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back to article Red Hat sticks lawyers on non-neutral Switzerland

Red Hat is heading an appeal against a Swiss government agency’s award of a contract handed to Microsoft without any public bidding. The Linux software vendor said late last week that it was joining 17 other tech firms in disputing the Swiss Federal Bureau for Building and Logistics’ decision. The agency gave Microsoft the three …

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ahh pay offs

but i would never recommend linux to our customers

the pain needed to get them all up and running and actually using the system is unthinkable !

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Anonymous Coward

Waste of Money

The Swiss government are pretty much a law unto themselves so I doubt such legal action will have any chance of succeeding. It's not like Red Hat could take this to a higher authority when the Swiss courts chuck the case.

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Linux

Rubbish

"the pain needed to get them all up and running and actually using the system is unthinkable !"

Unfounded and untrue.

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Linux

@Lionel Baden

... and so the FUD goes on....

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CH Banking with US Secrets to Hide?

It is surely easily solved and a point well made, should the system provided be easily hacked and rendered an obedient clone to an ambiguous and anonymous host/Proxy Server.

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@Lionel Baden

I pity your customers.

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Immunization is Like That

You get a tiny pain but long-term protection.

I have migrated many groups. The small ones are easy. You can hold their hands. The large ones are more difficult. You have to explain logins and issue passwords to everyone and you cannot meet most of them.

I like the approach of Extremadura. They swooped in on a weekend and the users had new desktops to work on Monday. Sweet. I will bet that caused consternation but the improved performance afterward makes it acceptable. One needs to give the end-users reasons for the change and show them immediate benefits. It really does help to issue new monitors/keyboards/mice at the time of migration. The end-user does not expect everything to be the same on a new system.

You can go to the opposite extreme like Munich where from conception to finishing the migration is taking 8 years. The equipment will need replacement about the time they finish... chuckle...

Somewhere in the middle is the best compromise between cost of migration and pain. However it is done, it will pay off sooner or later. I like to go with thin clients and GNU/Linux. Often the payoff is instant because the cost per seat is about half. One can either double the number of seats for the same money or buy lots of toys with the savings. It is all good. Many of my clients go from XP on 5-10 year old machines to GNU/Linux running on a quad-core 64bit server and really appreciate the improvement in performance. They do not appreciate switching to that other OS next release and slowing down...

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Rob
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Linux

Same old arguments

I can see why this has occurred, although the initial cost savings do seem attractive when it comes to public sector open source is rarely a good choice as the costs saved usually need to be spent on training and development. I think what most open-source people forget is that public sector (especially in the UK) is mainly staffed by numpties who can't be bothered to do a proper job and probably wouldn't survive or be able to get a job in the Private Sector.

The best route for Open Source is to get decent saturation in the private sector, after that public sector will follow suit. The biggest failing for open source at the moment is it's lack of marketing to Joe Public.

In regards to Lionel's comments, 'pain' translates into extra time and cost if your a consultant which could then price you out of the job, so I can see where he's coming from if that was the motive behind his comment.

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Anonymous Coward

errr...

... why can;t they just give a contract to the people that they want to work with, why do thye have to go through a bidding procedure if they already know what they want?

Its like HMV getting the lawyers on me cause i got a game from GAME and didn't check with them for prices first even tho hmv didn;t have the game in stock

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Anonymous Coward

it's possible

that they concluded that there was no other company in existence that could meet their requirements and so didn't bother with the bidding. Which could be the case if their requirements were specific enough around windows and office.

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Microsoft salesmen out today?

Clearly Microsoft is paying people to say bad things about competitors.

Heck, here they do not even act like consumers which is the common ploy.

No one would expect a Microsoft salesman to sell anything to customers but a Microsoft product. They hate their consumers so much.

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Ged

I agree with the swiss

If they Swiss government are already set up for a full MS infrastructure then surely it makes sense to continue with existing practise.

I can't imagine having to retrain all admins with 20+ years of experience on Windows boxen, programmers and network admins too. migrate all the proprietry Windows software to open source equivelents and somehow retrain all the end users how to use this software.

It just sounds like a nightmare, and a very expensive one at that.

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Depends

There may well no alternative to MS.

Want an OS users can actually use? That'd be Windows. End users do not want to have to drop to the command line to read email.

Want an office suite that works that has loads of commercially available add-ons and integrations with lots of other systems? That'd be Office.

Want an OS is readily supported by hardware vendors? That'd be Windows. Linux doesn't even properly support Intel graphic chipsets these days - guess what is fitted to most business PCs?

Want an system with low TCO? That'd be MS. Sure, the licenses may cost more up-front, but the massive savings in training and user support more than makes up for that.

Want a system where you can just go and by kit off the shelf? That'd be MS.

Want a system that has managed roll-outs and doesn't offer the end-user hundred of random updates every day? That'd be MS once again.

Want to run on really obsucre hardware or wow you k00l d00d budz with a spinning box? That'd be Linux (assuming you can make Compiz Fusion work, whcih mean you need to know your Window Manager from your Window Decorator from your Desktop Manger).

Linux may be good for the niche markets (some embeded systems, some developers, nerds) but it is still total pish for the average user. Having to use the command line once is FAIL for the average user. It's point and click or nothing.

Linux fanbois don't get that, they think that even the most casual PC user should go get a degree in Comp.Sci. so they can figure out how to get Samba running.

This is why Linux fails. This is why Linux costs too much to run. This is why it has almost no penetration and this is why Windows will continue to dominate; it is simply very good at what it does - allows people to get on with doing their job without feeling like they need to become the next Alan Turing just to open a document.

In conclusion - Lionel is correct. Showing a customer Linux is the perfect way to lose a contract.

(Apols if this is a double post - El Reg is causing an XSS alert at the moment)

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@Lionel

You're a spiteful little troll aren't you?

I love Linux and OSX, but if I felt MS products were better suited, they get recommended. I use OSX at home, my missus and my old man do too, but other members of my family use XP, Vista and I support their systems when they go wrong. I help them secure decent AV and security software as you do more for Windows, although I am a devout Unix geek I would never lecture them to use something they may not like. If they ask me for alternatives, I would tell them the truth. There are good and bad bits in both Unix and Windows, each with their own merits and drawbacks.

Things should always be considered for their ability to suit the situation, not just based on FUD, BS and a sad narrow-minded, playground mentality. Still that's the theory and this is real life...

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Alert

A sure case of failure to comprehend what is being said...

"The Swiss agency justified the no-bid procurement procedure because it could not find a “sufficient alternative” to Microsoft’s software, according to Red Hat."

So, even Red Hat have failed to comprehend that there are continuing reasons why people use Microsoft? Doesn't say much for their intelligence.

I work for a small business that has stuff deployed on Linux, Solaris x86 and FreeBSD. We are actually set on moving away from Linux, because it behaves very badly under extreme workloads - and both Solaris x86 and FreeBSD are far more reliable under load. So I don't understand how the Pengiun crowd think they are automatically better than everyone else, simply because they are free. The empirical evidence gathered here (we're an internet search company) points to the fact that Linux is actually extremely unsuitable for handling our workload.

Mail here is still done on Microsoft Exchange and Outlook, and everyone has a Windows XP desktop, despite the licensing costs. Turns out, it pays dividends. We run everything from Adobe apps for our art department, through to Microsoft Office (must be MSOffice - OpenOffice doesn't cut it for sharing documents with partners), and we deal with multiple languages - including Turkish, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese. For a UNIX terminal, I fire up Cygwin. I still don't see the kind of seamless support for that under Linux that has existed since Windows 2000, nor do I see the kind of applications that are supported under Linux that would have us drop our suite of commercial Windows applications in favour of them.

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Flame

Re: Depends

Anonymous Coward on Tuesday 26th May 2009 12:00 GMT:

"Want an OS users can actually use? That'd be Windows. End users do not want to have to drop to the command line to read email."

The very words of a fanboy, indeed.

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Re: Same old arguments

"I can see why this has occurred, although the initial cost savings do seem attractive when it comes to public sector open source is rarely a good choice as the costs saved usually need to be spent on training and development."

If the new sport is to pick out self-contradictory comments on Register articles, you're all making it too easy. I'm sure that when the next Microsoft product gets rolled out at great expense and inconvenience, the "training and development" costs are brushed aside as "a necessary expense". Meanwhile...

"I think what most open-source people forget is that public sector (especially in the UK) is mainly staffed by numpties who can't be bothered to do a proper job and probably wouldn't survive or be able to get a job in the Private Sector."

Hence the need for the continual training that continuous Microsoft upgrades and migrations undoubtedly bring. But then Microsoft training comes for free and doesn't count as training, does it?

Yes, we see the same old arguments: perpetuating the status quo may continue at great expense, but no-one should be counting the beans. Heaven forbid that the status quo may end, however, because then every bean must be counted over and over again, and everyone must be reminded over and over again about how great everything was before with a now-unsupported release of Microsoft Whatever that, if one listens to the whispers of the salesmen desperate to get the customer back onto the gold carpet, must be upgraded to the latest release and everyone retrained at once. Which costs "nothing", naturally.

Britain is indeed fertile ground for monopolists and incumbents: anyone in the public sector with a budget to defend (or anyone just blatantly "on the take") can pander to the sentiments of the average Britard and claim to respect their preferences, which mostly involve exercising one's "consumer right" to "demand the brand" at every opportunity, even if "the brand" isn't better or cheaper than the competition or locks the purchaser into a costly relationship. But hey, you recognise the name of "the brand", so that makes it alright, eh Britards?

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@ t'other Anonymous Coward

"Want an OS users can actually use? That'd be Windows. End users do not want to have to drop to the command line to read email."

I have to be honest, in six years of using Linux as a home user I've never had to use the Terminal to read email.

Gnome has this thing called Evolution, its a PIM - or you can just use it to read email. And tyou know what, I'm pretty sure KDA and XFCE have email managers too.

A.

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Linux is no use here

I work in a UK council and there's no chance Linux will ever replace Windows here. The reasons have pretty much been covered above and they are mainly focused round re-training and compatibility with existing software.

So we should rewrite every piece of bespoke software we use? We should tell our admins that smarmy Linux/Unix advocates posting on the Reg think they're stupid with no useful skills just because they've spent 20 years working with Windows and not Unix? And that because of that we're sacking them all or asking them to suddenly pick up enough unix skills to run the new infrastructure? Oh and while we're at it we'll throw out years and years of acquired bespoke software and spend a fortune having it all rewritten as well as cancelling any contracts for externally supplied software solutions. Jeez, what planet do you idiots live on?

I love Linux and I run Mint and OSX at home, no Windows at all, but sometimes you have to stop talking drivel, stop being a blind fanboy and face the facts. Sometimes Windows is just too established to make it worthwhile moving to anything else.

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command-line email???

@ Anonymous Coward on Tuesday 26th May 2009 12:00 GMT

"Want an OS users can actually use? That'd be Windows. End users do not want to have to drop to the command line to read email."

Don't be ridiculous. There are half a dozen or more GUI email clients for Linux which work fine, and at least one (Evolution) which is apparently capable of working with an Exchange server, no less.

I'm afraid after that blatant nonsense, the rest of your comments are left with zero credibility.

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I'll help out of needed

Not a great RedHat fan any longer, I'd still help out if they needed help with the job, once and if they'd get the contract. Thumbs up!

I pity the clients and even the co-workers of some posters in here. You know whose.

No doubt, some play the devil's advocate here. Sure Solaris behaves much better under heavy loads than Linux. Only, there is no logical link to using the dog of e-mail, Exchange. Do we read words here, just words? An 'Internet search company' based on Windows?

If really "Linux is actually extremely unsuitable for handling our workload" was true, I seriously wonder how suitable Windows is.

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@Depends

You're an idiot. Too embarrassed to even put your name against that nonsense.

"Drop to the command line to read email" ? like when ?

"hundred of random updates every day" ? an example ?

"not supported by hardware vendors" ? never heard of Intel, IBM, HP, etc etc

Why not just register an account as Billy Idiot and be done with it if you aren't capable of putting together half coherent arguments. Or maybe just Sh*t for brains would do

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@Linux fanbois

I see my "drop to the command line to read email" got under your skin. Good. There are far, far too many simple operations that demand arcane knowledge of the command line on Linux for the average user.

I am perfectly aware of Evolution (and it's serious limitations) etc, but the fact remains; far too often you need to use the command line to do what should be something simple. Err...like change file permissions. Need a "su" or a "sudo" to get the rights to do so? How the hell do you do that from Gnome? YOU CAN'T! Command line, baby! You could configure a launcher...but wait....you need to know the command line to know what to issue in that launcher!

Or maybe you want to share a folder, whaddya do? Well you could hit Samba directly (if you know the underlying architecture) and hack away at a crappy text file in gedit or something. Or you could try a right click and share (if Gnome has been configured to allow this) but that'll store the setting in some odd location; Gnome isn't even correctly configured to use the same smb.conf file as everything else FFS.

And gods help you if you need to fix your mouse or screen resolutions. Can you say "The Nightmare That Came From xorg.conf"?

On Windows it's all GUI, all consistent, all understandable and all usable without needing a Phd.

Even, if by some miracle, you got Linux on the desktops you'd have to re-write all the client applications (well, the ones that are not Java based) to run on Linux. WINE is not viable for general use (and that's according to WINE!) and Mono won't run anything more than simple "Hello Mum!" apps.

Your ideology that it must all be "free", "open source" and "fish obsessed" is causing you to forget the main thing. People want to get their work done with the minimum of fuss; they do not give two damns about your ethical posturing or pet loves. That means they will use Windows and MS tools as it's what they know, it does the job and it doesn't cost them a small fortune in re-training/re-tooling.

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@ anonymous MS fanbuoy

"There are far, far too many simple operations that demand arcane knowledge of the command line on Linux for the average user."

Cite one.

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@ jeremy, mike et al

Perhaps the pain Lionel's referring to is dealing with the type of Linux people that populate these pages.

(Andy - just using your first name is really no different to being totally anonymous. Pot, stop insulting kettle please. Or have the courage to use the whole swear word or self-restraint - difficult for zealots, I know - to just not use one.)

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Switchers

My city council (Haarlem, The Netherlands) replaced Windows with Linux on all of their PC's a few years ago and they never looked back. They are saving themselves a boatload of money every year too. Training of users? Yes, of course. But they now have more control over their machines and network and less maintenance.

They had a carefully worked out plan and didn't rush things. It paid off for them.

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Stop

@@Linux fanbois

I really shouldn't rise to the bait but here is my take on it.

>I am perfectly aware of Evolution (and it's serious limitations) etc, but the fact remains; far too often you need to use the command line to

My whole family use Ubuntu and XP (dual boot) - they use XP for games only. For everything else they use Ubuntu. My son loves it - he prefers it to Windows. We use Firefox for browsing, Thunderbird for email, there is a plethora of options for playing media. With Intrepid Ibex, wireless networking just works for us. Where is all this evidence that people prefer Windows? Even if we used XP, we would still be using Firefox and Thunderbird which is what most people use the computer for - what is all this "retraining" crap?

>And gods help you if you need to fix your mouse or screen resolutions. Can you say "The Nightmare That Came From xorg.conf"?

You can change resolutions using the "Change screen resolution" accessory. It's really not difficult. Fix you mouse? What do you mean? It all just works out of the box for me.

> Even, if by some miracle, you got Linux on the desktops you'd have to re-write all the client applications

What on earth do you mean? Installation is very simple.

> ...you'd have to re-write all the client applications (well, the ones that are not Java based) to run on Linux.

If you mean company specific proprietary apps then you do have a valid pont here. And this is one of the biggest issues facing the open source community in terms of getting Linux into business, although for most people this is not an issue.

Unfortunately the previous bullsh*t you were purveying prior to this point switched everyone off and they probably missed it.

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@command-line email

Hmmm... I may just fire up a command terminal so I can install and run mh. Just because I can.

(I know, there are GUIs for mh too, but that's only because mh is built the "Unix" way... small programs that do one thing well... so it's no surprise that it's easy to build a gui on top if it)

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Linux

I am an Idiot too

I am in the throws of configuring a spam filter box using Fedora 10.

I wouldn't wish this crap on anyone I love.

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Flame

Ah fanboys

Why is it that a simple article about a government not folloewing 'procedure' sufddenly turns into a giant pissing match? And why does it even concern you? A government agnecy renewing contracts ins't a personal attack on you nor is it depriving you of anything at all. Whether an agency uses Microsoft of one of the thousands of Linux / Unix OSes isn't going to change how your computer runs.

The term 'Holy War' seems to fit for this kind of Fanboy cock-wagging that goes on on these boards

For god's sake SHUT UP ALREADY!

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command line

Speaking of dropping to the command line to do anything can someone tell me is there a better way of doing a batch file rename on XP than to drop to the Dos prompt and use rename, at least that way you get coherent names and not ones with spaces in them as you do with XPs point and click. I wish to run rename *.JPG *.jpeg over several thousand files. Runs fine off the command line can't find a point and click anywhere in windows to do it.

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@windows fanbois

Windows would never get in where I work

1. Have to drop down to MSDOS to perform basic things

2. Have to manually edit the registry to get some things to install/uninstall correctly

3. The screen keeps on going a blue colour with some gibberish across it and you have to call in some tech support person for that.

4. Everything often goes slow and users would keep ringing up the help desk asking why

5. Viruses keep on coming in, no matter how many "Patch Tuesdays" there are.

6. Users would have no choice on their applications.

7. Loses out on a cost basis

8. No virtual desktops and users keep insisting they don't want to keep playing "Clicky" (TM) just to find the window they wanted to work from.

Nothing. More. To. Say.

Windows. Total. Fail

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Re: @Linux fanbois

I actually read your 2nd post, I can imagine many did not. You see, if you'd come out with those comments first time round people may not have decided to regard you as someone with the intellect of an amoeba. You appear to have done yourself a great disservice.

Though, to be proud of riling people with an incredibly stupid comment doesn't reflect well on you either. It's somewhat similar to a BNP member being pleased that people are angry with him for saying "black people are all criminals", and then trying to justify it by saying "well, most gang members in Camberwell are black, so I'm right".

Regardless of any religious feelings (I do the majority of development in Windows, but use FreeBSD for file & mail servers etc.), it's highly dubious that any government should enter a contract with a single company without any public consultation.

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Stop

Oh for crying out loud

For most purposes, it couldn't possibly matter which OS that pdf file, or spreadsheet, or game of solitaire originated on. Most of your "numpty" users would be taxed to tell the difference, or remember which one they used last week, much less to care. So stop already with these ridiculous ideas like "Data entry clerks demand Microsoft Access!" or "Four out of five dentist's secretaries surveyed prefer MSSQL." or the absurd "drop to the command line to read email." Though, I will admit, MS has everyone beat with powerpoint; it's so easy, even executives can create a presentation.

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@ AC fanbuoy again

"change file permissions. Need a "su" or a "sudo" to get the rights to do so? How the hell do you do that from Gnome? YOU CAN'T!"

Unfortunately you can. I'm not going to tell you how, as you clearly shouldn't be allowed to change the permission of files you don't own. Your sysadmin would kill me. And if you do genuinely need to change permission on such a file, you should at least remotely know what you're doing. Which means reading a 30-line manpage I'm afraid. Boo-hoo, how difficult, poor you (or you could still try and find how to do it with the GUI...)

By the way, how do you change permissions of a file you don't own in windows? Log off, log on as admin, do your stuff, log off, log on as user, restart your apps and go on? How bloody convenient. Or you could just run it as admin all the time. Yeah right.

"Or maybe you want to share a folder, whaddya do?"

It's actually dreadfully easy, but don't get me started on "client-side" network shares.

"And gods help you if you need to fix your mouse or screen resolutions"

Erm. Maybe you should, I don't know, try? It's 2 clicks. I'm sure even you can figure it out.

"Even, if by some miracle, you got Linux on the desktops" It's easier than getting Windows on the desktop, FFS. The difference is that windows comes already intalled for lusers, whereas lusers would have to get Linux installed... by Red Hat maybe?

"you'd have to re-write all the client applications (well, the ones that are not Java based) to run on Linux" Because of course there are no applications running on Linux.

"People want to get their work done with the minimum of fuss" If they wanted that, they'd be running a BSD or a Linux. What they want is a shiny GUI with uninformative but easy to understand pop-ups, the ability to make a mess of the system to impress the boss' PA (ultimately blaming the resulting disaster on "fragmentation", "need more RAM" or "you need a quad-core to open this text document" or), and above all, someone else dealing with the problems. Which is what Red Hat does for their distro (and which is what MS doesn't do).

I had to check your "facts" on Gnome (which I don't normally use), and it appears that the GUI limitations you have when messing around the system are unfortunately due to you not knowing how to use a GUI-based system -let alone a computer.

Maybe you should go and learn a thing or two before spreading FUD?

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RW

Oddly enough...

"The biggest failing for open source at the moment is it's lack of marketing to Joe Public."

Yet Linux is, based on my experience, ideal for Joe & Josie Sixpack and their darling rug rats, to say nothing of the yard apes. Your usual schmoe wants to surf the net for porn, do email, watch dirty videos, suck pictures off his camera and send them to granny, and very little else. (His wife wants a recipe for sour cream-pecan pie, however.)

Linux does all this very well. And because it has the user access thing Done Right, Junior can't mess the machine up visiting dubious sites.

These days, every time a friend starts grousing about his computer, I say "try Linux."

I tried it a couple of years ago on an antiquated clunker and liked it well enough to buy a new machine last summer. Hardly use my other machines these days.

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Windows Lusers

So, last night 10yo girl receives a "movie" via email of her in an aerobics comp. The "movie" was created by one of the mothers of the group involved.

Anyway, she downloads the email using Outlook on Vista (She has to use MS because the idiots running the school she's at mandate it) and proceeds to click on the "movie".

Up pops WIndows Movie Maker but it won't play, so 10yo proceeds to ask me how to go about watching her movie.

I take a look at the file, which is called "aerobics". No file extension is visible. "Oh, FFS" I think, "I F#$%ING hate Windows" as I proceed to turn off that idiotic "Hide known file extensions" rubbish. Only this is Vista, and there is no longer a "Tools" menu where I would go on XP to fix this. So much for "Windows users don't need retraining"

Turns out that the file is a MWMMF file (or something) which is a "Windows Movie Maker File". Apparently the imbecile who sent the "movie" just clicked "Save Project" and sent the project file.

The combination of your typical dumbed down windows luser, badly designed software (WMM doesn't make it clear to the user that the movie must be rendered, MS calls it "published" which is a total misnomer) and the gross stupidity of hiding file extensions so that the user was not able to easily recognise that the file they sent wasn't actually a video led to 10yo being unable to view the video.

So, don't tell me that Windows provides a superior experience for your average user. If you are going to dumb down the OS to the point that users are not required to think about what they are doing then at the very least you should ensure that you do it properly like that other fruit related company does.

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Jobs Horns

Cost of change to Linux argument

may have had a precedent around 1910, when that new type of transport called the CAR was just starting.

The makers of drays, carts, buggies, horse shoes, harness and all the other things that were used on the horse drawn vehicles, almost certainly used the same argument.

PS . Bring back the law that required a man with a red flag to walk in front of a car to worn the citizens that the death dealing device was coming.

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Happy

It makes me happy

to see that although I am old , clapped out , run down etc. that there are people much younger than I , who are seem to be more mentally deficient.

Those above shooting their mouth off about using the Command Line to do things on Linux, will never have used Linux, but are just parroting what their predecessors have written./ spoken.

The Command Line is also used in Windows,

This may come as a shock to those Windows users writing above.

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Anonymous Coward

Brand Britards

Love it! It's all about the brand in the UK, and the US. That's why they are all like MS sheep, and now every tosser wants an iphone.

I actually do like MS and yes there are lots of migration issues with linux, but if I was an IT Director or CIO and really cared about the company rather than just milking it or using it as a step ladder to a bigger one, then I would make sure that linux and Open Office was on each and every desktop. Save masses on licensing and hardware replacement. Anyone really needing an MS app like perhaps 5% would then have crossover or a virtual box, or if an accounting PC it could remain "as is" and sandboxed.

Brand is Bollox, Brand is Britain, Britain is Bollox

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry...

Swiss government... "Oh so sorry, please Red Hat send us your bid for the business..."

OK thanks, We knew you would see sense...

Sometime later...

Swiss government to the postman... "Ah that must be the Red Hat bid... great!" "Oi Johann, chuck this in the bin can you!"

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Ah - the sound of fanbois squealing

Say anything bad about Linux and they resort to moaning "Well I know the answer, and I'm not telling" or banging on about the man pages. Where does one get the man pages? The command line. I rest my case. FAIL.

(Yes, on some Linux distros there is a proper "Help" facility like you get in Windows, but on the distro I just checked (Ubuntu 9.04, is looked for help on "ls" as an example) it contains incomplete information. Perhaps it should be rebranded "Unhelpful"?)

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Rob
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@AC 26th 14:09

"I'm sure that when the next Microsoft product gets rolled out at great expense and inconvenience, the "training and development" costs are brushed aside as "a necessary expense". Meanwhile..."

Ah bless your deluded little assumption, there is no training and development costs brushed aside just because there is no training and development full stop. Office 2007 is the only upgrade even remotely happening at the moment and that's only being given to people who already know how to use it. It'll be years before they consider an OS upgrade and even then they'll look at the cost and then decide not to, don't forget I did say public sector, do you think that automatically equates to bucket loads of cash (if your answer is yes then please self certify and book yourself into the nearest funny farm).

"But then Microsoft training comes for free and doesn't count as training, does it?"

Bless your little cotton socks again, continuous microsoft training for free!!?!! Not on this planet, but please let me know how to get to yours cause I'd love some free training that I don't have to develop and deliver for once.

Prehaps this is why Linux isn't doign to well, beacuse people like you are banging the drum for open source and clearly haven't a clue.

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Paris Hilton

What's with dislike of the command line anyway?

First off, you can read a man page in a web browser by typing something like

man:ls

into the address bar. (Replace "ls" with the command you want to learn about.) And no, that's the browser's address bar, not the text box of some search engine.)

But secondly, what's actually so bad about the command line anyway, for chuff's sake? On a unix-like system at any rate, it's where the real power exists. You can do anything you want, and all without the slow, clunky GUI getting in your way. It's like having a conversation with someone in a language you both understand, as opposed to gesturing and grunting.

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@A J Stiles

I am sure you are an IT expert and, for you, the command line is not an issue. Think about your customer though (secretary, doctor, mechanic, whatever - just not an IT expert), the command line is FAIL for them. Pure and simple. They don't need "the full power", the need to do their job.

For IT professionals, the equation is different.

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cor
Linux

FUD FFS

Wow, so many people who don't know much about it, but still have a negative opinion regarding Linux.

I don't understand why people turn rabid at the idea of being denied their windows fix.

I sometimes wonder if their fear and anxiety is caused by years of struggling with MS goo, finally getting things to 'work' and now scared witless that anything might change. Because that would mean a reinstall of windows...

I have been MS free for 9 years now, and yes, I have a degree in computer science. However my wife, my kids and my parents-in-law don't. They also all use *only* Linux (from ubuntu to fedora) and none can work with the command line. They don't need to. That is just another myth about Linux.

Look - sure you can do *even more* in Linux if you use the command line, but you don't *have to*. It the difference between having the ability to open the engine bay of your car and do what you like, or not being allowed to know what's 'under the hood'. - Either way you can still just get in the car and drive.

Suggesting that you *must* work with the command line interface in Linux is like saying that in order to drive a Bugatti you need to get out every 5 minutes and readjust the timing belt or modify the valve offsets. That's just plain rubbish, propagated by the owners and manufacturers of Trabants.

Take a chill pill you rabid fearmongers :)

Cormac.

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Missing the point

This shouldn't be some pathetic OS debate, but should actually be (as per the article) why haven't the Swiss government asked different organisations to tender bids. They should at least publicised why they chose MS over the alternatives - existing infrastructure etc.

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IT Angle

Why no public bids?

Because Switserland is not a part of the EU and therefore does not fall under EU regulation.

Which basically means it, as a country, can bloody well buy whatever it wants.

I see no one complaining when you buy a car you like. Your money, your purchase, your rules.

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@ the AC MS kid -again

"Well I know the answer, and I'm not telling"

I think I gave you quite a few aswers. If you want to know how to change the permission on a file you don't own without using the command line (I guess some people have too much time on their hands), from memory in Gnome it's ATL-F2 to bring up an invite (same kind as in Windows, you shouldn't be lost) the type "gksu" -without quotes obviously- which is Gnome's graphical front-end for su, then start the file browser from that ("nautilus" in Gnome), type the root password and do your stuff. No it's not particularly easy (still easiest than in Windows) but it shouldn't be. If you can't be bothered to know the tools you're using, you probably shouldn't be allowed to modify other users' files. The instructions might be a tad inaccurate because I can't be bothered to fire up the useless piece of bloat that Gnome is -which, by the way, I could launch in another virtual console, as a different user if I so wished, without stopping my current twm session, switching back and forth between the graphical sessions with a simple keyboard shortcut. Try and do that in Windows. Good luck..

"or banging on about the man pages. Where does one get the man pages? The command line. I rest my case. FAIL."

There are a few graphical front-ends for man (or info) around. But the command line is a remaquably powerfull tool (even in windows) and usually get the job done a _lot_ faster than the WIMP menu-based approach. That's a very well known weakness of WIMP-only strategies, and that's the reason why most graphical environments make heavy use of "shortcuts" and "launchers" -and fracking "macros"-, which can somewhat mitigate the issue (still massively less efficient though).

"the command line is FAIL for them. Pure and simple. They don't need "the full power", the need to do their job."

You seem to be making two mistakes: firstly, this article is about a large-scale structure with a cubic shitload* of similar machines similarly configured, not about a personnal entertainment tool that can also be used for work. Secondly, the people you're talking about don't just need to do their job. They need to do their jobs in the most cost-effective way (especially when "computers" are only a burdensome necessity). To this regard, nothing beats a luser-friendly linux distro such as Mandriva or the trendy Ubuntu (which I still wholehertly depise, for a wannabe geek I am). They install like a breeze and get the work done with a lot less licensing and hardware costs. You still have to learn how to use the system, but it's not more difficult than using Windows, and the users you're talking about do need to learn how to use Windows anyway. Thirdly, as I mentionned before, the command line is an impressively efficient tool -even in MS Windows-, and all the people I know who tried it now feel handicapped if they don't have a terminal emulator open in the graphical environment they use (yes, believe it or not, some of them are MSWindows users, and yes, they do type commands in MSWindows, and yes, they do love the efficiency it brings)

* This A LOT of Olympic-sized swimming pools, since you ask (1 OSSP=4,780,114 gf, for a much needed reminder check this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/24/vulture_central_standards/)

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