May 21, 2008

In a nutshell

From Linux Opinion comes this little Point-Counterpoint (Jane, you ignorant slut!):


There are two opposing ways to see Linux, and both are true.

The Negative View:


  • Linux has lots of geeky technical issues.
  • Linux geeks are having fun. They don't care about us.
  • Freedom is next to Godliness - let chaos reign!
  • Documentation is boring and only for wimps.
  • Linux is for the high priests and Windows is for the masses.
  • Linux has thousands of great projects - and no management.
  • Linux market share is 1%.

The Positive View:


  • Linux is a fine operating system with a rich set of capable applications.
  • All this is completely free and can be modified as you please.
  • The geek community understands the problems and is rapidly improving.
  • Ubuntu is the new 600 pound gorilla and is setting standards.
  • Major PC vendors are starting to offer pre-installed Linux (Dell, WallMart).
  • Microsoft: quality, security and ethics issues are sending users to Linux (and Mac).
  • Linux market share has doubled in the last year.

I think that the Negative list is missing an item:


  • Linux geeks may never know the touch of a woman

Then again, that might just be me.

Update: Yep, it's just me.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 11:52 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Having dabbled in Linux since RH 5.2 and using it as my primary workstation since Kubuntu 7.04, my opinion is Linux is adequate. I regard it approximately the same utility as Windows XP, which I run on another machine here: it's the thing the applications run on. From a 'getting things done' point of view, there are times at which something will not work in Linux the way I expect (i.e., you surf to a site with Flash, or play an .asf video and it just works *without* having to apt-get or search through /usr/bin for the appropriate object [which I have to do all over again since moving to 8.04 - it evidently reset everything upon upgrading!]). Almost all the time, however, it does work fine. From a reliability standpoint, the XP box has the edge. The audio card gets occupied by something in Linux, and killing every mplayer or amarok instance doesn't clear it, so it's time to reboot. Firefox 2.x crashed daily (3b5 is a little better) and doesn't play well with the mplayer plugin. Both IE on XP and Firefox on Kubuntu seem to have some memory leak problem, so both browsers need killed after several day's use. There are some specialized work and school applications I use that cause me to hold onto the XP box (I don't want Vista). Similarly, my prized Nova episode of "Cliff Stoll: The KGB, the Computer and Me" makes me keep a working VHS machine hooked up, as it's not on DVD TTBOMK. Linux, particularly in a newbie-oriented format such as Ubuntu or Linspire, is getting able to be widely used and accepted by average users. I' be comfortable in setting up new users with a Linux machine, but I would expect to answer more questions and fix more problems than if they had an XP box.

Posted by: MarkS at May 26, 2008 07:45 AM (akGZO)

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