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Is Linux more frustrating?

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July 21, 2007 6:13:44 AM

Is Linux more frustrating than Window$?

I'm about to give up on it.

I added Gnome to my mythtv (so, Knoppix-like) and I cannot install a printer. I'm trying to install using CUPS and it took a long time (I don't know if I'm supposed to be embarrassed or ashamed or feel like I should have had it done by now or what). To do anything in Linux, you basically have to have tons of time since it takes a few days to do something whereas in Windows, it might take an hour. I hate that you have one side (Window$) with a smug greedy corporation that already has enough money, trying to eat even more cash and take more. On the other side, you have Linux with several egotistical obnoxious developers (I won't name names) who don't care if the average computer user spends time learning or trying Linux. They only want a 'private club' full of nerds and hackers. That's what it seems like to me and I've spent time trying things out.

I'd like something that isn't too complicated and is well thought out in its implication and design. I think the CUPS thing is absolutely ridiculous and overly complicated. Okay, I am done criticizing. That's another thing. I learned from Ubuntu forums that you can't criticize or you get bashed or mocked. It's not that I like Windows but I don't need to spend years on a particular application to get one thing to work. Window$ has it's problems and I hate how the corporation is but if there is a distro out there with a good design, I will use it.

Rant over.

More about : linux frustrating

a b 5 Linux
July 21, 2007 7:35:59 AM

What distro are you running and what printer are you trying to install?

How did you install cups?
July 29, 2007 6:48:56 PM

Had no problems at all installing my HP Deskjet 710C (printer must be 10 years old by now) in Fedora 7.
Related resources
a b 5 Linux
July 29, 2007 7:06:32 PM

Fedora 7, Ubuntu and most modern Linux distros support virtually every printer on the market.

We cannot help the OP fix the problem without knowing what kind of printer it is and what the distro is.
July 29, 2007 10:47:26 PM

CUPS should already be installed by default, shouldn't it? It's just a matter of choosing what printer you have in the list of available printers...
a b 5 Linux
July 29, 2007 11:02:50 PM

Even if it's not installed

yum install cups

will install it

then system-config-printer will allow the user to set the printer up

It's really simple
July 29, 2007 11:48:45 PM

I thought so as well... and I'm no where near as well-versed in Linux as you or some of our other knowledgable posters here. But again, as you've stated, without knowing what distro he's running, it does make it difficult. Although I'm sure Ubuntu and Fedora are very similar.

We can guess he's using Ubuntu since he mentions the Ubuntu forums... but that's just a guess.
August 2, 2007 5:08:59 AM

I'm building a new system (computer) and it will be 90-100% Linux. I'll install on it, Kubuntu and maybe Fedora 7. But, I mostly have exposure to debian-based distros.

I don't need to install the printer on my old computer now. I've formatted and installed Debian but someone else is configuring it for a media PC.

But, before that, it had a Knoppix derivative (KnoppMyth) and Gnome installed. The printer is a Samsung ML-2150 laser printer. I will need to install this on the new system but I plan on using KDE and I have installed it once previously on Debian. I don't like using Gnome so I hope KDE works okay in Fedora (if I use that). I plan on buying a Multifunction printer, too. I'm considering Epson or HP. I hope those aren't too difficult to install. ;-)

Thanks for the replies, guys.
a b 5 Linux
August 2, 2007 5:37:11 AM

KDE works just fine on Fedora 7 ( as it does on every Fedora version ).

The ML-2150 is supported and Samsung provides a proprietary driver as well.

I would suggest checking http://www.cups.org/ppd.php for compatibility, some multifunction machines are notoriously unreliable on open source and proprietary operating systems.

Good luck :) 
August 17, 2007 1:12:37 PM

So I decided to browse this thread... and I have concluded that Linux can be very frustrating. :) 
a b 5 Linux
August 17, 2007 2:46:23 PM

Compared to some of the Vista threads I think this is very tame. Also telling is that the OP is actually getting good valid advice.
August 20, 2007 8:07:58 PM

And we know IBM is anti-Microsoft in the first place and working hard to get people to use Linux because their hardware is so ungodly expensive. Top that off, they're using RedHat which costs money as well. ;) 

Oh wait.. GoDaddy. That's a big name:
http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=1000003748

London Stock Exchange? No way...
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver/facts/casestudies/lse.mspx


And ultimately what do they end up claiming? That Windows was easier to configure and work with than dealing with Linux. :) 

I just like giving you guys crap because of:

1) While Linux is an excellent OS, it still has a lot of work that needs to go into getting it ready for the masses.
2) It is frustrating to work with and use.
3) I think some of you are blinded by "its just better" than using logic.
4) Figure 90% of the people using computers in a work environment don't know how to use a computer and Linux isn't, in my opinion, as user friendly as the "push-button-monkey" abilities of Windows.

Face it, its far easier to check a box and have magic happen behind the scene than trying to figure out Linux. :) 
August 20, 2007 8:44:24 PM

I will say this much for your counter-argument articles posted above: Why would you believe ANYTHING that Microsoft says about Microsoft?

Taking those articles at face value would make about as much sense as believing Soviet propaganda back during the Cold War: it's just silly.

While I think you raise some excellent points in your list of 1-4 there, I think that they don't apply so much here as they would on say, www.digg.com.
This forum is not full of the rabid ubuntu fanboys that you will see there, and we are certainly more educated and rational than the mindless apple-zombies that are nearly ubiquitous these days.

I agree that Linux may not be for everyone, but I can say that it is certainly for me (this from a lifelong windows user). I think the best thing that could happen for computing would be the end of the Microsoft monopoly and the simultaneous establishment of parity in terms of OS market share. So, to that end, I will continue trying to get people to broaden their OS choices when appropriate.

Remember, the best thing that can happen to anyone is for them to be able to make their own choices based on their own preferences.

-Zorak
August 21, 2007 3:00:00 PM

In order to publish Case Studies the company has to write off on it and give written consent to what is being posted. They can't just write that up without having those companies write off on it.

It only makes sense that they publish case studies on their own website. They do marketing.

I've dealt with Linux a few times and I've walked away annoyed with working with it myself.

Case in point:
7 Windows computers and "some guy" comes in and says "Linux is better" and installs some version on the accounting computer of a local non-profit company. He never installed the printers on the computer, which was running WinXP at the time, so they couldn't print any of their checks.
Long story short, I went in, attemtped to install the printers in every which way possible. I tried via IP and print server, couldn't get the thing to go. I gave up after about an hour in setup and surfing the web looking for things I could try.
I was doing it in my spare time and free of charge.. didn't want to bother. I can install a printer on a Mac no problem. Its just Linux I tend to have problems with and I don't feel like digging through command lines to do what I consider simple tasks today.

I do strongly believe Microsoft has an excellent system in place for businesses to work off. In the past few months I've been at a lot of different companies and looking at their software and I've been surprised to find how many of these companies use custom software created for Microsoft Windows. These companies don't support Linux and have problems with trying to make it work.

Microsoft has its flaws, no doubt. But I do believe they are making things available and they're taking steps in the right direction.

Linux needs to get a company behind it, fix the annoyances of the small tasks that turn out to be big, and then it will become a successful OS in the world.

Microsoft is working as a business against a non-business entity. Microsoft is the "monopoly" that it is because there has not been a OS that has come up strong enough to be a valid competitor.

I give Linux 5 years and I think it will pick up and maybe hold 15-20% of the market share.. only if it tones down the elite style and makes it easier for the computer illiterate to use. :) 
August 21, 2007 3:33:55 PM

People don't want to take the time to learn to use even Windows properly... I don't see those same people taking the time to learn Linux. I like tinkering around with it in my spare time... but it's got a ways to go before I'd consider using it as my primary OS.
August 21, 2007 3:46:30 PM

True.. I use Windows because it suits what I do for work moreso than what Linux does. Top that off, we already have enough trouble teaching people to use certain things within Windows and Linux would make things only worse.
Now on the IT side, adding in Linux, which has come up once or twice proposed by one person in IT.. yes, it would save us time but overall we see no benefit and then we have a mixed platform environment to troubleshoot and keep up to date.
Figuring out which OS version to use and then getting it to install properly takes some time.

I haven't used Linux that much primarily because of the amount of time I'll have to invest to learn it. I'm working on my MCSE at the moment then moving on to my CCNA. I don't really have time to learn Linux in that fashion. I don't see it a feasible solution to any problem or issues we have within our company in the first place.

I feel a lot of people share this thought with me. New companies, such as Google, can go with Linux because they're new. Systems are being designed. Switching from Microsoft to Linux, or vice versa, is redefining everything within your company. Its a lot of work and as someone in IT, its even a headache upgrading computers from Windows 2k to XP, etc. Then go through and try upgrading to a completely different system?

Everything one knows goes to the side and new methods to fix it are learned. Its a huge commitment and frustration will hit an all time high, either way you look at it.
a b 5 Linux
August 21, 2007 7:42:26 PM

Microsoft's mission is to empty your wallet and prevent you from using your hardware and software.

Linux and BSD's mission is to enable you to use your hardware and do whatever you like with it. Not to mention you get access to the source and you can modify the OS to suit your needs. Other open source operating systems have a similar philosophy.

The truth is all hardware and software is frustrating of course it's all subjective.
August 21, 2007 8:53:12 PM

In a perfect utopia where some sort of currency is completely unecessary, open source would be perfect. However, we live in a world where money is a necessary evil and people wish to be paid for their efforts.

Microsoft is a business and open source is a philosophy. Generally, they are mutually exclusive. A business exists to make money and ensure it's investors get some sort of return on their investment.

People writing open source software don't usually expect something in return for their efforts (other that a nice "job well done") and usually get nothing in return. They don't have shareholders to answer to and aren't expected to profit from their endeavours.

For some people, writing software / code is "fun" and they simply do it as a hobby for the sheer enjoyment of it. Most go into it as a career and as such require compensation for their efforts. Open source will have a hard time taking hold as long as this is the status-quo.
a b 5 Linux
August 22, 2007 5:42:12 AM

Open source does not necessarily mean free as in price.

Open source and capitalism or getting paid are certainly not mutually exclusive.

Many developers are getting paid and they are far from amateurs.

Many open source companies are making billions, have professional developers, shareholders and investors to answer to.

Google, IBM and RedHat are among them.

These are 3 that are well known. There isn't enough room here to post a complete list.
August 22, 2007 1:49:43 PM

Let's stay on topic of level of frustration too fellas. I'm kind of interested in seeing the points come out.

If software is open source, anyone can do anything with it basically. Microsoft being a business also guarentees jobs to those who work for them. Microsoft operates like any other business - they make a product (or steal, whatever) and have people working on it. Open Source has anyone doing whatever.

We need money in order to survive. I would work for free if I didn't have to worry about money. The fact is I need money to live. Thus, I charge for my services.

Zorak stated this perfectly. I strongly believe that if I see Linux on the shelves and they were charging $50 for it and had the business structure and support organized, it would take off. This is not the case.

Nothing in life is free. Anything you get for free generally sucks and that is the mentality.

Case in point: Last year I bought a new range. I took my old, working in good condition, put it out on the curb. It sat there for days. I put a sign on it, $50. It was gone that night. I didn't want to dispose of it, I didn't want money for it. But I got rid of it because I was charging for it.

Free doesn't sell. :) 
August 22, 2007 3:34:36 PM

Why would I want to buy Linux when the IBM equipment already has os520 running on it to do exactly the same thing?

os520 is the most secure OS ever created.

Window 2k3 Standard Server is like $650...

I'm obviously seeing something wrong here.. can you fill me in on why I would want to use that version?
August 22, 2007 5:19:37 PM

The videos really aren't expensive but think about it this way:

I have to BUY support for Linux. I don't have to buy support for Windows unless I need high end rarely done things.

I don't see how its cost effective that I have to go out and spend that much just for support.

Suffice to say there is no cost benefit to moving to Linux if you require support.

I'm sure it works great, like citrix, in a single office or a couple locations. Everything is on the server which is cool but your backend system has to be high powered.

The average server we put in from IBM costs $100k. We bought a high end system and it was $1.2 million and the thing slows down when select users connect in to do their work.

Hosting everything on the server at a central location is great but when your WAN link goes down, everything drops until that is restore. That is something a lot of companies can't deal with.

So yeah, in a large data center that would work because everyone could work off a thin client for $900 as opposed to a PC costing $1100.

It works great in a canned environment when everyone needs the same software, thus the "data center" environment.

Wal-mart and co can use it because they're a giant datacenter. IBMs are heavily used in retail as well or data collection centers because it doesn't require too much in specialized software.

How would a laptop user do with that when they're unable to get an internet connection back to the system? They can't work because all their information is server based.

It has its flaws, its a canned system for a simplistic environment. Much like IBM, its a niche market and not for a majority.

For example, I have roughly 50 locations all connected by WANs. In order to utilize that system, I'd probably have to end up buying high end servers for each location to host everyone.. probably expensive IBM hardware, I could save a couple hundred on PCs and move to thin clients.

But if I had to buy a service agreement for each location.. that would be expensive.

Overall, with what the videos show, its a niche market and not ideal for a company doing manufacturing or providing a server. Excellent system for data entry though.
August 22, 2007 5:21:48 PM

Still, figuring it out is fairly frustrating.

Novell is pushing Linux just like Microsoft is pushing Windows.

So if someone points out that Microsoft is saying whatever they want about their product (case study) then the same goes for Novell/Linux pushing their own product. :) 
August 22, 2007 7:37:54 PM

Niche market. :)  Supercomputers only?

Show me a market share of businesses. I wasn't aware Microsoft competed in the super computer market.

Its all niche there.. show me practical. There is no doubt that Linux can be customized far more than most of operating systems to do what someone wants. But its all niche markets.

If its so great, why can't it beat out Windows? Honestly, the business model isn't there and its frustrating for people to work with.

I go into plenty of companies where the IT staff is sub-par but they're managing. I don't know too many network admins of linux who would work for $30k a year whereas you can find someone doing Windows admin for that much because it doesn't require as much know-how to make it work.

I think that makes sense eh? Linux requires a stronger technical background than Windows admin, no doubt. There are not enough of those types to go around. I remember back in the late 80s and early 90s working with stuff.. there were few people using computers, running BBSs, etc. because of the technical know-how.

The internet has been made very easy and user friendly. Linux lags here.. Linux could almost be compared to the internet revolution. Its been around for a while but hasn't truly caught on.
a b 5 Linux
August 24, 2007 4:05:52 AM

Desktop use has more than doubled.

http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8454912761.html

Server market share is believed to be about 40-50%.

IBM itself certainly expressed their confidence in Linux by switching a very large number of their systems to Linux.

IBM, HP and Dell all sell Linux systems and are expanding their offerings.

Now that the SCO case is effectively resolved Linux adoption should increase even more.
August 24, 2007 7:12:33 PM

For people with technical knowledge... sure, I agree with you 100%. For the general population though? Good luck. It does make a very reliable OS... but it's learning curve is just too steep for most. I have to search for a guide to help me install ATi drivers in Fedora 7... yet all I have to do in Windows is download and double-click the file.

When Linux becomes that easy to use, that is when you will truly see it take off. Until then, you can expect that it will probably overtake MacOS and probably remain firmly in second place.
August 26, 2007 1:40:53 PM

I run a mixed environment home network (9 computers) and Linux is definitely a winner for me.

Instead of selling my old machines for peanuts, I prefer keeping 'em and recycling them for more specific purposes.

Example:

1) File server running a raid-1 array is an Athlon 850 with 512 megs of RAM running ubuntu with samba file shares. Never had to go to the command-line to get samba running properly and it's been running for months without a single reboot (uptime of 9 1/2 months so far).

Planning on switching from a workgroup to a domain setup soon and learned that you could use samba to operate a windows (NTSAM) type setup.

2) Jukebox PC in the basement (Intel P3-866, 512 megs), same deal. Running Debian this time (wanted to try it). XMMS and Rythmbox for the MP3s. Nothing really out of the ordinary. Works fine.

My main workstation is a dualboot Win2k/ubuntu, with ubuntu being my default OS.

The only time I've really had "pain" with linux was when I wanted to get some old wireless b cards working (Dlink DFE 530 cards) and the only way I could get them working was with the NDIS wrappers. Gave up, plunked a modern DWL G510 card, no more problems.

I knew early on that I had to stick with NVIDIA video cards for driver support so never had any issues there.

Note that I'm still running windows 2000 on some of the machines (IIS/Webserver and a mail server) and find it to be plenty stable and rock solid. Fully patched, using IPSEC policies to keep things plenty secure.

Overall, I've been having a lot of fun playing around with everything.

One thing about the linux command-line is really really fun: rtorrent. It's a command-line bittorrent client and it blows everything else away in terms of performance (and just seeing how things are actually working).

I've been using it instead of azureus on my windows boot and am not turning back. Stable stable stable.

YMMV, but linux works for me.



August 26, 2007 4:36:03 PM

I agree that it works... and that it works great... once you get it set up the way you want. The problem is, getting to that point is the hard part. Once you have everything configured, it's wonderful... but getting to that point can be very frustrating.
a b 5 Linux
August 26, 2007 9:24:52 PM

There is truth in that, however the same is true for any OS.

It can take several days, weeks or even months to get commercial operating systems installed and working especially when installing from scratch.

There is a lot of bad hardware and bad software out there which can make life ****.

Recently I spent almost a week trying to fix a computer with a commercial non-Linux, non-Unix OS which simply refused to connect to the internet properly.

Trying to make any operating system work with incompatible or poorly engineered hardware and software will invariably lead to problems and frustration.

Some wireless devices in particular are still a pain to get working on Linux / BSD and even windoze.
August 27, 2007 1:54:14 PM

Its like driving a well equipped car and a fully loaded car.

They both get the job done. You don't need the fully loaded and you probably wouldn't use half the stuff in it anyway.

They both work.. but the more features, the more complicated it gets when you need to work on something. :) 
September 5, 2007 4:32:25 PM

I agree with Riser and Zoron, 100%! Excellent points, in particular, Riser! It is my sentiment exactly. I have tried to use the most popular Multimedia applications in Linux and have had initial problems with each one. Some are ongoing. Many are not intuitive. I perceive that many Linux users have an elitist attitude and viewpoint. "Hey, I got it to work and it works for me." I can't count high enough to tell you how many times I've read this. Great. Fantastic, right? Tell me what you are doing, though. How long have you used it and what do you do with Linux? How much time do you spend on it? What is your job?

I think there are a lot of intangibles and factors that allow certain people to have 'no problems.' I also think that those same people are not telling you the problems or issues that came up. They were able to get things to work from luck, reading, computer experience or something. If Linux was so easy and user-friendly, it would catch on more. Having something for free works wonders if it's easy or 'just works.'
September 19, 2007 4:48:59 AM

Linux isn't frustrating, it just looks that way because the answers to any problems encountered are not fixed by "CTR + ALT + DEL" or "Format and Reinstall".....

The biggest issue I have seen in the migration process is that users are ignorant of the changes. Windows to Linux, of course things are going to be different. You don't fly planes for 10 years then suddenly jump in a helicopter and expect to be able to fly it properly, or start bitching that helicopters are "more frustrating".

I use Windows at work, because someone pays me to put up with it's shat, I use Linux at home, so I can spend more time doing what I want, not updating my spyware/anti virus, or reformating :) 
September 22, 2007 2:09:40 PM

How can you say Linux isn't frustrating? I guess if your level of patience is high, then it's not. Ummm.... c'mon, seriously...

The fact is, the general learning curve is greater when using Linux. In Windows, even the less tech savvy can get by or get help and a project probably doesn't take as long to get working than a similar task in Linux. If the computer user has been learning the command line and is familiar with commands and the functions, then the difference might be less. But, unless the user is technically inclined and is devoted to taking time learning how to use Linux, Windoze is an easier system to use relatively speaking. This is not to say it's better but the operating systems work differently. I think Linux is worth learning (whereas, in the past, frustrations could provoke different thoughts in that regard) but be aware, the learning curve is different and one has to prepare for totally new exposure to how they use computers.
September 23, 2007 8:09:43 PM

riser said:
Let's stay on topic of level of frustration too fellas. I'm kind of interested in seeing the points come out.

If software is open source, anyone can do anything with it basically. Microsoft being a business also guarentees jobs to those who work for them. Microsoft operates like any other business - they make a product (or steal, whatever) and have people working on it. Open Source has anyone doing whatever.

Zorak stated this perfectly. I strongly believe that if I see Linux on the shelves and they were charging $50 for it and had the business structure and support organized, it would take off. This is not the case.

Nothing in life is free. Anything you get for free generally sucks and that is the mentality.

Case in point: Last year I bought a new range. I took my old, working in good condition, put it out on the curb. It sat there for days. I put a sign on it, $50. It was gone that night. I didn't want to dispose of it, I didn't want money for it. But I got rid of it because I was charging for it.

Free doesn't sell. :) 


While you suggest staying on the topic of frustration, you seem to be straying from it in this same post and maybe the topic is a bit broad to begin with.

It seems like you are validating windows as a superior OS due to MS superior market share. This idea of market share being the basis for acceptance for windows seems like a really REALLY slippery slope. It's a bit like saying "whatever is on the shelf right now is the best because it is on the shelf".

MS does not own computer technology.

MS is a corporation that has no interest in delivering the value and purpose of computer software technology to the consumer. MS cares no more for assisting the user in getting the full use from our technology than McDonald's cares for its food making its customers healthy. MS is rather like a cockroach, eating the consumers demand for a simple way to make the most of computer technology, and **** out products like Vista.

MS has been tried and found guilty of unethical practices of monopoly. MS is proven to be an unethical company.

Now MS has a new OS for everyone. It will require that all software and hardware be in league with MS in order to function. You do the math.

Frustrating? jobs aside, the existence of a corporation aggressively pushing the boundary of monopoly having already once been punished for violating that boundary is inherently frustrating.
a b 5 Linux
September 23, 2007 9:13:10 PM

I agree. Micro**** is in the business of making software obsolete so users are forced to spend $$$$$$$ to upgrade every couple of years.

I find that unethical and incredibly frustrating.

Not to mention the fact you need permission from Micro**** just so you can reinstall your legally purchased DRM laden OS on your PC.
September 25, 2007 5:30:57 PM

I assume neither of you have gained a college/university degree by what you both state. I can say this because both of you completely lack the concept of a business.

Don't ya think the automotive companies can build better cars than they do? But they want you to replace them every 5-7 years.. is the average life time of a car today. Why? To make money.

Since Windows 2000, I have never had to reformat a computer for any reason in Windows. You can't fault spyware and the likes within Windows - Spyware makes money. The best way to make a lot of money is to push your product on the platform that is available - Windows.

I'm not saying Windows is perfect. I have my headaches with it as well.

I have a hard enough time training users to use Winows XP to do simplistic tasks like printing, installing printers, installing programs from a CD.. Do I want to sit down and try to explain to people who to use Linux? No. I need something intuitive.

I work in IT. The fact is this: My job is to remove the burden of technology from the user.

I automate things, I simplify things.. but in the end, I can not do this with everything. Users still need to know what printers they need, what a network drive is, etc.

With Linux, all users will require a higher working level. In business.. again, I assume neither if you have business oriented college degrees, the idea is to give your employees the easier tools to use. They do not need to be the most effective or best, only the easiest to use.

We've toyed with the idea of using Linux at my work. A lot of programs will not function on it due to the software we use. But there are some cases that we could use it... but mixing platforms is not something I recommend in most situations.

When Linux is easier to use and has a business fully behind it, it will succeed. But due to the patent infringements within Linux, this will not happen any time soon. Microsoft can afford to do what they're doing because they have the money backing it up.

Microsoft has been advancing the computer industry faster than any other company or free software out there. 10 years ago hardly anyone had a computer. The elite had them.. people had to know what to do to make them work, where to get programs, etc.

Microsoft made computing easy. That is the simple fact. I used MS-DOS and my friends couldn't understand anything I was doing. Windows came around and it was easier. No one wanted to buy an Apple at the time because honestly, they were junk back then and finding available software in a computer store was fairly hard. I remember those days.
a b 5 Linux
September 25, 2007 6:18:13 PM


Wait a minute here, I believe you can get your point across without personal attacks or questioning our level of education.

Some of the people on this forum have PhDs while others have decades of experience in IT / computer science and related disciplines.

I disagree with your assessment on many levels.


riser said:
I assume neither of you have gained a colleForced obsolescence and DRM are simply unacceptable.ge/university degree by what you both state. I can say this because both of you completely lack the concept of a business.

Don't ya think the automotive companies can build better cars than they do? But they want you to replace them every 5-7 years.. is the average life time of a car today. Why? To make money.

Since Windows 2000, I have never had to reformat a computer for any reason in Windows. You can't fault spyware and the likes within Windows - Spyware makes money. The best way to make a lot of money is to push your product on the platform that is available - Windows.

I'm not saying Windows is perfect. I have my headaches with it as well.

I have a hard enough time training users to use Winows XP to do simplistic tasks like printing, installing printers, installing programs from a CD.. Do I want to sit down and try to explain to people who to use Linux? No. I need something intuitive.

I work in IT. The fact is this: My job is to remove the burden of technology from the user.

I automate things, I simplify things.. but in the end, I can not do this with everything. Users still need to know what printers they need, what a network drive is, etc.

With Linux, all users will require a higher working level. In business.. again, I assume neither if you have business oriented college degrees, the idea is to give your employees the easier tools to use. They do not need to be the most effective or best, only the easiest to use.

We've toyed with the idea of using Linux at my work. A lot of programs will not function on it due to the software we use. But there are some cases that we could use it... but mixing platforms is not something I recommend in most situations.

When Linux is easier to use and has a business fully behind it, it will succeed. But due to the patent infringements within Linux, this will not happen any time soon. Microsoft can afford to do what they're doing because they have the money backing it up.

Microsoft has been advancing the computer industry faster than any other company or free software out there. 10 years ago hardly anyone had a computer. The elite had them.. people had to know what to do to make them work, where to get programs, etc.

Microsoft made computing easy. That is the simple fact. I used MS-DOS and my friends couldn't understand anything I was doing. Windows came around and it was easier. No one wanted to buy an Apple at the time because honestly, they were junk back then and finding available software in a computer store was fairly hard. I remember those days.

September 25, 2007 8:14:04 PM

My point was that people tend to get some business background when attending a college or university. A business takes a product they like and think people will want and they sell it. I'm more likely to buy something if someone is pushing it than if I passively walk by it. Dell pushed Linux a little bit.. not a lot. Guess what? People bought Dells with Linux on them. Amazing.. but Dell doesn't seek to gain a profit doing this.. they end up getting more support calls and require having technical people fluent in Windows and Linux. Not exactly business smart.

Computers and software is a business. Always has, always will be. People can go on toting Linux to be great. That's fine.

Windows is not the greatest. Its the best sold and most widely available because there is a business around it. Linux does not have this.

All of your arguments about Linux are moot when it comes to the simple idea that there is not a business involved.

A couple weeks ago I'm visiting NYC and walking in the metro (subway) and I pass this 20 something year old woman singing. I stop to listen to her.. at first we thought it was on a radio somewhere. She was amazing. Her songs were good, her vocals amazing, and she was pretty darn good with the guitar. But here she is, sitting in a metro station singing trying to make money.

Let's assume she's rude, not refined for public display, etc. This is why she's in the subway. I don't know, didn't really ask her.

Put a business around her, refine her a little bit and I bet she'd sell a ton of CDs and make a bunch of money.

She's Linux. Sitting underground, people who stop and listen like it. But that's as far as it goes.

Give her a manager and expose her to everyone. You'd be surprised at how many people outside of the tech world don't even know Linux exists.

Actually, most of the people who know about Linux are also technical people. Reality is that technical people make up a small percentage of the people using computers today.
a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2007 3:44:24 AM

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I run a mixed environment home network (9 computers) and Linux is definitely a winner for me.


Me too. My desktop has 4 GB RAM and I do programming on it, some of which needs a bunch of RAM. 64-bit Linux is much easier to work with than 64-bit Windows, let me tell you that (and I have worked with Windows XP x64.) Drivers are plentiful and so are 64-bit programs. My laptop also runs Linux, mostly because it doesn't run its pre-installed Windows XP Tablet PC Edition OS worth a darn- it BSODs about every other resume-from-RAM. Nary a hiccup from Ubuntu though, and laptops are supposed to be trouble on Linux but not on Windows. Funny enough, my recently-deceased 5-year-old former laptop also ran XP Professional poorly and run Linux very nicely.

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The only time I've really had "pain" with linux was when I wanted to get some old wireless b cards working (Dlink DFE 530 cards) and the only way I could get them working was with the NDIS wrappers. Gave up, plunked a modern DWL G510 card, no more problems.


I haven't had any issues with wireless on Linux, but then again I have only dealt with an old ORiNOCO 802.11b WLAN card and a couple of Intel units, all of which were widely known to have (and certainly do have) good Linux support.

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I knew early on that I had to stick with NVIDIA video cards for driver support so never had any issues there.


I run an ATi x1900GT in my desktop, which is an R580 and wasn't covered by any Xorg driver. I was warned left, right, and center to stay away from the R500s. But I got it anyway and it works very well- in fact, I replaced an NVIDIA card with it and the ATi driver install was much easier than NVIDIA's, especially WRT dual-head. If I had to say whose GPUs I am disappointed in, it's Intel's. They *finally* fixed the crap where you have to patch the VBIOS, but there are still external monitor issues that never gave me one iota of trouble with ATi or NV drivers.
a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2007 4:11:33 AM

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How can you say Linux isn't frustrating? I guess if your level of patience is high, then it's not. Ummm.... c'mon, seriously...


It is just a different OS than Windows is. Windows has its frustrations, let me tell you. For example, USB drives are *horribly* slow to mount in Windows and often fail to even be seen by the OS, particularly if somebody else had a different USB stick in there before you did.

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The fact is, the general learning curve is greater when using Linux. In Windows, even the less tech savvy can get by or get help and a project probably doesn't take as long to get working than a similar task in Linux.


I won't argue that there is a greater learning curve for Linux. The reason it is like that is not that the OS is inherently harder to use but that there's more functionality and that requires more learning. Windows is a pretty dumbed-down OS compared to Linux- you really can't argue that. MS is a high priest of the Keep It Simple for Stupid (KISS) school of thought, and that certainly shows in their products. So of course it will have a shallower learning curve- there is much less that you can even do with it! Sure, you can tack some of the functionality of Linux onto Windows via third-party tools and hex registry edits, but then its complexity and learning curve steepens quite a bit.

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If the computer user has been learning the command line and is familiar with commands and the functions, then the difference might be less.


You mean, like actually know how to use their computer? Of course, if you know what you're doing on one machine it will be easier to learn another system. I don't mean to sound snarky or be mean, but man, that was a "duh" statement if I ever heard one. And one more thing- the CLI in Windows is significantly different than in Linux or any other *nix. Try using some of the bash/sh/csh commands in Linux and you'll quickly find that out. There are a *few* "compatibility" commands such as "dir" for ex-DOS/Windows users in the *nix shells, but those are few and far between and work like other *nix tools rather than their DOS/Windows equivalents anyway.

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But, unless the user is technically inclined and is devoted to taking time learning how to use Linux, Windoze is an easier system to use relatively speaking.


Ah ha! Learning...that is the key word! Most people use Windows and know at least minimally how to do some rudimentary functions in it. When they sit down at a Macintosh or a Linux box and it is different and they get huffy, they forget that they had to learn how to use Windows too. Watch a real hard-core Mac user who hasn't really ever used Windows machines use one and you'll see about the same grumblings and stumblings as a Windows user sitting down at a Linux machine (or a Macintosh, for that matter.)

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This is not to say it's better but the operating systems work differently.


Bingo! Once you realize that they are different...

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...one has to prepare for totally new exposure to how they use computers.


Couldn't have said it better myself.
a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2007 5:00:56 AM

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Since Windows 2000, I have never had to reformat a computer for any reason in Windows. You can't fault spyware and the likes within Windows - Spyware makes money. The best way to make a lot of money is to push your product on the platform that is available - Windows.


The problem is that the people don't want the product and the method to keep it out- platform security- does not work. That IS MS's fault.

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I have a hard enough time training users to use Winows XP to do simplistic tasks like printing, installing printers, installing programs from a CD.. Do I want to sit down and try to explain to people who to use Linux? No. I need something intuitive.


You already are sitting down and explaining things to users. Apparently the tools you are using are not that intuitive if you have to do this and have "a hard enough time" doing it.

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I work in IT. The fact is this: My job is to remove the burden of technology from the user.


I thought the job of IT is to ensure that the technology is running properly, securely, and utilized to the highest potential to maximize productivity and return on investment, educating users if need be.

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With Linux, all users will require a higher working level. In business.. again, I assume neither if you have business oriented college degrees, the idea is to give your employees the easier tools to use. They do not need to be the most effective or best, only the easiest to use.


I thought the key to a good business is maximum return on investment. An employee is an asset that costs their salary and your return is their output. So things that maximize output are best, so you want the most *efficient* tools. Sometimes these are the easiest ones to use, sometimes not if somebody has to dick around for forever trying to do something that the dumbed-down program won't let them do or do easily.

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We've toyed with the idea of using Linux at my work. A lot of programs will not function on it due to the software we use. But there are some cases that we could use it... but mixing platforms is not something I recommend in most situations.


It all depends on what you mix and where.

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When Linux is easier to use and has a business fully behind it, it will succeed. But due to the patent infringements within Linux, this will not happen any time soon. Microsoft can afford to do what they're doing because they have the money backing it up.


http://www.novell.com
http://www.redhat.com
http://www.canonical.com
http://www.ibm.com

And about the patents, MS hasn't even said what patents are being infringed upon. You have just taken MS's FUD bait hook, line, and sinker if you believe that there are actual legit patents that are being infringed upon. Patent Trolling for Dummies Page 1 says that you have to wave that patent around for everybody to see otherwise you're simply blowing hot air. Page 2 says to sue over the patent infringement. MS hasn't even said what patents are being infringed, so my guess is that there aren't any or they are so weak that there will be none after they are challenged.

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Microsoft has been advancing the computer industry faster than any other company or free software out there. 10 years ago hardly anyone had a computer. The elite had them.. people had to know what to do to make them work, where to get programs, etc.


10 years ago, in 1997, hardly anybody had a computer?! I think you meant "20 years ago." And advancing the computer industry? Lets look at a recent advancement: x86_64. Linux supported it from Day 1 of the Opteron launch. Microsoft? Nope. How about programs and drivers on x86_64? Linux has tens of thousands- pretty much everything that's 32-bit is also 64-bit as well. Many Linux users have 64-bit systems if their hardware supports it. Windows? Programs and drivers are few and far between, which is why few run 64-bit Windows on their 64-bit hardware, something that's been out for FOUR YEARS. About the only part of the computer industry that MS has been responsible for advancing is DRAM manufacturing.

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Microsoft made computing easy. That is the simple fact. I used MS-DOS and my friends couldn't understand anything I was doing.


Didn't Microsoft *make* MS-DOS and yet you say it was hard to understand how to use?

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Windows came around and it was easier. No one wanted to buy an Apple at the time because honestly, they were junk back then and finding available software in a computer store was fairly hard. I remember those days.


Actually, nobody wanted to buy an Apple in the late 1980s and early 1990s because they were godawful expensive. They had a GUI that was phenomenally better than what was in Windows up until Windows 95 came out. Apple knew they had a good product charged out the wazoo for it and led to them getting pushed out of most markets by much cheaper DOS/Windows machines. This led to the Bad Old Days of the late 1990s for Apple, where their products really WERE junk. However, I remember seeing lots of programs for Macintoshes in computer stores back in the DOS days. They really didn't start to become rare until the mid-late 1990s, somewhat after Windows 95 came out. And at that time, the Internet was around and you could just order software online and that made the computer store a moot point (and generally making it go belly-up too.)
September 26, 2007 1:10:27 PM

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I work in IT. The fact is this: My job is to remove the burden of technology from the user.
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I thought the job of IT is to ensure that the technology is running properly, securely, and utilized to the highest potential to maximize productivity and return on investment, educating users if need be.


If the burden of technology is not on the user, they'll be less likely to install something they shouldn't like spyware. By removing that burden, the system is more secure and less required knowledge on the user. Should they end up on a site and get prompted to install, or click on a "Win a free car" link, etc. That is unquestionable.

Highest potential to maximize productively goes hand in hand with removing the burden of technology on a user. If things are streamlined, less for them to know how to do and we create push button monkeys. :)  They don't need to know command lines or have a sound understanding of the computer system. This also keeps the system more secure.

Not to mention all the side work going into actually securing from other threats and such - I'm referring to the end user.

When a user's position is an Accountant or something far from the computer field, I don't expect them to really understand a computer. I expect them to know how to use one for the most part but in no way should anyone expect them to know how to really use it. Their job is not to know computers but to do accounting.

Too often I meet IT individuals who expect their users to know a little too much about computers. Understand that people are burdened enough learning and staying up to date with their job, let alone keeping up to date with the ever changing computer technologies and threats out there. In fact, if it wasn't like that, IT most likely wouldn't be such a major factor in any business using computers.

Now, as far as sitting down with users to explain things. Yes, I am already explaining to a user who has no clue how to use a computer. As far as I am aware, over the 4,000 people my computer employs, not a single person outside of IT has mentioned Linux. I speak to a large portion of our employees; I've had some crazy requests come in but never has a single person said they wanted Linux. Why? Most likely they don't even know it exists. One thing is certain, every person in my company uses a computer. This is not only in my company but in every company I am aware of.

The college I went to used Novell and years ago I almost went to get my CNA but passed it up seeing it was dying off. Only makes sense Novell jumps on with Linux as they had no where else to go.

1997.. computers weren't as popular as what you may recall. While most IT related people most likely had a computer, try asking someone if they remember using Windows 95. Windows 95 made computing easier but not everyone jumped and bought a computer. 1997 the boom for people buying cheaper computers started - by 1999 computers were very common place but still, Windows 98. That was a long time ago.

As far as MS-DOS and MS making computer easy - re-read my statement. MS-DOS was good. Then Windows 95 came and put a GUI to it and made it easier for everyone to use. MS made computing easy and brought it to the masses. No question about that, period.. obviously the market share reflects this statement.

I give Linux a few more years before it starts to really take off. 3 years and I think Linux will become a more feasible operating system. Windows XP support will be fading away, Vista may not be as appealing, Linux will have come a long way.

I've read the success stories from people switching from Windows to Linux. I've also read them the other way around. To each their own but the cost benefit of switching from Windows to Linux doesn't appeal to most companies.

I could go into simple math to show how the cost comparision of Linux to Windows is pointless.. and its very simple at that. Basically, the Linux examples always assume the person is buying an Retail copy at the highest cost, not the true cost of what Windows would be. So don't bother arguing the cost. The cost of training a user and getting them acquainted to a new system would far exceed any benefit.


September 28, 2007 4:12:01 AM

MU, you nailed some really good points there... This has been the most interesting read of my day :D  The point about a Windows user jumping on a Mac and grumbling is a classic example, and it's dead right!
September 29, 2007 12:58:40 PM

Quote:
I won't argue that there is a greater learning curve for Linux. The reason it is like that is not that the OS is inherently harder to use but that there's more functionality and that requires more learning. Windows is a pretty dumbed-down OS compared to Linux- you really can't argue that.


Why would anyone want to argue that unless they emotionally tied to their Windows OS?

I think Riser was getting at that in the rationale about the business environment. To play devil's advocate, a lot of corporations and high-tech businesses use Linux on their servers. So, I've heard. linux_0 listed companies as well.

But, I think Riser is talking about (I could be mistaken but allow me to assume this one time) basic offices in businesses. In virtually every business, there is some office (even factories) and they have computers in there. Most of the time, they'll be computers running a Windows OS. Why? Because, they're relatively easy (compared to Windows). There could be problems or issues and they might need outside help or a tech expert at times to fix it. But, Linux would be an entire new world for these offices. Dare I say it would be exponentially harder to use and maintain? I know Linux is a big deal in Europe but how many are used in offices? I read several articles and in them, they were constantly debating what was easiest, to set up a Windows OS server network or have the place set up for Linux. Other than the networking and re-training, the concerns include location and installation of drivers in Linux. Not to mention hardware compatibility. Even if Linux is not at fault here, I suggest that it's a serious issue, nevertheless.
October 1, 2007 12:39:56 AM

Nice post Canuck, just want to pipe in with a bit of my own experience here from the company I work for.

All the basic office needs can easily be covered by a Linux installation, but a much, much lower reduction in costs. A simple Ubuntu installation, with Open Office, FireFox and K-RDC installed, this covers all the needs of my staff. I see this being a cheaper option then our windows setup as we pay around $120 per year/per computer for AV/AS software, This equates to around $10000 per year. A lot of money being wasted really, something we could spend on upgrading our hardware with each year...

I know this won't work for every situation, but for my workplace, an Ubuntu installation would benefit us financially, the only problem, and reason this hasn't gone ahead is, that we have invested a lot of money into Windows XP and Microsoft Office copies that it would be a waste of prior investment to stop using them, even though it costs us a lot of money to stick with it...

I would also prefer an Ubuntu installation because it locks down a lot of the problems that I constantly deal with, like staff installing programs they shouldn't, fiddling with settings they don't know about and general Windows crashes... It means I can stop wasting time on trivial crap, and focus on more important things.

Anyway, just my little story :D 
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