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OS Combat - Ubuntu Linux Versus Vista 559

An anonymous reader writes "InformationWeek pits Ubuntu Linux versus Windows Vista in a detailed comparison. They run down a number of points for this comparison, including installation, hardware support, software, and backup. For IW, backup was a crucial feature. As a result, the conclusion are unusual for this type of review because it straddles the fence. The verdict is: 'a tie, but only because both platforms fall short in some ways. Vista's roster of backup features aren't available in every SKU of the product; Ubuntu doesn't have anything like Vista's shadow copy system and its user-friendly backup tools are pretty rudimentary.'"
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OS Combat - Ubuntu Linux Versus Vista

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  • Obligatory (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:14AM (#18900813)
    The obligatory link to the ad free, one page print version. []
  • Reading through the article Ubuntu really should have had the edge over windows in the end, e.g. Add remove programs in Vista and the package manager Ubuntu work in simila ways but you get a hell of a lot more packages with Ubuntu than you do with Windows. but his summary puts them on equal par.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Shadowfoxmi ( 989969 )
      In Vista, the package manager is mainly for removing programs unless you are talking about adding a windows component. Ubuntu's package is far superior in this case. It displays available programs in categories and you can also filter for support level such as "Open source applications", "Ubuntu supported", "Any {damn} application", etc..
    • by Knuckles ( 8964 ) <knuckles@d a n t i> on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:33AM (#18901105)
      Add remove programs in Vista and the package manager Ubuntu work in simila ways

      Not even that. I mean, in Ubuntu I can install applications with it, in Windows I just can uninstall them. I think I find Ubuntu's solution much more useful then :)
    • by h2g2bob ( 948006 )
      This guy is a Windows fanboy - grudging respect is as good as we can hope for.
    • I agree, the article seems to be covered in the stink of FUD. I don't like throwing that word at just anything (given my bias towards choice) but this statement from the image gallery pushed me to it:

      Vista's Add/Remove Programs panel probably served as the inspiration for Ubuntu's software management console.

      This disturbs me as the person who has written the article had not previously used Ubuntu until he/she decided to write this article. Ubuntu, I can firmly say, has been around significantly longer than Vista. Granted he/she could have said the "Windows" Add/Remove.

      The section concerning Image-Editing/Picture management being a tie also seems to give more credit to Vista. The fact of having GIMP alone blows vista out of the water let alone the several picture managers available on Ubuntu.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Again, Serdar is not a Windows shill. He may not be completely familiar with Linux, but he's partial to free/open source software and recommends a lot of free stuff in his columns for one of the IT newsletter subscriptions I get.

        In all, I considered the review pretty fair considering.

        His reference to Add/Remove is probably correct, except he said "Vista" when he meant "Windows". Windows Add/Remove DOES predate Ubuntu and any other Linux. That was the first thing I thought when I first saw Kubuntu's Add/Remo
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:18PM (#18901911) Homepage Journal
      Over all I thought the article was pretty well balanced. The author clearly stated he loved Vista at the beginning but made an effort to be honest. As much as I like Linux I think in some areas it was too biased towards Ubuntu.
      1. Software. He praised Ubuntu for Gimp and OpenOffice but you can download Gimp and OpenOffice for Windows. Ubuntu makes it easer to get a lot of free software but a lot of the best FOSS applications are available for Windows.
      2. Printing. Printing on Linux is a pain. It has been a pain since day one. But I know of more than one person that has had printing problems with Vista. I would call printing a tie.
      3. Ubuntu has issues with detecting monitors. What is worse is they don't give you a nice easy interface to let you MAUNUALY select what monitor you have. The suggestion from the wiki? Manually edit your xorg config file. If you mess it up then you loose your screen and have to go in to the command line and fix it. I still don't have it working but I made a copy of my xorg config file before hacking it. NOT a user friendly way to deal with the problem.
      4. Ubuntu is having some issues with Wifi. A lot of people are having problems even when their wifi card is in the kernal and worked under the last version of Ubuntu.
      As I said I really like Linux but I just don't think that Ubuntu 7 is as good as everyone seems to think. I have had more luck with OpenSuse and CentOS than the latest version of Ubuntu. Yes it has a great community but I just don't get it. I am going to try the 32 bit version on my desktop to see if it is any less problematical. I tried it on my notebook but the WiFi problems are a show stopper for me.
    • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:58PM (#18902553) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, Windows only has 1 free version of Minesweeper, but Ubuntu has 34!

      Come on, "lots of free software" is just not important to most computer users, who spend almost all their time on a few standard applications: Web browsing, e-mail, word processing, number/data crunching, and building presentations. And in this area, any OS not supported by Microsoft applications (that is, any OS except Windows and Mac OS) loses ground because of compatibility issues.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Computers don't exist simply to run Microsoft Office.

        Take "creating textual documents". Sometimes a word processor like OOWriter is appropriate, but other times there is a better tool. Sometimes you want a desktop publishing program like Scribus, or a document processor like LyX. You may even really want an HTML editor like Bluefish.

        Or image editing. Microsoft office really doesn't do that. Ubuntu comes with GIMP by default, but also provides tools OODraw and Inkscape for when a raster image editor is not

  • Feisty is neat. (Score:3, Informative)

    by dc29A ( 636871 ) * on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:22AM (#18900923)
    I installed Feisty this week and it's the first time I install a Linux distro and everything works. Wireless, Video, everything. Finally restricted codecs, drivers and other restricted software is 2 clicks away. Ubuntu is definitely shaping up to something much more user friendly than other/previous. I didn't had to hack any text files nor recompile anything, VMWare Player installed and 3d driver too with a few clicks.
    • by eggz128 ( 447435 )
      On the other hand, I installed Feisty this week on my laptop and had to do some text file hacking to get my built in wireless card working. Specifically I had to blacklist a couple of modules. I only knew how to do this as the problem originally rose with one of the Edgy kernel updates and I'd done a bit of googling to solve it back then. Also susend to RAM fails (the machine doesn't come back from its slumber), but hibernate does work.

      All that aside however, I've still spent a lot less time getting everyth
    • Re:Feisty is neat. (Score:4, Informative)

      by The Warlock ( 701535 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:11PM (#18901811)
      I've found that Linux "just works" better on older hardware. I mean, I'd always heard that said, but now I'm starting to really feel it. Three years ago, I had to compile the drivers for my wireless card directly from source, and that was a couple months after I got the laptop. Before then the drivers just didn't exist. I had to install the closed-source fglrx drivers to get 3D support, and that was back when ATI's installer program did nothing but horribly corrupt your xorg.conf (or, wait, it was XFree86.conf or whatever back then, right?)

      Now, everything, fucking everything works right on a fresh install. I even have open-source drivers with 3D support. I can use Beryl without fglrx causing my system to crash every day or so. I'm about ready to get rid of my Windows partition for good (as soon as I can kick this C&C habit). It's really nice. Now I just worry that when I inevitably get a new computer everything will break again.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:24AM (#18900947) Journal
    but the fact that the author complains that their printer requires a special driver lets you know what irks them. I know its a bit fanboi-ish to say that if people think they are equal, then Linux (Ubuntu) wins. The general populace has forced many to believe that Windows *IS* the standard to judge Linux against, and now 'it's a tie' is the verdict. That is clearly a win if you look at it as how the competition shapes up against the Windows flagship.

    Personally, I installed Ubuntu 6.x to see how it feels, and I'm pleasantly impressed. A couple of hours and everything I need is working fine (YMMV). I know that most of the users that I help would be good to go with Ubuntu. A great many people don't want or need all that an OS can provide. Hell, some of them probably don't need anything more than email and a browser, but that's another story. I think that Redmond needs to be getting worried soon.
    • On photo editing

      "50-50 -- Vista for its Picture Gallery [> F-spot]; Ubuntu for having a better native image editor than Paint."

      Now, maybe the Picture Gallery does edge out Fspot (I've never used it, but author says for example bulk import is backgrounded, and tagging scores of pics at once is easier) but is this comparable to how far Paint falls behind the gimp?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jonesy16 ( 595988 )
        It is when you consider how complicated GIMP is to use for someone who has never been exposed to it. Just about anyone can open Paint and figure out how to do basic operations. GIMP, on the other hand, has a very unintuitive interface where almost everything is accomplished through right mouse clicks and floating toolbars. It feels out of place on every desktop, though it might be more intuitive to Photoshop users.
  • by VitrosChemistryAnaly ( 616952 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:24AM (#18900961) Journal
    There are pluses and minuses to every OS.

    Each user has to decide what is right for his or herself.

    Uh-Duuuuuuuuhhh! []
    • Agreed. As I've said many times, until Linux reaches the point where you pop in the CD, answer a few questions, and *poof*, most people will continue to use Windows because it happens to be the OS that's on their box currently. Ubuntu is clearly reaching that point and if the comparison is accurate (and we all know that everyone will claim it's not for various reasons), then Vista may have a serious challenger. Mind you, it isn't suddenly going to explode overnight and claim many a Windows box, but it certa

    • this also just in, microsoft enforces monopoly and prevents users from having a choice by its dealings with the leading perosnal computer manufacturers.
  • Same old trap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:24AM (#18900965)
    The reviewer constantly falls into the same old trap of basing their comments of Ubuntu on how "Windows like" the particular feature is. At that point it's pretty obvious that Windows itself will always win if you're going to use it as the yard stick to measure all others. This isn't a review of both OSes, it's a comparison of Ubuntu to Vista. Take the conclusion for "Software Installation" as an example:

    It's a tie. Both operating systems show much the same centralization and efficiency in dealing with applications, protocols, and programs.

    Come again? Vista has nothing like the Ubuntu software repository. Just because the two look a little similar in the screen shots doesn't make them the same.

    Ho hum. It tries to be balanced, bless it, but its clear the reviewer is just going to go back to using Windows once it's all done. It fails it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SoCalChris ( 573049 )
      Another superior aspect of Ubuntu's software repository is its system-wide software update abilities. When I log into Ubuntu, it tells me that there are x number of updates available for the software on my computer. With just a few clicks, I can have all of my programs updated to the latest version. There is NOTHING like that built into Windows. Who knows how many of the programs on any given Windows machine are an old version.
    • Author's bio (Score:3, Informative)

      by mangu ( 126918 )
      The reviewer constantly falls into the same old trap of basing their comments of Ubuntu on how "Windows like" the particular feature is

      Perhaps the following will explain this tendency:

      Serdar Yegulalp: []

      Serdar Yegulalp is a former Senior Technoloy Editor with Windows Magazine (also, and has been writing about and working with NT and related technologies since its 3.51 release. He writes a weekly newsletter dealing with Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 and Windows XP issues, entitled "Windows 2000 Pow

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:24AM (#18900967)
    Before we get a bunch of people chiming in to say "but XXXXX is easy in ubuntu, you just open a terminal and type..."

    I KNOW.

    But the audience this is intended for has no intention of using a terminal. Broadly speaking, they are of the opinion that desktop computing should be easy enough that any idiot can do it without having to spend ages learning the nuances of some command you type in.

    They are of this opinion thanks to 20 years of GUI R&D in home computing, from the earliest Apple ][ right the way up to Vista today. That's the whole point of the GUI. You don't have to like it, but at least accept that a lot of people do.

    As soon as you say "Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get (package)", you've lost.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trelane ( 16124 )

      As soon as you say "Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get (package)", you've lost.
      And that's why Ubuntu doesn't require that!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Knuckles ( 8964 )
      As soon as you say "Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get (package)", you've lost.

      Have you even used Ubuntu, or any Linux distro from the last few years? In Ubuntu I open the Applications menu and find a GUI tool to install and remove software that actually can install software as advertised (contrary to the Windows version which in fact can only reinstall or remove)
    • by vivaoporto ( 1064484 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:45AM (#18901307)

      As soon as you say "Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get (package)", you've lost.
      People usually suggests apt-get because it is faster to describe, but there is nothing you can do with apt-get that you cannot do with Synaptics using only GUI and point and click. Only that its description would be "Click on System->Administration->Synaptics Package Manager. Type your password. Click OK. Click on search and type <name of package>. Press OK. Click on the little square next to <name of package> and mark it. Click Apply. Click OK." That's way harder than "click on Applications->Accessories->Terminal. type 'sudo apt-get install <name of package>' without the quotes. Press Enter. type your password. press Y. Press Enter"

      Anyway, the kind of people that would need this amount of details is the same people (and I telling that by personal experience, I performed help desk duties on my former programming job) that would need instructions like this, to install a typical setup.exe: "Open the Windows Explorer. No, not the Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer. Click on Start, Programs, Windows Explorer. Can't find it? Press the key with Windows Logo and "E" simulaneously. GO to C:\Program Files\<My Company Name>. How? Click on the little cross next to the folder called C:. Then click Program Files. Tell it to show the content of this folder anyway. Click on <My Company Name>. Double click setup.exe. Click on Next, select I Agree and click Next, Next, Next, Finish"

      It took quite a time for the average people to get used to the Next->I Agree->Next->Next->Next->Finish kind of installation, and now it is muscular memory, a simply reflex on most Windows users memory. They don't even read the fine print anymore, and that explains how a lot of people got/get spyware installed along with Kazaa and alike (die Bonzy Buddy, die!). Given enough time, new migrated ubuntu users will get used to synaptics, and "Add and Remove Programs" (that is even easier than Synaptics) and, if the right wind blows, even eventually opening the terminal and making things much easier for them (and for us poor technical people too).
      • by AusIV ( 950840 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:46PM (#18902315)

        People usually suggests apt-get because it is faster to describe, but there is nothing you can do with apt-get that you cannot do with Synaptics using only GUI and point and click.

        Exactly. A couple months ago, my girlfriend's windows installation crapped out on her. She had heard me talking about Linux and wanted to try it. I stepped her through the Kubuntu install, answering a few questions but she did most of it on her own. There were a couple of times I pulled up a terminal to install a program, and she was worried that she was going to have to learn to use the terminal. So the next time there was a program to install, I had her do it with Adept. I tried describing exactly what she should click, and after about 2 minutes she'd found the package and installed it. I told her she could have done the exact same thing by typing 'sudo aptitude install -package-', and the instructions would have been a lot simpler. I didn't expect her to know these commands off the top of her head, and graphical interfaces are great for figuring out how to do things, but when giving someone instructions on how to do something, the command line is as easy as it gets.

        Since then, she's only used the terminal to run commands I tell her to run. She hasn't learned to use it on her own, but she gets along just fine with the GUIs - she's even found some cool games in the repositories that I didn't know existed.

  • by VE3OGG ( 1034632 ) <{VE3OGG} {at} {}> on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:25AM (#18900981)
    Frankly, I don't understand what the problem here is: I pop in an Ubuntu CD, hit yes, yes, yeah, sure, why not, and bam! A Working desktop. Not only that, but I can use the LiveCD for web browsing or what have you while the install is going. No dice for Vista (AFAIK).

    Ubuntu recognizes all of my hardware at boot (and I have some rather odd hardware on top of it). No hunting down drivers from a now defunct company, or having to sell my sou^H^H^H^H^H^H^H register to a website that says they have the driver, only to find out they were lying.

    Linux has all the security of Vista, minus the UAC.

    Ubuntu may not have user-friendly backup out of the box (I wouldn't know, I use ssh+rsync), but the repositories for it have a plethora of options that are free.

    And if you are in it for teh shiney!!1!!!!111oneoneone, then Ubuntu can cater (at least on a basic level) with its desktop effects. On top of that, you get immediate (or as near as can be) security updates, and even better a method to upgrade (quite flawlessly, from my experience) to the next version.

    Oh yeah, ummm, Ubuntu = free (as in beer, choice, and ideology), Windows = $$$+DRM.

    So, why the fence sitting?
    • I wanna change, but I probably spend more time playing games (on XP, not going for Vista, until Direct x10 is near standard) than anything else. This article is obviously geared towards different priorities, but there are reasons (if very few for a certain one) for each OS.

      I would be interested in switching to some form of Linux on my work-priority Tablet PC. Are there any flavors that support tablet-laptop hybrids atleast as well as XP tablet edition?
    • Linux has all the security of Vista, minus the UAC.

      If you want a secure Linux, you do need the equivalent of UAC - sudo.

  • by schabot ( 941087 ) <> on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:28AM (#18901017) Homepage

    The verdict is: 'a tie, but only because both platforms fall short in some ways. Vista's roster of backup features aren't available in every SKU of the product; Ubuntu doesn't have anything like Vista's shadow copy system and its user-friendly backup tools are pretty rudimentary.'"

    This is only the conclusion for the backup portion of the review. I looks like the submitter didn't make it to the last page. The actual conclusion?:

    Ubuntu's best strength is handling the ordinary task-based day-to-day stuff. Vista has a level of completeness and polish that some people find it hard to do without.

  • I half expected to see the Ubuntu and Vista development teams engaged in some sort of firefight -- blood, gore, explosions, and the like. Imagine my disappointment.

  • Right now it really depends on the expertise of the users. The Granny test as it were, is vital to the expansion of Linux from the hobbyist/geek ranks. More and more, computers are sold as appliances to people with little understanding other than the net is cool. To these people, a command line is an anathema. Compiling source code, hell.

    Those people are where the expansion of Linux will ultimately come. While that may make us geeks gnash ("lazy stupid people hate command lines!"), the Granny principle is w
    • by Un pobre guey ( 593801 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:34PM (#18902097) Homepage
      Have you used both Vista and Ubuntu? Your comments are at least a couple of years out of date.

      I have a couple of Win2k boxes, an XP box, a couple of ubuntu edgy eft boxes, and a Fedora 4 or 5 box at home, some used as desktops, some as servers. My 17 year old utterly non-geek daughter got an HP laptop recently, with Vista Home Premium (whatever that means). It was slow, rebooted occasionally of its own free will, and refused to see a shared printer on a Win2k box or see any of the shared directories on any of the other boxes. I wrestled with it for 20 or 30 minutes, to no avail. Granted, I could have gone online and researched it and figured out the stupid trick, but for what? To make a Windows box see a printer on another Windows box? Isn't that why people resist using Linux, to not have to dig around for every stupid little thing?

      Yesterday I set her up with Ubuntu Edgy Eft. Everything went smoothly, just moronically pushing the OK button to very reasonably selected options. Updated all the software, and installed more stuff than she really needs, all in about an hour and a half with a single reboot. Setting up the printer was as easy as it ever has been in Windows, easy, painless, fast. The network server browser immediately shows not only the other linux boxes, but all of the Windows shares as well, and copying files was nothing more than a mouse-driven copy/paste.

      Wake up, folks. Linux is ready for the desktop. It will pass the test with most middle-class college-educated grannies, at the very least. The Aunt Tilly's of the world will soon realize that spending hundreds of dollars on software is no longer a requirement.

      We are there, people! Hallelujah, we are fucking there!

  • by Jim Morash ( 20750 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:31AM (#18901073)
    A tie! This is a big frickin' deal, people! Remember "Linux will never work on the desktop"? And now quasi-mainstream press says it's just as good as Windows Vista?

    The Ubuntu team should be very proud.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Indeed. And the fact that a totally free OS is equated to a 250$ plus OS in the mainstream press is something to be remembered.

      Now, how can anyone justify spending gobs of cash on an OS which in effect does exactly the same as a free OS?
  • by mhall119 ( 1035984 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:32AM (#18901097) Homepage Journal

    I was tempted to compare Vista's Aero interface to the Beryl window manager (which has a similar palette of visual effects)

    If the author means that Beryl has all the same effects that Aero does, then I'd agree. But if he's implying that Aero has all the visual effects that Beryl has, he's lost his f-ing mind.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brunellus ( 875635 )

      Can Linux nerds everywhere stop overselling Beryl? Please? Because let's face it--it's a work in progress, and up until this moment it seems to have been more about useless desktop chrome--ooh, look BURNING WINDOWS, BITCHES!--than about a stable, usable working environment.

      I'm a Linux user and I resent all the Beryl desktop ricers out there. New users who have no clue about how their system works should not be converted to a new OS because of a admittedly Beta-class desktop bling.

      Beryl and its kin

  • Its a tie, given the fact that Vista doesn't run as many games and legacy apps/software as XP does. That could quickly change though, when SP1 for Vista is rolled out and/or once the next few updates of Wine come out.
  • The reviewer keeps commenting 'but Ubuntu 6.10 doesn't do this'.

    I'm getting the impression he cut and pasted his review of U6.10 vs Vista rc 1 from late last year...

  • My favorite line (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Clever7Devil ( 985356 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:42AM (#18901269)
    "Ubuntu's best strength is handling the ordinary task-based day-to-day stuff. Vista has a level of completeness and polish that some people find it hard to do without."

    That is the author's final conclusion. But, but, that says that Linux works better for everyday computer users, and Windows is full of the "polish" that "some people" enjoy. I find it odd that the author, as a self-professed Vista fan, would give these definitions. I thought that the draw of Windows was that it "just worked" and people would make the switch if Linux supported all their "day-to-day stuff". You heard it here folks! Linux's time has arrived!

    Feisty looks pretty keen, I'll have to see about upgrading my Edgy box.

  • Dang -- this is the first big "feature war" review I've seen since MS wiped out the office-suite competition in the early 90s.

    Arguably feature wars are bad for the state of the art since they favor disorganized shopping-list programming rather than coherent (**cough** Apple **cough**) design, but at least they beat stagnation.

    This could be fun. On the one hand, MS is the past master of adding checklist features to bulk up for these kinds of review. On the other, it's hard to crank features faster than

  • Sweet! (Score:4, Funny)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:48AM (#18901393) Homepage Journal
    Now we can finally settle this which-OS-is-better debate once and for all!
  • Er... malware? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by raddan ( 519638 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:01PM (#18901663)
    The author apparently forgot one important point: you also don't need to pay for antivirus/antispyware tools on Ubuntu. IMHO, that serves as a tiebreaker for Ubuntu.

    Let's also not forget what you can do now with Parallels and VMWare while happily running Ubuntu as your main OS.
  • by amyhughes ( 569088 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:04PM (#18901711) Homepage
    A swap of a SATA cable and my Win XP machine becomes an Ubuntu 6.10 machine. I need to be able to support Linux but don't need it very often.

    I was shocked that my network connection Just Worked on first install. But my screen was at the wrong resolution, and I had no 3d acceleration. Time to install nVidia drivers.

    A day later, now with experience with run modes and editing config files, I had nVidia drivers installed and my 3d app worked fine. It turned out to be simple, but there are an overwhelming number of bad-advice posts to be found on googling for help. This is A Big Problem.

    Google a windows problem and you'll find some easy-to-understand magazine editor to explain it, or something on Microsoft's site. Google a linux problem and you get geek-speak. And most of it is bad advice. Usually the bad advice...

    "edit the conflabulating confic spec generator and type '@*$&T IU H@U HR@&*&@BFG @&(G' at the third prompt"

    is answered with

    "No, don't do that! You'll gaspulate the modulating interferometerizing reverse vectral sync mode!"

    so you avoid those. Eventually you end up typing '@*$&T IU *^HC* HR@&*&@BFG @&(G' at the *fourth* prompt, because nobody had a heart attack over that suggestion. But then your modulating interferometerizing reverse vectral sync mode is fubar, anyway.

    Anyway, I eventually found a suggestion that looked more elegant than the rest and didn't involve editing any conflabulating confic spec generators, wiped to drive and started from scratch, and the nVidia drivers Just Worked.

    If I had the power to Make It So, I'd purge 90% of the online linux discussion, because most of it is crap.
    • by lahvak ( 69490 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @02:30PM (#18904477) Homepage Journal
      It used to be the other way around. Some 10 years ago, to find any information online about Windows was nearly impossible, while I always found anything I needed easily about Linux. I think there are four problems:

      1) Lot of information out there is outdated. You can find HOWTO's about configuring something by editing a config file. The problem is that these days most distributions use some sort of GUI config tool, and in order to accommodate that, the config file was moved, split into several other files, etc, and even if you manage to find it and edit it, next time you run the GUI config tool, all your edits will be overwritten. Then there are HOWTO's for ipchains and iptables, XFree86 and Xorg, and so on. Some of them are clearly described as obsolete, and point out newer, more relevant version, but some of them were not even updated for 10 years.

      2) Formerly most of the discussion took place on the usenet. Every once a while some good soul extracted the useful information from the usenet discussion and other sources and put it on the web. So if you searched the web, most of the stuff that came up was already processed in some way. Now nearly all discussion boards are web based, and so if you search for something, all the raw discussions, arguments and flamewars come up, and you have to sift through it to extract anything useful. Also, the usenet hierarchy was somewhat organized, so if you for example wanted to post a question or answer about a newsreader, there were only one or two groups you could go to. These days everybody is posting on their own blog, and the whole discussion, if you can even call it that, is completely fragmented.

      3) As Linux is becoming more popular, more people end up posting advice, and often they don't really know what they are talking about. Most of them are trying to give back to the community, which is good and should be encouraged, but combined with what I wrote above about web based discussions, it can actually create more damage then good. Perhaps some sort of centralized linux documentation wiki should be created, where all people can contribute by editing a document, rather than arguing on a web forum.

      4) In addition to that, Linux is making inroads in corporate world, which is followed by more and more Linux related "corporate speak" on the web. So you search for some problem, and you end up with pages and pages of Novel generated buzzword dripping marketing drivel, which tells you how the stuff you are trying to configure is wonderful, but which is totally useless as it offers no information about the configuration process itself.

      I have no idea how to fix it, and I expect it will actually get much worse before (hopefully) getting better.
  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi AT evcircuits DOT com> on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:05PM (#18901729) Homepage
    I think the author is a little pre-disposed of his results here:

    First page:
    -I need to load extra drivers for Vista before I can even install the thing I have to use another computer to download it on a USB stick, I go through a simple installation procedure for both systems, I can run Ubuntu in Live or Repair mode or install it, I don't know how to save things like settings to the hard drive for re-use in Live mode, it has memory and media integrity and backup tools though. I can restore a Vista backup and run Vista for free... for 30 days...

    Result: Well, Ubuntu has a slight edge, but only because of the live mode.

    Second page:
    -I need to load extra drivers for Ubuntu because I have a cheap-ass printer, I can just download them, but djee, I have to look for them and read how to install them on my machine. I forgot all about the STORAGE drivers on the previous page, but anyway, I have to do the same for Windows, but I don't seem to mind as much. I plug in some stuff, it works on both machines. I try cheap-ass rebranded Lexmark scanner that doesn't identify itself properly and it doesn't work.

    Result: Well, Windows works simpler with Plug-n-Pray hardware although I have to go through the same actions on both systems. Stupid hardware manufacturers make trouble.

    Third page:
    -The Synaptic interface (that has been around for years) seems to have been ripped off of Vista (that has been around for ...2 months?). On Windows I see my installed software, on Ubuntu I can also download and install millions of software packages.

    Result: It's a tie

    [verbatim quote]:
    -Ubuntu's default e-mail client is Evolution, which contains calendaring and contact management; it's not hard to switch to another client (like Thunderbird) if needed.
    -Vista's default e-mail client, the newly-designed Microsoft Mail, sports a calendaring application but is, on the whole, still highly limited.

    Result: Windows, but only by a hair.
    [/verbatim quote]

    Page 7:
    [again verbatim]
    -Ubuntu's Konserve program is a simple directory-to-directory backup that works across a variety of media, including FTP.
    -Vista's backup tool has been derided for having some terrible limitations

    Result: A tie
    [/again verbatim]

    Total result (this is again a verbatim quote):

    Ubuntu's best strength is handling the ordinary task-based day-to-day stuff. Vista has a level of completeness and polish that some people find it hard to do without.
  • by forgotten_my_nick ( 802929 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @01:03PM (#18902625)
    The price of the product.

    If windows can just barely beat it then it is not worth the money your paying for it.

    They are right that some install stuff dropping to terminal needs to end. It is a single blocking point to full adoption for a lot of people.
  • I did not RTFA. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crhylove ( 205956 ) <> on Friday April 27, 2007 @01:38PM (#18903419) Homepage Journal
    Because I already know it's somehow biased. TIE?!?

    I've run Vista and Feisty Fawn. I've installed them both on a few machines. I've also been using other OSes for > 10 years.

    Now, that's a small modicum of experience as compared to many /. readers, and I'm sure my knowledge and experience is horrifically limited compared to other /.ers, but still there's a pretty clear win here in this battle, and I'd like to run through the list real quick.

    1. Vista: Total pain in the neck. Took forever, installed lots of random extra crap that slowed my machine(s) down. Many of my old apps and games stopped working.

    2. Feisty: Breeze. Very fast, I could even surf the web during installation. Very clean initial install, minimal wasted resource stuff installed. Most old Linux binaries still work, but coming from Windows XP, many of my old apps and games stopped working, however, more than were broken by Vista.

    Initial Setup:
    1. Vista: Word Pad. Terrible CD burning interface. Windows Media Player is still bloated and >>>>>>> than Aero, seriously. I'd like a better Nintendo 64 emulator. Mupen works well, but it lacks many features and some of the speed and compatibility of 1964 on XP. I'd like a 3d chess game. There are several free ones out, just grab it, clean it up, release it with the OS. Make it easy to play online against a friend via GAIM. Make ekiga easier and better. Actually iChat pretty much ruins all the open AND MS offerings in this department, which is tragic, because SPEEX is free, and better than the codecs that even iChat chooses to use, so (what were they thinking?!?).

        I wanted to like Vista, I did, but it's such an obvious downgrade from XP in so many ways: Networking, Games, DRM, speed, stability... It seems like the only thing they got right was eye candy, and they are so far behind Ubuntu at this point that it's ridiculous. Especially since Ubuntu is FOSS, I mean, couldn't they have just grabbed all the compiz/beryl stuff and applied it natively via DirectX or something (what were they thinking?!?)? I really honestly don't know who's in charge at MS, and why they chose to shoot themselves so clearly in the foot with this release. They were already falling behind Linux in key areas: IE vs Firefox, Paint vs Gimp, WMP vs (just about anything, really), and now with the added DRM, more difficult security measures and networking setup.... It's like they WANT to lose all the desktops or something. I do miss Windows Live Messenger though. That is one app that they almost got right, at least as far as video conferencing goes. I look forward to getting a VM up and running so I can still use it in Ubuntu.

        I want to stress again that Ubuntu is a great OS. I've been using it for > a month now, and it is fantastically easy, beautiful and fast, even on much older hardware than I currently own. I got beryl running nicely in 256 mb of ram, on a geforce 4, and Athlon (not XP!). Even on that ancient hardware it is much better and faster than Vista on a core 2 duo with 2 gb of ram, and an 8800 GTS. Hopefully somebody somewhere repackages Feisty to include better default apps and colors, because I think the time for Linux on the desktop has finally arrived, and there are A LOT of positives for humanity if FOSS wins this war.

        All that being said, though, for most of my clients I'm still recommending XP SP2. The reason is simple: Games. They want San Andreas. They want WoW, CoD, and Outrun. Wine is just not good enough yet, and I wouldn't recommend Vista to people I actively dislike, much less people who are paying me. For those people who don't care much about games, I am install Ubuntu, adding beryl, and setting it up so on first boot they have Tvtime on one cube side, Mupen64 on another, Rhythmbox on a third, and Firefox on a fourth. The average end user thinks I am a wizard, but it's really all very simple in Ubuntu, now if only they could lose evolution and the shit brown.....
  • by krappie ( 172561 ) on Friday April 27, 2007 @04:49PM (#18906369)
    I started using this backup software by R1Soft []. It can take consistent point-in-time snapshots of an ext2/3 file system similar to Microsoft's volume shadow copy. It even has a whole system that tracks changes to hard drive blocks and can send changed blocks to a remote backup server. So these tools do exist for Linux.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire