Linux

Throwing down the gauntlet: Prove that Linux is not user-friendly

Jack Wallen tosses down the gauntlet in a challenge to ask readers to give legitimate reasons why Linux can or can not make it. Do you have what it takes to offer a sound reason why Linux is or is not user friendly?

I've been covering Linux and open source since 1999 and using Linux exclusively since around 1996. I'd say that earns me some credit - at least in certain circles. Through those years I've pretty much seen every trend, every success, and every failure. I've also evolved from and through every stage of Linux user. From blind fan-boy, to staunch advocate, to mentor, to guru (some would say), and everything in between. During said time I have tried very hard to remain PC and let the criticism just roll off my back. I have said some things only to retract them and held back certain opinions out of fear I might offend.

Not this time.

Recently I have had a lot of people comment (on this forum and other forums) that Linux isn't user friendly, that Linux will never make it to the average user's desktop, that "Windows rulez and Linux droolz". Among most of those detractors hardly a one will offer a solid reason to back up their statement. So this time I am throwing down the gauntlet of challenge to say "prove to me that Linux is not user friendly".

Of course, this must begin with a definition of user friendly. From my perspective, in order to be user friendly, an operating system must be usable. It must be such that any level of user could sit down and take care of the average daily tasks they are charged with without issue. It must have a graphical environment that is stable, pleasing to brain and eye, as well as be intuitive so those average daily tasks are made even simpler. But what are the average daily tasks? According to the Digest of Education Statistics, the average tasks (ranked in order) are:

  • Word processing
  • Connect to internet
  • Email
  • Spreadsheets/Databases
  • Graphics designs
  • School assignments
  • Household records/finances
  • Games

Notice Games is last. A good portion of people will proclaim the reason why Linux will not succeed is Games. Well that may be true for the gamer, but the gamer is not the average user. Gaming, in fact, ranks at the bottom of average tasks done on a computer. Of course the study does not discern or define what Games is. Games could be Solitaire or World Of Warcraft. Either way, Games alone does not a user friendly operating system make. Now, judging from that study let's see which of the above can Linux do:

  • Word processing: OpenOffice handles this, so check.
  • Connect to internet: How many browsers does Linux have? At last count I have eight installed on my machine and that doesn't include all of them. So another check.
  • Email: Another big check thanks to Evolution, Claws-Mail, Thunderbird, etc.
  • Spreadsheets/Databases: OpenOffice Calc and Base or MySQL suit your fancy for a big check here.
  • School assignments: Seeing as how most of these are done via word processing...check.
  • Household records/finances: GnuCash is just as powerful as Quicken, so check.
  • Games: Linux has plenty of games and, thanks to Cedega, it can even play Windows games...check and check.

So...Linux can handle the tasks of average users in a user-friendly way.

But let's examine something else that has ruffled my feathers on a number of occasions. Over the last five years Linux has consistently grown more than any other operating system. It seems to me that the majority of detractors haven't used Linux since the kernel turned 2.6. I hear such exclamations as, "You have to write your own device drivers!" In over 12 years of usage I have never had to write my own device drivers...not even back in the days of Red Hat 4 and Caldera Open LInux 1! That's pure ignorance speaking. If you've not used a recent distribution release, you are missing out on a LOT of evolution and growth. Let's take a look at some of the examples:

Folder sharing: In recent releases, both GNOME and KDE have evolved in such a way that file/folder sharing has become even more simple than it is in either Windows or OS X. No more editing of Samba configuration files, no more having to manually install and run Samba...period. It all is just there and it all just works. USB: The USB sub-system on Linux has become incredibly user-friendly...on par or exceeding Windows and OS X. You think this to not even be a factor when considering user-friendliness, but not 5 or so years ago Linux users had to manually mount and unmount USB devices. I remember well those days and am glad they are a thing of the past. Graphics: Linux has taken huge strides forward in this area. Gone is the need to edit an xorg.conf file. Linux now just recognizes your hardware and uses it. On occasion you might have to install a proprietary driver in order to get the most out of your hardware, but generally speaking, it works amazingly well. Printing: Take a look at Fedora 13 to see how well Linux handles printing now. Windows doesn't hold a candle to what Linux can do with printing. And that older printer that you love that Windows 7 doesn't support? Linux will continue to support it. (NOTE: I ran into an irate client this past week because we migrated them to Windows 7 only to find out their favorite multi-function laser printer wouldn't work under Windows 7. That same printer works fine in Linux.) Applications: Pound for pound, Linux is on par with both Windows and OS X with most every category of application. The only glaring category that Linux has yet to catch up on is games (but Cedega helps Linux out there). Current iterations of OpenOffice are far more user-friendly than MS Office (thanks to MS Office adopting that ridiculous ribbon interface). Evolution practically mimics Outlook (minus those pesky PST files that hinder more than help Outlook's functionality).

This list could go on and on.

On a daily basis, I work with both Windows and Linux. I have to know how both work and how to fix them when they don't. Thing is, Linux never breaks. Linux gets deployed and we never hear about it again. Windows, on the other hand, is a daily struggle to keep running due to virus/malware infections, printing issues, disconnected mapped drives, VPN problems, and more.

I ask you - how is that user-friendly? How is a constant battle with viruses and malware user friendly? When the user spends more time cleaning and disinfecting than they do working that user is not being productive. When the company is spending more money keeping a machine running than they spent on the machine itself - that is not user friendly.

So tell me, all you who would proclaim that Linux will never succeed on the desktop, what is it about Linux that makes you think it is not user friendly? And exactly why do you think Linux can not make it on the desktop of the average American citizen (we have to discount the majority of the world because many of those are already using Linux on their desktop)? And I do not want to hear cries of "Market share!" because that is simply not an answer to the question.

Here's what I want: I want to hear intelligent, legitimate reasons why you think Linux can or can not make it on the average user's desktop and what is it about Linux that is NOT user friendly.

NOTE: In order to answer the above questions you MUST have used a distribution of Linux that has been released in the last year. Anything prior to that is like saying Windows is a horrible operating system and your only basis of comparison is  Windows 98.

Here's your chance people. Lay it down. Tell the readers exactly why Linux can or can not make it. The gauntlet has been thrown down....bring it!

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.

693 comments
NickNielsen
NickNielsen

You have not use your brain, either.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

I've been using Ubuntu 10.10 on my convertible tablet lately. Still struggling to get the g-sensor working. But for an average desktop user, I think Linux is still lacking a few things compared to Windows but is still tough to answer the question at hand. Some software installation not available in Ubuntu Software Center or any other similar service is kinda tough for an average desktop user compared to windows. But installation of the OS itself was superbly wonderful. Everything worked right after installation and even comes with open office which are ready to work with docs and all that. In terms of usability, I think Linux is great for normal everyday document work stuff. For gaming, I don't have any personal experience on it yet but I tried Alien Arena, and it's pretty good. Although I prefer something like Unreal Tournament or better. I also wonder if Linux has something similar to M$ Active Directory where we can control what the computers can or cannot do. Then we shall see Linux replacing Windows.

gradkiss
gradkiss

There is more to linux than just meets the eye...it has a procedure of protocol that for the most part, is not in opposition to the laws of physics.Linux compliments freedom or liberty...especially due to software being open source. I find using linux has been both educational and adequate.As a user...I have found linux as the better choice in comparison to Microsoft and Apple...and very similar to PCBSD unix.

mohanpbis
mohanpbis

I have been also using linux since 1995 or so and fully subscribe to the views expressed. I am from India and in India like in most countries the operating system comes pre-installed with the PC. In most cases the operating system (whether legal software or otherwise) is Windows. The support personnel as well as the technical personnel are familiar with only windows and have no idea as to how to install linux once Windows is already installed. This seems to be one of the greatest problems for the non-acceptance of linux at least in cases where people are not biased. Recently a person who had never worked in linux was so comfortable working that she said she would continue to work in linux. This was because linux was already installed in the PC.

hack
hack

Unfortunately, and fortunately, Ubuntu for the most part, represents Linux today, for the mainstream public. Out of the 20+ users I have on the last 3 release versions, some have been better than others. Lucid 10.04 has been a step backwards in many respects. 2 key issues that keep coming up for my users are: - inconsistent and unreliable printing, - SMB folder sharing with Win (mostly XP) is FAIL. still does not work after months of searching and implementing suggestions. Just do a search or go to ubuntuforums.org and see how a thread regarding 'mount windows share failed' can go 40+ pages long without a clear solution. Same goes for printing solutions. Definitely not ready for primetime. That should be the current Ubuntu slogan. Hopefully, Mental Monkey or whatever the next release is called, will be better tested prior to release.

ace4love
ace4love

I agree on the application level with everything the article says; however, try getting the average user to install a second monitor and have it work the way they expect it to. Fix that and you have me totally convinced and happily so.

jck
jck

I'm a huge supporter of Linux, and it has made far greater innovative strides than Windows in the past decade. I do take exception to your assertion that gamers are not the average user. Where does that come from? Okay, sure. There are a LOT of PCs in the workplace which are used for business purposes, spreadsheets, all that. However, most of those PCs only get used realistically 5-9 hours a day each. There are people whose home PCs stay active 24/7 til they break or the power goes out. I'd say that a gamer is the typical end user, because they will not only use things like word processing, adobe, etc., but will also do things like use multimedia, graphics, web surfing, etc. And, what sold more retail boxed software on the day of its release? Windows 7? World of Warcraft's latest pack? Or Starcraft II? Fact is, people buy Windows because eventually they are forced to upgrade or have no support/drivers/etc. People choose to buy games, controllers, high-end GPUs, etc. The market for Linux to take over gaming is there. Cedega is proof. And, I hope in 10 years that Linux has taken half Microsoft's OS market. It would serve them right for sitting back and not innovating. I just don't think "average user" needs to be made synonymous with "business worker". There are a lot of folks playing WoW, Stalker, Modern Warfare II, etc. And if they're like me, they haven't moved their gaming rig from Windows XP x64 Pro yet. :)

pjaneski
pjaneski

Currently using Ubuntu 10.04 and gnome. Programmer for 17 years mostly on unix boxes. Used Windows at home and at work since late 90's. Tried Linux Mint - it was too "Windows" for me but I would recommend it to folks for business or home who want to abandon windows. I've worked in higher education where every application has to be compatible with Mac AND Windows 'cause no one will give either up. Linux does everything Windows does (I don't on line game, so I can't say to that) better smoother and MUCH FASTER. Not held up by daily updates, virus garbage, printer issues . . .Linux WORKS every day. Oh and I don't have to hock my firstborn to buy the latest release every few months either. So can't pick up your gauntlet. Apologies. p.s. Never had to write even a script for Ubuntu. Been using it for a couple of years now.

LedLincoln
LedLincoln

When you threw down this particular gauntlet, you knew you'd bring all the fanboys, trolls, apologists, screamers (and me) out of the woodwork. 547 posts so far! :-)

bbsinc98
bbsinc98

Well, what is done by Linux? Microsoft E-mail for years when their own stuff did not work. -HMI Human interfaces on all kind of industry equipment. Why? It can heal itself internal. Yes in line code pain staken. Ubuntu runs fine and will have a future. -For the "Mc Donaldisation of society" not usable. They need Windows and guidance for iternity. -Leave us Nerds and Geeks with Linux and our world happy. Give Apples to the I-pod phone Crackberry people to shine. Keep Microsoft for the masses, so we do not have to deal with their daily distractions, please! We gave them porn, second live, games, twitter, you tube and quadrillions more stuff they can play with. Keep them out of critical stuff as much as possible. We are in for the progress of mankind not some ego shiny crap. Live well and prosper Old Pocketprotector Glass Wearer

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Microsoft AD is just an LDAP. There are other's available; I think Novell's may even be available still since. If all you want is the authentication function; drop a *nix on your MS-LDAP managed network and join it into the domain. It won't recognize any of the policy rules but it will use AD for authentication. If you want the centralized policy management then you can have that also with several non-Microsoft LDAP options. Fedora has a server version that includes Red Hat's prefered LDAP server. I've also read about a few centralized management applications which push config changes out to all your client nodes. Need user XYZ on one or more machines; tell the app and out the change gets pushed. Need a directory permission set, app installed or such.. it does that too. Microsoft's LDAP may be the most recognized due to the Windows market share but it's hardly the only LDAP available.

jlsmith722
jlsmith722

OpenSuse 11.3 will not play play Flash video without even more downloads and installations. At least the Ubuntu based distros have realized that this is important. Try to install a Brother MFC-255CW in Linux. I have in Ubuntu 10.10, LinuxMInt 9 & 10 PCLinuxOS or OpenSuse it is an Extreme hassle. Try to do a dual monitor setup in Linux, I gave up. All of these things are important to users. Linux remains a system by geeks for geeks. That is all right, but to evangelize it and trash Windows which just works is aggravating. And from a user friendliness point of view Open Office is not in the same league as MS Word or Excel and there is nothing remotely as useful as OneNote.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I see the gamer as someone who spends significant time in resource intensive games; Crysis and Left4Dead rather than farmville or Solitaire. Games that demand gaming quality input devices and resources like the latest ATI and Nvidia discrete graphics. These are the people that where playing Doom and Quake when most users where discovering email and modem dialup ISPs. On the user side, my parents and siblings don't game. The users in the office don't game. Gaming as a "sport" is still relatively new and the people who would recognize it as sponsored sport are still in the minority. Gamers are still a specialty group of users. SinisterSlay is a heck of a posterchild example by minimizing one game to play another or running multiple video out streams in the background with a game minimized and another in the forground. That's not average user or general population computing. On the hardware/software side, games require specific, and sadly platform limited, frameworks like DirectX. Games justify and/or require the the two or more 500$ graphics cards linked for co-processing. The stupid fast RAM, bus and storage drives go toward making the game run with peak affects settings and minimum load times. The hardware is upgraded because the latest and greatest new game can't run with full resolution and full affects not because the general purpose OS under the game has changed. Gaming has specialty needs that the OS/userland and general purpose software work perfectly fine without. Games are also title specific. You can have an email client by various names across various platforms. Thunderbird, Evolution, Outlook and Mutt all give me the email function regardless of what pop3/imap server they interact with. You can't install a crysis client by any other name and outside of the specific platforms it's compiled for. It will dictate what OS I can use which may also dictate what hardware appliance I pick. I have to be specific about what OS and hardware I select to support the Crysis function (game control engine, story experience). As such, gamers and gaming software remain a specialty segment of users just like serious Adobe CS and AutoCAD users remain a specialty segment due to users and workstations both being trained/built for those specific needs above and beyond general purpose computing. While AutoCAD and Adobe CS type software use may have a larger percentage of users in business environments, they are still a smaller percentage of home users and both minority segments within overall general purpose computing. While "Gamer" grade gaming software has an increasing percentage among home users, it's still a minority in business environments and overall general purpose computing.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Thank you for standing up for the gaming community.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

In the last few anyhow, he's seems started the discussion then dropped out. A number of the later threads really should be addressed by the article author since this was a direct challenge from that author. Maybe it's coming in a later article. Maybe it's just time constants and and Jacks responses will come. Could be any number of other things. Such is the case.

itadmin
itadmin

I've had exactly those same thoughts myself. The worst thing about Windows is having to deal with Windows users, also known as Microsoft Monkeys, and trying to make them understand that feelings and ideas don't constitute fact. Some of these people are extremely talented; they do things to computers I never even thought of. And they don't read error messages. Do we want them on Linux? Some of them may even figure out how to get a blue screen of death out of Linux. Something we always though to be impossible. Let them stay with Windows.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

The geeks (society's socially inadequate nerds)of yesteryear are long gone. Some of today's most brilliant computing minds rely on and administer Windows systems. Geeks got fed up with Linux being geeky, they have striven for years to come up with an OS that looks and feels as much like Windows, without actually being Windows, for decades. While they have made Linux look and feel SOMETHING like Windows now, they are still the socially inept outcasts of modern society. They just ended up reducing the distance a bit that's all.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

Is very clean & easy to set up -- if you use an Nvidia graphics card. They have such good Linux support that I don't use anything else now. We run lots of different machines at work, most of them Linux, and most of those are dual-monitor. I'm currently setting up 3 machines with 4 monitors each (Nvidia Quadro 420 cards), running Linux, and it couldn't be easier... I've dual-monitored at least 8 different Nvidia cards in Linux, including two using a TV as a second monitor. Never a problem, except getting a CRT-based HDTV to stop over-scanning my signal -- but that really wasn't Nvidia's fault. And they do provide enough documentation on how to tweak the signal output of their cards to compensate it.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Now, that's a phrase which overstates reality. I have a few things I'd like to see it "just work" with including a few AD policy rules that Windows workstations seem to ignore leaving the admin to manually set the local policy rule on each workstation. Flash and OpenSUSE; I'm guessing it's due to OpenSUSE being the "freedom" community version (formerly) Novell used for R&D. "SUSE" in the form of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, as commercial offerings, probably deliver far less user setup. And, your SLED systems will read LDAP policy and user authentication from the SLES. Debian is also a non-commercial "freedom" distribution so proprietary software like Flash player is not included by default. Enable the non-free repositories and flashplugin-nonfree is a simple install like any other repository package. It even yanks down the latest Adobe version and installs it. The Brother printer will depend on if CUPS has hardware support for it or if Brother has bothered to provide it. Either way, your grief is probably with Brother rather than FOSS developers who have openly asked for the minimum interface specs so they can write drivers in absence of the manufacturer's providing them. Anyhow, check CUPS list of supported printers (hint; osX uses CUPS too so if your Brother works on Apple desktop/notebook then it should with any OS using the current CUPS version). Printers can suck when not supported though. Ubuntu, Mint, PCLinuxOS and OpenSUSE are all community distributions or non-commercial in general. Maybe look at a commercial general purpose distribution like Mandriva PowerPack; you'll pay a reasonable price which includes proprietary licensed codes and software. You can't really hold a non-commercial distribution responsible for not shipping commercial and/or patent encumbered software in the default setup. Dual monitor does seem to remain a pain. You can thank the video card manufacturers for that. Baud bless Nvidia for delivering a binary driver for it's video cards but it could due with a more full feature set of only to match the driver they produce for Windows. Granted, even on Windows machines, you generally want to get the third party utility for managing dual header setups as the Windows native video settings are lacking. Still, dual header setups are easier to do with Windows or osX thanks to manufacturers ignoring drivers for other OS. "Linux remains a system by geeks for geeks" Depends greatly on the distribution. Linux From Scratch; absolutely. Gentoo; I don't even go there. Debian; in the middle though with a little more geek in it. There are new user focused distributions out there though. Mandriva was one of the first and it's Draketools ("control panel") really are fantastic for a new user.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

It's not just about some multimedia contents or some Brother MFC printer. Any additional installation on Linux outside the built-in software manager are hard work. But we still have to give credit for what we get for free. Not all PC's and laptops have pre-installed OS. There are models that don't. When cost comes in, Linux is the answer.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Windows? :^0 Windows will not play Flash video or Shockwave media without downloads and installations. Try to install an HP-4470 flatbed scanner in Windows. It works fine in XP, but I have been hassling with it in Vista and 7 since they were released. You have to do it the second Saturday of the week, jump through all kinds of other hoops, hold your tongue just so, and then it might work...sometimes. Windows doesn't "just work", any more than does any other operating system.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Because I do a lot of graphic design and publishing and I used remote networking to manage multiple domains, I've always demanded a box with intense processing and graphics abilities. Of course, then I would justify better processing, more RAM etc for rendering. The boss never understood all the different stuff I did so I always got to order the best box, especially when taking care of the office IT too. When a new game cames out that I couldn't play, I just passed my computer to the next power user down the chain and requested a superior box for my 'work needs' or WOW needs for the less busy hours. Of course now that I am a board director I can't substantiate such needs the same way, but now I have the ablility to just order myself what I want anyway. A win win (no pun intended), I can still do more on my computer than most others in the room but I can play the best games too. I get good interoffice network games going with multiple staff just using their speakerphones behind their closed doors, instead of gamer headsets.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Since you can get great graphics cheap, even integrated graphics, thanks to Vista, have pulled up their socks. What this means is a moronic 12 year old kid with his cheap dell computer can play world of warcraft no problem. So gaming is definitely no longer only for the hard core, nearly anyone can PC game. This means it would be safe to say 99% of home users, at some point or another, will play a game (Solitare and up). [b]SinisterSlay is a heck of a posterchild example by minimizing one game to play another or running multiple video out streams in the background with a game minimized and another in the forground. That's not average user or general population computing.[/b] Most people don't have the customized hardware to do this.

jck
jck

The gaming community *I think* is more important as a measure, because people get games (and associated hardware) based on quality...not requirement. I mean, Microsoft blew about moving 150M copies of Windows 7. Thing is, that was not just retail box sales. That included what was shipped on PCs. To see Starcraft II sell almost 2M copies off shelves/electronic distro sites in the first 24 hours is more impressive to me. Plus, gamers tend to be more all-around users than say office workers (because of constraints in the workplace) and people like typical home users (like the grandma who YM video chats with their family or looks up recipes on marthastewart.com or looks for parts on homedepot.com). Gamers tend to be more inquisitive, rather than using the net for just what they need to know about. i.e.- Gamers tend to be people with more free time and are usually less bound by commitments and timeframes.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

because the thread was started in August, two months before 10.10 was released...

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

that Jack finds half these posts to be as tiresome as I do. This entertains me at 3 AM, but I have no life.

arfneto
arfneto

Blue Screen of Death are not a Microsoft invention to be used exclusively by the "Microsoft Monkeys"... As I remember ones under Linux / Unix / Solaris / Digix / HP-UX are called kernel panic, generates a core dump, but it would be fair to call them GSOD, Green Screens Of Death, in memory of the old console 24x80 times. Also under OS/MVS or DOS/VSE the IBM mainframes of forever had the ABEND, abnormal end. In this case one could not tell about screens of death, since there were no screens. But you could get a printed core dump in some cases, directly on the 1403 line printer... system crashes are not a microsoft creation, memory dumps are not a Microsoft creation. And many things windows users sometimes seems to believe to be microsoft creation are not, also.

valduboisvert
valduboisvert

After that they learn to press "Ignore" so fast you can barely see the error message dialogs flashing on the screen. I am not kidding, I saw this in real life, windows OS of course.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

You're not gonna have the 2010 argument much longer! Have a cool yule!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Seems there are still a lot of them using that nasty OS you hate so much.

valduboisvert
valduboisvert

You lack a LOT of information or you just play it dumb, I do not know. Linux is for geeks because you can do a LOT in linux and in many cases just better than windoze. The linux community has striven for years to make linux more "windows like" NOT for geeks, cause we don't care and we know how to work with any kind of *nix, but for less educated general users like you who are missing and in many cases do not need the knowledge level we geeks have. So wake up, the geeks are NOT long gone. We work in classified army development, NASA, hardcore research and many other full of science fields. If you can not see it doesn't mean it does not exist. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

In short, yeah.. lacking support can suck even with specialty hardware. I've yet to find an OS that does not inevitably show lacking hardware support in some area. Sounds like you've bought hardware from consumer hostile manufacturers (forcing my choice of OS in relation to "general purpose computing components" is very much consumer hostile). Sadly, touchscreens and bleeding edge new hardware can be a pain when from a manufacturer who only delivers drivers for a single OS family. My N900 and pretty much any Android device proves touch and tilt sensing are possible. I couldn't say if it's the distribution choosing not to include support (less likely) or the manufacturer of your particular parts being a douche (more likely). If you can't live without touch and tilt, you may need to look at a distribution which includes support or consider using Win7 which the manufacture did dain to deliver support for. I'm actually a little surprised there is not a general i386/amd64 version of Android for general use. At the moment, these are not universal needs though either. They do not indicate that Linux based distributions are hard to update or install/remove software on. Touch/tilt hardware still falls under the specialty hardware category though more of that type of specialty hardware is shipping with Linux distribution options. Now, if you buy the device with a pre-installed Linux distro and it still doesn't work; you have some serious grounds for complaint. On the other side of it, if this was a lacking Windows driver; you'd be screwed. No chance to go under the hood and possibly setup support in absence of the vendor. I've got a growing drawer of perfectly functioning hardware which won't work with Windows because of discontinued manufacturer support. I may as well throw the two bluetooth dongles in the monopoly game box as player pieces; for suggestive and practical reasons. :D In my case, dual OS or more is a standard design requirement and I have more budget to spend on hardware thanks to the price of FOSS. I'll happily reward manufacturers who don't try to impose my OS choice on me. ATI to Nvidia and ATI Tuner to Hauppauge; happily made the change to less consumer hostile hardware. If ATI (now AMD) shows better support across all my bootable OS then I'll switch back. So far, Nvidia is maintaining support even though they choose to go it alone and deliver a binary blob. Your grief should be with your hardware manufacture who decided on your OS choices for you not the OS that has been artificially limited by the manufacturer. They could deliver drivers, help FOSS developers or deliver the minimum interface specs and gain support through no developer budget of there own. Everybody buys hardware so make it OS agnostic. If they claim patents then tell them to stuff the patent encumbered crap in a chip behind a standard interface they can release specs for. There really is no valid excuse for not delivering or allowing OS developers to deliver drivers.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

You do realize that your Win 7 install is at the distinct advantage of having been adapted specifically for that machine, with the collaboration of the device manufacturer? Getting devices recognized in OpenSource is difficult because device manufacturers are not generally helpful with that. People writing the OSSdrivers don't have the full internal knowledge of the device that the people writing drivers for Windows did. You can't seriously think this is because Windows is better... after all, it's the device Manufacturer's people writing the Windows 7 drivers.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

As I mentioned before, I'm still struggling to enable my g-sensor on my Acer 1825PTZ so that my screen rotates like how it works on my Windows 7 Home Premium that came with it. I also had to type quite some lines of commands to make my touch screen work as a touch screen instead of a touch pad. And I still can't get multi-touch to work on it.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Perhaps that's really the question. What are you trying to install from outside the built-in software manager? What distribution are you using? Are there additional non-default repositories you can easily add? Maybe you need a distribution with more software in it's repositories? These are actually honest question. I'm curious what distro your working with and what software your not finding available in the distro's own package manager and repositories.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

First, I bungled my estimate - I was also building two other systems at the same time (plus there were meal breaks in there). It was probably closer to 4-5 hours for the netbook. My friend wanted to keep the Windows install, which meant "boot the Ubuntu CD, change partition sizes, add new partitions, etc" - I like to do this manually, for more control... Then reboot and install UNE - after downloading and making a thumb drive version of the install CD. Yes, the build was complicated by hardware, but to be fair, I think it was more a case where Linux hadn't caught up with new devices. I was building UNE 10.04 on an Acer Aspire One model D255. Why 10.04? Reviews of UNE 10.10 said it was a mess and to stick to 10.04 for netbooks. I haven't had the time (or inclination) to form my own opinion on that yet. The main problem was that 10.04 lacks drivers for both the Atheros AR8157 wired ethernet AND the Broadcom STA wireless devices... Oy! Compounding that, the Ubuntu Netbook Editions don't install the compilers by default. I was able to get Linux driver tarballs from the net, get them into the machine via a thumb drive, but then found out that the recommended Atheros driver did not work - I had to compile from source (gratefully provided by the vendor - score another one for Linux :^) That required "reverse engineering" the set of packages needed to manually install the compilers so that I could compile and install a new network driver... I got those from a "full desktop" CD of the same version and architecture. Once compiled, that worked... With a network, I could update the base OS install, then start customizing... More on that next.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'm at about an hour or a little over from bare metal to tricked out Debian on my systems (varies depending on network speed for updates). Do your builds generall differ drastically from user to user or hardware to hardware? Nine hours is a lot of work, what are you customizing and tweaking for that? Is there a different distribution that provides the desired defaults or better hardware support? After the first time, isn't it just repetition to install on a second unit? In my case, I've the desktop beast at home and Lenovo lappy; both use the same build scripts commenting in/out the Nvidia Xorg or Intel Xorg package as applicable. Beyond that, they are both bare metal to tricked out in an hour or two depending on speed of network connection. I dropped my build scripts on a friend's Alienware going from no prep bare metal to final tweaks in about the same time. (I do cheat a little; the scripts include "non-free" in the repository config and drop all firmware packages into the install since they only add 20 meg or so to the overall build.) I've not had a chance to do a netbook yet personally though. I've heard that some models can be a pain depending on how much user hostile hardware they're built with. (General purpose hardware that only supports one OS is end user hostile in my opinion as are manufacturers who choose to cripple the hardware functionality and impose OS choices on the end user. Hardware driver interfaces should not be "competitive advantage". That's just bad or lazy hardware design.)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"I'm not blaming Linux for it's inability or stuff like that." What's to blame? Having, or not having, a registry to store system settings is a architectural attribute not an ability or inability. Windows and *nix store there configurations differently; no blame to be placed. My point was simply that you won't find a Windows style "registry" but you will find 99% of your configuration settings in one of two obvious places. " I'm just answering the initial question at hand whether "Linux is ready for the mass home/office users". I understand that this don't fit that and all that. I'm not saying that "M$ Office cannot be installed on a Linux OS". I know it can be done because I did it before but it ain't as easy as it can be done in a Windows OS where the mass home/office users can do it easily. " What?! You mean installing completely foreign software on an OS is not as easy as installing native software on an OS? Say it isn't so.. " Guys, you are all technical people and you guys can probably script virtually anything u guys want or need in any OS but think about those guys at home who only knows how to click, double-click, drag and drop. Most of them can barely know how use the M$ command prompt. We have to consider that user base. Not those of us who do this at any day. " We have to absolutely consider the user base. These users work with machines pre-configured and delivered by the IT support staff. Why would these same users suddenly have to configure and script there own systems just because the OS changed. I'd say if that's the case, your IT staff need a kick in the pants for not doing there jobs; learning new technologies and supporting the staff user needs. " What they want and need is something that just works with no problems. They don't care about compatibility and stuff that don't show in the general GUI. They just need to get things done they way they want. " If stability, security and "just works" setup for the user is what your after then you really should be looking at *nix based systems unless the decision is forced by work related applications only supported by one OS. I've got WinXP, Win7, Debian and osX all running right beside me, do you really want to discuss comparisons of stability and up time? " Eitherway, I think that the result will show in Dell's efforts in selling Dell machines with Ubuntu. " Dell's lopsided marketing and retail goals are hardly representative of any specif OS's technological attributes or available function set. What you seem to be saying is "Green is a terrible colour that should never be used because Dell only sells a few machines with green paint on them."

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

To address the question of whether "Linux is ready for the mass home/office users", I think it is, maybe more so for office users at the moment -- because they usually have on-site tech support. "What they want and need is something that just works with no problems." frames the current situation nicely. On the one hand, they have Windows which is easy to install-setup-connect, but doesn't "work with no problems", and on the other they have Linux which requires tech support to install-setup (and sometimes to connect), but generally works with no problems. Linux's "problem" at the moment is getting from a new PC to a PC with Linux installed, configured, and ready to use. I've done dozens -- and I rarely hear back for help after I'm done with them. But it's a lot of work getting them fully set up... "I think that the result will show in Dell's efforts in selling Dell machines with Ubuntu." If that's the case, then it's already showing -- Dell has little to no commitment to sell PCs with Ubuntu installed. (Just because they're 'available' doesn't indicate any commitment to selling them and making it a good experience.) The big PC makers are deeply embedded with Microsoft to see that every PC goes out the door with a COA that's paid for -- nothing wrong with that, as one can add Linux to the mix after delivery. But then we're back to the painstaking process (requiring professional skills and patience) to install Linux. Once it's installed & ready, it shines. But getting there is still too problematic. Now that Windows 7 installs easily --as compared to the nightmarish WinXP-- this problem is compounded. Perhaps we who know how to install Linux should take it upon ourselves (as I have) to go out and "pay it forward" by getting non-techies set up and started -- and provide them with "tech support". Mark Shuttleworth may be providing a user-friendly Linux for free, but I don't see a lot of help in making it simple, complete, or friendly in going from CD to a ready-to-use system. (I do 30 minutes of install, followed by 30 minutes of updating, following by an hour of additional installations and configuring -- and that's after I've collected tarballs and made install scripts to speed things up.) Case in point: I did an Acer AspireOne netbook this week. From out-of-the-box, it took 9 hours to get a fully tricked-out Ubuntu 10.10 desktop (two user accounts configured) ready to hand over. Windows 7 kills Linux when faced with numbers like that. But once done, Ubuntu is a joy to drive. How many will ever find that out, though? Who's going to help them?

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

What you said are all true. But can you expect home users to know or do what you went through? I'm not saying that Linux is bad or stuff like that. I just began using and liking it. Yes I realize not all distros have support for everything. Yes I can live without some software which are out of the repositories. But I'm not the only "computer user" around here and so aren't you. So, let's be more focus on the initial question: "I want to hear intelligent, legitimate reasons why you think Linux can or can not make it on the [b]average user's[/b] desktop and what is it about Linux that is NOT user friendly."

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

I'm not blaming Linux for it's inability or stuff like that. I'm just answering the initial question at hand whether "Linux is ready for the mass home/office users". I understand that this don't fit that and all that. I'm not saying that "M$ Office cannot be installed on a Linux OS". I know it can be done because I did it before but it ain't as easy as it can be done in a Windows OS where the mass home/office users can do it easily. Guys, you are all technical people and you guys can probably script virtually anything u guys want or need in any OS but think about those guys at home who only knows how to click, double-click, drag and drop. Most of them can barely know how use the M$ command prompt. We have to consider that user base. Not those of us who do this at any day. What they want and need is something that just works with no problems. They don't care about compatibility and stuff that don't show in the general GUI. They just need to get things done they way they want. Eitherway, I think that the result will show in Dell's efforts in selling Dell machines with Ubuntu.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

My IBM 360 proves that it's impossible to install any form of Windows on so that must mean that Windows just doesn't work. It's not Windows Fault that I'm unable to install it on certain Hardware just the same as it's not the Fault of any Linux Distro that it may not work with certain Hardware. Al it shows is the complete contempt that the Hardware Makers have for anything but the preferred Supported OS that they support. You are complaining about the Hardware Makers here who chose not to offer the minimum Support for the currently used OS and chose to just provide support for 1 closed OS that they want to. Go to your favorite car dealer and demand that they provide parts natively for your car when the support a different Brand. Sure some parts may be interchangeable but others are going to be a Special Order so is it their fault that they support a different Brand than you want to use? If you have complaints like this you should address them to the Hardware Makers directly and make reasonable complaints. Not silly things like [i]Try installing MS Office on Ubuntu.[/i] I would say try fitting a Ford Tail light to a GM Car and it just doesn't fit so than has to mean that GM cars are no good. It couldn't possibly mean that there is an Idiot attempting to fit the wrong part to a car can it? Col

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"Try installing MS Office on Ubuntu." Try installing osX native iLife on Windows. Is it Windows fault that it does not run osX software natively? We can't really say it's the fault of Ubuntu that Microsoft has chosen to not produce an MS Office for Linux. The fact that there is a possibility of installing Windows native MS Office on a Linux based OS and having it work is pretty freaking amazing.. even if it does not hold one's hand to the washroom and help them wipe. "Or try enabling multi touch on touchscreen devices with Ubuntu." Agreed.. but to a degree. Maemo and Android among other more embedded touch/tilt enabled devices prove it's possible. The question is why your hardware is not supported by the distribution your trying and if another distribution would be better. Is the lack of support due to the distribution choosing not to include it or the manufacturer not providing even the minimum information needed for kernel, Xorg or Linux Driver Project developers to implement support in absence of the manufacturer. If your touchscreen and tilt are supported on other distributions then sure; question Ubuntu for not also including it. "When I mentioned software installation I kinda mean software out of Ubuntu Software Center or any other package managers." The original claim was that installing software required "rows of commands." If you kinda mean software out of the Ubuntu Software Center then by default your talking about the Ubuntu Software Center repositories; select the checkbox, hit install. If what you meant was software not available in the repositories then more questions arise. Can one add additional repositories which do contain more desirable software? (in Debian, one add's "non-free" for Flash, Java and similar non-libre software). Does the third party app developer provide a native repository that can be added (Webmin does this among other's). Does the third party provide a distro native package (Open Office and Mandriva among others); and the install should indeed bee double-clicking the download .deb, .rpm or whatever; it's just like a .msi in windows. So, some specific software is not in the default or additional distro repo, third party repo or available as a native package from the third party? Is it available by svn/git download? If you really can't live without it, is it available by the ages old tarball install? Is there software which provides the same function in absence of a specific brand name? Like any OS, once you get down to requiring a specifically branded application for specialty use; you'll have to choose the OS it runs on. If you can't live without AutoCAD; you'll be limited to what it runs on. Such cases tend to be far less than people like to make it sound though. "You are just 1 user and so am I. We have to see the bigger picture and the bigger masses. Not everyone like what are available from Linux's Software packages." Who said everyone had to like what was available for any specific Linux distribution? People who says "everyone must use Windows and non-other", "everyone must use osX and non-other" and "everyone must use Linux and non-other" all suck. No one OS fits all sizes, shapes and user requirements. In terms of FOSS, the user has choices between distributions and competing applications within them. "There's always a price to pay. Nothing is completely free." Nothing was promised to be complete free either. Heck, FOSS does not even promise to be available at no cost. "Free" has only ever been specific to "libre", the freedoms granted the user under a permissive license (one which adds further permissions on top of copyright instead of trying to remove permissions provided by copyright). In my experience, I pay a whole whack of money then spend a whack of time installing along with a whack of time ongoing for maintenance not to mention cleaning up breaches and dealing with some seriously broken factory installed images when unable to get a clean Windows install disk. I may have had to learn that Linux distros did tings differently than Windows but that was a small price to pay for the resulting benefits and reduced maintenance/breach times and retail costs. I also buy my hardware specifically with cross-platform use in mind so the cases of hardware limited to only one OS are pretty rare. Vote with my wallet, save myself grief and reward vendors who are not consumer hostile (choosing my OS for me with "general purpose" computing components is consumer hostile). Granted, this is my personal habit based on long experience with computers but any consumer can do this easily. I am simpathetic regarding the touchscreen though. My old Panasonic CF-27 touchscreen is fantastic when booted into Windows. If it was not so old, I'd probably have another go at the touchscreen support with a *nix distro. It was something I could live without but nice to have when available. Boo Panasonic's touchscreen supplier (or Panasonic) for only supporting Windows at the time. (edit): paragraph third from the end was incomplete.

rindi1
rindi1

Why install Office on a Linux distro? for that you have Open-Office which on most distro's is already installed by default, or at least easily installable through the repositories, or you could also get libreoffice. Office isn't built for Linux and m$ probably never will build it for Linux, and if you really believe it is essential you can buy crossover and then the installation is probably pretty straightforward. There are now also special netbook versions of Ubuntu which come with multitouch configurations built-in. The ubuntu or debian repositories are huge, so there is almost always something available that will do the job you need it to do from them without having to do any make run stuff.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

And it even installs easily, too. All I have to do is install Crossover first. However, I should say that I don't use MS Office that often - I prefer Gnumeric and Open Office. But at least Ubuntu gives me lots of choices...

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The closest you'll get to the Windows registry is /etc/ where most of the system config files should reside and ~/ (home) where the user specific config files reside. If you can edit a text file, you can work with the config directly (backup while learning of course). In terms of AV.. you may want to look at installing ClamAV; if only to be a good neighbor and potentially catch anything that would affect a Windows recipient. I also do chkrootkit and rkhunter which both scan for root kits; the more popular of the *nix affecting malware.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

With Debian based distros you'll get a default "yes" and options to "see what's different" and "no, do not replace". If your not sure; take the default. If your curious, look at what's different. If your really not sure, say no and keep your existing config. If there is an issue, the package is dead simple to reinstall prompting you again regarding the config. I have seen the question come up but primarily when doing a distro-upgrade where software versions drastically change. With Debian 6 Testing, I've had several Samba updates so far without asking or changing my config. Maybe it's a distribution specific thing. Maybe it's that the changes thus far have not affected the config file. So far, I've always kept my existing config when asked during normal updates. During distro-update, I've accepted the new config unless I had specific reason not too. Granted, I have the advantage of being more familiar with the config file rather than it's representation in a GUI utility; force of habit from when one had to learn it that way.

Slayer_
Slayer_

At least so far those are the only ones that have bothered me, do you want to replace your config file? How am I supposed to know the answer to this. If there is new entries, my old one is no good, but if there is not anything new, then it just wipes out my changes. That's a lose lose scenario. Maybe if it opened some sort of merging program so you could check for changes.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

Try installing MS Office on Ubuntu. Or try enabling multi touch on touchscreen devices with Ubuntu. When I mentioned software installation I kinda mean software out of Ubuntu Software Center or any other package managers. You are just 1 user and so am I. We have to see the bigger picture and the bigger masses. Not everyone like what are available from Linux's Software packages. There's always a price to pay. Nothing is completely free.

rindi1
rindi1

And to go on with the above, All those tools you installed via the repository are included in updates. On windoze you normally have to update each app either via that app's own update manager (which if started automatically uses up unnecessary system resources), or check their site if updates are available and download them individually and install them. It's highly likely that some updates will be forgotten. Linux software is much simpler to maintain that way.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

How'd the icon get there to begin with? I've been using Ubuntu and Windows for years now. For Ubuntu, I've written one line in Linux, and do one-click program installation. I can install dozens of programs at once using Synaptic package manager, and I don't even have to pay for it. If I don't like the program, I dump it at no loss (I'm not stuck with it) and shop for a different one - OR I load several to try, compare them side - by - side. Man, nothing is easier or breezier. Registry fixes? Malware? Nope. I wouldn't know how to fix that in Linux, and I don't even run an anti - virus. I think I just convinced myself - Linux is easier *now*.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

What several lines of cli commands are you entering to install software? If you have some specific reason for going outside your distribution's repositories, I can think of a total of three commands easily consolidated into one command line ./configure && make && make install or ./configure && make && checkinstall (for us Debian folks who want a .deb to uninstall easily) But really, you shouldn't need to go outside the distribution's own repositories that often. If you do, you probably should be picking a distribution with a better software library. There is really not that much software one will need outside of a major distribution's existing list of packages. Heck, if you want to consider a real comparison; think of Windows Update. You open it up, have your updates selected automatically, choose any additional software you want installed and hit "install". Now, what if Windows Update also listed non-Microsoft produced Windows software vetted for compatibility and signed for authentication. With Windows, we need to find and download the correct application, then double click the obtained .exe/.msi, then sit through progress bars and wizard questions accepting defaults watching for those unwanted bundled things like the Yahoo or Google browser bars. You then repeat this for each app your installing. With a network repository based OS like major Linux distributions, you open the GUI package manager, select all the apps you want to have installed based on names, search or descriptions, you hit "install" and do something else with the machine while it finishes in the background. I would love to see Windows manage software half as well as a good package and repository system. Take the .msi as the Windows native package format and get on with it. What are you doing that requires a few rows of commands?

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

I think Windows software installation is still way easier than Linux. We just need to double click the right icon and configure the right settings. That's still better than typing out a few rows of commands and then configure here and there. Besides, I think with with the right tools and a few registry fix malware removal ain't that hard.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've always seen Gamers will within the Power User/Tuner range of users. Given the work that some put into FPS benchmarks alone. Game retail unit sales are also an interesting statistic since they are much more voluntary for lack of imposed bundled OS sales. I just wish the PC gaming market wasn't rushing so fast towards driving gamers off the platform with obsessive DRM schemes and delayed or missing PC builds of game titles.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

With 90% of the market, you have 90% of the market seeing your flaws. 90% of the market having there work and home interrupted with big blue screens. 90% of the market seeing your blue screens on public devices for which your OS is beyond overkill (because an add display screen needs a full Windows desktop OS to display a picture sideshow it seems). With the larger market share comes the larger headcount of witnesses though to properly compare one would need to reduce these figures to percentages.

itadmin
itadmin

Seems you have been around for some time. Yes, many things originated somewhere else, and not with the entity one associates them with, or in the case of good things, the entity trying to take credit for it. In the sixties Ford made a big thing about Cortinas having cross flow heads, stopping short of claiming to have invented it. They had quietly been around for years. In the seventies Mitsubishi went on and on about its Colt having a counter balance shaft in some big four engines. The balance shaft was patented in 1904. The list goes on. I suppose Microsoft became associated with crashes and its bsod because they were so frequent on MS machines. Most people would know there was even one at the past Olympic games. It won a gold medal.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Wasn't it the Amiga that crashed to an orange screen with picture of a person sitting in lotus?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Because the majority of computers in use are operating Windows, and many users in the office will ignore issues (knowing there is an IT guy that is paid to sort them out if they screw it up) because they want to keep working and not resolving computer issues, therefore, Windows users are dumb or ignorant. In that same mindset, I have watched accounting departments go over simple paperwork OVER AND OVER AGAIN with IT departments who just don't give a damn about their accounting tasks, scheduling and associated paperwork. I don't know how many times I have heard "I am not a secretary/accountant/salesman/....., I am in IT, that's not my job." Does this then make IT staff so illiterate that they should not be able to complete paperwork or is it just not their field of expertise and other departments should be more lenient and understand of their strangths and weaknesses? An office is full of staff, they each have specific tasks they excell at, and no IT department/staff I have ever seen can do my job too, though many think they can; just as many secretaries, sales reps, office managers, etc. THINK they are IT staff, but that's not reality. Sure people can handle multiple roles, I do it too, but we all have strengths that are illustrated in our key role. Think about it for a minute, if all staff were IT savvy, what would YOU do for a living? Teach IT at preschool where you will know more than they do? The reason you are employed is because ither people have other roles, which do not include resolving computer issues, this is where you become relevant for once.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

where they never *explicitly* say anything. But boy, they can load it so you *think* you know what he said. Double entendre, open interpretation, cloudy descriptions, hundreds of tricks he doesn't even realize he's using because it's all force of habit.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

Neon's just having some fun...

valduboisvert
valduboisvert

What I treasure about these discussions is the fact that you can learn new things by exchanging ideas with smart people even if sometimes your personal opinions don't match. Is not humbleness that makes us learn even from our enemy, is intelligence and strive for knowledge. Neon judging by your posts you are a smart guy. So please stop wasting your time by posting answers to garbage. There is nothing you or others can earn from this.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

You've certainly made the sentiment clear through the majority of your posts deriding the OS for not being Windows and deriding anyone who would dare suggest that it is more than your opinion of it allows. Yet another thread you've ground any possibility of productive discussion out of.. bravo for you. You'll forgive me if I now save my time for those who can carry on production discussion even when they disagree with the others in that discussion.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But that was one of the most semantically loaded posts I've seen in months...since your last such post, actually. And yes, given the tone, it could be read as you hating Linux. That's why I've stayed out of it until now.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Please, and I honestly request your assistance here, provide the quotation where I said Linux was a nasty Os that I hated so much? Linux is an OS I have made a lot of money deploying and supporting. When you have failed to do so, try actually understanding what you read instead of pasting notes from the 1996 Linux fanboy's defense manual.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

And all them other guys will say the same thing I just did. It doesn't get much more simple than that.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

...of geeks and nerds. Oz says it has something to do with glasses. What say you, people?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

What the example does counter is the often made "Linux is for amateurs and basement dwelling hobbyists. It's a toy not meant for real work". It does not compare to a desktop use case but it clearly demonstrates that distributions within the OS family are more than capable of real workloads beyond "basement dwelling toys". I don't remember what the post you reply to claimed. This is only to offer my understanding of the example.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

...that these "supercomputers" are anything *but* desktops, and are friendly only to people experienced in that particular computer. They aren't designed to do graphics in the morning and spreadsheets that afternoon. Each application is carefully and laboriously set up to perform one task and do it very rapidly and well. Often a program will be re-written after each run, not due to faults with the first but to try another approach to the problem at hand. This is not the kind of use that would compare to any desktop or enterprise server. It is completely irrelevant to a comparison of Linux and Windows, or Macs, or anything else available at, say, Office Depot.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

"trace back my initial response. Which was about me reminding you about the fact that geeks are not obsolete, dead or whatever your mind would like to believe." I never said any of the above, if you go visit your English teacher she may just be able to help you understand what was actually said. The Geeks/Nerds of "yesteryear" are gone. Computing used to be somethingfor shut-ins, people with no social skills or outside life. I remember when computers were first being introduced, only the socially inept were th onens taking time to write code and make computers do anything more than flash a cursor. Now, as computing has become far mroe mainstream, people that would never have been deemed 'geeks' at all are taking the helm and running servers in massive multinational organizations. "geeks" as anyone with more than base computing knowledge are known today, are NOT the same, thick goggled, "geeks" we saw circa 1980. So get off your high horse, forget pretending you have some form of superior inteliigence and unique ability to engage in more honourable debate and come down to reality. You just can't comprehand what you read.

RobD60
RobD60

This non-geek Linux lover appreciates all you geeks out there. Just want you to know. Y'all make Linux usable for the average user.

itadmin
itadmin

Sorry, can't find "propse" in the dictionary. If you meant "propose", no, I don't propose the world's most powerful supercomputers incorporate Linux. They are already doing it. OK, you didn't say that "that Windows is faster or more resourceful than Linux", but did you say that when the chips are down, like with super computers and the applications they run, Linux leaves Windows in the dust? And if Linux is good enough for a super computer, isn't it most likely good enough for my desktop? And why do these super computers in nearly all cases steer clear of Windows? Shouldn't that make me wary of Windows? Unsubstantiated sweeping statements ("Your link to BBC's report on super computers is so irrelevant and inapplicable to this dialogue it's laughable.") do not constitute facts. "Unfortunately, those arguments grow old and irrelevant very quickly." Why? Is it not true? Did Windows replace Linux on super computers since that page was published? Windows is for the supratentorialy challenged. Bill Gates knew there were (and still are, and always will be) many of them. Making an operating system for them makes much more pecuniary sense than making one for geeks.

valduboisvert
valduboisvert

I would rather succeed proving uncertainty principle wrong that having a reasonable dialog with you. Please try to squeeze some nervous impulse from your brain and trace back my initial response. Which was about me reminding you about the fact that geeks are not obsolete, dead or whatever your mind would like to believe. And the fact that *nix is top OS in scientific world. I saw so many of incompetent people in my life and the very first sign of incompetence is personal attacks. I know your type. This is my last post in response to you. I prefer to lose my time with intelligent people.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

You just finished offering a snotty, half cocked assumption of what kind of user I was, what I did and didn't know, what I do and haven't used then even supported another fanboys comments abotu supercomputing as if he was actually making a point. You also refer to how Linux is better for supercomputing tasks, the biggest supercomputing task that Liunx exceeds in is research applications, according to the irrelevant chart I was directed to for no reason. The probelm I see is that ou are hell bent on debating points that weren't even made, just as most linux debats go. You take the benefits of linux and repeat them to debate Linux's validity even when it wasn't ever challenged, as if it make a point or corrects what has been said. Get a life, get a grip and learn the meaning of contextual debate.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

That's what I said. unfortunately I couldn't find where I said anything of the sort, but if you (as with most Linux users) want to create false arguments that you can attack, then you go for it.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

First of all people are complaining abotu hardwaare upgrading costs, and now you propse that the world's most powerful super computers incorporate Linux? I have not said, not even once *dig deep) that Windows is faster or more resourceful than Linux. NOT ONCE, go looking and searching, even in my old posts, never, not once. I HAVE said, that Win7 is a massive improvement that does run multiple processes in the foreground and background with ease. In the post you are replying to, I said that it renders as well as my MAC used to and that was ALL is used to use for graphic, audi and video work. From that you rebut with what MOST linux users try to so. You find an old argument from some other forum and hang onto it with clammy hands in a death grip. 'AHA, I HAVE something!' Unfortunately, those arguments grow old and irrelevant very quickly. Your link to BBC's report on super computers is so irrelevant and inapplicable to this dialogue it's laughable.

valduboisvert
valduboisvert

Seems that for some people facts doesn't matter much. Is easier for them to live in an imaginary world where windows is perfect and supercomputers and the scientists using them are just dumb for not using windows.

valduboisvert
valduboisvert

I have worked in CGI for a very long time. I ended up my career there as a artistic director over a quite big team. We used a huge variety of software and most of it under windows, not *nix. We did everything starting from publishing, advertising and post production. I have to say even though some crucial parts were under unix, majority of work was done in windows. I have enough experience to say that CGI is better done most of the time under windows. Limiting your experience to what OS are you using is still ignorance though. Current work place is research, and we have to deal with stuff like you probably heard at news biology, bioinformatics, disease pathology, high throughput sequencing and so on. We maintain windows, unix and linux. Linux outnumbers windows 9:1. You like it or not in science *nix just happen to be more versatile. Anyway speaking with so much hatred about linux and attacking me instead of participating into a educated polemic here shows that besides ignorance you might have some serious issues. I don't care what your problem is but please be civil and try to post interesting insights on topic instead of ego garbage nobody cares about. BTW, and under what OS were those flight simulators running? I know most of them are running under some *nix flavor, for both military and civilian industry.

itadmin
itadmin

If Windows is so powerful and eminently suited to high demand uses, why is it so very under represented in the top 500 super computers? See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10187248. If Linux is so bad, why is it so overwhelmingly represented in this group? Surely this means something. Or is this just another sign of how good Windows is?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I know people who design flight simulators for the air force that are not geeks at all. I have personally worked with the US military on many projects that they were unable to fulfill in the USA, and I'm far from being a geek (even though I was chosen TR's Geek runner up in the "What makes you a geek" contest). You then assume I haven't used Linux, and am a general user who doesn't know any better. When I have actually rolled out and supported Linux across multiple sites for several companies. I may not play professionally anymore, but I am still an MCNE and understand software and user needs. As I rely on computers for graphic design and print publishing, I have also found that MAC used to offer better functionality and processing power for computerized audio and video production, but now Windows is just as fast for rendering and post processing. Your ignorance IS an excuse in this case, you spouted from your blowhole without knowing any better, just like most of the arguments in support of Linux are simply old unqualified assumptions.

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