Ten Reasons To Dump Windows [I]

[ Thursday, 3 August 2006, michuk ]


Microsoft has reached an enormous success with its Windows product during the last decade and practically monopolized the market for home computer operating systems. But, does it mean Windows is still the best OS around, especially for power users? I’m going to cumulate my Windows XP frustrations and tell you about the top 10 reasons why I decided to dump Windows and use GNU/Linux as my primary desktop OS.

Author: Borys Musielak

Intro

Before you start bashing me. Let’s go into the traditional what it is and what it isn’t thing to clarify a few things first.

This article will not try to:

  • compare the two systems – Microsoft Windows and GNU/Linux – in every possible detail, since I’m writing an essay, not a novel,
  • convince you that your favorite OS is crap, even though the title could suggest it – sorry this is just plain marketing :P ,
  • convince you that GNU/Linux is far better than MS Windows in every aspect, since it’s just not true,
  • be objective – yes, this is right, if you expect me to be objective, better stop reading now. By being subjective I mean that I am not going to concentrate on some of the GNU/Linux failures. This article is just about the Windows’ ones.

Now, what I do want to state is the following.

  • There exist both little annoyances and some totally bad solutions which turn me off completely from using MS Windows on my desktop.
  • GNU/Linux is not perfect and it does have similar annoyances in different areas. For me, the Windows annoyances are just the superior as far as the level of annoyance is concerned.
  • As I mentioned before (the being subjective point) I am going to focus on Windows failures only. Perhaps there will be another article concerning alternative operating systems’ weaknesses in the future, but this one certainly isn’t.
  • I am going to focus on those failures not because I hate Windows and its users. I do, because I care for them. The level of user awareness in this area isn’t very high. I want to show you that things which MS Windows always had problems with, can just work out-of-the-box in alternative systems.
  • Finally, I am not an employee of any Linux company. I am not a Linux evangelist either. I use both systems, although try to use Linux wherever I can because it just works better for me in most cases.

I decided to divide this article into 3 parts. This is the first part dealing with security, desktop usage and software installation. The following two parts will deal with the remaining 7 areas to be revealed later on.


Default Windows XP desktop with slight modifications

Pic 1. Default Windows XP desktop
with slight modifications


A sample GNU/Linux desktop, KDE in Kubuntu Breezy

Pic 2. A sample GNU/Linux desktop
– KDE in Kubuntu Breezy

1. Default security settings

What is the easiest way to get a bunch of unforgettable moments with your Windows-powered computer? Simply do nothing! Here you have some detailed instructions for that:

  1. Install the Windows OS (version doesn’t matter) or better let your computer company which sold you the hardware do it for you (they are professionals!)
  2. Connect to the Internet (big “e” icon next to the “Start” menu).
  3. Surf the favorite websites for a while.
  4. Download some e-mail using Outlook Express (the other icon next to big “e”).
  5. Don’t install any applications like a firewall or antivirus software – you are just a regular user, so don’t mess with it, it’s evil. Some of your friends installed it and now their computers work twice as slow as before. You’ve been warned.
  6. Avoid all so called “security patches” (whatever they are). Your system has been installed by a professional so there is no reason to mess with the settings – you can only break things. They say Windows is secure anyway, so why bother with the patches?
  7. Remember that you should perform all your actions as the Administrator (the default login). Well, whatever, you probably do it anyway, unaware of this fact.
  8. After a few days (or weeks if you’re lucky) call your IT friend and complain that “your computer doesn’t work”. If he asks what happened, say the truth (“I did nothing”). When he says he can’t help, call him a loser (he’s a computer engineer so he should know solutions, right?) and call the service.
  9. Do not panic when they say nothing can be done. Reinstall your OS or pay them to do it and start all over again. This time it will surely go better!

Sounds dramatic? Perhaps a little unrealistic? But wait… isn’t it what Microsoft delivers as the default settings recommended for unaware home computer users? Is it possible that the default configuration of the most popular operating system created by the most powerful IT company in the history is so insecure?? How can it be, that before connecting to the Internet, one needs to install multiple software packages just not to get hacked or infected with malware in a couple of minutes? Finally, how is it possible that hobbyists who develop Debian, Fedora or OpenBSD managed to produce systems secure by design and a professional IT company couldn’t achieve even a reasonable level of security for so many years? Honestly, it’s one of the greatest mysteries of our days…

So, how do others do it?

What’s the difference between the security policy of Microsoft compared to GNU/Linux and even better, BSD systems? It’s the defaults, idiot! Technologically, both systems can provide a similar level of security, actually. The difference is that most GNU/Linux distros make it much easier to have a secure OS by providing reasonable default settings, usually secure enough for home computer users. Here are just a few examples to illustrate what I am talking about:

  • Firewall is installed and configured by default – all unused ports are blocked, which makes it a lot harder for malicious software to damage our OS,
  • Forcing the user to log in using an unprivileged account – this protects us from accidentally installing a virus or other type of malware software. If we don’t have the permission to do it, apps we run (which may have security holes) do not have this permission either,
  • Easy installation of complex security patches, not only to the kernel of the OS but for all installed applications (and the apps tend to have many more holes than the kernel),
  • Promoting the best apps for a task, not the ones created by some friendly company. This helps to develop a healthy competition, even Redhat uses Novell’s software (Evolution) and vice-versa. It’s the power of open source and free software. It’s the user who benefits the most.

Saying all this, I have to admit that I realize there is an ever-lasting conflict between security and usability. Every restriction (like having to log in as root in order to install some app) reflects negatively on the user experience. On the other hand however – can we call a system which crashes a few weeks after the installation a usable one? Even the Microsoft guys seem to start realizing it. The new version of their OS – the infamous Vista – is going to have many more restrictions in the default install (or at least the public betas suggest so). I hope that my point about Windows security will become irrelevant by then.

2. Desktop usability

Elegant and always green “Start” button in the bottom-left corner opening a huge menu with all the possible applications. Internet Explorer and Outlook Express icons next to it, on the right. Trash can icon on your desktop together with the “My Computer” and “My Documents” icons. Why the hell do I have to call them my documents when they are mainly my company’s papers, anyway?

Haven’t you noticed that your desktop looks exactly the same as the desktop of your neighbor, your mother and your best mate? Now, do you think that you and your neighbors (or family members, lovers, friends, enemies) use your computers in exactly same way, posses similar IT knowledge and have identical computing needs? It’s likely that all three answers are “No”. If so, why is it that the only difference between your desktops is the wallpaper image and maybe a few icons? Why do you have to click “Start” in order to finish your work and press ALT+TAB to switch between running apps? Are those solutions really so great that there is no room for alternatives?

The Windows desktop is a real masterpiece, no joking here. Lots of people worked hard to make it as universal as possible. So, it may actually work fine for your boss and your uncle who just need one button to enter the Internet and check their mailbox. But, does it work for you and your specific needs, really? Well, if you don’t know anything else, you may think it’s “just fine”, no reason to change. However the first time you taste something different (like KDE or FVWM), you’ll see how restrictive and unconfigurable your previous solution has been.

Window manager, what kind of animal is that?

If you’re a life-time Windows user you probably never heard the term window manager on desktop environment. It’s not a surprise since MS Windows supports only one of them (which is built in) and it’s really troublesome to install and use an alternative one. Basically, window manager is this little and invisible program which takes care of such things as showing, moving and resizing the windows of the running apps. A desktop environment consists of a window manager but it supplies much more functionality, like menus, icons, toolbars, clipboard and more. In GNU/Linux there are at least three full-featured desktop environments to choose from (KDE, Gnome and XFCE) and plenty of window managers. Each one of them is nice in its own way. Some promote minimalism for better robustness (domain of simple managers like WindowMaker, Fluxbox or IceWM), some go for fancy looks and great functionality (KDE), other choose the usability as their main goal (mostly Gnome). XCFE, EDE or FVWM combine those three. The good news is that whatever you choose (yes, you have to make the choice), you can always switch later on without the need to reinstall anything or import your settings from the former one.
It would take another article to list all the nice features provided by the window managers and environments available for GNU/Linux. If you are interested in details, visit a webpage like XWinMan.org where the list of managers with features and screenshots is presented. Some information concerning the major desktops is also available on our vortal in the article Desktop environments in GNU/Linux.

Virtual desktops


Virtual desktops in Gnome

Pic 3. Virtual desktops in Gnome

Virtual desktops in FVWM-Crystal

Pic 4. Virtual desktops in FVWM-Crystal

Usually when working with multiple documents and applications at a time, we lose control over our desktop very quickly. Which of the minimized windows is the website we are interested in and which one is our e-mail client? Why is it necessary to always remember the order the windows (when using ALT+TAB), even if we just have three apps to switch between.

Virtual desktops make it possible to arrange our desktop apps in a way that is easy for us to manage. It also practically eliminates the need to minimize windows. The idea is simple – we have not one but many desktops. We can switch between them using a key shortcut (like ALT+1 for the first desktop, ALT+2 for the second one, etc) as well as a mouse click on a thumbnail of the selected desktop. On each desktop, we may have multiple windows with applications running. When working with virtual desktops, each desktop’s thumbnail is shown in the desktop panel making it easy to remember which apps are running on which desktop (the apps icons help considerably here). This approach has proved to make my own desktop cleaner and easier to manage.

Example

Here is an example of every-day usage of virtual desktops. We may start with using just four desktops (I personally prefer six, but that’s the matter of choice). The first one is mainly for Internet browsing. A few windows are open with a lot of webpages in tabs. The browser is always on top so it’s easy to access. The second is for instant messenging. Skype and Psi are open there (showing their contact lists) together with a couple of currently open chat windows. The third one is for e-mail. We can have our favorite e-mail client (like Thunderbird or Evolution) running constantly and checking for new messages there. The last, forth desktop is for OpenOffice Word Processor. We are just finishing our first article for polishlinux.org there :) . Now, we only need one easy-to-remember key binding to switch from writing the article to the web browser (ALT+1). If we want to consult the article with someone, we can switch to desktop 2 (ALT+2) and start a voice conversation on Skype or a regular one on Jabber. New e-mails are always waiting for us on desktop 3 (ALT+3).

Of course, this kind of work requires getting used to. But, after a week of using virtual desktops you won’t be able to use anything else. The efficiency gains of this approach are considerable (especially if we often run multiple apps at a time). So, one could finally say: this is the end of the great mess on the desktop! Well, actually hardly so. The described method – known in GNU/Linux for a very long time – doesn’t apply for MS Windows. Although there exist multiple third party implementations of the virtual desktop paradigm for Windows, none of them is usable enough to compare with the generic GNU/Linux X window system feature. The most usable of those apps (and I have tested over 20 of them) is the open source Virtual Dimension. It’s buggy (crashes every few days), sometimes unpredictable (some windows like to get attached to multiple desktops at a time making the virtual desktops useless), ugly (doesn’t integrate with the desktop well, no real-time thumbnails of desktops) and slow (switching between desktops is a few times slower than in GNU/Linux), but it’s still a recommended solution to work around the Windows desktop disabilities and avoid the continuous mess most people fight with on their Windows desktops every day.

Update: A few people mentioned the MSVDM app (Microsoft way of handling virtual desktops). Be sure that I have tested it, as well as many other virtual desktop solutions for MS Windows before writing this section. All I can say about MSVDM is that it’s lacking some key features (live desktop thumbnails straight in the applet, configurable number of desktops – it’s set to 4 and it cannot be changed) which make it unusable for me. If you don’t need those features, it can be a good start for you, though.

Window focus

The window focus denotes which of the windows is currently active (the one we can e.g. type in). In most operating systems and their window managers the default is: the active window goes on top of others. This approach seems natural and reasonable. But it’s not a convenient solution in all cases (and for all users). Let’s consider the following example. We are reading some article on the Internet and at the same time, we are talking with a friend on Jabber. Now, when we click on the browser window, it goes on top and the window with our conversation disappears beneath it. This behavior is really distracting and even frustrating when we tend to chat a lot. It’s also a very common situation for many users. The simple solution is setting the focus-on-mouse-over option. This will force the window manager to activate the windows (without putting them it in front of others) when a mouse cursor is moved over them. In such case the conversation window doesn’t disappear, but only loses focus. We can continue reading the article (as well as scroll it, send some online forms, enter form data, etc), while at the same time, see the conversation window on top of it.


Window focus in FVWM-Crystal

Pic 5. Window focus
in FVWM-Crystal

Another nice solution is the one introduced by the FVWM manager. It’s possible to configure this manager in a way that even a mouse click on a window does not automatically pass the focus to it. Instead, a mouse click on the window’s title or mouse click on the window while holding the ALT button does the job. It’s especially useful when we need some window on the top (like the chat window mentioned before) but use another app in a normal way at the same time (which involves using the main menu with a mouse click, opening dialogs, etc). The ALT+TAB combination can be then be set to switch the focus of the window only, without bringing it to front. At first this kind of behavior can be very inconvenient and clumsy, all due to old habits. However, after getting used to, it makes the computing a little bit less annoying. This feature is original to FVWM manager (update: You can also do this with kwin: Control Center -> Desktop -> Window Behavior and select “Click to focus” with the “Click raise active window” box unchecked), but it can be configured in all desktop environments as well (by setting FVWM as their WM). This is the power of Linux which has been built with extensibility in mind – the open source apps can work together and we can switch between different “engines” behind the desktop, without changing the desktop itself.

I’ll be boring: in Windows you cannot use any of these settings and even if the option exists (but is hidden) – like the focus-on-mouse-over thing – it’s still unusable for other reasons (*). Why is that? No idea, really.

(*) The first of the described solutions (focus-on-mouse-over) is actually available in Windows as well. We need to install an additional piece of software called Tweak UI (it’s one of the Microsoft’s Power Toys). Unfortunately, it fails to work for many programs (naming only Eclipse and Psi as examples) – for some reasons, several windows always stay on the bottom and we cannot read anything what’s there. The solution is though unusable.

Start menu

We click “Start” in order to run applications, view documents, configure the system, and even to shut it down. The little greeny button in the bottom left corner of our desktop has been our good friend for years now. But… is it really the best solution to have one button to do all the stuff? Wouldn’t it be better to type the name of the app we want to run in order to run it? It’s surely faster than going through 10 pull-down menus hoping they don’t suddenly disappear after an uncoordinated mouse gesture. And maybe we’d like to have a small menu with the commonly used apps instead, invoked with a left mouse click anywhere on the desktop? Or maybe a middle button would be better?

I personally don’t use the main menu almost at all. The only situation I do is when I simply cannot remember the name of the program I want to run (which is rather rare). Then I look it up in the menus under an appropriate section. In any other case, I use the Gnome’s deskbar applet which not only makes opening the apps easier, but also finds and opens the files and folders I currently work on in the Nautilus file manager (see Picture 6). It’s simpler, faster and more convenient. I can do it in Gnome, KDE, MacOS, FVWM, XFCE… everywhere, but not MS Windows. The “one button to rule them all” has a strong position there (**)

Update: It seems that the recently introduced Windows Desktop Search does a very similar job to Gnome’s deskbar applet (finding both apps, files, folder and web pages), so the point about lack of such tool in Windows became irrelevant (fortunately!).


Deskbar applet in Gnome

Pic 6. Deskbar applet in Gnome

I don’t want to say that the Start menu is bad. A similar approach has been adapted in Gnome, KDE and many other desktops so there needs to be something in it. I’m also not claiming that the Windows desktop is totally unusable or even inconvenient to use. Although I hate some of its solutions, it certainly works for most people pretty well. And actually here is the answer: it works for most people, but does it have to work for me as well? The great problem of Windows desktop is it’s coherence! You cannot change almost anything because the Microsoft product hasn’t been created for extensibility but for well-mastered defaults. It’s all about the choice, really. I may like the default look and feel but if I don’t, I want to be able to customize it for my needs. There were many things I wanted to have on my desktops and I could get them all in some form in GNU/Linux. In Windows I don’t have the choice, and this is actually the main problem with its desktop solution.

(**) Yes I know that Win+R shortcut shows a similar applet in which we can run some apps by entering its names (like “iexplore”). But did you check what happens when you type “firefox” there? Or “opera”? Or any other apps whose binary is not located in one of the Windows’ system folders? It just doesn’t work since the applet can run only those apps that are on the system search path (the %PATH% variable configurable in Control Panel). If we want to use it, we’d have to manually modify the system path each time we install an application. Quite convenient, isn’t it?

3. Installing software

I often hear that installing new software in MS Windows is so easy that I almost cannot be improved. And there is actually some truth in it. In order to install almost any additional application in Windows it is enough to download a software package from the Internet, double-click on the downloaded file, press “Next” a bazillion times and click “Finish”, eventually. The new app is installed and ready to use. How could this process be ever simplified?

Well, this method is fine if we know exactly what piece of software we want to install. We can search Google for the official website of the project (e.g. skype.com), and visit it, go to the download section and there we are. However, it gets a bit more complicated if we need “any DVD player”, “a simple CD ripper” or “some good ID3 tag editor”. In such case, we need to go through many different websites and services (usually provided by Google Search) looking for an app we need. This can be a real headache even for a very experienced Windows user, especially if we want to make sure the program we’re going to install will not cause any side effects like viruses, adware, spyware or other types of malware in our system.

Imagine that you don’t have to do this research, that you have just one place where all the applications are stored. Wouldn’t it be nice if all software packages were available from one single repository, where we could search for, read about and install the apps we need? Well (paraphrasing Jack Sparrow)… Welcome to GNU/Linux, babe!

Software managers and repositories

Add/Remove Applet in Ubuntu
Pic 7. Software installation in
Ubuntu Breezy

It’s the producer (distributor) of the operating system and not the user who should take care of the quality of the installed software – this is the approach chosen by the majority of GNU/Linux and BSD systems. For example, in Ubuntu, in order to install an additional software package (e.g. Gimp), it’s enough to run the applet Add/remove software or more advanced Synaptic Package Manager, choose the app from the list (which is nicely divided into categories, making it easy to find stuff) and confirm the choice. The program is then automatically downloaded from a repository and installed in our system. After a few seconds, we are informed where can we find it in the menus (e.g. Applications->Graphics->Gimp Image Editor). Quite easy, right?

Central repositories, apart from the convenience, provide another important benefit. For software infected with malware it’s much harder (in practice almost impossible) to get into the official repositories. The malware plague caused that I personally am afraid of installing any unknown software in MS Windows since the likelihood of infecting my system with malware is just too high. Central repositories decrease the feasibility of getting the OS infected dramatically and this is one of the reasons many professionals believe it is the superior way of installing software.

OK, but how many programs are there in those repositories? What about the apps we cannot find in them? Well, in Debian (and Ubuntu) the official repositories hold over 10 thousands of packages (programs, tools, libraries), all available for instant installation with a few mouse clicks. It’s really hard to find an open source program which is not available in the repositories (either official or additional unofficial ones). The exception are non-free apps like Acrobat Reader, Java or Real Player. Most of them can be installed from unofficial repos (which need to be added to the repo list) as well, but the alternative way is it to use the binary installers provided with them (this is the Windows-like way).

There has never been an app like software manager in MS Windows with a large repository of open source applications. Not sure what the reason for this situation is. Perhaps most people use commercial software (either legally or not) and do not care for alternatives (and for the malware they get when installing other software from unknown sources). I actually do care and the unavailability of such tool in one of the main reasons I am unable to use MS Windows XP in a normal way.

C:> win-get install vplayer gimp cygwin xvid vlc

Looks nice. I hope even Microsoft finally realizes that central repositories are not so evil, even though they ten to provide a lot of non-proprietary software for users. And perhaps this is the reason – why make alternative software installation easy? The harder it is, the more people will buy MS Office to save the trouble…

To be continued

That’s all for now. In 10 reasons to dump Windows [part II] (to by published later this month – if you want to be first to read it, subscribe to our RSS) we are going to cover the following features:

  • system updates,
  • coping with system crashes,
  • system efficiency and robustness in normal desktop activities.

I hope you enjoyed the article or perhaps learned something new. I am awaiting your comments, either positive or negative. Please, consider my “what it is and what it isn’t” intro before you click Submit, though.

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231 Comments

fold this thread land0  Monday, 7 August 2006 o godz. 9:51 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Wow very well written. I am looking forward to reading the next installment. I get all of my work done using Linux only, but am faced many times with questions about the differences between the two. I usually cite choice as the difference because to say anything about security or quality ends badly. Your approach seems very insightfull and balanced.
Thanks
Land0

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fold this thread OpenLX  Tuesday, 8 August 2006 o godz. 6:27 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Well written, I must say. Good & positive way to introduce Linux and its benefits.
I look forward to further parts of the article.

Sudhir Gandotra. http://www.kalculate.com, http://www.openlx.com

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fold this thread Xwiredtva  Tuesday, 8 August 2006 o godz. 9:06 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Your not alone… In fact those who love Windows are the ones alone :>) Linux and Mac OS X have better features, higher security and are alot easier to use. Not to mention more stable. We run Ubuntu and Mac OS X 10.4 in our office.

Truth be told, your rant is more along the lines of the entire world of Windoze not just yourself. We are converting as many to the Linux/Mac world as we can and doing it with SMILES. The customers get a better approach to technology that’s easier to use and doesn’t crash more than a team of drunk drivers. There information is secure, there priceless photo’s of loved ones are safe and no virus in the world can touch them. It’s a whole new world when you switch. There’s a learning curve but for all it’s worth it.

Linux for the pro’s Mac for world.

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fold this thread hippopotamus  Tuesday, 8 August 2006 o godz. 9:33 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --2

“I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
Don’t want a doll, no dinky Tinker Toy
I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
I don’t think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won’t have to use our dirty chimney flue
Just bring him through the front door,
that’s the easy thing to do

I can see me now on Christmas morning,
creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy and what surprise
when I open up my eyes
to see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, no rhinoceroses
I only like hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me too

Mom says the hippo would eat me up, but then
Teacher says a hippo is a vegeterian

There’s lots of room for him in our two-car garage
I’d feed him there and wash him there and give him his massage

I can see me now on Christmas morning,
creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy and what surprise
when I open up my eyes
to see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles or rhinoceroseses
I only like hippopotamuseses
And hippopotamuses like me too!”

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fold this thread goobelln  Sunday, 19 April 2009 o godz. 7:55 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Remove the above comment.

 
 
fold this thread hotaru  Tuesday, 8 August 2006 o godz. 9:34 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

> It’s possible to configure this manager in a way that even a mouse click on a window does not automatically pass the focus to it. Instead, a mouse click on the window’s title or mouse click on the window while holding the ALT button does the job.
> This feature is original to FVWM manager, but it can be configured in all desktop environments as well (by setting FVWM as their WM).
You can also do this with kwin…
Control Center -> Desktop -> Window Behavior
I think what you’re describing is “Click to focus” with the “Click raise active window” box unchecked…

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fold this thread michuk  Tuesday, 8 August 2006 o godz. 9:45 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I think what you’re describing is “Click to focus” with the “Click raise active window” box unchecked…

You are right. Thanks for this remark. So it’s an FVWM and KWin feature then :) . I added an update to the article.

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fold this thread Name required :)  Tuesday, 8 August 2006 o godz. 10:26 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Very nice, a great effort
Congrats ;)

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fold this thread mihael  Tuesday, 8 August 2006 o godz. 10:39 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Oh, yes, desktop usability.
Please try to use firefox with more than 2 open tab, and some another complex application eg. an IDE (eg. eclipse) on windows and do the same on linux (gnome, kde your choice).
Doing the same, (eg. above) on the same machine with diff. os, shows something about desktop usability.

Linux is _slow_ for desktop, this means that its now for desktop. Thats so sad. I’ve tryed to work on linux, but what is one hour on windows (reading docs, switching between apps, compiling java, running java, etc), thats takes about 1.5-2 h on linux because the gui – or i dont know what, maybe the X? – slow. It’s a pain working on linux.

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fold this thread michuk  Tuesday, 8 August 2006 o godz. 10:43 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Please try to use firefox with more than 2 open tab, and some another complex application eg. an IDE (eg. eclipse) on windows and do the same on linux (gnome, kde your choice). Doing the same, (eg. above) on the same machine with diff. os, shows something about desktop usability [...]

I had the same experience. Using more than 2-3 apps on Windows make it slow as a turtle. On Linux (same machine) I can run multiple apps at the same time w/o suffering.
It’s the matter of perspective and sometimes some luck (bad drivers can make every machine slow). Your milage will vary, that’s 100% sure :)

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fold this thread leibowitz  Tuesday, 8 August 2006 o godz. 10:46 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Nice, good read, and well writed. Also the links and advices I think this is very important because no one knows.

So please, keep writing.

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fold this thread Richard  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 12:50 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Borys, I thoroughly enjoyed your article thanks to its balanced analysis. While Linux is far from perfect, I personally have found many of the features you mentioned to be huge improvements over Windows.

Mihael: I disagree: my primary reason for switching from Windows to Linux was the improvement in speed and responsiveness. Try using WinXP on a 5 year old laptop with 128MB of ram, and you’ll understand. Linux (Debian) ran comfortably on the same machine. If you really are finding Linux to be slower, I would venture a guess that you have some kind of hardware incompatibility. THAT would be one of the occasional downsides of Linux…

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fold this thread matt  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 1:23 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Excellent points. It’s hard to describe to people the elegance of “apt-cache search …” “apt-get install …” until they see that happen, and the app show up in the right category in the menu.
I have to say however that I find the start menu in windows just as unusable as you do for the same reasons, but in debian/ubuntu, it’s a breeze. Everything is kept in well defined categories. I don’t have to guess where it will be, and I don’t have to sift through cascading submenus. It’s always just 3 entries deep, and it’s always where one would expect it to be.
Lastly, my biggest windows pet peeve, is how it behaves immediately after bootup. The desktop is up, it looks like it’s ready for you to start using it, but if you try to actually do anything, you’ll find it unresponsive. Windows should provide some indication that it is still starting up the myriad background apps that seem to collect in the system tray and that your system isn’t really ready for use yet. It would be slower to be sure, but it’s a lot better than the flashing of the start menu and 6 My Computer windows popping up because you kept clicking when it wasn’t really paying attention to you.

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fold this thread Ethana2  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 2:01 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

See, Linux/GNU is not primarily about being better at first. It’s about giving the power to the people. Piracy is a non-issue, nothing has to remain obscure or hiddden, the user-administrator can do anything he or she very well pleases, and the machine doesn’t dial in to M$ servers every time it boots up. When people do want something, instead of waiting for it, they can bring it to the public eye, and even try to make it themselves. Centralize it into one giant platform project I say, but other than that… Everything should be open source. So there. That’s my take on piracy. Kill closed source, and there’s hardly anyone left to worry about it. Movies and such? Let’s see an itemized list of expenses. Till then, Big Man on Top, Step Off. And to my fellow GNU users, have a good day. Eman out.

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fold this thread GrumpySmurf  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 4:08 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

“… created by the most powerful IT company in the history …”

Uh, IBM has far more clout in IT than Microsoft. Definitely more powerful.

s/IT company/Desktop OS company/ and you might be right ;) .

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fold this thread zhulien  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 4:55 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Here are my views:

1. Default security settings

Operating Systems don’t need security – it’s a waste of time – unless you can turn it all off and for me, off by default is best. I don’t really care for non-computer literate Users – problems they cause themselves are their own problem. Problems they cause other people are their problem too. A user who gets burnt by a security issue is at fault (whatever the reason). I don’t buy a computer for some luser, I buy it for myself!

2. Desktop usability

Focusing is annoying at best in Windows. I don’t like Mouse-over either. I prefer to ‘choose’ my own Window Z order for example like with MorphOS/AmigaOS. Virtual desktops or Screens are good. Windows Explorer sucks, but then there are good replacements.

3. Installing software

The idea of having to Install Software is annoying. The idea of just running it from anywhere is best. Most importantly, I should be able to install the software where I want and as many versions of the same software too where I want. Linux and Windows suffer in this area greatly. Whoever thought of the idea of an ‘installer’ for software should be shot.

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fold this thread Eko Sw  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 5:14 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

You know what, I love Linux so much. But currently I don’t have my own Machine, so … to switch to Linux make me worried: because I hardly concentrate on the main task. I just remember the time when I have to finish a report in LaTex. It works very well in Windows machine. But then, I’m seduced to use Windows.

So, I install the Linux.. and voila! Three days left with playing with the conf file, desktop customization, reading the manual, etc. etc.

So, … well, at least I will be given a new Laptop ( a Mac preferable) that already installed with the OS, only then I’ll leave my current Windows machine.

Thanks for the information.

I realy looove to see Windows dying. I … personally, promote the use of Mac OS X : both for developer and for end user.

Best Regards,
Eko SW

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fold this thread Ron  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 11:14 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I’m not computer saavy enough for linux yet and Windows is basically expensive trash so I settled for a mac. When I start learning more about linux in class ill put a flavor on my macbook.

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fold this thread Stomfi  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 11:23 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Excellent analysis. I think that now all the “one size fits all” customers have been fitted by Windows, the other customers who require a custom solution can come over to the OSS shop for satisfaction.

Talking about window managers, ye old FVWM has some handy features especially for the graphics industry. The ability of X windows to set a large virtual screen size while having a low desktop resolution which can be scrolled over the virtual screen is an advantage.

FVWM with its clean panelless screen can add to this by letting one set the edge resistance of virtual desktops to zero and setting up as many virtual windows as you need to display a scanned in graphic as one pixel per scanned or to be printed dot.

Setting up another screen under xinerama lets you display the whole image so you can see where you are working in the picture.

Being able to work on the element edges of an actual picture
allows fine control over shading and 3D effects.

Another advantage of choosing a window manager is that it makes it easy to set up kiosk like one function log ins.

One can use FVWM or a really light window manager like “oroborus” which actually does nothing except display windows in the .xinitrc startup file.

By executing the window manager in the background and then an application in the foreground, exiting the application logs the user back to the log in screen.

Different applications, each using an application login name can be fired up in this way.

E.G. If the application is “firefox” and is run under FVWM, a /home/firefox folder will contain the file “.xinitrc” which will contain the commands:

fvwm &
/usr/bin/firefox

It is a simple matter of changing the ownership of files in the home folder that you don’t want changed and replacing any that need to be changed in the session with skeleton files during the login shell.

Can it be done and is it this easy on Windows?

The more one uses OSS, the more one finds one can do with it.

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fold this thread jimbo  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 1:19 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

What a crappy article, guys like you shouldnt be allowed to write about Linux or any other OS for that matter. If you’d rename the article to “Windows bashing here….” or something like that it would probably be better marketing. Why even bother writing something like this…

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fold this thread Steve Hill  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 1:24 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Microsoft’s Virtual Desktop Manager can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx

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fold this thread toxic_waist  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 2:10 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

#1 To be sure the *nix security model is much better than the NT model. Another thing that annoys the hell out of me is the file tree nominclature – this “Documents and Settings” and “My Documents” crap. If you need to type in a command line to a file, you need to do something like this:

C:\Documents and Settings\\My Documents\foo.ext

as compared to:

C:\home\\doc\foo.ext

This is compounded if your creating a hyper-link to the file as now you must also add “20%” to fill in all those spaces. This is just about as non-elegant as you can get – all for the sake of putting the MS spin on the “/home” folder. Same thing with “Program Files” instead of just “programs”. grrrr

#2 Sorry, I can’t agree with you here. This is one area that MS got it right, though probably not intensionally. You see what few novice Windows users realize is that from Windows 3.1 on users have been able to designate their own shell. A shell is essentially the “desktop environment. Independent developers didn’t take advantage of this until about the mid/late ’90′s but now the availability of “alternative shells” is abundant. While some alt-shells require the use of a lot of graphics files to decorate the desktop and thus are not for the novice, others are more user friendly. Probably the most elegant of these is the bbLean alt-shell. Based (stylistically) on the Blackbox WM for *nix, it goes way beyond it’s *nix counterpart in usability and customization of the user interface so that the user can access their computer precisely in they manor that is best for them. In fact there is no other desktop enviornment on Mac, *nix or even Windows that is as readily user definable, for even the novice user, as bbLean and it’s many plugins – you just have to be comfortable with the “looks” which granted is not for everyone. But the functionallity…

Unfortunately, it appears that MS will “fix” this alt-shell problem in the up coming Vista version so that MS can dictate it’s totalitarian concept of the user’s desktop environment :/

#3 I simi agree with zhulien here.

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fold this thread Jonathan Harford  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 2:55 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

You say that you’re listing the reasons that you PERSONALLY switched from Windows to Linux, yet the first thing you tell us is a sarcasm-laden THEORETICAL story about a Windows computer breaking. I know that Windows’ security isn’t that great — I’ve heard that story many, many times — but I was really expecting to read the story of how your own computer broke down because of Windows’ security.

The lack of differentiation in Windows UI is extremely AWESOME. Sure, I think people who REALLY WANT TO should be allowed to change most aspects of their UI (and will figure out a way to). But there needs to be a standard that people should be lightly dissuaded from straying too far from. If a friend asked me for computer help and I suddenly found that they had altered Alt-Tab functionality (“now it switches between different desktop wallpapers! I use my mouse to switch between applications!”) and removed the Win-R “Run” dialog (“yeah, I never used it so I got rid of it”), would this be a good thing or a bad thing for us? What you have to remember is that people use each others’ computers ALL THE TIME, and we should want to keep that as unjarring as possible.

(Not to mention — there are plenty of ways to redo the Windows UI! Ever hear of Litestep, for one? I believe it’ll even do focus-on-mouseover!)

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fold this thread Paul  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 2:57 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --1

Excellent article. I too use Windows and GNU/Linux, but only Linux pulls “mission critical” duty because it’s the only stable, reliable choice I have. Windows is reserved for my gaming box at home because that, IMHO, is all it is good for. I use Windows at work, but I have no choice there. I will say one thing: Microsoft makes excellent development tools. Now if they could just use those tools to make a decent OS…

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fold this thread michuk  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 3:02 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I will say one thing: Microsoft makes excellent development tools. Now if they could just use those tools to make a decent OS…

If you really believe so then it means that you have never used a tool made by these guys :)

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fold this thread michuk  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 3:07 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

You say that you’re listing the reasons that you PERSONALLY switched from Windows to Linux, yet the first thing you tell us is a sarcasm-laden THEORETICAL story about a Windows computer breaking.

I had to fix Windows’s machines of my friends too many times due to those “theoretical” problems. But you’re right. This one has more to do with typical computer user. I know how to make Windows secure. It’s just harder than with GNU/Linux but not impossible.

Still, I had to mention security somewhere this series, since it’s an important issue. And it’s a problem for power users as well when they need to install MS Windows w/o the Internet connection.

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fold this thread Siva  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 4:05 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Hi, I’m not an evangelist of MS and I like Linux for it gives me a geek like feeling when I just configure Internet. But to others who just use Office or spreadsheet it does not make any sense. They cannot configure internet on MS anyway. What matters to them is the looks nice little features.
I always balked at the rendering of font on the Linux desktop. Just look at o’s, p’s etc. The do not even render properly. I’ve to squint to read the letters..so first make the small things attractive and the rest would be done anyway by the geeks

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fold this thread MikeMLP  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 4:16 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I’m a life-long windows user, who decided to dual boot XP and linux for the first time about 2 months ago. Although I’ve run into some of the expected problems: lack of 3rd party app support, especially for things like streaming video on the web, and some lack of hardware support, I find these things minor inconveniences when compared to overall system speed and stability, areas where Linux trumps Windows hands down.

3 things I don’t miss about windows:

1. Hard-disk thrashing
– After installing linux, I’ve never had to wait for my page file to increase, or for the virtual memory to pick up where my main memory left off. In linux, the “pagefile” is on a separate partition. It has always been smaller than some of my biggest Windows pagefiles.

2. focus-stealing virus scanners, automatic updates, etc.
-In linux, (Ubuntu) a little icon pops up when updates are available, and then you click it when you feel like clicking it to see what needs updating. Restarts are almost never required. Virus scans are not needed… ever.

3. XP is crappy looking, unless you pay $$$ or do some serious hacking
- I use XGL/Compiz, which gives me better eye-candy than Vista. It is more customizable than Vista Aero, and includes an exposé-like plugin which is more elegant than the Vista Rolodex: ahh, the best of both worlds (mac and future windows), plus more. And my comp wouldn’t even be able to run aero glass, because it doesn’t meet the system requirements. And, XGL/Compiz is a giant hack, even though it is so stable, that I’ve gone a week without a restart (and could easily go longer, since it has never crashed on me). It was easy to install, and, over the past month or so, I’ve seen incredible development speed, with new, visible features being added about every week, or less. I’m expecting even better performance once Xegl becomes widestream (in 6 months or less). I wonder if vista will have been released by then. I guess I don’t really care… since I can’t get Aero on this machine anyway, what is the point of paying $150-$300 for something I can’t really use? And why does Vista take 15GB 0.o of HD space? My entire linux partition is 10GB, and I don’t anticipate filling it any time soon. Tsk Tsk Tsk…

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fold this thread Stephane  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 5:17 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

For the first point, not installing any security patch or service pack will be the same as install linux with a kernel version 2.0.0.0….

Compare what can be compared please, be serious…

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fold this thread Andy  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 5:47 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Hi everybody. I’m so pleased to read this article since it is very clear on things that really need to change Microsoft’s way of presenting things to users worldwide. I think the main reason Windows is so “around” is the fact that at the time you buy a computer Windows is already there (get used to it boy, if you don’t go to another store) In passing, I remember some time ago that I went to a store (in Chile) to check out some prices, I asked the salesman if there was any possibility of selling a comp. without an OS (I wanted to install Linux myself.)He looked at me very much stranged and said no “this is the way computers are sold.” A kind of “what the freak are you talking about?” seemed to run in the room so I left.
Now this is just a little example of how you’re tossed into this Microsoft Windows world without you wanting it and yes I installed WinXP some time ago and guess what happened after the first run? It did not work anymore! It did not boot or anything else. And that was because some TROJANS got into the system and was very hard to get rid of them, in fact the available solutions were paid ones so the question would be ¿Why in the world am I supposed to pay more money for something which was intended to work “right out of the box” with no problems?
I actually also started by using win95 which seemed to be very sensitive to my eyelashes movement and responded to it by rebooting itself and sending a scandisk in order to see if I’m ok.
I felt that that kind of desktop environment was so feature lacking that once I saw a transparent terminal window on a Computer TV show I started my journey for “DESKTOP TRUE USABILITY AND COOLNESS” and ended up using Linux (Currently openSUSE 10.1.)
I’m in no way a computer ingeneer –and Linux requires sometimes some higher adjustment and knowledge level– but this is only caused because I want to be able to understand how to “fix” -if ever- what my computer is teching me, instead you have to be a computer ingeneer on Windows in order to “find out” what went wrong and when frustrated enough, reinstall. So I use my Linux box to work as a normal user, never had problems installing apps, surfing the internet, system crashing on me, or whatever else you may extract form MS troubled world. (by the way, my boss still thinks Linux is only for networking and is managed only by command line)
What can I draw from this article: THE AUTHOR IS RIGHT!

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fold this thread Luis Anaya  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 6:41 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Although it has a lot of good points, specially on security, there are some things that I just disagree.

Move mouse on window focus is a pain sometimes. I hate it. The good thing on Linux is the fact that you can change it if you hate it. In Windows you do not.

Windows was designed for desktop and to ease transition from DOS to Windows “way back” in the 80′s. Most of the commands on Windows were designed to be used without a mouse because mouse was not common item back in the ’80′s. (I used Windows 1.3 with two 360K floppies and no mouse). One of the key industry items at that time was application consistency to minimize the amount of retraining of your employees. From that perspective, Microsoft retains the same philosophy of keeping everything consistent. It is not necesarily a bad thing, but it is not “hacker friendly” either. For the common user, having the same look is not a bad thing.

I just finished installing Windows NT (yeah, NT), on an old PC (AMDK6300, 384 Megs, about 20 Gig’s drive) that I’m sending to my nephew. It was running Ubuntu Linux with XFCE as the main desktop. It was slow, really slow, as a desktop environment. Yes, I could’ve telnet to it and have speedy CLI performance, but when you sat down on the desktop, it was slow. Why? X (Xorg in this case). It would have taken, perhaps, a 3d accelerated card, but on an old system it may be not something that you may want to spend money on. In retrospect, I could have installed a lighterweight X server (Xvesa comes to mind), but it is not something that it would have come “out of the box for the common user”. NT, although not supported, it can does a decent job as an OS. Thanks to OpenSource software, you can have a pretty usable system with a wide range of applications.

Even though I disagree on some points, it was a well written article.

Luis

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fold this thread bigBADguy  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 6:54 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Can’t agree most of your point, even i am also Win + Linux user.

WinXP w/ SP2 had OK default security. Although your point is still somehow valid.

Your view about Desktop usability is so subjective. Windows still have choice to tweak everything! I had to say I giveup Linux desktop few times becos i still find the overall usability BAD…

I don’t really see a lot of commerical software in those software repository you mention.

BTW, i like your idea of hav’ something like: win-get install [package names] !!

Wish download.com or whoever will make this come true soon :)

You hv your point, but far enough to dump Windows…

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fold this thread andrew  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 8:51 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Windows Desktop Search bar provides the same functionality as the GNOME Deskbar. Please do a little homework.

As for your hypothetical story at the start, you give a user with the same skills a Linux disk and see how he/she gets on.

This article is little more than Linux has this but Windows doesn’t therefore Widoze suckz!!!

Most of the world have jobs to do on their computers, get back to me when Linux allows me to do mine.

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fold this thread Adam  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 9:29 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I am very disappionted in this article. I was looking for compelling reasons to switch, not the same old “It’s not Linux, therefore…” And it’s just filled with over-exaggerations, generalizations, and unfair comparisions. Eg. yes out of the box, Windows is unsecure. But there are AV solutions other things you can do to make it secure. You are assuming Joe newbie just plugs it in and starts surfing away and then gets hit (which, yes I know he will). But in your world, Jow newbie, finds a distro of Linux he likes, does the install (after formatting his hard drive) and then recompiles his kernal and blah, blah, blah. Now that’s a newbie I want to work with. In the real world, the one I live in, Newbie buys his computer and then finds someone like me that knows something about computers and asks what to do. Unless they are total shut ins, I find most people know that virus’ are dangerous and need to do something quickly. That’s when I get the call. Then I set up a firewall and educate them about the evils of the world they are about to venture into.

Next, installing programs really can’t get any easier then in windows, can it? I guess the new term for “3″ is a “bazillion”, because that usually how many times I have hit next. Yes, I guess that is such a huge pain to click my mouse button 3 times, but somehow I struggle through. And while having a software repository might be attractive to some, it sounds a bit Apple-ish to me. “here are you choices, that’s it.” And there is some pretty decent freeware out there now a days for Windows. As for malware, I think if you are that level of looking for software applications, you have to have the common sense to do a little research on a program before you willy-nilly install.

As for the desktop…that’s pretty weak. You mean if I install Linux, the desktop will look exactly how I want it? Or do I have to customize it? My desktop at work looks different than my laptop which looks different from my wife’s which looks different for her 74 year old Father’s which looks different from my 76 year old father’s computer. Again, you are talking raw newbie’s, but that’s hardly the real world now and customization in Windows is not hard at all.

As is probably evident from this reply, I have never run Linux. I have tried to install 3 times, but hit some roadblock that stopped me dead and made me abandon the process. When I tried to get help on the net, I was either talked to at a level I didn’t understand or belittled because I didn’t. And when I have used a linux system I find it hardly intuitive. But that was a couple of years ago, so maybe I will try again. Maybe I will dump Windows, but there is now way I would put money on that.

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fold this thread James  Wednesday, 9 August 2006 o godz. 11:34 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

“You cannot change almost anything because the Microsoft product hasn’t been created for extensibility but for well-mastered defaults.”

Isn’t that the direction GNOME is heading? The “it should just work” attitude has turned into “you can have any color you want as long as it’s black.” User options these days are considered downright evil in some parts of GNOME–the goal is to allow the sysadmin to lock things down rather than to provide choice for the user. (See the recent brouhaha over gnome-screensaver. There, the user is presumed to be an evil person who will make GLtext spout profanities or point the slide show at his pr0n collection, and thus the user must be confined to screensavers that give him no control whatsoever over their function.)

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fold this thread Diemongo  Thursday, 10 August 2006 o godz. 12:15 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

10, 100, or 1000 reasons to skip winndows….
But ONE REASON TO KEEP WINDOWS:

As long as we’re “forced” to run the most popular games on a windows desktop, you can keep writing about all possible differenses between linux and windows – in best case people will run a dual boot – no complete switch will happen. And even if you use Transgaming’s tools to run the games, you almost need to have skills as a programmer in order to get the same smooth expirence as on windows.
This will be the ONE AND ONLY reason for not making the complete switch for a very long time.

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fold this thread Sid Boyce  Thursday, 10 August 2006 o godz. 3:15 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Give me a complete newbie to computers – I have had many, two 66+ and 75+ year olds included – and you have the right base for successful Linux users. The trouble with some typical Windows users is that they bring what they consider a great fund of computer knowledge, they expect an immediate understanding and that’s where they become confused.
Back when people understoood that there were different OS’s, constructed and behaving differently, acceptance was much easier. Funnily enough, put an 8 year-old, who has only seen Windows, in front of a Linux box and see how cheerily he/she finds the way around the system unaided. Of course, there are others such as yourself who are prepared to learn and become proficient at using another OS. I am an old hand who has had to move seemlessly between OS/390, Solaris, Linux and of course Windows, you can also ponder on the thought that the vast majority of Linux users (including Linux only users) have happily come from a Windows background.

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fold this thread Brad  Thursday, 10 August 2006 o godz. 9:29 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Reply to Adam,

simple answer to all your replies, why don’t you get a linux system installed and use it for longer, then maybe you can call yourself qualified to answer as if you know what your arguing against.

So often i hear people talk about other operating systems without any knowledge whatsoever. You will find most Linux users are previous windows users or have windows installed as a dual boot.

So not to leave a bad impression of the Linux community I will urge Adam and others to give a modern Linux distro a try, you might be surprised and actually find something you really like!

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fold this thread Adam  Thursday, 10 August 2006 o godz. 5:58 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Reply to Brad

Like I said, I’ve tried, but found the install cumbersome and hit roadblocks with no resolution. Can you guarentee that I will not hose my windows system if I try a dual boot situation? Therefore, I have to wait to get another hard drive and start from scratch. But no one has countered my arguements about the fact that the article was not compelling and was the same old “dissing Windo$e” piece of writing that I have read oh so many times before. I believe the purpose of the article was to get people like me to switch to Linux, so why didn’t it? He cites security…my system is secure and I really can’t remember the last time I got hit with a virus or spyware. I have never been hacked. He cites desktop gui…I have learned keyboard shortcuts, organized my files the way I want them, so I can find them quickly and easliy, and can customize my desktop to point where it looks like linux. He cites installing software…I have no problem in this area. Hell, my father-in-law can do it. And trust me , if he can do it, anyone can. My point is and was, if you want to write a article such as this, don’t say people can’t do this or that in Windows, when people ARE doing this or that in windows. It’s misleading and weakens the point you are trying to make. It like that stupid Mac commercial about “Fun Stuff” I do movies and slideshows all the time on my Win box, so obivously they are just lying to create sales from noobs. Type of company I want to give my money to. But as for Linux, it’s my time I have invest and I will, someday; but not at the risk of hosing a system that works for me.

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fold this thread Nicolas  Thursday, 10 August 2006 o godz. 9:37 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

‘I don’t really see a lot of commerical software in those software repository you mention.’

i hope so, linux users arent stupid non-payers, we use free software, we don’t steal non-free software.

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fold this thread nongeek  Friday, 11 August 2006 o godz. 6:55 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Great article.
I started writing a commente but it got too long, so I published it in my own blog. If you want to read it visit this page:
http://nongeeksight.blogspot.com/2006/08/about-installing-software-in-linux.html

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fold this thread jonathan  Saturday, 12 August 2006 o godz. 1:22 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

BeOS has had all the features you mention-workspaces (up to 32), mouse focus options that work, it’s secure out of the box, etc. for years now. Window management is intuitive and brilliant, it boots in 15 seconds, shuts down in 5, has the best sound player app by far of any OS, has a fully configurable ‘start’ menu, the file and attribute system is fantastic. Yes, I know, there are few commercial apps, but for everyday use, web surfing, email, playing music, watching DVDs, it’s all there. The install has to be the most painless of any, and the boot manager works perfectly for dual (or more) botting. Not to mention that in terms of speed no other OS comes close. I use Be (98% of the time) and Win2K (the other 2%) and do everything I need to do. XP just looks like some Candyland nightmare to me, and I’m not about to have anyone telling me how often I can change the hardware in my machines. I’ve tried Ubuntu and it seems fine but I can’t find any reason to use it. Actually, to be honest, compared to Be I think it’s awful-slow, clunky, and unattractive. Nice screensavers though.
Not trying to start anything here-just wanted to point this out to anyone looking for a Windows alternative. Hey, if Apple was willing to spend $200 million for it (BeOS nearly became the basis of OS X for those who don’t know) there is obviously something very very good there. Until someone comes up with something better I’ll continue to use it.

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fold this thread Jay  Monday, 14 August 2006 o godz. 9:17 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

*yawn*

Firewall is turned on by default in SP2.

The windows desktop is extremely customizable if you can be bothered to actually learn something. God forbid you’d browse a few webpages and learn to use your fucking operating system. It’s much easier to just write a huge rant about it.

Installing software in most Linux distributions is much easier. The only problem is that a lot of the software is sub-par when compared to Windows alternatives. Gimp is no Photoshop. No REAL alternative to Cubase on Linux, is there chief? I won’t even bother bringing up games. Or the whole situation with widgets and lack of consistancy on the desktop.

If you’re having system crashes in Windows, I hate to break it to you but the problem is somewhere between the screen and the back of your chair. Windows 2000/XP are stable operating systems in the hands of educated people. If you want everything to just work, read a book.

I haven’t had a crash in years, and every crash I have had can be traced to something I did wrong. Imagine that, taking responsibility for your own inadequacies instead of blaming Microsoft for everything!

Linux isn’t for everyone. If it works for you, great. It doesn’t work for people who actually do more with their computer than write rants and masturbate over their geek badge. People who want to get work done on the desktop use Windows. Get used to it.

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fold this thread Segin  Wednesday, 16 August 2006 o godz. 5:50 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I have a Windows box. It doesn’t crash all the time, it just has little… “quirks”, shall we say? Sure, I recently had a problem with my Linux box (which I use 99.9999% of the time), but the problem existed between a chair and a remote box 1,000 miles away in Colorado (One of my friends decided that root + weed = fun…)

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fold this thread Mutevole  Friday, 18 August 2006 o godz. 12:57 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

“Firewall is turned on by default in SP2.”

I don’t a system that needs a firewall turned on by default to be secure, I want my system as lighter as possible!

“The windows desktop is extremely customizable if you can be bothered to actually learn something. God forbid you’d browse a few webpages and learn to use your fucking operating system. It’s much easier to just write a huge rant about it.”

I don’t want to learn anything to customize my desktop, I want it to be very flexible without requiring major surgery.

“Installing software in most Linux distributions is much easier. The only problem is that a lot of the software is sub-par when compared to Windows alternatives. Gimp is no Photoshop. No REAL alternative to Cubase on Linux, is there chief? I won’t even bother bringing up games. Or the whole situation with widgets and lack of consistancy on the desktop.”

I don’t think so. You have probably never used The Gimp to say such a thing. Don’t sub estimate the software just because you can’t use it because you’re so used to Photoshop. Gimp may not be as good as Photoshop in photo edition, but as a digital painting editor it is probably far more powerful! As for Cubase, I have to admit I don’t know any viable alternative. This is very bad, because it limits your freedom of choice, and it’s all Microsoft’s fault! You thank Microsoft for doing this? Why can’t proprietary software developers make interoperable and multiplatform software? The Free Software community does, why can’t they? They always say proprietary software is better than free software, then show me! Sorry, but I don’t understand the way you winusers see things, do you like to defend something that’s good only for the giant corporations instead of something that’s good for everybody?

“If you’re having system crashes in Windows, I hate to break it to you but the problem is somewhere between the screen and the back of your chair. Windows 2000/XP are stable operating systems in the hands of educated people. If you want everything to just work, read a book.
I haven’t had a crash in years, and every crash I have had can be traced to something I did wrong. Imagine that, taking responsibility for your own inadequacies instead of blaming Microsoft for everything!”

I don’t want a system that needs fine tuning, I want one that works well and stably out-of-the-box! A Windows system can be completely destroyed by a novice user just by installing new software, while in a Linux system nobody without a root password can do any damage. There are a lot of people around the world who makes you realize why an electric hand-mixer must come with a warning “switch off before licking icing from the beaters”. Those geniuses would be much better off with a well-configured and easy-to-use Linux system, like Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS for example, than with a vulnerable system like Windows XP. Get the facts my friend!

“Linux isn’t for everyone. If it works for you, great. It doesn’t work for people who actually do more with their computer than write rants and masturbate over their geek badge. People who want to get work done on the desktop use Windows. Get used to it. ”

Yes, GNU/Linux is for everyone! It’s completely free as in freedom, it can be fully customized to meet your personal requirements. It is the system that must adapt itself to the users and not the other way around.

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fold this thread Mutevole  Friday, 18 August 2006 o godz. 1:08 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

After all, GNU/Linux ends up being much easier than Microsoft Windows, with which you must learn how to use your system to use it securely!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention games, they’re my favorite part! Anyone who says GNU/Linux lacks games is just showing how ignorant they are:

http://tinyurl.com/mdvfz

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fold this thread uray  Saturday, 19 August 2006 o godz. 9:00 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I guess you hate windows because you hate microsoft…

windows is far more easier than linux :

do you ever compile windows kernel to support newest hardware, or some software need you to reconfigure kernel settings? if you want add new hardware support you just need to install the drivers, nothing need to recompile…

developing software in windows is far more easier, everythings is standardized, not like linux too many variation… for example when you build GUI app, you must decide which API : GTK,QT, from X directly,…

installing software on windows is far more easier, no dependency at all, at least not like linux, some code of those software is dependent to other code’s software… and the most stupid is in some case you need to compile it, that is will make novice user crazy…(yes i know there’s tool to automate the processes)

if you want to compare how stable and secure windows is, you must compare it both in experts/educated user, and on windows there a lot of option to make it secure and stable, nothing is perfect, every OS need to reconfigure in security manner

what is so special about virtual desktop, in windows you can have it…

what is so special about various WM, you can have it too under windows,

linux is not for everyone, you can’t force everyone to use linux…

every linux features you can have it on windows too, by using 3rd party apps (its not a cons of windows, since every feature on linux is 3rd party too), and it is far more various 3rd party apps on windows than linux

yes i know linux is good and i don’t say windows is better, it is just different, different by design, different by kernel architecture, different by user, and different by purpose, i just said windows is easier that doesn’t mean windows is better…

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fold this thread joseph  Tuesday, 22 August 2006 o godz. 11:07 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Nice try, but not very convincing, Linux has worst problem than the once you have mentioned for ms windows. Even I use both systems and am more happy with windows.

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fold this thread Andrzej Orkan  Wednesday, 23 August 2006 o godz. 12:28 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I’m a developer and I boot three systems on my laptop: Solaris, Fedora Core linux and Windows 2003. I need those for application testing but my main media-internet-office-development desktop is Fedora. There is no such problem as having-to-cope-with-Windows-Explorer-problem in Windows for me. I simply switched it to Blackbox window manager, tuned it to my liking and all those click-this-check-that adventures don’t bother me anymore.
But the real issue is much deeper. It is an issue of arogance, ignorance and big company (such as Microsoft) politics which don’t take average user into account but strike him/her immediately. If there’s a bug in Windows – don’t worry, Microsoft will release a proper security patch for you… in a month or two. Or a service pack – next year. You don’t like the way MSSQLServer have imported your massive MySQL database? No problem – you may now relax for three years and wait for another edition where your concerns may be telepatically considered by the MS specialists. Linux communities give you proper solution in a matter of hours. And that’s a real difference. Open software grows all the time. Interacts with users’ expectations. And is really independent from so-called “big money” and real politics (like Google’s and Yahoo’s romance with China authorities). Freedom for me is ability to have a choise. So i choose freedom. And this is the most important reason to dump Windows.

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fold this thread Yagotta B. Kidding  Friday, 25 August 2006 o godz. 7:39 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

“Have a break, have a keylogger”

Borys,

You are quite generous with Redmond here. An unpatched Windows hung into Internet will live on average no longer than 20 minutes (yes, MINUTES ! ) and is dead infested afterwards.

There is no way you could put a fresh Windows installation to any productive use after half an hour of Internet connection time has passed — unless witnessing a computer, which is rebooting happily every minute, is your precious idea of productive work, of course.

I am looking forward to the 2nd and 3rd part of the story. One thing bothers me, though. Do you know the _real_ reason why Windows is still present in corporate environments? Do you know the _real_ reason why Windows will saturate corporate desktops up to nearly 100% for many more years to come?

No, this is not for its user-friendliness, or GUI, or anything. It is because no other desktop operating system lets the owner install spyware utterly inconspicuously. 99% of the punters do not know that they are being monitored by screenshot-bots and keyloggers.

Keyloggers, rootkits, and their ilk, are a nuissance only for Joe User. In a corporate environment they are a welcome means of control, and used widely. With Linux on the desktop, corporate spying on employees would come to a screetching halt, because the Linux desktop is not prone to malware or spyware.

Yours,

YBK

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fold this thread t_ziel  Sunday, 27 August 2006 o godz. 2:07 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0
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fold this thread michuk  Sunday, 27 August 2006 o godz. 9:39 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

http://www.novell.com/linux/windowstolinux/publicservice/

This is a really great commercial. Funny and educating :)

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fold this thread Jason  Monday, 11 September 2006 o godz. 8:43 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

yea, this is all fine and dandy I’d drop windows in a sec if linux would support other devices, like pda’s with windows, and no I’m not going to put linux on my pda…

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fold this thread Mercury Merlin  Friday, 15 September 2006 o godz. 9:56 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Software installation and apt-get was what made me change from RPM-based Linux (SuSE) to Debian-based, first Mepis and then more recently X|K|Ubuntu.

Malicious software was what made me first abandon Windows – once bitten, twice shy… but after I moved to open-source, I learned to love Freedom and that’s why I stayed. Never again will I voluntarily use non-free, proprietary software; maybe under duress of one sort or another, but certainly not voluntarily.

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fold this thread pichygrue  Monday, 2 October 2006 o godz. 1:40 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

THE big difference between Windows and Linux is, that Windows is owned by Microsoft and Linux by the rest of the world! Part of computerism is, that YOU can be part of it. Not as a simple, PAYING user, but as a participant. Not as a intruder in the company’s lifestyle (!!!!!!!!), but as a respected member of an OPEN community!

Regards,

Carel Janssen

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fold this thread vladsinger  Tuesday, 3 October 2006 o godz. 12:43 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I notice you fail to mention anything about broken dependencies, the singularily most annoying thing about installing stuff in linux.

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fold this thread Ten Reasons To Dump Windows « Linux and Open Source Blog  Tuesday, 3 October 2006 o godz. 8:52 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

[...] Part 1   |   Part 2  [...]

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fold this thread kuriharu  Tuesday, 3 October 2006 o godz. 6:09 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Many interesting points.

What’s interesting is that you point out how installing software on Windows is generally easier than Linux, but if you need certain utilities it’s hard to find the right one for WIndows. Interesting, but sort of irrelevant.

How many non-hackers need a good CD-ripping tool or an ID3-tag editor? How many average users can successfully define what these are? I’d argue anyone who can define these tools could find them for Windows easily within 5 minutes of Googling.

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fold this thread Big Country  Tuesday, 3 October 2006 o godz. 6:26 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Very interesting article. I am downloading right now to try out Linux. Thank you for the info. Big Country
bigcountry2ton.tk

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fold this thread David P  Thursday, 5 October 2006 o godz. 12:23 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Linux v Windows ehm, I wonder?

Linux v windows……. ponder, think no sorry I personally can’t think of one thing I could do on a Windows box that I can’t do much much better on a Linux one. I’ve used linux for about 5 years, messed around with Gentoo, Debian and Mandrake. I feel sorry for Windows users as their machines get slower, and slllooowweeer and sssslllllloooo…………….. I don’t worry about spyware, malware, virus etc etc and as for my latest linux system, Kubuntu, well its got to be the best one yet.

Eureeka I’ve just thought of something!! I can spend a lot of Money on Windows and associated software, Ubuntu is free!!!

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fold this thread Greg P  Thursday, 5 October 2006 o godz. 2:05 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

A big thing I find annoying with MSVDM is that if you click on a program on the taskbar, it brings the program to the desktop you’re in, rather than taking you to the program on that other desktop. Rather defeats the purpose of having multiple desktops.

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[...] Borys Musielak, has published an article on polishlinux.org on his top ten reasons why Linux should be used instead of Windows.  I have just finished part one, which is what the previous link goes to.  Although he claims that he is purposely being biased against Windows, he’s actually quite fair towards Windows.  For example: What’s the difference between the security policy of Microsoft compared to GNU/Linux and even better, BSD systems? It’s the defaults, idiot! Technologically, both systems can provide a similar level of security, actually. The difference is that most GNU/Linux distros make it much easier to have a secure OS by providing reasonable default settings, usually secure enough for home computer users. [...]

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fold this thread DebianUser  Thursday, 5 October 2006 o godz. 11:49 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Debian Etch works quite faster on my computer than Windows XP SP2, I’ve got quite limited ram (512mb). In Windows if I want to alt-tab out of WoW and start Firefox it takes up to 1 minutes sometimes. In Debian we’re talking less than 20secs doing the same thing.

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fold this thread rushikesh  Tuesday, 10 October 2006 o godz. 2:32 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

good …i am also fan of open source

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fold this thread MD  Tuesday, 10 October 2006 o godz. 6:59 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

All good points and agree with pretty much all of them. This is to shed some light on my where I am coming from for my point of view: I use Linux for its flexibility, security and because I just plain love it. I spend most of my professional time with ESX Server and Red Hat Linux and only step into the Windows Server world as needed for the virtual environment. My home office runs RHEL and CentOS. So this isn’t coming from a Windows point of view.

However, the fact remains that it still is much harder to install applications than it needs to be for the average user. This is especially so when it comes to libraries that are needed but not installed on the target host. I’ve seen it many times myself when a package errors out indicating that a library or other dependancy program is missing but the package does not include it. Then you are off to try to track down a specific libc version, etc. or other package. It gets worse if the package needs to be compiled into your kernel (my God, I evaluated Fedora Core 5 to see the differences from my normal CentOS 4.3 and the source tree was moved and links did not work when I tried to install a simple VMware Workstation and Parallels Workstation RPM-what a nightmare, imagine an end user going through all that, a painful waste of time). End users don’t like that and I fail to see why some authors of applications require that. It is mind numbing-especially if you have work to do and don’t want to get bogged down in the minute details of your OS. I use Linux every day as my main OS both on my laptop (what’s up with the lack of Belkin wireless drivers?) and desktop and I sometimes just want to install something I need to use instead of trying to track down this rpm or that to get it working (I use VMware to run a Windows VM for programs that are only runable on Windows-still have had mixed results with the Crossover product).

Yum and other repositories have made great strides in resolving package dependancies but there are still programs that don’t include everything needed to run the application. My forey into Debian was very smooth but some of the same problems occur when tring to install individual packages.

It is a dual edge sword, especially with malware of various types, but with Windows, you launch the .msi and everything installs nicely. It is that ease of use that users will need to have before it is a real viable desktop.

What is really needed is a single, universal, setup routine along with a single universal setup executable (like setup.exe). Users see it and they know that they can launch that and it will start the install.

Another thing is that most users are GUI based. Not all installation packages update the programs list in the GUI. So you install an application but sometimes it is a game of hide ‘n seek to try to find where the dang installer put it-if it put an entry in the window manager at all. That needs to be standardized.

So, desktop Linux for the masses will be a reality, of that I’m convinced. Every month, things get easier so all these will eventually be addressed. I really like the work Novell is doing with Suse Linux and Openoffice.org, for the corporate world, that is problably the best distribution although I’ve only had a passing evalutation of it a couple of years ago. I can’t remember the last time I had a problem opening a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet in Openoffice.org.

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fold this thread Dominique  Wednesday, 11 October 2006 o godz. 4:10 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Was MD say about installing software is true if you want to install a programm that is not included with your distribution. It is why I like gentoo. It install all the devel packages with the program, so when you need a dependency, it is enough to install the program and you get all installed, inclusive the libraries you need to install your custom software.

And it is much better today as before. The linux way of installing a program from the sources is 3 commands:

./configure
make
make install

And it work with almost every single program today. If not and you are sure to have all the needed dependencies, fill a bug report that ask to include a configure script with the next release of the program.

And it is not hard to find which dependencies are needed, just run ./configure, and every error message will give you the name of a missing dependency. Install it and re run ./configure.

On gentoo, if you want to incorpore a custom program in portage, all you have to do is to write an ebuild. And it is explained in the doc how to do that. It is sometime even easier as to compile the same program by hand.

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fold this thread Wim  Wednesday, 11 October 2006 o godz. 4:23 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

To Adam:
“But as for Linux, it’s my time I have invest and I will, someday; but not at the risk of hosing a system that works for me.”
You can do that very easy. There are several life CDs that allow you to do that. You set your bios to boot first from CD drive if that would not be the case. You put in the life CD and reboot the PC. It will then boot Linux from the life CD, without touching anything on your harddisk. There is no 100% guarantee on success (some life CDs will work better on some HW), but you have a real good chance that you will be able to try out a recent Linux version without any risk. When you remove the CD and reboot, it no trace whatsoever will remain of your linux test.
I can advise you to try MandrivaONE (http://www.mandriva.com/en/download/mandrivaone) or in the unlikely case that it would not run on your HW to try Knoppix (http://knoppix.org/). Both can be downloaded for free (as in beer).

Have fun,

Wim

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fold this thread MD  Wednesday, 11 October 2006 o godz. 5:35 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Just to clarify, my comment about compiling code, installing packages, and ferretting out dependancy issues was geared toward novices and home users. The last thing I try to ever have my seventy-something parents or even end users on the corporate LAN do on their Windows box is drop out to the command line to run some program. So for Linux to be popular to folks who are users but not enthusiasts, everything needs to be hidden. If a program needs to be recompiled, fine, have a wizard launch to run through it. Dropping to a terminal prompt, switching user to root, running the configure/make/make install commands is really asking too much for many users believe it or not. I’ve had problems asking users to run an ipconfig /all from Windows. And do we want them to even know the root password?

And while I’m at it, in this regard, Linux is just as insecure and susceptible to malware as Windows. Case in point, when you go to install something in Linux, what does the windows manager do? It prompts you for the root password. You could be installing spyware, adware or whatever. So there’s nothing to keep you from shooting yourself in the foot. In Windows, you can have it prompt you before installing an Active X control that is dangerous, but if you click Install-it is not Windows’ fault if you just installed a virus or some other malware. The user has to take some responsibility for their actions at some point. So for those that can’t we must lock down their environment, like we do in the corporate world.

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fold this thread arun  Friday, 29 December 2006 o godz. 11:09 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Good Stuff

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fold this thread grasshopa  Monday, 8 January 2007 o godz. 8:09 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

1. Default Security Settings – I’ll give you this one. But XP now comes with a firewall installed by default, and anyone who has the cop on to use linux has the cop on to maintain an antivirus on their system under windows.

2. Desktop usability – I find organising things into different categories in X-Windows makes everything bloody hard to find, it never seems to be in the place you look for it. With regards to the green start button, it can be customised with themes. Besides if you want to do the whole organising into categories it’s no hassle to do it by grouping your programs folder. Extra folders can also be placed on the taskbar for quick reference.

What you say about your neighbours desktop looking like yours – it just means you don’t have to re-learn every system that you touch. It’s standardised and lets you get things done without technology getting in your way.

Virtual Desktops are also available with a free add-on power toy by MS.

That window focus system they have in Linux is feckin annoying. Software can be coded not to become the active window in windows anyway (but most with the exception of say MSN Messenger choose not to!!) but to flash in the taskbar in windows anyway. With linux it’s extra effort to do all the little things when there really doesn’t need to be. You can just use the alt+tab in windows to switch easily when you want.

3. Installing software – I can’t believe you put this one in! Installing in windows is a no hassle job, plus 99% of spyware products will say it in the license agreement for fear of legal problems. Installing in linux is an absolute pain in the arse that usually ends up with compatibility issues and recompiling kernels which leads to further compatibility issues.

Lastly with regards to limits of the windows command line, you can download unxutils to get awk, sed, grep etc – perl is freely available for scripts and batch files are a doddle.

In conclusion, LINUX GETS IN THE WAY! Technology’s ultimate goal is to make our lives easier, to allow us to do the things that we need to do without us having to know too much. It’s not that knowing your OS deeply is bad, in fact it’s a very good thing, but you can know it without having to manually do everything. And this is from the perspective of a windows programmer and reverse engineer, not someone who just browses about on the internet.

When I stick in my USB key, I want it to just frickin mount itself, I don’t want to end up installing extra kernel modules, checking the partition type on the USB key and mounting it accordingly. It’s just… HASSLE. It’s nice to know what has to be done but why should we have to constantly re-invent the wheel. Advances in technology is towards a higher level concept that comes from grouping and simplifying our view of low level concepts. Microsoft has recognised this and that is why it dominates the market.

Also I’ve had Linux crash MUCH more often than windows. Fair enough the command line doesn’t crash but when it comes to X-Windows it’s a bloody joke. You might argue that X-Windows is only really a graphical piece of software running from the command line, but you have to compare like with like.

In short – Windows is a great desktop operating system.
Linux is way behind windows in the desktop market but when it comes to servers it’s hard to beat in terms of security and reliability.
Mac OS X to me is the first OS that has achieved a good stable desktop OS under BSD/UNIX (albeit 30+ years into the development of UNIX :p).

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fold this thread michuk  Tuesday, 9 January 2007 o godz. 10:07 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

grasshopa: I just see from your message that you’ve been using some old-fashioned Linux distros. Try Ubuntu and you’ll see most of the problems you described (including moutning things, installing software, etc) are simply irrelevant.

Virtual Desktops are also available with a free add-on power toy by MS.

Nice joke. Have you actually tried using this piece of crap what call virtual desktops? If so, and if you liked it, it just means you do have minimal requirements. In such case Windows may even work for you, too :) For me, it’s one big pain.

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fold this thread old_fart  Tuesday, 30 January 2007 o godz. 11:41 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

i’ve been alternating between gnu/linux, bsd, mac os and windows since 1999 (before that, i used dos, windows, amigas and macs). they all have their strong/weak points. modern linuces have progressed with leaps and bounds, and i now use them exclusively. what i really like about linux/bsd is how easy it is to customize absolutely everything, not just the looks, and set up a system that is lean and mean, and perfectly adapted to your needs. this is *way* harder to do on windows because it wasn’t built for that purpose and very little can be removed.

i also prefer linux because it’s free and open, which is a huge advantage over win/mac. i am quite sure that my documents can be opened in future versions of opensource linux software, regardless of the hardware. people who use commercial software have no such security. they at the hands of dubious sales people, forced into an endless cycle of costly upgrades. i know this for a fact because i’ve been there. i have many documents that can only be accessed by very old, unsupported software that won’t run on my new computers. a future generation who live in a world where there is no microsoft, will rue the fact that nobody ever stood up for the long-term preservation of important documents.

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fold this thread ger  Wednesday, 21 February 2007 o godz. 1:33 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Well, what you wrote is really nice and helpful, too. I am considering your points at the beginning of this article, but I also want to share my little but bad experience with ubuntu. As you said before, windows has a bunch of flaws that can really drive you crazy. This was what made me turn to a linux based os. This is the time to mention that I’m just a regular user and I’m not into programming. So, I came accross an article about ubuntu which said it was similar to windows xp. I decided that this would be a good start for someone who knows nothing about linux. I installed ubuntu almost painlessly. I started exploring the new os and the first thing that hit me was the lack of pppoe support. So I had to switch to my xp instalation since you can’t get any help without an internet connection. I looked up this problem and found the solution pretty easily – rppppoe. So far, so good. What about installing that thing?! – Back to xp again , some tips I had to write down cause there was no way to transfer them to the ubuntu drive. So, then I did “make install” and whatever there was after that and nothing. Did I mention that I have to assign a new mac address to my Ethernet adapter so that I can connect to the i-net? Again I was back to xp looking for yet another solution… Found it… It didn’t work… Well, it worked but only until you reboot and it involved again searching for some strange files and editing them (Almost nothing to do with “a few mouseclicks”) Anyways I could’t get my i-net connection working so I gave up. Not to mention that I don’t have sound since my sound card is not supported… I did download a driver but I am still afraid to try to install it…
I’m not trying to say anything bad about linux and the like, I really admire those people who make software for free and together they try to make something really worthwhile. To me the best thing would be to combine the useful features of windows with the power that linux gives you and those features should be really a few mouseclicks away, not a frustrating day of googling away.
Again, I’m not trying to say anything bad about linux,I’m just sharing and yes, I am a noob – so, kill me!?

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Very good, that this is available in polish now. I will tell it to our employees in poland and they will use it. Thanks for the information. Jürgen from Germany :-)

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fold this thread ludmila teneva  Saturday, 19 May 2007 o godz. 8:04 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +2

I’ve switched on from Windows to Kubuntu and I find it perfect. The only thing I can’t use is my scanner, but the problem is with the scanner itself mostly. Another problem is I can’t use my webcam through skype. I installed ekiga, but I haven’t learnt how it works. But, despite this, I definitely prefer linux. I am a total newbie, but I like it.

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fold this thread Ten Reasons To Dump Windows « alll about linux  Saturday, 28 July 2007 o godz. 11:57 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

[...] Part 1   |   Part 2  [...]

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fold this thread notoms  Monday, 6 August 2007 o godz. 7:08 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

There are a number of comments regarding the speed of the Desktop GUIs, Windows vs KDE or GNOME or MacOS. I bought a brand new HP Pavilion yesterday which has 2 Gig of memory and an AMD Turion 64 Dual Core processor at 1.9 GHz. Some serious power. It came with Vista. But I have removed Vista… It was simply unusable even with bleeding-edge up to date hardware. In its place is Linux with KDE and it runs very fast indeed. So, for those of you who consider KDE slow, that is because you have not yet tried the simply unuseable slow Vista GUI. Vista is doing wonders for converting smart desktop users to Linux!

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[...] hegemons have a utility, but never my own experiences as a consumer. They fit quite well with this: Top 10 reasons to dump Windows (part 2, and 3). Vista is a disappointment and a fraction of what it was supposed to be. Free [...]

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fold this thread Hobo  Wednesday, 28 November 2007 o godz. 11:52 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

What the hell is wrong with you people? Operating systems are all the same, you just need to know how to use them / tweak them / hack them. Windows could be a great operating system if it was just a bare bones GUI and not have all the crap like Services and Windows Updates which really suck!!

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fold this thread Mike  Thursday, 17 April 2008 o godz. 6:33 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Well, I know I’m late on this, but last year I set up a computer with Ubuntu on it. I really liked it. The security seemed much better and GUI was just fine. I think that for a standard user though, you run into too many practical problems. Windows has packages that come pre-packaged and ready to install. Mind you, I don’t like a lot of things about windows, but becuase they have the market share, they have the software for it. And you can usually find exactly what you need. I was desparetly looking for software for Ubuntu, and while it comes with a library of programs, none of them, becuase they had been written to be simple, were capable of doing the complicated stuff I could do easily in windows (like authoring DVD’s) so I found some, but when it came to understanding how to unpackage the programs and do what it took to compile them, I was completely lost. Until there is the ability for these things to compile and install themselves, there won’t be a wide spread usage of these things. I work in technical support for Dell, so I’m not clueless when it comes to the computer. Now think about all those people that call me and are FAR more clueless than I am. How in the world are they going to figure this stuff out. I think Linux has come a long way from what it was, but it’s still not for the standard user yet.

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Well i do like Linux too, but in most cases i do use Windows and i will give you the most important reason why i do it.

The software i need to do my work runs on it!

Greetz

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I enjoyed reading your article. In the part where you mentioned getting “security updates” from Micro$oft, I always think, ‘Why don’t you ever have a “stability update?”‘

My system is dual boot “windoze HexP64” and “Linux Fedora.” Yes that is exactly how I have them titled in my multi-boot menu.

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