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Vista Vs. Gutsy Gibbon 806

ricegf writes in with the account of one Rupert Goodwins writing in ZDNet UK. Goodwins has 7 computers running various versions of Windows and Linux, and explains why he chooses to do most of his work on the Gibbon. "So here's the funny thing. I've used Windows since 1.0. I've lived through the bad times of Windows/386 and ME, and the good times of NT 3.51 and 2K. I know XP if not backwards, then with a degree of familiarity that only middle-aged co-dependents can afford each other... Then how come I'm so much more at home with Ubuntu than Vista? It boils down to one abiding impression: Ubuntu goes out of its way to get out of your way... Vista goes out of its way to be Vista and enforce the Vista way."
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Vista Vs. Gutsy Gibbon

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  • Another one (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xaxa ( 988988 )
    How many of these articles are we going to get?

    (I'll leave it up to you as to whether I'm just fed up with them, or am pondering the success of Linux)
    • by Farakin ( 1101889 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:27PM (#21092453)
      As many as it takes? (I'll leave it up to you as to whether I'm trying to make you fed up or cheering on the success of Linux)
      • by Donniedarkness ( 895066 ) * <Donniedarkness@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:30PM (#21092479) Homepage
        Don't fear the penguins.

        Geesh, it even says it on the top of the page.

        • Think of it this way... these OSes are so feature-rich that there are any number of axes on which to compare them. I recently wrote up a comparison between Ubuntu 7.10 and Windows XP [brainhandles.com], based on installing them into virtual machines on my Mac and then trying to get them to play a DVD.
    • by HybridJeff ( 717521 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:28PM (#21092463) Homepage
      You're pondering how fed up you are with the success of linux.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ramble ( 940291 )
      Don't worry, I'm sure we'll get plenty more Compare shitty Windows install by a shoddy minimum wage tech to a souped up customised speedy Gentoo install with all hardware hand picked so it works articles.
  • I agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) * <djand.nc@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:29PM (#21092467)
    My laptop came with Vista and installed Ubuntu right after purchase. I use Ubuntu much more than my legally purchased windows copy, probably about 10:1 in favor of linux because vista pops up dialog boxes for way too much stuff. For instance, every boot creates about 10 dialog boxes that need to be confirmed. My cpu monitoring app, norton antivirus, etc... all have to be given permission to run, it really pisses me off. I haven't found a way to give permanent permission to those apps without turning UAE off, which strips out some very necessary protection. FU Microsoft.
    • Re:I agree (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:37PM (#21092565)
      Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon getting out of your way to let you work: $0

      Windows Vista video ad playing under a slashdot article favouring Linux over Windows: Priceless
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dedazo ( 737510 )
      And this is Microsoft's fault, or of the companies who create applications that think they have the go of the entire box? Any application that plays nice with the filesystem/registry ACLs works perfectly well in Vista, the same way they worked on XP under non-privileged accounts.

      I run Vista and quite frankly these alleged horror stories amuse me. It's not "slow", it doesn't pop up permission dialogs every five seconds, it didn't deactivate itself when I swapped the network card. After about three days of

      • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

        by uglyduckling ( 103926 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:17PM (#21093083) Homepage

        It's hilarious that he can't seem to figure out how to shut down the computer... But these "opinion articles" with their "I can't be bothered to figure out a slightly different Control Panel - instead, I switched operating systems!" matra are just annoying and stupid.

        His point isn't that he couldn't figure it out, it's just that things were "arbitrarily different" - changed for the point of change rather than any great enhancement. Sure he could figure out a different Control Panel, but it's annoying to have to do that for no actual gain.

        I think what we're actually seeing here is people who don't have any particular need for the unique strengths of Windows (and it does have some) and could do well with any of the alternative mainstream OSs. See, they already "switched operating systems" going from XP to Vista, and the feedback I'm hearing is that the effort of relearning familiar things makes the jump from XP to Ubuntu seem no worse. Actually, I even get the impression that for some the idea of injecting some excitement into their computer usage by exploring a new OS with different strengths and weeknesses is quite attractive compared to relearning Windows in order to go back to what they already new.

        Am I way off the mark here? I've been using Debian then Ubuntu near exclusively for 6 years so I'm actually quite looking forward to having a play with Vista just to see if there's anything about a new Microsoft OS that I find attractive. I installed XP on a machine for my sister 3 weeks ago and it took 4 hours worth of downloading drivers and updates just to get to the stage where I could start installing apps (c.f. Ubuntu less than 1 hour for a fully loaded OS+apps) so I'm pretty sure XP is of no value to me from the 'enjoying using the computer' viewpoint unless I need to run some Windows-only software.

        If you use a computer for fun, or for work but like to have fun, Ubuntu is great. Quick to install on new hardware, new release every 6 months with new features, improvements and eye candy if you like that sort of thing. Loads of little apps to choose between for virtually any task, all ready to install from official repositories, properly signed etc.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by vux984 ( 928602 )
          I installed XP on a machine for my sister 3 weeks ago and it took 4 hours worth of downloading drivers and updates just to get to the stage where I could start installing apps.

          Were you using a disc from circa 2002? A lot has changed since then. XP has had a lot added and fixed since then. If you are using an up to date slipstreamed XP SP2 disc, the patch process doesn't take unduly long.

          (c.f. Ubuntu less than 1 hour for a fully loaded OS+apps)

          Were you using a disc from circa 2002? I dare ya, grab a Ubuntu B
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by r3m0t ( 626466 )
            Well, if you have a legitimate copy of Windows XP or even XP SP2, how are you going to get a new CD? You know, one with the last four years of drivers included? Oh yeah, you can't. Unless you create your own by slipstreaming which is probably more effort than it's worth.

            I have here a legitimate copy of breezy/hoary/whatever. How am I going to get a new CD with all the latest hardware support? Well, I could download it from any working computer I have that also has a disc burner. I could install a just-about
          • Defeat in Detail (Score:5, Insightful)

            by turing_m ( 1030530 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @11:44PM (#21095377)
            "She was already using Firefox / OpenOffice / Gaim so for her the differences were pretty nominal."

            And that's the key. Switching operating systems is a big deal if it means switching your entire personal software collection at once, and that's what a lot of people try to do and fail. They switch, get culture shock, and retreat back to XP.

            If you can figure out which applications you use and then convert yourself to a FOSS program, one by one, then by the time you have finished you can install Ubuntu Gutsy and the rest of your problems will be restricted to driver issues. I don't know why I didn't think of doing it like that earlier, it seems so obvious now.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pherthyl ( 445706 )
        And this is Microsoft's fault, or of the companies who create applications that think they have the go of the entire box?

        It's mostly the application devs' fault. Not that who's fault it is makes one iota of difference. The end result is that it's incredibly annoying and I wouldn't want to use it.
        Just like no-one cares that lack of driver support on Linux is not really Linux's fault.
    • by DAldredge ( 2353 )
      Funny when my Vista system boots I don't get any dialog boxes.
    • ... You run Norton? Your nerd card should be revoked.

      Norton hasn't put out a good bit of software since Utilities for MS-DOS. :)
    • Aside (Score:5, Informative)

      by IthnkImParanoid ( 410494 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:55PM (#21092775)
      In my experience there's really no reason to run Norton antivirus, unless you enjoy giving your operating system the equivalent of 300 pound cell mate named Bubba. Between Avast!, AVG, Clamwin, Panda, and any other free antivirus software out there, there's got to be something to replace Norton.
      • Re:Aside (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mstahl ( 701501 ) <<marrrrrk> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:37PM (#21093287) Homepage Journal

        Agreed. I used to have a job cleaning viruses and spyware and such off of students' laptops at a university campus, which gave me a lot of insight into what not to buy and which AV programs not to trust. There were soooooooooooo many students, faculty, and staff who had entrusted their box entirely to Norton, and it was just an epic fail every single time—even when it was fully up-to-date. The whole of the entire computer security industry would be in Defcon 4 about some virus that'd been out for a week and Norton would still be on its smoke break. Weak.

        Between Avast!, AVG, Clamwin, Panda, and any other free antivirus software out there, there's got to be something to replace Norton.

        "Avast!"? Sounds awesome, if a touch nautical.... What struck me the most when I was working at Resnet was how many free programs there were that were extremely effective (especially if used together), almost always catching files that Norton missed entirely. Side note: it's really scary that a lot of these antivirus programs were web-based, and somehow Windows is perfectly okay having web applications that are capable of deleting files, analyzing the content of local files, accessing the registry.... Really scary. Way to go on that security model thing, Microsoft!

    • Re:I agree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Miltazar ( 1100457 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:13PM (#21093031) Homepage
      This is definitely not a popular opinion around here but here goes. I've used Vista, along with every other Windows OS ever to haunt our doorstep. I've also used many Linux distro's including Ubuntu Gutsy, Debian(personal preference of the Linux variety), Gentoo, Fedora, Redhat, CentOS, etc. I've been using Vista both at work and at home for about half a year now, and I have absolutely no problem with it.

      Despite all the talk of new user friendliness with Ubuntu Gutsy I've yet to see it. My MXL USB Mic doesn't just work when I plug it in. I have to fiddle around with settings for a while. At work, I can't just easily interface with our Active Directory(yes its MS, but its what we use). Sure I've gotten all that working, but it took me a lot of searching and tweaking. Vista may have driver problems, but I've never encountered any major ones. With Linux however, every install is a new driver issue. When it comes down to it, Vista just works. Yes, I can get Linux working with everything, but I don't want to have to spend all that time on an OS when I can just use windows.

      Also as a gamer I'm also unable to permanently switch to Linux. Wine works for some, but its just not good enough. I love Linux, but for now it just isn't ready to be my permanent OS. Despite all this trouble with Vista I hear about, I've yet to experience any of it. It runs perfectly on my machine.

      When Linux has a dominant share of the market place, and games are put out strictly for Linux, then I'll switch.
      Until then, Microsoft will still be king.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LingNoi ( 1066278 )
        You have to consider that for some people it is the opposite.

        For example I have an old TV card. It's the only old thing I have in my machine because well.. why would I throw away a perfectly good TV card. It won't work for me in windows because the company have gone on to produce different TV cards and don't want to write drivers for old products.

        So for me it's the opposite Ubuntu works out of the box with my Hardware where Windows does not. My girlfriend has had real problems getting her Microphone working
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gfxguy ( 98788 )
        I agree; long ago when I switched from linux back to windows, it was because I wanted to actually do stuff (mostly play games, I suppose) and not do system administration. Times have changed a great deal, and when I do actual work-work (as opposed to my personal video editing and playing games), I always use Linux. I can't believe how far it's come along and I'm really impressed with it. I've been using Linux nearly exclusively for work and at home for about two years.

        But when I couldn't get something to
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kwandar ( 733439 )
        Somebody intelligent said it earlier .... the answer is virtualization.
      • I keep seeing these types of posts: "Vista doesn't really suck all that bad. If you have gobs of money to spend on hardware, and gobs of time to spend tweaking, then Vista almost works as well as XP or W2K."

        To msft users, I guess these posts seem logical. But I always think: WTF? why are switching at all?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Risen888 ( 306092 )
        When Linux has a dominant share of the market place, and games are put out strictly for Linux, then I'll switch.
        Until then, Microsoft will still be king.

        Good. Call me back in about seven years. I'll be the guy eating your lunch because I familiarized myself with the next big thing instead of burying my head in the sand of the last big thing.
  • Easy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El Lobo ( 994537 )
    You see what you want to see. You want to like Ubuntu (or insert some Linuzzzzz distro here), so this is a good start. We all do. I like Windows (and I damn sure see all it's imperfections). I have used Ubuntu, and it feels very rough to me. But once again: I see what I want to see, and I have no incentive to search some other OS, because in Windows I feel like home. I have a OSX machine at home as well for testing purposes. The system is good but it feels OSX alien to me. Everybody should use the system th
    • Re:Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kebes ( 861706 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:57PM (#21092805) Journal

      Everybody should use the system they like and stop preaching and advocating. use trhe TOOL you like, not the bible you read.
      Fair enough. However your post is somewhat dismissive, as if you're implying "I don't see the point of these kinds of articles" (if I'm putting words in your mouth, I apologize). To respond to that hypothetical implication: the point of such discussions is that there has to be some way for people to learn about alternatives.

      I, for one, was once at a point where I was quite frustrated with my (Windows) experience. Only because people bothered to mention alternatives did I eventually discover that OSX and Linux solved many of the problems I was having.

      As you can tell, I'm now a Linux user, so as you say my opinion is inherently biased towards enjoying Linux. So perhaps I gloss over some of the troubles I had along my migration path to Linux. Yet despite that, the experiences (both positive and negative) of people who have legitimately tried multiple operating systems are valuable to others. In fact, it's rather difficult to claim that the majority of Windows users are actually using "the right tool" because very few of them are aware of (much less have evaluated) the alternate tools out there. For many of them, their needs might actually be better served by a non-Windows OS.

      I can understand a dislike of evangelical attempts to convert people... but there's nothing inherently wrong with describing, or even advocating, an alternative.
  • by BronsCon ( 927697 ) <social@bronstrup.com> on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:33PM (#21092519) Journal
    like "First Post"

    But this insight came out instead.

    To the end-user, Windows has "security through obstruction", which annoys and gets disabled. To that same end-user, Linux has "security through obscurity", which stays out of the way.

    Yes, I know, open source, all the flaws are right there for everyone to see, not obscured at all. That's not what the end-user sees. The end-user just knows that it's more secure because that's what their geek friend told them; they never see why, they never care why and they never need bother with it. This is a good thing. What doesn't annoy them enough that they go out of their way to disable... I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.

    Let's review what we've learned so far this year:
    Linux - driver issues. Vista - driver issues.
    Linux - learning curve. Vista - learning curve.
    Linux - secure until you work around the security in the name of convenience. Vista - secure until you work around the security in the name of convenience.
    Linux - annoying until you learn it. Vista - annoying until you learn it AND disable the security features.
  • My take on it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlueParrot ( 965239 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:34PM (#21092525)
    Some time ago I accidentally fried my motherboard, so, time to get a new computer. My dad's job was throwing out an "old" machine. The new machine was a bit worse than my original one. It didn't have DDR2 memory, it used a Radeon 9200 rather than my nVidia card, the CPU was an old Pentium 4 rather than my faster AMD chip, and the integrated soundcard I had never heard of.

    Anyway, I connect my HD which had Ubuntu Edgy installed on it, boot up. X complains about the video card so I change "nvidia" to "ati" in xorg.conf, type: startx, and 2 minutes latter I am reading my mail in thunderbird.

    But you know, I'm sure Vista would perfectly well manage me changing ALL hardware except the HD, running on a P4 with 384MB SDRAM, and be up and running without even a reboot. Oh, and does Aero support virtual desktops yet?

    Seriously, given the price and system requirements, Vista is a joke.

    • Re:My take on it (Score:4, Informative)

      by lattyware ( 934246 ) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:44PM (#21092645) Homepage Journal
      And with Gutsy, and it's 'never crash out to bash' ideology, and the x-settings manager that will start if x crashes, you now would not even need to be an intelligent user in this case with Gutsy to get it to work. It's a long-awaited idea, and one that'll be gladly received. It works well too, in 99% of situations. Of course there are some hardware setups that would not work even in this 'safe-mode' style of graphics setup - but they are very few and far between - and anyone using them will probably be able to solve it at a bash prompt, and this is a huge step forward. I've laughed at people for saying Windows is easier. Bull. Windows is more familiar, maybe. But Linux has now been made so much more easy than windows. Installing and using Vista for gaming after more than a year of Linux only use was hell.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Blahbooboo3 ( 874492 )

      so I change "nvidia" to "ati" in xorg.conf, type: startx,

      And that is the problem with Linux. What non-nerd user wants to do or even would know how to do this sort of thing?
      Heck, I am a nerd and if I switch my desktop to a Unix OS I am going to just get a Mac.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dunbal ( 464142 )
        What non-nerd user wants to do or even would know how to do this sort of thing?

              No, a non nerd would do exactly what they do today. He would take his machine to a computer shop. He would be told to come back in 3 days. The techie would change the xorg.conf line, give the non nerd his computer back 3 days later and charge him $400. So what are you complaining about?
  • I don't want to be a defeatist, but...
    In my opinion, it doesn't really matter whether ubuntu is better, because Microsoft already has >90% of the market. Be realistic: 2008 will not be the year of the Linux Desktop. Neither will 2009. Or 2010. When a company has that much marketshare and actively tries to keep others from entering the playing field, it's not really going to happen. Most people just want to sit at the computer and do their work. I use the Vista on my laptop only about 3% of the time; oth
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ThePhilips ( 752041 )

      [...] Microsoft already has >90% of the market.

      Correction: "Microsoft still has >80% of the market."

      Do not make such mistakes anymore! ;)

      N.B. fyi, Ubuntu is distributed freely so it is not part of market.

      But the momentum of Microsoft Windows is so large that Linux will not become a widely-used desktop OS.

      There is a huge difference between "momentum" and "inertia".

      Today you use KUbuntu. You feel like a black sheep. Tomorrow you suddenly find that some other your friend uses . Then on

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by N7DR ( 536428 )
        Today you use KUbuntu. You feel like a black sheep. Tomorrow you suddenly find that some other your friend uses . Then one more friend. Then one more. Then you just stop counting.

        Yep. I have been telling people for years that Linux is where the future is. Mostly they've politely ignored me, but I have long felt that the main point has been made: each of those people has heard someone say good things about Linux. That sort of thing sticks.

        Today I walked into a meeting room for an organisation with wh

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      because Microsoft already has >90% of the market. Be realistic: 2008 will not be the year of the Linux Desktop. Neither will 2009. Or 2010. When a company has that much marketshare and actively tries to keep others from entering the playing field, it's not really going to happen.

      Yeah, they used to say that about hmm let's see, OS/360, VAX/VMS, DOS... etc. Revolutions DO happen. It's up to you if you want to be late to the game or not. The ONLY thing I can't do in linux is play the l
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:36PM (#21092557)
    I did a complete reformat of my system for Gutsy. Installed from the CD, and ended up with the black screen of death on restart.

    Of course, I was able to get out of it. That's not really the point. The point is I had to do a bunch of command line hackery just to see the login screen for the first time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:38PM (#21092573)
    ...But I'll take XP on the desktop over Ubuntu (or Linux) any day. Ubuntu 7.10 is a pain to install, setup and use compared to XP. Few things I need "just work" in Linux.

    Before you suggest it, I'm a hardcore geek from way back. Waaaay back. But these days I simply don't have time to spend all day and night just getting an OS to work. I have a wife and kids now, not to mention actual work to accomplish.

    There aren't enough hours in a day/night leftover for ploughing through howtos, or trawling usergroups, for the info necessary just to, say, get 7.10 or Mandriva 2008 to connect to the LAN.

    On the server, *nix rules, but on the desktop it has a very long way to go before it can compete with XP on an even footing. Vista? Dunno. You couldn't pay me enough to use it.

    Yes, I know, I'm going to be modded troll or flamebait or accused of being an MS apologist or fanboy by some raw-nerved *nix zealot. How dare I say such things? Gasp! Shame on me.
    • by rustalot42684 ( 1055008 ) <fake.account@com> on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:54PM (#21092767)
      That's odd. My experience was actually quite the opposite: When doing an reinstall of OEM Vista, I had to spend 2 hours poring through howtos, manuals, etc, getting drivers and trying to get everything to work, but installing off the Kubuntu 7.10 alpha 5 worked flawlessly. I'm not going to flame you, because if that was your experience, that was your experience. But it's quite different than what happened to me.

      Note: this was an OEM disc, supplied by Dell itself, so I would have to wonder why it wouldn't work..
  • When I'm using Windows, (any version) I really miss having a real terminal (cmd.exe just doesn't do it for me) and apt-get (there is nothing like having all of the software I need available at any time from one central place)
  • Let me guess (Score:2, Insightful)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 )
    > Then how come I'm so much more at home with Ubuntu than Vista?
    Because a linux desktop has the traditional GUI and sometimes even the windows convert in mind while Microsoft needs to redefine the desktop experience in a different way to maintain an edge. They practically would like people to be hostages of the Microsoft way so that linux will look different to them and discourage the switch. Of course in this first period it's the exact opposite, but they have their dominant position to exploit. This op
  • by XahXhaX ( 730306 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:51PM (#21092741)
    ...at least Vista _boots_ after installation. I have had nothing but trouble from attempting to run Ubuntu--from difficulty getting the Nvidia drivers for my 6800 working to GRUB mysteriously being screwed up between sessions, to not my system not even booting if I do something as radical as try to boot my system with an external hard drive plugged in. Add all the problems with it not mounting things like said external drive or the secondary internal drive as anything but read-only, and a ton of other issues, and so far I've probably spent more time trying to get the damn thing working than actually using it. When I did the recent upgrade to 7.10, it didn't even boot after installation. It wiped my XP entry out of menu.lst and botched the rest of the file. No backup file or anything of the sort. If Microsoft released an OS that didn't even boot directly after installation they would never hear the end of it. I used Vista for several months and had plenty of troubles with it, like Explorer forgetting over half the directory settings it was supposed to retain or never getting it to detect my XP desktop over my home network (Ubuntu on the other hand just plain doesn't work with files over a network, try playing music or videos shared from another computer, so while it technically works who cares?) But at least Vista generally _worked_, Ubuntu must be synonymous with 'broken'.
  • by Seismologist ( 617169 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @06:52PM (#21092745)
    I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you _____ fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a _____ (a _____ w/_____ gigs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my ancient _____ running _____, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this _____, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that. In addition, during this file transfer, _____ will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even _____ is straining to keep up as I type this. I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various _____'s, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a _____ that has run faster than its _____ counterpart, despite the _____'s same chip architecture. My _____ with _____ megs of ram runs faster than this _____ mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that _____ is a superior operating system. _____ lovers, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use _____ over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.
  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:05PM (#21092925) Journal
    The main problem with ubuntu is the interface. It doesn't come with ratpoison installed by default. Then, you have to dig around in config files to get it working. And, frankly the bash shell and vim editor are horribly bloated compared to lightweight counterparts, like sh and vi.

    It's a GUI problem, so I'll just stick to Vista... oh. Never mind.
  • by mmclure ( 26378 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:06PM (#21092943) Homepage
    At work, I got a shiny new machine. Since we need to certify some of our products with Windows Vista, we designated it the Vista certification machine. So far, so good.

    We use the MKS Toolkit software suite to simplify several tasks while developing on Windows. Everything seemed to work fine, until I had to use patch to apply a diff to some sources. As soon as I typed

            patch -p0 foo.diff

    at the command prompt I got a pop-up window from Vista asking permission to run the executable. If I answered "yes, go ahead" instead of running the program in the same command prompt window it popped it up in another command prompt which promptly disappeared. And, apparently, did absolutely nothing to the files that were supposed to be patched. Experimentation shows that even

            patch --help

    pops up the dialog and fails, so it isn't a permissions problem on the files to patch. So I say to myself, "Myself, we're a revision or two back on MKS Toolkit, and this is not the Vista-certified version - let's try another patch.exe." So I go get the GnuWin32 version of patch.exe. I put it first on the PATH, and try again. Another pop-up. I answer yes, and not only does patch run in a window that disappears, but it GPFs as well.

    At this point, I'm pissed. But suddenly the penny drops. I rename the MKS toolkit patch.exe to ptch.exe and type

          ptch --help

    which produces a nice help message. Trying on the original diff causes the required files to be patched correctly.

    Apparently the Windows Vista User Access Control considers patch.exe to be a forbidden executable name. I investigated further and the only way to disable this functionality appears to be to completely turn off UAC, which I did immediately.

    But there you have it - Windows Vista's vaunted security is about as logical and effective as banning water bottles in carry-on luggage.
    • by SirMeliot ( 864836 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:38PM (#21093295)

      That's a compatibility fudge to run old install programs that don't have a manifest saying whether they need admin privs or not.

      Try it with with setup.exe, update.exe or anything that sounds like it might be an installer. Vista assumes it's an installer and tries to run it as admin.

      For extra fun rename a text file to be setup.exe. Try to run it. Vista will give you a UAC prompt, then discover it's not a real executable and finally give you a cute little message box saying 'The application didn't install correctly'

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by fwarren ( 579763 )
      But there you have it - Windows Vista's vaunted security is about as logical and effective as banning water bottles in carry-on luggage.

      Hey back off man.

      You can't imagine how many times terrorists have been stopped from boarding planes because they did not want to be thirsty.

      I am sure Vista's Security relies on there being that type of tangent effect.

  • by bendodge ( 998616 ) <bendodge.bsgprogrammers@com> on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:12PM (#21093025) Homepage Journal

    Ubuntu goes out of its way to get out of your way... Vista goes out of its way to be Vista and enforce the Vista way.
    This is very, very true. I'm using Kubuntu right now, and I don't "feel" like I'm "using" an OS. I mean, it just seems like I'm using a computer to run programs. On Vista, (which I thankfully only have to use when fixing some PCs) I am constantly reminded that I am running Vista.
  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:23PM (#21093141) Journal
    I noticed a recurring lament in the comments attached to TFA: Businesses usually have one or a few business-specific and business-critical applications that are Windows-only and that don't run adequately under Wine. Rupert's suggestion was to run Windows under virtualization - i.e. polluting every seat at the shop with microsoft code and licenses.

    Why not do what my company does: Run the can't-do-without-'em Windows apps on a central Windows server and access them remotely via rdesktop [rdesktop.org]?

    Then you have only as many licenses as you actually need and you can migrate as many desktops and laptops as you please to Linux.

    (And since it uses Microsoft's own version of remote desktopping they'll have a hard time breaking it without breaking themselves. B-) )
  • My opinion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:37PM (#21093291) Journal
    Ubuntu is great, better than Vista in most aspects, when the drivers and lacking hardware support don't get in your way. :-/

    Unfortunately, this seem to be a more common occurence than even in Vista, from my experiences anyway.

    But this is not really a blame on just Ubuntu, but on hardware support from manufacturers. Not that it matter who it is to blame for the end user.
    • Drivers (Score:3, Informative)

      by leoxx ( 992 )
      What hardware in particular?

      I'd like to encourage anyone and everyone who has a piece of hardware not supported by Linux to report it to the LinuxDriverProject [linuxdriverproject.org].
  • Core Values (Score:3, Informative)

    by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @07:40PM (#21093327)
    Ubuntu goes out of its way to get out of your way... Vista goes out of its way to be Vista and enforce the Vista way.

    This really speaks to the core values and differences between the closed source and open source philosophies as outlined by Richard Stallman [wikipedia.org] (yes, Richard Stallman is different from most of the rest of us and some people just cannot get past the beard and the long hair, but he has some worthwhile things to say if you can get past the charisma issue, -4 reaction adjustment at least if we were playing D&D) among others. The closed source philosophy is really about their way of doings, the experience that they want you to have, and their control of every aspect of that experience whereas the open source philosophy is all about freedom to choose your own experience, the experience that you want to have, and your choice about every aspect of that experience. If you want to take the defaults that is alright OR if you think that something that is not available and should be then you can take the source code and make it happen...it is all good AND other people cannot subsequently take that away from you (the GPL requirement of sharing changes and additions).
  • by mad_clown ( 207335 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @08:05PM (#21093549)
    Gutsy Gibbon isn't "there" yet as far as being a perfectly consumer-friendly desktop system. It's fairly close -- I'm using it right now, in fact -- but it still has a ways to go. Yes, Compiz is nice. It also has a habit of causing MPlayer to go haywire. Things always seem kind of sluggish. Sure, my machine is a bit old, but even XP wasn't quite as sluggish. It's not unbearable though. Close. But not there yet.

    Ipod? Works pretty well. Basic copying of files works nicely (albeit with a few GTKpod kinks here and there). Mounting and un-mounting usually work automatically without any extra prodding after plugging it in. Usually. Smart playlists are dodgy in GTKpod. Giving Amarok a try, so we'll see. But still... Not. Quite. There. Yet.

    Program installation? Well, Synaptic/apt-get are great. You got the right repositories in there, and you know what you're looking for -- works like a charm. Can't see my mom learning how to add repositories and public key signatures. Close. But not quite there yet.

    On the other hand, it's leaps and bounds ahead of where Linux-on-the-desktop used to be the last time I went down that path (SuSe 7.something? Mandrake something-dot-something?? Few years ago, anyways...). So progress is definitely being made. It all depends on your personal threshold.

    For me, Ubuntu has proven to be quite - QUITE - sufficient. I'll probably be sticking with it for everything except ArcGIS. For all the "moms" of the world, though... I just don't think it's quite there yet. Give it a few more years and it might just make it.

    Then we just need a good way of marketing it...
  • by LionMage ( 318500 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2007 @09:07PM (#21094161) Homepage
    I picked up an HP laptop recently (one of the "Verve special edition" laptops), and it came preinstalled with Vista. Unlike some other craptastic laptops I've tried out (and in particular, one Acer laptop I tried out and returned after a week due to unsupported wireless in Linux and bad keyboard), this thing actually ran Vista almost decently. Still too long of a wait to boot -- XP boot times seem far faster to me -- but it was usable.

    Problem is, the laptop didn't come with any sort of optical media for Vista. HP puts a partition on the hard drive that is there to allow the user to recover and restore, and they provide software in Vista to burn 2 restore DVDs "just in case." I burned the restore discs and hoped for the best... But as it turns out, Vista's flavor of NTFS doesn't resize properly in GParted (either refuses to resize, or resizes and then becomes unbootable without volume repair). Without genuine Vista discs, I was unable to do any repairs after an abortive attempt to resize the Vista partition, soooo...

    I turned the laptop over to the tender mercies of the Ubuntu 7.10 installer off of the Gutsy DVD. Amazingly, sound and networking worked with nary a hiccup, suspend and resume work the way they should, and even the media keys across the top of the keyboard do what you'd expect them to. About the only thing I'm missing support for right now is the SD card reader. (Chipset seems to be unsupported, will have to research.) There's a built-in webcam and stereo microphones in the lid, and I'm going to experiment with them to see if I can get them to work, but it's not a major priority for me.

    I would have preferred to keep Vista around -- not because I really like Vista (as I work with XP daily at the office, and Vista really doesn't work the way I think Windows "ought" to), but because theoretically there might be some games or the random app that might not work right / be available under Linux. But this morning, as I started throwing more and more packages on the laptop, I started to realize that maybe this is a blessing in disguise. By Vista not wanting to share and play nicely, I've been forced to decide between Vista and Ubuntu. It wasn't even much of a choice.

    Still, it would've been nice to keep Vista around in a small partition, just as a security blanket. But if I can get WoW working under Wine (and reports say that it should actually run pretty well, providing my graphics adapter can keep up), it'd be tough to say just what I'd really need Vista for.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll