License cost is not just important for someone messing around at home. It can have a profound impact on large corporations too. There it is not so much the cost of the license itself, but the cost of procuring and managing them. With Server 2008, you have to have install and configure "activation servers". WTF? The amount of time spent managing license keys, activation servers, and other bullshit is time you are not working on something productive. Say what you want about Oracle, one thing the get right is they don't have any activation codes or similar crap, yet the last time I checked they still make boatloads of money.
Should you happen to find a new commercial program you need, expect to wait 6 months for the trolls at procurment to either reject it or simply ignore it. On the other hand, with open source, just download and compile. It also a lot easier to get something new through security, as you can say: "I compiled this from source. I have a few minor custom settings, and all of these, along with the compile scripts are in CM. Much easier (and safer) than trusting a random binary BLOB
At our work everything is documented. For every process we have at least 27 different documents, all inacurate or out of date in slightly different but important ways. And of course, they are impossible to find when you need them.
Individually, I have managed to find a way around this mess with my own scripts: I just write a detailed usage description if the script is run without arguments, along with examples if the syntax is complex. Since the documentation is actually part of the script, it is always where you can find it, and is as up to date as the script. This doesn't just help other people, it helps me too if I haven't used a script in awhile.
On the bridge of the USS Enterprise:
Ping! Boom! "What's that noise?" "Sir, it looks like there are about 500 motorboats, a few klicks away, starboard at about 95. They seem to be firing Stingers at us."
"Why? And how did they get so close? And where did they get those Stingers? Oh well, we'll figure it out later - lets take care of this ourselves: Hard starboard, come to new heading, 95, full military power!
Noises from under hull, snap, crunch, grind, etc
"That took care of most of them. Can we get a few A-10 Warthogs to clean up the rest? Tell the base commander that if he lets me keep them afterwards, I'll trade a few of my F-15's for them."
I need a new system. My 5 year old Dell (preloaded with Ubuntu 7.04, now upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04) is starting to really show its age. I am posting this from it with my original wireless card. While all of my favorite Windows games (RCT2, Battle Zone, Fallout, Death Rally) work perfecty under WINE and the rest, (ROTT, DOOMxxx, Cold War, DEFCON 1) have been natively ported to Linux, I can't run the lastest games like "Amnesia: The Dark Descent" with the best performance. It is playable but slow.
I got tired of upgrading Ubuntu every 6 months - while pretty easy compared to a Windows upgrade, you still have to download a lot of stuff and it took awhile. After LTS 8.04, I just upgraded every 2 years. Now at 12.04, the LTS cycle is 5 years, about the max life of a PC.
If you want a Linux computer, buy one with it preinstalled. That way, all of your shit works. I got mine from Dell, though I am not sure they offer them anymore. No mattter. I am drooling over one of these, but might have to settle for one of these.
It is nice to know that Windows users can now get that "Linux" experience with DVD codecs. At least in Linux you can get them free. Even better once you get them installed, you can watch DVD's without having to watch "unskippable" commericals! It just takes you to the main menu. It is almost a reason to set up a Linux PC for use as a dedicated DVD player.
Mac users can also get the "Linux" experience syncing music with their iPhones. Recently, I got an new iPhone as well as a new iMac. However, it seems that my brand new iPhone is not compatible with the version of iTunes that is installed on my brand new Mac. WTF??? It says I need a newer version of iTunes but repeated attempts to download and install it have failed, either saying the install is corrupted or just not working. It is not like I can just run "apt-get update iTunes".
To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar