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Windows vs Linux - Home

By rkuhn ·
Scenario - Cheaper/generic components, no experience with anything but Windows, little to no support, time with job and family more important than fixing PC, ability to obtain a wide variety of software (taxes, games, office, CD-burning, DVD making, security (AV, antispyware, etc), replaces PC maybe once every 4-5 years, dialup and broadband users, etc.

Let's hear your opinions. Hey, it's the "typical" user who likes Doom, Barbie games, surfing the web, sending emails and making CD's from their MP3 collection.

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My point of contention is...

by RknRlKid In reply to Windows vs Linux - Home

that the only reason there isnt more Linux at home is the lack of user-friendly internet applications.

Now, before you attack me, let me explain.

If America Online, Compuserve, Wal-Mart Connect, Net-Zero, etc etc ported to Linux, then Linux would be a staple at home. To the best of my knowledge, only Juno has created a Linux version, and that is to Lindows/Linspire. Its not a "generic" application.

There is a reason that AOL et al have such a market share. They are relatively painless for the average home user, and come bundled with the computer. If one of these services could get bundled with a Linux distro, then I think we would see a change in the home OS market. In the meantime, Linux will remain a "geek" kind of thing. My guess is that AOL for Linux would change things almost overnight.

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good point

by apotheon In reply to My point of contention is ...

Linux has excellent networking support. Plug a default Linux install into a DHCP network, and you're basically done. This makes things exceedingly easy with broadband Internet access and a rinky-dink consumer grade router/firewall appliance from a vendor like Belkin or SMC. Any other Internet connection setup, however, requires some notable technical know-how to get it running properly with Linux, generally. If that hurdle were overcome, or if the typical end user finally figured out that they're better off using a router/firewall appliance anyway, things would likely change greatly in the home user market.

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Sadly, I have to agree

I'm not your typcial 'home user'. I actaully like to learn as much as I can. Always had ever since the days of using TRS-80s and Apples, when you had to really use your brain to get something to work.

These days, they want computers so easy that someone who doesn't know that the monitor isn't a "TV screen" and doesn't know how to plug in the fool thing wants to "use the computer to chat with my friends and send chain mail and jokes to everyone on my list because I thought the mail was really cool/funny" - those types want to do this NOW without having to learn. If computers were to remain where you actually had to use your head to use the computer, to actually THINK, the computer sales industry would have went bankrupt and all the other internet-related jobs along with it.

Ease of use for "dummies" is a #1 business. So Linux remains not just for the "geek" but for those who can THINK.

Unfortunately, those who CAN think, Linux still falls short. I can get into it, and have set up an apache web server for local offline web development. But I haven't put linux back in my system because I simply haven't needed it yet. I have IIS 5.1, WinXP Pro and do my web development from there. Then when I'm not working I like games like Pogo and Second Life (which is a Windows only software client), iTunes, browsing the internet, working on my own web sites, maybe some time I want to make video movies and animation using Blender (which I have for Windows). I use Paint Shop Pro 8.1 as I found it easier to use than Gimp 2.2 (which I have for Windows as well). PSP 8 doesn't work in Linux. So if I were to do web development, I'd be stuck with Gimp and it'd be kinda hard to do. Also, where I work they use ASP for stuff and I never got to figuring out how to get Apache to support ASP.

Linux is good to learn from and some things for work I could use Linux for, and for home a little, but primarily WinXP Pro is quite adequite, easier to use and set up, and has everything I need right there without having to switch OSs to run something because WINE wouldn't even load it.

I don't have a ton of time to learn things like I used to. Between work, keeping up with family and friends, and taking care of other important life issues (house cleaning, car repair, shopping, etc.) there's no time to spend four 8-hour days trying to get something to work in Linux to find that it just "isn't supported right now". I been down that road too. Along with "dependancy he-double-hockey-sticks" meaning you try to install something, you have to compile it in a C-Compiler. Then it needs another libarary that doesn't come with your distribution or yours isn't the latest one that's required. So you have to download that and compile it and install it because there's no package for it for your distribution. Then it too needs another library and so on and so on. Often I came up with dead ends, meaning libraries that just don't work in the distribution I was using. And the new distros available on CD didn't have it supported either.

That's another thing, Linux and the distributions change so much that you have to keep upgrading almost the entire package almost every month or less. Where with windows, Windows Update automatically downloads stuff and installs it, not the whole entire OS. And I don't think it needed to update every month either. Maybe once every couple months.

So I stick with Windows because it's easier and saves me time. I wish Linux would catch up to this. Linux is good for servers. But for a home/office computer, it still has a lot of developing to go yet.

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Jaqui

by rkuhn In reply to Windows vs Linux - Home

So, Jacqui's sample size of HP driver issues is 2!

A client and a neighbor, therefore, that justifies his conclusion.

Hey, I'm no HP fan myself, but their printers are typically one of the best. Their drivers are huge file sizes, they typically cost more (though reasonable), and the ink cartridges are outrageously expensive. But they are pretty good.

But cmon Jacqui, please start providing more proof and less personal conjucture. TechRepublic is hopefully about IT professionals and not personal opinion with facts to back them up.

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Yeah and HP give no backward support

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Jaqui

I have three older HP printers and two older scanners than I can get Windows drivers for Win 98 or Win NT4 but can not get working Windows drivers for Win 2K or Win XP as HP say that they are not writting drivers for the older hardware for use in the new systems and tell me to buy new gear. Windows is so written that the drivers for the earlier operating systems rarely work in their latest oeprating system - in these cases the equipment is not usable in Windows XP at all.

Yet a basic load of Fedora Core 4 allows me to use all the hardware as it has drivers that are backwards compatible. What is different, the operating system coders thought about users and the fact that many use older equipment until it decomposes.

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of course

by apotheon In reply to Yeah and HP give no backw ...

I don't blame HP for not wanting to keep up with the rat race in Windows support-land for their older hardware that they aren't even selling any longer. The fact that Microsoft keeps changing the interface for drivers ensures that when the next Windows release cycle happens, a bunch of hardware becomes "obsolete" by Windows standards.

This doesn't happen with Linux because, simply put, Linux has sane and stable device interfaces. They don't go mucking with everything every couple of years for no good reason. Yes, Microsoft has a reason -- squeezing money out of consumers by planned obsolescence -- but that's not a good reason.

Well, maybe it's a good reason to use something other than Windows.

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Jacqui c/o rickk

by warhog73 In reply to Jaqui

Jacqui is a female, woman, girl. It's hard to believe that so many in the forum don't recognize this, but then that ain't the issue, is it? I dig your headings, they'll make for long line of posts and a lot of controversy.
Das Kriegschwein

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hmmm

by Jaqui In reply to Jacqui c/o rickk

My wife would be suprised to hear that I have suddenly become female.
[ she expects to be notified if I'm going to have major surgury you know ]

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Suggest you learn to read

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Jacqui c/o rickk

The messages are posted by JAQUI (no C - commonly pronounced without the 'i' sound on the end) which is a male name of French heritage, or was last time I looked, the female equivalent is JACQUI (with a C, commonly pronounced with the 'i' sound on the end) They usually translate into English as something like Jack (Jaqui) and Jackie (Jacqui).

Regardless of that the comment you make is totally irrelevant to what Jaqui posted regardless of gender.

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So Freaking What?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Jacqui c/o rickk

I understand your confusion; I made the same mistake myself. However, what does a poster's gender have to do their comments? I sure hope I'm around when mae or girli read your comments.

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