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Education Microsoft Linux

Free Software For All Russian Schools In Jeopardy 265

Glyn Moody writes "Last year, we discussed here a Russian plan to install free software in all its schools. Seems things aren't going so well. Funds for the project have been cut back, some of the free software discs already sent out were faulty, and — inevitably — Microsoft has agreed to a 'special price' for Windows XP used in Russian schools."
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Free Software For All Russian Schools In Jeopardy

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  • Special pricing. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ( 1195047 ) <.ten.yargelap. .ta. .sidarap.pilihp.> on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:31PM (#30111230) Homepage Journal
    This is business as usual for governments and Microsoft. The government in question threatens to roll out an open source solution to a large number of machines, problems magically pop up early in the deployment, and Microsoft pitches their solution for next to nothing in upfront costs. Note that the ongoing costs of managing the deployment down the road are virtually never considered, and the taxpayers wind up getting screwed with a "solution" that eats up enormous amounts of money in overhead, future licensing fees, and security issues.
  • Donations? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:32PM (#30111238) Journal

    It almost smells like sabotage. I imagine MS wouldn't directly do it, but instead pay people to "keep an eye on the project" with a lot of wink-wink. I wonder if there's not a way to donate to the cause?

  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:35PM (#30111262) Homepage

    Moody says:

    Finally, Microsoft has been up to its old tricks of offering special deals for its software

    How is that a "trick"? Isn't that what competition is supposed to do--cause vendors to lower price?

  • by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) * on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:36PM (#30111266) Journal
    I'm currently working on a video game project I can finish in a couple months that may make me some money so I can support myself and do other more ambitious projects. The #1 project I feel that needs to be done is the freeing up of textbooks in education. If someone doesn't offer a free textbook that is important, we should have a community that rewrites it without plagurizing, and then provide it free of charge. The Internet should be a global library. The old problem with distribution was printing, but that problem is solved. Publishers like newspapers have less importance in this society. The new problem is compensating people who provide free information, but this problem is less of a problem than restricting their information from eager minds.

    My theory is that computers can do books better than books do books. We can have multimedia experiences yes, but we're so new at knowing how they help people learn, we don't need to consider them at first. We need to do books, and link a course together by the books people need to tackle to get through them. We can have videos that train people like lectures. We can have LOTS of redudandant passive learning eventually. We can even have live tutors through live chat and email. There is a definite revolution in education looming at the horizon, and I hope that I'm not the only one who sees it because I'm horrendous at being able to accomplish big projects on my own, with no funding.
  • by TheStonepedo ( 885845 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:42PM (#30111328) Homepage Journal

    Trebek: This state failed to consider the cost of changing software and training users.
    Yakov Smirnoff: What is free market Russia?

  • by iamhigh ( 1252742 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:49PM (#30111390)
    Offer free use of the bandwidth from 5pm to 7am (or whatever off hours are over there) in exchange for a usable school system. I guess if they must have a bunch of shady sites and scammers, might as well get some education out of it.

    In Soviet Russia, spam funds school!
  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:52PM (#30111404) Journal
    Let's remember the original cause [] of this Linux migration, shall we?
  • Re:Costs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:01PM (#30111468)
    Agreed. My point was that the roll out costs in FOSS should be similar unless we are deficient somewhere. Working on that would be a good thing.

    BTW, whoever modded me troll. It was a question, Sorry for wanting to improve FOSS, way to take criticism jackass.
  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:21PM (#30111614) Journal

    Yeah a few years back I ended up giving a bunch of old office boxes to one of my local schools. I installed Win2K along with some basic office software OO.o and the like, and I bet they are still being used to this day. Why didn't i just use Linux? because unless I wanted to be their free admin for the rest of my days I had to install something their "IT" guy understood. This guy was such an old fossil he wanted to know where to input the DOS commands.

    Most folks here talk about "Oh, Linux is free!" but sorry, that's bullshit. Yeah the OS may be free, but you ever priced a Linux Guru? Cheap they ain't because there simply aren't many of them. It is a LOT easier to teach a teacher how to go "clicky clicky, next next next" than to deal with a CLI. They know Windows, they use Windows at home, so they ain't scared of Windows.

    After trying to give away nice older machines that I'd get given to me on jobs with Linux installed by me I quickly learned that old saying was true "Linux is free if your time is worthless" because i would get called back to service their 'free" machine when they couldn't get the printer to work, an update borked sound or video, etc. In the end it was just easier to wipe the machine, reinstall whatever Windows it had a license for, and then sell or give it away.

    So while I appreciate the idea of a free OS for schools, unless they got the money to hire the Linux admins to run it I've found it just ain't worth it. Better to give them a locked down Windows box and just be done with it. Windows admins are cheap and MSFT is happy to give educational discounts to keep Windows in the schools, no different than Apple and my local college.

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:23PM (#30111624) Journal

    Free software doesn't mean no costs. It just means cheaper, and usually only in long term. You have installation, training, support, cost of porting existing applications and data, etc.

    TCO for Windows involves the risk of 17 years in a siberian prison [].

    TCO for Linux involves asking some people to work an hour late one day a week for a few months.

    Plugging that into my ROI calculator gives a time to recover investment of... 1.2 milliseconds.

  • i see a pattern... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cies ( 318343 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:25PM (#30111630)

    i get the feeling its not just microsoft being "clever" in always offering highly discounted versions as a last resort to prevent a free software takeover. it is also governments who cleverly threat to switch to free software (back up by some actual action), on which microsoft drastically cuts price.

    i think the same about china for instance. they wanted to put the whole government and education system on their red flag linux. microsoft now gives them windows+office for a couple of euros (or even less i forgot) per machine.

    so i suspect free software is used as a threat in order to make microsoft cut its prices. is that a problem? i think it contributes to free software's growth in the end -- but it is surely not as beneficent as the free software actually being used to run on computers.

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:40PM (#30111712) Journal

    Most folks here talk about "Oh, Linux is free!" but sorry, that's bullshit. Yeah the OS may be free, but you ever priced a Linux Guru?

    I'm feeling my years. My grandmother has quite a few of them on me. It took me an hour to install her Linux over a year ago, and it still works fine. Nothing bad happened. I showed her how to install software and now she's got quite a lot of it. One of these days she's going to ask me to debug her wget scripts. Grandma never did learn to drive but she can MySpace like nobody's business.

    Where I'm at Linux geeks are more common than the other kind so they're not expensive. Your mileage may vary.

    Windows admins are cheap

    Not always, but sometimes, you do get what you pay for. The problem with Windows admins is that you also need a LOT of them. Just techs to clean malware and fix twitchy software is >1% of headcount for some large organizations. IMHO most Windows admins see the internal workings of the machine as a "black box" and they are neither able to nor interested in understanding the lower level of activity that drives the magic blinky lights. Linux geeks are a different breed indeed.

  • Re:Special price (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chuq ( 8564 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:51PM (#30111770) Homepage Journal

    I've noticed costs for retraining somehow are never an issue when changing from eg., MS Office 2003 to 2007, or XP to Win7, but are showstoppers when open source software is involved.

  • by ( 1195047 ) <.ten.yargelap. .ta. .sidarap.pilihp.> on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:58PM (#30111806) Homepage Journal
    Of course it does. The difference is primarily that you don't get yourself locked into a single platform for years to come that winds up costing a small fortune in licensing fees, and your overhead for managing the systems is lower over that period as well. I've worked on both sides of this equation for over a decade.
  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @12:13AM (#30111890) Journal

    This is going to shock you but written English is quite common in Russia and most Russians are multilingual. Also, most Russians are quite adaptable and resourceful - by necessity as they've been more challenged than we have in the west. Some of these teachers built their own schools from raw logs, and they had to do manual labor to get the tools to work the logs. I'm not kidding. After that experience figuring out Linux should be a cinch. In short these are not typically your inner-city career button pushers. The ability of Russians to endure travails without complaint that would wreck our average American polar explorer is legendary - they're almost British in this way.

    Localization is trivial. I believe Russian interface is supported in every Linux variant I've ever used. It's just Cryllic alphabet, keywords and fonts anyway. It's not like it's got some fancy top-to-bottom or right-to-left glyph sequence or anything. Lots of Russians use Linux by choice and I'm sure lots of them have figured this out. This isn't Windows: localization has been part of the standard GNU project template for many years.

    If they're complaining that they can't do it then it's because they've been paid handsomely to make such a complaint. Otherwise they wouldn't be Russian. Now, who would pay them to do that? And why is anybody listening?

  • by muncadunc ( 1679192 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @12:19AM (#30111908)
    The last time I gave Ubuntu a try was last month, having used Linux on and off since Red Hat 5. This time around I made it for a week.
    In my case, I had to connect over a PPPoE network to get online. The problem (if I recall correctly) was that while Vista had the dialog to connect, Ubuntu did not, and I had to fall back to a command prompt to get the job done.
    Thing is, there may well have been a package that I should have installed to get the functionality. Thing is, you shouldn't have to do that. And if it doesn't just work, people vote with their feet.

    I keep checking back on Linux every now and then to see how things have progressed, and on some fronts it looks pretty slick. It's when you try using it for that one thing you really have to do that you realize that it's still an OS made by coders, for coders and whatever coders think users are.
  • by Arkaic ( 784460 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @12:19AM (#30111910)
    I'd say you aren't much of a real Windows admin if all you know if the "click click" side of things. Even a halfway decent PC Tech knows how to effectively use things like ipconfig from a cmd prompt. I just recently did some online coursework for Windows Server 2008. Guess what? There are still PLENTY of tasks that can ONLY be done from the CLI, for managing DNS and number of other things. As much as Windows like to focus on the GUI for the average user, you will never get away from the CLI if you want to use all of the feature for managing a Windows machine. I have to use Windows on my work desktop, and I have always have a cmd prompt window open. Simply because its something faster for doing certain things, than trying to use the GUI.
  • by seeker_1us ( 1203072 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:06AM (#30112134)
    Many of us were suspicious from the start that the Russian government was never serious about using FOSS. Rather, it was just a ploy to get MS to drop their prices. Now that MS will drop prices, FOSS is becoming "too expensive" with the trite old arguments about retraining blah blah blah. Government saves face, gets the price on MS software they wanted, and Bill/Ballmer keep their monopoly. Everyone wins, except, of course, the people who use the computers.
  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:07AM (#30112140) Journal

    OK, I've reviewed my posts from your reply to the top of the thread and nowhere did I say it was Microsoft's fault. It is an observed fact. It is, and to Russians to whom the blame belongs is irrelevant. They can choose to use free software or they can choose the risk. Microsoft has backed off some for now and so the risk is less, but eventually the risk will return because the software is not free and their Russian channel can never be reliably honest. In the Russian language corrupt government provisioning is so assumed that the reverse must be made explicit. I believe Chinese languages are similarly cynical. The safe choice is to be free forever. Free contains no risk.

    If you want to fix the blame on Microsoft for not dropping the suit after finding out that the affected individual was in no way to blame for the piracy, that's on you. I didn't say that.

    As to Microsoft's ROI, well, I don't know what to say here. Given the current state of free [] I can see how they must struggle to prove where they add value - especially when dealing with the malware ecosystem [] mounted against them which at some accounts is larger than the Windows market itself. I'm sure it's hard to deliver on this nine year old commitment [] when you can't even get your network software geeks to check their inputs [] on the most basic service they provide or even read the licenses of the software they publish [].

    You should probably check the corkboard on the way out of the blog center. I think there's a note there about me. Take your stuff with you when you go or you might not see it again.

  • by FrankHS ( 835148 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:48AM (#30112578)
    Microsoft gives the schools free software and Russian students learn to use it. They get the Microsoft propaganda (Lower TCO, innovative, how easy is is to do ... etc). In a few years these students are the experts and will be working in government, industry and where ever. When they are asked how to solve a problem they will usually recommend Microsoft because that is what they know. Now had they been trained on OSS they would recommend that. This is a quite a bargain for Microsoft, even if they give the schools free software forever. If it works for them a large part of Russia will be using and paying for Microsoft software, just like here.
  • by bemymonkey ( 1244086 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @06:23AM (#30113500)

    Hmmm, I can't remember the last time I had to edit the registry to get hardware working properly in Windows... I also refuse to use OEM "recovery discs", because they install so much crapware.

    It's just a matter of finding the correct drivers - you don't need to config or tweak very much, because in Windows there's hardly anything you CAN tweak in this regard... if the driver doesn't work, install a different one. Not exactly ideal, either, but drivers not working at all on Windows isn't exactly common these days, as longs as you buy decent hardware. Sure, there's annoyances and bugs, but the core functionality is usually always there as soon as the correct driver has been installed.

    I'm not saying that having drivers for common hardware included with the system isn't the way to go, but there needs to be something to fall back on... on Windows, if the drivers from the OS's driver database don't work or just aren't there, you just run an executable downloaded from the hardware manufacturer's site (something Grandma can do) - on Linux, you're SOL unless you can fix it yourself. And even if it's just a matter of changing a line in a config file, well... probably too hard for Grandma.

    If you know what you're doing and all your hardware has decent driver support in recent Linux distros, then obviously setting up a machine with one of those distros is going to be a lot faster than setting up the same machine with Windows and a CD full of drivers...

    And while we're on the topic of Linux (you seem to be knowledgeable when it comes to Linux) - is there a known problem with Ubuntu installs inside Virtualbox on an XP host eating themselves when you try to use the update manager to upgrade to the latest Ubuntu version? Mine's stuck in a reboot loop as we speak (after the upgrade)...

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @06:38AM (#30113560)

    Boring cheap wireless card in my new PC "just works" with vista but I've spent more hours than I really should trying to get it to work in unbuntu to no avail so I have to string a cable across the house when I want to use the net with linux.

    I like linux, I like the philosophy, I just know damned well that it has more issues than a girl who starts sobbing for no apparent reason after a few beers.

    Now the bright side of linux is that it tells you when something is wrong, it tells you even when nothing is wrong, it gives you all the details you need to figure out how to fix it, so many details that if you aren't equipped to understand them it worries you.

    Which for me is better than the windows version (crash)"something went wrong.... it happened at memory address 3338127612945345345345"
    or the Mac version (crash)"nothing is wrong. program? what program? all is well" or if it's really bad *sad face*

    but for most users they don't know how to fix a computer, they really don't want to know, they don't even want to know the full details of what's gone wrong because they dobn't read error messages anyway, they're not going to spend an hour reading documentation to get their sound to work again.
    And they shouldn't have to.

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Monday November 16, 2009 @08:07AM (#30113976) Homepage

    Yes, virtually everything these days can be done from a graphical frontend if you so desire, unix has the (false) reputation that you need to use the cli because often the cli is better, and when a clueless user asks an experienced user for help, the experienced user will naturally use the cli.

    One of the biggest problems these days however, is clueless users running systems... They have no real experience, no in depth knowledge, have no idea whats going on underneath and only have a surface understanding of the functionality presented by some gui app. These people result in extremely insecure setups which quickly get compromised....

    And to make matters worse, these people are extremely plentiful and cheap, so short sighted businesses employ such people who are able to get "easy to use and often expensive" graphically managed systems limping along. Long term they could save a lot of money by employing more expensive skilled staff (higher paid but fewer staff, less costly downtime, cheaper software, more efficient use of cheaper hardware), but most businesses aren't thinking long term.

  • by AliasMarlowe ( 1042386 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @08:47AM (#30114206) Journal

    Let's see... what hasn't worked on Linux (and by working, I mean being able to use all of the core features): [list of stuff].

    Either you're skilled at picking dodgy hardware, or unlucky, or perhaps you tackled things the wrong way.

    Linux and free software are great, but if you're not willing to invest gobs of time to make it actually work, it's not worth it...

    Curiously, it's never been an issue for me, and I don't restrict my hardware choices. I also don't regard myself as a Linux guru or expert.
    Caldera OpenLinux worked fine on my Dell XPS T450 at home starting about 10 or 11 years ago, and supported all of its hardware, including thinwire ethernet LAN card, 33k modem internet, ATI Rage Pro graphics, HP Deskjet (maybe the HP 720) and HP scanner (I forget which model). This system was finally retired about 4 years ago, although its peripherals were donated to a local school before that.
    About 4½ years ago, the beta of Ubuntu Breezy worked immediately and configured all of the hardware on my Sony laptop (which is now 6 years old and running Karmic flawlessly). The wireless LAN, wired LAN, bluetooth, 1920x1200 screen, wireless mouse, etc. were all configured automatically and worked correctly. The HP 4100c scanner and HP PhotoSmart 1218P printer both worked immediately over USB. The only thing I had to add manually was support for the stupid Sony media keys. Before Breezy, this laptop ran SuSE, which admittedly needed more manual setup.
    More recently, 64bit Karmic is installed and working on our two no-name desktops, each with core 2 quad, 8 GB RAM, 2 TB disk, ATI4890 with dual screens, wireless keyboard+mouse, Logitech joystick, Wacom graphics tablet, and external speakers. Karmic 32 bit is also on our 5-year-old Dell GX260 with nVidia 9600GT (not used much nowadays, apart from web). The only manual configuration needed for the three desktops was selecting the binblob video driver via the Ubuntu GUI. All four systems had to be told about the network resources (HP7410 printer+scanner, Synology DS207 server, SMC2804 router/firewall) and each other's NFS exports, of course.

    I use Windows systems at work; actually I have used Windows since v1, the MS-DOS Executive. In my experience, the investment of non-expert time to get a given functionality on comparable hardware was about the same on successive versions of Ubuntu and on contemporary versions of Windows (2000 or XP). Your experience seems to have been different.

  • by bemymonkey ( 1244086 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @08:56AM (#30114258)

    Interesting... maybe I really am just unlucky :P

    Obviously there are a lot of cases in which the user has no problems at all, and all the drivers are installed automatically without a hitch, leading to a fully functional system with no setup at all - but what about the cases where it doesn't work? All I've gotten for answers so far are, "Well, it worked on my setups," or things along the lines of, "You're a shill!" (see the first AC reply :D)...

    There just doesn't seem to be a one-size-fits-all recipe for solving this problem, other than buying only hardware that's known to be Linux-compatible. Obviously that's also the only solution for Windows, but the thing is that almost all the consumer hardware available already IS Windows-compatible...

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @09:04AM (#30114286)

    Admins aren't cheap, lackeys are. You don't need a lot of admins, you probably need a few lackeys to deal with users.

    Admins aren't the people dealing with users, those are basic tech support people. Admins automate to the point that they can cover a LOT of administration by themselves.

    This applies to any OS, Windows, Linux , or whatever. if you need a lot of 'admins' then you don't have admins.

    Example: National cable company, 7 admins with 24 hour coverage, for 3 million subscribers, for every system they run. They are REAL admins. The manage hundreds of machines to server all the services to those people. The use Solaris, Linux, AIX and Windows machines for servers.

    However, they have hundreds of tech support people reading scripts to deal with calls from users. Two entirely different things.

    2 or 3 admins should be plenty of a school district. 7 or 8 should be plenty for most states. Those are expensive.

    The lackeys you need to deal with end users are cheap per person as you can train a monkey to do it if the admins are doing their job. You just need a much higher ration of lackeys then admins.

    The problem is, like it or not, Windows is easier to use for a number of reasons if its setup right. You do the same thing with Windows you do with UNIX. Netboot or PXE installs, no admin access for users, good software setups to keep it stable.

    The only difference with Linux geeks is the overwhelming urge to think they are different. Most Linux 'geeks' can't debug shit with source so using the 'Windows is a black box' argument doesn't hold true in almost every real world situation.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @09:25AM (#30114406) Homepage

    ...then such a person is going to run into problems unless they are their own guru.

    There is simply no avoiding this.

    They will inevitably plug in a printer into Windows before they've installed the driver. They won't notice the red tape or fully realize what it means.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:16AM (#30115598) Journal

    The problem is which hardware Linux supports, which in my experience is REALLY old shit! Which is fine for the box itself, since we are talking donated machines, although on the low end good fucking luck with those Ali and SiS chipsets, but generally the peripherals that will be hooked to these machines will NOT be "old shit" and there is where you are royally boned with Linux.

    Look, there is an easy peasy way to prove my point, just step right up and take the "hairyfeet challenge" and see for yourself. Just go to,, and, the 3 largest retailers in the USA. Write down all the PC devices on sale or under $100, then go to...lets say Ubuntu forums, since Ubuntu is the most popular ATM. Look up how many devices on sale RIGHT NOW are supported. Go ahead, I'll wait.....You're looking at MAYBE 30%, and that is if you count "support" as an assload of CLI commands that may or may not work depending on whether they have gone from firmware a to firmware f without changing the box (which they do ALL the time)

    Believe me, as a PC retailer there is NOTHING more that I would like than for Linux to become a viable contender, because I could lower my costs and undercut the competition. But there is a REASON why PC retailers don't sell Linux, it is because without a stable ABI and a quick and easy way to tell your customers which devices will/won't work without trawling some damned forum (which BTW, they will NEVER do) Linux quickly becomes a support nightmare from hell. With WinXP, WinVista, or Windows 7, it is as simple as "look for the certified for" on the box. Takes the customer all of 5 seconds. I repeat Linux is free if your time is worthless. I get paid a minimum $50 an hour, so it only take an hour and a half of jumping through CLI bullshit to make that cost of WinXP Home worth it.

    Sorry, but unless my customers can shop Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples without studying like it was the ACTs, then Linux just don't cut it. And please don't say that bundle bullshit, because unless your last name is Dell that will quickly break you, as there is no way in hell you can match the razor thin margins Dell works on and hardware gets old way too damned fast. I have NO desire to stock printers, wireless USB dongles, TV USB tuners, etc. I sell PCs and Linux blows through my profit margins like you would not believe. And in this case I had NO desire to be a free admin for life just to sell a "free OS' when I could just reinstall Win2K Pro and be done with them.

  • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:38AM (#30115866) Homepage Journal

    Everyone wins, except, of course, the people who use the computers.

    No, computer users win, too.

    I've just recently largely gone back to XP from a combination of using Arch Linux, and FreeBSD since May. Every time I try and use Linux long term, I inevitably end up going back to Windows, purely due to the amount of sheer misery it causes me. Why?

    a) The "community." This is the single biggest issue. As a group, Linux users are among the most toxic, hateful, myopic, delusional, generally vile human beings on the face of the planet. Stallman's cult, and the people defending it, gets really old after a while. The persistent, ongoing hatred of Microsoft is also as pathetic as it is toxic, especially when it mostly consists of arguments which were relevant in 1999, but really aren't now at all.

    The icing on the cake here, is the scenario where the FSF's boosters refuse to accept the fact that the only basis for their belief system is pure, raw Stallmanite mind control. The FSF's perspective isn't based on anything logical, or anything that the neurotypical population remotely cares about.

    b) Stability. I bet you'd never expect the time to come when a Microsoft OS could claim to be better than Linux in this department, did you? The time has come. PulseAudio (as but one example) is a disaster, and I also had other programs (such as Xine) crashing under Linux when they didn't under FreeBSD.

    c) The need to endlessly screw around with things in order to get them to work. This isn't exactly the same as the stability argument above, but it's close. I realised a couple of days ago, that with Linux or FreeBSD, there's an instinctive expectation with me, for something to crash once or twice, and for me to have to tweak it somehow, before it will work without a problem. In Windows, that is never the case. Everything just works.

    Those are the three areas where Linux needs fixing. The cult, the lack of stability, and the need for gratuitous over-configuration. Of the three, the cult is the only one which I fear actually isn't fixable at all.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam