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 PostPost subject: Linux etc: What's the real benefit?        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:25 am 
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I really dont want a flame war or anything pointless, if you are going to post such things, click the "back" button now.

I was pondering last night, back to the time I installed Linux onto an old computer, and played with it.

Now it's came into my head:

What's The Real Advantage?

I am asking this as a question from ordinary computer users, such as myself, not to some developer or linux geek.

Really, it's free and all, but who buys a PC with linux pre-installed theese days? No-one I know. Open-Source? Again, do we really need to modify an operating system, like how many ordinary people (or "noobs" as you may call them) need that? How many Linux games/programs are in a PC shop or game shop? People go and buy stuff for Windows or Mac, without much thought. Pop in the CD, keep clicking "Next" "I accept" "next" etc and they have that new game they wanted.

So what I am trying to say, for those of you who try and convert everyone to use Linux and Open Source over commerical products, why? I really don't see an advantage (to the average person). Open Source is not really an advantge to must people, do you get open source TV's, open source bread, open source oranges, open source food's, or free everything? Nope. You have to pay to get things in real life, the same for computers.

Then, there are you who slag off, or hate Microsoft, again I see no reason. It's a big company, yes, but aimed at people who just use a computer as a tool, not as a way of life or treat it like a god. Its why I never type "M$". They are an honest company who make honest products and make an honest profit. I really would rather pay £'s for Microsoft Office than use some Open Office crap. (Yes, MS have security holes and all, and their flaws, but don't we all? Dosen't everything?) Oh, and as for you who forced MS Office to go XML or whatever, thanks ever so much. Now my friends with sparkling new PC's can't open their homeworks on the schools computers.

So in the short run:
Don't give grandma Linux.
Microsoft is a big company, that's all.
Open sorce is not better to most people.

Oh, and don't post lots of negative comments about this, I am asking a question and expecting a civil answer.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:43 am 
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In my opinion, Linux can be modified/simplified for a non-techie, as It is on the Eee-pc or the XO Laptop for underdeveloped countries. Sometimes, the cost (or lack thereof) can also be a deciding factor for a family without a pc on a budget (like the walmart $200 PC). Just my 2 cents. :)

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:44 am 
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The only difference is that if you want to change something in the way the software works, you can. That is all.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:07 pm 
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With Linux you can tap into the limitless power of community!

And I agree with pr0gram the pr0grammer - it's nice to be able to change parts of the program.

And it's legally free, compared to paying for a Windows license that only works on one machine (unless you go Volume Licensing, which is for large companies, etc).

And it's easier to change out components - one machine could be only server utilities (httpd, mysqld, php, etc), another could be your desktop (X server, KDE, OpenOffice, Firefox, etc), and another could be a programming machine (nano, vi, gcc, etc).
With Windows it's more bloat for one platform - your desktop setup would have IIS, Computer Management (some stuff isn't needed), your server would have Office utilities and other games, and your development box would have it all and then have to install the heavyweight Visual Studio to get any real Windows programming done.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:18 pm 
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I use linux, but I use xp and even vista as well. I use linux mainly on old systems, where MS-compatibility dosent count either because the system is too old to run w2k+office2k3 anyways, or because I know, the system wont be used to other things than surfing, watching movies and downloading stuff. I recomend to use linux on such systems, because it is an up-to-date and modern operating system, witch can take more advantage of the hardware, than an ancient w98se. In the meaning of advantage I mean a better GUI, like a p200 can look and feel like a MacOS, or Vista, or something completely different, but comfotrable environtement instead of buggy old w98, witch lets you see BSoD every day. Now about Linux, yes, it can freeze. But much less, and not without a reason, and even if the GUI is frozen, you just press Ctrl+Alt+Bckspc, and 20 second later you can continue to work, no restart needed. If an old config is used to sufring the web, you'll need an antivirus, witch may make the system much slower, if not even unusuable. Under linux, no such problems. As for me I used Linux instead of w98 for years, because it was fast enough on my P166 at the time to play DivX, when w98 was way too slow for it.

Now using linux as a main operating system has completely different reasons, since no hardware-limitation is in the way. As for me, I prefer programming under linux, because i just like the gcc-way better, than a huge xyz-builder-environtement. Its personal preferance. If you dont want to play with the newest games, there is no big difference between modern operating systems. You may want to use Linux, because it can look fancyer than vista or MacOS. Or you may want to use it, because you prefer such sript-down systems, witch may look dull, but wont use a 0.0001% of your C2Duo CPU. Or you want to use a custom operating system on your HTPC, witch loads fast and only contains functions what you need. Or you may be just dont want to use a pirate OPsys, but dont want to pay your monthly salary on an OPsys, when you can get one free, witch can even look better, and you wont play with Crysis on an iGMA X3100 anyways. And even if you use Linux as a main system, you can still install a second operating system to play with Crysis, so why not?

About industrial users again a completely different perspective comes in. How about this: You are the government of a small country, you has 100000 office PC-s across the country for administrative purposes, all running Winxp and Office2k3. Now there is a company, witch has enough money to buy your whole country 3 times, producting the very software witch you use for everything. If that company says, your operating system wont be supported next year, and you has to buy new PCs to run the new software, witch will be the only compatible alternative, and the old one will be abandonned, covered with security holes and tons of bugs, you may want to find a way to be independent from this company. Like a product, witch wont need new hardware for new versions, witch stays compatible, youll only has to pay to reeducate the employes (you has to do that in the previous case as well), and the softwarwe itself is free, the security holes are pached within a few days, most cases within a few hours, and much less virus and spyware is out there for it. Since you wont play with games, wont use weird noname hardware, I can find no drawbacks for not to use the alternative. XML is needed to be able to use alternative software, not to be tied to Microsoft.

As for Open Source it is different than Free Product. Open Source means, you can make compatible products to the said one, since you knows how it works. An open source mobile phone will probably have more addons but ofcourse the phone itself wont be free (like neo 1973). An open source dishwasher can be serviced with cheaper noname parts. An open source orange can be eaten by a martian as well.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:36 pm 
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Preference. Maybe some people prefer not to run Windows?

As of right now, GNU/Linux (and any BSD variant) is better off for Servers, but it's /not/ a bad desktop. There's a lot of nice and interesting applications out there and there's a lot that's pure crap.

I don't mind Windows XP at all, Windows Vista less so. With all the crap I see rumored for next generation Windows versions (which could be true, or could be nothing but trolls), I wouldn't be surprised if I switched away from Windows entirely. I don't agree with some of the decisions of Microsoft (WGA, DX10 for Vista Only, all the other Windows Vista Only crap, et cetera). If I still want to run XP I should be able to, and still be able to receive the latest updates just like Vista gets (talking feature updates here).

However, Microsoft isn't the only one guilty of the whole scheme, the Free Software Foundation seems to like to base their foundation on politics, rather than computing, which I deem wrong (hence why Atheme came about).

Really, choose what you like, and stick with it. If it was all in my control, everything would be cross platform.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:42 pm 
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Quote:
What's The Real Advantage?

If you don't see it, you don't need Linux or another exotic OS ...

The Bio-Diversity Advantage: running an exotic OS on exotic CPU arch (ex: BeOS on powerpc) can protect you from virii.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:02 pm 
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For an average user, there is no advantage.

Go to a high street computer shop, and buy a wifi adapter... people want it to just work, maybe install the CD, then plug it in. They dont expect to have to download and compile some hackish source code to emulate a windows driver, to have a wifi adapter that will only support WEP if they're lucky, and thats after theyve recompiled their kernel :)

Should that same user eventually get their wifi adapter working sucessfully, they decide to walk into a games store and purchase the latest chart games...but wait...they all require windows/mac :( their only options are to play minesweeper or whatever came with their distro, or try and emulate (oh sorry, WINE is not an emulator :D ) windows, which at the moment is by no means a working solution.

The problem is because its open source, there are so many differences and variants between distros, hence the manufacturers cant support them all. That and the fact that something like 3% of PCs run linux, and theyre probably mostly servers :)

Until people can go to PC World (or whatever the high street pc shop is called near you) and pick something off the shelves knowing that it supports linux fully, Windows will always win.

Just my 2p :)


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:29 pm 
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My question is what's the advantage of a proprietary pay OS for the average user (defined as the person who listens to music, browses the web, sends e-mails, and word processes)? Each OS can do each thing equally well. The only difference is cost.

Linux doesn't provide an advantage to the average user, but nor does MS. If you're into gaming, then you'll need Windows, but gamers don't represent the mass of computer users.

And just because you pay for it, doesn't make it better.

And why the hate against open source? So what if you have to pay for that toaster, that doesn't mean you have to pay for software if the program/company decides to release it for free, and it doesn't mean it's worse than a pay version from another company.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:46 pm 
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Ambig wrote:
My question is what's the advantage of a proprietary pay OS for the average user ...


Because it has about 95% of the market share in operating systems currently. Thats the reason people use it.

http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/coffee ... users.html

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:09 pm 
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No more (where the hell did I put that license number when you must re-install).
No more rebooting because of daily updates.
No more leaving your computer on all night to perform the afore mentioned maintenance routines so you can use your computer for stuff you actually want to do during the day.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:08 pm 
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Ambig wrote:
My question is what's the advantage of a proprietary pay OS for the average user (defined as the person who listens to music, browses the web, sends e-mails, and word processes)? Each OS can do each thing equally well. The only difference is cost.

Linux doesn't provide an advantage to the average user, but nor does MS. If you're into gaming, then you'll need Windows, but gamers don't represent the mass of computer users.

And just because you pay for it, doesn't make it better.

And why the hate against open source? So what if you have to pay for that toaster, that doesn't mean you have to pay for software if the program/company decides to release it for free, and it doesn't mean it's worse than a pay version from another company.


Ambig++

Hence why Dell is releasing PC's with Ubuntu and WalMart is releasing PC's with a google application branded Linux OS (gOS, for "Good OS"), for the average user who wants it for basic usage).

There shouldn't be any hate towards open source. Lots of people put hard work into it, and don't get paid, or rely on donations, but put that towards resources required for their operations to run.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:46 pm 
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The real point here is that a computer is a tool to do a job. All software exists---including operating systems---to make it easier for somebody to do that job.

Linux has features which make it better suited for some people to accomplish some jobs than Windows. Windows has lots of software available for accomplish lots of different jobs, and that is its major strength. Macintosh has software available to accomplish many of the same jobs; some people find that the software tools to do those jobs which exist for Macintosh help them be more effective than their counterparts which exist for Windows. That is why they use Macintosh. The same thing goes for Linux, Unix, and a million other types of computer systems.

That said, there are lots of people who, like for example my mother, are using computers, but do not have any particular need for the computer to solve any sophisticated or difficult problem. For them, the computer is a convenience and little more. They could use Linux, but it does nothing in particular to help them that Windows doesn't also do.

Thought exercise: SGI stopped being relevant not so much because PCs caught up in power, but because they failed to maintain a healthy library of sophisticated graphic software tools.

Corollary: Apple started being relevant again because they took control of their software tools situation and began to make sure that usable, useful tools were available for people to accomplish tasks more efficiently than with other software tools available for other platforms at the time. i.e., Final Cut, DVD Studio, iTunes, etc.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:26 pm 
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I believe people value different things, which is why divisions e.g. OS choice exist.

As for me, since I found out that O2k7 will soon likely be possible to run in WINE I'd move to linux if an iTunes 7 (not 6-) clone was released with automated file and folder management, and a library view which showed the image embedded in the ID3 tags beside each album. At the moment I use what does what I want the way I want it done.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:41 am 
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I use a computer alot...but Linux... I just dont like it... Seriously its not that hard to get a Microsoft or Apple OS these days...

In my opinion Linux will never be popular to the degree of Windows and Mac OS. Never ever.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:22 am 
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Never say never and forever.
In this world, nothing can be absolute.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:23 am 
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Lets look at it from this point of view.

Say your the CEO or chairman for a big company, you want your employees to be effective and efficient. You need things done now, and you don't have time to waste. You don't have time to make sure everything works, and everything is up-to-date. Your servers use Red Hat Enterprise Linux and your desktops/workstations use Xandros Desktop Professional. Your team is responsable for working on a company project, one of your computers have Windows XP installed (bad example, but work with me here). The power goes out, you don't have shadow copy enabled, and you don't have a backup of your files from Windows. "Oh noes!".

OK, maybe that wasn't the greatest of examples, but it proves a point. Linux can be more robust then Windows in some cases more then others.

I use Windows and Linux for various tasks, depending on what I am doing.


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