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Perception of Linux Among IT Undergrads 893

iconian writes: "The Linux Journal has a story on IT students and their perception of Linux. One of the funnier myths perceived to be true is that 'Microsoft's technical support is the best in the industry and is superior to that offered by the Linux community.' It just goes to show how little real world experience students have. It's a bit disturbing considering they will be the next generation of technology workers."
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Perception of Linux Among IT Undergrads

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  • The Oposite (Score:1, Funny)

    by JohnHegarty ( 453016 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @06:50PM (#2723123) Homepage
    In my college it was exactly the oposite. Linux was everywhere espically amoung the computer students. And pictures of bill gates where burnt around the campus. ;-)
  • by oyenstikker ( 536040 ) < minus caffeine> on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @06:52PM (#2723127) Homepage Journal
    Best tech support in the world? #debian and #linpeople on They correctly diagnosed my problem (use of windows) and helped me get a really nice solution (linux) running.
  • by Dizzo ( 443720 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:00PM (#2723223)
    Here's a review of how well MS's tech support really works: []
  • by Kingpin ( 40003 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:05PM (#2723278) Homepage

    It's easier to copy an MS Office CD, install it and write the resume than it is to either

    a. Download open office, install and use that
    b. Use TeX
    c. Admit you suck and use an AbiWord rpm/deb ;)
  • by elias142857 ( 205791 ) <elias AT cse DOT ucsc DOT edu> on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:07PM (#2723297)
    Next time you have a linux problem, send me $200 and I'll RTFM for you.
  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:20PM (#2723395)

    I like competition that creates better products. I like the fact that we have 2 good desktop environments to choose from. If you don't like having a choice, then just flip a coin to pick one and block the other one out of your mind. Ignore any articles that mention it. If a co-worker speaks the offending name, put your hand up in his face to silence him, then walk away. Before you know it, Linux will seem just like Windows to you. This method will work for most other situations in which you face a choice too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:33PM (#2723507)
    MCSE = Minesweeper Consultant / Solitare Expert
  • by mattdm ( 1931 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:37PM (#2723541) Homepage

    Huh. A few years ago I had a problem with Windows NT 4 where it was sometimes having trouble exchanging packets with other machines on the local network. Finally broke down and called the Microsoft pay-per-incident line, and after an hour or so of trying things, the guy had me remove and reinstall the TCP/IP stack, which solved the problem. I asked what he thought might have been the issue, and he said " Oh, it does that sometimes. "

    Now, in all fairness, they may have gotten better since then, and I've heard good things technically (leaving aside ethically and morally) about their more modern offerings. But I've always thought "Windows: it does that sometimes" made a pretty good slogan.

  • by statusbar ( 314703 ) <> on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @08:16PM (#2723789) Homepage Journal
    A funny joke I read in an introductory Russian language book that is relevant to you:

    A Russian is driving down the street in his Mercedes when he suddenly sees an old classmate of his siting on the curb, shabbily dressed, with his hand outstretched, begging.

    He stops, gets out of the car, walks over to his friend and says, "Kolya, what's this? You were the smartest kid in school! In third grade you were doing square roots in your head without pencil and paper! You got first prize in all the math competitions! You were the valedictorian! You defended your doctoral thesis when you were twenty! What happened to you? How did you get so poor? What are you doing, panhandling on the street?"

    "I just haven't made it in the New Russia," answers the beggar. "But enough about me. Tell me about yourelf. You practically flunked out! You could never learn the multiplication tables! They excused you from taking math because you were such a dunce! You didn't even get a diploma, they just gave you a certificate of attendance. Where did you get all this - the Mercedes, the Rolex watch, the Armani trenchcoat?"

    "Kolya, it's really very simple," said the Russian. "I buy cigarettes for a dollar a pack. I sell them for three dollars a pack. And I live on the two percent I make."

  • by archen ( 447353 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @08:25PM (#2723835)
    OK, make it an assignment:

    Install an alternative UNIX: FreeBSD or Linux . Write an essay on the differences between installing i386 UNIX and Windows.

    My UNIX Install experience.

    For my project I decided to install a Linux. First of all,I missed class so I didn't get the CD. So I went to a bunch of warez sites to look for it to download, but I couldn't find it. My friend says you can get it for free, but who knows what he's been smoking. I mean you don't just GIVE an operating system away for free you know? Eventually I got a couple CD's from a friend of a friend. It then asks a bunch of complicated questions about "partitions" and stuff, so I just hit enter or okay for everything. I didn't see any C: drive mentioned, so I don't even know if it installed on the computer (but I think it did because it started). So anyway, I got it to start, but in order to see my desktop, I have to configure some file because the resolution is all messed up or something and Xwindows won't start. A friend of a friend told me where the file was to configure it, but I guess I have to use this program called V.I. to edit it. Well the program must have been broken or something because it wouldn't let me enter anything. I mean you press some keys and the cursor jumps around, and sometimes it deletes stuff. Since I couldn't get it to work I shut off the computer. I can't find my Windows 98SE CD, so I think my computer is broken....

    and Yes, this is flaimbait :)
  • by berniecase ( 20853 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @08:53PM (#2723966) Homepage Journal
    At first I thought this should be under the "It's Funny, Laugh" category. Then, I read the article. Now I'm positive it should be under the "It's Sad, Cry" category.

    Part of me is glad I didn't go to a 4-year school.
  • The last time I had a terrible dilemma with the choice of a user interface was when I chose bash over ksh.
  • by zurab ( 188064 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @09:11PM (#2724024)
    I'm so tired of having to decide which featureset I want to use today. For C++ development I use Kdevelop, because of the nice C++ features like picklists for virtual functions. However I can't stand KDE's tendency to map its' own colors onto my X applications, nor can I take it desktop switching mode, so for casual web browsing I restart in Gnome. ... The problem with choice is that it requires you to gain knowledge in order to make an informed decision. To gain knowledge you have to spend time learning. When I pick up a lab instrument I don't want to spend time learning how to use it's desktop; I don't freaking care how it works. I want to use the instrument.

    I agree, I, for one, am confused and pissed off with all these car models that are available on the market. I like Honda Accord's panel setup, but I prefer Audi engine over Honda's; but then again, when I want a comfortable seat nothing beats Lexus. But when I go to the beach I feel like having a convertible Boxster. So I bought all of the above cars and am extremely tired by having to decide which featureset I want today. Besides, I had to learn how to operate and adjust seat and other configurations in each car. I wish they just got rid of all the cars and just left one model.

    I just don't believe this post got a 5 insightful.
  • A real case (Score:5, Funny)

    by jsse ( 254124 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @10:10PM (#2724247) Homepage Journal
    I don't know the charge elsewhere, that's the case here:

    "Hello Microsoft support, what can I help you?"

    "I got a problem...."

    "We'll charge $179 for each probblem instance, 3 instances minimum."

    "So...the minimum charge for raising a support call is....$537 right?..."

    "Right you are....what is your second question?"

    Sorry I made the last one up, but the rest is real. :)
  • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <> on Wednesday December 19, 2001 @12:48AM (#2724758) Journal
    You're the one who brought up Databases, so I figured I'd reply in that vein. As for Linux itself, I've *never* run into a problem that a little Google or mailing list archive searching didn't resolve quickly.
    Same thing here. But the funniest is that in about 25% of the time, the solution Google found is written in german or in flemish, two languages I don't have any notion of. But the commands did seem to make sense, and when I tried them, it solved the problem...
  • by kiwaiti ( 95197 ) < minus author> on Wednesday December 19, 2001 @09:26AM (#2725445) Homepage
    The bottom line is: given a choice between releasing a quality product, late, or rushing a product out the door, MS has often chosen the latter. No question about that.

    In many cases, they have managed to combine the best of both worlds, rushing their buggy products out the door, late.


"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27