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Operating Systems

Journal mcgrew's Journal: Linux FUD 8

I finally got Linux installed on my netbook, and WOW! This journal is just a first look; I've been in it all of an hour now.

I found a utility called Linux Live USB to boot this thing into Linux. It's not the easiest utility I've ever found, but it's not the hardest, either. I wanted to install Mandriva, as I used Mandriva, KDE and LILO for almost ten years, but Mandriva didn't want to install. I've heard a lot of good things about Ubuntu so I thought I'd give it a shot. As I've always liked the KDE desktop I downloaded kUbuntu.

It took a while to download, since my internet connection is flaky. It's flaky because since there are usually unsecured wifi connections I couldn't see paying Comcast fifty bucks a month for cable, or AT&T twenty bucks for wifi. I may still go with AT&T, even though they pissed me off when I had Cingular and was happy with them, and AT&T took them over and my phone bill quadrupled. So I'm hesitant; the twenty bucks is for the first year of a two year contract and I shudder at what the second will cost, and wonder what fees and taxes are added to the twenty the first year. I called AT&T last Saturday and the recording said I had to call during "normal business hours".

I'm right on the signal fringe of the kind soul who's left his connection unsecured (and if I get a commercial ISP I plan on leaving mine unsecured as well), so the speed and availability are wildly variable. I had a great signal yesterday and the last half of kUbuntu came down the airwaves pretty fast.

I was downloading Foxit at the same time since Adobe's PDF reader has a zero-day that's being exploited, and even though it's only a 5mb file, a regular DL broke at every attempt. Bittorrent is a LOT more stable; your DL doesn't die just because you lose your connection for a while. kUbuntu has lots of peers and seeders, Foxit has few. It's only half downloaded.

Most people trumpet Windows ease of use. Most people are full of shit. Have you ever installed Windows on a white box? Linux is a breeze to install. I was a bit worried that kUbuntu's install would be more like Windows than Mandriva (Suse's was back in the day), but it was even easier than Mandriva's.

That was actually a drawback! With Mandriva you choose your apps during the install, kUbuntu installs its own choices, so I'll have to download and install Firefox to replace Konqueror, just as I had to in Windows to replace IE. I'm sure there are some other Ubuntu defaults I'll have to change as well.

It took months to start liking Windows 7. It took all of five minutes to start liking kUbuntu. It took all of one minute to get annoyed with windows 7, and ten to get annoyed with kUbuntu.

The first thing I noticed with this newer version of KDE is how incredibly gorgeous it is. It's as much prettier than Windows 7 is as Win 98 was the old KDE.

You hear about how hard setting up wifi in Linux is -- BULLSHIT! With a capital BULL and a capital SHIT. It, like Windows, has a little connection icon at the bottom right. It, unlike Windows, doesn't treat you like a moron, but it's actually easier to configure.

Unlike what the Windows trolls will tell you, everything in Windows is in KDE, and then some. The Acer's Fn key works just like in Windows, only their displays are better looking and more informative than in Windows.

But when I opened Konqueror, it couldn't find Google. That was the annoyance I mentioned earlier. So I booted back into Windows, to find -- my hotspot was gone. It wasn't Linux's fault after all.

As I typed this up my connection came back, so I booted back into Linux -- and was connected to the hotspot, but not the internet. It looks like I still have a little research and learning to do, but like I said, it was months before I had Windows 7 figured out despite using Windows for almost fifteen years, and I've only been using KUbuntu for ten minutes and I'm alread


Like I said, I'm typing this in notepad to post to slashdot, since I've yet to get Konqueror to pull slashdot up, and a goddamned window just popped up in front of my face asking me if I wanted to let Adobe update java. For Christs' sake! I had a similar popup in Linux, but it wasn't in my face and it didn't take focus away from what I was doing. And I just updated java yesterday!

...already comfortable with kUbuntu. More so now that that Windows annoyance popped up.

I rebooted into Linux again... and I was able to pull up slashdot. Like Windows, it takes a few seconds to connect to the internet after it connects to the local wifi network.

Windows has a long way to go before it catches up with Linux's useability. For instance, if you reboot Windows, you have to restart every app and document and web page you had open, but with Linux it's just like you left it. Booting Windows you have to enter a password, Linux will do it for you. They've had both these features for over half a decade, Windows still doesn't.

Any machine that treats me like a five year old is crap. Windows treats you not only like you're five, but retarded as well, and does its best to make you feel like you're retarded.

Perhaps someday Windows will be ready for the desktop. I'm not holding my breath.

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Linux FUD

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  • Nice one (Score:3, Interesting)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:24AM (#33552820) Homepage Journal

    I tried Kubuntu a few (maybe 5) years back - it wasn't the best experience because of the way certain apps didn't integrate too well between Gnome and KDE.. I think compatibility is better these days but I've been using Ubuntu as my primary OS for 2 years now anyway.

    I've actually been very happy with Ubuntu despite the complaints I've seen over the years of Gnome based desktops being too "babying". I don't think it's patronising at all though - my experience has been similar to yours with Kubuntu in that it's amazingly easy to install and configure all that you need without hassle, and if you want to mess around on a deeper level you can easily open up the synaptic package manager or a console window, and away you go.

    Also worth noting is that in Ubuntu: Firefox is the default browser, so that would be one less thing for you to have to bother with if you just went with the standard version.

    It's spelled Ubuntu btw, not Ubantu xD

    Here are some of the apps that I use on my own setup, just in case you want to try out some things.

    Gnome-do with "docky" theme. It apparently works on KDE, and is similar to the OSX dock (one of the few things I really liked about OSX once I'd given it a go). It means you can get rid of the task bar at the bottom of your screen as it is both a launcher and a task bar, desktop switcher, trash can, etc. (plenty of plugins for it to do more if you wish too).

    Guake - Quake style terminal. You toggle it on and off, and drops in from the top of the screen, very cool and much better than having a floating terminal window IMO. It's not a KDE program but you can get a similar one called Yakuake [].

    Glipper - clipboard manager. KDE equivalent is Klipper. I noticed that Ubuntu doesn't use a Windows style universal clipboard, so this helps a lot to keep things working the way you might expect. The system tray icon even keeps track of the last 20 or so items from the clipboard, andf even keeps track of items that you've highlighted without actually choosing to copy - very handy if you happen to have hit some other key combo than ctrl-c

    Tasque - Nice simple to-do list.

    Dropbox - Awesome free utility for keeping your files in synch across multiple devices. You get 2GB of free space or can pay a few dollars a month for something like 50GB of storage. Great when doing a clean install, or if you use multiple machines. There is something similar built into Ubuntu called "Ubuntu One", but it was a bit flaky when I tried it. Dropbox "just works" and has clients for Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone and probably more..

    Minitube - Standalone Youtube player. Search for a term and it will start playing through the list of videos, kind of like watching TV but with no adverts. This is good if you want to watch Youtube videos with no ads, and it just keeps playing through the results of whatever you've searched for so you can leave it on as a kind of TV channel. I initially got this program because Flash performance on my netbook sucks, though since the YouTube HTML5 beta [] it's seen a bit less use as the HTML5 video performance on my netbook is fine.

    Hope that at least some of that is useful!

  • I'm sure you can make Windows stop asking for a password if you don't want one, just as you can make Linux ask for one.

    As for the rest - couldn't agree more. One of my pet peeves with Windows is VM behaviour: even though I have 2.5GB RAM in my laptop, back when I still had it installed, Windows would always swap unused processes out for no reason at all, even when there was plenty of unused memory. When switching applications, this would result in an annoying delay. Linux never does this. The few times I've

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      If there's a way to make windows boot without a password while still having a password like you can in Linux (Ubuntu has it, Mandriva has it), I haven't been able to find where it is.

      It did take me over a month to find the "shut off the annoying tap to click" feature in Windows, but less than five minutes in Ubuntu (yes, somersault already set me straight on the spelling; I fixed it).

      Now I'm having SERIOUS windows problems. Yesterday while doing some drinking with a friend who wanted to see what I'd written

      • Ah, you mean the sudo prompts when doing something which needs to be run as root? No idea if that's possible with Windows. Maybe the closest you can get is creating a regular user without a password and running administrative stuff as admin manually (right click -> run as other user or something like that).

        As for getting your data off the Windows partition, Linux should be able to access it. Install ntfs-3g if it's not already installed.

      • TweakUI should still set the automatic logon setting if you want to do it with a GUI (I haven't used it for a while, but it used to). If you don't care about editing the registry, the appropriate key is HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. You need to set AutoAdminLogon to 1, and set the DefaultUserName, DefaultPassword, and DefaultDomainName values as appropriate.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.