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Lycoris Desktop/LX update 2 Released 377

David writes "Redmond Linux Corp has just released Lycoris Desktop/LX Update 2 (build 46 final). Relatively user-friendly, loads of goodies and nice features. Should give Lindows a run for its money. Who says Linux is dead on the desktop? ;-)"
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Lycoris Desktop/LX update 2 Released

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  • by kaustik ( 574490 )
    I went with an earlier version of Lycoris as my first distro, and dropped it after about three days. One of my favorite things about other popular distros is the shear amount of apps you have to choose from. The Lycoris install, while allowing you to play Solitare while it chugs away (very cool), leaves you with ONE word processor, ONE web browser, etc. While this may be nice for newer users, it just doesn't quite appeal to me...
    • I installed Redmond Linux for some neighbors who have never owned a computer before, and they're doing just fine with it. It does everything they need it to do. It's a very usable distribution for new users, though for experianced users, I've recommended (and installed) Mandrake. There are plenty of appropriate choices in the Linux world, and one size doesn't have to fit all.
      • "It's a very usable distribution for new users, though for experianced users, I've recommended (and installed) Mandrake. "

        Last weekend I installed Mandrake 8.2 7-CD boxed version on my machine alongside win2k, replacing the mandrake 8.0 download version. I agree that there is great merit going with a distro that is heavy on apps. Staroffice 6.0 is a great improvement AND THE FONTS LOOK GOOD ON LINUX EVEN WITHOUT xfstt!!! I love those games and tuxracer finally runs straight out of the install.(*) I can experiment with opera 6 for linux without waiting for my 28.8 to download it and a VMWare trial is included.

        Yes, an application-heavy linux install is highly helpful when trying to get experienced windows users to switch to linux.

        (*) Please reply with obligatory trying-to-get-tuxracer-to-run joke.

    • by Plug ( 14127 )
      I don't know about you, but Mum wants to write letters and she wants to see one word processor, not vim, emacs, AbiWord, OpenOffice Write, Kate, [...]

      Remember that Lycoris is a desktop distribution. As far as things go it seems that is the best there is right now. The fact you KNOW that there are multiple word processors (or that Letters To Nana != Microsoft Word) instantly says to me you know enough to install whatever your preference is.

      I can't wait till either Gnome/GTK or KDE/Qt are at a stage where either apps from one look completely in place under the other, or one of them is so good that it provides exactly one good everything, and I don't need to use the other one. I think it's important to have both, but I only want to use one at a time.
    • The Lycoris install, while allowing you to play Solitare while it chugs away (very cool), leaves you with ONE word processor, ONE web browser, etc. While this may be nice for newer users, it just doesn't quite appeal to me...

      That's funny, one of the things that bothers me about most of the popular distros is they insist on installing too many word processors, web browsers, etc. What the hell am I going to do with 4 word processors, 3 spread sheets, 6 web browsers, 12 email programs, etc. Just give me one of each and if I don't like it, I can install my own choice, thank you very much.

    • While this may be nice for newer users, it just doesn't quite appeal to me...

      Gee, it seems to work for Microsoft :-)

      Seriously, the lack of ten thousand packages is a Good Thing(tm). The trouble with too many Linux distros is that they feel obligated to indundate the first time user with truckloads of cruft.

      Plop a first time Linux user in front of your typical "EZLinux" and watch what happens. They'll either choose "default" somewhere along the line and end up with five gigabytes of stuff they will never use and a nightmare dependency graph, or they'll spend five hours wading through poorly described packages. This is not good for a new user.

      Instead, the OS installation should install just the bare necessities for an OS and desktop. Put all the other packages on CDs number two through four, and put an "extra software" icon on the desktop. This will prevent the newbie from experiencing sensory overload, while allowing the experienced user to install whatever he wants.
  • Umm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tmark ( 230091 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @09:25AM (#3977473)
    Q: Who says Linux is dead on the desktop? ;-)"

    A: Everyone who isn't a Linux chauvinist, OR who doesn't believe that before Linux can be dead on the desktop, it has to first be "alive" on the desktop first. I don't think that Linux even registers as being on the desktop in the orthodox sense.

    N.B. I believe this even though I am writing this from Linux.
    • Re:Umm (Score:3, Interesting)

      by warmcat ( 3545 )
      I disagree... my wife was in here at the weekend and she saw that I was in Mozilla on a site categorizing the food by country (http://www.recipesource.com/), took over the keyboard, found some Thai recipes she had been looking for and printed them off.

      I pointed out to her that she had been using Linux (the rest of the machines in the house are currently 98 or XP), and she agreed that it had been no effort.

      So this 'Linux on the Desktop' thing is less about Linux and more about having screen furniture, File menus, browsers, printing, etc, working in a consistent and normal way. I am using KDE3 and it really isn't far away from where it needs to be.

      Sure there are games and specific apps that won't come over from Windows despite Wine and Crossover Office (which fixed the problems with Quickbooks 6 in wine for printing), but I was very pleasantly surprised with how far everything had come since I last looked a year or so ago.
      • Re:Umm (Score:4, Insightful)

        by zangdesign ( 462534 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @09:57AM (#3977637) Journal
        I would hardly call that "using Linux" - I would call it using a browser. Kudos to your wife for not even pausing to take a breath, but really - the mozilla UI is pretty much standardized on all platforms.

        • >the mozilla UI is pretty much standardized on all platforms

          That was my point. She uses a very limited number of apps, eg, the browser, Word. Even her email is done via the browser. So long as the OS does not actively get in her way, she would be quite happy with KDE3, Mozilla, and Open Office. The fact that its Linux running it all underneath is not relevant to her.

          I think a lot of users are in this situation, all day they interact with web pages and for them the browser is ''the computer'', plus they know a handful of apps. They have someone else to set up networking, printers, where there are more obvious differences. They are quite ready to run a modern Linux distro, will not care, and if they are pleased it will be because they find more free games under the 'Start' menu (or if they are coming from a 95/98/Me machine, because it will not crash any more).
        • by imr ( 106517 )
          "I would call it using a browser".
          But that's what being a viable desktop is: users don't need to know or use the underlying os low level in order to achieve the tasks they need.
          In that view, linux has been desktop ready for quite some time. (since kde2 i believe, but that's me).
          I've installed linux as the os of my parents, the day they needed internet. They never used a computer before and when i said "and then you press enter" to my father, he looked at me puzzled.
          After one hour of training, they know how to login whith kdm, how to connect to internet, how to fire and use konqueror and kmail, how to deal with the files they receive in their home directory.
          They just don't need anything else yet.
          Oh yes, one more thing, they were really happy to know that their os was free as in freedom and virus free as in sane.
        • Operating systems never are used.

          Applications are.
      • Re:Umm (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @10:29AM (#3977821)
        "So this 'Linux on the Desktop' thing is less about Linux and more about having screen furniture. File menus, browsers, printing, etc, working in a consistent and normal way."

        For a coherent GUI to work in a "consistent and normal way" it is imperative that the operating system also work in a consistent normal way which hopefully reduces the impedence mismatch between the GUI and actual operating system abstractions. AFAICT, Linux, and Unix in general, is horribly horribly inadequate to match a decent GUI. Linux/Unix has no component model and everything feels like a one off - APIs are flat, configuration files get dumped into the /etc ghetto, and applications are broken up by content (binaries go here, man pages go there, configuration goes elsewhere), instead of staying atomic wholes. This is entirely different from how a GUI presents an application, as a whole, with help and configuration integrated. Mac OS X seems to have overcome this hurdle with a workaround called "bundles". The user experience is not provided solely by "screen furniture". This is an elitist idea. The OS has to have the desktop user in the picture from the start. Unfortunately since it is "good enough" for most Linux/Unix users, who have themselves already learned to work at the command line, and have spent a lot of time (often painful)accustoming themselves to Unix, there is little impetus to "fix" anything at the OS level. I certainly do not begrudge the KDE or Gnome projects, I think they are valiant. But grafting wings to a tank does not make it a fighter jet. I never understood why the open source crowd decided to hop on the Unix horse. Proprietary Unix is no better than proprietary Windows, or proprietary Mac OS. So why do we persist in insisting that Unix should be the basis for a desktop OS? Fortunately there are projects like Atheos, Open BeOS, Cosmoe, etc., which are trying to tackle these problems. Microsoft will keep laughing to the bank if we continue forcing Unix on users without trying to meet them half way (well, ok KDE/Gnome is probably half way, but if we really want to have an open source OS on the desktop, we will certainly have to go way further than that to displace Windows). That's the end of my rant, flame on. And send some flamage to that know-nothing Miguel de Icaza for writing "Let's Make Unix Not Suck" while you're at it.
        • Re:Umm (Score:2, Insightful)

          by alienw ( 585907 )
          You do realize that everything you're talking about does not have anything to do with Linux? Linux is a kernel. It is also not characteristic of Unix - MacOS X (which you seem to love) is based on Unix. It's just the simple fact that KDE or Gnome should get off their ass, try to stop being everything to all people (platform-neutral - what's the damn point?) and try to integrate better with the underlying system. The situation you described is just as it should be. Config files are in /etc. Programs are in /bin, /usr/bin, /usr/local/bin, etc. Do you want everything dumped in one directory? Why the fuck do programs need to be atomic? WHO gives a FUCK how the GUI presents it? The main problem with Linux is that nobody wants to do the mundane tasks - write docs, write config applets, make tools easy to use. The projects you're talking about have no chance of success. With a couple of developers each and no users, they can not possibly become anything even remotely useful. The only reason Linux became a success is because it was built on an established foundation (GNU/Unix). If you would stop bitching and wasting your time with useless projects and actually do something useful (like write a KDE config applet) the Linux desktop could actually become better. And don't give me the bullshit about Miguel de Icaza. Just because he is a GNOME developer does not make him a GUI expert. Given that Gnome is far worse than KDE or anything else from an end-user perspective, I wouldn't listen to him too much.
        • Mac OS X seems to have overcome this hurdle with a workaround called "bundles". The user experience is not provided solely by "screen furniture". This is an elitist idea. The OS has to have the desktop user in the picture from the start.

          Elitist? Hardly. For your information, distributing applications as bundles has a set of disadvantages as well as advantages:

          Advantages : Simple, and programs can be easily manipulated by the user. Programs can be easily copied, downloaded, etc. Uninstallation/installation is drag and drop.

          Disadvantages : No dependancies (MacOS, being proprietary, has very little code sharing compared to Linux, and virtually all deps are based in the OS upgrades, so it doesn't really need them). No installation scripts - you can't present EULAs [1], request copy protect keys, remove generated data such as configs on uninstall and so on. Makes piracy much easier, as applications can simply be dragged onto a disk. Witness the case of a kid who was caught copying MS Office X onto his iPod - this would be much harder with Linux, and almost impossible with Windows. No install time customisation: for instance, with Mozilla you can opt to not have the Mail program, Chatzilla etc if you don't want them. This is not an option with the appfolders system.

          Because of all these disadvantages, Apple provides the Apple Installer service. Some programs use this, I believe XDarwin does. However, even this is not advanced enough for some apps, so Wise is making a tidy packet out of providing InstallShield style stub programs to deal with all the features that some people need, but appfolders lack.

          In short get off your horse. This idea that the desktop must be "designed with the user in mind", or that the Linux packages system is "elitist", is, frankly, bollocks. On what basis do you assume you are an expert in this area? [rant] I find a lot of Mac users are like this. They assume because they bought a Mac, they are instantly usability experts. They are not of course. [end rant].

          I never understood why the open source crowd decided to hop on the Unix horse. Proprietary Unix is no better than proprietary Windows, or proprietary Mac OS.

          The reasons for why UNIX was chosen rather cloning anything else or creating something new from scratch are well documented in the GNU Manifesto. You should read it, it's very interesting. If you can't be bothered however, here is the reasoning:

          Our aim is to create an open/free platform. It is not to create a "cool" research OS, it is freedom. Therefore we will recreate something that we know will work, and that we know is good. Most importantly, as the internet is still in the early stages of development, we must be able to work with minimal communication between the teams. Therefore we will use UNIX, as it's highly modular, there is a lot of shared experience here, and although is it not perfect, it is not bad (Stallmans words, not mine). UNIX is also very well standardised through POSIX and so on, and was well designed to begin with. This way, we will avoid endless flamewars over how to design the "perfect" OS, by uniting people behind a common goal they can work towards largely in isolation.

          So that is why Linux is based on UNIX and not something else entirely.

          [1] I had somebody tell me you can put them into the background of a .dmg file - not good enough I'm afraid, they must be click through. The best time for this is at installation. You can put it on first execution if you like, but how do you record that the user accepted? By using a config file that will be left hanging around when the user uninstalls the app?

        • Re:Umm (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nathanh ( 1214 )
          I never understood why the open source crowd decided to hop on the Unix horse.

          Because UNIX:

          • is well documented
          • has 30 years of research behind it
          • is familiar to many programmers
          • has lots of free user-space software
          • isn't really that bad

          Designing an entirely new OS means reinventing lots of wheels, relearning lots of mistakes, and massive porting efforts to get even basic apps on the desktop. Not to mention reteaching everybody how to use the new OS API, and developers needing to refind all the the tricks of the trade.

          It took Microsoft 10 years to build a new OS to the point where it didn't completely suck. The research costs must have been enormous. Can you imagine the free software developers doing the same thing with no budget?

    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @10:00AM (#3977648) Homepage
      N.B. I believe this even though I am writing this from Linux.

      Funny, so am I. So there are at least two users who have to switch to away from Linux before it dies on the desktop. I have reason to believe there are a few million more out there like us, so Linux isn't even close to dead on the desktop.

      Linux is making steady, but slow progress. As long as it isn't going backwards (which certainly is not the case) then I don't see anything to worry about. There are enough developers today to keep my Gnome desktop looking cool, and that's all I need.

      Now when will Linux go mainstream on the desktop as it has on the server? Dunno. The conditions keep getting better, but the inertia in the Windows market is incredible.

      What's the rush anyway?

      • Re:Umm (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ericman31 ( 596268 )

        Now when will Linux go mainstream on the desktop as it has on the server?

        Linux will go mainstream on the desktop when two things happen.

        First, the average consumer has to perceive Linux as being more than just a playground for computer nerds and an inexpensive server alternative. This will take some doing. Between MS FUD and the behavior of many people in the Linux community there is a lot to overcome.

        Second, Linux has to become easier to use for the average consumer. I'm in the industry and don't want ease of use, but rather power and stability, flexibility and reliability. The consumer market measures those things differently than IT professionals or developers or hardcore hobbyists do. Stability means no blue screens for the 2 hours of web surfing, it means their games run fine and they can send and receive email. Windows does that, by and large. And they don't have to know anything about the OS. They mostly don't even have to know how to install it. If they download something they still don't have to know anything about the OS or how to install things.

        This is bad you say? That's cause you either are a masochist, or you enjoy computing at a different level, or this is your profession. The consumer wants his computer to be an appliance, like his TV, VCR or toaster. If it's more complex than that, he has fits.

    • in its infancy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lewis Mettler, Esq. ( 553022 ) <lmettler_personal&lamlaw,com> on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @11:50AM (#3978359) Homepage
      Linux on the desktop is not dead by any means.

      Clearly Microsoft wants to put out the phrase hoping that the weak of mind will believe it.

      But, it is just getting started.

      Lindows and Mandrake have just now shown up on the Wal-mart web site. Sure, DELL was beaten up by Gates and forced to beg off the market for now, but they will return. It may not be until the idiots at Microsoft are forced to comply with the appropriate laws, but it will happen.

      How can you help?

      Help distribute OpenOffice and even help promote StarOffice. Contact your local "beige box boys" and suggest they preload at least OpenOffice with every PC that goes out the door. They can even charge a few dollars extra to have it installed. Windows or linux, it does not matter. It is the benefit to the custom that will help alternative products and linux included.

      If Wal-Mart can sell PCs preloaded with Mandrake and Lindows, then so can the rest of them. And, once competition knows what is expected of them, they will comply. What is gone are the days when an extra $700 of Microsoft software is bundled with each PC that sells. That is no longer necessary. And, the vendors who figure that out will get the business.

      Have you compared Xandros or even the old Corel Linux with the windows explorer? Maybe you should.

      Corel Linux (several years old by now) is just as easy to use as windows ever was. And, currently Xandros is taking it a bit farther. Even farther than Mandrake with its "switch screen" features. It allows the user to log on another screen without logging off the first one. And then, of course, switching back and forth between users.

      Does it matter that Xandros puts out that kind of feature?

      Yes, it does.

      Linux will provide the platform for a whole series of very useful features. A single entity such as Microsoft simply can not and will not do so. Neither will just Mandrake. But, putting RedHat, Mandrake, Corel, eLx, Xandros, Lindows and others all into a highly competitive marketplace will greatly expand that marketplace and provide real benefits for all kinds of consumers.

      Linux on the desktop is not dead. Microsoft might be.

      • currently Xandros is taking it a bit farther. Even farther than Mandrake with its "switch screen" features. It allows the user to log on another screen without logging off the first one. And then, of course, switching back and forth between users.

        Try this:
        <Start Gnome>

        Ctrl-Alt-F2
        <log in>
        xinit /usr/bin/kde2 -- :1
        Voila, two desktops running at the same time. Or:
        <Start KDE>

        Ctrl-Alt-F2
        <log in>
        xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session -- :1
        if you want to do it the other way. I'm sure Xandros has put a nice slick interface on this, but it's always been something you can do with X. I do it all the time, in fact I'm running with xfce + KDE right now.
        • I learn something new every day.

          Xandros has put a nice face on the feature. With Xandros you can define whether the return to the first screen will require or not require a password. Again a fine touch.

          I think the issue here is that different distros can feature or not feature capabilities that individual users may really desire.

          For example, Mandrake will use Samba just as Xandros does. But, 90% of all windows users would never use Mandrake because of the lack of ease of use to network.

          For years now, Corel Linux offered a clone of the Windows Explorer including "Network Neighborhood". But, the latest version of Mandrake is off on a picknic somewhere. It is not worth the time and trouble to learn the hard way when a right click will set it up right in the file manager.

          And, again the point is that the different distros will focus upon ease of use features in a different way. That is a primary advantage that linux will always benefit from and Microsoft will not. Microsoft may design their stuff one way, but who is to say that they pick the best way. And, "best for whom?" is always the issue.

          Regular line employees would not want Mandrake. Xandros or Lindows may be a much better solution for them. Less learning and a lot more like the Microsoft stuff they already know or also use from time to time. No one linux distro is going to do that as long as that company focuses upon the server market.

          And, that is the other point here. The desktop market is very different. And, it is not singular either. Developers may want or accept one version while a much easier distro may be necessary for 80-90% of all PC users.
      • Guys, your jaded optimism is adorable but mis-placed. DR-DOS was a DOS killer. Desqview was a DOS/Win killer. OS/2 was a Windows killer. The iMac was a Wintel killer. PalmOS was a WinCE killer. And now Linux is an XP killer.

        Do what Linus says. Stop trying to beat anyone and just make something you like. It'll put a big-old smile on your face and when people says "Linux on the desktop is crap compared to Windows" you can answer: "Windows?"

        • Was that your point?

          Illegal acts can nix a very fine competing product?

          DR-Dos suffered from illegal Microsoft acts. Microsft even paid the money to settle the Caldera case.

          Desqview suffered from the Window Manager being bundled with DOS even though Deskview did not sue. Perhaps they should have?

          And, OS/2 was also subject to a number of illegal moves by Microsoft including many conduct right in the face of IBM.

          And, most recently the idiot Gates took the baseball bat to DELL in order to force them to drop (for now) their support of linux on the desktop.

          There is no doubt that Gates thinks he is better off conducting illegal acts to hold off competition. That is why he himself engages in those illegal acts.
          • I think you've got a decent grasp of some of Microsoft's past "foibles" but you jump to the erroneous conclusion that just because Microsoft does something dastardly that it's by definition illegal. Publicly-traded companies exist to build shareholder value at any cost. What you see as illegal is merely response to stimulus -- the cold, calculating efficiency of the predator/prey principle, but in a free market setting. For example:

            DR-Dos suffered from illegal Microsoft acts.

            How is that? DR-DOS suffered because they were reverse-engineering a product. This is why OS/2, Wine, and Mono couldn't / can't succeed. When someone else is setting the standard you will always be in catch-up mode and they will always be first to market.

            Desqview suffered from the Window Manager being bundled with DOS even though Deskview did not sue.

            DOS did not have a bundled window manager, what it had was a crummy, single-tasking quasi-GUI file manager. It was not a window manager in any sense of the word. By the time of Windows 95 and DOS/Win bundling, Desqview was many years dead. Desqview suffered because when people upgraded to DOS 6 they found that magically DV no longer ran and an obscure upgrade was needed. I'm not even sure this was illegal, just very underhanded. This offered enough time for Windows 3.0 to come out and the rest is history.

            And, OS/2 was also subject to a number of illegal moves by Microsoft including many conduct right in the face of IBM.

            How was anything they did illegal? OS/2 was an OS well ahead of its time but lacking any apps. Since IBM had only licensed Win3.x APIs they were again relegated to perpetually playing catch-up.

            And, most recently the idiot Gates took the baseball bat to DELL in order to force them to drop (for now) their support of linux on the desktop.

            How do you figure? When even John Carmack, one of the strongest Linux advocates in the world thinks there's no money in Linux (games) on the desktop, why-oh-why do you think Dell should support it out of pure-hearted good nature? While I share your frustration I think you need to take a strong dose of reality. We don't live in a world where being "good" wins the war.

            IMHO Microsoft's greatest sins were in the early '90's when they would release a new DOS version and use the proceeds to fund their next Office upgrade which would fund their next DOS version ad infinitum. By leveraging these two products against each other they guaranteed nobody could win. Sadly no one else seems to remember this. Or what about the Office price wars when Office for Windows 2.0 was crap but it sold for a fraction the price of the competition? Microsoft could afford it by releasing new DOS versions and reaping the profits by the dumptruck-load. But Borland, Lotus, and Novell couldn't afford to match those price cuts and where are their office packages now? People always seem to focus on the wrong things. Penfield-Jackson had the penalty right, he was just a stupid ass who shot himself in the foot.

            • Microsoft paid Caldera $150 million to avoid a possible judgment on the matter.

              And, yes, I am a lawyer so I can have a legal opinion that what Microsoft did was in fact a violation of the Federal antitrust laws.

              The Microsoft windows manager, "Windows" was bundled with DOS to foreclose such products as Deskview. Windows was no more than KDE or GNOME is today. In fact, it still is.

              Illegal bundling does in fact preclude competition from markets. That is "why" Microsoft engages in those acts.

              And, yes, I am a lawyer and do have a legal opinion that bundling a windows manager is illegal tying. It is illegal tying just like the browser is illegal tying. Do we have the final court decision on the browser tying? No. Not yet. The AOL law suit is still pending.

              Look, if Gates the idiot did not think that beating up on DELL was not necessary, why was he so stupid to engage in the act?

              You can claim that you disagree with the need for Gates to do what he did, but Gates himself decided (at Ballmers suggestion) to get involved and stop DELL from promoting linux desktops.

              You can create all the false ideas you want, but what they did is what matters. And, if your false stories were true, they would not have had to do anything at all. So, Gates and Baller disagree with you. Not me.

              I only think what they did was illegal and stupid.

              • You are grossly misinformed and should be embarassed to post such poorly-researched comments.

                The Microsoft windows manager, "Windows" was bundled with DOS to foreclose such products as Deskview.

                Your recollection of history is blatently false. Windows and DOS were not bundled until many years after Desqview was dead and Windows had a monopoly of the "OS" market. The fact is that Desqview 2.0 was released in 1987 [tripod.com] whereas Win95 (the bundling of DOS and Windows) didn't take place until 1995 [tripod.com]. Bundling the products was the only thing that made sense and was in a sense the means to discontinue DOS 6.

                In fact, neither the DOJ nor the courts have ever found fault with Microsoft for "bundling" DOS and Windows, bundling didn't even become a factor until Netscape's demise. For example, the consent decree [usdoj.gov] of 1994 makes no mention [usdoj.gov] of bundling products and is completely devoted to licensing practises. While you're free to your own fiction, the facts, the DoJ, and the courts tend to disagree with you.

                Gates himself decided (at Ballmers suggestion) to get involved and stop DELL from promoting linux desktops

                References, please! I hope you work differently in court because I certainly make no judgements without some sort of evidence.


                • Microsoft paid $150 million to avoid the DOS Windows bundling from getting to the judge.

                  Desqview did not sue. But, they could have. Suggesting Microsoft only illegally bundled the windows manager after Desqview was dead is your opinion. And, may not matter much. Besides, illegal acts are not excused simply because a competitor is on the way out. Rather illegal acts are then unnecessary.

                  It is just like the idiots who beat up on DELL. If the false claim that Gates and Ballmer did not need to beat on Dell were true, then they would not have to do so, would they? Do you really think a guy like Gates and Ballmer act needlessly? They do not think so. So, when you claim DELL was going to axe linux anyway, you make Gates and Ballmer look to be fools.

                  As for your suggestion that the courts disagree with my opionions, perhaps you should read the court decision more carefully. But, do not read the decisions that use faulty jurisprudance.

                  The consent degree you like to mention was designed to prevent IE from being a required purchase with the OS. Perhaps you would like to explain to others what you think it was supposed to do? If not that?

                  Microsoft was not convicted of violating it because that issue was never properly litigated. The large DOJ and States case replaced it.

                  As for the monopoly in the OS, that was true for a long time. And, whether Microsoft got the monopoly legally or not has not been litigated. The new monopoly in browers is being litigated in the AOL law suit.

                  As for DELL:

                  Microsoft documents apparently have something to reveal.

                  It does not sound like lack of demand had anything to do with it.

                  Sounds more and more like additional illegal activity.

                  The following is taken from the opening statement by the States.

                  1. Microsoft held a series of meetings with Dell in regard to linux
                  2. Meetings involved both Gates and Ballmer
                  3. Microsoft does not sell a linux distro
                  4. Microsoft needs to remind Dell why it is smart to partner with Microsoft
                  5. Dell feels a need to discuss linux with Microsoft? (does he need permission from the godfather?)
                  6. Ballmer is urged to make certain that Dell understands it is untenable for Dell to be marketing linux
                  7. Ballmer suggests that Gates give Dell somewhat of a hard time (Ballmer suggests that Gates brown nose Dell)
                  8. Dell in June of 2001 informs Microsoft (the crime family) that Dell has canceled their linux business unit
                  9. Does not smell like lack of market demand at all

                  Is this testimony? No, just statements from the States based upon Microsoft documents.

                  But, does this sound like a lack of marketing demand nixed Redhat on Dell desktops? Not to me it does not.

                  It sounds like Dell thinks that Microsoft Corporation has to approve any contracts that Dell might want to sign with others. (Or, they have to cancel if Microsoft does not approve.)
  • Their network browser [lycoris.com] looks very very nice. Anyone know if a similar tool exists for gnome?

    Spanks.

    • Re:Network browser (Score:2, Informative)

      by XavierXeon ( 585110 )
      It is Konqueror [konqueror.org] and as such not available for Gnome.

      However it is possible to run KDE apps from within Gnome if you have KDE installed.
      • Re:Network browser (Score:2, Insightful)

        by stevey ( 64018 )

        It's not Konqueror according to their page [lycoris.com] - It's 'The Desktop/LX Network BrowserTM'.

        That seems a bit shabby to me - calling a standard application by a completely different name, and then trademarking it.

      • The same type of thing could be implemented into Nautilus... At least I would think so.

        Lycoris one-ups a lot of other distributions because they work heavily on customizing the GUI, instead of writing proprietary config tools (like Yast). But I am interested in seeing how some of these new Lycoris tools have turned out. It looks like they are taking a step in a better direction by making GUI-based controls for everything imaginable. But most look like simple hacks so far.

        The only problem here is that Lycoris deviates from a lot of standard KDE features so much, that it seems like they are a bit behind in implementing newer versions of software into their distribution. They use a relatively old version of KDE... While that isn't a big problem, when more apps demand QT3 and a lot of other KDE3 specific features, Lycoris will be left behind.

        I still love the distribution though, and am anxious to play with this new release.
    • Actually, nautilus will do _some_ of this, but I don't think it will browse the network. It does do samba though

      Ones that I can think of include gnomba and LinNeighborhood
  • Linux on desks (Score:2, Interesting)

    Unfortunately to get Linux on the desks of many businesses two things have to happen (actually 2 or 1 thing). First, it must be an identical experience to Windows. I don't understand that as much of Linux is from the user standpoint (ie tech support handles installs etc...)Businesses do not want to interrupt a known good proccess without an obvious ROI. Second, Microsoft itself must provide motivation (they are working on it with their licensing scheme).

    Alternatively, if a big group of corps start using it other people will too.
    • Re:Linux on desks (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ami Ganguli ( 921 )

      If this were really true then nobody would ever upgrade MS Windows either. Note the GUI changes between Windows 3.1 & 95, and again between NT & XP.

      Windows is kept on the desktop by inertia. Under inertia I also include a host of custom applications that most companies have built up over time.

      The thing is that most of the companies I've seen are gradually reducing their dependance on Windows. The new apps tend to be more and more browser based and will work anywhere. It's not gonna happen overnight, but there will be a shift away from Windows over time.

  • I know who... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @09:29AM (#3977498) Homepage
    Who says Linux is dead on the desktop? ;-)

    The overwhelming numbers of BSD users do [apple.com]. As I always say, Linux for serving, OpenBSD for firewalling and Mac OS X for when you got to get things done.

    • As I always say, Linux for serving, OpenBSD for firewalling and Mac OS X for when you got to get things done.

      Assuming by "serving" you mean "applying kernel patches," and by "getting things done" you mean "waiting for windows to render."
      • Assuming by "serving" you mean "applying kernel patches,"

        If ain't broke, I don't touch it. I have Linux boxes with over 365 days of uptime. I consider those to have a "stable" kernel without need of patching.

        and by "getting things done" you mean "waiting for windows to render."

        That was Mac OS X 10.0 (Public Beta II). The current version (10.1.5) is very fast on my Dual G4. With Jaguar coming out next month, Quartz Extreme [apple.com] is going to make my fast system, super-duper fast when it comes to window rendering.

    • The overwhelming numbers of BSD users do [apple.com].

      Two things you clearly don't understand.

      1) MacOS is not BSD. FreeBSD is BSD, OpenBSD is BSD, MacOS X is ... well, MacOS. That's why it's called MacOS and not Apple BSD. The fact that they used large parts of FreeBSD and Linux as the core is irrelevant. It is MacOS.

      2) There are at least 4 times as many Linux desktop users as MacOS X users. According to Apple, MacOS X has 0.5% market share (1 in 10 mac users, mac's have 5%). These figures were produced when under pressure from Microsoft to increase sales, so they're likely to be a slight overestimate. I'm assuming 2% Linux Desktop usage here, which is the estimate I get from IDC (an independant 3rd party). Don't assume that OS X has lots of users. Microsoft is struggling to make money from the premier office suite sales are so slow. What, Office X is too expensive? Is this from the people who are saying that $120 is reasonable from Apple? One quarter of the number of Linux users - this is hardly overwhelming.

      You can rant and rave about your shiny new toy all you like, the fact is, we don't care. The Mac is proprietary, and that's not the way forward. You're finding this out the hard way with the 10.2 upgrade price and dotMac. Quit the shills, it annoys us people who really do want to get things done.

      • You can rant and rave about your shiny new toy all you like, the fact is, we don't care. The Mac is proprietary, and that's not the way forward. You're finding this out the hard way with the 10.2 upgrade price and dotMac. Quit the shills, it annoys us people who really do want to get things done.

        Gee, someone is having a fit today!!! I guess I would be upset too if I had to boot into Windows to get any work done...

        Worst. Rant. Ever!

  • What any free os needs to succeed is a really good pinball version and atleast 13 versions of Solitare.
    • Worryingly enough, I believe that if I loaded linux for my mother with enough card games, she'd be happy with the result.
  • Linux dead? alive? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tylerdave ( 58777 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @09:33AM (#3977515) Homepage
    I don't know, but to me it seems that while the current state of the linux desktop leaves a LOT to be desired, it is continuing to make improvements. If groups like Redomnd Linux keep making improvements, the linux desktop will keep getting better and more compelling. I admit I only use the linux desktop to toy around right now, but I can definitely see it being viable in the future. Why does everyone have to say that linux on the desktop is dead? Obviously if you don't like it, you don't have to use it. I'll bet that there are pleanty of people that do use it and welcome any improvements. (Okay, I'm starting to rant)
  • by mbourgon ( 186257 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @09:56AM (#3977630) Homepage
    I remember one of the big things they claimed the first time around was that the network config would easily let you share your internet connection through the Lycoris box. But it turned out not to be the case, you had to go manually edit some files. (fortunately they had a pointer to a decent howto, but not the same as click-and-share).

    So, does it work "correctly" now?

    And my Karma Whoring for the day:
    it's probably pronounced "Licorice". Some people like Licorice, other's don't.
  • by jocks ( 56885 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @09:57AM (#3977635) Homepage
    As I have said before, my wife and I have moved to using SuSE 8.0 exclusively in the house, we have NO windows products. My wife is visually impaired so this is not a move we would make lightly. We use KDE 3.01, Mozilla and KMail amongst others. For us it is great. My wife particularly likes the zooming function with Mozilla.

    Linux may not be fully alive on the desktop, to get there it requires people to stop talking about it, drop Windows and get on with it. As far as games go, I have a copy of dungeonkeeper that I would love to get running, I will just have to be patient!

    As far as "Windows clone" distros go, we are not interested. This would be a move back to the propriatory software that we are deliberately moving away from.

    I can't see this stuff appealing to corporates either. Will linux run my windows apps? The answer should remain "No", far better than "Maybe". In terms of support "Maybe" is a real non-starter.
  • The true measure of the quality of a user interface... the airbrushed icons.
  • I could release software for the ZX81. It still doesn't mean that it isn't dead though.

    But seriously, Linux on the desktop isn't dead. Just struggling. But it holds it's own as a server which suits me (and I suspect a lot of people) just fine.

  • Lycoris Reactions (Score:4, Informative)

    by jaaron ( 551839 ) on Tuesday July 30, 2002 @10:21AM (#3977766) Homepage
    I tried out Lycoris a while ago when I was exploring other distros. I was really pleased with the overall experience. Generally user friendly, clean interface, network browser worked well for me, and the forums on the company web site were very friendly and helpful. All in all, I think Lycoris is probably the best Linux desktop available for an average [windows] computer user (not the average linux user that is).

    My only gripe was that so much software I'm used to finding on a unix-like OS was simply missing. Unless you knew better, you ended up after the initial install with out a compiler or make or anything to roll your own software. This of course became a hastle when wanted to install new software later.

    My point is, Lycoris is NOT for the linux power user out there (or maybe even average linux user), but then, it isn't targeted to be. For it's target audience, I think Lycoris makes an excellent choice of a Linux desktop (although, one might wonder how much of such an audience exists).
    • by SurfsUp ( 11523 )
      My only gripe was that so much software I'm used to finding on a unix-like OS was simply missing. Unless you knew better, you ended up after the initial install with out a compiler or make or anything to roll your own software. This of course became a hastle when wanted to install new software later.

      Lycoris is Debian-based, which means you have apt-get, which means you have no-fuss, no-muss ability to install anything that didn't come with the default install, just apt-get install <package>.

      The only thing is, you may have to use a Lycoris-specific sources.list, which isn't such a bad thing, it's much like the way Redhat users upgrade through red carpet.

      Though I personally prefer the real thing - straight up Debian - I see a lot of value in the extra integration work done by distributions like Lycoris, which saves an infinite amount of time and frustration for beginner.
  • at a customer's worksite. Yesterday I took a win2k workstation, blew off the OS and installed SuSE 8.0. Then I downloaded the Citrix client for Linux and installed that and configured it for the user. Today we'll take the box to the client and put it to work.

    The biggest problem we've encountered with Linux on the desktop isn't using Linux (I've used it on my desktop for years) but interfacing it with the applications that have been sold to businesses that only work with MS operating systems. This particular customer uses its main application over a Citrix server and we convinced them to give Linux a try. After all, there isn't much difference between using Citrix on a Win2k box than on a Linux box... but the websurfing will be done with Linux (Galeon)... and email with Evolution.
  • Linux is already easy to use. Linux with X and KDE or Gnome is as easy to use (maybe easier) than Win2k etc. That's not the issue.

    Linux will take off on the desktop when it is dead easy to install, easy to configure, easy to add new hardware, easy to get X installed, and easy to add new software.

    In my mind this implies the following:

    - A separate setup procedure for home users. Their needs are different from sys admins.

    - If users are dedicating the machine to Linux, don't bother them with partitioning. If sharing with Windows, give them some reasonable defaults.

    - APM, Sound cards, USB, scanners, printers, modems, dial-up ISP, email, web access, and GUI all have to work out of the box with minimal intervention on the part of the user.

    - Installing new software can't put users in shared library hell.

    When these things happen, Linux will become usable by the average user. Not before.

    Maybe Lycoris has all this figured out. But I didn't see it on their web site the last time I looked. They're still showing off their GUI. Which, as far as I'm concerned, indicates they don't understand the real issue.
    • Lycoris seems to have this issue under control for the most part. Most devices are detected automatically, without a hitch...

      However, I have had some problems getting the installer to kick in on less-common (in terms of modern hardware) video cards. It pukes out when the installer starts up.

      I think that they have fixes most of that in the most recent version though. And everything else about the installation is automated, thanks to the use of Lizard.
    • Oh, where are the mod points when you need them.
      My good man, I agree with you SO entirely. I've been ranting about those points regularly since I switched my girlfriend to Linux (and more precisely, Mandrake) and analyzed her reactions to the system.

      There's also one point you may have overlooked: if we want hardware makers to write device drivers, then we need to make writing drivers WAY easier. There are efforts underway (like the ALSA architecture for sound devices), but we're still not there yet. If you want to, say, write a driver for an USB tablet, then you'll need to 1) modify the HID kernel driver slightly, so that it won't get hold of the tablet and try to use it with the standard HID-mouse driver; 2) add the kernel module for your tablet; and 3) add the X driver for the XInput support of your tablet. And I leave out the hassle that is getting X configured right. How the heck is an USB tablet vendor supposed to write a generic Linux driver in those conditions?

      This said, it might be that you don't give Lycoris enough credit. I haven't tested it (can you download the distro from their site, BTW?), but if you look at those screenshots, they've got 1) a hardware installer utility, 2) a software installer utility, and 3) a X configuration utility. So it might be that they have figured out the real issues after all. We can hope, anyway. I wish them good luck. We'll all need it.
  • I find it very interesting that people would declare Linux on the desktop dead when it seems it is just barely begun life.

    Consider, for example, the difference between a person in a developing country (say Thailand for example) and a person in the inner-city in America.

    The person in the inner-city has, on the surface, a hugely better life - easy access to clean water, health care, they probably own a TV, eat three meals a day (I won't go into the fat content of those meals...) and they might even own a car.

    But, this person sees the wealth all around them. They have always been poorer than their SUV driving suburban neighbors and recognize that their quality of life has not changed much.

    The Thai person grew up in a time when no one they knew owned anything more than a few water buffalo. Tap water (if they have a tap in the house) is undrinkable, electricity is still spotty and paved roads are still years away. This person may even have memories of famine when they were children. However, due to the rising economy, this person now lives in a nice house with a tin roof (thatched roofs, although pretty also make a great home for rats which carry the plague) and might even own a motorcycle. Compared to his childhood, he is styling .

    Although our Thai friend's life is still much harder than the poor American's, it is much better than in the recent past and improving. He has never known or seen the wealth his American friend has.

    Having never had dominance of the desktop and only now beginning to penetrate this market (much like our Thai friend discovering the thrill of racing his shiny new motorcycle), Linux has nowhere to go but up.

    It is all in your point of view...
  • If Lycoris was an OS X look-alike and not a Windows look-alike, Steve Jobs would be suing the hell outta this company. We all remember the themes stuff don't we?
  • It looks like /. took another one down. Lycoris is down, their mysql database is spitting errors, the mirrors are down, and now all the links point to some sort of phpwebhosting.com website.

    Oh well, /. takes another victim.

  • I looked around there website, and I feel kind of blind, but I can't find a free download of it.
  • My Linux desktop is alive and well. Near as I can tell, it's made of laminated particle board, and it supports my monitor and keyboard with admirable efficiency, which is most helpful when I'm working at my Linux commandline.

    Oh sure, I know that's not for everyone, but I switched to Linux so I wouldn't have to do the same thing as everyone. Which is, I thought, the entire point of open source. It'll be a cold day in hell before I ever use Lycoris, but that's just me -- I might, however, install it for my wife and daughter, both of whom are quite bright, but totally disinterested in software development. And that's cool, too.

    So congrats to the Lycoris folks for rolling out what looks like a polished product. More choice is always good.

You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine

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