The Dark Side ...

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The Dark Side ...

Postby PLan » Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:42 am

Somebody asked me many years ago what the best distribution of Linux was and I told them that in my opinion the best distribution was the best supported (in the sense of user numbers) distribution. It looks like that advice has come back to haunt me because after many years running Linux as my desktop OS I think that Windows will be my main desktop in the future.

The reason is pretty simple, the absolutely massive support from software and hardware producers. The desktop IT world revolves around Windows. I still love Linux and run various distributions under VMWare and of course on my dedicated server, but on the desktop the best supported "distro" is Windows.

Anyone else wishing to try the Windows "distribution" will be glad to learn that Microsoft now distribute most of their software, free of charge, via P2P and newsgroups ... I am of course only joking. :lol:
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RE: The Dark Side ...

Postby ggreaves » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:23 am

Glad to know the entire posting was a joke
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RE: The Dark Side ...

Postby PLan » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:07 am

No, only the last paragraph sadly. I'm not the first person to reach this conclusion, I think Davidoff404 came to a similar decision and posted about it here (well the old malfunctioning forum actually) many moons ago. :|

EDIT: Will still be subscribing to LXF ...
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Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby Marrea » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:24 am

PLan wrote:The reason is pretty simple, the absolutely massive support from software and hardware producers.


Hmm, I would dispute that. With Windows, you ring up supposed "help" desks and quite often spend hours on the phone and get nowhere. Most Windows "help" desks seem to have a stock answer to every problem - "uninstall and reinstall the drivers".

With Linux, on the other hand, I have frequently contacted the creator of a particular program direct, which has always resulted in an extremely helpful personal response within 24 hours and so far this has never failed to solve/explain whatever it was I was having trouble with.
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RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby jdtate101 » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:39 am

I suppose it depends what you want to use it for:

As an Server OS, Linux kicks windows ass.
As a high end workstation OS for power users, linux kicks windows ass.
As a desktop OS, it's not quite there yet...but improving all the time.
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RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby guy » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:15 pm

Don't reformat that Linux partition just yet.
WINE is coming up to Release 1 fairly soon, which should mean that a lot of "Windows" apps will henceforth be Win/WINE" apps.

My Windows-only core apps are pretty few nowadays, I am looking forward to the day when my worst-case choice is between WINE and KDE. ;)
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RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby Lejon » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:33 pm

"I will never join you!" --Luke Skywalker
I am the one you thought I was! Just not the way, you expected...
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RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby Nigel » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:02 pm

Windows has it's uses... software I write & support for it pays my salary for starters, and that pays for the computers I run Linux on :)
And I have to say I like the Visual Studio environment for programming - I haven't (yet) found an IDE I like on Linux so I stick to cli/vi/make.

If Windows is the best tool for the job you have to do, use it. I'm in the fortunate position of being able to choose between 4 (currently - I intend to treat myself to a Mac for Christmas so that will make 5) operating systems for anything I want to do, and make regular use of Linux, WIndows and Solaris for different tasks. (OpenBSD doesn't get used much, I'm afraid - I haven't needed to do anything that it can do better than Linux yet). Each has it's strengths and weaknesses.
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RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby linuxgirlie » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:13 pm

I assume you have tried Kdevelop? I do do all my programing in the console or kwrite, so not sure if this is the sort of thing you are looking for...
My knowledge comes with no warranty...........

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RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby Nigel » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:26 pm

Not recently... must give it another try. Last time I looked it wasn't quite there...
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RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby PLan » Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:38 am

Marrea:

Yes, I agree that the technical expertise, helpfulness, and sense of community around Linux is excellent (much better than Windows generally) but when I refer to support I was not really talking about technical support but the fact that there are simply more people and companies working for the Microsoft platform.


Nigel:

I program as a hobby and hope to release some shareware which is another reason to use Windows - that's where the most potential customer numbers are.

:)
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RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby jjmac » Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:59 am

I was going to say what marrea said

Plan
>>
Yes, I agree that the technical expertise, helpfulness, and sense of community around Linux is excellent (much better than Windows generally) but when I refer to support I was not really talking about technical support but the fact that there are simply more people and companies working for the Microsoft platform.
>>

Can't really see your point, the above seems to contradict itself as well. You seem to be just saying ... what the heck, i'll just disapear into the flock. What is it that actually worries you about not being in that "group". Economic ?

Linux is steadily becoming more popular, and that popularity is gradually producing more development and improvement in Linux apps. And there are very professional apps around for Linux as there are for windows, if you want to fork out the money for them BXPro comes to mind there, as a programing environment. Haven't tryed it though.


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RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby Nigel » Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:27 pm

Well PLan, I hope you've got a bucketful of patience...

I've spent this evening installing Visual C# on a Win2K laptop. OK, it's no supercomputer (Celeron 600, 64Mb memory, 10Gb HDD), but it's still above the minimum spec. Three and a half hours, and it still isn't finished. I had to do the .net infrastructure prerequisite by hand - it complained the registry wasn't big enough so I had to increase the max size from 10Mb to 32Mb (just what sort of crap are they putting in there ???) before rerunning that bit. The install of the VS environment took around an hour, then came MSDN... the 3 CDs were quite quick, but then comes the bit that really gets me - "Deleting backup files... this may take a few minutes". Well, I suppose 90 could be called a few. And it did increase the size of my virtual memory (swap file) in the middle (of deleting files - WTF ???).

<sigh> I could have installed SuSE and written the program by now... just hope it's worth all the aggro.
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Postby shifty_ben » Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:43 pm

I got a stark reminder of just how much Windows used to annoy me earlier. I was repairing a PC for somebody, and they had installed Norton (sigh), it somehow managed to completely mangle the MBR so using the disks supplied with the PC i set to sorting that for them, it took 3 hours to do this and then reported that an error had occurred, please leave CD in the tray and reboot. OK so its not entirely the fault of Windows, but I have never expereinced anything like that on Linux - Oh apart from when i made a typo in lilo.conf :oops: but all the same that took a boot disk and 30 seconds to fix.
I don't think I will ever go back to Windows, they have a very long way to go to reach the quality and customisabliity I am used to, sadly they seem to be going the opposite direction. In terms of your comment that there is a bigger customer base, has it occurred to you that there is also far far more competition? Nearly any program you write for windows you can almost garantee there is another program that does the same thing. Granted its not all that different in Linux. Hardware support is definitely an issue, but then I have never had any hardware I cant access/use through linux. Some took a lot more work to get running, but for example my ATI graphics card not only works, but works a hell of a lot better than it used to in Windows. Similarly I have alexmark printer installed, the supplied Windows drivers made sure that all prints were run through the supplied -oh so slow - software, yet I use it on Cups with no problem. Using Hardware on Linux is more or less all about putting some extra work in, granted for newer devices you have to wait a little longer until a project springs up, or write your own driver, but in the end it is usually worth it.

[edit]Oh and I think you are wrong with the way you evaluate the best distro, I think the best distro is always the 1 you feel most comfortable with, I hated windows because it didnt give me enough control, on the other hadn thousands of people love it because it is simplified in this way [/edit]
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Re: RE: Re: The Dark Side ...

Postby RD » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:15 am

Nigel wrote:I've spent this evening installing Visual C# on a Win2K laptop. OK, it's no supercomputer (Celeron 600, 64Mb memory, 10Gb HDD), but it's still above the minimum spec. Three and a half hours.


I have a laptop its only a 2.8Ghz and i took Linux off it and reinstalled win xp Pro, plus installed Visual Studio 2005 pro and off xp with drivers in under a hour and half.

I would love to know where people get it takes this long to install the tools you need and have it fully working :?

I took linux off the laptop as it just was a pain in the but to get x and other things setup right , while i got it working i thought i can have dos installed and running correct quicker than this, and i did.

EDIT:

64mb ram -- ok i can and will believe that install 98 :)
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