Topic: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source  (Read 8290 times)

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Offline Nemesis

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'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« on: October 23, 2005, 09:37:07 pm »
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Microsoft just happens to be one of our clients and Checkpoint is our standard firewall," Uemura said. "Checkpoint on Windows was unmanageable but after a few months of using OpenBSD we were told to put Checkpoint back."

Then PWC was hit with a virus affecting network traffic and the Checkpoint firewall was running at 100 percent CPU capacity which was effectively a denial of service.

"So we had to put an OpenBSD firewall in front of Checkpoint," he said. "We saved seven salaries worth over one year. It was so dramatic they gave me a big raise and I was promoted from system administrator to IT manager. And because of the savings we get more productivity out of old hardware."

Despite this Uemura is adamant the move wasn't made because he wanted to. "As much as I love OpenBSD, we had no choice," he said.


Take over by infiltration, exactly the way the microcomputer first entered the office landscape.  Is history going to repeat itself?
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Offline prometheus

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2005, 12:07:27 pm »
I sincerely hope to so...   ;D


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Offline Javora

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2005, 01:21:37 am »
Feel good stories like that are great but I still think that games and the gaming industry in general that is going to push Linux into the mainstream.  Until we see games that have native compatibility with Linux off the CD/DVD Linux will still be a niche/server based OS.  For now the term "PC Software" on gaming boxes will continue to mean Microsoft Windows only.  Sadly the catch 22 continues.

Offline Nemesis

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2005, 07:49:38 pm »
Enthusiasts took the first microcomputers to work and showed that they were useful.  They spread through the office and eventually people who initially had no use for them started taking them home.  They didn't buy the machines designed for the home but brought the machines they knew how to use from work.  That is when the games companies started supporting the PC.

Enthusiasts have taken Linux to work.  It is spreading through the workplace (slowly as did the microcomputer).  Eventually maybe the next generation who had no use for Linux will be taking it home because they know how to use them.  Then perhaps the games companies will support the Linux PC.

The circle continues to turn.
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Offline Javora

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2005, 09:17:42 pm »
That was a different time, a time before the gaming industry became main stream.  Now gaming is a huge portion of the computer world.  The gaming industry drives the computer industry as much if not more than any other computer software industry.  So unless a lot of the office productivity (Music & Movies included) start making their software for Linux, it is going to be the gaming industry that is going to have to pull Linux out of the niche market.  Quite frankly I don't see that happening for a while yet, not with Linux holding such a small percentage of the OS market share.

BTW can you watch store bought DVD movies on a Linux PC legally yet??

Offline Mr_Tricorder

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2005, 08:43:20 am »
That was a different time, a time before the gaming industry became main stream.  Now gaming is a huge portion of the computer world.  The gaming industry drives the computer industry as much if not more than any other computer software industry.  So unless a lot of the office productivity (Music & Movies included) start making their software for Linux, it is going to be the gaming industry that is going to have to pull Linux out of the niche market.  Quite frankly I don't see that happening for a while yet, not with Linux holding such a small percentage of the OS market share.

BTW can you watch store bought DVD movies on a Linux PC legally yet??


I haven't had any problems with playing store bought DVD movies on Linux.

There's already a lot of Linux software for office productivity; audio and video editing and playback; CD and DVD ripping, creating, and burning (legally); 2D and 3D graphics programs; and many other powerful pieces of software that come pre-installed on many Linux distributions (distros).  The best part about it is that these programs are open source and free.

In my recent experience, it's a hell of a lot quicker and easier to set up a Linux computer where you have everything that you need installed and working properly than it is to do the same with a Windows computer.

When installing Windows XP from scratch (which you probably paid at least $90 for), you have to immediately install Service Pack 2 (assuming you don't have it included with your Windows CD, which most people don't), install an antivirus program, and then go through countless updates and restarts before you can really do anything else.  Even then, you shouldn't even be connected to the internet until you've installed Service Pack 2 and an antivirus program unless you like the idea of catching virii during the first few minutes of using your computer.  Then you have to install your office software (I sure hope you didn't have to pay full price for MS Office) and any other software yo want to use like Photoshop or something similar, 3ds max (for 3D modelers and animators like me) Nero or something similar, audio and video editing software, IM clients, games, and any other miscellaneous pieces of software you might need.  All of this will probably cost you hundreds, maybe even a few thousand dollars.

When installing Linux, you just go through the installation process (which will vary in difficulty from distro to distro, but most of them are just as easy, if not easier to install than Windows) and update ONCE (some distros let you do this at the end of the installation) and you're ready to go.  The distro you chose probably already has everything you need already installed and ready to use.  Open Office (MS Office alternative), GIMP (Photoshop alternative), Blender (a very good 3D graphics program), a complete set of multimedia tools, K3B (a CD and DVD burning program), IM clients that can use multiple protocols (anyone like to use MSN and AIM without having to run two separate clients?), and several other usefull programs are already there waiting for you to use and you didn't have to pay a dime for any of it (unless you decided to get a distro that isn't offered for free).

The hardest thing about installing Linux is choosing which distro to install.  You need to do a little research, but you shouldn't have any trouble finding one that suits your needs and caters to your level of Linux expertise or lack thereof.  Some popular distros that are very user-friendly are Ubuntu, Linspire, Mandriva, SuSe, and Xandros.  Also, there are several Live CD versions of Linux.  You can download a Live CD image, burn it to a CD, and restart your computer with the CD in the CD-ROM drive and your computer should boot up into Linux straight from the CD.  This is a great way to try out Linux without having to install anything.  Some very good Live CD's are Knoppix, Slax, MEPIS, and Ubuntu.  If you have absolutely no idea where to start, then go to this site http://distrowatch.com/.

Linux does lag behind Windows in games, but that's simply because the major gaming companies choose not to make Linux versions of their games.  There are, however, many people who develop open source games for Linux and some people are working on making Windows games run on Linux.  Cedega is a program based on Wine that will allow most games made for Windows (including the SFC games) to run on Linux (it's not free, though).  Also, some games have versions that run natively in Linux, like Doom III, Quake III, Neverwinter Nights, and several others.

Offline Javora

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2005, 04:30:49 pm »

I haven't had any problems with playing store bought DVD movies on Linux.

Linux does lag behind Windows in games, but that's simply because the major gaming companies choose not to make Linux versions of their games.  There are, however, many people who develop open source games for Linux and some people are working on making Windows games run on Linux.  Cedega is a program based on Wine that will allow most games made for Windows (including the SFC games) to run on Linux (it's not free, though).  Also, some games have versions that run natively in Linux, like Doom III, Quake III, Neverwinter Nights, and several others.

Something must have changed in the last couple of years then with Linux, because back then you couldn't play store bought DVD's legally.  Don't get me wrong, I think that is a good thing.

I'm not going to get into the installation of Linux vs Windows, both have their pitfalls but that is not the focus of this thread.  The point of the matter is that Linux is not ready for prime time yet, there are still too many kinks to work out. Being more user friendly from install to finish at the top of the list, but I think that will happen in time.  Until then and until the software industry starts supporting Linux off the CD (which none of the games you listed above does), Linux will continue to remain in the niche market that they are in.

Just for the record (again) the goal that I would like to see in the operating system business is Apple Mac, Linux, and Windows each having 33% of the total market share.  That is when I think customers will benefit the most.

Offline Nemesis

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2005, 05:53:59 pm »
Something must have changed in the last couple of years then with Linux, because back then you couldn't play store bought DVD's legally.  Don't get me wrong, I think that is a good thing.

Major efforts have been made on the install, ease of use and patching.  KDE and Gnome as windowing environments have been competing with each other (and Windows/Mac) and have both progressed by leaps and bounds.

The DVD problem is the DMCA which is only an American problem.  Basically what it amounts to is that you need to download a player that is possibly legal for you (as an American) to do but not legal to sell.  I think that there is at least one legal DVD player in the states for sale but I don't know the name off hand.

I'm not going to get into the installation of Linux vs Windows, both have their pitfalls but that is not the focus of this thread.  The point of the matter is that Linux is not ready for prime time yet, there are still too many kinks to work out. Being more user friendly from install to finish at the top of the list, but I think that will happen in time.  Until then and until the software industry starts supporting Linux off the CD (which none of the games you listed above does), Linux will continue to remain in the niche market that they are in.

Barring laptops most people will have no more difficulty with a Linux install than a windows.  The exceptions are people with really new hardware.   The real problem is with commercial programs,  there are very few and most of those are aimed at the enterprise level. 

One advantage over windows installs (up to Win2K at least) if your hard disk controller is not included in the installation you don't need to get a copy on floppy to install the OS.  Linux will happily look where ever you tell it to look for the correct driver.  I spent a day once getting Win2k to install on a machine where the installer would not handle the floppy for the driver install inspite of the fact that a previous install had used the floppy without issue.

Game companies could reach back into the past where there were games running off bootable floppies and make custom bootable games CDs that run the game on a Live Linux.

Just for the record (again) the goal that I would like to see in the operating system business is Apple Mac, Linux, and Windows each having 33% of the total market share.  That is when I think customers will benefit the most.

Me to.  I like market competition.
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Offline Javora

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2005, 07:48:36 am »

Major efforts have been made on the install, ease of use and patching.  KDE and Gnome as windowing environments have been competing with each other (and Windows/Mac) and have both progressed by leaps and bounds.

That is true but then there are popular distros like Debian that is a killer to install.  Sure you can use Debian based Xandros which will make Linux easier to install but that will cost you some cash (about $90USD IIRC).  Linux as a whole is still not ready for prime time, as they still need a unified installer program or set of programs.  No what Linux really needs to do is bring all the distros together take the best parts of each distro and make one unified Linux distro.  Linux needs to stop competing with itself and start competing with Mac and Windows OS.  Until Linux comes together as one unified OS and can say Linux can do everything easier and better than Windows and run all the programs that Windows can run off the CD, Windows will continue to hold the market share.



The DVD problem is the DMCA which is only an American problem.  Basically what it amounts to is that you need to download a player that is possibly legal for you (as an American) to do but not legal to sell.  I think that there is at least one legal DVD player in the states for sale but I don't know the name off hand.

Well if you can remember the name of it I'd like to take a look at it.  I searched and found four free pseudo DVD players, them being:  MPlayer, Ogle, VideoLAN Client, and Xine.  I say pseudo because they all require a third party download to play CSS encrypted DVDs, ie store bought DVDs.  Also I think MPlayer and Ogle still require you to compile the source code to use.  Pending the outcome of the current legal battle here in the U.S, those third party may be illegal to download here in the U.S.

If Linux ever plans on taking even 10~15% of the OS market share (again at least here in the U.S) then it has to be able to play store bought DVDs legally and easily.  That means having those third party drivers required to play legal and included with the DVD player program.  Being able to install without having to compile the source code on your own is also a must.  Remember the ease of install we talked about above, the Linux world it seems could learn a lot from the Moxilla foundation.




Barring laptops most people will have no more difficulty with a Linux install than a windows.  The exceptions are people with really new hardware.   The real problem is with commercial programs,  there are very few and most of those are aimed at the enterprise level. 

As I've pointed out above, that is not necessary the case.  Some of it depends on what distro that people want to use.  As far as commercial programs I agree whole heartedly.  As I said before I think it is going to fall on the gaming industry to get the ball rolling and make that happen.




One advantage over windows installs (up to Win2K at least) if your hard disk controller is not included in the installation you don't need to get a copy on floppy to install the OS.  Linux will happily look where ever you tell it to look for the correct driver.  I spent a day once getting Win2k to install on a machine where the installer would not handle the floppy for the driver install in spite of the fact that a previous install had used the floppy without issue.

The hard disk controller driver issue affects WinXP as well.  The thing is I don't think that is a OS issue, I lay the blame for this on motherboard makers for not putting the drivers on the motherboard itself (Bios).  This is only a issue with some motherboards, in fact my motherboard has the hard disk drivers on the motherboard itself so I don't need to worry about those drivers at all. 



Game companies could reach back into the past where there were games running off bootable floppies and make custom bootable games CD's that run the game on a Live Linux.

That issue comes down to cost.  Companies in general and (not just gaming companies) don't want to pay the money to even code for Linux or Mac OS let alone put out a bootable floppie disk or CD.  Linux and Mac OS don't have the market share so companies won't even consider anything else other than Windows.  Hence the catch 22 term I used earlier.

Offline Mr_Tricorder

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2005, 12:45:05 pm »
That is true but then there are popular distros like Debian that is a killer to install.  Sure you can use Debian based Xandros which will make Linux easier to install but that will cost you some cash (about $90USD IIRC).  Linux as a whole is still not ready for prime time, as they still need a unified installer program or set of programs.  No what Linux really needs to do is bring all the distros together take the best parts of each distro and make one unified Linux distro.  Linux needs to stop competing with itself and start competing with Mac and Windows OS.  Until Linux comes together as one unified OS and can say Linux can do everything easier and better than Windows and run all the programs that Windows can run off the CD, Windows will continue to hold the market share.
Not all popular distros are difficult to install and there are many popular and easy-to-use distros are free.  I'm using SUSE Linux which is now free.  You can pay for it if you want to buy the CDs in a nice box with a manual and official support, but you can download the complete OS for free.  It's a popular distro and is very easy to use.  Ubuntu is also a very popular distro that can be used by novices.  It's completely free also.

The Linux community doesn't want a unified Linux distro.  The reason why there are so many distros is that each one is designed to cater to the specific wants and needs of it's followers.  What we do need is more unified Linux standards.  Several distros use RPM files for installing programs instead of having to compile the program from source, but there isn't a standard RPM format just yet.  You need to download one that matches your distro and version number.  Once Linux distros start using a more unified standard package format, then Linux will be closer to being ready for the masses.  Right now, the biggest problem in my opinion for Linux is that it's generally a lot more difficult to install programs.  Other than that, I consider it far superior to Windows in both performance and ease of use.

Offline FMMonty

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2005, 07:48:49 pm »
That was a different time, a time before the gaming industry became main stream.  Now gaming is a huge portion of the computer world.  The gaming industry drives the computer industry as much if not more than any other computer software industry.  So unless a lot of the office productivity (Music & Movies included) start making their software for Linux, it is going to be the gaming industry that is going to have to pull Linux out of the niche market.  Quite frankly I don't see that happening for a while yet, not with Linux holding such a small percentage of the OS market share.

BTW can you watch store bought DVD movies on a Linux PC legally yet??


In many ways the thing that keeps M$ on top is their schools program.  Schools train people how to use computers, and the training is the biggest cost for a business.

Until open office gets into schools business is unlikely to move to it in a big way.
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Offline Javora

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2005, 09:16:38 pm »
The thing is that there are also distro's out there that are hard to install.  Some people may think that is as easy to solve as picking another distro.  The problem is when customers search on the web and find a distro that fits all their needs, downloads it and tries to install it on the hard drive.  That is when they find out that the distro is a killer to install then gives up and goes back to Windows.  This can happen and is the reason why Linux needs to be unified and easy to install.  If Linux does not want that then they have to accept the fact that they are not going to gain in market share.

As for Linux being used in schools, history does not back up this rational as Apple used to be all over schools and colleges in the U.S but schools has never really helped Mac gain in market share.

Offline FMMonty

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2005, 03:46:04 am »
As for Linux being used in schools, history does not back up this rational as Apple used to be all over schools and colleges in the U.S but schools has never really helped Mac gain in market share.


Actually there is a reason why Microsoft Office is ported onto Mac :)

Seriously though the kids I teach HAVE to use Microsoft Office since I can't write help files for every damned product out there, or they have to learn how to use the product themselves (with the consequent poor grades).  This means most of them are comfortable installing and using Microsoft Office.

As for OS's very few people have ever installed one.  They buy computers for the applications, not the OS.  If you were buying Microsoft Office what type of OS would come to mind?
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2005, 07:38:31 am »
That is true but then there are popular distros like Debian that is a killer to install.  Sure you can use Debian based Xandros which will make Linux easier to install but that will cost you some cash (about $90USD IIRC).  Linux as a whole is still not ready for prime time, as they still need a unified installer program or set of programs.  No what Linux really needs to do is bring all the distros together take the best parts of each distro and make one unified Linux distro.  Linux needs to stop competing with itself and start competing with Mac and Windows OS.  Until Linux comes together as one unified OS and can say Linux can do everything easier and better than Windows and run all the programs that Windows can run off the CD, Windows will continue to hold the market share.


Would you limit any other product to just one version?  There are Linux versions that run on everything from a PDA to super computer clusters.  At least one Linksys wireless router is Linux based.  One size does not fit all.  How many versions of Windows Vista are planned?

Quote

    Windows Vista Starter
    Windows Vista Home Basic
    Windows Vista Home Premium
    Windows Vista Ultimate
    Windows Vista Pro Standard/SB
    Longhorn Enterprise Server (ADS)
    Longhorn Enterprise Server - IA64
    Longhorn Standard Server
    Longhorn Datacenter Server
    Windows Vista Pro Std/SB/Ent - VL Binding Service
    Windows Vista Pro Std/SB/Ent - VLGeneric
    Windows Vista Pro Std/SB/Ent - DMAK
    Windows Vista Starter Digital Boost - OEM
    Windows Vista Home Basic - OEM
    Windows Vista Home Premium - OEM
    Windows Vista Ultimate - OEM
    Windows Vista Pro Standard/SB - OEM
    Longhorn Enterprise Server - OEM
    Windows Vista Home Basic N
    Windows Vista Pro Standard N


Quite a lengthy list and that is for a product with only one company behind it.  The list is even longer when you consider that the versions are for only 2 different processors (x86 and Itanium) and only one of those versions are for the Itanium all the others are for x86.  Then again there are the Windows for PDAs as well and I believe MS has an "embedded" XP product?  Add the localized versions for each (Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French etc, etc).  A lenghty list indeed.  But choice is good.

I don't think that the competition in Linux is bad.  What is needed (and is occuring) is enough standardization that a program compiled for one architecture (x86) will work on all machines of that architecture with the appropriate hardware.  That is occuring due to the Linux Standards Base.

Quote
Mission Statement

To develop and promote a set of standards that will increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable software applications to run on any compliant system. In addition, the LSB will help coordinate efforts to recruit software vendors to port and write products for Linux.


Like any other product you need to know what you are buying (or downloading).  Would you buy XP Home to run a webserver?  How about Enterprise Server - IA64 for playing games?  What would you say to someone who did those things?

Debian (which you cited) is an enthusiasts version.  As such its features suit its market.  It appears to have 3 goals.  As with any product the enthusiasts version is only for those with the requisite skills.

1/ Stability.  Rock solid stability.
2/ A very broad range of free software that is tested and stable
3/ A broad range of supported architectures.  (the current list Alpha,  ARM, HP PA-RISC, Intel x86, Intel, IA-64, Motorola 680x0, MIPS, MIPS (DEC), PowerPC, IBM S/390, SPARC)

Debian also acts as a basis for other distributions even commercial ones.  Those distributions mostly are known for stability and use friendliness.  Xandros and Ubuntu/Kubuntu for 2.

The glory of Linux is that each of those retail and free versions can look at the best features of the others and add them in.  Add to that that each version can be customized to a purpose and you have something Windows cannot match.  Did you know that there is a Welsh version of Linux?  No Welsh Windows however.  Any group which includes either the skills or the money to hire the skills can get a Linux that matches their needs and desires.  You can't get that with Windows unless you are a major government.

Linux is ready for prime time in particular markets.  It may not be ready for "Joe Public" but that does not mean that it is not ready for other uses.

Linux is one of the biggest for servers in general and webservers in particular.  Partly this is price.  Mostly it is stability and control.  Why is it that Windows servers have a GUI up at all time and if it crashes your system is down?  Why does a server need a GUI for everything?  Linux doesn't insist on it.

Of those super computers that publicly list their OS 2/3rds run Linux.  1 single machine runs Windows (it is subsidized by Microsoft).  Not exactly the "hobbiest" program that Microsoft tries to convince people that Linux is.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2005, 07:45:45 am »
Well if you can remember the name of it I'd like to take a look at it.  I searched and found four free pseudo DVD players, them being:  MPlayer, Ogle, VideoLAN Client, and Xine.  I say pseudo because they all require a third party download to play CSS encrypted DVDs, ie store bought DVDs.  Also I think MPlayer and Ogle still require you to compile the source code to use.  Pending the outcome of the current legal battle here in the U.S, those third party may be illegal to download here in the U.S.

Not being American I had no particular reason to remember it.  I also have not yet had a serious reason to play a DVD on Linux.  I only recently put a DVD Rom on a Linux machine so didn't even have the opportunity to try.  Perhaps over Christmas when I plan some Linux work.

I'll look for it if I get the chance and post if I find it.

If Linux ever plans on taking even 10~15% of the OS market share (again at least here in the U.S) then it has to be able to play store bought DVDs legally and easily.  That means having those third party drivers required to play legal and included with the DVD player program.  Being able to install without having to compile the source code on your own is also a must.  Remember the ease of install we talked about above, the Linux world it seems could learn a lot from the Moxilla foundation.

Say home OS market and I can agree on the DVD playing for the office desk not needed.  Right now the U.S. government is reviewing the DMCA to see if it is interfering in "fair use" of copywritten materials.  I think that being able to play your DVDs on Linux is a fair use.  Perhaps there will be some changes there.  Don't bet on it as there are powerful vested interests in strenghtening the DMCA.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2005, 08:09:42 am »
As I've pointed out above, that is not necessary the case.  Some of it depends on what distro that people want to use.  As far as commercial programs I agree whole heartedly.  As I said before I think it is going to fall on the gaming industry to get the ball rolling and make that happen.


That issue comes down to cost.  Companies in general and (not just gaming companies) don't want to pay the money to even code for Linux or Mac OS let alone put out a bootable floppie disk or CD.  Linux and Mac OS don't have the market share so companies won't even consider anything else other than Windows.  Hence the catch 22 term I used earlier.


I think that what is most likely to happen is the adoption by business and then migration home.  Just as it did with the PC itself.  Only then will there likely be major adoption by game companies.

Every time a major virus or worm takes down a company due to Outlook running attachments there is an impetus towards other systems.  Every time someone runs a trojan thinking it is a picture of a nude celebrity and trashes the company network there is an impetus towards other more secure systems.  Every time the BSA does an audit of an innocent company there is a drive towards other systems.

You might find this story interesting.  It is a sequel to an earlier one.  The City of Largo, Florida and its efforts to keep computer costs down.  They kept them WAY down.  One can wonder how many of their staff have since begun to use Linux at home.

The hard disk controller driver issue affects WinXP as well.  The thing is I don't think that is a OS issue, I lay the blame for this on motherboard makers for not putting the drivers on the motherboard itself (Bios).  This is only a issue with some motherboards, in fact my motherboard has the hard disk drivers on the motherboard itself so I don't need to worry about those drivers at all. 


I can't blame the motherboard maker as it is an add on card not shipped with the motherboard.  The issue is that even though Microsoft keeps telling the world that the floppy is dead they keep requiring it for certain purposes.  Why can't Microsoft let you use a CD R/W for drivers?
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2005, 08:32:58 am »
Actually there is a reason why Microsoft Office is ported onto Mac :)

There is a reason but not what you think.  There are in fact two reasons.

1/ To settle the Apple VS Microsoft lawsuit over cloning the MAC GUI.
2/ Anti-Trust.  They must keep competition alive at least to a degree.  If they had killed Apple then the pretense of not being a monopoly would be gone

Seriously though the kids I teach HAVE to use Microsoft Office since I can't write help files for every damned product out there, or they have to learn how to use the product themselves (with the consequent poor grades).  This means most of them are comfortable installing and using Microsoft Office.

Are you teaching how to use MS Office software?

If not then should you not just dictate the format in which you will take submissions not the program that creates it?  Just warn your students that if they don't use Word then you will not help them with software problems.  If a student is proficient in a different word processor that can create Word files that you can read why should you require them to buy a very expensive Office Suite to take your course?

As for OS's very few people have ever installed one.  They buy computers for the applications, not the OS.  If you were buying Microsoft Office what type of OS would come to mind?

More than you may think considering that one of Microsofts main ways to fix problems is to say "reformat and reinstall" to fix them.  One of my friends and his wife are separated and she recently called me for help with her computer.  For a variety of reasons I am willing to help but not go to her apartment.  The only way to get rid of her massive virus and spyware infection was reformat and reinstall, though not very computer literate she was able to do it easily.

One of the big complaints against Microsoft is the contracts that keep companies like Dell from selling computers without Windows.  Recently to quell those complaints Dell began to sell a OS free system, it cost more than the same system configured with Windows. 

If you want a Apache webserver which OS would you want?  Linux is what most want for that.
Do unto others as Frey has done unto you.
Seti Team    Free Software
I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it.
 FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two."

Offline FMMonty

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2005, 11:15:09 am »
Actually there is a reason why Microsoft Office is ported onto Mac :)

There is a reason but not what you think.  There are in fact two reasons.

1/ To settle the Apple VS Microsoft lawsuit over cloning the MAC GUI.
2/ Anti-Trust.  They must keep competition alive at least to a degree.  If they had killed Apple then the pretense of not being a monopoly would be gone

The silly Apple Vs Microsoft lawsuit continued for 4 years after Microsoft ported office onto the Mac.  In the UK I'd say that nearly every child is trained to use Microsoft Office, so even if they decide to get a Mac for graphics work they are still likely to put Microsoft Office onto it.

Seriously though the kids I teach HAVE to use Microsoft Office since I can't write help files for every damned product out there, or they have to learn how to use the product themselves (with the consequent poor grades).  This means most of them are comfortable installing and using Microsoft Office.

Are you teaching how to use MS Office software?

If not then should you not just dictate the format in which you will take submissions not the program that creates it?  Just warn your students that if they don't use Word then you will not help them with software problems.  If a student is proficient in a different word processor that can create Word files that you can read why should you require them to buy a very expensive Office Suite to take your course?

I teach ICT, so of course I'm expected to teach kids how to use software packages.  I am not going to teach each child individually, and most people have the fairly cheap (you can get office for £80) Microsoft Office, so it makes sence to teach them how to use that one.

As for OS's very few people have ever installed one.  They buy computers for the applications, not the OS.  If you were buying Microsoft Office what type of OS would come to mind?

More than you may think considering that one of Microsofts main ways to fix problems is to say "reformat and reinstall" to fix them.  One of my friends and his wife are separated and she recently called me for help with her computer.  For a variety of reasons I am willing to help but not go to her apartment.  The only way to get rid of her massive virus and spyware infection was reformat and reinstall, though not very computer literate she was able to do it easily.

Usually people are given a recovery disk.  All they do is put it in and it resets their OS.  Most people in the UK have not even seen an original OS disk, they just don't give them out anymore with a new computer.
One of the big complaints against Microsoft is the contracts that keep companies like Dell from selling computers without Windows.  Recently to quell those complaints Dell began to sell a OS free system, it cost more than the same system configured with Windows. 

That is silly, but Dells choice.  OEM licenses for XP home are very cheap anyway to system manufacturers.

If you want a Apache webserver which OS would you want?  Linux is what most want for that.

I do wonder however which OS is more likely to be installed :)
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Offline Javora

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2005, 05:50:54 pm »

Would you limit any other product to just one version?  There are Linux versions that run on everything from a PDA to super computer clusters.  At least one Linksys wireless router is Linux based.  One size does not fit all.  How many versions of Windows Vista are planned?


No I'm only talking about computer desktops and laptops here, the other devices are totally different animals altogether and I was not including them in this discussion.  As for the following list:

Quote

    Windows Vista Starter
    Windows Vista Home Basic
    Windows Vista Home Premium
    Windows Vista Ultimate
    Windows Vista Pro Standard/SB
    Longhorn Enterprise Server (ADS)
    Longhorn Enterprise Server - IA64
    Longhorn Standard Server
    Longhorn Datacenter Server
    Windows Vista Pro Std/SB/Ent - VL Binding Service
    Windows Vista Pro Std/SB/Ent - VLGeneric
    Windows Vista Pro Std/SB/Ent - DMAK
    Windows Vista Starter Digital Boost - OEM
    Windows Vista Home Basic - OEM
    Windows Vista Home Premium - OEM
    Windows Vista Ultimate - OEM
    Windows Vista Pro Standard/SB - OEM
    Longhorn Enterprise Server - OEM
    Windows Vista Home Basic N
    Windows Vista Pro Standard N


You are compairing apples and oranges as Linux is generally not bundled with AMD/Intel machines and that Windows is not a free operating system.  OEM's are just a result of the licencing structure and otherwise are perform exactly the same as the non-OEM counterparts.  Hence the Once you cut the OEM out of that picture that list drops almost in half.  Having said that, I do think that Windows is putting out too many versions of Vista, there is just no reason for what 14 different versions??!?  There is just no reason for all of that.  Then again that is not the final list and the article that went with the above list stated as much.



Quite a lengthy list and that is for a product with only one company behind it.  The list is even longer when you consider that the versions are for only 2 different processors (x86 and Itanium) and only one of those versions are for the Itanium all the others are for x86.  Then again there are the Windows for PDAs as well and I believe MS has an "embedded" XP product?  Add the localized versions for each (Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French etc, etc).  A lenghty list indeed.  But choice is good.

I don't think that the competition in Linux is bad.  What is needed (and is occuring) is enough standardization that a program compiled for one architecture (x86) will work on all machines of that architecture with the appropriate hardware.  That is occuring due to the Linux Standards Base.


Again I am not including the non desktop/laptop operating systems in this discussion.  When the Linux or Windows (or Mac) operating systems only difference is language but in every other respect the operating system is the same then I see no reason to include them either.  Since they are basically the same operating system.

Let me give you an example to help everyone see my point of view.  When I look at Firefox I see only one version (two if you count the all-in-one Mozilla) of Firefox.  Given Nemesis line of reasoning there are what, five or six versions of Firefox not counting language versions just because of hardware platforms??!?  I apply the same line of reasoning to OEM/non-OEM and language versions of operating systems.




Like any other product you need to know what you are buying (or downloading).  Would you buy XP Home to run a webserver?  How about Enterprise Server - IA64 for playing games?  What would you say to someone who did those things?

Debian (which you cited) is an enthusiasts version.  As such its features suit its market.  It appears to have 3 goals.  As with any product the enthusiasts version is only for those with the requisite skills.

1/ Stability.  Rock solid stability.
2/ A very broad range of free software that is tested and stable
3/ A broad range of supported architectures.  (the current list Alpha,  ARM, HP PA-RISC, Intel x86, Intel, IA-64, Motorola 680x0, MIPS, MIPS (DEC), PowerPC, IBM S/390, SPARC)

Debian also acts as a basis for other distributions even commercial ones.  Those distributions mostly are known for stability and use friendliness.  Xandros and Ubuntu/Kubuntu for 2.


No of course I would want someone to buy Windows Home for a server box and I can understand a couple of different versions for Windows.  The Home, Pro, and Server versions seemed to serve Windows users well Windows faults aside.  I could understand a similar Linux and Mac versions but when versions start getting into the double digits that IMHO is a little much.

I didn't see anything in Debian that I or anyone else wouldn't want in a operating system.  I mean who wouldn't want stability or a wide range of programs for their specific system?  If anything that just reinforces my thinking that Linux need to consolidate down to about 1~4 versions of Linux with a user friendly installer program.



The glory of Linux is that each of those retail and free versions can look at the best features of the others and add them in.  Add to that that each version can be customized to a purpose and you have something Windows cannot match.  Did you know that there is a Welsh version of Linux?  No Welsh Windows however.  Any group which includes either the skills or the money to hire the skills can get a Linux that matches their needs and desires.  You can't get that with Windows unless you are a major government.

Linux is ready for prime time in particular markets.  It may not be ready for "Joe Public" but that does not mean that it is not ready for other uses.

Linux is one of the biggest for servers in general and webservers in particular.  Partly this is price.  Mostly it is stability and control.  Why is it that Windows servers have a GUI up at all time and if it crashes your system is down?  Why does a server need a GUI for everything?  Linux doesn't insist on it.

Of those super computers that publicly list their OS 2/3rds run Linux.  1 single machine runs Windows (it is subsidized by Microsoft).  Not exactly the "hobbiest" program that Microsoft tries to convince people that Linux is.


Unless it is a language issue, I don't see what makes Welsh computer users so different from the rest of the world.  I sure that what ever those differences are could be included in a general Linux distro.  I agree that Linux has made great strides in the server market and I agree with you about the GUI interface in Windows servers.  But if it is not ready for "Joe (Jane) Public" then Linux is not ready to complete for general use market share.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2005, 09:16:59 pm by Javora »

Offline FMMonty

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Re: 'Nightmare' drove desperate user to open source
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2005, 08:31:42 am »
Microsoft has both office 2003 and Windows XP available in Welsh :)

http://www.pugh.co.uk/Products/microsoft/microsoft-cymraeg.htm

Free of charge from the evil magacorp too :o
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