Linux

The connection between open source adoption and gaming


I read a lot of articles and blogs discussing whether or not open source OSs can ever take over the Windows-dominated desktop. My personal answer to this is no, not anytime soon. I hate to say this because I am a proponent of open source. However, I think it is the sad truth, and the reason is a lack of applications--particularly one class of applications--games. What's the connection between the slowness of open source adoption and gaming? Let me explain.

Before you start rolling your eyes, just go along with me for a minute. I contend that we would have been staring at green screens for much longer had PC gaming not pushed color monitors. Once color monitors were produced, and gaming took off, it encouraged sound via sound cards, video cards for better graphics, and a plethora of input devices.

Open source has already proven that it can produce near equivalents (or better) of office productivity software; yet, there is no stampede to adopt the software despite its being significantly cheaper to purchase (people still fight about cost to implement and support). Why is this? A large part of it is because we are creatures of habit, and our comfort zone is Windows and Windows applications.

But I think another big reason is that people tend to get comfortable with the technology they use at home and then push for it in the workplace. But who wants to run two machines--one for work and one for play? Or create a dual boot machine? I fit that mold. I have run a Linux desktop many times on older “experimental machines” and despite small learning curves and minor inconveniences, I can “work” with no problem and lose little if no functionality or productivity. But would Linux be my main desktop at home? Nope--not as long as gaming is a priority for me. Because no one is writing current titles or porting recent hits to the Linux desktop – and it’s just not worth the hassle to run both. (I know there are a few titles out there that have been ported to Linux, but the number is so small as to make it insignificant).

And to me, unless people can use the OS to do ALL the things they want to do--including work and play--it just isn’t going to take off. Moreover, the younger generations who cut their teeth on Windows are going to back what they are familiar with--Windows. This will increase with the release of Vista, which will make the PC even easier to use and glitzier to look at.

And what about Mac and the in-roads it has made in the corporate environment? To this, I answer “Mac Office.” It’s a whole lot easier to sell an audience of potential users on an OS if they can use the Microsoft Office productivity suite. Plus, while Windows still has more, the game ports for a Mac are far more plentiful than Linux..

I speculate that if you could run officially branded MS Office on Red Hat, you just might see a lot more adoption. And if you could run all of today’s games off-the-shelf on Red Hat or Fedora, you would find a lot more Linux rigs out there in the hands of “non-technical” users than there are now.

People aren’t afraid of open source on the desktop; just look at the adoption of Firefox and Windows-based versions of Open Office and MySQL. If people find the right tool, they will gravitate towards it. But changing your OS for one that can’t run half of what is out there is altogether a different thing.

What may change all this? Google. If Google can truly make Web-based productivity tools that can compete with MS Office--it may make the desktop OS insignificant in the workplace. But we will have to wait and see.

This is the whole chicken and the egg problem, and isn’t new to anyone. Until the killer application comes to the Linux OS only--what is going to drive adoption at the desktop level, and what is going to induce developers to spend money to develop for a platform that is rarely used for desktop computing? I personally think it will take a few hit games to do it. Once people get used to Linux as a gaming platform, it’s not a big jump to using it as a work platform.

Personally, I like Linux very much, and I have no hesitation about parking a Linux server in the server room. The desktop, though, is going to take a killer application to get a movement started. Imagine if Blizzard had announced that World of Warcraft was going to be Linux only: you think the whole thing would have fallen on its face or would it have created a groundswell of interest in Linux? (I know you can run WOW using WINE, but what a pain.) What we need is a Linux version of a DOOM or Castle Wolfenstein with a lot of buzz and that can only be played on Linux. That would stir up the pot! In the meantime, if someone at Sony decides that porting Everquest II to Linux would be a good idea--that would make my day!

77 comments
nighthawk808
nighthawk808

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Linux_games w00t! Darwinia & FreeOrion roxorz! Did I get the leetspeek right? I don't practice much; to me, it's the Internet equivalent of an Alabama accent. Post edited to add: NetHack was (and still is) the One True Game.

tonious
tonious

Don't fiddle with it. "Cedega , TransGaming's flagship Linux portability product, allows Windows games to run on Linux seamlessly and transparently, right out of the box. With Cedega installed on your computer running Linux, you can simply insert your favorite Windows game CD, install and then play that game just as you would on a Windows system. TransGaming Technologies" I'll stick to the original Windoez$$$.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

don't bother with a Linux version as they know the hard core gamers will run Cedega (US$5 per month) and play their Windows games perfectly. Some games manufacturer's are making Windows and Linux versions anyway. Also some of the games that are designed for networking tend to have the server version written to run on a Linux server. World of Warcraft is one of the biggest games at the moment, yet a patch in November killed about 1/3rd of the WoW players who used Linux systems. The WoW programmers got so many complaints that they worked heavily with Cedega to get the problem corrected in a few days. The difference is that the gamers who use Linux do tend to have a slightly higher level of tech understanding and are a bit more committed. Some versions of Linux come with Cedega built in now. A new version of Cedega is Cider and is designed to allow people to play games written for Windows on Macs. Both available at www.transgaming.com edited to add Cedega runs all my old win 95 and win 98 games as well as the Win2K and Win XP games - most of the older games won't run in Win XP no matter you do, unless you get a third party emulator.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

1. Who cares how big Windows is or how many people use Linux instead? The only reason I'd like to see wider use of Linux is so developers will stop assuming you're using Windows and therefore making things incompatible out of sheer laziness. The two biggest offenders here are printer manufacturers and web designers. What's the deal with this focus on sheer numbers? 2. The only thing Windows users can point to is that "it runz all the kewl g4mez, d00d!!11" Shouldn't that in and of itself be a clue that Windows is far behind Linux in usefulness? Linux has won in everything that matters; everything else is fluff. I don't care what fluff-heads and 12-year-olds want; I want to be able to develop software, write documents, surf the Internet, and be a productive member of society. I can do that much better with Linux than Windows. I doubt that Linus Torvalds or tens of thousands of F/OSS software developers care how many people use their code. They just care that it enables them to do what they want, how they want. An inexorable law of business is that an inferior product that appeals to the masses will sell better than a far superior one whose advantages are appreciated by sophisticated users. That doesn't mean that the minority is getting screwed, as long as they still have the better option open to them, as Linux users do. If the rabble want to pay exorbitant prices for bloated and buggy software, then let them. They're getting what they deserve for not knowing any better.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

I don't see in either of them where he actually cares whether games make it grow or not. Even in the Business Week article, which naturally assumes that the only thing worth anything is something that makes money, can't drag it out of him. The closest that he gets is acknowledging that he's happy that it's growing. However, being happy that something is happening is not the same thing as wanting that thing to happen. I can watch an ant farm with interest and still not care whether more ants show up or not. Linus created Freax just for fun (like the title of the book), and he is still having fun with it today. Open source is not a country club: if people want to come in and have fun on the golf courses, that's fine. If they don't want to, that's fine too. At the same time, no one is standing on the steps of the clubhouse with a bullhorn begging them to come in, and no velvet ropes are keeping them out. Linux doesn't need games any more than a country club needs a football field so rednecks will show up and drive their pickup trucks on the lawn and have beer-soaked tailgate parties. Yes, I know it's an alien concept to many that someone would do something for the sheer fun of it rather than for profit, but the inability to understand a concept does not mean the concept is incorrect. Few people fully understand the Theory of Relativity, yet GPS satellites still have to correct themselves for relativistic effects. Post edited to correct Linux --> Linus. It has become almost impossible to type the word "Linus" anymore.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I am afraid I didn't really follow that... for what it is worth... It seems clear from reading ALL his comments (together), that he does in fact have a desire to see Linux adoption grow, and is delighted to see that it has grown beyond his wildest expectations. Just because it isn't profit-motivated doesn't mean he doesn't have in interest in seeing it succeed.

gsquared
gsquared

The problem with the viewpoint expressed here is that the basic use of a "personal computer" should not be limited to developing software, writing documents and surfing the Internet. If a text editor, a compiler and Firefox are the only applications *you* need, that doesn't mean everyone else on the planet is a moron for wanting their computers to be able to do more than that. (After all, a text editor, compiler and Firefox will do everything you said you want a computer to do. And really, with Google doing word processing and spreadsheets in your browser, you don't need the text editor. All you need is a compiler and Firefox. I sure hope you didn't pay much for your hardware if that's all you're using it for.) Also, your assumption that a product aimed at the vulgate instead of the elite is a bad idea, is a bad assumption. Printing presses produce an inferior quality book compared to hand-copying and illumination. Does that mean you should stop reading books, magazines, etc., that weren't hand-copied and illuminated? Of course not. Should you have the option of buying a used Honda Civic, or should the only cars on the market be brand-new, top-end BMWs, Rolls-Royces and Ferraris, and though the car is free, you have to get the parts and assemble it yourself? (And, to really make them more like Linux, you should have to drive by typing in command line instructions, with no steering wheel, no foot pedals and definitely no automatic transmission. And the GUI ... I mean dashboard ... should be an extra option that you have to build yourself. [I'm exaggerating, but only a little.]) That's the kind of market you're calling for, where everyone has to use some self-proclaimed elite machine because the more useful, more flexible, easier-to-use option isn't as intellectually superior.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

I said nothing remotely close to "everyone has to use some self-proclaimed elite machine because the more useful, more flexible, easier-to-use option isn't as intellectually superior." What I said was that if you want to settle for an inferior OS because you think a computer is a toy, then fine, go right ahead. I did NOT say that people must use Linux, and, to be honest, I don't even understand how you could think that's what I said. I didn't even say that Windows was a bad idea. I said that if you want to use it, no one is stopping you. A large part of freedom is the freedom to make stupid choices. But if you make a stupid choice, don't whine when people call it stupid. However, choosing an OS based on its gaming, or trying to appeal to fluffhead 12-year-olds by concentrating on game appeal rather than tight, secure, open code is a bad idea. Linux doesn't need games. I can't make it any clearer than that. Did you write the car paragraph just so you could work in the word "vulgate" somewhere? But, to use a better car analogy: Windows: You can have any color car. As long as it's black. And as long as you don't mind it using your telephone to tell Alan Mullaly that you bought it from a dealership rather than getting it used. And as long as you don't mind having the horsepower from two of your four (and we only sell four-cylinders here--but somehow they still only get 3 miles per gallon) cylinders going to power the huge, aerodynamically hideous fins jutting out of the rear rather than exerting force upon your crankshaft. And as long as you don't mind your car occasionally refusing to start and needing to be rebuilt from scratch (I hope you didn't keep anything valuable in the back seat!). Oh, wait, forget the 'black-only' thing; you can have rust-colored too--if you wait a while, it will naturally take that color on its own whether you like it or not. BTW, once we come out with the next model year, we'll pester you about buying a new one. If you don't buy one fast enough for us, we'll make the roads incompatible with the one you have now. We'll also stop fixing the door locks that the "locksmith-kiddies" keep picking, if that wasn't enough of a "friendly suggestion" that you need to keep giving us your money. Linux: Would you like a sports car, a motorcycle, a luxury car, a go-kart, a Segway? Would you like a kit that you can put together yourself, or do you prefer to drive one straight off the lot? Do you like to tinker under the hood, or do you just want to put the key in the ignition and weld the hood shut? Whatever your taste, we've got just the car for you. And don't worry about the financing--this car is free! The mother of all car/OS analogies has already been done a long time ago by Neal Stephenson (Yes, THAT Neal Stephenson). It's available at http://www.cryptonomicon.com/beginning.html Post edited to correct typo and omitted sentence.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

The tiny, minuscule smidgen of forgiveness for the failings of others is a big fat null when it comes to myself. I expect idiots to make mistakes, but since I hold myself to a much higher standard, I give myself worse than I give to others. But, on the flip side, when I do make a mistake, I admit it and learn from it. Everyone errs, but only the fool persists in his error, to paraphrase Cicero.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

from another discussion at a different time: "I'm not arrogant; I'm simply better than you." There are people who think that arrogant people like me give Linux a bad name. They may be right. I wasn't kidding when I told Deadly that I lack patience with idiots, as I can't tolerate stupid people who think their opinions have as much right to be taken seriously as anyone else's. Fifty million people voted for Bush in 2004; if that's not an argument for ignoring the rabble, I don't know what is. Just because a lot of people do something doesn't make that thing good. Just because a lot of people play games doesn't mean that Linux should cater to them. You're right; I do live in my own little universe. In my universe, people who are too immature to evaluate an OS on anything other than its games are simply dismissed with a wave of the hand and an unkind word. I suggest reading Heinlein's _Stranger in a Strange Land_ to get an idea that living in your own little world is not necessarily a bad thing, and living in the world of the mob is not necessarily a good thing. There's safety in numbers, but there's a whole lot of stupidity there too. Gee, "Linux fanatic". I've never heard that one before. Oh, wait, yes I have: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11185-0.html?forumID=90&threadID=200154&messageID=2104301 If you read my Linux page ( http://www.opusforfour.com/no_ms.html ) you'll see why I hate M$ so much and how I became such a Linux fanatic. (BTW, the word "fan" comes from "fanatic". But you already knew that.) You'd discover that I used Windows for over a decade until M$ themselves pushed me to use Linux. You'd also see that I use an entirely different tone there than I do toward people who twist my posts to say what they wanted me to have said rather than what I actually did. I'm glad you've decided not to take this discussion any further. It will save me the trouble of reading more BS.

gsquared
gsquared

Your arrogance is pretty overwhelming. Here you go: "The only thing Windows users can point to is that "it runz all the kewl g4mez, d00d!!11" Shouldn't that in and of itself be a clue that Windows is far behind Linux in usefulness? Linux has won in everything that matters; everything else is fluff. I don't care what fluff-heads and 12-year-olds want; I want to be able to develop software, write documents, surf the Internet, and be a productive member of society. I can do that much better with Linux than Windows." Statements parsed from the above: Windows is only used by idiots who use leet-speak and play "kewl" games. Windows is less useful than Linux because it is only useful for playing games. Windows users are "fluff-heads" and 12-year-olds; assuming you don't literally mean exactly 12 years old physically, this is a statement that Windows users are mentally retarded to the intellectual age of 12. (Look up definitions of mental retardation - I'm using medical definitions here, not slang or vernacular.) Adding to this, "free to make stupid choices". In what possible way is your tone, language and message NOT insulting? You display arrogance, insults and condescention, and then expect people to not be offended by it? What autistic/sociopathic universe do you live in? (As to "vulgate", no. I don't work words into my writing. I just have a large vocabulary and I use it.) I won't take this any further, because you are (a) as common for jihadists of any sort (you are a Linux fanatic), you aren't mentally or emotionally capable of dealing with any viewpoint that contradicts yours, (b) too arrogant to be worth any further communication.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

The majority of posters acknowledge that most people choose an OS on personal opinion, good or bad, and few base it on what's best. The main thrust of the thread was on playing games and that's how many responded. Along that line, many people say they stay with Windows because it allows them to play their Windows based games, and that is the only reason for going that way, not a very good reason to stay with any OS. Going to your comments on using Google to do WP and SS work, I'm glad you can afford all the costs associated with such a heavy Internet access. You forget some people are on dial up still, and also composition over the Internet is extremely insecure. Thus you need to have WP and SS capability on your system to do it when off line. Also it is very rare that you NEED game playing or multimedia for your general office use. The latest Windows gives them to you regardless of if you want them in the office or not, and it's very difficult to turn them off. While Linux allows you to set the system up with whatever you want, and restrict it to that. A telling point about which system is better for gaming is the fact that the big games companies write their server versions of games (ie the ones for the battlenet servers) to be run on Linux servers as the Windows servers can't handle the load. You're obviously way behind the times as Linux has been using good GUIs for over a decade, and the latest versions are much better than the Windows ones. You don't need command line in Linux, any more than you do in Windows. Windows is a mass produced, over priced, potato soup while Linux is a higher quality mixed vegetable soup. The only advantage that Windows has is that the majority of people are highly susceptible to marketing campaigns and Windows has a huge marketing budget.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

1. The tone of the post read as an assault on all the posters. And I wasn't the only one who read it that way. 2. I started using MS DOS 20 years ago, and Windows when it first came out, I've used every variant of Windows since, including the major versions of some, eg NT 3.51 and NT 4, etc. I finally gave up on M$ Windows when they started screwing over my legal copy of XP Pro (bought direct from MS) with WGA. Because I don't have a broadband connection I turned auto updates off and was selective of what updates I downloaded; after 6 weeks WGA kills the system declaring it a pirate copy. Ring MS, get a new code, 6 weeks later do it all again. I got fed up and started looking around. That problem occurred in two copies of Win XP Pro 32 bit(one very early no SP included, and one with SP1 included), and a brand new copy of Win XP Pro 64 bit. XP Pro worked well until MS gave it the royal screw over. I stayed with Windows so long because I was used to it, but when it became a stinky shit pile I moved on. 3. I'm not a Linux expert, I had exposure to Linux in tech college in 1998 with Red Hat. I found that loading Red Hat 6 was just the same as loading DOS and Win 3.11 but easier as it was more intuitive. About 12 months ago, I started trying out all the latest variants of Linux, so that I could dump MS Windows. I also used some Unix and Linux in work during 2000 and 2001. The Linux used there was Red Hat 7, the gateway had a mix of Windows NT4 and red Hat 7 servers that had to be hardened. I had instructions on how to build the servers, and had to follow them closely. Load the basic install, then make the following changes - 10 pages for Linux about 3 hours work, 84 pages for Windows about 2 days work. During 2006 I installed Mandrake 10, Fedora Core 4, Fedora Core 5, Ubuntu, Free Mandriva, SimplyMEPIS, and a few others I can't remember off hand. I found everyone of them to be quicker, easier, and more intuitive to install than any variant of MS Windows since Win 3.11. Yes, installing Linux requires you to think about what you're doing as you have to make decisions about what levels of security etc you want, unlike Windows where they open everything to the world as default. I've been using Linux now for about 7 months and found it much easier to use and to adjust settings than Windows, different but easier as it's more intuitive. I especially like being able to leave a download going while I update the video driver or sound driver, I don't have to reboot to do that as I can just close the driver service down and restart it - can't do that in Windows. Yes you can use command line to do things in Linux, more so than you can in Windows. Like Windows, when using the command line, you need to really know what you're doing. Unlike Windows, anything you can do in the GUI in Linux can be done by command line, that is not possible with the latest versions of Windows. I usually use the command line for things like pings etc, did so in Windows, and do so in Linux. 4. There are a lot of papers and web sites around that tell you how to do things in Linux, and even more telling you how to do things in Windows. Almost every week for years, we've seen George Ou putting out papers on How to do simple things in Windows, things that are done in a fraction of the time, and more easily, in Linux. Many of them things that are done with a moments thought and a few key strokes during the installation. 5. Linux is different to Windows, the kind of difference you get between a full auto stick shift car and a three speed column manual. Many things the same, the basic usage is the same, but some things are done totally differently. 6. TR does not have a Linux attitude, it actually has a Windows attitude, have a look at how many papers and questions are about Windows. What it does have is a few people, who know from experience, that Linux is much better than Windows and respond when someone, without any knowledge or experience, lets out with comments about Windows being better. Windows has been trying to catch up to Linux for years, all the 'great improvements' within Vista are to make it more Linux like, sadly MS have implemented the changes in such a way as to make them harder and nearly useless. The biggest fault with windows is all the back doors they have to allow them to have their other MS applications talk direct to the kernel without going through any security; and that's where most of the vulnerabilities come from. edited to fix a few typos.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

A long time ago, you learned to drive a car. Then one day you decided to try boating. Did you jump into the boat and expect to know everything about seamanship just because you already knew how to drive? Well, if you're a Windows user trying Linux, then yes, you did. Then after ten minutes of looking for the parking brake, you threw up your hands and said "Boats are stupid! Why can't they be more like cars?" You thought you knew everything there was to know already and the fact that something could possibly be different simply demonstrates your already self-evident conclusion that "Linux is hard". The possibility that "Linux is different" never occurred to you. Nor did the possibility that Linux does things differently because it does things in a better way. Inconceivable! Windows doesn't do "more for less effort", it does less for less effort. Don't confuse "less effort" with more power. Einstein said that things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Windows does make things simple, but too simple. If there's anyone who has a right to complain about OS-worshipping people having a "tude", it's the Linux users here, but you don't see us go away crying because we see "Linux is hard" 42 times a day. We simply jump back into the fray and say "No it isn't" for the 43rd time that day. I don't feel sorry for you, and I'm glad I never had to share a foxhole with someone like you.

gsquared
gsquared

Actually, he was complimenting you for misreading what I wrote in proper English.

gsquared
gsquared

Read what you wrote. Read what I wrote.

gsquared
gsquared

I was NOT replying to "most of the posters in this thread". I was replying to one exact post, one exact person. Any assumption to the contrary is reading things into what I wrote that I never intended. I was not forgetting that Google takes bandwidth. I was replying to the exact statement made by the person I was replying to, that a computer is somehow more useful if all it can do is write documents, develop code and surf the Web. Yes, he made exactly that assertion, if you read what he wrote. That is what I was replying to. Nothing more, nothing less. Please stop reading into my reply more than I actually wrote. To you, Earnest, and all the other Linux experts out there, I specifically started a thread on TR asking for help in Linux. The only replies I got were "yeah, Linux is a pain to start using, hope you do well". Nothing of any use. I have seen EXACTLY that on a dozen message boards so far. That's on the ones where I wasn't accused of being a moron because I had to ask questions about how to install software on Linux. Either nobody can help, or nobody wants to help. Linux easier to use than Windows. I say "bull****" on that one. I've tried. I can do simple, basic functions in Linux, but try to do anything more complex than surf or write a document/spreadsheet, and it becomes a morass of accronymic-speak and half-instructions (that assume you already know everything before you even start). I've gone to the pages you and Apotheon and Jaqui recommend in other threads, trying to find useful information, only to find that the Linux world seems to assume that spending multiple weeks trying to figure out what to do with a tar, or even which one to get, is perfectly acceptable. So, if I sound more than a little cynical about Linux on the desktop for the average user, it's because I consider it a lost cause at this time with no hope on the horizon. Linux is a great server OS. No question about that. It works just fine for the people who care to spend many years learning how to use it, which is, let's face it, who it is designed for and by. But for people who want to USE a computer, as opposed to having to be a dedicated professional on a niche system, it's exactly the wrong choice at this time. As to Windows having only a marketing advantage. Wrong. It's easier to use, easier to learn and does more for less effort. And now, because I can no longer stand the Linux-tude, I will not so gracefully leave Tech Republic and not return. You are probably happy to see me go. After all, I have a viewpoint you are incapable of understanding, since it doesn't involve Linux-worship. Good by. Have a nice life.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

and to be English it must be findable in a decent dictionary - things like roolz and drewlz don't show at all. Anyone who can't speak or write English properly has a major literacy problem. I find most people with a major literacy problem are that way due to having some sort of mental deficiency or disorder. I know most mental deficiencies and disorders can be trained around, I've taught many such people in the past, and they were able to learn what I taught them. Sadly, today, there are many people who have properly working brains but are so lazy and stupid (as against ignorant) that they make people with severe Down syndrome seem smart. Ignorance can be corrected with education and training, stupidity can not. BTW I exempt proper nouns from the need to be in the dictionary, thus Whinedoze (the correct way to title the proper noun for a M$ major product) is a valid pronoun and not a dictionary word. edit to correct grammar

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

Seriously. I sometimes don't know how you manage to keep your cool when responding to some of these posts, especially when it's the same "Windows roolz, Linux drewlz" crap over and over again. In any case, I tip my cap to you.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"The only thing Windows users can point to is that "it runz all the kewl g4mez, d00d!!11" Shouldn't that in and of itself be a clue that Windows is far behind Linux in usefulness?" Those people defines "useful" as "it runs the games I want to play." Not everyone is interested in developing software or writing documents. Many of those gaming-only computer users have productive jobs that contribute to society. Doctors, cops, firemen, teachers, and millions of others provide a service to society, often without having to run Linux, Windows, or any other OS. Some people contribute without using a computer at all. (Hard to believe, but true.) Just because their only use for a computer is to run Windows-based games in their off-time doesn't make them fluff-heads or twelve-year-olds. It just means they have different interests from you and I. Why does their choice of OS seem to offend you so much? For a topic you claim not to care about, you've posted a lot on the subject.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

Linux: used in the search for a cure for cancer. Windows: plays Theme Hospital Linux: used to improve weather forecasting, hurricane prediction, and global warming simulations Windows: plays SimEarth Linux: used to model the brain in the largest neural network project ever Windows: Encarta probably has an article about the brain somewhere Linux: used in the computational hydrodynamics, materials engineering, etc. involved in the design of aircraft and spacecraft Windows: plays Flight Simulator X Linux: used in the operational, navigational, and communications features of satellites and space exploring robots Windows: can run Google Mars Linux: used in large-scale evolutionary simulators to explore and create new research and engineering methods Windows: can play Evolva Linux: used in network efficiency, design, and security studies of the Internet Windows: runs all the latest spyware, adware, and virii But Windows can do SETI@home, Einstein@home, QMC@home, etc.! Yes, and so can Linux, in addition to also running the backend infrastructure: http://searchdns.netcraft.com/?host=http%3A%2F%2Fboinc.berkeley.edu%2F

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

It sounds like a lot more fun than where I'm at. Where I work, a consultant isn't expected to know how to configure Windows for games. After all, none of our file or application servers need gaming consultants. The last time I checked, World of Warcraft STILL isn't on our print server. You also miss another point. Linux needs to use an extra layer because you're running WINDOWS games on a LINUX box. Why does Windows XP need DOSBox to run a Windows 98 game? You're running a WINDOWS game on a WINDOWS box, yet you still need to jump through hoops to do it? I thought the big advantage of Windoesn't was its simplicity and ease of use.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

when I approached the MS techs about this they said it's because win xp doesn't have full compatibility with win 95/98 or dos. They recommended several third party programs to allow me to play win 95/98 games, but none to allow me to play win 3.11 games. The cheapest of them was much dearer than Linux with Cedega, and it (Linux + Cedega) gives a better performance anyway. Also, the switch to Linux means I can also open my older MS Office files. Office 2003 is the last version of Office that will properly open MS Word 2a and Word 6 files properly, and the early Excel files. While Open Office does it well, MS Word XP doesn't. This is all due to a deliberate design process within MS to NOT be compatible with their earlier products. edited to add clarification

tonious
tonious

An IT Consultant who can't configure WinXP to play DOS Games needs to go back to school. Haven't you heard of DosBox/dfend? Playing win95/98 games on XP is peanuts. "BloodWings, Pumpkinhead's Revenge", an adaptation of the horror movie of the same name, incl. Roger Clinton (Roger Who?) even runs on my XPc. Your allegations, Deadly Ernest, are Deadly Disingenous.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

earlier posts were about using Cedega to play Whindoze games in Linux and the problems I've had with MS Whinedoze not playing earlier games in XP. My post above was in response to the one before it, as is the case in most of my posts. Linux with Cedega plays older and newer Whinedoze games, even ones that XP won't play because they were written for Whine 98.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

My point, and I think I've made this pretty clear, is that Linux needs games like Einstein needed a lobotomy. I've also pointed out more than once that sticking with an inferior OS just because it has more games is a stupid decision, but one that people are free to make.

torrey
torrey

I believe that this is a wise thing to point out. For example, my company finds SolidWorks to be the best combination of value and functionality in commercial CAD packages (the selection was purely merit-based and not platform based, we also use it for FEA, CAM, and simulation). It only runs on the Windows platform (may change in the future). We don't have any problem with this, but it does tie us to that platform in practicality. It may be possible for us to run on an emulator, but that isn't supported now and isn't worth our time. No matter what useful means to you, if you are satisfied with your platform, then it isn't "wrong". Its a personal/practical choice and should be judged on an individual basis.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

nighthawk, I'm not saying you're wrong, and I'm not saying Linux doesn't do an excellent job of supporting the applications you mention. I'm saying that's your definition. A screwdriver doesn't do any of those things, but it's still useful if all you want to drive screws. If all someone wants yo do with his computer is play games written for Windows, Windows does a pretty good job of running them. nh and DE, the original article in this discussion centered on gaming, not rocket science or brain surgery.

acracker
acracker

But, it does. That is one big reason people don't want to switch to Linux. That and the fact that the Windows operating system is used far more than Linux. Don't get me wrong, I love to learn how to use new operating systems like Linux, but most people don't. The typical computer user doesn't want to spend hours looking for required dependencies to install their favorite instant messaging program, or god forbid use the terminal to update their graphics drivers. People want things easy and Windows is easy. Linux isn't as user-friendly as Windows and, for the average user, Windows can do everything Linux can do. Linux needs to have something unique about it that is attractive to a wide audience such as an awesome game exclusively for Linux as mentioned in a previous reply. Just like the Xbox and Halo, a major game released only for Linux would attract enough common users for more game developers to release their games for Linux. Until that happens, I'll stick with Windows.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

I'm not going to bother to dispute your claims that Linux is harder to use than Windows. If you knew jack about it, you'd know better. After all, what's so scary about typing init 3 cd /wherever_you_downloaded_your_driver sh nvidia[TAB] and twiddling your thumbs for ten seconds or so before typing init 6? God forbid indeed. If you want to stick with an expensive, buggy, bloated, DRM-crippled operating system that calls home regularly to reassure Bill and Steve that you're not a thief just so you can play with yourself, then that's fine. You're getting what you deserve for being too dumb, too lazy, or both. Please note that I'm not necessarily referring to you specifically, cracker. I'm talking to the herd of cattle that believe all that "Windows is easier than Linux" crap without finding out for themselves. I repeat my points: 1. Who cares how many people use Linux, Windows, Mac, a Commodore 64, an abacus, or a TI-89? 2. Who cares about games? People who think the worth of an OS is based on the games it will run are too brain-dead to matter. I'm sure Einstein settled at Princeton because they had a great football team.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

the hardware manufacturers, no MS. Many of the drivers for Linux are written by the manufacturer's, many by the Linux distribution staff, many by private individuals. More and more hardware manufacturers are writing Linux drivers for their hardware. One interesting aspects is that many of the Linux drivers for a particular brand and type of hardware will cover numerous models, whilst this is often not true of Windows drivers. Also once you have a driver for a distribution of Linux, that driver works for the later versions of that distribution, not so with Windows. I have lots of older hardware that I can't use with a Win XP machine because their are no XP drivers for that device, yet they work perfectly on a Linux system

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

That what you are talking about, and what I am talking about are two separate dimensions of support with respect to drivers. Windows is leading with respect to the x dimension, Linux is the Leader with respect to the y dimension. And if Linux continues to grow in adoption, it can become the leader (or at least the equal) in both dimensions.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

versions, NT was notorious for the amount of hardware that it didn't have drivers for.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

this path than Windows. With XP, and more so with Vista, MS is dropping compatibility with older software, applications, and hardware. With Windows you need a different driver for each major variant of Windows, with Linux the same driver does for all variants of that flavour.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

was I too covert in my response? I knew I was being a bit subtle, but I thought the winking smiley at the end would keep people from missing the jab.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I have a few wifi cards that don't "Just work" in Linux. I have a couple different Video Capture Cards that won't work with Myth. While imperfect, the Microsoft Management Console does provide a decent graphical interface for managing virtually all aspects of the System in a fairly consistent manner. There was a linux project that was getting very close to this many years ago, but it seems to have disappeared (sorry, don't even remember what it was called, been a long time ago that it disappeared). Webmin is a great alternative conceptually, but many of the modules fail to truly leverage the benefit a graphical interface can provide, as such, you are often no better, or even worse off, than editing the ini files in a text editor. Those are a few examples. Certainly Hardware compatibility issues are less frequent, and I hope that trend continues. Understand, my point isn't to suggest that Linux is inferior. I am merely saying that good ideas come from everywhere (yes, even Microsoft), and it is worthwhile for the Linux community to embrace those ideas, rather than patently reject them. And the way I see it, the more people use Linux, the more great ideas will find their way into the OS, the easier, more efficient and more capable it will become.

JohnnySacks
JohnnySacks

... and your brain will fall out the window of the car.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Are you agreeing with a post that stereotypes game players and makes assumptions about them, their interests, and their motivations without attempting to communicate with and understand them? Aren't you agreeing with a post that does the very thing you regard as unfortunate?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"People Who care about Games Love Violence" Would you please explain how you reached that conclusion?

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

BTW what good qualities does MS have that you think Linux doesn't have? Nearly all the advances in MS Windows for the last several years have been to make it more like Linux, except the activation and WGA rubbish.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

Unfortunately, instead of trying to communicate or understand one antoher, we find it easier to create stereotypes, and make erroneous assumptions about the interests and motivations of individuals, based on arbitrary labels. ;)

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I want to see Linux have a larger user base, I want to be able to stick in any old piece of hardware, load the driver and have it "just work". I want Linux to become more flexible, easy and powerful. I want to see Linux adopt MS (and other's) good qualities, without forcing us to deal with crazy product activation schemes. I want to see more skilled programmers, developing more sophisiticated programs for Linux, that will acomplish more, with less effort. I want to be able to do everything, from a single, stable platform, with open, transparent standards.

johnpall
johnpall

Simple as that, you'd think us human beings would spend more useful time on this earth like trying to find ways of communicating/co existing with our fellow man regardless of whether he/she is of a different political/ religious persuasion.

tonious
tonious

nighthawk808 wrote: Who cares about games? People who think the worth of an OS is based on the games it will run are too brain-dead to matter. I'm sure Einstein settled at Princeton because they had a great football team. I say, Game developers care about Games. It's like a day in the office. Sometimes 24/7. Don't tell me thay have to do it for free, like Linux is? Give me a break. Show me the money!

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

in this discussion so far? Yet more "Windows is much easier to handle" crap. So, instead of writing anything new, I'll just quote myself: if you knew jack about it, you'd know better. Yes, I still have the old Windows XP box around. There's no reason to throw it away while it still works. You don't take your car to the junkyard just because you bought a new one. But I won't be buying Vista, as I point out at http://www.opusforfour.com/no_ms.html Who doesn't care? Me, and people who know enough about computers to be able to use them productively rather than people named fr4gd00d who think a computer is an overgrown X-Box. IOW, productive members of society. To put the question another way: Who _does_ care? Who cares who cares. The brain-dead herd of sheep are--oh, hell, I'm just going to plagiarize myself again: "If you want to stick with an expensive, buggy, bloated, DRM-crippled operating system that calls home regularly to reassure Bill and Steve that you're not a thief just so you can play with yourself, then that's fine. You're getting what you deserve for being too dumb, too lazy, or both." So, the gaming industry makes money. What is your point? Drug dealers make money too. In fact, marijuana alone makes an order of magnitude more money than the entire gaming industry put together. (I'm not exaggerating; you can easily look it up.) The fact that something makes money does not make it valuable. But I've strayed from my main point. I don't care if you can fit every Linux user in the world into one phone booth and still have room for pizza, as long as I have an OS that works, doesn't spy on me, doesn't require a rootkit just to play a CD, and doesn't come from a company that couldn't care less about its customers. How many people adopt Linux, *BSD, Solaris, Windows, GEOS, or an Etch-A-Sketch is irrelevant. Linux does not need gaming to be a killer app; its reliability, ease of use (try it sometime and you'll see what I mean), and especially its open source nature have already done that for it. Whether kiddies jump on the bandwagon just so they can play Battle for Wesnoth is of no concern to me. Post edited to correct typo.

Barnaba
Barnaba

wasn't this article all about open source and gaming? So I guess you are one of these guys who has to comment everything, especially when somebody talks bad about his so loved OS. Fact is that Windows is much easier to handle. I am not against typing in some commands, but when it comes to get some open source software running and working together with other foss you can find yourself 3 weeks later still typing and your software still not running properly. While in windows usually it is clicking some Further-Buttons, maybe some dropdown-menues and voila, there you go. Wasn't an OS invented to make using a computer more easy and efficiently? Sure windows is not perfect and sometimes your finger hurts from resetting but for most users it can do what they expect from an OS and that for sure involves gaming for most of them. There is no need for most people to switch to linux as long as they don't want to setup a stable server or that kind of stuff. But to answer your questions particularly 1. Game Developers seem to care 2. who doesn't care?! Gaming Industry is making more profit than Hollywood and brother Bollywood together. And in your own profile you are saying that you are using a windows xp sys for gaming... But I guess as long as there are some cellar-kids behind their linux-box there is still a chance that in near future there will be games for linux, at least if they are running on a windows virtual machine ;]

mindilator
mindilator

developers don't ignore linux out of "sheer laziness." that's sheer stupidity. development companies don't waste their time and money paying programmers to remake their software for the two people in the world that will buy it. they're paying out the nose as it is to the windows and mac dev teams. why focus on numbers? it's all about the money. MCF, money comes first. if you don't know that you don't know ?#!7. and if you want to know if Linus cares how many people use his os, you can ask him yourself. he's not dead. and your assumption about what he thinks is worthless. just because he's not selling linux doesn't mean he doesn't want it to proliferate. again, don't take my word for it. but who would ever build compatibility into their design if they didn't care if anyone else used it? it's your last paragraph that really shines. previously you couldn't figure out why there is so little commercial development for linux. now you are well versed on inexorable laws of business. your inexorable law of business is actually very exorable. how many sophisticated users do you really believe exist? have you ever worked in tech support? have you seen the demographic that votes on pop culture with their money? sophisticated users, to me, are like a few fish in an ocean of plankton. at least the fish are bigger in that analogy, eh? imho better time could be spent developing a linux interface for windows software. maybe because of processor architecture this isn't possible. but it's a better angle than paying a linux dev team when there's little ROI. that means return on investment. i just saved you a google search. seems to me now that macs are using x86s, that the os interface would be easier to produce for win/mac, freeing up the second dev team to comprise linux devs. as if they wouldn't just drop the second team altogether. MCF.

mjwx
mjwx

is what gives us a great appreciation for how well Linux is constructed. Now if MS would remove WGA, make IE and WMP optional I'd have a lot less of a problem with MS. In tech support I can tell you that after you have cleaned a users machine from viruses and malware (only because the user in question didnt make backups) you wish that windows was a lot harder to use. Once you have cleared of the super malware toolbar and the uber virus toolbar and what ever other crap they have loaded onto their machines which has taken you the better part of a day, you give the machine back to the user and they within 5 minutes have reloaded every piece of crapware that you have removed. As a support technician these experiences make me feel like fixing (broken) windows is a futile effort. I am supremely confident that I am not alone in these experiences or this conclusion. I for one want desktop machines that are hard to use, so idiot users (this being said most of my users are pretty computer and net competent) cannot manage to completely stuff up a machine in half the time it takes you to ghost it.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

you have a bright future in management. Have I ever worked in tech support? Duh--it says that RIGHT BY MY AVATAR, genius. Since you brought it up, my "assumption" about what Linus thinks isn't an assumption, it's based on what he has said in the past. I won't save you a Google search; you can find it for yourself. What does money have to do with it? Linux is free. "your inexorable law of business is actually very exorable. how many sophisticated users do you really believe exist? have you ever worked in tech support? have you seen the demographic that votes on pop culture with their money? sophisticated users, to me, are like a few fish in an ocean of plankton. at least the fish are bigger in that analogy, eh?" If you read what you wrote, you basically said the same thing that I did, except less elegantly and much less grammatically. Sadly, you think that what you said means exactly the opposite of what it actually does. May I suggest thinking before you click "Submit Post" in the future?

Jaqui
Jaqui

from me. I have zero use for most of what fluffheads concider important myself, which is why I use lfs, no bloated kde or gnome thank you very much.. no bloatware for hardware I do not, and will not, have. no bloatware in requireing smb connectivity ina linux only environment. [ gnome, bluefish, ubuntu, kubuntu, edubuntu.... ] no idiotic dependencies [ debian will install all of kde if you try installing koffice, not just the common libs. this includes all the kdegames, toys, and un-needed multimedia crap ] give me a minimal desktop environment, not a bloatware environment. [ just for those times I actually want to view an image on a website ]

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