it's the common thread in all their arguments - It would look silly if they were exposed for having their operating system "borrow" something from a poor Windows developer, wouldn't it?). Viruses? Well when your market share isn't equivalent to a statistical margin of error, this is what happens. Luckily Microsoft provides us desktop users with Security Essentials. I have run virus free for a few years now. Just a matter of time? Perhaps, but I'm not sweating bullets or looking to jump ship. Oh yes, and let me end this troll session with one enormous nail in the proverbial coffin: COMPATIBILITY WITH 95% OF ALL SOFTWARE WRITTEN. Want to guess what operating system that can boast that statement? Well played, sir! Kudos for bringing the troll out in us all!

bobc4012
bobc4012

While I tend to use Ubuntu most of the time, I disagree with some of your points. I have had more problems with Linux than Windows. Item 3., Mysterious Slowdowns - I have had as many problems with Linux as I have had with Windows. In both cases, the only solution was to re-install. Also, in both cases, the re-installation of my various (and numerous) apps was just as time consuming and painful on Linux (maybe moreso) as it was on Windows. Note: while DPKG and APT-GET are helpful, they do not solve all re-install problems - one area where Ubuntu is really lacking is a "repair re-install" (ala Windows). Item 4. Mysterious application crashes. I have had as many (and maybe more) of those "mysterious crashes" with Ubuntu as I have had with Windows. Usually my Windows crashes, but not always, are with an old "DOS mode app" (which I have a few as there are no suitable "windowing versions - neither Windows nor Linux). Item 5. Lack of troubleshooting. I find that to be about the same. Typically, I have found very little "useful" information in either Windows or Linux logs and error recording. I end up googling the error codes or whatever else I can find if I want to seriously investigate the cause of a crash. Most of the time, it is easier to restart the app (including re-booting Windows or Ubuntu). Item 7. Cumbersome printing. I have yet to run into any problems with Windows when it comes to printing and printer support. I also find Windows printing to be much more predictable than printing under Linux (or Ubuntu). I have yet to hook up a printer on a Windows system and experience not being able to print. I have an old Lexmark (Z600) which I have not been able to successfully get to run on Ubuntu. I had an old Epson, which worked, but I could not exercise the control as I could under Windows (and in DOS command mode). I currently have an HP printer and, again, it lacks the flexibility that it has under Windows. Also, I cannot get Ubuntu/Linux to scan negatives and slides as I can under Windows. Admittedly, I have to install a ton of HP bloatware to get ALLl the printer/scanner functions working under Windows and then it has to be re-installed frequently (IMO HP hasn't a clue on writing software). I do give Ubuntu/Linus a plus in that the printer works as a printer right off the bat. However, I do have to run HPLIP to get it to scan paper and pictures. Once last point. While I do not have in-home networking (although the HP printer can be networked and I have a desktop and two lap-tops), I have had more problems with Ubuntu and wireless adapters than I have had with Windows. I have a Linksys card that works out of the box on both Windows and Ubuntu. I also have Netgear 511 card which works out of the box on Windows, but requires "NDIS" install on Ubuntu. I also have a Netgear 111 USB adapter which works on Windows but doesn't on Ubuntu. Also, the one lap-top is an ACER, which uses the internal Broadcom I2220 wireless card - it works on Windows but will not work on Ubuntu (even Ver. 10.10). And forget about trying it with Linux Mint. While I know there are many who love Linux Mint, it has even more problems than Ubuntu - none of those wireless adapters will work on a Linux Mint install. I have also experienced many other problems with Linux Mint. I have also had more problems with videos and sound with Ubuntu (and Mint) than I have with Windows. When everything is running smoothly, I do prefer to use Linux. It typically runs faster than Windows. However, when there is no good good comparable Linux app or I need to use my LG DVD/CD recorder/reader, I use WIndows - BTW, another area where the Windows support is better than Linux support.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin

I suppose young Wallen feels a lot better now he has told the world how superior Linux is to the dreaded Windows even though he made a right arse of himself pontificating about something [Windows] that it would appear he knows very little about. When will these people realise that the people who use Windows World Wide do so because it works for them straight out of the box and they can purchase software from their local PC store that works! It doesn't matter what we as professionals think..This is the BUSINESS that we are in, 93.5% world wide use derivatives of Windows, 4% Mac, %1 Linux and % 0??5% Other. So we pros make our money selling them our services and expertise the majority of which is in the Windows environment. But think your self fortunate young Wallen that you are in a situation where you play with and write about your beloved Linux. Where in the real world the pros are keeping the business running.

tcunningham4
tcunningham4

I'm sad that this dicussion is happening again. but then I'm reading/replying, aren't I. I started with Mainframes, moved to VAX/VMS, used NT since 4.0 and bought Windows 95 on opening day (it happened to be by 42nd birthday). More recently I've managed 4 different flavors of Unix, and dabbled with Linux in several incarnations. Here's my summary: 1. People are different, and have some good, and some not so good reasons for their preferences. 2. All computers do pretty much the same things, which is what the programmer told them to do (not necessarily what the programmer wanted). 3. The only truly secure computer is powered off behind a locked door, buried 100 feet in the ground. If somebody wants to get in, they can if they try hard enough and learn enough about it's weaknesses. 4. Most computers today (and I count phones and tablets in there, not to mention gaming consoles) are toys of the idle rich. It does bother me to see someone in the welfare line texting on their smartphone. Nobody in 'real' poverty would buy a phone and go hungry. 5. A real computer geek (as opposed to other types, such as biology or writing geeks) would not complain about the system, they would make it do what they needed it to do (re: #2). I could go on, but that's a pretty good summary. t.

just1opinion
just1opinion

All these points may, or may not (I'll leave it to you purists already arguing), be valid. You have missed the real point. Windows has the market share because you turn it on and you can use your computer; to do your simple, everyday tasks. Most people don't want to twiddle with every bit of a system before they can use it. How many people would buy Windows if they had to understand binary, read a lot of technical manuals, and try 30 tweaks before something would work at a basic level? About the same number of people that buy *nix.

NicciAdonai
NicciAdonai

The most annoying thing about Linux is the command line. It is not that the command line is a bad thing, just that it is a barrier to entry. Number 5 illustrates this: "Linux troubleshooting is most always as easy as looking through /var/log for whatever is ailing your machine." Even after you say that, I have no idea what to do. What is intuitive for me in Windows is disappointingly obtuse in Linux. And, at least on an older machine, I have not had the same luck with networking. That is, after getting the wireless networking up and running it was not trouble free. Then on a newer machine, a Ubuntu update killed my video drivers or something, it would load but then would show me nothing. I'm planning to give Linux another chance soon. I have a couple of older machines I am keeping around for when I have time for that project. Maybe I will get a handle on it and all my complaints will disappear behind sheer computer bliss.

nwallette
nwallette

Not spyware, so much. But that probably has more to do with the target value and experience level of users than the inherent security of the OS. I don't have network problems with Windows. Though Windows 7's "improvements" in "What kind of network are you on?" and "I can't find the Internet from here!" possibly apply to this gripe. Linux networking is generally very robust and stable, but as you alluded, I always feel like I've accomplished something monumental when a wireless card works. This really needs work. Even link state awareness on physical networks can be somewhat tricky. (Though sometimes that's handy -- like not having applications instantly abort connections when your old network cable falls out of the jack.) Logging and troubleshooting.. well, yeah it would be cool if Windows has a decent console where you could see app messages. This is at most a convention issue with Windows developers. There's nothing in the OS itself that prevents this. Windows *DOES* need multiple desktop support. It is SO incredibly handy for grouping related tasks. Their power toy a few years ago was much welcomed, but it broke horribly with >1 monitor. KDE still has a lot of work to do with monitor support though. Which reminds me. Video drivers on Linux are more hit and miss than Windows. I still have trouble with a little integrated Intel chip that randomly refuses to bring monitors back from sleep mode on my Linux box. Microsoft networking protocols are always changing. I've totally given up trying to put SMB on the domain at work. It worked for one day then fell apart. Now I just have it as a standalone workgroup share. Since then, I don't even know the last time I touched that server. It just works. Is this a shortcoming of Windows or Linux? Both, I'd say, though I feel the protocol is a moving target for the SAMBA devs. Having to get all that tied together with PAM and Kerberos and everything else, I'm amazed it ever worked at all.

youzer
youzer

I wish you'd stop posting garbage comparing Windows to Linux. You can't take things out of context and expect it to be a universal truth. Get some perspective and provide some "REAL" insight for once.

Juergen Hartl
Juergen Hartl

My personal experience Antivirus/Malware: Agreed, but this is a due the numbers of installations. If Windows would have a market share, desktops, of 10%, give or take, it would not be an issue. Flaky Networks: Once set up, it has been working without problems. Even printer sharing. I have no problem networking XP, Vista, and Win7 machines. Mysterious slowdowns: Happened to me once, due to multiple huge graphic files being open at the same time, while running low on disk space. I imagine Linux would slow down too. Application crashes: Hardly an OS issue. If you use outdated, crappy, or beta applications, I guess you have to live with crashes on ANY system. Troubleshooting: This is plainly an experience issue. If you are experienced in wading through various log files, good, If you are experienced using the Windows event viewer, good. You still have to know what you are looking for. Outlook/Exchange: Can't say anything about it. I Don't use it. Cumbersome printing: Goes along with #2, once setup works just fine, in BOTH Windows and Linux. It is a lot easier to find correct printer drivers for Windows. Windows 7 heterogeneous networking nightmare: Goes with #2 and #7. I do agree that the Homegroup thing is very awkward, if using different versions of Windows, and god forbid, throwing a Linux machine into the lineup. But nobody forces you to use it. If You don't like it, disable it. Multiple desktops: If you like them, there are about half a millions free apps out there, one even by Microsoft. I prefer multiple monitors. Disappearing resources/resource hog: Can't say too much, but this seems to be an Application issue. I don't say Windows is a better or worse system, actually I am quite sick of people trying to tell me "This system, or That is better. Everybody should use what suits him, and what he is used to. I prefer Windows, simply because my hardware works with it, and I am used to it.

noctilux
noctilux

Automatic updates are what I like best about Linux. In Windows, I have to update all my software either through their proprietary updating tools or by downloading their new versions from the Internet. Linux keeps me up to date all the time.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

I fight every winders install into submission, through Group Policy, Security Policy, and .reg hacks to make it behave as close as possible to win3.1x / 9x including using the NT4 File manager when necessary (which is a lot when I need to "Manage" files) I've grown accustomed to the taskbar (doesn't mean I like it) and I turn the quicklaunch into a mini program manager nearly everything I use is on the quicklaunch bar if I use an app more than once a week I put it there my main workstation has 26 items in the Quick Launch bar try pinning 26 items to the win7 taskbar, then see if you have room for anything else which is one reason why I'm hating to even think about using win7

thoiness
thoiness

I have to question whether all these problems Linux users have in Windows says something more about the user and less about the actual OS. I haven't seen a BSOD in at least the last 7+ years. Also, my security has been tight, and I have seen one virus in the last 5-6 years. I mean, I'm not looking to run Windows 3.1 in compatibility mode or anything on my PC, but I'd say I'm a power user and I throw caution to the wind when surfing the net. My experience with Linux has been: bad performance on full screen Flash (don't even try it), incompatibility with the modern gaming world (you might be able to play space invaders?), poor documentation and support on advanced configurations due to a lack of consistency through different builds, poor native driver support on many peripherals, virtually zero support for Silverlight (no, moonlight is not a viable substitute, and no Netflix? Well, that's just fail), and there is still a slight learning curve on doing what should be the simplest of tasks. I checked out Ubuntu, and I loved the idea. I really wanted it to work, because nothing sounds better to me than free beer, and I like change! Change is fun! But alas, it does not even scratch the surface on what I need my Windows 7 PCs to do day in and day out. I found myself literally trying to change Ubuntu into Windows through Wine and all the other crazy hacks they have created to get 10 year old Windows programs to run on it. And no, this isn't a Windows user thing... Do a quick search and find out how many Linux users are desperately trying to find out how to transform Linux into Windows! All this begs the question: If what everyone wants is Linux, why are they spending hour upon hour trying to get even the most rudimentary of Windows programs to run on it? My time is worth money, and at some point you really have to ask yourself: is it worth it just to have something "different" that you are trying to make "the same?" Don't even get me started on building full blown servers: Windows Server setup with multiple Server applications: 45 minutes including Exchange... Ubuntu Server: After twenty hours of scouring the internet and attempting to implement the discovered "solutions," I put it out to pasture. Now Linux has it's place in my life: My router is supercharged with DD-WRT, I recently built an awesome little raid server using FreeNAS, and I have found that for an embedded OS for use on a single function machine, nothing quite hits the sweet spot like Linux, but as for my servers and PCs? You can have it. It's cost me nothing but grief.

Justin James
Justin James

Microsoft has actually been working very, very hard to cooperate with W3C standard in IE. They have two big obstacles: * What most people call "failure to adhere to standards" is actually vagueness in the standards. Many places that people say, "oh, but IE does it wrong!" is simply false, if you look at the spec, IE's behavior is just as valid as any other browser's. The ACID tests, for example, are highly flawed. The HTML5 spec, which Microsoft is heavily participating in the development of, makes this much better because it was have a true test suite and because many of the vague areas are now clearly specified. * While Microsoft does move a lot closer to the W3C specs, they have to keep in mind how many people write code to the buggy behavior in previous versions. Every time they fix the handling a bit more, then break sites. Ironic, right? J.Ja

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Not to take away from your glorious troll back at the first but "of all software written" is a rather dangerous bit as it would include servers, network gear, phones, big iron, super computing not to mention several generations of computerdom before windows or ms dos. I'd actually like to see that all layed out on a pie chart. Heck, remove the historic qualifier and look only at software currently written and supported. Windows does have most of the popular titles but your looking at the Linux Distro repositories (Debian's 80,000 packages or such?), the managed source outside repositories, the BSDs for what doesn't have a Linux native port, osX native software, Iphone apps, Android apps, code written for software clusters, industrial applications, embedded consumer devices.. Windows is popular within the desktop segment but I'm not sure I'd be tossing "95% of all software" around with it. A brilliantly developed troll otherwise.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Odd, what's the model? I just pulled an IDE LG dvd writer for a BR writer and had no issues with either. It might be a particular model known for grief though it's odd LG would be a problem. Normally disk drives just pop up on the SATA or IDE bus. If interested, you might try this. Follow the directions; run the command, copy, paste. It'll tell you if Debian recognizes the hardware and if it has a known driver. If Debian has a driver listed then Canonical and Mint have no excuses. It may even be something as simple as a firmware package you haven't installed (and I do agree that it should be waiting by default with user friendly distros). It'd be interesting to know if it's the distro or the hardware vendor responsible for the lack of support. Anyhow, the Debian HCL; http://kmuto.jp/debian/hcl/ I know Canonical has an Hardware Compatibility List for Ubuntu which may also help you out. If you don't mind getting a little nerdy, one can easily script most a Debian, Mandriva Free or similar distro's install. Use the distro full install disk (debian net install, mandriva Free.. not Ubuntu which only has liveCD) and do a minimum install; whatever it requires to get you logged into a command prompt with ssh, a text editor (nano? vim?), aptitude (apt-get if you like) and a wired network connection. You then bash script your list of packages to install. Reinstall means the minimum from the install disk then uploading and running your bash script: #!/bin/bash aptitude install \ openssh-server openssh-client vim \ xorg, xserver-ati \ and so on.. (the "\" means "continue this command on the next line" and makes reading the package list easier when editing). You can also script much of your config by copying previously edited config files into place or using bash, echo, cat and such to edit. Overall build from bare metal, depending on ISP speed, can be as little as an hour. (my workstation package list takes about an hour and a half since it's pretty stocked). Of course a customized install by bash script isn't for everyone. I just mention it given the readership of the forums.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

All installations were default, with default drivers only. The network connection was UltraDSL, the time of day was late, on two different days. My Ubuntu install took just over three hours, from booting to the live desktop and clicking "Install", to booting to a desktop with all desired applications installed and updated. About an hour of that was installing Ubuntu and the applications selected from the CD; the remaining time was spent in the Ubuntu Software Center locating, installing, and updating applications. Windows XP took about four hours to install and fully update to a desktop. (To be expected; my SP3 slipstream package dates to May 2009, a year older than Ubuntu 10.04.) Installing and updating applications took another hour or so. Two OEM drivers were installed to provide basic functionality to a Lexmark printer and HP scanner (Ubuntu provided basic support for both devices). Noticeable differences: - There is no central software repository for Windows. Each application has its own setup application. Point and click is convenient, but I found the Ubuntu Software Center to be much more convenient. - Neither is there a central update capability for Windows software; I updated each Windows application using links within that application. Updates for the Ubuntu applications included on the CD was as simple as opening the Software Center. - Support for my Lexmark 250 printer and HP scanner was native to Ubuntu, but not to Windows XP (again, to be expected). - After I moved the box to its final location, it was much easier to convert the Windows installation to wireless operation than it was to convert the Ubuntu installation. (This may have to do with inexperience; this was the first time I've done it with Linux.) I don't know how much of the 8 hours identifying and locating various drivers (both Linux and Windows) and applications before I started were spent on each. However, I did download many more Windows-related files than I did Linux-related file. Much of this, of course, was the individual applications that in Ubuntu are present in the Software Center or on the install CD: office suite, web browser, email client, etc. Each install had its glitches: Ubuntu did not like the embedded GPU and would only give resolutions above 1024x768 after an OEM driver was installed. Windows did not like the idea that it was not being installed in the first partition in the drive table. Conclusion: "It just works" is for the end user, not for the tech.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If you want to compare out of the box, then it's got to be a on a complete blank for both 'distros'. Results at that point will be far more mixed, knock vendor driver support disks on the head, and they be about the same overall, barring MS's huge competitive advantage with 3rd parties. Not to mention that the oft quoted commercial argument for switching to linux is that it's free as in beer.... I didn't give him 10/10 for this bollocks either, but your blinkers are as effective as his....

dcolbert
dcolbert

Those who write code are generally a special breed of uber-nerd. There is a direct correlation between ability to write robust, quality code and inability to function as part of society. The better of a programmer you are, the more anti-social you are likely to be. I imagine that the development of the skill of programming keeps many serial killers off the streets. Just sayin'.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Windows has the market share because Microsoft is very good at business strategy and exploited the market early to achieve dominance. With the amount of moment and savings it's got saved up now, it can put out something like Vista and still recover relatively quickly in the desktop space. Being pre-installed by factories also has a great deal to do with it and is a result of that early market monopolization. If one gets a pre-installed *nix, they don't twiddle with it either; it's pre-configured with the computer it's sold on just like Windows is preconfigred with the computer it's sold on. Sadly, Windows pre-installs rarely means no twiddling either given the amount of crapware OEMs stuff the hard drive with in addition to an OS and, if lucky, usable software. Consider that an entire parasyticaly huge industry has grown up around Windows because it does require technical manuals but that reality is hidden from the consumer to their detrement. Both the AV and tech support (through repeat customer issues) demonstrates this.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

No need for spare machines, just create a VM with Virtualbox, VMware Server or whatever and install any Linux based distributions of interest into it. You can also browse /var/log with a GUI text editor and file explorer; no need to involve the command line if you don't want to. The log messages can be informative and do become familiar just as navigating the Even Viewer tree and understanding the messages became familiar to some degree. In terms fo "intuitive", start from the point of view that Windows and Unix like OS are different. You had to start from scratch and learn the Windows way of doing things in the beginning also. If you do so, in the end you'll start to mix good habbits from both rather than constantly defaulting to "gah.. but it doesn't work like that on XYZ OS". Hope it help even if the non-Windows os only ever become hobby VMs for you.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It's not about why Candidate L is good, it's about why Candidate W is bad.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

It needs more detail on each even and I'd also like to see more software make use of it. Ideally, I'd like to see it text file based so one doesn't need specialized utilities to read the event log of a non-booted Windows box. As text files, one could also search them easier along with filtering and consolidating entries as needed with common software tools; I've a specific script that cosolidates filtered entries out of a few different logs to generate an IP blacklist. Powershell helps a little with it's more robust scripting and ability to dump event logs to text so that may help with an IP blacklist type process but not in trouble shooting unless you have the logs dumped to text before having issue with Windows booting. I've also not found an adequate multi-desktop utility for Windows. Nothing like having it done properly in the actual DE. They all seem to almost work but have some flaw or another that sends me back to a single desktop; usually issue managing explorer windows and such.

thoiness
thoiness

Added an arsenal that doubled the amount of group policies. Why would any competent administrator fear that?

youzer
youzer

fight every winders install into submission, through Group Policy, Security Policy, and .reg hacks to make it behave as close as possible to win3.1x / 9x including using the NT4 File manager when necessary)?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I wouldn't say people are mucking with Wine to turn a Linux based distribution into Windows.. it's because they want to run a specific Windows only application the orginal developer has abandon or never will release a non-Windows version of. Maybe you can point at the Linspire folks who are trying to make an OSS implementation of the Windows software platform but that doesn't include everyone who chooses to use Wine/Cedega or similar. In the end, you can't blame OS because a third party to it didn't provide a native software version any more than you can blame the OS for hardware vendors not providing drivers or minimum specs to write hardware support. (in the second case, especially with FOSS hardware driver developers openly asking for the minimum to implement support)

Justin James
Justin James

In my experience, nearly every single BSOD I've ever seen can be traced to a faulty piece of hardware or a badly written driver. Both of which will send a *Nix machine to their equivalent of a BSOD in most cases. I've seen *one* non-hardware/drive related BSOD since I was using Windows 2000, that I recall. Oh, and I'm a power user too... including writing a pile of software, some of which that uses GB's of RAM and puts every core of the CPU at 100%... J.Ja

thoiness
thoiness

Desktop COMMERCIAL software. Yeah, I know they use a flavor of Linux in Indonesian blenders, but that's not exactly what I'm talking about, and I'm sure you realize that.

bobc4012
bobc4012

It is an external super multi DVD re-writer, model GSA-E60N. I searched the internet and could not find any help on it for Linux. It does not show up in the Debian HCL. On my desktop (before it bit the dust - won't recognize the SATA HD anymore (nor an IDE HD - although it did for a couple of weeks - I suspect the MB has a problem- neither show up in the BIOS H/W anymore - although it will boot a CD)) it worked with Win. XP, although Ubuntu recognized and would read it but not write to it. On one lap-top (ACER), Ubuntu recognizes the drive and will read a CD/DVD, but not write to it. On my other lap-top (Toshiba), Ubuntu does not even recognize the drive. Both lap-tops are old - their internal CD/DVD read/write CDs and only read DVDs. The Toshiba is a dedicated Linux machine and the ACER has Win. XP with a Wubi/Ubuntu install. I think LG had a firmware update for a similar model, but as I recall it did not address the problem plus had some caveats if you messed up the firmware update (no way to recover???). Regardless, I don't have a problem with XP (and Nero that came with it - I did get the Nero version for Linux a couple of months ago, but it didn't do any better than the other DVD writer packages I tried on Ubuntu).

dcolbert
dcolbert

Neon Samuri and Apotheon can do this in 20 minutes. ;)

Justin James
Justin James

"Conclusion: "It just works" is for the end user, not for the tech." My users think Exchange + Outlook "just works". They didn't spend the time setting up Exchange. The think the Web site "just works". They weren't involved in the year-long project to make it happen. My wife thinks the bank account "just works". I'm not going to finish this thought... :D J.Ja

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

complimenting me on my social skills, or denigrating my ability to code... :D

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

not interfering with what I'm doing; ie. consider just a few of the Group Policy settings I change: Administrative Templates\System\Turn Off AutoPlay (in both Computer Configuration and User Configuration) User Configuration\Start Menu and Taskbar\ - Do not keep history of recently opened documents - Clear document history on exit - Turn off personalized menus - Turn off user tracking - Turn off notification area cleanup win 3.1x doesn't do anything when I insert a CD, why would I ever want that problem? win 3.1x doesn't spy on everything I do and keep a record of it in the registry why would I ever want that? win 3.1x doesn't fill up yer hard disk with stupid .lnk files pointing to docs you've opened my apps have their own recent list why would I need winders to do that win 9x - 2K doesn't collapse the system tray so you can't see that yer being attacked because you haven't clicked the network Icon in a few days win7 doesn't even have a network status activity icon anymore and a third party tool is required to get it back etc. using NT4 File manager is like using a razor versus a butter knife when I need fast efficient file management File Manager is the tool with File Manager I can outstrip even the fastest explorer user try to rename a thousand files in one shot with explorer doesn't happen you have to do them one at a time or get stiffed with filename.ext filename(1).ext filename(2).ext ... filename(999).ext whereas in file manager you get a "Rename Dialog" where you change what you want including using * and ? as wild cards to replace only those characters in the file names etc.

thoiness
thoiness

What is an O.S. without it's apps? People are mucking with Wine to run Windows based programs. Many of them are actually Microsoft written and published. Your argument for the logic of wanting Windows apps to run in Linux not a fault of Linux is like saying: "I want a PS3, but I want my X360 games to run on it." If Linux does not have what you need natively, then it's not the right O.S. for you. If my Windows 7 box can do what I need out of the box, why would I be spending months on end trying to get MS Office 2000 to run on my Linux box? I wouldn't. I'd load 2010 on my W7 machine and realize Linux is not the right O.S. for me. What many in the Linux community want is Windows for free. This really has nothing to do with Linux being superior for their needs. Yes, yes, the whole "no viruses because we are a statistical margin of error in the O.S. realm" is great, but let's get to the REAL meat and potatoes of the argument in favor of Linux. Like I've said many times before, the O.S. has it's place, but it doesn't belong on any friend's machine, family's machine, or my machine as it's not the right tool for the job. To date, I haven't been able to utilize it for one single person I know, and it isn't for a lack of trying.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I just took you at your word of meaning "all software written" when you said "all software written".. silly me. Now, if you mean only in the desktop space and specifically proprietary retail software, sure, the majority is written for Windows. You can have that one once we find ways to disregard software that falls outside that narrow definition. From my view though, I'm really only seeing a minority of popular software titles not a majority of desktop software.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

My LG IDE internal was rock solid and the Blueray SATA that replaced it hasn't even hickuped. That does suck that an external read/writer had issue if it wasn't a result of a failing motherboard. Ubuntu is not the best for hardware support either though. If the issue was caused by the firmware in the writer or the LG's provided driver then you really gotta take that up with them or buy from a more user friendly company. Did you try K3B at all and if so, what where it's short comings in your usage? I tried it first and really haven't looked at any other burning software since. the only need I have currently that K3B doesn't seem to provide is creating a video DVD which also has data file content on it. That would be nice to have but doing a seporate video DVD and data DVD isn't a deal breaker either.

Jaqui
Jaqui

at one point, debian devs made any segment of kde depend on all of kde. you want kde network manager, you have to have all of the kde desktop, and kde ADDON APPS installed. and unless you build from sources, the dep chain can be really confusing if you only look at 1 distro.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I read it as a first foray into the software center or at least a user taking the time to look through what is available. Figuring out my preferred package list probably took about as long; I simply benefit now from having a list of preferred Debian packages. Switching to another distribution would involve a long first build again as I figured out my preferred package list for it. The trick is figuring out the minimum packages one needs to name while allowing the package manager to manage related dependencies. an example would be selecting Konsole, networkmanager-kde and a KDE theme instead of the "kde-all" package; you end up with just the parts you want and the minimum KDE needed behind them.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I didn't go into the Software Center with a definitive list of desired apps. This being my first serious experience with the it, much of my time was spent just browsing the contents and reacting. "Oh, neat!"

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

While the winky at the end clarifies the sarcasm. Both Apotheon and I explained how anyone else could do the same and also stated that 20min was the starting minimum for a minimal Debian install from which we each build out our own setups. You'll remember my stating that bare metal to full apps/config/updats was in the hour and a half to two hours with a fair broadband connection in my own case. Please keep these types of suggestive disparagements targetted at those who deserve it. At least between the two of us, let's try and keep the discussion moving forward rather than falling back to old falicies. I was actually going to suggest Nick look into aptitude or apt-get to completely take away that time spent finding apps in the GUI package manager. This isn't magic or any more complex than a .bat file which I assume both you and Nick would have no issue working with.

dcolbert
dcolbert

the art of the English Compliment. :)

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

it was removed from NT5 (win2K) & up however, the NT4 SP6 & SP6a version of the file manager works with win2K, XP, XP-64 and Server2003 32 & 64

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

" Autorun - Again, don't you know what you're sticking in the drive? Having a CD play on insert is very convenient. What's the issue? " Given how fast Conficker spread through autorun.inf files; I'd say most users don't know what they are sticking in there drive or believe it to be something safe. Given Microsoft finally disabling it outright through the latest patch tuesday; I'd say that even they finally accepted how stupid this default setting was. (now if we can just get "display file extensions by default" rather than the current default). "Renaming - This works in Explorer and has for years." You can do a search/replace to mass-rename all or some files in a directory through Iexplore.exe? Cool.. how do you do that? I can only seem to rename one file at a time.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I work with files not applications. I want to see a directory of files. i want to open a file and have the correct application load to work with it. I don't open my applications then go find the file I want to edit; this is slow and ugly when you've a directory full of related files which your working wtih. If you look at writing cli commands into .cmd files, you can do a lot of config that way now too. Iive a serviceson.cmd and servicesoff.cmd; both turn off services I don't want on at all then each respectively actives specific services when I need to be in "full service" and "user services" modes (servcieson.cmd, Windows Update, servicesoff.cmd and no memory dedicated to unused processes). With winXP, one can turn off system tray callapse and always have all icons in view. One can also specify icons which are never hidden. I believe win7 is the same; I know it shows icons on activity but haven't confirmed if you can disable hiding all together. You might look into that though if it's a concern rather than deciging that it can't be done at all. I also keep taskmanager open to the point of adding a shortcut to my startup folder; I want to quickly see network stats, processor/memory stats, processes ranked as need and such. Who cares about a taskbar network icon when you can see more comprehensive network stats in the taskmanager? That mention of mass-renaming as a search/replace type function is fantastic though. That one I have to look into further. If the file manager is already installed by default then it saves adding third party search/replace file naming utilities.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

No, sometimes I don't know what's on that flash drive the vendor / customer / visiting VIP brought in with them.

john3347
john3347

Very often I DO NOT know what is on the CD/DVD that I am sticking into the drive. In fact, that is often the reason I place it in the drive. While this is not a problem in Windows because you can turn off autorun, my particular requirements need autorun turned off. (My particular requirements and preferences also need many other choices that Windows 7 has eliminated.......but that is another topic)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]...you have no idea of the options available in windows. [/i] Can you see into his mind? His choices are not your choices...unless you are on his network. Whether or not he knows the capability is there, he has chosen not to use it and provided his reasoning. Rather than trying to find reasons to find him 'wrong', you should be working to understand his reasons for his choices.

dogknees
dogknees

You can set audio CDs to autorun and others not to. Again, you have no idea of the options available in windows.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

[i]Recent Documents - Using this list saves time. As you say, you apps have recent file lists. But, you still have to open the app, then open the file.[/i] Recent docs list doesn't help me, it only serves as winders spyware and start menu cluttering if I'm wanting to open a particular file chances are 99% I've already got the app. open and if I don't it still takes the same amount of time to open the app regardless of whether winders calls it or I specifically open it from the icon _ _ [i]Tray - Why are you under attack? Haven't you configured your system to be safe? Or do you do unsafe things like installing software you know nothing about? Or opening attachments you don't recognize?[/i] [b]Shat[/b] can still happen ! ! Regardless of whether or not I've configured my system and network for safe use - which I have, - and no I don't download and install anything from anywhere - - I'm more picky about my sources than the average 4 year old at dinner time - and no I don't open attachments - and no I don't surf weirdo sites - and no I don't click short url redirects, (never have, never will) etc. I use NoScript, Flashblock, AdBlock Plus, Better Privacy, Flagfox and Formfox add-ons for Firefox _ _ [i]Renaming - This works in Explorer and has for years.[/i] Rename does not work in explorer, if you select more than one file they all get the same name followed by a (1), (2), etc. see the following images: Results of Bulk rename in explorer: http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz249/WhatNameShoudIUse/ExplorerRename.png?t=1296761239 the results, all files are given the same name followed by (#) File Manager Rename Dialog: with 28 files selected for rename http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz249/WhatNameShoudIUse/FMRename.png?t=1296761314 the results: all files are renamed to start with 1000 and the rest of the file name is retained _ _ [i]Notifications - If you want the network status icon to stay visible, why don't you configure it to do so?[/i] I did, I use the Group Policy "Turn off notification area cleanup" from the Start Menu properties configuration UI it's called "Hide inactive Icons" the group policy gets pushed out to all users so all are configured in one shot _ _ [i]Autorun - Again, don't you know what you're sticking in the drive? Having a CD play on insert is very convenient. What's the issue? [/i] convenience is the maker of all infections / hosed machines, if people would use their systems with the same safety considerations that the bomb squad uses when checking out a suspicious package there would be very little incentive for those monsters to code malware I disable autoplay / autorun for that very reason, having a CD start immediately upon insert is not a convenience, it's no less than a friggin irritation especially when the disc contains a setup file for a previous version of winders or the setup file installs shat I don't want ie. the Nero CD shipped with my Yamaha burner installs more junk than is useful however with autocrap disa

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

[i]Recent Documents - Using this list saves time. As you say, you apps have recent file lists. But, you still have to open the app, then open the file.[/i] Recent docs list doesn't help me, it only serves as winders spyware and start menu cluttering if I'm wanting to open a particular file chances are 99% I've already got the app. open and if I don't it still takes the same amount of time to open the app regardless of whether winders calls it or I specifically open it from the icon _ _ [i]Tray - Why are you under attack? Haven't you configured your system to be safe? Or do you do unsafe things like installing software you know nothing about? Or opening attachments you don't recognize?[/i] [b]Shat[/b] can still happen ! ! Regardless of whether or not I've configured my system and network for safe use - which I have, - and no I don't download and install anything from anywhere - - I'm more picky about my sources than the average 4 year old at dinner time - and no I don't open attachments - and no I don't surf weirdo sites - and no I don't click short url redirects, (never have, never will) etc. I use NoScript, Flashblock, AdBlock Plus, Better Privacy, Flagfox and Formfox add-ons for Firefox _ _ [i]Renaming - This works in Explorer and has for years.[/i] Rename does not work in explorer, if you select more than one file they all get the same name followed by a (1), (2), etc. see the following images: Results of Bulk rename in explorer: http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz249/WhatNameShoudIUse/ExplorerRename.png?t=1296761239 the results, all files are given the same name followed by (#) File Manager Rename Dialog: with 28 files selected for rename http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz249/WhatNameShoudIUse/FMRename.png?t=1296761314 the results: all files are renamed to start with 1000 and the rest of the file name is retained _ _ [i]Notifications - If you want the network status icon to stay visible, why don't you configure it to do so?[/i] I did, I use the Group Policy "Turn off notification area cleanup" from the Start Menu properties configuration UI it's called "Hide inactive Icons" the group policy gets pushed out to all users so all are configured in one shot _ _ [i]Autorun - Again, don't you know what you're sticking in the drive? Having a CD play on insert is very convenient. What's the issue? [/i] convenience is the maker of all infections / hosed machines, if people would use their systems with the same safety considerations that the bomb squad uses when checking out a suspicious package there would be very little incentive for those monsters to code malware I disable autoplay / autorun for that very reason, having a CD start immediately upon insert is not a convenience, it's no less than a friggin irritation especially when the disc contains a setup file for a previous version of winders or the setup file installs shat I don't want ie. the Nero CD shipped with my Yamaha burner installs more junk than is useful however with autocrap disabled I can insert the CD and install the necessar

dogknees
dogknees

Recent Documents - Using this list saves time. As you say, you apps have recent file lists. But, you still have to open the app, then open the file. Tray - Why are you under attack? Haven't you configured your system to be safe? Or do you do unsafe things like installing software you know nothing about? Or opening attachments you don't recognize? Renaming - This works in Explorer and has for years. Notifications - If you want the network status icon to stay visible, why don't you configure it to do so? Autorun - Again, don't you know what you're sticking in the drive? Having a CD play on insert is very convenient. What's the issue?