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Linux Software

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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  • Microsoft support (Score:5, Informative)

    by trippd6 ( 20793 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @06:59PM (#2723216) Homepage
    Microsoft support can be good. It all depends...

    One of the factors is if you're calling them at random, or you have a support aggrement. You ALWAYS pay for support from microsoft. It doesn't come with any product.

    THe last place I worked at, we had a microsoft select agreement. Boy is that a deal. (Hahah). We got 150 incedents for $50,000. Sounds crazy, but, it was worth it... To bad we could never use 150 incedents, even if we tried. (150 people in the company, 5 IT people).

    The cool thing about the select agreement, is you get a TAM (Technical account manager) that can esclate your call. Plus, he has like 10 customers, so he pays close attention to every case. Its kinda cool when he checks in to see if you were happy with a case.

    With a select agreement, you get access to subscriber downloads, which rocks. You can download anything microsoft ever released (Well almost). Wanted to try BOB? go for it. MSDOS 5 in chinese, its there.

    Some of thier best support people are in thier exchange support group. The reason being, exchange is a POS that needs alot of attention, and fixing database curruption is a bitch.

  • That's Because... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:11PM (#2723337) Homepage Journal
    Most of those Undergrads now, as they were a decade ago, are in it for the money. They're not hackers. They don't have that drive to learn everything about the systems they're working on. They want to get out of college and land a $60K a year job, work 9 to 5, and not think about computers otherwise.

    Of 150 freshmen I had regular contact with in college, there were 3 (including myself) who were really interested in computers. I bet a similar ratio groks Linux (Maybe it'll say in the story once their poor server recovers from its harsh slashdotting.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:12PM (#2723352)
    DUH, its called Microsofts Knowledege Base, they have tons and tons of support, FREE. Lot better then any so-called linux online documentation (almost non-existant anyways). If you lost google groups, you basically lost your only free linux support. Unless you like to troll irc channels on efnet hah. But what good is irc, if your linux box don;t work anyyways :P.
  • by pberry ( 2549 ) <pberry&mac,com> on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:15PM (#2723366) Homepage
    I too have used Microsoft's Incident based suport system on a crashed Exchange 5.5 server. The dude on the other end was awesome, and when he didn't know what to do in 10 seconds he had another person conferenced in that did. They stuck with me through to the end. This is the only time I have used, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to use it again.
  • Re:Not surprised (Score:2, Informative)

    by friedmud ( 512466 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:24PM (#2723429)
    I think you are confusing CS (Computer Science) with ISM (Info Systems Management).

    I don't know about everyone else but when I hear "IT" that says to me: ISM not CS. ISMs do not have to take "OS theory" or "algorithms" in most places - and if they do - and they get a good grade in them, then they are probably not the ones running an MS OS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:32PM (#2723497)
    You just proved you trolling buddy.
    The tickets don't get closed unless you confirm the problem is resolved

    So you're either full of it or you gave up.
  • by ScottKin ( 34718 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:33PM (#2723511) Homepage Journal
    Pure, unmitigated BOVINE FECES!!!

    As a contractor, I was a member of the Kernel, API and Test (KAPT) group on the NT Development Team as a Software Tester, as well as a Software Test Engineer for MSN 1.0, and I *know* from first-hand experience that the above poster has BOVINE FECES for his grey matter!

    Software bugs are assigned severity levels, depending on how much of a problem the bug is, whether it causes crashes or fatal errors, or if the bug is just a UI-style bug. The only bugs that software companies are concerned about are "showstoppers" or "Severity-1" level bugs - once those bugs are fixed or handled, they move down the list to the next level, and so on. As soon as the product is "Feature-Set Complete", and there are no "showstopper" bugs, and the bugs down to the "UI-Style" bugs are handled, the software is "Code Complete" and ready to be RTM'ed as "Golden"

    There has never been a totally bug-free program ever written in the entire history of Data Processing; however, that depends on what you would call a "bug".

    I'll venture to say that the above poster spends way too much time in alt.conspiracy.
  • by DeadPrez ( 129998 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @07:45PM (#2723588) Homepage
    I have to defend Microsoft in the tech support department. I have called a few times for help recovering an exchange crash and they are very good. I believe the guys that actually do the support are heavily involved with the programming. I even got follow up calls to make sure everything was still working properly so they could close the ticket. A+

    On the other hand, I only needed the help I recieved due to technet not having the help I needed (disaster recovery document is missing one vital step). Seems like a setup to force you to call and pay for tech support.
  • by Black Art ( 3335 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @08:26PM (#2723837)
    Most of Microsoft's support is outsourced to companies like "Stream". You have to get past the initial levels of support to get to anyone who actually works for Microsoft.

    Stream has a VERY bad reputation. Unless the customer demands it, they hire and train just about anyone. They are kept to very strict call times, which insures the customer has to call back if the solution did not work.

    Most of the times I have dealt with Microsoft support, the standard "solution" is to reinstall the OS. (So much for all your system settings and preferences! If you use Kai texture explorer, you lose all your saved textures as well.)
    I ask anyone who thinks that Microsoft has good support just how many times they had to call them and why.
  • by akellens ( 513392 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @08:35PM (#2723883)
    Hi! I'm a CS student at a college in Brussels(Belgium). Every student here knows about *nix and has experience with it: it's one of the prerequisites for a few courses.

    If students aren't interested in computer science and all aspects concerning it, it is probably the fault of the college where they are studying. It's very important to get a lot of hands-on experience that can be translated to the "real world" and I must admit that at a lot of places, this is left out in the courses.
    But saying that anybody who can code and is interested in computers can replace computer scientists is wrong: there are a lot of things that a decent education provides like formal languages, computability theory, algorithmical complexity, good design, clean coding, etc ...
  • by Milican ( 58140 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @08:52PM (#2723961) Journal
    I dunno.. sounds alot like RedHat, or Debian, or SuSe, or any other commercial distro you can buy support from.

  • by amccall ( 24406 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @09:11PM (#2724022) Homepage
    First off, I don't think that you can lump all the CS undergrads into one big group, because their backgrounds are fairly diversed.

    My perception is somewhat similar. But, from what I've seen of the students with these amoral views, trying to look 1337, is that they generally mature, or they crack and become business majors or MCSE's.

    Closed file formats are a big problem, and I don't think some profs realize what they are doing. Generally there are way's around this type of crap if you want to put forth the effort: My CS prof asked that all projects be turned in as Window's EXE's. My solution was to install linux mingw32 and setup wine, but I could have just as easily borrowed someone's W2K setup disks, and got a copy VC++. Need a .doc file? Use staroffice. Unsure of the results? Check it in the lab.

  • (Score:2, Informative)

    by skenfrith ( 173060 ) <skenfrith@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @09:42PM (#2724166)
    since when has there ever been a *nix problem you cant find the answer to on dejanews?
  • by Quizme2000 ( 323961 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2001 @09:48PM (#2724188) Homepage Journal
    You should contact IBM buisness development, I'm sure the would be interested. They have lots of experience squeezing support cost out of their customers. $200 is cheap, try some real database support sometime, or better yet a commercial UNIX support fee. The only profit you can make is by selling support contracts. A small buisness can't survive on a per-incident basis, especially in such a board support area of desktop linux.
  • Re:Linux Support. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Erich ( 151 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2001 @12:10AM (#2724637) Homepage Journal
    $ apropos rename
    dpkg-name (1) - rename Debian packages to full package names
    mmove (1) - move or rename an MSDOS file or subdirectory TQ
    mren (1) - rename an existing MSDOS file TQ
    mv (1) - move (rename) files
    rename (1) - renames multiple files
    rename (2) - change the name or location of a file
    XStoreName (3x) - set or read a window's WM_NAME property
    XStoreNamedColor (3x) - set colors

    "man -k rename" would also have worked.

    See, they just don't know how to use the man pages. They should have "man man"ed. :-)
  • by StarTux ( 230379 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2001 @12:36AM (#2724720) Journal
    Linux itself when downloaded for free has no support, its even in the License agreement. So if you want a free copy, go ahead, just don't complain about support.

    This is what you should be looking for in terms of support:

    Purchase from a Linux vendor:

    Check to see what your purchase entitles you to, for most distro's this is a standard 30-60 day installation support.

    If you want more then most of the larger distrobutions will offer professional services as an extra offering, in fact this is common with large software products, check with the distro to see how much it is and what they can offer.

    Hardware vendor:

    The big one here is IBM. Never purchased from them, but it might be similer to what the distro's offer.

    In fact here is what they offer:

    Depending on customer need, IBM offers 24-hour a day, 7-days a week Internet and voice support, ranging from answering usage questions to identifying problems. IBM Global Services also provides consulting, planning and implementation services for Linux. IBM consultants can help you evaluate whether Linux is appropriate for your particular environment.

    Now, customers can turn to IBM Global Services as a one-stop shop for Linux support. For information on properly configuring and implementing, as well as enhancing, your Linux solutions or additional service and support offerings please call 1-888-426-4343.

    IBM operational support services

    IBM is here to support Linux at every step of the way on its remarkable journey. We've already dedicated $1 billion to Linux development and will invest more than $300 million in Linux services over the next three years.

    7x24 Enterprise Level remote support for your Linux OS environment.

    Fast and accurate problem resolution.

    A way to supplement your internal staff with IBM's skilled services specialists.

    Defect support for supported distributions of the Linux OS and Linux applications.

    Electronic support and problem submission that saves you time and allows you to track your open support issues.

    IBM's premier remote technical support for Linux
    An IBM Business Partner, Worklab develops its solutions with IBM e-business products such as IBM DB2 Universal Database for Linux, Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino.

    We help answer your how-to questions, help you define problems and determine their source. Additionally, by leveraging our partnerships with the key distributors of the Linux operating system, IBM is able to provide defect-level support for the Linux OS. Remote assistance is available through toll-free telephone access and electronic access. For all eligible distributions of the Linux operating system, we help you with:

    IBM is here to support Linux at every step of the way on its remarkable journey. We've already dedicated $1 billion to Linux development and will invest more than $300 million in Linux services over the next three years.

    usage and installation questions

    interpretation of product documentation

    product compatibility and interoperability questions

    a diagnostic information review to help isolate the cause of a problem

    configuration samples

    IBM and multivendor database searches

    planning information for software fixes

    defect support

    Electronic Support allows you to submit and get answers to your problems electronically.

    Not so bad, despite the majority of whining by users who want proffesional support for things that they freely downladed Linuxcare is still going, and yes you have to buy this support. Actually IBM use Linuxcare too.

    If you want free support for a free download, go to usenet or use mailing lists.

  • WTF??? (Score:2, Informative)

    by rat7307 ( 218353 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2001 @06:50AM (#2725200) Homepage

    It seems to me that the responses to this article can be summed up like this:

    When I have a problem with a machine at work and they(work) pay the $200 to M$, they solve the problem, but when I try to get help for my Linux distro from IRC i get told to RTFM

    Come on!! Get a grip on reality..If you are using Linux in a Commercial/Professional envioronment you would be a member of something like Redhat's RHN or similar..

    If you need to you can get Tech Support from the Professional Distro Companies at a cost... Just like M$..

    Just coz you're dicking around with Linux at home and you don't wanna pay anything, doesnt mean that good tech support for it does not exist....

    If you go to IRC... you get an IRC solution... for M$ & Linux.... And you deserve the result

  • by informer ( 20888 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2001 @10:39AM (#2725719) Homepage
    C# is not "windows only". C# is an ECMA standard and is currently being implemented on many many platforms.

    C# is, sooner or later, probably going to replace VB as the language of choice for the majority of programmers in the world (Yes, VB has the largest share of programmers).

    Makes at least *some* sense to me.
  • by sxpert ( 139117 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2001 @11:03AM (#2725830)
    Well, use mono [] then

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"