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LinuxWorld Response to 'How to Kill Linux' 511

aneroid writes "In response to John Dvorak's "How to Kill Linux" column, LinuxWorld has a riposte to the columnist's assertations. From the article: "Because most of the time, with mainstream devices, I work out of the box. For the "savvy user" and OEM builder, the Linux driver "problem" isn't the problem it was. The days when my poor user had to sweat blood to get me onto a laptop are long gone. Sure, if I get slung onto some random old machine there are still wrinkles, but from what I see on the Windows support forums, that's hardly unique." <update> The story is actually from GrokLaw originally - credit where credit is due.
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LinuxWorld Response to 'How to Kill Linux'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:01PM (#11796760)
    I geuss you forget the days of windows 95/98/ME?
  • Drivers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:02PM (#11796771)
    are not the problem they were, but they are still a problem and are severe enough to put a lot of people off. That said driver issues will never be the death of Linux. Dvorak was talking complete horse pucky there.
  • Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dedazo ( 737510 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:02PM (#11796773) Journal
    For the "savvy user" and OEM builder, the Linux driver "problem" isn't the problem it was.

    Because we all know that the majority of computer users are "savvy".

    I can attest to that actually - these "You visit illegal websites" messages that SpamAssasin has been dumping to the rate of ~50 an hour since last week must be coming into my Linux mail server from an alien civilization, not from stupid people that open ZIP attachements in messages written in bad engrish and then run the executables inside.

    Quite a riposte. Not that I thought the original "how to kill Linux" column was particularly insightful, in fact it was down right dumb. Microsoft can no more kill Linux than Sun or anyone else. But c'mon. Why legitimize it with this?

  • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:03PM (#11796778)
    While I think the issue of drivers is an important one, WHY must some people even give credence to Dvorak's heated columns - knowing full well that he always writes something sensational and occasionally ridiculous - simply to work the ad banners on his site.
  • Kill? Linux? How? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cubase_dag ( 827101 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:05PM (#11796800) Homepage
    How Can you kill a movement with thousands of members worldwide?
    Dvorak thinks that just because of a lack of drivers for some hardware, that people are just going to get frustrated and leave? I have just as much trouble, if not more, finding drivers for some of my hardware for windows.

    If anything we should just Kill Bill 4 []
  • and the attitute (Score:4, Insightful)

    by page275 ( 862917 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:06PM (#11796812)

    "Let me spell it out for you: I get used because I'm open, trusted, free and reliable"

    Are all us, Linux users, like that? My guess is "no", even my hope is "yes"

  • by Krankheit ( 830769 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:06PM (#11796816)
    It is good that LinuxWorld has dismissed Dvorak's FUD. Dvorak is more of a source of entertainment than real insight. I remember Dvorak ranting about the "System Idle Process" in the Windows task manager "eating" 98% CPU. If we want his FUD to stop, we need to stop paying attention to him and editors of Slashdot and others need to stop articles linking to his BS.
  • by fishlet ( 93611 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:07PM (#11796827)
    ...from those in the linux community who already insist everthings perfect. ...from the myriad developers who wanna do it 'their way' rather than supporting a existing project ...from all those who are so focused on making Linux 'like windows'... without thinking about making it BETTER than windows. ...from all the elitist snobs who's answers to newbie questions is RTFA. ...from all the newgroups you have to subscribe to even ask a question, for project leaders that are to lazy to set up a modern communication portal. ...for all those distro's you still have to manually tell when you've inserted a CD into the drive ... those vi and emacs preaching freaks (sorry couldn't resist :-) Yes they are fine if you like them but don't push them on the rest of us.

    You get the idea...
  • by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:09PM (#11796851) Journal
    The days when my poor user had to sweat blood to get me onto a laptop are long gone.

    Linux on laptops has improved. You can get a basic install working on a modern laptop, but getting all the things windows users take for granted can take work. Lots of work, including installing kernel patches and patches to those patches. You also frequently have to sacrifice goats to get certain features working.

    The worst offenders are (in no order of importance or difficulty): suspend (to disk or ram), accelerated 3d graphics, DVD playing, battery life monitoring (and general ACPI stuff), wireless networking, bluetooth, power-saving features (like CPU throttling) and making them extra buttons do things.

    We buy laptops for new students each year and stick linux on them, and it generally takes us a couple of weeks to iron out all the kinks, and sometimes we dont bother. If anyone knows a UK supplier of laptops with Linux pre-installed that do all the above things out of the box, let me know, I might want a dozen in October.

  • Same here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by melted ( 227442 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:10PM (#11796861) Homepage
    >> The days may be long gone, but they haunt
    >> my memories and have me running XP.

    ACPI is not ready for realistic laptop use at this point, and all kinds of forums are littered with posts from users who had some major grief from setting it up. I'd predict that 95% of people who attempt to use Linux on their laptops revert to Windows XP/2000 sooner or later.

    Driver support for wifi is kinda there (with ndiswrapper), but setting it up is _well_ beyond the capabilities of a Linux newbie, especially if this newbie wants proper WAP security.
  • by thedustbustr ( 848311 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:12PM (#11796884)

    If it "probably is the flash player's fault," don't go blaming it on Linux.

    rebuttle to the windows fanboys: If it's Internet Explorer's fault, it is Window's fault, becasue Internet Explorer is Windows.

  • Re:Double-take... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ( 653730 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:19PM (#11796950)
    Linux is the operative system with better driver support out-of-the-box. Windows fully depends on 3d party companies. Guess what happens when your support finishes or the company bankrupts? I know a few people with scanners that don't work in XP - there's not support except for windows 9x systems. Windows XP SP2, for example, doesn't supports SATA, you need 3rd party drivers in a floppy (unless you integrate them) if you want to install XP in a SATA box. Linux and freebsd just work.

    Guess what will happen with "Windows 64 bits?". Tons of unsupported devices will never work on windows 64, companies are not going to waste money on redoing drivers for a dead product (specially lots of crappy devices made by crappy companies). And you know, you can run 32 bits programs but you can't run 32 bits drivers in a 64 bits kernel. Which is why the Windows world is going to take forever (give them 10 years as minimum) to switch to the 64 bit world, many people are going to continue using 32-bits Windows for lots of years.

    And it's only worse for the dual-core CPUs which are coming at the end of Q2. Dual Core means that people will run SMP kernels, and it also means your drivers need to be SMP safe - its VERY easy to hang your machine with a non-SMP-safe driver. And everyone is going to run dual core machines - even the ones who want to run 32 bits windows. So, wait a few months, I predict we'll spend a few years laughing at Windows users just because of those reasons - lots of blue screens because of non-SMP-safe drivers and unsupported devices in windows 64 bits. Meawhile, in the linux world, everything will work (we'll get a few non-smp-safe-driver bug reports, but we fix those quite fast)
  • by Ki Master George ( 768244 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:23PM (#11796984)

    The whole point of the article is that Windows has more drivers than Linux has, so if Linux was to get support for Windows drivers, everybody would use Linux. Right? Wrong (of course)! Why?

    The programs you are used to on Windows don't run (or don't look as good, and don't run flawlessly) on Linux. Wine is great, but Microsoft is starting to attack Wine, as Slashdot has recently pointed out. Until all programs are being built for Windows, Mac, and Linux, it is no easier to use Linux.

    Even if people aren't that attached to Windows programs, many Linux programs look very different and are much harder to use than Windows equivalents. The only programs that are up to or almost up to Windows's level of ease is Firefox (compared to IE, not AOL or MSN), Thunderbird, and, just barely, Mainly this is because, again, everybody's used to Windows.

    Most people don't know what drivers are, and they shouldn't have to, as Paul Graham has said before! They just expect to plug-and-play. They won't pay for Windows drivers on Linux, because the significance of drivers isn't apparent to them.

    Finally, the reason more people write drivers for Windows is because more people use Windows. If more people use Linux, more drivers for Linux will soon follow. Drivers are not the cause, they are the effect.

  • by failedlogic ( 627314 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:25PM (#11796997)
    I have to agree with this.

    I think the kernel config as a whole needs a major revamp, or at least some of the things should be reworded and such. I've avoided the 2.6 kernel and use 2.4 because make menuconfig (yes, there's a plain text file too) because its too bloody confusing.

    Before the project, people complained 'X was slow' ... and it has nothing to do with X protocol, its fine, blah, blah, blah. Whatever has been done with makes X a lot faster now. I don't care of the technical details. With that attititude, nothing would ever have been done.

    I think binary, closed source drivers should be allowed into the main kernel. Maybe it would make installing the ATI drivers and Nvidia drivers easier for the rest of us.

    And I always get some RTFA jerk (there's plenty of nice people though). Perhaps, I've read as much as I can understand and can't use the same technical jargon. Maybe the documents (read: man pages) just aren't written very clearly.

    I think what is killing Linux is the frequent changes to the way things are done (kernel, X) and a high threshold of learning which makes it too hard to convert to.

    I'm comfortable enough using Slackware, but there is still a lot to be done before I replace Windows with Linux.

    Sorry, if I sound too critical. I do not intend to be. Afterall, I know many contributors to the projects are doing it on unpaid, free time. You have as much of a right to your opinion, on how things "should be" as I do. If not more, since you're doing 'all the work' ;)
  • Re:Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:26PM (#11797004) Homepage
    Because we all know that the majority of computer users are "savvy".

    No...but non-savvy users aren't installing their own OS, be it Windows or GNU/Linux. Or if they do, they're just about as likely to bork up a Windows install as a Linux one.

  • by einhverfr ( 238914 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `srevart.sirhc'> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:40PM (#11797135) Homepage Journal
    Ok. First I have to say that application compatibility is a major reason why many of my custoemrs are stuck on Windows. So you have a point. But you have overstated it.

    We don't need every Windows Program to be compiled on OS X and Linux. What we need is a complete set of programs for every vertical market. We already have a reasonably complete set of productivity tools. Now, it is the vertical software market that needs help.

    My business helps many businesses use Linux. In some cases, some businesses want to continue using Windows for some legacy apps, and in some cases they need to. Also, we offer an initial discount for a new vertically targetted open source solution. I.e. if you need it and there is nothing targetting your market, we will build it for you at a discount. We are already looking at creating an open source POS solution for bookstores compatible with Ingram and other major wholesalers, and are working on other vertical projects as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:45PM (#11797182)
    hmmm. ok. I suppose you have a point. What could possibly have changed in 7 years?
  • Wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cereal Box ( 4286 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:47PM (#11797203)
    Because most of the time, with mainstream devices, I work out of the box.

    That's because you're either working with fairly generic devices (i.e., disk drives, ethernet cards), or of the more "exotic" devices, you're specifically buying the ones you KNOW have proper driver support.

    When you expand your scope of hardware to include things like multi-function printers, webcams, wireless ethernet cards, USB video digitizer boxes, etc. your chances of success are greatly reduced.

    To put it another way: if you were to be handed some random piece of hardware from a Best Buy store, you still don't have the utmost confidence that it'll work "out of the box" because there's lots of hardware in retail stores that either doesn't have a Linux driver or at best requires a long, convoluted install process in order to get reduced functionality (i.e., your multi-function printer can now print, albeit at a lower resolution and the scanner functionality doesn't work).

    By contrast, at least you know with Windows that that random piece of hardware should at least in theory work with Windows since there was obviously a Windows driver written for it.

    Linux, in my opinion, still doesn't win this challenge.
  • Re:Double-take... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @06:59PM (#11797335) Homepage
    btw. do *not* buy HP printers. Their drivers suck. Their XP driver for their Photosmart network printers is 50MB - for a network printer??? And it has spyware... calls home every couple of minutes.

    Their OSX driver is a mess - the printer supports Rendezvous but refuses to autoconfigure, so it's a frustrating process of having a printer automatically recognized by the OS which then doesn't work unless you install another 50MB of crap and manually set it up.
  • You're off topic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by haraldm ( 643017 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @07:31PM (#11797602)
    or of the more "exotic" devices, you're specifically buying the ones you KNOW have proper driver support.
    Good morning! Nice you're woken up as well. Yes sure, if I need some piece of hardware I tend to pay attention that this hardware has Linux driver support. Would anybody seriously buy a piece of hardware for Windows that doesn't have Windows drivers?


  • by Jussi K. Kojootti ( 646145 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @07:31PM (#11797607)
    Now, this is just anecdotal, but I can't remember the last time I saw a BSOD - and I work with XP, win2k and 2003 server OSes quite a lot. I certainly haven't seen one in the last two years. On the other hand I have seen a Linux kernel panic in the last three months. Like I said, this is just my experience - on different hardware or with different software Mileage Will Vary.

    I have a suggestion that might make this conversation more fruitful: If someones is going to use language like The linux core is more stable and more reliable than the windows core. Period., that someone should back it up with some real statistics. Otherwise he/she should maybe say something like In my experience Linux core has been more stable and reliable, that way he/she wouldn't be talking out of his/her ass.

  • Misses the mark (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jvalenzu ( 96614 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @07:34PM (#11797632) Homepage
    Drivers are only an issue for the desktop market, where GNU/Linux can't be killed - because it's been stillborn. There isn't any Linux market to kill. Support for high volume, low quality hardware is less important for the server and embedded market, which are the only ones with a significant Linux presence.
  • common mistakes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dbcad7 ( 771464 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @07:38PM (#11797667)
    I have found that often, the thing not working in Linux if not the hardware.. but the grey matter.

    -- my sound doesn't work == volume turned down

    -- my CD doesn't play == cable not connected to player

    these are simple common mistakes they are made over and over again.. and easily solved with a little research,

    Some distro's are better than others at "pre-solving" common mistakes like these. Some set the volume for you during install.. others like Mandrake give you a choice of reveiwing the hardware before finalizing the install (helpful when you have onboard hardware conflicting with add in cards)

    I've done quite a bit of distro switching, perhaps too much to still be considered sane, and I keep heading back to the Debian based distros (currently I am Mepis - Zen dual booting) It's probably my lack of networking setup knowledege.. but they seem to always work with my DSL without doing a thing. (not that others haven't either just that is ALWAYS works with Debian based)

    I remember the day (should take out my dentures for this).. when I spent days trying to get my modem to work in Linux.. what was it .. pppsetup.. and setserial or something (I forget).. now I don't use the modem, but it is always configured automagily for me now.

    Dual booting is a good start (or live CD's if your chicken) but heck why not use Linux as it is bcoming now ? sheesh you might be surprised.



  • by theLOUDroom ( 556455 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @07:49PM (#11797755)
    I dunno... I'm a linux supporter, but I can honestly say that I've had linux act like this at times. Sometimes audio on flash movies will play, sometimes it won't.

    Sounds like a problem with flash, not Linux.

    It usually requires only a reboot, but it still shouldn't need to.

    Linux isn't windows and you shouldn't be rebooting for this. Whatever is crashing on you system can most likely be restarted with a one line console command.

    But it's significantly less of a problem than corrupted IDE drivers, especially considering it could (and probably is) the flash player's fault.

    Yep. If ALL your sound quit working, you might have a sound driver issue, but it sounds like you have an issue with crappy, probably closed-source flash software... part of the reason I don't have flash installed.
  • by grolschie ( 610666 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @08:09PM (#11797904)
    If it booted once upon a time, but won't boot now. Then either your CD or hardware is screwy. Knoppix is a live CD.
  • by idlake ( 850372 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @08:20PM (#11797980)
    Even if people aren't that attached to Windows programs, many Linux programs look very different and are much harder to use than Windows equivalents.

    And many Windows programs look very different and are much harder to use than Linux equivalents. The point is: both platforms have crappy software. In fact, there is probably a lot more crappy software on Windows than on Linux.

    What matters is whether you can get enough non-crappy software on Linux to get your work done, and you most certainly can. And, unlike Windows, you won't even have to pay an arm and a leg for it.
  • wifi (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Morosoph ( 693565 ) on Sunday February 27, 2005 @08:51PM (#11798174) Homepage Journal
    Get yourself a card with the Ralink chipset []: some of these are very cheap!

    Oh, and you'll want the drivers [] :-)

  • Does it matter? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 27, 2005 @08:52PM (#11798185)
    Linux is not for people who only surf the web, read e-mail, word-process, etc. Unles of course they feel like using Linux, and possibly messing around to get things 100%. Windows users use Windows because it "Just Works". Most people DO NOT build their own systems, they buy pre-manufactured ones. That is how Dell, MPC, et. al. stay in business. Most of these people will NEVER upgrade their OS, they'll use it until a couple years down the road when they feel they need something better, and then they'll just go on to buy another computer. Linux is not for these people. Linux was not made for these people. Linux was not to take down Windows. Linux was made for people with a deep interest in computers. Linux was made as a free alternative to Unix, which you will not find on any desktop outside of an academic or business related application. Linux could be a viable desktop operating system, but only packaged in the way Zaurus does their palmtops. Linux could work for a desktop for people that never upgrade their system, or change things. Because it would "just work" right from the manufacturer. Rant complete, you know it's all true.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:09PM (#11798311)
    ...Linux is still an engineers-only kind of OS after so many years. It's more of an engine than a car...

    Spare me the tired cliches. What people want is what they see everyone else doing. Whatever the media tells them is hip and cool. And right now, that's Linux, not Windows. Try finding a Windows user that isn't aware of Linux as an OS alternative today, compared to just one year ago.

    If you must use an automotive analogy, try comparing a manual transmission to an automatic. Not only is an manual transmission (Linux) more efficient and provide more control, once you get used to it, it's no more difficult to use than an automatic. So much so, that women are no longer intimidated by manual transissions, and frequently request them on new vehicles.
  • Re:Misses the mark (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:30PM (#11798478)
    Good point. The *nix for the home market is MacOSX, as far as Apple can push it. It sure would be cool if they got up to 20% market share or something.

    With WinXP, MS has a cinch on the US business desktop market for the near future. I'm using Win2K at work right now, with Cygwin installed for when I need to do real work. <g> It's quite stable, almost as stable as Panther at home.

    (It helps that I've covered most of the security holes--I realize that most Windows users don't manage this, hence the 0wned boxes spewing spam across the mail networks.)

    Overseas Linux is making strides because of fears of American hegemony. The news from Europe is encouraging, but I wonder why the Chinese haven't put more effort into creating their own Linux flavors (or own OSes).

    And the server market, as you said, is Linux' best domain. It's replacing the other *nixes mainly because of the changeover to cheap x86 hardware (except where savvy sysadmins have chosen to go with a *BSD). MS does have a lock in on part of this market due to the execrable ASP. (I'm sure some ASP applications are good, but most of them I run across as a client blow. Next time, hire a REAL programmer to write a C backend for your stupid web app.)
  • by MooseGuy529 ( 578473 ) <> on Sunday February 27, 2005 @09:56PM (#11798722) Homepage Journal
    Usually if I'm going to set up a Linux server, I have to hand pick each component with ones I know are supported.

    I would hope if you were building a server for any OS you would be hand-picking the components to make sure they're decent anyway. Besides, if I'm building a system, Windows or Linux, I pick hardware that I know is stable and well-supported by whatever OS I'm using.

  • by andreyw ( 798182 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @12:56AM (#11800069) Homepage
    Often times I wonder if the people, who can't install Debian or Slackware, can actually pass a reading comprehension test, cause thats all it takes.

    Does one /really/ need flashy graphics and multimedia intro just to expand and copy 650MB worth of compressed data onto your disk?

    This post is really meant for the GP.
  • by andreyw ( 798182 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @01:04AM (#11800123) Homepage
    No, Linux is more like European higher education. You don't get in based on hand-outs, parental connections or a fat wallet - all you need is proof of your intelligence by way of examination, and if you get in... it's free.

    Same with Linux. It's free, assuming you can grok it. As a CS major its' hardly a self-compliment to state that you can barely figure your way around it.(You mean you still can't listen to music, watch videos, browse the web, have a decent desktop?) There is really no excuse for it with the copious amount of documentation and support, especially for someone whose familiarity with computers extends past 'surfing the Internet Explorer.'

    You are likely to reply back, smearing this as "elitism" or some related non-sense. Alas, you would have misunderstood.
  • by poofyhairguy82 ( 635386 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @03:27AM (#11800742) Journal
    Often times I wonder if the people, who can't install Debian or Slackware, can actually pass a reading comprehension test, cause thats all it takes.

    You miss the point. Installing Debian is nothing. Getting your sound to work and getting the desktop to display at the right resolution is a bitch. Getting a laptop to work correctly is hard.

    I can't comment on Slackware, but I gave up on plain Debian after a week of frustration. I could install it, but I couldn't use it how I wanted.

    Thanks God Ubuntu came....(and Mepis, Xandros, Knoppix, take your pick)

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @03:49AM (#11800803) Homepage
    I have found that stale piss (ex pee) is a backward step on win2kpro in terms of stability (it is less compatible with hardware drivers and in order to add compatability with some old microsoft games and incorporate more drm they have made it more unstable, as well as adding some new useless user unfriendly features).

    Two years back I installed three different Linux distribution (Mandrake, Redhat and SuSE) on a dell inspiron 8000 with out any problems. In fact the amount of time it took to install and fiddle with the three distributions (finally settled on SuSe KDE, 1st and 4th install) was less than the amount of time it takes to install and properly configure one windows installation (including many reboots to install the proper hardware drivers, tweak the services, tweak the registry and do a few windows updates).

  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @06:56AM (#11801227)
    Does someone *really* want to try to convince me that maintaining a Windows PC is easier than maintaining a Linux one?

    One month ago, I rebuilt two PCs for my sister and her kids on Windows 2000. I showed them how to update and run virus checkers, spyware checkers, defrag and cleaning utilities. Each time they run one of these tools, they call me on the phone first and I talk them through what to do.

    However, one month later, both PCs are totally screwed - mainly because the kids play a lot of online games and sit in chatrooms. Both PCs are infested with "XXX Popups" and now cannot connect to the Internet.

    Sure, I run Windows 2000 at home and it runs smoothly without any real problems, provided I take the time to check the PCs on a regular basis. However, the time I spend on Windows 2000 maintenance is probably more than what I spend on my Linux PCs, after I've done all the security updates, scans, etc.

    The fact is that clever Microsoft marketing has convinced Joe Average that Windows is quick and easy to maintain when the reality is that most of the Joe Averages have to rely on friends, relatives, the local PC store and re-installation CDs to keep their PCs working.

    Let's be under no illusion - using Linux requires a degree of PC knowledge and a steep learning curve but Windows is no different by the time you have to start running virus checkers, spyware checkers and applying virtually constant updates.

    If Windows does kill Linux, then it will be as the result of clever Microsoft marketing, not because of drivers.

  • by green menace ( 806773 ) on Monday February 28, 2005 @10:38AM (#11802151) Homepage
    in reply to this whole line, not just parent: Come on people. I loved the idea of Linux since the first time I heard about it. It was a bitch to install, there was a huge learning curve, and it took me about 5 distro's and atleast a dozen installs to find the one that was right for me. It took me a couple years to switch over because it wasn't always worth the time to try to get it set up. You people are not helping by ridiculing someone who is relating his experience, which is one that we ALL went through when switching to Linux.

    It is not worth everyone's time to go through multiple installs of multiple distrobutions. For example, I convinced a friend of mine to install Linux on a laptop that he uses for web authoring and basic photo editing. After about 8 hours of trying to get his digital camera to be recognized, he looked at me in the eye and said "It's not worth it." Even with my help, and help from an active forum, it was not worth the time and effort to switch. You can throw the "try another distro" argument, at him but he was in no mood and had no time for that as there was work to be done. ( a little gentle prodding and a well-timed update got him up and running a week later )

    We all know that things have improved as far as installs go. It is only going to get better, but don't get bent out of shape because somebody has had a bad experience with Linux. You all forget that while others may be interested in Linux, they don't love it like many of us do. For me, installing Linux is a labor of love. For someone who doesn't love Linux, a few failed attempts at a smooth/functioning install is enough to say it is not for them, atleast not for now.

Loose bits sink chips.