Windows 98SE and Linux

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Postby MoboCop » Thu Sep 05, 2002 1:45 pm

cdlee_uk wrote:I don't view a good operating system as one than caters for the lowest common denominator, i.e. those that no very little about computers - you've gotta put some effort in. If you look at cost, performance, stability and flexibility, then Linux is far better than anything the Mr Gates has to offer.


For some this may be true, but for the majority (me included and I am very far from being the lowest common denominator) when I am working (yes I actually do work on my system) I want the system to be fast responsive and simple.

I should not have to be tweaking $%^!@# or running command line codes to perform everyday operations.

I use linux for our web servers and it does a great job. But this setup is somewhat set it and forget it which is good because when $%^!@# goes wrong I HATE LINUX... I have enough code to remember without have to remember all the command line crap you have to use in linux. On top of that I only have to use these commands infrequently on the server and after a month or two I have to relearn all the commands again. A pain in the butt.

So your argument while valid to a certain degree is not usually the case (my opinion). As a power user who knows his way around hardware, software, and programming I expect a computer to make my job easier and not more complex. In this XP and Windows in general work far better than Linux. Add to this the fact that ALL the good software that I need to use is windows based. I would NOT use an emulator to run them.
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Postby cdlee_uk » Fri Sep 06, 2002 5:02 am

Whilst Windows, once setup, is easy to use, its certainly not the easiest to fix when something goes wrong. The other day, I incorrectly set one of my DVD drives to use DMA and ended up hacking the registry in Safe Mode to get the computer working again. That's not something your average Office user would want to tackle. Once Linux is setup, it can be just as easy as Windows to use, and with development going as it is, its getting easier to administer as well. Like Windows, you have to know something to fix it if it goes belly up.

Windows benefits, in my view, because it has been around longer on the desktop and therefore there are a lot more people knocking about who know it fairly well. Also, there's no denying that there is a lot of software out there for Windows.

My point is, basically, there needs to be an alternative to Windows on the desktop (Linux is already a viable alternative server OS if you ask me) and Linux is quickly getting there. To ensure it does, it needs to be used and supported. So everyone should dual boot, use Linux occasionally, see the benefits for themselves and eventually they'll get to a stage where they only use Windows to play games. Mind you, those people who only use their PC as a games machine aren't going to be converted that easily.
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Postby EvLwMn » Fri Sep 06, 2002 9:46 am

OK - where do I start?

1. ATI and Linux don't get along: well that's not exactly the case. The thing is, ATI doesn't put out ANY drivers for Linux. Those drivers are written by the X11 Project by volunteers.

2. There IS that pesky problem with Windows emulators. They are getting better but I hear that the best one by far is Win4Lin (~$40 last time I checked). The Wine Project is moving too slowly and Wine seems to be too complicated to configure. I know I can't get it to work.

3. The software availability gets better every day but is still not up to par with Windows. I find that to be very unfortunate. But I too will purchase a Linux distro every once in a while to support the cause. Maybe if enough of us spends $45 - $50 every so often for an OS (yes, that's what some of the Linux distros cost - far cry from Windows huh?!) the software development would get better.

4. Command lines - you use command lines in Windows too, just not as often because everything has been dumbed down. Who remembers DOS when EVERYTHING was done using a command line??? I do and yes it sucked. But you have to run them even now in some cases (winipcfg, netstat, etc.) and you have to remember those too. MoboCop inadvertantly made another point for me - he only uses the Linux commands he needs INFREQUENTLY meaning he doesn't have to fix his Linux server very often and that's because it doesn't break very often. We learned the Windows commands because we were using them every other day (repetition). I keep a small list of Linux commands that I need every once in a while written down with a brief description of what they fix in the desk drawer by my server. Like MoboCop said "relearning" commands is a pain in the arse and usually if you have to use a command once you'll need it again (although when that is who knows?). So therefore MoboCop, your job IS made easier because you don't have to fix the Linux server as often which leaves your time free for more pressing matters (like keeping your Windows machines up). As cdlee_uk said - Windows is not the easiest to fix when something goes wrong. And NO you DON'T want the average user hacking the registry (what a nightmare 8O ). And when Linux is set up properly it IS just as easy to use - you just use different (and probably unfamiliar) commands when commands are needed (which they aren't always).

[rant on] MoboCop makes some really good points as he has ACTUALLY USED Linux and knows its pros and cons. One thing that really pisses me off is when someone who has never even seen Linux in operation, let alone used it, talks about it like it's an alien system and could never contend with Windows :evil: . That's funny because Linux IS a contender with Windows as evidenced by the fact that "IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq are backing it." (quoted from The Lazy Person's Guide to Open Source Software by Major Dale J. Long, USAF (Ret.); CHIPS Magazine; Spring 2002) Some of IBM's customers are L.L. Bean, Pixar, Boscov's, and Salomon Smith Barney to name a few. And if Linux can't contend with Windows they why is Microsoft so worried. The fact that M$ views Linux as a "threat that requires a full-scale training program for their sales force on how to combat it." (more from the article listed above) speaks volumes to me. The fact remains that the most powerful software company on the planet is targeting Linux (and isn't slowing it down any) and that's significant. And it's something to think about.

I think if more people gave Linux an honest chance they would like it. The problem is that in order to really give it a chance they will be required to actually LEARN something new and in my experience, most people are too lazy to actually LEARN anything foreign to them. That's a damn shame too. [rant off]
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Postby MoboCop » Fri Sep 06, 2002 10:08 am

ok...good stuff. I really appreciate the rants and flames when they actually have some meat to them and are not a neener neener neener post...

Anyway as far as Linux goes, I think it does have its uses, unfortuntely it is NOT useful for everyday use and a main computer for the majority of users.

In my example above of the linux boxes I administer to run this site. I have one linux server that I use to run the database and another to run the web server and host all the files.

As I mentioned of course I do not have to mess with the command line very often (if I did I would switch to an nt box with ISS).

Linux works great as a web server (apache) and installed php and associated programs is not too much of a pain (although it can turn into one quickly).

I really dislike every thing about the command line interface.

There are a ton of commands each with multiple switches and it is a pain in the arse. Not to mention command lines and switches can be dangerous and do bad things to your system when someone is guessing and hunting for the answer.

I want a GUI to do the dirty work in the background, that is what a computer is for... to make my job easier.

So if windows acts up and needs to be fixed I take my machine to Doc and let him fix it. More often than not it is a hardware issue (in my case).

I have found XP to reliable (the linux servers are realiable too) and overall it helps me to get my job done quickly and efficiently.

As I mentioned before, I have enough code to remember and I use a wide enough range of software that I need to be very familar with how they work too.

As for command line in windows. Lets see I use it to telnet into a linux box...I use it to look up my ip... that is about it.

I am not in anyway trying to bash or put down linux, bottom line it has it uses and a great one that I use personally is as a web server. But for everyday use in my job and for personal use it does not stand a chance against windows.

of course this is just my opinion and I could be wrong.
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Postby EvLwMn » Fri Sep 06, 2002 10:34 am

In answer to MoboCop:

First of all, I thank you for showing your appreciation when someone can back up their rant with facts.

I use Linux as an everyday machine and find it quite useful. I must say that the ONLY reason I even keep a Windows machine around is so I can bring work home (yes - I'm insane) and have total compatibility for my files (instead of messing around converting formats all the time) and for gaming. Oh - and they're fun to hack and it's not illegal for me to hack my own machines. Maybe I don't fall into the category of "majority of users" :?:

While I will admit that sometimes you HAVE to use the command line, many of the major distributions like Redhat and SuSE have configuration tools that will take care of many tasks for you using a GUI. You can also go in and manually edit config files yourself without having to use a command line using konqueror as an "explorer" type interface using it much like you use Windows Explorer. When you do this the changes usually take effect immediately although with things that effect startup you have to reboot and with other things like LILO you have to re-install the program by going to a command line. Besides, you said it yourself - you don't have to mess with it that often. But I understand the reasons you hate the command line interface. I have a great deal of code, commands, etc. I have to remember myself. That's why I write the ones I rarely use down on the list in the drawer. It's like a quick reference for when I need it.

Unfortunately, I don't have a "Doc" I can take my Windows machines to when they break so I have to fix them myself. So from a SA point of view I have to say that Windows machines are much more of a pain to fix than any Linux machine I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

OH - and NEVER let someone with root access play "hunt and peck" with the commands on your Linux system. If you're not sure, DON'T DO IT :!: :!: But you already know that don't you MoboCop.

And that's just my opinion.
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