Comments on: I'm Going Back To Windows Linux. GNU. Freedom. Sun, 13 May 2018 18:21:35 +0000 hourly 1 By: Jo Thu, 05 Jan 2012 17:47:23 +0000 Aaron,

Can you please shed some light on the reasons for not including an easy way to select from a larger list of screen resolutions.

I've gone into creating/editing as well as using 'xrandr' and don't seem to be able to get it right. The forums are helpful, but most people seem happy with the resolutions they've got and don't need this level of configuration.

This is the only part of Windows I admire. Just select the resolution you want and you're done!

By: Aaron Sun, 03 Jan 2010 13:09:56 +0000 @ste_a_b Have fun then. No one cares what operating system you're running. That's kind of the point of the post. If you don't like Ubuntu, then don't run it. No one cares about the choices you make in life unless they affect others. Your choice of operating system doesn't affect anyone around here.

By: ste a b Sat, 02 Jan 2010 16:46:51 +0000 Listen. I have a computer so I can make music, edit my films, write documents, browse the web. I have just installed ubuntu because of all the positive talk about it. Now I have spent the last 5 hours trying to find instructions in ordinary English of how to install the f-ing display driver. I've had to type my password in around 9 times already. In XP, I double-click an exe, that's it. Now I know why most people use windows. Which I will now re-install.

By: severedsolo Wed, 09 Dec 2009 14:17:46 +0000 I went back to Windows, but it had nothing to do with me not being bothered to learn linux, i installed Ubuntu Karmic Koala, and in principle, i had no problem with it, after a few teething troubles (1 driver issue, but it turned out that was my fault i cant blame ubuntu for that, i just didn't know you couldnt have 2 synaptics open) i got it all working, and spent a month getting to know how to use it, obviously i know i hadnt even scratched the surface, but it did what i wanted it to do, it let me web browse, email IM and torrent (which is "normal" use for me, if i'm not tweaking, fiddling and generally doing things i know might break the OS, i do this on windows too, i do it to learn from my mistakes) it was a good stable operating system, and i had taken the time to learn it, any issues i had were solved by either a quick google search, or a post on the ubuntu forums.

so why did i go back to windows?

1. Grub2, possibly the WORST boot manager i have ever seen.... install an update? now you get 2 ubuntu entries (discarding recovery mode) and you cant delete the duplicate, (i understand you could on legacy Grub, but grub2 was complicated to configure... and to be honest, i dont want to spend 2 hours trying to delete a single entry from the bootloader)

2. I just didnt like the look of it, yes i know this is a really shallow issue, but even with different themes and such, it just didnt appeal to my aesthetic tastes, now thats personal choice, and as i said ubuntu did what i wanted it to, but if im going to spend 5 hours or up staring at a screen, i want it to look good....

3. no way to fix it if you c**k up except a reinstall, seriously? i managed to corrupt my graphics driver install the first time i installed it, as i said above, my own fault, and i went on the ubuntu forums, and just said "look. i know iv messed this up, is there a "system restore" type feature so i can just get rid of this one dodgy driver, the answer came back "no sorry youll have to reinstall" now thats all very well and good because that was a fresh install, but what if it had happened a year down the line? iv got programs and files everywhere, and i have to reinstall? does the "average" user want to reinstall every time an update corrupts? hell, most average users dont even know HOW to install an OS,

5, i know this one isnt ubuntu's fault but the developers, but gaming, i love to game (when im not trying to break my OS) and rebooting into windows to do so every time i want to play a game is just annoying... Wine doesnt work for alot of games, (including one which WINE HQ said it did, but it just turned my screen black....) as i said that isnt Linux's fault, but its annoying

Now i have no problem using the command line, i often use it in windows, and i took the time to learn how to do basic tasks in CLI, i actually found it easier than using the GUI for certain features, (i find drag and drop very time consuming compared to using CLI for instance)

so, there are my reasons, these are just personal choices, and i did take the time to get used to Ubuntu and learn how to use it, and i completely agree with your point that people SHOULD do so, even with Windows (having said that if they did i wouldn't make any money) but i just didnt like it, its a good OS, and i have no doubt it suits alot of people, but it just wasnt my cup of tea,

By: Lawyers Smithtown Fri, 20 Nov 2009 01:38:09 +0000 I don't want waste my valuable time to spend in linux. Why I do hard work for nothing? I always love windows. And I use and will use this Microsoft windows.

By: teletrabajando Wed, 21 Oct 2009 09:51:32 +0000 Windows will stay an important OS. Maybe they gain ground again with Windows 7.

By: moto Tue, 07 Jul 2009 06:42:46 +0000 The problem is, that many softwares don't run under Linux, with Wine neither.

By: The Doctor Wed, 29 Apr 2009 03:22:52 +0000 * ahem *


That is all.

By: _khAttAm_ Mon, 20 Apr 2009 23:36:34 +0000 I don't care of people threatening of going back to windows. Who told you to come here in the first place. Go enjoy your Windows stuff while we enjoy Linux.

By: Warp Mon, 20 Apr 2009 09:17:55 +0000 I dumped win95/98 after contant loss of data because of FAT.
I went to OS/2 and for years I was very happy, but hey, talking about a lack of software and hardware support 🙁 , that's what drove me into using misc. Linux distro's.
The peace and productiveness it gives me is beyond believe.
I'm hooked on ubuntu and puppy linux.
So @raul: the best thing MS has done was the development with IBM of the OS/2 desktop.

By: Raul Sun, 19 Apr 2009 18:47:30 +0000 I have to admit Microsoft did something great for the desktop... But man, that was back in 1995. It's only about "friendly" propaganda since then. Even my cellphone has a friendlier way to operate, way better than Start Menu, so does any (GUI) operating system available. I think right now it's more of a monopoly issue, with Adobe and like big companies only supporting Windows and OSX. I think the war for the desktop should be one to defend the user from being "used" by those mafia bosses.

By: an anteater Sat, 18 Apr 2009 13:33:04 +0000 I think it is really a shame that one often hears the old stupid stories of how software on linux is hard to install and you have to use the cl constantly.

Today the cl can usually be used as a fallback for times when a frontend fails to do something or if you just feel more comfortable with it. Linux has come a long way in recent years and I'm sure it will get a "better" reputation some day...

By: portrait paintings Fri, 09 May 2008 06:06:03 +0000 If Linux is really true to its promises, threats such as this one shouldn’t be a bother. Linux and Windows both have their advantages and disadvantages. The important thing is, one must carefully determine whether or not Linux would best serve his/her desired purposes or jobs to be accomplished.

By: Oil Portrait paintin Wed, 23 Apr 2008 13:01:40 +0000 You just hit me bull’s eye. I was once using Linux. I admit I found it a little difficult to handle compared to Microsoft. But the truth is, it was difficult because I was resistant to change. Resistance towards change makes something new difficult for us to handle. Are these people who are threatening Linux people to go back to Microsoft long-term users or are they just newbies? If they’re newbies then expect that they will really look for something that’s as user-friendly as Microsoft.

By: t-shirts Thu, 24 Jan 2008 21:16:38 +0000 Well here's my two sense. I bought a new laptop with VISTA pre-installed, expecting to see it do (and operate) like I saw on the adverts, videos etc.
Only to find out that I don't get any of the cool features because I only have 'home' edition (like, there's some major difference? and why?)
So I have to pay a fair amount of money just to get some extra security, usability, and cool features? why?
Now, after 6 months, I've finally taken the leap and installed Linux Ubuntu on my laptop.
Here's what I have to say : WOW. Not just because of the cool features that Compiz brings (this is the first time I've used virtual desktops – and they're brilliant. Why the heck did they bother not even putting virtual desktops into Vista?) But it's also brilliant because everything just WORKS. Seriously. Fine, I've had some trouble with my suspend, but the operating system just works easily. Installations have been seamless. Getting my 3G Vodafone card to work, seamless (it took some trouble on Windows), getting networking to work, simple. Any slight issue i've had has had quick and simple answers on the Any problems I had with windows had NO answers on Microsoft or their unhelpful forums.
Why anyone would go back to Windows is beyond me. I think it's because they were wanting something 'new' in an OS, but in actual fact just wanted Windows with a cool desktop. With Ubuntu, I'm getting FAR more than that!
As someone else said about Ubuntu vs Vista : Ubuntu goes out of the way to get out of your way. Vista goes out of it's way to insist on it's way. 'Nuff said.

By: trademark registration Sun, 11 Nov 2007 05:39:25 +0000 It frustrates me to no end that software is so hard to install on Linux. You’d think somebody would have come up with a better way.

For all of Windows’ flaws, painful software installs are not among them. While this does open the door for installing something sinister, it does allow most users to install software and work. When I encounter these types of issues in Linux, I spend more time configuring my software than actually using it.

By: Justin Sun, 07 Oct 2007 09:49:00 +0000 I switched from Windows to Linux many times.. until about 2004, after that I stayed on Linux.

Sure Linux is different but I have choice and I do not have to worry about what is going to happen from my machine in a week from now - I know that it will be working (save for a hardware failure) unlike Windows which keeps you in a constant state of panic...

With Windows if it's not Virus'es it's spyware - if its not that it's strange errors or shutdowns.. problem after problem..

Viva la Linux!

By: Andrew Ward Wed, 12 Sep 2007 11:35:30 +0000 The argument that Linux can't have a windows like control panel is rubbish. The Apple Mac OS X operating system is built on top of a classic UNIX foundation. Artists use it, Scientists use it my kids use it. It works just fine and there is ample evidence that the Linux community is going this way. Windows is losing market share to Apple and Linux and to open software in general. So lets drop the IQ test standard for what is a good operating system and look at the simple metric of what quality work product can I deliver with minimum hassle and minimum cost. To me this equates to VALUE. Mac OS and Linux have been proven to deliver high value to a vast number of individual users and a rapidly swelling group of corporate and university users.

From another perspective, the roots of Mac OS X and Linux are true mainframe computers that required a robust and reliable OS. We all reap the rewards from the increased performance of CPUs that they now can run somewhat involved OS's. the roots of MS Windows is MS DOS which was derived from CPM an OS used on hobby computers and its origins still haunt us today. No Main Frame OS would be acceptable if it required rebooting as the first diagnostic step. Yet millions of Windows users do this every day. I haev a Linux box at home that has been up and running for over a year (It is in Houston and I live 8,000 miles away. Way too far to reboot). My windows server running on comperable hardware can't stay up for more than a few weeks without a reboot. These are simple xeroxable facts. Windows has market share but its losing share to easier to use and more robust operating systems. One final note in this rant... one of the reasons MS windows corporate technical "hand holding" service is necessary is that the OS is source of the hidden. With open source much is revealed enough in most instances that the staffing required for OS level support is much less... user support will persist and in a linux / mac environment may even be a greater, but to the bean counters the net cost will be less. And, that is what matters. Again... VALUE. Linux and Mac OS X add value to the enterprise. they provide an opportunity and foster growth.

Nuff said.

MS Windows must become more Linux like to survive.

By: Do windows users know? - The Nybble Wed, 12 Sep 2007 11:16:18 +0000 [...] It seems like someone has had similar thoughts to [...]

By: Website Design Tue, 11 Sep 2007 20:26:36 +0000 I've heard it a ton before as well. But at the same time, being a linux user, there have been plenty of times where running windows would have just been easier. But I simply enjoy linux, and that enjoyment I find clearly can't be for everyone. To each his own. (same with mac users) LIVE AND LET LIVE

By: Ed Waters Tue, 11 Sep 2007 15:14:32 +0000 Sorry to burst your bubble "Jake" but Microsoft didn't set out to make computers easier to use. Ask anyone who was forced to use crappy MS compilers when Borland compilers were around. And that's just one example.

By: Randy_thedrummer Tue, 11 Sep 2007 03:25:54 +0000 Great post. Due to having a Music Digital Audio workstation, that requires windows, i'm pretty much forced to use it. I have to be careful though. I like to think of my windows/recording computer as a little, immature child that is not allowed to go out and play on the dangerous internet because he or she could be in great danger. What i mean, Is when it's time to record on the Windows box, i pull the network plug, just for sure safety. I'm a newer linux user, and i recently installed Ubuntu on a new hard drive. While Windows XP Couldn't even recognize my new SATA Hard drive, Linux formatted it and now runs off it! That alone, blew my mind. My wireless network USB device, that has a bunch of required drivers for Windows also SIMPLY WORKED immediately after the intstall. I honestly don't think it can be any easier than that - And keep in mind, I'm a total Linux NOOB! I think everybody should re-read this post and think before you make any negative comments. This is well-written. Nice Job, Aaron.

By: Chiron613 Fri, 31 Aug 2007 04:48:45 +0000 There is no more reason to require a computer user to know computers, than there is a television user to learn electronics. That should always be an option, not a requirement. Much as I love to program and play around with my OS, this is not generally considered a good time by most people. Really - it's true. There are actually some people who just want to use computers, without having to learn shell scripting or Perl or C.

What I like about Linux is what I dislike about Windows. Linux allows you to get under the hood and play around with things, tweaking and hacking to your heart's delight. Windows "protects" you from such things, meaning that if something breaks, it's much more difficult to fix it.

Unfortunately, Linux has historically *required* you to learn far more than necessary about your OS, just to make it go. That is neither necessary nor even desirable. There is no good reason to require the use of the command line. Make it available, great. Force people to use it, and you'll lose them. That's kind of like making TV's that don't quite work, but you can easily add a capacitor or coil to get the right frequency. Those TV companies encourage users getting dumb about electronics, by doing it for them.

This problem has basically changed with Ubuntu 7.04. That was a snap to install, and did not require more from me than knowing what time zone I was in, and choosing a user name and password. A user would not be compelled to use the command line, at least with the hardware I had. This is the first Linux distro I could recommend to a friend in good conscience, someone who didn't know or care about computers.

As for going back to Windows - like that's going to hurt me somehow... It's like saying, "I'll show you, I'll stick a cigarette in my eye." I don't like to see people hurt themselves, but hey, it's their eye...

By: Amy Rose Wed, 06 Jun 2007 10:37:17 +0000 I know I'm not a CS or IT geek or anything, but I use Kubuntu as my only OS and would never dream of saying "I'm going back to Windows!" Why?

1. Speed: The latest release still works on my older computer (c. 1998) and my decent (made in 2003) laptop.

2. Stability: I couldn't dream of going back to an OS that crashes when I open more than 5 windows! M$ says Windows has preemptive multitasking, but that's not at all what I saw on it...

3. Efficiency: The CLI is a very useful tool if you get used to it. 🙂 But I know how to do pretty much anything without touching it, but it's easier than clicking on 10 different icons sometimes. So yes, I use the terminal a lot, but it's because it's what I want to use. Even compiling software from source can be done without the terminal with programs like "kompile" and "kconfigure", but it's just easier to use the terminal.

4. It looks better. KDE has a very nice set of themes for it, and the Luxi Sans font makes a beautiful UI font.

5. More free software for it. Seriously, if I need a new program, chances are I'll find something in the package manager.

And the one that many won't believe...

6. Darn it, KDE is SO much easier to use than Windows ever was for me... I'm dead serious. ^_^ Why doesn't Windows normally have a "no to all" button, for example? Why doesn't Windows have Konqueror's file filtering tool? Hmm?

Linux is great for Windows users, but people need to learn to get used to it. They need to learn to look up their applications on or some other equivalency list rather than moaning "Why isn't Photoshop on Linux?" or other related things...

That's just my 2¢ on the subject.

By: mike piasecki Thu, 24 May 2007 12:42:48 +0000 The mentality that I see over and over again, especially in the post, is that if GNU/Linux isn't the solution for you, you are less of an end user because of it. This is not the users fault. Usually in my experiences it has nothing to do with the quality of GNU/Linux its self, but the lack of backing by big name applications. In this I whole heartedly agree. Most applications of GNU/Linux, though usually a quality product, lacks accessible documentation besides the man pages. There aren't very many applications that really go into the detail of how to get the most out of using them. Read up on Scribus for example. Their site has sparse documentation and running $man scribus..well yeah iy'd helpfull to know where the config files are and how to file a bug report, but once developers stop squashing bugs and start adding features I'm sure the influx of users or in your case, respectable human beings worth anything, will steadily rise. Then and only then can you reap the fruits of chastising "noobs" anytime anywhere to further feed the notion that the majority of GNU/Linux users and developers are immature blowhards.

By: S_Williams Wed, 02 May 2007 04:19:52 +0000 I'm going back to Linux...(but my new pc isn't willing) I was so excited to get the Dapper Drake CD's, the real deal,(I didn't burn them... 🙂 unfortunately I can't get them to boot, I have a Compaq Presario, (HP) with Pheonix award bios. something in the bios forces a reboot after the ubuntu cd begins uncompressing. tried different cd's, I have downloaded, burnt iso's of several other distros, same result. loads on an old box I have ran puppy linux and dsl on but need more ram,I searched the forums there at Ubuntu,(and googled it) and found a couple more posts with similar problem but no solution. there are many of these pc's out there, hopefully more will convert from windows and need the fix as well. I have tried changing all bios setting I can think of, pwr mgmnt. plug and play etc...If anyone knows the fix, could you please post it? or over at the Ubuntu forum I mean, #(sorry to post off topic slightly here)
Thanks 🙂

By: Aaron Mon, 23 Apr 2007 16:34:32 +0000 Matthew Kimber- Welcome back! I was beginning to wonder if you had fallen off the Earth or something. 🙂

Agreed- The mission isn't to prove one's leetness, but rather, get the task at hand accomplished. As a human race, we are inherently lazy, and would like accomplishing that task to be as easy as possible, with the most minimal amount of effort.

Disagreed- Linux *is* for the masses, in it's current state. There is absolutely no reason why *not* to make the switch, minus 1 or 2 applications, such as CAD or video editing, but then, those users aren't the "masses", now are they?

Rigbie- Yes, this comment thread is getting quite lengthy, and I'm not helping by replying.

Documentation is the Achilles heel in the Linux community, no question. However, I would dare to say that it is 10x better than anything existing with any other operating system.

By: Rigbie Mon, 23 Apr 2007 13:43:02 +0000 um... I think maybe I'm the average schmoe that many of the contributors here are referring to. I'm admittedly lazy, I always "just want things to work" and normally don't much care to read too much that I don't have to (it took me damn near three days to get from Aaron's orginal post to the bottom of this thread). But MS has been rubbing me the wrong way since Win 95 and Vista seems to be the last straw, the one that pokes me in the butt and makes me jump up and do something. Having read all your comments about how linux options are not "well" documented, that maybe its an exclusive (no n00bs welcome) community, or simply isn't for the lazy (that'd be me) I see that perhaps the odds of my success aren't all that great. But you know what, the advent of Vista (and among other things its requirement that I re-purchase MS products that I already legally own) prods me onward. I may crash and burn, but at least I'm not just bending over and grabbing my ankles. From talking to other folks in my boat (folks who couldn't script themselves out of a paper bag) the sentiment is similar, "I don't know what I'm going to do, but I'll be a monkeys f'd up uncle if I buy Vista." So, purists beware you're about to be inundated with techno idiots who will bug the crap out of you in a pathetic attempt to stick it to the Gates camp!

By: Matthew Kimber Fri, 20 Apr 2007 00:49:59 +0000 Hey Aaron! It's been a while since I've read your blog. It is true that things are easy to do (i.e. install software especially) on Windows and I believe that they should be easy to do on Linux as well. The mission isn't to prove one's "leetness" but rather to improve computing for humankind, right? The ideal operating system would cater to multiple levels of knowledge. Installing software should rank on the lower end of the knowledge scale as many desire to do said task (and often).

However, this doesn't just come down to "ease" or "user friendliness" but rather a learning curve causing inefficiency for the user. Most people live a hectic life and feel there isn't enough time to learn the in's and out's of Linux let alone the most basic functions. It is for this reason and this reason alone that they run back to their knowledge of MS products so they can get back to their lives.

Linux just isn't for the masses (in it's current state), it's that simple.

By: moreorless Mon, 16 Apr 2007 01:18:16 +0000 This post and most of the responses to it are a total joke and just reflect on the immaturity of most of the people in the so-called "Linux community".

Face the reality people. Most people use computers to perform work. They don't want to have to work to set the thing up.

So until Unix-based operating systems (apart from Mac) become more user friendly they are going to be ignored or rejected by the vast majority of users.

Most people have better things to do than battle a "challenging" operating system just to perform simple tasks.

By: Razmataz Fri, 13 Apr 2007 08:01:20 +0000 Well I might have worded a bit harshly but still I'm making some good points (as are you)

If Linux wants to get a strong foothold in the computerworld (marketshare) then they need to attract different crowds than the computer-adventurer and the die-hard programmer.

They need to attract average joe so they gain marketshare and become a force to be reconed with.

Because Linux sure as hell deserves it, and MS needs a strong OS competitor so they too have to become more innovating and stop directing the user with "their vision" but rather provide an os so the user can realize their vision.

By: Aaron Thu, 12 Apr 2007 14:02:09 +0000 Razmataz- Wow. What can I say? I don't think I've ever been called demeaning or arrogant before...

By: Razmataz Thu, 12 Apr 2007 13:02:14 +0000 While your article (and the users) here do make some very good points it [the article] is written in a very demeaning manner.

You write it in a way that you consider yourself "better" than the average joe because you are not a complete idiot when it comes to computers.

An OS that wants to be mainstream should cater to both ends of the spectrum and despite the great advancements that have been made by the Linux community (Ubuntu springs to mind) there is still a (large) crowd that it fails to attract. Namely the "gaming enthousiast yet computer savvy crowd" which is actually a very large crowd.

If only Linux could run all the games that windows can. If only Linux natively supported them all I would have switched a loooooong time ago. And many more with me... people are not afraid to experience new things or look for the solution people just don't want to lose functionality (gaming) when switching. Please do not try and convince me with a list of games that Linux can run natively because chances are I can make a list that is 3 times as long with games that Linux can not run.

Don't get me wrong, I am actually reading up on Ubuntu/Linux at the moment and getting ready to install it on my home computer (I rather learn to swim before jumping into the deep end of the pool) because I hardly play computer games anymore, I switched to mainly console games. And I am already convinced that Linux IS the superior OS in MANY ways.

But I know a lot of computer savvy people who would jump to Linux instantly if it was only capable of providing their fix for gaming. (AAA commercial titles) without having to resort to extra and 'expensive' solutions (cedega)

It is all too easy (and very un-linux like) to put all the blame on the developers of said games. A community effort should/could be made from withing the linux crowd to deliver a platform on which developers could easily make games playable on both Linux and PC.

True, MS is to blame for making it hard on "us", (DirectX is patented and close source) Cedega and Wine are a few steps in the right direction but those programs just emulate a "windows environment" which is not really a solution. (let alone having to pay extra for getting a means to play games -cedega!- )

By: TaZMAn Wed, 11 Apr 2007 01:05:00 +0000 I was using Windows for many years. Always was interested in Linux and tried various versions and styles but always seemed that a piece of hardware was left behind. Never really took the time to try and fix it. Instead I went back to using Windows.
But I always felt something was missing.

I wasn't being challenged. I was becoming brain numb.
I also started to notice the amount of time being spent on maintaining anti-virus and spyware software.

Then one day I tried Ubuntu Dapper. I had previously tried Ubuntu when it was first released and wasn't impressed. It made a mess of my system. But I decided to give it another try.

Just what I was looking for! It found all my hardware. I recently installed Edgy on my newer system and had the same results except that video playback on my surround sound wasn't working. After about an hour of Googling and some of my own tweaking I got it working properly.

I was happy. I actually got to fix a hardware issue instead of depending on the OS to decide what was best for me.

I can make my own decisions and select my own options and preferences. I'm no longer brain numb.

I also have 'introduced' 6 of my co-workers and friends to Ubuntu and all of them are extremely happy with it. As one friend put it when he emailed me..."It does everything I want it to do! What more could I ask for?"

Is it Ubuntu specifically?
Not really. It's the philosophy of Linux that we are now free to choose and make our own decisions.

I haven't swapped back the hard drive containing Windows in over 2 months and I sure don't miss it.

No wasting time on anti-virus and spyware scans, no WGA'ing my system everytime I want to get updates, no headaches at all!

I'm finally free and loving it!


Bye-Bye Windows

By: Michael Hoskins Mon, 09 Apr 2007 16:34:16 +0000 I will start by stating my experience with Ubuntu. I found it to be the most user-friendly of all distros (even Xandros), but not in the sense that everything is stupidly easy. User-friendliness, to me, is how easily you can accomplish a task in any given environment. I don't mind going to the terminal once in a while (and indeed, is much easier for server management than a GUI), but this assumes that most commands behave in a rational and consistent manner. I have found this to be mostly true with Linux in general.

There are Windows-based programs that are atrociously user-unfriendly, and even many portions of Windows itself. If you've ever wished, "if this freaking thing just had an easier way to ____" then you know what I'm talking about.

The problem for me is what Linux developers actually want Linux to be. On the one side, you have the purists who don't believe any compromises should be made for users who are less familiar with the system. I typically refer to these as the Linux "zealots" (though this does not imply that persons in the other camp are any less enthusiastic about the OS). The other side is the "Linux on the Desktop" movement, which aims to do exactly what you're talking about in your post, attempting to make Linux unchallenging for new users to pick up and use.

I think for any headway to be made on this debate, specific distributions need to straighten their priorities and direction first.

By: Bobby Sat, 07 Apr 2007 12:01:58 +0000 @Tex Arcana
Where have you got your information? Are you talking about Linux today or back in 1991?
When was the last time you used Linux btw? Stop spreading FUD, grab an actual Linux distro like openSuse 10.2 or better yet Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and then you can come back and try to strengthen your argument.

My wife and I use Linux EVERYDAY without a problem and I only use the terminal to "play around" not to install things (unless it's a bleeding edge programme packed as tarball or a bin file, which come with a step by step installation guide) or work. Still I can't understand why people are afraid of the terminal. People used to use DOS to work and they weren't complaining so what's the big deal? Is our evolution reversing?
I would be lying to say that I have 10 Linux command in my head but I am not ashamed because I rarely need them.

One has to be an expert to install and use Windows because you have to know that you need an anti virus programme, a firewall, which you have to know how to set up. You need anti spam, anti God knows what. Then you have to know which programme you need to open a PDF file because Windows donesn't come with that. You can't burn CDs or DVDs out of the box and you have to know which programme you need to do such. You have to know how to defrag your hard drive. How to clean up bits and pieces of uninstalled programs that's spread all over the OS.
I almost forgot about installing drivers, an adventure that can easily turn into a nightmare on Windows. What does a poor newbie do when Windows doesn't even know the name of a particular device? "Unknown device found", which driver should I install?
And you have to know a few things more in case you have to repair or reinstall your Windows that just got broken by a wrong driver or a programme that it didn't like or simple wrecked by a malicious virus.
This whole thing about Windows is easy is totally blown out of proportion.

Well yes, OSX (has Unix under the hood) is easy and pretty but not as powerful as Linux. As for the former, we are on the overtaking lane.

By: Roger Louis Gundberg Sat, 07 Apr 2007 11:07:09 +0000 When the elephants clash, only the grass suffers.
Ubuntu [not the software]

By: Aaron Fri, 06 Apr 2007 20:18:13 +0000 vi- How did I stretch out your statements? Rather than make personal attacks, why aren't you defending your arguments? Reason would dictate that defending your arguments would be in defining what a 'usability bug' is, as I have obviously misinterpreted it.

You say "Linux is good for your evolution! Look elsewhere if you want productivity on your desktop." I'm telling you, that the items you brought forth as 'usability bugs' and not good for production use, are in fact very usable and make working on the system productive.

Now, what does it mean to be a 'usability bug' if I have misread your comments?

By: vi Fri, 06 Apr 2007 19:15:10 +0000 Dear Aaron,
You completely misread my post and stretched out my statements too much.
I didn't say that Linux is bloated. I said just that the "cool" attitude of some (many hardcore) linux users is totally bloated.
I didn't say that KDE is a bug.
I didn't say that idea of a Package is a general software bug.
I said it is a USABILITY bug.
Please, remove my posts and please, use word "logic" as little as possible (or as much as you your are able to be logical)

By: Aaron Fri, 06 Apr 2007 18:29:11 +0000 vi- Your comment in on the record, I hate to point out to you. 🙂

Seriously, you think Linux is bloated compared to Windows? Have you compared the resource requirements between Windows and anything-non-Windows?

The command line is a usability bug? I get more done on my system, with the command line, than without. Using the keyboard, over grabbing the mouse, is more usable to me.

Packages are a set of applications. So, how is installing software using a set of decent tools, a bug?

Gnome and KDE a bug? How so? Because it isn't like Windows? Because there is no start menu and control panel?

The concept of root is a bug? Man! I'm really having a hard time following your logic. So, making four operating system secure is a bug. Interesting.

Just goes to show, I guess, that you do not and have not used Linux. Your ignorance towards some of the very basic concepts rat you out as someone who has no clue what they are talking about, and has obviously never used the system.

By: vi Fri, 06 Apr 2007 18:07:58 +0000 Almost forgot. Yes, I completely agree with the author - Linux is good for your evolution!
Look elsewhere if you want productivity on your desktop.

By: vi Fri, 06 Apr 2007 18:02:13 +0000 The math is simple in the fiels of desktop usability - 2 clicks is more productive than 7 clicks; knowing what behind you and whats to come is productive; any software, any feature that makes one (certain percentage of ones)being totally lost frustrated and hopeless is a usability bug. Linux is cool, but bloated "cool" attitude is also a usability (as part of CRM) bug. To conclude: command line is a USABILITY bug; the concept of a package (versus application) is a USABILITY bug. And IMHO, just off the record - GNOME is a bug, Konqueror is a bug, the concept of Root is a bug on the desktop.
Linux is growing up fast. Lets talk again in two years.

By: Tex Arcana Fri, 06 Apr 2007 17:36:18 +0000 As an aside: if Linux is to survive as a viable OS, the authors/programmers *MUST* take ergonomics and usability into account; they must make it work out of the box, on all hardware; and they MUST clearly document their work. They also MUST understand that the user should not be expected to use to command line, ever, unless there is a major problem.

And before you Linusti go crazy over this, please understand that I, too, am trying to move over from Windows. I'm deathly afraid of the direction MS is going, and I won't be held hostage by them. Linux is about free speech, and freedom of computing. But, when my SUSe install completed on my laptop the other night, X didn't start, and left me with a command prompt and no bloody way to know what to do next--no hints, no commands, nothing. And if i did not have an Internet connection, I would've been completely stuck; if I didn't have another operating system to fall back on, I'd've been in deep doo-doo.

By: Tex Arcana Fri, 06 Apr 2007 17:35:24 +0000 It's interesting that I have this very same discussion with one of my best friends, who's a "Linusti" (Linux programmer, or expert, or fanboi), and we go round and round on this all the time.

Simply put: computers are complex machines, and the programmers (geeks) haven't gotten it thru their heads that the average user is incapable of the complexity and understanding required. This is partially why Windows has gained such a huge following, because they made it "easier"; problem is, Windows isn't inherently "easier", because of the holes and security issues it has. It requires time and work, and every time an exploit is used, the machine is broken and you're spending literally hours fixing it.

Linux ain't easy, either: in fact, it's bloody impossible to the average person. To wit: how many actual commands are there in Linux?? "Thousands" would be a conservative estimate; you think ordinary people are going to be capable of even remembering ten of them? I think not. And when you delve into scripting and program changes: you're so far beyond the capabilities of even the advanced Windows user it's not funny. And yet, the Linux crowd *EXPECTS* people to be capable of not only using the command line, but to hack scripts and files and programs?? A case of excessive expectations, indeed.

The issue goes back to the geeks, on both sides of the fence: what's "easy" for a geek, is bloody impossible for Joe Ditchdigger, or Sally Secretary, or even Andy Accountant: they just cannot, and justifiably will not, go further into complexity than they have to. Yet, the geeks say, "OH THAT'S EASY!!", dive into an explanation that makes no sense, and the Average Joe stands there nodding dumbly because it's all he can do. And, of course, Sally S. feels like an idiot because The Geek just *made* her feel stupid. And all that happens on BOTH sides of the fence.

Of course, the next question is, "why is it so easy for the geek??" Answer: because (s)he has spent so much time *using* things and doing things that they become second nature, no matter how truly complex it is; they memorized all the steps, and their minds are conditioned to memorize or find said sequences, so it's inherently easier for them. But the average appliance user isn't like that, cannot be like that, and cannot be expected to behave like that.

And it still comes down to this: computers are *not* made to be user-friendly. Apple has gotten closest to accomplishing this feat, but even they are guilty of doing things that are non-intuitive and "geeky". Microsoft has made strides, but they still have things that confuse th crap out of people, even advanced users, and when you factor the security issues in, turns it into a dangerous proposition indeed. Then there's Linux, which is more like expecting a person to program in machine language when they can barely string a coherent sentence together in English class with a pencil.

"Ergonomics" and "Usability" should be the watchwords here. What people want and need out of their computing devices are "appliances": just like a microwave or a stove, you should be able to walk up to it, and just *use* it. You can use *any* microwave, or *any* stove, even if they are in another language, because they are designed in such a way that they meet the minimal set of recognition and usability standards. So should a computing device (or an operating system) be done. It should install and run, every time, without fuss. The interface should be simple and easy to figure out. The basic applications should be simple to use and have a progressive complexity that depends on the tasks and the needs of the user.

Using the automobile references that were mentioned earlier: cars are simple. They all have a steering wheel, a brake pedal, a gas pedal, a mirror, and a gear selector. I can get into *ANY* vehicle in the world, and be able to drive it. If there are added functions (outside the MS/Linux-like iDrive of BMW), they are laid out in such a way to have relevance and recognizability to other units of similar functions.

What that means is that operating systems need a set of standards that ALL programmers must adhere to. If you expect the average user to use a computer, then you must make it so said user can understand it and use it without a phD. ALL THREE major OS's fail at this, currently.

By: Sgt_Jake Fri, 06 Apr 2007 15:30:13 +0000 I've seen a lot of comments about how windows is easier, linux has obscure documentation and install problems... Let me share. Roxio's cd software caused me blue screens and an unbootable system for 3 days - because of the cdrom.sys file. I almost reformatted. I apparently NEED the roxio driver for the dvd burner in my dell laptop to work. Windows, my friends, is far worse - there's not a readable error log on the whole system. Windows listens to its customers? Maybe... if you're a fortune 500 company with an enterprise contract [I am, they told me to re-install roxio]. When is the last time that YOU - THE USER - spoke with anyone from Microsoft without a support contract? And as for Linux being a step back (cars with cranks, the days before the internet... !wow! there's a gem of ignorance), why then is Microsoft finally offering a usable command line without a graphical desktop in Vista?
I'm working today, on my windows machine, because I have to patch 10,000 other windows machines due to an animated cursor vulnerability. ~An animated cursor~ vulnerability. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Let me just thank God for IBM's Tivoli software running on RED HAT's LINUX - I'll be done in about 20 minutes (so I can go home and finish my new MYTHTV box).

By: Tim Fri, 06 Apr 2007 14:18:32 +0000 It's a matter of laziness.

The "learning curve" for most modern distros is no more difficult than that of Windows.

It is however different. Many people I've run into already "learned" how to use Windows and they are not willing to to invest in learning something different. Far too many people who are new to linux seem to expect it to be a Windows clone. They become frustrated and complain. I would argue that we don't want or need these people.

Frustration of new users is understandable and we should go out of our way to help noobs who are willing to put a little effort into learning about their new OS.

Once people become comfortable in their use of Linux they will realize benefits which are not available to Windows users.

By: Bobby Fri, 06 Apr 2007 10:23:27 +0000 @gsprs
I agree with you to an extent but you also pointed out the problem yourself: hardware driver support which can't be solely blamed on Linux. Be fair, the hardware manufacturers and not Microsoft write drivers for WINDOWS so that Windows is what it is even though one has to curse hell and the devil to get drivers installed on Windows sometimes - it's not always easy to install a driver on Windows and not all users know how to. Not to mention Vista, which still don't support some hardware including bluetooth devices. It's a bit ironic that Windows users don't even mention these problems. On the other hand, Hardware manufacturers (the most) don't write drivers for Linux. Can you imagine if they would? That's what holding back Linux more than anything else.

By: Lancest Fri, 06 Apr 2007 10:03:35 +0000 Been using Linux off and on since 1997 Red hat. It has progressed alot! I now use Linux 90% of the time. I teach here in China and use Linux with (3D) Beryl on the projector. My chinese students are impressed and don't even know yet Linux is the official operating system of their government. WTO, (Microsoft licensing) and the DRM are forcing change soon!. Linux is a worldwide phenom.

By: gsprs Fri, 06 Apr 2007 08:57:42 +0000 There are a few problems with the logic, but I see that several posters and the article writer have already reconciled this.

Some people do NOT want to work on their machines; others can push themselves to work, as long as its with familiar problems and solutions. You can't ask these people to up and LEARN a new operating system...even if you claim that they will have an 'easier' time in the future.

Some of you guys realize this, and then you say, "Oh, I don't want any lazy users." Right here, you kill linux's chance of every have more than a marginal share of things. The perception is that linux is work. The perception is that linux is supported by rabid fanboys. This article and its posters don't do much to dispel the argument.

I am more enticed to work with a problem (so I'm not the absolutely lazy user), but ONLY IF IT IS FAMILIAR. I've worked with mandriva, one of the older editions of Ubuntu (which I want to try the feisty beta for some of the things they are doing), and now I'm with gentoo. I still find something wrong with each of these fundamentally.

They want me to learn a new system by throwing me into it. I first learned how to work ndiswrapper with Mandriva, because I had discovered that the software couldn't automatically detect my linksys wireless adaptor. It was almost NOT worth it to learn, because it wasn't easy. There was little documentation, despite the fact that there was A LOT of documentation.

That's the problem. You see, there are hundreds of forums (for each distro, even!), and there are hundreds of guides, and there are even IRC channels, but these all have a gap and disconnect with users. They don't convey information well, or even worse, advice doesn't work.

EVERY TIME I've had a problem on linux, the first method to fix it hasn't worked. The SECOND method I've tried to fix it hasn't worked. The third, even not. If I ever fixed a problem, it was through repeated trial and error. And although I realize now, "Oh, this problem was SOOOO SIMPLE," linux is not. Havin things not work is the worst thing in the world.

When I first tried ubuntu, it was dapper. It wouldn't detect my laptop's 1280x800 resolution (unacceptable!), and it wouldn't detect my laptop's broadcom driver (unacceptable!) Even worse, I couldn't fix the broadcom problem because I didn't understand yet that linux simply has a broken driver for my particular broadcom! So, the kernel module being loaded for it was doing NOTHING good and preventing me from doing anything as well.

When a friend first encouraged me to use gentoo, I thought, "Why would you ever subject someone to this pain?" I initially installed improperly and had to reinstall everything after a month; I hated the constant maintenance, etc.,

BUT, I learned everything from my suffering. I learned, "Oh, if I personally write some lines to xorg.conf, then I can set my resolution to 1280x800 in ANY resolution, even if the gui tool won't let me select it!" And I finally learned, "Oh, yeah, linux's bcm43xx kernel module does NOT cooperate with have to BLACKLIST it first and THEN use ndiswrapper." It's not been easy (I've had to have a system CRASH and burn and reinstall it), but now I see what people say about linux's ease of use. And because I know LINUX (the kernel, some of the files and some of the CLI), I should be able to go to any distro and adjust to it.

I want to try Feisty Beta because I hear good things about its method of handling drivers as well as restricted modules. Of course, I am frightened because I also hear that it tries to load a broken broadcom module ONCE AGAIN when ndiswrapper is suitable. I have no problem with mandriva, which allows me to use ndiswrapper FROM THE START over a kernel module, but other distros refuse to do this saying that they won't support ndiswrapper because that supports proprietary drivers.

There are definitely problems with the linux system. If you have to learn through hardknocks, then computing isn't fun anymore. Yes, there may be also problems to work through in windows, but that's already a familiar environment. To ask someone to adopt a new system and then advertise it as can't then say, "well, it's superior IF you work at it." Even though it's true, it rubs people the wrong way.

I hate linux for all that I don't know, because I know that it will be a problem. I don't expect anything to 'just work,' and most linux users says that that's not the 'goal' of linux. Because BOTH of my printers are made by companies that don't provide drivers to linux, I have to suffer. Because ATi has atrocious drivers, I have to suffer. Because Bcm4318 is the exception to what should be a posterchild of linux progress in wireless recognition, I have to suffer. And if I suffer enough, then I'll get through it all. But that's what life is about. That's what work is about. I don't want my computer to be work.

Now, I like to use linux whenever I don't have anything to do. However, I am increasing perturbed by Beryl (let that other guy talk about alpha software though...). Furthermore, I realize that I still have to go into Windows every time I have to print something, which is more and more. Some linux users would inconsiderately say, "Maybe you should have supported vendors who support linux." Well, geez! Telling that to a new user (or even an old user) is asking for people to get discouraged.

By: Bobby Fri, 06 Apr 2007 08:46:32 +0000 It depends on the what one sees as user friendliness, ease of use etc. Linux has made a lot of inroads in these areas in the past few years but it still has to do more if the Windows and MAC crowd is it's target. If somebody started out with Linux then that person would most likely have problems using Windows and the other way around - it's all about habit. I see that on myself if I haven't used Windows for some weeks and then suddenly have to deal with the illogical XP start menu layout. Well Vista improved in that area. I almost accused MS of copying KBFX in some ways in it's Vista start menu design. Look at the way the new Vista start menu works and you will understand what I mean.

Linux is on the right track and Ubuntu is taking it's user's experience to places that no other Linux distro has ever before. Things just work!
Yes I am presently using openSuse 10.2 (a very powerful, stable and user friendly OS btw) as my main OS but I also have Vista, XP (for educational reasons) and KUbuntu Feisty installed so I can make comparisons.
With a a bit more multimedia support and a little more support from hardware vendors Linux will be ready to replace Windows on the desktop.

Whoever wants to go back to Windows can go. I will be so happy to earn a few bucks cleaning up their virus infected OSs.

PS: My wife, who only knew Windows before uses Linux without a problem and she didn't spend hours learning like some claim.