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The Failures Of Desktop Linux 882

PDAJames writes "Maybe Linux isn't quite ready for the desktop after all. After an earlier, very positive evaluation of SuSE Linux Desktop, ZDNet UK has carried out a more in-depth review, running the system in a production environment for two weeks, and found it wanting. A key problem area was interacting with the corporate Windows network. When will this stuff finally be ironed out?"
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The Failures Of Desktop Linux

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  • Other boxen (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ( 156602 ) * on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:30PM (#6554694) Homepage Journal
    So, does it work well with OS X better than Windows on the network? I should hope so. It's kinda funny. If there's zero Windows boxen on the network, the OS X and Linux users would probably still have to use Samba. Bummer.
  • Hmmmmmm (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:30PM (#6554698)
    A key problem area was interacting with the corporate Windows network.

    No shit! and who's fault is that? If it's a major concern then MSFT customers must insist that Microsoft stick to open standards. What was that key problem area again?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:31PM (#6554704)
    I have one of the most common recent macs made (an imac slot loader)

    Not one installer has managed to get simple things like graphics, audio, mouse and keyboard drivers to work. first go.

    After my last attempt installing Mandrake PPC I was able to fix most of those the same day I installed, but it still sucks.

    Mod me down if you like, I just had to vent.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:32PM (#6554712)
    How does it work the other way round? Is it really a case of Linux not interoperating with Windows networks because of the way Windows is designed, or would it be just as hard to get a single Windows box onto a Linux network?

    What I'm saying is: surely the single, lesser box on a network is always at a disadvantage, Macs on Windows, Windows on Macs, Linux on Macs, etc. etc...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:33PM (#6554722)
    (Christ, I'm going to get flamed for this)
    I just got my hands on a copy of LindowsOS 4.0 (Thanks eMule) and installed it on my laptop.
    Coupled with apt (I ain't paying for Click-n-run), it is one hell of an OS.
    I mean, a Debian install that just *works*.
  • When? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:36PM (#6554740)
    In a word. Never.

    Windows is constantly evolving and moving forward. Linux is not now nor has it ever been able to keep up. The gap is ever widening. When Longhorn is released, the gap will double in size over night.

    A lot of sour-grapers claim that this is MS protecting their monopoly, but the fact is, MS is not going to be stifled because Linux does not have the workforce or the focus to keep pace.

    If a large enough company with enough money and programmers could take all of Linux and transform it in to their own product, it might have hope. But the GPL almost prevents the possibility of that ever happeneing. Said company would need to make back the money it spend in development and if the next 2 man group down the road comes along and takes it all and sells for pennies (becayse THEY didn't DO anything and yet are under the GPL entitled to everything they didn't do) well end of that idea.

    If IBM actually took over Linux in it's entirety it might have a chance, but unfortunately IBM has a history of dropping the ball on things like that.

    So no, Linux will continue to struggle, until there is some REAL progress in controlling it's direction and development as an ENTIRE package at once.

    (And, no, Red Hat is not even CLOSE to the magnitude of what I am proposing will be needed)
  • by Nagatzhul ( 158676 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:39PM (#6554768)
    Except for the main account being the admin account, I can't argue it. Of course that whole admin issue simply leaves the system pretty vulnerable in the long run. I might recommend it for my mom cause it is easy, but I would never use it myself, except maybe the internet specific box for my kids.
  • by JayBlalock ( 635935 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:39PM (#6554771)
    I've been watching Linux for ages, and about once a year or two, I'll get a copy of a distro and give it a shot. This year I actually tried two, which are supposed to be the more user-friendly ones: RedHat and SuSE. While for the first time I managed to quickly set up a Linux desktop environment which did everything I needed, I still found it a bear to work with. RedHat didn't like my soundcard, the forums weren't much help. It took me two weeks to get SuSE to accept nVidia's drivers (because ONE character in ONE source code was off), and then after a week, it decided to stop using the drivers again. Never got Quicktime and most other video formats working. Opera for Linux isn't as good, and I've never cared for Moz. After a couple months of fighting with it, I finally gave up and went back to Windows. It's CLOSE to being desktop-ready, but barely a day went by that I didn't discover something I couldn't automatically do in Linux, and would require a day's tinkering to get working. And this was, as I said, after trying to different distros. Maybe next year... (braces for flames telling him he's stupid and evil)
  • Re:When? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:42PM (#6554789)
    FULLY agreed. The Linux devs don't have the universal focus, neither they agree into things. Standards are good (e.g. but only when people are using them.

    MS will continue to evolve fast, Gates said recently that some 5 billion will go into R&D. And Red Hat and linux DEs will continue the struggle to keep up.
  • Re:Other boxen (Score:4, Interesting)

    by curtlewis ( 662976 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:42PM (#6554794)
    Apple doesnt' even really use AppleTalk anymore. It uses AFP over TPC, which is the AppleTalk Filing Protocol over TCP.

    There is minimal support for this on *nix, but good luck getting it configured and working well.

    *nix really needs some kind of GUI client for AFP/TCP much like the Go To Server window in OS X. That is, something that scans the LAN for servers as well as allows direct IP entry of the server if you know it.

    NFS sure is convenient but it's a security nightmare and no sysadmin worth his pay will let you set up and use NFS on a network.

    I'm no Windows fan, but let's face it, getting rid of the Windows boxes/network is not an acceptable solution to the majority of the world. Windows is there, running, and working well enough for them to not seriously consider migration at this point or they WOULD be migrating.

    So any OS needs to work WITH Windows. Of course, to play fair, Windows should work will WITH others, too. The general demeanor is that SMB networking isn't proprietary. It is, very much so. The only OS that uses it natively is Windows and the only reason someone would want to use it is to work WITH Windows boxes. SMB as a general networking technology sucks. With absolutely no physical changes what is shown in Network Neighborhood varies at the whim of the OS and ... Bill Gates? The box is there, the box is gone? It's online and can be reached by \\servername, but not in the neighborhood? What's up with that?

    What we REALLY need is a platform agnostic networking solution that works well, is fast, is reliable and works the same everywhere.
  • by General Fault ( 689426 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:42PM (#6554797)
    I love Linux! That said, I have always found the mentioned problem to be a major stumbling block. I admit that I am not a huge Linux guru, but I am a software engineer, and can figure out what I need most of the time. Still, it is never "seamless" to connect my Linux boxes to a windows network. Your solution of "getting rid of all of the Windows machines" is not very practical (and I suspect that you know it, but were being humorous). I have 1 Linux box at work on a huge (500+) machine network dominated by Windows. This is normal. Many companies that develop for Windows have employees that like Linux and try to get it shoved in the company structure once in a while. This is a big problem when I need to devote significant resources to getting the Linux box all set up. I can plug a Windows machine into a windows network and without hardly any effort, that machine is happily communicating with the rest of the network. To get a Linux box on that same network, I need to install SAMBA, configure the .conf file, run some command line utils to join the domain, configure PAM, get the init files working.... it goes on! I know that the real solution (and the beauty of Open Source) is for me to "use the force, read write some source". And for me and the rest of the community, the problem is fixed! The trouble is as always finding time to commit to such a large project.
  • by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:57PM (#6554910) Journal
    I don't really want to turn this into a tech support forum, but...

    Probably your modem is a winmodem: a crippled piece of hardware which requires Windows software in order to work. See this [] document (somewhat old) for some help.

    In other words, this is the hardware manufacturers' fault, and not the OSS community's.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2003 @07:58PM (#6554916)
    Certainly running Linux (Debian) boxes on a mainly MacOS network doesn't cause too many problems. TCP/IP and Appletalk protocols are well supported. On the other hand Windows as a minority flavour on a Mac network... no END of problems. Unless you buy DAVE or similar.

    Windows sucks. (flamebait?)
  • by Chordonblue ( 585047 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:05PM (#6554973) Journal
    For YEARS. Corporations and even schools like mine aren't going to be throwing away our Windows domains anytime soon.

    A lot of Linuxheads point to Samba as some sort of Holy Grail. The problem that Samba doesn't yet solve is basic Windows Domain login support. You can't get share drives, rights, or home directories using this service. It merely creates localized Windows shares or lets you connect to them on an individualized basis.

    The key for Linux to be accepted in these environments has more to do with network interoperability with MS, than app support. It sounds like an evil prospect, but you know something? I LIKE being able to organize my users on the network with ease. I like remote profiles. I like giving them things like shares and home directories in an organized way.

    To my knowledge the only distro that addresses this is Xandros. The big problem here is that their Windows Domain support is closed source - to me, that kind of defeats the whole idea of using Linux in the first place.

    When I first explored Linux options in 1999 I was shocked at the lack of this extremely important feature and continue to be. Let's hope the Samba project or something similar (and open source) will fill this in.

  • by QuasiEvil ( 74356 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:09PM (#6555002)
    First - I'm as much of a Linux fan as the next guy. However, after spending the better part of the day today in frustration with my new Linux desktop at work, I feel the need to vent.

    My main bitches about Linux (not the kernel, the whole system - RMS's part, Linus's part, all the commonly-installed stuff...) as a desktop OS (and 99% of them are about X):

    - X sucks hard in terms of responsiveness. Click a OS-level button (such as, say, the close button on a window) in Windows, that sucker responds. It may still be doing stuff in the background, but from the user's point of view, it's snappy and responsive. I'm running on a 2.4GHz P4 with a 10k RPM SCSI disk and 512Mbytes of memory for god's sake, there shouldn't be signficant UI lag! Win2k was about as snappy and responsive as you could get. I realize this is because MS built the GDI into the kernel, but come on, we're supposed to be better. As a modern business desktop user, I (typically) don't give a rat's ass about running applications on that server in the closet and having them display on my desktop. I want responsiveness...

    - Bizarre-ass fonts. I realize this is mostly a configuration issue, but I've never found a distro that provided a decent font setup. Again, gotta hand it to MS, but Windows has a good, no-frills set of fonts that universally look good without taking up too much space. Those who configure X seem to have an unholy fascination with huge widgets and huge text.

    - At least semi-standardized look and feel. Windows apps these days all sort of look and feel alike, but X apps are all over the road. This is the result of freedom, and that's not bad in and of itself. However, if we could agree on common places to put certain things, it would really help the user experience.

    - And as a side bitch, why does GIMP not have an image browsing plugin? I know, I know, because nobody's contributed one yet. I'd help, but I'm an embedded guy - you really don't want me writing desktop software.

    Okay, flame retardant suit on... Sorry, but those are my core complaints about trying to be a simple Linux desktop user today.
  • by FLoWCTRL ( 20442 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:09PM (#6555008) Journal
    Samba has had domain login support for years, including roaming profiles and home directory "auto-mounts", which you can organize however you like. You can create any kind of shares you want, and the number of people that can connect to them is only limited by your hardware. Have you ever even tried samba before??
  • by tarquin_fim_bim ( 649994 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:11PM (#6555026)
    "Linux's big selling point is that it's cheaper than Windows"

    ...and more powerful
    ...and more secure
    ...and more versatile
    ...and more reliable
    ...and NOT Microsoft, that's the big plus.
  • by FLoWCTRL ( 20442 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:16PM (#6555075) Journal
    You don't throw out a product with 80% of the market just because you can't get your minority system to work correctly with it.

    What is essential to realize with this evaluation is the reason the minority systems don't work correctly with it. It is not a shortcoming of the minorities, but the result of deliberate effort of the monopolist. One can only do so much when relying on reverse-engineered proprietary protocols that change at the whim of the monopolist.

    Now the question should be, do you want 80% of your IT environment to depend on a product from a company that behaves this way?

  • by Chordonblue ( 585047 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:27PM (#6555164) Journal
    Yes, let's just do that. Let's throw out everything we've invested in MS. Get a grip man! I work in a small school. Even if I could afford to throw it all out, I have to think about what I'd use to replace things like Blackbaud (school admin software - non-profits), MS ISA with Surfcontrol, or how to roll out public use Linux boxen with home directories.

    Also, I have to reorganize rights to folders upon folders of information and services. What a nightmare. I'm only one guy here, and just keeping it all RUNNING is challenge enough!

    Face it, MS is EASIER for this type of thing. Don't get me wrong, I love Linux, and use it for Manhattan and our firewall but until it can play nice with MS, it may never be more than that.

    I realize that MS plays games with it's protocols, but this is why it's necessary for Linux to step up and be there anyway. It's not that it can't be done (Xandros does this on the desktop NOW), it's that it's not yet open source.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:30PM (#6555185) Homepage Journal
    Well, my point was that, despite these early obstacles -- obstacles largely created by politics and resistance to change, not by technical limitations -- automobiles eventually did replace the horse and buggy. Imagine how much longer it would have taken for automobiles to take over if the manufacturers had concentrated on, say, designing better red warning flags (IMO the rough equivalent of trying to make Linux interoperate well with Windows) instead of improving performance and reliability. Eventually, despite all the politics, the technically superior system won out.
  • by alpharoid ( 623463 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:47PM (#6555299)
    Never got Quicktime and most other video formats working.
    That's strange, especially if you tried Linux this year. Xine and mplayer are very good media players and do support every codec you will ever need. Once they're installed (there's the Win32 codec DLL pack) you never have to worry about codecs again.

    Surprisingly, Windows usually gives you some headaches when dealing with obscure codecs. You have to find codec packs with flaky installers where if you flag every option, one codec inevitably breaks another. It takes practice to get everything right if you need lots of codecs in Windows. It could have been a lot easier with Media Player's automatic codec download, but MS won't facilitate downloading of standard codecs (divx 4 or 5? Nope. Vorbis? Nope!) in the hopes that everyone will ditch good codecs to adopt their DRM-dirty WMx formats.

    I can understand your other troubles with Linux as they're being slowly ironed out, but codec problems in Linux nowadays seem strange to me. It's one of the areas where Linux is a lot easier to work with.
  • by Ilan Volow ( 539597 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:52PM (#6555341) Homepage
    No. We need the Free Software people to take their heads out of their asses and actually make something resembling an honest attempt at making their software usable.

    For something that will slash government and school software costs, it's astonishing how much resistance we face

    First of all, Linux costs more than windows or mac. The true cost of software is the cost of stuff it prevents you from doing. Or perhaps a better way of putting it, the real value of a piece of software is the total value of the work you can do with it. Right now, someone will be able to get far more work done with a non-Free Software piece of software.

    In regards to the resistance, you people have called end users stupid for 30 years. You have repeatedly told them to shut up and read the fine manual. And you have been utterly incredulous when they complain the software is to hard to use. And then you tell them to quit whining about that which they are getting for free. Gee, wonder why there's resistance?

    Free Software people have never recognized the Freedom To Get Stuff Done With a Minimum of Fuss as a valid freedom, and no end user wants to be deprived of that freedom even more than they already have been by Microsoft.

    I suggest taking all that advocacy that is directed towards the public sector and corporations and redirecting it squarely at the Free Software developers who have repeatedly shirked their duty to make usable products. It's time to turn your guns on your own developers, because those are the people who are holding you back.

  • by b!arg ( 622192 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:56PM (#6555369) Homepage Journal
    My question has always been, "Who's desktop?"

    My desktop? Sure.
    Worker Bees desktop? Eh...maybe, but probably not.
    My Mom's desktop? God no.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:57PM (#6555375)
    Next time, choose a distribution that was designed from the ground up to work in a Windows environment. For example, Xandros.

    (1) Xandros comes with Yahoo's own client pre-installed. It also comes with AOL. MNS, ICQ and IRC clients.

    (2) Xandros allows you to update software using apt, or if you prefer, "Xandros Networks", the still-free "easy-to-use" GUI version.

    (3) The Xandros File Manager also serves as a web browser, a samba browser, an ftp browser, an nfs browser, and knows how to automount CDs and floppies. Want to share a directory with a Windows user? Right click on the folder and select 'Share'.

    (4) You can configure your user account to login to a Windows domain, automatically using the Windows password and having access to the windows network.

    (5) Xandros also comes with CrossOver office, so you can run your windows applications such as MS Office or Lotus Notes.

  • Re:Sounds like..... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheVoice900 ( 467327 ) <kamil@kamilkisie ... inus threevowels> on Monday July 28, 2003 @08:57PM (#6555376)
    Why should they read the documentation? So they know what the hell they are doing, obviously. I'd be impressed if you could show me anyone who with little or no prior experience, and without reading the documentation, was able to set up a decent reliable Windows network.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 28, 2003 @09:02PM (#6555406)
    As long as the Linux community continues the Windows blame game, instead of just making things work Linux is never going to get the desktop.

    Nobody likes a wiener
  • by sniggly ( 216454 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @09:09PM (#6555451) Journal
    Kind of says it all - the older, open standard (NFS) is replaced by the closed source less capable alternative (NFS had to support a multi user environment from the start) and yet the latter dominates the market so becomes de facto standard.

    But thats the market at work.. The only alternative would be to legislate open standards which would then become practically unalterable...

  • Re:Wrong comparison (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IWannaBeAnAC ( 653701 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @09:53PM (#6555734)
    companies did not depend on horses and carriages to keep their businesses working.

    Really? There must have been quite a lot of infrastructure devoted to providing, eg, feed and shelter for horses, not to mention horse shoes, vets, saddles, etc etc. Replace that with service stations, petrol pumps, mechanics, etc etc. Quite a big change in skills!

    Coming more on topic, the real question is, why does such a change, from Windows to Linux, require fundamental infrastructure changes?

    OK, the answer is obvious, but that simply highlights the core issue here. The technical problems with such a change are relatively minor. Microsoft could probably port the Windows XP shell to run on top of X in a matter of months. But is anyone else in a position to do that? Imagine that you had just invested in a bunch of carriages and horses. Then, the car comes along. Some clever engineer in your company realizes that it would be not so difficult to modify the existing carriages and add petrol engines to them. (Not completely unrealistic; that is essentially what the early cars were, after all.) But, you can't, because the company you bought the carriages from owns all the 'intellectual property' of the carriages, and retrofitting them is a violation of the license agreement. Anyone from 19th century London would have laughed at you!

    Today's economic enviroment is based around the idea that it is easier to pay someone else to build something for you, than it is for you to learn the required skills and build it yourself. It is this notion that allowed 'companies' (ie. cooperatives of specialist workers) to form in the beginning. In the past, there was never any laws to say that you could not build your own copy of something that you already own. It simply wasn't needed; for virtually all goods, the cost of building it yourself was (and still is) much greater than the cost of going out and buying another. But this has lost most of its meaning when applied to software. The cost of making another copy is essentially zero. Why should we try to force this new paradigm into the existing economic model? And more importantly, what is going to replace it?

  • It depends (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @10:01PM (#6555779)
    For a general office, Linux is not yet ready. Sorry, but Linux still lacks a great Office Suite. Star/Open Office has made great progress, but they are both slow and most, including myself, find the interface to still be a little clunky. This week I started a new job as IT director at a small start-up. Before this I worked for an Arcitecture firm as the server admin. Before I left, we tested Maya on Linux. The artists loved it. We found that fact that Linux uses fewer resources, we could use that extra power to shave about 2%-5% off our rendering times compaired with XP pro. One of my biggest complaints about Linux has been its lack of focus and how its developers attempt to make it a do all from a server to a Desktop all in one package: it ends up not doing either one as well as it could. Here that feature works in our favor because we can use the 10 or so Linux box as its own render-farm for large projects on the same box as the program. Lots of $$$ saved.
  • by Population ( 687281 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @10:02PM (#6555784)
    Wal-Mart has increased its line of Linux based PC's.

    Originally they had Lindows.

    They have added Lycoris desktops.

    They have added SUSE desktops.

    There is a rumor that they will also be introducing Mandrake systems.

    When Linux comes pre-installed, it is just as easy for the average person to use as Windows is. Wal-Mart would not be selling them and expanding their line if they were not profitable.
  • by MrCreosote ( 34188 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @10:46PM (#6555978)
    " the operating system that 95% of the computing public chooses to use,"

    and in the last presidential election in Iraq, almost 100% of the vote was for Saddam Hussein.

    Henry Ford supplied the Model T in any colour the customer wanted, as long as it was black.

    When you have a monopoly (and an illegally maintained monopoly in Microsoft's case), choice does not really enter into it.

  • When it will work. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ratfynk ( 456467 ) on Monday July 28, 2003 @10:50PM (#6556028) Journal
    'When will this stuff finally be ironed out?'
    When interoperabily with MS tools is no longer a concern. And MS format standards are no longer a moving target. With the lock they have on lobby groups on capitol hill- never.

  • by QuadGoatBoy ( 540418 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @12:30AM (#6556554) Homepage
    The average end user does not set up a multi-million dollar corporate Windows network, and those people that do have almost always learned from someone who has set up a Windows network or have IT/IS experience, college degrees, etc. And, to insinuate the tools are not already provided in Linux is equally as ridiculous. I've not seen a recent (as in last 3 years) end-user targetted Linux distribution that didn't already have Samba available, and if this admin didn't copy the conf files for PAM, Samba, and whatever other custom job he/she had from other computer that were already properly configured, then that's his/her fault/oversight/whatever, not the OS. The fact is that WINDOWS admins are so used to the WINDOWS control panel and quick access functions, that they are trying to configure the stations through Windows techniques - which btw, PAM and Samba have a GUI administration interface if they wish to configure the workstation through KDE, Gnome, etc. Heck, they can even install Webmin and point their Windows browsers to the IP address of the workstation that needs configuring.

    If these admins had any sense, they would make a proper, custom install CD for all new Linux machines. If they don't know how, they can most certainly ask. I understand that, in most cases, Linux has more configuration options, and so, many Windows/Linux hybrid solutions may seem to put Linux in an interesting light, but that doesn't mean that configuring Linux with Windows networks has to be a pain. Just like setting up a Windows network, setting up a Linux or Linux/Windows hybrid network just takes a little practice.

    Thank you for your time,

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @12:43AM (#6556624) Journal
    An infrastructure is not ripped out and replaced in a day -- or even two.

    Actually it takes about two weeks to image 1,000 boxes with a new image. Did that myself this last month.

    I've been on a crew that rolled out to enterprise class installations seven times. Here's what I know:

    It doesn't matter what you're setting up -- the image is everything. In the enterprise a gang of really smart people put together the image of one ideal operating "environment" for one PC over the course of a few months. That's their full time job, and they're good at it. It is not trivial putting together a Windows image that works with itself, let alone all of the enterprise's custom apps. Getting a proper Linux image is equally non-trivial. They add things and test them and make sure everything the people use gets tested with everything else. They figure out which service packs break their required components and omit them. They have meetings and brainstorming sessions and teams and "pilot" projects.

    Then one day their image is ripe for installation. They hire a gang like ours to go around and put the image onto the hard drives of the day's scheduled customers, and manually set some settings according to a script. Usually hardware upgrades (if any) are installed at the same time. Our crew travels to all their sites and performs similar operations on a regular cycle. Someone on their side performs server-side migrations if necessary. Their helpdesk crew are prepped for issues and ready to roll.

    Our gang's favorite upgrade is naturally software-only. No trekking flat panel displays up the stairs and monster CRTs down. As yet we haven't done any Linux migrations, and (gasp) I hope we don't.

    I know Linux is better. It's more stable. It's more efficient. It's more compatible. I prefer it. I use it at home. But if our customers find out they can have all of their software for free, and push upgrades down from the server without our help I get these negatives: no more software only upgrades (less work), hardware only upgrades relegate me to delivery boy status rather than tech.

    Fortunately for me, our salespeople are unlikely to push a solution that kills their future business (hence violating the goose rule).

  • by Population ( 687281 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @12:53AM (#6556675)
    "Computers have become so popular with normal people because the average person can just figure it out because it has been designed to be easy to use."

    No they have not. You believe they are easy to use because you have spent years using them. I've had to teach people who have never used a computer how to use one. There was one woman who needed two hands to work the mouse. One to hold it steady while she clicked with here other hand.

    The reason your computer works so well with Windows is that you are installing hardware that the manufacturer wrote drivers for Windows for. Is this a difficult concept?

    Now, try installing Windows on a PowerPC.

    How about trying to put one of these old PCI video cards I have in a Windows XP machine? No luck. They don't have Windows2000 or XP drivers. But they were top-of-the-line when they came out. Too bad the manufacturer stopped supporting them back in 1998.

    What was that you said? I shouldn't be using old cards? I should buy new stuff that works with XP?

    Well now. It seems that your XP installation has the same problems your Linux installation had.

    It doesn't work without supported hardware.

    I am aware that such has been your experience. But don't blame Linux for your experience. You chose the hardware to use. If you had chosen supported hardware, your experience would have been completely different.

    And don't complain that the hardware you chose worked with Windows so it should work with Linux. If you want to play that game, then why don't you get XP running on a PowerPC? The reason the hardware works with Windows is that you are specifically selecting hardware that works with Windows.

    Buy a PC pre-loaded with Linux and you'll see 99% of your problems vanish.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @01:14AM (#6556762)
    You're still missing that most people don't give a shit. They're going to be fine with whatever's pre-installed. If you sell a pre-installed Linux box. then it's going to have a compatible video card. Your red herring is a bunch of crap.
  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @02:08AM (#6556959)
    That's informative?

    Like it or not, if you want Linux on the desktop to start making inroads into the workplace, then it must interoperate correctly and completely with Windows, Office, etc. You can whine all you like about a lack of open standards, but that's not going to help.

    You're not going to get a large organisation to change everyone to Linux overnight, so Windows and Linux are going to have to play nice together. That's especially true as pretty-much any business is going to conduct a small trial first - if that trial fails because of a lack of interoperability, then (to that business), Linux has failed.
  • by Dalcius ( 587481 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @02:39AM (#6557052)
    These days, with the right admin tools, p2p essentially combines the mainframe with the client.

    Keep one head server with a listing of all configs and some tools to pipe everything out to distributed clients.

    The inane thing is that everything I just mentioned is friggin painless on *NIX. You can do it in a Windows GUI, but certainly not as effortlessly.

    Automation rules.
  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @04:10AM (#6557298)
    Mozilla has always let me cut and paste.

    There is a known bug in Mozilla (known for AGES now) where it cannot copy'n'paste large amounts of text, due to a screwup with their implementation of the X clipboard protocols. Unfortunately the guy who "owns" that module, has never done anything with it. The bug still remains unfixed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2003 @04:53AM (#6557431)
    To say that SUSE is so amazingly superior to windows, the operating system that 95% of the computing public chooses to use, is ludicrous.

    Who cares how many people using Winders? How does the amount of people using it hold as an argument to it's superiority?

    If you accept the choice of most people as proof of superiority, you're saying that McDonalds is the finest restaurant in the world[1].

    You go have your bigmac(r), I'm going to get some finnish : )

    [1] Or that wrestling is the finest sport or that Britney Spears is one of the best musicians of our times (better than Bach or Mozart by far).

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly