What if Ubuntu goes away

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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby cwwgateway on Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:27 pm

I agree that the openSUSE installer (which I think is part of Yast2?) is really great - it's one of my favorites, probably on par with ubiquity. The only problem I've had with it is that in virtualbox the drive isn't big enough for two seperate partitions, but two seperate partitions are a very good idea on real hardware. However, Yast2 is a mixed blessing - some parts are outdated or broken, such as the package manager, and I've heard of problems when configuring things while not using Yast2. At the same time, it's very powerful. I'll have to try the 12.3 beta this weekend - I've been looking forward to see KDE 4.10 in action.

As for the Debian installer, the true vanilla Debian almost stopped me from using linux because I had problems with it, but that's a story for another day (it had to do with no WPA2 support, which was added in the Debian 7 beta installer). However, the LMDE installer (called live-installer) is fairly simple, and it got a number of new features for the upcoming LMDE ISOs. It's two big "flaws" are its lack of (U)EFI and SecureBoot Support (which they decided not to add to the installer for this release cycle) and that I believe it still requires manual partitioning rather than the option of manual partitioning. I think apt and it's various GUIs (synaptic, mintInstall, software-center, etc) are the best of any distro. I think pacman is a little bit simpler and faster, but its GUIs are all unofficial and are extremely cumbersome (another story for another day).

I love the arch wiki (I couldn't have installed it otherwise), and I also use it to figure out my problems with other distros :lol: . The latest Fedora wasn't great, but if you look past the installer (which was bad) it wasn't bad. I wouldn't recommend it, though.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby cwsnyder on Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:25 pm

For those under 40, you probably grew up during the 'personal computing' era and don't remember time-sharing computers and the predecessors to the Internet. I notice that age group is very excited about the 'cloud', while those of us who do remember time-sharing computers and remember WHY the personal computer was called revolutionary are more cautious.

We have been there, done that, got burned and don't even have a tee-shirt to show for it. This has all been seen before. There is a cycle between central data storage and individual storage of data, with central storage coming to the fore for right now, but I believe will swing back to individually controlled storage again.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby igor83 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:02 pm

cwwgateway wrote:I agree that the openSUSE installer (which I think is part of Yast2?) is really great - it's one of my favorites, probably on par with ubiquity. The only problem I've had with it is that in virtualbox the drive isn't big enough for two seperate partitions, but two seperate partitions are a very good idea on real hardware. However, Yast2 is a mixed blessing - some parts are outdated or broken, such as the package manager, and I've heard of problems when configuring things while not using Yast2. At the same time, it's very powerful. I'll have to try the 12.3 beta this weekend - I've been looking forward to see KDE 4.10 in action.

As for the Debian installer, the true vanilla Debian almost stopped me from using linux because I had problems with it, but that's a story for another day (it had to do with no WPA2 support, which was added in the Debian 7 beta installer). However, the LMDE installer (called live-installer) is fairly simple, and it got a number of new features for the upcoming LMDE ISOs. It's two big "flaws" are its lack of (U)EFI and SecureBoot Support (which they decided not to add to the installer for this release cycle) and that I believe it still requires manual partitioning rather than the option of manual partitioning. I think apt and it's various GUIs (synaptic, mintInstall, software-center, etc) are the best of any distro. I think pacman is a little bit simpler and faster, but its GUIs are all unofficial and are extremely cumbersome (another story for another day).

I love the arch wiki (I couldn't have installed it otherwise), and I also use it to figure out my problems with other distros :lol: . The latest Fedora wasn't great, but if you look past the installer (which was bad) it wasn't bad. I wouldn't recommend it, though.


In my perfect world, Open Suse would handle the installer, Arch the documentation wiki, Linux Mint the desktop gadgets and stuff, KDE the desktop, and ubuntu... well I don't know, the stuff that comes between KDE and Linux Mint? The software manager, I guess. It would be kind of neat if some billionaire nerd could bring all the Linux distros together in one house and focus their energies to creating one really awesome-r distro for the desktop. But it's probably a task equivalent in complexity to herding cats.

I've been awful curious about Mageia and Fedora but I think I'm going to wait for a good objective review before I sink any time into those distros. You will not try Open Suse 12.3 beta, because RC1 is already out, which I think seems fast, given the number of problems I encountered in the beta version, but there seems an urgency to releasing new versions in the linux world, I think because people want the latest Kernel and don't want to go to the trouble of compiling it themselves, most likely. So it seems each new version of a distro tends to have rather incremental modifications. But it's all good.

As to cloud computing, ha, that's an idea, if one can't afford $100 for a computer. Desktops and even laptops, especially used, are so cheap these days, I really don't see the point, although I imagine it is convenient to store massive files like movies and such "in the cloud" so one can access them anywhere--on a phone and so forth--but that does not appeal to me. When I'm out, I don't lug along much in the way of gadgets. For that matter, first thing I do after installing linux anywhere is disable bluetooth.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby dee. on Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:12 pm

igor83 wrote:In my perfect world, Open Suse would handle the installer, Arch the documentation wiki, Linux Mint the desktop gadgets and stuff, KDE the desktop, and ubuntu... well I don't know, the stuff that comes between KDE and Linux Mint? The software manager, I guess. It would be kind of neat if some billionaire nerd could bring all the Linux distros together in one house and focus their energies to creating one really awesome-r distro for the desktop. But it's probably a task equivalent in complexity to herding cats.


Well the problem with that is, that there are 7 billion definitions of "perfect"...

cwwgateway wrote:I think the large growth in the mobile sector shows that there is an increased focus on mobile devices as well as portable devices such as ultrabooks, chromebooks, and tablets. It is fair to say that, based on past growth, computing is going mobile (or maybe it already has). However, at the same time, I think it's important to recognize that desktops (and desktop-replacement laptops), are still required for productivity and will be required in the foreseeable future.


No, I don't think computing as a whole is going mobile. "Computing" is too vague a definition to really "go" anywhere. Parts of computing will be going to mobile devices, sure, but that's only a part of the market. Ultimately, the tablet craze is probably going to plateau. We already see things sort of going full circle, with tablets becoming increasingly like small laptops, with keyboards and all - they call them "hybrids" or "transformers" or whatever but ultimately they're basically becoming just netbooks with touchscreens. Tablets address a very different need than desktop/laptop computers do - they're for people who don't really need to do any actual work on their computer, who just use them to browse the web and play angrybirds.

What is probably going to happen is that tablets and smartphones will address that part of the market which only needs a computing device for trivial stuff, like web and such, while desktop/laptop market will become more focused on work, gaming and different niche applications (using the term broadly, as some of those "niches" are quite large indeed). Also, a portion of the market of tablets has been people who are unfamiliar with computers, less technically oriented people, like elderly people and such - and that market is just going to shrink in the future, 20 years from now there likely won't be a person left alive who doesn't know how to use a computer. So that is also likely to swing the balance back somewhat.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby zeke on Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:53 am

dee. wrote:What is probably going to happen is that tablets and smartphones will address that part of the market which only needs a computing device for trivial stuff, like web and such, while desktop/laptop market will become more focused on work, gaming and different niche applications (using the term broadly, as some of those "niches" are quite large indeed). Also, a portion of the market of tablets has been people who are unfamiliar with computers, less technically oriented people, like elderly people and such - and that market is just going to shrink in the future, 20 years from now there likely won't be a person left alive who doesn't know how to use a computer. So that is also likely to swing the balance back somewhat.


You've got to be joking. The web is trivial, but gaming is not? The market for tablets and smartphones is the elderly? 20 years from now laptops and desktop computers will be more popular? I see people all around me - very technically-oriented people - ditching laptops for tablets to do - work. They are fantastic devices for mobile communications and pulling information from sources like that trivial web thing, and are much more convenient to travel with compared to a laptop. My wife travels a lot for work and she wouldn't be caught dead w/o her smartphone. A full keyboard is more efficient at producing large amounts of text, but that's about it, and there is way more to "work" than that. I've also seen people who can type faster on a virtual keyboard than many people can on a real one. Not to mention that almost anything one can do w/ a mouse is easier and more natural w/ a touch screen. I can't predict the future 20 years from now any better than anyone else, but I can virtually guarantee that whatever devices are in use at that time won't closely resemble much of what is out there today. As a wild guess I would say if 20 years from now someone has need of a keyboard-like interface to a "computer" (how quaint), they will probably use a device that projects a virtual keyboard somewhere and reads their finger motions - but that's probably nowhere near imaginative enough to predict what will really be out there.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby cwsnyder on Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:35 am

zeke wrote:Not to mention that almost anything one can do w/ a mouse is easier and more natural w/ a touch screen.


I don't want to start a flame war, but a touch screen is almost totally useless for precision point selection unless a pointer is used, and most pointers are at least as inconvenient, if not more so, than hooking up a mouse or using a touchpad enabled device. I am thinking specifically for drawing and CAD applications.

This is in addition to the 'large amount of text' entry and editing which I have yet to see any touch screen keyboard match the productivity of a pointing device and keyboard application.

Yes, tablet/smartphone and touchscreen computers are useful for many applications, but there are others where they are compromises over a more traditional computing device.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby zeke on Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:56 am

cwsnyder wrote:
zeke wrote:Not to mention that almost anything one can do w/ a mouse is easier and more natural w/ a touch screen.


I don't want to start a flame war, but a touch screen is almost totally useless for precision point selection unless a pointer is used, and most pointers are at least as inconvenient, if not more so, than hooking up a mouse or using a touchpad enabled device. I am thinking specifically for drawing and CAD applications.

This is in addition to the 'large amount of text' entry and editing which I have yet to see any touch screen keyboard match the productivity of a pointing device and keyboard application.

Yes, tablet/smartphone and touchscreen computers are useful for many applications, but there are others where they are compromises over a more traditional computing device.

I don't disagree w/ anything you say. But what's true today is not going to be true tomorrow. Mouse- and keyboard-driven software has been in use for decades and people have trained themselves to be very proficient at using it. I still recall those traditionalists scoffing at graphical computer screens - "Graphics? Colors? a what - mouse? those are silly and will never catch on. All I need is my keyboard and scrolling text display to enter numbers in my spreadsheet." Current tablets and smartphones are just scratching the surface of what is possible for other methods of data input. If you think about it, using a mouse over on your desk to point at something in front of you is a pretty unnatural action. I could see that when my kids started using the computer for dfrawing - they picked up the graphics tablet much quicker than the mouse, and our graphics tablet is a pretty crude device in its own right. In a few years your whole set of drawings for a project will probably be in a smart document using imbedded OLEDs for display that you roll up, take to the job site or factory floor, and edit directly if necessary, using something like real drawing (with the imbedded intelligence of course cleaning up and correcting your feeble human scratchings).
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby dee. on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:44 am

zeke wrote:
dee. wrote:What is probably going to happen is that tablets and smartphones will address that part of the market which only needs a computing device for trivial stuff, like web and such, while desktop/laptop market will become more focused on work, gaming and different niche applications (using the term broadly, as some of those "niches" are quite large indeed). Also, a portion of the market of tablets has been people who are unfamiliar with computers, less technically oriented people, like elderly people and such - and that market is just going to shrink in the future, 20 years from now there likely won't be a person left alive who doesn't know how to use a computer. So that is also likely to swing the balance back somewhat.


You've got to be joking. The web is trivial, but gaming is not? The market for tablets and smartphones is the elderly? 20 years from now laptops and desktop computers will be more popular?


I have never said any of those things. Try addressing what I actually say instead of silly reductionist strawman arguments. I don't have time for intellectually dishonest arguments (or people).

It's clear from the context that I'm not saying the entire web is trivial. The things most tablet-using people use the web for are (facebook and such). I've also never claimed that the elderly are the entire market for tablets. It's right there in what you quoted: see the word "portion" there? Do you know what "portion" means? I also never claimed that laptops and desktops will be more popular than they are now 20 years from now. I said that the computer-illiterate market is going to shrink in the future, which will reduce the advantage of tablets against desktops/laptops.

I see people all around me - very technically-oriented people - ditching laptops for tablets to do - work. They are fantastic devices for mobile communications and pulling information from sources like that trivial web thing, and are much more convenient to travel with compared to a laptop. My wife travels a lot for work and she wouldn't be caught dead w/o her smartphone. A full keyboard is more efficient at producing large amounts of text, but that's about it, and there is way more to "work" than that. I've also seen people who can type faster on a virtual keyboard than many people can on a real one. Not to mention that almost anything one can do w/ a mouse is easier and more natural w/ a touch screen.


Oh BS. Try producing anything beyond a couple of sentences with an on-screen keyboard. Those people who are super-fast on a virtual keyboard - put them together with people who are relatively fast on regular keyboards and ask both to write a one page essay. Look who gets it done first. I think you can guess the outcome if you have any honesty.

As for touch being "more natural than a mouse"... what world do you live in? Try doing any actual work (something more than browsing the web) with a touch device. Try clicking any small controls or buttons accurately. With touch devices you have to constantly zoom in just to hit the right link in the middle of a text. Then there's the problem with ergonomy: with a touch screen, you have to either position the screen almost horizontally, or your arms will kill you if you use it for more than 5 minutes. And that means you have to be in a very specific position to work with it, which is inconvenient. Additionally, a touch screen requires way longer arm motions than a mouse, which only becomes worse the larger the screen is. That's why they're suitable for small mobile devices, but with anything larger, a mouse (or another pointing device, like a trackball) is way more ergonomic. Touch is a nice feature for trivial things but when it comes to doing actual work, it's no match for the accuracy and ergonomy of a mouse or trackball.

Tablets are nice, there's a place for them surely, but to think that they're going to replace all the computers and people will do EVERYTHING with them, is plain idiocy. 90% of the things I do with my computer would be horribly uncomfortable using a tablet or touch screen.

I can't predict the future 20 years from now any better than anyone else, but I can virtually guarantee that whatever devices are in use at that time won't closely resemble much of what is out there today. As a wild guess I would say if 20 years from now someone has need of a keyboard-like interface to a "computer" (how quaint), they will probably use a device that projects a virtual keyboard somewhere and reads their finger motions - but that's probably nowhere near imaginative enough to predict what will really be out there.


Those things you speak of already exist, and they haven't replaced actual keyboards. Do you know why? Because people like having the physical feedback of pressing actual keys, it makes typing much easier and more ergonomic - especially for text longer than a couple of sentences. People didn't suddenly ditch all their radios when TV's first became available, so why exactly do you think desktop computers would go anywhere? In the 90's, they thought the same thing about voice control. Look at old star trek episodes, everything on the enterprise is voice-controlled, because they figured we'd be doing everything by voice in the future. Well, in reality, it turned out that voice control isn't really all that great, and doing things manually is actually much more convenient and faster.

Certainly, desktop computers are going to change, and we'll likely see some more innovative input and output devices, but the basics - like using a keyboard to produce text, using ergonomic pointing devices which require small arm motions - are probably going to stay very much the same as now. Desktop computers will likely just get smaller, to the point that they'll become portable aside from the screen and input devices, and a lot of wires will likely be eliminated when wireless connections will become more advanced.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby igor83 on Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:49 pm

cwsnyder wrote:
zeke wrote:Not to mention that almost anything one can do w/ a mouse is easier and more natural w/ a touch screen.


I don't want to start a flame war, but a touch screen is almost totally useless for precision point selection unless a pointer is used, and most pointers are at least as inconvenient, if not more so, than hooking up a mouse or using a touchpad enabled device. I am thinking specifically for drawing and CAD applications.

This is in addition to the 'large amount of text' entry and editing which I have yet to see any touch screen keyboard match the productivity of a pointing device and keyboard application.

Yes, tablet/smartphone and touchscreen computers are useful for many applications, but there are others where they are compromises over a more traditional computing device.


I don't use touchscreens but I welcome their ascension in the marketplace and hope they do replace mice, for one reason--cardio-vascular health. I will get a lot more exercise moving my hand around a screen nudging the mouse and clicking buttons. I think it will put a stopper on carpal tunnel syndrome and a host of other ills. So here's a big hooray to all the early adopters! Right on. I'll join you when touchscreens reach $50 a pop.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby xenopeek on Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:06 pm

igor83 wrote:I don't use touchscreens but I welcome their ascension in the marketplace and hope they do replace mice, for one reason--cardio-vascular health.

Don't get your hopes up; tablets give me sore fingers and I'd much rather use a mouse. If you want to reduce stress on your wrists and fingers, consider using a mouse than you can set to a very low dpi rating (so you have to make bigger movements). I'm using the Logitech G400, which will go to 400 dpi if you press the '-' button on the mouse. Or consider using a Wacom tablet or similar; using a pen to control on screen cursor puts your hand in a more natural position (the part of your wrist where all the tendons run at the surface also be rotated away from your desk, reducing stress). Tablets are fun, but to me ergonomically inferior to a desktop.

Back on topic on what I'd use if Ubuntu went away. Probably just Linux Mint, whatever it will be based on :wink:
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby bimsebasse on Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:19 pm

I think people are using their mice wrong or I'm blessed with an unusually strong wrist. Been using a mouse for going on 2 decades now and never even been a bit strained. I'm pretty sure using a tablet - which requires more of your arm/fingers/wrist/hand than resting a hand on a mouse does - brings other potential injuries with it.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby igor83 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:28 pm

bimsebasse wrote:I think people are using their mice wrong or I'm blessed with an unusually strong wrist. Been using a mouse for going on 2 decades now and never even been a bit strained. I'm pretty sure using a tablet - which requires more of your arm/fingers/wrist/hand than resting a hand on a mouse does - brings other potential injuries with it.


I'm fine with mice after two decades (what's that, 1993? good gawd!), but my bosses at my last corporate job had severe twitching disorders, wherien their elbows would jerk about for no reason. They wore fat bandages and weights on their forearms for quite some time. Oddest deformity, which they and their doctors attributed to use of the mouse, but in reality I think their chronic alcoholism played the key role in their disorder.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby mmix on Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:52 pm

thx for this topic. yes there is always debian!
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby zeke on Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:36 am

This is horribly off-topic and most probably pointless, but here goes...
dee. wrote:What is probably going to happen is that tablets and smartphones will address that part of the market which only needs a computing device for trivial stuff, like web and such, while desktop/laptop market will become more focused on work, gaming and different niche applications (using the term broadly, as some of those "niches" are quite large indeed). Also, a portion of the market of tablets has been people who are unfamiliar with computers, less technically oriented people, like elderly people and such - and that market is just going to shrink in the future, 20 years from now there likely won't be a person left alive who doesn't know how to use a computer. So that is also likely to swing the balance back somewhat.

zeke wrote:You've got to be joking. The web is trivial, but gaming is not? The market for tablets and smartphones is the elderly? 20 years from now laptops and desktop computers will be more popular?

dee. wrote:It's clear from the context that I'm not saying the entire web is trivial. The things most tablet-using people use the web for are (facebook and such). I've also never claimed that the elderly are the entire market for tablets. It's right there in what you quoted: see the word "portion" there? Do you know what "portion" means? I also never claimed that laptops and desktops will be more popular than they are now 20 years from now. I said that the computer-illiterate market is going to shrink in the future, which will reduce the advantage of tablets against desktops/laptops.


You may have meant something different from what you said, but what you said is "Tablets <are> for people who don't really need to do any actual work on their computer, who just use them to browse the web and play angrybirds. " and "tablets and smartphones will address that part of the market which only needs a computing device for trivial stuff, like web and such". These are pretty blanket statements about the people who use tablets/smartphones and about the "web" and "browsing the web" being "trivial" and not related to "actual work". I don't see any context in the original post that would imply differently, and I certainly don't see any qualifiers like "most".

I was't really sure about your comment refering to elderly people and tablets. You seemed to be making a connection between elderly people owning tablets and the market for tablets shrinking in the future (I guess by dying off?) so I assumed you were refering to those elderly people (or lack of them thru death) driving the market. I'll note that elderly people also use desktops (for example my 87 year old mother has a desktop running ubuntu and I don't know what she will do if ubuntu goes away - moderators please take note of this highly on-topic statement), and those people will be dying off as well. I also was and am not clear about the role of the computer illiterates. You seem to be saying that people who are computer literate do not use tablets, so once they learn about all the neat things they can do with desktop computers they will throw away those silly tablets, also contributing to the market for tablets shrinking?

You stated that "the tablet craze is probably going to plateau" (or shrink because of all the elderly tablet users dying off?) and 20 years from now that will "swing the balance <between tablets and laptops/desktops> back". To me this implies that 20 years from now desktops/laptops will grow in popularity relative to tablets.


zeke wrote: I see people all around me - very technically-oriented people - ditching laptops for tablets to do - work. They are fantastic devices for mobile communications and pulling information from sources like that trivial web thing, and are much more convenient to travel with compared to a laptop. My wife travels a lot for work and she wouldn't be caught dead w/o her smartphone. A full keyboard is more efficient at producing large amounts of text, but that's about it, and there is way more to "work" than that. I've also seen people who can type faster on a virtual keyboard than many people can on a real one. Not to mention that almost anything one can do w/ a mouse is easier and more natural w/ a touch screen.

dee. wrote:Oh BS. Try producing anything beyond a couple of sentences with an on-screen keyboard. Those people who are super-fast on a virtual keyboard - put them together with people who are relatively fast on regular keyboards and ask both to write a one page essay. Look who gets it done first. I think you can guess the outcome if you have any honesty.


The problem here seems to be your extremely narrow definition of "actual work". As I said, not all work involves the creation of large amounts of text. Reading and writing communications, reading documents, searching for information, are important parts of the "actual work" many people do, all of which can be and is done quite well on a tablet in many cases.

dee. wrote:As for touch being "more natural than a mouse"... what world do you live in? Try doing any actual work (something more than browsing the web) with a touch device. Try clicking any small controls or buttons accurately. With touch devices you have to constantly zoom in just to hit the right link in the middle of a text. Then there's the problem with ergonomy: with a touch screen, you have to either position the screen almost horizontally, or your arms will kill you if you use it for more than 5 minutes. And that means you have to be in a very specific position to work with it, which is inconvenient. Additionally, a touch screen requires way longer arm motions than a mouse, which only becomes worse the larger the screen is. That's why they're suitable for small mobile devices, but with anything larger, a mouse (or another pointing device, like a trackball) is way more ergonomic. Touch is a nice feature for trivial things but when it comes to doing actual work, it's no match for the accuracy and ergonomy of a mouse or trackball.


I can't believe you're trying to argue that pointing at an object in front of you by maneuvering a device off to your side on a desktop is more natural than well, pointing at it. Using a mouse is obviously a learned skill - try using a mouse w/ your opposite hand. Personally I can do it but it takes some thought, and gets frustrating after awhile. On the other hand I can point to an object on a screen w/ my opposite hand w/ no hesitation. Software has been developed and optimized for a keyboard/mouse model for decades. Touch screens have only come into wide use in the last couple of years, and the technology and software is still evolving. Yes, there are advantages to using a mouse with the current state of technology.

dee. wrote:Tablets are nice, there's a place for them surely, but to think that they're going to replace all the computers and people will do EVERYTHING with them, is plain idiocy. 90% of the things I do with my computer would be horribly uncomfortable using a tablet or touch screen.


Wow, talk about reductionist! I never said anything like the above statements at all. You made blanket statements that tablets and smartphones are not used for "actual work", and that they are for "people who are unfamiliar with computers", and I tried to point out that there are many useful things that can be and are done with tablets, by people who are "familiar with" computers. Current tablets certainly have limitations and one can't do EVERYTIHNG with them. As I said, I believe that "whatever devices are in use <20 years from now> won't closely resemble much of what is out there today.". Touch-screen technology however, is a game-changer, paradigm shifter, whatever you want to call it, and as the technology evolves, it (and its successors) will vastly improve and grow in popularity and utility into the future.

zeke wrote: I can't predict the future 20 years from now any better than anyone else, but I can virtually guarantee that whatever devices are in use at that time won't closely resemble much of what is out there today. As a wild guess I would say if 20 years from now someone has need of a keyboard-like interface to a "computer" (how quaint), they will probably use a device that projects a virtual keyboard somewhere and reads their finger motions - but that's probably nowhere near imaginative enough to predict what will really be out there.

dee. wrote:Those things you speak of already exist, and they haven't replaced actual keyboards.

Please let me know where I can buy one of these magical devices.

dee. wrote:Look at old star trek episodes, everything on the enterprise is voice-controlled, because they figured we'd be doing everything by voice in the future. Well, in reality, it turned out that voice control isn't really all that great, and doing things manually is actually much more convenient and faster.


The voice input technology I'm familiar with is pretty horrible. It is however improving all the time. I believe that most people can talk more quickly and accurately than they can type. Of course you can't use it in all situations. I'll also point out that another prominent futuristic technology in those star-trek episodes was touchscreens.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby dee. on Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:06 pm

zeke wrote:You stated that "the tablet craze is probably going to plateau" (or shrink because of all the elderly tablet users dying off?) and 20 years from now that will "swing the balance <between tablets and laptops/desktops> back". To me this implies that 20 years from now desktops/laptops will grow in popularity relative to tablets.


I don't know what is so hard for you to understand. Portion of the market for tablets is elderly people who are computer-illiterate, in the future there will be less people who are computer-illiterate (because more people are computer literate in current generations), thus it will reduce the advantage of tablets somewhat. In other words: in the future, larger part of elderly people will be comfortable using desktop computers than now. Of course it's not going to swing back the respective market saturations of tablets vs. desktops entirely, no one is arguing that. But it will affect it somewhat.

zeke wrote: I'll note that elderly people also use desktops (for example my 87 year old mother has a desktop


Anecdotal, and a corner case, certainly not indicative of a larger trend. Does not refute the fact that a portion of the market for tablets is elderly people who are computer-illiterate and more comfortable using tablets than actual computers, or that that market will shrink in the future.

zeke wrote:The problem here seems to be your extremely narrow definition of "actual work". As I said, not all work involves the creation of large amounts of text. Reading and writing communications, reading documents, searching for information, are important parts of the "actual work" many people do, all of which can be and is done quite well on a tablet in many cases.


But lots of work situations still do require word processing. That's not all though, there are PLENTY of applications that are much more convenient to do on desktop computers than they are on tablets. Want a list? Spreadsheets, programming and development, graphic design, website design, video editing, 3d rendering, music & audio editing, photo manipulation, drawing/painting, scientific calculations, handling large databases, large data entry... just to scratch the surface. Many of these are not likely to become easier to do on tablets in the near future, either.

zeke wrote:I can't believe you're trying to argue that pointing at an object in front of you by maneuvering a device off to your side on a desktop is more natural than well, pointing at it.


For someone who "can't believe it" you certainly aren't providing any refutations for the reasons I gave for why this is so.

zeke wrote: Using a mouse is obviously a learned skill - try using a mouse w/ your opposite hand. Personally I can do it but it takes some thought, and gets frustrating after awhile. On the other hand I can point to an object on a screen w/ my opposite hand w/ no hesitation.


What does this have to do with anything? How does it help your workflow that you are able to use a tablet with either hand? Hint: it doesn't. Like I explained in my previous post, any work where you have to click small controls or icons, or where you have to do long stretches of work requiring repeated interaction with the interface, is much more comfortable on a mouse, for the reasons which I already explained in my previous post, which you still haven't been able to refute in any way.

zeke wrote:Software has been developed and optimized for a keyboard/mouse model for decades. Touch screens have only come into wide use in the last couple of years, and the technology and software is still evolving. Yes, there are advantages to using a mouse with the current state of technology.


It doesn't matter how you design the interface, the basic things that make it an inferior way of input for any longer stretch of work still apply - ie. the lack of ergonomy, longer arm movements. There are more reasons, such as the fact that by using the same surface as an input and output device, your hand will always obscure part of the screen whenever you interact with it, or that with a tablet there isn't really anywhere to rest your hand for support, which also contributes to the fatigue.

zeke wrote:Touch-screen technology however, is a game-changer, paradigm shifter, whatever you want to call it, and as the technology evolves, it (and its successors) will vastly improve and grow in popularity and utility into the future.


Yeah, they said the same thing about virtual reality and voice control. Where are those now?

zeke wrote:Please let me know where I can buy one of these magical devices.


There's no magic involved. You can't buy them because the tech is still experimental, but the devices which you describe have already been manufactured. It simply uses a led or laser projector to project a keyboard on a surface, then uses motion detection to detect the movements of your fingers on those "keys". And like onscreen keyboards, it also doesn't work that well because it lacks the feedback of a real keyboard.

zeke wrote: I believe that most people can talk more quickly and accurately than they can type.


Maybe so, but regardless of that voice control is never going to be a useful means of controlling a computer, like it was theorized to become back in the 90's. It might be a useful tool for creating text documents, or for very small devices where better input devices aren't available, but not much else.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby zeke on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:56 am

zeke wrote:You stated that "the tablet craze is probably going to plateau" (or shrink because of all the elderly tablet users dying off?) and 20 years from now that will "swing the balance <between tablets and laptops/desktops> back". To me this implies that 20 years from now desktops/laptops will grow in popularity relative to tablets.

dee. wrote:I don't know what is so hard for you to understand. Portion of the market for tablets is elderly people who are computer-illiterate, in the future there will be less people who are computer-illiterate (because more people are computer literate in current generations), thus it will reduce the advantage of tablets somewhat. In other words: in the future, larger part of elderly people will be comfortable using desktop computers than now. Of course it's not going to swing back the respective market saturations of tablets vs. desktops entirely, no one is arguing that. But it will affect it somewhat.


Uh huh. In 20 years desktop computers will gain market share because the people who don't know how to use them will be dead. Of course.

zeke wrote: I'll note that elderly people also use desktops (for example my 87 year old mother has a desktop


dee. wrote:Anecdotal, and a corner case, certainly not indicative of a larger trend. Does not refute the fact that a portion of the market for tablets is elderly people who are computer-illiterate and more comfortable using tablets than actual computers, or that that market will shrink in the future.

You're really not known for your sense of humor, are you?

zeke wrote:The problem here seems to be your extremely narrow definition of "actual work". As I said, not all work involves the creation of large amounts of text. Reading and writing communications, reading documents, searching for information, are important parts of the "actual work" many people do, all of which can be and is done quite well on a tablet in many cases.


dee. wrote:But lots of work situations still do require word processing. That's not all though, there are PLENTY of applications that are much more convenient to do on desktop computers than they are on tablets. Want a list? Spreadsheets, programming and development, graphic design, website design, video editing, 3d rendering, music & audio editing, photo manipulation, drawing/painting, scientific calculations, handling large databases, large data entry... just to scratch the surface. Many of these are not likely to become easier to do on tablets in the near future, either.


This is like arguing with a sand dune. You insist on refuting points I did not make. You started this excruciating exchange by declaring that tablets are not used for anything but trivial activities. I said that there are many work activities for which a tablet is useful and that I know more and more people who are using them for those activities). I never intended to claim in any way shape of form that tablets are superior for every conceivable thing that computers are used for.

zeke wrote:I can't believe you're trying to argue that pointing at an object in front of you by maneuvering a device off to your side on a desktop is more natural than well, pointing at it.


dee. wrote:For someone who "can't believe it" you certainly aren't providing any refutations for the reasons I gave for why this is so.


zeke wrote: Using a mouse is obviously a learned skill - try using a mouse w/ your opposite hand. Personally I can do it but it takes some thought, and gets frustrating after awhile. On the other hand I can point to an object on a screen w/ my opposite hand w/ no hesitation.


dee. wrote:What does this have to do with anything? How does it help your workflow that you are able to use a tablet with either hand? Hint: it doesn't. Like I explained in my previous post, any work where you have to click small controls or icons, or where you have to do long stretches of work requiring repeated interaction with the interface, is much more comfortable on a mouse, for the reasons which I already explained in my previous post, which you still haven't been able to refute in any way.


zeke wrote:Software has been developed and optimized for a keyboard/mouse model for decades. Touch screens have only come into wide use in the last couple of years, and the technology and software is still evolving. Yes, there are advantages to using a mouse with the current state of technology.


dee. wrote:It doesn't matter how you design the interface, the basic things that make it an inferior way of input for any longer stretch of work still apply - ie. the lack of ergonomy, longer arm movements. There are more reasons, such as the fact that by using the same surface as an input and output device, your hand will always obscure part of the screen whenever you interact with it, or that with a tablet there isn't really anywhere to rest your hand for support, which also contributes to the fatigue.


Again, you insist on basically saying what you want to say. I said it is more natural to point at something directly than to use a pointing device translating indirect motions into the pointing actions. It is. I said that conventional software based on current hardware has been refined for a long time, and that touch-screen technology and software is still evolving (implying that it will get better and more useful than it is now). Those things are also true.

zeke wrote:Touch-screen technology however, is a game-changer, paradigm shifter, whatever you want to call it, and as the technology evolves, it (and its successors) will vastly improve and grow in popularity and utility into the future.


dee. wrote:Yeah, they said the same thing about virtual reality and voice control. Where are those now?

Ah yes, touch screen devices aren't a technological advance because there are other technologies that have not advanced as far as some may have thought they might have at this time. Of course you're right, but you would have made a stronger case if you'd have pointed out that there are also no flying cars.

zeke wrote:Please let me know where I can buy one of these magical devices.


dee. wrote:There's no magic involved.

See above RE sense of humor.

dee. wrote:Those things you speak of already exist, and they haven't replaced actual keyboards. Do you know why? Because people like having the physical feedback


dee. wrote:You can't buy them because the tech is still experimental

So people have chosen conventional devices over one they cannot obtain. OK then.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby xenopeek on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:01 am

Let's all back off a bit and not try to make this personal. And the topic here is "what would happen to Linux Mint if Ubuntu went away?"
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby 3fRI on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:22 pm

xenopeek wrote:Let's all back off a bit and not try to make this personal. And the topic here is "what would happen to Linux Mint if Ubuntu went away?"


Thanks, Xenopeek. I think the best answer to that question is another question: WWCD? That is, what would Clem do? :mrgreen:
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby zeke on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:29 pm

xenopeek wrote:Let's all back off a bit and not try to make this personal. And the topic here is "what would happen to Linux Mint if Ubuntu went away?"

My apologies for sort of careening out of control there.
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Re: What if Ubuntu goes away

Postby igor83 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:12 pm

Peace, Love, and Linux Mint everybody

8)
My desktop runs 64-bit Kubuntu 13.04, my htpc runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia Xfce, my answering machine runs 64-bit windows 7, and my laptop runs 64-bit Linux Mint Nadia KDE. Each seems suited to its purpose.
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