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Linux’s Free System Is Now Easier to Use, But Not for Everyone [Ubuntu Review]
All Things Digital ^ | 9/13/07 | Walt Mossberg

Posted on 09/17/2007 1:58:54 PM PDT by TChris

This column is written for mainstream, nontechie users of digital technology. These folks aren’t necessarily novices, and they aren’t afraid of computers. They also aren’t stupid. They simply want their digital products to operate as promised, with as little maintenance and hassle as possible.

So, I have steered away from recommending Linux, the free computer operating system that is the darling of many techies and IT managers, and a challenger to Microsoft’s dominant Windows and Apple’s resurgent Macintosh operating system, OS X. Linux, which runs on the same hardware as Windows, has always required much more technical expertise and a yen for tinkering than average users possess.

(Excerpt) Read more at ptech.allthingsd.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: getamac; linux; ubuntu; windows
Still not ready for Joe User.
1 posted on 09/17/2007 1:58:59 PM PDT by TChris
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To: ShadowAce

Tech ping?


2 posted on 09/17/2007 1:59:35 PM PDT by TChris (Governments don't RAISE money; they TAKE it.)
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To: TChris

I like Ubuntu just fine, but then again I’m not a typical user. Shoot, I’ve dual booted Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (its most stable version) and Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (beta version, final release due sometime next month) before just for s**ts and giggles. I’ve always been of the mind that you go with what works for you. I like Linux. My husband is a gamer, so he runs XP. Someone else likes Macs. If it works for you, then there ya go.


3 posted on 09/17/2007 2:34:34 PM PDT by Severa (I can't take this stress anymore...quick, get me a marker to sniff....)
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To: Severa
I like Ubuntu just fine, but then again I’m not a typical user. Shoot, I’ve dual booted Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (its most stable version) and Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (beta version, final release due sometime next month) before just for s**ts and giggles. I’ve always been of the mind that you go with what works for you. I like Linux. My husband is a gamer, so he runs XP. Someone else likes Macs. If it works for you, then there ya go.

I have Kubuntu Feisty for dual-boot on my notebook, with XP for primary. I was mostly happy with it, except for the horrid mess that is Linux wireless support. That killed it for me.

I don't mind tweaking things a LITTLE, but the idea of doing an NDIS wrapped kludge of a driver for my wireless just turned me off.

I'll wait 'till later.

4 posted on 09/17/2007 2:39:25 PM PDT by TChris (Governments don't RAISE money; they TAKE it.)
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To: TChris

Oh no, I completely understand the wireless support issue. It has its own section on the Ubuntu forums. I’ve been lucky so far *knock on computer desk* the only thing I’ve really had to work at was getting my webcam up and running so I can video chat with my niece (and so my mom can see our sons. Gotta have those Grandma moments *s*)


5 posted on 09/17/2007 3:11:17 PM PDT by Severa (I can't take this stress anymore...quick, get me a marker to sniff....)
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To: TChris
Agreed.

Tried to put Linux (Puppy Linux) on a computer, and it was very difficult to get it to work. Actually, it didn't fully work.

When they make a free operating system that installs easily and then functions easily--and, as freepers on one of the EU court decision threads stated, when more software comes out that works on Linux--then there could be a flood of people to move to Linux (it is free, after all).

6 posted on 09/17/2007 3:31:57 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: rdb3; chance33_98; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; PenguinWry; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; ..

7 posted on 09/17/2007 6:24:49 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: TChris

It’s ready for me. I went DOS—>Windows98—XP, over 14 years. Last winter, I installed Kubuntu and went cold turkey. Likewise my65 year-old brother whose user profile is like mine—long time Windows user. We thumb our noses at MS updates and viruses.
Kubuntu is great.


8 posted on 09/17/2007 6:30:28 PM PDT by Clara Lou (Kill the Terrorists. Secure the Borders. Give Me Back My Freedom. FRed Thompson can do it.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
When they make a free operating system that installs easily and then functions easily...

Why should Linux install easier than Windows? In fact I could argue that, since it's a one-time event, the install should be irrelevant.

Once installed, though, I have found that Linux is usually easier to run and operate than Windows.

But that's just my $0.02. :)

9 posted on 09/17/2007 6:37:49 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce
Once installed, though, I have found that Linux is usually easier to run and operate than Windows.

Not only that, but most of the applications you'll need are already installed too!

10 posted on 09/17/2007 7:01:12 PM PDT by shorty_harris
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To: ShadowAce; Jedi Master Pikachu
>> When they make a free operating system that installs easily and then functions easily...

> Why should Linux install easier than Windows? In fact I could argue that, since it's a one-time event, the install should be irrelevant.

Point well made. Most users do not, in fact, install their Windows either -- it came pre-installed on the hard drive. And after a year or two, when their Windows install is stale and corrupt, slow and unstable, and they are faced with the necessity of re-installing Windows, they... BUY A NEW COMPUTER WITH WINDOWS PRE-INSTALLED.

Ease of installation is a canard.

> Once installed, though, I have found that Linux is usually easier to run and operate than Windows. But that's just my $0.02. :)

Depends on what you're doing; I find them about equal overall. As you know from my previous tech posts, I'm a Linux user, also a Mac user, also a Windows user, also a NetBSD user, and my job is as a Sys Admin using them all, plus Solaris. None are perfect.

For the past year my personal systems have been Macs. Before that for 5 years they were Linux boxes, before that, for a long time, they were Windows. Before that, Macs. Before that, DOS, Unix (Sys5), and a variety of homebrewed microprocessor systems.

I have no religion with regard to operating systems.

So two days ago, at a company function, a businessman introduces himself to me, and says, "You're an IT guy, answer me this. I'm just a guy running a business. I need computers to get and place orders with thousands of customers and hundreds of vendors. I am sick of Windows and its vulnerability to viruses. I want something better, but I don't know whether to go with Mac or Linux. What should I get?"

I asked, "What are your mission-critical applications?"

He said, "Outlook, Excel, and a big accounting package. Outlook is essential, most of my customers and vendors use it. Excel helps me organize, and the accounting package runs my business front-to-back."

I asked, "Do you have any computer support (IT) people at your business?"

He said, "No, I just take my computers to the local repair shop when they break."

I asked, "What operating systems does your accounting package run on?"

He said, "Just Windows. Although I suppose I could convert to another accounting package if I had to, but I'd be hurting bad if it took more than a couple of days."

I said, "Sorry to say this, but if you are wedded to Outlook and a Windows-only accounting package, and you don't have in-house IT support, I cannot in good conscience recommend that you move away from Windows at this time. Your situation is that you're stuck, until such time as you can find a highly-trusted consulting outfit that can plan and execute a major shift in your business tools. In the meantime, learn to love good anti-virus and anti-spyware packages."

Sure, I know about Evolution and I use OpenOffice myself on all my systems. I hated to say it, but Linux would not be for this guy -- it could literally put him out of business. Even a shift to Macs would be more risky than dealing with the devil he knows already.

Damn Microsoft. Software didn't have to turn out this way. It sure wasn't like this when I started in the early 70's. *sigh*

11 posted on 09/17/2007 7:21:06 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: TChris

I burned the Ubuntu CD and boot off it occasionally.

Aside from losing all my settings when I shut down, the thing that turns me off more than anything else is the fonts.

Some sites render readable fonts but a few sites I go to, ugh!

After reading several horror stories from folks that attempted to partition and install Linux on their Windows comp. I decided to try it only off CD.


12 posted on 09/17/2007 7:24:00 PM PDT by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
Tried to put Linux (Puppy Linux) on a computer, and it was very difficult to get it to work. Actually, it didn't fully work.

Funny thing is that I know Linux fairly well (I run Gentoo on my laptop and on my home server, an old white box), but I couldn't get Puppy to install, either. You would almost certainly find that openSUSE (which I highly recommend) or K/Ubuntu is much easier to install.

13 posted on 09/17/2007 7:24:57 PM PDT by Señor Zorro ("The ability to speak does not make you intelligent"--Qui-Gon Jinn)
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To: TChris
Still not ready for Joe User.

Frankly, I'd argue that if Linux isn't ready for Joe User then neither is Windows. I grow weary of hearing the memes about Windows "it just works" and "it's easy to use".

Most issues that people cite as making Linux harder to use than Windows are usually tied to setting up the computer (getting drivers installed and printers set up, for example). In this arena, Windows only "just works" because they got it preinstalled. If these same users had to do a vanilla Windows install (i.e. from a retail box, not the Dell-ified ones they get with their PCs), they would find that "hard", too.

I've had to set up Dell boxes with Windows and then scramble online to get the drivers (even drivers for the network card!). If Windows had the level of support expected of Linux, you'd never need a driver disc with a printer or scanner. It would all be there. The truth is that Linux has built in support for more hardware than any other system on the market.

Another one is that they say that they shouldn't have to go to the command line and edit /etc/some-file.conf to get their printer running. Fair enough. But let's keep the playing field equal here. Do you think that the registry settings are easier? That being told "run regedt32 find key {002300323432-A34jq23942} and change BZORK to true" is better than editing a conf file? I remember sitting in a Chinese restaurant waiting for an order, picking up a paper and glancing at the tech column. Some user (an average joe, from all indications) had written that Outlook Express had conked out on them. The solution? Edit some obscure registry setting. Is that less opaque? I don't think so.

The biggest reason people feel that Windows is easier to use is inertia. They've been using Windows their entire computer lives. They kinda know their way around in it and can survive. By "Linux is hard to use" most of them really mean that "Linux isn't like Windows!". But if Linux were just like Windows, there would be no need for Linux, now would there?

14 posted on 09/17/2007 7:25:52 PM PDT by Señor Zorro ("The ability to speak does not make you intelligent"--Qui-Gon Jinn)
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To: Señor Zorro
But if Linux were just like Windows, there would be no need for Linux, now would there?

Sure there would. Half of what's wrong with Windows isn't Windows, it's Microsoft and the degree of control they can exert over your computing experience. If there were a public, free, GPL'ed binary-compatible version of Windows, I'd install it today. Half my Windows problems would be solved.

15 posted on 09/17/2007 7:30:53 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: ShadowAce
In fact I could argue that, since it's a one-time event, the install should be irrelevant.

After some of the installs I've been through, I don't think so. SuSe 9 (10?), was really great except that the install display was split into four raster images in a quartered display. It was very hard to puzzle out and answer some questions -- the worst install I've had since the original Win95 which hung if the mouse was attached.

Kubuntu 7.04 wins my prize for the most effortless Linux install I have yet seen, equal to the best Win installs.

16 posted on 09/17/2007 7:35:48 PM PDT by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: Still Thinking
Half of what's wrong with Windows isn't Windows, it's Microsoft and the degree of control they can exert over your computing experience.

True enough.

If there were a public, free, GPL'ed binary-compatible version of Windows, I'd install it today. Half my Windows problems would be solved.

You're not the only one who thinks so. There is already such a project underway called ReactOS (http://www.reactos.org/en/index.html) . I don't know how good it is. I played with it in a VM for a few minutes and that was about it. Can't hurt to drop it in a lab machine, VM, or spare box somewhere and give it a whirl.

17 posted on 09/17/2007 7:45:05 PM PDT by Señor Zorro ("The ability to speak does not make you intelligent"--Qui-Gon Jinn)
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To: Señor Zorro

I’m familiar with the project (or at least aware of it’s existence), but I haven’t had time to install it yet. Installing in a VM is a thing I like to do when trying out new OS’es too.


18 posted on 09/17/2007 8:00:50 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: TChris

Dell, HP, and Lenovo who sell to the average user disagree..


19 posted on 09/17/2007 8:01:03 PM PDT by N3WBI3 (Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak....)
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To: Señor Zorro

Well said.


20 posted on 09/17/2007 8:04:41 PM PDT by twntaipan (To say someone is a liar and a Democrat is to be redundant.)
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To: TChris
There are Linux distros aimed at average users: Linspire, Xandros and SUSE. They are all easy to install, set up and manage. Linux has come a long way from the days when only nerds could run it.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

21 posted on 09/17/2007 8:04:49 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Señor Zorro

I just realized it sounded like my last post contradicted the other one. “If there were a public, free, GPL’ed binary-compatible version of Windows, I’d install it today.” vs. “I haven’t had time to install it.”

From what I’ve read, it’s not robust enough to use full time yet, so an install at this point would just be for evaluation and the learning experience, hence the lack of priority to trying it out.


22 posted on 09/17/2007 8:06:51 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: TChris
With Linux wireless support, the workaround is to install the Linuxant driver. Wipe the system and then reinstall it. The next time your Linux OS will load the drivers on start up. That's what took care of my wireless setup issue for me with SUSE 10.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

23 posted on 09/17/2007 8:07:22 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: TChris

Yeah. But wait about 5 years and check where Ubuntu is at. It’s Microsoft’s worst nightmare barreling down the track right at ‘em. They know it too. They’re opening up some source code (and hijacking some open source code, changing a line or two, then filing copyrights).


24 posted on 09/17/2007 8:11:17 PM PDT by DaGman (`)
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To: ShadowAce
Once installed, though, I have found that Linux is usually easier to run and operate than Windows.

Maybe, if the drivers work for you. If there's anything involving drivers or device managment, Windows is FAR easier, in my experience.

25 posted on 09/17/2007 8:29:58 PM PDT by TChris (Governments don't RAISE money; they TAKE it.)
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To: 21stCenturion

...


26 posted on 09/17/2007 8:40:17 PM PDT by 21stCenturion ("It's the Judges, Stupid !")
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To: Señor Zorro
In this arena, Windows only "just works" because they got it preinstalled. If these same users had to do a vanilla Windows install (i.e. from a retail box, not the Dell-ified ones they get with their PCs), they would find that "hard", too.

I build PCs. I've built and configured literally HUNDREDS of them. I've been doing it since MS-DOS 3.3. I've installed nearly every PC O/S there is, at one time or another. (MS-DOS, PC-DOS, OS/2, SCO-UNIX, differen distros of Linux, FreeBSD, BeOS, NetWare... those are the ones I can think of at the moment)

I've installed on everything from an NEC V20 (8088 compatible) monochrome desktop with a 10MB MFM hard drive to Xeon Multi-Processor rackmount servers with hardware RAID-5 arrays.

I'm not talking out my butt. Windows is easier to install across a broader range of hardware than any Linux distribution I have ever tried.

So far, I have installed:

  1. Fedora Core 3, 4 & 5
  2. Corel Linux (This was actually the best I've tried so far. Too bad it doesn't exist any more.)
  3. Kubuntu (Feisty Fawn)
  4. Mandrake (a couple of versions, can't remember the #s)
  5. Slax Live CD (this one mostly worked)
I do have to say that installing FreeBSD on a Dell server with hardware RAID was surprisingly easy.

I would have fallen head over heels for Kubuntu on my notebook, except for the stinking wireless.

Do you think that the registry settings are easier? That being told "run regedt32 find key {002300323432-A34jq23942} and change BZORK to true" is better than editing a conf file?

That's apples to oranges. I honestly can't remember the last time I had to edit the registry to get a hardware driver to work correctly. And, other than 1) serious software malfunctions or 2) intentional hacks, I don't have to diddle in the registry at all.

On the other hand, modifying config files is often the standard way of doing things in Linux.

And recompiling the kernel and/or driver source to make something work is just unacceptable to the majority of computer users. Whatever you may personally think of that statement, it's true.

27 posted on 09/17/2007 8:48:42 PM PDT by TChris (Governments don't RAISE money; they TAKE it.)
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To: N3WBI3
Dell, HP, and Lenovo who sell to the average user disagree..

Sure they offer their Linux machines to the average user, but I'd bet money that few average users are actually the ones buying those machines.

I know there's quite a debate in the Linux community over whether they should even TRY to go after Ma & Pa User, and that question is valid. If the Linux people want to say, "Hey, this O/S just isn't intended for you. You'll do better with Windows or a Mac", that would be perfectly respectable. But if they are going to try to appeal to the masses, then there are some usability and configurability standards which have been set by Windows that it will be expected to meet.

A LOT of progress is evident in the latest distros. That's outstanding, and I believe they'll eventually get there. If more hardware vendors get a clue, like AMD/ATi just did, and open up their driver source, then things will only get better. (What business are you hardware vendors in, anyway? Aren't you trying to sell more hardware? Since your drivers are free anyway, why not open the source? It can only sell more hardware!)

28 posted on 09/17/2007 8:57:05 PM PDT by TChris (Governments don't RAISE money; they TAKE it.)
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To: DaGman
Yeah. But wait about 5 years and check where Ubuntu is at. It’s Microsoft’s worst nightmare barreling down the track right at ‘em. They know it too. They’re opening up some source code (and hijacking some open source code, changing a line or two, then filing copyrights)

I completely agree!

Linux is almost there. In a few years, Microsoft will be writing Linux applications to stay in business. The O/S market will simply be taken from their hands. The programming talent and numbers on Linux's side are simply overwhelming. MS can't afford to compete much longer.

29 posted on 09/17/2007 9:00:42 PM PDT by TChris (Governments don't RAISE money; they TAKE it.)
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To: Severa

I just downloaded Feisty Faun to check out, and I’m playing with it on my laptop in a VM. I had to experiment a bit to get the DVD libraries and codecs to work. I’d guess I spent about 30 minutes on it... Other than that, everything came right up. But of course, with hardware virtualized like that, there wouldn’t be many problems.

The reason I’m trying it is that I’ve got a friend who has NO BUSINESS using a computer! No matter what I do, about every 3 weeks I have to run HiJackThis to get rid of malware, and he’s constantly picking up viral infections. I’ve installed just about everything on his computer that I can think of (Spyware Blaster, Microsoft Anti-Spyware, AVG Anti-Spyware, Spybot S&D w/ Tea Timer, Ad Aware, and AVG AV. It’s almost like he’s going around the web TRYING to infect his computer.

I’m going to introduce him to Linux for his web and email access. And he won’t be given the root password!

Mark


30 posted on 09/17/2007 9:25:40 PM PDT by MarkL (Listen, Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government)
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To: sionnsar
SuSe 9 (10?), was really great except that the install display was split into four raster images in a quartered display. It was very hard to puzzle out and answer some questions -- the worst install I've had since the original Win95 which hung if the mouse was attached.

I had the same problem... I got on another computer, did a google search, and had the work-around in about 5 minutes.

And I agree about the Feisty Faun install. It's the simplest Linux installation I've ever been involved in.

Mark

31 posted on 09/17/2007 9:31:42 PM PDT by MarkL (Listen, Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government)
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To: TChris
If there's anything involving drivers or device managment, Windows is FAR easier, in my experience.

You must have missed out on the fun of ATI video drivers on Windows 98, NT, and 2000. Some of those issues were far worse than even nVidia drivers on Linux!

Mark

32 posted on 09/17/2007 9:34:31 PM PDT by MarkL (Listen, Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government)
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To: TChris

I’m installing Ubuntu from a disk I got last week at VMWorld even as I type into a VMware Virtual Machine to give it a go. Perhaps I’ll write it up after I’m done too. :-)


33 posted on 09/17/2007 9:43:16 PM PDT by zeugma (If I eat right, don't smoke and exercise, I might live long enough to see the last Baby Boomer die.)
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To: MarkL
You must have missed out on the fun of ATI video drivers on Windows 98, NT, and 2000. Some of those issues were far worse than even nVidia drivers on Linux!

You can find individual anecdotes to support any point of view. I'm talking about the overall hardware support picture. It's a simple fact of life that Windows has the best hardware support. The Windows driver is the first and most important code any hardware vendor creates. It's a purely market-driven decision on a vendor's part, and it's not fair or anything like that, but it's a fact.

Here's a hint: If Linux gets a centralized hardware driver manager like Windows' "Device Manager", where you can install and remove hardware and drivers with a single GUI tool, then they'll have Windows by the throat. A centralized device configuration tool like Windows' "Control Panel" would be nice too. I believe Linux is pretty close to that, if not there already.

34 posted on 09/17/2007 9:52:15 PM PDT by TChris (Governments don't RAISE money; they TAKE it.)
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To: TChris
The worst problem is resolving dependencies. Usually you download the required files from the same repository from which you install the software. I was able to upgrade Thunderbird and Firefox successfully to the latest versions. Yast is a great GUI tool for SUSE but Smart and Apt-get with Synaptic also come with GUI interfaces. You have to run those from the command line as a superuser.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

35 posted on 09/17/2007 10:37:32 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: TChris
Linux today has a GUI Control Center - KDE or GNOME for configuring various hardware and system settings. Its a lot easier than it used to be and you only need to customize your settings once.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

36 posted on 09/17/2007 10:39:21 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: TChris
Like you, I've worked with many different OS since I first began working with computers, and I was just trying to make a very simple point... That people who blindly say that Windows is easy" are usually very wrong. You're correct in saying that hardware support is better for Windows than any other OS. It had better be if the manufacturers want to be able to compete in the market. Every OS has issues and problems. The easiest ones to deal with are monolithic, where everything, hardware, software, OS, and drivers come from a single manufacturer. But there are problems even in those systems. It's just in systems like Windows where you're dealing with different manufacturers and software that things can get really exciting.

Mark

37 posted on 09/17/2007 11:04:43 PM PDT by MarkL (Listen, Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government)
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To: MarkL
I’ve installed just about everything on his computer that I can think of (Spyware Blaster, Microsoft Anti-Spyware, AVG Anti-Spyware, Spybot S&D w/ Tea Timer, Ad Aware, and AVG AV. It’s almost like he’s going around the web TRYING to infect his computer.

Good lord, where is he going that he needs all of that?....Nevermind I don't want to know. Be careful of that root password, cause if knows how to search at all it's no problem looking on the forums to find out how to change it.

38 posted on 09/18/2007 4:54:07 AM PDT by Severa (I can't take this stress anymore...quick, get me a marker to sniff....)
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To: TChris
"Linux is almost there."

I would say that Linux is about on a par with Windows 95 and in many cases Win98 SE, depending on how well a hardware configuration works with Linux. The point being that there is a great deal of usability already built into Linux and there will be much more to come.

Security-wise, Linux runs circles around Windows. You don't need a virus software, to begin with.

39 posted on 09/18/2007 5:10:20 AM PDT by DaGman (`)
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To: MarkL
The reason I’m trying it is that I’ve got a friend who has NO BUSINESS using a computer! No matter what I do, about every 3 weeks I have to run HiJackThis to get rid of malware, and he’s constantly picking up viral infections.

Have you tried Sandboxie

www.sandboxie.com

that should help alot if you can encourage him to use it ... possibly the paid version ($25) that will always keep the browser contained automataically

40 posted on 09/18/2007 6:25:34 AM PDT by SubGeniusX ($29.95 Guarantees Your Salvation!!! Or TRIPLE Your Money Back!!!)
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To: TChris
I build PCs. I've built and configured literally HUNDREDS of them. I've been doing it since MS-DOS 3.3. I've installed nearly every PC O/S there is, at one time or another. (MS-DOS, PC-DOS, OS/2, SCO-UNIX, differen distros of Linux, FreeBSD, BeOS, NetWare... those are the ones I can think of at the moment)

I have a similar experience level. I've built computers from the mid-80s on and installed just about everything, various Unix distros, Linux distros, Banyan vines, Novell 2.2 on up, just about every Dos version, warp, etc. I personally ran a RH5 then 6.xx server for NAT before you could buy a router for $50 bucks(it ultimately got rooted and started hacking into financial institutions)

I have an Xubunto dual boot drive on one of my personal machines and frankly, I rarely boot it up except for some excellent network diagnostic tools.

If I could get a solid DirectX implimentation on a solid linux distro, I'd move mostly into the Linux world for my personal business(I'm a gamer). At work however, I manage hundreds of PCs worldwide that run front-end apps that drive manufacturing equipment. The HW vendors provide "interface" control apps that are generally a hardware interface the vendor provides with their equipment and I have to interface with that. Almost exclusively, they are VC++/VB/C# apps or ActiveX controls. Yes, I know there are cross platform ways of dealing with that stuff. It's easier however to fire up VC++ or VB in XP, write a few API Call, parse some data and be done with it.

I personally think Vista is a pig, it's MEII(Mistake Edition II). If the next MS OS is built on the invasiveness/DRM and annoyances of Vista, MS is done for in OS design and Linux is going to eat their lunch. Today, 7/2007, Linux just isn't there yet. It's getting there.

41 posted on 09/18/2007 7:11:03 AM PDT by Malsua
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To: TChris

IB4GE


42 posted on 09/18/2007 1:59:28 PM PDT by bigdcaldavis ("I'm not some candy-assed white liberal looking to turn you into better citizens." - Martin Querns)
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To: bigdcaldavis

That’s not too hard to do these days....


43 posted on 09/18/2007 5:56:18 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

Has GE been banned?


44 posted on 09/18/2007 6:13:26 PM PDT by bigdcaldavis ("I'm not some candy-assed white liberal looking to turn you into better citizens." - Martin Querns)
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To: bigdcaldavis; N3WBI3; antiRepublicrat
Has GE been banned?

I was just about to say yes, when I checked. It turns out he was merely suspended. He's back now.

45 posted on 09/18/2007 8:05:11 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce; bigdcaldavis; antiRepublicrat

I think the mod told him that suspensions are now but if he continues with the personal attacks he will be banned..


46 posted on 09/18/2007 8:37:55 PM PDT by N3WBI3 (Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak....)
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To: TChris
I do have to say that installing FreeBSD on a Dell server with hardware RAID was surprisingly easy.

My all time favorite installer is NetBSDs. Quick, easy, and gets you a base system in no time.

I would have fallen head over heels for Kubuntu on my notebook, except for the stinking wireless.

ndiswrapper? Seriously, all you're doing is installing a stinking driver. That shouldn't be a difficult concept.

That's apples to oranges.

Er, no it's not. The registry is the central configuration "hive" for Windows; conf files are the distributed configuration "hive" for Linux/BSD/UNIX. They fill equivalent functions on different systems. I would argue, as I already did, that conf files are less opaque than the registry and far more hardy (I can't think of any conf file that, if deleted, would render the system inoperable aside from a reinstall; the closest might by /etc/fstab, but you can still boot and fix that one).

On the other hand, modifying config files is often the standard way of doing things in Linux.

For what? Configuring Apache? If you want a system that has a pretty GUI, openSUSE's yast covers just about everything, including printer management (i.e. cups).

I'm not talking out my butt. Windows is easier to install across a broader range of hardware than any Linux distribution I have ever tried.

Maybe not, but that doesn't mean that you're not speaking from inertia or preference.

And recompiling the kernel and/or driver source to make something work is just unacceptable to the majority of computer users. Whatever you may personally think of that statement, it's true.

I agree. I've only compiled a kernel on two distros (Slackware and Gentoo) and it was only necessary on one (Gentoo; I wanted a 2.6 kernel on Slackware). Precisely how long has it been since you actually tried a Linux distro? You say you used FC 3,4,5 and Kubuntu FF; I can't imagine that you had to compile a kernel with any of them.

47 posted on 09/21/2007 8:05:56 PM PDT by Señor Zorro ("The ability to speak does not make you intelligent"--Qui-Gon Jinn)
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