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(PCWorld)   Should 2013 be the year you switch to Linux? One penguin seems to think so   (pcworld.com) divider line 186
    More: Interesting, linux, PC users, class switching, Start Button, online banking, ubuntu, switches  
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3874 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Jan 2013 at 6:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-01 12:16:03 PM  
I see that "runs your existing applications" is nowhere in your list.  That's why 2013 is the year that Linux is still only run by people who like compiling their own code.
 
2013-01-01 12:32:44 PM  

Dejah: I see that "runs your existing applications" is nowhere in your list.  That's why 2013 is the year that Linux is still only run by people who like compiling their own code.


I'm running Linux Mint 12 right now, and I've never compiled any of my own code.... Not even sure how I would begin to do that.
 
2013-01-01 12:33:42 PM  
Can I run all of my games natively? No? Then it's still not my year to switch.

I love linux, don't get me wrong. I work with hundreds of linux servers every day. Damn fine OS. But when I'm at home... gots to be the windows. Games, man... games.
 
2013-01-01 12:40:24 PM  
lol no
 
2013-01-01 12:44:52 PM  
Desktop Linux is a failure. Its openness, while appealing to nerddom, does not translate to the layman.

Let me give you an example of why normal people avoid linux like the plague:

Random user: Which one should I download, RPM, .Deb, tar.gz? Why is Ubuntu telling me that I need to "sudo apt-get install -f"?

Desktop linux lacks consistency, uniformity, and is just plain confusing for many folks. Not everyone is in love with the Command line like us nerds are.

Android, however, is an example where Linux is actually doing good. It may only be for mobile devices, but it has uniformity; it has clarity.
 
2013-01-01 01:04:50 PM  

cman: Desktop Linux is a failure. Its openness, while appealing to nerddom, does not translate to the layman.

Let me give you an example of why normal people avoid linux like the plague:

Random user: Which one should I download, RPM, .Deb, tar.gz? Why is Ubuntu telling me that I need to "sudo apt-get install -f"?

Desktop linux lacks consistency, uniformity, and is just plain confusing for many folks. Not everyone is in love with the Command line like us nerds are.

Android, however, is an example where Linux is actually doing good. It may only be for mobile devices, but it has uniformity; it has clarity.


Can't disagree. I dual-boot Linux because I'm a closeted nerd, but even though I can use it pretty proficiently I see a ton of reasons why some people would hate it - free or not.
 
2013-01-01 02:08:43 PM  
I don't use Linux because when something goes wrong, I don't want to have to start coding to fix it.
 
2013-01-01 02:51:39 PM  
You know who desktop Linux doesn't work for? People who sorta know how to use computers.

If you don't use your computer for anything other than surfing the web and email, Linux will work great for you- provided you know someone who will install it.

If you know what you're doing with a computer, Linux (or BSD) is what you already use.

If you're mildly competent with a computer, but aren't really that good with one, Linux is way too intimidating. You just want your computer to work like a high-end gaming console. Nothing too hard, let as much as possible be plug-and-play, but have enough tech that the user can still feel smug.
 
2013-01-01 03:19:02 PM  
Thoroughly enjoy Mint.
 
2013-01-01 04:08:30 PM  
So Linux is recommended by a birdbrain?
 
2013-01-01 04:11:39 PM  

Gonz: If you know what you're doing with a computer, Linux (or BSD) is what you already use.


Not necessarily. As several others have mentioned, games for one are a big reason. I don't want to have to dick around with WINE, and still have game X only 85% functional.
 
2013-01-01 04:15:49 PM  
Been using Linux (redhat then fedora) as main OS since the 90s. I prefer it to OSX and only run windows when I have to run Windows only software. Most of what I need is gnome-terminal, gvim and latex to keep me productive.

But I'm in academia in a STEM field doing simulation work for research, involving many kilolines of code that produce petabytes of data on supercomputers (that all run Linux). Hardly your average user. But, for average users, distros like Ubuntu are pretty easy to use if you just need to browse and do email. Libreoffice does a very nice job reading Office documents. You can make Linux pointy clicky but it does still require a learning curve to some extent. So does Windows, it's just that everyone's used it and knows where the control panel is.

I could give a bag of rat feces whether Linux ever becomes mainstream. Linux already won the wars I care about (screw you Ultrix, AIX, Solaris and especially SCO). As long as geeks are out there developing it, and it runs on commodity hardware (typing this from a EeePC) I'm as happy as a clam. Back in grad school I literally dreamed of being able to run Unix at home. Now, you can run Linux/Unix (props to the free BSD variants) on a raspberry PI thingy and do useful things.

God I love it.
 
2013-01-01 06:05:44 PM  
[punches self in face]

kilolines

[punches b0rscht in face]

kilolines

Why? Why did I bother to be curious, only to find obnoxious, hyper-pretentious sh*t like KILOLINES?

[punches self in face]
 
2013-01-01 06:28:49 PM  

Pokey.Clyde: Not necessarily. As several others have mentioned, games for one are a big reason.


Well, that's fine, if you want to use your computer for playing games, like it's a different and expandable console.

It's OK. There's nothing wrong with being part of the crowd. Average is fine.
 
2013-01-01 06:32:50 PM  
In before Linux_Yes!
 
2013-01-01 06:36:05 PM  
2013, the year of the Linux Desktop!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems
 
2013-01-01 06:36:56 PM  
Linux is only free if your time has no value.

/Android succeeds because it hides the OS from the user
 
2013-01-01 06:38:36 PM  
Linux: where ever application is perpetually "almost out of beta."
 
2013-01-01 06:40:14 PM  

cman: Android, however, is an example where Linux is actually doing good. It may only be for mobile devices, but it has uniformity; it has clarity.


It also shows what happens when Linux is a mainstream, popular product - it's nearly as susceptible to malware and exploits as Windows.
 
2013-01-01 06:40:44 PM  
It's been the year to switch to Linux for 20 years now....hasn't happened yet.
 
2013-01-01 06:40:52 PM  
"can simply swap in something"

No, with over 25 years experience with UNIX and 15 with Linux, I am unable to switch Mint desktops. It's also slower than a dead pig, compared to CentOS (no way I'm I "upgrading" to Gnome 3). The processor spends 80-90 percent of the time pegged. I may try the Lite version of the desktop, but I'm not certain I want to re-install.
 
2013-01-01 06:41:20 PM  
No. At least Windows and Aplle has documentation even if it sometimes is lacking. I'm tired of all these distros and linux programs that come with no documentation at all. Then if you go on a messageboard looking for answers but you can't find it, you post a question. And I've seen more than my fair share of rude Linux users not really being helpful in their answers.

I understand you Linux users really want to create some great programs, but you really need to make user manuals for the stuff you create.
 
2013-01-01 06:52:14 PM  
It's THE YEAR OF DESKTOP LINUX!!

/ Again
// 10 years or more in a row
// Not gonna happen
/// I use Linux sometimes
 
2013-01-01 06:52:17 PM  

OriginalGamer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems


Yeah, but pesky facts won't deter fans. They don't understand that a "product" is more than just "code, compiled or otherwise." There's a reason products aren't free.

Of course, some for-profit products don't get that, either. I've worked for companies that just doesn't understand that code doesn't document itself, and (and I mean this without exaggeration) have little clue as to the work involved in creating documentation for their products. They still think that, once they're "code complete", they're "product complete", too. Sure, their devs still hard-code strings, think culture is for yogurt & beer, have a real difficulty with the concepts of localization & globalization, and think code comments (especially the "triple-slash" comments in C# - y'know, the ones that often get used for customer-facing documentation) are just for the other devs on their team, and should therefore be included rarely, and should be cryptic when added.

Such companies are always surprised when the code they've coddled for two or three years flops on RTM, because no one can figure out why they need it or what to do with it when they get it, because the documentation is basically "here's what I saw", not "here's why what I saw is cool and here's how you should use it." Such companies spend a small fortune on support, sometimes having to do installations & maintenance themselves, on-site, because "a stitch in time saves nine" is somehow an incomprehensible koan to them.

Linux has had this problem for years & years, and as a result has, what, a 1.2% share of the OS market when it comes to net apps? Yeah, this is definitely their year. Hell, they may double their user base!
 
2013-01-01 06:52:38 PM  

Kittypie070: [punches self in face]

kilolines

[punches b0rscht in face]

kilolines

Why? Why did I bother to be curious, only to find obnoxious, hyper-pretentious sh*t like KILOLINES?

[punches self in face]


Oh, there are simply kibbireasons and mibbireasons for this!
 
2013-01-01 06:54:04 PM  
No.
 
2013-01-01 06:59:23 PM  
[foams at the mouth]

[electrical equipment begins to short out]
 
2013-01-01 06:59:29 PM  
grep this.  www.cvanepps.com
 
2013-01-01 07:00:37 PM  
Oh wat, grepping ballz?
 
2013-01-01 07:03:26 PM  
Pro Tools. Virtual Instrument libraries. And pretty much all my music production software. I'd love to try Linus, but if it doesn't run my studio apps then it's pretty much useless to me.
 
2013-01-01 07:04:56 PM  

Dejah: I see that "runs your existing applications" is nowhere in your list.  That's why 2013 is the year that Linux is still only run by people who like compiling their own code.


Maybe in the old days of Linux. Modern distributions don't require you to compile anything. Most users could get by without even learning to use a command line. The only way you would ever have to compile anything is if you require some obscure piece of software or you are running a source based distribution (which a beginner would not be doing).
 
2013-01-01 07:06:16 PM  

cman: Desktop Linux is a failure. Its openness, while appealing to nerddom, does not translate to the layman.

Let me give you an example of why normal people avoid linux like the plague:

Random user: Which one should I download, RPM, .Deb, tar.gz? Why is Ubuntu telling me that I need to "sudo apt-get install -f"?

Desktop linux lacks consistency, uniformity, and is just plain confusing for many folks. Not everyone is in love with the Command line like us nerds are.

Android, however, is an example where Linux is actually doing good. It may only be for mobile devices, but it has uniformity; it has clarity.


I've installed Ubuntu a few times, but that's ultimately the issue that stopped me from using it. I get that it's infinitely configurable, powerful and fast, but that goddamed command line just confuses the fark out of me.
 
2013-01-01 07:08:00 PM  
What a shiat list. So much that 1,4 and 5 are all the same thing; they each assume that you MUST switch operating systems this year. People still run Windows XP so the fact that Windows 8 just came out is no reason to switch to linux and if you already own a copy of Windows or OSX then Linux being free is pointless to mention.
 
2013-01-01 07:09:31 PM  

Gonz: If you know what you're doing with a computer, Linux (or BSD) is what you already use.


Been using Linux since 94, have written a handful of Linux device drivers, and much prefer using it for work.

At home?  WinXP with cygwin.  Why?  games.  Steam may change the landscape, but I doubt it.

/ did they ever get audio under Linux figured out?
 
2013-01-01 07:09:32 PM  
cman: Random user: Which one should I download, RPM, .Deb, tar.gz? Why is Ubuntu telling me that I need to "sudo apt-get install -f"?

!! First a caveat, I've been working in IT for about 16 years, and I lead a team of a dozen programmers (which means I hardly do any real programming for work anymore) !!

Finally, in 2010 I hit the jackpot. Ubuntu 10.04 gave me the right combination of being easy (for me) to use, while also not locking things down where I couldn't tweak them if I wanted. I switched, and haven't looked back since.

My previous attempt was with Ubuntu 9.04 (got rid of it due to wireless issues on the laptop) and before that, mandrake (X windows wasn't mature enough, so it still looked ugly out of the box).

For the majority of users, they will never have to touch the shell.

Unfortunately, giving install commands for the shell online is much easier than walking neophytes through using the software center.

IE, telling someone to copy/paste "sudo apt-get install pidgin" into a shell is easier than telling them to "Go to the applications menu, press "go to the software center, select 'add/remove' (or whatever the default name is, I renamed mine), search for pidgin, press install.

// if I know what I'm looking for, I just use the command line because it's way faster (IE, sudo apt-get install pidgin). If I don't know what I'm looking for, I just browse through the categories.

For the record, this is what the Ubuntu Software Center looked like circa 2011.

eins.my

Anyone who can find apps on their smartphone should be able to find apps in Ubuntu as well. And the process they used to find good apps for their phones should be the same process they should use to find good apps for their Ubuntu machine. (Because it's not like android or has windows apps either).

// obligatory "unity sucks".
 
2013-01-01 07:11:03 PM  

gingerjet: Linux is only free if your time has no value.

/Android succeeds because it hides the OS from the user


Free is not about monetary value. It's about freedom.
 
2013-01-01 07:12:54 PM  
Hmmm...

1) Wahh, I don't like Windows 8! So poor clones of the Windows XP/7 UI are the obvious choice.

2) Flavors for ever taste. AKA a totally inconsistent user experience from install to install.

3) Supeior securi... Sorry couldn't finish that it's too damn funny. Linux security may be almost on a par with XP. It's certainly better than Windows 95, but to suggest that Linux is more secure than Vista/7/8 is only to demonstrate that you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

4) Modest requirements. Not so much.

5) Open and free. As long as your time has no value it's free.

So yeah, if you're a broke college student who wants to use an old computer to surf porn Linux is a great option.

/Could have just gone with "your blog sucks!"
 
2013-01-01 07:15:04 PM  

lordargent: // obligatory "unity sucks".


I swear, I'm the only person other than Shuttleworth who really likes Unity. I think it's solid.
 
2013-01-01 07:16:39 PM  
I still run a version of Slackware that I obtained four years ago or so, and it does everything I need without giving me any problems.
 
2013-01-01 07:18:01 PM  

Mr. Eugenides: Sorry couldn't finish that it's too damn funny. Linux security may be almost on a par with XP. It's certainly better than Windows 95, but to suggest that Linux is more secure than Vista/7/8 is only to demonstrate that you don't know what the hell you're talking about.


Oh, so you don't understand how root access works? Go on, tell me more about computers.
 
2013-01-01 07:18:50 PM  

Gonz: lordargent: // obligatory "unity sucks".

I swear, I'm the only person other than Shuttleworth who really likes Unity. I think it's solid.


I liked Unity until I really started experimenting with GnomeShell.
 
2013-01-01 07:21:29 PM  
Gonz: I swear, I'm the only person other than Shuttleworth who really likes Unity. I think it's solid.

Shuttleworth is trying to make Ubuntu into the next windows, but in doing so is throwing choice and configurability out to the dogs as a result.

For example, when the launcher was implemented, they didn't give a way to move it to the right side of the screen. When this was filed as a bug report, Shuttleworth responded.

"I think the report actually meant that the launcher should be movable to other edges of the screen. I'm afraid that won't work with our broader design goals, so we won't implement that. We want the launcher always close to the Ubuntu button."

He wants the launcher to be on the left, but _I_ want it to be on the right.

So I'm still on 10.04 with my trusty old gnome panels that I can put wherever the hell I want (granted, someone else already hacked the ability to move the panel, but this is just one of several design decisions in newer versions of Ubuntu that I don't agree with).
 
2013-01-01 07:22:06 PM  
There's just as much shiat to deal with in Windows as there is in Linux, it's just that most people are acclimatized to the Windows shiat.

I've been using Linux since 2009 (first Ubuntu, then Debian) and I couldn't compile a program to save my life.

The command line is a convenience for providing support in web forums, as it's desktop agnostic. A user of a friendly distro like Ubuntu shouldn't have to touch a command line any more often than a Windows user does. Even more challenging distros like Debian have become much more user friendly over the last few years.

Gnome Shell isn't bad once you've customized it with a few extensions. For a modern UI, it's actually pretty resource-efficient, and Mutter is the lightest weight compositing window manager I've ever used. If your graphics are supported, Gnome Shell will run on a single core Atom or Pentium 4 with 1 GB of RAM, but it won't be happy. It will run fine on any dual core processor with 2 GB of RAM or better.

It's unusual to have to download a program from a website and install it if you run a Debian based distribution. New users should use the package manager and not troll the internet for random .deb files.

Gaming on Linux is poor, but improving rapidly thanks to Steam and the Humble Bundles. I think Gabe's end game is a Steam console running Ubuntu, so that should be a big incentive for game companies to port their offerings to Linux.

There are a few large gaps in software availability in Linux, particularly Adobe products. Also no iTunes or MS Office. These alone make moving to Linux impossible for many users.

All in all, use whatever the hell you want. Linux works for me, but YMMV.
 
2013-01-01 07:23:12 PM  
I think part of the problem is that Linux users already got a lot of people to try it and it sucked. I love my Android phone, but my laptop is just fine as it is. If I buy a new laptop that comes with Windows 8, and I find I really don't like Windows 8, I might try Linux again. Last time I used it I was not impressed though, so I'm not itching to try it again without a damn good reason.
 
2013-01-01 07:27:33 PM  

gingerjet: Linux is only free if your time has no value.

/Android succeeds because it hides the OS from the user


It takes almost now time to install Linux these days. About 6 mouse clicks , a few simple questions, walk away for a bit and it's done.

The only reason to use Windows is that it is superior for games.
 
2013-01-01 07:31:15 PM  
Also, if anyone wants to take a peek.

http://lordargent.com/temp/tech/multitasking.png

This was me, downloading episodes of Bones from my TiVo and re-encoding them (so I could stick them on my tablet and phone so that I would have something to watch before bed when I went on vacation).

I also stuffed a few of my DVDs on there for good measure.

// I don't know how people can use computers without dual monitors ;)

// I keep my desktop simple and neat.
 
2013-01-01 07:31:33 PM  

buckler: cman: Desktop Linux is a failure. Its openness, while appealing to nerddom, does not translate to the layman.

Let me give you an example of why normal people avoid linux like the plague:

Random user: Which one should I download, RPM, .Deb, tar.gz? Why is Ubuntu telling me that I need to "sudo apt-get install -f"?

Desktop linux lacks consistency, uniformity, and is just plain confusing for many folks. Not everyone is in love with the Command line like us nerds are.

Android, however, is an example where Linux is actually doing good. It may only be for mobile devices, but it has uniformity; it has clarity.

I've installed Ubuntu a few times, but that's ultimately the issue that stopped me from using it. I get that it's infinitely configurable, powerful and fast, but that goddamed command line just confuses the fark out of me.


To add software in a modern Lixux distribution you go to the software center, point at what you want and click. And that's it.
 
2013-01-01 07:31:39 PM  
As others have said, knowing my programs will work without having to waste time tweeking shiat is a lot more important to me than "Sticking it to Micro$oft".
 
2013-01-01 07:34:17 PM  

Gonz: lordargent: // obligatory "unity sucks".

I swear, I'm the only person other than Shuttleworth who really likes Unity. I think it's solid.


Nope, it sucks
Not as bad as Windows 8 but it still sucks.
 
2013-01-01 07:38:19 PM  

Mitt Romneys Tax Return:

There are a few large gaps in software availability in Linux, particularly Adobe products. Also no iTunes or MS Office. These alone make moving to Linux impossible for many users.

All in all, use whatever the hell you want. Linux works for me, but YMMV.


Why on earth would you want iTunes? I detest that program.
In a business environment MSOffice is great. For a home user it's excessive overkill. Actually for most of things I do at work it's overkill. They have to keep adding functionality to it so they have a reason to sell you new versions and it's getting ridiculous.
 
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