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  • #2184110

    Why do IT people really bash Windows?


    by Anonymous ·

    I wrote about this in another thread in response to a comparison of windows question.

    Anyway, it’s a hot topic in my opinion so let me recap. Comment away. 🙂

    Why does everyone “bash” Windows? I could sit here and bash linux, windows, mac os and anything else, but that is just pointless and pedantic.

    The point is every operating system has it uses. You just need to choose what best suits your needs.

    Anyone who claims to hate Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS or any other operating system is not a true techie or network guru. You don’t ever bash the OS, in fact if the OS crashes then it’s your fault not the OS; Why didn’t you make sure that it was using the right drivers, or the hardware is compatible or blah this and blah that, and so the list goes. Any OS crashes for a reason, not because it just feels like it. Compatability is there for a very good reason, why support something that is old when you need to keep moving forwards. Example, all leaded petrol car owners here in Australia can no longer purchase leaded petrol, they are forced now to use unleaded and an additive. Why? Because those cars are so old and they are few and far between now because unleaded cars are cheap enough to buy second hand as your first car. Get my point there?

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    • #3188808

      Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      by the admiral ·

      In reply to Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      I think the reason that so many techies bash Microsoft products in general because of so many of the ways that they can be hacked into.

      I mean, sure there are the same vulnerabilities in other operating systems, but I have only seen the one where the description added to a GIF becomes a PC’s weakest link. Obsurd if you think about how silly that vulnerability is.

      I think people were hit with so many patches that they told Microsoft to can it, and when they slowed down, they complainted even more. So it is all about perception.

      • #3195802

        Then there are those that are only happy complaining

        by ole88 ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        We have all had these users! Those users that will always find something to complain about. You stated “I think people were hit with so many patches that they told Microsoft to can it, and when they slowed down, they complainted even more.”

        When you think about it, there are users who will find something to complain about when their machine is running at peak performance levels. For some of them, it probably boils down to the fact that Bill Gates dropped out and became a millionaire and they are just jealous.

        I see windows as a good general use platform, but when it comes to photo editing, MAC tends to be the better (and chosen) platform. All I have to say to the complainers is, if you don’t like what you have – get something different. If you don’t like that, you can still find typewriters for sale out there. 😀

        • #3193938

          software vendors to blame

          by kyuso ·

          In reply to Then there are those that are only happy complaining

          The problem is, there is no OS that fits everyone’s simple needs, and those OS which CAN be made to fit the simple needs don’t, so people complain.

          For example, Windows OS had a tendency to be less than well designed and not conforming to standards. They crashed because the OS design allowed sloppy drivers or applications to bring down the whole OS or not interoperate. It is not the user’s fault that they had to wait and patch the bugs and update the drivers (what if the updated drivers were not ready yet for a few months, which usually happens?)
          The GUI was not well-conceived to be consistent and natural, needing repeated changes in the interface.

          Linux has a one of the stablest design for an OS (as with any unix variants). Almost no application or driver can bring down the OS, the OS is very scalable (embedded to supercomputing), and the security can’t be matched. The problem? Not much in the commercial game or education area running natively.

          MacOS has all the desktop goodies that Windows lack (naturally consistent and cohesive GUI, etc.), and also includes all the goodies of unix. The problem? More expensive, can’t run many commercial games that run in Windows.

          In the end, each OS has a potential to be up to par to the simple needs of stability and usability of an automobile, but is not there yet.

          How often does a brand new car need parts replacement as soon as you get one? When was the last time installing a new oil filter broke a car? Can you find any usual parts like windshield wipers that exist for only certain brands of cars (a vendor usually carries wipers for all contemporary brands of cars)?
          How often do interface to cars change between models drastically that you need to re-learn how to drive?

          All the OS will be up to par if:

          They can run all the popular software, does not need manual software driver update just to make it function okay, and is well designed based on a consistent and secure fundamental structure that doesn’t change often.

          In the end, I want a Linux-like stability and security and scalability, with MacOS-like consistent GUI, and with Windows-like availability of applications, especially in the areas of games, education, and references.

          I use Linux because it’s stable and robust and has all the tools I need for work. I have Windows for kids’ games and education. I have a Mac for my wife because my wife can’t stand Windows or Linux way.

          But we sometimes dual-boot or use one other’s computer precisely because none of the OS has everything: My kids use the internet, email, word processing, and multimedia from Linux for security and ease, and we all use Windows to play Red Alert 2 Yuri’s Revenge (don’t exist in Linux or Mac, and it’s such a cheap way of doing family entertainment because it costs about $50 nowadays to buy 4 user license for multiplayer!)

          It’s the fault of software (including OS and application) manufacturers. Application vendors should port their software to all popular OS, and OS vendors should make their OS more secure and stable and better conforming to standards so that application and driver writers don’t write sloppy codes.

          I’d rather see in the future at least three major OS (Linux, MacOS, Windows) competing at the same level, just like in the car industry, and parts (application/driver/hardware) vendors provide for all brands, but with enough differentiation that different people choose different OS or model.

          I guess in the much further future, OS may become public utility, just like water, electricity, or highway.

        • #3193842

          Not quite right dude

          by tselca ·

          In reply to software vendors to blame

          Linux and every OS has so many holes it lloks like swiss cheese. Linux robust and great security it is obvious you do not work in the security field. secondly there is no one version of linux that runs everything without updating this kernel version or another. You got to be kidding me to say that unix or mac is better then this or that. They all have flaws becuase humans write the code for all of them.

        • #3186490

          Lot of talk but no substance

          by waterbj ·

          In reply to Not quite right dude

          I think the subject is very interesting and I’ve heard a few well thought out conversations elsewhere. However, I’ve seen only opinion without any material backup in this blog. I particularly irked at the user who bashed LINUX as a securty swiss cheese. As an IT project manager I have seen lot’s of conjecture and requirements from ‘security experts’ without material information. Their concerns may be quite true but are poorly communicated. Therefore, I was not supprised yet further frustrated to see yet another ‘security expert’ raise the red flag without backing it up. These people have to be very careful to support there concerns with material information that can be weighed with risk and ROI. Otherwise, you have the old type IT person who speeks in tongue and is closed mouth about the knowledege but quick to raise a red flag. It really gives professional IT/business people a poor basis for business investment.

        • #3186214

          Substance? You gotta be joking

          by humbletech99 ·

          In reply to Lot of talk but no substance

          Have you ever heard of a buffer overflow? Well, surprise surprise, they exist in Linux as well as Windows, Unix and just about any other piece of software more than a few lines long. Substance?

          Anyway, I’m a Linux and Windows sysadmin. I agree that every system has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, what people need is more brains and less criticism. The people who write that stuff are far superior to anyone here in skill, IQ and all the rest. If you can do better, go ahead, otherwise stop acting like a crab trying to pull others down.

          I personally believe that Microsoft does as well as they can, as well as anyone can. More users means more attacks discovered. Firefox security bugs in the last 6 months after version 1 shows this (I use that too). How many did you hear of when it was Firebird? They’re both still good. There’s just always room for improvement. Keep working on it fellas!

        • #3185717

          A more global picture…

          by twylyght ·

          In reply to Substance? You gotta be joking

          This is my take as I hear this kind of thing all the time. Part of Windows’ strength is also its weakness. It was designed to be the OS that would allow anyone to use virutally any software on virtually any hardware. Of course we know where that has gone. Proprietary vendors and manufacturers have combated MSs dominance of the market by trying to create their own niches, and they have succeeded to varying degrees.

          The two things that keep MS on top are marketing (which contributes to ubiquity and familiarity) and flexibility (in terms of software selection). Apple tried to corner the marketing strategy by being everywhere in the school systems, but has had to take a back seat and continue as mainstays in graphical arts and media production. Only recently has its marketing picked back up again.

          This brings me to a key point in the whole discussion. I has been touched on that the more a system is used, the more it is targeted. Windows is obviously going to be the target as it is undoubtedly the big dog in the arena. It will be what hackers know and strive to beat. As Apple, Linux, Solaris, etc become more popular the attention will be diverted as such. To this day, one’s best security is being unknown.

          This brings me to the second major crux in this discussion. With MS being the one handling the burden of testing ALL hardware for ALL levels of its applications, it is presented with the horrendous task of researching, testing, and developing for 90% of the world’s products. Sun and Apple generally know exactly what is in their systems since their software and hardware generally go hand in hand. When messing with Linux and compiling kernels for different devices, we tend to run into many of the same issues.

          Hence, I tend to think that while MSs drive to be the dominant monster in the market is what is bringing in their money, it is also driving their problems with system stability and the comparably inordinate number of complaints among users and IT professionals.

        • #3118466

          Too right

          by deckmonkey ·

          In reply to Substance? You gotta be joking

          Quit the whining about “My OS is better than yours” because it is hugely juvenile and proves nothing other than the plaintiffs own childishness.

          Yes, windows has vulnerabilities, as does every other OS, but windows does a huge amount of stuff compared to other OS’s so it is to be expected that there will be more imperfections. I’m not excusing them, after all as a developer myself I try my best not to write code which has bugs and we try to test them out of existence, but you never, ever get them all.

          The only justified whinge can come from someone who has never written software with any bugs in and which is totally secure. And I’m pretty sure there are about as many of them as there are flying pigs in this world.

        • #3189686

          Substance? You gotta be joking

          by humbletech99 ·

          In reply to Lot of talk but no substance

          Have you ever heard of a buffer overflow? Well, surprise surprise, they exist in Linux as well as Windows, Unix and just about any other piece of software more than a few lines long. Substance?

          Anyway, I’m a Linux and Windows sysadmin. I agree that every system has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, what people need is more brains and less criticism. The people who write that stuff are far superior to anyone here in skill, IQ and all the rest. If you can do better, go ahead, otherwise stop acting like a crab trying to pull others down.

          I personally believe that Microsoft does as well as they can, as well as anyone can. More users means more attacks discovered. Firefox security bugs in the last 6 months after version 1 shows this (I use that too). How many did you hear of when it was Firebird? They’re both still good. There’s just always room for improvement. Keep working on it fellas!

        • #3194554

          I love Microsoft

          by ron ·

          In reply to Lot of talk but no substance

          I just think of it as Job Security. If we all used Linix, the required support would not justify a full time person. I could do all of my work in about an hour per day, and do it all from home!

        • #3181871

          Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          by jmschattke9 ·

          In reply to Lot of talk but no substance

          The points I have made are obvious to anyone who’s read the source code.

        • #3181808

          Now be fair

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Lot of talk but no substance

          Just how many of todays IT people would even know the Source Code if it bit them on the ASS? Most have come through the IT Schools and are taught how to keep a system running where as Old Farts like Me and most likely you as well had to know how to program and read code the kids today don’t have the luxury of this so if you where to push MS Windows Source code under their noses they most likely would think that it was nothing more than a document that stuffed up when sent to the printer and as a result you got a bunch of rubbish on the pages. They most likely would telly you to shred then and go and reprint them and if it came out that way again they would come and fix the system so it printed right. 🙂

          Col ]:)

        • #3193777

          new cars and parts?

          by ·

          In reply to software vendors to blame

          when was the last time that you bought a new car? Can you say recall? why do you think the warranties are there? My house is 100 years old and cost about 165k my car is 2 years old and cost about 40k, which do you think will last longer in terms of money spent? Your OS cost how much? or was included with your machine, again for about how much?
          Tech = change! or do any of your OS’s still support a 14.4 modem? how about a 9.6?
          Kind of hard to write for foward compatability on those new graphic cards eveyone will want in four years, and the new drivers that go with them. If you can guess what those needs (tech) will be ahead of time, have I got a job opening for you!…

        • #3193760

          RIGHT ON!

          by avid ·

          In reply to new cars and parts?

          excellent point

        • #3186360

          Right on.

          by blarman ·

          In reply to software vendors to blame

          As accurate and thoughtful a response as you will ever see which mimics my views perfectly.

        • #3193487

          …You must be kidding!

          by don-bans ·

          In reply to software vendors to blame

          Most system admins usually bash the OS for their lack of knowledge; period! I once worked in a midsize company which used Novell Netware (this was back in the days) for File and Print Services. Before my arrival, and during my few days at this company, when these Novell based Sys Admins were asked to install a Windows NT or Windows 2K system, they will look for the install disk, insert in the CDROM drive of the server, run winnt.exe or winnt32.exe and install service packs. Then they were done!!! No additional configuration… sometimes, they would not even get the latest drivers!
          The outcome usually was a sloppy Win based server! Not secure, not tuned, not optimized. I usually called these admins “Default Admins” and their installations “default installations”.

          There are a lot of Windows Systems out there in the world today like the one I describe above. If these systems crash, or are not secure, etc… CIOs please blame it on your admins. Send them to take an MCSE certification or Linux certification course… and actually try to make sure they apply most of the knowledge they get from the classes! Learning these technologies without applying them is no use to anybody!

          Anyway… my reply to you regarding the various OS is this:
          Today, unlike 5 years ago, you have a choice of choosing an OS. Linux, Windows, MacOS. Make that choice and stick to it. If it serves you good, be happy.
          It is almost stupid to go bashing the other OS. Most of us IT experts are not experts in everything… we could be security experts but at the same time not network or systems admin… etc.
          Cisco Systems’ network was once (or twice) broken into. Cisco runs a “dedicated” OS for their firewalls and network appliance. The last time I checked, it was not a Windows OS that runs in Cisco PIX firewalls and their IDS appliances. My conclusion is that a non-dedicated or multi-purpose machine running Windows, MacOS or Linux should not even be thought of as being secure! You will be dreaming thinking that these boxes are secure! Hackers are good at what they do… especially the good ones! The fact that they don’t break into your feeble Linux box does not mean that they are not able to! It probably does not contain anything which they need.

        • #3190752

          It’s not the software vendors.

          by maldain ·

          In reply to software vendors to blame

          The reason MS gets pounded on is they are the big dog on the block. Also, MS has made some really silly errors that have made it into the market stream. You can’t do that as a manufacturer of an item that people rely on very often because sooner or later people lose confidence in your product. That’s where MS is now the IT professionals are starting to lose confidence in MS’s operating systems. The IT professionals spend their days cleaning up messes left by MS’s errors. It’s really easy for an IT professional to take a look at their LINUX web server/mail server/database server and say gee I don’t have these problems with those systems. The fallacy there is if you put the ordinary user on a Linux system they’ll come up with similar problems. The difference is that with linux it doesn’t screw everybody else up too.

        • #3081095

          Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to software vendors to blame

          Remember how Microsoft treated OEM’s ? Do you think that f.inst a game company wil get the same terms with Microsoft if they agree to write MS-only games or agree to write multiplatform games ?

        • #3186272

          Microsft OS is the OS everyone Knows

          by cmartin ·

          In reply to Then there are those that are only happy complaining

          Microsft Bashing is so common place becuase they hold 80 – 90% of the market in desktop OS. Since more user are regulalry exposed to Microsft then the issue they have will tend to be with a Microsoft OS.

          However, I chalk up OS failures usully due to improper installation/Configuration and maintenace to the Desktops.

          A typical user has no idea on what to do if an error happens, so they jsut reboot and hope it will go away. Then things only get worse.

          It takes training of endusers on what to do if an issue arises. We tell our users to stop what they are doing and contact Tech support right away. We all so have a very extensive maintenace plan. We also follow procedures for installing new software and apps in a test environment that replicates the actually environment it will run in after. This may take more time up fromt to get things done but in the end you will save time on troubleshooting and repiring the desktops in your organization.

        • #3055437

          MY OS dont work anymore

          by neil higgins ·

          In reply to Microsft OS is the OS everyone Knows

          Tend to agree about Redmond bashing.Now before anyone accuses me of groveling,and yes I use Windows,I also think that incorrect installs,being too eager to see uncle Joe on the web-cam,and not installing the correct protective software (yes it’s true),can only lead to calamity.I remember the who-ha about activation in XP.Surelly they dont mean me?Well,er,yes they do.Your copy is filed,stamped,logged,and tagged on a server somewhere in the depths of server city.But think for one minute,it’s yours,noone can take it off you.Well,yes they can.It’s only the licence you’ve bought,not the code for Windows on your brand new,once clean cd-rom disc.Of course,being the largest OS exporter in the world also puts ‘them’ in the fireing line.Shut up,follow all instructions,install the correct updates,tell-em it’s really you,and stop whining.Have a nice day.

        • #3117536


          by han810p9 ·

          In reply to Then there are those that are only happy complaining

          I’ve been saying it for years –
          Form follows function.
          Our AutoCAD users have to use Windows – no choice. So do it right. Carefully match hardware/software/drivers and all is well.
          Our graphics people use Macs. It is the best platform for what they do, and again, we are careful in what we install.
          Our servers? A mix – because the accounting system only runs on MS (it is specialized for the A/E/C industry, so don’t tell me to get them to change!)
          And the DMZ server? Unix. Best fit for the need.

          I harbor no bigotry toward any OS – and enjoy learning the intricacies of each. Challenge yourself to do the best with the tools you are provided, and you will be rewarded with more and better assignments.

        • #3132258

          Totally agree

          by max.bennett ·

          In reply to Then there are those that are only happy complaining

          I think you are right, some people complain because they have nothing better to do with their time. I equate them to Democrats (not all, but most) who look to find faults in everyone and everything rather than looking at something for what it is and saying, maybe we can make that better. Windows may not be perfect, but then again what is. My cell phone sometimes doesn’t get good reception. My satellite sometimes goes out when the weather is really bad. My CD player will skip is there is a smudge or scratch on the CD. What I’m getting at here is we have a tool, let’s all look at it as that and if you can make a constructive criticism or suggest some way to improve it fine. But if not, keep your negative thoughts to yourself.

      • #3195797

        Old tech vs. new tech

        by codfieri ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        A large (very large) part of the problem of modern Operating Systems can be tied to bad programming and security flaws. Granted that those two things have existed since PCs have been around but the old DOS days had a much better track record w/ flaws in the OS, bugs in the software, and open security holes versus today w/ bloated OpSystems and sometimes incredibly buggy programming and more open security holes than ever. True we are doing much more w/ them but I am convinced better programming as well as better software QA and no real “rush to market” deadline would result in much better views on the OS and software in general.

        • #3194004

          New features invite new exploits

          by greenpirogue ·

          In reply to Old tech vs. new tech

          Codfieri: Interesting point, but I would like to make an analogy. DOS was like a house with no windows and one door. All you had to do is deadbolt the door and you were safe. Windows is like a bigger house which has more rooms, more doors, windows and sliding glass doors out back. The trouble is that the architect (MS) has spent more time adding on than ensuring that the new additions (features) are secure.

          I prefer MacOS but I exclusively use Windows at work. There are problems with the OS, but I griped about Mac OS 9 not having true multi-threading. Its all about give and take, and some of us are concerned about security, more so now that there are so many other threats out there.

        • #3193929

          Shoot the messenger…

          by ·

          In reply to New features invite new exploits

          Is what people do when they blame MS for what hackers do to it.

          Techs shoot the messenger and bit the hand when they blame users for their problems. Techs would not be working were it not for the user.

          MS bashers are little more than men with small penises, or women with small breasts that believe anyone cares they are so ill-equipped.

        • #3193900


          by codfieri ·

          In reply to Shoot the messenger…

          Somehow I doubt physical endowments are the reason for all the MS bashing in the world. Much like die hard Ford fans would never drive a GM car and can do nothing but point out flaws the same goes for MS/Apple/Linux/Unix users. As for our jobs and such…if it weren’t tech work we were doing it would be something else so while I am happy w/ what I do I feel like I don’t owe MS or any other company anything for the job. Its a job…not a gift.

        • #3193849

          not exactly

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to nonsense

          I’m pretty happy with all the major personal computer OSes these days, except Windows. I like MacOS X. I like Linux. I like *BSD. I like where ReactOS is going.

          I’m not a fan of Windows the same way a Toyota driver isn’t a fan of GM: the fact that Toyota’s quality assurance operates on a 100% quality standard, and GM figures it can get away with a 70% quality standard, bodes ill for people being happy with GM quality, particularly if they’ve gotten used to Toyotas. By the same token, I’ve gotten used to Linux quality, and I find Windows to be a severe pain in the tuckus these days.

        • #3193795

          Criteria, Expertise, Emotions

          by ·

          In reply to not exactly

          I am not a “fan” of my car. I use it to go places. It demands fuel, and maintenance.

          Likewise, I use Windows and who knows what else running my cell phone, and stereo, and gps device as a tool. I like to use useful tools, that give me ways to get things done. Windows more than meets that.

          If I hit my finger with my hammer, i dont blame the hammer. Blaming Windows is like blaming the hammer, to do that it more reflective of the human and their shortcoming, or ignorance, than anything else.

        • #3193781

          on the other hand

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to not exactly

          If I hit a nail with my hammer, and rather than driving the nail the hammer’s head splinters and sends shards of metal through my hand, I certainly blame the hammer manufacturer.

        • #3186523


          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to not exactly

          “Likewise, I use Windows and who knows what else running my cell phone, and stereo, and gps device as a tool. I like to use useful tools, that give me ways to get things done. Windows more than meets that.”

          Your cell phone is probably running some *nix variant as well as your gps device. I have no idea what kind of firmware OS stereos use, but I would assume that if they are proprietary, they are using *nix.

          Windows DOES NOT get things done. What it does do is break, become unstable, and crash. Hell, I had a great driver issue in Win2k that could NEVER be resolved. Windows doesn’t just work, ir requires constant tinkering and tweaking to make it run right.

          “If I hit my finger with my hammer, i dont blame the hammer. Blaming Windows is like blaming the hammer, to do that it more reflective of the human and their shortcoming, or ignorance, than anything else.”

          I blame Windows because Windows isn’t a reak hammer…it is a plastic childs toy hammer. It will never pound the nail in and it will only manage to break off into small pieces and choke small children.

          As for calling the wetware ignorant and unable, this is patently false in this forum. Perhaps your average user might have trouble, but those of us in these forums are quite apt with technology and are able to see OSs for what they are worth.

        • #3193773

          i have had it !!

          by avid ·

          In reply to Shoot the messenger…

          that’s it.. i am going to write a new OS AND grow a larger penis… both will be finished next week ! (ha ha)

        • #3117716

          What, you happy with M$ quality??

          by bloodyusername!! ·

          In reply to i have had it !!

          Take 2 weeks and make it better!!

        • #3186244

          You have some studies to back that up?

          by tommy higbee ·

          In reply to Shoot the messenger…

          If so, I want to know who did the studies linking physical endowment with OS preference ….

        • #3194611

          More Visible you are, More Hurt You get

          by yuvipanda ·

          In reply to You have some studies to back that up?

          I donno if you know this, But, just as the Front line of a Battle Force Suffers most damage, since it is exposed most, Windows is also Bashed Most about, Since It is the Most Common and MOST SUCCESSFUL. That’s why, Since, maybe it’s Pure Ego.

        • #3194581

          How do you explain Apache?

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to More Visible you are, More Hurt You get

          It is 60% of the market and VERY popular. Why isn’t it having the same problems as MS?

        • #3081050


          by noyoki ·

          In reply to More Visible you are, More Hurt You get

          Is it logical to say: “The more people that have eyes on a program, the more flaws that will be found and fixed”? There was a study on Firefox, Opera, and IE. Opera was left vulnerable 16% of the year, Firefox (Windows version) was left vulnerable 7% of the year… IE was left vulnerable *98%* of the year.
          (If anyone has a link to that study, as it was posted here weeks ago, please let it be known? I have it at work, just not here.)

          It’s really your choice.

        • #3189079

          Why you should bash Windows

          by bite me_ax_moron ·

          In reply to Shoot the messenger…

          Lets get right to the heart of it. Since most of you don’t seem to know. Windows in flawed at the kernel. IBM and MS’s break up was largely to do with Bill Gates not accepting that hooking straight into the kernel was the wrong thing to do. There can never be security in windows, because it so fundamentaly flawed. But Gates & his hackers saw they could sell it even if it was unsafe. And back then who cared. But now, you can’t fix it. It’s insecure because it can’t be any other way. A total rewrite, including the lose of all current software would do it, but that as they say is when pigs fly. I’m suprised so many of you professing to be IT experts don’t know whats wrong with windows. Yes UNIX & its clones have problems. But, they don’t normally let programs manipulate the kernal like windows. There always one ring or more rings in between the kernel & the programs. Windows, doesn’t and never will in its current incarnation. So lets call it the way it is Windows is alot more flawed then you think, or most likely most fo you just don’t know. The Nix’s are not flawed that way. If any of you ever bother to find out how windows is put together, you’ll realize the bloat is patches to the holes in the entire OS. It’ll never be secure, so where does MS spend its money? On spin & advertising. Not security, most of you don’t deserve your jobs.

        • #3185884


          by brian.teeters ·

          In reply to Why you should bash Windows

          Opinions are like a$$holes, everyones got one and nobody likes to hear em.

          With that said, Yes windows might be flawed, yes linux is a better built OS, but if MS didn’t take the lead with personal computers where do you think we would be, no MS office no MS money to do your checkbook for you we would be in a bad way without Microsoft and even if Linux Or Mac OS was out in front there would be a line of Hackers, Crackers and Script Kiddies out there trying to bring down “the man” just as long as the current one.

          Before you bash Microsoft just think of the long days of trying to teach doris the receptionist how to mount her cd rom so she can listen to a CD, or trying to explain to the boss that he will have to write his own drivers for the new video card he just spent $500 on.

        • #3182378

          You must be a brave boy indeed Brian

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Opinions

          Telling the Boss that he has to write his own drivers for that Video Card I would have thought you as the resident IT guy would have been doing that! Anyway the Hardware makers wouldn’t only be providing drivers for one OS they would be providing Drivers for each competing OS and they would all be as good as each other not the current position of only supplying drivers for one OS and then having a Web Site with second rate drivers available for a different OS so really you wouldn’t be that indispensable anyway would you?

          But lets look at what was available before MS caused the opposition to disappear. Various forms of DOS that would run on any system and had more and better switches than anything that MS ever brought out, Lotus 123 was the standard along with Word Perfect and Paradox had most of the office covered and you didn’t need to mount a CD Drive so Doris could listen to music. Mostly you didn’t have a CD anyway as they where way to expensive and anyway the software came on up to 7 or 8 Floppies so what did you need a CD for? Oh I remember Windows 95 as that required 40 specially formated 3.5 inch floppies to install so at that point it became faster to install from CD rather than use the Floppy installation method that we had all been using previously. Lets see DR DOS 6 came on 4 Floppies Lotus 123 came on 4 Floppies Word Perfect came on 8 depending if you needed printer drivers as well. And we where all using 100 MEG HDD’s and the old 486 DX was fast! Even today you’ll have a faster loading DOS machine that is capable of doing all your office work if you wish to compare it to a Windows XP install which takes around 1 hour to install in that time you could have a DOS system not only loaded with an OS but every program that was required and tweaked for best performance and on the desktop working before you even get Windows XP Installed. If you want to see something very interesting put a DOS system and a Windows XP Pro system side by side and apply power at the same time! I’ll give you one guess which will be working first. 😀

          Now just how is it that you still maintain that MS has made our lives so much easier?

          Col ]:)

        • #3195389


          by johns_revelation ·

          In reply to Why you should bash Windows

          Lets see Unix came out sometime in ’69 security was a huge issue then…Physical Security. Computer security wasn’t even a beginning thought. Maybe keeping your punch cards in the right place. So basically from it’s roots Unix was created WITHOUT security in mind. They tried to patch things up over the years but people seem to continue to get root kitted regularly. With all those text based files smattered all over the disk and an editor and a little help from SUID you can pretty much do whatever you want with the Nx’s.

          You got your rings mixed up sounds like the last ring architecture you looked at was either Windows 95 or NT 4. I remember when Windows 95 came out all the IBM OS2 or whatever crybabies said 95 was unstable and would crash all the time because of the RING issue you are speaking about. But the last thing I remember that was able to hook into the kernel (Ring O) like you are talking about was the video drivers in NT 4.

          So it sounds like you are a little misinformed about Ring issues in Windows 2K’s and XP

        • #3122072


          by synapsetech ·

          In reply to Why you should bash Windows

          nicely done. That 4 sentances summerized how I have felt for 10 years without being able to put words to it. Thanks.

        • #3127594

          “…most of you don’t deserve your jobs.”

          by caxe ·

          In reply to Why you should bash Windows

          I just love sweeping statements!

        • #3122074

          Not unhappy with hackers

          by synapsetech ·

          In reply to Shoot the messenger…

          People always equate windows problems with security issues. I don’t have a problem with windows being susceptable to certain malicious code. Any OS will be in some form or another. I dislike the beta-testing on the public, the incompleteness of every aspect of their product that necessitates constant upgrades, and the bloated nature of the OS.

          I am a windows user, and while there are many ways to maintain your system so that some of these issues are resolved, i dislike the need to do this.

          Which is healthier, a 450 pound man, or a 185 pound track runner? Who will live longer? Move faster? Be sick more?

          Trim and spare = good performance.


        • #3193838

          Point taken

          by tselca ·

          In reply to Old tech vs. new tech

          Dos was stable which version are you ferrign too dos 3.3 or maybe dos 4.01 no it must of been 6.0 no mayber 6.6 and lets not forget the network capability of dos wow no issues there. Most of MS stuff is easy to beat up becuase of their sheer size and power. But here is a funny fact everyone is trying to become MS with thier products aren’t they?

        • #3113856

          Valid complaints, yet we buy anyway

          by bjbrn ·

          In reply to Old tech vs. new tech

          Microsoft products are full of bugs (known and not fixed)and a magnet for malware. I actually get more annoyed with the protection schemes that make things like downloading patches or reinstalling office after it crashes from a MS bug SO HARD. I have to have the CD in the drive or a complex network install and the computer ON the network to upgrade.
          However, whenever I rant and rave (yes, often) I also remember we buy the stuff. MS didn’t hold a gun to my head. As long as fortune 500’s are “all MS shops” then there is a captive market and like any monopoly, there’s no need to have a good product. If we were really serious about better software, we’d stop buying MS, but few of us do.

        • #3122823

          I agree with you there

          by dbucyk ·

          In reply to Valid complaints, yet we buy anyway

          With Microsoft, they hold a huge majority of the popular software for running a computer. Yes, there is other OSs, but we still buy Microsoft.

          One thing to note. With all the lines of code, a vast array of different hardware, and a wide selection of software, there is bound to be conflicts. That’s what we have to live with unfortunately.

          Yes, the IBM PC and clone hardware is not as stable as MacIntosh, but since they are not as strong as Microsoft yet, but I can see them gaining ground, then we have to put up with crashes, blue screens of death and alike.

          It should be up to the novice, although sometimes it doesn’t happen that way, and the IT professionals to make things run smoothly from PC workstation problems to server problems.

          Be glad though there are people out there who try their best to make an operating system that works and all we can do is do our best to fix the problems as they arise.

        • #3122638

          previous post: good; yours: not so good

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I agree with you there

          I agree with the text of the previous post. If we don’t choose to use better technologies, we must to some extent blame ourselves for the problems of using technologies that are broken by design. I, for one, avoid software from Microsoft as much as I can. I work in a primarily Linux shop, and I don’t have anything running Windows on my network at home. Thanks to this, I don’t have to spend as much time screwing around with software failures as I would if everything was running Windows.

          You said “we have to put up with crashes, blue screens of death and alike.” In point of fact, we don’t. That’s the point: if you choose to use something more stable, you do NOT have to deal with that, and you can even save a lot of money while you’re at it.

        • #3122089

          A step farther

          by synapsetech ·

          In reply to previous post: good; yours: not so good

          Since I am completely anonymous, I can go a step further and say that, unlike music, while I use windows (soon to be in a dual boot configuration), I would NEVER stoop so low as to pay for it 😉

      • #3194016

        Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

        by hellums ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        Microsoft is hated not because of jealousy or ineptitude, or 1000s of installed apps (it’s unstable with just the OS, media players, Adobe reader, and MS Office installed, and you know it). Microsoft is hated because of:

        1. Antitrust, what’s that? Who, us? No!!! (note 0)
        2. Predatorial tactics
        3. Reliance on FUD marketing–nobody likes being manipulated and played
        4. Unstable architecture under the hood (note 1)
        5. Perpetual unreliability (note 2)
        6. Blue screen of death, and those cool app freezes that allow you to make spiffy designs and patterns of window frames as you drag your dead soldier all over the screen
        7. Default wide open security and then immediate denial of any “critical security flaw” and slow response when finally acknowledged (note 3)
        8. Incessant attempts to imbed privacy-robbing features in software and hardware, then reluctant acquiescence to its user base
        9. Incessant and needless baseline interface paradigm shifts (Search vs. Find… why? wgaf?)
        10. Repeated failure to follow their own consistency model–Ctrl-F is find function in virtually every text-centric application (ever try it on Outlook? what next, play with Alt-F, Ctrl-C, and Ctrl-V too?)
        11. Poor customer focus and service, with incessant, never-ending, weekly, monthly, and quarterly hotfixes, patches, and security releases (Service Pack? SERVICE?!?) (note 4)
        12. Long-term inability to give us close to Apple quality at the Microsoft price they know is all we can afford, despite the quadrazillion billion dollars they’ve raked in over the decades (the Mac mini might be a junior Robin Hood, but we’ll need more where that comes from)
        13. We’ll make it a baker’s dozen–because realistically we have very little choice (Linux too complex for average user, Mac too expensive for all but elite). Microsoft knows this and exploits it, gets plumply rich on it. Nobody likes having spinach or brussel sprouts jammed down their throat time and time again, especially when the server sups on caviar, lobster, and Dom Perignon.

        Note 0 – Hey, I was alive and kicking and reading the Compaq CEO’s quotes in the trades when they were being squeezed out in the early 90s, but they eventually rolled over and played stupid for the Justice Dept (who didn’t read the trades), before being slyly pardoned as expected by the Republican Party… saved by the bell

        Note 1 – why does multitasking in Unix/Linux allow me to perform floppy operations yet still stay productive? try writing to a floppy or connecting to the Internet and see how impossible it is to get anything else done at the same time… it’s still DOS under there in too many ways

        Note 2 – esp. IE, esp. with multiple windows up–God forbid they add the obvious Tab feature Firefox finally “discovered”

        Note 3 – and we usually find out that the flaw is in some useless chunk of crap architecture or software that allows God only knows who to let their PC talk to their refrigerator or toaster

        Note 4 – and how is the normal user expected to get the patches installed? by connecting to the Internet, of course… problem being that before the first patch is installed the system has been compromised by hundreds if not thousands of vulnerability probes, often successful (and how many hours does it take to download XP SP2 over a 56K modem?)

        • #3193957

          Spot On!!

          by middleagednewbie ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          I can’t address why other OSs might get bunged, but this post *nails* why MS draws complaints; rapacity, design issues and a smug mindset. Users are flocking to MS alternatives because they like the way issues are handled better, for one thing.

          To draw a parallel from applications, Mozilla has been quick to acknowledge and patch problems with Firefox, while MS has ignored known problems and left IE users out to the wind. Who’s growing faster, and getting plugs from security experts like Dan Golding? Firefox.

          My conclusion? Competence may play a role in some gripes, but a great many are self-inflicted by the vendor.

        • #3193821

          I wouldn’t exactly say flocking…

          by pailr ·

          In reply to Spot On!!

          Most people shy away from Linux and the other OSes due to lack of quality software with high brand-name recognition that will run on it. While there may be a tendency to blame software makers for not more fully supporting the other OSes, to be realistic, you must look at the bottom line: fewer users of other OSes means less ROI for the product.

          My main gripes against MS are along the same lines as hellum. I don’t like their smug attitude, their refusal to admit, until cornered by some major IT disaster at some high-profile corporation, that there is a security issue, their insistence that you must use their POS Internet Explorer to get your OS updates/hotfixes/patches. But, my biggest complaint about them is their lack of trustworthiness. MS puts all kinds of information about you in a multitude of places within your computer, most of which is relative to your browsing habits, rather than putting it all in a single location. So, in a case where you clicked on a link that you thought was going to be one thing, got to the site only to find out it was another thing entirely, you now have to go to multiple locations across your PC in order to eradicate its remains. One location for browser caching should suffice, no matter the content of the page. Something offensive pops up on a page, you go to that location and eradicate it. And while we’re at it, I strenuously object to the integration of IE into the OS without the ability to extricate it and remove it from your system. That, in and of itself, should have been enough for them to be convicted of the anti-trust violation.

          On a side note… with the advent of Windows XP, there was a basic change in the OS that disallowed functionality of Norton Speed Disk in its prior strength. With the System Works 2000 Speed Disk, not only could you compact all of your free space into a contiguous block because to Speed Disk, there was no such thing as an ‘immovable file’, but, you could also specify that all free space should be “cleared”. Clearing the freespace meant that it would be ENTIRELY FREE of latent images. The aforementioned objectionable content would, thereafter, be =>undetectable<= on your hard drive. There may have come along some successor software that will "clear" you hard drive for you since XP's introduction, but, why should I be forced to buy new software to do the same thing as I had already purchased, with more capabilities, that ran just fine before XP?

        • #3193933


          by ronaldm ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          Couldn’t say it better. There is plenty of ignorance on both sides of the fence as has been so clearly demonstrated by yourself.

        • #3193894


          by sheeva ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          Hellums’ post was quite succinct and outlined correctly many of the reasons MS is the “monster under the bed”. Through their business model they have coerced a majority of the North American computing community into believing in all those marketing slogans, i.e. “Where do you want to go?” as if they are the only ones capable of providing such grandiose dreams.

          Like others, I appreciate MS for their creativity and thank them for my continuing employment. Bashing is not what comes to my mind. However, MS is the biggest and brashest and puts itself in the “brag lane” every minute of every day. So although other vendors or PC products may well deserve some criticism, MS has truly and honestly earned it. So these posts and any industry published articles espousing “poor MS” – get a life. We’re global and MS has not been very good to everyone globally.

          As an aside, one thing to remember is that O/S as MS has promoted is a means to an end that’s different for HOME users than BUSINESS users. But we are stuck with the current mode of thinking that one flavor should fit all because MS (and previously IBM) told us so.

          O/S should be as ubiquitous as good ‘ole POTS (your telephone land line). In the early days even POTS had it’s detractors (users and businesses); it was a monopoly with predatory bushiness practice; and service stunk in many locations for many years. But now we all take POTS for granted and have begun to direct our “b**ch & complaints” onto the mobile phone service arena.

          So do I feel sorry for any of these guys? No and no way. So why should we all be concerned about MS bashing at all?

          To vendors, MS not withstanding, we need to make them understand our consumer mantra which is, “Give me what I want, when I want it, for little or no cost and make sure I never have to talk to you again unless I tell you that I want it different.”

        • #3193761

          re: monster under the bed

          by avid ·

          In reply to Ditto

          yes he is there. but i don’t think he will die anytime soon. the way i see it, there are 2 choices:
          1. feed the monster and keep him happy.
          2. sleep on the floor

          we can either keep buying MS and enjoy the fact that most software will be compatible if not stable or we can go with other OS’s and spend huge amounts of time dealing with compatibility issues.

        • #3122070

          Bill Gates MessUp

          by synapsetech ·

          In reply to Ditto

          To compliment your dislike of microsoft’s bragging, i have to share the funniest thing I have ever seen, bill gates releasing Media Center on National Television (conan obrien), and HE COULDN’T GET IT TO WORK!!! lol

        • #3123322

          yes . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Bill Gates MessUp

          This reminds me of the public demonstration of Windows 95, where we all got to see the BSOD for the first time. Some people at Microsoft musta been fired after that.

          Probably more fired now.

        • #3193893

          Because Windows is not an Operating System

          by mipsv ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          Anybody who is a real IT or has anything approaching knowledge of computing platforms knows very well that Microsoft and Intel together couldnt make a real computer system if they stole the designs from companies who could (they used to be able to take the money though). Maybe MS hires “really smart people” but the really smart people are just for show and they don’t have a damn thing to do with what gets released to customers.
          And about “install the correct drivers”… good luck – more like try to install the drivers and hope Windows takes them. Its not the technology its the business majors who have no business being in technology companies who have ruined the IT field with Wintel garbage. There are plenty of ways to make Linux (or Solaros or AIX of all things) work just fine for the “ordinary user” – scripts, a few new drivers, oh and how about do it see your job leave for China, India or some other place where they don’t care about things like freedom, shopping malls, food, human rights, and they think women are disposable (India and especially China)? Oh these places shoot people like Gates and Barrett when they get in the way they don’t bother with justice departments and IRS audits. Windows sucks because these companies just don’t think they can fail. They need to look at GM and decide if they want to suffer the same fate… only it took GM a lot longer to get where they are though they had plenty of warnings and plenty of time to fix themselves.

        • #3193835

          I agree 100% the desktop is a necessary evil

          by tsecret ·

          In reply to Because Windows is not an Operating System

          Our readers should also be aware of the current state of the IBM i5 and the i5/OS. With it’s ability to run multiple operating systems and the real power of native 64-bit applications this is where IT Pro’s should be looking.
          I happen to prefer almost impossible to hack over almost impossible to secure.

        • #3193784

          IBM OS? Bring Back The Edsel

          by ·

          In reply to I agree 100% the desktop is a necessary evil

          IBM had a shot, remember PCDos and OS2?

          IBM is trying to dislodge MS by giving money to the OpenSource world, really, they want to control OpenSourcers, and many of them are dumb enough to play.

          Users dont care if they are sitting on a 64bit, or a 1bit machine. They care that they can write documents, and communicate. MS has and will continue to kick the guts out of anything that pretends to offer a client tools, and really, they are continuing to dominate the back room as well, so its all muchAdoAboutNothing

        • #3193780

          What are you talking about?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to IBM OS? Bring Back The Edsel

          IBM can’t “control OpenSourcers”. All it can do is sell hardware with software installed on it, and/or sell support. Linux is developed entirely separately from IBM. It’s not like IBM is running around trying to put Linus Torvalds on its payroll.

        • #3186447

          Look Closer

          by ·

          In reply to What are you talking about?

          IBM participates in the OpenSource effort by paying R&D bucks to its developers to make OpenSource code. The number is very large. Oh yes, they do in fact control their staffs, and oh yes, the OpenSource weenies pay big attention to such a big pocketed ally.

        • #3186406

          g big I know you are joking

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to What are you talking about?

          Because at the last IBM Forum that I attended a few weeks ago now they openly admitted to using Red Hat and they also claimed that they are working closely with Red hat to provide solutions for their products and any problems that their users may face which is a hell of a lot more than can be said for M$. With them it’s pay your money and hope for some form of result which generally only means you are far lighter off in the Hip Pocket and still don’t have a solution.

          I still can laugh at the insistence of a MS Tech who insisted that the error message that I was seeing on the monitor was telling me that I had no CPU fitted. I never knew that these “modern” M’Boards 98 era where so advanced that they could put a picture on a monitor without a CPU installed. With that in mind I’m constantly wondering today why I even need to fit a CPU to a system that I’m building. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3186365


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to What are you talking about?

          Perhaps you’re not aware of this, G Big, but money put into R&D for Linux is either A) donated without strings attached or B) put into in-house R&D within the walls of IBM’s facilities. In the former case, the Linux kernel developers say “Thanks!” and go on about their business. In the latter case, whenever IBM comes up with someone, they’re compelled by the GPL to submit it to the Linux kernel developers, who can accept or discard it as needed.

          You seem to have this odd impression that the Linux kernel is developed by some kind of central corporation that operates just like any other corporation in the software industry. The truth of the matter is that there are a few project managers and thousands of individuals that are simply submitting patches and feature upgrades for those project managers to sift through. It’s not a singular, cohesive arrangement the way you’d get with something like Adobe or Microsoft, where you can make a deal with whoever’s in charge to do whatever you want in exchange for money. The kernel developers don’t have anything to offer in exchange for any money, with the exception of a still-better kernel in the next release cycle. Since a better kernel is always what everyone wants anyway, there’s not really any downside to IBM donating cash.

        • #3186407

          Just exactly which

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to IBM OS? Bring Back The Edsel

          Back Room are you talking about?

          The one with the sewer opening?

          I’ve only ever seen Windblows Boxes in server rooms in very small business as until the event of NT M$ didn’t have a server platform and even then NT wasn’t all that great Y2K Server was slightly better but still didn’t capture the market share that the 2000 Pro did for the desktop and while 2003 ES is better than any of the previous offerings it is hardly all that scalable. It’s great for small servers {read that as Domain Controllers} or desktop boxes that have been misused and called Server, but really it isn’t much good for anything better than a Quad Processor M’Board setup and even then it is incapable of being able to handle all the RAM that is possible to be used on those M’Boards.

          So I take it that you meant the “Bathroom” when you say the back room and in that I will agree whole heartily provided that none of them have any power applied. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3186224

          IBM and Edsel?

          by tommy higbee ·

          In reply to IBM OS? Bring Back The Edsel

          IBM has reinvented itself over the past few years. Microsoft will probably eventually have to follow the same path when it finds itself no longer able to dictate the rest of the PC world.

          Regardless, i5/OS is a vary nice operating system, but not open enough to really take over. Open systems take over eventually. That’s why PC clones took over the CP/M and Apple machines, and THAT is why DOS became a near-monopoly.

          That’s also why Apple is only a fringe of PC computing now. However, the latest Apples have been far more open — being built on top of open source Unix — and that’s why they’re doing better.

          By that standard, Linux, being the most open of all, may turn out to be unstoppable. We’ll have to see.

          One thing is for sure, though. Microsoft does not now dominate the back room. They were moving very rapidly in that direction, but they got stopped short by one thing: Linux. That is, Linux tore the bottom out of the economic argument for replacing Unix, acts like Unix, and interoperates with just about everything. And even for those happy with their Unix systems, just the fact that Linux was growing so fast destroyed the pressure to port to Windows ASAP.

          As for me, I’m happy in a multiple OS world. I just want systems that work, and that work together.

        • #3194367

          Look closer

          by tsecret ·

          In reply to IBM and Edsel?

          You be suprised at the i5/OS today. You get all of the advantages of “Open” with enough under the covers protection it offers. This is why it still has not been hacked or had a virus. And with Linux running on the same system it’s a hard combination to beat, not to mention the independant studies on the 99.96 uptime record.
          You cal open a Unix shell and even comile open source code with the native c/c++ comilier.

        • #3193758

          give it time

          by avid ·

          In reply to I agree 100% the desktop is a necessary evil

          if it grows in popularity and gets more attention, someone will start finding ways to hack it. if MS was a less widely used OS and, say, Linux was in MS’s position, this post would be titled “What’s really behind Linux-bashing?”

        • #3189554

          Tell us your true feelings why don’t you?

          by tomsal ·

          In reply to Because Windows is not an Operating System

          Someone run out of Sanka this morning?

          Anyway — MS isn’t great (see my other posts)..I’ve got plenty to bitch about them for.

          However to completely imply that the Windows has no value to ANYONE with a brain — its moronic at best.
          Plus that’s like you are taking a cheap shot at anyone who uses Windows.

          I use Windows at work because 95% of everything is Windows, though I’m trying hard to get more stuff Linux its an uphill battle in a blizzard though.

          At home I use Windows — I’m into the computer games thing — in a big way. Windows XP runs the games perfect with very little problems — in fact I haven’t had any major “game problems” in months now.

          At least that are related to windows – some of the software had issues but that was the publisher’s fault.

          There were all “in-game” issues.

          Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents. Take it or don’t…either way I don’t really care. lol.

        • #3118606

          look around u dude!!!

          by moonlightdriver2004 ·

          In reply to Because Windows is not an Operating System

          mipsv whn was da last time u were in India or China??????

          keep dreaming, we buy companies who here in US who have twisted minds like u and take em to china india !!

        • #3193850

          Note 2

          by sendbux ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          Actually, NS has had tabbed browsing for several versions. Because it has been essentially Mozilla for quite a while, now.

          Granted, Firefox has them, too. As you apparently have noted, they are the greatest enhancement to internet use since the computer screen. IMHO.

        • #3193843


          by regloff8 ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          Firefox didn’t invent the Tabbed-Browsing. Not 100% sure who did, but Opera had it in their browser 5 years ago – not really a new idea.

          And I hate to tell ya – My XP Pro machine at home has never Blue Screened – ever. I have Office Installed, Adobe Reader, WinAMP, WinZIP, WinRAR, WinACE, VisioPro, FireFox, WinVNC, Oh heck – even more, along with about 30 different games as well. I’ve had the same OS load running for about 2? years, I’m thinking that’s about right. I runs about 90% of the time. Still, never had one blue screen.

          I can write CD’s at 52X, while listening to MP3’s, and doing other stuff and it doesn’t hitch at all. I even play an Online RPG and can run three accounts at once on it – ok it’s a bit slow then, but that’s a lot of load on the memory there…

        • #3193833

          Tabbed browsing

          by sendbux ·

          In reply to Huh?

          If Opera had it five years ago, they are close to the first. O/W, it’s Netscape, which has had it for maybe three years.

        • #3193824


          by regloff8 ·

          In reply to Tabbed browsing

          Here’s their press releases if one is so inclined to find out..

          Lemme think – I first installed it… about the year 2000, so year, prolly 5 years? A guy showed it to me at a company I haven’t worked for since 2002, and it was a bit back then.

          They had tabbed browsing around 2001 or so – sometime, so mabye about 4 years.

          Still – Have to admit – I’ve always like Mozilla, so naturally I like Firefox better than Opera, but that’s all a personal choice 🙂

        • #3186508

          Tabbed browsing

          by crake ·

          In reply to Huh?

          BookLink Technologies pioneered tabbed browsing in its InternetWorks browser in 1994.

          As usual, Microsoft had an “epiphany” and implemented this technology in its IE shell called “NetCaptor” in 1997.

          It was followed by Opera 4 in 2000, although Opera has always had a full MDI interface (as opposed to TDI or SDI).

          Mozilla integrated tabbed browsing in 2001 (through the MultiZilla extension in April of 2001 and a built-in tabbed browsing mode added to Mozilla 0.9.5 in October of 2001) and Safari in 2003.

          As for your perfect computer that never crashes… bully for you.

        • #3051410

          Never said half of what you’re talking about

          by hellums ·

          In reply to Huh?

          I never said XP had blue screen of death problems. It’s a legacy term from an operating system you’re probably too young to have ever used. That’s why some of you think it’s wrong to “bash” Microsoft, because you don’t have the history with them that the rest of us do. We lived through DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows ME… when you’ve lived through all of those and we have shared experience, we can talk. My point with Firefox isn’t that they invented tabs or that it’s a new idea, just that it’s a prominent feature in the first mainstream browser that’s posed any competition whatsoever for IE, and ONLY that will lead to IE making the same move. If you think Opera is mainstream, you need to stop playing RPGs and see what people in the real world are doing with computers.

        • #3193832


          by michael.techrepublic ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          Right on hellums…

          Could not have said it better myself. It’s not just bashing Windows, it’s bashing Microsoft. Window’s is simply the most visible culprit of thier corporate ideology. The world is starting to wake up and realize that Microsoft wants control of not just your computer but they want control of your life. Gaming, Entertainment, appliances…Anyone remeber “The NET” with Sandra Bullock? Now Microsoft is apparntly in serious aquisition talks with a spyware company (Gain/Gator) and has removed detection/reporting of these from their Anti-Spyware product. Where are thier priorities?

        • #3186405

          You don’t mean

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to ditto…

          Here comes M$ newest Security Product “GATEKEEPER” do you? 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3193820

          What unstable?

          by ungle ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          I understand your complaint about Microsoft marketing tactics, unfair trading, pricing structure etc., and agree with them…but unstable? Are you still using Win 95??

          I have YET to find/have demonstrated to me this aledged instability. I’ve done it all – worked on Unix where we rebooted weekly (admitedly it was mission critical stuff in a financial institute), wit MAC mail servers that had to be rebooted DAILY or die, Linux – definitely my choice, but I do question the memory management, and Windows, where in one company I found an NT server that had been up for 8 months and I only rebooted because I needed to patch it (yep, there it is again.)

          Keep in mind, though, patches on my linux machines is just as regular. Also, I’ve only ever had a linux machine hacked!

          Win 2000 became even more stable. 2k3 has yet to prove it’s stability to my mind, but is well on the way.

          You can accuse MS of a lot of things, but leave instability out. That is just what the original poster was talking about. Ignorance

        • #3186403

          Well if it is so stable

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to What unstable?

          Why is M$ changing the color of their SOD from Blue to Red?

          Sure it might not happen often but when it does you are in for a world of hurt as something critical has gone wrong and you will be very lucky to get it up and running again without constantly seeing the dreaded BSOD!

          Col ]:)

        • #3194183

          Why did they change to red?

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Well if it is so stable

          That color change seems like a mistake. If they had changed it to green then they could also have a message that says something like “This is a scheduled shutdown.” Ha ha ha.

        • #3194127

          Changed to red

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Why did they change to red?

          so they could say quite truthfully that the BSOD is a thing of the past and will no longer occur.
          Bet some image/branding consultant got a sizable whack for that idea.
          Same as the other trick with the name, Longhorn is no longer riddled with problems, cut down in promised functionality and late we are getting Vista early.


        • #3193662

          Blue is still there

          by roaming ·

          In reply to Why did they change to red?

          From what I have read BSOD’s are for catastrophic errors and RSOD’s are for very catastrophic errors.

        • #3193629

          Can you please explain that one?

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Blue is still there

          Admittedly I come from a Mechanical Engineering background but a Catastrophic event implies to me at least the total destruction of the thing how do you have something considered as “Very Catastrophic” when the thing is already destroyed.?

          Like how much more can be destroyed when it is totally destroyed in the first place?

          Col ]:)

        • #3193599

          To HAL9000

          by roaming ·

          In reply to Blue is still there

          That’s what makes it a bit of a joke. Both require rebooting the machine anyway.

        • #3189179

          Very catastrophic … I like it.

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Blue is still there

          I detected the subtle hilarity right away. Good job.

        • #3189051

          What the hell…

          by ungle ·

          In reply to Well if it is so stable

          …so I see a blue screen. When my Linux machine (or the software running on it) screws up it’s memory and I have reboot it, just because I don’t see a cute blue (or red) screen with a memory dump doesn’t make it any less destructive!

          A reboot is a reboot. OS wars are pointless. They’ve all got their good and bad points. If your main complaint of Windows is the color scheme then talk to MS. They may change it for you. What color would you like?

        • #3194578

          killall -9

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to What the hell…

          thank you thank you…I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress and try the veal.

        • #3194556

          no kidding

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to killall -9

          I think one of the biggest problems with discussions like this is that someone with no conception of how differently Linux works under the hood will try it out for three months and assume they know everything they need to, then go back to Windows and claim there’s no substantive difference. Not knowing that they can use commands like killall -9 and kill -kill to eliminate problematic processes, prompting them to restart the entire system (thus losing everything on which they’ve been working) just as they would with Windows, causes such fly-by-night Linux testers to develop the odd opinion that there’s no substantive difference between Linux and Windows stability.

        • #3194495

          Oh, yes I agree apotheon…

          by ungle ·

          In reply to killall -9

          …And the same to be said of fly-by-nighters who don’t know how to do similar tasks on Windows and who run home to mama crying when they can’t figure it out!

          Fortunately I don’t fit either catagory…

        • #3195756

          Don’t you?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to killall -9

          You say you don’t fit either category, and yet you’re the guy saying you have to restart Linux because of an application problem. Clearly, one of your statements doesn’t fit.

        • #3051392

          Take a Linux administration course :)

          by hellums ·

          In reply to What the hell…

          Sounds like you’re not very good at Linux or Unix administration. There are lots of training courses and books out there. 10:1 or 25:1 ratio of Windows to Unix/Linux crashes in my experience, which dates back to the late 80s. And when I have to patch a Unix app, I never had to reboot, unless it was related to networking or hardware.

        • #3051241


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Take a Linux administration course :)

          You shouldn’t have to reboot for networking, either. Just restart networking.

          # /etc/init.d/network[ing] restart


        • #3081088

          8 months is good ??

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to What unstable?

          I have firsthand knowledge of an IBM AS/400 which kept churning for 4 years. Yes – FOUR YEARS. In the meantime we changed most of the internals, including all disks with the exception of the one with the system on. And that was the reason for shutting it down – replacing the system disk.
          Natrurally it was never infected with viruses, worms, spyware et. al., even though it was on the net for the same period.
          On another box we changed it from 48 bits to 64 bits, reloaded all apps and DB’s without rewriting a single line of code. We did later, but for other reasons.
          I wouldn’t dare running an NT box for 8 months without patching – flirting with death.

        • #3193770


          by it.dude ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          Impressive! ….most impressive!

          Haven’t read a quality dress-down of M.S. for a while.

          Thanks for the reminder of why it’s better to INVEST time in learning Linux, than to WASTE time attempting to figure out the “Black Box”, “super secret”, ” …. oh God, if hackers found out about this !!!” reason for my PDC and BDC to stop talking to each other.

          I’m not going to write the novel of what kind of admin job I had been doing previous to the above issue. I will simply say that I had MS Updates done (manually installed while I watched), firewalls up, anti-virus running and updated. The two Server 2000 boxes were communicating one day, and the next had stopped.

          The ultimate solution, I had to promote the BDC to PDC. Reinstall the old PDC so it fixed the problem and then set it up as BDC.

          Since I’ve moved to Linux, I have to take the covers off once in a while to dust!!!
          Admin is pretty borning unless I want to spend time tracking down the origin of an attempted Hack or brute force password attack.

          Sorry Angus, … there I go MS Bashing!

        • #3194250

          Love your post

          by jrice ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          Your on the money. I support microsoft products and I use but I still dislike Microsoft as a company.

        • #3194227

          So in that case will you

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Love your post

          Be at the head of the Que when Visa sorry I meant Vista comes out as a production version and be one of the First Beta Testers that pays for the privilege of sorting out problems to M$?

          That is one of my biggest bugbears with any new M$ OS we are nothing but Beta Testers who have to pay for the privilege to getting their products to actually work part way like M$ claims they will.

          Col ]:)

        • #3193688

          All very good points.. except…

          by alacrity ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          Why is it that I ran my entire company for 4 years on NT 4 server and Windows 98 workstations. Then upgraded the workstations to Windows 2000. Now I have Small Business Server 2003 and Windows XP pro, SP 2 and have been running the server since LAST august with only the reboots needed for patches and those apps that INSIST you reboot even though you don’t HAVE to. And my general workstations run for many weeks without problem. MS Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, Front Page, Publisher, power point – often all running at the same time), QuickBooks Pro, Hot sync software for Pocket PC enabled phone, Several web pages (hey.. I ain’t ALL work) Symantec antivirus and /or Firewall, AVG, Spybot and/or Ad Aware, etc, etc. This workstation I’m on now hasn’t been re-booted since the last Norton AV update forced me into it 3 weeks ago. My last install of NT 4 SERVER wasn’t rebooted for nearly 3 YEARS!

          I say it IS possible to produce a stable system using Microsoft products, I have 14 years of Proof! End users that I support (most have used my services for over 11 years) all START with a stable system and then muck it up so that I have to get it straight again, but that isn’t MICROSOFT’s fault! the USER messed it up. OR malware messes it up, but Microsoft products have treated me and the companies I support very well. From time to time I have to tell a user “No, That’s not a good idea” becasue of some security risk left open in MS products. Sometime it takes Microsoft a lumbering long damn time to close the hole. My time spent building $30,000,000 CRAY computers taught me that simply slapping a “fix” on one place just might break something you don’t know about in another place. I remember one system designer asking if he could “just move the edge connector 20 mils over” and got approval from his manager. that caused nearly THREE Million Bucks to be spent to correct the problem caused downstream from his department. Microsoft MUST be as sure as they can be that the “fix” they throw out to patch some hole does not create a new hole somewhere else.

          My last point (made somewhere up above, I think) is that it IS possible to have a stable solid system using Microsoft products. If you are NOT able to do this, perhaps it’s because your skills are not up to snuff. Actually I firmly believe that it’s NOT your tech skills that are too LOW, but too HIGH..

          Just my $.02

        • #3193628

          What I think you are missing

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to All very good points.. except…

          Is that with a Nix server you don’t have to reboot when you apply patches or new Applications only Kernel Upgrades.

          Admittedly I do come from a Unix background and I’m not used to all the rebooting that Windows requires. Instead of considering several weeks up time as good I would be considering only several months up time because of a patch bad.

          But if you’ve never used a Nix you’ll never know what the unnecessary steps that you are going through and the extra money that you have to waste on security which shouldn’t be necessary and is affecting your bottom line.

          Col ]:)

        • #3189050


          by ungle ·

          In reply to What I think you are missing

          Yo, dude. Windows is (effectively) the same. The only reason reboots are necessary is
          a. You don’t know what you’re doing,
          b. Sloppy packaging or
          c. one of those MS patches that in the MS world is effetively a patch on the kernel.

          I do agree with the several weeks bit, though. I recently was involved in a move of the Asia head office of the financial house I was working for at the time, and discovered one of the trader’s PCs (extremely heavily used) had been up for 4 months.

        • #3194576

          B and C are very common

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Umm…

          Typically EVERY patch MS comes out with patches the Kernel or Executive in some manner. There are TONS of sloppy packages out there and hundreds of drivers that force a reboot on install (you can’t simply restart the service)

        • #3194497


          by ungle ·

          In reply to B and C are very common

          Totally about the sloppy packaging. It REALLY gets up my nose. However, this discussion is about OS.

          I’ve run Linux for a long time now. I’m totally pissed of with how often I’ve got to patch software/kernel.

        • #3194475

          Patching/updating with linux is easy

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to B and C are very common

          just run cron job and restart the service if need be…Not much to it…

          How often do you REALLY need to patch/update your software, unless your are running bleeding edge?

        • #3195755

          Kernel patches?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to B and C are very common

          I have a hard time imagining that anyone’s dealing with kernel patches that often in Linux. Seriously, I don’t remember the last time I needed a kernel patch for any reason whatsoever.

        • #3182385

          Do it better….

          by alpha geek ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          With all of the complaints about Microsoft, I would just like to offer up something for thought: Microsoft is a shinning example of Capitalism at its finest. The main principle of capitalism still holds true. If you can do it better, you can reap the benefits. All of those that complain about MS OS are perfectly free to do the same thing that MS did; build a better product.

        • #3182376

          God I feel sorry for you

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Do it better….

          MS didn’t build a better product in most cases they built a second rate product.

          However what they did build was a Perfect Example of a Marketing Department and your statement is correct MS is a good example of Capitalism selling second rate products to consumers for a premium price and then expecting those same consumers to pay for the required support.

          Man if that is your idea of success I really feel sorry for you as you are in for a world of hurt and if you go down this track you’ll find most people despising you and taking your name in vain. Is that what you want your reputation to mean?

          Col ]:)

        • #3182355

          circular logic

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Do it better….

          Gotta love that circular logic: Microsoft is better, therefore it’s more successful; Microsoft is more successful, therefore it’s better; Microsoft is better, therefore it’s more successful; et cetera.

          You go with that. I’ll be over here with a “die” statement to break out of the infinite loop and look at the situation with clearer eyes than that.

        • #3122087


          by synapsetech ·

          In reply to Angus, is your brain a single-cell organism?

          You have my profound admiration and respect for your well contrived and perfectly correct rant session.

      • #3193925

        People always bash the biggest

        by eric.p ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        People somehow feel superior when they bash things, and who doesn’t want to feel superior? The main reason they pick on Microsoft is because they’re the biggest. And the reason the Microsoft OS is most vulnerable is because it is by far the most used OS, so attackers focus on it. If all the effort that goes into hacking into Windows went into the other desktop OS’s I’m sure they would be pretty much as vulnerable.
        If I were you I would just chalk it up to human nature, the same as the jerks that bash you for what you wrote. IT just seems to have more than its share of such people.

      • #3193860

        It’s Suppression of Innovation for me

        by sendbux ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        Now that MS has pretty much captured the OS world (by actually creating one, rather than SAYING they had one in Win95 and Win98), think of this: both Mac and OS/2 had actual operating systems almost ten years before MS caught up and stopped using what many believe was essentially DOS, with its memory limitations. OS/2, for example, had a flat memory model which would address 144GB of memory, out of the shrinkwrap. And just about never crashed.

        Now, MS is not motivated to innovate (cynical: to say they innovate when innovation is what they prevent) because there is no competition.

        All I ask is competition. That’s how business thrives. Not by dominance of a market. Dominance is no more healthy for a company in control, than it is for the public.

      • #3193858

        It’s a matter of perception…

        by regloff8 ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        No – there are more people looking for ways to hack into Windows – so you end up with more “percieved” holes than the other operating systems…

        Although – I do digress to a point, not every OS is going to have the same number of holes.

        Like houses – while yours may be more secure than mine – it’s not going to matter if someone wants inside your house and not mine. If I have nothing to steal, there’s no reason to get into mine, regardless of how easy it is to break into.

        Also, along with that – is the size of the hole. I think I’d rahter have a thousand little pin holes in my house, over a half a wall open. I’m not trying to compare any OS to a certain style of “hole” I’m just saying it’s true…

        I mean, so you can cause a Windows machine to crash – whoopie wow, that’s fantastic. On the other hand, you can hack into a Unix system and download an entire credit-card database – again, for the zealots, you can switch that around too. i’m not a fan of one OS over the other really, even DOS has it’s uses.

        I’ve worked with quite a number of Operating Systems, and like them all for different reasons. Windows is far easier to use, even when loading the machine, Linux is plain cooler has a ton of flavors and can do just about anything you want it to, Solaris is as stable as I have ever seen. Macintosh has a lot of very cool features you won’t find anywhere else, at all – wonderful remote network management right in the OS. Netware is easy as pie to manage and has file Salvaging capability that far surpasses any other – out of the box, not to mention Groupwise does what most other Groupware packages only claim to do. FreeBSD is just as stable as Solaris and it’s a nice streamlined OS, that can handle about whatever you can throw at it. Try running some Chassis systems on anything but VXWorks – good luck. QNX has the coolest Desktop, I’ve ever seen.

        That’s all opinionated of course, just judging on what I’ve seen.

        The best thing to keep in mind is that none of them are secure – heck, there’s more theft going on now than before computers — by far… Since when was identity theft ever an issue before. Years ago, if you wanted to rob someone, you’d have to mug them, or walk into a business or a bank with a gun. Now, you can hack some database and walk away with tons, if you do it right.

        I love watching those TV commercials that claim “our system is just unstoppable” – hehehe, yeah right…

        “Even god can’t sink this ship” Hmmmm, where did I hear that before?

      • #3193797

        Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        by rmiller ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        Whenever people have their choices trumped, there is resentment. Microsoft through its market, legal, and political machinations has destroyed every other reasonable choice. Why would Microsoft concentrate on destroying competitors rather than just competing on merit? It is because Microsoft fears that if people can chose they will not chose Microsoft. If the government enforced the anti-trust laws that were created exactly to control predatory companies like Microsoft, there would be far more choices in the market place. Diversity in any system is an important measure of health and efficiency. Weak minded people find diversity threatening and difficult.

        Many people love a winner. They will always side with the overdog. For these people Microsoft was a pitifully obvious choice and Microsoft’s victory makes them feel like winners. Weak people always ally with a bully for strength.

        What can I say, Windows is ugly, uninspired, engineered for the lowest common denominator, bloated, inefficient, confused, and bug ridden. There should be a law that MS can add no new features until it debugs those it already has.

      • #3193776

        The REAL reason….

        by ponderworks ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        A little story from a 25+ year veteran….

        Once upon a time, OSs were beyond questioning. Companies that manufactured OSs were shocked, embarrassed, and highly responsive if ever any potential bug showed up. You could almost “bet your life” on the OS. I personally had an experience where a colleague and I found a security problem with an IBM operating system. We documented it and sent it to them expecting nothing. Within 30 days, we were contacted, the bug acknowledged, and shortly thereafter a new release contained a fix (and then some).

        So it is when you are not the “only game in town”. Personally, it is not Windows that fries me and a lot of other people. It is the way Microsoft uses their hegemony and business practices to make sure NO ONE and I mean NO ONE has a chance to compete fairly against them. I’m happy to use Windows when I am not forcibly made to use it because no other company dares to try to compete. The fact is, competition is good. Monopoly is generally (but not always) bad.

        That’s my 2 cents.

      • #3186521

        And the Non Techies do what?

        by greg talbott ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        So the system slows down, errors start to occur to a maddening point until the system becomes basically a large paperweight in the course of a year.
        Are we expected to blame ourselves? Are we supposed to blame the hardware?
        What once worked great doesn’t work at all and the software vendor applies “patches” on a monthly basis to “fix” these problems and they don’t work.
        I NEVER had a DOS system crash even when I attempted to sabotage it. It just plain flat out said I could not do an illegal operation and back to the default command prompt.
        See my point here?

      • #3185821

        Because I do not work on MS operating system

        by al.nelson ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        I was primary on an IBM iSeries. We do not have the problems and issues that MicroSoft Systems have. Our applications run and do not touch the operating system. I can not remember when the last time the system went down other than planed maintenance. The hardware and software preform excellant and are extremely reliable. None of the do I need this or that, it’s all build in.

      • #3185909

        Has anyone ever thought about this

        by renaissance2000 ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        Microsoft gets bashed so often because its the biggest kid on the block. The only people they should blame is themselves. When MS started people wanted a system that could do everything except Security. No one ever thought that that was essential, what MS did is produced a product that everyone wanted and marketed as such based on the demand. When the internet and different programming predators took off then and then only did security become an issue. MS is trying to keep up but so are the makers of other OSs. Think about it the consumers are the ones who requested it. Its like if you vote for a candidate and he/she ends up screwing everbody remember you voted for them.

        • #3182308

          Yes and MS is to blame

          by deadly ernest ·

          In reply to Has anyone ever thought about this

          As they have been advertising, for several years, about how secure and how great the security in their latest versions of Windwos are. MS put the emphasis on security around 1997/98 and have been pushing it since. yet they continue to fail to deliver on their promises – and that is what is getting people pissed off.

          Tell them you are selling crap at bottom prices and no one complains – tell them you want near top dollar for quality and deliver and no one complains – ask for near top dollar for crap that does not meet the promises and everyone bitches.

          The best MS Windows every procuded MS DOS with Win 3.x with the 32 bit upgrade, followed by Win 98SE – both were stable and were sold as basic systems and can still do what 90% of the clients want.

        • #3182140

          Also MS actively discourages competition

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Yes and MS is to blame

          Today I loaded a version of Linux by Corel before MS brought into that company and at a AGM insisted that they drop their Open Source projects. Now I had heard stories about just how bad this version or Linux was so while I did have an ISO I never actually got around to burning off a copy.

          Then one day when I had nothing better to do I made a boot CD and today I’ve installed it on a 200 MMX with 64 MEG of RAM an unknown Video & Sound Cards and it worked perfectly. Total install time involved was 45 minutes and the only question I was asked was to provide a user name & Password. It installed even easier than Windows does.

          Now this is a Debian Base product and I can see exactly why MS was so scared of it hitting the streets, it is more user friendly than MS on the install, it has a cleaner user interface and generally leaves Windows for dead. It is a base model or flavor of Linux and to be sure is no heavyweight in the Nix stakes but for a desktop it leaves Windows for dead and if it was to ever have been released as a direct competition to Windows I’m sure that it would have made the Accountants eyes at MS smart quite a lot.

          This is the first flavor of Linux that I’ve ever seen that is a direct threat to Windows so I can now see why MS was so intent on destroying it and where willing to spend so much money in the process.

          Now I’m going to make install copies of Corel Paint 9 and Word Perfect 9 that have been ported for Linux and go about installing them just to have a play but the Open Office version that came with the Corel Linux is quite capable of reading any MS file that has been created I’ve opened word documents from the earliest version of word that was available to the latest from 2003 Office Pro all with out a single error creeping in and that goes for all the other applications that come with Open Office which is to be expected. I’m just wondering how the Corel Flagship products will run when ported to Linux it should prove interesting. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3182118

          corel linux..

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Also MS actively discourages competition

          photopaint 9 for linux won’t run on a kernel newer than 2.4
          I would assume the same for corel office 9.

          the major issue the linux community had with corl linux was that it is actually an extremely bloated version of linux, the kernel and system software resource requirements are huge.

          corel uses the fonttastic 2000 font server, rather then the standard xfs.
          the “port” of thier products uses wine, it doesn’t run natively in linux.

          reguardless of that, I actually like and was impressed with corel’s photopaint for linux.
          it actually looks better in linux than in windows.
          ( I have compared )
          the colour dithering in linux gives corel’s products a much better look.

        • #3182117

          Well I’m not doubting that it is no Debian

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to corel linux..

          But for ease of use it leaves even Windows for dead. This was thrown at a 200 MMX with 64 MEG of Ram and a 1.2 GIG HDD and was so easy to install just alter the boot process in BIOS as the M’Board is that old and put the CD in the drive and walk away.

          This one is defiantly aimed at the desktop though and is very much a light weigh one but it is so easy to install and use that it makes Windows XP look hard. :^O

          I could load this on my mothers computer and not have a worry that she could use the inbuilt applications no matter just how really bad the OS actually is. For ease of install and User Friendliness it just leaves everything in the shade. As this is an old ISO copy I’m betting it is the old kernel as I haven’t even looked yet it’s just sort of sitting off to one side while I do other work and I play with it when the Windows Boxes don’t require my attention.

          Lousy set of Screen Savers and pretty much very little added in to the basic install in what I would be expecting for a proper Nix install but the Splash Screen on install & boot up look nice and would make it an easy choice for many non technical people out there. I know it’s more “Eye Candy” that is really necessary but it is a great entry level Nix with no network or other driver problems that I’ve yet noticed.

          About the only thing is that the monitor is way too small and the defaults set way to high to easily read but if that is the biggest problem things will be easy. 😀

          Of course the down side is that you are logging in as Root and user profiles are nonexistent but it configures the Networking protocols and everything without an ounce of problems unlike the much more powerful Big Brother Debian. Really if this had of been developed it would have been a Windows killer as it is even easier to use than Windows itself.

          Col ]:)

      • #3182055

        in reference to the admiral’s comment at the top of the thread

        by simplyshaman ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        admiral.. while it’s true that microsoft products are very hackable. think of it like this, is it that it’s hackable.. or is it that because microsoft does NOT share it’s source code like unix and the linux projects, that hackers want the challenge of hacking something that’s not easily hackable in the sense of given source code. you gotta think with the mind of a hacker in this industry. (why go for the easy hack when i can go for the challenge?)

      • #3132193

        Death to hackers

        by popsprice ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        We all live in fear of criminals. We put locks and alarms on our houses and cars. Some even buy guns for protection. The rich can afford high fences and armed guards. Now if we captured and punished hackers for the cost of their crimes to us we would not need to worry so much about the vulnerability of our computer OS.

      • #3130982

        Get over yourselves

        by dreis ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        OK, I do not normally replay to blogs. But I am tired of hearing about how terrible Windows is.

        I am facinated by it. Sure Apple my work better, but it is a propritory operating system for a propritory system. Meaning it only works on Apple Computers. Well hell, if that the kind of system you want, go back to NT!

        You take a Windows disc, put it on almost any computer, Dell, HP, Compac, etc, and you at least have a half way operating system, think on how many configurations there are.

        Can Apple do that? I don’t think so.

        In a way, Windows had made it so you DO have time to complain, instead of looking for drivers that will work.

        So think about what Windows is trying to accomplish, and have a little respect for the magnitude of what it does!

        OK, I’ve vented and I feel better.
        thank you for your time.

      • #3130823

        Everybody ready? The real reason so many techies bash Microsoft is:

        by absolutely ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        M$ $uck$ big, juicy

        The real reason is twofold, both related to popularity.

        First and obviously, there are more copies of Microsoft.

        Second and hopefully less obviously, since Windows is the de facto standard, computing environments of beginners are mostly OEM computers with Windows, and techies get a barrage of calls from people who don’t know how to tie their own shoes. Windows is used by many people who have no business using ANY computer. Other OSes are more specialized, thus used by fewer idiots who stumble across every idiosyncrasy in their ineptitude.

    • #3188798

      Experience drives a lot of the comments

      by stress junkie ·

      In reply to Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      I looked at your TR profile. From what I can gather you have been working in the field about six years and you have only worked with M$ products. You have no background to support the kinds of statements that you are making regarding all operating systems. Statements like “You don’t ever bash the OS…” don’t make any sense.

      I would recommend that you spend a few hours every week reading the following web site:

      Most of the people who “bash” M$ products will readily admit that their favorite OS is not perfect. People are mostly angry about the lack of interest that M$ has consistently displayed over the years toward product quality. Most other OS products enjoy a higher dedication to quality from their creators than the M$ products experience. When other OS vendors find a problem they fix it once and it stays fixed. That is not true of M$ products.

      Look up products on the Secunia web site such as Sun Microsystems’ Solaris/Sun OS and IBM AIX. Compare those products to any M$ product. There is an obvious quality gap between M$ and almost everyone else. Look at the most recent problems with M$. Windows Color Management Module Buffer Overflow. Word Font Parsing Buffer Overflow. These are completely idiotic. Consider the fact that Windows REQUIRES the Remote Procedure Call service to be enabled, even on computers that aren’t connected to a network. This is idiotic. Consider that all interprocess communications in Windows goes into a global buffer readable by all processes. That is a privilege separation problem. It’s been a “feature” of Windows since version 1. You don’t see that kind of problem on ANY other multiuser, multitasking OS. There are a lot of fundamental design problems in Windows that don’t exist in any other operating system.

      And now you know the rest of the story.


      • #3188735

        Profile schmofile…

        by Anonymous ·

        In reply to Experience drives a lot of the comments

        I don’t include everything in my profile. Yes officially I have been in IT since around 1999. Out side of that however I have been running around the IT scene for since 1989. Up until 1999 I considered what I was learning nothing more than a hobbie. Anyway, I have not soley worked with MS products, I also work currently with the Mac OS from 7.6 upwards and Linux.

        What I am also trying to say is that while MS product “features” always get the limelight there are other OS’ that also have problems as well. Yes they might be patched up quick, like Linux, because some of the other products, like Linux, are open source meaning anyone can make the fix provided it works without errors afterwards and release it. Yes MS are not releasing patches when they should, like the fact that until recently anyone using the Windows Firewall on dial-up was not actually protected at all. Yes MS are slow to remove any faults or security risks in their OS, yes until the release of Windows x64 there were hundreds of buffer overflow exploits that allowed many a virus writer to bring a system down.

        The thing I a trying to point out is that in the end, it’s not the OS maker but the user that causes the system to crash. I can give a customer a brand new PC and when I check up on it one month on after they bought it, they usually have problems, all associated with either software or hardware they installed after they bought the machine. Most users don’t stop and think before they install any software or hardware. They just go ahead and do it. That’s when the OS crashes, that’s when the system has problems. You can’t sit there and bash an OS if it doesn’t work the way you want. Dump it and run wit another OS instead. One better suited to what your needs are. Don’t complain about it.

        Yes you can say there are a lot of fundamental problems in Windows, but I bet there are fundamental problems in the Mac OS, Linux, Unix, Sun OS and the myriad of other OS’ out there. They just don’t get the limelight because as unfortunate as it is, more than half the world’s IT runs on Windows. If everyone ran open source I’m sure we wouldn’t have half the OS crashes, security risks and so on that we have now.


        • #3190015

          Fair enough regarding your TR profile

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Profile schmofile…

          All right then. I reached the wrong conclusions about the scope of your experience when I read your profile.

          On another topic I was concerned that the tone of my post would be interpreted as being hostile. I wasn’t clever enough to put in a note like the one in your last post “end of rant…”. That was a good idea. I wish that I had thought of that when I wrote my post.

          Regarding the topic at hand I don’t know what more I can say. I summarized the case against M$ pretty well in my last post. Anyone is free to believe the assertions or not believe them. Those of us that are vigorously against M$ products believe that there is an essential difference between the way M$ products are designed and implemented versus products from other vendors. We believe that the attitude behind the design and implementation of M$ products is lacking in attention to security issues. Some of us are also upset that M$ requires product registration in order to get their recent products to work at all. Other issues include the problems around reinstalling and reregistering a recent M$ OS on the same machine and M$ products collecting computer usage information.

          As you said in your last post, no malice intended.


        • #3189978

          Well in that case perhaps you would like to explain

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Profile schmofile…

          To me how this happened. I know I’m not great Windows Fanatic but I do believe that it should retain a semblance of some sort of stability.

          On a clean install of XP Pro SP2 just fully patched and all the software loaded under 48 hours ago I checked my e-mail then went out for a job, 6 hours latter I got a message that Outlook was not my default E-Mail client and did I wish to allow this. Now in the intervening time no one has touched the unit and for some reason Windows changed the parameters that it was prepared to work under.

          Now every bit of software on this workstation is work related not a single game of any sort not even the ones that come packaged with XP it’s just a plain but powerful workstation with no frills to make it nicer to look at. The thing is full y loaded with the most powerful CPU’s that the M’Board can support has as much RAM as the M’Board will support has every PCI slot filled with work related devices and the only thing that I can add more of are SCSI HDD’s. Currently I only have 16 internal ones installed.

          Now this unit isn’t directly connected to the Internet buy runs through a Linux Gateway which is quite well locked down and then in front of that is a Router which has the latest Updates installed so by all accounts it should be safe but it still changes a basic OS function.

          I’ll not go into the reason for the reload as it is still a painful unnecessary experience that I’m just now beginning to recover from.

          But really my biggest gripe with M$ is their business practices like here I use Volume License stuff from M$ and when I applied SP1 I had to change the Product Key and then when SP2 was installed the next time that I logged onto M$ Web Site to download something I was informed that I didn’t have a “Real” version of Windows even though I know that the place that I buy this stuff from is one of 3 AU M$ Volume License suppliers and it is perfectly legal.

          Now I’m lucky here as I only have 20 odd Windows Boxes that I have to change but some of my customers have a lot more and it takes a lot of time and money to change the product keys so that these units remain “Legal” according to M$. One client paid for 11 of us to work one Easter to just change all the Product Keys over on 2,500 workstations so they could push out SP1. We did manage to finish the job in under the 4 days but only just and I’ll leave you to guess who paid for the privilege to be able to install SP1 but I’ll give you a clue it wasn’t Microsoft!

          Part of the reason that I’m now using Linux Servers exclusively is the fact that the Licensing with the M$ Server products is a mess you pay through the nose for a product and then have to pay additional license fees for the excess units that are not supported by the already expensive product that you have just brought. Sure over here it is only $80.00 AU per additional License but that does add up when you are talking about 100 additional Licenses that is only $8,000.00 AU that is required.

          Then once a month we are in a mad rush to test the latest M$ patches before rolling them out knowing all the time that the longer we delay in testing and making sure that nothing gets broken by the latest “Fix” the more vulnerable the system is. So like previously when we could test one patch at a time as they became available we are now rushing through tests just to get the systems as secure as possible and then fixing the broken things after-wards. In this place we call it the MS Monthly Blues, or The Wrong Time of the Month.

          When I started working with computers they where Main Frames and most of the time I was sitting around watching the system working and not spending all my time constantly patching or testing patches and then running around fixing broken Apps or hardware. It then just didn’t happen. We also didn’t have any intrusions either and it honestly was not such a big problem we only had to worry about foreign governments trying to hack our system, now it appears that every Boy & his Dog are at it and we are now working so much harder to keep the systems secure and if there are Windows Servers involved on the wrong side of the DMZ it is only that much harder.

          I actually see Windows as an easy alternative that requires nothing more than a hungry monkey to be able to use but along with that ease of use come security nightmares which really have not been addressed by M$ “Trusted Computing” they are just hidden better.

          Someone used this in another discussion which I just loved {Throw a rock at a Window and it breaks! Throw a rock at a Penguin and it gets mad and attacks you!” or at least it went something like that. 😀

          I’ll add it too “Rant finished No malice intended!” 🙂

          Col ]:)

        • #3189700

          What he said

          by markand ·

          In reply to Well in that case perhaps you would like to explain

          I second HAL9000 comments. I don’t run nearly as big a shop as HAL9000 does, but I agree with 98% of what he says, and I’ll comp him the other 2%.

          Even in a prefect world of new hardware and clean installations, it take about 10% of my time to monitor and patch Microsoft Windows and Office products. This does not include the Microsoft Antispyware beta and a host of other product, like Symantec Antivirus, Ad-Aware and SpyBot.

          By contrast our hardware is very reliable. In a 70 PC, 9 server shop, I lose 1 or 2 machines a year because a hard disk fails. Those machines vary between 3 and 10 years old. That’s not a bad loss considering the age of the machines.

          So, conservatively, I spend 4 hours a week or 200+ hours a year on basic maintenance only. That is a lot of time, and time is money. I haven’t penciled out the cost of replacing those machines with newer gear, or some magic machine that doesn’t need to be patched as much. Unfortunately, I doubt I’d save enough money to justify replacing Windows boxes with machines that need to be patched less; any model I create would have to include the cost of other lost staff time.

          Another issue is that my employer is in a very vertical market – behavioral health. There is exactly ONE vendor with a software package that meets most of our needs and generates billing files in a very specific format. That package runs on Windows, so that is that (and anybody who suggests writing code for another platform will quickly discover the end of my patience).

          Mainframe and minicomputers had their very real problems, mostly cost. Fundamental reliability was not one of those problems. It just goes to show that you get what you pay for.

        • #3176053

          That is That

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to What he said

          “There is exactly ONE vendor with a software package that meets most of our needs and generates billing files in a very specific format. That package runs on Windows, so that is that …”

          I think Markand has backed into the reason for the bashing. Most MS bashers have never had the dubious pleasure (or taken the opportunity) to go up to the executive suite and replace the Admin to the CEO’s PC with a linux box over lunch, and then take the rest of the afternoon off. They would finally get to hear some real heartfelt (and colorful!!) linux bashing, and realize just how silly the MS basing generally sounds.

          I got seriously burned out on the MS bashing when I worked for a guy who programmed in C for a SCO Unix OS 3 system, using vi. His stock answer for any other OS, any other editor, any other anything was “Why would you want to do that?” which roughly translated into english was “I don’t want to change.” No one outside the IT department of most firms wants to migrate away from MS Windows (or MAC OS or whatever gets the job done).

          I have a couple of linux projects on the back burner here, but none of them will replace frontline MS Windows installs.

        • #3195966

          Or maybe it could be

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to That is That

          That the techs are sick and tied of caring the Can for M$ products as we are the ones who get the blame where some computer illiterate CEO, CIO or whoever messes things up and we have to fix them.

          Have you ever noticed that these people are the last to admit that they did anything wrong but expect us to have it fixed in 1 nanosecond as it only took them 3 minutes to totally hose out the OS?

          Tomorrow I’m going down to a business to program up an I-Pod so that the CEO can play tunes while he is overseas with his Acer Note Book holding all the music. Of course he has messed up the entire installation and there are over 3K of files that he wants transfered into the I Tunes Program all of which he has already moved in there and are not recognized.

          As I constantly work with this technology 😀 I really don’t have a clue as I’ve never actually touched any of it anywhere at all so that should be a day well spent but it has to be done tomorrow so he can have his play toys on his overseas trip the next day. 🙁

          They constantly leave it to the last minute and then expect miracle’s performed particularly on equipment that they don’t allow in the office environment but expect you to know inside out. 😉

          Col ]:)

        • #3195885


          by treadmill ·

          In reply to Or maybe it could be

          Got a simple solution for that. Don’t support a product that’s not officially supported by the company and certainly not MP3 music!

          If I was in your shoes I’d refuse to fix his/her sodding laptop!

        • #3195848

          Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          by mike.morris ·

          In reply to Or maybe it could be

          Got a simple solution for that. Don’t support a product that’s not officially supported by the company and certainly not MP3 music!

          If I was in your shoes I’d refuse to fix his/her sodding laptop!

          Posted by: kevin@… Date: 07/21/05

          That’s a brilliant statement… “No CEO, I will not help you”… “Col, You’re FIRED”…

          Nice advise…

        • #3186387

          Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          by stuart_at_oz ·

          In reply to Or maybe it could be

          he he he! Our ‘previous’ CIO (ie head of IT – who couldn’t even change the resolution herself)got a talking to from the CEO (el-head honcho) for letting her SON install software and surf the internet on her laptop…

          After the third time we had to clean it of unauthorised software, spyware and viruses we complained to our IT security people, and they had a word in the CEO’s ear. We did a complete wipe and started again on it (something she would never have agreed to otherwise) and locked her userid down to a basic local user (something else she never would have agreed to!)

          HOpe it went well for you 🙂

        • #3194042

          This is the problem…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to That is That

          I’m sorry, but that’s crazy. I believe your translator is broken. Because I’m quite sure he was asking “Why would you want to do that?”, not because he didn’t want to change, but because changing to windows from Unix would be stupid.

          And I think it’s the Admin to your CEo that is afraid of change more than your IT guy. That’s just dumb.

          If the Admin to your CEO got used to using Linux, he’d never go back to Windows.

          There are numerous reasons why linux is actually a better OS choice than windows. But my main reason is reliability.

          I have two Linux boxes set up here where I work. One is a red hat 9 box and the other is a Mandrake 10 box. They have both been up and running for 187 days with no signs of quitting.

          I have several windows 2003 servers that won’t even go 14 days without needing a reboot because of memory leaks and other inherant flaws in the OS.

          The idiot that said “you can’t blame the OS” is obviously a serious rookie.

          Spyware, Malware, Viruses, they all mess up Windows machines because Windows was written poorly and is a crappy OS. Period.

          I don’t get spyware on my linux boxes, nor do i get any trojans or other problems, because Linux is a relatively secure OS. Windows is not. And I seriously doubt it ever will be, because Bill Gates makes money off of software products that he sells to get rid of the stuff. Why would he just make his OS work properly when he can make more money leaving it the way it is? And since most people are either too stupid or too lazy to learn a different OS, Microsoft has dominated.

          Those of us that expect more from our OS can certainly blame Microsoft for it’s deliberate shortcomings and we won’t stop bashing M$ until they provide an OS that is up to our standards.

        • #3194015

          Sounds to me like an admin flaw

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to This is the problem…

          If the Admin got used to using linux he/she would be about ready to retire. Linux is not as easy to learn as microsoft, I am sorry plain fact. Yes it has flaws, yes it’s less stable, but you have been doing IT so long, you have forgotten how frustrating trying to learn a computer can be. Linux is not polished, it’s not intuitive, it seems to be to you, because you are used to it. Users are like sheep, they say “oooh the pretty colors” and it’s a done deal. Linux will need 2 things to replace windows on coperate desktops.

          1) More cosmetic polish as to appeal more to the non computer user.

          2) Support, Support, Support. Small companies that cannot afford IT staff are going to want to be able to call Red Hat to find out how to restart thier PC.

          Since most employees enter the workforce via small companies, they get trained on Windows first. To use an analogy, Stick shift is way better than Automatic. Anyone who drives a stick will tell you this. Better Gas Mileage, more control. How many drivers that drive automatic exclusivly are willing to learn stick?

          You are not going to get the support, or the cosmetic polish is not going to come without a corperation driving the development, and if that happens, it’s not open source anymore.

          If you can’t keep your 2003 box up more than 14 days, you have no business administrating one. I have a production install of small business server that runs for 2 and 3 months at a time, and only needs to be reboot due to updates.

          No one gets spyware on their linux boxes:

          A) Because people running linux are smart enough not to click “Yes” on any box that appears.

          B) Because Windows having over half a market share, so noone is writing spyware for linux.

        • #3193844

          In Response

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to This is the problem…

          “I can’t believe you think so little of your users, that you don’t believe they could ever use linux. Typical arrogant geek.”

          I am not arrogant, I am just aware of my strengths and weaknesses, I can’t Dance, I suck at Karaoke, and I don’t have a creative bone in my body. But I have been working in the IT industry for over 15 years now. I am good at what I do, and my users have wonderfull people skills, and are good at thier jobs. They know how to user thier PC’s to the extent to get thier job done. They do not know how to configure profiles, or modify text files to configure thier system, and I don’t expec them to know that.

          “a linux solution would be JUST as easy to use as windows.”

          No it’s not. Having learned both from scratch very early in the developement of both operating systems, I can state that with certainty. Linux REQUIRES a much better understanding of the over all Operating system than Windows does.

          “Plus it would be more configurable to the users tastes”

          If the user knows how to modify config files. Linux is clunky in it’s configuration at best, it does not have the polished look and feel, and the context menus have a long way to go.

          “looks better (and yes some of the x-windows packages look WAY better than XP)”

          One word ****OPINION****

          “and won’t frustrate the user by crashing all of the time.”

          My users spend more time being frustrated because they can’t figure out how to make the PC do what they want, rather than being frustrted by crashes. My XP desktops run very solid, and very stable. The majority of my help calls are of the How-to nature.

          “It won’t slow down, because it won’t have viruses and spyware.”

          A good firewall, and good virus software pretty much solves this problem maybe you should learn to configure one.

          “I can’t think of ANY reason to go with Windows vs. Linux on the desktop if it is the user’s first experience with a computer.”

          Hmm do the words Industry Standard mean anything to you? Or, do you prefer to set your users up for major frustration if they leave your company, your own form of golden handcuffs I guess.

          “You claim it’s easier to learn Windows than Linux, but that is because YOU’RE used to windows, probably because it was YOUR first OS.”

          Nice ASSUMPTION, but false, my First OS was Apple way back in 1981. Actually did some programming in Apple Basic, then a few years later moved to DOS. And on up the Chain from there.

          “The fact is, Linux is FAR superior as a desktop solution”

          Again with the Opinions.

          “and costs so much less that I can’t even believe we’re comparing. And don’t quote me the bullsh*t statistics that microsoft put out there about total cost of ownership. Because anyone in this industry knows that is total crap. And if Linux weren’t an open source development but instead was owned by a company, they would have sued microsoft for liable over it.”

          First cost of ownership is a factor, I am not going to quote any statistics, but I will simply say, it is impossible for a small organization to run a Linux network without either hireing an IT staff, or outsourcing thier IT needs, this is simply not true in a microsoft Environment.

          Second you can’t sue for liable for statistics, if you look closely I am sure you will find the fine print describing the condistions that the statistics were gathered, and will probably be forced to accept them as fact.

          “Wake up and smell yourselves. Linux kicks M$’s a$$ every time. No comparison.”

          Once again your Opinion.

          “And your transmission analogy doesn’t work in your favor.

          You are making a comparison of stick shift (supposedly Linux), to automatic (supposedly windows). You said stick shift is better. Like that is a fact. Not hardly. I own a stick shift and I would switch to an automatic in a heartbeat.”

          Then why haven’t you?

          “The difference in gas mileage is so minute as to not even be noticed”

          A full 3 miles to the gallon average is minute?
          The average annual mileage of a car in america is about 12000 miles. If your car gets 20 miles to the gallon, at roughly $2.00 a gallon for gas your annual expense is $1,200, a mere 3 miles to the gallon saves you about $150 a year. (annual gas cost at 23 miles to a galon is $1,043) Add to that the Manual transmision is ligher, more durable, and will likely outlast the engine, this cannot be said for an automatic.

          “and it’s a pain in the a$$ to be shifting all the time (especially when I’m trying to eat)”

          Eating while driving is a leading cause of distracted driving related accidents, I would recomend against eating and Driving.

          “But I wouldn’t switch if it didn’t work or failed a large percentage of the time. Hell no I wouldn’t. And that is what Windows is: an automatic transmission that doesn’t work properly most of the time.

          Where do you get Most of the time. Even with the “fabled” frequent crashes. I still couldn’t justify calling it most of the time. Lets say your XP box crashes twice a day (unrealistic, but for the sake of argument) and is down for 15 minutes each crash, it would stil only cost you a half hour from a full workday, subtracting out lunch, and 2 breaks, thats 20% downtime, unacceptable yes, but hardly most of the time. Take into consideration, that I don’t even experience one crash a week, You will find that you are actually in the 90% range for uptime, and that is certainly NOT most of the time.

          “When the automatic (windows) works like a real automatic (that is, doesn’t fail a large percentage of the time) then I would definitely switch. But as you can see the analogy doesn’t work.”

          See above and Switch.

          “And as for you having a windows 2003 server up for 3-6 months, show me your logs, cause that is crap. Having to reboot because of updates is still having to reboot.”

          I believe I said 2 and 3 months, but accuracy is obviously not important to you. Here ya go

          pay special attention to the 65 days on 10/22
          the 59 days on 12/21
          and the 42 days on 5/5

          obvioulsy not as good as Linux, but I would count System Availability: 99.3746% as acceptable. Also notice that current uptime is 21 days and counting.

          As a side note, notice the abnormal shutdowns, I still get an occasional forced reboot due to a power outage, or an application crash, I have left these in, because I an not trying to hide anything. Please note they occur less than once a month.

          10/22/2004 5:00:38 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:65d 18h:42m:7s
          10/22/2004 5:01:15 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:0m:37s
          10/23/2004 7:03:41 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:1d 2h:2m:26s
          10/23/2004 7:04:59 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:18s
          12/21/2004 9:33:27 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:59d 3h:28m:28s
          12/21/2004 9:35:00 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:33s
          12/23/2004 5:35:27 AM Abnormal Shutdown Prior uptime:1d 20h:0m:27s
          12/25/2004 6:43:07 PM Boot Prior downtime:2d 13h:7m:40s
          1/13/2005 11:49:33 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:18d 17h:6m:26s
          1/13/2005 11:50:59 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:26s
          1/20/2005 11:45:00 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:6d 23h:54m:1s
          1/20/2005 11:46:22 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:22s
          2/17/2005 11:27:42 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:27d 23h:41m:20s
          2/17/2005 11:28:57 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:15s
          2/17/2005 11:28:57 AM Abnormal Shutdown
          2/17/2005 11:44:54 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:15m:57s
          2/22/2005 12:35:19 PM Shutdown Prior uptime:5d 0h:50m:25s
          2/22/2005 12:36:59 PM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:40s
          2/24/2005 10:37:35 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:1d 22h:0m:36s
          2/24/2005 10:39:54 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:2m:19s
          2/24/2005 11:19:24 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:0d 0h:39m:30s
          2/24/2005 11:19:59 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:0m:35s
          3/17/2005 9:42:05 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:20d 22h:22m:6s
          3/17/2005 9:43:12 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:7s
          3/21/2005 10:18:58 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:4d 0h:35m:46s
          3/21/2005 10:21:22 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:2m:24s
          3/21/2005 10:33:25 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:0d 0h:12m:3s
          3/21/2005 10:35:22 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:57s
          3/24/2005 9:54:44 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:2d 23h:19m:22s
          3/24/2005 9:56:50 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:2m:6s
          5/5/2005 3:42:09 PM Shutdown Prior uptime:42d 4h:45m:19s
          5/5/2005 6:35:22 PM Boot Prior downtime:0d 2h:53m:13s
          5/20/2005 11:01:35 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:14d 16h:26m:13s
          5/20/2005 11:03:45 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:2m:10s
          6/9/2005 2:08:25 PM Shutdown Prior uptime:20d 3h:4m:40s
          6/9/2005 2:10:38 PM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:2m:13s
          6/16/2005 10:50:40 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:6d 20h:40m:2s
          6/16/2005 10:52:54 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:2m:14s
          6/30/2005 10:02:14 AM Shutdown Prior uptime:13d 23h:9m:20s
          6/30/2005 10:04:11 AM Boot Prior downtime:0d 0h:1m:57s

          Current System Uptime: 21 day(s), 3 hour(s), 50 minute(s), 55 second(s)


          Since 4/27/2004:

          System Availability: 99.3746%
          Total Uptime: 447d 8h:3m:58s
          Total Downtime: 2d 19h:34m:1s
          Total Reboots: 34
          Mean Time Between Reboots: 13.24 days
          Total Bluescreens: 0
          Total Application Failures: 0


          “And I administer our servers just fine, and have the confidence of everyone I work with.”

          I am sure you do, and you have more than demostrated your knowledge and attention to detail here.

          “And they all like the linux servers and the linux desktops far more than windows. because they’ve been shown that it saves their departments money, is more reliable and less prone to attack. And they aren’t too stupid or scared to learn a better way to do things.”

          You are obvioulsy very convincing, maybe you should consider a career in sales.


        • #3189039

          Weird, dude!

          by ungle ·

          In reply to This is the problem…

          Switching from Unix to Windows….that would very much depend on the job you are doing – right tools for the job. Using vi as an editor…THAT’S whats stupid!

          “”you can’t blame the OS” is obviously a serious rookie” Anyone who can’t keep a windows server up for more than 14 days probably should not accuse others of being rookies.

          In my experience, including one company with 15,000 Windows desktops, 5,000 Windows servers, 1400 Linux servers and I don’t know how many Sun boxes, 99.9% of all problems on all OS platforms are caused by the software installed on top of the OS, not the OS itself. On Windows, because it dominates the desktop, that means usually caused by the user.

          Beleive me, if Linux had the market share that Windows enjoys, you’d get all the spyware, trojans and other problems on them. Just think, if I was a spyware writer, would I write spyware for 5% of the global machines, most of which are run by computer enthusiasts, or would I write it for the 90% of global machines run by my mother in law who will click “OK” to anything? Not much of a choice!

          Linux as a desktop OS plain sux. As a web server…wouldn’t touch anything else!

        • #3194547

          Dear ungle,

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to This is the problem…

          I’m afraid you’re going to have to elaborate a little bit on your wild assertions.

          1. What’s so stupid about using vi?

          2. Why do you think that greater adoption of Linux systems would cause clicking OK to suddenly become more dangerous for Linux than it already is, when strict privilege separation on Linux systems prevents clicking OK from having the same system-wide implications it has on a Windows system?

          3. What possible reason could you have for thinking Linux on the desktop is so stupid, while the city government of Munich (for instance) has the opposite opinion?

          I notice you haven’t satisfactorily explained any of the above.

        • #3194507

          Why oh why…

          by ungle ·

          In reply to This is the problem…

          Vi is stupid because of one word: Emacs. And that would be the beginnning.

          Yes, I’ve been force to build websites with vi, and even now if I want to edit my personal site directly on the server I’m forced to use vi. But I wouldn’t use Notepad on Windows, why would I want to use Vi on Linux? I got into IT because I was excited about the advances in technology, not because I wanted to stop them!

          The comment “Why do you think that greater adoption of Linux systems would cause clicking OK to suddenly become more dangerous for Linux than it already is, when strict privilege separation on Linux systems prevents clicking OK from having the same system-wide implications it has on a Windows system” is naive at best: If people log onto Linux as root, they do indeed have the system wide acces exactly as it is under Windows. I’m all for controling user rights under Windows, but I was refering to my grandma getting a PC and installing Linux on it herself. She’d use root as her default UID. Take a look at Lindows. Install it, and unless you go to the trouble of searching out how to create a new UID you’ll have root privileges. Dude, you sound like you ran from Windows at the Win 98 stage. At that point I would agree 100%, which is why I set IT policy at my company to absolutely ban Win 95,98,ME on the network. Again, using Win 95,98,ME is…dare I say it? STUPID.

          Finally, one body’s adoption of a platform does not end the arguments on it’s operability…or this discussion thread would not exist. I’ve used Linux as a desktop OS, I’ve use Open Office (I even installed it on a Windows machine. I uninstalled it about a week later). I’m not saying this out of ignorance, Linux has a long way to go to compete with Windows on the desktop.

          I’ll say it again: The right tools for the job. Don’t discriminate just because you don’t like dorky looking billionaires with glasses!

        • #3195741

          This is hilarious.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to This is the problem…

          Talk about your useless religious war. You think vi is stupid because of Emacs? Holy crap.

          Okay. I prefer vi over Emacs. Yes, I’m in that camp. I’ll give you one of the standard holy war responses, since you’re clearly in the other camp:

          Why would I want Emacs? I already have an OS.

          Either vi or Emacs is a more productivity-enhancing application than MS Word could ever be, at least for anything where .doc or .rtf formats aren’t necessary. The interface allows the skilled operator to navigate through a document and edit it far more quickly than the point-and-click interface of every Windows app under the sun. Later initial development doesn’t necessarily mean better technology. For many uses, vi is far better than anything that runs on Windows (excpeting, of course, Windows ports of vi).

          Logging into Linux as root, by the way, doesn’t create the same security issues as logging into Windows as administrator. Just logging in doesn’t automatically make things start executing. Unlike in Windows, you have to actually choose to execute code in some way for it to execute, and you can’t execute some Word macro virus by double-clicking it when it’s disguised as an MP3 like you can in Windows. Aside from that, you don’t have to log in as root in Linux except to perform very specific administrative tasks, whereas in Windows you have to be logged in with administrator access to do common, everyday stuff, and worse yet you don’t have to be logged in as administrator in Windows for many types of malware to successfully escalate privileges so that it can execute with administrative privileges, regardless of what user account you’re using. Windows is more full of holes than Alpine Lace cheese.

          Lindows doesn’t exactly exist any longer. I have no idea whether Linspire (what Lindows became) defaults to having root-only account for the user, but if it does then it’s nearly as bad as Windows, and is exempt from much of some of what I’ve said about improved system security under Linux.

          The main Windows release I’ve used (and still have to use from time to time) is, by choice, Win2k Pro, SP2. This is for a number of reasons, including stability, security, and licensing. I’m forced by circumstance to use WinXP Pro from time to time, and I’m currently involved in a software development project that involves WS2k3 with MS SQL Server. I occasionally have to support clients running Windows 98 or NT 4.0 Workstation. I also have supported a current client of the consultancy that has a Win2k Server system. I also support a number of Windows XP Pro systems as clients on the consultancy’s own network. This is all in addition to what Linux systems I support and use, and the seventy-ish Linux servers in the Wikimedia datacenter. So, no, I’m not just talking about Windows 9x or ME.

          As for dorky looking billionaires with glasses, you might as well describe me as a dorky looking thousandaire with glasses, and would prefer to be a billionaire (though I tend to wear contacts). Prejudice on that score is not an issue.

        • #3195704

          OK, Truce…

          by ungle ·

          In reply to This is the problem…


          I like both operating systems, and believe they both have their place. I will continue to do so. I don’t believe they need be comapred because they are, IN MY OPINION, suited for a different market space (even though MS would like to topple Linux)

          I do not dislike Linux. I do not believe that it is suited, at this stage, to a desktop environment. I think Linux rules the roost in the Internet arena.

          I also believe that those who go after Windows are either using it in the wrong place, or are simply enjoying a witch hunt.

          Use the right tools for the job. Somtimes that means Windows.

        • #3195672

          re: vi / emacs

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to This is the problem…

          both suck!!
          both have antiquated ui and app logic.

          both seriously need to be rebuilt from the ground up.

          ( both are capable apps, but they were old when the dinosaurs went extinct )

        • #3195542

          re: truce

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to This is the problem…

          As you phrased it in that post, ungle, I don’t disagree with anything you said. I do end up spending a lot of time here looking like I’m just saying bad things about Windows, though, because I find myself debunking myths and blatant fibs related to how Windows is supposedly better than Linux, or how Linux strengths are somehow only related to things like relative unpopularity, both of which types of arguments are built on foundations of sand at best.

          Yes, both OS lines have their places, in terms of functionality. I don’t often see instances where Linux cannot do what Windows does, however, even if in some cases it doesn’t (yet) do it quite as efficiently, and the difference is generally slight enough that licensing issues usually prompt me to assign preference an order of magnitude greater for Linux than for Windows. Some people don’t care so much about licensing: I tend to view that perspective as limited and short-sighted, but there are those who disagree with me. Such is life.

          Ultimately, I’m of the opinion that Microsoft’s business model and software profit model are injurious to its customer base, to its industry, to the domestic economy, and to the state of affairs of my life in a number of ways. That makes up for a number of minor advantages Windows has over other OSes in generally very limited niches. As such, unless Windows is of critical importance, I avoid implementing it in my own IT operations. Customers, clients, and employers, however, get advice to the absolute best of my ability, and are informed of all consequences of potential decisions, and commonly enough my advice amounts to “Stick with Windows for now. To switch at this time would cost you more than it would save you.” More often than not, however, this is the case where the Windows systems are already in place: new systems, where my advice is asked, are usually accompanied by the suggestion that Linux would do the job better.


          I recommend the best tool for the job. Licensing is part of that. You do the math.

        • #3194039

          I Agree

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to That is That

          I think any IT person that does not recognize the value if windows (even with all of it’s flaws) is so burried in thier technology they have forgotten what it’s like to not understand a PC. Sure Linux is Great, and would be my first choice for most server applications. But if you spent 2 weeks at my job, and delt with the end users that I have, you would quikly realize that Windows is far supperior as a desktop product, simple because it is easier for non computer users to understand. I have people that can’t even recognize when their username is wrong, there is no way I am going to teach them to use a linux desktop.


        • #3194031

          one word, look into it..

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to I Agree


        • #3193927

          What resignation and arrogance…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to I Agree

          I can’t believe you think so little of your users, that you don’t believe they could ever use linux. Typical arrogant geek. And if they are too ignorant (notice I said ignorant, not stupid) to know how to use windows then they don’t know computers at all, and a linux solution would be JUST as easy to use as windows. Plus it would be more configurable to the users tastes, looks better (and yes some of the x-windows packages look WAY better than XP) and won’t frustrate the user by crashing all of the time. It won’t slow down, because it won’t have viruses and spyware. I can’t think of ANY reason to go with Windows vs. Linux on the desktop if it is the user’s first experience with a computer.

          You claim it’s easier to learn Windows than Linux, but that is because YOU’RE used to windows, probably because it was YOUR first OS.

          The fact is, Linux is FAR superior as a desktop solution and costs so much less that I can’t even believe we’re comparing. And don’t quote me the bullsh*t statistics that microsoft put out there about total cost of ownership. Because anyone in this industry knows that is total crap. And if Linux weren’t an open source development but instead was owned by a company, they would have sued microsoft for liable over it.

          Wake up and smell yourselves. Linux kicks M$’s a$$ every time. No comparison.

          And your transmission analogy doesn’t work in your favor.

          You are making a comparison of stick shift (supposedly Linux), to automatic (supposedly windows). You said stick shift is better. Like that is a fact. Not hardly. I own a stick shift and I would switch to an automatic in a heartbeat.
          The difference in gas mileage is so minute as to not even be noticed and it’s a pain in the a$$ to be shifting all the time (especially when I’m trying to eat) But I wouldn’t switch if it didn’t work or failed a large percentage of the time. Hell no I wouldn’t. And that is what Windows is: an automatic transmission that doesn’t work properly most of the time.

          When the automatic (windows) works like a real automatic (that is, doesn’t fail a large percentage of the time) then I would definitely switch. But as you can see the analogy doesn’t work.

          And as for you having a windows 2003 server up for 3-6 months, show me your logs, cause that is crap. Having to reboot because of updates is still having to reboot. And I administer our servers just fine, and have the confidence of everyone I work with. And they all like the linux servers and the linux desktops far more than windows. because they’ve been shown that it saves their departments money, is more reliable and less prone to attack. And they aren’t too stupid or scared to learn a better way to do things.

        • #3193861

          Think of your mom!

          by myrdhrin ·

          In reply to I Agree

          I completely agree with that statement.

          more over… ever tried giving a PC to your mom? I did, with Linux onto it… all stable all nice! After 2 weeks I called her to see how she was enjoying the machine; to which she answered, I can’t get the thing to work! (not just before somebody says she might be stupid, she’s been playing with all the machines my Dad brought home).

          So I took the PC back and install XP with Office. Gave it back to her. Ok, I have to go there to clean it up and I usually get a quick call as “it’s not working” but at least SHE can use it because the OS is simple enough for a non-computer literate person.

          I understand I don’t have 900 PCs to support (I’d probably go crazy) but it does prove a point, no matter how stable, good, bulletproof a software (of in the case of this thread, an OS is) what matters to the USER is not how good it is but how quickly they can get to do what they want to do with it!

          Anyway… my 2cents


        • #3195656

          myrdhrin ,

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to I Agree

          which distro did you use?
          some are ready for and designed for easy desktop use.

          my mom is a different case entirely, when I get stuck I call her, she spent years working in unix shops and knows unix so isn’t lost with an *x os.

        • #3079494

          Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to What he said

          “I haven’t penciled out the cost of replacing those machines with newer gear, or some magic machine that doesn’t need to be patched as much.”

          I did pencil out how much is cost to run a medium sized (100 pc’s 10 servers) Windows shop. I focussed on the desktops, and for one year we meticously registrated every single ‘incident’, what it was, what we did, how much tiome was used – both supporter time AND user time. My supporter spent 75% of her time fixing desktop related problems (95% MS OS or MS apps) and 10% fixing server issues.

          We decided to scrap all desktops execpt a few specialist machines, and replace them with thin clients and 2 Citrix servers. The payback was 6 months, and a much quieter environment both physically and mentally.

          Many apps will work under a Citrix environment, and it is really worth the initial work.

          Now we service 10 servers, we did a little consolidation in the server room, and 5 PC’s. Windows is ailing, but the desktop PC died years ago.

        • #3194052


          by avid ·

          In reply to Well in that case perhaps you would like to explain

          i love the security flaws in M$ products. it is now and will always be a reliable income for me! 🙂 but seriously, we all know that bill is a hell of a business man. if his product work well and was easy to use for everyone, he would not be able to make so much money from forcing recertification on us every year with the excuse that so much has “changed” that our previous certs are no longer “sufficient” for the IT market. just a thought..

        • #3194047

          Sounds to me…

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to Well in that case perhaps you would like to explain

          Like you make a very good living off of Microsoft, I would be carefull bashing too much, if they make the software flawless you won’t need to Fix it anymore, and I think that will affect your bottom line 🙂


        • #3194020

          I’m afraid not

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Sounds to me…

          I work on a commission basis and it doesn’t matter if I spend 1 hour or 600 hours per month at a clients I still get paid the same.

          But the point in issue isn’t my income but the way that I have to rush around when these business computers fall over.

          It’s the down time that is the killer as these places are “Mean & Lean” so they only have the bare minimum and when it fails it has to be fixed immediately as the down time is costing them money and lots of it.

          I would much rather be paid on a hourly basis and be able to do routine maintenance once a month rather than having to drop everything at a moments notice to save several 100 K for one company because one of their computers has failed.

          Lets face it I’m basically lazy and I do this because I love the work not for the money which I already have enough of anyway. If I wanted the money I would be back working for places like IBM as State Service Manager.

          Col ]:)

        • #3189032

          I’m puzzled…

          by ungle ·

          In reply to I’m afraid not

          …because you seem adamant about this horrible instability.

          Without wanting to be rude (honestly!), I can only assume you are doing something wrong.

          I would start looking at standardized builds and reduced user rights. Talk the companies you work for into it, it will reduce dramatically the overheads. Yes the users will scream initially, but what are their machines for? Work!

          Reduced user rights will also resolve the whole spyware issue for you. Remember, with only a few exceptions, the spyware the user downloads will run in the context of the current user. If that user has limited rights to the system, so does the spyware – it doesn’t matter if the users click “OK” it still can’t install itself.

        • #3194579


          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          1) Some apps require the user to have admin privs. This is a HUGE security issue

          2) Windows doesn’t have “user space.” User space is smudged together with kernel space and other user space. It just doesn’t make sense. It is far to easy to have and effect on EVERY PROFILE with a plain jane user.

          3) Malware typically doesn’t “install.” It over writes dlls or just executes (and not just in user space). Spyware is a HUGE issue and if this was the solution, we wouldn’t be having the problems we are having now.

        • #3194545

          one more thing

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          In addition to what jmgarvin said, I only have this to add:

          I suppose you’ve never heard of things like ActiveX if you really think prohibiting administrator access to end users solves all those security problems.

        • #3194501

          Dearest children…

          by ungle ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          jmgarvin, get OFF Win95,98,ME – which ever it is you are using – and get on to XP. That comment was born of ignorace. User profiles are separated and protected from another non-admin user from modifying them JUST as they are under Linux. A non-admin user CANNOT affect all other profiles on a machine as suggested. Besides, in an enterprise environment, the profiles are not held on the machine but on the profile server. If you have knowledge to the contrary I would LOVE to hear about it!

          apotheon, if you’d like to explain to me how ActiveX (COM to us developers) exposes greater danger, I’d be interested to hear. It’s just another shared library, a concept, although slightly different, used in Linux, Sun and MacOS as well. Did you hear about the latest zlib vunerabilities? They affected EVERY OS because they are installed as a shared library.

          I guess My initial reaction to this forum was correct: People fear what they don’t understand.

        • #3194468


          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          “jmgarvin, get OFF Win95,98,ME – which ever it is you are using – and get on to XP. That comment was born of ignorace. User profiles are separated and protected from another non-admin user from modifying them JUST as they are under Linux. A non-admin user CANNOT affect all other profiles on a machine as suggested. Besides, in an enterprise environment, the profiles are not held on the machine but on the profile server. If you have knowledge to the contrary I would LOVE to hear about it!”

          Ok here it goes. In Windows NT, 2k, and XP user profiles are seperate only marginally. The problem is this: User Space, Kernel Space, and Executive Space are not exclusive. Each can (and does) overlap the other. This means I can affect the entire computer, not just a specific user space. It also doesn’t help that IE is a huge security problem because it is built RIGHT INTO THE OS! I can take advantage of that and have an effect on all users equally (because IE is univeral).

          What you are thinking of is user accounts.While each account is “seperate,” the memory space that users fill over laps and can be taken advantage of. Sure, I can be authenticated via a domain, but locally user information is still stored, even if I don’t have local drive access.

          Take a look at the Windows Top 10 from Sans:

          “apotheon, if you’d like to explain to me how ActiveX (COM to us developers) exposes greater danger, I’d be interested to hear. It’s just another shared library, a concept, although slightly different, used in Linux, Sun and MacOS as well. Did you hear about the latest zlib vunerabilities? They affected EVERY OS because they are installed as a shared library.”

          ActiveX is a mess:

          “I guess My initial reaction to this forum was correct: People fear what they don’t understand.”

          People that are security oriented and not just techs understand a little more deeply what is going on in the OS. Apotheon is very well versed in both low (kernel) level security and higher level. I know security from a sys admin and net admin point of view. I also am studying how to BREAK security in various systems, and guess what…Windows keeps cropping up on my list because I can take advantage of the poor seperation of Kernel and User.

        • #3195770


          by ungle ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          Yes, dear, the kernel, executive, and – to a lesser degree – user spaces do overlap, as they must. And how exactly does this differ from Linux???

          Of course profiles are stored locally – as a COPY of the server stored profile (it’s called a “Roaming profile”. Thought you’d like to look it up). Still, try access a local profile of another user unless you have admin rights (or have been granted rights by and admin). Yes, care must be taken while designing applications to ensure security amongst users. Again, this is not unique to Windows (although, I’ll admit there are more cowboy developers designing Windows apps that Linux apps!)

          Yes IE is universal. Again, try changing any of it without the appropriate credentials. Curious: Do you give users on Linux boxes root access?? Thought not. Stop doing it on Windows!

          “ActiveX is a mess:” Nice links. Unfortunately they are all incidentally about ActiveX components. Guess what? buffer over/under runs are not the exclusive domain of activex. ZLIB, for example, is NOT activex and yet shows the same weakness.

          I would agree that the time for COM is now passed, but again, the vunerabilities are for individual components, not the concept. Linux and Sun have both had their fair share of buffer over/under run vunerabilities.

          Again, all OS have shared components. Don’t waste your biases to try to blame this on Windows

        • #3195726

          clues free with purchase of a kid’s meal

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          “[i]Yes, dear, the kernel, executive, and – to a lesser degree – user spaces do overlap, as they must. And how exactly does this differ from Linux???[/i]”

          The statement that they “must” overlap is patently false. Unices maintain strict privilege separation. In fact, simply put, no user has access to anything that doesn’t either “belong” to that user or get explicitly assigned permissions that allow that user to access it. In other words, it takes willful implementation of poor security policy to blur those lines, and because of the separation of executive from user and kernel spaces users can execute applications to which they are assigned access without that execution allowing them to compromise files or activate other executables to which they have no assigned access.

          “[i]Of course profiles are stored locally – as a COPY of the server stored profile[/i]”

          I really don’t think jmgarvin was making a big deal about the profile itself, so much as just pointing out that the profile’s data is stored locally as well as remotely. His salient point was the fact that no matter what you do with the profile data, the user privileges are the real problem, and user privileges are not as well protected as they should be. They bleed over into each others’ user spaces, the executive space, and even the kernel space.

          “[i]Yes IE is universal. Again, try changing any of it without the appropriate credentials. Curious: Do you give users on Linux boxes root access?? Thought not. Stop doing it on Windows![/i]”

          That’s not really the point. Obviously, poor security policy will come back to bite you, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of Windows functionality is designed to short-circuit security privilege separation because much of Windows doesn’t work without direct access to executive or even kernel space. This sort of thing allows for very easy unauthorized privilege escalation on Windows systems (yes, even Windows XP, which shows signs of beginning to address user account permissions separation but not much, and doesn’t address privilege escalation vulnerabilities provided by the Explorer executable’s universality, COM/ActiveX controls, and so on). With a reverse engineer’s understanding of Windows system architecture, scripting tools to automate privilege escalation is a (relatively) trivial task. The same is not true of the various unices, where such shortcuts just really don’t exist.

          “[i]Nice links. Unfortunately they are all incidentally about ActiveX components. Guess what? buffer over/under runs are not the exclusive domain of activex.[/i]”

          The problem isn’t just that there are buffer overrun exploits for ActiveX and the like. The problem is that ActiveX has vulnerabilities like that [b]and allows remote code execution[/b], and furthermore is necessary for even the most trivial of tasks much of the time such that turning it off neuters the capabilities of the Windows system. Even worse than ActiveX, though, is the ubiquitous and irresponsible use of RPCs internally for interprocess communication [b]within the core Windows platform[/b]. This is the sort of thing that made the Slammer worm possible in the first place, and effectively “shut down the Internet” because of the presence of a couple of Microsoft systems in key points of failure.

        • #3195710

          Ungle I give up…you do not want to learn or admit you were wrong

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          I’ve explained the issues and you pop up straw men. I enjoy teaching, but you obviously do not want to learn.

          Apotheon said everything very well in the post above mine, so I won’t duplicate. However, I will say the problem is that you won’t admit to security flaws and that in it self is a security flaw. Please learn to be less bias when dealing with security so that we don’t have to deal with crippling malware…

        • #3195703

          Give me a break…

          by ungle ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          The remote code execution was due to the buffer overrun. ActiveX is not NECESSARY for even the most jovian of task.

          Sloppy security will come back to bite you regardless of the OS.

          As jmgarvin says, I’m tired of dealing with those who do not want to learn.

          I enjoy both operating systems, will continue to do so, and fortunately won’t allow the OS bigotry of others deter me.

        • #3195534

          remote code execution

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          Err, no. The remote code execution is not just because of a buffer overrun. I didn’t even read those links: I see reports of ActiveX exploits often enough that I don’t need to read a few more right now.

          See, without even reading the reports linked above, I can tell you that what the buffer overrun almost certainly allowed was [b]arbitrary[/b] remote code execution. ActiveX was [b]designed[/b] to facilitate remote code execution: that’s its purpose. The fact that “arbitrary” is included in this exploit is a result of an accident, rather than the design of COM/ActiveX, but the [b]actual remote code execution functionality[/b] is itself the intent of the ActiveX system. In fact, arbitrary remote code execution with ActiveX is even part of the design, but usually only when one specifically configures the system to allow it, rather than in general.

          The idea with many of these buffer overrun exploits is that a data stream is dumped into some ActiveX control, overloading a memory buffer, causing unintended consequences, and producing an opportunity to execute more code. Thus, a non-arbitrary ActiveX execution can be fed a tailored executable or set of execution instructions that take advantage of a buffer overrun vulnerability, which in turn ends up producing an arbitrary remote code execution behavior.

          The very fact that ActiveX allows remote code execution in the first place that bypasses user space privilege separation is the major problem of ActiveX. Privilege escalation should [b]never[/b] be an automated process, under any circumstances, but there is so little strict privilege separation in the Windows environment that unintended and automated privilege escalation states are common.

          Then, of course, there are those circumstances where privilege escalation are entirely unnecessary to have significant damaging effects on the system, such as with the (mis)use of RPCs that are so ubiquitous that Windows uses it in platform internal APIs. From a security standpoint, that’s insanity, absurd beyond kenning.

        • #3190726


          by ungle ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          You seem to be working under the msiconception that ActiveX components are always out of process components.

          See, COM, in and of itself, is simply a method the DLL loader uses to reference count in-memory instances of a particular object so that it may unload that component when the last instance is destroyed.

          RCP is used in interprocess communication. Most COM components are IN process objects, meaning there is in interprocess communication, no RPC involvement.

          It can, however, support out of process components, and RPC and marshalling does get involved. This was designed for the distributed COM model (DCOM or COM+ as it was renamed).

          Arbitrary code execution of a buffer overrun is pretty much the only way a user can take advantage of the weakness. Consider: Function A of my component – com or not – is expecting a string in the form of a Character array (primitive data type). The string is terminated with a null character. The length of the character array is coded into the application, and SHOULD be checked, but in these cases is not. The function accepts the char array and writes it to memory.

          Joe Smarty writes an application to exploit the overrun weakness. He passes in a string that is longer than expected. Beyond the expected length he writes his own binary data, and the data is written to a memory space previously used by the application itself.

          At some time in the future of the life of the application Joe Smarty’s illicit code will be executed.

          Buffer overruns are the result of sloppy programming and bad code auditing. They result in arbitrary code execution, regardless of the OS. Effectively, Buffer Overruns and “Arbitrary code execution” are synonymous.

          DCOM (COM+) was a good idea for it’s day, allowing distributed computing. It’s out of vogue now with web services replacing it’s functionality (in the Windows world) without the security risk.

          Take a close look at the security sites: Buffer overruns are endemic in operating systems because of the complexity of the systems. Even OpenBSD has corrected numerous issues – although (almost) always before they are exploited. They always lead to arbitrary code execution.

          Finally, there have been many buffer overrun issues found in Windows (and othe OS). However MOST do not involve COM. The applications installed on Windows use COM extensively. The OS does not. Office uses it extensively.

        • #3186072

          no misconception

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          My two-word response to your preceding post:

          So what?

          You’ve gone to great pains to explain a lot of the specifics of how things work, programmatically, without in any way refuting anything I’ve said.

          ActiveX isn’t “just” COM: it’s COM within certain applications (in the general sense of the term, not the “computer program” sense of the term). By implementing COM under those circumstances, and through such vectors as (for instance) the OS-integrated Internet Explorer, a wide-open front door to the sensitive internals of the system has been created.

          Thus, security issues. I refer you back to what I’ve already said in earlier posts.

        • #3185989

          Ok, I’ll bite…I jump back into this mess

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to I’m puzzled…

          Here is the problem: You are looking at at VERY zoomed in view of Windows. You also aren’t seperating various concepts (user accounts and user space comes to mind).

          What you are talking about is only part of the story. You really need to read the SANS and Cert links I posted.

        • #3176090

          I disagree. Stress Junkie made good points.

          by tomsal ·

          In reply to Profile schmofile…

          I’m sorry, and maybe I’m out of line here for a bit but from what I glean from your postings I really don’t think you have that much experience with what you are talking about. Now if you read that as offensive, that isn’t my intent with what I say — I’m just not gonna coddle you with blowing sunshine up your arse on such an issue.

          Windows is inherently flawed moreso than other OSes. Its memory management alone is laughable at best, though XP did greatly improve on it.

          I don’t update every little thing in my TR profile either, haven’t in a while actually. Most of my experience has been MS based as well — the last couple years I have deployed some Linux servers, in college for 2 years I was using Mac’s in a lab environment. I really am a PC person, I don’t like Apple for more reasons due to their company philosophy/management than their products though.

          I more a network and hardware junkie than I am a software guy.

          But as you know in this biz — if you do networking and configure/troubleshoot the hardware you have to know what the OS does.

          So in conclusion, I think to say that if the machine crashes/the os crashes that its the user’s fault and not the OS is absurd.

          True proper maintenance practices on our computers, security measures and policies help to keep things running in much more efficient and reliable fashion than if you ignore everything. However, I’ve had the OS crash on me many times over the years and I can vouch that the hardware is all very sound, the drivers up to date, the server properly configured, etc.

          Simply put there is no logical reason why I should get/have gotten BSODs. For a while there I even used MS Tech Support, I searched high and low on the knowledge base, talked to the software vendors. Applications are proper version for the OS I installed them on, sys req’s were well exceeded for the software, etc.

          Funny on the Mandrake f/p server I have had running — that thing never dies. Also the email server for a website I partcipate in (because there is a team of folks who work on the site — I’m no web designer) is Linux and that thing gets pounded. It needed a restart once because of a crash — granted that was a software config issue, it was easily solvable. But that was it.

          I think MS is slowly getting there, but they still aren’t “there” yet.

        • #3195965

          Tom MS will only get there when

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I disagree. Stress Junkie made good points.

          They dump Windows all together and go Unix with a Windows like GUI front end.

          Then they can have the look and feel of a Windows Workstation but the stability and security of a Unix installation, I think we’ll be seeing a setup like this on their next server range and it will be a massive improvement.

          Eventually when they move it to the desktop and relegate Windows to the Home it will be even better.

          Col ]:)

        • #3195861

          It’s not the user

          by rapt0r ·

          In reply to Profile schmofile…

          So my Windows server that does nothing but act as a file server, and bsod yesterday, its the users fault? Which user? No one is logged on at the console. The stop error had to do with a very common, but very vague page fault in memory. Yeah, that helps a lot. The server hardware isn’t white box, it’s a Dell (all of it from Dell) and I know they aren’t the best, but it is all run of the mill, get it anywhere gear. Nothing obscure. Let a drive fail and watch Windows die. My Linux box can have a drive failure and stay up. Same for my Solaris box. Face it, Windows has some fundamental flaws that can only be addressed with a ground up rewrite, but that isn’t going to happen.

          As for other OS problems, yes, others do have problems, they just don’t cause the headaches and grief that Windows does. My users on other OSes have apps crash, but the OS doesn’t. And security bug aren’t as easily exploited on these other OSes either. When Firefox had an issue a couple of months ago, it had to be installed on Windows, any other OS – no problem. As for IT running more than half on Windows, only the on the desktop, not anywhere else. In the enterprise Windows is nowhere near being the big dog in the server room. *nix outnumbers my Windows servers and I’m slowly moving desktops to another platform (Linux or Mac OSX) as well. Not complaining or griping, just doing something about the problem – getting rid of it.

        • #3193830

          Drive Fails…

          by regloff8 ·

          In reply to It’s not the user

          So – if which drive fails? If the OS drive fails? Our Win2003 server is running ahot-swap raid 5 – so if a drive fails, I don’t even power down, I just tell it I’m gonna replace a drive, pull out the old, pop in the new, and it will rebuild while it’s running.

          So no – that’s not Windows that’s a poor choice in Hardware.

          If you are running one drive and it fails – linux will stay up and running? So what does it do? Attempt to write to a failed drive?

          Again – none of my Windows Servers has even blue-screened. I really don’t understand the issues some people have with Windows.

          You know – if Mac was the most popular OS, you all would bash it – if Linux was the most popular and M$ was the underdog, you’d bash Linux.

          I remember all that from the Apple/Commodore days 🙂 Hasn’t changed a bit! lol

          And actually – the last time I had a drive failure on Solaris, it did stay up – true, but it unmounted the drive right away. Then is became a problem, as it didn’t have access to the /var folder and couldn’t write any of it’s logs.

          If it would have been /etc or /bin – I’d bet it wouldn’t stay up for too long 🙂

          But how can you associate a hardware failure with an OS? Hardware is hardware – I can run whatever OS on that hardware, except maybe Mac… I’m not a huge fan of OS’s that REQUIRE you to buy their hardware – I think I’d call that money-grubbing..

          Of course it works ok, there aren’t any driver issues, they built the hardware and then made the software to run it all. When an OS, like Linux or Windows allows more flexability to run on any hardware, yep – then you are going to have driver issues.

          And DONT EVEN tell me linux don’t have driver issues, I could link at least 50 forums in here, with plenty of posts with hardware/driver issues. But open source is just that way – doesn’t mean it’s bad at all.

          I do think it’s great that Mac is going to be able to run on some more hardware here real soon 🙂 Kudos to Steve Jobs for that.

          Why Solaris got rid of their i386 build is beyond me, I liked that one.

        • #3194289


          by rapt0r ·

          In reply to Drive Fails…

          I didn’t mention any hardware other than a disk drive. Surely you’ve done soft raid setups before. Windows tanks and my *nix boxes don’t if a drive fails. On hardware based raid, Windows had better stay up (any OS for that matter) since it doesn’t see the individual drives, just the raid array. Yes I know that raid companies make software for the OS to see/manage the individual drives in the array and the array itself. But as for the actual drives, Windows only sees the array as a one drive if its configured that way. BTW, because of my experiences with Windows not handling soft raid very well, I use only hardware raid. Ironically, soft raid is what’s covered on the cert exams.

          Next, your Windows boxes have never bsod? Well cheers to you. I have a hard time believing you, but props just the same.

          As for vendors tying the OS to their hardware, you might call it money grubbing, others call it quality control and assurance. You know the OS will work with the hardware. How many times has Windows died after installing service packs on Windows certified hardware? Compaq array controllers anyone?

          BTW, don’t think that just because Apple is moving to Intel in their consumer class gear (they didn’t mention anything about the XServe going to Intel), that we’ll be able to build white box Macs. Apple has already stated that people can only get Intel Macs from Apple. So money grubbing can still happen on commodity hardware.

          Also, I never said that Linux doesn’t have driver issues with hardware. But it usually invovles some small company with second class hardware. I’ve never had problems with nVidia, ATI, 3Com, Intel, Tyan, Gigabyte, Biostar, Broadcom, etc. As long as I’ve kept it to mainstream hardware vendors – no problems. I have had problems with Adaptec raid cards (2200S), but the problem has been resolved. As for hardware problems, I can list just as many where people have hardware issues when they had to replace a component in Windows, booted and get the nice system hang at mup.sys (otherwise known as the joining the muppet club). Booting into safe mode doesn’t work. So Windows isn’t any guarantee about hardware working either.

          Why did Solaris get rid of x86, well it was dog slow for one when compared to Solaris on SPARC. But it’s been revived and is much better than previous versions.

        • #3194234

          I’ve seen a windows caused drive failure…

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Drive Fails…

          with xp professional

          seems the xp bootloader doesn’t like the i810e chipset.
          (bios would not recognise the drive at all for 3 boots [ even then it took a win98 ebd to get access to it ] )

          that same drive, which crashed weekly under xp, stopped crashing when it had either 98 or linux on it. so yes, you can occasionally blame the os for hardware problems.

        • #3195839

          Time out..

          by peterjohnmurphy ·

          In reply to Profile schmofile…

          Ok, you have made some good points like the fact that it is the end user that causes a system to crash by installing software/hardware, but just think for a second, all of these products being installed are obviously supposed to be M$ compatible so installing a product designed for an M$ environment should not cause problems (unless end user ignorance results in incorrect configuration). Windows Operating Systems are far too easy to break! Saying that XP in my opinion is the easiest to fix operating system that our mate Bill has brought out..but wait.. didn’t that too fail on is grand unveiling??
          Microsoft have obviously got the majority of the market but only because they release products that have been developed in a rush to beat the competition to the line (even if you back to the 3.* OS, which of course is DOS with a GUI designed to beat Apple)… How many more service packs need to be released before they can correct all the mistakes on each OS!!

        • #3194071

          Black & White?

          by beranekj ·

          In reply to Profile schmofile…

          I’m happy for you that things seem so simple, so black & white. The MS OSen are inheritantly unstable, so blame the end-user for trying do actually use applications instead of just running notepad and calculator.

          I co-supervise running Windows 200x, but also NetWare, Linux and AIX. The Windows boxen are babied to the point of only a single app per server, which is exceptionally expensive, but seems the only way to keep those systems with an uptime that comes close to the multi-purpose functions of the other 3 platforms. Everything is certified compatible, patched and configured exactly as each vendor has requested, yet MS still crashes, often.

          MS is bashed because it has earned it, not because some poor end-user is just trying to do use what an OS is, in theory, supposed to be designed to do: an interactive environment for applications to run on various hardware.

        • #3193914

          A system crash is always the programmer’s fault

          by techcleaner ·

          In reply to Profile schmofile…

          I understand your point, but you really can’t blame the user for something that should never have happened in the first place. A system crash should only happen because of a physical cause, like dropping the unit in water, or shooting it with a howitzer (which, as an aside, the AS/400 could probably survive…).

          A buffer overflow is a very basic programmer error, and should never exist in any OS. Windows and other MS products have tons of these. Because these Windows OS programmers work for Microsoft, it is a Microsoft issue. Remember, an exploit exploits a _flaw_, a flaw which should never have been there in the first place.

          Same for a faulty third-party programs. The program may have serious bugs, but the OS should be able to keep itself from crashing because of errant code someone else has written.

          I think your argument has some validity in the case of programs like trojan horses that are written properly but are programmed to do bad things, like erase data. Even then, the OS should not crash. What it should do is faultlessly execute the instructions you told it to do (the code of the trojan) which is to destroy itself or other data. In this one case the blame is due to the user’s (or IT management’s) ignorance and lack of proper security measures.

        • #3185695

          Blame the user…

          by sr3h ·

          In reply to Profile schmofile…


          I appreciate you kicking off this discussion, but I gotta take issue with your statement that “it’s not the OS maker but the user that causes the system to crash”.

          You should at least put some of the blame on developers. If a user installs a program that’s compatible with their version of Windows, he/she shouldn’t be blamed if it creates a conflict. That is the fault of the programmers (for the software and Windows).

          For example, my father has BellSouth DSL service. He wasn’t able to connect. The BellSouth “Connection Wizard” pops up. He runs it. As a result:
          1. He’s still not able to connect.
          2. The program changes his hardware profile which sets his display to 4-bit color. He has to uninstall the display adapter and restart the computer to fix this.
          I have never seen anything this brain-dead on another OS. BellSouth’s programmers are idiots for writing this program, and the MS programmers are no better for allowing this crappy code to change the monitor display settings.

          This is one case of many. I provide “unofficial” tech support for my company (I am a technical writer by trade, but my first job was as an ISP support specialist). I can’t blame the user for doing everything the software reccommends. By your logic, users should be stuck with only the original configuration of their computer. This does not square with reality.
          Again, thanks for your time and willingness to start a controversial thread.

      • #3196010

        You said it better

        by alarena ·

        In reply to Experience drives a lot of the comments

        Thanks for the education. I’m loving the answers, but the author must think he’s getting nuked. My guess was new or in a “fresh HDD baked” environment.

      • #3195847

        Vita non est aequa…

        by daniel.muzrall ·

        In reply to Experience drives a lot of the comments

        Face it, life isn’t fair, and nothing out there is perfect. I would say that MS catches more flack than just about any other OS/software maker out there because of brand recognition and “popularity.” Windows is pretty much ubiquitous with the the PC. How many different distributions are there for Linux? How many variants of UNIX are out there? How many users of Linux, UNIX, Mac OS, OS/2, or any other OS are there? Talk to any of those users and once they get past the fact that they aren’t using Windows, they’ll have their fair share of gripes about their own OS. Nothing is perfect. MS gets bashed because its market share makes it an easy and very large target.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got my own gripes about MS, starting with how it gained its market share. I remember back in the old days when I was running MS Word off a single floppy disk on Mac OS 6.0.7. I remember when the OS used to fit on 3 floppies (DOS 6.2). OS and software footprint bloat is one of my gripes. Security is one of my gripes. “Undocumented” features that can cause a whole host of problems is another. The MS focus on cranking out products to generate revenue is understandable…that’s business…but to do so at the the cost of security and system stability is very worrisome to me. I think if MS put in a little more time and effort up front, they could save much more time and money on the back end developing patches when they could be developing new products and features.

        But I digress…no OS is perfect, no OS has 100% uptime or a lack of its own quirks. It all comes down to market share and experience… Microsoft controls more market share than anyone else in the industry, therefore more people are exposed to its products, therefore there are more people poking it with a stick, and therefore finding more problems with it. That’s just how it goes.

        For the record, I’ve been working in IT since 1994 and have supported Mac OS 6.0 on, DOS 5.0 on, Windows 3.11 on, and have dabled in UNIX and Linux.

        • #3195822

          Actually what I do find interesting here

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Vita non est aequa…

          Is that MS themselves accept the flack that they cop and while not totally ignoring it as I’ve had a few phone calls about how I feel they are going as both a company and OS maker. They not only want constructive criticism but demand it.

          Then there are the M$ users out there who seem to think that any criticism of their preferred OS is an attack upon them personally, they are the ones caring the fight and getting worked up with any faults within Windows being pointed out.

          Perhaps M$ rings every one of their Partners and asks them how we feel they are doing as a company but from my experience when I have mentioned some things that I think need improving they seem to listen and I do get call backs asking for more information. I can see a lot of the suggestions that I made and no doubt countless others as well being implemented in XP and no Doubt Longhorn as well as 2003.

          I don’t need to jump up & down screaming at MS for their products which need improving but I can see that they are improving them admittedly at a some what slow rate but then again I can’t see how they could go any faster.

          The very last question that I’m always asked is “Do I think MS is trying to address their Problems?” and I always answer Yes as they are and with each new OS being released they do get it better but they are not making the Giant Leaps forward that they are capable of making but small incremental steps forward.

          So while they are trying they could try harder and at least I know that some of the input that I provide is acted upon even if I’m only one small voice in the wilderness. What I do find extremely interesting is at the Partners Meetings or Software briefings that MS run and I attend I always end up with one of the developers talking shop and improving OS’s over drinks long after the meeting has finished so at the very least the developers that I meet seem interested and I don’t just do it for the “Free Booze” as I really don’t drink all that much now days I do it for the interesting conversation and the way that we just talk shop and they listen and take notes of suggestions on improvements. As far as I’m concerned that could tape the conversations I wouldn’t be the slightest bit concerned.

          Col ]:)

        • #3193952

          Ok good point…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Actually what I do find interesting here

          While I agree that they continue to improve SOME aspects of their OS with each new version.In my opinion, they don’t address the fundamental issues that most techs bash windows over. They claim they are working on the security problems but all that seems to happen with each patch, is more security problems. They HAVE made it more stable, but considering the older versions reliability, it is still WAY inferior to Unix, Linux and other OSes when it comes to crashes.

          They need to stop reinventing the wheel with their office upgrades and their live meeting crap and focus ALL of their attention on making the OS at least close to as reliable and functional as the other OSes out there.

          We don’t bash microsoft just to hear our voices. We have legitimate concerns with M$ and windows. There are REAL problems with it. And just because your standards might be lower than ours, doesn’t mean we are going to stop striving for a better OS. I mean, if we HAVE to work with windows, we want it to work properly for the unbelievably inflated price we pay for it.

        • #3193874

          Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          by bkinsey1 ·

          In reply to Actually what I do find interesting here

          As the admin of a moderately-sized, predominantly Windows shop, I have no problem with people pointing out the problems that do exist (as you point out quite correctly, this is also MS’s apparent position). What makes me not even bother to read the vast majority of threads like this are the following things (not pointing fingers at you, btw, this just looked like a good post to make this point on):

          1) Some people really do just bash Windows, without any more basis than “I knew a guy with a Windows PC that crashed all the time, and my Linux PC never crashes”. As the original poster pointed out, that may or may not have anything to do with the OS; it may be the user, what he/she has installed, etc. . . . And I have seen *nix machines that crash more frequently than my Windows machines; that doesn’t make me think bad things about *nix; it makes me want to know the reasons.

          2) Basing any evaluation of Windows on old, no longer supported versions. A great, great many of the problems I STILL see “zealots” bashing haven’t been part of any shipping product from MS since the Win98 days. The currently shipping XP/Server 2003 combo is highly stable, at least in my network. If I had to use 98, it wouldn’t be stable, I wouldn’t be happy, and, if I were my boss, I’d probably fire me for using a crappy OS. (Which doesn’t address the question of whether it was crappy compared to the alternatives when it was released; it just admits that it’s really crappy now. . . )

          3) An alteration of the above point, which might not even be intentional – suppose I “know” from past experience, that 98, ME, or whatever, were terribly unstable, crashed at a whim, etc. This turned me off from Windows, so now I only see Windows boxes on rare occasions, when someone calls me because they have a problem. I assume this is the same old, same old from MS based on my old experience with 98, not based on wide experience with current Windows products. Like I said, that may not even be a conscious thought process with some people, but it’s there.

          4) People who simply parrot what somebody else has said, with no real idea of what they’re talking about. I realize you can’t always tell someone’s capability or experience from a post, but sometimes it’s pretty obvious, and it’s not always the Windows defenders. . . . 🙂

          That said, there are problems with even current Windows, as there are with any other OS you can name. Scale and scope of those problems is another thing, and you have to consider things like extent of use and class of user when evaluating “problems with an OS” that in many cases are “problems with how you run an OS” (and in that area, it’s hard to deny that *nix users are far and away more technically competent, on average, than Windows users; naturally they see fewer problems – and would see fewer on Windows, as well, compared to the average Windows user.)

          Finally, there are definite things not to like about MS’s business practices, licensing, pricing, etc. I won’t defend them in that area, but I’ll continue to use their products until the alternatives suit my end-users and my situation.

        • #3193823

          Well Said

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          Microsoft has come a very long way since the days of Windows 98. They manufacture a very well rounded product today.

          I also could not agree with your more about the licensing, and business practices.

          That being said, I simply cannot find a better fit for corperate desktops than Windows XP. You have to look at the entire product, not just one aspect.


        • #3186394

          Now I am really confused was that aimed at me?

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          Actually MS are still selling DOS I know as I buy several copies per year all for computer controlled machine tools which where designed so long ago that there is no alternative for them. Currently M$ AU sells around 50 copies a month of MS DOS and most of the desktops that I sell have XP loaded on them.

          Not because it is the best for the job but because it is the only one for the job when the software requirements are taken into account. I’m constantly being driven nuts with MS Licensing as I can never understand any of it and I only sell Volume License stuff with the occasional OEM bit thrown in for Good Will for one of the staff of companies that I do work for.

          To me 2003 is only useful as a Domain controller but for a real server I alway use a form of Nix as I just don’t have the license issues that come with Windows.

          The last big installation that I got roped into had an excess 100 Domain controllers and with the license fees for their main servers it was going to cost the License Fee for the OS and then $80.00 AU for each unit that exceeded the limit that was only 100 Domain controllers so that was another 8K AU on 16 Boxes. For some strange reason I used Linux on these Servers and ended up with much better hardware and only about 1% of the total cost of the Server Side spent on Licenses and OS’s.

          I was just trying to balance the scales a bit as I’m constantly being told that I’m bashing M$ at every opportunity which I’m not really but many people seem to think this so it must be true. :p

          But when it is all said and done I use the best tool for the job on any installation that I do now and today that just happens to be XP on the Desktop {although I’m getting more than a bit concerned with MS as their Life Cycle should soon be ending for XP primary support the 5 years is nearly up and currently we have no replacement available.}

          What really worries me is that I’ll once again find myself in the position of selling MS product knowing full well that within 12 – 18 months their will only be limited support for something that was only bought recently and has a life expediency of around 4 – 5 years depending on Tax arraignments.

          At least when XP came out we could still install Night Mare 8 Sexually “E”nadequate for a while till XP became more known and accepted so I could use it with full knowledge that it wouldn’t cause more problems than it cured. For some reason Y2K Pro was never accepted by my customers at least and even getting them onto XP was a fight in itself as their 98 units where doing everything that they wanted. While they where replacing the hardware they wanted to stay with their current OS and software so I’ve lost count of the number of XP Pro COA’s that I’ve sold knowing full well that they will never be actually used and they these companies will continue using 98 until this crop of hardware is no longer of any Tax benefit to them.

          I suppose that when the production version of Longhorn comes out I’ll be loading XP to a lot of machines with a Longhorn COA on their sides as well.

          So I’ll say it again “Is MS doing anything about the problems that they have YES!!!! are they doing enough NO!!!!!!!!

          Incidentally it made a pleasant change to be branded a MS Junkie for a change but I just somehow still feel insulted. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3185948

          Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          by bkinsey1 ·

          In reply to Now I am really confused was that aimed at me?

          No aiming involved. . . More of a wide-angle shotgun blast at whoever it fits – which is not you, as far as I can tell. As I said, this just looked like a good place to insert it. . . 🙂

        • #3195754

          Nail on the head

          by ungle ·

          In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          That was well put.

          I’ve been parroting this all the way through, but we simply must put biases aside and use the best tools for the job.

          Interestingly enough, most major corporations do regular cost/benefit analysis before upgrading OS on machines. For example, recently a company I was working with replaced 300 Sun boxes with Linux. The performance was better, the hardware considerably cheaper, and support equally good (Redhat).

          At the same time, some services running on Linux were migrated to Windows because…oh, no, here I go…it was cheaper TCO. Go figure! Of course, because of the industry we could not use “free” linux but were required to buy RedHat enterprise servers with support.

          However, mission critical financial data (it was a trading company) remained on Sun, so that “…We can sue someone if something goes wrong…” (I kid you not!)

          Although I dislike MS licensing, I have worse gripes: IBM. Take a look at licensing on an AS/400. $200,000 for an old DOS box??? (Kidding with that description, before someone attacks me for it!!)

        • #3185951

          Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          by bkinsey1 ·

          In reply to Nail on the head

          You’re right about IBM. 🙂 I’ve got an old, old, old 400 sitting under a table in my office right now. It was overpriced for its intended use when they bought it, and in its 8-10 year service life (before my tenure, so I’m not sure), it was never upgraded once, as far as I can tell. The reason? Cost. . .

          As with other platforms, OS400 has it’s place; it’s great for large volume transactional processing, highly stable, and secure (if only because relatively few people understand it). But for our application, I switched us to a Wintel platform with a distributed client-server app a couple of years ago, saved big bucks, and improved application capabilities substantially. It’s about what makes most sense for your particular use, and always will be. . . .

        • #3194002

          How can you compare?

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Vita non est aequa…

          How can you sit there and say that M$ is only getting bashed because they have a higher market share, when you admitted that you have only dabbled in UNIX/Linux?

          You don’t really have a leg to stand on…

          When you actually spend some time with UNIX and Linux, then come back and argue your case. I highly doubt you will be defending M$ at that point…

        • #3193815

          Each Operating system for it’s purpose

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to How can you compare?

          I carry a Compaq Tru-64 certification, and have configured Linux firewalls, Mail Servers, and Web Servers.

          I have to say that For Desktop you can’t beat XP.

          I will have it known that I am not defending MS, I am stating that they have a good product. You are simply too blinded by your hatred to see the truth.

          *nix makes better servers, because Servers are used and monitered by computer experts, Experts get linux, and understand the innerworkings of an opperating system, they know the difference between a MUTEX and a SEMAPHORE. They know how to modify a Config file, or what change needs to be made to an init file. Your General Corperate User does not. Maybe you are lucky enough to administer a group of computer Savey people. Having worked for several corperations at this point in my career, including Discover Card, I have to stand by the descision of Windows for Desktop. The Average employee in corperate america does not want to know how a computer works, they just want to know how to do thier job on it.


        • #3189606


          by daniel.muzrall ·

          In reply to How can you compare?

          First, I never said it was the only reason, it is just one of many. I merely assert that it is a big reason. Second, I’m not quite sure how my admittedly limited hands-on Linux experience factors into your arguement. The point I was trying to make is that if you get a group of users of *ANY* major/popular product, you’ll get a large amount of bashing. Reread the last paragraph: “…no OS is perfect, no OS has 100% uptime or a lack of its own quirks. It all comes down to market share and experience…”

      • #3195841

        When you know the competition….

        by mllwyd ·

        In reply to Experience drives a lot of the comments

        I can’t speak for why anyone who bashes Windows does so, but I came from a MacOS and Unix background into Windows. Windows is getting better (I first encountered it with Windows 95), but on the consumer side, MacOS is much more stable and reliable, and on the server side, Unix is far more powerful for the administrator. There are tools I took for granted on Unix that you still can’t do on Windows servers. The people I know who love Windows usually haven’t used anything else extensively.

      • #3195805

        It’s All Ball Bearings These Days

        by mswanberg ·

        In reply to Experience drives a lot of the comments

        Or actually, it’s all numbers.

        Here’s my take, in a little analogy. Let’s say you and I are OS authors and we support a group of 100 people. Each of them has a different hardware config. 99 of them run your OS and the 100th runs mine. How often is a problem going to appear in your OS as opposed to mine? You would think, if our skills are similar, that you would see issues 99 times as often as I do, simply because you have 99 times as much software and user input banging away at your OS.

        Now, let’s say there is a rival company (let’s pretend the 100 people and us are a company 102 strong) that wishes to ruin us by corrupting our computers. Are they going to write malicious code that attacks my OS, or one that attacks yours? If they have half a brain, they’ll attack the most machines at the same time; i.e. your OS.

        Now, onto the “fixed once and forever” idea. When one of your 99 users finds a problem in your OS, you have to fix it and make sure the fix doesn’t break the other 98 computers under your care. All I have to do is fix it on the 1 computer that is running my OS. Fixed once, and forever.

        Are you starting to see where this is going?

        When it comes to Linux and Windows, I have my own opinions. I do not disagree that Windows has its issues. But I also agree that Linux has its issues. I find Windows to be easier to use for the low-level user. Unfortunately, the default installation of Windows doesn’t lock stuff down for the average user like it should, but that’s another story.

        OTOH, I find that installing new software on Linux is such a nightmare that I just don’t do it. That tends to keep an OS stable when you never install anything new.

        Furthermore, I have found that Linux distros will ignore any hardware that it can’t readily recognize. Many of my boxes go without sound support under Linux. Windows, OTOH, will install a driver that may be unstable, but at least there is sound. You may disagree, but I would wager that if you took ANY PC, install Windows, and then disable all but the most basic of hardware (take away the sound, reduce to VGA, no USB, etc.) then you will have a very stable box (as long as there is no outside influence such as new drivers, virii, software, etc.). The point is, M$ goes for maximum compatibility whereas Linux seems to go for maximum stability. Each end user should choose what they want. I can see that a server needs to be stable, but an end-user box should have maximum compatibility, IMO.

        In the end, I am all for Linux becoming 50% of the industry. Competition is good and I think M$ has gotten too bloated to be effective anymore.

        In the end, I agree totally with the original poster: there ARE ways to make Windows stable and if the user doesn’t take advantage of them, then shame on them.


        • #3194037


          by rajkpb ·

          In reply to It’s All Ball Bearings These Days

          I totally agree with MIKE!

        • #3194009

          The market share argument again…

          by tommy higbee ·

          In reply to It’s All Ball Bearings These Days

          I’ve never been much impressed by the “market share” argument. Certainly, the comparative market share of a platform is a factor, but let’s not claim it’s the only factor. That would mean that a secure design doesn’t affect security, and that careful code scrutiny doesn’t affect security, and that proper testing from a QA department doesn’t affect security.

          It’s pretty well known that about two-thirds of web servers are running Apache, and about 22% are running Microsoft IIS. Yet some time back, people were being advised to migrate from IIS to Apache to improve security. By the market share argument, that doesn’t make sense.

          But there’s a better example of what’s wrong with the market share argument. Windows 95 and Windows XP had similar market shares in their day. Does anyone want to claim that Windows 95 was therefore just as secure as Windows XP? Or that it was just as stable?

          On a different topic you raised, I have never known anyone using Debian Linux or any of its derivatives, such as Xandros, Mepis, Libranet, or Ubuntu, who complained that installing software was “a nightmare.” So it’s hardly a given that installing software under Linux is hard.

        • #3193864

          Damn right!

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to The market share argument again…

          I totally agree. Well said…

        • #3193807

          Nothing is 100% secure

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to The market share argument again…

          How many times has the US treasury changed it’s currency to thwart conterfiters? I am sure they must be lacking in their QA since it continues to be a problem.

          It’s a not so well know fact that about two thirds of the Web Server Exploits are based on the apache web server, based on the market share argument that makes a lot of sense.

          People who are even aware of Debian are a little more on the advanced side of linux users. Advanced Linux users have little trouble installing applications on any distro. Just try to imagine (if you can) knowing absolutely nothing about a computer. what are the steps you have to take to install a program on Linux vs windows. Hmmm

          Windows -> Insert CD, Click next 6 times then click finish.

          Linux -> Insert CD, Mount CD, open package manager yada yada yada. Start program Deamon Yada Yada Yada edit .conf file.

          Or even better Make .program thats really fun for non linux people.


        • #3193782

          Death Is 100% Secure…

          by ·

          In reply to Nothing is 100% secure

          But then, isnt the solution worse than the problem?

        • #3186308

          But are you sure?

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Death Is 100% Secure…

          Unless you can provide some evidence as to the above statement I’ll have to disregard it as nothing more than wishful thinking and Heresy! 😛

          Col ]:)

        • #3186511

          You need to look at Linux

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Nothing is 100% secure

          again, the GUI package manager in say Mandrake (Mandriva now) is way easier than that.

          Come to think of it based on recent experience you need to look at windows again as you forgot the compulsory reboot, the service pack (after having to find it because no auto start) and reboot then the uninstall and start again because the default options didn’t work, then a bit of cacking about in the gui as some of the registry entries from the first install weren’t uninstalled and the second try picks them up and promptly dies with a WTF.
          Latest MS SQL Server/ Latest Service Pack under XP two weeks ago !

        • #3186285

          If your going to run Gui why use Linux?

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to You need to look at Linux

          Linux Gui Sucks, it’s twice the resource hog that windows is, it’s not intuitive, and it’s ugly. Why would you use anything but command prompt in linux? You lose way too much performance, which was the whole reason I installed linux in the first place.

          As far as your issues loading service packs I don’t know how to answer that, because I have never in my 15 years of supporting windows desktops and servers run into anything like that. I have had updates cause problems, but never to that extent. 2 months ago I rolled out XP sp 2 to 40 desktops via an update server, with no trouble at all. I can only guess that you had some underlying problem before you started.

        • #3185688

          Yeah I did, quality defficiency

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to If your going to run Gui why use Linux?

          This is a brand new pc XP SP2 out of the box, quick windows update to get the latest patches.
          Then MS SQL CD and ms Service pack CD, so how could it go wrong ?
          Still doesn’t explain why I have to reboot after putting a new piece of software on an ms operating system does it.
          Linux GUIs that I’ve used are just different enough to make them awkward for us chaps with the bulk of our experience on windows.

          The point about the GUI was however, if you wanted an ms server solution without a GUI, how would you get it?
          The only reason I ran a GUI on a linux server is when I was learning it, (slef taught) was more intuitive than the command line. I soon weened myself off it though.

        • #3190722

          MS SQL? Are you sure?

          by ungle ·

          In reply to If your going to run Gui why use Linux?

          MS SQL DOES NOT require a reboot. Are you sure that’s what you were installing? You sure it wasn’t the latest spyware you downloaded from a porn site?

          Of course the service pack requires it. But then again after every RedHat kernel upgrade I’ve had to reboot.

          Guess the score is even. As it was to start.

        • #3186065

          What are you smoking?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to If your going to run Gui why use Linux?

          The Linux GUI isn’t twice the resource hog Windows is by any means. You’ve got to be high, or brain damaged, or simply misinformed by some Microsoft marketing hack, to have that impression. The X Window System is regarded by many in the unix/Linux world as being a pig, of course, but compared to Windows Explorer and associated hangers-on for the GUI environment in Windows, it’s downright svelte, at less than half the average resource consumption. On top of that, you run some kind of window manager, or even full-on Desktop Environment. Considering that of that all you’re using that’s really part of the GUI (the rest is application frameworks in a DE) is the window manager and any GUI toolkits, it’s interesting to note that the Windows full GUI implementation has a greater resource footprint all by itself than the full GUI environment plus all additional hanger-on application frameworks in the most bloated of X-based DEs, such as KDE and GNOME.

          The only way I can think of that you might have honestly arrived at a conclusion that the GUI system on Linux is more of a resource hog than Windows is if you did something like run top and count up RAM usage for everything related to the GUI and compared the total against the bare essential resource usage of the Windows Explorer executable all by itself, and even then you’d have to be looking at a system that reports higher than average numbers.

          Of course, that completely ignores the fact that Linux handles memory management differently from Windows, and top measures current RAM residency, not active RAM requirements. Linux has a tendency to fill RAM for quicker response on application processes, and replace unnecessary stuff when RAM is needed for something new, because it’s a more efficient way to run the system. In other words, when you look at RAM usage on a Windows system you’re looking at actively used RAM, and when you look at RAM usage on a Linux system you’re usually looking at actively used RAM plus a whole lot of stuff that’s just idling, waiting to be used, but listed as being associated with a given application just in case there’s some reason to use it for that purpose.

          As for performance, my 366MHz laptop running a full desktop environment (WindowMaker window manager, Gorm toolkit, and GNUstep framework, plus GNUstep suite of applications) outperforms a Windows XP system on an AMD Athlon XP 1600+ with four times as much RAM (and running DDR, compared to the laptop’s PC100). The Windows system, by the way, has exactly four things installed on it, and is kept clean as a whistle (mostly since I almost never use it), so there’s no way to blame its comparative performance on having a whole lot of additional cruft on it.

          As for ungle:

          Of course you have to reboot after a kernel upgrade. What do you expect? It’s the functional equivalent of upgrading from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, or from XP Home to XP Pro. What boggles my mind is the need to reboot Windows after applying a Windows Media Player patch or installing third-party image editing applications.

        • #3182426

          Oh I’m sure alright

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to If your going to run Gui why use Linux?

          Only the first time intallation though, probably the latest MDAC.

        • #3182328

          linux / windows gui +….

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to If your going to run Gui why use Linux?

          system 1:
          pII @233MHz
          128mb Ram
          linux, kde.

          system 2:
          pIII @600MHz
          768mb ram

          on both systems:
          corel photopaint version 9
          starting with same image, performed image resampling to improve the dpi in a 3 step process.

          time taken was exactly the same.
          how can linux gui be a resource hog?
          1/5 available ram to the windows box
          basically 1/3 processing capacity ( clockspeed on lower class cpu )
          yet the p3 was not able to perform any better than a p2 running linux?

        • #3186199

          Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          by tommy higbee ·

          In reply to Nothing is 100% secure

          > It’s a not so well know fact that about two thirds of the Web Server Exploits are based on the apache web server, based on the market share argument that makes a lot of sense.

          I’m sure you can find someone claiming this, but that doesn’t make it a fact. The only claim I’ve ever seen that purported to prove that, even with all the obvious flaws in their methodology, still showed Windows web servers being compromised at about 2.5 times their market share. Oops.

          So I don’t think that’s a winning argument.

          As for installing software under Windows and Debian:

          Windows -> Search for the executable program, then execute it. Whatever happens next depends on how well the person doing the install program set it up.

          Debian (Libranet, Xandros, Mepis, Ubuntu, etc.) ->
          Use the package manager, Click Update, select software you want, click “Install”.

          It just isn’t that hard. It’s also, by the way, the same way you install patches, or upgrade your current software. And the packages are created by the same people that create the OS distribution you’re using, so there’s every reason to expect it to work right.

          Debian doesn’t represent all Linux, but they have software installation figured out. Expect other Linux distributions to follow.

          BTW, you can use Xandros or Linspire, both of which can be bought preinstalled on some PC’s, and never know the first thing about Debian.

        • #3185566


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          debian learned that trick from red hat, they were the first distro with package management.
          ( the infamous rpm )

          debian developed thier own package management tool set, which is why there are now 2 options a deb or an rpm

          distros that use debs are said to be debian based and those that use rpms are said to be red hat based.

          slak, lfs and a couple of others are the pure linux, where you build from sources. package management is a luxury.

          then there is the tool alien, that adds functionality to apt or rpm, it knows both package types and can install either, reguardless of the base distro usage.

        • #3189494


          by mswanberg ·

          In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

          >> Debian (Libranet, Xandros, Mepis, Ubuntu, etc.) ->
          Use the package manager, Click Update, select software you want, click “Install”.

          You’re kidding, right?

          Sure, that works for the packages that are already part of the package manager. What about installations off the beaten track?

          My experience with it is:

          1. Type command line to update and then type command to install. Package not found.

          2. Scour internet for site that contains desired package (have to have the right FTP or HTTP site). Add site to .conf file. Repeat step 1.

          3. Scour internet for proper configuration of .conf file. Repeat steps 2 and 1.

          4. Scour internet for site that plays well with Debian installer. Repeat steps 2 and 1.

          5. Discover dependency #1. Repeat steps 1-4 for the dependency.

          6. Discover dependencies 2-5. Repeat steps 1-5 for each.

          7. Repeat step 1 for desired package. Get some cryptic response… is package installed? Or did it merely bless the dependencies?

          8. Do hard drive search for the executable (or service) that was installed. Try to run it. Then scour internet for insturctions on how to edit .conf file.

          Those are the EXACT steps I went through to try to install Sendmail on Ubuntu (Debian-based). I never got it working. Took me 3 evenings (my personal machines, not work-based) to go through all of it.

          Here is how I got an SMTP/POP server running on my XP box:

          1. Google search.

          2. Narrow google search using “free” as a search term.

          3. Download program.

          4. Run downloaded executable.

          5. Select new icon from Start menu.

          6. Configure settings.

          Elapsed time: 5 minutes. And at the end of the 5 minutes I had an SMTP server set up, complete with a POP server, and had 4 addresses configged.


        • #3189447

          running Debian here

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to WTF?

          1. search for package’s proper name (and I was using only default repositories)
          # [i]apt-cache search sendmail[/i]

          2. install using that package name (turns out it’s “sendmail”)
          # [i]apt-get install sendmail[/i]

          3. celebrate

          Elapsed time: 3 minutes (twenty second celebration included)

          I’m not a fan of Ubuntu, and Ubuntu in any case is a desktop-specific distro. You want a server, you should be using something else. Would you really want to run a mailserver on XP Home?

          I’m inclined to be skeptical of claims that Ubuntu’s default repositories don’t contain Sendmail binaries, though I’m not running it here so I can’t check.

          Of course, since Ubuntu already has an MTA installed (specifically, Postfix) by default, the pared-down Debian offshoot’s maintainers might not have decided to support Sendmail. By all accounts, Postfix is generally “better” than Sendmail, anyway. Maybe you should have checked to see if a Mail Transport Agent is already installed before you started screwing around with installing a new one. Installation time: 0 seconds.

          If you want to use Exim on a standard Debian system, like mine, installation time: 0 seconds. Exim is the default MTA of standard Debian systems.

          In fact, I’d be highly surprised to find that any full PC-install or desktop-worthy LiveCD distros do [b]not[/b] have a server-worthy MTA included in the default installation.

        • #3189416

          In response to Apotheon

          by mswanberg ·

          In reply to WTF?

          Well, that’s the trouble, isn’t it? THIS distro says it’s easy to use and learn (good for Linux n00bs like me who don’t have a lot of free time to learn stuff), but all it seems to have is an e-mail client and a web browser (Ubuntu, Linspire, Mepis, etc. seem to be like this). And THAT distro has it all, but you have to be a guru to use it.

          See, here’s my dilemma. I am pretty much a power user. I want servers and compilers and all the tools that our moms haven’t the foggiest what they do. I can surf and e-mail from my PocketPC, for chrissake.

          But the so-called easy-to-use Linux distros don’t have those things, do they? So, then you have to be even more of an expert to set them up, much less use them.

          Here’s another true story of my Linux use:

          Bought RedHat 8 (this was several years ago) and 3, count ’em 3, books on using RedHat 8. Same distro. Same version.

          Installed RedHat choosing to install everything. Went to the books on configuring the various servers, starting with Sendmail (which is why I went there instead of Postfix with Ubuntu, since I had SOME documentation and had used it some). Book says, “edit the yada-yada.conf file and find this line…” Well, I found the file, but the line wasn’t there. WTF? A CLEAN INSTALL!

          Later, the book says, “edit the blah-blah.conf file…” There IS NO SUCH FILE! WTWTWTF?!?!?!? Again, a CLEAN INSTALL!

          As for Ubuntu, I really don’t know much about the differences between Desktops and such, so to me it’s just a different distro. What’s the difference? But Ubuntu was the first distro I tried that a) got X running on install, and b) figured out that my old hardware (not putting Linux on any of my newer boxes) actually could run at better than 640×480. It actually brought up 1600×1200 right on install! Not bad for that ol’ 400 MHz Pentium.

          That server I installed is on XP Pro. I only have XP Home on my gaming box (which leads to another nit… Linux games… enough of the Tetris… show me Battlefield2 or Falcon 4.0 on a Linux box). But IIS doesn’t have a POP server, only an SMTP server. The freeware I found had both, so I kept IIS SMTP turned off. Realize, I am not doing this for an organization. Just for my small 6-box LAN.

          In any case, you seem like an expert. What is your advice for me learning Linux (and learning it well, as I am a power user with a n00btard understanding of Linux)? The beginning books seem too beginner and the advanced books are above my current understanding.

          I do wish to learn Linux through and through because I appreciate the open-source movement and I do believe that Linux is awesome (I just don’t feel that Windows is THAT bad). Hell, I just used dd to back up a Windows partition and MBR. Man, you just can’t do that with Windows out-of-the-box!

          So, any suggestion you have, I would appreciate. Once I am an expert at both, then can I have a truly informed opinion.

          Thank you,

        • #3193474

          learning Linux

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to WTF?

          MSwanberg: It sounds like you might actually have some interest in learning about how to use Linux. That being the case, I’ll give the best quick-and-dirty beginner’s advice I’ve got right off the top of my head.

          1. Find a LUG local to you. Join the mailing list. Attend meetings. [b]Be nice.[/b] Be willing to leave your Windows expectations at the door: when you say “But Windows lets me do it this way!” you’re short-circuiting the learning process for a system that does it differently. To find LUGs near you, check out for listings by location.

          2. When you’ve gotten familiar with someone that uses Linux (whether it’s at a LUG meeting, at work, or elsewhere in your life) with whom you get along well, and this person is somewhat local to you, consider trying whatever distro they recommend and know about as your first major foray into Linuxy goodness. Sometimes, the Linux distro you actually need to get started is the one for which you can get the best help.

          3. Understand that people only make judgments and offer advice based on their own experience, and be willing to take any comments people make with a grain of salt, whether they’re discussing Windows, Linux, MacOS X, OS/400, or a Texas Instruments calculator. When someone says something is “better” than something else, find out what that person is evaluating, and compare it to what those who disagree are evaluating.

          4. Don’t get frustrated when you discover that learning a completely different way of doing things makes you not as much an expert with Linux as you are with Windows. You mention that you’re a “power user” (with Windows), which in many ways means exactly nothing with Linux. The same is true in reverse: someone that is a “power user” with Linux may be at a loss in a Windows environment. The methodology for viewing hidden files at the command line in Linux, for instance, is completely different from the methodology for viewing hidden files using Windows Explorer, and it only gets more divergent as the tasks become more complex and require more expertise. Neither system is really more difficult to understand than the other, they’re just each very different from the other, and thus liable to violate your expectations daily.


          Your frustration with your experience with Ubuntu is understandable, but your assessment of it is unfair, really. Ubuntu is designed as a desktop system, not a server. Yes, under the hood it’s Linux, and therefore fully capable of performing any role for which Linux is suited, but it is by default a desktop distro, and as such the amount of effort it takes to vary from the default installation of that distribution to get a credible implementation of some other system role (such as a good mail server) grows somewhat.

          There are pretty much three approaches to easy implementation Linux distros that are relevant here: easy desktop, clean server, and do-everything box.

          The easy desktop systems are oriented toward those who want to stick something in the computer and, with a minimum of user interaction, produce an operating system environment that allows common desktop tasks like word processing, web browsing, and email communication. Anything beyond that sort of thing requires you to know more about what you’re doing. Ubuntu is an example of the easy desktop distro.

          The do-everything box installs everything under the sun, creating a system that has all the tools necessary to be a desktop workstation for power users, a developer’s system, a webserver, a mailserver, a fileserver, and a dishwasher. Well, maybe not a dishwasher, but you can bet the kitchen sink is far from where you’re sitting when you install one of these distros. This requires you to actually be a power user to get the most use out of your system for any given task (or collection of tasks), but if you’re willing to sit around and do the point-and-click exploration for a while you can probably muddle through any reasonably simple implementation needs (such as setting up the Linux equivalent of Microsoft SQL Server), just as you could with Windows without being any kind of real expert. The major GUI-oriented distros, such as SuSE Pro, fall into this category.

          Finally, there’s the clean server type distribution. Sometimes these allow a default GUI installation, or a default server installation, or a default everything installation, but their real strength is in a nothing installation. If you choose initially to install absolutely nothing extra while installing the base OS, you’ll get a minimal set of tools and find yourself booting into a shell interface with very little there. With either a broadband connection or a prodigious CD collection at hand, you can then proceed to install everything you need, but [b]only[/b] what you need, to do exactly what you want with this system. How easy and simple this is depends on which distro you choose and what software management options are available and typical for the distro, but ultimately when you’re using this sort of setup you know that any failures with the system’s implementation are your own fault. You generally have to screw up, whether through inattention or ignorance, to get undesirable effects with such a system. It’s pretty easy for a newbie to screw up through ignorance with such a system, though, because when you’re doing a lean and mean install like that you’re expected to know what you’re doing. This is my preferred approach to Linux installation, though I prefer slick, simple tools at my disposal to do things quickly and easily rather than having to (for instance) compile everything from source when installing it, or having to track my own dependencies one package at a time, so I use Debian, which offers apt, the most comprehensive and well-developed software management system available, measured for the things that matter to me at least. Obviously, Debian would then be the example of this type of system that I mention here.

          You’ve mentioned being frustrated by the fact that Ubuntu is billed as being easy for the newbie to understand but failing to serve your purposes as a mail server. You’ve got to understand that it’s billed as being easy for the newbie [b]because it’s oriented to simple end-user desktop use[/b]. As for the complaint that it’s not blatantly obvious that Ubuntu is really intended more for the desktop than the server, look at Windows: Windows XP Home (or even Pro) is a desktop system, and Windows Server 2003 is meant as a server. The average end-user hasn’t even [b]heard of[/b] WS2k3. If you want to find out about the various distros and what their target audiences are, you have to ask around. If you ask for a distro that’s “easy to learn”, and that’s the only criteria you offer, you’ll get handed a desktop system, but if you ask about a distro that’s relatively easy to set up as a mail server, you’ll have to be prepared to ask for more specifics, just as you would for any other specialized task, like GUI development, web server, or gaming platforms.

          You can surf the web and email from Ubuntu. I know this for a fact. Fire up something like Thunderbird, or whatever other default GUI mail user agent you’ve got, and you’re in business. You said you wanted to get Sendmail running, then complain about how a PocketPC system can be used to check email, though; you’re talking about two different things. That’s like comparing Outlook Express with Microsoft Exchange. All you need for checking and sending email is some client like Thunderbird, Evolution, or KMail. Ubuntu defaults to the GNOME dekstop, and I don’t recall what the default email client is in GNOME, but it should be easy enough to find it in the GNOME equivalent of the Start menu. All it takes is an Internet connection and the usual POP or IMAP configuration.

          Ubuntu comes with an email server worthy MTA (Postfix, according to a cursory Google search) installed by default, and if you can find a full-fledged desktop-worthy distro that doesn’t come with gcc (the standard C/C++ compiler on Linux systems) installed I’ll give you a dollar. Yes, the easy to use Linux distros [b]do[/b] comes with these things.


          If you don’t like editing configuration files, I’m afraid I’m going to have to suggest you stay out of the Linux equivalent of the registry and go back to using GUI configuration tools. Your experiences with RH8 are outdated, mind you, and it’s true that Linux hasn’t always been as accessible to the new user as it is now, but you should be able to configure any major Linux distro’s defaults to suit your needs even more easily than you could tweak Windows configuration options, these days.


          You refuse to use newer hardware for Linux, and yet you expect the first Linux distro(s) you try out (without researching for suitability) to work perfectly on badly obsolete hardware. To give you a rough comparison in Windows terms, you’re effectively expecting to have no problems installing XP Home, XP Pro, Media Center, or Server 2k3 on a Pentium 400MHz. You’re simply going to run into problems doing something like that.


          Lack of games on Linux is definitely a legitimate reason to choose Windows, but it’s not a legitimate reason to complain about the failings of Linux. Linux doesn’t have as many professional games designed for it. Games such as Unreal Tournament and Neverwinter Nights will run on Linux, but others like Command and Conquer: Generals will not. It’s kinda hit and miss, and that’s the fault of the game designers. In fact, of the gaming industry’s major hits that run on Linux, probably half only run on Linux because a bunch of Linux enthusiasts persevered in the face of a great deal of resistance from game vendors. The other half run on Linux because the game vendors have embraced Linux as another platform for their games, and created something specifically for Linux gamers. As I said, it’s hit and miss, but don’t blame it on the OS. Just use the OS you need for a given game, if you really want to play the game, and hope like the rest of us that eventually the game vendors will start developing for all platforms equally.

          I’m not much of a gamer, so this really isn’t an issue for me. The two games I’ve ever liked (Command and Conquer: Generals, and City of Heroes) enough to actually buy both run on Windows only, and as a result I’ve ended up not playing them these days.


          As far as books are concerned, I find that the more-advanced books are useful primarily as resources when you need to look something up and are just having no luck with manpages, Google, or a LUG mailing list. Don’t bother buying them to introduce yourself to Linux in an orderly fashion. The way to get into Linux as a Windows power user picking up a brand new OS is really just to find a way to get yourself mentored in, preferably by someone local. I ended up learning how to get Linux going basically without help, and it was an interesting challenge to get past my initial misconceptions learned through long experience with Windows, but once I got past the hump things really started coming easily, and making a lot more sense to me than Windows ever did. I won’t swear that the experience will be the same for you, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be; I just recommend getting local help if at all possible to ease the process.

          If you want to hit me up for help as you go along, feel free. Use my profile contact to get in touch with me (which will get us started talking to each other with email) and, for quick responses when I’m online, let me know if you’ve got a preferred IM service (AIM, MSN Messenger, Y!M, ICQ: I use all four). I’ll offer what help I can from afar. I’d do the same with Windows, but you might get a little more grumbling from me over Windows-related issues if that’s what you needed. Heh. I have my preferred environment, I’m afraid.

          Best o’ luck.

        • #3194684

          Thanks! Great Post!

          by mswanberg ·

          In reply to WTF?

          EXCELLENT post, my man. I am printing it out to keep and refer to.

          I guess the thing that’s bitten me is the “easy to learn Linux” monniker that some of these newer distros throw out. Actually, they should say, “easy to USE Linux”. I was hoping to actually learn the OS. Heck, I know how to use Thunderbird and Firefox (have both of them on my Windows boxes… very much the same on both OSes). I want to get into the meat of it. After all, if I used Ubuntu for e-mail and web-surfing and then came to you and said, “Hey, I KNOW Linux!” you’d laugh your ass off. “No you don’t!” you would say. And I would cry. 🙂

          Kind of like if I wrote my “Hello, world” app in Java, I couldn’t exactly put Java on my resume, could I?

          I have no problem editing conf files, really. In fact, I think it’s a pretty cool way to do things. But my issue is that the sources I’ve seen never ever tell you WHY I’m doing something. They always just say, “put this line in this file”. There never seems to be a “if you wanted to do this, then you would change this. And this is what the various parms mean.” Maybe I do need a good reference book. But I do appreciate your idea of finding a mentor.

          Your post was an excellent foray into the nature of Linux. You yourself seem to be saying, “yeah, it’s tough. It makes little sense sometimes. But it’s worth it.”

          A few points of clarification. By “power user” I meant that I want my PCs to do more than just e-mail and web-surfing. I want them to record TV, convert video, play music, IM, allow me to write code for the stuff I can’t find good programs for, etc. etc. All in all, what I’m saying is that the simple desktop distro is probably not for me.

          Yes, I know the difference between an e-mail server and an e-mail client. My point was, if all I wanted was a web-surfing e-mail-reading machine, then I don’t need to sacrifice a box to the Linux gods. I can do those simple tasks on, say, my PocketPC. But I want more out my desktop machines.

          As an analogy, I feel as if I traded in my S2000 for another car that everyone promises me is way better. But I get in it, and it’s like a Toyota Echo, and I have to stuff my head under the hood for days at a time to try and coax the “betterness” out of it. And everything I try doesn’t work. But people keep telling me, “Man, aren’t you glad you dumped that 0-60 in 5.2 piece of garbage for this awesome ride?” And all I can think is, “man, wish I had my S back.”

          I guess it’s a little like “buyer’s remorse” on my part, even though most Linux distros are free. 🙂

          In the end, if it were easy to learn, then it wouldn’t be worth it, would it? I’ll keep plugging…


        • #3194534

          quite welcome

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to WTF?

          Something to keep in mind when trying to migrate your “power user” skills from Windows to Linux is this: You didn’t become a power user of Windows by sitting down at a Windows machine and exclaiming “This is easy!!!” You did so through years of working with Windows, learning its ins and outs, and picking up hints and tricks like how (to use an example from my own life) to turn off the desktop in the Win2k registry to increase general system responsiveness by probably 20% without loss of any functionality I actually used anyway (and, in fact, system security is increased marginally). This was not a trick I knew the moment I sat down, or for which I knew to Google off the top of my head. By the same token, there’s a lot to learn about the flexibility and power of Linux that you can’t get simply by putting an Ubuntu CD in the drive.

          Regarding your issues with configuration files not being adequately explained, and other issues with finding helpful information: manpages are youre new buddy. Learn to navigate and understand the format of manpages, and you’ll quickly learn to be self-instructing with Linux. The shell command “man [argument]”, where “argument” is something about which you want information, will prove invaluable if you become a regular Linux user. There’s a manpage for just about every command on your system, and if you can’t find a manpage there’s probably a help page (or, possibly, an info page, but the info system requires its own manpage to use and it pretty much tends to just duplicate the contents of manpages). So, try “man [argument]”, and if that doesn’t work, try “help [argument]”. The difference is that help is for shell-native commands, and man is for separate programs (and other stuff) accessed from the shell.

          Something many people don’t know about manpages, and that can be of keen interest to you with your desire to learn more about configuration files, is that there’s often a manpage for configuration files as well. For instance, using a Debian machine here, there’s an obscure X server configuration file, /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config, and there’s a manpage for it. I didn’t even know this configuration file existed until just now, I decided to hunt up a random configuration file and found it. I typed “man Xwrapper.config”, and it spat out a manpage that explains what it is and everything I need to know about it, in great detail. Surprisingly, it’s a very small configuration file with very limited scope, and is very easy to understand with the help of the manpage.

          Considering that manpages use less (or, on systems where less isn’t installed, they use more), you have the ability to search for key terms very easily in manpages too, if you want to skip all the explanation and go directly to a description of a given configuration option. Open the manpage and type “/[search string]”, where “search string” (minus brackets, as always) is whatever term it is for which you’re searching. Probably the most important thing to remember when using manpages is that, just like less (or more), hitting the q key allows you to exit the manpage.

          As I say, manpages are your new buddy. In short, Linux [b]is your reference book for Linux[/b]. The command “man” is actually short for “manual”, and the whole collection of manpages is basically the definitive Linux manual. When someone says you should RTFM, that’s the manual to which they refer in the Linux world.

          By the way, you mentioned some multimedia uses for Linux. If you’re interested in creating a highly-functional multimedia system as the centerpiece of your home entertainment system, I recommend looking into a Linux distribution called MythTV. It’s Tivo, but better, with a lot of ability to hook into everything else under the sun related to your home entertainment system. I know someone that’s actually running a 16-drive RAID rackmount system with MythTV in his closet (though I don’t think he actually has all 16 drive bays filled yet).

          Ultimately, Ubuntu doesn’t have to be a Ford escort. It can be turned into an S2000, with a bit of work. Being specifically designed as an end-user’s desktop system, though, it’s more difficult to turn that into (for instance) a credible mail server than it is to do the same with plain-vanilla Debian. In fact the only thing it’s not easier to do with something like Debian, Slackware, Gentoo, et cetera, than it is for a specialized large default install system is duplicate exactly the setup of that large default install. Since most people aren’t actually interested in duplicating every last detail of such a system, though, and would actually like to change some things, you’re probably better off with something that allows for a lean initial install and very flexible custom configuration, once you know how to make that work for you. I tend to view Ubuntu as a crutch to help wean immigrants from the Windows world off the Microsoft wheelchair. With Debian, on the other hand, I’ve tied on a pair of quality running shoes, and I’m sprinting. Sure, it took me some time and effort to get into shape to run like this, but I get around a lot faster now, a lot more flexibly, and without any more effort. In fact, lugging that crutch around can get pretty tiring.

          . . . and thanks for the kudos. I’m glad I could be of assistance. As I said, feel free to hit me up with questions off the discussion forum if you want to.

        • #3195555


          by mswanberg ·

          In reply to WTF?

          Yes, I am actually quite familiar with manpages, but you have, in a few words, doubled my usability with it.

          For instance, the “q” command… I was always holding Ctrl and mashing a bunch of keys in the ASDZXC area of the keyboard. Not using Linux stuff every day makes it tough to remember which key combo exits which app. Isn’t it like Ctrl-D to get out of the command-line mail app?

          Also, the / (slash) thing is awesome. I always used apropos to try and find stuff (Ctrl-Z to get out of that, isn’t it?) and I generally found it to be somewhat daunting to wade through the results that come at me.

          I am generally encouraged by people like you who seem to make Linux (and other stuff… never heard of that Win2K thing you mentioned) appear to be easy. And yes, I agree that time will equal knowledge.

          I hope you can appreciate my frustration in some of the obstacles I’ve come up against, though. Yes, I sat down and read books about the inner workings of Windows to get more knowledge. But I never can remember reading something in a book and then it not working in practice, which has happened to me on several occasion re: Linux.

          As for MythTV, I have it installed on one of my machines. Only after I got through the installation did I find out that it isn’t compatible with ATI All-in-Wonder cards. So, now, until I can take some time to mess with that box, it is my 24-hour-a-day weather report. 🙂

          Sad, yes, but true. Especially considering I can SMS “weather 35244” to 46645 (GOOGL) and get a weather report any time I want. But I like the MythTV weather interface… very slick and cool. I just need to get some time to really play with that machine to get it up and running well.

          I used to have that machine singing the TiVo-like song very well. I have a ReplayTV, but Replay doesn’t handle conflicts as well as TiVo, so I built this MicroATX machine (the now MythTV box) for about $300. I then wrote a batch script and a few VBScript programs to daily go out to XMLTV and retrieve a feed, and then it interfaces with the Replay and gets all the conflicts, and then schedules those conflicts to record through the All-in-Wonder. Pretty slick. But I don’t watch THAT much TV, so mostly the box just sat there. It would record 1 or 2 shows a week.

          Then I have a slick system set up on another box that downloads all the shows from the Replay and also takes them from the MicroATX and re-encodes them all in divx for my Archos to be able to play (it’s very particular about what it can play). In the morning, I plug in the Archos and I have all of the previous night’s TV good to go. Works great for slow days at the office (don’t tell my boss).

          I would love to someday be that effective on Linux machines. I know there are things that exist in Linux that don’t in the Windows world, so I just mainly want to know what my options are so that I can have what I want in the best fashion possible.


        • #3195480

          some answers

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to WTF?

          “[i]Yes, I am actually quite familiar with manpages, but you have, in a few words, doubled my usability with it.[/i]”

          Good! Glad to be of service.

          “[i]I was always holding Ctrl and mashing a bunch of keys in the ASDZXC area of the keyboard. Not using Linux stuff every day makes it tough to remember which key combo exits which app. Isn’t it like Ctrl-D to get out of the command-line mail app?[/i]”

          On Linux, Ctrl-Z suspends a program and Ctrl-C exits it. As for Ctrl-D exiting a command-line email application, I don’t know. I use mutt (a command-line email application), but its exit key is Q as well. There probably is some common CLI email application that uses Ctrl-[foo] to exit it, but off the top of my head I don’t know what it would be or if D is the key it uses.

          If you’re using something like apropros, apt-cache search, ls, or anything else that potentially gives you a LOT more stuff than you need, you can narrow down your results significantly with something like grep. For instance, if you’re looking for a package relating to both GTK+ and images in the Debian apt archives, you might use the command string “apt-cache search gtk |grep image”. The vertical bar character “|” is called a “pipe” (in case you’re not familiar with this), and is used to send (to “pipe”) a command through another command. The output of the first command is sent to the second command, and only the output of the second command is sent to STDOUT (the command line, generally: STDOUT is the env. variable for “standard output”). There are other tips and tricks out there for narrowing down output to relevant stuff, but I find grep at the shell and / within certain applications to be the most commonly useful. You should be able to use grep in conjunction with apropos to help you get usefully narrowed search results and, if you get enough stuff so that it scrolls off the top of the screen and don’t have the ability to scroll back, you can always pipe the command output through less to give you the ability to scroll using arrow keys or page up and down using Ctrl-D and Ctrl-U.

          “[i]never heard of that Win2K thing you mentioned[/i]”

          Yeah, not many have. It’s pretty rare, and is something I just found one day while working in the registry looking for something else that I needed to alter to fix a registry corruption. Not many people want the desktop turned off, anyway. Among other features that disappear when the desktop application is entirely disabled is the ability to place icons on the visible desktop for double-clicking to open the referenced applications. I prefer to use custom menus from the taskbar rather than desktop icons, though, so it was very much worthwhile to deactivate the desktop on my own system.

          “[i]I hope you can appreciate my frustration in some of the obstacles I’ve come up against, though.[/i]”

          Yes, I can understand and appreciate that. It’s a reaction to the steeper initial learning curve for the behind-the-scenes uses of unixy systems, essentially.

          As for your frustrations with books having what appears to be inaccurate information, to understand that you have to understand what’s going on when someone writes one of these books. First of all, the people who write the books are often people who have extensive experience using the systems in question but don’t necessarily know why those systems behaved the way they did. The underlying principles are what need to be taught to new arrivals, not the laundry-list set of brainless steps to take, not only because the laundry-list approach doesn’t teach you to sort out how to do new things without a book, but also because the laundry-list changes between versions or even sub-versions sometimes, while the principles remain constant. Red Hat books are particularly subject to this sort of issue, as Red Hat considers itself sorta above the Linux Standard Base, and likes to do things its own way, which is often different from its own way six months ago. This can lead to some confusion from time to time: it took me an hour or so to figure out that, for some odd reason, NIC configuration files in Fedora Core 3 are in a scripts directory separate from the remainder of the networking configuration files. After extensive use of Fedora/RH, the Fedora/RH way of doing things starts to make a certain kind of internally consistent sense, but it’s quite confusing at first. Also, of course, there’s the simple fact that you were probably reading second and third editions of books, where stuff gets updated to deal with newer versions but sometimes not everything is updated. The same thing occurs often enough with Windows-related books too, as long as they don’t come from Microsoft Press.

          “[i]As for MythTV, I have it installed on one of my machines. Only after I got through the installation did I find out that it isn’t compatible with ATI All-in-Wonder cards. So, now, until I can take some time to mess with that box, it is my 24-hour-a-day weather report.[/i]”

          Hah. Sorry to hear it.

          There are ways to get it running with All-in-Wonder cards, but I don’t really know what they are, so I’m afraid you’re kinda on your own there. A good LUG mailing list is worth its weight in gold for stuff like this.

          Don’t feel limited by location if all you need is email support, though. Join a LUG mailing list for a good LUG external to your area, if need be. I’m actually on a list for an Illinois area LUG, despite the fact I’ve never lived there and have never driven through the part of the state where that particular LUG is located. I’m also on three other LUG lists more local to me, but the Illinois list is a pretty good indication of the fact that value can be had from a LUG without being located anywhere near it.

          “[i]I then wrote a batch script and a few VBScript programs[/i]”

          Man, you really need to learn Perl. It’s one of the easiest-to-learn high-power languages out there, and it’s pretty much custom designed to do the sorts of things you’re doing with batch and VBS scripts. If you get familiar with it, I’m pretty sure you’ll fall in love with the succinctness of the language and the extremely powerful regex capability of it. In fact, Perl is sorta THE language to learn for any unix sysadmin. Perl’s initial purpose was text- and file-processing, and since everything in a unix system (including processor resources, binary executables, and even device drivers) is a “file” to the filesystem and can be treated as text, Perl is likely the most powerful system administration language you’ll ever come across when used on a unixy system such as Linux.

          Perl is available on Windows, too, and I’m of the opinion that it’s the best scripting language for the Windows platform in general (though not in some specific uses), but ActivePerl (Perl for Windows) pales in comparison with Perl’s power within a unix environment.

        • #3190718

          Don’t knock linux either…

          by ungle ·

          In reply to WTF?

          apotheon, you’ll be shocked, I agree with you!

          You can say a lot of things about any OS, but you can knock Linux for it’s ease of use. Of course, you’ll have to spend the same amount of time learning Linux as you did Windows (naturally), but look, a comparison:

          I was about to move from one country to another, I had all my boxes packed and left out one laptop for email while waiting for the plane. Guess what? HDD died. Run to the local shop and buy a HDD, but what about the OS?? All my CDs were packed! Run to the book store, buy a Linux book for $20, run home.

          Pop in the CD, click next, next, next , next, wait 15 minutes, done. Plug laptop into LAN and check mail.

          Granted, I’ve run into difficulties when trying to compile some esoteric library into , but it wasn’t too dificult to rectify.

        • #3186060

          not so surprising, ungle

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to WTF?

          Actually, I’m not so surprised by your agreement. You’re obviously knowledgeable, particularly in regards to Windows system programming. You’re probably more knowledgeable in that area than I am, in fact, and possibly by quite a bit. It’s hard to know that much without being able to see where I’m right about Linux usability issues in the above post.

          I think our major points of disagreement are where, from my perspective, you’re looking at the programmatic aspects of the Windows system from far too close to see where architectural issues that look good up close become less good when considered within the context of other architectural design decisions on the Windows platform. In other words, from where I’m sitting, you seem to know everything there is to know about any given tree, but you’re having a tough time seeing the forest.

          Of course, we’ve gotten to a point where we’re nitpicking on individual details of each others’ posts, so we may never reach a point of agreement on those major issues.

        • #3186519

          Ignores hardware it doesn’t

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to It’s All Ball Bearings These Days

          understand is a good thing as opposed to guessing what it is then intermittantly crapping out because it was wrong.
          The whole selling point of windows is you don’t have to be technical to use it. You do have to be very technical to even approach stability though.

        • #3121636


          by dreis ·

          In reply to Ignores hardware it doesn’t

          I don’t believe you are right about having to technical. A lot of people that barely know how to turn on a computer, (some I know require assistance to do that) have been using Windows for years with only minor complaints. Most of those are caused by system problems, like running Excel, Word and Powerpoint at the same time as surfing the web on 96 Megs of RAM. That will work for a little while, but when they start opening chat boxes, it crashes, then they blame Windows.

        • #3121554

          er . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to No

          That’s a stability problem. Your system should not crash because you have a lot of applications open.

          My experience is that anyone using Windows that isn’t very technically astute, or doesn’t have someone like that on tap to babysit their computing environment, always ends up with security and stability issues that make my skin crawl.

      • #3186448

        Real operating systems are protected from applications

        by h2owe2 ·

        In reply to Experience drives a lot of the comments

        I also have a lot more than 6 years IT experience and now work for an organisation that is scrapping it’s Netware 5.1 infrastructure in favour of MS W2k & W2K+3 servers. One Netware server just celebrated 300 days up-time, the other 4 are each close to 200 days. The last restarts were due to power faults, not due to bugs in the O/S. I also have around a dozen W2K servers, none of which has lasted longer than 60 days up-time; they receive security patches every month. Our terminal server needs re-booted every night to stay reliable.
        Maybe it’s not Microsoft but us who should be criticised. Like kids at a fair, we are dazzled by Microsoft’s glitz and glamour. After the transaction is completed we find out that under the flashy packaging Windows software is like a high-end Swiss army knife, lots of chrome and features but not too many tools that you would use if you had a choice. Not a good metaphor is retrospect as my Swiss army knife is a lot more useful and reliable to me than any MS product.

      • #3186429

        Even if Windows never failed it would still be my least favourite

        by daavid.turnbull ·

        In reply to Experience drives a lot of the comments

        Windows success relies in the most part because managers etc. can relate to it. It looks pretty.

        I want an OS that runs the programs I want it to run, no more and no less. The philosophy behind Windows seems be that it wants to run your life – not the other way around.

        The learning curve for Unix (and like) OS’s is a little steeper but the philosophy that drives Unix means that you can chain the commands together to get them to do exactly what you want. With Windows programs this is not possible, you are at the mercy of the software author and what he thought you may wish to do with the program. The result is always a compromise.

        • #3186291

          Um just a small point.

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to Even if Windows never failed it would still be my least favourite

          You can chain commands at the windows command prompt. So long as the exe is written propperly. There are very few command line utilities from MS that cannot be chained (I can’t think of any right now). Third party utilities is a different story. You will find the same in linux. If the developer did not do his job, then the commmand will not chain properly. Pipes and > and < work very much the same as the windows command prompt as they do at the linux prompt. I think the problem you experience is the economy of scale. There are a lot of lower skilled developers writing code for win32, than their are for linux. The reasons should be obvious, but for the sake of clairity. 1) linux users are more technically savvy, it follows that 3rd party linux developers would be linux users. 2) Market Share. If you are an inexperienced programmer, trying to break into the market what are you going to write code for? hmmm lets see, I can write a win32 app, charge money for it, and it will run on 66% of the computers our there. Or I can write a linux app, be pressured to make it open source, and it will run on less than a 3rd of the computers. Don't get me wrong, Linux is a solid product, but it's my experience that most MS bashers do not have the experience to back up thier arguments. David

        • #3185850

          Chaining commands

          by tommy higbee ·

          In reply to Um just a small point.

          Yes, you can chain commands at Windows command prompt. I used to do it all the time before I got familiar with Unix/Linux. I will say, however, that it works MUCH better under Unix/Linux.

          1) DOS is really imitating Unix by using temporary files behind the scenes. For instance:
          dir *.doc | find “/2004 ”
          will actually send the output of the “dir *.doc” command to a temp file, then execute the ‘find “/2004 ” command on that temp file. For small temp files, the difference is negligible. For large temp files, you can wait a long time for the first command to finish executing before you see any output from the second command. The effect is magnified by multiple stage pipelines. Linux/Unix, on the other hand, starts all stages of the pipeline together, and each one starts sending output as it starts receiving input. No long delays before you see any output.

          2)Linux/Unix allows you to set an evironment variable to the result of a command. For example, getting the current date.
          Try to do that in Windows. There is a way to extract the current date, but it’s not exactly easy

          3) Windows still uses DOS batch files. If you want to do anything complicated, you really need some sort of better scripting language. Like a Unix shell ported to Windows.

          4) DOS lets you redirect standard input and standard output. Unix shells also let you redirect standard error. This lets you separate error messages from the output of your program — a huge advantage. To do the same in Windows, you have to anticipate the error messages and try to remove them with a ‘ find /v “Expected Error” ‘

          Fortunately, it is possible to install a Unix shell on top of Windows. As long as you don’t mind the extra install, it might pay off.

        • #3189408


          by mswanberg ·

          In reply to Chaining commands

          1. Yes, the command shell does imitate Linux/Unix a lot. So what’s the problem?

          The thing is, Windows has become a GUI platform, period. VERY few programs are written to use STDOUT, STDIN, STDERR, etc. in the Windows environment anymore. But they do still exist. And programs can easily be written to pipe to and from these standard inputs/outputs. I do it all the time.

          2. The Command shell already has the environment variables %date% and %time%. What’s your point?

          Yeah, I guess you can’t put the result of some programs into environment variables on-the-fly, but who cares, because there’s…

          3. Windows Scripting… ever heard of it? I write down-n-dirty scripts that do all manner of things that you could never do with ANY BASH-type scripting (or DOS Batch scripts either, for that matter). Can you open Word, open a doc, and then spellcheck it? Create and populate a database? Automagically create and run jobs on a mainframe from the PC and then retrieve the output and process the data into a report? Interrogate a spreadsheet? Spawn a web server (yes, I’ve seen it… German dude wrote a web server in VBScript!)? Maintain string variables up to 2GB in length? Spin through files, manipulating, and changing them? Do-while, If-then, Repeat-until contructs? Collections? ActiveX access?

          VBScript and JScript are basically interpreted programming languages, and I write scripts all the time that can be piped to and from. I even pipe to and from FTP clients, Java applets, anything that I need to.

          4. The Command shell does indeed let you redirect STDERR. Trouble is, few program are written to take advantage of this separate output.

          A buddy put me onto CygWin, which is a Unix-like shell that runs in Windows. Didn’t take me long to see it didn’t offer me anything that I couldn’t already do in Windows.


        • #3189181

          Re: Answers

          by tommy higbee ·

          In reply to Answers…

          > 1. Yes, the command shell does imitate Linux/Unix a lot. So what’s the problem?

          Not a problem, just the point that a) yes, you can do that in Windows, but b) not really as well

          > 2. The Command shell already has the environment variables %date% and %time%. What’s your point?

          > Yeah, I guess you can’t put the result of some programs into environment variables on-the-fly, but who cares, because there’s…

          %date% and %time% are not the point, scriptability of program output is the point. Besides, those variables were only available starting with (I think) Windows NT.

          > 3. Windows Scripting… ever heard of it?

          Of course. Nearly mentioned it, but it was just a little too far off the topic of pipelines and redirection.

          > I write down-n-dirty scripts that do all manner of things that you could never do with ANY BASH-type scripting

          a) You’d be surprised at the sophisticated tools/applications that have been done with BASH or KSH scripting. (e.g. Metamail, Arch)
          b) But you’re really getting off the topic of the command line and talking about scripting languages
          c) And since Unix has plenty of scripting languages too, most of which have also been ported to Windows …. well, I just don’t see much point in comparing scripting languages.

          > 4. The Command shell does indeed let you redirect STDERR. Trouble is, few program are written to take advantage of this separate output.

          So it does. I seem to remember some problems with it, though… But since I don’t remember what they were, I’ll just concede your point.

          > A buddy put me onto CygWin, which is a Unix-like shell that runs in Windows. Didn’t take me long to see it didn’t offer me anything that I couldn’t already do in Windows.

          Depends on what you’re wanting to do. If all you want is better scripting support, and you’ve already climbed past the Windows Scripting Host learning curve, it may not be much use to you. But Cygwin is more than a bash shell. It’s a Unix compatibility layer. Cygwin will let you port just about any Unix application or program to Windows. I use it to run a Unix X server on Windows…

        • #3190716


          by ungle ·

          In reply to Answers…

          I understand your post. I think you’d be very surprised just what you can do from a Unix shell script, be careful there.

          As a quick point, VBScript, JScript are not interpreted languages. The scripting host compiles then prior to execution. That’s how you can get such goo dperformance out of a script.

        • #3186049


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Correction…

          1. The Windows command line is like a poor neutered poodle next to the unix shell environment, in my experience. Just compare the availability of command switches to specialize your task for a given one-shot use between the two. In other words, I agree with your statement that someone who makes a snap judgment about the comparison of the Windows DOS prompt and the unix shell might be surprised by what a unix shell script can accomplish. I’ve yet to see a batch file that can accomplish what bash, for instance, is capable of.

          Shell scripting projects I’ve seen include stuff like a menu-based troubleshooting tool for Macs, a WiFi gateway system running on a LiveCD, a full software package management system, a firewall application, a Podcast/playlist/RSS comprehensive download and management system, a weblog engine, and a video CD authoring suite. Good luck doing that with batchfiles.

          2. Turning VBScript and JScript into compile-at-runtime languages was one of the smartest things Microsoft has ever done. It keeps the two languages from falling entirely by the wayside. There still isn’t the performance you might expect from Perl, Python, and Ruby, but it’s close enough so that people are willing to use VBScript and JScript within Windows.

        • #3185956

          Are you sure?

          by mswanberg ·

          In reply to Correction…

          I’m not so sure that VBScript and JScript are compiled prior to running.

          I frequently dynamically load various stuff into the code that can only be determined at runtime. For instance, I have a class that builds and executes FTP scripts. Other scripts will dynamically execute that code to get the class definitions which are then instantiated later in the running script.

          If VBScript and JScript scripts are pre-compiled prior to execution, then the typing must be EXTREMELY loose, right down to the names of classes, procedures, functions, etc. In fact, the compiler would have to frequently say, “well, this makes no sense, but I guess it will at runtime, so I’ll let it slide.”

          As well, commands such as Execute affect what takes place in the script. But yet, the contents of the Execute statement cannot be known at the onset of the script’s execution.

          For example:

          s=”function Add(a,b)” & vbcrlf
          s=s & “Add=a+b” & vbcrlf
          s=s & “End Function”
          execute s
          msgbox Add(x,y)

          How could the compiler know the contents of s in order to satisfy the results of Add(x,y)? What if s was read from a file, or input at runtime by the user? It’s the same thing, but I’ll wager the compiler can’t be clairvoyant enough to figure out what is actually be executed.

          I do know that the script executors scan the scripts for syntax error prior to execution, but that’s not the same as a full compile.


        • #3182351

          compile at runtime

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Correction…

          Whether VBScript and JScript compile at run time or are simply interpreted depends on where you’re running them. The system native scripting host was initially an interpreter for VBScript and became a compile-at-runtime compiler, as far as I’m aware. I could be mistaken about that, and I suspect you and/or ungle would know better. My direct scripting experience is all with languages that are platform-independent.

          There’s an approach to getting the sort of flexibility to which you refer that works for variable types in compiled languages, which even allows strong typing, and languages such as Objective C make extensive use of it: rather than strict or loose typing, it uses duck typing. The term comes from the idea that if it quacks like a duck, it’s of type “duck”. Basically, a variable remains untyped until it is used at runtime, then becomes strongly typed at that point. This allows for a far more dynamic language, which is greatly useful for object-oriented programming in general.

          I know for a fact that Perl is compiled at runtime rather than being interpreted, which helps to account for its performance (despite all the hype, it still tends to perform better in common benchmarks than Python), and Perl is not only capable of the sort of flexibility you describe, but much more besides. In fact, Perl may well be the most flexible non-Lisp language in common usage, including traditionally compiled, bytecode-compiled, compiled-at-runtime, and traditionally interpreted languages. If the perl program can do it for Perl, I’m sure it’s entirely possible for someone in Redmond to have made the Windows scripting host do it for VBScript and/or JScript.

        • #3182326

 batch files and bash..

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Correction…

          I know someone who pushed batch files to the limits of thier capabilities.
          his autoexec.batt was 75 mb in size, and unless he started windows, he never left it.
          he could run every single application from the menus he built into it.
          ( graphic menu interface )
          so, on this I’ll have to say that batch files can be as powerfull as bash scripts.
          ( if you really put a lot of effort into playing with batch files )

          since batch files are more a dos thing than a windows thing this is not a pro windows post. 😉

        • #3182205

          not quite the same

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Correction…

          There’s a big difference between writing an application suite and just writing an interative conditional loop command line menuing system. All the latter requires is the ability to print to STDOUT, the ability to use a looping conditional, and the ability to execute other programs. That’s nowhere near the sort of algorithmic complexity of which the unix shell environment is capable and the richness of the shell native command list at your disposal in unix shells.

          Just compare the switches available, for instance.

    • #3189887

      Numbers Game

      by djameson ·

      In reply to Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      It is simply a numbers game. A standard network is 80-90% windows 4% hardware(routers etc) and ~6% linux. I spend just about as much time making sure my BSD machines are patched as I do updating my windows boxes. You just have to have the right TOOLS. it is the perception that there is more work involved becuase there are more systems involved but per machine, a system is a system.

    • #3189881

      Job Security

      by jbaker ·

      In reply to Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      You know, as much as people bash the M$ OSs, they could simply look on the bright side, and count it as job security. Think about it this way, if all of the OSs worked perfectly, and were perectly secured, what need would companies have for large IT staffs? They would be able to get away with one person to manage the networks, and some people to work on hardware issues.

      Thankfully, there are no perfect OSs. Even the beloved pinguin is not totally secure, and a properly installed, and configured M$ machine os a fairly stable thing (there will ALWAYS be hardware that does not like to play nicely with other hardware and software that is the same way).

      • #3189870

        Or another way of looking at it would be

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Job Security

        That the IT staff could be doing their real work instead of playing Nurse Maid or Wet Nurse to the Windows Boxes which are constantly in need of attention.

        The one good thing with most of my customers is that they turn off their workstations every day so they do not run into memory leeks and the like that do happen to Windows when left running 24/7.

        Col ]:)

        • #3193802

          I love it

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to Or another way of looking at it would be

          Memory leeks are not an OS flaw. Anyone who thinks so is a fool. I can write a C++ program for linux that would leak memory too. I run my XP desktop at work continously, and on average reboot once a week. My desktop at home will run for 2 or 3 weeks easy, before my game will crash and I reboot for GP’s


        • #3186305

          Strange thing David

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I love it

          My Boxes run 24/7 and the longest that I’ve run a Windows box for is around 1 Month and then applied a Patch that required the REBOOT.

          But lets take a long hard look at things here ring now I shut down due to an electrical storm and have just been up and running a few days 2 machines exactly the same internals one with XP Pro and one with Debian.

          Debian Box uptime 7 Days 11 Hours 41 minutes. XP Box 6 hours 35 minutes can you see a slight difference there? I sure as Hell can. :p

          But on the up side I’m not being called a M$ Stooge or Clown so thank you very much. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3186299

          I have no argument

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to Strange thing David

          Linux is more stable, there is no question there, and anyone who tries to argue that is a fool.

          My contention is the vast majority of bashers that say Windows crashes all the time, and doesn’t wok most of the time, are just repeating someone else’s argument, and have no real life experience in it. I would not use XP as a web server, because to me it’s unaccepatable to have to reboot a web server once a week. But on a Desktop, that most people shut down as a matter of course when they go home, the weekly reboots are a non issue. My Laptop running 24/7 on XP has a 99.9898% uptime, so even if I am rebooting once a week or so it’s not costing me much productivity. The arguments that XP is not stable enough are simply unwarranted bashing.

          An It person should be able to rise above the public opinion, and realize the best fit for each situation. I am very fond of linux, but I also have to argue that Microsoft has a quality product.


        • #3194374

          but, do you

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to I have no argument

          like being lied to by your os?
          as well as kept in the dark?
          windows ( all ms os versions including dos itself ) hide the system boot messages.

          then they lie to you and tell you that thier “wizard” will help you to solve the problem

          on top of the lies in advertising, where they say it is to get you to buy it.

          sorry, but mushroom treatment is for mushrooms, not for people.

      • #3193804

        Linux and MS handle that differntly

        by dvawter ·

        In reply to Job Security

        Linux simply ignores hardware that does not play nice.

        Microsoft at least tries to use that USB device.

        • #3186510

          This is a good thing ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Linux and MS handle that differntly

          I don’t know what this device is so I’ll take a wild guess and see what happens ?
          Put your hand in the flickery orange thing.
          Oh so it is a fire then ?

    • #3189853


      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      since I detest being lied to by both the os and the company that made it, and I detest having optons stolen from me by them I bash windows.
      and ms

      when ms gets a version that has all the same options as linux during install, that allows for console only use of system, that doesn’t require 48 hours to install software ( never mind configuration time )

      where you can site down with 3 cdroms and have everything you need for either a desktop worksttion or server then I’ll stop bashing the imbeciles.

      • #3176110

        48 Hours?

        by jbaker ·

        In reply to well

        If it is taking you 48 hours to install Winders, you are doing something wrong. I can have a system reinstalled and deployed in just under 1 hour, and if the machine is a new, clean install, it takes about 2.5 hours, and that includes all of our special software, drivers, etc.

        • #3176049

          Hours and hours

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to 48 Hours?

          At the place where I am contracting at present, it takes the best part of 4~5 hours, but I suspect that is largely due to the fact (a) our local ghostcast “server” is an older piii rehabbed desktop PC, and (b) it’s sending to a lot of workstations.

        • #3196107

          I’ve got that beat

          by djameson ·

          In reply to 48 Hours?

          BootP off Linux box pushes XP image specific to MAC to system can have it up in as little as 10 minutes. including the time to replace the HDD.

        • #3196071

          nope, but

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to 48 Hours?

          I’m refering to installing 15 to 20 apps on top of windows, and configuring them as well. each app on it’s own cd. each taking about 1 hour to install and one hour to customise.

          ( graphics apps are not quick installs, some are 3 cdroms for one app )

          if this is a workstation, then it’s a 48 hour install and config to get it running.
          ( I’ve seen some that are a month long for the end user to finalise the configuration )

        • #3195992

          Probably not the best way to keep your job…

          by Anonymous ·

          In reply to nope, but

          In a situation like yours, why don’t you have a ghost server with an image of the OS and all Apps. Anything that takes 48 hours to, you should be looking at ways to cut that down.

          But that’s another topic. 🙂

        • #3195968

          That only works if you have consistent Hardware

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Probably not the best way to keep your job…

          Across the range and consistent software as well. A lot of the places that I do work for are one off installs where it just isn’t feasible or possible to clone Drives or push out installs from a Server mainly because they don’t run a server of any kind and spend all their IT budget on Hardware/Software and just expect it to work. Granted these are now all Small Business which I now only work in and while I did like some of the play toys that I had available to me when I worked in Big Business the sense of accomplishment that I now get far outweighs the constant moaning and complaining that I was subject to while working Big Business.

          Only on the small servers can I use any redundancy and that is only in places where they are willing to accept money being tied up in something that they don’t appear to be using to produce profits which is only a very small number of places that I do work for. But when one of these goes down it is back up and running within 3 minutes by just plugging in another Hot Swappable HDD and away you go. I come around latter and fix what went wrong latter.

          Col ]:)

        • #3195900

          to add to Col’s

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Probably not the best way to keep your job…

          when it’s an occasional job, for a few preffered clients, I’m not to worried about it.
          these clients are the one’s with the knowledge and skills to do it themselves, but wish to pay for me to do it so that they know it hasn’t been hosed.

          some of the machines are dual cpu workstations, some are dual cpu home systems, some are single cpu systems.
          an image of the os configured for each is a pain.
          then you get the user data loss also.
          ( I’m getting called really only when something went wrong and they are afraid they are going to lose thier data if they do it )

        • #3193870

          It’s Simple

          by djameson ·

          In reply to to add to Col’s

          This is really simple, you are right about having consistent hardware, but it doesn’t have to be the same machine, I use all Dell workstatoins and all of them are p3s and p4s with 512 Mb of memory or more. what I do is load the os which has been modified with all the drivers for all the machines, but then all the hardware is removed from the system config, by editing the image with the image browser and removing it from the registry. all the software is pre-installed word excel all our standard apps and some of our custom programmed stuff this gets 90-95 percent of the systems. then I log on as the local administrator of the machine using the hashed password that is standard to the image and run a script that will prompt for the machine name and ask what OU it needs to be put in in AD once then it re-boots the computer. I have software policies and MSI’s for all the rest of the software I install per OU so it installs after that. The user data is stored as roaming profiles so as soon as the user logs back on they’re back in business. The disadvantages of this is I have to keep a clean workstation to image and a complete system with all the softare to image and everytime we do a major system change it requires re-imaging fangling with and testing.

        • #3193859

          but for something where

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to It’s Simple

          you may only be doing once in a year, or less?

          if I was doing it more, I could see doing images, but for something that is a rare occurance it’s not worth the time and effort to me.

        • #3195864

          I’m still going to go with Angus on this one

          by jrod86 ·

          In reply to Probably not the best way to keep your job…

          If you deal with different hardware, that’s fine and I agree you don’t need a ghost server, but you could map a drive after Windows setup and either get a program to package and push the applications in a certain order with standard configurations, or just launch the install through the network. That should cut the install time down considerably.

          Sorry, 48 hours just seems like WAY to much time to spend setting something up (even with 20 apps, I do this regularly as well).

        • #3195796

          It really depends on the organization though

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I’m still going to go with Angus on this one

          quite a lot of the places that I do work for don’t use servers and only have rudimentary networks if at all. One place springs to mind where I’ve just put in a DSL router and all 4 stations are connected to this router for E-Mail & Internet but they refused to allow me to setup a network of any kind. Prior to that they where using Dial up and had 1 phone line for the 3 workstations that required Internet connectivity so short of using my own hardware and ghosting their drives I just live with what I’ve got to work with and get on with the job.

          Generally when I need to reload one of these workstations it takes me well over 48 Hours to complete the install but I’ll add a caveat to that for the first day or so I’m hunting all around the HDD saving their data before I even start to do a reinstall. While I do have storage in the Terabyte range I still can not store their entire drives contents on one of my drives and save time saving the data as then I would have to sort through the saved data and transfer across just the data that is necessary and not a lot of program & OS files that would only make a mess on a clean install.

          For most of us reloading workstations is more than just pushing out software and an OS we have to first save the Data and then we can start doing what is required and at the same time scan the drive for any problems generally they have various infections of Viri, Worms, Trojans and the like as well as a almost unlimited supply of Spy Ware. That is where most of my time is spent doing a reload and after the thing is reloaded I then have to transfer the data back to where it came from so it is useful to them.

          So while people like Jacqui and myself may say reload we actually mean something quite a bit different and far more involved. Most of us do not have the luxury of just being able to wipe a drive clean and reinstall and when the owner or worker asks where their data is we can’t just shrug our shoulders and say too bad. 🙂

          Col ]:)

        • #3185831

          I understand

          by jrod86 ·

          In reply to It really depends on the organization though

          I’ve been there myself, and spent a lot of time hunting for data on a crashed HD. I’m still going to advocate the use of a network drive or something to install from (as well as a solid backup plan). Even small business has to realize the effects or poor backup management on system uptime and take steps to mitigate that risk.

          I still say you can have a partition that contains the installs (if it’s a small company, they shouldn’t have too much to install) so that when you get past the OS, you can still grab the software from one place. I am assuming that they are past the dial-up stage you mentioned.

        • #3185563

          Well it depends on the place I suppose

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to It really depends on the organization though

          The place that I was at yesterday only has 4 workstations and 3 of those are NB’s the guy who owns the place is completely computer Illiterate and they had 1 phone line for 3 dial up connections and couldn’t understand why they needed anything different.

          I only spent 6 hours there yesterday working out the problems that he had created with an I-Pod. But as he has already left now on a long trip it’s working so who cares.

          The newest workstation that they have there is a Celeron HP unit and they only brought that because the salesman there parked a 40 ton excavator track on top of the old one which he called “Steam Powered!” The DSL came latter as he demanded it so that he could actually sell something.

          Then the owners Acer Aspire with an AMD CPU and 256 MEG or RAM is painfully slow I spent a very long time deleting duplicate songs from his play list only about 1 hour and I was constantly getting a System Not Responding message so I had to wait for it to catch up with me and I’m not all that fast on strange hardware.

          The point being that it in this place is just not an option while I would love to store an image on a HDD somewhere and be able to push it out across a network it ain’t going to happen here. But they are only a small business who sell very expensive hardware their average sale is in the 1.5 Million $ mark and up until 3 months ago they didn’t even have a permanent Internet connection available.

          Their previous salesman who I had to drag kicking and screaming into the 19 TH Century was a hard job but in comparison he was easy compared to this lot. 🙂

          Col ]:)

        • #3194024

          Not the best way to keep your job

          by rajkpb ·

          In reply to Probably not the best way to keep your job…

          This is the reason, A gentleman earlier said that if you can’t maintain windows and you are not aware how to go about it, then shame on you!


        • #3193862


          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to 48 Hours?

          The original poster said it takes 48 hours, because he’s probably using a modem and has to do all of the damn patches. That could EASILY take 48 hours. Even with broadband, I have trouble keeping a complete windows xp install with office and OS updates under 6 hours.

        • #3193799

          It’s not BS

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to BullSH*T

          If you have the SP2 CD for XP included with technet, or available from MS, you will only have 5 or 6 updates left to install, and the install (clean) including office can be completed in about 2 hours.


        • #3186303

          Those are 5 or 6 Critical Updates

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to It’s not BS

          What about the Recommended and Hardware updates?

          I did this just over 1 week ago now and after SP 2 {from a CD} had gone on and the AV updated there was well over 80 Meg of M$ Windows Patches to apply and with broadband the computer took longer to apply them than they took to download.

          Look at what you are claiming before you open your mouth next time. :p

          Col ]:)

        • #3186281

          I know what I am claiming.

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to Those are 5 or 6 Critical Updates

          I deploy desktops with all of our proprietary software, and office 2003 sp1 in about 3 hours.

          now a note on recommended updates. Do you recompile your kernel everytime there is a new release? or do you wait till you use something that requires it? I do not load recommended updates when I complete an install. The driver CD that I have from the PC vendor is fine to get the PC running, I only load recommended and Hardware updates on an as needed basis.


        • #3186275

          Well explain these please

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I know what I am claiming.

          They are off a LT that has recently be reloaded and SP1 & 2 where installed from CD as well as the .NET junk which IE needs for some web sites.

          Windows XP family Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework, Version 1.1 Service Pack 1 (KB886903) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website
          Windows XP family Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework, Version 1.0 SP3, English (KB886906) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website
          Windows XP family Security Update for Windows XP (KB901214) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website
          Windows XP family Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool – July 2005 (KB890830) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website
          Windows XP family Security Update for JView Profiler (KB903235) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website
          Windows XP family Update for Windows XP (KB896344) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website
          Windows XP family Update for Windows XP (KB898461) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website
          Windows XP family Security Update for Windows XP (KB893066) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website
          Windows XP family Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (KB883939) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website
          Windows XP family Security Update for Windows XP (KB896428) Monday, 18 July 2005 Windows Update website

          Now from my count that is 10 patches/Updates and none are hardware related.

          And as can be seen it was done on the 18-7 -05 which is all of 4 days ago now in this time zone. 🙂

          Am I right? :^O

          Col ]:)

        • #3186193


          by bite me_ax_moron ·

          In reply to 48 Hours?

          I installed my Xandros desktop OCE 3.0 in 20 minutes and that was using the full options. I picked everything I wanted. Theres never been a windows install that fast & easy. But before you go bashing me for saying so, I run Windows XP on most of my machines. Up time is horrible. The best is 3 or 4 days with programs running 24/7. And then only because CachemanXP stops up the memory leaks. Without 3rd party software, windows under an intense use such as mine just doesn’t cut it. On the other hand the Xandros machine has only been rebooted for power failures…ever. At work its an all windows shop. And thats great cause it keeps me in a job. I can tell you in the last 6 months every server has been down 4 or 5 times. We now just image our machines and ghost them back when they quit. So barring hardware failures, just afew updates since the last image & the machine is back to work. On my own desktop I run Xandros, I never shut it off. Why don’t we use it everywhere? I’m the network support tech. I don’t have fancy wallpaper ( kind of like Windows) Even though I’ve been in this field since the late 80’s. So I don’t get the decisions. I had to fight to get the old stodgers to let me run Linux on my own box.
          I will eventually only have one Windows box (at home) so I can keep up with the problems at work. The rest are being converted one at a time as I have time to train everyone to use them and when the windows install is killed by whatecer comes down the net (yes I have more security them most of your servers). The box that never goes down? It serves the files for all the other machines so I can keep them clear of anything that will kill them.
          If your really serious about OS do what I did try a bunch. Oh yeah thats right only the Nix’s can give you that option.


        • #3081091

          Waste of time

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to 48 Hours?

          Unless you have very special programs running you could install a new thin client in under 5 minutes. Enrolling a new user would set you back 10 minutes.

          Thin clients works well for most users, but I would never even dream of giving a DP or CAD user a thin client. Just as I would be very carefull about giving them a windows PC – they deserve better.

    • #3189743

      It’s just basic human nature

      by amcol ·

      In reply to Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      People bash Windows for the same reason they bash Linux or Mac OS. For the same reason they bash SUV’s, or abortion, or Clint Eastwood movies, or whatever. Because everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and because those opinions always run the gamut from one extreme to the other.

      I take umbrage at your statement “Anyone who claims to hate Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS or any other operating system is not a true techie or network guru.” While you’re entitled to YOUR opinion, your statement is entirely dismissive. To me it’s the same as saying “Anyone who doesn’t worship as I do is not truly religious.” Hogwash, and it’s principally what’s wrong with the world today.

      There’s room in all things for all different points of view. Radical fundamentalism in any form is just another way of saying “I’m right, you’re wrong, and that’s just all there is to it.”. Check, please.

      • #3193847

        You’re cool Amcol…

        by keyguy13 ·

        In reply to It’s just basic human nature

        Seriously. I dig reading your posts. They always make such good sense 🙂

        • #3193768

          Wow Keyguy13 and I Agree

          by dvawter ·

          In reply to You’re cool Amcol…

          I have to say I totally agree with Amcol. I think fundementally, people bash because either they have had bad experiences with something, or they have a bias towards something.

          I don’t bash Linux, I like it as a whole, but I think it has specific uses, maybe what I choose to use it for, is different than what other choose.

          I don’t bash Microsoft, I have had very favorable experiences with Windows, and have made a very good living supporting Bill’s Products.

          I have my opinions about what is best for what situation. I think both are pretty damn cool pieces of software, I could never dream to make something so complex work, so I admire the creators of both. I guess I see the difference between Windows and Linux as the difference between a Minivan and a Pickup. You wouldn’t use the Pickup to take your 3 kids to soccer practice, and you wouldn’t use your Minivan to tow your boat. I think part of the fun of being in IT is deciding the best product for each use.


        • #3189561

          Thank you

          by amcol ·

          In reply to You’re cool Amcol…

          Undeserved praise, but I do appreciate it.

        • #3189445

          Undeserved? Maybe . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Thank you

          I’m not terribly familiar with your posts in general, but the one that elicited so much praise here is certainly a very good one. Nice work.

    • #3189714

      Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      by brandon.aiken ·

      In reply to Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      I bash it for a few reasons:

      1. I dislike MS’s anti-competitive business practices. Makes great sense for them, but harms me as a consumer.

      2. As an IT professional, I see Windows-based systems requiring inordinate amounts of management. A good Linux or Unix system acts like an appliance. Windows is needy and demanding of constant attention.

      • #3195888

        I agree but………….

        by tpernas ·

        In reply to Reply To: Why do IT people really bash Windows?

        I’ll admit that Wintel solutions are needy, however it is that reason that helps keep me employed! I’m the type of nerd that wants to know all OS’s so that no matter what environment I work in, I can be an assett. My current environment is almost exclusive to Solaris. They are mistakenly introducing M$, and I will be there to help clean up!!!!!

    • #3189696

      Because it’s such an inviting target !

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Why do IT people really bash Windows?

      If we don’t highlight faults in the OS, why would they bother fixing them ?

      Half my career has been spent on windows boxes, and given the general business environment I still recommend using them. That doesn’t mean for one moment, that I can’t point out it’s technical shortcomings even in the areas where it’s meant to be at it’s strongest.

      I don’t hate windows, it’s not important enough, don’t even hate MS or even good ol’ Bill.

      Someone telling ms is so sucessful in the market place therefore it must be technically sound and when it goes wrong it must have been my fault takes me for an idiot though, and I do hate that.

      I’d be the first to admit I’ve made one or two mistakes that have crashed a windows system, I’ve also crashed DOS, Linux, HP MPE/XL and VMS as well, not to mention various PLCs 8 bit processors and even my son’s playstation. Nowhere near as often though.

      To convince me you are correct and I’m some sort of naff amateur all you have to do is answer the following questions in a sensible fashion that adds value to to my use of windows as an OS

      Where (consistently !) exactly is the coding error when you get the message ‘Unknown OLE Error(5)’ or ‘Access Violation 000000000 at Address 0000000’

      Why do I have to reboot after patching the OS

      Why do I have to have a browser installed to have an OS, even when said browser is a horribly insecure and gets used even if I don’t use it.

      Why did my sound card on my brand new XP SP2 installation stop working after a round of windows update.

      Why is relying on error code returns in Windows APIs a really bad idea

      Why are profiles better than user privileges

      Why is MSN Messenger a default install in my OS

      I’ve got plenty more, if you successfully answer these.

      • #3176270

        hey, on that crash linux thingy..

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Because it’s such an inviting target !

        it took me 6 months of concentrated effort to crash a mandrake 6.1 system.*
        what did you do to crash yours?
        and after how much concentrated effort?

        * yes, I actually put the effort in to crash linux, to see how hard / easy it would be.
        this is going back to a 1998 version of linux to do this with even.

        • #3176046

          Crashing UNIX

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to hey, on that crash linux thingy..

          Back in the day we had a terrible problem with Pre-Caldera SCO UNIX OS3 on Pentium 3 machines. I think P3-800 or so was the current chip, and OS3 would kernel panic about 9 boot out of 10. But if you could hit that 10th boot and it didn’t panic, it would be up until the UPS failed.

          FWIW, I did get my old Caldera Linux to lock too, but silly me, I was trying to use KDE on a P75 at the time.

        • #3193845

          Oh well that doesn’t mean it locked…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Crashing UNIX

          It was probably still processing 🙂

        • #3186528

          Back in the day?

          by ·

          In reply to Crashing UNIX

          I still have a P2@266 and a P3@566 still up and running. acctually I am posting this with the P3 running win XP. While the P2 running ME is still buggy it is just for my kid’s games, the P3 has only blue screened once, and my current P4 and P4HT running XP Pro have never given me the BSOD or even locked up.
          In ALL things, if you take care of your machines, they in turn will take care of you.

          And for all you ADMINISTRATORS…you don’t have to like the OS’s…(unless you are the one paying for them) but it is your JOB to fix them.
          Do you think machanics like every car they work on? or doctors like all of their patients? No they get paid because they either have the knowledge to fix them or know how to find it. So do we. If you get so frustrated you have to start bashing maybe it is time to look for a new line of work?….McDonalds is always hiring 🙂
          I like to think, YEAH I GET TO DO THIS!!!
          Better than digging ditches…by hand…in the winter. (one of my first jobs..many years ago 🙂 )

        • #3196056

          I sort of messed up a tar

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to hey, on that crash linux thingy..

          command and managed to disappear the root contents. It didn’t crash as in ctrl_alt_del but it took a more knowledgable person than I to realise where all the files had gone and get them back.
          The only time I’ve had a reboot to fix problem with linux was with Mandrake 9 installer, it put the wrong NIC diver on to give intermittent lockups. Fortunately I got in in between the machine dropping off the network and then completely locking up. A bit of searching about and installing intel’s driver as opposed to the one on the CD fixed it for good. Something to do with it messing up duplex mode apparently. Easy to fix, but I had to get lucky as there were no reported errors in any logging that I could find and cycling the power solved the problem. Total newbie with linux at the time so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I’d done wrong this time.
          Experience has taught me to believe that initially I’m always the prime suspect.

        • #3195899

          with most

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to I sort of messed up a tar

          unix like os, it’s the person that installed is the culpret, but you also find the problems almost instantly.
          ( solving them may take longer…much much longer)


      • #3195986

        I’m not saying windows is perfect

        by Anonymous ·

        In reply to Because it’s such an inviting target !

        I’m not saying that Windows is the most perfect operating system in the world. I am trying to say that you shouldn’t bash Windows when it doesn’t work your way after installing updates or hardware or whatever.

        The end user market with hardware and software is the short comming of the Windows operating system. Microsoft do their best, I’m sure, to make Windows compatable across the board as much as possible but in the end there is only so much they can do. If the PC crashes, don’t look to the OS, look to the additional software installed afterwards or the hardware within the machine.

        Just recently I setup ghost 9 server on an XP box to test it out. After restarting the XP machine kept rebooting 5 seconds into logging into the OS. Even in Safe Mode. Conclusion, ghost 9 made a bad registry change. Action, replace the registry. Result machine worked fine from then on. Installed ghost 9 on another XP machine, no problems at all. Only major difference between the two machines, one was intel based, the othr AMD based. Install on AMD system again, same issue. See what I am getting at.

        Granted I’d also like to know where that coding error is, and if you ever ask an MS representative, you’ll either get a blank look or the brush off. I have, twice. 🙂 I think only Bill knows.

        What’s the one thing the OS relys on that tells it how the system should function on startup? The registry. Not knowing the registry that well I am going to theorise that since the HKEY_CURRENT_USER is usually who ever is logged on, any changes to that wouldn’t require a restart since they could just be re-applied next log off/log on. Theoretically, you don’t need to restart the machine after installing anything, practically some extra installtion probably takes place during the loading of the files that bring up the OS.

        You can remove the browser. I don’t have IE on my machine because of said security issues. I use Firefox. That’s all thanks to the wonderfully helpfull way of accessing the Windows Update site, Automatic Updates. 🙂 I also use Netscape as a backup when sites have issues with Firefox.

        Who knows why your sound card stopped working. Most likely problem, sound driver doesn’t support that chipset version. Other likely issues, wrong driver, sound card finally died, there’s a resource conflict and so on.

        API issue thingy. You got me. I don’t claim to know everything about computers, and this is one of them. If I did know everything about them, I would be a genius. 🙂

        Profiles and priveleges. Can’t think right now… got a paper round here somewhere on that issue specifically. Haven’t read up on it yet coz I’ve got tonnes of other stuff to get through first.

        MSN messenger can be a real pain. Especially to remove. Did you know that even if you uninstall it it still remains? True. I tried it and guess what, up popped whatever version of Messenger comes standard with the OS at the time the master copy was compiled. You have to go so far as to not only remove the program but also the associated services.

        You know what, I think there’s not enough time in the world to learn computers, but yet there is so much to learn. If I don’t know anything about a particular subject I find someone who does.

        Anyway, this is slightly of topic h