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jehh

Switching to Windows from Linux - A Linux user goes back

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The fact that I have not discussed Unix, but rather Linux should give you a hint as to where this discussion would go.

You mean you have discussed only one variant of Unix as opposed to all of them?

Leo

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Dude, get off the FUD bus. Who are you helping with these unfounded claims? I have heard the same arguments rehashed for so long that it is rather boring. [Yuyo takes a long yawn and wonders whether he really wants to waste his time responding to this crude non-sense].

Sounds like you've made up your mind. That is ok too, nothing is wrong with running Linux, it is a good OS that has a lot going for it.

To help you place what I am about to write in context, let me tell you that I have been using Linux for the better part of three years. I don't consider myself a techie and have nothing but good things to say about it. My last Linux installation took 21 minutes. My last Windows XP installation on a coworker's laptop took close to an hour.

You might not consider it, but you are a techie. The average Joe can upgrade his boxes to Windows XP, the average Joe cannot upgrade from Windows 98 to Linux.

Almost all desktops running Linux are owned by techie people, I don't know anyone who is an average user who is only concerned with running programs that runs Linux.

Anybody who wants a stable hassle-free Linux box can now get a Microtel PC from Walmart. You can also get a box from Dell or HP, if those are more to your liking. If you build your own, all you have to do is make sure that your hardware is supported before you buy it. This is as simple as going to the hardware database of whichever distribution you are using and running a search:

Dell no longer sells Linux, they stopped last year when they found the demand too soft. What they figured out is that anyone ordering a Dell wants Windows because most people who install Linux are self-builders anyway.

Real freeking difficult that is, jehh. And you claim to have used Linux for years.

It isn't hard, but it is restrictive. It presents a problem for some users, but isn't a problem for others.

I've used Linux off and on since 1994. I've never been a regular user, but I'm fimiliar with installing and configuring various versions. It can sometimes be very easy, and it can sometimes be a headache and a half. The difference is that Windows is always easy, every time.

Most hardware, by the way, works find across distributions.

Yep, that is true, most hardware does... But for the average Joe, why should only "most" hardware work? Why not all hardware?

If you buy the right hardware, you plug it in and it works.

Sure, but now you're placing another limit on what hardware you can buy. For most tech people, this is not a big deal. For the average user who sees that $79 CD-RW special at CompUSA, he doesn't know if it is compatable, who made it, or what. He knows it will install and work on his Windows box. The same cannot be said for Linux.

Have you REALLY used any flavor of Linux?

Yep, I've used both RedHat and Mandrake in various versions over the years, but never extensivly.

If you did not know what you were doing and it doesn't sound like you did, maybe you should have asked somebody to set it up for you or tried one of the more user-friendly distros (Mandrake 8.2, Suse 8.0 or Lycoris).

I know how to RTFM. :P I also know how to ask for help...

Setting the system up is not that hard for me, but I'm very good at it. That being said, there are still more things to think about when setting up any Linux system as compared to Windows.

Doesn't mean I like Windows best, or that I think it is totally superior, just that it makes tradeoffs in places that I like. I like a simple driver system, I like an easy install of hardware without headaches, and I hate command lines...

You might have been a Windows power user for years, but that does not mean that you understand in the least the file hierarchy, philosophy and device management of Linux.

There is something nice to be said for how some things are done in Linux. If you have to get into the innards of your system and know what you're doing, Linux is easier to reconfigure than Windows is. Windows does not like to give you control over the basic functions, so if the system is running great, Windows is fine, but if you need lots of control, it can be a headache.

The only reason that Microsoft gets manufacturers to write drivers is because it is the most widely used OS in the world.

That makes sense, after all, if you're a hardware company, wouldn't you do the same thing?

Had Microsoft gotten there legally, most of us would have no qualms about Microsoft's monopoly in the OS market space.

Oh popycock... No one likes a monopoly with a lack of choices. Getting there legally or illegaly doesn't change that point.

Personally, I'm not yet convinced that Microsoft did anything really illegal. They might have bent the rules, but I'm not sure they broke them. Netscapes claims of unfair browser bundling were a joke, MS does have the right to stick the browser in the OS. The OEM deals are more of a concern to me than browser bundling ever was.

But before doing so, please make sure you read Judge Jackson's findings of fact and the overwhelming amount of evidence available

Judge Jackson is baised and was removed from the case and repramanded for it.

As I said, the OEM agreements are the main concern, not browser bundling. The question is, did they actually do anything wrong?

I would agree they were heavy handed, probably more than they should have been, but being heavy handed isn't by itself illegal. And using your existing market power to move into new areas also isn't wrong, it is the American Way of business. The only catch to that is you cannot make back room deals to drive out your compatition before they have a chance.

Did MS do that? Maybe, maybe not... Breaking the company up is a bit harsh, perhaps they should just be fined... In no case should the government be telling MS what to put into Windows, that isn't their job.

You, yourself, mention that up to know Microsoft has failed to deliver stable, reliable or secure products, all at the expense of the consumer.

MS sure takes their sweet time doing it, but you've got to admit that Windows 2000 & even more so, XP solved the first two of those three points.

Windows XP is stable, reliable, and works a hell of a lot better than Windows 9x ever did. It just isn't secure yet, but customer demand has forced MS to now deal with that problem.

Should they have done that years ago? Probably... But Bill Gates is smart, he knows that making a product "good enough" is more imporant than making it perfect. Make it good enough to sell, we'll patch it later, the matra of software development.

Should that change? Probably, but it needs to change across the board, not just at MS.

I respond: If there wasn't a marginal improvement over OS versions, not even Microsoft's heavy-funded marketing department would get people to upgrade. I suppose that the plethora of patches that have plagued Windows XP, IIS and IE in the last two years alone, along with the countless hours of downtime and lost productivity are nothing to make you reflect a bit.

No, they do. If I was running a network in a business, I'd have standardised on Windows 2000 and left it there. The upgrade from 2000 to XP isn't enough to bother with, but I would move any NT boxes to 2000.

MS releases a ton of security patches, this is both a good and a bad thing. The good point is that it means they tend to fix these problems rather than ignore them. The bad point is that there are so many in the first place.

MS needs to figure out a way to ship products from day one that are much more secure, and I think they are working on that. Took them long enough anyway... :P

Security is an architectural problem that cannot be dealt with patches. It has to be done from the ground up. Microsoft is too late in the game to start anew, although I would applaud them if they did.

One of the benifits of having nearly unlimited development funds is that they can hire 10,000 programmers to rebuild the kernal of Windows if they so desire. I think they will do this, but not until one or two more versions of the current NT/2000/XP series of Windows are released, to milk it for the cash cow it is. Then they will come out with something new, another jump and improvement to solve some of the current problems with Windows we have today.

At least, that is what I'd do if I were Bill Gates.

“Remember......let's compare apple to apples here. You're not going to upgrade the windows XP kernel, so there's not need to assume you would automatically be upgrading the linux kernel either. That's what the distros are for.....integrate the new stuff and make sure it all works easily out of the box.”

Not true... Some of the patches released on the Windows Update site have patched the basic core of Windows. You are upgrading the Windows kernal, you just don't know it...

A better example is the jump from Windows 98 to Windows 98SE, or the jump from Windows XP to Windows XP SP1 (which will be out in a few months). Same basic OS, new kernel.

Tell me which applications you use daily whose functionality you found missing in Linux.

I like MS Office, I do not like StarOffice, WordPerfect Office, Lotus Office, or any other Office. I live in Word and Excel, know them very well, and do not want to change.

I like Outlook Express. I do not like Outlook that Office comes with, I don't like Netscape, and I don't like web based e-mail.

I play games like Counter-Strike, GTA3, Max Payne, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Trek Armada II, Flight Sim 2002, etc.

I use Coral PhotoPaint 10 and Adobe Photoshop 6 for image editing, I use VirtualDub for video capture and basic editing, Adobe Premiere 6 for advanced editing.

I use Symantec VirtualPage 2.1 for web site editing, yes it is old, but I like it, know it, it is easy to use, does the job, and I'm not changing until I really, really, really have to.

I use Connected Online for databackup. I use Quicken 2002 for personal booking, Quickbooks 2002 for business bookkeeping (or did anyway). I use FlightLog 2000 to keep my fight logbook, I use ASA's flight libary to look up info from the FAR/AIM and other references.

As far as I can tell, none of this is available on Linux. Maybe PhotoShop, haven't checked recently on that one.

Can many of those functions be done by other programs on Linux? Yes, many can, but many cannot. Is is the ones that cannot that are the big problem.

I challenge you to name them and I will be happy to provide you with an equally or more powerful counterpart that is ready for prime time now. Here’s a minute summary that I will be happy to expand on:

You'll have a hard time getting ASA's Flight Libary to run on Linux. :P Most of those games (if not all) cannot be run on Linux. Quicken isn't available for Linux, nor is MS office.

If you had taken a bit of time to look for application availability, you would have found that all the applications are there.

Now who is spreading FUD?

Linux doesn't have half the programs it needs, and it doesn't have an option for half the programs I run.

Many people run one or two programs that only come on Windows that they cannot replace. My Mom runs Saber on her home computer for example, that only comes in a Windows flavor. All it takes is one program that cannot be replaced to make Linux useless... :(

That is perhaps what Microsoft has most going for it. Linux cannot break that mold because it lacks a cash horde backing it to pay companies to make Linux versions.

Most of them are an apt-get or urpmi away. If we were talking about the state of Linux on the desktop 5 years ago, then I would have had to agree with most of your claims.

Linux is still in the same boat today... While you can get office programs that more or less do what MS Office does, they are not MS Office. You can also get perfectly good web browsers, e-mail clients, and the like.

What you cannot replace are the other programs everyone uses. The Quicken and Quickbooks of the world. People use these programs already and they won't switch just so they can say, "oh wow, we're running Linux". Not on the desktop anyway, servers can make that switch because they don't have to run these programs.

People run the OS that runs the programs they want to run, not the other way around.

Jason

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Jason.

You seam to be trying to make the point that Win2K is flawless.

Baaa, if you think that is what I've said, you've misunderstood...

Windows 2000 and XP have their flaws. There are plenty of problems with them in various places.

Loing story short I ended up having to uninstall the driver. Let windows detect it. install there driver (which didnt work) and THEN install the supplied driver on top of that. Wow    it works now. after 4 HOURS.

HP makes crap printers and crap drivers. They require you to install the software in just such a way, or it doesn't work. In that case, RTFM is the only cure.

I won't buy another HP printer again, their products truly suck... Just ask Tannin about that... :P

Anyone out there that can say they havent had ANY problem with there windows NT/2K/XP is either not reconfiguring there system much or has been VERY lucky.

Nope, I cannot think of anyone who has had no problems...

Then again, I cannot think of anyone running Linux who has had no problems either...

As for stability...... My laptop goes down ever 3 days. or less. never made it more than 3 days without a reboot. I had an NT box last 2 months once. never has a 2K box last that long. I have 3 linux boxes with over 300 days uptime though and 2 BSD boxed over 250.

Then something is wrong with the notebook.

I bought my Dell Latitude CPx notebook 5 months ago, installed Windows XP on it (it came with Windows 98, yuck), and it has never crashed since.

I've got 50 programs installed on the thing, works every time...

As to "security", its what I do for a living. Cas, you seam to say that ACLs solve windows security problems if used correctly. They dont. Not even close. I also have yet to find somethign that ACLs do that you cant do in most base versions of *nix.

I cannot comment here, I don't know what an ACL is. :P

Security is not my subject, I simply install and run software. I simply hope that everything is ok. :D

Not to say that *nix is fault free but there is a HUGE differance in the scale of the security problem. This is definatly where MS does NOT shine.

You're right, Windows is less secure than Linux. Part of that is the sloppy programming in Windows, part of that is the 10,000 hackers pounding on Windows every day, while far fewer people pound on Linux.

The difference is, MS has the money and the resources to fix the security problems. Once they do that, the last big reason to use Linux on the desktop will disappear (unless you're simply a true believer of course).

Jason

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I'd like to add to Jason's point that Wine and WineX, while very impressive in what they achieve, are definately power user territory.

To illustrate: a person on my flat uses Linux only. While by no means a Larry Wall, he knows his way around the shell and the code, and is presently working on the subtitle support in mplayer. We both bought Diablo II on the same day. It had at that time been confirmed that WineX would run it. I was level 20 by the time he got it to work, and to date, he can't play on Battle.net, while I've been prancing around at on Battle.net at Hell difficulty for extensive amounts of time.

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Linux is still a techie OS....and you're fooling yourself if you think otherwise. Someone would have to have a pretty good grasp of computers before I recomend linux to them. Someone who can't install software/drivers in windows certainly isn't going to be able to it in linux.

Techies thing differently from normal computer users....techies don't balk at spending a few hours to figure out something.....and typicaly get a bit of a rush when they do. Normal users just want to sit down and have the damn thing work....and it's back to the store if not.

The thing that captivates me the most about linux is that every aspect of it is accessable and endlessly configurable. Spend enough time and It's possible to understand just about everything about your system.....where in windows much of this will remain a mystery. These traits are great for techies, but absolutely aweful for normal users. Most normal users will not read the manual....at best call tech support and more typicaly go back to the store.

I also object to the use of "Joe Six Pack" that gets slinged around quite often. It's not that these people are unintelligent, they just lack the patience and interest for computers that techies posses.

-Chris

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Linux is still a techie OS....and you're fooling yourself if you think otherwise. Someone would have to have a pretty good grasp of computers before I recomend linux to them. Someone who can't install software/drivers in windows certainly isn't going to be able to it in linux.

So true, so true...

I've run into my fair share of techie people who cannot grasp what it is that "normal" everyday people want from their computers.

What normal people want is a computer that just works, without them having to think about it or know why or how it works.

They want to do their task and move on with their lives. Many of these people turn on their computers 15 to 30 minutes a day at most, to check e-mail and perhaps pay some bills. I know a number of people who reply to e-mail once a week and turn on their computers perhaps two or three times a week.

Most Linux promoters fail to understand this basic point.

Most normal users will not read the manual....at best call tech support and more typicaly go back to the store.

Exactly, which is why RTFM turns off most people. Computers are still way too complex. Linux is going in the wrong direction, we need something easier to use, not more complex.

Palm Pilots are perhaps as complex as most people want.

I also object to the use of "Joe Six Pack" that gets slinged around quite often. It's not that these people are unintelligent, they just lack the patience and interest for computers that techies posses.

That is why I don't use it. I just say the average Joe. Perhaps I should change that again.

The average computer user is not stupid at all, most of them are very inteligent. They simply do not wish to be computer experts, or even computer fixers, they just want a box that works and requires no attention from them.

Jason

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ah, but computers are complex devices.....by far the most complex device anyone has in their homes. Vendors could create devices that only do one task very well, however the entire point of a computer is that it CAN do a whole bunch of stuff.

Consider this....automobiles have had nearly a century to become more user friendly....and they certainly have. They perform better, are safer and require more maintainence. Of course this hardly prevents some bozo from ignoring the oil light and seizing up his engine.

A further thought.....most people don't service their cars when things break....why should they with computers?

I think i've touched on an interesting point there....but it's time for dinner.

-Chris

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Just to add fuel to the fire, and certainly NOT one who knows what an ACL is (except that you can blow it out skiing if you mess up), how does Apple's OS X stand wrt being a user friendly version of *NIX that can seamlessly add hardware and software? Are people going to claim that the base of available hardware is so limited that that is why it works? Or is it just not a "real" version of *NIX as far as people are concerned?

Disclaimer: My own *NIX expertise is a bit limited, mostly installing and configuring Oracle and DB2/2 database boxes since 1994. Never tried it as a desktop OS, although it might be fun to buy a PS2 with the newly released Linux kit...$400 will get you a nice games machine, a Linux box, and a DVD player.

Future Shock <- who uses a handle 'cause he's used the same one since BBSing in 1981...

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Shucks...

It's not the expertise, it's just that I find that using my real name makes me less apt to be an ass on boards that I post to.

My apologies. I must have read your name here in SR and it stuck more than your alias. Sorry for the indiscretion.

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I'd like to add to Jason's point that Wine and WineX, while very impressive in what they achieve, are definately power user territory.

To illustrate: a person on my flat uses Linux only. While by no means a Larry Wall, he knows his way around the shell and the code, and is presently working on the subtitle support in mplayer. We both bought Diablo II on the same day. It had at that time been confirmed that WineX would run it. I was level 20 by the time he got it to work, and to date, he can't play on Battle.net, while I've been prancing around at on Battle.net at Hell difficulty for extensive amounts of time.

True enough, if you mainly run games. Use Windows. I hear that people have gotten many of the games to run in Linux, but that is a poor reason to run Linux. The only game I play is chess and that one is superb in Linux. Hell, it sill beats me half of the time.

But, yes, I would not send a gamer the Linux route, unless gaming was only a marginal thing of his computing life and he wanted to have great free development tools available, play with the innards of Linux, toy with different servers as a learning exercise (you are obviously not going to game on a server, but you might want to play with apache just to know how it works, even if you never open port 80 or make your website available to others).

In sum, windows = games.

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windows = games

I'm sorry, but I don't see Freecell, Minesweeper, Pinball and Soliate being shown off at E3....

On the other hand It's a fair bet that solitare and minesweeper have wasted more company time then any other game since the dawn of time.

-Chris

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Cas,

What can ACLs in winNT based OSs do that I cant do in, say, the default install of redhat 7.3??? I am speaking about security TODAY. Yes, in '96 BSD was much less secure that it is today. but look at how much less it had to evolve to get to where it is. Windows 95 would not have been able to do what 2K does without a complete command pricessor redesign, and 2K still doesnt do things right in most cases. Just look at the IP stack! Right now, it is much more secure to deploy a BSD or Linux server or workstation than win2K and we can all laugh at XP.

J-Frog,

I wasnt making the statement that all NT based boxes would crash in 3 days or less, just that my laptop, that hasn't had its hardware modified and uses all standard toshiba components. Mainly as a responce to jason, standard hardware and win2K doesnt mean stability. dont for a second believe that it does.

Jason,

see above.....

Basicaly you said that windows 2K had the stability of *nix. Generaly that is NOT true. in an average install on average hardware *nix will be more stable nost of the time. Also, once you get it working, on older hardware, *nix is generaly universaly more stable. granted it is often harder to get it working in the first place.

You also made the statement that Windows will always detect hardware and work. that *nic and Linux in particular were fataly flawed becaus they didn't. I presented you with a recent case where windows didnt do that and you blame it on the printer. HAH. HP may not make good drivers but they ARE the most sold printer in the world, therefore they are the standard, and windows didnt detect it or work with it without much more effort than I have ever had to put into getting something to work in linux. In my book I would say that puts linux at LEAST even with windows.

Doc Oc

I certainly dont think that anyone should be forced to run Wine. I have a box that runs it, just to play with it. The main problem with Linux now is the lack of good apps. One day this will be solved.

Linux is not all that hard to deal with now. with almost any hardware you can install a basic redhat system and get any included software to work. most people wont need more that what is included in a distro of redhat. once it works just use up2date to keep the versions current. It will be stable and work fine. Most non power users don't udgrade their hardware on there own anyway. I grant the possability that there may be a dificulty in the install of new hardware the unskilled user wont have to deal with it. I also add my above statement that windows has its problems in this department as well.

Windows IS more suited to the desktop AT THE MOMENT. Once there are more apps it will all even out. I dont think anyone has the right to say that it is a more difficult install anymore though. And it may be a little more complicated to update, but not by much.

James Ashton

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First of all, I applaud jehh for giving a less than visceral response to my less than friendly comments. Rarely am I as a abrasive as I might have come across up to now. Having said this, I often find that the level of disinformation regarding Linux has reached such level that

Some of the usual comments: “most users just want to get stuff done. Is that unreasonable?"

No, it isn't. We all want to get stuff done. MACs are supposed to be really easy to use and guess what, whenever I have had to use one, I found them “damn hard.” (Haven’t used OS X) Why? Because it was something new to me. So, if I had or wanted to use a MAC, I would get a book or help from a trusted source. After a day or two, I would probably be on my way and begin to enjoy my new OS.

When I first moved to Linux, I tried more than one distro to see which one would best fit my needs. I also read the wonderful online documentation, asked questions, researched whether my hardware was supported. You have to do this even if you are using Windows. Let me give you an example. I had a friend who had a capture card that was supported under Windows 98. Well, the company decided that it would not offer Windows 2000 drivers, so he was never able to use his card. He spent three weeks trying to get his card to work. Had he gone to the manufacturer's website, he would have found out that his card was no longer supported (an unfortunate and unfair event, by the way). So, if you are moving into new terrain, you should always do your homework beforehand.

There is a huge number of people doing research in software usability and applying their finding to the design of KDE 3.0 and GNOME 2.0.

You might not consider it, but you are a techie. The average Joe can upgrade his boxes to Windows XP, the average Joe cannot upgrade from Windows 98 to Linux.

For most people, installing Linux these days is a matter of plugging in the CD, go make a coffee, pick a user name, start using the system. Your comments held true a while back and can still hold true depending on which distribution you happen to use. This is likely to become even less of an issue very soon.

And I reiterate what I said before, most people get the OS pre-installed.

I don't know anyone who is an average user who is only concerned with running programs that runs Linux.

My father-in-law began to use a computer last Christmas. I did configure it for him, but he has been using Linux since and never complaints. Of course, he had a little crash course when he was with us during Christmas. But he would have needed the same crash course with any computer. He did not know what a browser was, that you had to type the internet address in the browser, that you could do a search for a page if you did not know the address, that you could keep bookmarks of your internet addresses. Fairly low-tech guy if you ask me. I also feel secure that I don’t have to remind him to update his virus definitions weekly (I also note that nobody has taken issue with the thrust of my argument about the lost productivity caused viruses that only run on Windows products. Whether we will eventually see Linux viruses is open to discussion, but even if you did, the virus will never be able to do any major damage so long as the person is not running as root).

If something needs fixing, such as the recent ssh vulnerabilities, I can fix his computer from mine without him having to worry about it. I know of a number of people who volunteer to help set up networks in schools. One of the biggest advantages, aside from the huge cost-savings to the public schools realized by being able to use donated hardware and not needing to worry about licenses, is that they can have these volunteers remotely administer the boxes. This means that if push comes to shove, the school can also do away with needing a permanent admin. These boxes are set up with evolution for email, Mozilla for web, open office for office software and a large array of educational titles that range from math programs for second graders to foreign language software for all school levels.

Dell no longer sells Linux, they stopped last year when they found the demand too soft. What they figured out is that anyone ordering a Dell wants Windows because most people who install Linux are self-builders anyway.

I know Dell still sells computer-graphics stations, servers and they will build you a Linux box if you request it, although not terribly obvious from the web site. Microtel and HP do sell regular linux boxes along with their servers. This is not to mention the huge number of no-name computers that get sold in the developing world with Linux preinstalled.

[

Sure, but now you're placing another limit on what hardware you can buy. For most tech people, this is not a big deal. For the average user who sees that $79 CD-RW special at CompUSA, he doesn't know if it is compatable, who made it, or what. He knows it will install and work on his Windows box. The same cannot be said for Linux. If you buy the right hardware, you plug it in and it works.

Honest to god, I have never come across any IDE device that didn’t work in Linux.

There is something nice to be said for how some things are done in Linux. If you have to get into the innards of your system and know what you're doing, Linux is easier to reconfigure than Windows is. Windows does not like to give you control over the basic functions, so if the system is running great, Windows is fine, but if you need lots of control, it can be a headache. QUOTE]

We agree

MS needs to figure out a way to ship products from day one that are much more secure, and I think they are working on that. Took them long enough anyway... :P

We agree

One of the benifits of having nearly unlimited development funds is that they can hire 10,000 programmers to rebuild the kernal of Windows if they so desire. I think they will do this, but not until one or two more versions of the current NT/2000/XP series of Windows are released, to milk it for the cash cow it is.

Actually, I have been speaking to developers at a number of large companies. I have also been reading about software development theory and everything I have read up to now does not confirm that throwing more developers on a problem means that the software will improve proportionally or that it will improve at all. There seems to be a point of diminishing returns once you reach a certain level of project and organizational complexity. So, in my opinion, and this is something that I have to ponder a lot more, it is good to have a lot of eyes looking for bugs, but it is also good to have fewer people who actually decide what implementations of a feature or what solutions to a bug are most adequate. I would be happy to hear from those who write code for a living on this issue as I eventually would like to take up this issue as an academic concern.

Not true... Some of the patches released on the Windows Update site have patched the basic core of Windows. You are upgrading the Windows kernal, you just don't know it...

I don’t doubt this, but how do you know this? I don’t think I recall reading an advisory in which you were told that the Windows Kernel was being updated.

I like MS Office, I do not like StarOffice, WordPerfect Office, Lotus Office, or any other Office. I live in Word and Excel, know them very well, and do not want to change.

Fine, no need to change if you are happy. But Staroffice is a very decent alternative to Microsoft Office. It has some features that Office doesn’t and it lacks some that Office has. By the way, although I see no reason why you would, you can use crossover office to run Office if you absolutely must. Having said this, I think if you are going to run Office, might as well stick to Windows.

Have you used Lyx?

A front-end to Latext that formats book-ready copy that is accepted by all the major publishers. Have you ever had to work with equations in Word? Not a pleasant thing.

All I am trying to say is there is a wealth of open source software that is often vastly superior to anything in the Windows world. People just don’t know about it because there is no huge company promoting these products.

I like Outlook Express. I do not like Outlook that Office comes with, I don't like Netscape, and I don't like web based e-mail.

I don’t like web-based email either. But have you tried evolution. It’s a beautiful Personal Information Manager that even lets you log on to a Microsoft exchange server and share contacts, appointments, etc with people in the Outlook world. It also has built-in encryption, news summary, weather summary and my favorite feature, virtual folders. Virtual folders let you create folders from exiting messages by entering a search string. Let’ say that you want to view all messages about your uncle Joe’s wedding, you can do a search and save this search as a virtual folder. The messages will stay in their original folders, but you will be able to view all related messages as if they were a real physical folders. This is the one of evolution killer features for me. Anyway, I’ll stop the preaching.

I play games like Counter-Strike, GTA3, Max Payne, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Trek Armada II, Flight Sim 2002, etc.

I hear some of these games run on Linux, but I don’t play games so I really don’t know. Again, it works for you, you have no qualms with Microsoft’s core business practices, stay with what you enjoy.

I use Coral PhotoPaint 10 and Adobe Photoshop 6 for image editing, I use VirtualDub for video capture and basic editing, Adobe Premiere 6 for advanced editing.

The Gimp. Videocapturing has “always” existed in the Linux world as a result of the initial controversy about DVD playback. I believe that Maya, by far the most advanced editing solution, works in Linux. It’s late and I am lazy to run through the list of applications that I compiled earlier, but there are alternatives. Again, if you are happy with proprietary applications, then by all means. The software mentioned above, if purchased legally, and I say if because piracy is rampant in the windows world, costs thousands of dollars. For many people in the US and in the developing world this is not an option. I am sure you an do the math yourself. Add up the cost of the OS, office applications, image manipulation, video editing…

Sometimes people need to be reminded that there are huge numbers of people around whose annual salary is in the $2000-5000 range. If we all agree that computers can empower people to pull themselves up from their bootstraps, it follows that giving them the tools to do so is good social policy. This cannot be done with proprietary solutions.

I am not going to go through the rest of the list of applications you mention, because it is quite obvious that you did not take the time to read the list that I had posted earlier or many similar lists on the web. Suffice it to say that there are financial management and book-keeping applications in Linux as there are back up tools, etc.

What you cannot replace are the other programs everyone uses. The Quicken and Quickbooks of the world. People use these programs already and they won't switch just so they can say, "oh wow, we're running Linux"

MoneyDance, GNUcash, Kapital all import your quicken files.

Many might have gotten drunk on the Windows pub, as Microsoft covertly encouraged piracy as a way to increase market and mind share (while publicly denouncing such practices), but I can assure you that they will not be happy to start picking the tap when the pub bell rings. The bell’s about to ring with Microsoft’s subscription model for software delivery.

Finally, while we have been under a long period of collective anesthesia, never underestimate a human being’s passion for freedom. As the never-ending FUD campaign is met with the experience of every day people who run Linux successfully, many will appreciate its technical virtues. A few of these will also understand why freedom is the greatest virtue of running Linux. This is already happening in the US and other parts of the world.

By the way, Jehh, thanks for keeping this civil. :wink: I truly love the spirit of lively and open debate at SR.

Good night,

Yuyo

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Basicaly you said that windows 2K had the stability of *nix.

No, I said it was very close, but I take your point...

My point was simply that Windows 9x was not near stable enough, but that 2000/XP are stable enough.

It is that "enough" part that most Linux supporters fail to heed. If a system crashes once in a blue moon, people will deal with it, if it crashes every week, most people get really annoyed...

You also made the statement that Windows will always detect hardware and work.

Fair enough, I did say something to that effect.

No matter what system, you can always have a stupid hardware manafacture make hardware that breaks the system. Nothing Microsoft can really do about that point.

I presented you with a recent case where windows didnt do that and you blame it on the printer.

Good point, you're right of course...

I still hold that the case you presented is HP's fault and not MS's fault, but your point is well taken.

HP may not make good drivers but they ARE the most sold printer in the world, therefore they are the standard, and windows didnt detect it or work with it without much more effort than I have ever had to put into getting something to work in linux. In my book I would say that puts linux at LEAST even with windows.

Well, that isn't really fair...

Had you followed the directions to the letter, it would have worked just fine. I've installed several HP printers recently and found out that done as they say, to the letter, it does work the first time. Do anything different from what they say, it screws up.

This is HP's fault, but your point is taken. MS should force all hardware companies that want the Windows seal to follow their driver install directions and have them all work the same.

Jason

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My main gripe with NT based kernels this week is:

Services run with higher priority than the Administrator (Local system privledges). If a service decides that it doesn't want to co-operate with the service manager, there is nothing you can do about it, other than reboot your system. You simply can't kill -9 it like you can on any linux system.

If a service decides to get caught in an infinite loop, then you are in even worse trouble, because of the zany way Win NT handles schedualling, other tasks become staved (try using the internet with a service in an infinte loop) and the computer needs to be rebooted to regain control.

I believe that the design decision to make the Adminstrator less powerful than Local System is a bad one, because the human behind the console can never really control what is happening on a NT system.

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Rugger,

I agree with you completely.

Jason,

I realy am not trying to degrade windows. Basicaly just point out the flaw in your argument. I followed the instructions from HP. They didnt work. I then had to do it in an insane and asnine way. it now works. Prey to god that the user never needs to reinstall.

James Ashton

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On the other hand, wasn't the "no real root" approach supposed to keep users from messing up their machines as root? Has it?

I do like the fact that I can kill anything in linux....though admittingly program crashes that tank the system in W2K have been fairly rare as well.

-Chris

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First of all, I applaud jehh for giving a less than visceral response to my less than friendly comments. Rarely am I as a abrasive as I might have come across up to now.

Aww shucks... :P

This isn't a war, we're not fighting over oil or land, we can have a friendly conversation.

Hey, I want BOTH to stick around... We need some competition in the OS department. I was really sad to see BeOS go away, that could have been something...

MACs are supposed to be really easy to use and guess what, whenever I have had to use one, I found them “damn hard.” (Haven’t used OS X)

OS 8 and OS 9 were harder to use than they should have been, Apple took too long to get their act together. Older Apple users loved the same interface over the years, but Windows 9x and later versions were better designs than the 8.x and 9.x OS releases from Apple.

I've seen OS X and used it just a bit. Very nice, but still has its flaws. It is obviously a version 1.0 product, but that will change with time.

The biggest problem facing any new OS is the Windows factor. Too many of us have used Windows for so long, we're all used to it. We "know" how to use Windows, so there has to be a complelling reason to switch, something a lot better than just a different interface.

When I first moved to Linux, I tried more than one distro to see which one would best fit my needs.

That makes a lot of sense...

The truth is, for many people Linux actually would work just fine. So what is the big problem? Linux might well work ok, but it doesn't offer anything to the average user that Windows already does, and the average user already knows how to use Windows.

In other words, Linux is different, not better or worse. If it isn't better, why switch? Because it might take $50 off the price of a $800 computer? That isn't enough of a reason for most people, not even for big companies which get it even chepaer via open licenses.

The average user does not care about the technical differences of Linux vs. Windows, he or she wants to know the pratical end user differences.

Right now, the end user sees all the computers comming with Windows installed, and sees the software shelf at CompUSA full of Windows programs.

How many Linux programs does CompUSA carry?

Bingo...

Even less than they carry for the Mac...

The average user still doesn't know how to download a program from the net and install it, so downloading free programs is out of the question for most people.

The truth is, total cost of ownership means that most people are willing to pay $30 for a program they can get on a CD, pop that CD into the drive, have it automaticlly install and put an icon on their desktop, and just run without the user having to know what actually took place.

To Joe America, that is $30 well spent.

This is another point the Linux crowd fails to see, up front cost isn't everything... :P

You have to do this even if you are using Windows.

No, you don't, again this is a point lost on Linux users. Most Windows users have never opened a computer manual or read a read.me file in their entire lives, nor will they.

I had a friend who had a capture card that was supported under Windows 98.

Already he is in the top 5% of computer users... Video capture under Windows 98 is not a basic appliction, you have to know what you're doing.

Windows XP has made it easier, and you can do it if you're using a digital video camera and a FireWire interface. Otherwise, consumers should leave video alone...

Well, the company decided that it would not offer Windows 2000 drivers, so he was never able to use his card. He spent three weeks trying to get his card to work. Had he gone to the manufacturer's website, he would have found out that his card was no longer supported (an unfortunate and unfair event, by the way). So, if you are moving into new terrain, you should always do your homework beforehand.

This is why most people should not upgrade the OS on their computer.

Want a new OS? Buy a new computer, it is almost always a better choice. I've learned this the hard way after upgrading thousands of machines over the years.

There is a huge number of people doing research in software usability and applying their finding to the design of KDE 3.0 and GNOME 2.0.

Great, I wish them the best of luck...

Computers need to get a lot easier to use before the people who currently don't own them buy one... They are still too tempermental, too complex, and too easy to break.

What would really help is a voice reconigion system that understood questions spoken and applied inteligent answers.

For example, I want a computer for my Mom that did the following:

Mom: "Computer, I want to scan this picture and e-mail it to my son"

Computer: "place the picture on the scanner, let me know when you have done this"

Mom: "Do I put it right side up or up side down?"

Computer: "Place the picture up side down, position it at the top right corner of the glass on the scanner"

Mom: "Ok, I've done that"

Computer: "Scanning picture, please wait..."

Computer: "The picture has been scanned, do you want me to e-mail it to Jason?"

Mom: "Yes"

Computer: "Do you want to include a message?"

Mom: "Yes, the message is, 'Jason, this is a picture me and my friend on my recent trip', end message."

Computer: "Do you want to send that message in your spoken voice, or as text?"

Mom: "Send it as my own voice".

Computer: "Done, e-mail sent."

Now, is that quick? No, I can do it quicker using the mouse and keyboard. But that requires skill.

Any idiot or newbie could use such a system as I just described, no matter what task they are doing.

In the end, that is where it is going, and I think we'll all be better off for it.

But he would have needed the same crash course with any computer.

Fair enough, if you're new, starting off with Linux these days is probably not that hard. No one I know has started using computers recently, so that is probably a factor.

I also note that nobody has taken issue with the thrust of my argument about the lost productivity caused viruses that only run on Windows products.

Yes, but you know that if 95% of all computers ran Linux, we'd have 50,000 virues for Linux...

I don't think you can really blame Windows for all those problems. Maybe some of them, but not all.

Whether we will eventually see Linux viruses is open to discussion, but even if you did, the virus will never be able to do any major damage so long as the person is not running as root).

Sure, but you KNOW people are going to run as root. I run Windows XP and I run as Admin, as does everyone else I know... :P

I know Dell still sells computer-graphics stations, servers and they will build you a Linux box if you request it, although not terribly obvious from the web site.

Oh, that is good to know...

That they took it off the web site does say something about who orders it preinstalled however. :P

Honest to god, I have never come across any IDE device that didn’t work in Linux.

My last real experience with Linux was a mess, trying to get a video capture card and a USB printer to work... Yuck...

But to be honest, I didn't try all that hard... perhaps more effort would have worked itself out, I guess I just don't want to put in the effort anymore...

Actually, I have been speaking to developers at a number of large companies. I have also been reading about software development theory and everything I have read up to now does not confirm that throwing more developers on a problem means that the software will improve proportionally or that it will improve at all. There seems to be a point of diminishing returns once you reach a certain level of project and organizational complexity.

Microsoft had 5,000 programmers working 6 days a week for nearly two years on Windows XP.

Windows XP has (I think) over 40 million lines of code, and is perhaps the most complex single OS ever written. Bill Gates said before it was released that MS is slowly moving to a fully modular OS structure after the next release or two or three because the OS was getting much too complex to manage as a single project.

I would be happy to hear from those who write code for a living on this issue as I eventually would like to take up this issue as an academic concern.

They already break it down into parts and assign each part to a team.

The problem is, getting the teams to talk to each other enough to allow everything to work together, yet not so often that they get nothing done.

What needs to happen is the OS needs to have fixed interface hooks, so each team can know what to expect in terms of internal coding links to make it all work together. The reason MS hasn't done this yet is it would allow other companies to replace sections of Windows at will, and MS doesn't want that to happen.

MS may not have a choice, the Justice department wants MS to make it do exactly that, and in the end, MS might have to simply because it is the only senseable way to go. The question really is, will they have to publish more than their APIs? Will they have to publish their standard hooks?

I don’t doubt this, but how do you know this? I don’t think I recall reading an advisory in which you were told that the Windows Kernel was being updated.

I've seen the user.exe file get updated since XP was released... That is one of the few basic kernel files to Windows.

Fine, no need to change if you are happy. But Staroffice is a very decent alternative to Microsoft Office.

I'm sure StarOffice is just fine, I'm simply saying I personally don't want to switch.

I've tried StarOffice, didn't like it, but that is because it didn't look or feel like Word and Excel. :P

Have you used Lyx?

Nope...

A front-end to Latext that formats book-ready copy that is accepted by all the major publishers. Have you ever had to work with equations in Word? Not a pleasant thing.

No, I use embeded Excel spreadsheets to do that. Only people who really don't know what they are doing try it.

Shame, MS should take that broken feature out of Word and force an embeded Excel document into Word when someone needs it.

All I am trying to say is there is a wealth of open source software that is often vastly superior to anything in the Windows world. People just don’t know about it because there is no huge company promoting these products.

Well, I don't know about "vastly superior", but I'd say functionally equal.

I am well aware that many programs on Linux do the same things. The main problem is, they are still not the same programs.

Existing users don't want to relearn new programs just to do the same things they already do. Switching to Linux is not one of their goals in and of itelf, there must be a point to it.

New users don't always fall under that rule of course, but many new users have friends who they want to exchange files with, Word files always have, and probably always will open best in Word, no matter how hard anyone else tries. :P

I don’t like web-based email either. But have you tried evolution. It’s a beautiful Personal Information Manager that even lets you log on to a Microsoft exchange server and share contacts, appointments, etc with people in the Outlook world.

I don't want to do any of that. I want a simple, quick, clean e-mail client.

Outlook Express is fast, easy on the eyes, and I already know how to use it. :)

That being said, I know there are perfectly good e-mail clients for Linux, Outlook Express is just my personal choice.

Anyway, I’ll stop the preaching.

No, keep it up. Sometimes a new program is better than a current one. I've switched programs from time to time as something new comes along, but it really must be better in a way useful to me, not just different.

Right now, I cannot think of anything else I want an e-mail program to do. I really don't want anything new in my e-mail, it works just fine as it is. :)

Again, it works for you, you have no qualms with Microsoft’s core business practices, stay with what you enjoy.

Games are one of the really big weaknesses of Linux... A half dozen games work fine, perhaps a dozen work ok, everything else is hopeless...

Even if you do get it to work, there can be problems...

If you want to play games, Windows is the only real way to go. :wink:

The Gimp. Videocapturing has “always” existed in the Linux world as a result of the initial controversy about DVD playback.

Sure, does that mean Linux has a stable driver for my ATI All-In-Wonder RADEON card? :P

I don't know if there is a version of Virtual Dub for Linux (there might be given what it is), but I'm sure there is not a Linux version of Adobe Premier 6.

I highly doubt a free program on Linux will replace what Premiere does, it is possible, but I doubt it...

If I'm wrong, please correct me...

I believe that Maya, by far the most advanced editing solution, works in Linux.

You might be right, but Maya is a $1,500 program, I paid $200 for Premiere 6. :)

Maya is nice, but way more than almost anyone really needs, and it is too complex for most people, including me. :P

It’s late and I am lazy to run through the list of applications that I compiled earlier, but there are alternatives.

You know, that is the best point so far...

When Linux has the real things, rather than alternatives, people might switch. The problem is, people like using Quicken, they like using PhotoShop, they like using MS Office, etc...

Sure, other programs do the same basic functions, but people are not going to learn new software just so they can say they switched to Linux.

People buy computers to run programs, they buy OSes to run programs, they don't buy programs to fit the OS. :)

The software mentioned above, if purchased legally, and I say if because piracy is rampant in the windows world, costs thousands of dollars.

Over the years, I've spent a lot of money on software. :P

<looks at shelf of software and sighs>

For many people in the US and in the developing world this is not an option.

If you're really poor, I personally have no problem with you stealing a program like Photoshop. If you're a consumer and really have no money, Adobe isn't losing anything.

If you're a company, then you have no excuse...

I buy a lot of software, I also steal some stuff as well. I'll never in a million years buy a copy of Maya, yet I have a copy simply because I wanted to take a look at it. I don't even use it, far too complex for what I do, even Premier is too complex in most cases... But I do use Premiere sometimes, and I did pay for it because I can afford it. But I'll never buy Maya...

Heck, I even paid for DivX 5.0 Pro, even though I could have downloaded the free version of 5.0 Pro. Why? To support the developers, because what they do is really useful and I want to support their work.

I also sent money to the guy who writes Virtual Dub, because I use that program so much...

Sadly, you're right that many people are not this honest, shame... :(

Sometimes people need to be reminded that there are huge numbers of people around whose annual salary is in the $2000-5000 range.

Then how do they afford a computer or the electricty to power it?

If we all agree that computers can empower people to pull themselves up from their bootstraps, it follows that giving them the tools to do so is good social policy. This cannot be done with proprietary solutions.

The people who really need help pulling themselves up are concerned with more basic needs than a computer.

Bill Gates has said over and over that people in most 3rd world nations do not need computers or the Internet, they need food and medicine.

This is why he isn't sending millions of comptuters overseas, he is sending medicine and food overseas. He is giving away billions worth of those basic things, because he well understands that technology is useless to people who lack basic health care and basic food.

I am not going to go through the rest of the list of applications you mention, because it is quite obvious that you did not take the time to read the list that I had posted earlier or many similar lists on the web. Suffice it to say that there are financial management and book-keeping applications in Linux as there are back up tools, etc.

I'm sorry, I assumed you knew what some of those things were.

Connected Online backup is a program that connects to servers online and transfers my files to them. It is not something that can be had in a Linux version, for reasons that would take too long to explain. Check out what it does if you want at http://www.connected.com/

My Flight Libary is a program provided by ASA, it is for pilots and is a very good reference guide for any pilot. It also has no replacement under Linux.

Quicken cannot be had under Linux, and I use it for on-line banking, so I cannot move to something else as my bank does not support anything else. I'm not going to change banks just so I can switch to Linux. :)

MoneyDance, GNUcash, Kapital all import your quicken files.

Sure, but my bank doesn't support any of them, and I already know how to use Quicken.

For new users, those might be options, but more and more people bank on-line. For those users, they have to use Quicken or MS Money, that is all any bank supports. :(

Many might have gotten drunk on the Windows pub, as Microsoft covertly encouraged piracy as a way to increase market and mind share (while publicly denouncing such practices), but I can assure you that they will not be happy to start picking the tap when the pub bell rings. The bell’s about to ring with Microsoft’s subscription model for software delivery.

Yea, I've known for years that MS doesn't really mind a certian amount of piracy. They know that the 14 year old kids stealing MS Office today will be the office workers of tomorrow who want to use what they have stolen for years...

MS isn't stupid... :P

As the never-ending FUD campaign is met with the experience of every day people who run Linux successfully, many will appreciate its technical virtues.

Most people are not interested in being a part of a revolution, they just want to get their work done so they can turn off that damm computer.

You have the bug, you're a die-hard Linux user. That is great, we need lots of you to keep it alive to keep MS on their toes. In that respect, it doesn't matter if Linux ever goes anywhere, for it will have acomplished the main point which is to kick MS in the butt.

A few of these will also understand why freedom is the greatest virtue of running Linux. This is already happening in the US and other parts of the world.

Yes it is, but that only goes so far...

For example, my GF wants to turn on the computer as little as possible, she wouldn't even own one if it were not for work (she has a Gateway notebook which she uses at work, and perhaps 3 or 4 hours a week at home).

Far more computer users are like her than are like you and I. :P

By the way, Jehh, thanks for keeping this civil. :wink: I truly love the spirit of lively and open debate at SR.

You bet, I don't take it personsonally, and neither should you.

We're both better off having both Windows and Linux around, keeps everyone working on new stuff and improving the existing stuff. :P

Jason

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Jason,

I realy am not trying to degrade windows. Basicaly just point out the flaw in your argument. I followed the instructions from HP. They didnt work. I then had to do it in an insane and asnine way. it now works. Prey to god that the user never needs to reinstall.

James Ashton

James,

Your point is well taken, and MS needs to do further work in this area...

What really needs to happen is MS needs to remove the ability of hardware companies to do drivers any way they want. Make them all work the same in a single interface, so you can see a simple list of all drivers installed and easily add and remove them at any time.

Don't allow anything else in there, just drivers that install according to MS's specs so they all work the same.

The hardware companies would bitch, but it would solve that problem.

Jason

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Brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes. -- Shakespeare.

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One of the benifits of having nearly unlimited development funds is that they can hire 10,000 programmers to rebuild the kernal of Windows if they so desire.  I think they will do this, but not until one or two more versions of the current NT/2000/XP series of Windows are released, to milk it for the cash cow it is.  Then they will come out with something new, another jump and improvement to solve some of the current problems with Windows we have today.

At least, that is what I'd do if I were Bill Gates.

Well, maybe you guys are talking, because Bill and company are working on Longhorn, the next generation Windows that will be so advanced and bestow unprecedented convenience upon its users that it could also suffocate them with its invasiveness.

HP makes crap printers and crap drivers. They require you to install the software in just such a way, or it doesn't work. In that case, RTFM is the only cure. 

I won't buy another HP printer again, their products truly suck... Just ask Tannin about that... 

Let's get something straight. HP inkjets suck, but so do all inkjets. Never before has a peripheral been so offensive, yet generated so many sales from customers who were only too happy to bend over once again for the almighty inkjet. From the installation problems to the printhead clogging to the paper feeding to the amazingly slow print times to the 2-day ink cartridge capacity to the thousand dollar annual cost of consumables to the noise and vibration that some units produce to the widespread "Winprinter"-like dependence on Windows driver based processing on the host computer to the poor colour matching facilities to the way the ink turns all but the most expensive paper into a wet rag... I could go on.

I cannot for the life of me understand why laser printers haven't become the standard printer of choice with inkjets acting as somewhat more specialized colour or photographic output devices the way laser printers are perceived as somewhat more specialized black and white output devices (at least for the mainstream non-corporate consumer).

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I like MS Office, I do not like StarOffice, WordPerfect Office, Lotus Office, or any other Office.  I live in Word and Excel, know them very well, and do not want to change.

Fine, no need to change if you are happy. But Staroffice is a very decent alternative to Microsoft Office.

GASP! Blasphemer...

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Yes, in '96 BSD was much less secure that it is today. but look at how much less it had to evolve to get to where it is.

Says who? It's not at all clear to me that you have any understanding of the fundamental differences between the BSD derived kernels, Linux, and NT.

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I cannot for the life of me understand why laser printers haven't become the standard printer of choice

Some reasons -

-Many system purchases throw in the inkjet for free.

-Many people only print a few pages each month...for them even an entry level $400 laser is overkill.

-Color lasers are still no where near afforable

-Not factoring in / being misled about the cost of consumables and the total cost of ownership.

-Chris

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One of the benifits of having nearly unlimited development funds is that they can hire 10,000 programmers to rebuild the kernal of Windows if they so desire.  I think they will do this, but not until one or two more versions of the current NT/2000/XP series of Windows are released, to milk it for the cash cow it is.  Then they will come out with something new, another jump and improvement to solve some of the current problems with Windows we have today.

At least, that is what I'd do if I were Bill Gates.

Well, maybe you guys are talking, because Bill and company are working on Longhorn, the next generation Windows that will be so advanced and bestow unprecedented convenience upon its users that it could also suffocate them with its invasiveness.

HP makes crap printers and crap drivers. They require you to install the software in just such a way, or it doesn't work. In that case, RTFM is the only cure. 

I won't buy another HP printer again, their products truly suck... Just ask Tannin about that... 

Let's get something straight. HP inkjets suck, but so do all inkjets. Never before has a peripheral been so offensive, yet generated so many sales from customers who were only too happy to bend over once again for the almighty inkjet. From the installation problems to the printhead clogging to the paper feeding to the amazingly slow print times to the 2-day ink cartridge capacity to the thousand dollar annual cost of consumables to the noise and vibration that some units produce to the widespread "Winprinter"-like dependence on Windows driver based processing on the host computer to the poor colour matching facilities to the way the ink turns all but the most expensive paper into a wet rag... I could go on.

I cannot for the life of me understand why laser printers haven't become the standard printer of choice with inkjets acting as somewhat more specialized colour or photographic output devices the way laser printers are perceived as somewhat more specialized black and white output devices (at least for the mainstream non-corporate consumer).

Cost per page over the warranty period of the printer my friend. I did some calulations a couple years ago and they went like this: inkjets are cheaper to buy, lasers are cheaper to operate per page. This is where I get the memory lapse. If you print fewer than 2000 pages a month(?) it is more economical to buy an inkjet.

However, your Winprinter argument is well taken.

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