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The GPL Impedes Linux More Than It Helps? 386

Posted by Zonk
from the cutting-into-fun-time dept.
Anonymous Coward writes "Linux ought to be even more successful than it is. On ZDNet, Paul Murphy ponders the reasons why. For one thing: The GPL impedes Linux more than it helps. Licensing issues, coupled with patent and copyright FUD, have caused developers and VCs to think twice before committing to Linux. Murphy also suspects that desktop Linux is stuck on stupid." From the post: "Basically, legal issues, or the threat of legal issues, caused some key applications developers to back off Linux while the general negativism of Linux marketing caused many of the individuals whose innovations should have been driving Linux adoption to hang fire until MacOS X and Solaris for x86 under the CDDL came along."
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The GPL Impedes Linux More Than It Helps?

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  • "Ought to be"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oGMo (379) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:07PM (#13713952)
    Why should Linux "ought to be" anything other than what it is? If Linux were something else, it would not be Linux. If that were the case, it might not even be as popular as it is.

    This is typical ZDNet FUD. Is there any evidence that intelligent, well-informed businesspeople (i.e. those who have clueful lawyers) have a remote concern about licensing when choosing Linux?

  • by Daengbo (523424) <daengboNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:08PM (#13713959) Homepage Journal
    So how's that look-like-Windows thing working for the Linux community? Is the wave of desktop adoption far ahead of where it was in 2001 and 2002 when this started? And, if not, why don't we stop doing it? Is it because we're stuck on stupid?
    Maybe some of the commercial ones are looking to limit the retrain time, but I don't think that Gnome looks a bit like windows (or acts like it), and I guess he certainly hasn't seen http://www.symphonyos.com/ [symphonyos.com]. And, yes, I read that article.
  • by ispepalocacoc (592651) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:09PM (#13713978)
    Because OSX isn't for everyone. I use it everyday at work, but when I get home I much prefer using kde on my linux box. I can configure it pretty much any way I want it and in my opinion most of the software is better. I prefer Amarok to iTunes, digikam to iPhoto, gaim to adium and so on.

    OSX looks pretty and does work well (especially expose), but I have my desktop at home set up exactly how I want it, where as with OSX I'm always conforming to their way of doing things.
  • This is not hard (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gogo0 (877020) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:11PM (#13713993)
    For a large company looking to create software for Linux, all they need to do is write their own software and not link to any GPL'd code. This is no different than any other software (except that some might use win32 libs for gui, but I'm just guessing -I'm no programmer). There is no legal question in that, and I find it strange that a company would think there is one.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:15PM (#13714037) Journal
    Licensing didn't drive me away from Linux. I am not a huge fan of the GPL - I agree with the FSF's goals, but I would rather Free Software win because purchasers realise the intrinsic value of freedom from any potential vendor lock-in than from thinly veiled coercion - but I still use things like GCC, Vim, and a number of other GPL'd programs. The thing that drove me away from Linux (and to OS X, and Free/OpenBSD) was the documentation. I've read Linux man pages that are terse to the point of containing no useful information, written in such appalling English that I wonder how the author could have managed to write a single line of C, or just plain wrong. In the BSD camp, the documentation is orders of magnitude better (and Apple also does well, by importing the FreeBSD man pages - and sending some corrections back).

    The other thing was stability between versions. Linux is notorious for changing kernel APIs between minor versions. This is fine if all of your hardware has maintained open source drivers, but if not then upgrading becomes a game of Russian Roulette - seeing which devices will stop working (it was USB mass storage devices in our department's Linux lab last year, for about a month, with SuSE Linux). Any unmaintained drivers eventually find themselves using a no-longer-supported API and stop working, while closed drivers are often not updated often enough to notice the kernel change until users have started complaining.

  • Re:Linux and GPL (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Slashdot_Gandhi (912342) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:18PM (#13714068)

    I think the issue is that GPL does not fit with our style of doing business. Linux has been more sucessful in some european countries than in USA, because in america we are not used to (what some call) a "gift economy" outside universities. Some european friends I know have been using Linux sice they were 13, and it is not uncommon to find students who started with Linux in 1993 or 94. Back then, they didn't distrust or back off from software that was not manufactured or supported by a software giant. Instead, they embraced the challenge that Linux presented. In america on the other hand, people are largely used to the capitalistic way of doing things: i.e. you earn money and you find someone who can sell what you need. Anything new (like GPL) that breaks this line of thinking immediately puts people on the defensive.

    I think Linux should be distributed with different licenses in different countries.

  • The US Constitution (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:19PM (#13714084)
    The US Constitution impedes your rights more than it helps. Let's just get rid of that annoying little document.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:20PM (#13714095)
    While Desktop Linux has been improving, it is stuck because of a lack of interest and motivation to make it a desktop replacement. If you look at this article with Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MarkShuttleworth [ubuntu.com], it's fairly easy to see that people don't particularly care about the perspective of Linux for anyone except developers and those to whom "source code" even means something. It's generally the same thing with the GPL, where it's written from and for a programmer's perspective. Sure, I as a "user" like the source code and completely understand the "freedom" in that context because I actually appreciate and use the source code.

    From a real "user's" perspective, however, source code is useless. Unless they have the technical knowledge to change something, or the resources to hire someone to change/configure something for them, it's a total non-starter. From that perspective, Windows, while bad in many respects, actually offers more "freedom" to an end user in terms of what it allows them to do by themselves without having to go through a steep learning curve and specialize in something that should be a tool.

    I have been using Linux for well over thirteen years, and I absolutely *loathe* how hard it is to do simple things. I want a fully integrated GUI. Sure, I can do it the hard way, and I like that the power of the CLI is there when I *choose* to go into it, but for the most part, it completely sucks. Apt-get my !@#$. ./configure your way to hell. I want something where there is a standard way to install something.

    If source code is the way, then make a completely GUI-oriented, extremely simple, build tool that will take the source as a package and install it without having to type a single command. I would say that perhaps Gentoo was on to something, but from what I understand the community is even more elitist than most.
  • by cowscows (103644) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:21PM (#13714101) Journal
    I think he's trying to hard. He starts by asking why all of the momentum that Linux built up during the late 90's is hard to see today. I'm just going to take a guess and say that maybe a lot of that enthusiasm went down with the dot com crash. You know, when the big tech bubble burst, and pretty much everyone's hype fell through? When businesses finally realized that just throwing more and more money into their IT departments wouldn't magically increase their productivity by 600% each year, perhaps that something to do with it?

    I don't think it's been a problem with Linux as much as a more realistic take on the tech industry. Plowing ahead at the blistering pace of the late 90's was fun, but it resulted in a whole lot of wasted money, and it's recent enough that people are still remembering that. It's just a little bit harder to sell that kind of hype right now, so we don't hear as much of it. Meanwhile, Linux is continuing to do what it's always done, there's plenty of development going on for it, and new people continue to adopt it. It might be a little slower right now, it's definitely quieter at the moment, but progress hasn't hit a brick wall.

    I think this guy is looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist.
  • by ivan256 (17499) * on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:25PM (#13714134)
    Indeed. That's why I said it's not clear that it would be better.

    I disagree that BSD takeup lags behind Linux. BSD licensed code ends up everywhere. Places you wouldn't even think to look. It just isn't called BSD anymore when it gets there. Again, up for debate/personal opinion whether this is good or not.
  • by Jeremi (14640) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:27PM (#13714148) Homepage
    The modified Artistic license and modified BSD license are much more user friendly, and if Linux and most Linux software used those instead adoption would probably be greater. It's not clear that would be better though.


    It seems to me that we don't have to just speculate here -- we more or less have an example of what Linux would look like under a BSD license; just look at the FreeBSD/NetBSD/etc. Those OS's are fairly similar to Linux, and are BSD'd, not GPL'd. And it seems to me (feel free to tell me if I'm wrong) that Linux has rather more momentum/popularity/support than they do. Why is that? My feeling is that it is largely due to the GPL. Because Linux is under the GPL, people (and companies) feel more willing to contribute their time towards improving Linux, because they feel that their work is going to "the commons" and is more likely to benefit everyone and less likely to benefit only certain parties.


    For example: Do you think IBM would be so willing to throw developers at Linux if they thought Microsoft could just come in and scoop up all of that nice code into the next version of Windows?

  • by blueZhift (652272) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:32PM (#13714193) Homepage Journal
    IANAL, but I think the GPL protects Linux rather than hurts it. Without the GPL, there probably would not be the free and open Linux we see today. It would likely be just another struggling proprietary OS destined to disappear once its owner was bought out or went bankrupt or just gave up on it (see OS/2). I really don't care if giant corporations adopt Linux or not, I just want a good tool that helps me get work done and helps me have fun on occasion as well.

    The fact that Linux is free and open means, almost by definition, that it cannot have "success" in the usual sense. It cannot be easily sold shrinkwrapped for profit. And it cannot be closed up to thwart competitors either. By the same measure, it also means that it cannot fail either, for there will always be someone for whom it is the right tool at the right time even if MegaCorp Inc. can't make a dime off of it. The GPL makes this possible. Linux isn't going to die anytime soon, but it probably isn't going to be the OS of your grandma either, that is until it's widely used in cell phones, but that's another story!
  • by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:34PM (#13714219)
    I think it would be worse. Would IBM or HP put out big chunks of code under BSD, where their competitors could add it to their proprietary products (like Windows or Solaris)? Nope. The GPL allows them to do so without fear it will be used against them.

    I know I personally do not develop for anything that isn't GPL (or, occasionally, LGPLed). GPL is a way of using copyright law as a weapon. Company X wants to take the card I wrote, stick it in their proprietary code, then sue me when I make a copy of their program? I don't think so, I'm not playing that game. The GPL levels the playing field- if they want my code, they can have it, they just have to give theirs to me as well. If tyhey don't want to do that, they can rewrite it on their money. Sounds good to me.
  • The desktop (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ardor (673957) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:35PM (#13714224)
    ah, the ultimate goal: Desktop Linux. He is right, its stalled. Distros like Ubuntu *almost* reach competitive usability. Almost because there is always some stuff that doesn't work properly. But this is rapidly being cured out.

    Two potential reasons for the stall:

    1. Lack of self-explaining software.
    Software should not require the user to read the manual for the most basic tasks, the user should be able to find them out easily. KDE apps usually are self-explaining, GNOME apps too, however most other opensource projects aren't.

    2. Application installation. This is a nasty one. The immediate answer is usually that the distros all have such a nice package system. Yeah, but what if software XY isn't in the package database? Tough luck, have fun compiling (if its not a binary-only version). This is where Windows is lightyears ahead: setup screens all look the same, behave the same way, and are easy to install. Linux? ahem... The only ones who got it right were Loki, who created their Loki installer. It is dead easy to install UT2004 in Linux. ALL apps should have self-extracting graphical installers, and the installation system should be *DE*centralized.

    3. Hardware support. Despite the advances in the last years, hardware support still sucks sometimes. Try to get a TwinkeCam to work with Ubuntu 5.04. Its impossible unless you want to downgrade the KERNEL to a 2.4 one. Compiling the driver is not possible because of broken code that is incompatible with the 2.6 kernel (even with the 2.6 patches to the Makefile).

    4. The community. Look, if you want people to choose Linux instead of Windows, you have to change something. "RTFM" is intolerable. Questions like how to mount a network share should not end in some obscure /etc/fstab editing instructions, this should be possible with a nice graphical app. In fact, NOTHING regarding desktop usage should ever require xterm usage and/or configfiles editing.

    To sum it up: People like stuff that "Just Works". Linux desktops rarely just work. The moments when they don't are far more frequent than with Windows and OSX desktops.
  • Re:This is not hard (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chosen Reject (842143) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:39PM (#13714261)
    write their own software and not link to any GPL'd code

    I think this answers what I've been wondering for a while. That is: If I write my own program nearly all from scratch, but use a single call to some Linux API (let's say a simple network call) do I then fall under the GPL and have to give up all my code? Or do I only have to release the part where I make the network call? Or is it only if I statically link the network call in as opposed to a dynamic call?

  • Like riding a bike (Score:3, Interesting)

    by samjam (256347) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:40PM (#13714275) Homepage Journal
    It reminds me of when I was helping my daughter learn to ride a bike.

    She was peddling along and I was running along by the side holding the back of the seat to keep it steady.

    She said "I'm doing it, dad, I'm doing it - dad, get off, I'm doing it."

    It was only my holding on that stopped her falling down, but she couldn't see that.

    So, the GPL might stop a few VC's from investing in something Linux-y, so what!
    If it wasn't for the GPL, then GNU/Linux wouldn't have become what is now starting to tempt VC's.

    What do I care for VC's, GNU/Linux suits ME and a lot of people find it that way. I've debugged, contributed source and a few bug fixes, and it's been an absolute bargain for me.

    Sam
  • by jjn1056 (85209) <jjn1056 @ y a h oo.com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:40PM (#13714277) Homepage Journal
    ...controlling a higher percentage of market share you could be right. I have no way to test this. But for me progress is not about marketshare but about the advancement of ideals that support freedom in many senses. Too often we are seduced by market forces and the power that comes with more sales and higher marketshare. For me I'd rather have less and be free then have more but be restricted.

    For me the GPL is the only license I see that succeeds in that, at least in the ways that are meaningful to me. Now, I suppose those freedoms may not be meaningful to you. I can't judge it, only be sure of my personal convictions in the matter. Time will tell who is right, I think.
  • by cbreaker (561297) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:50PM (#13714392) Journal
    BSD license aside, look at the licenses for other Unixes or other systems like Windows. You basically rent the stuff. You have to pay big bucks for it.

    So, Linux has an excellent license when it comes to being able to use the great code and complete operating system components without paying a dime. If these people are really dying to write closed source applications using open source code, well, I don't know what to say. I think they could *pay* to do that, don't you?

    So why didn't BSD get as popular as it is today without the GPL? Probably because corporations have been sucking out the peices they want to use and giving nothing back because they don't have to. The BSD community was never a sharing community. I don't think it is today either, although because of Linux it's become more so. Do you really think the *BSDs would be as popular now if Linux never came along?

    Not to mention, most BSD systems use a heavy amount of GPL code these days, and the Linux kernel on GNU toolsets really took the GPL to the public. What would your favorite BSD look like without any of it?

    Many programmers, and companies, are willing to contribute to GPL codebases because they're not willing to let the competition or some company to take their work, close source it, and sell it as something new and better to make bundles of cash. If they're going to give to the community, they want others to do the same. The GPL promotes that type of system.

    People will complain about it because they want to use the code like it was public domain but it's not. Maybe this is considered "holding it back" but in my opinion we don't want that kind of thing anyways.

  • by Phisbut (761268) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:09PM (#13714583)
    If I build my own car from scratch, I'll include air conditioning, just as Linux users who created their own OS included the GPL.

    The thing about the GPL and its viralness is not you building your car from scratch and including your air conditioning, it's about the car company letting you build an air conditioner only if you give it for free, which hardly makes any sesnse for a business since you spent money to build the air conditioner in the first place.

  • by VON-MAN (621853) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:24PM (#13714740)
    Use SuSE, and configure it by Yast. It's all point and click and by now it is pretty sophisticated. You *also* want use the packages not fully supported by SuSE, like dvd players with DeCCS? Use kpackage and install apt-libs, synaptic, and apt. Now you can even install the latest and greatest without ever having to see configure or apt (well, only once!).

    Have fun!

  • by SComps (455760) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:47PM (#13715015) Homepage
    I'm almost positive I'll be moderated 'troll' again, and of course given my posting history you can see that I obviously troll daily *smile* I guess a project developer got mod points today.... anyhow--

    I agree that there is no perfect environment. If there were, anyone would be a developer. On the other hand, Microsoft has generally been helpful and reasonably informative whenever I've posted questions to their newsgroups. Posting a question to an Open Source project forum, newsgroup or whatever many times (note I did not say always) leads to an openly hostile and arrogant attitude that drives many developers away.

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms.infamous@net> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:48PM (#13715029) Homepage
    It only seems unreasonable if you think of derivitive works as containing another application completely, or being based on an existing application.

    That's exactly what a derivative work means: a work that includes or is based on another. The GPL (or any other licence) or RMS and the FSF (or any other licence-philosopher) doesn't get to determine what constitutes a derivative work, the courts do.

    What if you just wanted to use a single function in your program that does something completely different? Is that still a derivative work?

    The question of whether a work is derivative of another is decided on a case-by-case basis. If trivial enough, such copying might fall under fair use.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @03:05PM (#13715248)

    Please tell me how many succeful business you have started? How many of said business were started by YOU beggining an open source project?

    By myself, none. I have, however, worked at and own shares in several successful start up companies that create and contribute to open source software. You're missing the point of the business model I described. The GPL is a good business model if a user needs software, not if a developer wants to make arbitrary software. If Comcast and AT&T want particular software it makes a lot of sense for them to each hire a developer to write a GPL program they can both use.

    There are plenty of great business ideas for using open source software. There are very few good business models for developing open source software.

    Hmm, perhaps you've never considered the thousands of companies that use open source software and develop it, or hire someone to develop it for their own use? You know the vast majority of the people who devote a lot of time to working on Linux, Apache, etc. get paid to do it. They are successful, paid, open source developers. It is a well tested business model and it works.

    Games. Hum...no one ever approached a potential game developer and said Hey man can you create a videa game that is like football?

    Umm, sure they do, all the time. That is how most games are made. A company says We'll give you 20 million to make a spider-man game and then we'll sell it. Mind you that has nothing to do with the GPL, but neither did your statement.

    I actually think the video game market is due for an open source revolution in the next decade. Developers of games don't want to use the GPL because they cannot get as much money per game if they do, but GPL'd gaming engines offer significant advantages to both developers and consumers. Once created for a genre, a single GPL gaming engine can theoretically run any number of games which can come as modules. A module would include graphics, audio, and the story/plot scripting as well as description of controls and object models. By using a GPL engine game developers can rely on only a few engineers to supplement the story writers and artists. Modules need not be GPL and the artwork, etc. does not make sense to license in that way. This has the potential to slash development costs in the medium and long term. Any company that wants to add a feature the the base, GPL engine could easily do so and all gaming companies would benefit, reducing duplicated effort and saving money. I surmise that the company that gets there first and creates the base engine will recoup their losses through the free publicity, consulting, by being the foremost experts on the system and thus gaining work as developers for any franchise that wants to create a new game, and through certification testing for the game. If they are smart they can probably grab a large share of the support and QA testing as well and their is a market for specialized development tools.

    Sure it would kick as to look at the code behind some of these games but I don't have any right just because I dislike open source software.

    Ummm. Ummm. I have no idea what you are talking about or what you are trying to say here.

    Open source does not fit every situation. If you think otherwise you my friend are the idot and not the others that you point the finger at.

    Who said it did fit every situation? In fact, I strongly implied otherwise in my post. That said, it does fit many situations and it makes a lot of sense for large businesses and groups of smaller businesses to collaborate to fund/develop GPL software for their own use. It even makes business sense for essential parts of end-user non-business, individual purchase applications. It makes sense for end users to collaborate to fund the development of these works as well, but creating the necessary infrastructure to support the development, while not too hard (it has been done and works) is pretty alien to most users experience

  • by quarkscat (697644) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:24PM (#13717327)
    I would make the counter claim that it is only because of the GPL that GNU/linux has succeeded as well as it has. How long has Netcraft confirmed that BSD is dead? The BSD license allows big software companies to reuse code without contributing back to the larger community, and often without even an acknowlegement. The effect has been the use of a virtual army of unpaid programmers.

    One large (unnamed) software company has even resorted to paying other companies to attack both GNU/linux and the GPL. That, and funding countless self-aggrandizing TCO studies that, were GNU/linux a corporate entity itself, GNU/linux would already have gone to court with said company with slander charges.

    Just more FUD. Stop feeding the trolls.
  • by cinnamon colbert (732724) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @08:30PM (#13718418) Journal
    windows already does the desktop office thing ok; in any area, getting a new system to replace an old system means the new guy has to be a lot better.
    So, since linux desktop will never be a lot better then office windows, linux will never win by copying

    If you look at the history of software, big changes occur when you get a new app that does something cool.

    linux will be on every desktop when it has a new app like visicalc
  • by Hosiah (849792) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @02:24AM (#13719976)
    Whenever I read the derogotory comments about Linux's desktop situation, I am dead certain that they have tried, and hence base their opinion on nothing but KDE and Gnome. Well, I don't use those. For everybody's information, there are about 50 desktop environments and window managers for Linux http://xwinman.org/ [xwinman.org]. Specifically, Blackbox, Fluxbox, Window Maker, IceWM, and XFCE are notable alternatives, with Fluxbox my hands-down favorite. There are also the family of TWM-based and CDE-derived managers. You don't *need* KDE running to use KDE's kicker, nor do you need Gnome to run gnome-terminal (I have both of those programs accessible from my Fluxbox menu); in fact, *any* executable application can be run from *any* environment (except window managers themselves...although you can switch desktops without shutting down X. And I've run KDE's desktop in a window...in FVWM!).

    If only more people discovered the alternatives, it would both out-class the current desktop market, and put to death that Linux can do nothing on the desktop but follow Windows around. There is literally something out there for every single taste and kink. Of course, we're *all* stuck supporting Windows-clones just for the people who insist that every computer in the world must look, smell, feel, taste, and sound exactly like Windows or they won't use it...but I digress.

  • by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @03:10AM (#13720139)
    ---I have been reading alot about the future of LINUX and mainly the BS about windows vrs. linux. I have been trying to find a OS besides Windows to run and learn.

    There's 2 camps of software that will run on X86 systems. Those being MS Windows (VMS derived) and Unix derived systems. The three divisions of Unix on X86 are traditional unixes (BSD and like, SunOS, and others), Linux and GPL'ed bretheren, and BeOS. Considering BeOS is dead, and propeirty unixes are not desktop suitable, that leaves you with Linux (which the most work at this time is done with) and MS Windows as competitors.

    Both represent the two types of architechure development (Cathedral and bazaar opposites, and difficulties of each therof).

    ---It seems that the best thing about linux is the ideas of open source, reality states this is about all there is, IDEAS, It doesn't matter what OS, and I have checked a number of them, can be just downloaded and run.

    The last thing you should do with a Free version of Linux is buy it. Some of the best are not for sale, in the traditional sence of going to a software store or buying a book. Gentoo and Debian are two such. Im sure you copuld find them to buy, but the traditional way of the user getting them is to download them.

    Still, Open Source lets you see others implementations of ideas, and how you can guide yourself in the very implementations of ideas. Much more powerful than the Microsoft camp allows with a "default install".

    ---The wireless cards need drivers to work, fine it you know how to do It, and other things seem to keep poping up.

    The problems with WiFi drivers is the companies will not release specs on how to drive the cards. We do not ask them to write drivers. We ask that the specs on how to talk to the card be opened. Think of this for a moment... Do you like using your older hardware? Would you still like to use it 5 years from now? If you dont know how the card communicates, it is worthless if you upgrade to a newer machine that has no driver for that hardware.

    My hardware that works with open specs for my drivers will work for years and years. I am not tethered to one specific company.

    ---I have re-installed XP nine (9) times in the last six (6) months of trying to use LINUX.

    Hard drives are cheap these days. Even if you have constraints, you could buy a 70$ USB2 enclosure for a 40 GB harddrive. If XP works, dont keep making it unwork.

    ---I don't know what to really do it seems so I bought a number of books, POINT & CLICK the last one, with CD's and there is still things that just make no sense whatever.

    In order to work with Linux effectively, you must understand what you do. Every little action builds upon itself. The very idea of Linux is sort of like Legos, where every part is interchangable, but you do NEED that part. The parts on the top represent the GUI, below that nice pretty pictures lay a powerful command line to do many things at once. You can rip off each layer as it suits your needs. But, as you probably have learnt, the blocks are the same, but sometimes the blocks are TYCO instead of Lego, so they sometimes dont fit too well. That represents the difference between distributions.

    ---I always return to Window because I load it, it works. I have checked the linux forams of a number of distro's,

    The forums wont help you understand why. Go skim parts of Eric Raymonds, Art of Unix programming [catb.org]. I guess I could force-feed you, but if you have no will to learn, and use free-r software, then go use Windows. If it works for you, there is no shame for using it.

    ---but it doesn't make alot of sense when you really don't understand the questions to ask, even the questions to look for.

    Well, what kind of questions do you have? As an aside, please use better grammar and utilize paragraphs. Many a time, "bad ritings will be kritized in teh softwarez" and will be shrugged off with usually a deriding comment. Errors do ha

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears

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