On the state of Windows on the desktop – A Reblog

This is a reblog of a hilarious (and true) article from Branko’s Thought Dump.

On the state of Windows on the desktop

I have this Linux system on my PC which has become a bit boring (no, it’s not crashed or anything… I just got a bit bored), so I decided to replace it with Windows 7 (some friends told me to not even try Windows 8 because it has an advanced interface nobody was able to figure out yet).

I really did not set the bar too high: I just hoped to have a nice user-friendly interface and recover the email I have in Maildir, and maybe watch my video collection on an external hard drive. You know, the usual stuff I do on Linux every day.

Please note that this article is a parody of what some Windows users write about Linux. The events described here have not actually taken place. However, the article is based on author’s experiences with the Windows 7 operating system.

I didn’t want to commit and install a new operating system right off the bat. I just wanted to try it first. So I typed “Windows Live” in my browser’s search box to find a live version, preferably an USB image. Ok, so Windows Live wasn’t a live version of windows but some kind of service you must sign into. I guess it’s something like Ubuntu One. Not sure. Moreover, it turned out I’d have to actually buy it first before I could do anything with it. And there is not real live version of Windows 7.

Read the rest of this entertaining article HERE.

*Special thanks to pal SecurityBreach/Comhack for posting this at Scot’s Newsletter Forums this morning. It will be my Laugh of the Day for today, for sure!

Later…

~Eric

P.S. Certification studies going well. :)


Why Linux Will Never Be a Factor On the Desktop

Why Linux Will Never Be a Factor On the Desktop

Tony Bradley expounds on the current status of GNU/Linux popularity (or lack thereof) and the future of the operating system.

The comment I left on ComputerWorld’s page for this article:

I’m a loyal GNU/Linux user. I parted ways with MS Windows (for the most part) nearly six years ago. I keep installations of XP and 7 on some of my systems in order to stay relatively well-versed in the the usage of those operating systems in order to facilitate my constant need to fix the computers of family members and friends (the ones I haven’t converted to GNU/Linux yet).

That being said, I’m not one of those GNU/Linux fanbois who is sitting at my desk with my Jolt in one hand and a joint in the other dreaming about LInux’s imminent world domination. I would prefer that Linux stay under the radar. If it ever managed to have the commercial popularity of MS Windows, it would wake one morning to find that same large target painted on its back for all the hackers, malware writers, and generally mischievous malcontents.

No, I’m more than happy to operate my little GNU/Linux systems in relative obscurity. Besides, once something gains in popularity, someone always steps in to regulate, tax, manipulate, restrict, or mutilate it in some way. Leave my GNU/Linux alone.

Like I say on my blogs and the tech forums where I admin/moderate, “Whatever operating system works best for you IS the one that’s best for you.”

Later…

~Eric, the Nocturnal Slacker

Read the article, tell me what you think about it?

~Eric


5 Things Every Aspiring Linux User Should Know

Yes. Another one of those ubiquitous bullet articles. Everyone love’s ‘em, it seems.

There are some fundamental things that every person who turns on a Linux box should be familiar with before proceeding. Some of these things are often overlooked or never learned by new Linux users. It’s a shame, actually. Knowledge of the fundamentals can create a great foundation for further advancement later on down the road. If you’re going to learn something, learn it right.

Here we go…

  • Numero Uno, in my opinion, is the importance of knowing and accepting the fact that the GNU/LInux operating system is NOT Microsoft Windows. Don’t try to make it such. GNU/Linux is a unique Unix-based operating system using the Linux kernel developed by Linus Torvalds and the GNU operating system developed by Richard Stallman and others of the GNU Project. Individual distributions of GNU/Linux, such as Ubuntu, Slackware, Debian, Arch, etc., are projects created by different people and supported by many, many dedicated coders, repository maintainers, software creators, technical writers, etc. To paraphrase a nearly cliché quote, it takes a village to raise a Linux distro. ;)
  • Item the second: ROOT IS GOD! Caution must be exercised at all times when user privileges are elevated to that of root. Working in the root environment should be done like riding a motorcycle. You CANNOT auto-pilot while riding a motorcycle; neither should you do so when you are root. In other words, pay attention to what you’re doing. Think twice before tapping that Enter key. One slip as root could destroy your entire OS. It’s a powerful tool. Be respectful of its power. Ignore this if you enjoy losing data regularly and reinstalling your OS from scratch.
  • Third thing to know: the command line interface is not a demon from Hell that will grind you up in its toothy maw. It’s just another tool available to the GNU/Linux user for accomplishing tasks that must be accomplished. For most of you, the GUI (graphic user interface) will suffice, but there will be times that you may need to use the command line. Don’t fear it. Embrace your inner geek. Learn the command line. You may find that you can accomplish more work more efficiently while using it.
  • Fourth on the list: Security, it’s a wonderful thing. Remember all those virus and malware scanners that you had to use in MS Windows. Remember how scared you were about email attachments. Remember that time your Windows system got corrupted and you had to pay someone at Best Buy $300 to get it working again? Bad memories, huh? Well, guess what? Just as dogs don’t catch the same diseases that banana plants do, GNU/Linux is not susceptible to the vast majority of the bad stuff out there that cripples MS Windows. Does that mean you’re 100% immune from troubles while running GNU/Linux? Well, no. However, I’d be comfortable in telling you that you would be about 99% immune. I’ve been running GNU/Linux operating systems on my computers for half a dozen years now. I’ve NEVER, not once, ever had any virus or malware issues.
  • Fifth and lastly:MS Windows and Apple/Mac have wonderful community support from multitudinous sites and communities around the Internet: I wouldn’t refute that fact at all. However, it’s important to remember that GNU/Linux and Open Source are products of the communities themselves in many cases. They are directly created, maintained, distributed and supported by many, many dedicated souls all across the globe. If you take the time to explore these communities, you’ll find that the amount of knowledge out there just waiting for you to come learn it is astounding. I don’t believe there is any other technical project so overwhelmingly supported by its adherents and fans in the global community quite like GNU/Linux and Open Source. Don’t be shy. Ask for some help.

Enjoy your new GNU/Linux adventure. It can lead to a long relationship with a fabulous operating system, outstanding open source applications, and wonderful friendships.

Later…

~Eric

Further reading:

The Open Source Initiative

The Free Software Foundation

The Linux Foundation

Open Respect


What’s So Bad About MS Windows? (Revisited)

A little musing on the perceived competitiveness between commercial and non-commercial operating systems by a user of both types.

Just a few moments ago on a forum that I frequent, a comment was made by a poster whom I have interacted with for quite some time and have much respect for; someone I would definitely call “friend”. This individual was replying to a comment I had made on a thread discussing MS Windows and Linux “us and them” mentality. The thread was initiated by a posting of a blog article called Linux users are hate filled criminal hackers by Locutus on it.toolbox.com.

Closing remarks from the Locutus’ article:

Do you think Linux advocates are really thought of like this by windows advocates? Why would they think this way? Do we project that image in our enthusiasm for Linux? Do we really hate windows that much?

His article is actually a reply itself to an anonymous commenter who had some rather unfriendly things to say about Linux users.

A snippet of the anonymous commenter’s post:

It always grates me when the discussion gets down to how rotten Windows is because of all the viruses etc. when it seems obvious, at least to Windows users, that most of that crap is written by Linux devotees. It seems hard to deny how obvious that is and a great part of the reason that Linux doesn’t suffer from it is because these guys are not going to ‘shit in their own back yard’.

Wow! With the tapping of a few keys, myself and the entire Linux community is suddenly stuffed into the same pigeon hole with the pimply-faced thirteen year old kid who just spent 11 days with no sleep so he could manipulate his botnet to attack the Girl Scout’s website because his chocolate mints arrived three weeks late.

Umm… cookies! Er, but I digress…

I commented on the thread discussing Locutus’ blog post, which had entered the typical MS Windows vs. Linux why and wherefore stage, by stating:

I have a system out in my shop right now that belongs to a friend who asked me to dual-boot Win/Ubuntu for him. He’s tired of Windows. He wants to try Linux. My list of converts is growing.

And yes, I do convert people to Linux. I don’t run around evangelizing on street corners or send SPAM emails about it. Usually, the folks come to me. They’re frustrated and tired of poor performance or corrupted system issues with their MS Windows and they’re looking for respite. I offer them some… in the form of Linux.

Is MS Windows bad? Is it an inferior product? No. I don’t think that on either count. Microsoft has created and marketed an operating system that is the primary operating system for personal (and many business) users the world over. Does it have some security issues? Yes. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Is Linux perfect? Hell no. In my opinion, though, and for my needs, Linux performs the job better than MS Windows. That’s a personal choice.

There seems to be this underlying user angst (fan loyalty?) out there when it comes to operating systems. As I explained to my friend on the forum, I don’t care what you use for an operating system any more then I care whether you like Ford or Chevy automobiles. If MS Windows works for you, more power to you. If Mac is the apple of your eye, so be it. The perceived competition between commercial operating systems (MS Windows) and the non-commercial ones (Linux) is just silly to me. Linux supposedly controls 1% of the personal PC market right now. Ooooh! I bet MS is shakin’ in their Skechers®

I’ve said this before… use whatever works for you. Life is too damned short to be worried about what operating system weird uncle Bob uses when designing his tinfoil hats.

Have FUN… whatever you do!

~Eric

Note: This article originally appeared on my Nocturnal Slacker/Lockergnome blog (now defunct).


Linux On the Desktop (Revisited)

Linux On the Desktop

Posted by V. T. Eric Layton on Apr 12, 2010

Not happening according to Michael Gartenberg* over at ComputerWorld.

I really get tired of the Linux/Windows comparisons from writers and bloggers all over the Net. You know what the first thing is that I tell folks whom I’m attempting to introduce to Linux? LINUX IS NOT WINDOWS! Don’t start out thinking it is. Don’t start out thinking it’s even similar. Start out with NO preconceived notions.

The fact of the matter is that if someone wants to start using Linux, they’re going to have to LEARN… yes, that’s right! They’re going to have to read, research, search, study, use, use, and use some more till they’ve become comfortable with their new operating system. That’s just the way it is. You ain’t going to learn Linux by osmosis, folks.

Gartenberg states:

Return rates for Linux netbooks were much higher than for their Windows counterparts…

Of course they were. Folks who bought those Linux netbooks did so thinking that Linux was “just like” Windows and that they were going to just boot up and off they’d go. As a matter of fact, I’ve actually heard a salesman at a local computer store make just that claim to a customer whom he was trying to sell a used Linux Dell to.

Listen folks, I participate in many Linux boards and forums, where our goal is to help folks make the transition from MS Windows to Linux; not because we’re running around evangelizing about the benefits of Linux, but because folks come looking for us for help. I can tell you from experience that some folks just don’t have the wherewithal to learn Linux. They want everything spoon fed to them. They don’t make any attempts to learn anything on their own. They just say, “Show me how to install K3b.” or “Tell me step-by-step how to install Ubuntu on my system.” 30 seconds on Google would have gotten them 100 hits on either of those requests. Did they search Google first? No.

Gartenberg comments:

Since most of us would go back to using paper, pens, envelopes and stamps before using the open-source text editor Emacs, it still seems likely that it’s going to be a Windows and Mac OS world for the foreseeable future.

Seriously, what does a legacy command line editor have to do with whether or not Linux is a viable alternative to MS Windows on the desktop? My brother is NOT a computer geek. He just uses his computer to write an occasional document or send an email or surf the Net. He wouldn’t know a command line editor if it walked up and began masticating on his glutious maximus. Yet, I converted my brother to Linux about two years ago. He loves his Ubuntu Studio edition. Every once in a while he asks me how to do something. I show him and that’s that. He doesn’t call me with computer related issues nearly as often now that he’s not running MS Windows, I can tell you that much.

Gartenberg continues:

In my own case, Linux has given me no compelling reason to switch over from Windows 7 or Snow Leopard, and I can think of a lot of reasons to stay put.

Cool beans, dude. No one is twisting your arm here. What works for you and makes you the most productive and happy is what you should be running on your system. If it’s MacOS or MS Win 7, cool. Enjoy! That’s freedom. Ain’t it great! We of the Linux community are more than happy to assist you should you want to convert to Linux… or even if you just want to play around with it. We’re there for you. Give us a holler. We’re NOT trying to convert you, enlist you, assimilate you, or make a Linux-effing-zombie out of you.

Those commercial operating systems are welcome to compete with one another. The majority of Linux distributions out there could care less about competition. Let’s just all try to get along, huh. MS Windows is great. Apple/Mac is great. COBOL was cool. Octal machine code was tedious. I like Linux. I’ll use Linux.

~Eric

*Michael Gartenberg’s complete article at ComputerWorld

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This article was originally published on my Nocturnal Slacker | Lockergnome blog. You can click HERE to read it there along with the accompanying comments.


Who Uses Linux (Revisited)

Who Uses Linux?

Posted by V. T. Eric Layton on Apr 1, 2010

A lot of folks you never suspected. That’s who.

Yesterday, one of the members at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux, BillD, posted a link to a great list of Linux users. While Linux supposedly only has 1% of the overall market share, some of the folks on that list are movers and shakers in the technology industry. The future should be quite interesting.

Google, Cisco, New York Stock Exchange… even Omaha Steaks! Ummm! That is some yummy dead cow! I can’t chew dead cow currently for this reason, but I can always dream. Besides, their steaks are so tender you can cut them with a spoon. Seriously though, there are some impressive folks on that list.

We’re going to wake up one morning and Linux won’t be just the geek’s favorite operating system. It will be a viable alternate to MS Windows, just as Mac OS and OS X have become over the years. Will that affect how Linux is treated by the pimply-faced crackers and spammers out there currently attacking MS Windows because of its larger user base? I believe that it might. Fortunately, Linux’s innate security will protect it from a lot of the tricks that bedeviled MS Windows.

So, who uses Linux? I do. My brother does. My buddy Mike does. A bunch of folks at the forums I visit do. Many companies and governments around the world do. Why do they use Linux. You’ll just have to ask one of them one day.

Until next time, folks…

~Eric

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This article was originally posted on my Nocturnal Slacker | Lockergnome blog. You can see the original and accompanying comments by clicking HERE.


Ubuntu – Leading Contender In the Linux World? (Revisited)

Ubuntu – Leading Contender In Linux World?

Posted by V. T. Eric Layton on Apr 26, 2010

Probably not. However, Ubuntu may be the leading contender when it comes to luring frustrated Windows users into trying Linux.

Why is that? Well, I’ll tell you my theory on why Ubuntu is doing all it can to suck in frustrated MS Windows users. Firstly, you have to understand a few realities about Linux. Ubuntu is NOT the only Linux operating system out there. It’s not the oldest (Slackware). It’s not the fastest (SLAX or Puppy run in RAM). It’s not the the …est anything, except maybe mostest cunning.

There are many Linux distributions out there in the world; some are free (as in beer), some are free (as in speech), some are commercial products (you pay $$$ for them), some are hybrids or combinations thereof. The point here being that there is no ONE Linux to rule them all. The Linux that rules them all is the one chosen by you to use as your primary operating system on your computer.

Ubuntu was created by and is maintained/distributed by a for-profit company called Canonical, which was created by an young entrepreneur bazillonaire named Mark Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth is not a student of Gandhi or Mother Teresa. I’d have to pigeon-hole him with Warren Buffet or Donald Trump, actually. He’s out to make a buck, in plain-speak. He has a game plan, too.

My theory on what Shuttleworth had in mind…

Mark was sitting around one day, sucking down a brew or two, wondering what he could do to make his next bazillion. Well, he’s a bit of a nerd anyway, so it should probably have something to do with computers. Hey! That Gates and that Jobs fellow seemed to do well for themselves, right? Here’s the problem, though. Mark can’t easily piggy-back on either Microsoft’s or Apple’s operating system to make a buck, so what to do?

AHA! There’s that open source operating system out there that no one knows much about. It’s called Linux. Mark figures he can find (or steal away) a bunch of Linux gurus to help him write a new Linux distribution. Initially, he’ll give it away to all comers. He’ll set up and maintain a huge support and community system. He’ll make his Linux distribution as point & click easy as Microsoft’s or Apple’s product. Since Linux is inherently more secure than MS Windows, he can even use that as a selling point.

Alrighty, we’re down the road a bit now… say 2015. Ubuntu has developed a rather large user base. Lots and lots of X-MS Windows users have jumped ship on Cap’n Gates and now run Ubuntu exclusively. This is the time for Shuttleworth and Canonical to stop offering Ubuntu for free. Now you can buy it at Best Buy or Amazon. He’ll charge for support and updating, too. Will folks pay? If Ubuntu can be sold for 1/2 to 1/3 of what MS Windows (whatever version) is going for at that time, yes. There’s a good possibility that folks will pay for it.

New users won’t know really anything about Linux. They’ll only know Ubuntu. They were point & click zombies when they were using their Windows and they’ll be point & click zombies when using their Ubuntu. They read their FWD porn and joke emails from friends and family, they surf a few websites, they might even pay a bill or two online. That’s all they really use their computers for, anyway. That is Shuttleworth’s potential paying customer pool, folks.

Can it really happen? Ya’ never know…

Don’t get me wrong, folks. I think Ubuntu is a great Linux distribution. It’s based on one of my favorites… the rock solid Debian GNU/Linux. Ubuntu is great for introducing folks to Linux. It’s the distribution I use to install for “curious” friends and family members who hear me talk about running an operating system other than MS Windows. This article is not about bashing Ubuntu or anything, actually. It’s just a speculation on the inner workings of the mind of a man who obviously likes to make money.

Just wanted you to understand that. Try Ubuntu, by the way. You might like it.

Have FUN!

~Eric

Addenda: A member (lewmur) at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux, where I’m an Admin, posted a link to this very interesting article about how Canonical may be proposing to make some $$$…

Will 12,000 Cloud Computing Deployments Lead to Profit?

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This article was originally published on my Nocturnal Slacker | Lockergnome blog. The comments there were very interesting. You can click HERE to read them.


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