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Linux Annoyances For Geeks 445

Taran Rampersad writes "Every now and then, someone comes up with a fun title. 'Linux Annoyances for Geeks' is a definitely fun - and accurate - title for this book. While some people have been fiddling with Linux since it first came out, the majority of Linux users haven't been. I started using Linux in the late 90s, and my work schedule didn't allow me to go to meetings, or track down people who knew things. And the first time you do an install on a machine, you may be disconnected from the very information that gets you connected. Been there, done that. So this book attracted me because despite being an advocate of Free Software and Open Source, there are times when I still type very naughty things on the command line. Read the rest of Taran's review.
Linux Annoyances For Geeks
author Michael Jang
pages 484
publisher O'Reilly
rating 8/10
reviewer Taran Rampersad
ISBN 0-596-00801-5
summary Answers to intermediate questions for Linux users.

Most of the time, I had fiddled with a previous install and gotten it the way I wanted it to work — when I had to do it again with a different install, I'd forgotten how I did it in the first place. There have been times, honestly, where I didn't even know. Fortunately, life has become better. There are books now. Some even come with Linux distributions, and there's plenty of documentation online that you can print out in advance when you go install things on your only connection to the Internet.

But there aren't that many books that really deal with the things that are annoyances, because the annoyances usually come from the late phone calls or the unanswered emails on a list. That's what this book is supposed to be for.

In reading this book, I caught myself nodding a lot. Not to sleep, mind you, but the, "I've seen that before" nod. The descriptions of the desktop environments, GNOME and KDE, started me nodding. Here's an idea of what the book covers:

Configuring a Desktop Environment: There's a great section on KDE and GNOME in here that starts the book off with a bang. Custom login menus, configuring standard backgrounds, desktop icons, oversized desktops and undersized monitors, Naughty mouse syndrome, Naughty users mess up the desktops, the infamous 'broken CD/DVD' problem, No GUI Syndrome, user downloads causing problems and ... sound. This chapter isn't one that I really had personal use for, but when people start asking questions — this is where they start. Great reference material here for desktop-finicky users.

Configuring User Workstations: Backing up data with rsynch and cron explained (where was this in 1999?), 'lost' files, 'lost' data... this chapter is one of my favorites, because people keep asking me about stuff like this. And dealing with Windows folks who complain that there's no ZIP — well, I wish I heard more of that.

Optimizing Internet Applications: I think that optimizing Internet applications is probably one of the largest problems out there, but I haven't really heard anyone ask about any of this. It's very strange. I think the world would be a better place if people read this chapter — from getting Firefox to work properly, sorting email into folders (yes, you can do that...), this covers a lot of ground in a very short space. My personal favorite was converting data from Outlook, which I have never done. Hidden in there are some tips on dealing with Microsoft Exchange Servers.

Setting Up Local Applications: This chapter focuses a lot on getting that irate I-am-new-to-Linux-and-I-want-my-toys person happy. It's filled with converting goodness, PDF inoculations and points you at the cure. And for those users who want movie players, there's something in here for them as well.

Installation Annoyances: This is probably the part of the book that will see the most use. There's a quote in here that I love: "Any A+ certified technician can list the hardware components on a computer. A Linux geek can cite the compatible components, such as the chipsets associated with a specific wireless card. He can use this information to compile the most efficient kernel for his system." So true. This chapter points you at the right resources and walks you through planning an installation. Which is priceless, even as a reminder for geeks.

Basic Start Configuration: Long boot times, bootloader issues, the ever-present dual-booting problems, the 'boot reboot repeat' problem, and my personal favorites, "I lost the password for Root!" and "My Server is So Secure that I can't log in as root". This chapter is pure gold.

Kernel Itches and Other Configuration Annoyances: Kernel upgrades, recompiles, kernel panic, 'file not found' boot error, NFS and Samba directory walkthroughs, and the infamous 'regular users can't mount the CD/DVD. Let's not forget dealing with Microsoft formatted partitions.

System Maintenance: Corrupted Partitions, emergency backups when the hard drive is knocking, small /home directories, slow hard drives, Update Repositories (not to be confused with User Suppositories), Dependency Hell solutions with yum and apt... platinum chapter for the troubleshooters out there.

Servicing Servers: Service Options, enabling downloading of files and , email issues when it is down, 'lost-printer syndrome', the BIND and growing network issue and the 'Windows Computers aren't on the network' issue. All rolled up here in Chapter 9.

User Management: Just about everything you would need to know about administering users, from special groups to keeping former employees from accessing the server, to securing the user (without duct tape).

Administration Tips: A lot of good things here for administrators; my personal favorite being configuring the Linux Gateway. Lots of great stuff in here.

For the life of me, I don't know why Chapter 5, Installation Annoyances, isn't Chapter 1. That seems to be where I've spent the most time helping other people out. The good news is that because it is where it is, the book stays open by itself here. Still, I think that might scare someone walking in while you're troubleshooting an installation. They might wonder what the 173 pages before installation problems was about. In fact, that could be funny... That's about the only thing that I could say I think is a bit off about the book, but perhaps that's by design. It's not a bug, it's a feature!

One of the things I liked most about this book was the fact that the chapters aren't named for the solutions; they are named by the problems. So when you're having a problem, you can find the solution.

Overall, this book meets the criteria for being next to my monitor, for quick reference in helping people out (including the worst one, me!). I haven't had the opportunity to use it's contents yet for Ubuntu, but since the book's solutions include Debian, they should work fine. As the author says in the preface, "The solutions are designed for three of the more prominent Linux distributions: Fedora Core, SUSE, and Debian." It would be interesting to see how it does with the Mandriva distribution.

In the Linux world, there are those that read and there are those that bleed. Those that bleed write what others read. This book was written in blood. It allows the leaders, the bleeders and the readers a means of finding their way around some of the annoyances that crop up. It does so in a well written manner which is well thought out, and amusing when you'll need to be amused.

( Original review on

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Linux Annoyances For Geeks

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  • Re:#1 solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:22PM (#15534870) Homepage
    Remember that if someone is going to RTFM, someone else needs to WTFM first....

    and hopefully, do a good job, to boot...

  • by Sheetrock ( 152993 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:29PM (#15534918) Homepage Journal

    The secret is to spend less time complaining and more time reading.

    Of course a different operating system will act differently than the one you're used to. That's kind of the point. Treat it as something unique rather than as an inferior version of your current platform and you'll get farther.

  • Re:#1 solution (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:29PM (#15534929)
    in the vast majority of cases, I can't /find/ that manual.
  • by SparkEE ( 954461 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:32PM (#15534948)
    You missed his point. He isn't saying that being "done" makes something a Product, but that being together and ready to use does. To continue his analogy, when you buy a car, you're handed a key. If that car were some linux distros, you'd be handed a large box of parts and told there's a manual online somewhere to put it all together, and no key.
  • Re:#1 solution (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:32PM (#15534955)
    ...and when you do, it's many point revisions behind. You find the manual for 0.3 but you have the 0.6 code/softare and, of course, it was completely rewritten for every point release between and the 0.3 manual is worthless for it. Of course, the software will eventually make it to only 0.9999999999999.99999999999 revision because OSS software can only have 0 as it's major version number.
  • Documentation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigredradio ( 631970 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:35PM (#15534981) Homepage Journal
    /* [ Go back later and write comments on documentation - 02/22/01 ] */
  • Re:#1 solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Khaed ( 544779 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:38PM (#15535001)
    I don't know why this is being moderated down. It's a fact.

    I use Linux exclusively. Slackware, to be specific.

    I read as much as I can stand to while trying to configure something. I read readme files, install guides, man pages -- anything I can get. Then I Google if it still won't work. I'll spend six or so hours trying to tinker until something works. Only after I've just had enough will I go to a forum. I've done that one time in the last six months.

    The last thing I want is for some assmonger to reply with a basic "RTFM" type response. It's unfair, it's assumptive, and it makes them look like a prick. Don't assume I haven't read the manual -- just fucking help me. Don't be a twat. The real bitch of this is that "RTFM" is considered a perfectly reasonable response, but if I tell them off for it, it's now a flame.

    Someone once joked that the best way to get help on a Linux forum is to flame and say "You can't do (x) in Linux!" where (x) is what you want to do. You'll then get a dozen different ways to do (x) from the forum regulars. But if you ask how to do (x), even politely, you just get snark.

    This is a problem for Linux. It's not the worst, in my opinion, but it's in the top five. (Having to download hundreds of megabytes of dependencies to get a lot of programs working is the worst.)
  • Re:#1 solution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by yanndug ( 832046 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:45PM (#15535053)
    With OS X and even Windows these days, you don't need to RAFM at all. That's where the problem is. "n00b"'s are not the problem. Linux programmers are.
  • The predecessor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaveAtFraud ( 460127 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:46PM (#15535054) Homepage Journal
    The Unix Haters Handbook []

    It would be interesting to see how many Linux complaints and annoyances date back to Unix.


  • by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:51PM (#15535083) Journal
    For the life of me, I don't know why Chapter 5, Installation Annoyances, isn't Chapter 1.

    I think the OP just nailed down the problem with 90% of Linux books, and one of the big problems with Linux adoption by the less-than-ubergeeks. Very few Linux book authors seem to know how to teach someone to use Linux. Either they spend three chapters on the basics of PCs and lose me, they dive straight into stuff that goes way over my head, or they just present the material in as counter-intuitive an order as possible for maximum frustration.

    I can't remember how many books I've picked up, started reading, and ended up shelving between chapters three and five. Reasons:

    1) They never actually got around to discussing Linux beyond the sales pitch about why I should use it.

    2) They skipped a lot of important basics that left me wondering just what they were talking about.

    3) They had me configure the desktop, type a few commands in the shell, install Linux, and THEN talked about the file system and various other basics that are relevant to everything you do in Linux.
  • Re:#1 solution (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:52PM (#15535090)
    And then you're told to go read the code to figure out what you need to do... and to fix any bugs you might find while you're at it.
  • by Flying pig ( 925874 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:53PM (#15535097)
    I live in a house, I have two cars and a boat. The cars are products. I buy them, I run them, periodically I have to replace something. The house and the boat are projects. They are continually being modified - the only rule being that the house has to work all the year round and the boat has to work from March to November. I find things, I fix things, I improve things. But then for me cars are just a form of transport, and for some people they too are projects.

    I can't be the only person who believes that, now that software does all the basic things, much of it is evolving from Product to Project. Even Microsoft, the supplier of boxed software par excellence, has got to come to terms with this; we now know that under the shiny paint there are hidden recesses with rust and loose parts and we expect them to be fixed as they are discovered. We also know that a company of some size can release stuff and label it beta, simply being more honest than labelling it "release 0.8" or whatever.

    You can see Open Source as the logical outcome of all the work that was done on quality in the 80s and 90s: everybody involved, continuous improvement, no hiding place for bad work. You can see it as a response to the perception by many people in the standards world that software standards were abysmal. Oh, and I have yet to see the new product that can just be placed in someone's hands and used. It may be "ready for use", but the user will not be. Continuous improvement and user feedback makes the learning curve easier.

  • Re:#1 solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DaSenator ( 915940 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @04:54PM (#15535099)
    Not exactly the fault of the Linux programmers themselves, but the fact that as a whole, people these days are raised with a familiarity with either OSX or MS Windows; both of which, (I'll probably incur a flamebait for this one) are relatively similar in their approach to their GUI. While they look different, they essentially operate on similar wavelengths.

    This isn't a problem until any Unix/Linux/BSD/Solaris/etc. environment comes in.

    Being a minority in installed OS's, and requiring a higher degree of computer knowledge in order to successfully operate it, the Unix family does turn a lot of people off for that reason, in conjunction with several others. (When someone asks how to learn Linux, I usually tell them to take everything they know about computers, forget it all, and start over. Its what I did/am currently doing.)

    Everything has its annoying fanboys who don't help people and decide to just respond with "RTFM" or similar comment. However, I'd be willing to wager that if someone was raised from a young age, having only Unix/Unix derivitave experience and knowledge, they would have some (albeit less) issues with Windows or OSX.
  • Re:#1 solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @05:03PM (#15535164) Homepage Journal
    Remember that if someone is going to RTFM, someone else needs to WTFM first....

    Yeah isn't that true. Don't you just love searching for documentation or at minimum a FAQ or HowTo for an application, then posting to the list for the location of the documentation only to get no useful reply, then follow up asking for specifics on how to do (n) with the tool, then you get blasted and told to RTFM. Then, post back that if there WERE a FM to R, that you'd have RTFMed already and wouldn't be posting a question for some wiseass to post a snarky RTFM reply. At that, you'll be told to WTFM, which is senseless because you don't know how to DO (n) because there is no FM to R, so telling you to WTFM is fruitless, or they point you at a wiki which is nothing but a skeleton consisting of Feature (N) : To be written later.

    Thankfully most OSS development teams are not so snotty and will at least point you at a mailing list archive, FAQ, or an abstract on the application. Take Quanta for example: the folks developing Quanta are downright friendly.

    But then again it's just like the Windows free software "community" - there are very nice and helpful folks developing some tools, and there are some developing very useful tools but who seemingly go out of their way to be assholes to users. It's not a Linux phenomenon, it's a human nature thing. The few jerks make everyone as a whole look bad.

    Sometimes an RTFM or GIYF (Google Is Your Friend) is the appropriate answer, e.g., if you ask "how do I play DVDs on SuSE/Ubuntu/etc." you should get "read the fucking stickies" or "GIYF" as a reply, because the question gets asked DAILY and you shouldn't be a lazy sod.

    On the other hand, if you're running into a crash (say, trying to play a Real Media file in Xine) the answer should not automatically be "try the latest CVS" or "RTFM." First of all, the user may be a n00b and totally unfamiliar with what CVS even is, the documentation is inadequate, and you haven't really helped the user, but brushed them off Microsoft Windows Support-style. You have also not helped to identify what the problem is so that it can be captured and documented in a FAQ for the next umpteen-dozen users who run into the same exact bug. Nothing against the xine folks here The folks I ran into THIS kind of issue with was actually one of the asterisk-related projects where a feature just plain did not work so I asked if anyone else could reproduce so that I could know if it was something I misconfigured or if it's broken code since log files turned up nothing and I had no proper debug environment set up (plus I haven't dug into the asterisk projects and could not afford the time to learn the project, I just want to be an asterisk user, not a developer or QA member).

    Depending on what you're doing, using open source solutions may be just too much work, or the people involved may be too much of a PITA to make the savings worthwhile. On the other hand, for most routine desktop and server applications, Linux and other OSS projects can be a choice which is superior to commercial alternatives.
  • Re:Copy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HuguesT ( 84078 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @05:26PM (#15535287)

    When was the last time you tried Linux, honestly ? are you still stuck with Debian 3.0 or something ?

    Cut and paste works fine between KDE and Gnome. Even drag-and-drop does now.

    I'll grant you that ^C^V doesn't always work, because ^C is the keyboard combo for SIGINT (interrupt process). Cutting and pasting always work from the menus.

    Now under Windows, try cutting and pasting in the cmd.exe console, and tell me with a straight face that Linux is worse.
  • Re:Werd (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ruiner13 ( 527499 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @05:29PM (#15535307) Homepage
    Why are you running as root? Is "users running as root" in the list of annoyances?
  • by Odin_Tiger ( 585113 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @05:47PM (#15535447) Journal
    When I describe case verbally, I speak caps very loudly, so alternating caps for instance might be, "CUE double-u EE ar TEE why." I developed this by myself as an easy way to remember passwords, because I have an excellent memory for sounds / tones. Many years down the road, I got my current job and found that my boss does the exact same thing. Try it, it works great!
  • by zzatz ( 965857 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @05:52PM (#15535487)
    There are many features in file names that I normally avoid, such as whitespace or special characters. But it is MY option to use them if I run into a situation where they would be useful. And that's the point: the decision should be mine, not forced by the filesystem designer.

    The filesystem is too low a level to make sensible policies about case. It belongs at the application level, where ignoring case may make sense in certain contexts, but not others. The filesystem can't know the context, the application may have some idea, and only the user can be sure when case matters.

    I prefer software that just does what I tell it. Software that tries to be smarter than me just gets in my way. I know that the proper symbol for millihenry is 'mH', that's what I type, and it's a pain when Word changes it to 'Mh'. If I name a file 'mH', then that's what I'll type, and I'd like it left that way.

    If case doesn't matter, then why don't you always use upper case?
  • Re:#1 solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Professor_UNIX ( 867045 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @06:07PM (#15535620)
    what often annoys me is when people don't come back and say if it worked and say thanks

    Ugh, that's another pet peeve. Don't just come back and say "Hey, I figured it out, thanks anyway" or something like that. Recap what you did to get it working!! Chances are someone else is having that same exact problem or will in the future and it's best to sum it up so Google can archive it. ;-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @06:16PM (#15535698)
    Ubuntu itself – no, seriously. Wireless support is abyssmal, at least as far as I could tell, and apt-get can be a real pain in the ass with dependency hell... I just can't stand that show-offy astronaut guy, you know? Fine. You've been into outer space. Doesn't mean you can be trusted to create a decent Linux distribution.

    Having said that, I will say Debian is OK, at least in my experience (mostly consisting of using their source code in my own Slackware-based distribution, but hey, at least they're good for something ;-)
  • Re:Copy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @06:38PM (#15535876)
    Copying from KDE window (konsole) into GNOME window (gnome-terminal) works quite fine. Just did it. Two different ways (mouse selection and through the menu).

    They both most likely use X clipboard/X selection. What different clipboards are you talking about??? How is the parent "5 Informative" ??? Get a clue!
  • Re:Copy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by friedmud ( 512466 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @08:53PM (#15536682)
    What cracks me up is that people are so used to having _shit_ shoved down their throats by "the man" that they complain when they actually have choices!

    Why does there have to be only 1 clipboard manager? Open source developers were not put on this earth to serve your whims. Use your brain and just choose one! Or none if you prefer (which I do).

    Repeat after me: "Choices are good!"

  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @09:37PM (#15536875) Homepage Journal
    Nothing drives me nuts in Linux like trying to cut something out of a KDE window and paste it into a Gnome window. ... Now show me how the different clipboards that exist on a single Linux Desktop can even cut from one and paste to another.

    That's a very old and dealt with issue.

    There are a few old applications around that might be annoying but most work better than anything in the windoze world. Almost all the common methods of cutting and pasting, shift-delete/insert, ctrl-c/v, and alt entered menus with shortcuts. I routinely do things like cut text from Kate (KDE) into gnumeric (GNOME) without a problem. Gnome not only sees the clipboard, it calls up the text import tool and gets it right. Tools like KDE's klipper give you your clipboard history for all applications, not just a few, and it lives on your taskbar. If that's not good enough, most applications also cut and paste through ssh -X forwarding. That's right, you can cut and paste across the network, through multiple machines. Do any of the M$ "Desktop Anywhere" type interfaces do that right?

  • by theLOUDroom ( 556455 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2006 @10:35PM (#15537148)
    No fecking media support! I get XMMS inform me on first attempt at playing an MP3 that it won't because of licensing conflict. of licensing conflict.

    My suggestion is this: Suck it up, you wouldn't believe all the separate programs with seperate liscenses windows users have to deal with!

    You have to manually install TWO things?

    Why the hell do I have to install a new kernel?

    You don't. Nobody's holding a gun to your head and making you.

    I've never had to on Windows

    Bullshit. You don't honestly know whether you have or not because virtually EVERYTHING requires a reboot. Ever head of service packs?

    Item 3 is vendor specfic. I suggest you ask the people you're actually giving money to for a fix.

    Item 4, shrug. It all depends on your choice of linux flavor. If configuration tools are important to you, choose software that has them. I remember tools where you could at least punch in you monitor model and it knew all the modes and that's five or more years ago.

    5. Lack of decent file-browser.

    Konqueror rocks. It's not windows explorer, and don't treat it like it is. If you invest all the time you did learning windows explorer into knoqueror, you'll be pretty impressed.
  • by phdmf ( 982610 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @12:28AM (#15537721)
    Firstly, I agree about the conflicts between kernel upgrades and closed-source nVidia drivers. A kernel upgrade is sure to crash the nVidia driver and who knows what else. Clearly, a solution is needed.

    That being said, I can't fault nVidia for protecting their revenue generating developments. Few realize how much of the power of modern graphics cards comes from highly optimized drivers. When you buy a graphics cards, you are buying both the hardware and the software, and thousands of hours are put in to software driver development. Those drivers are just as essential to achieving good graphics performance as the actual silicon in the cards. Without good drivers, nVidia is just another chip design company. Coca-cola doesn't give away its formula, why should nVidia? Sure, business is business, but nVidia has continued to develop linux drivers and the entire linux community has reaped the benefit. One of the only reasons it is possible to have a functional linux machine that can handle OpenGL apps alongside smooth rock-solid 2D graphics performance is the nVidia hardware/driver combo.

    So many linux users do not remember the "good ol' days" when there were no linux drivers for graphics hardware. If you were lucky, X would start and perhaps run for a short while, but forget about any 3D API's. Any hardware acceleration features of your high-end graphics card were wasted. It was a framebuffer world. About 1999, nVidia came to dominate the graphics market, killing off S3, #9, Matrox, etc. with graphics performance that put most everything to shame. Moreover, nVidia developed and continues to develop linux drivers. Okay, the earlier drivers were junk. X would crash when trying to use some high-end nVidia hardware acceleration show magic flower pots, or something. But, things got better. Much better. A modern linux nVidia driver is as foolproof and robust as a current windows driver and provides all of nVidia's cute features such as quad-buffered stereo, TwinView, etc.

    So, I think the onus for improvement on this issue lies with the linux kernel developers, not nVidia. Unlike so many other hardware designers, nVidia develops high?quality linux drivers. They work well, provide a great deal of functionality, are easy to install, and are very user friendly. How many open source endeavors can say that? Power and versatility have been longstanding mantras in the linux world. NVidia is willing to continue to develop linux drivers, so the linux development world should continue to maintain its goal of providing powerful and accessible software and develop a more seamless interface for such binary drivers.

    In short, count your blessings. Remember, you could have no drivers at all.
  • Re:#1 solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Khaed ( 544779 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @01:02AM (#15537862)
    And people like you are why people like everyone else think Linux users are assholes. I'm talking about asking polite questions after going through a ton of work and reading -- hours of each, at least -- and being unable to get anywhere, then having some ass down-talk me. If you don't like someone's request, don't fucking reply.

    I guess it's okay to be an asshole to someone because they asked for your help in your world. Do us all a favor, and don't have children. Because they might as for free help.

    We're talking about forums for help here, not some 1337 super kewl Linux guru webpage where everyone has years of programming experience.

    I never said anything about Linux developers. I was talking about jerkoffs who snub people who ask for help, on said forums for help.

    Just because you're too stupid and have like a third grade reading comprehension, don't flame me. I've got karma to burn, and don't care if I get moderated down for this, but you're just an asshole.
  • by Felonious Ham ( 709958 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @09:10AM (#15539107) Homepage
    Case-sensitivity has got to be my biggest annoyance in Linux. The original motivation as I understand it was to save precious CPU cycles (since case-insensitive parsing takes twice or so the effort). The problem is, humans don't think case sensitive. Noone (as has been mentioned) would reasonably name any two things the same differing only in case, which is a pretty strong argument for getting rid of it all together. With case-insensitive filesystems, you still get the 'option' of naming things however you like, just not two things with the same spelling.

    If the filesystem designer leaves it as an option on the filesystem, this option will inevitably get exercised and suddenly my software doesn't work.

    This actually reminds me of my other big annoyance with Linux: too many Linux folk think people serve computers, when obviously (to anyone who ever gets out of the basement) the opposite is true.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright