Are Linux users nuts?
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Author:  loren_brothers [ Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Are Linux users nuts?

I post at a site that responds to articles by a well-known authority in the PC field. Normally this is a very quiet, sedate site where all questions are addressed with civility and common respect.

Well, today he issued an article that didn't favor Linux over Windows. Almost immediately the site was attacked by very verbal and demeaning posts by Linux users. The majority (not all) were just plain 'flames'. I have to say it was very sad to see. :cry:

What is your take on the subject?

Author:  Rusty075 [ Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:36 pm ]
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How about a link?

Author:  loren_brothers [ Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:40 pm ]
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I am hesitant to do that because I don't want to create any more of a ruckus there than already exists. I hope you understand. Maybe later. :?

Author:  dimva [ Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:57 pm ]
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There are militant pro-Windows people out there as well. Just not as many because Windows is popular and they want to be rebellious. :roll:

Also most Windows users don't even realize that their computer is running an operating system so they can't possibly be fanboys.

Author:  loren_brothers [ Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:54 pm ]
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good reply dimva

I just wish I could understand the "flaming" mentality! But I just might be out of luck there! :lol:

When I posted a response to one person thanking him for his "support" (by proving my point via his post) of my opinion of flamers he edited his reply from 300 words to 250 and last time I checked it was now down to 6 words! :lol:

Maybe I did some good after all, even if it was still a 6-word personal attack toward me. :wink:

Author:  dukla2000 [ Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:20 am ]
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You have to be nuts to run Linux :D To paraphrase the great man himself, "It is the worst PC OS, except for all the others I have tried".

My background includes 13 years of Fortran/Assembler/Macro programming and real time applications. During that time it was obvious *nix was a useless OS for those applications. Basically you need a simple OS that gets out they way when the application gets going, together with a hardware architecture that is register rich and interrupt driven.

Now the PC architecture doesn't come close to the requirements, although DOS showed some promise :lol: What I learned on PCs is one OS more architecturally crippled than *nix is Windows. (And yes I have used it since Windows 2 and continue to use XP, 2000 et al.)

However, what finally converted my home systems to Linux was the regular merrygoround of upgrades. I run a couple of machines that I have to licence: I try to be reasonably/morally correct in terms of licencing (I have also worked many years for software developers). Typically I would have a proper licence for one machine with a pirate copy on the other, but a 'moral' justification I wasn't that guilty as I had some old licence for a previous version as well. With Win98SE and a couple of my applications well past their sell by date (and copies of Win98 and Win 3.1 on the shelf to keep me 'legal') I really couldn't see the point of paying for an XP or 2000 licence: functionally I had everything I needed. And the penny dropped:
It's the applications, stupid!
So yeah I swapped to Linux: to some extent to climb off the MS (and others - finance, firewall, virus, office etc) licence bandwagon, to some extent for the challenge to learn something new. Without doubt it remains a hostile environment and NOT for the faint hearted. Despite massive generous contributions by so many people Linux and Linux applications are often user-hostile - finding guides that tell you how to get it out of the box and working is a nightmare. (Finding docs that tell you how to compile, what all the options are in gory detail, what all the dependencies are is easy! While recompiling my kernel is jolly exciting it is something I never want to do, and certainly no other PC users in my family want to even know about! cf several threads in the Folding forum here!) I am far from fluent in Linux: there are several things I could do with Windows (and Windows apps) that (after 4 months) are still on my Linux to-do list. But I still enjoy the challenge. I enjoy being out of the mainstream and so NOT a target for all the virus/worm/trojan crap. And most of all I am delighted to be off the licence upgrade fee treadmill:
Long live the GNU General Public Licence and the Free Software Foundation!

Author:  IsaacKuo [ Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:07 am ]
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Yeah, there was once a time when you had to be a rebel or an independent spirit to be using Linux (on the desktop). Now, a lot of people use it just to save money.

It's not just "the Redmond tax", but the cost of the applications. I didn't want to pay for Photoshop, so I chose the GIMP instead. I didn't like IE's vulnerabilities and popups, so I switched to Mozilla Firebird. There was no way I was going to spend all that money on Microsoft Office, so I downloaded Open Office.

By the time all of my major applications had gone to multi-platform freeware, there was no longer a compelling reason to NOT switch OS's. As I started putting together more new computers and reviving old ones, I grew less and less comfortable with pirating Windows 98 beyond the original 2 legitimate Win98 licences I own, so it just made sense to put Linux on some of them.

Author:  sthayashi [ Mon Apr 19, 2004 6:47 am ]
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I guess the tide really has turned.

When I firsted started playing around with Linux back in 1999, I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what to do or what I could do. And from a newbie's standpoint, I wasn't even sure which route to go down. There was RedHat, Debian, Mandrake, Slackware, and SuSE (and now there are more).

But when I actually installed it, I discovered that it was hard to use. Part of it was me growing up with Windows 3.1, and prior to that DOS. Things I typically did, I couldn't do very well. At the time, there was no Open Office (there was Corel's product, but I wasn't about to pay money for it), so I couldn't write my papers. The only browser for it was Netscape, and it sucked as bad back then on Linux as it did in Windows. Multimedia support/programs were absolute crap compared to WMP6.4/WinAmp (I still think this is somewhat true today, but I haven't fully explored the Linux options). The desktop environment is/was less intuitive than Windows and half the functionality was broken.

AND, to top it off, the Distro I had initially installed Redhat 6.2, made WINDOWS look secure.

Most of that has improved somewhat, but there is still a very tough learning curve for the newbie. I remember I had to bug a LOT of people to try and get help on something as simple compiling and installing a program. And it still sucks to be you if the code you downloaded depends on an obscure library you don't have (which is probably the biggest thing that pisses me off about Linux).

So with all of the above ranting, you have to be pretty nuts or geeky to cut through a lot of the Linux arcaneness. And many take pride in having succeeded in that regard so that they may reap the benefits of Linux.

And there are a lot of things that Linux does a hell of a lot better than Windows. Like the damn network stack. Try downloading a large file via FTP from a Windows box and a Linux box over roughly the same conditions. For sufficiently large files, you'll notice that Windows really bites compared to Linux, even when you turn on window scaling.

I was pretty won over by the wide filesystem support, myself. Having the ability to choose several different journaling filing systems that are optimized differently for your needs is pretty slick (I run XFS, but I've been hearing some nice things about JFS, or whatever IBM's contribution to the arena is called). And I do like the fact that Linux always comes with a C compiler, so you can compile a quick program to test out some ideas if you want, rather than having to install either VC, DM, or MinGW.

And of course, many of the smaller programs that are popular on other *NIX platforms tend to get ported over to Linux, like OpenSSH or ProFTPd, so that's pretty nice.

That all said, I'm not going to replace Win2K on my desktop until it becomes badly obsolete, or until I get an x86-64 system (not anytime soon).

Author:  sbabb [ Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:32 am ]
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Ordinary users are no problem -- It's the zealots you have to watch.

If you want some twisted entertainment, tweak any variety of OS zealot.

The Windows zealots will deny that there are any security or stability problems with Windows. I've talked to some who are convinced that Bill Gates invented the microprocessor, BASIC, and the very concept of an operating system (of course this was many years before he solved the Y2K problem and saved us from certain doom.)

The Mac zealots act like the rest of the world is made up of poor drones who simply haven't seen the light of Mac-wonderfulness. They're in denial about the fact that either Windows or Linux has more users than Mac OS.

The Linux zealots can be particularly militant. Many have a "you're either completely with me or completely against me" attitude. The preferred position seems to be "Linux rules, Windows sucks, Macs are irrelevant (unless they're running Linux), all commercial vendors should make Linux versions of their apps and give them away for free."

That last part is particularly interesting. I remember when the war cry was that hardware vendors had to be forced to support Linux or face the wrath of the Linux community. NVidia was one of the main targets because of the popularity of their video cards. So NVidia released Linux drivers for their cards. As proprietary, commercial binaries. Now the Linux people look down their noses at this because the drivers aren't open source. GEEESH!

I like Linux and Unix, and I feel that Windows is a bit of a pox on humanity. But I also think that Quicken, CorelDraw, Photoshop, TrueSpace, Xara, Dreamweaver, and lots of other commercial apps should be COMMERCIALLY available on Linux. This seems to run contrary to the views of many zealots who think that everyone should just publish all of their source code and give the store away for free. I've met some of these people and many are intelligent people who can code device drivers in their sleep but still haven't figured out how to operate a bar of soap or how real companies work. Personally, I just think they've developed some kind of religion about not paying for anything.

They also don't like it when I point out that the open source development model leads to lots of compatibility problems. Since there is no real roadmap for releases of the various parts that make up a complete Linux system, you never really know when or if anything will work. I've run into situations where one application needs one version of the OS kernel and the standard C library and another application needs different versions. Getting both applications to work at the same time was nearly impossible and there was no way to tell when or if they would ever be able to work together because there were no roadmaps for future development on anything.

Businesses and consumers don't like that.

They also aren't too keen on software that never seems to reach version 1.0. There are plenty of open source apps out there that have been stable for years, but they're still at version 0.8.3 or something like that. That indicates that their developers don't think they're ready for prime-time. Are these people afraid to actually commit to saying their software works reasonably well?

Hmmm, all of that sounds suspiciously like an OS zealot ranting...


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