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Linux Users Are Spoiled 753

Posted by timothy
from the grip-vlc-ssh-gimp-oo.org dept.
Dozix007 writes "NewsForge carries an interesting article on how spoiled Linux users are. It sites examples such as the availability of wide ranging software packages that Microsoft can't hope to provide. Microsoft has to be careful about what kind of application software it ships with Windows. Microsoft reps sometimes point to Linux distributions and ask why they can get away with shipping stacks and stacks of applications without getting in trouble. The answer to that one, of course, is that the Linux distributions give you a choice. You aren't locked into one particular application. Most Linux distributions include several choices for most program classifications; even single-CD distros usually include several Web browsers and email clients."
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Linux Users Are Spoiled

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  • by Goalie_Ca (584234) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:14PM (#9602125)
    As far as i know, there is no legal agreement between manufacturers and distributions and software vendors that disallow a competitors application to be installed as well. I believe this is the entire problem with the wintel world. For example, dell cannot ship a dual boot system, nor can they ship firefox on the windows platform. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    • by RonnyJ (651856) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:32PM (#9602289)
      For example, dell cannot ship a dual boot system, nor can they ship firefox on the windows platform. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

      Dell made an agreement [javaworld.com] with Sun a while back to ship the Sun Java Runtime Enviroment with their computers, so I'm pretty sure that they'd be free to bundle other items such as Firefox if they wanted to.

      • They are, this whole "MS forbidding bundling" thing went out a long long time ago. Indeed, whenever I used to pick up an OEM PC (any time before 2000), it had a LOT of software on there, including netscape navigator in quite a few cases. And Im talking major manufacturers like Hewlett Packard, Packard Bell, Tiny, Evesham, Dan, Gateway etc.
      • Which is fine since Microsoft don't provide a JVM by default in Windows XP. With F/Fox though Dell would be installing an app which competes with part of Microsoft's standard operating system (IE), so I suspect different rules would apply.



        I also suspect no OEM will ship F/Fox until it hits a 1.x release due to it being currently in the equivalent of a public beta. OEMs probably will only supply "gold final" code.
  • by thre5her (223254) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:15PM (#9602139) Homepage
    Not to be YAGZ (Yet Another Gentoo Zealot), but one thing I love about Portage (and this applies to RPM/apt-get based distros to some degree) is the easy availability of up-to-date packages in a single location. With Windows, it would take all of a day to browse around the Internet and update my programs; with Gentoo, a simple "emerge sync && emerge -UD world" keeps my system cutting-edge. Microsoft couldn't hope to match this ease, simply because of the relative lack of free/GPL'd apps for the Win32 platform.
    • by PoprocksCk (756380) <poprocks@gmail.org> on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:33PM (#9602295) Homepage Journal
      My favourite thing about installation in APT-based distributions such as Debian, and even those which are RPM based and are set up with APT-RPM, is the consistency. Just add in a graphical frontend (Synaptic or Kynaptic) for those who are terminal-shy, and you've got yourself an extremely consistent way of installing software.

      While it may seem easier to install applications in Windows, you have to think about it from both sides --- you have to take complete beginners into account as well. If you're presenting a computer to Grandma, what would be easier to explain?

      In Windows, it goes something like this: "if you want to install software, you must purchase a boxed set and put the CD in the drive. It may or may not start automatically, if it doesn't, you'll have to click on My Computer, D:, and double click on the Setup executable. If you want to install from the Internet, you must download it to your computer, and then double click on Setup.exe or Install.exe or whatever shows up." Can you see Grandma's head spinning yet?

      But in a (well-configured) APT-based Linux environment with Synaptic, it's as simple as "OK Grandma, click on this icon here, and this is Synaptic, and you will use this to upgrade your system as well as installing and removing every single program you will ever need."

      If I were a beginner, I'd appreciate the Synaptic method more. Just thought I'd add in my two cents.
    • Gentoo (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jefu (53450)
      Ah, Gentoo.

      I once tried "emerge -pretend some-package" and it didn't show lots of dependencies, so a while later I did "emerge some-package" and discovered that somehow in the meantime libc had been upgraded and the emerge was going to install about a zillion packages. Worse yet, for some reason it failed and my machine was unusable.

      I like gentoo, and I'm seriously considering converting about four machines over to gentoo, but I always remember that day and the time it took to get things fixed afterwar

      • Re:Gentoo (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mrchaotica (681592)
        For "emerge kde-base": do "emerge -K kde-base" first, and then recompile at your leisure, after the unoptimized version is already installed.

        As for the libc thing, that's Gentoo's (only, IMHO) Achilles' heel - one of my computers is messed up in the same way right now (by the way, what solved it for you?)
        • Re:Gentoo (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jefu (53450)
          I didn't have a good network connection at that point so installing from the network would have taken a long, long time. I also did not have another gentoo machine nearby (if I had I'd have tried copying stuff from it).

          So i grabbed an old set of Red Hat CD's and installed Red Hat. And quickly started wanting gentoo back.

          And -K does help a lot.

    • by Bishop, Martin (695163) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:49PM (#9602399)
      Not to be a perfectionist, but -U (capitalized) is not recommended, because it forces upgrades only (which might sound good, but a number of things get into portage, just to be downgraded later because of bugs/security concerns) emerge -uD world is what you should do, and yes some things that you have that might be unstable (~x86) will want to be downgraded, but that's why you need to read man portage, and learn how to use /etc/portage/package.keywords :P
    • "With Windows, it would take all of a day to browse around the Internet and update my programs; with Gentoo, a simple "emerge sync && emerge -UD world" keeps my system cutting-edge."

      Let's see. A day of installing software versues three days of compiling. There are people out there with "older" computers (My 400mhz Celeron is perfectly fine, thank you). Gentoo isn't the end all savior of the operating systems world.

      Mod me down, as heaven forbid we should never criticize Gentoo...
  • by elasticwings (758452) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:17PM (#9602154)
    Damn those spoiled Linux users. They should be made to suffer ad-ware, popups, and virii just like Windows users!!! :P
  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:17PM (#9602156) Homepage
    To discuss the actual article, I find it amusing that Microsoft reps can't handle the fact that Linux comes BUNDLED - LEGALLY - with TONS of applications and utilities.

    And TONS more are available on Linux Format magazine CD's (and even 4GB DVD's)(I have over two dozen of these - GIGABYTES of software I haven't even looked at yet!) or from Web sites and places like Freshmeat and Sourceforge.

    Sure, some of them are pre-release alpha .001 crap. But some of them are damn good (well, all right, at least as good as software gets these days - which is still mostly pathetic). This is true in the Windows world, too, if you spend some time on alt.comp.freeware.

    Microsoft's plan is obviously to buy up everybody who produces any software anybody wants to buy. This plan obviously has a few flaws such as the inability of Microsoft - despite $50 billion in the bank - to buy up the entire industry. Also not to mention that a lot of people would rather be CEOs of their own companies than slaves to Bill.

    No way Microsoft can ever compete with free software in this regard.

    Tough luck, Bill! Have a nice day!

  • by whjwhj (243426) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:17PM (#9602163)
    Yeah when I used Linux I was sure spoiled all right. Spoiled by all those half-days and days spent struggling to install software. Spoiled by all that quality time trying to get my wireless adapter going. Spoiled by arcane command line syntax. Spoiled by the absence of decent documentation. Spoiled rotten, I say. ROTTEN!

    Now I slog through my days running Mac OS X. The drudgery of one-click installs. And gone are those sweet, sweet hours of dealing with hardware compatibility issues! Add to that the cruel twist of LOTS of documentation where little is needed! I SUFFER! FEEL MY PAIN!

    (I'd still rather run Linux than Windows though!)
    • by Noksagt (69097) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:42PM (#9602357) Homepage
      Spoiled by arcane command line syntax.

      What do you mean by this? Linux's CLI seems to ME to be leagues ahead of what windows offers. The shells in OS X seem to be about the same as a Linux shell. If you're rather saying you'd rather do GUI-only, I'd say that that is possible in several distributions.

      Spoiled by the absence of decent documentation.

      This I have to take real issue with. Most windows software, for example, comes with a minimal online help system and a ~10-page install/getting started guide. The proper "documentation" is often sold separately. Most mature linux apps ship with a similarly minimal electronic install guide & often have very extensive TeXInfo or Docbook manuals.

      A lot of Mac software also has good documentation, but many of the programs I use in OS X gathered most of their documentation from whatever *nix application they were ported from.
  • by dslknowitall (562532) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:18PM (#9602168)
    I can't believe this actually in considered an article, it's basically somebody giving themselves an ASCII blowjob. I can't get my sister to figure out how to right click reliably, but somehow a linux distribution would be easier for her to use because it somes with more options..in theory? Having 50 free programs don't mean jack if: 1. you can't install/run them easily 2. define a standard of usability among them all 3. coordinate thier appearance and setup You don't like Word...fine, but guess what, there's no learning curve practically. If you can't figure out how to download a program and install it (a task infinatly more easy in windows) I don't care how long your desktop has been up. Security thru obscurity is a lousy thing to brag about.
    • The purpose of choice in Linux distributions is simply to provide choice. It's not there to make things easier. Of course, it doesn't make it that much more difficult. People who consider choices a terribly difficult thing to deal with shouldn't be using software anyway.

      "It's asking me where I want to save my file. I can't handle this level of personal control! Aaaargh!"
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:22PM (#9602601)
      The article is lacking a certain degree of depth. But let's not go off the deep end ourselves.


      1. you can't install/run them easily


      Welcome to the modern Linux distribution. They come with an application providing a complete catalog of available software. Selecting the software tittle automagically selects all the needed libraries and support applications. Once you're done making your selections, it downloads everything, installs it, and voila... the app appears in your application menu (or you can always use the command-line to start it if you so desire).

      Third party application not available in your disto's listing? Most commercial Linux software runs much the same way Windows installers work. And they'll even make entries in your applications menu.

      Is Linux perfect on this? No. The more bleeding-edge you go... the further you stray from your distro's offerings... the better chance you're going to run in to problems. The same can be said to Windows equivilants. However, over the years of using Linux, I've found that these instances are fairly uncommon.

      If this isn't your experience, it may be your choice in Linux distribution.


      2. define a standard of usability among them all


      Ahhh yes. The standard interface. Ignored liberally in every environment that one has been defined. Even by the organizations who created them.

      Linux has these usability standards also. Quite a few applications are written under them. However, I find it hard to buy that the numerous apps that don't closely conform to these standards are causing that much of a roadblock to adoption... considering how Windows and MacOS users are able to deal with their own upstarts.


      3. coordinate thier appearance and setup


      Pick a distro and stick with it. Most handle things at the base level in the same manner. But if you want a nice GUI, go with a distro known to supply one.

      Sure - powerusers like to tweak their desktops. But a Linux neophyte will likely stick to whatever comes default. And that default tends to be very familiar to any other modern computing desktop.


      You don't like Word...fine, but guess what, there's no learning curve practically.If you can't figure out how to download a program and install it (a task infinatly more easy in windows) I don't care how long your desktop has been up.


      Bull. There's a good learning curve involved. Back when I did desktop support, I would constantly get questions (if not outright trouble tickets) from users asking various Word or Excel questions.

      Heck - just a few sentances ago, you were noting your sister is challenged with the concept of a right-click. Guess what. Simple interface... still a learning curve. So much for that infinately more easy environment Windows presents.

      What I find interesting is the number of issues Windows-centric critics toss at Linux while ignoring simular issues in their own platform of choice. If a user can't handle doing a task in Windows, it doesn't really matter if they can't do it in Linux either. In either case, this class of user is either going to follow instructions or (more likely) plead or pay for someone to do it for them.


      Security thru obscurity is a lousy thing to brag about.


      And having something so easy that it's easily compromised doesn't make much of a selling point either. Having said that - care to point out what about Linux is "security through obscurity"?
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:19PM (#9602176)
    The key thing about Linux distributions is that there's more than one, and in fact if you're not happy with the Linux kernel you can go with BSD...

    In Windows-land, Microsoft makes the kernel, Microsoft makes the one and only window-manager, Microsoft selects which apps come in the one and only distro, and nearly all of them are Microsoft-made apps anyway.

    That's the difference. A Linux distro is the blending of the Linux kernel with a set of tools that use the kernel. And from the most basic use of a kernel, the shell, there's already several to choose from. There's several window-managers.

    It's okay to bundle when you're in a COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT... that's the one thing Microsoft seems to be forgetting.
    • >with the Linux kernel you can go with BSD

      And what is preventing me from moving from Windows to BSD?

      >Microsoft makes the kernel, Microsoft makes the one and only window-manager,

      There are lots of third-party replacements shells for Windows.

      >Microsoft selects which apps come in the one and only distro, and nearly all of them are Microsoft-made apps anyway.

      Thats because they are the one distrbuting it. Doesn't RedHat select which apps come on their one and only distribution?

      >the blending of
      • by Rysc (136391) <sorpigal@gmail.com> on Saturday July 03, 2004 @08:38PM (#9603007) Homepage Journal
        >Microsoft makes the kernel, Microsoft makes the one and only window-manager,

        There are lots of third-party replacements shells for Windows.


        Window Manager != Shell.

        On Windows there are a lot of replacements for Explorer, the Windows desktop shell. There's Litestep, Darkstep, Geoshell, Neoshell, MyShell, @Shell, etc, etc.. My experience is out of date, but I personally tried a dozen fully usable free shells, and there were more you had to pay for.

        But no matter what shell you used the windows always had the window control widgets in the same place. The shell is merely a desktop shell: With explorer you get a desktop, icons, taskbar, systray, and start menu. None of these things controls or positions windows.

        (While you do technically "manage" windows via the task bar, that is not what is meant by "Window Manager")

        Under Windows to get the look-and-feel of window borders and control widgets to be different you must use WindowBlinds or some equivalent. Even this does not replace the Windows Window Manager, it merely provides more than rudimentary theming for it.

        Under Linux, or more specifically under X-Windows, the Window manager controls the placement and sizing of windows. It provides borders and control widgets for Windows. It may provide hotkeys and a few things like that. Anything more than that is not really part of the Window Manager, but merely are programs that usually ship/run with it. KDE does not require kdesktop, it's just /usually run/ with KDE. In fact, the K desktop environment can run with a window manager which is not kwin.

        The parts of what you see on the screen can be broken down like this:

        GUI - this is X
        Window Manager - window movement/placement, controls and borders.
        WM Theme - how your window manager looks
        Widget set - your non-WM-controlled widgets/buttons/etc
        Widget theme - how your program widgets look
        Desktop Environment - launchers, task managers, etc.
        Programs - clocks, word processers, whatever

        Under Windows you can not replace the first two. Under Linux you can
  • by Geheimagent (679949) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:19PM (#9602182)
    The programs packaged in a distribution are from different vendors, hence there's no monopoly here. Nobody would sue Microsoft if they would ship Apache and Mozilla with Windows.
  • ahh, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by endx7 (706884) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:19PM (#9602185) Homepage Journal
    Most of the software distros ship weren't even developed by the distro in question.

    Most software Microsoft ships with windows was developed by Microsoft.

    It isn't RedHat OpenOffice or Debian binutils.
  • On Windows XP... (Score:4, Informative)

    by callipygian-showsyst (631222) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:22PM (#9602205) Homepage
    ...you can run nearly all of the Linux software via CYGWIN.

    For business, I run FreeBSD, Linux, and Windows XP. I've yet to find anything that I use that doesn't run on all three platforms just fine.

    Via the Cygwin [cygwin.com] installer you can install most of what you get with a Linux distro. Other stuff that I use, like dvdauthor, ifo and vob editing tools, OpenVPN, etc, readily compile and run on Windows XP in addition to Linux and FreeBSD>

    There's no reason for *anyone* not to feel "spoiled" by the large amounts of free, high-quality, software available!

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:22PM (#9602206)
    1 - Gimp doesn't crash randomly when editing very large images

    2 - I can save some text in OpenOffice as .DOC and be certain it'll show up in Word as good as I made it.

    (Oh yes, and also if KDE and Moz could stop burning megabytes of memory for nothing, that'd be nice too, but I can live with it)

    As long as there isn't a very reliable PS replacement, and a very reliable Office replacement, under Linux, I'll always feel like a one-legged athlete : really powerful and really good in handisport events, but never really able to compete in regular sport championships.
    • Gimp doesn't crash randomly when editing very large images

      That's for sure! I'd really love to love GIMP, but I can't depend on it for mission-critical applications because of its instability (though Film GIMP is getting a bit better.)

      If GIMP were as good as Photoshop Pro, it would go a long way to getting acceptance of the Free Unix variants on a desktop.

    • Gimp doesn't crash randomly when editing very large images

      That's when you buy more RAM ;)
    • by McDutchie (151611) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:56PM (#9602431) Homepage
      2 - I can save some text in OpenOffice as .DOC and be certain it'll show up in Word as good as I made it.

      Given that you can't even save some text in Word as .DOC and be certain it'll show up on somebody else's Word as good as you made it, it'll be a cold day in Hell before that happens.

    • Photoshop is indeed a powerful program for which there is no viable replacement under linux. One can only hope that one day Adobe sees fit to release a linux version.

      There is however a very reliable Office replacement under linux. OpenOffice has, for me at least, been more reliable than Microsoft Office. OO has kept up with MSO's changing file formats better than MSO itself has, and has its own native file format that is on average about 3x as space-efficient as Word2k's*. While MSO has a smiling puppy
    • by BerntB (584621) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:53PM (#9602764)
      I can save some text in OpenOffice as .DOC and be certain it'll show up in Word as good as I made it.
      Instead wish for something that is possible to get. Like a personal harem or your own space program.

      Incompatibility is standard monopoly strategy.

      So when you reach the point where you can exchange documents with Word -- it'll be when you don't think it is important.

  • The other side... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 404 Clue Not Found (763556) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:23PM (#9602216)
    As a Windows user, I think I'm spoiled. I love having a simple, unified interface shared by almost all the programs I use. I like having simple configuration dialogs for almost all my programs which let me easily change program settings, instead of messing around with obsure configuration files. I'm glad I don't have to spend hours trying to find a good program to do what I want, I just want one that works well enough and is easy to set up and use. I don't need 50 different packages that all try to do the same thing, I just need one good program that actually does it. I like having my programs and commands have names that actually make sense, not things like "grep", "GIMP", "X". I like the compatibility I share with 90% of the world. And then there are, of course, the games that I play. If I'm lucky, I might be able to get three or four of them to play well under Linux, not the entire library I have access to under Windows.

    Linux computers may come with more pre-installed software on a CD, but if I have the money, I can get a Windows computer set up the same way. Most manufacturers would be happy to include a copy of Office if you're willing to pay. Besides, the time it'd take for me to learn how to use all the Linux equivilents of my Windows programs would probably offset any advantage gained by pre-installation.

    As for stability, well, my Windows XP computer has been performing very well over the past few years. I can't say for sure that it's never crashed, but it's smooth enough that it's simply not a problem anymore, compared to past versions of Windows. In other words, it's stable enough.

    From my perspective as a basic desktop computer user, the only thing Linux has going for it is the cost (usually zero) and perhaps security. I don't need all the complexity and openness of Linux, as it all just adds up to a more difficult-to-use environment. Also, I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to secure a Linux system properly, so I don't know whether my system would be any safer anyway.

    So, am I jealous? No, not at all. I'm not saying Linux or open source is bad in any way (in fact, Firefox, CDex, OpenOffice, etc. are all very high quality), just that it's not the heavenly object the article makes it out to be. Maybe we're all spoiled.
    • by Xabraxas (654195) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:05PM (#9602479)
      As a Windows user, I think I'm spoiled. I love having a simple, unified interface shared by almost all the programs I use.

      Get real. Even Microsoft programs don't share the same interface as each other. KDE or Gnome are much better in this respect. Other Linux programs may not fit in so well, but neither do third party programs on windows. Your claim is bogus.

      I like having simple configuration dialogs for almost all my programs which let me easily change program settings, instead of messing around with obsure configuration files. I'm glad I don't have to spend hours trying to find a good program to do what I want, I just want one that works well enough and is easy to set up and use.

      I could spend hours searching the web for the right windows program to do the job, then probably have to buy it, but instead I search for 30 seconds with my package manager and install it in no time. Even if I have to tweak some config files, it still takes me less time than tracking it down on the web.

      I don't need 50 different packages that all try to do the same thing, I just need one good program that actually does it.

      Have you been to tucows or other similar sites. There are more random windows programs than Linux ones. The only difference is that Free Software is generally much better than Freeware.

      I like having my programs and commands have names that actually make sense, not things like "grep", "GIMP", "X".

      Is this a serious gripe or just whining?

      I like the compatibility I share with 90% of the world. And then there are, of course, the games that I play. If I'm lucky, I might be able to get three or four of them to play well under Linux, not the entire library I have access to under Windows.

      A valid argument for once. It doesn't apply for everyone though. Not everyone is into 3D games, or games in general. I'm fine with solitaire, and mahjong.

      Linux computers may come with more pre-installed software on a CD, but if I have the money, I can get a Windows computer set up the same way. Most manufacturers would be happy to include a copy of Office if you're willing to pay. Besides, the time it'd take for me to learn how to use all the Linux equivilents of my Windows programs would probably offset any advantage gained by pre-installation.

      Sure, if I was bloody rich. I would have to spend at least $5,000 dollars to get the equivalent programs on Windows. The "hassle" is not worth that much money. I'd rather take the ten minutes to learn how to use the program. I'm not that lazy.

      As for stability, well, my Windows XP computer has been performing very well over the past few years. I can't say for sure that it's never crashed, but it's smooth enough that it's simply not a problem anymore, compared to past versions of Windows. In other words, it's stable enough.

      You're lucky then. I've had no such luck with either 2000 or XP. XP crashed twice a day and SuSe did fine on the same hardware.

      From my perspective as a basic desktop computer user, the only thing Linux has going for it is the cost (usually zero) and perhaps security. I don't need all the complexity and openness of Linux, as it all just adds up to a more difficult-to-use environment. Also, I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to secure a Linux system properly, so I don't know whether my system would be any safer anyway.

      Securing a Linux system is much less work than securing a windows system. You don't have to spend a half hour just configuring the damn web browser to be slighty more secure then the swiss cheese default settings.

      So, am I jealous? No, not at all. I'm not saying Linux or open source is bad in any way (in fact, Firefox, CDex, OpenOffice, etc. are all very high quality), just that it's not the heavenly object the article makes it out to be. Maybe we're all spoiled.

      Maybe, but if the hell of using windows is considered being "spoiled" then I certainly don't want to see what a bad computing experience is like.

      • Re:The other side... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gordo3000 (785698)
        I have to say that I sit somewhere between the two of you. There are things that I love and hate in both linux and windows, though really I shouldn't say I hate anything in Linux but that's for later.

        I love playing games on a rare basis, because I don't want to worry about getting the latest edition of wine and making the game work, I keep windows. It is solely for that purpose but it has other advantages. As an econ major, I deal for ages with excel files and usually I'm required to turn them in in a f
    • by Hatta (162192) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:14PM (#9602543) Journal
      I like having simple configuration dialogs for almost all my programs which let me easily change program settings, instead of messing around with obsure configuration files.

      Do you really prefer hunting through pages and pages of drop-down menus for the one checkbox that does what you want? Isn't it easier to just type 'man program' and be pointed to the right configuration file and right entry? And let's not even talk about the atrocity that is the registry.

      I like having my programs and commands have names that actually make sense, not things like "grep", "GIMP", "X".

      Come on, could you be any more juvenile?
      What's in a name? that which we call a rose

      By any other name would smell as sweet


      I like the compatibility I share with 90% of the world.

      What sort of compatibility are you talking about? If I want to open a .doc, or .ppt in linux I have no trouble. I can even write them. If I want to open a .sxw or compile a .tex in windows, that's a major undertaking.

      And then there are, of course, the games that I play. If I'm lucky, I might be able to get three or four of them to play well under Linux, not the entire library I have access to under Windows.

      This is a decent point. It's not linux's fault really that few people write games for linux. But in practice it is an impediment to its adoption. I mostly enjoy classic gaming though, so my gaming needs are mostly satisfied with dosbox, fceu, zsnes, and vice.

      I don't need all the complexity and openness of Linux, as it all just adds up to a more difficult-to-use environment.

      Windows may be user friendly, but it's also expert hostile. Climing the linux learning curve is an investment that pays off tremendously. Once you've done it, going back to an "easy" system is painful. Text based configuration for instance, allows you to use tools like grep and sed to automate things that would be impossible to automate via a GUI.
    • Although you make some good points, a lot don't have to do with windows.

      I love having a simple, unified interface shared by almost all the programs I use.

      This isn't true in general about Windows applications any more than Mac or GNU programs. Your "unified interface" is generally the result from using software created by only one vendor. What about ATI's Media Center, Intel's Create & Share, or Cyberlink's PoweDVD? What about almost every game (which is generally considered an advantage for usi

    • Re:The other side... (Score:3, Informative)

      by zsau (266209)
      [Most of the rest is your opinion, or not worth responding to for other reasons, or hell, it might even be correct. But on this one issue...]

      I like having my programs and commands have names that actually make sense, not things like "grep", "GIMP", "X".

      Yeah, because md,* Outlook Express, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, GDI are all so descriptive, aren't they? I mean, we all know what Excel means. It means to do well. So Excel does well. What the hell does it do well? And those are all made by the same comba
  • Choice is good... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Noryungi (70322) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:23PM (#9602217) Homepage Journal
    But frankly, the most important choice in Linux, is, for me, the ability to do a:
    ./configure
    make
    make install
    Also important is the choice of not installing something like -- say -- X11. I mean, what is the point of a graphical interface on a headless server? Windows does not offer you that kind of flexibility.

    So it cuts both ways: installing and not installing. Choosing the best apps and environment for your needs is not something that Windows allows you to do.

    Whether you like them or not (or even use them or not), Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and Outlook Express are installed by default under Windows. Under Linux, it's up to you to decide what you want and don't want/need on your machine.
  • It's all about trust (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ploppy (468469) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:24PM (#9602221)
    Microsoft writes the (closed source) os, when it writes the applications you always feel they've got an unfair advantage because they (and only they) know the os inside out and design the os API. With Linux no-one has the unfair advantage, every-one in theory is free to know how the os works and to build the best ever application. You are only limited by your talent and free time. You trust Linux because you know what's there.
  • Agreed. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by naelurec (552384) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:25PM (#9602231) Homepage
    Its true. From a wiped clean computer to productivity, Linux IS faster. I have yet been able to install Windows, install drivers, do Windows update, install applications, configure, etc faster than simply popping in the latest Linux distro and being done with it.

    Of course, this assumes two things:

    #1 -- Your hardware is supported
    #2 -- The software you want/need is made for Linux

    I'm finding that both of these requirements are being met more and more every day. The latest hardware seems to be supported, the applications are becoming more feature rich and very useful to a wide range of users (some of the apps are the best no matter how you slice it (mozilla, firefox, etc..))

    As far as being "spoiled" well umm.. I dunno. I think its more of a "meets expectations" type of a thing -- stable, reliable, secure. Though I must admit, I do feel a lil' spoiled a bit when my Windows buddies get zapped with the latest spyware or IE issue -- but honestly, should I?
  • by clsc (730336) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:26PM (#9602239) Homepage Journal
    I mean, the windows users are the ones that are spoiled...

    - no difficult choices during setup (pre-configured PCs)
    - no need to read difficult manpages and other such stuff
    - most hardware just works out of the box
    - no need to choose between distros
    - no need to choose between multiple software packages that do the same job, just differently

    ...not intended as flamebait, it's just that (as seen from an ordinary PC user's perspective) the freedom implies choice, and choice means that you have to obtain knowledge, which implies costs (in terms of time) and perceived risk.

  • by djcapelis (587616) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:29PM (#9602255) Homepage
    I cannot imagine the days when my system didn't automatically have a comprehensive package management system that could track and update everything. This is something that even only very few linux distributions have. BSDs have it in their ports system, gentoo has it, and debian has it.

    The simplicity of typing a few commands to automatically determine what is out of date and what can be updated and then proceeding to just do it is very very neat. Right now portage shows that I have 1604 seperate packages installed, tracking all these by hand and making sure each are at their latest version would be a nightmare.

    Even applying experimental patches is simple and happens automatically with various use flags. Of course that's a gentoo-specific feature, but the huge amount of flexibility that is inate just but having package management systems of any kind is huge.

    I shiver at the thought of installing something outside the package management system... how are you supposed to keep it up to date? How are you supposed to verify that it has it's dependencies? How are you supposed to make sure it can uninstall correctly?

    Package management has changed the way I select software.
  • by singleantler (212067) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:31PM (#9602278) Homepage Journal
    From what I can tell of watching people use their computers, often what people want is one good app. to do whatever their current task is, not lots of choice.

    The only people I know who use more than one web browser are web designers/developers checking pages out.

    Multiple editors? I've seen that, but only to handle different languages, and only rarely.

    Multiple word processors? Never seen that.

    For most people, having one set of programs that cover exactly what they want to do is what they want. That's partly why Microsoft have done so well. Get a PC with Windows and Office and you can browse the web, do your e-mail, word processing and spreadsheet stuff. It even integrates relatively well between the apps. That's covered the vast majority of computer users in offices worldwide.

    Going through a Mandrake install you get at least half a dozen options for each application. Really, what I want is one set of applications, each of which are very good at what they do, quality over quantity.

    I've seen several people start using OS X over the last year. By choosing the Apple platform, they're generally getting less choice, unless they get down and dirty on the command line. But, I get lots of positive comments from them because they've got a set of good quality programs bundled with the OS, each of which does something specific very well, and although there's a more limited number of programs on offer, they tend to be perceived as being of good quality.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm very impressed with the number of open source applications bundled in with distributions, and the huge number of others you can download and add. But really, one smaller set of really good apps is what I'd like, and I don't think I'm alone in that.
  • by Cecil (37810) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:35PM (#9602312) Homepage
    Microsoft reps sometimes point to Linux distributions and ask why they can get away with shipping stacks and stacks of applications without getting in trouble. The answer to that one, of course, is that the Linux distributions give you a choice.

    That's not the answer to that one at all. The reason Linux can get away with this and Microsoft can't is because Microsoft is legally considered a monopoly, and Linux isn't. A monopolist has to live up to much higher standards than the average company. One of those standards is giving fair opportunity to your competitors products. If that means you get in trouble for bundling your own products with your operating system, tough. "With great power comes great responsibility."
  • by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:35PM (#9602314) Homepage
    In my opinion, the reason that most linux distros distribute every app in the world themselves is because there is no standardised method of distributing linux apps (and before anyone says deb or rpm, try making a package that will install cleanly in all linux distros without having to mess around with forcing dependancies, and then try to remove it)

    Also, as the amount of linux software gets greater, it's going to get harder and harder to do. You seem to be able to distribute almost every linux app ever on about 2 DVDs. You can't do that with windows, even if everyone one of them was free. You couldn't do it with a hundred DVDs.

    While linux is bad at standardising on anything, it could really do with a standard packaging system, so not every distribution has to package every application themselves.
  • I wish I was spoiled (Score:3, Informative)

    by jaymzter (452402) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:36PM (#9602318) Homepage
    I use a linuxfromscratch system as my personal workstation, so if I can't find a good OSS program for what I want to do I'm pretty much stuck. Oddly enough the only time I've run into that situation with a linux system is finding a good image viewing program. Sure, there are lots of clones out there, but not one is even close to Thumbsplus or Compupic's half-hearted linux version of their windows program. I mean what's the use of having all this pr0n when I can only cycle the slideshow with the mouse? ;-)
  • by grubber33 (746727) <grubber33@rogers.cREDHATom minus distro> on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:44PM (#9602368)
    I think "happy" would do better. Freedom of choice isn't being spoiled. It's a basic right that satisfies the majority of people. By setting up monopolies, Microsoft are only preparing themselves for heavy hits like Firefox and anti-trust lawsuits. By Linux leaving themselves open to whomever wants to develop on their platform, it can only flourish in my opinion.
  • Excuse me. I'm being punished.

    Ever tried to set up a 56k modem in linux? Don't go there.
    Get a printer working under CUPS? Faster to ask your neighbour to print it.
    Firewire support in Fedora. Don't get me started.

    Migration to Linux has never been easy. Sure the tools are advanced, but you regularly need 2+ years of a computing course just to begin to understand them. Not only that but most have (en)crypt(ic/ed) names like xmms,cups,esd and mdadm. And when you get right down to it, what the hell does hpjs DO anyway? The situation is made worse by that ONE guy on the messageboard who will always provide the genius solution of recompiling the kernel. I side with the majority here and say, I do not want to do that. All I want is for yum to work. Pity up2date dosen't, I actually knew what that stood for. (Sigh).

    Windows is like a flashy SUV. Looks great, illusion of safety,easy to drive, buts WILL tip over at a moments notice.
    Linux is like a Space Rocket. Yes it can get you home, hell it can get you into space. there's just a hell of a lot of buttons, and controls, and warnings and a NASA geek on the radio telling you to recompile the booster rocket software.

    Still, the good ship Linux, against all reason, marches on. :E
    • "Windows is like a flashy SUV. Looks great, illusion of safety,easy to drive, buts WILL tip over at a moments notice.
      Linux is like a Space Rocket. Yes it can get you home, hell it can get you into space. there's just a hell of a lot of buttons, and controls, and warnings and a NASA geek on the radio telling you to recompile the booster rocket software."

      And then there's Mac OS X, the new Beetle with a turbo-charged engine but only 2 buttons (on/off and "let me drive for you"). Heaven forbid you want to cha
    • Ever tried to set up a 56k modem in linux? Don't go there.

      Why not? Modems are trivial under Linux because they are so well standardized. Plug it in (USB or Serial) and software like yast or wvdial will pick it up.

      Winmodems, of course, will not work in general, but if you buy a Windows modem for your Linux computer, what do you expect?

      Get a printer working under CUPS? Faster to ask your neighbour to print it.

      No harder in general than on Macintosh (which also uses CUPS) or Windows. As usual, you hav
  • by 3ryon (415000) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:50PM (#9602405)
    It sites examples such as the availability of wide ranging software packages that Microsoft can't hope to provide. Microsoft has to be careful about what kind of application software it ships with Windows.

    The major Linux distributions that I've tried don't include a media player for fear they might get sued, don't include a NTFS driver for fear they might get sued... This makes it very hard for people like me, who don't know how to find and compile all the right modules, to use linux. I've tried three times, always ended up frustrated and gone back to Windows. Mind you, I am the top 1% of users. If you can't convert me you are going to have a very difficult time converting others.
    • The major Linux distributions that I've tried don't include a media player for fear they might get sued, don't include a NTFS driver for fear they might get sued...

      Rubbish. Yes, Redhat didn't have MP3 support in their media player, but many a distro has (at least one, likely more) media players. Those same distros have a kernel that has stable NTFS read-support. I'll give you that NTFS read/write is a different story, though.

      If you are the top 1% of users, then you haven't looked very hard.

  • by msimm (580077) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:52PM (#9602417) Homepage
    Most one-sided arguements do everyone injustice. For Linux to continue to grow we need to look at it more critically, not this kind of self-congradulatory blathering.
    I have not done a formal TCO study on my home network or my relative's computer, but I suspect that if we did one we'd find that we come in at the low end of the scale. Our hardware expenses have been minimal, our software expenses are effectively zero, and even if you include install time, we're talking about less than half an hour per year of admin time per system.
    Less then half-hour per year? Wow, thats funny because I spend a lot more time then that and I've been using Linux full-time for over 4 years. And as impressed as I am by the gerth of available programs there are plenty of times where I'd trade them all for *1* that really works.

    I would have gone along with this kind of gushing buffoonery two or three years ago, but c'mon. Linux is good and if your willing to get your hands dirty you'll probably never go back, but thats the catch isn't it? If you don't want to have to roll up your sleeves randomly or unexpectedly, this still isn't the right operating system for you.

    I wouldn't say I'm spoiled, like a lot of things there is give and take. Lets see some more substantial polish before thumbing our noses at anyone.
  • Apples and oranges (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AstroByte (718093) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @06:54PM (#9602422) Homepage
    I think people are missing the point here! Microsoft isn't a distributor, it's the originator.

    Linux distributors don't write the bulk of what they distribute, that's why it's called a Linux distribution. They bundle what's out there already. They're non-partisan -- a better widget appears on the radar and it'll go into the next release.

    Microsoft on the other hand writes the OS and everything in the release. They're partisan. They might want to ship you everything you ever need but's that uncompetitive and people obviously get upset.

  • by Glowing Fish (155236) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:00PM (#9602451) Homepage
    I am one of the many volunteers at Free Geek [freegeek.org], a Portland non-profit that reuses computers by taking older hardware and installing Linux on it, and gives them to volunteers (for the full description of the program, read the web page).

    Although Free Geek is currently using Pentium-IIs for our standard computers, but up until this year we were using Pentium 200s with 2 to 3 gig harddrives. And on that hardware, we managed to install
    • 5 different browsers
    • 2 different office suites
    • 4 or 5 window managers
    • at least 4 text editors
    • gaim, xmms, gimp, and lots and lots of games


    All of this took slightly less than a gig of harddrive space, and all of these computers were going out to people who mostly just needed to use the internet. And the reason we did this is mostly because we could.

  • by D. Book (534411) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:04PM (#9602475)
    The difference is not only in the amount of software bundled and the choices offered within each category of software, but that Microsoft software is also designed to stifle choice in subtle, seemingly trivial ways and lead the user back to using their software. A few weeks ago I ran into an example of this when trying to switch my parents to Firefox--with their consent--because of all the popups that appeared and the spyware toolbars that kept getting installed when using Internet Explorer.

    I set up Firefox, made it the default browser, changed IE's settings so that it wouldn't check that it was the default browser and wrestle back control if accidentally opened, and went as far as disabling access to IE in "Set Program Access and Defaults". The following weekend, I was back on on my parents PC to discuss what they thought of Firefox, but they complained that they were still getting popups. And when I opened IE, I noticed there was yet another toolbar installed.

    I checked the browser history and realised they hadn't used Firefox at all--they'd been using IE the whole time. How could that be? I had them show me how they were opening their browser. They opened MSN Messenger, and clicked on the "you have e-mail" link to check their Hotmail messages. Guess what opened? IE. It turns out that this method is how they've been opening their web browser since day one.

    And here's the problem--it is hardcoded to open Internet Explorer. It refuses to recognise your default browser setting, and you can't select an alternative in either Windows Messenger or MSN Messenger. This means that, when I'm not watching, they're always going to gravitate back to IE because of that silly little e-mail link.

    So the task of switching them to Firefox becomes one of also switching them to some alternative instant messenging program, and perhaps a different e-mail service as well. The latter two are much more difficult. They consented to my changing the browser because of all the popups and spyware, but didn't want me to change the instant messenging program they enjoyed using and become attached to.

    It may seem trivial to us enthusiasts, but it's surprisingly difficult to change ingrained behaviours in people who use but don't understand and aren't really interested in technology. Those who say "just tell them to stop clicking the e-mail link" have no idea. But those who have, say, preached the virtues of letterboxed widescreen movies, only to find that the oldies inevitably press the zoom button on the DVD remote to make the image fill the screen, will understand.
    • A small incentive. (Score:3, Informative)

      by dmaxwell (43234)
      Stop doing free tech support for them. No one knows how cars work either but most still know that if they drive like maniacs all the time then there will either be a wreck or damaged powertrain. Refuse to do that maintenance unless they are willing to meet you halfway and listen to easy to follow advice.

      Tell them clicking the link for anything but Hotmail is like doing something really abusive to their car and expecting the mechanic in the family to fix it free. It certainly isn't the end of the world
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:08PM (#9602498) Homepage Journal
    I don't see why Microsoft is so constrained about the software they can bundle.

    They would be perfectly within their rights to install Mozilla, Open Office, AbiWord, gcc and emacs, all of which run on Windows. I can't see how the antitrust authorities would have any problem with that.

    They have quite a lot of choices actually. Freshmeat's list of Windows programs [freshmeat.net] has a couple thousand entries.

    • I don't see why Microsoft is so constrained about the software they can bundle. They would be perfectly within their rights to install Mozilla, Open Office, AbiWord, gcc and emacs...

      This statement is actually extremely false. Now, there's a lot of FUD making the rounds about the so-called "viral" nature of the GPL, but what I'm about to say is fact not FUD. Microsoft would have to GPL all of Windows in order to bundle a GPL program together with Windows.

      The relevant section of the GPL is Section 3, whic

  • by pedantic bore (740196) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:10PM (#9602518)
    ... but too many of them smell that way.

    Seriously, I think that they are making a valid point; MS (or your favorite software mill) is expected to turn out monolithic applications that make most users happy most of the time (partly by lowering the expectations of their users, when necessary). If they shipped five web browsers or six media players, their customers would simply be confused and/or demand that they all share the same preferences, etc. Most lusers feel the same way about making such choices as other people feel about buying a car -- the choices seem infinite, confusing, and there's always a suspicion in the back of your mind that you're letting the salesman have too much influence on your decision.

    They're jealous that Linux has users who are willing to weigh the options and make choices rather than blindly choose a one-size-fits-all solution.

  • by G00F (241765) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @07:21PM (#9602591) Homepage
    Granted, a lot does have to do with choice. Mostly because no one aggrees to what thye want so everyone gets 5 cds worth of stuff to choise from. And the fact it is free plays a big part!

    Do you really want to know the real reason? Quiyte simple, MS has several monopolies, when a company has a monopoly it has a differnt/additional set of laws that applies to it.

    OS/2 came with a lot of other applications as well.
  • by nathanh (1214) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @08:35PM (#9603001) Homepage
    Microsoft has to be careful about what kind of application software it ships with Windows.

    Sure, but IBM and HP and Dell don't have to be so careful. They can ship whatever applications they damn well feel like.

    The reality is that Linux doesn't ship with all the application software. Go to www.kernel.org and you can see Linux ships with no application software. The distributions bundle Linux with the application software. There are dozens of distributions who all offer different application bundles. That's how it should be.

    Similarly the OEMs pick and choose what they bundle with Windows. The previous IBM notebook I bought had third party fax software, photo editing software, etc. Dell had a different bundle. HP had a different bundle again. The local whitebox store bundles 1,000 shareware games. This is also how it should be.

    Microsoft got in trouble a few years ago because they informed all the OEMs that they must ship Microsoft's web browser in order to receive bulk discounts on Microsoft's operating system. Some OEMs wanted to ship Netscape's web browser but Microsoft put a stop to that through economic force. That's illegal because it is anti-competitive.

    The article gets it wrong. It claims that Linux gets away with it because there are multiple IRC clients in every Linux distribution. That's not the reason. The OEMs could bundle an IRC client with Windows if they wanted to but there are high support costs associated with bundling an application. Every application in an OEM bundle must have a "wizard" for their help desk and that costs money. If the OEM doesn't think that the increased revenue from bundling an IRC client would outweigh the associated costs then the OEM simply won't bundle it. The Linux distributions don't offer the same level of support, so there's no reason for them not to bundle an IRC client. Indeed, there's no reason for them not to bundle ALL the IRC clients. The proof of this argument is in the newer distributions like Linspire. They offer greater levels of support but they don't bundle as many applications. I predict that as distributions become more focussed they will lose the variety, or at least relegate the variety to "supplemental" discs.

    Microsoft could solve this problem (if indeed it is a problem) the same way Linux does: allow third parties to produce customised builds of Windows. Unfortunately his means your version of Windows might be different to your friend's version of Windows. This splintering effect is what Microsoft wants to avoid, because at the moment the only saving grace of Windows is that it's homogenous. Linux allows customisation in droves and that's partially why Linux is harder to configure and maintain. That's the tradeoff.

  • by psykl0n3 (759848) on Saturday July 03, 2004 @09:47PM (#9603245) Homepage

    I really felt this was quite a badly written article. I have used Linux since around 98 ever since I got sick of my Win95... but now I am using winXP most of the time. I feel that Linux is not yet ready to be full on desktop platform. Yes, Linux dostros do come with a full choice of programs to use, but often they are not exactly the programs you need, so there we go for a search and install routine, especially in slack. Anyways, there are still a number of things the linux desktop cannot do... and that's the main reason I do not use it any longer simply, because there are no decent Audio production apps and no decent vector drawing progs. Most of the installations are still arcane for a simple user... and the amount of time it takes to figure out how to properly .configure and install a program in Linux probably takes as long as finding and installing a app in Windows trythfully, plus most users will know exactly what they need anyhow.


    Not to mention the hardware compatibility problems , some of the hardware on my 2 year old notebook is still not easily set up under Linux. X needs severe messing about to get the screen resolution to the way it has to be using an NVIDIA driver as well, most people wouldn't even figure it out. The D-Link wireless card, which at the time was the only type I could find, is still a mess... Firewire does not work and so on.


    I really do think the hardware compatibility especially with notebooks the ultimate portable desktops simply are not easy to set up under Linux and the lack of a whole sector of applications is highly annoying.


    I still use OpenSource software, but there is only a handful of apps which can be termed as fully functional and well developed... I can only think of Mozilla, Firebird, Thunderbird, OpenOffice and GIMP as truly ready for fulltime use, the other ones still seem quite flimsy. But the main grievance is definitely the initial set up especially all the drivers for all the hardware... Most people who ever tried to set up Linux on a brand new Laptop could testify.


    So maybe in a couple of years when there is a decent DAW and Illustrator replacement, and there is no problem using the whole of my computer capabilities I will use Linux fulltime, but as of right now I feel more restricted rather than spoiled.

  • by evronm (530821) <(ten.cnictd) (ta) (mnorve)> on Saturday July 03, 2004 @11:55PM (#9603800) Homepage
    It sites examples such as the availability of wide ranging software packages that Microsoft can't hope to provide.

    Yes, Linux comes with a lot of software that Windows doesn't . However, you can easily download most of it (in fact, Cygwin makes this almost trivial).

    No, the reason I feel spoiled as a Linux user is that, in the past 9 years, I have not had a single virus, trojan or worm, and I've never needed software to deal with or prevent these.

    Further, in that time, I have never seen a pop-up window I didn't specifically request, and I haven't given a second thought to spyware or adware. These things just aren't part of my life, thanks to Linux (yeah, I know, non-IE using Mac users can make the same claim).

    I usually take this for granted, but every once in a while, I sit at somebody else's Windows machine and realize just how fortunate and yes, spoiled, I am.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:04AM (#9603832)
    But everyone seems to be more concerned with how easy it is to use a program (or OS, etc) than how well it works. It can crash 4 times every day, but as long as you don't have to think to be able to use it, that's OK. I'm seriously starting to think that maybe 'Joe Sixpack' doesn't really need to have access to a computer, at least not the type of access to the type of computers we have today.
    Just stop and think about it: computers are *insanely* powerful machines that were originally developed for mathematics, and that still do nothing *but* mathematics at their core. We've simply adapted them to do (basically) what we want them to do (IM, email, etc.). Then we keep giving people who have no clue what they're doing more and more powerful computers, and the limits of what they can do with these computers continue to expand. With all the malware, spyware, worms, etc. that are out today, it's like giving control of an aircraft carrier to someone who doesn't even have a driver's license (not a great analogy, but it's all I could think of). Stuff *is* going to go wrong, and it *will* affect more than just that one user. Now, I don't claim to have a solution. And the internet is obviously something that everyone should have access to, if no other reason than the sheer amount of information available on it should be accessible to anyone. And don't get me wrong, I run a Gentoo machine and can't even imagine trying to run a distro without Portage (maybe Debian with apt-get, but I digress). There are some things that computers simply handle better than humans for the most part, and package management is definitely one of them in my opinion. But should we really be focusing on dumbing the interface down so much that a 2-year-old with a learning disability can 'use' the computer? It just seems like we're shooting ourselves in the foot, and that later we'll be paying for it even more than we are now.
  • by Thaelon (250687) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:27AM (#9603970)
    Capitalism is essentially survival of the fittest for buisnesses. Sooner or later the best one will come out on top in any market and then they'll have a monopoly if they so desire it. And I don't mean best in terms of their product(s) or service(s), I mean the best (most ruthless?) at running a buisness. Beating your competition either by being better or just eliminating them is what survival of the fitest is all about. If you don't want monopolies, don't use capitalism.
  • by m3rr (669531) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:59AM (#9604095) Homepage
    no OS is better or worse than any other one. it depends on what you want out of it. i run slackware linux and the only issue i have is that i can't play games on it. that's fine with me, whatever. i just whip out my PS2 if i want to play games. as a programmer, i personally enjoy trying to solve problems under linux. i don't mind that it make take me 3 or 4 hours to get a driver to work properly or that i may have to do some hefty configuration to make an app work. but, that's me. if i just wanted a desktop system to play games and surf then net, i would use windows... but, im a programmer and windows programming is homogay.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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