Linux optimize

The de-marketing of Linux


This weekend I was writing an article for TechRepublic about Puppy Linux. During the process of writing this article it struck me as interesting how obsessed I had become with having the ability to carry around a bootable thumb drive with a fully capable Linux operating system on board. I wanted to have Linux with me all the time. I wanted to be at a friend or colleagues house or office and be able to safely wipe away his or her Windows operating system and use my own operating system. Once I was done, I wanted to be able to reboot so my friend could have his or her computer back in its original state.

I was able to get to that point. But that point brought up another point. Fanaticism. I guess you'd say I am a fanatic about Linux. I have been since I first heard about it in the mid 90s. You can ask the men and women I worked with at TechRepublic and they will gladly tell you how loud my opinion was about Linux. It's still the same.

But what about the public? Why has Linux not caught on? I know it's caught on in IT departments around the globe. But why not the desktop? Is it because of the nature of the OS leads it to zero marketing? We all know that consumerism is fueled by marketing. I remember a long time ago when I first saw a version of Linux on the shelves at Target. At the time I thought it had finally happened. But that shelf-life was short lived. And now Linux has no shelf-life. Linux has no shiny boxes sitting pretty on the shelves for the grubby hands of consumers to grab. Linux is now relegated to downloading isos or ordering from various websites. 

I honestly think that is one of the biggest issues keeping Linux from dominating the desktop. Think about it. Jane consumer is shopping for a new operating system because hers finally died. She goes to the store and sees, sitting next to one another, Windows Vista for roughly 200.00 USD and Fedora Core 7 for roughly 19.99. Which is she going to choose? Even without knowing the difference, any consumer (unless a Windows fanatic) will opt to save roughly 180.00.

But that's not happening. It's not happening because there are no shiny boxes. It's not happening because Microsoft struck deals with PC makers that the PC makers couldn't pass up. It's not happening because the public has no idea the savings (on so many levels) they are missing.

No viruses

No malware

No crashes

No insane hardware requirements

No EULs that are nothing but law-speak

Nada

 

I don't have an answer to this issue. Do you? Do you know how Linux can find it's way to the desktop? It's not really an issue of compatibility. It's not an issue of the OS not being mature enough. It's not an issue of usability. No, those are arguments long gone. Now it's simply an issue of marketing. Linux and the open source community has to learn how to strike deals ala Microsoft. If not, Linux will remain on servers and embedded in teeny-tiny systems unnoticed by men and women.

Linux needs commercials like the OS X vs. Microsoft commercials. Linux needs shiny boxes on shelves. Linux needs a sexy spokesmodel or a catchy Emo pop song to back it up.

How do we make it happen? 

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.

526 comments
Dionychus
Dionychus

I installed Kubuntu Linux on a removable hard drive. I use Windows 2000 on my other drive. I was curious. I wanted to see if I could maybe make a permanent move away from Windows. I was pleasantly surprised in some respects and frustrated in others. I am not not a professional like you nice people - but neither am I a complete novice. That said, let me emumerate some of the highlights of my experience with an eye toward how this might feel to a novice: 1) The install was quick and painless. 2) Kubuntu recognized my two external hard drives. But I can only read them (they are NTFS). I located a piece of software that would add the capability to write to them but it was in beta and was unstable - some reported having their drives trashed after installing it. I think it has just recently entered a stable state, but I am hesitant to set it up. A novice would be hard-pressed to figure this out. 3) I have a small wired network consisting of a win2k machine and a winXP machine connected to a LinkSys router which is connected to the internet through a cable modem. Kubuntu had no problem figuring this out. I was downloading updates immediately. I am not communicating with the XP machine although I am sure this can be set up. I really doubt a novice would be able to do this easily though. 4) Sound worked (Intel onboard). 5) My five button intellimouse was not fully functional. I had to edit the .config file for the mouse. The two side buttons still only work in firefox. They do not work in Konqueror which is the native KDE file/internet browser. A novice would not know how to edit the .config file. 6) My MS natural keyboard pro was not fully functional. I had to set the model in the system settings dialog. It still is not fully functional - although I think it might be possible to adjust the .config file to add functionality. I still have yet to discover how to make the buttons do what I want them to do. A novice would be lost. 7) Kubuntu started up with a screen resolution of something like 1600 x 1200. Too high for me. I have an nVidia GeForce card. I tried to adjust the resolution in system settings. I was limited to 24 bit color in all the possible resolutions and in some cases only a 55 Hz refresh rate. I don't even like 60 Hz. I left system settings and came back to it later and lo and behold - there was 1152 x 864 @ 75Hz available. What happened to make it show up? I entered administrative mode and set it. I restarted the computer later and the resolution was 800 by 640! When I went to system settings the only other resolutions were LOWER resolutions. What? I reinstalled. Tried again. Same thing. Went to the .config file. It had been altered - 800 x 640 was the only available option. Luckily there were backups. I examined all of them. I found one that I guessed was right and I renamed it and renamed the other screwed up one to backup. Then I went to system settings and reset the resolution WITHOUT entering adminstrative mode. That has worked so far. At the login screen the resolution is something ridiculously high. After I log in it is set the way I want it. Now... This doesn't even speak to the fact that the drivers are Linux NV drivers. If I want to use the nVidia drivers and get the full functionality that I know my card is capable of, I have to install them, shut down X-Server, configure the drivers and restart X-Server. There is no way a novice is gonna go there. And why should it be so complex? In Windows, I install the driver, restart and choose my settings from within a GUI. 8) After some searching, I figured out how to get my HP DeskJet 855C up and running. But it took some searching and a couple of attempts. In Windows it was much less painful. Again, a novice would be hard-pressed. 9) Applications. Yes. There are tons of programs available - if you know how to add repositories. And there are a couple of ways (at least) to get and install programs. But there is some learning to do before you can figure this out. The Add/Remove programs dialog is limited to programs that KDE deems stable enough I guess. If you want more you have to configure Adept package manager to look in other repositories. Even then, there may not be software to replace what you have grown accustomed to in Windows. I really like having ClipMate on my Win2K machine and while Klipper - the KDE clipboard manager - collects clips it is nothing compared to ClipMate and I can't for the life of me find anything that is. And there are other programs that I miss. There are also some really good programs that I didn't have on my windows machine. Still. Again, this is an area that a novice might have trouble with. Especially since there is no documentation about how to use Adept. By that I mean when I click on the help menu and click on the Adept Handbook I am told that documentation for this does not exist. When I finally found some documentation on the web it was very basic and did not have the answers I was looking for. 10) Speaking of documentation. There were other cases of missing documentation. In some cases even searching on the web yielded little to nothing. After visiting the Kubuntu forum to inquire as to why the help center couldn't build a search index, I was told that, well, the help center doesn't work right yet. OK. The one place that would be most convenient to get assistance doesn't work right. 11) And then there is my battery backup. Kubuntu knew it was there. That's good. But I had to track down the software that would interact with it. I had to set up the .config file. Interacting with the software is done through the console. No GUI. APC has software for Linux but the installation is more difficult and there was a question in my mind whether it would work on Kubuntu. So, command line it is. I like GUI. But I am a big boy. I can deal with the command line. And the configuration files. I'm a geeky type guy. It's exciting and a little nerve racking but I can handle it. But a novice? I don't think so. 12) UH... how do I get Konqueror/Firefox to play .wmv files? Or KMPlayer or Kaffeine for that matter? Just install the codecs. This might be illegal to do and they don't show up in Adept but they're out there if you know which package to look for and know how to install it. Good luck with that novice person - .RPM? .deb? .bin? Well, Ubuntu/Kubuntu is based on Debian. Who is going to know this? How are they going to know what to do. I enjoyed the challenge and the discovery and yes I am slowly getting things to work and finding the programs I want. But others will be turned off immediately. I could go on, but I think this illustrates my point. Even Ubuntu/Kubuntu can be difficult to set up. No person that just wants their machine to work right out of the box - no matter their hardware configuration is going to long put up with Linux if they have to go through what I went through. Documentation is scattered. The forums can be a bit of a crap shoot. Things that should be very easy to set up are not. I am going to stick with it until I get it right - but would my sister, who hates computers because she finds them frustrating and doesn't want to take the time to learn how to make them work? Or my 75 year-old parents? So - if Jane consumer goes to the store again and finds Linux on the shelf, what's it going to be? I know this is only one distro, but I got the impression (as I surfed for answers) that they all have similar problems. I also tried Freespire. It was worse in many ways and IT used click n run - I thought 'Cool, maybe I can click and run the drivers I need, afterall, it has access to proprietary software. Not so easy - in my case, anyway. Is Jane going to get an OS that works out of the box? Or is she going to have to pull hair out trying to get Linux to do what she wants?

PhilippeV
PhilippeV

Let's remember that TV adds are too much expensive for Linux vendors. Otherwise they would sell linux at a much higher price. Of course there are expensive Linux offers, but they are Linux-based services for support, scaling, consulting, evaluation of solutions, evolutions, custom software adaptations, system integration... Those don't need TV adds, as there are much better marketing partners through consulting companies selling global solutions to professional markets. That's what IBM is providing (just an example), as well as speialized providers for network infrastructures. But let's not forget that, today, many Jane customer will buy their PC through online shops. It's simply unbelievable that you can't find in the best online shops PC offers at great price, sold with a Linux package preinstalled for immediate use, like you find Windows; it's unbelievable that those shops don't let you choose the OS, except sometimes between Windows and... Windows (e.g. Home vs. Pro versions, or XP vs. Vista) Note that Windows Server is not availanble on shelves and is not sold with PCs. Still it has some success, because it is sold through partners as part of more global service solutions. Here it competes fairly with Linux offers that are traded through the same channel. So yes, the main problem is total absence of Linux within PC shops. Making boxes on shelves is probably not the best solution. The real one will be to have online PC merchants to sell their cutting edge PCs with the choice of the OS, including Linux, preinstalled for ease of use. (Some won't like the preinstallation, but as long as customers have the choice, it is not bad, and in fact this is a valuable service for most customers, because they won't fear about installation problems). I don't understand that online shops have not invested a minimum to propose viable Linux-based solutions with their PCs, including viable optional service offers. There does exists great Linux service providers for the assistance (think Red-Hat... or similar). Who is guilty then? Linux sercie providers that have still not prepared themselves to make marketing alliances with PC makers, or online PC shops. Let's start by online shops (because this is the most cost-effective way to start); if it generates revenues there for the online merchant, it will succeed, and will then force PC makers to offer solutions that allow bundling Linux with their PCs, and even to support them. So these Linux boxes will finally appear in street shops... But unfortunately, PC makers are still building PCs at low prices for online shops ONLY if they sell large volumes of Windows licences. This effectively hides something important: * Windows is more expensive for PC vendors than what you can expect. They bundle Windows only because there are some demands for it, but to offer their PCs at reasaonnable price with a Windows licence, they need to sell a lot of units, otherwise the Windows Licence costs a lot more. * Microsoft is constantly raising its volume licence pricing to PC makers. Why do they accept to be pressured this way? In fine, all they can do is to distribute much more Windows licences and this leaves them no place to sell something else than Windows with their PCs: they need "ROI" (return on investment) each time Microsoft sells them volume licences. So the main problem is the way Windows is sold to OEM. The volume licences are MUCH too restricting (i.e. the smallest prices are only available at too large volumes), so this is FORCED SALES to OEM makers (and indirectly to their final end-users). That's where Microsoft is breaking the law: forced sales are illegal, but Microsoft attempts to dillute its responsability by forcing its OEM makers to transfer these forced sales to all their resellers, and finally these forced sales go to the final end-user that gets no real choice at the best prices without Windows... Really, if there's something to regulate, it's the volume licencing scheme for OEM makers, because they have no other choice than accepting the Microsoft dictact!

Absolutely
Absolutely

Mac says to PC, "You wanna play?" PC says, "I need to do x, y, & z in preparation, then, sure let's go play." (time-elapse photography, or some other cinematic gimmick, then Mac & PC are playing, say, multimedia file sharing, etc. They decide to invite Linux, who is busy with something neither of them quite understands) Mac & PC: "Hey, Linux, wanna play multimedia file swapping & playback?" Linux: "Are you kidding me?" (Linux 'divides', like the multiple arms in the new Intel Core Duo ads, and continues, in a booming, robotic, chorus-like voice...) Linus: "That's Little League! Check this out..."

jlwallen
jlwallen

a parody of the Mac vs. Windows commercials

wessonjoe
wessonjoe

friend says there are not enough cool games written for linux and i can't get linux to work with my tv capture card. and another friend says she has to submit her school work in office2003 format. mature is as mature does. no doom. no office2003. no TV. no Linux. the average joe just wants a computer that works and communicates easily with the rest of the world. granted, the only way a win*** computer will accomplish that is for the rest of the world to have the same software. linux isn't better than that yet. so unless BestB** puts a preconfigured laptop with linux, office2003, and TV-capture on sale, linux will not be a serious desktop contender. :) .

roystreet
roystreet

I have tried two times to implement Linux as my main desktop environment & both times failed. I could use it, but I have a good amount of experience working with computers & I can catch on quite quickly. But the test really was bent towards my wife which isn't tech savy - I consider her a fairly good example of a common PC user. One in which doesn't have time to learn even the main in's & out's of an OS. The final dist of Linux I used was Linspire (Formerly known as Lindows). My wife liked the interface a lot. Much like what people look for in an OS, but it has it's quirks. But I would say if you were used to using Linux & then went to Windows, you would notice Windows quirks. It's what you are used to. Linux uses a different file structure as in Windows has drive "A, B, C, etc" - Linux has nothing like this. The is extremely confusing. Especially when people are looking for that file on the "C" drive. They refer to those letters a lot. My thoughts for making Linux more of a viable alternative is...Marketing is a big issue, but whose going to pay for it? I think that some type of Linux "Foundation" could pay in for it? Possibly? Because any amount of money poured into marketing is probably going to benefit more than one dist, even if the advertising is for only one specific one. Also, I believe the time is becoming more "Ripe" for alternatives. People must become more tech savy. I think this generation is. They are willing to understand & manipulate (customize) more of the OS to their liking. When we had a generation or two that was used to an OS that they didn't have to be technically savy to make it perform functions they were used to, it was hard for them to turn to another OS in which seemed like an alien. PC builders (As Dell, Gateway, etc) MUST machines that have Linux on it. Again, even with implementation of Linux, they MUST have drivers that work with Linux. Software companies MUST be willing to make software for Linux, simply because people are used to using them. For example, Photoship does not work very well - Now it can run using codeweaver (WINE) installed, but it still isn't the same. Photoshop is still the standard for graphic design for the most part. (Sorry, GIMP doesn't match it - The Linux alternative that's free!) I believe there's got to be some money out there for software makers to make money or they will continue to NOT build software for Linux. To deter this some, I believe that software makers need to do marketing for their Linux versions of software. People aren't necessarily sure if there is software out there that fits their needs for Linux and/or there is a type of "Astigmatism" of how free software is poorly designed or isn't trustworthy or simply isn't the "real thing". To sum things up (Because I have probably already written to much) Linux has the opportunity to makes itself the ideal OS with the ideal interface. The other day I actually read an article that Windows was able to be more custimized that Linux - How many of you think that's true - That has used Linux?? Linux MUST be designed to easily take on the attributes that best fit the end user. If they want their OS to look much like Windows, (which they are used to) make it easy for them to do. It now has the opportunity to do so & sure it may be able to look much like it now, but not necessarily easily for the end user to perform this action. Maybe possibly not calling it the "Windows interface" (Being what many people want), but call it the "Standardly used interface". Linux doesn't want to be Windows, it wants to be Linux. But if they can make a "Free-Flowing" OS work well in which many of the functionalities, software, & hardware work fairly seamlessly, it will be a very viable alternative. The server "Sector" is much easier to convert than the desktop user - There's much less server users than desktop users. Those are just some of my thoughts. ---roystreet

Malleable
Malleable

First time blogger here. Thought about trying Linux about 10yrs ago. I build my own systems, but am not knowledgeable about most computer topics. 1. So why is Linux better than Microsoft? 2. And my ABSOLUTE MAIN CONCERN is can I run all the MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games)? I play Vanguard, and formerly WOW, DAOC and EQ2. If it improved how my computer ran these games, Id be all over it. 3. Would it limit the hardware that I run on my system, thereby preventing me from have the most optimized MMORPG experience? I have Acronis Disk Director Suite, so I could dual boot and try out Linux. Maybe all you IT folk think of computers as useful tools, but just as hardware is driven by games, gamers drive software companies. If Linux allowed you to play Windows games, then people would use Linux. If people used Linux, games would be written in Linux. Comments appreciated, Mal

IT_Analyst-Admin
IT_Analyst-Admin

There are basically 2 reasons Linux has not caught on as a Desktop OS for corporate or personal use. 1. Before the advent of SLED (Suse Enterprise Desktop) the general look and feel of the desktop was not good and not really comparable to windows. It's getting better. SLED is a great improvement. 2. No APPLICATIONS. I need Office apps at a minimum, exchange server client, and apps like video editing, photoshop type drawing, and I could go on with a long list. The good news is that we now have OpenOffice and it's functionality is just now allowing it to become a great alternative. But there aren't a lot of apps out there. Until vendors start offering applications you aren't going to see a big switch to Linux. Also, from a corporate standpoint there are big issues with security as far as server/clients are concerned and integration with Active Directory. These issues are being addressed but there are still no acceptable solutions that a corporate entity may be comfortable standardizing for their organization. I REALLY look forward to the day when Linux will be a viable option to Microsoft. We are getting closer but it's not there yet. Until we have apps and acceptable corporate security solutions there's nothing to market.

zlatko.matic1
zlatko.matic1

I can tell you my reason for not migrating to Linux (although I have at last 10 different Linux distributions in my box). The reason is: there is absolutely no decent alternative to MS Access on Linux! As long as there is no alternative to MS Access, I will keep my Windows XP alive...

Meesha
Meesha

I haven't as yet read all the comments so I'm sure that some of mine may simply be echoes. But just so you know, the ground swell is happening regardless of the lack of marketing media exposure. The difference is that while a company such as MS has several million $$$$s for their "pushing" campaigns which have been collected from extremely high cost products, i.e. $500+ for an O/S, the Linux world is succeeding primarily by word of mouth. True it's slower but it is far more subtly effective. Case in point, almost 98% of the people in my immediate sphere of influence - family, friends, colleagues, business clients, et al - have opted for Linux on the desktop. Some have gone SuSE, others Gentoo, or Ubuntu, etc. None have any major complaints nor miss anything much from their former Windows world. I also beg to differ slightly with you on the statement "It's not happening because Microsoft struck deals with PC makers that the PC makers couldn't pass up. . .". Dell just announced it had done a survey on O/S and they are putting in plans to provide Linux options for those who wish it instead of preloaded MS O/S. Several of our local PC "chop shops" do the reverse - they primarily offer Linux distros and you have to ask for Windows. Their businesses albeit small are flourishing. At the end of the day, even as a strong Linux proponent, I believe the desktop will be irrelevant for the home user in particular. For example, the recently announced Apple TV provides that direct connection between MAC/PC to the medium of choice TV. Is Linux in this arena as yet? No, but I don't feel that it will present a problem over time. Linux will be there as will Apple or MS or any other O/S vendor who chooses to provide a converged multimedia environment. Between the WWW and other converged multimedias, MS is loosing / has lost its dominance on the desktop - maybe not in North America, but for sure globally - and is struggling to find it's competitive footing on the SaaS front as it goes toe to toe with the likes of Google. Linux for business makes extremely good sense and payback while Linux on the homefront is still a bit of an effort for the average consumer. But not for long.

tweakerxp
tweakerxp

My first venture into the Linux world was met with an "ATTITUDE" that wouldn't quit. I went to several Linux forums trying to learn about it. I was told by MANY people in these forums to go a learn for myself. I got almost ZERO help from these people. I finally, after three weeks got some helpful soul to point me in the direction I was needed to go. This gentleman helped me more that all the other put together. I was told, in the forums that that is the way they learned and I should do the same. Do I use Linux and go to the forums any more ...NOPE Not a chance! Not after the way I and several others like me were treated. Would I try Linux again... I'd have to think about it. The experience left me bitter. After all the hype about Linux I thought it would be fun, but it was anything but. Linux people need to change their attitudes about bringing new people into the fold if they really want Linux to grow. We all had to have someone to hold our hand when we first started to walk, the same thing applies here. Give a little and you get a lot back.

davidandtrace
davidandtrace

I think this article might be missing the real problem with Linux. It is written for developers not consumers. Just visit the Fedora Project Web Page: http://docs.fedoraproject.org/release-notes/fc5/#id2995441 It is so UN-user-friendly that one really doesn't even bother with it. Further there is a serious lock-in effect of running my windows apps vs. Linux apps. If Windows virtualization is available, it certainly isn't well advertised on the Fedora site. And I definitely am not going to buy a dedicated Linux PC. I think to make Linux work the following is needed: 1. A simple File/Image You download and hit setup to run, like Windows. And it must be prominently displayed. 2. A way to run my windows apps, so some form of Windows Emulator, which doesn't slow performance. 3. Some pretty screen shots on the Linux pages so that I can see what I'm getting before I bother with all this. 4. A way to load Linux on my present Windows Desktop machine, so that I can try it out before loading a new OS. 5. An easy way to migrate my existing Desktop to Linux, with all my existing apps settings etc... Essentially a Linux machine must be able to do what a Windows Machine can do, but even more easily for a computer amateur. When it does this then people will gladly move. Remember ultimately it isn't only about price, it is more about compatibility, ease of use and flexibility -- for the non-IT user. Please post your thoughts on this comment. Regards David Lucas

jackie40d
jackie40d

There are some things I can't do yet and Xandros is supposed to be next to Windows in a lot of stuff Like I can run a lot of windows stuff in Code Weavers plus run games I like to play when I get a chance . . But the two things I need to get running are the Verizon USB720 Braod Band Modem and the ADS Tech DVD Express So I can leave Windows Xandros see's them just does not know how to make them work And I can't install the Windows Software that goes with them with Code Weavers Pro . . So I am stuck with using Win2K Pro till then for a few things yet I have gotten Firefox to run the WMV files and it was because they are up on YouTube ( I put them there ) I also use ATI AGP 256 Meg Video card and never had any problems with the video and what to set it at also see's the TV as a monitor when I connect it for doing stuff . . But I did have problems with Xine to watch Movies on the computer in Xandros . . Why I do not know Works good in Linux 2007 with 6 CD's of stuff to add to the computer And Linux 2007 seen my HP 3500 Scanner on setup just was not sure which one it was . . I have over 6 different versions of Linux and have tried a lot of them . . The full Version of Linspire is not bad for a Jane out of the box install found every thing except the Verizon modem and the ADS Tech DVD Experss ( AGAIN ) Seems I have to buy the book on "How to make a USB Driver" for the two items Aw well between here and there and spend the $30.00 when I get thru updating my site and fixing the other sites I take care of . . got to go get Thomas's Mail Loop Program for his Real Estate Business up and running tonight . . and Prison Break & 24 Hours is on tonight ! Glad I got a recorder to record it ( Go Video DVD / VCR ) DVD recorder on it NICE . . I make use of it and use DVD-RW's in it

apotheon
apotheon

2) It's a sad fact that Microsoft [b]wants[/b] to make things incompatible. NTFS is not, in fact, a single filesystem standard -- it is a moving target. The NTFS spec (if indeed there is one -- only Microsoft really knows) not only changes with every single MS Windows release that supports something called NTFS, but changes with service pack and hotfix updates as well. As long as this continues to be the case, you'll probably see a fair bit of instability with state of the art NTFS writing capability on other OSes. Older NTFS partitions should be more accessible for writing, however. 3) "[i]I am not communicating with the XP machine although I am sure this can be set up. I really doubt a novice would be able to do this easily though.[/i]" I'm not exactly a Kubuntu expert, but I rather suspect that it's stunningly easy to set this up. It's probably about as easy as, if not easier than, making such changes to network sharing on a Microsoft Windows system. This is speculation, however, based on my past experience with KDE and GNOME default installs of "kitchen sink" Linux distributions. Whether or not a novice could accomplish this feat is probably about equivalent to the likelihood of a novice doing something similar with MS Windows. 5) I'm surprised you didn't find a GUI configuration utility for the five-button mouse. If it's missing, that's something of an oversight for a distribution like Kubuntu. 6) I use a Microsoft Natural keyboard (the company makes great hardware and crappy software -- go figure). I haven't had any problems with it whatsoever. Perhaps you could describe your issues in a little more detail so we can compare notes. 7) It sounds like your major problem with display configuration was related to the fact that you decided to try to make changes as a system administrator rather than as a user. I suspect your years of experience with MS Windows has somehow mistrained you: you should not have to change personal user account preferences as a superuser (aka: the root user). By the way, the 32 bit color depth you're used to seeing on MS Windows is, in fact, 24 bit color depth. Microsoft just likes to add in the extra 8 bits used for alpha channel rendering in its color depth settings because it makes the color depth setting sound better. It's just 24 bit color, so don't think your Linux system's color sucks if you can't get better than 24 bit color depth. MacOS does things the same (more honest) way. The fact that the drivers need to be installed separately to get high quality 3D acceleration with nVidia and ATI graphics adapters is a sad result of these two corporations' patent interests getting in the way of good business (and technical) sense. Sometimes the installation of these drivers is a breeze, a walk in the park, as 'twere -- and other times it can be an ordeal. If ATI and nVidia would just release open source drivers (I could rant about this for hours, if you wanted a more in-depth technical overview of the situation), you'd start your computer with the new OS and everything would Just Work, 3D acceleration and everything. I wish there was an easier fix for this shortcoming imposed on open source OSes by the major graphics adapter vendors. 8) A simple desktop shortcut to open CUPS configuration, or something similar in the main window manager menu, would solve most of the problems people have with printer setup these days. It's surprising that Linux distribution maintainers aren't doing a better job of presenting this. Configuration of printing is actually often easier in Linux than MS Windows -- [b]if you know how[/b]. That's a big "if". 9) This is one of the reasons I avoid Ubuntu (though by no means the biggest reason): I like my free unices to have access to huge archives of applications without having to monkey around with settings and use nonstandard software archives that might introduce rare conflicts and instabilities. Debian GNU/Linux and FreeBSD provide some of the most extensive software archives on the planet. Seriously. Additionally, in my experience, Synaptic is a better option for GUI-based package management than other options available on Linux systems. The fact that Kubuntu even provides its Add/Remove Programs tool, however, with access to Ubuntu/Kubuntu archives, is a huge step up in software management convenience from what MS Windows provides. I'm not familiar with Adept (though it sounds pretty rudimentary, from what I've seen Googling around for it), and don't really have anything else to add to what you've said about finding software to do what you want, or to do things in a familiar manner. 10) Ouch. One more reason I'm glad I don't use Kubuntu, I guess. 11) When was the last time you met a novice who knew that "UPS" (uninterruptible power suppy) wasn't just a package delivery company? From what I've seen (and I've seen a fair bit -- I used to support MS Windows end-users quite a bit), most people who have even gotten beyond the "novice" stage are completely unable to get their systems to interact with a UPS other than to simply draw power from it, no matter what OS they're using. I don't dispute the fact that companies like APC should darned well provide better support for non-Microsoft OSes, and that Linux distribution maintainers could conceivably do a slightly better job of greasing the wheels, but I don't think your complaint in this area really reflects much of a difference in practice between Kubuntu and MS Windows. 12) "[i]UH... how do I get Konqueror/Firefox to play .wmv files?[/i]" Considering that WMV support introduces copyright and/or patent issues into the matter of non-Microsoft software support, I'm afraid the answer is that you need to install support libraries yourself, and so on. If the maintainers of a Linux distribution were to provide default configuration native support for WMV files, they would be exposed to significant risk of litigation. You're right -- it's annoying that there isn't an easy answer to that. If you want an easy answer, talk to Microsoft about freeing the specs. ##### ##### ##### Ultimately, the major problem here is that it's not easy to find systems for sale with something like Ubuntu preinstalled and preconfigured. Most people would have as much trouble getting MS Windows installed and configured for reasonable security and stability on their own as with doing the same on Linux, starting from a clean box. The fact you pretty much have to start with a clean box for Linux distributions, and don't for MS Windows, creates a significant initial ease of use barrier to movement away from MS Windows. C'est la vie.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

First, there's a lot more to marketing than television advertisements. "If it generates revenues there for the online merchant, it will succeed, " Second, the retailers appear to think there's no demand from consumers for a computer with Linux. We could argue about whether they're right or wrong about existing demand levels, but the "build it and they will come" approach probably won't work without additional consumer education.

jackie40d
jackie40d

Say send this Ideal to some of the big Linux groups and MAYBE we can get to the shelves of a store and more ! Like add it to some sport television ad would be best if Baseball or football ( even arena Football would be good ) Might try Red Hat or one of the other biggies

jackie40d
jackie40d

Something like that could actually work ! plug in something and its there then just unplug it and its gone no weird you gotta tell me your doing that stuff . . from both of them

Absolutely
Absolutely

The link below is to just one post, a question about playing games in Linux, but if you're lucky, an actual discussion might ensue. :) http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=215535&start=0 I'm not a gamer myself, but I will tell you that my experience with ATI graphics cards in Linux (Red Hat approximately 4, Fedora Core 3, Mandrake 7 - 10, Mandriva 2005 - 2007, Debian 3.1) has been fantastic, and that nVidia has the [b]better[/b] reputation for driver support in Linux! ATI has recently improved substantially, developing their drivers (in Linux, 'packages') themselves, but the open-source drivers have been good for me with my ATI Radeon 9000, and in general since about Radeon 8500, if I recall correctly what I've read.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I would think that the present day versions of Linux could very easliy do the mutil player on line games your talking about since its able to run separate windows with totally different programs in them Some windows games can be run in linux using some stuff called cedgra or code weavers I am going to try some stuff like bejewled deluxe 2 tomorrow ! just to see if it works ( my big game other than a shoot'em up helicopter game with my fancy joy stick )

jackie40d
jackie40d

The Linux 2007 has 6 CD's of stuff to add to your computer and Open OFFICE SUITE has tons of things it can do ! And if you add Code Weavers Pro to it you got almost everything at your fingers to run

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

1) Eh? There are even XP skins for both Gnome and KDE, it can look EXACTLY like a Windows box. 2) If you want to use MS office, checkout Crossover Office. If you like OpenOffice, you can use that. With Crossover you can use Outlook or you can use the native email client called Evolution. As for video editing, what are you needing to do? Is it just medium load stuff or do you need a high end editor? Photoshop can be replaced with The Gimp or The GimpPS which is a photoshop like build of The Gimp. What apps do you need that aren't available? As for AD, you can integrate clients with Kerberos and Samba. You can also apparently use NIS with Kerberos to aid in authenticating, but GPOs don't port.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. On thing I am finding is that one of the biggest "problems" Linux and open source software have is that they are misunderstood (by me also). I've got some good info for you: [b][i]"...1. Before the advent of SLED (Suse Enterprise Desktop) the general look and feel of the desktop was not good and not really comparable to windows. It's getting better. SLED is a great improvement..."[/i][/b] Check out the current distributions from all the major players. They [u]all[/u] have much better desktops these days. It's not just Novell's SLED. If you're looking for something that works a lot like Windows, choose a distro with KDE. In particular: Try PCLinuxOS (2). It's ready-made for people who are familiar with Windows. I may end up using it. [b][i]"...No APPLICATIONS..."[/i][/b] You are very mistaken here. If you really want to run Linux, there are lots of applications for you (just not the same commercial ones you run on Windows). To find open source applications for Linux (and Windows and Macintosh), check out this website (1). A good migration strategy is to first switch to the Windows version of the open source app, prove its effectiveness in your work, then switch to Linux at a later time. [b][i]"...I REALLY look forward to the day when Linux will be a viable option to Microsoft...."[/i][/b] [u]Today[/u] is the day! Linux is ready for me. I started a "Leaving Windows" project a couple of weeks ago (3). In fact, I'm typing this post on a Fedora 6 Linux system. It is every bit as productive and easy to use as the Windows XP system sitting right next to it under my desk. ---------------------------- (1) Open source as alternative http://www.osalt.com (2) PCLinuxOS - A great Linux for Windows users http://www.pclinuxos.com (3) The [i]LEAVING WINDOWS[/i] Project http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=213495&messageID=2185615

TheTinker
TheTinker

1. Look and Feel? Sorry, Linux has been ahead of MS on this front since the mid 90's., and is pulling farther ahead every year. 2. No applications? There are tens of thousands of apps for Linux. OpenOffice is a complete and acceptable replacement for M$Office, Evolution works as an Exchange client. I used it to connect to the Exchange box at my job even in 2002, the tasks, calendar, everything worked just fine. I would more agree that to make Linux more successful on the desktop, there needs to be app portability. Even though, my boss would be perfectly willing to allow me to run Linux on my desktop at work, our proprietary VoIP software, trouble ticket software, court software, ERP software, and public safety software all require Windows. I am pushing hard to get the public safety software vendor to make the client platform independent (the back end is running on AIX), but that is the only vendor with which I deal directly. And although I would love more than anything to replace the other apps with one of the high quality open source alternatives, that simply is not my decision to make. Which leaves us back at we need more app vendors making their apps platform independent. Again, this will only happen when the demand is high enough. 3. Make apps and hardware easier to install and configure. While this has come a long, long way in the last 3 years, there is still a lot to be desired.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I have it running inside of Linux 2007 and Added Code Weavers Pro and can run the heck out of MS Access stuff I got to make a program in it for Thomas so he can run his e-mail in and out

TechExec2
TechExec2

. Check out OpenOffice Base (1), the component of the OpenOffice suite that compares with MS Access. I haven't used Base (and don't use MS Access), but I have converted full-time to OpenOffice Writer and Calc as replacements for MS Word and Excel. Both of these are handling all of my Word and Excel documents very well, even the complex ones. --------------------------- (1) OpenOffice Base http://www.openoffice.org/product/base.html

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

MySQL, or any other SQL database app. I believe you can import your Access database right into it, but you'll want to double-check that first. I believe most Linux live CDs include MySQL, so you could boot from a CD and see if you can open your Access database. Nobody develops serious applications in Access anymore. Even Microsoft uses an SQL back end for it's infrastructure database applications. I have a database programmer here at work who says if you're at all comfortable and competent in Access, you shouldn't have too much trouble making the transition.

half
half

I also tryed linux a few years back and found that the forums treated you like a leper. So that was the end of that. I just did not have the time to fiddle with it to get it to work. But it seems that as soon as someone complains about a windows fault, all the geeks come out of the closet and say how good the penguin is and I should use it..Then run and hide again. Shame they were so keen to help a newbee with it. stick with xp

TheTinker
TheTinker

I am sorry for the way you were treated. Unfortunately, this is still a problem within the Linux forums. Then, it's often that way in most forums. TechRep, probably does as good a job as any that I know in keeping the flamers in check and even here it happens. Don't let an a**hole keep you from enjoying a great OS. There are really good sites out there to help, www.linuxquestions.org, many of the distro sponsored forums. You will find some of these undesirables there, but you will also find warm, friendly people who really know their stuff and are more than willing to help. Again, sorry for your bad experience.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I have some old LINUX versions like years ago think its 8.1 was Linux mandrake then . . and got lots of things done inside of it . . Even downloaded yahoo and real and installed them had e-mail and all that stuff but it was an OLD version ! I wonder it it would see my USB port modem ? Think I will load it and see what it says . . Took me a few times to get CHAP or PAP working and was on line with dial up . .

TheTinker
TheTinker

List of Live CD distros: http://www.frozentech.com/content/livecd.php Just download the ISO image of the CD, and burn the CD. If you've never used ISO images and need help with that: http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_write_iso_files_to_cd.htm Screenshots: http://rox.sourceforge.net/desktop/screenshots http://mikebabcock.ca/linux/screenshots http://www.bengalinux.org/screenshots/gnome/ http://kde-cygwin.sourceforge.net/kde3/screenshots.php http://www.vectorlinux.com/mod.php?mod=userpage&page_id=10 http://fluxbox.sourceforge.net/screenshots.php You can make linux look like anything you want from all Win versions, to OS/2, to Mac, or you can make it look like nothing you have ever seen before. To find ANYTHING you need related to linux: www.google.com/linux For great info for beginners try this podcast: www.linuxreality.com For slightly more advanced info, but great reviews of different software packages try this podcast: www.lottalinuxlinks.com As a relative Newb, I have personally had the best success with Mandriva. I want to eventually move to Debian, or Slackware, but my skills aren't quite there yet. I am currently running Mandriva 2007, which did a damn sight better job recognizing my hardware than WinXP. It is extremely user friendly, acceptably quick, and more stable than any Windows OS (and I have run them all, and still do at work). Many people swear by PCLinuxOS for user friendly and it may be more user friendly, but Mandriva recognized my hardware better. Good luck, I hope you find one that will meet your needs. I think if you're willing to give it an honest shake, you'll love it.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. There are good answers to all of the things you mentioned. If you really want to run Linux, you can. It is completely up to you. [b][i]"...It is written for developers not consumers. Just visit the Fedora Project Web Page:...It is so UN-user-friendly that one really doesn't even bother with it..."[/i][/b] Fedora is a developer project. Of course that web page is not appealing to users. You want end-user Linux with nice web pages? Go here (1)(2)(3)(3B). [b][i]"...1. A simple File/Image You download and hit setup to run, like Windows. And it must be prominently displayed..."[/i][/b] Download the PCLinuxOS "Live" boot CD from here (4). This is the easiest way I have ever found for a new user to experience Linux. Download the ISO file, burn it, and reboot directly from the CD. After the download, you'll be running Linux within just a few minutes. [b][i]"...2. A way to run my windows apps, so some form of Windows Emulator, which doesn't slow performance..."[/i][/b] Linux is not Windows. If you want to run Windows and Windows apps, run it. There are some ways to get Windows applications to run on Linux itself. Some people like them. I avoid these solutions. Linux is not Windows. Those apps are not designed to run on Linux. On the other hand, you [u]can[/u] run Windows itself very well in a VM on a Linux host system: Option 1: If you want to run Linux but have some need to still run Windows, buy VMWare Workstation (5) and run Windows in a VM on your Linux system. You will ALWAYS have some performance hit, however small, with a VM, no matter what the host OS is. If you are unsatisfied with the performance, your solution is to run faster hardware. Option 2: RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 Desktop now includes native support for running Windows in a VM (7). [b][i]"...3. Some pretty screen shots on the Linux pages so that I can see what I'm getting before I bother with all this..."[/i][/b] Here you go (6). [b][i]"...4. A way to load Linux on my present Windows Desktop machine, so that I can try it out before loading a new OS..."[/i][/b] Download the PCLinuxOS "Live" CD, burn it, and boot directly from it. You don't have to install it to your hard drive, it detects all of your hardware automatically during startup, and it is fully functional. Get it here (4). [b][i]"...5. An easy way to migrate my existing Desktop to Linux, with all my existing apps settings etc..."[/i][/b] Linux is not Windows. Windows OS settings and Windows applications cannot move across. However, Linux can use your Windows FAT32 partitions very well (NTFS is read-only). You can move your Firefox browser bookmarks across with 100% accuracy. OpenOffice Writer will work with your native MS Word documents very well. OpenOffice Calc will work with your MS Excel documents very well. And, there are a lot of other examples I could cite. [b][i]"...Essentially a Linux machine must be able to do what a Windows Machine can do..."[/i][/b] With today's Linux, you can use a Linux workstation and accomplish all of the same work just as easily as on a Windows workstation. You simply need to install the OS yourself and must accept using excellent, but non-Microsoft, applications. [b]In closing...[/b] Just remember: Linux is not Windows, it is not trying to be Windows, and it never will be Windows. I have been using Windows for 15 years and I am now switching to Linux. And, I'm still going to be able to do everything with my computer that I need to do. With today's Linux and [u]excellent[/u] open source applications, it is no longer appropriate to blame Linux for your choice to stay on Windows. If you want to move to Linux, you can. It is entirely up to you. ------------------------- (1) RedHat Enterprise Linux http://www.redhat.com/rhel/ (2) Novell Linux Operating Systems http://www.novell.com/linux/ (3) Oracle Enterprise Linux http://www.oracle.com/technologies/linux/index.html (3B) Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/ (4) PCLinuxOS "Live" boot CD http://www.pclinuxos.com (5) VMWare Workstation http://www.vmware.com/products/ws/ (6) PCLinuxOS Screen shots http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=441 (7) Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Desktop Details http://www.redhat.com/rhel/desktop/details/

jackie40d
jackie40d

I have a few things which I CAN NOT seem to load in Linux of any version and I got almost all of them trying to get it to load those 2 vital things . . 1. my Verizon USB port USB720 MODEM with out I can not get on line ! 2. My ADS Tech DVD Express use it so often its a wonder its not broken and its years OLD !. . . I ask the makers if they were going to make Linux versions in RPM got hahahaha like some year maybe . . and then you wonder why I am stuck with ( insert nasty words here ) Windows !

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Some comments: 1. A simple File/Image You download and hit setup to run, like Windows. And it must be prominently displayed. Linux magazines often include free Linux CDs (Okay, so you had to pay for the magazine) and are available at all major bookstores. They're bootable (the CDs, not the magazines) and the installation is no harder than a Windows installation. But before you do an install, see my response to your comment number 4 below. 2. A way to run my windows apps, so some form of Windows Emulator, which doesn't slow performance. There are several pieces of software that allow you run Windows applications on a Linux system. They can be downloaded from most Linux software web sites. 3. Some pretty screen shots on the Linux pages so that I can see what I'm getting before I bother with all this. Yeah, web sites for some distributions are better than others. 4. A way to load Linux on my present Windows Desktop machine, so that I can try it out before loading a new OS. Remember the CDs I mentioned above? In addition to being bootable, many will run Linux straight from the CD without touching your hard drive. These "live CDs" are a great way to test Linux without loading it or changing your Windows system.

Dionychus
Dionychus

Thanks for the reply, Apotheon. Following are some more details/thoughts if you're interested... 1) NTFS. I did not know this. Well hopefully Canonical will incorporate the ability to fully interact with NTFS partitions in the next release. I would feel much more comfortable if the support was native and well tested - or at least available in their main restricted repositories and not only in the universe or multiverse repositories. As it seems to stand though, Linux support for NTFS is still "highly experimental" although I've seen forum posts that suggest otherwise. For my part I would, like I said, like it to be rock solid. 2) As for communication with the XP machine on the network, I too suspect that it would be easy to set up. I am trying to recall the steps I had to take to set up the network with the Windows machines. Name the computers, set up a workgroup, make sure the XP machine joined the same workgroup. The stumbling block was actually Norton Internet Security on my Win2K machine which could not be configured to allow access. Reinstallation of NIS solved that problem. As for Linux, networking is its forte is it not? Different steps perhaps but hopefully the same successful result. 3) Mouse and keyboard. My point regarding the keyboard was that it was not fully functional after the install. Kubuntu didn't recognize it as a Natural Keyboard Pro. I had to go to System Settings > Regional & Language > Keyboard Layout and enable "Enable keyboard layouts" and choose Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro/Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro as the keyboard model. As it stands now, the My Computer button opens Konqueror, the calculator button opens Speed Crunch, the Media button opens Amarock the Mute and Volume buttons work. The Mail button opens Kmail. The search button opens Find Files/Folders. I am assuming that the Play/Pause, Stop, Prev and Next Track buttons will work if I actually use Amarock. The Back, Forward, Stop, Refresh buttons appear to work in Konqueror. The Favorites and Web/Home buttons don't appear to do anything either in Konqueror or Firefox. The problem is I don't know how to set/change the actions for these buttons. It was an easy matter in Windows. I see no way to do it in Kubuntu. It's curious to me that while the back and forward buttons on the keyboard work the side buttons on the mouse - which perform the same function do not... 4) 32-bit is really 24-bit. Good to know. As for setting the resolution - point taken. For better or worse, I always just ran my Win2K machine as Admin. And setting up the driver for my vid card was easy. The problem in Kubuntu is that when you are in the System Settings dialog, in many cases their is a note that says you must use "Adiminstrator Mode" to make changes to certain settings. I entered that mode primarily for that reason but also to see if perhaps more settings choices were available to me. In Kubuntu one does not run the computer as root as I am sure you know. I am restricted to my /home folder unless I open a root shell or use the sudo command. I have to enter my password to use Adept and Add/Remove programs or to edit the .config files for the mouse and keyboard. But you know all this. In any event, it seems odd to me that changing the resolution while in Admin mode should foul up the .config file. With my limited knowledge, I can't quite get my mind around that one. Did X Server have something to do with it? I don't know As for the drivers, nVidia makes a driver for Linux. I am simply not at a point where I feel comfortable installing it, given that I have to kill X-Server and then configure the driver and then restart X-Server. At first, I was ready to just skip it altogether, but then realised I needed the 3D capability in order to use Google Earth. So, I have some reading/researching to do. 5) The printer. Yes. What you suggest would have made it quicker. I wasn't sure if I had the drivers or not. If I remember correctly, I assumed that I would have to find them online. I don't recall if HPLIP was installed or not. In any event, I figured it out although I think the first time I set the printer up I was not using the Admin Mode and it a situation where I needed to be in that mode. After removing the printer and starting over in Admin Mode, the printer seemed to work well. The printer prints although I have not tested all the print modes. I have it set to Normal Greyscale which I normally use to save ink and speed up the process. There are, however, some strange annoyances. When I run 'hp-toolbox --info' I get a message that the device cannot be found and yet it is on and it prints. When I am in the printer dialog of system settings and I right-click on the printer and mouse over Printer Tools the menu item that pops up says EPSON Inkjet and yet my printer is an HP. When I click on EPSON Inkjet, the dialog that appears refers to my HP printer. Don't know what to think about that one. I did not know about the hp-toolbox command so I am wondering if perhaps I should delete the printer and set it up through that interface. Couldn't hurt to try I suppose. 6) Applications. Yes, precisely. I see there is tons of software available. I too find it annoying to fiddle with adding repositories but did add one to gain access to a Real Player package through Canonical. I used that package because I thought it would be easiest. Yes, Real Player works and it even set up the plugins for Konqueror and Firefox but failed to add the location to the PATH. So I have to hunt down the location of the executable and then figure out how to add it to the PATH variable (It's been a long time since my Linux class). Anyway, I am hesitant to stray too far from the main restricted repositories - by enabling the multiverse repositories, for instance - because I am concerned that a lot of packages will break when I upgrade to the next release. I have yet to see how gracefully that process is handled. As for package managers, Synaptic may be better. I have no experience with it. Adept is basic, but it works and the search facility and its filters are great to have when there are 20,000 packages to search through. I believe if you install Ubuntu Synaptic is the package manager that is used. I don't know if that is because the Gnome desktop is used in that distribution or if that has nothing to do with it. I chose Kubuntu because I wanted the KDE desktop. So I'll work with what I've got. I'm sure Adept will evolve and improve - I know they have done some pretty major work with it for the next release so we'll see. 7) APC UPS. Hmmmm... For my Win2K machine I plugged the UPS in, plugged the USB cable in, installed the software and configured a couple of things through the GUI I accessed through a system tray icon. In Linux, I had to hunt down the software - APC no longer supports Linux through their PowerChute Personal Edition software. They do offer a Linux version of the Business Edition software but I was unsure if it would work in Kubuntu. Redhat, Suse, and Fedora - yes, but no mention of any Debian distributions. So I ended up using apcupsd. It installed, but then I had to figure out how to configure it. And when I restarted the next day, I noticed the process was not running. I had to open another config file to tell it that it was configured. And while I can run a command to check its status, I have not tested it to see if it will actually perform a controlled shutdown. Furthermore, when I check the status, some of the information is in conflict. In spite of the fact that the machine is running on AC power, the status report tells me that the Load Capacity is at 34 percent - yet the manual for apsupsd says this value should be 0 unless the unit is actually running on the battery. I don't know what to think about that one. Perhaps the documentation is not up to speed with the actual software version. Perhaps the unit is telling me that my systems' draw on it comprises only 34% percent of the available capacity. And that I have 22.2 minutes left. We'll see. Maybe I'll trip that circuit breaker tomorrow just for kicks. 8) As for the .WMV support - yes it is annoying. But when I finally figured out what the story was and found a nice debian package it helped things a lot. 9) Yes, it's unfortunate that one can't go to his favorite store and buy a box that has been set up with Linux and configured. There are a lot of things I like about Linux. I'm going to stick with it. Have some books on the way. I am confident that once I understand/relearn what is going on under the hood I'll be just as comfortable in this environment as in a Windows environment. And yes, when all is said and done, I will have had to apply that same effort that I had to apply to familiarize myself with Windows.

jackie40d
jackie40d

There are times I wish I had a GOB of SCSI drives so I could set up the different version of Linux on them just to see which had more stuff to put in and which worked best for People switching to Linux ! I have a 40 gig EIDE drive which has been changed so many times I am going to wear out the erase and re format part hahahaha . . I have only 1 more to install and find out if its got everything and thats SuSE 10.2 ( I got a bad set of CD's the first time and waiting for replacements )I have sold 1 with Linux 2007 and added Code Weavers to it so It would run the MS stuff they wanted to run and connect to the net . . and I have sold 1 with Linspire 5.0 on it ( has ISP's built into it ) So all they have to do is make contact and set up the ID & Password to the ISP and click and off they go . . Added Code Weavers to it also so they could run some MS stuff . . And I got Xandros Pro 4.0 with Code Weavers Pro in it . . I got to run some MS junk to make a program for Thomas in Access after its done I will delete the MS XP Office from the computer as I want to install Pinnacle 9.0 so I can get to editing Movies from inside Linux But I gotta build a driver for two items before doing that in my spare time Like I got spare time . . Thomas wants to get a computer with Linux for the Server to his other XP computer ( The Linux one is for protection from what ever is on the web ) I still got to set up his Mail Loop program for his Real Estate Business which will get done to day I HOPE !

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

See, the problem is that MS has the OEMs by the short curlies. The second that an OEM offers Linux as a desktop solution is the second MS has to "adjust" their pricing for the OEM.

Absolutely
Absolutely

If you know which Linux distro would make the best use of that advertising concept, please, send it to them yourself. I am just beginning to learn how to use the OS for computing, and know woefully little about the philosophical differences. For example, I know far less than I ought to about Torvalds, and even less about Stallman.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I have Bejeweled Deluxe 2 in windows ( one of 3 games I play ) and going to try it out in Linux on Sunday but I got to set up the bleeping dial up as my broad band just is not seen in Xandros it see's the verizon USB720 modem just does not know how to turn it on . . says it will scream at 3.1 megs per but no turn on no broad band waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !

jackie40d
jackie40d

I will look for them so people think they have a different version of windows . . And I use Pinnacle Studio 9.0 for editing MOVIES with all the fancy titles and menu's for them and I can run it under Code Weavers Pro in Linux . . So where are the skins at ? Do they come on the CD's ? or on line some where ?

zlatko.matic1
zlatko.matic1

I'm exploring OoBase since 2005. Sadly, OoBase is inferior to MS Access in numerous ways. It is a toy comparing to MS Access. It lacks flexibility and power of MS Access. Also, it is slow, buggy and ugly. I replaced MS Office with Open Office two years ago and I'm satisfied with it. But not with Oo Base. It sucks!

zlatko.matic1
zlatko.matic1

I'm not talking of back-end (JET database), I'm talking about Access as front-end (forms, reports, VBA scripting language) to any possible database server you can imagine. For example, I use MS Access as a great front-end for PostgreSQL. And it works great! People usually mix Access and JET. But, Access can work with any database server through ODBC. Also, you can mix data from heterogeneous sources. For example, I use PostgreSQL database,Excel worksheets and text files as data-sources for one of my Access applications. And it works fast and stable. And I can develop such applications ten times faster than you can do in any other possible RAD tool available. And there is no such RAD in Linux, sadly... Oh, yes, there are several: Knoda, Kexi, OoBase...but they are very limited comparing to Access.

jackie40d
jackie40d

I started with Red Hat LONG AGO ! and went to Linux Mandrake and then tried a gob of others just to see what they had. . Settled on 3 versions which I like and they are Linux 2007 ( Mandrake now Mandriva ) Xandros Pro DAM GOOD stuff and Fedora . . the latest one ! I have about 10 or 12 sets of the different versions of Linux here so I been there did that . .

jackie40d
jackie40d

It is a neat program which runs in Memory till you want it installed ! Does a gob of stuff while running from CD 690 megs of stuff to a CD so you know it will have a lot so stuff there

davidandtrace
davidandtrace

Thanks Palmetto, That's good info you present there. I suppose it again goes to the theme of the article stating that the average Windows user doesn't know all this stuff. Just today I was taking a look at the new Novell Linux. It looks very user friendly. BTW: Where do I download the PC Emulation Software. I'm due for a new PC this year, and if Linux can really do all you say it can, then it may make sense to order it with Linux installed. I also need to run advanced and proprietary apps like Cubase, Corel Draw, Dreamweaver and a number of proprietary Flash Creators. All of which are performance intensive, demanding and windows based. Running the Widnows emulators, What type of performance differential would I see with Linux vs. the equivalent apps on Windows.

apotheon
apotheon

I don't think I have anything specific to say to your comments this time, other than: I'm glad things are looking positive for you.

Dionychus
Dionychus

1) Coming from Win2K I have two external drives that are NTFS. I use them for backup and extra storage space. I'm thinking of copying everything from one and then using it to experiment... I'll let you know what happens. 2) Thanks, I'll look into SWAT and Samba. Started to learn about Samba last night, but got too late. I don't mind working from the command prompt, I just want to know exactly what's going on before I do. I would think it would be a better way to learn about Linux anyway. 3) Here's a link to a page that discusses the keyboard I have. It has a link to a larger .jpeg too: http://www.usbman.com/Reviews/MS%20Natural%20Keyboard%20Pro.htm Our boards seem to be identical except for the buttons across the top of mine. I'm thinking there must be a way somewhere to adjust the functions of the buttons - afterall, they perform actions when I press them - so there must be something somewhere telling them what to do. I'll just have to ferret it out. 4) I'm going to do some reading on linux - thanks for the book recommendation, BTW, - it was on my list. When I feel comfortable, I plan on installing the nVidia drivers. 5) Printer is an old 855C. It's been a great printer. It does what I want it to do, so for now, I'll just keep using it until it dies or no longer fulfills all my needs. I'm going to delete the current printer config and set it up using the hp-toolbox tool instead of the GUI facility inside the system settings dialog. What the heck, I can always go back and do it again if it doesn't work out. 6) Point taken. I was hoping that Linux did a better job then windows seems to do (or should I say programs written for windows?). There always seems to be something left behind in windows after an uninstall. But yes, I hear you and I am sure I will become "fearless" in this regard (programs are like candy to me - and now they're free!) as I learn more. 7) They discontinued their Personal Edition of Powerchute for Linux. They recommend the business edition now. Makes sense to me considering the traditional role of linux. Perhaps they will do an about face as that role changes and more people like me start to use Linux as a replacement for Windows. In any event, subject to the final test to see if the daemon actually does its shutdown as instructed, I will be perfectly satisfied with apcupsd. That's one less icon in the tray, and how many times will I need to adjust the configuration anyway? 8) Yay. I know that there are mixed feelings about this. But the fact remains that there are still a lot of people/sites that use the Windows media formats. So, yeah, I'm happy. 9) Thanks again. I've been wondering about books. That one caught my eye at Amazon, but I was a little concerned about the publication date - 2 years ago this July. But I figure that a lot of the information in the book is "timeless" and the reviewers rave about it. I was especially happy to read the comments regarding Sobell's introduction to Linux as a development platform. That is a huge part of the reason I started down this road. I wanted an easier/native way to experiment with apache/mySQL/PHP and I was really curious about Ruby and Rails - heck about just about everything I come across really - so I am looking forward to delving into that aspect. Thank you for your thoughtful responses and don't worry, I won't hesitate to ask questions... Jim

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

But not since Windows 95 :-) When was the last time you purchases ANY software, OS or app, that came with a dead-tree manual? You may get a huge "Getting Started" pamphlet, but it has only four pages of installation instructions in your native tongue.

jackie40d
jackie40d

Since I have not heard of it I guess I will check with local Library to see if they have it and that is a LONG NAME will have to write it out . . Since I have sold 3 computer that are Linux Based and they will have questions and I will need answers . . I have used Linux OFF and ON since Linux Mandrake 8.1 so its been several years now . . And the New Linspire 5.0 has almost a complete Help system of how to ! WOW has it got a BIG help file has a blue screen with all the destructions on it as to what, how, and when to do what . . A lot better than Xandros Pro has . .

jackie40d
jackie40d

Have you ever gotten the books on what to do or how to do it when you buy a Windows BOX ? I never have . . It would be the same when you buy a LINUX Box . . And I would prefer to buy the Box of software ( Linspire, Linux 2007, Ubuntu etc etc ) and install it as you get the box and destructions therein ( my term for instructions ) But most of the stuff can be read about in the Help file . .

apotheon
apotheon

1. [b]NTFS:[/b] My understanding is that NTFS support is pretty much stable for read/write access prior to the release of MS Windows Vista, but that it's not thoroughly tested enough for the project maintainers to be comfortable calling it anything but experimental. I personally haven't done anything with NTFS from a Linux-based system other than access for reading, basically because I've never had any need to do anything with an NTFS volume from outside of MS Windows other than recovering data. If you try using it on a daily basis, let me know how that works out for you -- but I probably won't be doing so any time soon. 2. [b]Windows Workgroup networking:[/b] I'm pretty sure Ubuntu and its immediate derivatives provide some GUI-based network configuration tools that are roughly equivalent to the MS Windows network configuration interface that provide the ability to configure Samba with a mouse rather than at a command prompt. I've always just configured Samba for MS Windows network compatibility by editing configuration files "by hand", as 'twere, so the specifics aren't really much within my experience for GUI configuration. There's also a browser-based Samba configuration tool called SWAT that is almost certainly installed on a kitchen-sink distro (like the Ubuntu family) by default. 3. [b]keyboard:[/b] Obviously, you're using a very different Microsoft Natural keyboard than I am. [url=http://www.hitech-solutions.com/images/products/MS_natural_kybd.jpg][b]This is how my keyboard looks.[/b][/url] I didn't realize you were using one of them newfangled extra-buttons keyboards, and I don't know a thing about configuring them under any OS at all. Sorry. 4. [b]graphics:[/b] I, frankly, don't know why configuring graphics settings in an administrative mode would hose up your configuration either. It seems like a somewhat fragile way to do things that doesn't account well for user behavior. Every time I start thinking the Ubuntu family of Linux distributions sounds like it has some real value, I hear about some strange problems like those you describe that make me start questioning it again. As for nVidia proprietary drivers -- I've never installed them, though I'm about to do so (soonish) on a computer of my own as soon as I install an nVidia card I have sitting on my desk. If the experience is anything like it is for ATI Radeon proprietary drivers, however, it's likely to be slightly annoying, but ultimately not a huge problem, and at worst you shouldn't end up any worse off than you were before you started. It's a sad fact that proprietary drivers don't always install with perfect ease on a Linux-based system, but in the case of ATI's drivers at least I've never seen the attempt really screw up the system. 5. [b]printer:[/b] The specifics of your circumstances are kind of amusing -- especially the bit about the HP/Epson/HP confusion. I don't know what to say about that. Best of luck sorting it out. In general, my advice on printers for unixlike OSes is that one should always buy a printer that doesn't suck. It was a hard lesson for me to learn, but network printers that accept postscript are the way to go for maximum compatibility across OSes. I currently use an HP 4050N black and white postscript laser printer, plugged into a 10/100 switch, for my primary printer at home -- and haven't had any problems with it once I figured out the stupid little LCD screen configuration interface on the thing. It cost me $35 at a university surplus warehouse. Eventually, if you stick with open source unices, you'll probably end up feeling the same way about printers that I do: if it's not a postscript network printer, it's not worth it. It's also much cheaper per page with a laser printer than an inkjet, which is a nice bonus. In the meantime, good luck. 6. [b]package management:[/b] I can understand your reluctance to use archives outside the mainstream. Things are unlikely to break -- but it has been known to happen. On the upside, uninstalling something that causes problems is likely to solve any problems (things tend to uninstall cleanly with APT-based systems like Debian and Ubuntu) and it shouldn't actually cause problems for the entire system, so it's probably not worth being scared to experiment. 7. [b]UPS[/b] I wasn't aware APC discontinued its PowerChute support for Linux. That's pretty sad. Wherever there's an open source alternative, I tend to use that instead of any proprietary software -- it's usually more stable, in my experience, though it tends to lag a bit in the "user friendly" GUI-clickiness in many cases. It looks like you've had to deal with the tradeoff. 8. Glad to hear you got WMV support worked out. 9. By far, the best Linux book I've ever laid eyes on -- and it's one of my favorite technical books of all time -- has the ridiculously long title [i]A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming[/i]. Mark G. Sobell is the author. You've got an excellent attitude, from what I can say. Best of luck, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It was built before the product was release, through the Microsoft marketing efforts, trade magazine previews, vendor and retailer hype, etc. The vendors didn't just install XP and say, "Look what we've got!" People were waiting for it and delaying new computer purchases long before it was released. They did the same thing for W2K, Millenium , W98, etc. Marketing. Part of the problem with Vista marketing is Microsoft missed the critical Christmas sales period. The product would still have the same software problems, but they would have moved a ton of licenses before the public got wise. People bought new computers anyway, but with XP and a coupon for Vista. After Christmas most of the market that wanted a new system already had it and only the die-hard geeks who waited were left. They were a smaller market, and a louder one. They found problems, and the noise they're making was heard by the average consumer looking to blow that tax refund. Hence the requests that vendors sell systems with XP instead of Vista. "Better the devil you know..."

Tig2
Tig2

I know more than I care to sometimes. Well- guess I have to take that back. I like knowledge. When (if) you're interested, i can email you the crash course.

zlatko.matic1
zlatko.matic1

Yes, you're right, it has some potential to become a good RAD tool, similar to Access. It is nice, but still very rudimentary tool in comparison to Access. Also, it's progress seems to be very slow, probably because the developer team lacks members? Also, they have strange licensing policy. It is free for Linux, but irrationally expensive for Windows. I suppose nobody is stupid enough to buy it. Costs are not in correlation with benefits... Another promising tool seems to be Knoda (http://www.knoda.org/). I think it is better than Kexi. But, both of these products are light years behind Access. Probably because there is no big company financing and promoting the product... I would pay 100? for good multiplatform Access alternative and wouldn't regret! It has to be cross-platform (runs on Windows, Linux and BSD) and user-friendly (drag&drop controls, bounded data-aware controls, forms and reports, good scripting language (Python for example)). I think first company that creates such product, could earn a lot:)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I jumped to conclusions again. It's the only exercise I get these days.

TechExec2
TechExec2

Thanks... See how "open source" works? Mine was Answer v2.0! :^0

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You've mistaken me for someone with hands-on experience. Surely I don't sound like I actually know what I'm doing, do I? Unfortunately, I don't. My actual practical use of Linux is -very- limited. I've installed three distributions, all Red Hat or Fedora. (For conversational purposes, they're the same thing.) But fear not, I can still point you in the right direction. Go to the top of the page and click "Ask a Question". Repost your third, fourth, and fifth paragraph. Reword them a bit so it's clear your asking about running Windows apps in Linux. Be sure to check the "Linux" tag box at the bottom before posting. Be prepared to receive mucho replies. Or keep checking this thread. I know this has been mentioned a few times already in this discussion. If you want to Order a new machine with Linux pre-installed, you'll probably have to work with a local independent computer shop. Almost all of the hardware manufacturers and consumer electronic retailers are strictly Windows vendors. Rumor is you can order a Dell with Linux but you have to really dig through the web site to find the option. I don't know what distribution or if Dell will support it.