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(PCWorld)   Should 2013 be the year you switch to Linux? One penguin seems to think so   (pcworld.com) divider line 56
    More: Interesting, linux, PC users, class switching, Start Button, online banking, ubuntu, switches  
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3871 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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Archived thread
2013-01-01 06:36:56 PM
4 votes:
Linux is only free if your time has no value.

/Android succeeds because it hides the OS from the user
2013-01-01 02:51:39 PM
4 votes:
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 10:51:52 PM
3 votes:

vharshyde: lordargent: Mitt Romneys Tax Return: Linux is just as easy to install, configure and use as Windows.

My ubuntu installs go a lot easier than my WIN 7 installs.


How are those Wireless drivers treating you.

In all seriousness, this hogwash can go die in a hole already. Ubuntu(or any linux distro really) is a hobbyist's toy, a model railroad that you nerds are so desperate to get other people involved with because you're clamoring for even just one person to care half as much as you have about the fact that three weeks after you started your linux install, it's now almost working to 90% of your system's marked capacity. I don't swing my hobby of polishing my testicles with the floor buffers at the mall while Security isn't looking and demand that you do the same, so I see absolutely no reason why I should hear this rubbish every single year. And it is every goddamn year.


I'd like to comment on this as a Linux user who is not a geek, who has used a bunch of different LInux distros over more than a decade and has also used Windows a lot too. First of all, wireless drivers specifically: I just put Linux on my wife's notebook and the wireless card was detected with the Ubuntu Live CD, so that was easy! Secondly, three weeks to get a Linux install up and running actually was near the norm for me back in 2000. Now it is about 4 hours from inserting the install disc to PERFECT SYSTEM. But even in the bad old days I saw the major difference between Linux and Windows as this: Linux would take a bit to get up and perfect, but once it was like that, it seemed to be like that forever. Windows, it would work flawlessly right out of the box and then gradually deteriorate until you're trying to kill 4 hours while it defrags and you still get .dll errors like crazy. Now I know there's tons of fixes and virus checking and cleaners you can use for Windows, but I'm not a computer geek - which is WHY I like Linux. Man, I don't know what goes in /etc and what goes in /usr. I know my computer will boot flawlessly, quickly, all the time and anytime I want to watch pornography it is there for me, working.
2013-01-01 09:44:14 PM
3 votes:
A general observation - not addressed to anyone in particular...

I don't care what platform people want to do their computing on (although I wish Microsoft had more competition so Windows wouldn't be quite so problematic) - use what works for you.

What does annoy me about Linux threads is all the FUD that gets spread around about how hard it is to use, how you have to compile all your packages, how hardware support sucks and how you have to use the command line to change your wallpaper. It's like there's people who have concluded that Linux hasn't changed since 1999, when they unsuccessfully tried to install the Slackware CD that came in their PC Magazine.

Linux is just as easy to install, configure and use as Windows. Period. Is it for everyone? Of course not. Is there a learning curve? Certainly (ever try teaching someone to use Windows for the first time?). Will it work on all hardware? No (neither will Windows). It's just another way of getting stuff done.
2013-01-01 06:05:44 PM
3 votes:
[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 12:33:42 PM
3 votes:
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 09:54:27 PM
2 votes:
As a BSD user, I find you lack of source disturbing. Been on a BSD only desktop since 1998, there's nothing I can't do (save games, but I can't play them in OS X either, so it's moot) that anyone on Windows can do, PDF? Sure, Flash based games? Yup Youtube? You betcha.

Can I roll a desktop for my mom, where it's all point and click? Install FreeBSD and a few ports, results in a desktop O.S with no typing in a terminal for anything.

Year of the desktop for me, my mother and most of my family happened in 2002 when I moved back to my home city.

That said, I wish I could play Diablo, SW:TOR and other games under either BSD or Linux, but that's what my install of Windows XP is for.... for now
2013-01-01 08:54:42 PM
2 votes:

washu: For example, there are some pretty easy to use music players on Linux, there is nothing nearly as powerful as Foobar2000.


Depends what you're doing of course, but as someone who runs Mac, Linux and Windows I gotta say VLC is your friend on any platform.
2013-01-01 08:29:08 PM
2 votes:
Honestly, the "year of the Linux desktop" demonstrates a category error. Linux is not an operating system, as we understand it. Linux is a class of operating systems that all use the same kernel. At a low level, yes, they're identical, but users don't live at that low level. They live in userspace, and each Linux distribution is a different experience in userspace.

So we will never see a "Linux desktop". What we might see is the rapid uptake of a highly specific Linux distribution- something like Android.

Although, honestly, I'm looking forward to the next iteration of operating system design. We're due for a fundamental change in how we interact with computers, and I'm not talking about mobile OSes, which these days are just sandboxed desktop OSes. I'm talking about entirely new ways of organizing data (really? a tree is the best data structure we can use for filesystems? I don't buy it), entirely new operating modalities (why should applications render into windows- shouldn't windows ask applications for data to display? Flipping that around would allow us to, for example, put a word processor document, four web browser instances, and a filesystem folder full of porn into tabs within a single window, save that windowstate and call it back up as a workspace as needed). I'm just bullshiatting on ideas, but let's be honest: there hasn't been a significant change in operating systems since the GUI.

Chakan: BeOS! er...Haiku! Or Plan9. So many options!


VMS. It was here before you, and it will be here long after you.
2013-01-01 07:22:06 PM
2 votes:
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 07:11:03 PM
2 votes:

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 07:04:56 PM
2 votes:

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 06:38:36 PM
2 votes:
Linux: where ever application is perpetually "almost out of beta."
2013-01-01 12:40:24 PM
2 votes:
lol no
2013-01-01 12:16:03 PM
2 votes:
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.
2013-01-02 06:06:43 PM
1 votes:
I use Linux on my desktop and laptop to do real work. As a sysadmin, I am much faster working from a command line than I ever was working in a Windows GUI.

As I've said before, Windows has its own horrible flaws that everyone just seems to accept as normal, and troubleshooting why something doesn't work in Windows is about 10x harder than figuring out why it doesn't work in Linux if it falls outside normal use. (Go ahead and try to run ProSeries 20xx using a Windows 2003 Server and Windows 7 64 bit)

That all being said, all of my techs use Windows. To each their own.

The only way Linux will become dominant on the desktop is if there is a streamlined cheap commodity desktop running Linux with some reason for people to use it. There already are a few, that have much simpler UIs (such as the Roku box), but being that they are using proprietary skins, no one really learns anything of the OS underneath.
2013-01-02 10:06:33 AM
1 votes:

b0rscht: involving many kilolines of code that produce petabytes of data on supercomputers (that all run Linux)


I may have just located the snarkiest person on the internet.

KILO-lines? are you freakin kidding me.

Access to MULTIPLE "supercomputers" you are SO full of shiat.
2013-01-02 10:02:45 AM
1 votes:

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


Yeah whatever internet tech tough guy. People like you really piss those of us off who are responsible for keeping corporate systems online for a living.

You assume a lot of BS.
2013-01-02 08:16:03 AM
1 votes:
Meh. An OS is an OS is an OS. They only exist to let us get stuff done on our computers. They all suck, just (usually) in different ways.

All I want from my OS is the ability to set my own wallpaper, to run apps that I want/need, and to stay the heck out of my way. The more transparent an OS is to the user: that is, the less aware of the OS the user is, the better in my opinion.

I have yet to see this perfect OS in any flavor, Windows, Linux, Mac, real Unix- they all have their issues which require futzing around with instead of doing what I turned on the computer to do. At least Linux is free to get and use, so I'm not having to pay for the privilege of those headaches.

/PCLinuxOS 2012, with XP in VirtualBox for the few proggies that don't run well in WINE.
2013-01-02 05:14:20 AM
1 votes:
I thought that large HDDs and dual booting were going to end this silly "debate". Guess not.
Hey, people! It's 2013! You can have several OSs on your computer - you are not limited to just one.
We don't have to argue over which one is "better" anymore.
Unless, of course, we just like to argue for the pleasure of waving our E-peens at one another.
2013-01-02 05:12:49 AM
1 votes:
2012 was the year most people adopted Linux. They just don't know it yet.
www.technobuffalo.com
/hot
2013-01-02 04:36:42 AM
1 votes:

Mitt Romneys Tax Return: skinink: "Linux is just as easy to install, configure and use as Windows. Period."
And which distros out of the hundreds out there are easy to install?

Ubuntu, Open SUSE, Mint. Debian isn't any harder to install than Windows XP. I know you're yanking my chain, but we have this thing called the Internet where it's pretty easy to find out which distros are best for new Linux users.


Ah yes, the linux attitude I talked of earlier.
2013-01-02 04:27:14 AM
1 votes:

ThunderPelvis: my mom can use it after it's up and running, and that says a *lot*.


It says nothing when you have pre-configured a system for someone so that they don't have to do anything except click the Email or web browser or word processor icon. The fact you don't understand that, speaks volumes about your lack of understanding.

If you can walk her through repairing it over the phone, I might start to be mildly impressed that you can do what Windows desktop support monkeys do all day every day. Not because of the OS that you're doing it with, but because I imagine you'd probably curse out your own mother before walking her through fixing something.
2013-01-02 03:08:03 AM
1 votes:

fluffy2097: ThunderPelvis: If you can't be bothered to spend 5 minutes with google to figure out which desktop is best for you, then you should go buy that Mac, my friend.

This is the kind of assholery that is why Linux will never make it to the desktop.

Any help you will get from the linux community will be from a high and mighty dickweed that thinks missing manuals, and unclear instructions are what makes linux good.


The Linux community has people who spend a ridiculous amount of time helping newbs.

I'm not responsible for the fact that installing and maintaining Linux sometimes requires a high level of computer literacy, but my mom can use it after it's up and running, and that says a *lot*. However, if you can't do 5 minutes of research before installing a farking operating system, then you shouldn't be installing that operating system.
2013-01-02 02:17:57 AM
1 votes:

ThunderPelvis: If you can't be bothered to spend 5 minutes with google to figure out which desktop is best for you, then you should go buy that Mac, my friend.


This is the kind of assholery that is why Linux will never make it to the desktop.

Any help you will get from the linux community will be from a high and mighty dickweed that thinks missing manuals, and unclear instructions are what makes linux good.
2013-01-02 12:59:47 AM
1 votes:
As for Mint - I just went over to their site so I could configure a bootable USB stick (as I'd got the most recent version of Ubuntu and after playing with it for a few minutes decided that I had the same reaction to Unity that everyone else did). The Mint download page is interesting because off the bat there seems to be four varieties of Mint and for the life of me I couldn't figure out which was the most commonly used one. Mate? Cinnamon? (KDE and XFCE I recognized - but the placement on the site seemed to indicate that Mate or Cinnamon were the preferred versions of the distro)

So right off the bat - before I've got to the bit where I download and install what seems to be the "New Ubuntu/New Fedora/New Mandrake/New SuSE/New Debian/New RedHat/New Slackware/New Currently Recommended Distro before we all decide we hate it because it was really good when it started and they they borked it up" - I'm provided with a bucket of choices that don't make a lot of sense.

The reality is that 95% of the guys I new who were hardcore Linux nerds back in the salad days of the late 90's - when "year of the Linux desktop" kinda seemed possible - are all running Mac OSX now because they got to the stage where they don't give a fark.

If Mint is the new "Gateway Distro" and it makes it complicated to figure out which fricking version you should start with - desktop market share ain't going anywhere.
2013-01-01 11:21:37 PM
1 votes:
If you know what an OS is, nobody cares what you think.

99% of users never choose or install or upgrade an OS.

They buy computers & tablets & phones and use the included software. That's where the money is.
2013-01-01 10:49:27 PM
1 votes:

RatOmeter: TimeCubeFan: 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.

Linux audio/studio distribrutions

Quite a few musicians use an audio/studio oriented Linux distro. Even for live performances.


I've used Ardour for recordings in the past. I Ebayed an 8 channel firewire audio interface which I have working reasonably well with a couple different Linux machines, and I'm happy with the setup. I've never really used Pro Tools, so I don't really know how they stack up, but I like Ardour a lot and it was more than enough for what I needed. I'm not sure who else uses it, but it is sold as part of Harrison Mixbus. I wouldn't tell people to go and rip their Pro Tools setups apart and drop in a Linux-based studio, but if you're interested in Linux and pro audio it's something to check out. I can't really speak for the virtual instruments, as I don't really use any.

I would recommend though that if you're new to Linux and want to play with pro audio, consider one of the pre-made distros. There are some tweaks you can do to improve performance (latency) with audio, and these usually implement them by default. I'm typing this on a Gentoo machine, and I don't really mind doing some of that stuff myself when I'm just messing around, but unless you want to get your hands dirty you don't need to bother.
2013-01-01 10:42:42 PM
1 votes:

Saners: 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.


Unless Microsoft gets hip to Apple's methodology, and turns an update for the older version into malware, to encourage people to upgrade. Happened to me, my Mac was working great, until I installed a system software update. Then things started to go bad, really bad. 15+ minute start up bad. Then it farked Mail up. The latest is opening system preferences crashes the computer. I'm seriously debating Ubuntu, I won't be buying OSX 8, just don't trust Apple anymore at all.
2013-01-01 10:40:53 PM
1 votes:

Quantumbunny: Configuration is also totally worthless in linux. Every few years I try, and for some reason there are STILL files, whether for keyboard or mouse, or monitor resolutions, or who knows what they want to me manually edit. PISS OFF. As a user, I want point and click, and a pretty interface... and I'm a software developer. Good luck convincing end users they want less than that.


I have to manually change stuff in OS X and Windows too (recently changed what Spotlight indexes, and let's not forget the registry in Windows, or how things that require Powershell now). I haven't had to manually edit xorg.conf for years, on some very different configurations (last time I edited one of them was on a SGI Octane running Gentoo. And your average person is not going to have SGI hardware).
2013-01-01 10:40:51 PM
1 votes:

skinink: "Linux is just as easy to install, configure and use as Windows. Period."
And which distros out of the hundreds out there are easy to install?


Ubuntu, Open SUSE, Mint. Debian isn't any harder to install than Windows XP. I know you're yanking my chain, but we have this thing called the Internet where it's pretty easy to find out which distros are best for new Linux users.
2013-01-01 10:37:57 PM
1 votes:
It's never going to be The Year of Linux at the rate they're going.

I use Ubuntu. I like it fine. But here's the thing - while I was a fairly adept Windows user, Linux is mostly over my head. Many of the simplest things involve me opening the terminal and learning new commands. I don't mind too much, but I'm half-a-nerd and I like the spirit of the thing. But it isn't very appealing to the vast majority of casual users. This is exasperated by updates and upgrades that drastically change an OS that you've finally gotten used to, with features just suddenly disappearing. Some of these you can replace, assuming you know what to look for and/or what command to enter.

A lot of Linux users look down on Ubuntu or Unity as a dumbed-down version of Linux. That may be so, but they'll need to do a whole lot more dumbing down before they'll ever have an OS that is ready to compete with Microsoft or Apple.
2013-01-01 10:36:16 PM
1 votes:

jonny_q: Tree-based structure is straightforward.


It is and it isn't. When trying to find something when you don't know where it is in the tree, it's next to impossible. We've tacked on metadata to solve this, as well as stuff like symlinks and hardlinks. I don't have a finished picture in my head, but it'd be nice for filesystems to at least add things like the ability to shelve files easily (group these ten things into a single project, no matter where they actually reside in the tree), and decent versioning would be nice, too.

jonny_q: Or do you just wanna make that more free-form?


I mean a complete inversion of our approach to things. I mean all applications are nothing more than services- they present data and business rules in a format that can be consumed by widgets. So you wouldn't have Word, in this environment. You'd have a Word service that can open documents and return an object model representing the contents. The OS would then present this to the user- how? Well, it might track down a Word widget that can provide the user an editor. Or maybe it'll just display key bits of information about the file. Or maybe it'll just dump it straight to the printer.

Instead of treating an application as a silo, it inherently isn't. This is closer to how the command line was meant to work, and it's also very similar to how the web works today. Obviously this isn't a fully fleshed out idea, and there are a lot of drawbacks and tradeoffs.

I'm just brainstorming things that are different that could improve how we use our computers in meaningful ways.
2013-01-01 10:33:34 PM
1 votes:

vharshyde: How are those Wireless drivers treating you.


Just installed Debian Testing on a refurbished Latitude E4300 (nice computer in perfect condition - got it for a song because it's a bit long in the tooth). Wireless works fine, although I had to install a driver (just like in Windows and just as easy to install). Proprietary software isn't installed by default in Debian, it would have worked out of the box in Ubuntu.

Also, my ALPS touchpad works fine, as do the function keys and hard buttons. The OS install and all of my applications take up about 10 GB of my 80 GB hard drive. The OS uses about 175 mb of RAM at boot, leaving the remainder of my 2GB for getting work done.

Have you tried looking for Win 7 64-bit drivers for a prefectly functional LaserJet 1000 printer? Don't bother, they don't exist. Printer works fine in Debian Testing, though.
2013-01-01 09:54:03 PM
1 votes:
Mitt Romneys Tax Return: Linux is just as easy to install, configure and use as Windows.

My ubuntu installs go a lot easier than my WIN 7 installs.

Installed from a live USB stick, was able to surf the web on Firefox while the OS was installing.

// I remember spending lots of time waiting for windows installs to pop up yet another dialogue box, wishing it would ask all of the shiat up front and not pop up crap during the middle of the install. NO, I don't want to set the system clock, because as soon as I get this box running and on the network, the clock will get set automatically.

0.tqn.com
2013-01-01 09:45:47 PM
1 votes:

t3knomanser: I'm talking about entirely new ways of organizing data (really? a tree is the best data structure we can use for filesystems? I don't buy it),


Tree-based structure is straightforward. Anything else I can imagine would involve keeping up with a lot of metadata, and that just sounds hard. Not impossible... but a difficult paradigm shift to step into without jumping in all at once. It's hard enough to keep media files with proper, consistent meta data (artist, title, etc) ... I imagine doing that with system data would be error prone. I see room for improvement, though. Just curious what you're thinking.

entirely new operating modalities (why should applications render into windows- shouldn't windows ask applications for data to display? Flipping that around would allow us to, for example, put a word processor document, four web browser instances, and a filesystem folder full of porn into tabs within a single window, save that windowstate and call it back up as a workspace as needed). I'm just bullshiatting on ideas, but let's be honest: there hasn't been a significant change in operating systems since the GUI.

Well, for part of that, isn't that how the web works? And the web is where we do most things anyway. Aside from that, I kinda like how the rest of my programs are set up. As far as what you're saying with Windows, doesn't QT already allow for that? You can write QT applications that can be imported into others. Kinda like how you can add a konsole part or a kate part to a program. Or do you just wanna make that more free-form?

Now, I do wish there was a unified way for ALL programs to essentially hibernate - save memory state to disk and wake up on demand. Isn't that kinda how Android works?
2013-01-01 09:41:48 PM
1 votes:
I hate this idea that Linux is for nerds. I'm a nerd and I hate Linux. I grew my teeth all those years ago on langauges no one has even heard of anymore and I thought those days were dead and buried for good and then along comes Linux and says, "heya folks, crap is cool." OK. I don't really blame people who use Linux because it's better than Bill Gates who took DOS and said "more money for me."

The reality is that one has a choice between buying shiat for free (Linux) and paying money for an OS that smells slighly less bad. But if you think that Linux is nerdy you aren't smart; you just lack taste.
2013-01-01 09:28:56 PM
1 votes:

Dejah: I see that "runs your existing applications" is nowhere in your list.


This is a legitimate argument.

That's why 2013 is the year that Linux is still only run by people who like compiling their own code.

This is not. Ubuntu users don't compile their own code any more than Android users compile their own apps.
There's Steam for LInux now, if the library grows, my last reason for sticking with Windows will be gone.
2013-01-01 09:26:17 PM
1 votes:
Mitt Romneys Tax Return:
If you want big programs that do a lot of different things then you may never be happy with Linux. Part of the design philosophy of Linux is that that applications should do one thing very well. It keeps programs small and nimble and allows them to be built and maintained maintained by a single programmer or a small team.

Foobar2000 is actually just as you described. Much of its functionality is in third party plugins and external tools. What makes it so useful is the integration into one very powerful (note I did not say easy to use) package. Having to manually invoke or script each separate tool is much more cumbersome.

Foobar2000 is just one example, there are lots of tools aimed at the power user that are built for Windows but just don't seem to exist on Linux.

Users want to accomplish task "A" which requires steps 1, 2 and 3. Linux almost certainly has programs to do steps 1, 2 and 3, but nothing to tie them together in a polished package. That's the problem. When users go searching for how to do "A" on Linux they find nothing, because there is no one program to do it.
2013-01-01 08:58:48 PM
1 votes:

washu: For example, there are some pretty easy to use music players on Linux, there is nothing nearly as powerful as Foobar2000. Sure, most of it's functionally could be replicated on Linux with several different apps, some command line, but why should I have to do that?


If you want big programs that do a lot of different things then you may never be happy with Linux. Part of the design philosophy of Linux is that that applications should do one thing very well. It keeps programs small and nimble and allows them to be built and maintained maintained by a single programmer or a small team.
2013-01-01 08:41:48 PM
1 votes:
The problem with desktop Linux isn't the OS, it's the applications. Almost every desktop app that isn't the exact same as the Windows version (ex, Firefox) is really half-assed. Ironically, this is most prevalent with power user or geek oriented software. For example, there are some pretty easy to use music players on Linux, there is nothing nearly as powerful as Foobar2000. Sure, most of it's functionally could be replicated on Linux with several different apps, some command line, but why should I have to do that?
2013-01-01 08:07:06 PM
1 votes:

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 would really love to see some unification. It isn't about minor UI quibbles for basic users, they could care less whether there's a start button or a typeable menu... they just want desktop icons to launch their internets.

Basic users also don't have any clue what "distro" they would be on, and no idea how to find programs and if they could why they wouldn't just install. Assuming there is a mechanism for users to find software they'd want, good luck figuring out whether an application to do what you want should be KDE based (kWhatever) or gnome based (gWhatever) or some third base. Even if they can navigate that far, as you mentioned, RPM (of which 3 distros use different versions), apt, deb, or searching in an app store for your distro (even portage tree for gentoo is kind of this). How many times have Windows users looked for software to do what they want? They won't install anything someone didn't tell them to, cause they've never heard of it. Or worse google a poorly worded description for what they want a program to do and installing the first result.

This fracturing is the bane of a lot of users who know more than jack crap. 75% of computer users could use it just fine, but they sure as hell won't install it themselves, and if they could, good luck tech supporting them. You think trying to get them to tell you what version of Windows is bad, or which Browser they use on Windows... multiply that by dozens of distros, a half dozen desktop environments...

Let me know when users can "just install" stuff across linux, in total transparency to them, and I may be forced to admit we're withina decade of the "year of the linux desktop".
2013-01-01 07:50:54 PM
1 votes:

meanmutton: Word and Excel are vastly superior to anything


This is true, but god, do I hate Word and Excel. The less time I spend with them, the happier a man I am. And I totally don't _get_ One Note. It seems far too complex to be a useful notetaking tool. I like plaintext.
2013-01-01 07:45:29 PM
1 votes:

CujoQuarrel: 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.


And office products. Word and Excel are vastly superior to anything I've used on LINUX and they're is nothing anywhere even remotely close to OneNote.
2013-01-01 07:31:39 PM
1 votes:
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 07:09:32 PM
1 votes:
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 07:03:26 PM
1 votes:
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 07:00:37 PM
1 votes:
Oh wat, grepping ballz?
2013-01-01 06:59:23 PM
1 votes:
[foams at the mouth]

[electrical equipment begins to short out]
2013-01-01 06:40:14 PM
1 votes:

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 04:15:49 PM
1 votes:
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 04:11:39 PM
1 votes:

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 03:19:02 PM
1 votes:
Thoroughly enjoy Mint.
2013-01-01 01:04:50 PM
1 votes:

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 12:44:52 PM
1 votes:
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 12:32:44 PM
1 votes:

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.
 
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