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Things are looking... Linux-like...

By zefficace ·
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by zefficace In reply to Things are looking... Lin ...

I really never had this kind of problem. The gods must like me more than you!

Ok, so for bad sectors, there's the "DVD read ahead" setting, right in the very first settings window. The problem is root is needed to skip bad sector is you read the small print. That should help, if you're willing, but I wouldn't blame you if you didn't.

Of course, the only guy complaining about "Linux hassle" has to suffer the said hassle. But I swear, I never had such issues with k9copy.

But then my friend has trouble reading some m4v file under win7, but my own win7 box reads the same file just fine. This is just a Linux based weirdness. Computers tend to create mysteries as the behavior is different from system to system.

I do admit the existence of a "linux hassle", and conceed you the victory. S... happens I guess.

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So aggravating...

by dcolbert Contributor In reply to Damn'it

I want to start by acknowledging that you were not coming into the thread to evangelize Linux or trying to convert - you were simply suggesting that the article didn't address the solutions available for Linux and offering guidance for Linux users who want to achieve the same goals with DVD archiving. So, the following rant isn't aimed at you. Still, if you read it, I'm interested in your feedback and discussion.

I really wanted this to work hassle free. I'll keep playing with it. I ran into a bunch of *other* hassles too... not related to K9Copy, but related to how adaptable Windows is to throwing different situations (hardware, peripherals, interfaces, etc...) at versus how fragile and finicky Linux and OS X tend to be in similar situations. It hardly matters at this point, as I do believe the Desktop Era as a commercial consumer-driven market is coming to an end... but it aggravates me every time I have to deal with it.

Basically I had my Mac Mini and P4 3.4Ghz HT hooked up to a 27" monitor via 2 port usb KVM.

I picked up a cheap 4 port Sabrent USB KVM switch, pulled my Ubuntu box out of the basement and hooked all 3 boxes back up... and the Mac and the Ubuntu box both choked on the 1920x1080 resolution of the monitor with the new KVM.

Now the easy argument would be, "It is the KVM. It worked fine with the Mac before, so this isn't really an OS X problem".


"You can go in and edit the XFree86 config file to add the correct hardware sync information for your monitor and video card, this is user limitation, not OS limitation."

And both suggestions *are* accurate.

But in either case, the Windows box handled the cheap, off-brand KVM with aplomb, as if nothing had changed at all, without any hassle. If I installed Windows on the Ubuntu box, the video would just work, just like on the P4 3.4Ghz Windows XP box.

And this is why Linux and OS X aren't ever going to have a huge market share of the desktop OS market. They just don't work as hassle free in desktop OS environments. Linux requires you to know *too* much. Most users aren't willing to dig up the vertical and horizontal frequencies of their monitor and video card and learn how to use VI to add those arcane configuration lines to their X config file. OS X simply requires you to follow the rules that Apple sets. The Apple pundit would tell me, "get a better KVM, or better yet, just use an Apple monitor with no KVM, and everything will work fine".

Back before iOS, before the iPad really spawned the post-PC era, I used to argue that there would *never* be a "Year of the Desktop Linux PC". I used to make the claim, "If Windows is ever replaced as the dominant desktop OS, it will be by a new paradigm of computing that we haven't even conceptualized yet. Something so revolutionary to our computing experience we can't even imagine what it will be, yet..."

And that is what happened. The mobile OS platforms are the threat to Windows, and it is ironic that they are built on *nix technologies. Android is Linux, and iOS is OS X Unix.

But the *ideal* of Linux and Unix as a replacement was *lost* on the way to commercial consumer success. The FOSS promise of security and freedom with Linux is not present in Android. The security is arguably potentially *worse* than Windows ever was...

The apps and the custom skinning by manufacturers and telcos is *hardly* open source. Even the Android core by Google is not a true Open Source environment. Which is one of my other predictive claims about *nix,

"If it ever *becomes* a threat to Windows, it will be so highly evolved it will resemble the Windows ecosystem more closely than it resembles FOSS Linux as it exists today."

As for iOS - it is locked down and so heavily skinned as a Unix that end consumers only ever see the very simple, appliance-like GUI. It is only Unix as an *engine* - the user-experience is something entirely different.

So, *nix seems to have "won the war", but lost itself on the way to that victory.

Ultimately, I put a lot of time and effort, and some cash, into trying to get this solution up and running, and ran into constant aggravation on the *nix side of what I was trying to do, and then the program itself which was driving this project let me down as well. As a ROI and TCO proposition, it didn't make sense for time and capital investment. I might actually have been ahead to just buy a Windows machine and pay for the commercial programs. I would have been up and burning DVDs reliably without any of the hassles. I understand those are sort of intangible/subjective values... if you're broke and you can only afford a bare machine with no Windows license then Linux is an awesome opportunity that will allow you to achieve the same goals, with a lot more sweat equity. If you've got lots of money and you don't mind limitations that say you must follow a certain script to achieve certain goals than OS X is a good solution that minimizes some *other* hassles that Windows is prone to, and that might be a ROI and TCO factor to consider, too. So these aren't absolutes...

But for the 80% of Windows desktop users, Windows remains the most balanced choice, which is why it remains wildly dominant in that demographic.

So really, I'm *not* bashing on Linux or Unix. My suspicions that I posted in response to your original post were based on frustrations of a predictive nature. My aggression and barely restrained hostility on subjects like this is based on having had so many heated arguments about this in the past with outspoken Microsoft critics and Linux/OS X pundits. To me, this is the reality of the situation. I'm not incompetent with Linux. I've compiled custom kernels, I've done custom configuration in VI of configuration files for Samba and XFree86, I've worked with Solaris and CDE and I know where to find the logs and how to read them... I'm probably rusty at this point, but I was a moderately skilled *nix Admin at one point. Those are the experiences I drew upon when I voiced my skepticism to your original post - and unfortunately, my forecast has been accurate.

I'll probably stick with it and figure out how to get it working (although the KVM situation probably just isn't going to work out with the current KVM). For people who have the skill and time to make it work, it probably is a great solution - and you can *never* really argue with the *price* with Linux solutions. I mean, right off the top, if I give up watching a few hours of TV that are wasted minutes of my life I'll never get back and figure this out, I've also saved ~$100 on a Windows License and about ~$50 on a Windows DVD ripping program.

But the typical and *average* user who sees your post and goes, "I'm going to try setting up Linux and running this K9Copy program," is probably going to end up frustrated and disillusioned with Linux altogether and won't come away with the experience with anything but the idea, "Linux sucks, man".

Which is too bad, really.

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I thought the XConfig was gone

by Slayer_ In reply to So aggravating...

And that it was supposed to figure everything out on each bootup.

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You may be right...

by dcolbert Contributor In reply to I thought the XConfig was ...

But I'm not on Ubuntu 11 or 12. I'm on 10.

My point would still be pretty valid, though - as I'm running XP on the Windows machine, and whatever is the last version of OS... Snoop Lion?

It is all a battle among dying gods trying to remain relevant, at this point...

I've got an Nvidia card in the Ubuntu box and I have to enable the restricted drivers to get all the features of the card... I imagine that hasn't changed because it is driven by FOSS idealism versus Nvidia keeping their corporate trade IP secret. I think that is part of the problem... and I wonder how good any Plug and Pray routine that is going to auto-determine appropriate configuration is going to be when it has to deal with hurdles like that...

I'm just... pessimistic... skeptical, about Linux and FOSS being able to deliver solutions that are as trouble-free as Windows... and what you are saying to me translates as,

I've got a pretty stable and reliable, well configured version of Ubuntu 10 that does most of what I want it to do... I should throw it all out the window to try a newer version that has received a lot of critical backlash because it might introduce something that solves *one* problem I am experiencing.

I mean, in effect. It could be, "you should try a whole different distro"... there are a lot of possible ways to address them. They're all potentially PITAs, in my experience and hardly ever fully pan out.

I've gone and tried solutions in VMs and had them work well, then pushed those solutions to my bare-metal installs and had them fail there. It ends up taking a lot of time. I don't mind, because I'd rather play and fight with systems than sit around watching TV shows, generally speaking... but from a user perspective... it means a very limited market.

I want to get this working because having more machines that can rip means being able to rip more in less time - because I'll have a backup ripper, and because it is "free" so I don't have to worry about my license or support lapsing and paying again and again for the same software.

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Windows deals with closed system drivers all the time

by Slayer_ In reply to You may be right...

These often results in blue screens of death, so Windows isn't without faults when it comes to drivers.

I got a Mint install that only boots one out of 10 times, the other 9 times it says my hard drive is missing, Windows has no trouble.

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Blue Screen of Death

by dcolbert Contributor In reply to Windows deals with closed ...

I haven't seen a Blue Screen of death on a work related desktop or home desktop machine in about two years. I've seen a few kernel panics in that time, though, and had my Mac just spontaneously reboot.

With servers, we might get the occasional BSOD or unscheduled restart... but even those are pretty rare these days. Microsoft has really tightened up their shop in that regard. *Really* tightened up. But, I guess that is my anecdotal evidence. My previous Lenovo laptop had a persistent BSOD issue I'd think I had resolved, then a few months later it would come back out of nowhere and smack me in the head... my new one is pretty solid.

But yeah... I'm not saying that Windows isn't without hassles. A lot of those hassles are implicit in the great variety of hardware that Windows supports. They're in the same boat as Linux to a certain extent in that regard (and Apple kind of avoids the bulk of those problems, in turn).

I was just browsing my Windows network shares on my Mac Mini and realized that when I brought up the INFO on a SMB share, it showed a monitor with the BSOD in the icon... That is the kind of pissy little attitude things that have fueled 20 years of platform flame wars. I mean, Apple guys go, "it is cute, have a sense of humor"... and it is cute, and did make me chuckle... but... it also ticked me off. :)

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I've read your rant...

by zefficace In reply to So aggravating...

And the other posts since, and I do have my own rant.

First, let me just set up an example with Xorg which is old and crusty. I have 4 screens on my box, and Xorg show its crap brilliantly right there. To have 4 screens with my twin nvidia cards, I need xinerama, which disables 3D on the desktop. Mind you, I don't want wobbly windows that much, but the principle of the thing pisses the **** out of me. But is this "linux"? Sort of, as there currently is no replacement for Xorg, that is until Wayland comes around. Of course, until then, this is not worthy of mainstream adoption, but multi-screen still is a minority case.

Under windows 4 screens is easy, with 3D effects on the desktop if that is your thing. Yes, even switching from 4 to 1 (in SLI mode) is good, although it makes windows choke for a minute, but you can switch without to much problem. This is much more desirable.

But then, I have had some pretty weird, unsolvable crap annoy the **** out of me under windows.

Before I go further, let me state that security is not an issue. I never had a virus under windows in good part because of my natural paranoïa. I'm not a linux user because of the mythological security of linux.

But, since I'm on security, can I complain to you about the damn windows updates that more than not require a reboot, sometimes to reboot again after installing them? Or the update that basically stop me from shutting down my laptop (the update is installing), just as I want to leave with the laptop, preventing me from closing the lid, that's always a hoot.

What about my incapacity to directly copy my ipod content back to my computer because of Apple and windows DRM? On linux, I can count on my Ipod as a backup, because I can copy my music back from the Ipod without much foolin' around.

Oh, the joy of removing a software from the computer, only to see it remain there, in the list. Speaking of removing, how about all that crapware on your new PC, or that "toolbar" or other "useful" software bundled with what you really want, that windows is so rife with. Is that what windows is about? I don't see that on my Arch install...

If you like to tinker, how about the windows creep, where your system slows over time, often having for only solution a reinstalltion. As if this was the normal way to go. It happens to everyone, but is a big concern if you tinker with many software.

Speaking of reinstalling, why is it so hard to have the user files on a different partition? Why is a user's folder necessarely on the c: drive? How about giving the option so that my data is safely stored on another partition so that I can reinstall without copying my data again (not that a backup isn't a good idea, but..).

How about the time necessary to install on windows. A couple of hours before all updates and software you want are there. On Linux, I've never went over 45 minutes.

How about that ever mystical windows registry, so confusing to the common man that tools like CCcleaner were created, only to every now and then cause more problems then they solve.

What about my fax software which out of the blue, began to take for ever to open. Windows is crap then right? No? So why is K9copy making Linux crap?

Perhaps Linux is crap, but then so is Windows. Windows might be "easier" and outright better in some areas, but you pay a price for that "ease" in other places (one being your wallet, but that's beside the point).

The thing is, where there is crap in Windows, most users are so used to it that it is accepted as "the way it is". We accept this so much that many users coming to linux, leaving it with "linux sucks" attitude, forget the crap they put up with under windows. ****, they don't even "see" the crap anymore. And so, changing from "the crap we know" to "linux crap" is unfathomable for some reason.

This of course does not really address the question of hardware support, like for your KVM. But at this point, I do admit that most gadgets are perfect with windows, but suck beyond mesure with linux. Is that really linux's fault? Maybe, but it's a chicken or the egg debate mind you, and I don't get into those.

In other words, for my personal use, my daily computing is better under linux. Does that mean linux is for all? Of course not. But the windows crap annoys me more than the linux crap, so I spend most of my time in Linux. At this point I have win7 for gaming exclusively, period. With steam coming to linux, Win7 might be my last windows OS.

The fact that people will not learn new stuff (or learn at all) is a human problem. The fact that many refuse to notice the windows crap when evaluation alternatives (be it linux, osx, bsd) is a human problem resembling the frog being slowly boiled. These "human problems" might be preventing linux or osx from a major market share, but that's not either linux or osx or bsd's fault. I predict that the human problem is why windows is going to be dumb down even more than win8 in the future. As majority of inept users are just too confused with computers, so comes dumding down.

Believe me I'm a crap finder, and crap lives everywhere, even in windows, and very much so in my rants. Is there a solution? Nope, we live in an imperfect world, and crap is here to stay, no matter what your OS of choice is.

Man, I'm healthy ranter today!

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The funny thing is...

by dcolbert Contributor In reply to I've read your rant...

Your rant illustrates that a lot of this does remain a matter of perspective.

My gut response is to argue the points you've made, point by point - which is *exactly* the kind of behavior I tend to see from Linux pundits when I make claims about the shortcomings of Linux. So, that would be a pretty silly trap for me to walk into, unless I want to endure the inevitable comparisons of the color of my pot to the kettles I frequently rant against. :) Although I almost walked right into that trap, anyhow.

Your experience isn't unjustified, and neither is your conclusion. With expertise and experience, most of the issues you've illustrated can be overcome or mitigated - but to achieve that requires the same kind of dedication and understanding of the platform that I argue hampers the adoption of Linux.


I think my conclusion is that K9Copy actually is a decent application. Linux is what holds it back from achieving the same kind of potential it might display on a Windows platform. This whole, "You've got to download the app through this repository, then go to another repository and download the library that actually makes the app useful," thing... is it legal or is it that Linux idealism that segregates restricted drivers into their own special repository and makes you install them specifically after the non-restricted drivers install by default? I'm guessing the problem is that K9Copy is hosted in a repository that is hosted on domestic servers and the library itself is hosted on a repository on non-domestic servers. In either case... it is just a little extra confusing hassle that Linux introduces for end users... as opposed to going to the slyfox site and downloading AnyDVD and it is all there in one .exe that you open and click "yes" through until it is installed.

That and the fact that the drivers for FOSS development to keep the product bleeding edge and competitive aren't the same as the drivers to keep for-profit, closed-source development of similar apps cutting edge.

So, K9Copy actually is a really good app overall, an awesome app for what I've come to expect from FOSS development. Honestly useful and pretty well designed. Not as good as Calibre, which is one of the best Open Source software solutions available, but still good.

Now as for the "crap that people get used to", argument... I use that all the time to suggest that iOS users tolerate things that they've forgotten they deal with. That for iOS users certain work-arounds have become so natural to them, they've forgotten that they're working-around something that just works on Android. But, that is true of all platforms, I guess. Windows, Android, iOS, OS X, Linux, Unix... you deal with hassles that another platform handles in a more elegant manner, and you eventually forget that you're dealing with a hassle - it just becomes the way you do things. So... yeah, you've got me on that point, too... in a sense.

But yeah... the hardware integration issue with Linux is a bummer. It has become SO much better. I remember custom compiling kernels to add support for WiFi and Sound Cards and those days sucked. I do understand the nature of the "chicken or the egg" portion of that debate. Ultimately on that aspect of the argument, my claim is this...

"It affects the usability of the platform. Regardless of it is the fault of the device manufacturers and their closed source drivers or Linux, bottom line it affects the Linux experience, so the Linux community, the distro makers, have to figure out some way to make it work better". I think that is a fair assessment.

As for the rest, I think you come toward the conclusion that people are morons and this is really what is driving adoption of iOS, Android, and other mobile OS platforms... and I agree with you. This is why the era of the desktop OS flamewars has cooled off so much. That battle *is* over. Windows "won" it... but at this point, it is possible that the desktop empire has expanded as far as it will go and is likely to shrink over the next decade. It isn't the first time we've seen a hotly contested tech platform battle "won", but the technology has moved on so that it isn't really relevant anymore. The CPU wars of the late 80s and 90s... CISC vs. RISC, Motorola, Sparc, PowerPC, IA... what am I missing... anyhow... IA won... but IA is looking relatively irrelevant on the larger scale of things at this point.

So yeah, I mostly agree with you... but the academic debate is still fun to have.

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Ahh... and the VIRUS thing...

by dcolbert Contributor In reply to The funny thing is...

Yeah... I get tired of the "Windows security" thing...

I've picked a couple of drive-by viruses up over the last couple of years on Windows... and in each case, I *knew* I was getting into the back-alleys of the Internet where I was likely to find myself rebuilding my machine.

Frequently, if I'm going to be exploring some potentially seedy side of the Internet - I will hop onto a Mac or Linux box. So there is an implicit idea there that there are safe and less safe platforms. But, the fact is that in general I surf as securely and confidently on a Windows box as on a Mac or Linux box.

What sites cause problems? Those sites you start clicking when you're bored that have stories that seem interesting, "I bet you didn't notice THIS in the movie!" or "Lindsey Lohan reveals 10 mistakes that ALL men make in the bedroom"... As soon as you see a pop-up revealing "You're then 10 billionth visitor, you've won a free iPad and a chance to win a Maserati," you should know that even if you find that Gameboy ROM you're looking for, you're risking way more than it is worth.

The people who get their machines infected... they're stumbling drunk through downtown Oakland California at 2 in the morning with a roll of cash hanging out of their back pocket... and they're surprised when they get mugged.

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About a virus

by zefficace In reply to Ahh... and the VIRUS thin ...

Right now I do "feel" more secure about using Linux on the web, but to be honest, it's mostly about the virtual absence of serious malware for Linux than Linux itself. I do think 'nix have a couple of design adavantages over windows, but if one want to break things, they will, no matter the OS.

You know, it occurs to me that the choice of the OS is very much like the choice of a political party. (to get away from the car analogy!). If you take the vast majority of the population, most will be of a particular political persuasion because of their family's view, ethnic views and even religious views. Few can realy articulate why they're for one party or the other outside bland, regurgitated reasons, passed down from generations. The same goes for the OS, people use windows "because". Their choice will not be because they actually "chose", based on an actual evaluation.

As for K9copy, yeah it is a really great piece of software, with a nice clean design. I have been using it for many years now, and I love it. Why it had to behave like it did for you? Was I just lucky all these years? I don't really know, and it sucks. As for libdvdcss, on Arch, it's in the main repos, along with k9copy. Seems Arch maintainers are like "honey badgers", they just don't care.

On last thing, my real problem right now lies more with distros. I have seen so many bizarre behavior happen just because of the distro, it boggles the mind. Same computer, often same kernel, but various behaviors and bugs. I just don't get it. How can I truly recommend a distro, if I can't fathom its behavior on a given system.

Oddly, even though Arch is a rolling distro, it has been the most stable, most predictable distro. Isn't it strange that I've had more bizarre problems with "noob friendly" distros like Ubuntu or OpenSuse, then with highly technical Arch. Meh, if you try it, it will crap on you just to prove me wrong again... Don't eve try!

As for windows, I really got pissed around Vista. The got it right in the end, but it was horribly mismanaged by MS. And with win7, it was pretty much great from day one. Makes you think Vista was a lab experiment, just like win8 seems to be. Vista made the switch to Linux interesting, win7 made me doubt that choice, win8 is so dumb down, I'm glad I know Linux. Go figure...

This has been a nice dissussion for me too DColbert!

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