Linux and OS in general

Chat about Linux in general

Linux and OS in general

Postby BiBo1938 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:28 am

I am a hardware man from way back; if LEO, mercury delay lines, Eccles-Jordan mean anything to you, you know how far back.

To me hardware is the core and I write code to make it do something.

I have been playing with Linux from almost day one, the first distribution I got came on 14 stiffies and still had the first LILO. That first 0.9 issue had things on it that MS still didn't have under XP. Mint is certainly a very fine product.

But that is not the point, OS and Linux in particular grows because many good programmers look at a code that works but say 'hey I can do that quicker/safer/more elegant.' And that is why ultimately OS will prevail; because it is a competition between like minds.

Still, a bit more user friendliness would go a far way in making Linux a true replacement of MS.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby Aevum on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:42 pm

BiBo1938 wrote:Still, a bit more user friendliness would go a far way in making Linux a true replacement of MS.


I totally agree with your point even though, to me, using a less user friendly OS is a fair "sacrifice" (but also a challenge) to have a way faster/safer/more elegant, as you said, computer.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby lmintnewb on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:03 pm

Not really sure what people could expect. Linux isn't very different in terms of user friendly in my view than anything else. Gives people a complete graphical interface to do all the basic computing tasks. A dizzying array of options ... true. But that could also be looked at as one of nix's strengths compared to other operating systems.

So jmo ... I don't think Linux is lacking in terms of being user friendly. Can vary depending upon which distro a person chooses. But most, many have a full featured default install for those who just want an alternative OS available. While some of the more obscure distro's may have some basic obstacles up to installing and configuring them. Nothing seriously challenging in any of the 20+ I've played with. Definitely nothing a lil common sense and googling couldn't sort out.

Linux has more positives, than negatives as far as I can tell in a side by side comparison with the other PC OS's available. People want totally user friendly. They should go with one of the larger and better known gnu/nix distro's that cater to that demographic and they'll be fine. Linux Mint, did a great job in making a super user friendly graphical layout in LM.

Obvious reason linux isn't taking off like a rocket. Well the two biggest I see.

1. Lock in by Microsoft ... PC comes preinstalled with windows. Just like the one they had before that one. People have no real need or incentive to look for alternatives.

2. All us in the gnu/nix community don't really aggressively promote linux to people. I mean we all like and many prefer it. But when it comes to really screaming it from the mountain and letting people know about Linux. It's not really happening. Which am guilty of that myself. I'll always bad mouth M$ vehemently and talk up linux. But isn't like I go to the local library and arrange a would you like to learn about free software and linux classes and hand out install disks to anyone who attends ... etc.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby xenopeek on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:54 pm

lmintnewb wrote:1. Lock in by Microsoft ... PC comes preinstalled with windows. Just like the one they had before that one. People have no real need or incentive to look for alternatives.

This. If people had to actually install Windows before they could use it, all this talk about Linux not being user friendly would go off the table. Windows has just as much a learning curve for that as Linux, if not bigger. Anybody who has recently have to, literally, fight with Windows 7 to get drivers installed on a home build machine where the manufacturer of some piece of hardware has either "hidden" the drivers on their website, or has "not yet" released them for Windows 7 can confirm what a headache this is :wink:
2. All us in the gnu/nix community don't really aggressively promote linux to people. I mean we all like and many prefer it. But when it comes to really screaming it from the mountain and letting people know about Linux. It's not really happening. Which am guilty of that myself. I'll always bad mouth M$ vehemently and talk up linux. But isn't like I go to the local library and arrange a would you like to learn about free software and linux classes and hand out install disks to anyone who attends ... etc.

You do your bit by supporting those on the forums that take the plunge :wink:

And in any case, give average Joe a Windows machine and return after 6 months. You could get nightmares from the stuff they have installed and done to their machine. I must say I was surprised that average Joe for which I installed Ubuntu more than 6 months ago has been able to load that machine with stuff of nightmares also :D In a clean and well ordered house, stuff was all over the home folder and manually installed in all kinds of places. I'd rather support those who come to these forums for help and are willing to learn something.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby lmintnewb on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:10 pm

Which from what I've seen you do very well Vincent. Also willing to admit that's definitely a form of contribution and any show of support, has to be better than none. Just saying the whole grass roots and community nature of linux isn't really there. People aren't promoting and spreading the word to attract more linux users as far as I see anyway.

lol ... I'd say SHAME on all you people !!! But am guilty myself, so can't w/o being a hypocrite ... D&MN !!! Wanted to point fingers ! :( Sighs .. oh well. Haven't had to install win7, only ever messed with it. Find it shocking a person would have serious problems figuring out how to install linux though. Been through it a bunch of times. With distro's ranging from graphical to text based installers you have to pre-partition for. Not one of them was something I'd consider hard or tough to finish.

Personally don't think Linux has problems with being user friendly. Depending on which distro o course. Has a problem of getting users period. Can't show someone what you have to offer if they never bother giving you the chance to demonstrate. That's Linux ... sitting there freely available to anyone who wants it. Few people ever bothering to give it a test drive.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby trollboy on Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:39 am

lmintnewb wrote:Which from what I've seen you do very well Vincent. Also willing to admit that's definitely a form of contribution and any show of support, has to be better than none. Just saying the whole grass roots and community nature of linux isn't really there. People aren't promoting and spreading the word to attract more linux users as far as I see anyway.

Most distros are not run by a corporation which wants total domination and profits to satisfy their shareholders. That drive just isn't there or indeed needed. I would say that this attitude is one of the greatest strengths of Linux as well as one of it's greaterst weaknesses.

lmintnewb wrote:Few people ever bothering to give it a test drive.

95% or more computer users don't even know what an operating system is, of the remainder the majority don't acually care which system they use as long as it works for them. I do know from personal experience that you can prattle on about freedom, stability, lack of viruses etc untill you are blue in the face but show a Windows user a funky 3D spinning cube and they snatch the mouse out of your hand.

Maybe a successful Linux marketing campaign would be "Linux - look at the shiny shiny!"
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby kaizer on Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:38 am

IMHO Linux will never be popular until ...

1. full hardware compatibility (things are improving a lot but are still far behind what it should be)...
2. proper games available on Linux platform

This is not going to happen in the near future it would take many many years, I guess Linux should be more targeting corporate .. companies does not need exotic hardware and usually usage requirement are fairly minimal (word/excel/mail are 90% of the usage). So to me success for linux would be real improvement of Libre office to serously compete MS and the partnership with IBM or someone else to develop and deployed low cost fully ready PC.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby aes2011 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:00 am

One of the things that held me back from switching to Linux was the "noise" about distros and DEs. While it's all in the right spirit, it's quite overwhelming for a newbie to take in :D and a newbie can be forgiven for wondering whether one distro/DE is worse than another (rather than just being different).
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby aes2011 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:05 am

kaizer wrote:... partnership with IBM ...


Some people who've been following the LibreOffice/Apache/Oracle business may not be too happy about IBM.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby trollboy on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:26 am

aes2011 wrote:One of the things that held me back from switching to Linux was the "noise" about distros and DEs. While it's all in the right spirit, it's quite overwhelming for a newbie to take in :D and a newbie can be forgiven for wondering whether one distro/DE is worse than another (rather than just being different).


I genuinely fail to understand this. How do you choose a car? a television? a place to live? a carpet? a pet? or indeed anything? Simple, you look at a few and where possible take them for a test run. Why should something as important as an operating system or desktop environment be any different?
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby xenopeek on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:38 am

kaizer wrote:IMHO Linux will never be popular until ...

1. full hardware compatibility (things are improving a lot but are still far behind what it should be)...
2. proper games available on Linux platform

I use Linux and it does everything I need. It has full hardware compatibility (because I buy hardware from manufacturers that support Linux) and I can play all the games I want (because I buy games from developers that support Linux--a long list of games). Demand creates its own supply. Supply creates its own demand. Support those that support Linux, and more will use Linux and more will support Linux.

:wink:
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby thatsallurspaceships on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:41 am

Make it Standart distro or fight the monopol of preinstalled MS products and lets see if it then is seen as negative as now. I think this and prejurance against Linux are the main stuff, but as long i can use it i dont care if somebody doesnt want a better OS i wont make him change...hmm maybe i will. :D
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby aes2011 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:31 am

trollboy wrote:
aes2011 wrote:One of the things that held me back from switching to Linux was the "noise" about distros and DEs. While it's all in the right spirit, it's quite overwhelming for a newbie to take in :D and a newbie can be forgiven for wondering whether one distro/DE is worse than another (rather than just being different).


I genuinely fail to understand this. How do you choose a car? a television? a place to live? a carpet? a pet? or indeed anything? Simple, you look at a few and where possible take them for a test run. Why should something as important as an operating system or desktop environment be any different?


With the examples you've cited, they're all around us physically. Users of Linux are not at all common. So I'm not sure your analogy is appropriate (or fair).

I still have to meet another real person running Linux on a desktop. If I knew several people who had Linux on their PCs, I could go over to their place and check things out. The shops that sell PCs flatly discourage me. They prefer to push pirated MS Windows. So I have to make a decision by reading what I can about it and because it is important and because it is a big decision, it's a difficult one to make.

The Linux User Group closest to where I live is somewhat moribund and doesn't really care for things such as encouraging people to switch.

Downloading a distro (~700 MB+) maybe the simplest thing in the world for some people but not for all. Not everyone in the world has unlimited bandwidth, nor for that matter, adequate speed. So testing out a "few" distros may not be as easy for some people.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby xenopeek on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:54 am

aes2011 wrote:I still have to meet another real person running Linux on a desktop. If I knew several people who had Linux on their PCs, I could go over to their place and check things out. The shops that sell PCs flatly discourage me. They prefer to push pirated MS Windows. So I have to make a decision by reading what I can about it and because it is important and because it is a big decision, it's a difficult one to make.

Thats a bummer :( I have some colleagues at work running Linux, so I can talk "shop" some days. Everybody else I know uses Windows. I learned most from reading magazines like Linux Format (that includes a Live DVD every issue) and trying stuff.

The Linux User Group closest to where I live is somewhat moribund and doesn't really care for things such as encouraging people to switch.

What area is that? You might try to reach out yourself through forums and such to find other Linux users, outside the LUG. In the Netherlands somebody just launched an initiative for people wanting to try Linux to find people with Linux experience in their area. http://www.buurtlinux.nl/ Name translates as "neighborhood Linux", i.e. "help your neighbor".

Downloading a distro (~700 MB+) maybe the simplest thing in the world for some people but not for all. Not everyone in the world has unlimited bandwidth, nor for that matter, adequate speed. So testing out a "few" distros may not be as easy for some people.

Well, http://distrowatch.com/ has cheap Live CDs/DVDs you can order. It really helps to see a few distros to find what works for you.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby aes2011 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:20 pm

Vincent Vermeulen wrote:...
What area is that?...
....
Well, http://distrowatch.com/ has cheap Live CDs/DVDs you can order. It really helps to see a few distros to find what works for you.


I'm near Mumbai, India.

I've now got an "unlimited" internet scheme and so will be in a position to download distros but that's still some time away because I see no point (for me) in switching (even if it's to a potentially better one) till I understand much better how things in Linux work basically and Mint provides me that opportunity.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby trollboy on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:30 pm

aes2011 wrote:With the examples you've cited, they're all around us physically. Users of Linux are not at all common. So I'm not sure your analogy is appropriate (or fair).

Of course it's appropriate and fair. They are all major decisions that have a massive impact on your life. Given that the average person is spending more and more time with their computer I would argue that the choice of OS and environment is of huge importance. Of course it is entirely up to you or anyone to decide how much importance is attached to such a decision. I spend a lot of time in front of my computers as it's how I earn my living and I also use them for quite a bit of play, so in my case the only four things that have had more impact (and therefore importance) in my life are my choice of education, career, partner and residence.

aes2011 wrote:I still have to meet another real person running Linux on a desktop. If I knew several people who had Linux on their PCs, I could go over to their place and check things out.

Well, everyone here is a real person, running linux but I suspect you mean offline when you say "real person" which is, as has been said, a bummer. I'm lucky enough to know a few Linux users in the real world but didn't get to meet them until I'd already been using Linux for a few years. They are out there, but they may be hiding :D I've recently started adding a "Sent using Linux Mint" signature to my emails which is a great way to reach out!

aes2011 wrote:The shops that sell PCs flatly discourage me. They prefer to push pirated MS Windows.

I'm afraid I have to be completely blunt here and say that makes them them thieves and it makes anyone who accepts their goods (with such a copy installed) guilty of receiving stolen goods. I have no tolerance or sympathy for that. The fact that they refuse to use a legal and free alternative also makes them lazy and incompetent in my book. Please feel free to show them this post ^_^

aes2011 wrote:So I have to make a decision by reading what I can about it and because it is important and because it is a big decision, it's a difficult one to make.

Couldn't agree more. The only way to end up with the OS and environment that is right for you is to try them. Anything that anyone tells you is mere opinion. If it helps, I was an inveterate distro-hopper until I landed on Linux Mint Debian Edition (XFCE) and since they added the "latest" repository it's a bit more suitable for beginners. But that's just my opinion.

aes2011 wrote:Downloading a distro (~700 MB+) maybe the simplest thing in the world for some people but not for all. Not everyone in the world has unlimited bandwidth, nor for that matter, adequate speed. So testing out a "few" distros may not be as easy for some people.

As has been said there are other ways to get distros. If bandwidth is too expensive then a couple of $$ for a CD to be sent to you is a viable alternative. As is getting a magazine like Linux Format which includes a ton of distros on it's cover DVD.
Last edited by trollboy on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby trollboy on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:34 pm

aes2011 wrote:I'm near Mumbai, India.

btw, we're kicking your ass at cricket :D Still, I suspect this series will be more remembered for an wonderfully sportsman-like decision by the Indian team in the second test than it will for the cricket.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby aes2011 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:50 pm

trollboy wrote:
aes2011 wrote:I'm near Mumbai, India.

btw, we're kicking your ass at cricket :D ...


Okay :)

Actually, I want Indian cricket to get less importance. Other sports are deprived.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby thatsallurspaceships on Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:24 am

You must be tough to have linux installed. I often get criticized for using it, even if i can give an pro argument for everything. It is still not accepted at all. You better get a XP from the Internet or have a cracked copy from MS than use a so called hacker OS. In fact it is still easier to get a cracked OS than finding someone using Linux, so you are very likely on your own. You really cannot judge someone for DL illegal copy, if he gets no other choice. All general computer magazines are made for other OS and sometimes you will find it hard to even find a magazine with little articles about Linux at all. Also some magazines are just too much overloaded for beginners, they have no use for advanced commands. Of course you get help on the Forums, thanks here to the community, and there are quiet a lot of sites to help getting started, but you most likely won't visit/find them if you are unsure which OS to take.

Edit: There are of course some Linux magazines out, but they are less than 10% and not available everywhere.
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Re: Linux and OS in general

Postby aes2011 on Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:22 am

So, why is the Linux market share so small after two decades? Linux has an identity crisis. It seems that Linux doesn't even really know what Linux wants to be. If you have a debate about operating systems, Windows means Windows, Mac means Mac OS X, and Linux...well, that's a whole firestorm of zealotry to itself. Which is the best Linux? After you choose between the various flavors--Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, etc.--then you have to choose which version, and which desktop interface to use.

The fact that there is diversity, and options is a strength of the Linux platform, and one of the factors that draws people to the operating system in the first place, but when it comes to mainstream adoption, the lack of agreement and solidarity over which Linux is the right Linux is a handicap.


Apologies for the long quote!
Source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/a ... linux.html
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