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r3m0t
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Any non-Windows users around?
PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

Just wondering if anybody around here uses Mac or Linux.

Personally, I started experimenting with Linux ages ago but only seriously started when we got a new computer and the old one was basically given up. I ran Gentoo on it and had masses of fun using it (with Gnome). It was slow on that age-old computer, but I liked it.

To list some things:

1) Superb text editors for when I need to program PHP
2) I suddenly began to like the prompt. I don't know why, but it's great.
3) Having a panel filled with gunk like CPU usage graph and weather. Actually, the dictionary lookup and sticky notes were often quite useful...
4) Not having loads of useless crap load up when I logged on. Having a simple system tray.
5) Multiple workspaces so I don't have to see all my windows (on the window list/Start bar) at the same time.
6) Icons on every menu.
7) Having everything I used look the same, unlike Windows (open browser + music player + CD burner + Photoshop, etc...)
8) Installing stuff with one command, even though it took ages to actaully install
9) Installing new versions while using old versions
10) Submitting ebuilds and helping Gentoo become better
11) "Always on top" for every window... this has annoyed me countless times on Windows.
12) Simple Applications menu (equivalent of Start -> All Programs) with about 10 categories. My newer computer reached 3 columns on the Start menu. It's just that everybody likes to have a menu for their vendor. I want Games/Heroes of Might And Magic, not Somecompanyname/Heroes...!

The old computer died. The processor fan stopped working.

Anybody else? I searched a bit and found a few people.


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Tomas
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

I use linux on all my computer, except for my old laptop..
I had to use windows on this old compaq armada 400mhz, due to that there were no fully functional drivers for the horrible gfx and audio card on this laptop.

I find linux much better than windows, but i still consider myself a newbie as i have only used linux as main OS for just over a year.. But i find my way around most problems with the help of google smile

My favorite distro is debian.


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r3m0t
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

Yay to you! Gnome? KDE? xfce? etc...

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Baloogan
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

bash is a greater achevement than the *** wheel

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Johan
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

Have tried Linux (Mandrake) and it seems to be evolving into a good competitor for Windows, but unfortunately Photoshop CS and Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 only work with Windows so I'm still using M$ sadblauw

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guruguru
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

Quote:
but unfortunately Photoshop CS and Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 only work with Windows so I'm still using M$

Johan S: a good alternative for Photoshop is GIMP I recommend you give it a try is almost as powerfull as Photoshop, its free, there is a version for windows also.
http://www.gimp.org/

I am also a linux fan but I still use windows, one day I will change!!!


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Macrophage
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

I've been using linux for 6-7 years now but I'm still stuck with windows since there are a few programs that I have to use there. And there aren't any good alternatives for linux.

I'm a fan of the "keep it simple" philosophy so I can't say I like the big distros like Red Hat, Mandrake and SuSe. And when it comes to desktop environments/window managers.. I hate KDE, so totally bloated, I use Openbox. Plain and simple smile


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Johan
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

Macrophage wrote:
I've been using linux for 6-7 years now but I'm still stuck with windows since there are a few programs that I have to use there. And there aren't any good alternatives for linux.

I'm a fan of the "keep it simple" philosophy so I can't say I like the big distros like Red Hat, Mandrake and SuSe. And when it comes to desktop environments/window managers.. I hate KDE, so totally bloated, I use Openbox. Plain and simple smile


Yes, I agree, it should be more simple. I don't need 25 text editors and 60 different terminal windows (yes, I'm exaggerating but you get my point ). I also hope there will be some "survival of the fittest"-evolution concerning the huge amount of distros. I mean, what the hell should people choose if there are so many distros competing. And please let me install new applications with a few clicks, rather than forcing me to mess with command prompts, missing packages etc.

Concerning GIMP, I've heard it's good, but not as good as Photoshop I'll stick with Photoshop, but if Windows Longhorn turns out to be the proprietary mess I expect it to be (XAML etc) I might turn to Linux/GIMP.


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r3m0t
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

I almost agree on the text editors. Gnome has one text editor, and it's extremely good - far better than notepad wink5 with line numbering, syntax highlighting, etc etc. It is extremely good.

Different distributions are for different users. I want to learn Linux: I use Slackware or Gentoo, as they require you to mess around with text configuration files. On a production system, I need to know exactly what there is on the computer and how it is set up. There should never be an "ultimate" distribution.

Obviously if your distribution is aimed at casual desktop users and you don't have a graphical install... you suck. Exception: Knoppix and Gnoppix. They run off CDs wink5

About GIMP: Try it! It runs on Windows. It has many windows though, unlike Photoshop, so you might want to close other stuff when using it. On Linux you use multiple workspaces for it. smile

I use Gnome. I find it "plain and simple".


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Macrophage
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

with plain and simple I wasn't actually meaning "user friendly"

What I meant was that don't overthrow me with 100 help-wizards program to help you do this and that... and don't clutter my system with files and programs I wont use (*cough* KDE, GNOME wink5 )

And about text editors, learn Vi(m). It's a standard on every unix system so you will always have it available. Tough at first but when you get better it's a dream ^^


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r3m0t
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

I use vim more often than gedit... heh.

I hope there aren't any emacs fans around? *hides*


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stmpynode
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

The license plate on my truck says 'EMACS' tounge1


r3m0t wrote:
I use vim more often than gedit... heh.

I hope there aren't any emacs fans around? *hides*


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WhiteWolf
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

I used to use redhat 5.0 but it confused the hell out of me so I quit.. now I am taking Redhat academy at school and learning how todo all this stuff..

I would prefer linux over windows because you get more control over what you are doing. And it doesnt run all that junk in the background like windows does wink


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Atheist
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

I’m probably asking for abuse by saying this, but in my experience, and for my purposes, Linux is simply not a viable alternative to Windows for a PC’s primary operating system. Plain and simple. But don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore the concept of Linux. I think it’s great that a dedicated community has put so much time and effort into developing a FREE operating system which aims to give everyone’s favourite multi billion dollar corporation a run for their money. But as promising as the last ten years’ worth of progress have been, Linux still has a long way to go before I’d consider switching over.

One of the main points is hardware compatibility. Most recent distributions of Linux have a pretty decent range of drivers available for most integrated/peripheral hardware devices, but it’s far from comprehensive. Of course, this isn’t necessarily the distributor’s fault, as the device manufacturers themselves often neglect (or delay) providing Linux-compatible drivers for their hardware (prioritising the larger MS-based market instead, as they should). Now, having to download some of your drivers isn’t really a problem – or at least it wouldn’t be, if installing them afterwards was as straight-forward as it ought to be. It took me the better part of two full days to configure Linux on my computer at home, and while that may be in part due to my lack of understanding of the Unix environment, I still have to credit Windows here for simplicity of installation, and recognisability of modern hardware devices. I wasn’t particularly impressed when Mandrake 9 asked me what kind of mouse I had, and my only option that included a scroll-wheel was “Logitech 3-button”. On a side note, I gave up trying to get my mouse wheel to work in Linux (or more specifically, the X display system). It just lacks any sense of intuition, which made the experience frustrating to say the least.

Next, I quickly discovered what a nightmare it is to install new software under most distributions of Linux. The process is relatively simple in theory, but it almost never works first time. You download a tarball containing the application source, extract it into a folder somewhere, and follow the instructions to compile it on your system. Or so the theory goes – but it never works! “Error, can’t find package: xxx”. (Where “xxx” is a cryptic combination of seemingly random letters, numbers and dots). Ah, dependencies. Possibly the largest of all the daggers in the back of the inexperienced Linux user. Don’t even think about installing anything unless you have the time to gallop around the internet searching for various dependencies that, as a user, you should never be made aware of in the first place.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Shared system libraries are an evil, evil thing. Every program should come with every single resource that it requires to run. Sure, downloads will be a little larger, but that’s a small price to pay. The internet is getting faster, and hard drives are getting larger. I’m fully aware that it was Microsoft who first developed the idea of shared and dynamically linked libraries (and subsequently, the global headache commonly referred to as “DLL Hell”), but I don’t see why Linux had to stumble blindly into the very same pit. I’m also aware that certain distributions of Linux (namely Debian) provide useful tools designed to take the pain out of installing new applications by searching for and downloading all required dependencies behind the scenes automatically, but the exception doesn’t change the rule. As soon as the majority of software vendors decide to start distributing pre-compiled binaries which include current versions of all required dependencies (in a single package), I’ll give it another shot.

The X-Windows system itself, I’ve found, is less stable, and less functional than the current version of MS Windows. The latest version of KDE sure looks impressive, and boasts a huge number of amazing features, but it still feels a little unresponsive to use. Often I’d attempt to run a program, and for a moment it wouldn’t give me any indication that something was happening. Finally the taskbar icon would appear, or the mouse cursor would change, but by that stage I’d already tried to run it again, just in case I missed the button or double-clicked too slowly. It just seems a little clumsy. But this is probably the least of all my concerns. I really do like the X interface, and I think it has a lot of advantages over Windows, but it’s just too damn hard to setup in the first place. Having to run a command-line utility and answer a bunch of questions about your computer isn’t something the average PC user wants to do when they install a new OS. And as Windows demonstrates, it’s not something they need to do. I guess Linux just needs to get with the times, and make a few more assumptions about the user. It needs to stop pretending that anyone might have a CPU that isn’t x86, and it needs to stop pretending anyone owns a monitor that can’t display standard SVGA.

Anyway, the final (and most significant) problem I have with Linux is software compatibility. Unfortunately it’s not something the Linux community can really do anything about, because it’s up to the developers themselves which platform they design their software for. Any commercial business knows that about 80% of the PC market run Windows, so it’s financially beneficial to target your application for that environment. It doesn’t really matter how much we (commercial developers) hate MS as a company, the fact is, we have to eat, and your product simply won’t sell as effectively if you don’t build it for the majority of users.

I won’t go into detail with the various other problems I encountered while configuring a popular distribution of Linux on what I’d consider to be a very standard computer in terms of hardware, but some of the “highlights” were as follows: No sound, despite my “Live!” card being reportedly found and configured without error. Major dramas involving internet connectivity. For such a simplified and efficient setup dialog, it’s amazing how difficult it can be to tell the system, “Look, I have a router at this IP, please use it!” Again, there’s way too much info here that the common PC user doesn’t want/need to see. When I select “LAN” as my internet connection, I want to only see three things: A list of network adapters in my machine, a list of IPs that have been assigned to said network adapters, and a little box labelled “Gateway”. Everything else, which absolutely nobody needs to see, should be hidden away under an “advanced” section somewhere. I hate to say it so bluntly, but I guess what I’m getting at is that Linux should (in a lot of ways) be more like Windows.

There’s a lot I don’t like about Windows, but my adventures with Linux make me appreciate just how great it is to use a system that actually works without a great deal of manual configuration. Fancy features like built-in links to dictionary.com and little eyes that follow the mouse around the screen don't make up for a lack of functionality, or many wasted hours of painful setting up.

That's just the impression I got from my experience, though. Each time I feel confident about going back and giving it another shot, I walk away disappointed. Maybe in another few months I'll try again.


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Macrophage
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Sep, 2004  Reply with quote

I agree with you Atheist, to most people Linux isn't a viable alternative. But there are a few things in your posts I'd just like to point out..

Quote:
Next, I quickly discovered what a nightmare it is to install new software under most distributions of Linux. [...] Ah, dependencies

In most distributions there are package systems that should solve most of the installation problems. And the package databases are probably covering most of your needs. But yes, installing new programs can be a difficult task for beginners..

Quote:
The X-Windows system itself, I’ve found, is less stable, and less functional than the current version of MS Windows. The latest version of KDE sure looks impressive, and boasts a huge number of amazing features, but it still feels a little unresponsive to use.


The X Window System (a picky linux user would probably kick you for saying X Windows wink ) itself is very stable. It depends on what Window Manager or desktop environment you choose to use. As I've said before KDE is kind of bloated and not very fast.

I was going to say something more here but i forgot and I have to eat breakfast now smile


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