Old School Monday: Linux Manifesto

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Gizmo

I would have been in grade 10 at the time.  It was the first exposure to the man behind Linux, and an interesting look at the reasons for creating it and it's versatility.

 

Thanks for the memories Maximum PC!

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Forte125

Some miracle did happen.  XP didn't suck.  Thank god for competition.  I am fairly sure we would still be stuck in the windows 68 days if it weren't for Linux and MacOS.

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chipmunkofdoom2

Glad to see the spam filter is still efficiently converting electons into nothing..

At any rate, an interesting look at Linux, however, it bothers me when there's such a one-sided view on anything at all, but especially computers since they are something I know a good deal about. I'm going to come right out and say that I'm not a fan of Linux, and even after many times of trying it, am still not. But you know what? There's nothing wrong with that.

Do you like Linux? Great! Do you think it runs faster and better than all other OSes? Fantastic! Do you want to create sites and fan groups that promote Linux and make it more available? More power to ya'! What I absolutely cannot tolerate is the jackoffs who think they're better than me for using Linux. You're not.

Linux is a tool. Just like Windows OSes are tools, just like a hammer is a tool, just like a scalpal is a tool. One is not better than any of the other for intrinsic reasons, their usefulness lies in the need you have for them and the way in which you use them.

Take gaming for example. I would never dare to say that you can't game on Linux, however regargless of your level of fanboy-ism, you cannot truthfully say it is easier than gaming on Windows. I've tried. I know it's not, especially for someone who's not familiar with Linux. In Windows? Install OS, go to Nvidia site, grab driver, install, install game, play. In Linux? Install OS, figure out what the hell the difference is between third party drivers and the ones from the distro, figure out which is better, then figure out how and where to get the ones you decide on. Next, get some kind of Windows emulator running and make sure that's fully functioning. Then, attempt to install the game, and the first 2 or 3 times after it crashes upon launching, search the web for a respectable chunk of time trying to figure out what kind of hacks or fixes you need to run it. Once you find good info, spend another good chunk of time implementing these hacks and running tweaks to get acceptable game performance when trying to play. Meanwhile, the gent running Windows has already stopped to take a break because his eyes were hurting from staring at the monitor.

So can you game on Linux? Yes, technically. It's kind of thing that would happen if you took the carpenter's hammer and gave it to the surgeon in exchange for the scalpal. The surgeon can perform surgery with the hammer, but it might not be pretty. In fact, only someone with a vested interest in hammers and their reputation, such as a hammer manufacturer, would promote such an ridiculous exchange. Likewise, only someone with blind unfaltering loyalty to an OS would sing such praises to it, refusing to accept that there may just be some instances where it is not the best solution.

What's that? You don't need Windows cuz you're not into gaming? Great! Shut the hell up! Your needs are different than mine and so will be your tool. Computers are getting to be so similar in form and function now that we are forgetting there used to be a time where if you needed to edit videos, you could ONLY do it on a Mac (although I'd wager that it's still probably easier on a Mac today than a Windows box with equivalant software).

So to recap: Use Linux? Great. Use a Mac? Fantastic. Use Windows? Awesome. Think you're better than everyone else because you use one of the three? You're a fucking moron. If there's a tool that you prefer and that works especially well for you, that doesn't mean everyone else is going to need the same tool in the exact same way. Leave everyone alone, especially myself, with your misplaced enthusiasm and agendas. Just leave me alone.

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8jwong14

Firstly.  I use Linux.  Ubuntu to be specific.  I absolutely abhor when people on the internet say that one other's suck because they use another OS.  For my personal uses Ubuntu is sufficient since that is the tool that fits my needs.  I don't care what Os people use.  However, if a friend who is using Windows has a problem, I help try to fix it.  If I can't and the problem is impossible to fix, I recommend a switch to Ubuntu but I always explain what it good for and what it is not good for i.e. gaming.  If Linux fits their needs, I help them install it if they want to try it out. 

I am sure somewhere on the internet, I may have to quote you if you don't mind.  Peace.

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Gezzer

It's amazing how far his predictions were both off base and on target at the same time IMHO.

Linux is a great OS for people who understand it. Problem is the majority don't, won't, and can't take the time to make it their OS of choice. It's a OS you can truly make your own, if you have the time and ability to learn all it's in's and out's. But as an OS that just works it keeps missing the mark for your average user. Read that as non IT or comp sci majors.

I'm sure that this post will get flamed, in fact I know it will. But I'm what would be termed as a power user. I've built my own PCs since 97, have troubleshooted numerous hardware, software, and Windows problems, for myself and others. In fact at work (non PC related) and with many of my friends etc. I seem to be the one they ask about computers.

Thing is I've tried to run Linux, too many times to count. Sometimes I've actually used it for a month or 2, but eventually it crashes and burns. And yes I've tried Ubuntu even Mint, but I'd say 75% of the time it lasted a day at most. Even tried Wubi, never even reached the Ubuntu install screen. The other problem I've run into is when trying to trouble shoot any problems. For example trying to troubleshoot Samba at one point I was told "I used **** ftp program instead", "You don't need Windows, just Linux", plus a couple of links to information on Samba. Both links lead to multi page tutorials that eventually after much reading never helped and simply left me confused. So back to windows it was.

There's a reason why many commercial hardware projects running Linux ultimately fail. Sure there's a lot of embedded Linux, routers what have you. But anything meant for your average end user just doesn't cut it in the long run. Wall mart's cheap PC, Asus's original netbooks. Wall mart is selling cheap (Acer) Windows boxes now. Same with Asus's netbooks, or any netbooks for that matter. You could say it was pressure from evil MS. Well MS doing a bit of arm twisting isn't hard to believe, but from what I've heard the majority of Netbooks running Linux were switched over to WinXP, at the request of the users.

Why? I'll give you a good example. At work we use WinXp computers. But we run many Linux based applications from with in the main OS. A stock management program for example I use often. Some of the weird quirks in this program. 1. Doesn't capture the mouse at all, KB only 2. Only uses the function, delete, number and arrow keys. The default keys change from some screens to others. There's more but over all it's just not a very "user friendly" application. In fact we also use a scanning gun with our stock system, and even though they're in limited supply many wait for a gun, they're just a lot easier to use.

In a nutshell that's Linux's achilles heel. There's a over all a major lack of consistency and user friendliness to the feel of the OS. Windows has ton's of problems, but I've been able to learn a lot about it over the years. With Linux the learning curve is brutal and things that should be geared for everyday use often require some in depth knowledge. Hell often I can't even figure out where the file I just downloaded is. When anything is that opaque it's bound to leave many people behind, even ones who might learn to love it given half a chance. 

Like me.

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tri8gman

What kind of random hardware do you run that made Ubuntu (let alone *every* distro you use) crash and burn? I run Ubuntu from my flash drive, so I'm booting a full install on different hardware almost every time I boot it (I'm up to Auto Eth39 in the network daemon) and usually the machines that make it upset are the cheaper Dell product lines. Something about certain Intel graphics chipsets upset X Server.

It sounds like your Linux installations are going down for the same reason people tend to get BSODs - bad drivers/bad hardware configuration. Which is specific to the hardware set. It's hit or miss especially if you're using an OEM machine.

Yes, Samba had a lot of trouble at one point for me, too - particularly network browsing. I could manually mount shares, though. God forbid we need know even basic networking, though. Manually typing in an IP or DNS name? Pffft.... /s.

Your examples regarding your workplace are invalid because they are situationally specific. I wouldn't expect the average user to even know what a VM is nor "input capturing." You're also taking what apparently is poorly-written software as the whole experience.

You probably know as much as you do about Windows because of exposure and experience. It's prevalent and useful in the near everyday to know how to troubleshoot Windows... Linux is different. It works different. It's philosophy is different. And most repair shops won't help you with it. A problem happens, who do you turn to?

Windows is supported by companies geared toward the end-user. Large companies. These companies tailor their software to Windows. 90% of the market uses and has experience with Windows. The likelihood that you will find a solution is thus greater. FAR greater.

Also, if you can't figure out where you downloaded a file, step away from the machine... j/k.

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I Jedi

Yes, I have to admit that this is weird for original poster to be having this much trouble with Linux. I'm also thinking crappy hardware/driver software as the main culprit here, too.

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Belboz99

Always wondered why the penguin was chosen, now I know!

 

Great read, and a great look back at the early days of Linux!

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shivan

I hate to admit it but I remember this when it came out. I am really feeling old. Wonder what he's up to now?

I have tried different linux installs over the years. I ran a linux server for awhile, it worked because I made sure I had the right hardware before I tried installing it. I have tried some of the more recent installs but the limitations just were too great to bother working around them. I dual booted with XP and found myself going back so often I just gave up.

I understand some of the frustration mentioned above. I had some problems once with a linux install. I researched until I could not research anymore. Then I took the step to post on a Linux help site. I carefully worded the issue, detailed what I had done to research and try to fix. I thought I had my butt covered for the nasty responses and might get someone to actually assist. Nope, just 10 or 15 responses telling me how inadequate I was and I should go back to windows with the rest of the clones or something like that. I am not a noob with technology, but the responses sure made me feel that way. Last time I will ever use linux and I would not recommend it in my professional work or personal life. I don't always love windows but I have never personally been attacked on a windows help site.

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