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jawtheshark's Journal: Windows 3 : Linux 0 28

Journal by jawtheshark
So those AC's recommended Mandrake in my last journal. I gave in and downloaded the 3 CD's. (have you got any idea how many CD-R's I spoiled on this machine?)

Installation nice, even though I told it to install as "developping machine", the kernel source wasn't installed. I had to add it later. There was no easy online-software-fetcher because you have to pay for that (not that I blame them) Everything seems to be up and running.
Setting up the NVidia drivers was the usual pain, switching back to runlevel 3 and executing the script (where it told me that the kernel source wasn't there). Anyways, I got it runnning somehow... at least I see the NVidia logo on bootup.

CD Burning goes with K3B, didn't bother with a DVD. Audio extraction is at 1x speed at best, just like in SuSE. Why? I'll better not ask.

DVD playback disabled like on any system: I didn't bother to investigate.

Anyways, it seemed like a pretty decent system. (No firefox and no thunderbird... geez... didn't bother installing them after what I found). Since I played newbie, I looked around for nice applications. SuperTux is a fun SuperMario clone, and Chromium is a great shooter.
Still, I was playing newbie and found a thing called "Rosegarden". Scccchweeet! A QBase-like thingy! SmilingGirls uncle is going to be delighted... At least that's what I thought. I found out that Mandrake didn't setup Midi playback. Even after fiddling around several hours and seaching the web for solution, I have never gotten the soundcard to output any Midi sound. In all fairness: I didn't even try Midi-playback in both Ubuntu and SuSE, but you know how this goes: I find the proggy in the default menus and then I expect it to work out of the box! Heck, even on my Microchannel Soundblaster v1.0 in Win3.1, Midi worked just fine.

Linux fanboys, one of your peers tried Linux and came to the conclusion: no, it isn't ready for the desktop. At least not for Joe-End-User. I personally might live with those few problems, but Joe Newbie won't. This is why Bill Gates is rich and Linux is only used by a few Geeks who *think* they know what computers should be used for.
Perhaps I am not an unbiased person to compare Windows with Linux: after all I've been using several Windows variant since over ten years. My Linux experience only goes back significantly since 2000 (I had a laptop running Peanut Linux and it did everything, I wanted it to do) Perhaps someone with a 10 year experience with Linux would have a different outcome.

I will post to tell you if I got any significant problems onder WinXP Pro with this machine. Perhaps I just chose crappy hardware and it won't work under Windows either.

(Posted in Konqueror on Mandrake Linux Official 10.1)

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Windows 3 : Linux 0

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  • Linux fanboys, one of your peers tried Linux and came to the conclusion: no, it isn't ready for the desktop. At least not for Joe-End-User.

    You may well be right. But I'll tell you this much: neither is Windows. The amount of parental technical support I'm doing at the moment just isn't sane (and not just for my own parents, either). Were Windows the answer, they would be able to do simple things like check their email, write a letter, or mess with some figures in a spreadsheet without running into problem

    • I agree.... Completely, because I have the same support nightmare. Hey, I started installing XP on that machine: it asked me about partitioning and I lost 8Meg by default. Why? No idea, it really shouldn't.

      For the rest it forces you so much to use Microsoft software that it really is not sane either. It promted me for a Microsoft Passport? Why? I don't use it and I'll install other tools for SmilingGirls uncle.

      What I meant by it is that I can make Windows run suffiently well in order that most user

      • I would have loved to have my first real Linux user instead of the hordes of Windows users that I support.

        I have mine. So far, the machine hasn't seen heavy use, so the real test still lies ahead, but it's going well for now. I've given her a dual boot, just in case there are things that she really can't do under Linux. But I'd really like to do everything I can to ensure she doesn't have to resort to that option.

        I'm gonna load it with OpenOffice and that's it. Okay, VLC, iTunes, Acrobat Reader, perha

        • Question: how do you know that she doesn't boot in Windows? My experience is that Dual Boot setups will trigger that behaviour.

          Yep.... VNC server. Forgot that one. It's not that important, since everybody lives less than 50km away. I have done that before, it is very useful.

    • I will go so far as to say that general purpose computers are not ready for the unassisted novice.
      What they need is a set-top box with embedded browser, email client and very simple wordprocessor.
      • Wasn't that what they wanted to do with WebTV? Anyways: you know that this will never have success because their technical able friends will say "it's less powerful than a PC... buy a PC". People don't like to buy "the less powerful thing".
  • But for intelligent, computer-oriented people who want power, control, and freedom. Windows gives me WAY more grief on a daily basis than Linux....

    I saved $15,000 last month on a project on software alone by using Linux on an old 486 and it winds up more stable, more powerful, and less work to maintain than a dual-processor Windows version.

    If you're going to try to make the case that it's not ready for your mom or your dad, you're arguably going to win--even though my dad is now using it and he's not the
    • The linux crowd has to reverse engineer it and in the process, they make an incredibly better product usually.

      I would argue "sometimes" or "occasionally" not "usually". The poster child for what they do wrong is the wireless drivers for some chipset that I had, where the top of the official site's webpage was a long juvenile screed about how you should NEVER use ndisdrivers. Never mind that their drivers didn't work worth a damn....

      While one example doesn't counter your "usually", I have to say that unl

    • I understand your point. I wouldn't have used Linux on that 486 but OpenBSD... much leaner. However, we're talking server there and a server doesn't need a soundcard, doesn't need burning: a server needs stability, performance and easy maintenance (remotely over SSH, thank you very much).

      Linux has been there for the server since 2000, at least. My argument was for the Desktop so what you said doesn't matter at all.

      Does your dad play music (MIDI) on his machine? Does he burn CD's or DVD's? Does he pl

      • However, we're talking server there and a server doesn't need a soundcard, doesn't need burning: a server needs stability, performance and easy maintenance

        So why you railing against linux on the desktop then? It's not for the freaking desktop...although it works fine for me.

        My dad doesn't play DVDs and you can hardly fucking blame linux for that. Thank the bastard ass music fucking industry for that lack of development. ASSHOLES.

        It's one of the better servers out there and I happen to use it 80% of t
        • I don't blame Linux for lacking DVD playback. DVD playback on Windows is crappy too. You will be delighted to read this [slashdot.org]. It is indeed the fucking Movie Industry that has brought us in this situation.

          Your dad doesn't watch DVDs on his computer and most normal people don't. They all have a DVD player attached to their TV. BUT, I want it to function for the eventuality that somebody would try to watch a DVD on his computer. If he tried it, it should work because the hardware supports it.

          I'm glad f

  • I've had the same problem not getting the source installed when I ask politely with Mandrake. There was some online package fetcher thing with the last version I used, but it wasn't even nice for me to use, much less what I'd consider newbies would think is nice.

    Sorry it came down to that. Not sure what else to comment upon.

    • Let's just say that you agree with most I have said in the last three journal entries. I'm still going to try Linux on my own machines (Ubuntu is still on my Dual machine), but I'll bite my tongue before thinking to install it on a machine for a relative.

      It is sad that I had to come to that conclusion, but it is the way it is.

      • Yup, I agree for the most part. It's certainly to the point where I think it's good enough for my desktop, and has been there for over a year on my primary machine now. I think in a controlled corporate environment where users don't get to make decisions it's probably fine as well. For the relative that wants a little more than just word processing, email, and web, well, there's still a little work to do.
  • Yay!

    Anyway...

    Installation nice, even though I told it to install as "developping machine", the kernel source wasn't installed. I had to add it later.

    Yeah, there's a option to select the kernel sources somewhere in the install. They assume that a developer wouldn't be coding for the kernel by default, a safe assumption imho, but yeah, I agree that it should install the kernel sources by default.

    There was no easy online-software-fetcher because you have to pay for that

    There's a program called apt-get
    • JtS: DVD playback disabled like on any system: I didn't bother to investigate.

      Kormoc: Install xine, enjoy.

      It's not as easy as that. First you need to install libdvdcss2 from a PLF source. Then you can watch with xine, totem, etc.
      • Actually, to be really correct: install VLC and you're done. It probably includes libdvdcss2 with its code, but if you install VLC, DVD playback works immediately.

        I even use it on Windows, because all commercial DVD players are utter crap. I once wrote a journal about it: in Windows, PowerDVD wanted me to disable TV-Out in order to play DVD's on my computer screen. Braindead. Here it is [slashdot.org]

    • First: Thanks for the email you sent. It had been read, but since I've nearly only been using the machine I've been installing, I never took any time to reply to any of my email.

      I didn't know about apt-get-rpm... Oh, well, too bad now.

      I have never used ATI cards. I heard that the drivers are even quite flaky in Windows. I didn't know ATI had binary drivers. Hmmm... Well, okay, installing the NVidia drivers isn't that of a pain. It can be done by someone who knows something about computers. Still it

  • I agree with most of what you say, windows is just easier. I've tried to make the switch several times over the last few years, but end up getting stumped by little annoyances along the way that would be non-issues in windows. My webserver at the moment for instance is running Windows Me.

    However, I recently started playing around with Mepis and have found it to do almost everything I need for day to day stuff. Before it I tried and discarded, Knoppix, Red Hat Fedora, SuSe9. I know at this stage you're not g

    • My webserver at the moment for instance is running Windows Me.

      Now you're trolling, right? Is there anyobody that uses ME voluntary? Wow... ;-)))

      Mepis? I'll take a look at that in my next vacation. (Yeah, I got a week off... it was quite clear that I had a week off, since I invested so much time in this machine)

  • Every six months or so, I try installing a recent Linux distro, and each time it comes up lacking.

    If there's one spot OSS generally suffers it's usability. More than once, I've submitted UI critiques and been told to fuck off unless I can patch it. I'm not a fantastical programmer, but I've got a good eye for how the standard end user will see and think. Unfortunately, most OSS teams don't see that as a useful skill.

    There's also the me-too problem - making second rate copies of popular apps and calling
    • There's also the me-too problem - making second rate copies of popular apps and calling it an alternative. Sorry, but GIMP and OpenOffice just don't cut it yet.

      They do cut it... but not on quality. On price ;-) GIMP is very nice for the bit of graphic editing that I do. I used the latest version of OpenOffice in order to compile the people we will invite for the wedding. (In the Excel clone). It is more than sufficient for that. Power users probably need more, but both in the Office and the Graphi

  • Cypher: Yeah, I need an exit fast.

    [..]

    Morpheus: Do you want to know what IT is? The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
    Neo: What truth?
    Morpheus: That you are a slave , Neo.

    Incidently, Mr Anderson works for a techie compa
    • Cypher: You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?

      [Takes a bite of steak]

      Cypher: Ignorance is bliss.

      Rephrasing: Cypher knows what Linux is. It's hard, it isn't the friendliest environment. He realised that being a slave in a good environment can be an acceptable choice if the alternative is being chased like a rat, but being free.
      Yes, we used to call it i



      • Yes, we used to call it illiteracy. Have you seen a kid read these days? I think not. Civilisation is going down the drain.


        But then there are those who are called 'teacher' that bring knowledge to the people.. welcome to idealismus

        • Ouch... Nice stab indeed... :-(

          • Don`t take it personal. Civilisations come and go, and the new ones can overcome the problems of older ones if people who teach bring insight in those who need it. We should be thankfull people teach, and you can be proud of what you do. It`s much more importante than you probably imagined when you took that job. :)

            And I admire you for doing it, too!

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken

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