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Thread: Whither Linux?

  1. #1
    No more Mr Nice Guy. Nick's Avatar
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    Whither Linux?

    Right then, so let's have it out once and for all... why do you Linux boyos bother with it? Really, why do you bother with it?

    I mean, come on... how much do you earn an hour? Take that figure and multiply by it by the number of hours you've spent mucking about getting Linux to run some app or another, especially games, and you'd have wasted enough time to have a bought a copy of XP and have done with it.

    Sure, XP has flaws, but I'll bet Linux is riddled with them too. They used to say how FireFox was far safer than IE, but that wasn;t the case, it was only cos FF wasn't as popular that very few were trying to exploit it... but that's changed now, eh?

    So you get yerself a copy of Linux and then pretty much have to beg each game to run on it... and that's if you've got Linux drivers for you're hardware...

    Now you can argue that the appeal is the open source nature, back to roots computing and all that but that's rubbish, tbh. That's like saying you want to build your own rally car but you're deliberately not making it competitive... People do things for a reason, there's always a motive behind an action and I want to know what it is that drives you guys to spend hours trying to get all the software together to play the latest game...

    I mean, give me a blank HDD, a copy of Win XP and set-up disk and I'll go wathc a film while my OS installs, configures and sets itself up. I'll slap on the latest game and be playing as quick as my DVD drive can spin the data onto my HDD... and I had to NOTHING more than swap disks and maybe click the mouse a few times.

    Now you can't tell me that Linux is a more attractive proposition than that? So why bother?
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  2. #2
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    It started when the only money i was earning, was that from moeing parents lawn.

    Its free.
    It (should be) lightweight.
    You can learn from it very easily.
    You feal part of an elite, look how clever i am, i'm going to tell you how your wrong club.
    Its like dating, when you actually trick it into working, its great, but after its actually come to fruition, you feal drained, have an anticlimax, and start to think how much you want a nice windowing system thats actually fast.

    I only use linux on my servers, and since my disapointment of 2.4 kernel, i've been mostly a BSD boy. Its free, provides a nice CLI based system. For when all you need is a command line it (BSD, Unix) is good.

    I never use linux in a new or creative way, I always feal like i'm working with an army of monkies, and for some reason i'm not concerned about the fact their all throwing their own ficies around, but the fact that 300 of the monkies are throwing it if you say a word with e in it, 200 when you say a word with a in it, and 9.5 google when you say a word of more than 2 letters. Its the lack of any smooth one product feal. But this is common with all unix.

    I also always try to avoid been the fanboy, they do more to harm security and people's uptake of good platforms than good
    http://www.softpanorama.org/OSS/bad_...cacy_faq.shtml

    But at least there not apple fan boys.
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  3. #3
    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Actually on the minimum wage a copy of XP Pro equates to at least 20 hours work- so there must be some people who do win on the time/money equation- and even if you're paid more, not everybody can work all the hours that god gives- I certainly haven't been offered overtime for the last 2 1/2 years. I guess some people who earn decent money actually enjoy the challenge of getting it working really well, so it's not all about the money for them.

  4. #4
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    20 hours work for OEM, that must be after some heavy tax, if your working a minimum wage job, i'd doubt your company wants you to be on the domain on ur home machine, as such, you wouldn't need pro either, mearly home.

    Fact of the matter is a lot of distros take about 5 hours just to get a simple bootstrapping into a windowing system.

    Then you also find that windows goes further. What i mean by this is if you want a windowing system (like most users) then, NT4 will run a lot lot lot smoother, than even cut down designed to be run on slower system distro's (DSL for instance). But Xorg might actually fix that to some extent.
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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    Right then, so let's have it out once and for all... why do you Linux boyos bother with it? Really, why do you bother with it?

    I mean, come on... how much do you earn an hour?
    £21156 a year, as a linux sysadmin

    Take that figure and multiply by it by the number of hours you've spent mucking about getting Linux to run some app or another, especially games, and you'd have wasted enough time to have a bought a copy of XP and have done with it.
    my desktop has xp home and xp pro x64 installed (and bought legitimately from CCL and Scan). i rarely boot them.

    Sure, XP has flaws, but I'll bet Linux is riddled with them too. They used to say how FireFox was far safer than IE, but that wasn;t the case, it was only cos FF wasn't as popular that very few were trying to exploit it... but that's changed now, eh?
    it always was, and still is, the case - IE flaws don't even make the news anymore. as it happens, there's another new critical flaw in MSIE that allows you to have your entire system taken over by looking at infected .jpg images. firefox is still by far a safer web browser if you want to remain infection-free.

    So you get yerself a copy of Linux and then pretty much have to beg each game to run on it... and that's if you've got Linux drivers for you're hardware...

    Now you can argue that the appeal is the open source nature, back to roots computing and all that but that's rubbish, tbh. That's like saying you want to build your own rally car but you're deliberately not making it competitive... People do things for a reason, there's always a motive behind an action and I want to know what it is that drives you guys to spend hours trying to get all the software together to play the latest game...
    my linux systems do what i tell them to do. if they disagree, i can force the issue. yes, you're right, i can't play all the latest games - and that's because most of the games aren't made for linux. those that are tend to work better than their windows counterparts (doom3 had lower system requirements under linux, ut2004 has better load times, etc). those that don't, well there are mechanisms in place - and the fact that they work at all is incredible, it's about as trivial as booting xbox games on a gamecube.

    most of my game-playing time in linux these days is spent on guild wars (windows-only) or the gta games (ditto). i could reboot to windows, sure, but it's a pain when all my email, web browsing, irc, and so on, are in linux - and every time i ru windows for more than 2 minutes i'm reminded of how much i dislike it.

    I mean, give me a blank HDD, a copy of Win XP and set-up disk and I'll go wathc a film while my OS installs, configures and sets itself up. I'll slap on the latest game and be playing as quick as my DVD drive can spin the data onto my HDD... and I had to NOTHING more than swap disks and maybe click the mouse a few times.
    except xp doesn't support hardware from 2002 or later.
    instead, try this scenario:

    • boot new PC with XP CD in it.
    • fails to find hard disk
    • boot again, having found an old floppy drive, to load disk controller drivers via F6
    • run through the installer, noticing your 400GB disk is only formatted as 127GB
    • click things until the desktop loads, in glorious 256 color
    • activate, because it orders you to
    • find the mobo driver CD, and install some LAN drivers
    • connect to the net, to get some gfx drivers and so on
    • start again from the beginning, as you get infected with a virus whilst downloading some anti-virus software
    • get back to where you were, try to install all your mobo drivers, and fail, for IRQ reasons
    • after several hours' poking, solve the issue by changing the machine type to "ACPI Uniprocessor PC" in the devices control pannel
    • try and install your radeon drivers, to be given an odd error about needing to install a normal VGA driver first
    • after days of hacking about, discover that a bug in the CD version of the driver caused the permissions in the registry to get messed up - fix your registry, install drivers
    • install all your usual software, each time having to track them down on the intarweb
    • go through windowsupdate. cry when SP2 refuses to install
    • uninstall $cd_ripping_app_like_alcohol_120, to make SP2 install
    • reinstall alcohol, install game
    • uninstall alcohol again, as game refuses to run with cd emulation osftware installed
    • cry at blue screen related to "foowirelessusb.sys"
    • go and buy a new wireless card, since there are no fixed drivers for the one causing crashes


    i may have added several experiences into one story, but it's far from the one-click setup you describe

    i could just as easily say:
    • insert ubuntu cd
    • hit enter a few times
    • insert ut2004 dvd
    • double-click on linux-installer.sh, click on "run in terminal"
    • play


    both your accounts and mine are slanted, sure, but they both have some merit.

    Now you can't tell me that Linux is a more attractive proposition than that? So why bother?
    as it stands, linux isn't as attractive an option for an expensive keyboard-based games console as windows - purely because most games are released for windows only, and cannot be coaxed into working in linux. but for the 95% of the time i spend on my computer not playing games, i FAR prefer using linux - i use the UI i want to, the apps i want to, and i'm all the more efficient for it. if i *want* to get down & dirty, change a program or something, then i can - though there's no reason to if i choose not to.

  7. #7
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    oh, and in the field i work in (research, via large-scale parallel computation), you'll be laughed at if you suggest using windows instead of linux. even the heavily-delayed windows server 2003 cluster compute edition can only manage 64-machine clusters, with a ~33% performance hit compared to RHEL

  8. #8
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Directhex, that is some of the biggest bollocks i've heard in a long time.

    IE flaw, actually this one wasn't really the falt of the IE team, but some code for rendering JPEGs which is used by quite a few products on windows (its more worrying than just IE).

    As for it compramising the whole system. NO, it can't, it only has access to that user. The fact you've so blatently lied on this point, negates the posative merrits of your arguments.

    XP Cd from 2002. Now this is a very intresting point. I've gone through my CDs that i'm throwing out this week. I've found debian from 2002 (nov i think) and NetBSD. Neither of them can detect my SCSI RAID card.... can't think why, could it be it wasn't out when those discs were burnt?

    In fact my motherboard (X6DA8-G2) won't install a XP sp1 or spnull cd. It can't coupe with certain memory addresses behaving how they shouldn't. QUITE RIGHTLY.

    Now if you take a streamlined SP2 CD, then gosh, none of the problems you given exsist.

    I dislike ubunto, because i was trying to get it to install on a RAID of CF cards (2gig in total) now it couldn't do it. It kept having problems, debian would, so why can't ubunto. FreeBSD could. XP could.

    If your install mediam is out of date there is no chance its going to have drivers. The point is windows drivers come out first, so if you've a worryingly old geriatric CD lying about, odds are windows is going to have more luck (just because of the shear amount of money thrown at driver developement).

    Now drivers, intresting topic, linux is really playing catch up, look at the divergance on USB, they've still not recovered from that. Linux lacks a proper HAL, any second year comp sci student should be able to tell you that. If i want to adapt a driver, its a pain in the arse, there no standards, no proper documentation (self documented code... haha!). I've had to devleope a simple device driver for linux and BSD. It should of been easy, a simple HID. Took me about 3 hours in windows, including making the help documentation and the installer. All i had to write was an ini file. A real proper job. Linux, 40 hours, still dosen't work properly with poeple who have "that other chipset". Yes, this is a modern day OS.

    Linux for PP, no, seriously, every one i know uses a proper unix. Except ICL, but there funny there anyway (kenya... that goes against my principles).

    Games, performing under linux is damn hard, this is coursed by its very old kernel design. Pre-emptive multithreading was a "new" feature for windows users in windows for workgroups, hell even 95 had it. When did linux get it again? 2.6 kernel?

    How long does it take to create a thread in linux, bench it. BSD is more secure, yet its faster!? By the time you've got to selinux, its horrifically slow.

    Now UT getting better load times. Yes, I heard about this, i spent 5 hours trying to get the same to happen, but then i realised something. It must of been page file. I always have no page file / seperate SCSI hdd (preferably 15k) i've been doing this for the last 4 years now, and its an amazing performance booster. For some reason i never got the faster load times... i was gutted, i normally run a server on my desktop (as its MP beast) at lans so if i could squeeze more cycles, it would be good. Regretably the in game performance was worse, and the load time was worse.

    Stability. When windows crashes, i can narrow down the program very quickly (as i'm sure any vet of any decent OS can). The thing is, its so rarely somethign that came on my XP CD, or on my Office Cd, or on my beta of VS DVD. In fact, its not ever been on my current rig. Its always a 3rd party app that crashes, or a bluescreen caused by ATI not liking the nvidia card in my machine. With linux, its some app written by some guy in his spare time. I can't complain to him! Sure i can read the code and fix it, but i have better things to do, and whenever i do hardware stuff in linux, i feal like i'm sleeping with someone i don't love. I wounder what has driven me to do this.

    Windows, when i want to change an application, i change it (assuming i don't think it would get me in court). Its not hard, I like assembly code, i prefer it to silly high level langauges that just serve to not let me do things quickly (java). Patching a dll isn't difficult. But most importantly, when an app dosen't do something i want, i talk to the auther/dev team. Often with a patch i'll write, i'll write the code they need. They can have it! They can even give me money if they want, which helps pay my rent.

    The only application I've not been able to change is sony's sonic stage. This won't run under linux anyway, and you'd have no better chance of been able to change it there.

    UserInterface. I don't like explorer that much. Its slow, unwheldy and uses COM/+ (which i consider bad). Its still the best shell i've found. KDE too slow, far too slow, eats memory, and takes forever to do simple things. Gnome, best described as like trying to make love to one, cold and unforgiving. But to be fair, its not their falts, X is too slow, because none of us use it like its intented.

    For me windows is better, NT is a better kernel than Linux. I don't need the source, i've symbol files and a debugger. And far more use than the source code is MSDN. Not to mention how much easyer it is too maintain the computer as secure. (but thats a whole different rant)
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  9. #9
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus
    Directhex, that is some of the biggest bollocks i've heard in a long time.

    IE flaw, actually this one wasn't really the falt of the IE team, but some code for rendering JPEGs which is used by quite a few products on windows (its more worrying than just IE).

    As for it compramising the whole system. NO, it can't, it only has access to that user. The fact you've so blatently lied on this point, negates the posative merrits of your arguments.
    almost all windows users run with administrative privileges. even if they decide not to, the number of very basic apps which scream and shout at limited-user access tend to force a change of heart.

    and even without admin access, you can do a LOT of damage to a windows system - the windows xp and 2000 machines when i did my degree were covered in icons for assorted programs that the (limited user, nt domain) users had installed.

    gaining root privileges on windows: compromise some trivial library
    gaining root privileges on *nix: compromise some trivial library, then leverage that library to take over a specified user account, then try and find a privielege excalation exploit.

    XP Cd from 2002. Now this is a very intresting point. I've gone through my CDs that i'm throwing out this week. I've found debian from 2002 (nov i think) and NetBSD. Neither of them can detect my SCSI RAID card.... can't think why, could it be it wasn't out when those discs were burnt?
    yes, it could.

    but an XP cd bought last week, and a linux cd burnt last week, will NOT get the same results - and the "it just works" assertation Nick made is simply false

    In fact my motherboard (X6DA8-G2) won't install a XP sp1 or spnull cd. It can't coupe with certain memory addresses behaving how they shouldn't. QUITE RIGHTLY.

    Now if you take a streamlined SP2 CD, then gosh, none of the problems you given exsist.
    so all joe shmoe has to do is buy a new cd, or have the knowledge and skills (and cd burner) to create a slipstreamed disc. simple, right? you're still left with the F6 issue, unless you integrate some drivers onto a slipstreamed disc - and we're getting fairly non-trivial at this point

    I dislike ubunto, because i was trying to get it to install on a RAID of CF cards (2gig in total) now it couldn't do it. It kept having problems, debian would, so why can't ubunto. FreeBSD could. XP could.
    i don't know. possibly because ubuntu uses a lot of temp space during install. it's hardly a common scenario is it

    If your install mediam is out of date there is no chance its going to have drivers. The point is windows drivers come out first, so if you've a worryingly old geriatric CD lying about, odds are windows is going to have more luck (just because of the shear amount of money thrown at driver developement).
    or you could have some random old hardware where there are no xp-compatible drivers available, but it happens to work with linux. swings & roundabouts.

    Now drivers, intresting topic, linux is really playing catch up, look at the divergance on USB, they've still not recovered from that. Linux lacks a proper HAL, any second year comp sci student should be able to tell you that. If i want to adapt a driver, its a pain in the arse, there no standards, no proper documentation (self documented code... haha!). I've had to devleope a simple device driver for linux and BSD. It should of been easy, a simple HID. Took me about 3 hours in windows, including making the help documentation and the installer. All i had to write was an ini file. A real proper job. Linux, 40 hours, still dosen't work properly with poeple who have "that other chipset". Yes, this is a modern day OS.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...799319-1511038 seems a reasonable enough reference. the lack of HAL is an old issue which has been discussed by developers time & time again - where the general consensus is all it would bring is buggy drivers written by people with a weak grasp of driver development, which would cause hard-to-debug stability issues

    Linux for PP, no, seriously, every one i know uses a proper unix. Except ICL, but there funny there anyway (kenya... that goes against my principles).
    everyone? strange, because i was fairly sure 8 of the top 10 supercomputers (as per top500.org) ran linux, and that the traditional big-iron vendors do linux (cray and sgi included). commodity system clustering has far overtaken vector or smp as the best-value option of choice, and almost all of those systems are linux based. SUPER-UX is shipped onto maybe ten computers a year, HP-UX is largely irrelevant these days, SCO Unixware even moreso, leaving AIX for a particular class of SMP user, UNICOS on the very top-end cray systems (lower-end systems like XD1 run linux), or Solaris for the big-city banks on crusty old Sunfire 6800s. The use of non-linux operating systems in parallel computing is practically statistical noise.

    Games, performing under linux is damn hard, this is coursed by its very old kernel design. Pre-emptive multithreading was a "new" feature for windows users in windows for workgroups, hell even 95 had it. When did linux get it again? 2.6 kernel?
    it's optional in 2.6. i opt not to, and have no performance issues.

    How long does it take to create a thread in linux, bench it. BSD is more secure, yet its faster!? By the time you've got to selinux, its horrifically slow.
    i don't think Nick is arguing for BSD here.

    Now UT getting better load times. Yes, I heard about this, i spent 5 hours trying to get the same to happen, but then i realised something. It must of been page file. I always have no page file / seperate SCSI hdd (preferably 15k) i've been doing this for the last 4 years now, and its an amazing performance booster. For some reason i never got the faster load times... i was gutted, i normally run a server on my desktop (as its MP beast) at lans so if i could squeeze more cycles, it would be good. Regretably the in game performance was worse, and the load time was worse.
    the number of windows users i know with a cheetah for their page file is... small. for those with more conventional setups, there is a real improvement on load times. framerates overall are slightly lower than under windows (albeit with better "lowest" rates), but the difference between 80 and 100 frames per second is, well, penis envy, nothing more.

    Stability. When windows crashes, i can narrow down the program very quickly (as i'm sure any vet of any decent OS can). The thing is, its so rarely somethign that came on my XP CD, or on my Office Cd, or on my beta of VS DVD. In fact, its not ever been on my current rig. Its always a 3rd party app that crashes, or a bluescreen caused by ATI not liking the nvidia card in my machine. With linux, its some app written by some guy in his spare time. I can't complain to him! Sure i can read the code and fix it, but i have better things to do, and whenever i do hardware stuff in linux, i feal like i'm sleeping with someone i don't love. I wounder what has driven me to do this.
    low self esteem? if you don't want to get your hands dirty, and want some accountability, you pay for RHEL or Suse, and get support. personally, i wasn't particularly surprised that the r8169 driver shipped with xp pro x64 barely worked.

    Windows, when i want to change an application, i change it (assuming i don't think it would get me in court). Its not hard, I like assembly code, i prefer it to silly high level langauges that just serve to not let me do things quickly (java). Patching a dll isn't difficult. But most importantly, when an app dosen't do something i want, i talk to the auther/dev team. Often with a patch i'll write, i'll write the code they need. They can have it! They can even give me money if they want, which helps pay my rent.
    ... i honestly am failing completely to see how in any way shape or form this is meant to be any kind of argument.

    you're pro bsd, yet hate open source development?

    you don't like source code, and prefer to hex edit your way to glory?

    how are these binary patches meant to help authors/dev teams anyway?

    The only application I've not been able to change is sony's sonic stage. This won't run under linux anyway, and you'd have no better chance of been able to change it there.
    nice straw man. "a very specific windows-only application for interfacing with a specific vendor's proprietary hardware device is developed by nasty men who won't give me their source under nda, i bet you linux people wouldn't manage either"

    you're right.

    if anyone cared enough, however, there'd already be an open-source replacement. personally, i use the cross-platform app provided for use with my portable music player, to transfer music to it.

    UserInterface. I don't like explorer that much. Its slow, unwheldy and uses COM/+ (which i consider bad). Its still the best shell i've found. KDE too slow, far too slow, eats memory, and takes forever to do simple things. Gnome, best described as like trying to make love to one, cold and unforgiving. But to be fair, its not their falts, X is too slow, because none of us use it like its intented.
    i choose neither. xfce4 is simple, lightweight, and does everything i need it to - no more, no less.

    For me windows is better, NT is a better kernel than Linux. I don't need the source, i've symbol files and a debugger. And far more use than the source code is MSDN. Not to mention how much easyer it is too maintain the computer as secure. (but thats a whole different rant)
    considering how insane spyware infection rates are, do you really think the majority of windows machines are maintained in a secure manner?

    it's about sanity by default - almost all linux distributions have it, windows does not. what happens next doesn't really matter, since any competant sysadmin can secure their own box to a reasonable degree. but when most people AREN'T competant sysadmins, that makes a lot of boxes out there in their default state.

  10. #10
    Lovely chap dangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    except xp doesn't support hardware from 2002 or later.
    instead, try this scenario:

    • boot new PC with XP CD in it.
    • fails to find hard disk
    • boot again, having found an old floppy drive, to load disk controller drivers via F6
    • run through the installer, noticing your 400GB disk is only formatted as 127GB
    • click things until the desktop loads, in glorious 256 color
    • activate, because it orders you to
    • find the mobo driver CD, and install some LAN drivers
    • connect to the net, to get some gfx drivers and so on
    • start again from the beginning, as you get infected with a virus whilst downloading some anti-virus software
    • get back to where you were, try to install all your mobo drivers, and fail, for IRQ reasons
    • after several hours' poking, solve the issue by changing the machine type to "ACPI Uniprocessor PC" in the devices control pannel
    • try and install your radeon drivers, to be given an odd error about needing to install a normal VGA driver first
    • after days of hacking about, discover that a bug in the CD version of the driver caused the permissions in the registry to get messed up - fix your registry, install drivers
    • install all your usual software, each time having to track them down on the intarweb
    • go through windowsupdate. cry when SP2 refuses to install
    • uninstall $cd_ripping_app_like_alcohol_120, to make SP2 install
    • reinstall alcohol, install game
    • uninstall alcohol again, as game refuses to run with cd emulation osftware installed
    • cry at blue screen related to "foowirelessusb.sys"
    • go and buy a new wireless card, since there are no fixed drivers for the one causing crashes

    That's pretty unfair. Here's what i do:

    - Find WindowsXP with SP2 _integrated_ CD
    - Remember that i've spent 10mins in the past making a cd with lots of intregrated (post 2k2) drivers for SATA raid support (this is so easy to do with nlite!) and think "yay i don't have to press f6 (hardly a struggle but..)". You can also integrate SP2 if you don't have a newish copy of XP.
    - Run installer, choose drive to install on, wait 10mins for xp to install. RAID is good, have it at both work and home
    - Install chipset drivers (intel at work, nvidia at home). Just run the installer, no hassles.
    - Install graphic drivers, no hassles (nvidia at home, ati at work [till 2morrow when the x600 gets the boot POS!]).
    - System now basically done - graphics, sounds, networking all working. Woot.

    If you want to compare a recent distro, then at least compare the latest 'distro' of WindowsXP - i.e. that has SP2 integrated. Windows may not get _everything_ right but it's not anywhere near that much hassle to install (at least for me) anymore. I've nothing against linux (i've fiddled around with it many times over the years) but i don't have a need for it, since it really doesn't offer me anything that Window's can't - something i can't say is true in reverse (at all).
    Yes, XP security really sucked pre-SP2 (and in many ways it still does but it's improved immeasurably) and theres still a lot to improve but not all of it's down to MS.
    Last edited by dangel; 09-11-2005 at 04:04 PM.
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  11. #11
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangel
    That's pretty unfair. Here's what i do:

    - Find WindowsXP with SP2 _integrated_ CD
    - Remember that i've spent 10mins in the past making a cd with lots of intregrated (post 2k2) drivers for SATA raid support (this is so easy to do with nlite!) and think "yay i don't have to press f6 (hardly a struggle but..)". You can also integrate SP2 if you don't have a newish copy of XP.
    - Run installer, choose drive to install on, wait 10mins for xp to install. RAID is good, have it at both work and home
    - Install chipset drivers (intel at work, nvidia at home). Just run the installer, no hassles.
    - Install graphic drivers, no hassles (nvidia at home, ati at work [till 2morrow when the x600 gets the boot POS!]).
    - System now basically done - graphics, sounds, networking all working. Woot.

    If you want to compare a recent distro, then at least compare the latest 'distro' of WindowsXP - i.e. that has SP2 integrated. Windows may not get _everything_ right but it's not anywhere near that much hassle to install (at least for me) anymore. I've nothing against linux (i've fiddled around with it many times over the years) but i don't have a need for it, since it really doesn't offer me anything that Window's can't - something i can't say is true in reverse (at all).
    Yes, XP security really sucked pre-SP2 (and in many ways it still does but it's improved immeasurably) and theres still a lot to improve but not all of it's down to MS.
    i never said it was a fair comparison, i was trying to point out that for every "windows is easy linux is hard" story, there's an easy reversal.

  12. #12
    Lovely chap dangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    i never said it was a fair comparison, i was trying to point out that for every "windows is easy linux is hard" story, there's an easy reversal.
    So what's holding linux back? If it's as easy to use as windows, as easy to install, more secure and free - where's the catch?

    Why didn't linux replace windows on the desktop as predicted several years ago?

    I'll tell you. MS did. Nope, not by unfair business practices (for a change) but simply by tackling the major flaws in windows - they made it stable and they're now striving to make it secure (and by in large they're getting there). So if window's doesn't crash all the time anymore, and they eradicate the security problem (and Vista is being built on that very principle) then the two principle appeals of Linux disappear. It's horrible, but it's true..
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  13. #13
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangel
    So what's holding linux back? If it's as easy to use as windows, as easy to install, more secure and free - where's the catch?

    Why didn't linux replace windows on the desktop as predicted several years ago?

    I'll tell you. MS did. Nope, not by unfair business practices (for a change) but simply by tackling the major flaws in windows - they made it stable and they're now striving to make it secure (and by in large they're getting there). So if window's doesn't crash all the time anymore, and they eradicate the security problem (and Vista is being built on that very principle) then the two principle appeals of Linux disappear. It's horrible, but it's true..
    linux has been cited in the tech press as "ready to conquer the desktop" for years - there are a number of issues stopping it, but the biggest one isn't microsoft software being great - it's inertia.

    for a vendor to start offering linux computers means they need to retrain all their sales and support staff, to deal with customers who are angry that $foo_windows_program doesn't run on their computer, and to be able to do so whilst compating against the "easier" (better known, and therefore more compatible) windows systems their competitors sell.

    right now, i would give any relative who wanted a web/email/wordprocessing box a linux machine, not a windows machine - because i'd be the one they call on when the spyware comes to call. as long as they didn't want to start running windows apps, it'd be fine for their needs.

    but bear in mind that for most people, internet explorer means the internet, outlook express means email - they've taken this long to train themselves onto microsoft metaphors, so any alternative, no matter how simple, will scare them

  14. #14
    Lovely chap dangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    linux has been cited in the tech press as "ready to conquer the desktop" for years - there are a number of issues stopping it, but the biggest one isn't microsoft software being great - it's inertia.
    I take your point, but, still there's has to be a _need_ to change - and what does linux offer over windows thesedays? And still, MS is (naturally) linux's biggest competitor (it has to be with 9x% of the market!).

    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    for a vendor to start offering linux computers means they need to retrain all their sales and support staff, to deal with customers who are angry that $foo_windows_program doesn't run on their computer, and to be able to do so whilst compating against the "easier" (better known, and therefore more compatible) windows systems their competitors sell.
    Which is really a cost issue, and has long been touted as the 'hidden cost of linux' etc..

    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    right now, i would give any relative who wanted a web/email/wordprocessing box a linux machine, not a windows machine - because i'd be the one they call on when the spyware comes to call. as long as they didn't want to start running windows apps, it'd be fine for their needs.
    Well I have, and will continue to do, the polar opposite - i give them WindowsXP. I 'immunize' it with spybot (pretty effective against most stuff) and introduce them to Opera. I've had no major issues with the 5 odd machines i've built for relatives - either with spyware or virus infections in many years.. A well setup windows machine isn't all that vunerable (plus windows is now capable of updating itself by default which helps a heck of a lot and makes patching as transparent as a virus checker updating). Remote Desktop alone makes XP worth it's weight in gold when i get the 'support' call

    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    but bear in mind that for most people, internet explorer means the internet, outlook express means email - they've taken this long to train themselves onto microsoft metaphors, so any alternative, no matter how simple, will scare them
    I definitely agree - it's very difficult to educate people to the alternatives, but then again, look at how firefox took off due to the problems in IE. I still think if Windows were that bad and linux were _that much better_ we'd of seen a much larger en masse move toward it. Again, as i've said, I think Windows has massively improved and has reduced that chance of that EVER happening now. If they can get Vista right (and i've high hopes based on what i've seen and the huge change in ethos at MS) then things for linux are only going to get worse. Let me say, i'm really not as MS centric as i must come across, just pragmatic in my view of such things. Bring back the Amiga I say
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  15. #15
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangel
    I take your point, but, still there's has to be a _need_ to change - and what does linux offer over windows thesedays? And still, MS is (naturally) linux's biggest competitor (it has to be with 9x% of the market!).
    there's a subtle difference between percieved and real need. for most average off-the-street people, when their computers start spooging popups and porno links, they learn to just ignore and cope - pretend there;s no problem. admitting there's a problems means you've lost control - and that's unpleasant psychologically.

    the difference for me, at least, is i pick up on every annoyance. i found myself needing to use a cybercafe recently, and in less than 20 minutes, i was ready to put a keyboard through the MSIE-based terminal - it made a simple task like buying a telly so bloody difficult i felt my blood boil.

    Which is really a cost issue, and has long been touted as the 'hidden cost of linux' etc..
    the assumption, of course, is that you're moving from one system to another. if you have a blank slate, then the comparative cost of training is about the same. problems lie with systems where people are educated (in schoold and courses) on training themselves to the microsoft-only way of doing things, so even a change of word processor or web browser is a shock to the system.

    Well I have, and will continue to do, the polar opposite - i give them WindowsXP. I 'immunize' it with spybot (pretty effective against most stuff) and introduce them to Opera. I've had no major issues with the 5 odd machines i've built for relatives - either with spyware or virus infections in many years.. A well setup windows machine isn't all that vunerable (plus windows is now capable of updating itself by default which helps a heck of a lot and makes patching as transparent as a virus checker updating). Remote Desktop alone makes XP worth it's weight in gold when i get the 'support' call
    £90 is a lot, though, for xp pro (home has no RDP server). You can cross your fingers and hope that the person you give the machine to will do the right thing at all times (.exe attachments et al), but you can't guarantee it. and once they screw up, no amount of antivirus and spybotsd will help - it's formatting time. just consider the latest sony rootkit - try ripping that out, and you lose your CD drives. and even when it ISN'T irreperable, free tools like spybot or ad-aware are really inadequate against 2005's spyware

    I definitely agree - it's very difficult to educate people to the alternatives, but then again, look at how firefox took off due to the problems in IE. I still think if Windows were that bad and linux were _that much better_ we'd of seen a much larger en masse move toward it. Again, as i've said, I think Windows has massively improved and has reduced that chance of that EVER happening now. If they can get Vista right (and i've high hopes based on what i've seen and the huge change in ethos at MS) then things for linux are only going to get worse. Let me say, i'm really not as MS centric as i must come across, just pragmatic in my view of such things. Bring back the Amiga I say
    i started my belief in a better way with BeOS r4.5 - it was so much cleaner, faster, and more reposnive, than 98. Truth be told, I only got into Linux about 24 months ago - before then, I'd tried it and every time I'd failed to see what it offered me compared to Windows. However, Linux has improved at a phenomenal rate since the early 1990s, and Microsoft will have real issues in beating that rate of improvement, even with Vista. Of course, they'll have no issues with having Vista installed on every new computer until gone 2010, but whether they have the technical advantage by then, in any area, I'd be highly skeptical.

    There's also an increasing groundswell from small business, who have been burnt by soon-to-expire upgrade contracts that have never been used, or are runnign unsupported older windows versions on aging hardware - Debian 3.1 will run on a 486 with 24MiB RAM if need be, Vista won't, so there's an increasingly tempting option to just spend £25k or so on a linux sysadmin who can make all the hardware and software upgrade issues go away for a few years

  16. #16
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Supercomputers your right, i was thinking more clusters (two racks) for image proccessing.

    But slipstreams. No way, most vendors give you a SP 2 disc. ALL people who ship windows with their computers slipstream the disc enless there dodgy.
    Also if a supplyer is going to give you a pre SP1 XP cd, then surely they'll give you a version 6 of SuSE disc too?

    Windows drivers are better. As someone who's moved onto the fun pastures of computer security (code security) please don't make me take this to a driver debate. Linux does NOTHING that excites or pleases me in this respect. Its a proper 70's design. Which even microsoft were more advanced with in win 95. (But i hate win 95 vxd hell).

    Library proccess escaping? I think your getting some wrong ideas here, as a user, you can only do what permissions are set up to do as a user. On a standard system thats run any program you have permission to. Create any file you have permision too. Now there is a hotly debated topic, should users be allowed to modiy their "startup" directory, i feal this should be off by default, ms think no. The fact of the matter most badly written software, is badly written on unix too. Having open source doesn't mean better quality of code, i've yet to see a study to try and claim that it does (and i've seen some horrifcally bias studies in open source n security which i'm not going to get into).

    I think linux promotes a copy + paste programming style, with no understanding of whats going on. Now thats fine in a sandbox like Java or better yet c# but with C, and device drivers this is very bad.

    Now Drivers, you said the HAL discussion ends with, lets not add it, else people who shouldn't shall write drivers. Would you like me to remove the breaks from your car because that encourages you to drive dangouersly? Or the enter key from your keyboard because that helps you accidently run commands you might not want too. That argument is flawed. Why linux dosen't have a HAL worth talking about. Because writing one is a long difficult task (well, a good one is).

    Priveledge escape. This is an intresting one, last time i checked, without SeLinux or similar a lot of distros are shockingly poor (please note deb based ones are better than most). Yes this is on their default config.

    Thread creation, NT is faster. Bench it.

    Proccess creation, really not surprising here, NT is slower due to how it uses the ICMP. But as soon as something gets written to the proccess, NT is faster. So opening a simple ping like program, NT will be faster.

    thats x86 specific.

    The UT load times is a different issue (from what i gathered, not been able to generate the phonominum myself), its to do with when to page. Now this results in some load times faster, others longer. The point i was making is as soon as you put proper enterprise hardware into the equation, linux fails to win. On these very forums i was told by someone how its bad that windows was using the page file more during idle time. He thought this was bad. When to paginate is a very mixed kettle of fish.

    Driver support, i'm sorry, but i strongly disagree here. Granted with x64 support things are changing. But for x86 people linux is way behind. Anyone not had a program work with NT since the dark days of NT4? I had one scanner that i was using during my win2k days that wouldn't work with it, why, well i was told by black widow, that i shouldn't be using it still.... gits.

    Now on linux i've had network card drivers issues. Graphics issues, naff onboard sound issues............. The point is the last time i had a driver problem with NT was version 5, some 5 years ago now.

    Linux, I can't find a good CF driver (a CF driver prevents writing to the same part of the CF again and again, aging the card) Now as this was a stealth computer for playing music thats on my fileserver (in another room) i thought linux would save me some money).

    Windows, NT 4 with SP6 did it automatically. You get were i'm comming from, this is some obscure use, that has been implemented very well (because of the HAL, and the fact that MS are using people who are putting thought into their development).
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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