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Microsoft worried over Linux ULPCs

Microsoft worried over Linux ULPCs

Devices like the Eee PC can be supplied with cheap XP Home, but not if they're bigger than 10.2".

Microsoft has launched a programme aimed at stemming the growing Linux tide on ultra low-cost PCs, but has some rather onerous terms if manufacturers want to play.

According to an article written by an IDG writer and published over at PC World, the software giant is so worried by the rapid growth in commercial Linux distribution caused by the boom in low-cost laptop devices like the Asus Eee PC that it is willing to offer cut-price copies of Windows XP Home Edition to manufacturers that may otherwise have bundled the open-source OS on their gadgets.

In order to prevent sales of the we'll-be-killing-it-any-day-now-honest last-generation XP operating system cutting in to the Windows Vista cash-cow, Microsoft will only allow ULPC vendors to bundle XP if they agree to a certain limitations on the hardware side of things: the screen has to be 10.2” or smaller, the device is limited to 1GB of RAM and a single-core processor of 1GHz or less, the hard drive – whether mechanical or solid-state – has to store under 80GB, and there's no sneaking a touch-screen on the device either.

It's clear from the restrictions that Microsoft is concerned about sales of low-cost hardware running Window XP slowing uptake of its new Vista operating system, and that the restrictions are in place to prevent a switched-on company from offering full-scale laptops supplied with XP – the OS that wouldn't die – to home users who aren't ready for the move to Vista quite yet.

An un-named Microsoft official quoted in the original article claims that manufacturers currently offering Linux on their low-cost devices “have made some good inroads with open-source, and Microsoft wants to put a stop to it.

At the risk of turning this article into a “woo, desktop Linux is on its way!” piece, it's hard to interpret Microsoft's move as anything other than a panicked attempt to prevent the open-source operating system from stealing any more ground in a market the company barely knew existed. While Linux may have a way to go before it's quite ready for mainstream use as the primary desktop OS for most, it's clearly at the point where it's more than adequate for a second computer – and that little fact clearly has Microsoft worried.

If given the option, what would you buy: a Windows XP ULPC, knowing that the hardware has been deliberately limited in order to appease the guys in Redmond; or a Linux-based unit, which is only limited by the budgetary constraints of its makers but that might take someone used to Windows a little while to get used to? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

88 Comments

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Shielder 12th May 2008, 14:11 Quote
Why is anyone surprised by this? Every time a competing technology appears, MS try to either a) buy it, b) kill it with litigation or c) embrace the technology, extend the technology with their own proprietary extensions and then quickly drop support from all future MS products...

Andy
banshee256 12th May 2008, 14:16 Quote
I've always had a beef with Linux on two fronts: Audio/Video Codecs' and games. The primary function of my PC at the moment is to entertain me. That means watching videos, listening to music and playing games. Now, even on Ubuntu that's not an easy feat. I hate the media players in Linux, especially VLC and only very few games play natively in Linux. Acutally, I can only think of 2 games right now: Unreal Tournament and Neverwinter Nights. That's not a lot.

But having Linux on a laptop, or a file-storage server for that matter, would be jolly good. Mostly because it's free and secondly because there are millions of guides to help you install and configure it for just those situations. Brilliant. So yes, I'll take the (cheaper) Linux laptop and let XP rot in a dungeon full of spikes and maggots.
steveo_mcg 12th May 2008, 14:20 Quote
Its been a while since i had any problems with players or codecs but then thats what mplayer is for.

Can't say i'm surprised at ms its exactly the same rubbish they do to any tech control or kill. Admittedly much like any other large company its just that ms position is much stronger than most.
Glider 12th May 2008, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256
Now, even on Ubuntu that's not an easy feat. I hate the media players in Linux, especially VLC
Well, there are thousands of media players around, XMMS is Winamp alike... If you like the top of the cream, go AmaroK, and be amazed...
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256
... and only very few games play natively in Linux. Acutally, I can only think of 2 games right now: Unreal Tournament and Neverwinter Nights. That's not a lot.
And Quake... and a lot more if you look into it. But then again, don't blame the Linux community for it, blame the game devs... Look at Introvision, great games with native support...
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256
But having Linux on a laptop, or a file-storage server for that matter, would be jolly good. Mostly because it's free and secondly because there are millions of guides to help you install and configure it for just those situations. Brilliant. So yes, I'll take the (cheaper) Linux laptop and let XP rot in a dungeon full of spikes and maggots.
Not only is it good, it's even better, faster,...
Naberius 12th May 2008, 14:28 Quote
Is it me or is Microsoft limiting these laptops in two ways, firstly by actual hardware limitations, and then by the fact that XP is not going to run as smooth as the linux distributions they are currently using.
banshee256 12th May 2008, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
Well, there are thousands of media players around, XMMS is Winamp alike... If you like the top of the cream, go AmaroK, and be amazed...

True, but, back when I fooled around with Linux, VLC was the only player, that would play any and all of my videos. From AVI to WMV and further on to RealMedia-thingies and with everything else in between.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
And Quake... and a lot more if you look into it. But then again, don't blame the Linux community for it, blame the game devs... Look at Introvision, great games with native support...

Again, true... The developers won't make games for Linux, until a sizable portion of the market uses Linux, but they won't change their OS until more games show up for it. The question is who has the brass to make the first move.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
Not only is it good, it's even better, faster,...

Agreed, when it runs, it's better and can be made 100% compatible with your Windows machines. And I have a Dual Xeon 2 GHz machine waiting to be converted into a glorified external harddrive...
Glider 12th May 2008, 14:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256
Again, true... The developers won't make games for Linux, until a sizable portion of the market uses Linux, but they won't change their OS until more games show up for it. The question is who has the brass to make the first move.
Well, if you look at FUN games instead of *my-FPS-has-a-framrate-of-a-gazillion-but-all-I-have-to-do-all-day-is-run-and-shoot* (wow, that was actually hard to type) then Linux has his share of games too... And even then, Cube2, Nequiz,... All great FPS's...
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256
Agreed, when it runs, it's better and can be made 100% compatible with your Windows machines. And I have a Dual Xeon 2 GHz machine waiting to be converted into a glorified external harddrive...
What? Better use an old P3 600MHz for a fileserver and use that server for something better...
Faulk_Wulf 12th May 2008, 14:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256

Again, true... The developers won't make games for Linux, until a sizable portion of the market uses Linux, but they won't change their OS until more games show up for it. The question is who has the brass to make the first move.

http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/2007/04/09/Linux_has_game/1

(Not trying to be an ass. ;) )

In all fairness to Microsoft. This is just business. They did it in a dumb way by putting in the hardware restrictions and thus alienating alot of potential buyers. (And the fact that it has to be XP kind of proves how bloated Vista is. Ubuntu has as much flash and more function then Vista as far as I can tell, and it runs on these machines.) But despite this gimped attempt it is still just business. They saw a market, they went for that market.
Jordan Wise 12th May 2008, 14:50 Quote
wow, theres some serious multi-quoting going on in here. I too would like it if linux had devs supporting it, but that'll take ages. In the mean time i might try and get a decent n64 emulator for my Eee
banshee256 12th May 2008, 14:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
Well, if you look at FUN games instead of *my-FPS-has-a-framrate-of-a-gazillion-but-all-I-have-to-do-all-day-is-run-and-shoot* (wow, that was actually hard to type) then Linux has his share of games too... And even then, Cube2, Nequiz,... All great FPS's...

Heh, my computer can barely manage 30 fps, no matter what game a play, so that's not really an issue. What is an issue though, is that there are more games available for Windows, than for Linux.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
What? Better use an old P3 600MHz for a fileserver and use that server for something better...

Well, I have a Dual Xeon lying around, but not a P3 600 Mhz. Overkill? Sure, but you use what you have at your disposal.
steveo_mcg 12th May 2008, 14:59 Quote
Punt the Xeons kit and buy a P3, or i'll swap you for one ;)
Glider 12th May 2008, 15:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256
Heh, my computer can barely manage 30 fps, no matter what game a play, so that's not really an issue. What is an issue though, is that there are more well known games available for Windows, than for Linux.
Fixed that one for you ;) There are plenty of OSS games around, but there isn't as much fuss about them...
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256
Well, I have a Dual Xeon lying around, but not a P3 600 Mhz. Overkill? Sure, but you use what you have at your disposal.
I'll trade you, I have a spare P3 666MHz (you even get the 66MHz for free;)) lying around :D
EDIT: Damn, beaten to it... 2nd dibs tough ;)
banshee256 12th May 2008, 15:06 Quote
Well, thank you for the generous deals I'm being offered here, but I think I'll keep it for myself, thank you very much ;)

PS: Point me in the direction of a decent Games for Linux review site and I'll see what I can do about throwing Vista in the same dungeon as XP.
Tomm 12th May 2008, 15:09 Quote
MS is trying to bully their way out of this one with price cuts instead of actually creating a superior product. Linux seems like the best solution for these laptops but there's still room for a Windows version that does more, has more compatibility and is familiar to Windows users.
Glider 12th May 2008, 15:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256
PS: Point me in the direction of a decent Games for Linux review site and I'll see what I can do about throwing Vista in the same dungeon as XP.

Well, I'm not an avid gamer (most people don't consider a MUD to be a game), but *cough*
Cptn-Inafinus 12th May 2008, 15:17 Quote
God, every-one is out in force today trying to undermine my confidence in them!

Nvidia, Microsoft. Who next?!
steveo_mcg 12th May 2008, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cptn-Inafinus
God, every-one is out in force today trying to undermine my confidence in them!

Nvidia, Microsoft. Who next?!

You had confidence in either of them to start with? You must be new here :D
DXR_13KE 12th May 2008, 15:32 Quote
banshee256, have you seen http://www.transgaming.com/ ?

Glider, that P3 looks like its from hell!

and as for linux on an ultra portable.... HELL YEAH!!!
Glider 12th May 2008, 16:04 Quote
That P3 is perfect, low power, yet more then powerfull enough. All the filesharing and media playing I throw at it don't even get the CPU to go above 50%
Panos 12th May 2008, 16:06 Quote
EVE Online has a semi-native client/wrapper to run under Linux! straight after you download it.
Oblivion plays fantastic too, as Civ 4.
And nearly 90% of the games run. Don't expect SM3.0 yet, but the rest are nice and smooth.
When we have SM3.0 support, even Crysis will run faster under linux!
Luukas 12th May 2008, 17:13 Quote
Having read this, I changed my MSI Wind preorder from the XP Home version (~20€ more) to the Linux one. :I
DXR_13KE 12th May 2008, 17:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
That P3 is perfect, low power, yet more then powerfull enough. All the filesharing and media playing I throw at it don't even get the CPU to go above 50%

of course, it is a devlish frequency..... :p
pendragon 12th May 2008, 19:09 Quote
hmm interesting.. i'm still not completely statisfied with linux as a desktop OS.. I guess I'm just lazy and have run into too many little problems that are extremely frustrating to solve even given the vast array of 'help' out there for the linux community ... that said, pff! .. a machine with 'crippled hardware' specs vs a linux machine? I'll take the linux machine thanks :P
Faulk_Wulf 12th May 2008, 20:21 Quote
Semi-on topic:

Is their a way to install an OS (specificly some version of linux) on an ancient rig that had its keyboard cotroller fry on the motherboard?
(ie: I can't use a freaking keyboard on this computer anymore, but nothing else is wrong and i wouldn't mind remotely controlling it if I could get a distro on board.)
Cthippo 12th May 2008, 21:04 Quote
I think MS realizes just what a threat this really is. If both manufacturers and consumers get acclimated to the idea that linux is a serviciable alternative to Windows, then they are in trouble. The reality is that linux has been ready for mainstream for probably a year now, but the perception is more important than the reality. What's perhaps more significant is that it's in a laptop, which has long been viewed as the last place where it's a PITA to get linux working.

I feel like we're right on the verge of the emergence of linux into the market. There is not going to be a single, massive switch, but rather an accelerating movementuntil one day "Which OS" becomes a significant question in buying a computer.

@faulk Wulf, can you use a USB keyboard?
Glider 12th May 2008, 22:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faulk_Wulf
Is their a way to install an OS (specificly some version of linux) on an ancient rig that had its keyboard cotroller fry on the motherboard?
(ie: I can't use a freaking keyboard on this computer anymore, but nothing else is wrong and i wouldn't mind remotely controlling it if I could get a distro on board.)

Most Distro's allow to boot a (sometimes custom) CD that automatically starts an SSH server... If you got an Linux environment + SSH server you are set... Debootstrap, emerge, ... as you please :D
Mentai 12th May 2008, 23:13 Quote
I would definitely go for the Linux distro if I were to get a miniature laptop. I've never used linux before, but the only reason for that is gaming, which wouldn't be so good on a laptop, so linux it would be!
DougEdey 12th May 2008, 23:19 Quote
100% agree with P3 being perfect. I run Ubuntu on a Dell C610 with 512MB RAM and occassionally get spikes that I need to look into, but it runs perfectly
proxess 12th May 2008, 23:22 Quote
all the dooms and quakes, eve online, pretty much all steam stuff. i've never had codec problems except when i used fedora core 2 (or as i call it, "Foder-o Coiro"). I honestly think that all people have now a days is a lame excuse, and devs are just lazy.

EDIT: well i don't want to be harsh on devs. sometimes it isn't their fault, its the fault of the financial directors, which simply are dumb and say "it brings no money! don't do it! also, leave work at 6pm because paying extra hours isn't lucrative!" damn ass lame financial directors!
Cptn-Inafinus 12th May 2008, 23:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
You had confidence in either of them to start with? You must be new here :D

I did honestly have a-lot of respect for Microsoft for their work in other fields than Operating Systems. The other products the create are fantastic! But when it comes too there UTTER monopoly of the OS market and how much they try to manipulate it, then they are a I-wish-I-could-no-go area.
Tyinsar 13th May 2008, 01:07 Quote
I had an EeePC for a bit and I thought the custom Linux interface was great. I returned it because of the small screen and limited storage but if that got fixed (without a jump in price) I'd buy another in a heartbeat. IMO a purpose built interface (like the EeePC custom Linux one) is better on a UMPC than a general-purpose one (Like Windows).

The great news is that now there might be an option of a limited unit running XP or a better unit running Linux - for the same cost. The only things keeping me with Windows are familiarity and games. A UMPC is great for casual games and there are tons of those free for Linux.
wuyanxu 13th May 2008, 08:26 Quote
with the way EEE is currently priced, where XP will get a much smaller disk drive, i will buy Linux without any hesitation, then install my own OS.
DougEdey 13th May 2008, 08:31 Quote
I like the way Microsoft are scared of competition :p
r4tch3t 13th May 2008, 10:53 Quote
The RAM limitation is a little silly, especially when it is so cheap.
Shielder 13th May 2008, 11:54 Quote
Doug, MS has always been scared of the competition, they just buy out the competition, or leverage their monopoly and try and force the competition to become irrelevant (see Netscape). This time though, people are waking up to the fact that you don't need the latest offering from Redmond in order to surf the web or write your letters. You don't even need to spend loads of money on a super laptop in order to get yourself a mobile computer any more.

The EeePC and others like it have shown the general public the way forward in low cost computing. It's only MS that wants us to take a step backwards to support their failing business model.

Andy
polax 13th May 2008, 13:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256
I've always had a beef with Linux on two fronts: Audio/Video Codecs' and games. The primary function of my PC at the moment is to entertain me. That means watching videos, listening to music and playing games. Now, even on Ubuntu that's not an easy feat. I hate the media players in Linux, especially VLC and only very few games play natively in Linux. Acutally, I can only think of 2 games right now: Unreal Tournament and Neverwinter Nights. That's not a lot.

But having Linux on a laptop, or a file-storage server for that matter, would be jolly good. Mostly because it's free and secondly because there are millions of guides to help you install and configure it for just those situations. Brilliant. So yes, I'll take the (cheaper) Linux laptop and let XP rot in a dungeon full of spikes and maggots.

Have you ever seen VLC on OS X. Its not Linux that you hate, it is the way X Server packages the eye-candy ok. With reference to your beef about audio/video codecs, i think that is a problem that no longer exists for most formats have downloadable codecs. Even windows calls home to download codecs when necessary - albeit with more grace and stealth. Games - hey buddy, you heard of CrossOver Games? Look it up
Kipman725 13th May 2008, 17:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee256


Again, true... The developers won't make games for Linux, until a sizable portion of the market uses Linux, but they won't change their OS until more games show up for it. The question is who has the brass to make the first move.

ID software have made games for linux since 1994, back then linux was far smaller than now and less polished.
Phil Rhodes 13th May 2008, 17:37 Quote
I think what we're overlooking is the fact that Linux is, whatever its undoubted benefits, a complete mess of half-standardised, thrown-together junk. Ubuntu has made huge differences of late but all they're really doing is papering over the cracks with pretty graphics and a nice UI. What I'd like to see is a massive reduction in the number of linux distros out there, and much more concentration on interopability.

Yes, it's reprehensible of Microsoft to behave in this manner, but at the moment I'd take the XP option simply for usability.
Glider 13th May 2008, 18:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
I think what we're overlooking is the fact that Linux is, whatever its undoubted benefits, a complete mess of half-standardised, thrown-together junk.
ls /usr/src/linux/Documentation
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Ubuntu has made huge differences of late but all they're really doing is papering over the cracks with pretty graphics and a nice UI.
Ubuntu however is "a complete mess of [...] thrown-together junk. But then again, I like to control what junk I run on my system...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
UWhat I'd like to see is a massive reduction in the number of linux distros out there, and much more concentration on interopability.
This is going to happen when hell freezes over, Linux is about choice remember?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
UYes, it's reprehensible of Microsoft to behave in this manner, but at the moment I'd take the XP option simply for usability.
Not even going to comment this, again...
Phil Rhodes 13th May 2008, 19:02 Quote
Quoting single CLI commands as if they either solve the problem proves nothing other than that Linux is hideously user-hostile, as if that wasn't already fairly obvious. Nothing in a "src" directory is of any use to anyone other than a grad-level software engineer, and this is one of Linux's greatest faults - it assumes that everyone is a C coder. Many of the apparent benefits of Linux - mainly the GPL stuff about source availability - are completely irrelevant to anyone who isn't a software engineer, which is practically everyone. This is a circular problem, because if you have to be a software engineer to use Linux, nobody who uses Linux sees it as an issue.

I should probably point out here that I work mainly as a video editor, so my field is particularly poorly served in Linux and one of its greatest weak spots. General office work is now quite well served, but unless you're into running servers or writing letters, the availability of software really is quite limited. OK, you're not going to be cutting the next episode of Lost on an Eee PC regardless of OS, but this might explain why I've clobbbered up against most of the problems that are there.

I mean Ubuntu doesn't even come with a working DVD player, and adding one to it is just pain upon pain upon pain (yes, you're going to say apt-get install mplayer, arne't you, only that doesn't actually work...)

P
Glider 13th May 2008, 19:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
load of unfounded words

If you actually took the effort to look into the "CLI commands as if they either solve the problem" I gave, you'd notice Linux is documented very well and there ARE standards... But then again, who am I to say this. I know nothing...

Media playing/converting in Linux is a thousand times easier then on any Windows station. Codecs are (on Gentoo, one of the most 'unfriendly' distros) just a matter of adding 1 USE flag and they are implemented across an entire system. That's really unfriendly.

Video editing software is something I haven't looked into yet, but as with games, blame the producers, not the OS for lacking support...

And about the DVD player... Lol... SYNAPTIC ;)
Phil Rhodes 13th May 2008, 19:20 Quote
> SYNAPTIC

Yes, yes, of course. Only you can't do that.

This is a problem with a lot of preinstalled Linux environments and certainly applies to the Eee as regards certain types of h.264 playback. Commercial entities tend to be very hesitant to bundle any software which causes rights problems, and of course the CSS decrypter in any normal DVD player is an example of this. The software in the default repositories tends to be more or less what was on the machine anyway.

So, the only way to do things like DVD playback (and anything else which requires you to break the rules in Linux) is to start adding new repositories to the package manager, and this is where life becomes horrible. The command "apt-get update" is more than capable of wrecking the whole OS, and they all tell you to do it without mentioning this. Suffice to say that it's a good thing that Eee PCs are easily reset to factory defaults.

The simplest thing in Linux is horribly complicated. It's not necessarily a particular technical problem with any of the implementations, it's an issue of a complete lack of standardisation. I'm told that source-based distros are better in this regard, but then you're into the whole "building from source" world which really does require you to be a software engineer.

This is just one example of several I could give but the point remains. This stuff urgently needs to be fixed, or people who just want to use computers - as opposed to people to whom computers are a hobby or a pastime - will avoid Linux like the plague, and quite rightly so.
steveo_mcg 13th May 2008, 19:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
> SYNAPTIC

Yes, yes, of course. Only you can't do that.

This is a problem with a lot of preinstalled Linux environments and certainly applies to the Eee as regards certain types of h.264 playback. Commercial entities tend to be very hesitant to bundle any software which causes rights problems, and of course the CSS decrypter in any normal DVD player is an example of this. The software in the default repositories tends to be more or less what was on the machine anyway.

So, the only way to do things like DVD playback (and anything else which requires you to break the rules in Linux) is to start adding new repositories to the package manager, and this is where life becomes horrible. The command "apt-get update" is more than capable of wrecking the whole OS, and they all tell you to do it without mentioning this. Suffice to say that it's a good thing that Eee PCs are easily reset to factory defaults.

The simplest thing in Linux is horribly complicated. It's not necessarily a particular technical problem with any of the implementations, it's an issue of a complete lack of standardisation. I'm told that source-based distros are better in this regard, but then you're into the whole "building from source" world which really does require you to be a software engineer.

This is just one example of several I could give but the point remains. This stuff urgently needs to be fixed, or people who just want to use computers - as opposed to people to whom computers are a hobby or a pastime - will avoid Linux like the plague, and quite rightly so.


And you last used it when? 1998? "apt-get update" does nothing but sync you with the latest updates, it DOES not install any thing, how can i break anything. Dvd inclusion is a problem but only because you should really purchase a license, free distro's aren't going to give that away, you want that there is alway freespire it'll cost but it'll do the very simple things you seem unable to out the box. When was the last time you played dvd on XP out the box?
Glider 13th May 2008, 19:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
> SYNAPTIC

Yes, yes, of course. Only you can't do that.
Can't I?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
This is a problem with a lot of preinstalled Linux environments and certainly applies to the Eee as regards certain types of h.264 playback. Commercial entities tend to be very hesitant to bundle any software which causes rights problems, and of course the CSS decrypter in any normal DVD player is an example of this. The software in the default repositories tends to be more or less what was on the machine anyway.
Last time I checked DVD playback and h264 playback aren't the same, but like I said, I'm not an media miracle...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
So, the only way to do things like DVD playback (and anything else which requires you to break the rules in Linux) is to start adding new repositories to the package manager, and this is where life becomes horrible. The command "apt-get update" is more than capable of wrecking the whole OS, and they all tell you to do it without mentioning this. Suffice to say that it's a good thing that Eee PCs are easily reset to factory defaults.
I administrate a LOT of Linux servers, and I have yet to see the first one that gets wrecked by a tree upgrade... But since you seem to be all knowing on what is going on in the Linux community, I'm going to take your word on it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
The simplest thing in Linux is horribly complicated. It's not necessarily a particular technical problem with any of the implementations, it's an issue of a complete lack of standardisation. I'm told that source-based distros are better in this regard, but then you're into the whole "building from source" world which really does require you to be a software engineer.
You just made my day... And an honerable mention in my signature...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
This is just one example of several I could give but the point remains. This stuff urgently needs to be fixed, or people who just want to use computers - as opposed to people to whom computers are a hobby or a pastime - will avoid Linux like the plague, and quite rightly so.
Please, go make some founded examples. But please, none that date from WW2

Or even better, stop making a fool of yourself and verify your 'facts' before you make a fuss...
Phil Rhodes 13th May 2008, 19:51 Quote
> "apt-get update" does nothing but sync you with the latest updates, it
> DOES not install any thing, how can i break anything

Buggered if I know but I've seen it happen at least three times on different distros.

The problem is not so much the technology itself, it's the variety. Choice is lovely but not to the point where it causes this sort of problem. Windows installers are capable of exactly the same sort of misbehaviour, at least in theory, but it happens but very rarely because Windows is much less of a moving target.
Glider 13th May 2008, 19:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Windows installers are capable of exactly the same sort of misbehaviour, at least in theory, but it happens but very rarely because Windows is much less of a moving target.

Answer me this, have you ever, ever, EVER took 5 minutes time to look how much coding effort goes into making a .deb, ebuild, ... Hell, let's widen the question, have you EVER worked on a Linux station? I even question if you recently even looked at the state of the OSS community?
Phil Rhodes 13th May 2008, 20:11 Quote
> have you ever, ever, EVER took 5 minutes time to look how much coding effort
> goes into making a .deb, ebuild

This isn't about points for effort. It simply doesn't work very well. I don't know whether it doesn't work very well because it is not possible to make it work well, or because people haven't bothered doing so, but I do know that a lot of Linux problems are caused by developers making it work for them and releasing it. Hard to complain; these people are working for free, but that's a whole other issue. If it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't, and bullshit aside it frequently doesn't.

But look, let's not get hung up on this one issue. The problem is one of consistency and general usability and I don't think anyone's seriously contending the issue that almost-anything-other-than-linux has more of those things than linux does itself. I for one would dearly love to move to Linux; I don't think many people use Windows because they're particularly wedded to it as a piece of software, they use it because it's the least bad thing available. I certainly wouldn't mind getting away from the irksome shenanigans Microsoft so often get up to, just such as that in the article which started this thread.

But at the end of the day my focus is on usability and reliability. I can't have a client sitting here right next to me, have something not work, and say "oh, but look at how much effort they put into that piece of software". It's just not a workable way to operate, as I'm sure you'll agree. And if I get to go home earlier (or less late) because I can get things done faster, well, sorry, I'm not going to switch over to Linux and miss the Simpsons every night because you or anyone has some political pointmaking to do.
Coldon 13th May 2008, 20:19 Quote
yeh, the state of OSS... hm... filled to the brim with unfinished, undocumented projects with the "if you want to use this product fix it yourself" attitude, at least with closed source you often tend to get what you paid for.

Glider honestly your attitude sucks a bit, maybe get off your *nix horse for a bit, i don't understand why ever *nix user thinks they are better than everyone else. I personally prefer windows cause it helps me get my work faster: okay let me play the blow my own horn game, i develop and run computational intelligence and image segmentation simulations. so i can handle myself around programming languages.

I dont have much *nix experience but i've seen first hand how apt-get can complete screw your system, ooh someone forget to check that this update might completely break that application, especially if you *NEED* to run alpha software. i saw how a guy took down an entire server by updating the python installation on the server. Look *nix is great for the server environment but its still light years away from being a desktop OS.
steveo_mcg 13th May 2008, 20:24 Quote
If you don't know how to use any software it can completely screw up your system apt-get is no different. But tbh the only way i can think of (temporarily) screwing up the system using apt would be using it to uninstall the kernel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon

I dont have much *nix experience but i've seen first hand how apt-get can complete screw your system, ooh someone forget to check that this update might completely break that application, especially if you *NEED* to run alpha software. i saw how a guy took down an entire server by updating the python installation on the server. Look *nix is great for the server environment but its still light years away from being a desktop OS.

Then please don't start on the fud!
Glider 13th May 2008, 20:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
Glider honestly your attitude sucks a bit, maybe get off your *nix horse for a bit, i don't understand why ever *nix user thinks they are better than everyone else.
I am not on an *nix horse... If someone gives a fair argument why Linux sucks (and I myself can give a few) I would totally agree... However saying something sucks, and keep on repeating yourself even while it has proven to be wrong gets my blood boiling (so to speak, I stopped getting excited because of trolls a long time ago). I do love Linux and the OSS for what they offer, and I will defend the things that I love...

If you search my posts you'll see I have nothing against Windows, on the contrary, some should limit themselves to it.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
Look *nix is great for the server environment but its still light years away from being a desktop OS.
Have you got facts to prove this? Millions of eeePC users disagree, even more Linux users can cope with an OS on their desktop that is lightyears away from being a desktop OS, and those are generally users that know what they are doing on the pc, not pc illiterates. People with high demands...
Phil Rhodes 13th May 2008, 20:48 Quote
Glider, you have two people here telling you that there is a problem with a certain part of the OS, and your response is "oh, no, there isn't." I mean... y'know... what d'you want from us? We're only reporting what we've seen. I cannot make it unhappen because you find it inconvenient.

It is exactly this sort of problem which leads me ineluctably to the conclusion that the biggest problem Linux has is its users. There are very big problems with the general usability and user-friendliness of Linux. Going "no there aren't" is exactly the wrong reaction because it causes devs to worry about it less when they should be worrying about it more. What Linux devs tend not to do, to be honest, is the long, tedious, boring bit at the end of development where you take your pre-beta and turn it into release software. It is long and boring and they aren't getting paid so the situation is understandable, but please don't deny that it exists and the problems that it causes.

I reiterate: I would love, I would adore, I would celebrate the fact of Linux becoming a really healthy competitor to Windows, and I hope to see it happen. The problem is that with attitudes like Glider's running the show, it is the people who would be most eager to do Linux a favour who are actually holding it back.
Glider 13th May 2008, 21:39 Quote
Phil Rhodes, in all honesty, you don't seem to know a thing about the OSS community, yet you judge it. Just take a look at bugtracking systems, developers mailinglists,... OSS software isn't released without testing. And wetter the devs are paid or not doesn't matter at all (and to get the facts straight, which seems to be a hard thing to do, a lot of high level devs ARE getting payed). If you actually spend the time you invested in here tearing down the OSS community and actually looked at, for instance, bugzilla you would see... However, you criticise my attitude for not allowing you to to spit at something, when you are blatantly wrong.

If I am the one holding back Linux for you, feel free to ignore me. But the countless PM's, mails, threads and the likes I answer every day with Linux questions (of all sorts) makes me think my attitude of defending the OSS system is more suited than yours, which seems to consist of endless repeating of unfounded things. I'm still waiting for you to how me how 'apt-get upGRADE' manages to hose a system, among others. But I do take comfort in the countless forum threads about Windows updates that forced reinstalls, driver installs that went bad, ... Seems like your Ivory tower called Windows shows cracks... Only those cracks seem to exist just in my *nix-ified point of view. I don't find someone stating flaws inconvenient, on the contrary, I'd be the first one to direct them to the bug & idea tracking system. That's what it's there for. However, there is a difference between a flawed piece of software and the misuse of a piece of software.

Don't get me wrong, Linux is far from being complete, like every piece of software always is, but at this stage (and TBH I think I'm better placed to judge this as you are) Linux is on par with Windows as an Desktop OS. But because Linux is about choice, a new feature in the world of a Windows user, not all distros will be suited for everyone. That's like not everyone can handle a F1 car, thus not everyone should drive one. And then there always is that portion of the users that never ready to adapt to changes. Those are the people that are better off staying where they are. And, sorry to say so, you seem to be like one of those users. You say the biggest problem with Linux are the users, I agree, but not fully, the biggest problem are the MISusers. People who think they know their stuff, but are oh so wrong in the end.

So don't come over here and start waving the 'Linux sucks' banner in my face because you didn't give it a fair chance. And also don't go blaming the developers for mistakes the end users make. When I started seriously with Linux I got frustrated too at times. But I gave it a fair chance and climbed the learinng curve. And everyone has to be honest here, Windows has a learning curve too... The best example is probably PC illiterate (grand) parents that require help printing a Word document. This points to the main problem tough, everyone knows Windows, and therefore when they decide to try Linux and something doesn't work they tend to go back to known grounds. It's a phenomenon that is shown with every change... 'It used to be better, because...'

And I think, so sum things up and stop the trolling, we just are different persons. You seem to be a driver that's riding the 'Windows' lane. You once turned on your turning signal to cross over to the 'Linux' lane, but the roads were just too different over there and you didn't like it. So back you went with a burned feeling. I am a driver in the fast 'Linux' lane, I don't mind crossing over to the 'Windows' lane when I'm forced, but I'm always happy to return to my chosen lane at the end of the day. Because for me Linux offers a lot more then Windows ever has.
Coldon 13th May 2008, 21:40 Quote
don't get me wrong, i have nothing against *nix, and its not fud, i'm sure every linux user has seen how updating one component (especially on a source distro) can break others. We were running all our servers on gentoo (i know bad idea) and updates were a complete nightmare, we've moved over to debian and updates are proceeding smoothly, i have to say that the debian quality control is quite good.

an eeepc isn't exactly a fully fledged workhorse and the millions of people are running linux on it cause it came with it and has nice pretty big buttons for all the basic features they need but on the flip side those machines are pretty low end and thats where linux shines!

I'm with phil on this tho, there is this attitude of superiority in the linux and OSS communities that is uncalled for and is often self-destructive. This is reason i even bothered replying on this thread. As for software QC on linux that is a major problem within the OSS community, a large scientific organization here decided to go open source since the government here is pushing for it (blame mark shuttleworth) and they decided on using Open Office for their office suite, within a month they ran into major problems and hired a team of programmers to work on modifying open office to fix bugs and add features. I've worked with open source packages and have often reported bugs to the developers and pretty much the general response is: "fix it yourself, i don't have time or couldn't be bothered" on the smaller projects, "um.. thanks we'll get to it hopefully" on the larger ones.

If a company is getting paid for a product, they have a lot more incentive to get their patches out faster, and they often have larger budget for professional QA, unlike the OS community which often relies on mainly the users for bug reporting. Then again OSS is completely separate to the OS the software is run on.

Again all this is all largely off topic and there is no need to get into a mud slinging match about which os penis is bigger.
Quote:
fast 'Linux' lane
- there again that little remark, proves our point. There is not one thing that linux does that windows can't and vice versa, not one! linux isn't any faster or any slower than windows.
pems.butler@btopen 13th May 2008, 21:47 Quote
Don't all shout at me, just because I understand very little of what you are all saying.

Phil Rhodes understands best why ordinary punters like me are not prepared to switch to Linux/Unix yet.

Do any of you have an informed and (as far as is reasonable) a sympathetic view of any commercial providers who are packaging Unix for punters like me ?

I would pay good money to avoid upgrading from my Windows 2000 to Vista (or a ******* XP) when the time comes - especially if the alternative came with the sort of manual that was a credit to Windows 3.11.

R
Coldon 13th May 2008, 21:56 Quote
i'd say your best bet is kubuntu, that the closest to the windows experience you'll get on a nix platform...
Glider 13th May 2008, 22:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
don't get me wrong, i have nothing against *nix, and its not fud, i'm sure every linux user has seen how updating one component (especially on a source distro) can break others. We were running all our servers on gentoo (i know bad idea) and updates were a complete nightmare, we've moved over to debian and updates are proceeding smoothly, i have to say that the debian quality control is quite good.
I run a Gentoo Desktop system. And indeed, Gentoo isn't suited for most servers, Debian however is supreme ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
I've worked with open source packages and have often reported bugs to the developers and pretty much the general response is: "fix it yourself, i don't have time or couldn't be bothered" on the smaller projects, "um.. thanks we'll get to it hopefully" on the larger ones.
I just think you got a grumpy dev. I personally know a lot of 'high level' developers, and I must say, bugs aren't ignored, AT ALL.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
If a company is getting paid for a product, they have a lot more incentive to get their patches out faster, and they often have larger budget for professional QA, unlike the OS community which often relies on mainly the users for bug reporting. Then again OSS is completely separate to the OS the software is run on.
Again I disagree, just look at K3B for instance. OSS software that just owns Nero.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon

- there again that little remark, proves our point. There is not one thing that linux does that windows can't and vice versa, not one! linux isn't any faster or any slower than windows.
Linux uses less resources, and is faster. For instance, Linux has the fastest USB2 implementation. This is a proven fact. Things Linux can that Windows can't? How about boot to a LiveCD? Chroot services for safety? (I know you will disagree) Implement a working package manager. Correctly work with (hard) links... Run on a toaster?

EDIT2: And fast lane was meant that Linux gets things done faster for me. I customised my (G)UI 110%, just as I like it to be. Another thing Windows isn't capable of.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by pems.butler@btopen
Do any of you have an informed and (as far as is reasonable) a sympathetic view of any commercial providers who are packaging Unix for punters like me ?

Commercially? SLED or RedHat, but I don't recommend it. Any flavor of Ubuntu or Fedora will get you up and running in 15 minutes
steveo_mcg 13th May 2008, 22:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon

There is not one thing that linux does that windows can't and vice versa, not one! linux isn't any faster or any slower than windows.

I use both os's and i can think of a half dozen with out trying.
Phil Rhodes 13th May 2008, 22:21 Quote
> I would pay good money to avoid upgrading from my Windows 2000 to Vista

So would I. I would happily pay similar money for similar functionality both in terms of OS and applications. Linux people need to understand that it doesn't HAVE to be free. The issue is simple: it just does not exist. I can't go out and buy a linux distro which works as well as windows does because there isn't one.

I have avoided going ad-hominem on Glider but his constant attitude of superiority and assumption that he knows everything about me is so typical of the stereotype that I can't help but mention it.

Glider, let me say this in closing. You are behaving in exactly the way, saying exactly the things, and having exactly the effect that every other Linux advocate I meet has. If you studied the art for years, you could not possibly be having a more negative effect on the debate; you could not possibly be more wrong. The very statement that Linux and Windows are "on a par" on the desktop typifies the standard response perfectly and it is very, very obviously not the case. Hopelessly obviously. Everyone on this thread is a computer user and most of them know damned well that Linux is, to be kind, not a competitor in this field. You know it, I know it. And yet you are forced through some insane brand loyalty to defend the thing.

No matter how much you believe it, it will remain untrue. And the more you believe it, ironically, the less true it will become.
steveo_mcg 13th May 2008, 22:30 Quote
Linux devs have used windows you know. They have often chosen not to replicate the functionality of it for various reasons, its different but far from inferior the biggest problem most have is that they are power users in windows but noobs in linux and no one likes being back at the bottom of the learning curve. If you've had problems using it in the past (you clearly have) ask for help, stop using it, but don't spread bile based on your experiences of a few years ago, its an eternity in linux unlike in Windows.
Coldon 13th May 2008, 22:34 Quote
lets agree to disagree... as for k3b, I've been soured by that program, yes now its usable now, it took them a while tho. In a counter-point to my argument before nero started out great and nosedived with every new release...

As for using less resources, thats always debatable, it depends on what you're running, my windows box might use, lets exaggerate a bit, 3 times the ram but if i compare performance of my application on both systems its identical, and to be honest, the ms c++ compiler is a bit better than g++, especially with the new version in 2k8 with runtime debug assertions. Yes, all the MS services running use up a lot of memory but then again the OS is aimed at the average user that might need to do any one of a million things and they need to be prepared for it. Every power user i know will tweak windows settings just like ever linux power user will spend time optimizing their system.

The one thing that you cant argue with is the time requirement of linux, lets say i get a hard drive crash i'm back up and running in about 3 hours my colleagues take a day or 2 to get their systems back up and running, more if running gentoo (took our sysadmin over a week when his reiser3 FS died suddenly).

As for running a toaster on windows, its possible with some effort, our toaster runs a simple web interface connected to a writer service, I see no reason it cant be run on a windows box, as for a live cd hm... barts pe is kinda like a live cd, but then again how many windows users do you know that need a live cd :P

as for the grumpy devs, i got a couple, i remember a few years back i ran into a PHP bug that i could reproduce and they couldn't put it up on the bug message board and promptly had some guy call me an idiot and that i had no idea what i was doing, it was all PEBCAK according to them. had a similar thing with mysql GUI tools a while back too (now that is an atrocious suite of applications). anyways we've gotten grossly off topic here.
Quote:
I use both os's and i can think of a half dozen with out trying.

I'd be curious to hear what they are...
koola 13th May 2008, 22:45 Quote
My opinion of Linux is that it's a great OS, but lacks the support and software that windows commercially gains and continues to dominate with. Until this balance of power shifts, Linux will continue to be a niche OS (except for servers where it's actually gaining ground due to lower TCO).

People looking for a more noob friendly *nix experience should try OSX as that offers a imho better experience with all the security and power Linux offers, but as a trade-off is more expensive.
Coldon 13th May 2008, 22:49 Quote
*feh double posted* delete please...
steveo_mcg 13th May 2008, 22:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon

I'd be curious to hear what they are...

Netboot easily and cheaply rdp is a nasty hack.
Run the x layer on a server displaying on a local machine (see rdp comment).
Treat a network drive as though its local (invisibly), smb still shows as a seperate drive.
Run a thin client as a full standalone machine, an compaq evo doesn't have the ram let alone horsepower for win98.
Run the entire os from ram with less than 128mb and no swap
Run the whole shooting match with out having to use a GUI.
Change the window manager with out changing the core of the system
operate with out having the registry corrupt (very rare but its a bitch to loose an entire system because one file goes bad)

I have more but they become quite pedantic :)
Glider 13th May 2008, 22:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
lets agree to disagree...
Now those are wise words...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
as for k3b, I've been soured by that program, yes now its usable now, it took them a while tho. In a counter-point to my argument before nero started out great and nosedived with every new release...
I go even further, I fully agree again. K3B WAS a load of crap but now it's superb. Nero is the opposite...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
As for using less resources, thats always debatable, it depends on what you're running, my windows box might use, lets exaggerate a bit, 3 times the ram but if i compare performance of my application on both systems its identical, and to be honest, the ms c++ compiler is a bit better than g++, especially with the new version in 2k8 with runtime debug assertions. Yes, all the MS services running use up a lot of memory but then again the OS is aimed at the average user that might need to do any one of a million things and they need to be prepared for it. Every power user i know will tweak windows settings just like ever linux power user will spend time optimizing their system.
True again, but gcc accepts a lot more optimalisations flags (/me is a Gentoo user, don't get me started ;)) I don't know how the MS C++ compilier handles compile caching, cross compiling, multi threads or task offloading, but gcc does all of those with ease (ccache, chrooted environments, basic kernel fucntion and distcc ;))

Resources wise I have a challenge for you, try to run a basic Windows system (like 98SE and up, networking ;)) with functionality on a system with 1MB RAM. I did that (LFS experiment, got a basic GUI booted and loaded a webbrowser at a decent speed). Another chalenge, run a Server Windows OS (like 2000) and make it a basic fileserver. Minimum requirements are way higher then on a Linux Samba server (/me looks to his left and sees a system with 18MB RAM dishing out files to the entire student house)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
The one thing that you cant argue with is the time requirement of linux, lets say i get a hard drive crash i'm back up and running in about 3 hours my colleagues take a day or 2 to get their systems back up and running, more if running gentoo (took our sysadmin over a week when his reiser3 FS died suddenly).
This is a two bladed sword. In the case of the Gentoo system, a full reinstall takes me 2 days. Configurations are saved, just the recompilation takes a while. A Debian system tough is up and running again (fresh install, no ghost) in 20 minutes, given the configuration files are backup'd (I did it on my high schools student club main server).

It's a matter of planning ahead (I have my configs backed up and they are physically on a different partition to, so I just need to mount it) and building up a routine. I can reinstall my Vista PC in an hour (without customisations), but I can install Debian in far less time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
As for running a toaster on windows, its possible with some effort, our toaster runs a simple web interface connected to a writer service, I see no reason it cant be run on a windows box, as for a live cd hm... barts pe is kinda like a live cd, but then again how many windows users do you know that need a live cd :P
The toaster was a principle. Linux supports the most architectures of all OSs out there.
Aterius Gmork 13th May 2008, 22:56 Quote
I don't know if it is a good idea posting here, but I will do it anyway.

First: I love Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, Xfce, Debian for server). Not that I know that much, but I love it. I love it for being free, I love it for making my old PC feel faster than my main rig for office work. And I don't want to miss it!

But there are many things that are really annoying. If Linux runs it is awesome! But you got to set it up first. For an office machine that is no problem. But if you want to do anything different than that the nightmare begins. Installing Nvidia drivers for an instance: I seriously do not want to learn how to switch to runlevel 3 or anything.
There was a lanparty at my house recently, but Diablo II LOD wasn't running on my friends MAC. I formated the Linux machine and put XP on it. (Yes, I know, it hurts etc.) It was a matter of putting the CD in, waiting a few minutes, typing in some information and letting it sit for another few minutes: done! Then I simply downloaded some Nvidia drivers and installed them! 45 minutes, and he could play!
(It has Fedora running again, if that does comfort you.)


Now I know it is Nvidia's fault for making drivers that are so hard to install. I know it is the game dev's fault for not making it run on Linux. But you know what: I don't care about the why and what. I want things to be running. And I want them to be running easily. Without reading some toturial for hours just to descover that the driver doesn't work because the card is too old. Nvidia's fault again: But again, I don't care. I did get the drivers installed, but only because tinkering with the system is fun for me.

If my mom gets any distro installed on her machine by herself, fully functioning, with all drivers working as they are with Vista, and running mainstream programms as Paint Shop Pro or Photo Impact, then you are done. Not all mp3players, little gadgets, and whatever, but let's say a normal modern laptop with normal modern software. I'm sure my mom does not care what you have to archieve that goal, even if that means you have to bribe the software devs. Oh, you don't have enough money for that? Well, then charge more for the damn thing! Because it works, j/k.


Again, don't get me wrong on this, I am thankful for Linux and its efforts. In fact I wouldn't want to life without it. But sometimes choice etc. has to be limited for simplicity. Because simplicity is a choice also - and one that Linux isn't always offering. Really.



Ninja Edit: Oh yeah, that configs you have backed up are not an argument here. You have to set it up once to be able to back up a config. And then you could also mirror your WinXP harddrive I guess. (Don't know, never tried, just not worth it for a Windows machine.)
Glider 13th May 2008, 23:00 Quote
On a funny note, as a former D2 LOD addict you can perfectly run D2 in Wine or Cedega ;)

EDIT:Ah curse you, you make me wonder how AM_Sparky (Charged boltress), AM_BiteMe (PDR sorc), AM_Chainy (Chain lighning sorc), AM_Flash (4fps Novae),... from v1.09 would do nowadays... :D I even wonder if my old clan still exitst
Aterius Gmork 13th May 2008, 23:03 Quote
I know. But I couldn't be bothered to try setting it up while my friends are there. The machine was a file server, and with my little experience I need some quitness, not 5 friends rumoring behind me.
Shielder 13th May 2008, 23:17 Quote
Glider, Phil, Coldon etc, I think you are all missing the point entirely, Windows is definitely the best OS for some people, Linux is the best for others and some just prefer Macs. I know my way around both XP (not Vista just yet :) ) and most Linux distros and there are things that are good and bad about both systems.

We could argue for ever and a day about which is better, for example, getting MCNP to run over multiple systems is virtually impossible with Windows, yet I had a 32 node MCNP Linux cluster running 3 years ago. Gaming, on the other hand is great on Windows (i.e. lots of good quality titles) and just good on Linux.

The problem is not that Linux or Windows or MacOS is better, but that MS are trying to force us to choose that their OS is the best for everything when it quite plainly isn't. Windows is not the Holy Grail of OSs. Neither is Linux. Both will be the best for certain applications, and crap at others. It is all down to personal preference and what works best for the particular job that you need to get done.

Andy
Phil Rhodes 13th May 2008, 23:21 Quote
> Now I know it is Nvidia's fault for making drivers that are so hard to install.

Well it's really not; it's much more about Linux being completely free of any form of standardisation. Deploying software onto Linux is a pain in the neck unlike anything the world has ever seen. The degree of customisation that Glider refers to is the direct cause of this. No two Windows systems are exactly alike; the problem is orders of magnitude worse on Linux.
Aterius Gmork 13th May 2008, 23:24 Quote
Uhmmm... I think you are wrong there. Because you need the same packages on most distros, and get the same package from Nvidia for most distros. But then I've only installed Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu.

Nvidia could simply include all you need for most scenarios in one (or several) packages. And do we really need runlevel 3 for a simple graphic driver install? I mean, Windows can do without it. A restart is just fine.

@Shielder: You are right there. But if Linux wants to become more mainstream it will have to change. Sometimes it is about how many people are "some".
Shielder 13th May 2008, 23:30 Quote
Phil, ever heard of the Linux Standards Base? Nearly all distros adhere to these standards, making your point moot. Sorry.

The problem is not Linux having no standards (it does), it is more the lack of development of the Linux drivers from different companies that is the problem. Take for example Canon printers. They are excellent printers (until they decide not to work), but Canon don't produce any Linux drivers for them, rendering my i350 a useless (large) paperweight. If I had an HP printer, I would be able to print from my Linux systems with no faffing about at all. The drivers are included in the distro (as were the drivers for my Samsung ML-2010, a USB laser printer).
Quote:
Deploying software onto Linux is a pain in the neck unlike anything the world has ever seen.

??? I can have a central server with all of the software on that I want to use and have the clients load the software over the network, rather than have individual programs on each machine. Hell, I could even go diskless and have a single image serving thousands of computers all over the world. I can install some software on a Linux system and just copy the installation directory over to another linux system and run the software without having to worry about registry keys and rebooting the computer. How is that a pain in the neck?

Andy
Glider 13th May 2008, 23:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Well it's really not; it's much more about Linux being completely free of any form of standardisation.

I'm getting so sick of this I'm actually going to start copy pasting my first reply to it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by part of /usr/src/linux/Documentation/console/console.txt
Guidelines for console driver writers:
=====================================

In order for binding to and unbinding from the console to properly work,
console drivers must follow these guidelines:

1. All drivers, except system drivers, must call either register_con_driver()
or take_over_console(). register_con_driver() will just add the driver to
the console's internal list. It won't take over the
console. take_over_console(), as it name implies, will also take over (or
bind to) the console.

2. All resources allocated during con->con_init() must be released in
con->con_deinit().

3. All resources allocated in con->con_startup() must be released when the
driver, which was previously bound, becomes unbound. The console layer
does not have a complementary call to con->con_startup() so it's up to the
driver to check when it's legal to release these resources. Calling
con_is_bound() in con->con_deinit() will help. If the call returned
false(), then it's safe to release the resources. This balance has to be
ensured because con->con_startup() can be called again when a request to
rebind the driver to the console arrives.

4. Upon exit of the driver, ensure that the driver is totally unbound. If the
condition is satisfied, then the driver must call unregister_con_driver()
or give_up_console().

5. unregister_con_driver() can also be called on conditions which make it
impossible for the driver to service console requests. This can happen
with the framebuffer console that suddenly lost all of its drivers.

The current crop of console drivers should still work correctly, but binding
and unbinding them may cause problems. With minimal fixes, these drivers can
be made to work correctly.

==========================
Antonino Daplas <adaplas@pol.net>
Quote:
Originally Posted by begining of /usr/src/linux/Documentation/pci.txt

How To Write Linux PCI Drivers

by Martin Mares <mj@ucw.cz> on 07-Feb-2000
updated by Grant Grundler <grundler@parisc-linux.org> on 23-Dec-2006

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The world of PCI is vast and full of (mostly unpleasant) surprises.
Since each CPU architecture implements different chip-sets and PCI devices
have different requirements (erm, "features"), the result is the PCI support
in the Linux kernel is not as trivial as one would wish. This short paper
tries to introduce all potential driver authors to Linux APIs for
PCI device drivers.

A more complete resource is the third edition of "Linux Device Drivers"
by Jonathan Corbet, Alessandro Rubini, and Greg Kroah-Hartman.
LDD3 is available for free (under Creative Commons License) from:

http://lwn.net/Kernel/LDD3/

However, keep in mind that all documents are subject to "bit rot".
Refer to the source code if things are not working as described here.

Please send questions/comments/patches about Linux PCI API to the
"Linux PCI" <linux-pci@atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz> mailing list.

0. Structure of PCI drivers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PCI drivers "discover" PCI devices in a system via pci_register_driver().
Actually, it's the other way around. When the PCI generic code discovers
a new device, the driver with a matching "description" will be notified.
Details on this below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by /usr/src/linux/Documentation/stable_kernel_rules.txt
Everything you ever wanted to know about Linux 2.6 -stable releases.

Rules on what kind of patches are accepted, and which ones are not, into the
"-stable" tree:

- It must be obviously correct and tested.
- It cannot be bigger than 100 lines, with context.
- It must fix only one thing.
- It must fix a real bug that bothers people (not a, "This could be a
problem..." type thing).
- It must fix a problem that causes a build error (but not for things
marked CONFIG_BROKEN), an oops, a hang, data corruption, a real
security issue, or some "oh, that's not good" issue. In short, something
critical.
- No "theoretical race condition" issues, unless an explanation of how the
race can be exploited is also provided.
- It cannot contain any "trivial" fixes in it (spelling changes,
whitespace cleanups, etc).
- It must be accepted by the relevant subsystem maintainer.
- It must follow the Documentation/SubmittingPatches rules.


Procedure for submitting patches to the -stable tree:

- Send the patch, after verifying that it follows the above rules, to
stable@kernel.org.
- The sender will receive an ACK when the patch has been accepted into the
queue, or a NAK if the patch is rejected. This response might take a few
days, according to the developer's schedules.
- If accepted, the patch will be added to the -stable queue, for review by
other developers.
- Security patches should not be sent to this alias, but instead to the
documented security@kernel.org address.


Review cycle:

- When the -stable maintainers decide for a review cycle, the patches will be
sent to the review committee, and the maintainer of the affected area of
the patch (unless the submitter is the maintainer of the area) and CC: to
the linux-kernel mailing list.
- The review committee has 48 hours in which to ACK or NAK the patch.
- If the patch is rejected by a member of the committee, or linux-kernel
members object to the patch, bringing up issues that the maintainers and
members did not realize, the patch will be dropped from the queue.
- At the end of the review cycle, the ACKed patches will be added to the
latest -stable release, and a new -stable release will happen.
- Security patches will be accepted into the -stable tree directly from the
security kernel team, and not go through the normal review cycle.
Contact the kernel security team for more details on this procedure.


Review committee:

- This is made up of a number of kernel developers who have volunteered for
this task, and a few that haven't.

And there are hundreds more... going more in detail... Can't find the gorgious ones at the moment... And know what, it's even INCLUDED in the source code...

I hope this shuts you up now. If you keep trolling I will report your posts to the moderators.
Phil Rhodes 14th May 2008, 00:02 Quote
Doesn't really help me find, say, the config file that allows me to associate gmplayer with AVI files, f'rinstance, does it.

Which is rather what I was thinking of.
Aterius Gmork 14th May 2008, 00:05 Quote
Not again. You are reading what Glider is writing, right?

Those are restricted formats. PAY for a distro and BUY it, then you get things that have not been done for free.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats#head-c268ba69c6b38af1dc31ea09701c7d296cf971c3

Sorry, but this time I'm with Glider. Blame everyone, or simply demand. Like saying: "I want this thing just to be working". That's ok. But don't blame the wrong guys, alright?"
Tyinsar 14th May 2008, 00:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Linux devs have used windows you know. They have often chosen not to replicate the functionality of it for various reasons, its different but far from inferior the biggest problem most have is that they are power users in windows but noobs in linux and no one likes being back at the bottom of the learning curve. If you've had problems using it in the past (you clearly have) ask for help, stop using it, but don't spread bile based on your experiences of a few years ago, its an eternity in linux unlike in Windows.
Certainly true in my experiences with Linux. ;)
Glider 14th May 2008, 00:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Doesn't really help me find, say, the config file that allows me to associate gmplayer with AVI files, f'rinstance, does it.

gmplayer has nothing to do with Linux, maybe you should get your facts straight first and memorise what Linux actually is... But that's something you already heard today I guess, that you have to get your facts straight...

Config files which system wide go into /etc, user specific go into $HOME (figure out what it all means before you start replying; please)

You just touched one of the most standardised and document parts of Linux, the FS structure... Now, think before you speak, this can get nasty...
r4tch3t 14th May 2008, 01:44 Quote
I find that Linux (Ubuntu in particular) is better for computer illiterate people. I have build many computers for people and two in particular have barely used a computer in their life. They can't get things to work in windows and always end up with virii on their machines. A change to Linux makes it so much easier for them. Work so much better and they have commented to me that it seems faster.
Its the same with anything though. There is a learning curve. Moving from XP to Vista I found some things quite irksome but now I find that Vista is much better than XP (Running on a system that can handle Vista properly)
With Linux its a big change from the windows environment most of us are used to, but when you move to a new country do you expect everything to be the same as you old country?
Phil Rhodes 14th May 2008, 08:30 Quote
> Config files which system wide go into /etc, user specific go into $HOME

Yeah - some of the time. Maybe 20% of the time.

That "FS structure" is in my experience one of the most frequently misused or simply disused things - it's really quite rarely used properly, with the result that the config file for program A could be... well, more or less anywhere in practice. You will of course present the excuse that certain distros put things in one place and others in another, and software that has been prepared for one will do things differently when installed on another, but that's exactly the problem I'm trying to highlight. Said config could be alongside program A, somewhere in /etc, somewhere in /home/whoever, /etc/yourprogram/ possibly somewhere in /root depending on who you were when you installed it, etc etc.

(And don't get me started on root. What's root? Well, root is a user, root is that user's home directory, root the root of a device in /mnt (or wherever this particular version of this particular distro on this particular dary might mount other devices), and root is the top of the file system itself, in which case you have a root which contains one root directly and perhaps many others indirectly - root root rootity root, oh, and never use the system as root, you'll be able to get far too much done, just get used to prefacing every single command you ever type with "sudo". What a complete and utter train wreck of a system.)

Needless to say these files will all be in completely different formats with no documentation as to what they expect. Registry might be a single point of failure but at least it's consistent...
Coldon 14th May 2008, 08:38 Quote
@r4tch3t - yes initially kubuntu would be great for computer illiterate people but the problem come in when something goes wrong. Getting linux help usually ends up being expensive.
Shielder 14th May 2008, 08:49 Quote
I think we've reached the end of this discussion. Obviously Phil and Coldon are clueless when it comes to modern *nix systems.

It almost seems like they are trying to argue that black is white. I'm waiting next to the nearest zebra crossing, just to see what will happen (aka Douglas Adams...)

I call troll anyway. Phil, Colon; come back when you've got a clue about what you are talking about and maybe then you'll be listened to.

Trying to argue with the Bit-Tech Linux guru is definitely like p***ing into the wind...

Andy
steveo_mcg 14th May 2008, 09:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
@r4tch3t - yes initially kubuntu would be great for computer illiterate people but the problem come in when something goes wrong. Getting COMMERCIAL linux help usually ends up being expensive.

Fixed that for you. But then so can windows,

I worked for an oil company a few years back they were deploying sharepoint when it was a new product long story short a few problems arose. I reported the bug and was sent a bill for over £100, for the bug report not the fix the report. It was an oil firm so they didn't care but lets be clear real support is not free with any os.
Phil Rhodes 14th May 2008, 09:33 Quote
What can I say? I speak as I find. What d'you think, I'm making this stuff up for the fun of it? I assure you I'm not.

What's most irritating is that many of these things are quite easily solved, at least technically speaking - just requires opensource coders to pull together, which is historically, well... difficult? Could I say "rare"?
DougEdey 14th May 2008, 09:47 Quote
Actually, open source coding is becoming better, I've seen language bugs fixed in minutes.

But you have to remember, open source coders have real jobs too, we have to earn a crust and since Open Source is generally donation based we can't earn it from that.
r4tch3t 14th May 2008, 10:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldon
@r4tch3t - yes initially kubuntu would be great for computer illiterate people but the problem come in when something goes wrong. Getting linux help usually ends up being expensive.
The thing is they have spent hundreds already on windows help, with virus scanners and sending to the shop (I am now in a different Island) With Linux it doesn't go wrong, they use it for word, music internet and e-mail. Nothing can really go wrong as they don't touch anything. Since installing Linux I havn't needed to fix any problems at all.
Glider 14th May 2008, 12:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
... is in my experience one of the most frequently misused or simply disused things...
Your experience seems to be... none existing, however, if you want to I can give you logons on dozens of Linux systems (5-6distro's), and I DARE you to find a system wide config outside /etc and a user config outside of $HOME...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
(And don't get me started on root. What's root? Well, root is a user, root is that user's home directory, root the root of a device in /mnt (or wherever this particular version of this particular distro on this particular dary might mount other devices), and root is the top of the file system itself, in which case you have a root which contains one root directly and perhaps many others indirectly - root root rootity root, oh, and never use the system as root, you'll be able to get far too much done, just get used to prefacing every single command you ever type with "sudo". What a complete and utter train wreck of a system.)
And now you prove to be an ignorant git, with 0 *nix knowledge... Actually this part makes me go report your post as trolling...

EDIT: Which I did now
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Needless to say these files will all be in completely different formats with no documentation as to what they expect. Registry might be a single point of failure but at least it's consistent...

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=1729831&postcount=73

And if that isn't the docs you are looking for, RTFM!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
figure out what it all means before you start replying; please
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shielder
Trying to argue with the Bit-Tech Linux guru is definitely like p***ing into the wind...
Making false statements on things you obviously don't have a clue about is ;) Arguing isn't at all. I like a good argument, but I hate talking to a wall...
Phil Rhodes 14th May 2008, 15:54 Quote
You can call them "false statements" as much as you like; I have seen all of this happen with my own eyes. As I say, I can't bend reality around your worldview. These things happen.

And as far as reporting it goes, be my guest, I consider that I've been the very picture of reasonableness given your holier-than-thou attitude.
Glider 14th May 2008, 16:00 Quote
Well, since you didn't even bother to reply to any of my arguments in a decent matter, arguing hasn't got a point. Repeating the same, wrong, statements time after time makes me actually sad that I invested time even bothering to reply to your ignorance. So climb up on you Ivory tower once again, and feel welcome on my ignore list.
Phil Rhodes 14th May 2008, 16:47 Quote
I'm not really sure what arguments you expect me to address. I've stated things I've seen happen, you've said "you're making it up." Whaddayawant?
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