It is time to wake up and smell the elephant in the room. Vista is struggling to achieve escape velocity. Microsoft finds itself the butt of an international joke, but does not seem able to get a grip. The issue of choice of platform is once more up for grabs. Of course there is an alternative; a popular computing platform …
brilliant :) Thanks for all the advice.
You could try one of the BSDs? Compared to Linux, BSD has...
- A simpler and more elegant configuration
- It's more stable
- It's doesn't suffer from the randomness in how its components work, the way Linux seems to; it's much less eclectic
- It runs everything that Linux can (well, it would - BSD came first!)
- It's "more free" (licensing) than Linux, which is attractive to the corporates out there
On a completely different front, does anyone out there know WHY MS Windows suffers from the "not-responding-for-no-apparent-reason" issue? Or why it takes SO long just to delete a file? As far as I know, these problems have affected all versions of this abortion they call an OS. Seriously, I would REALLY like to know why this happens.
"and drop 1200 sods you can't really afford on a MacBook Air"
As a Londoner but sadly not quite a pukka Cockney, I think the term you just failed to grasp is 1200 "sovs", as in sovereigns - a unit of currency no longer in regular use in the UK.
Of Course I blame Arthur Daley... so many hanging on his use of slang in a desperate attempt to appear "cool". Always leads to people getting it wrong and just sounding... sad.
Paris because she believes in the real freedom of "open source"
Measurement of Windows time
At least you recognised that it's an HOURGLASS, not an egg timer!
I'm not a fanboy, I use Linux... Gentoo pwns all!
Stop spreading Windows FUD.
It still runs on more than 90% of all desktop computers. Even though every year since 2003 has been heralded as the year of the linux desktop.
And don't forget what bad stuff linux comes with : Driver incompatibility, recompiling the kernel (for the doing the simplest things at times), An office suite that is more or less useless (mainly because the documents are formatted differently when opened in MS Office), Firefox that can't auto update , The difficulty of installing apps that aren't in repositories , Horrible hibernation support , A PDF viewer that can't display PDFs correctly, A major release every 6 months with a new kernel (that breaks apps and drivers compatibility) ....
And though you don't need to install security updates to Outlook Express, the hundreds of security updates that await you as soon as you're done installing are just as good.
And then you have the community - I don't know most of them, but the rabid bunch of FOSS zealots at the core are a deal breaker...
you could go for a mac setup, which (apparently, I don't own one) seems more interopable and "usable" than linux has managed to be in ... oh i don't know... forever.
I wouldn't recommend linux to my worst nightmare... install and app: where did it go?
got new hardware: bet it doesn't work. Want a text editor: we give you 20... all different.
However, a BSD variant (other than mac osx) does seem like a better alterntive to the dreaded linux.
Bless... they are trying with linux... but geeks and nerds no nothing about "real" world users.
No, 'sod' is ok as is 'sob'. Now then, what would you do with 1200 Stobs?
Strange, isn't it? I think it's merely down to the lack of publicity it gets that FreeBSD rarely gets a look in. If you want real fun, try explaining the difference between FreeBSD and Linux to a Microsoft salesman, they just can't get their heads around it! Then again, please note Mr Stob doesn't waste any of his VIT (Very Important Time) on Slowaris x86......
"The Windows pause, by which I mean that increasingly prevalent nothing-happening-for-no-reason delay that intrudes between the user poking and the software flinching."
I love it!
'Hour' being the operative word. Try timing eggs by one of those and they'd be inedible.
Not cool to try to be cool
Wow. Ego alert.
Dude, don't try to hard to sound hip and cool. It's not working. Seriously. Strip out the try-too-hard and there's no content worth talking about in this post.
Yes, Linux rocks. Yes, Ubuntu is probably the best distribution around right now. Yes, it's worth trying if you're frustrated with Windows.
There. I just said what you said in two lines, and without the crap padding wordy stuff.
Joe is supposed to be hard? Kids these days.
When I was a student mid 90s, we were confronted by HP-UX system that was not set up at ALL with regards to users. So first thing you do when you try to write email is being confronted by the horror that is VI. Which is about as useful as a penguin on a bicycle when you have no instructions whatsoever available.
After you manage to hunt down someone who can explain how I get out of this trap (except by closing session) and also get instructions on how to change the default editor to EMACS. When that LISP toting monstrosity has been configured to do something semi-useful after managing to obtain a booklet of sane settings file, you can actually write email! Hooray!
Coming from there, Joe which actually has an on-screen cheat which tells you how to GET HELP and relatively simple set of keystrokes is about the simplest, userfriendliest piece of software you can imagine.
Granted, they eventually had someone set up the student accounts in a sane way and started using pico or somesuch, that is even more newbie-friendly.
"Bless... they are trying with linux... but geeks and nerds no nothing about "real" world users."
...but they might "know" how to spell though.
There - like I said!
AC works for microsoft. An article poking fun at linux, incidently does the same to MS, and AC bites back about how bad linux is and how much better windows is.
AC works for microsoft. His job is to write `anti-everything thats not MS` and pro-MS comments on tech sites, regardless of the actual content of the article. He obviously didn't read this one, right? One of his stock phrases is "recompiling the kernel", something that most linux users have never even heard of.
Mac / Linux / BSD
Am I missing some sort of joke here? You could rewrite the article (minus the drivers bit) with "OS X" instead of "Linux".
Whoever said "Mr Stob" should apologise or leave.
Get the best of both, *nix with a decent front-end, get a Mac
People seem to forget that Mac OS X is actually Unix (BSD Unix) so has all the 'back-end' benefits of Linux/Unix but with a good UI that doesn't have all the confused and fragmented user interface disasters of the (many) Linux distros.
I've tried running Linux as a desktop, and got it working (with inevitable hassles) eventually but finally went straight to Mac OS X and have not looked back.
Nice of you to set up a thread for the Trolls and FUD merchants to congregate on
That way they can swap stories and tactics
... man pages for security critical apps which consist of nothing but a "Synopsis" in extended Backus-Knaur notation, that looks to the noob like somebody fell asleep on the keyboard. Often times the only universally intelligable sentence is: "Ask your system administrator".
One of the lessons that the *nixes and Linux developers still need to learn: On the private desktop Joe and Jane User (who may well be noobs) need to do their own sys-adminning.
Perhaps some of the "Beards" could opt to waste less time writing whingy nostalgia blogs and spend the odd hour massaging some of the man pages they left behind into a form suitable for average users.
Prod and wait
Err, ever considered that if you are hitting delete and the files are taking two minutes to delete, including a redraw of the screen etc. etc. that something may actually be wrong and this isn't normal behaviour? If this is happening across your entire office I'd point the finger at your build having dodgy config/3rd party software.
I see this a lot (and I'm not entirely inocent of it myself), Windows craps out or doesn't behave as expected and is slagged off for not just working, but Linux doesn't work properly and people are happy to spend a week tinkering to make it work.
I upset my dog
Thanks very much Mrs Stob, at last, an article by someone who has obviously actually used computers.
You made me laugh and laugh loudly, much to my dog's consternation, who then started barking and running round the office.
This article is not an attempt to be "hip and cool". It's intended to be funny.
You seem to have mislaid your sense of humour.
This view of Linux seems very outdated to me. I have been using a Macbook Pro at work for the last twelve months to edit videos and produce streaming media and DVDs. When it comes to doing other work, I find that all I want to do is hide the Macbook away and get on a Linux box. Linux still wins out for actual streaming of the media produced though.
I much prefer Linux to anything out there at this time. It is intuitive, easy to use and just has the features that I expect from a modern OS. I mean, waiting 20 seconds sometimes for the context menu to appear in OSX from a right click is a pain in the arse and that is just one of dozens of small annoyances.
When it comes to the proliferation of text editors, I call it choice. Pick one, learn it and stop even thinking about the others. (Mine's VIM).
Linux used to be tough to pick up, but now there is nothing easier. The difficulty comes when moving from an OS that doesn't do things in the same way. Once the new way is learned, the old way seems clunky and frustrating. If I had to move back to Windows full time now, I would find it just as frustrating as a newb moving to Linux does. I am currently using this Macbook at work full time and although better than Windows, it doesn't even come close to being as good as a good Linux box.
Trolls and FUD merchants are missing the point
It's a Stob article, remember? You are supposed to lie back and enjoy the humour, have a day off the zealotry and all that.
BEOS / Haiku
Only OS worth installing beside windows, it's called Haiku now.and evil Google are involved.
Why does everyone knock vi?
It seems that every distro has its own favourite non-standard text editor, whether it be nano, pico, joe, kate, etc.
What on earth is wrong with good old vi? I have been using vi for 20 years. It is immensely powerful, has a small footprint, and is the same on Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Linux, FreeBSD, and probably every Unix style system around. FFS you can even get it to run on a DOS/Windows system. You don't have to re-learn an editor each time you use a different flavour of Linux.
The only thing wrong with vi is that is not particularly intuitive. Get over it! It really is easy when you get used to it. Pick up a quick reference guide off the web and invest half an hour in learning how it works. You will then never need to learn another text editor. You CAN learn to love vi - I do. I really do!
Bugger I'm alright jack.
I Run Mac OSX 10.4.11 on a Old power Mac G4, Xp Pro on the Wifes Win Box the Boy Child set up as a Game Machine because she Needed it? , XP Pro and Xubuntu Hardy Beta on my Dell C400 Lattitude Laptop.
All Boot up and all play the game.
I'm currently waiting with bated breath for the (New BeOS) Haiku team and will probably run a Beta version up as soon as they release it.
First /3 years later - Linux setup ( is it really 22 years since no 1?)
You were the only other female software engineer in the '80's I ever met, You comforted me with Hash Bags, and warned me about Count Zero.
I still have my 'Born to Compile' T shirt,
I have discovered a new strategy!
I have several good friends who pride themselves on their knowledge, and enjoy demonstrating same;
I am a very good cook,
The current offer for my (new ) linux install will be for a home server to do all the multi media.
Coquille St Jacques - Scallops in sauce
Wild Salmon en croute - Salmon in pastry with veg.
Strawberry and Cream Profiteroles with Belgian Chocolate Sauce.
(intended target is a fishy veggie - won't eat anything that escaped the primordial soup, likes pudding)
I find this approach very effective, I can cook whilst they mutter, and listen to their triumphant explanation of what went wrong - and how they fixed it, in the sure and certain knowledge that they won't be able to resist the challenge of 'Whatever it Was' to come back and fix it, and try some Choux au crabe with Hollandaise Sauce, with Special Ginger pudding and Custard afterwards.
To be honest, I'm not usually one to leap at anti Linux stuff, but this anonymous poster actually quite surprised me with the length that he/she will go to in looking stupid..
> And don't forget what bad stuff linux comes with :
> Driver incompatibility,
Really? Erm, incompatibility how? Mine all seem to be living together like a little happy family on my dell D620. I see nothing incompatible about them?
> recompiling the kernel (for the doing the simplest things at times),
Now, honestly, are we still in the middle ages here? I've done many many simple things on my trusty box without having to delve into the kernel! In fact, the last time I was present in /usr/src for a kernel build was a good five years ago!
> An office suite that is more or less useless (mainly because the documents are formatted differently when opened in MS Office)
I'm certainly having more luck that most people on office 2007, shrug, go figure..
> Firefox that can't auto update
My Firefox updates its extensions and themes automatically perfectly fine. The download version from Mozilla also updates quite happily. As for my distro installed one, it updates perfectly happy through the repository.. where's the problem?
> The difficulty of installing apps that aren't in repositories
Okay, fair enough. But i can throw this right back, go install something for windows not packaged in an msi/other installer. Unzip this, stick this there, or here, or what.. you put it on a d drive? noo cant do that!
Since moving from windows, the repository has been a joy to use. One simple, common interface that manages my whole system along with all its installed software, updates and patches. Heavenly.
> Horrible hibernation support
*pulls out power cord, closes lid, power light pulses and laptop goes quiet...*
*goes to make coffee*
*returns with hot coffee, opens lid, noise returns, desktop appears as i left it, wireless reconnects to AP, applications sign in again*
sorry, what were you going on about??
> A PDF viewer that can't display PDFs correctly
Again, I'm opening PDF's just fine.. and definitely not missing the 128mb Adobe bloat.
> A major release every 6 months with a new kernel
Yay for keeping things up to date! its great isn't it :)
(that breaks apps and drivers compatibility) ....
I certainly haven't seen any major breakage during the last four major release updates I've done. Care to elaborate on this one?
But no, seriously, I'm not a Linux fanboy by any length, certainly not a zealot. I use Linux every day on my work laptop, doing a real job because I need to get things done. Perhaps I'm just lucky but I've experienced none of the issues you're talking about here.
"Recomplie the kernel"????
I've been using Linux for years. Everything in this office except one laptop is Linux and I've never had to recompile anything. Try using it instead of "spouting off"
Haha, good stuff
Excellent piece, had a good laugh ;-)
On a side-note: these days, if you install eg. Mandriva or PCLinuxOS, there is nothing to set up. Installing these is many times easier than getting for instance XP to work from scratch. The reason Windows 'seems' easier is because in a computer shop, you get the machine with Windows pre-installed.
You really see an 'average Joe User' install XP from a cd, install/download/configure all his hardware drivers, upgrade to XP SP2, download/set up antivirus/malware protection/firewalling software?? I don't think so!
Re: Why does everyone knock vi?
Agree. After years of using emacs, and numerous GUI editors (credit to Microsoft, Visual Studio always was pretty good for code editing), I still prefer vi -- gvim, to be exact -- even on the PC. It's a tradeoff of pretty against quick, and these days I really don't care about pretty.
"lay a small binary turd".... this one had me chuckling for quite a while...!
I guess when the generation (like me) that has those wordstar keystrokes permanently burned into the neurons finally passes to the great bit bucket in the sky then the need for joe will pass. As it is all the kiddies can't understand why I insist on installing it on all our Linux servers:-)
Re: Why does everyone knock vi?
"The only thing wrong with vi is that is not particularly intuitive. Get over it!"
Sorry, no. I *refuse* to "get over" any editor that is *necessarily* harder to use than Notepad. Whether it be running is GUI or CUI mode, I *demand*...
an obvious way to quit without making changes.
that the arrow keys move a visible insertion point around the text
that it is obvious how to access other commands
Consider this a "Bill of Rights" for the average user. There are many excellent reasons why you might want to use a more powerful editor than Notepad. I've used things like sed, to which the very notion of cursor keys and insertion point are alien. But still, I consider the above a fundamental right, if only on the grounds that if you are too lazy to provide *that* then I don't trust you to have written the rest to any acceptable quality.
Easy way to try Linux
I've found that usually, when I begin to think about replacing Windows on a machine, it's also time for a hard drive upgrade.
I present, free of charge, my method for success: pull out the original hard drive and replace with a larger one, purchased at Newegg for under $100 (much less than the cost of an OEM copy of WinXP). Do a clean install of the Linux distro of your choice on your new, larger, drive. Should anything go wrong, you always have your "old reliable" Windows drive, which you could reinstall.
Whiney little maggots - redux
I realise that it's Monday, and you're probably insufficiently caffeinated , but honestly, get a fucking sense of humour between you.
Mind you, having said that :
@ Dave Driver
No! Not vi! vi is evil!* I'd rather eat warm dog turd than use vi.
*If for no other reason, because Stallman hated it so much that he took his revenge by inflicting Emacs on the world. That's a whole bucket load of evil to be responsible for right there.
And also :
I've been using linux for more than a decade, and I've recompiled thousands of things. If you've never recompiled a kernel, you just aren't trying hard enough
^--- CAN YOU ALL SEE THAT ICON ?
Ubuntu my *#@§
Most Linux installations only exist, coz it's not Windows. It's users expect it to be just like Win - only for free. They get what they ask for - an "easy to use", bloated mess.
How about doin it right ? Get a BSD. Build the Kernel and the modules you need. Build the software you need. If you don't want that - get a Mac.
Linux ? Who needs Linux ?
MacOSX sorely misses an out-of-the-box package manager like you find on modern Linux distros (Synaptics on Ubuntu, Portage on Gentoo, Yum on RedHat...).
Fink seems to do the job, but it takes forever to install as you have to compile it (at the time of writing, there's no binary available for 10.5.2) especially if you want to use the latest XCode, which is a 1GB download from Apple (after registration).
Re: Get the best of both, *nix with a decent front-end, get a Mac
I have a Mac - BIG mistake!!!! The hardware is ok, but the OS is a bastardised BSD with a split personality. The GUI is AWFUL!!! And I mean AWFUL. It has so many basic design flaws and little annoyances, it drives me nuts on a regular basis. And I'm not comparing it with Windows. I'm comparing it with common sense.
Re: Why does everyone knock vi?
> I *demand*...
> an obvious way to quit without making changes.
:q . Seems simple enough.
> that the arrow keys move a visible insertion point around the text
Yep. I like that about vi too.
> that it is obvious how to access other commands
There's a built-in help page...
> I've used things like sed, to which the very notion of cursor keys and insertion
> point are alien.
No you haven't. sed is a stream editor. You don't use it interactively.
> But still, I consider the above a fundamental right
Looks like you're a vi devotee too :-)
Re: Stop spreading Windows FUD.
Sorry, but which versions of Windows and Linux are you using? 5 years ago, I'd agree with all but one of your comments, but now, it's obvious you aren't using the current facts.
From my personal experience...
On my laptop at home (which is an off-the-shelf job with a handful of random devices attached)
XP is flawless
Vista can't cope with the graphics, sound, wireless or most of my USB kit. Hours on google still can't fix wireless or half the USB stuff.
Ubuntu failed on the wireless card, but 30 seconds on google fixed it
>recompiling the kernel
Nope, not needed for anything I've wanted to try out.
>An office suite that is more or less useless (mainly because the documents are formatted differently when opened in MS Office),
This is the one I still tend to agree with, but most of my work does not go to people who would read it in Office.
>Firefox that can't auto update ,
Eh? Have you used version 2 or above yet?
>The difficulty of installing apps that aren't in repositories
Repositories are as easy as MSI or self-installers (actually usually easier)
Non-repository applications are the same as windows apps that arrive with a long string of "unpack, copy, hack registry, insert cronbubbly in the doomwranger" style instructions.
The overwhelming majority of real users out there won't install non-repository apps - we just don't need them.
>Horrible hibernation support
XP - 99.9% (it bluescreens now and then)
Vista - 50% chance of it not restoring hibernated session, no reason given
Ubuntu - 99% (it fails to recognise that I have swapped the hardware in the DVD/CD/Floppy removable drive)
>A PDF viewer that can't display PDFs correctly,
Um, vi is not a PDF viewer...
>A major release every 6 months with a new kernel (that breaks apps and drivers compatibility)
XP - Fine
Vista - Service pack broke half the hardware I'd struggled to get working
Ubuntu - Never had an app or driver break on upgrade
Don't get me wrong - I'm not a Linux fanboy, and I'm not convinced it's ready for the casual user - I'm simply annoyed by the suggestion that this article is spreading Windows FUD when the "evidence" is either MS-sponsored anti-Linux FUD or 5 years out of date?
Or did I miss the "joke alert" symbol?
Yours, a Mac Fanboy
Tux, cos there's no iFlame icon...
It is very bad taste to post a serious comment to one of <bold>Ms</bold> Stobbs excellent articles. But as evrybody else has ...
"vi" is htere on linux because its wanted. vi or rather vim is the most popular editor among developers. Its a fact and I will repeat it "vi is the most popular editor among developers".
There are many reasons for this - portability, speed, usefulness, you cannot astound people with you ksh skills unless you really know vi etc. etc.
It does have a leaning curve like the North Face of the Eiger, but anyone who does administration on unix servers needs to learn it anyway. The same is also true for its only real rival "emacs". This fact alone accounts for all those other editors with varying combinations of ease of learning/usefulness installed that come with by default.
Unlike windows which comes with Notepad and nothing else!
Re: Ubuntu my *#@§
"How about doin [sic] it right ? Get a BSD. Build the Kernel and the modules you need. Build the software you need. If you don't want that - get a Mac."
I've used OpenBSD for years on my server and on my desktop. I've never had to compile the kernel. Indeed, doing so is actively discouraged by the OpenBSD people. You only need to consider compiling the kernel if you are doing something special like trying to make it run on a very small system with very limited resources.
As an aside, I find it very very sad that the BSDs don't get the attention they deserve. Why isn't this article entitled "The missing five-minute BSD manual for morons"? Linux is a badly behaved runt in comparison to BSD; it's thrown together, rather than elegantly constructed like the BSDs, it's MUCH more complex to configure (compare the /etc of a Linux box with that of a BSD one and decide which one YOU prefer!), it's peppered with inconsistent and buggy stuff. It's yuk!
"It still runs on more than 90% of all desktop computers"
That still leaves quite a few million more enlightened users! And what definition of the word 'run' were you thinking of..?
I loved the No.1 detective agency pastiche, too.
> It is very bad taste to post a serious comment to one of
> <bold>Ms</bold> Stob's excellent articles. But as everybody else has ...
<BLUSH> You're right, sorry. </BLUSH>
Mine's the anorak.
>Now then, what would you do with 1200 Stobs?
Hmm, so many choices ... well I'd start by installing Linux on 1/3 of them, BSD on another third, Windows on another third and MacOS on the last third (shurely some mistake ?). Then I'd get the whipped cream and chocolate spread out and .... err ....
+++ERROR IN FANTASY, REDO FROM START+++
@Dan Haworth - Nice one
Nice one Dan, for sticking up for common sense!
Yes many eons ago, back in the bad old days those points the AC raised were very true, last time I recompiled a kernel was in 1998 to get some weird SCSI thing working on SuSE!
To all, if you still think Linux is full of these nasty points AC raised, download a bootable CD of Ubuntu/Kubuntu 7.10 and think again. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised and you never know you might even make some new friends. I'm not ramming home how great it is, it just works for me. You should always be open to something new once in a while, with a bootable live CD if it doesn't work out, what have you lost?
A note to the burke who thinks that Linux forum zealots need locking up, you should take a wander through the Ubuntu forums, a nicer, more helpful bunch I have never had the pleasure to befriend. Always have time for a newbie, always polite and courteous. If you turn up from Windows land and demand to know why Linux/OSX/BSD won't simply run EXE files, maybe you should visit your local Kwik-Fit and ask why your petrol motor choked when you pumped in 5 gallons of diesel, much the same reaction will be forthcoming!
What's wrong with vi...?
Well, for a start it's closely tied to QWERTY keyboards, which doesn't help if, for instance, you're using a hardwired Dvorak keyboard. Mind you, could be worse, hjkl in vi is just about ok to use on Dvorak, but Wordstar/joe was designed to be even more QWERTY specific (it's called wordSTAR, because it refers to a star of keyboard letters..)
Once you get over the directional letters, vi isn't that bad, and for those that don't understand arrow key mapping problems - have you never installed or recovered *nix via an extremely basic serial terminal?
I remain to be convinced that Emacs is anything other than the creation of a sick mind, but then again I did use to like things like EPM and the X2 editor.
Personally I'm a fan of BSD Unix, although I have to also say that Vista can be pretty fast once you turn some of the stupid window animations off, and Ultimate comes with a downloadable Unix subsystem (Interix repackaged).
well written article.