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Linux - For who and why


Ray!
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I wanted to do something like this for a while after a number of debates on a couple of forums, so thought why the hell not. I'm sure that it will rankle a few, but if you're going to debate things, then take some time to get the facts in order and make it a reasoned debate, rather than shooting from the hip in a fit of rage; afterall, it took me a bit of time to compile this in order to be as comprehensive as possible (whether I'm right or wrong).

Is Linux for you?

After playing with Linux (mainly Ubuntu) on and off for several years and having been a Windows user since its inception, apart from a short foray with Apple (way back), I thought I would pen my thoughts on this oft promoted alternative to Microsoft/Apple. There’s no doubt that Linux has come a long way since its early days, where so many things had to be done through the Terminal (somewhat like the Windows Command Prompt dialogue box)using direct instructions, rather than mouse clicks or keyboard selections, which has made Linux a lot easier to digest. The Terminal is still a necessary tool, especially when things go awry, but it’s not something that one needs to initiate in normal circumstances.

Versions like Ubuntu now make it a lot easier, especially for the computing novice, to work their way through the installation and subsequent tools provided or available for download. There are also a vast number of free applications available for Linux, though you won’t find everything that is available for, or compatible with, Windows/OS X, but more on that later.

So, why even bother with another operating system, especially one that isn’t mainstream and isn’t even available as a standard install in a new PC (it was tried, but failed to generate any significant interest). After churning through endless forums, tech sites etc, working or trying to work out solutions to issues, it’s reasonably obvious who tends to find Linux of interest or necessary. So the easiest way to describe this is by way of a list suggesting who it is for and who it is not for (some tongue in cheek here, but not all that far from the truth). If I’ve missed anyone, please forgive me.

Linux is for you if:

  • you’re an IT specialist, especially involved in enterprise computing,
  • you’re someone who is interested in software and related technology, and wants to play around with Linux from a general interest/learning perspective, especially if it may offer something different from the run of the mill,
  • you dislike commercial entities like Microsoft and Apple,
  • you think free is always better than commercial,
  • you think hordes of tireless worker bees working for love produce better products than those doing so for pay and profit, or
  • you’re like one of these people:

‘Recently I was at my mother in laws home. They are into using only windows products. Well I was really missed my laptop at home and needed to get online. So I grabbed one of the Netbooks they had and I put on it a copy of Wubi. It took just a few minutes and it was fun to do. I know that I could have just used Windows, but when I have the option not to, why would I.’

Linux is not for you if:

  • you have none of the above interests, ambitions or beliefs.

So before you think of venturing into Linux, if your current OS works for you, consider whether you really need to look for something different? If you do, be prepared for some hard slog, bewilderment, frustration and abuse from hard core Linux users who can’t understand why you find it a hard slog, bewildering and frustrating at times.

What is Linux?

Simply put, Linux is just another operating system, built and modified from other code (no need to go into the details) to provide a competing product to that offered by Microsoft or Apple. Linux is not really owned by anyone and many companies contribute to the development of Linux, most of them are commercial companies and most of the developers are actually paid for their work. So while various versions of Linux are free, salaries and profit are made through other means, often support services to keep systems functioning (it would be a bit like getting a car for free, but then having to decide who was going to service and maintain it).

Let me say from the outset that there’s nothing wrong or bad regarding Linux; however, it’s not for everyone and it’s simply not the equivalent of the fully mature system (and I include not just the Linux OS, but also most of the associated Linux applications) that you get with Microsoft or Apple. After around 20 years of development, it still lags the big two in many ways when it comes to usage by the general public. That’s not really a fault of Linux, as it’s more a result of its history and the way it is developed.

Linux really gained a big foothold on certain enterprise (corporate) systems, notably servers, which was its mainstay for many years, and it does an admirable job in these environments. Its foray into the desktop world has been very fragmented and slow, I remember people saying in 1999 that it would be the dominant desktop OS in a matter of a few years, yet it’s still a mere fraction of Microsoft’s and Apple’s foothold. If anything, Linux has gained its biggest surge in usage, in mobile phones and tablets using Android. Another area where Linux has significant use is in embedded devices, such as modem routers, car ECUs, set top boxes etc, devices that primarily serve one purpose.

The other interesting issue with Linux is that there are so many variations; and while they are all built on the same foundations, there are a huge number of variations (distributions as they are called). Supposedly up to 600 at one count. Just with Ubuntu alone, you have variations such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Gobuntu, and then there are the other Linux versions such as Linux Mint, Debian, Fedora, Red Hat and Mandriva etc. Even Meego (now evolved to Tizen), Android and webOS are variations of Linux. Here’s a list if you’re interested: http://en.wikipedia....x_distributions.

There are even web sites that list the year’s best Linux distributions based on, for example:

  • Best Desktop Distribution
  • Best Laptop Distribution
  • Best Enterprise Desktop
  • Best Enterprise Server
  • Best LiveCD
  • Best Security-Enhanced Distribution
  • Best Multimedia Distribution

https://www.linux.co...butions-for-you

But others see it differently: http://tuxradar.com/...est-distro-2011.

And you wonder why the average person is a tad confused. But it seems to all be in the name of choice and customisation, apparently.

What does Linux provide?

Linux is certainly able to provide just about everything that most people want out of a computer, especially internet, email and office equivalent applications; and they work fine, as well as any that are available for the other two OSs. But if you want other things, less common applications or equivalents of applications that only run on Windows or OS X, then you’re either out of luck or in for that hard slog, bewilderment and frustration.

While Linux has come a long way in making it easier for a novice to install and run, there are still many pitfalls and hurdles to overcome when trying to get sometimes even the seemingly simplest things to work. Yes, Google is a great repository for information on how to do solve issues, but you can easily spend untold hours looking for a solution to some frustrating problem. Case in point, getting rid of the latest desktop environment the Unity interface (where everything is accessed via tabs on the side of the screen) and returning to a more familiar one Gnome Classic (which uses drop down menus), so that you have more visible real estate on a tablet and open applications are easy to see (in the task bar). The Unity interface is a bit like what you see in Windows 8, iPads etc; some like it, others hate it (lots and lots of Ubuntu users hate it). Before you could even begin to find a solution, you had to learn that there were such things as Unity and Gnome- it’s not immediately obvious. If you come to it fresh, then it may not matter, but if you’re familiar with Windows etc, the Unity interface can be a right pain.

Installation of the OS, applications and updates is a lot easier nowadays than it was previously, with most being accessed through a GUI, rather than the Linux Terminal. An independent installation still requires you to burn an ISO disk, so it’s a two-step process before you can start installing say Ubuntu. This is quite different to installing an exe/msi file which will install directly without further intervention on your part. Fortunately, with Ubuntu, you can now install Ubuntu through an installer called WUBI, which installs Ubuntu inside your Windows application so that it can be accessed and removed almost like any other Windows program. However, you don’t access Ubuntu through Windows; you select it during the start-up process.

Once installed, most common devices are recognised pretty much straight away, such as mouse, network devices etc, but others require a great deal of searching to get going and often require the use of direct commends in the Terminal screen. Even then, many devices, including video cards and the like are not always supported. That’s the problem with having an OS managed by untold numbers of programmers, devices can get missed and if the device manufacturers don’t support Linux, it becomes even more difficult to run your system.

The other issue with Linux is that there are many applications that only run on Windows and there are no Linux alternatives to those applications. While some pundits say that you can easily run Windows (and Mac) only applications in Wine (not an emulator, but a way of running Windows applications inside Linux), in reality, it’s not quite so easy. This is quite ironic in a way, as with Wubi, I’m running Linux inside Windows very effectively, but Wine is often a complete slug or a bust. That also could be due to the fact that I’m trying to run a Windows application, inside a Linux application, running inside Windows.

But problems do abound and so these types of wikis aren’t created just for the fun of it: http://wiki.winehq.o...750cfc82093656b. The fact that there are so many resources on the net to help you out with Wine is an indication that it’s not as easy to use as some suggest. Also, Wine doesn’t support all Windows applications, else this would not exist: http://appdb.winehq.org/. And even if an application can be opened and run using Wine, it doesn’t always perform in quite the same way as it would in Windows.

As an example, I have OziExplorer running under Wine (that took a bit of searching until I found what needed to be done), it runs nowhere near as smoothly as in Windows and it simply will not recognise any attached GPS (I tried a Garmin GPS 18, a u-blox GPS/Galileo module and a generic USB GPS). While running a device check through the Terminal commands, all GPS units were recognised and registered, but OziExplorer simply could not find any NMEA output in any of the recognised COM ports. I’m missing something and it’s the hard slog, bewilderment and frustration trying to find a solution to issues that eventually gets to you.

Another illustration that shows how Linux is not quite mature, or perhaps ready for the mainstream, is the fact that it’s not touch screen ready. Sure, there are some touch screen features that can be enabled, but it’s nothing compared to what has been available for years now in Windows and iOS. Even the current version of Ubuntu doesn’t work on a tablet with touch controls, but that may change with version 12.04 due out in April: http://ec2-23-21-149...th-android-ios/.

‘An Ubuntu tablet will ‘battle’ against Android and iOS Canonical’s CEO Jane Silber has said.

And although Ubuntu isn’t running on tablets yet she told Techworld‘s Paul Krill that ’announcements in that area‘ are to be made later this year.’

So why use Linux?

Well, it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to Linux, as it can serve some useful functions, provided that you’re prepared to do a bit of work in some circumstances. First off, if your computer needs are fairly basic, Internet, email, some office style applications, Ubuntu (as an example) will provide you with everything that you need to do that and more, and you can do so with a fairly low specification PC to boot. If you have an older PC lying about, you can turn this into a server for media, Internet access etc, providing a sort of barrier between the nasty Internet world and your modern cave. Some feel that is a better solution than the usual firewalls and AV solutions available for Windows/Mac.

One very useful function that Linux can provide is a backup OS should anything go wheels up with your existing system. If something dramatic should happen to your existing OS and the system refuses to start and everything else fails, you can usually start your Linux OS and then at least gain access to all of your stored data. I actually had to do this once when the main boot sector of one of my hard drives failed, which prevented Windows from opening. The hard drive was pretty much a loss, but I was able to recover all data that existed on that drive (I don’t usually store data on the drive that has the OS – I use multiple hard drives). I gained access to the hard drive by loading Ubuntu onto the drive, rather than invoking it from a pre-loaded state, so having a pre-burned ISO disk is handy if/when you might need it.

Should you use Linux?

I can’t really answer that question, but if you fall into the category of people I mentioned right at the beginning, then you’re probably already using it. If you have one of those people as a friend, family member or whatever, then they may be urging you to convert (much like Apple users do, but no Linux user would ever try to convert an Apple user); but if what you have works, I really don’t see any reason to change to something that in many ways is worlds apart from Windows, yet tries to copy it in so many ways.

If you really have no interest in computers and have used nothing but Windows in the past, then I would seriously suggest that you don’t consider Linux. But if you do, make sure that friend, family member or whatever is available 24/7 to assist you through that hard slog, bewilderment and frustration that he (it’s always a male) suggested would be a doddle. Don’t give them the slightest break, and when they get frustrated and start to hint that you’re too dumb to use Linux, then the penny will drop.

Update: I forgot to add that for those that may want to use Ubuntu as a potential recovery device, here's a guide to how you can go about doing just that: http://www.lifehacke...-a-thumb-drive/

Cheers

Ray

Edited by Ray!
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........While running a device check through the Terminal commands, all GPS units were recognised and registered, but OziExplorer simply could not find any NMEA output in any of the recognised COM ports. I’m missing something and it’s the hard slog, bewilderment and frustration trying to find a solution to issues that eventually gets to you.

Ray you really must be well and truly bored, also no one seems to be biting so I'll try a bit..... ;)

I'd like to point out that it is really not Linux fault for not being able to accomodate Windows software, that is a little bit rich surely even a zealot like you must agree.

Does MS® runs freely Apple or Android or BeOS software executables? I don't think so.

So complaining that Windows only GPS software doesn't work is like complaining that Diesel engine doesn't run on Petrol or latest BMW petrol unit is not capable running on apple cider. Or even better why Toyo's engine oil filter doesn't fit Nissan's engine. (to keep up with a theme of automotive forum in here) :rolleyes:

In case of the said GPS hardware/software you are forgetting fundamental difference about how GPS on Linux is implemented/ works.

So while you are trying to sound objective and well heeled on the topic the sad part is that in this case you are showing severe lack of understanding how things work under hood in Linux.

So where under Windows GPS application expects the direct access to serial port to find the GPS unit and its data, under Linux it is very different , there are two pieces required: server and client, I guess thats how most thing work under Linux. So the server takes care of the GPS unit and the protocols/data and than listens on network port for applications (client) to request data from the GPS unit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gpsd (No wonder Windows application like OzieExplorer can't find any NMEA output at serial port because it is simply not allowed access to serial ports willy nilly.)

This approach allows multiple applications to access GPS data concurently unlike the MS® platform approach when only one application can have an access. Multitask dude.

Cheers

Edited by Rumcajs
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Ray......oh I wish I was not wanting to reply on my phone. What is it with you Linux? Your obviously intregued by it and a tech enthusiest at heart.

A person could be forgiven for wondering why Linux e.g Ubuntu is not better than the commercial Os's available with all the community developers around.

Its not really aimed at the average person although I have seen such comments.

Linux is for power users, who like to mess around or who want a Rock solid os on a very secure kernel which is why most servers around the world are Linux/Unix machines.

You can emulate a windows environment as such with Wine as you have with oziexplorer. Although it will not be as smooth due to not having direct access to things such as ram or hdd .

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I don't understand why this topic is raised by yourself all the time lol.

If you need to run majority of windows software just run windows. There is alot of major software recognizing Linux as a real os nowadays but there's still a major gap between them all. If it troubles you to be confident and get various things operating on Linux stick to windows as you keep flogging the dead horse.

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I don't raise this topic all the time, but it is raised by many when someone asks a question about Windows, so I thought I'd post up my experiences of Linux and what others might experience should they attempt to put it to use. I'm not bagging Linux, but pointing out what one may expect, should one decide to give Linux a go. I know that Linux users don't like hearing some of these things (much like Apple users when their system is questioned) and often try to blame the user, but facts are facts. The responses don't actually point out any errors in my post.

Also, it doesn't matter whether the problem lies with the OS or the user, when reasonably experienced people do have diffiiculties and can't find solutions to an issue, it says something about the OS, not the person. And still it seems that what I point out as examples are misinterpreted (or cherry picking occurs), yet at the same time confirm that things aren't as easy as often stated. The GPS issue was just one, but frustrating, example; it's isn't the be-all and end-all of issues to do with Linux. Next time someone has a vexing issue with Windows and someone suggests they should swap to Linux, I can point them to a readily available and comprehensive response.

Cheers

Ray

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I don't raise this topic all the time, but it is raised by many when someone asks a question about Windows,

Ray, have I missed something? Someone raises this topic many times in here? You are the only one bringing it up, be it a news flash how great Windows 8 is going to be and how bad anything else is to what the statistics about operating systems are...... and how good people should feel knowing that they've chosen the winning side if there is a one.

.....The responses don't actually point out any errors in my post. .....

About 3/4 some of your musing about Linux are dedicated to point out how badly Linux runs Windows software. Also you like to point that if someone spend decade learning/navigating through MS® and its software they're going to have steep learnig curve doing it in Linux. once again ....

maybe you need to reread this --> http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm aka infamous "Linux is not Windows" article, yes it is patronizing and possibly rude but probably born from the frustrations and facts.

Also, it doesn't matter whether the problem lies with the OS or the user, when reasonably experienced people do have diffiiculties and can't find solutions to an issue, it says something about the OS, not the person.

I fully agree with you there but once again you are failing to distinguish between the operating system and the application software.

And still it seems that what I point out as examples are misinterpreted (or cherry picking occurs), yet at the same time confirm that things aren't as easy as often stated.

No one is cherry picking, nothing is easy when you don't know how be it driving a boat, using a sewing machine or read a book in Arabic or hurtling down the slope on skis. Neither Linux nor Apple or MS are easy when faced for the first time or when troubles hit.

Next time someone has a vexing issue with Windows and someone suggests they should swap to Linux

Isn't this the same as some suggest everytime someone else has a problem with ZD30 to install TD42 (to keep up with the ongoing theme of this forum)

Here is a thing, I've been using this GNU/Linux for a long time, I hardly ever felt the need to sign up nor to post a question to any Linux forums and I had my share of frustrations and moments with it. I'm happy to use whatever gets the job I need to do done. I don't need nor I feel the need to spruik features or benefits of either computing platform or operating system.

Nor do I feel the need to put the other systems down. Neither system is perfect, neither system caters for everyones needs comprehensively and this mess is partly lies at the behaviour of certain software company from Redmond and soon we will have the same situation with the another.

Cheers

Edited by Rumcajs
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This issue has been raised on a number of forums and seems to be a perennial debate akin to the Windows vs Apple debate, I just felt this was a good place to make a statement based on my experiences after a number of years and many hours attempting to give Linux a fair go. But, once again the respondents are attacking the messenger, rather than the message.

Talk about exaggerating what has and has not been said - 3/4s of the article is about how badly Linux runs Windows software? Out of 25 paragraphs, three paragraphs talk about the use of Wine to run Windows based applications; that's 12% of the total article, not 75%. Wine has often been touted as another reason why Linux is a substitute for Windows. But once more, you haven't refuted anything that I've said, just peeved off with the facts that I've presented.

I never said that other OSs are easy to learn or use, but that is exactly what many Linux users have said on a number of ocassions in different forums, it's one thing that prompted me to write this. In many ways, Linux is much harder to master because it's not mainstream and still lags well behind Windows and OSX as a desktop environment. This is what I'm pointing out, and once more there appears agreement with what I've said.

And you still seem to be thinking that I'm putting down Linux, despite the fact that I made many positive statements about it and pointed out factual issues that no one refutes. This thread was intended to provide information to interested readers; if there are fundamental errors contained within, point them out, correct them, but you haven't done that.

Cheers

Ray

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I didn't have an opportunity to read your link until now (I've never read it before, so re-read doesn't make sense) and, yes, it is patronising and overly sarcastic, and franlky painful in the extreme to read. But the author could have saved himself a lot of effort by posting this first and then giving the reader an option of continuing:

The point is to make Linux the best OS that the community is capable of making. Not for other people: For itself.

It's not just about "Why should I want Linux?". It's also about "Why should Linux want me?"

Most would have moved on from there.

Cheers

Ray

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I was going to stay out of this but what fun would that be?

All I will say is I find the Learning to use" argument entirely subjective.

I'm sure if you come from a Greek family, learning English would be a real bitch and probably have a lot of irrational components to it when you did. Being an English language speaker, I know trying to learn Greek would be a hell of a task Even though the Native Greek speaker would say its a walk in the park compared to English.

I remember when I bought my first ever fully automatic electronic camera in the 80's.

I knew how to work a camera manually, it was all second nature and what I had cut my teeth on. When I got the auto everything camera, The automatic settings literally confused the guts out of me. I used the thing In manual for nearly 12 months because I knew how to work it that way and it took that long for me to work out and be confident using it in Auto.

The thing was, the automatic setting was supposed to make the thing Soooo much easier to learn because I didn't have to do all the things I never thought twice about doing in the first place.

Even now, I regularly use manual setting because to me that is easier is certain circumstances than going through the pages of settings my cams have to find the right one to make the auto do what I want in those conditions.

These days the amateur camera's have limited control where as the pro camera's have pages of Menus to set the thing up how you want it. The amateur User would find that as daunting as the pro would not being able to have things the way they wanted or trying to figure out how to do it with limited options.

Perhaps that's a good comparison, an amateur and a professional OS.

I think Linux is more like windows server than something like win 7

The more professional and higher end you go in anything I can think of, the more you need to know about it and the less it does for you.

When you do know what you are doing, that usually amounts to having finer control and you find that easier than the more automated methods.

I was used to XP then got to learn server. When I finally went to 7, I was tearing my hair out. In Server I could go and setup the network by typing in the names of the machines and giving them the precise level of access I wanted. In 7 there was this " Homeo Group" BS that was ridiculous and XP machines couldn't access the 7 machines. It turned out there was a way around it but NO ONE knew how till they figured it out a couple of years later or MS added it in, which ever the case was. Either way 7 was a complete and utter pain in the arse despite the much touted networking " Improvements".

While 7 was supposed to be so easy to use and all that, coming from a server/ linux like way of doing things, it was an absolute freaking nightmare.

At the end of the day I think the different systems suit different users. Sure windoze may run more applications and be more compatible with a range of different devices but that's not to say everyone wants " Brainless" computing where as in a lot of situations it is exactly what is required.

Trying to argue which one is better is a bit like trying to argue that a Veyron is better or worse than a heavy battle tank.

And just to put my comments in perspective, I have about 30 Windows machines and not a single Linux box.

I'm getting more inclined to get a copy of a modern linux and give it a try though. :0)

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So basically what I've stated has been fully validated. While people will from time to time have issues with Windows and OSX, Linux is not the solution to those problems and may well just create a different set of problems. Thus when someone states that Linux is so much better, free etc, then this thread is probably a good place to to seek solace. :D

Cheers

Ray

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So basically what I've stated has been fully validated. While people will from time to time have issues with Windows and OSX, Linux is not the solution to those problems and may well just create a different set of problems.

Well if that's all you were trying to state, you sure went the Loooonnng way around it and that's coming from someone that is famous for writing novels! :P

No wonder people misinterpreted what you were trying to say!

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I like writing and when it comes to analysing and reviewing things, I try to provide a sound basis for my findings. I'm happy to be proven wrong and more than willing to correct things if I've made errors. This article has been circulating in my mind for some time, I actually started it on 25 May after perhaps my post on Windows 8, or it may have been a Windows question on another forum, I can't remember which. But that was the catalyst to review my experiences as a Linux user and try and present a reasonably factual account of the pros and cons to potential users. And if you think this is long, my off-road navigation thread (I've made a PDF copy) is now 30 pages long.

Cheers

Ray

Edited by Ray!
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These quotes come from separate threads (mostly), well after I started to write this article, but how appropriate considering comments above:

Not really looking for them, but some in my household insist on using the Windoze and my perfectly good Epson printer for example doesn't like W7 drivers provided by the maker. Linux on other hand just works ™, go figure. When Vista/W7 debacle occured I had to throw away perfectly good scanner because you've guess it no drivers and I suppose thats why there is 15% out there.......

As far as GPS programs are concerned Navit works for me just fine, except it is not as easy to configure for "point and click" crowd.

I can only wonder what would state of Linux software (I'm not talking about OS) be like if just 10% of resources by software companies were put in to creating such thing.

This is the problem with monopoly, interestingly MS itself is going to find hard way to survive competing against what it created. I have a feeling that W7 is the very thing which is going to break the MS plans for the Windows 8.

Cheers

That's it Ray, you converted me .... I'm going to ditch all my Linux distros costing me exactly $0.00000000 and jump on board of MS™ Windows 8 "gravy" train for ;) $40.00-70.00 it is a bargain, what was I thinking :blink: or may be not because I suppose gotta buy a new printer, scanner, camera, or any other peripherals which I'm gonna struggle to find the Windoze drivers for...... :(.

"......how does it feel to be on winning side like a winner you are ...." or wait I need to change my pills this ain't B Dylan song is it.

Cheers

I use Linux because I refuse to submit to the rule corporations and theirs EULAs and SLAs no matter how much they try. I simply don't agree so what are my choices? None so to speeak when it comes to these so called leaders in software development so I use the software made by the people who have nothing better to do in their spare time ;) .

Underlying tech is still a crud and pathetic mess no matter what. The future MS® and Apple megalomaniacs envisage is where they fully control what one can do or use while the users are paying through to nose for the privilege. No, thanks. I prefer the choice and freedom to use the computing my way....and on my terms! :rolleyes:

So I don't particularly care what W8 looks like TBH, I just laugh when I see/read the responses to the "new directions" OS interface. The idiots from Redmont have been at it before, "Vista" debacle anyone.

Cheers

You may well have been the catalyst that prompted me to post this thread afterall. :D

Cheers

Ray

Edited by Ray!
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All I can say is - you have too much time on your hands, Ray.

Windows family is the most successful because it has the most "killer" apps. The family of products is hard working and serves a very large slice of the business world's needs, and pretty much all of home user needs.

Apple is the second most successful because it has some killer apps, albeit far fewer than Windows. (Actually it was Microsoft that is responsible for Apple still being in existence: only Office for Mac saved the company, quite a few years ago now). Apple doesn't have enterprise solutions at all, only desktop stuff. A HUGE disadvantage.

Linux for PC/Server is the least successful because it has almost no killer apps, so it has only esoteric value for geeks. For a while it served for firewalls, but Embedded Linux put paid to those old boxes. There are now many billions of devices running cut down embedded linux. No cash for anyone here, it's all free to use.....

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I do have too much time on my hands and even now cooking a meal (trying out the Aldi turbo cooker on some pork belly - needs a completely different style to the old turbo cooker) I have time on my hands. My previous work required me to do a multitude of activities at the same time and keep on top of things akin to herding cats, so with not working at the moment, I have plenty of time to do stuff as well as the urge to do so, weather permitting. That and previous jobs, also involved a lot of techniology, so I have an interest in all things technological, which I've have had for years regardless.

One thing I didn't comment on in the earlier post, and the link given, was the assertion that Linux is not competing with Windows, or Apple. It is doing just that and it's been trying it's hardest to get onto the desktop space for years and is now working on tablets. The desktop space is owned by Windows and the tablet space is currently owned by Apple, with Android a close second. When people, like in that link say that Linux is not trying to compete with Windows, tell Canonical that - these guys have a slightly different view on things.

Cheers

Ray

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I don't think Linux has a snowball's chance of invading anyone else's "space" anytime soon.

The reason is it's always trying to catch up - mostly with Windows.

In the Tablet world it will be trying to catch up with Apple and Google (not sure if Win8 tablet will be a winner, but it will beat the pants off Linux regardless)

Apple, Google, and to a lesser extent Windows all have a killer app - the Smartphone, from which the tablet is derived.

Hence I predict that Linux will be about as successful in the Tablet world as it has been in the PC world - it will get nowhere. No phone, no cloud to synchronise devices, no user who has multiple devices.

There is a great example of what happens to a previously highly profitable company that is being crushed by Apple/Google at the moment - Blackberry. They have a killer business solution - telephone and secure Exchange Mail. But even that won't save them - the Apple/Google/Win8 devices will take all their business. For a while I thought that RIM might be a takeover target for Microsoft, but now I think that they will fold anyway and hand the business to the big 3.

Back to open source - open source development is the ultimate example of designing by committee - there is never a consensus, and development and implementation goes in scores of directions trying to meet the objective. But without a killer app, there is no objective to meet, no business case to answer, no problem to solve. Just very busy geeks :)

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Yes, major Linux distrbution vendors desperately want it to be a mainstream consumer OS, but it won't get there, as there's no compelling reason for people to change and there's no financial reason for computer retailers to provide pre-installed systems. Even corporations have tried the Linux experiment in an enterprise environment and then gone back to Microsoft because the benefits really haven't eventuated.

Today a installed an Ubuntu boot loader on to a USB drive as an emergency recovery option, but that's the only function it will ever serve, should it be needed. See, I really can multitask. :D

Cheers

Ray

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These quotes come from separate threads (mostly), well after I started to write this article, but how appropriate considering comments above:

You may well have been the catalyst that prompted me to post this thread afterall. :D

Cheers

Ray

I'm glad I could be of a help/service/assistance to you. Don't mention it! ;)

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