Linux is NOT Windows


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chrisj1968

Look, Look. I remember about the start of Linux. It was mostly command line from what I saw back in 1991/1992. But then with the push..Dare I say push? came KDE/Gnome. I remember trying to install linux on my pentium 133 then AMD Ahtlon 600mhz circa 1997/1998.

Why can't Linux be for both? for Geeks and others? Albeit the differences stated in the article, Linux could work for all if everyone would realize the differences and adapt to those changes.

But as I type this, I realize that, it isn't just Microsofts/apples fault. These two shaped their respective markets. How can Linux fair well when Adobe and others develop only for Windows or OSX?

I'm a photographer. I need Photoshop because, Alot of features I use in post processing DO NOT EXIST in ANY of Linux's arsenal. GIMP doesn't even remotely offer what I need. Case in point: Canon. I own a Canon DSLR and have written Canon about drivers to create some sort of work around for linux. several months later: no response from Canon. Unless application or driver devs respect Linux enough to create applications for Linux, Linux will stay right where it is.

Windows and Windows Genuine advantage = a way for MS to spy on a persons PC.. check www.cryptome.org and see all the white papers about how they develop their OS so they and law enforcement can crack their drive encryption system AND how to snoop on users.

All this would take is a larger adoption of Linux to drive it to the forefront.

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SaltLife

Regedit isn't designed so you can customize Windows. It's there if you need to make changes to the registry. And yes, the tool is slightly more intuitive than a text file. With a text file you have no way of knowing what is and is not invalid data and formatting; you don't even know what your options are. With Regedit you at least have some idea of structure (and format is handled automatically) and what kinds of data you can put in.

True

But, the registry is also a security risk and a central point of failure when something does go wrong. Those are the benefits to the configuration file. Essentially both provide the same customization, however one has less impact on the system itself if something goes wrong.

And I would like to add to the statement of 'knowing what is and is not invalid data and formatting' honestly, you just shouldn't be messing with either until you have researched what you are changing and you know how it effects the system. (But, most people don't do that)

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fix-this!

I have a friend that switched to *buntu and he tinkers more with his computer now than he does actually using it. Every time he updates to a newer version, something inevitably breaks and he repeats the cycle all over.

As a server, it rocks. As a desktop environment, it lacks sorely.

+1... that was my experience with ubuntu as well. i even tried osx86 and IMHO nothing compares to windows and the ease of usability out of the box and easy customization.

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James7

That's was my point in that Linux sucks thread. I've seen some very nasty and vulgar replies towards new users asking simple questions.

I know about the 'reputation' of some Linux fanboys and all--'what?! you don't get it?! shame on you!'

But I have used Ubuntu for three years. I have used the forums at ubuntuforums.org for help and I have also got useful advice here at neowin. And I never experienced any of that 'attitude'. One cool thing about ubuntuforums.org is that they long ago realised they needed to do something to change the environment, and so they make a deliberate effort to cultivate a culture of polite helpfulness. Neowin is also like this. I can't ever remember there being any 'rtfm' attitude expressed here either. There may occasionally be something like that in both of those forums, but it's rightfully shot down and the helpful crew step in. One model of good Linux-helpfulness is our own Mark Jensen. Just look at his posts!

As for having to tweak bits and pieces every time a new release comes out, again, I use Ubuntu. I have experienced this, but I have always been able to sort out the problems with the help of seriously friendly people very quickly. I started my blog to add to that atmosphere, at least as far as the laptop I have now got. It's definitely the way forward with Linux.

I appreciate there are techies out there who scoff at us mere mortals, but the tide has been turning seriously, and sites such as ubuntuforums.org and neowin.net have shown the more helpful future of free online Linux support--a future that is really community-focused.

I am still such a noob (more of a noob than MJ claims to be! ;) ) that I still find myself depending on others for help, but I have always found that help forthcoming. The old stereotype of the Linux geek who expresses contempt for anyone who doesn't already know everything is fading away. Thank goodness! :D

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Behemoth

My biggest problem is i expect linux to work.

That's a pretty vague statement. Work? As in wireless/internet/partitioning/apps? Which are you referring to?

GNU/Linux has always worked for me. I may not have the same setup as you, but Ive managed to get it 'working' on a laptop and desktop with very different hardware.

I made the decision to try GNU/Linux three years ago, and I haven't looked back. If you expect it to be Windows, which you are obviously expecting it to be, it's not. I think that's the reason that a lot of GNU/Linuxers love it. Like I've said before, Linux takes the same dedication and willing to learn as it took when you sat in front of your first Windows PC.

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fix-this!

That's a pretty vague statement. Work? As in wireless/internet/partitioning/apps? Which are you referring to?

yeah i got linux to work too...after hours & hours of loading apps and trying to customize until you install the wrong app or put in the wrong terminal command and the whole system breaks.

I played around with 10.04 and the wireless doesn't work. I really don't know if I want to continue tinkering.

^ thats the biggest complaint about linux, the lack of wireless support out of the box. you would think they would fix it by now!

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Behemoth

yeah i got linux to work too...after hours & hours of loading apps and trying to customize until you install the wrong app or put in the wrong terminal command and the whole system breaks.

Seriously? 'Hours and hours' of loading apps? If you don't mind me asking, what distro were you trying to make 'work'? Gentoo?

I've installed around 20 different distributions on probably 6 different machines, and have never spent 'hours and hours' getting it to work. The most time spent was installing Arch on a laptop, and that was maybe 2 hours.

I'll agree on the wireless statement. That is the biggest problem I have faced with my laptops. Although there are many docs on the net on how to get wireless working with you particular distro, it does take some patience.

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fix-this!

Seriously? 'Hours and hours' of loading apps? If you don't mind me asking, what distro were you trying to make 'work'? Gentoo?

I've installed around 20 different distributions on probably 6 different machines, and have never spent 'hours and hours' getting it to work. The most time spent was installing Arch on a laptop, and that was maybe 2 hours.

yes im serious, ubuntu as usual. the only 3 distro's ive tried were the buntu family, mandriva and linux mint. ubuntu & mandriva was by far the worst & still is.

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SaltLife

yes im serious, ubuntu as usual. the only 3 distro's ive tried were the buntu family, mandriva and linux mint. ubuntu & mandriva was by far the worst & still is.

Linux just ins't for you man...

I've been there before with the complex installation of applications (not so much now with the store) but typically it was only for graphics cards or when compiz first came out.

Edit: But, that tinkering is what made me LOVE linux, learning how everything works together.

I think Ubuntu is def. ready for the person willing to take the time to understand it. But NOT family/kids/those who are impatient.

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Behemoth

yes im serious, ubuntu as usual. the only 3 distro's ive tried were the buntu family, mandriva and linux mint. ubuntu & mandriva was by far the worst & still is.

Wow, sorry to hear you had such a rough experience with the *buntus. They pretty much work out of the box, hopefully you'll give another distribution a try before you trash Linux altogether.

Maybe give Fedora a try? Or maybe Crunchbang Linux - it is based on ubuntu (for now, the next version will be on Debian) but I have seen the rare occurrence where Crunchbang has succeeded where Ubuntu couldn't.

Give http://distrowatch.com a shot and try out a few different ones. (Y)

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fix-this!

Linux just ins't for you man...

your probably right, that's why im back to windows 7. heck i even tried osx86 for a few days and just couldn't stand it. BUT im the kind of guy who doesn't give up and usually every buntu release ill try it again. funny thing is i love windows on my rigs but i hate them on my mobile devices, i use android which is linux. :laugh:

Wow, sorry to hear you had such a rough experience with the *buntus.

it's ok, no harm no foul, just alot of wasted time. in windows i know what i want and i double click to install it. but as i said i don't give up, i enjoy tinkering with other os's but that doesn't mean ill keep them around for long. i even went as far as to try out the chromium os on my netbook and that lasted a whole hour before i gave up. :laugh:

i watched that video "why linux still sucks" and i agree with everything he said. the guy is smart and has high expectations. as to if those expectations will ever be met, that's where im doubtful.

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redvamp128

Well some things I will agree with in the article- but others are well in remote cases.

I have used Red Hat 5 and 7 then went Windows For a while- also ran a few dual boots in the mean time-

Right now I have a friend who needs to have use of her laptop- after one faulty click on facebook= virus (NO UAC came up- it downloaded some codec.exe) after 4 hours managed to get her vista back up I installed a dual boot Ubuntu- so that at least she will have that should windows fail again. Now she goes in there about once a week for updates. She says it performed just as good and is just as easy as windows.

Personally I have my linux now running in VM's (From Xubuntu , puppy and trying different other distro's)

Though once people actually give linux a chance- and realize it is not windows- it does the same things but differently then you won't have so many people upset.

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James7

Edit: But, that tinkering is what made me LOVE linux, learning how everything works together.

I think Ubuntu is def. ready for the person willing to take the time to understand it. But NOT family/kids/those who are impatient.

I do like the knowledge I've gained using Linux (well, at least the easy version Ubuntu provides). But it can be for family too. I used to 'support' my family on Windows, going years back. I switched them to Linux, and all has been sweet. No more worrying about viruses. Just set them up, the SAME way Windows would be set up for them if they bought a generic PC off the shelf, but with Linux, and they get the job done, no sweat. Also, they have stopped long ago worrying about every new virus warning the BBC reports. I just say, 'That's Windows. Don't worry about it as you are on Linux.'

Seriously, Linux has relieved me of ALL of my 'support' duties as regards my family. This is going back nearly three years.

After all, no 'everyday' user installs an OS. They either get it installed for them by OEMs or someone sets them up. Linux has been my support saviour. :D

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Solid Knight

But, the registry is also a security risk and a central point of failure when something does go wrong. Those are the benefits to the configuration file. Essentially both provide the same customization, however one has less impact on the system itself if something goes wrong.

While not centralized you're just as screwed if any of those text files get screwed up or some malicious program edits them. I'd say the benefits of having a central and standardized place to store configuration data is worth these waning risks especially given how easy it is to backup and restore the entire registry (something very few people do). Doing the same on Linux is quite a pain.

And I would like to add to the statement of 'knowing what is and is not invalid data and formatting' honestly, you just shouldn't be messing with either until you have researched what you are changing and you know how it effects the system. (But, most people don't do that)

I agree on not screwing with the registry unless you know what you're doing but things like Xorg.conf needed to edited by nearly all users not too long ago and the registry has always been something you never really needed to mess with.

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ceminess

I do like the knowledge I've gained using Linux (well, at least the easy version Ubuntu provides). But it can be for family too. I used to 'support' my family on Windows, going years back. I switched them to Linux, and all has been sweet. No more worrying about viruses. Just set them up, the SAME way Windows would be set up for them if they bought a generic PC off the shelf, but with Linux, and they get the job done, no sweat. Also, they have stopped long ago worrying about every new virus warning the BBC reports. I just say, 'That's Windows. Don't worry about it as you are on Linux.'

Seriously, Linux has relieved me of ALL of my 'support' duties as regards my family. This is going back nearly three years.

After all, no 'everyday' user installs an OS. They either get it installed for them by OEMs or someone sets them up. Linux has been my support saviour. :D

Exactly! Once you set it up and get everything working, for the typical user, you won't have to worry anymore. No more virus support calls from my parents. I have there PC setup with Ubuntu, and a seamless windows XP running for some work apps for my mom. They love it! Everything works, and its been stable and good for a long time. In fact, I only update them with every LTS release. I have to go over there this weekend to update to 10.04.

And your right, no everyday user installs the OS, when they get it. There have been countless times that I have installed a new OS, and have gone searching the internet for hours trying to find the right driver to this unknown device in the device manager.

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iamwhoiam

How can Linux fair well when Adobe and others develop only for Windows or OSX?

Every year I see posts that claim, "It's the year of Linux!", and every year, like all years before it, it never holds true and will never hold true until those that develop and program for the OS comes together to decides on a unified standard. There's too many options for some of the "core" functionality. The different sound layers being a prime example. Pick one and drop the rest. Too many programs rely on the different layers and that causes problems. Wifi is another example. More often than not, it doesn't work or doesn't work very well, and in some cases you have to use Windows drivers for it and sometimes that doesn't work out so well either.

Linux for the desktop would be a reality if an extremely unified version were to be made. When that happens and it actually works like it's supposed to, and not break things from release to release, more people would use it, and that would draw developers. Until that happens...

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Charisma

I may be in the minority for saying this, but... I don't think I would *want* Linux to be mainstream. By its very nature it isn't going to appeal to a lot of people, and I think the small, user-driven (versus commercial-industry-driven) community is what makes it what it is. As soon as you have a corporation, a PR team, a CEO, two dozen middle management types... you just end up sacrificing the purity of it for the latest money-making gimmick.

I don't know. I'm sure people will throw arguments at this left and right, but... I kind of like it the way it is now. Let it remain quietly in the background for those who choose it.

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aeron

The article seems a bit defensive if you ask me... its sad to see people who preach about Linux so extensively yet they're unable to handle any criticism themselves.

My philosophy on GNU/Linux is this: if it suits you then great! But not everyone has the same needs. I use Linux for what I think Linux does best. I also use Windows for what I think Windows does best. But that's another story. My point is that we can sit here and argue until we are blue in the face, but in the end everyone is different, and people will naturally end up using the OS that best suits their needs. :)

Let it remain quietly in the background for those who choose it.

+1

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HeretikSaint

in windows i know what i want and i double click to install it.

...and after double-clicking to install that app, you've got to hit "next" about 6 times and hope there isn't a hidden check box to install [X Toolbar]. If I want an application, it's usually in the official repositories so I just enter the command line with a simple 'sudo apt-get -y install app' and that's it. No next buttons, no toolbars, nothing; just installation. There are also GUI version of this. I find installing things on windows more annoying.

i watched that video "why linux still sucks" and i agree with everything he said. the guy is smart and has high expectations. as to if those expectations will ever be met, that's where im doubtful.

I just read this and I personally think that these are just nit-picking. Gaming, I can understand. I don't game on my computer so it's never been of concern to me. His points of the lack of iPod is silly to me. Windows does not automatically see a linux partition, should that count against Windows? Furthermore, those "Works with Windows 7" tags are usually paid to Microsoft by the manufacturer so this is a senseless expense in my eyes. Also, the "Free support dries up" thing has NEVER happened to me. I've been with Linux for a while now and I've never come across a problem that the community hasn't been able to solve (assuming I didn't solve it myself first). There is always someone out there with the same problem working on the fix. You might not get an answer the same day but you will get it. I've actually had more luck with linux's free support than with Microsoft's support. If there is a problem with Windows and I can't figure it out, I just end up reformatting it completely. It's less hassle. The "many distros" thing I can agree with. That can be a pro and a con.

I'm not saying Linux is better than Windows or that Linux is even good for mainstream, however, to say Linux sucks is just an ignorant judgment and a clear bias.

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Negi

There are a few of us (admittedly the minority) who get a real joy out of tinkering and figuring out how to make it do exactly what we want. Windows might be easier, but there's only so much you can really do. I have a Windows box but I use it less and less these days because I'm so absorbed with my Linux machine. I really think it just depends on the type of person. Sure, I'm a self-professed geek, but having/getting to work with it is what makes it fun for me. And once you master it, the possibilities are endless.

I enjoyed that too when I was a teenager, but the way I see it... you can deliberately get to where you want using the long way, but you won't want to do them all your life. My prediction is that sooner or later users like you grow up, and switch back to Windows/OSX, or at least graduate from Fedora/Arch to less problematic distros like Ubuntu.

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SaltLife

I do like the knowledge I've gained using Linux (well, at least the easy version Ubuntu provides). But it can be for family too. I used to 'support' my family on Windows, going years back. I switched them to Linux, and all has been sweet. No more worrying about viruses. Just set them up, the SAME way Windows would be set up for them if they bought a generic PC off the shelf, but with Linux, and they get the job done, no sweat. Also, they have stopped long ago worrying about every new virus warning the BBC reports. I just say, 'That's Windows. Don't worry about it as you are on Linux.'

Seriously, Linux has relieved me of ALL of my 'support' duties as regards my family. This is going back nearly three years.

After all, no 'everyday' user installs an OS. They either get it installed for them by OEMs or someone sets them up. Linux has been my support saviour. :D

Oh I totally agree with the less virus related problems. And in fact I ran my entire household on linux at one point (when I was really into it, and living with my parents) and had no issues. However, it wasn't until I got married, and had kids did I realize that I could NOT use linux as our main OS. Mainly because of academic reasons and because of DRM Protected sites (leads me back to academic reasons) things that NEED to be addressed. It's becoming better, but it's not ready yet.

Another posted mentioned, and I'll have to agree... Honestly I like knowing I have this hobby called linux and it is my little secret. It has taught me so much; for instances I made my own bash scripts, one in particular stands out as that it allowed my kids to launch their favorite movies without knowing any CLI commands

Basically I had a script that built an array based on the .ISO i had backed up and populated a list for them to pick from. Once they did it auto mounted and launched the movie for them onto the big screen (had it connected to my TV)

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Charisma

I enjoyed that too when I was a teenager, but the way I see it... you can deliberately get to where you want using the long way, but you won't want to do them all your life. My prediction is that sooner or later users like you grow up, and switch back to Windows/OSX, or at least graduate from Fedora/Arch to less problematic distros like Ubuntu.

Yikes. That's rather presumptuous, isn't it? I assure you, I'm quite "grown up". (And FWIW, I do have Ubuntu on my laptop at the moment.)

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Fred Derf

Wow. Do these people honestly believe what they write? Most Windows users are used to using paid for help on forums? Really? That's the minority of windows users. Windows users expect working releases? Shouldn't releases work? What's the point of alphas, betas, and RCs if the release isn't expect to work either? This is utterly stupid. The excuses Linux zealots give hold Linux back. Their low standards because "it's free" hold it back. Sane people expect working products. Sane people expect others to not be a complete dick when you ask them questions and the solution treads into unknown territory for them.

Most computer users want to call Microsoft or call Dell when something goes wrong*. Only a minority of real world people will google an error message to find out what it means. I realize this doesn't apply to Neowin users and perhaps most of your friends are similar but when you start looking at a cross section of people across all age and education levels then you'll find that most of these people have no idea what a beta is and would never dream of trying to fix something themselves unless they had absolutely no other choice.

*Something, of course, that I would never do because after minutes of waiting and then minutes of explaining the problem and being transferred to an another technician the approved course of action to fix the problem will be to reformat your computer. If you are lucky, the technician may remind you to back up your data first. I've known people who have followed what the technician said step-for-step only to then ask "Where are all my old documents?". Doh!

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c3ntury

Brilliant article, bookmarked and stumbled + dugg :)

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Solid Knight

Most computer users want to call Microsoft or call Dell when something goes wrong*. Only a minority of real world people will google an error message to find out what it means. I realize this doesn't apply to Neowin users and perhaps most of your friends are similar but when you start looking at a cross section of people across all age and education levels then you'll find that most of these people have no idea what a beta is and would never dream of trying to fix something themselves unless they had absolutely no other choice.

I am aware of that. However given that he specified the forums as being paid-for, I was addressing that instance. Most people just call somebody they know or the place they got the computer from. But like I said, the majority of people who go to forums for help do not go to forums they paid for. The overwhelming majority of support forums are free.

People not knowing what betas are is irrelevant to the expectation of releases to work. Just as people expect products off the shelf to work they too expect their software to work. Since there's no money or jobs on the line they can release software that still has crippling bugs. Look at how rough that KDE4 launch was. It was so bad the developers had to retroactively call it a beta for several releases.

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