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And the New Champ is Ubuntu!

Started by Donald Darden, December 24, 2007, 10:27:26 PM

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Donald Darden

Playing with several different distributions at once, I find some striking differences between them, and as I gain experience, I find my preference is moving more and more towards Ubuntu over the others.  It has such a smooth and finished feel to it, and the Update Manager easily keeps you abreast of new developments and improvements with no real effort on your part.  It is also respectful of the letters and volume names that you assigned to your drives under DOS or Windows, which makes it easier to work with them.  The biggest complaint about Linux is that it isn't Windows, but that is almost a moot point, because there is not much you can do under Windows that can't be done about as well (and in some cases even better) with the wide variety of open source code that comes gratus with most distributions of Linux.

In fact, perhaps the hardest thing about Linux is just staying with it long enough to understand what you have at your fingertips.  Believe me, there is a lot to like and enjoy.

I would say that the three or four things that might hold some people up would be:
(1)  Weaning yourself off your existing games, documents, email, and comfort zones long enough to re-establish yourself in a different world.

(2)  Learning to accept the fact that you have to shed some of your gained familiarity and undertake the necessary steps to gain new understandings of what you have and how to work with new tools.

(3)  Be ready to give up some some of your vested interests, such as working with PowerBasic or the Windows APIs, and instead look for other interests that fit in with your new environment.

(4)  Either come to terms with certain lacks, such as a shortage of suitable drivers for some of your hardware, most often printers and all in ones, or consider one of the alternatives that allow you to bridge some aspects of the Windows and Linux worlds, such as using Virtual Machine software or a product such as CrossOver or Wine to give you some missing functionality under Linux.

I was wondering why you could find some mention of driver wrappers for network devices, but not for printers.  It turns out that Network Drivers adhere to a standard, and their function resides right well in the kernel driver layer,  But printer drivers have most of their footprint out at the user driver level, which is another way of saying that they probably have most of their functions handled by a dynamic link library or resident process, and these just do their thing, often requiring a number of services via the system or API calls.  Consequently, they cannot be readily detached from the operating system, and you end up with a situation where you have to successfully mimic or duplicate that same OS in those critical areas to get these to work properly.

Anyway, there are some workarounds, and you can always just throw in the towel and either accept the inevitable move to Vista, or find some way to deal with the irritations that occasionally pop up. 

Patrice Terrier

Ubuntu... well I only know Tombuctu and Windoze  :o
Patrice Terrier
GDImage (advanced graphic addon)

Kent Sarikaya

It is both an interesting time and confusing one that is for sure.

Vista: my first reaction was what a let down from what was expected. Then you heard all of the missing driver problems and applications that couldn't run on it.
Then there is performance hit of reported 10 to 15 % for gaming. I am sure all of these issues will be addressed by Microsoft however.

.Net: I was turned off by this right away. But in reading some programming books, I am coming to understand why we have it. We as hobbyists don't really need what .Net offers and find it cumbersome and getting in our way. But when you look at the programming world in companies with networks all over the world and teams of people working from anywhere... you can see why .Net is really a great solution. It allows programmers working in the language of their choice to be able to work with others and run on many platforms. And even as a hobbyist, I like the idea of cross platform flexibility.  I think you can see the importance of this sort of layer as the MONO project is welcomed in the linux world as it offers the same benefit to that platform.

I think the biggest issue with linux is not a linux fault but a fault by hardware manufacturer's not writing drivers for their products. Windows without the correct drivers can be just as aggravating as linux when you run into problems with drivers and or lack of.

I just don't see why they don't support their products for a popular OS. Everyone has heard of linux, it might not have huge market share, but it is a known OS and should be supported. There is something going on there that is a mystery to me. Is there some sort of behind the scenes pressure not to support linux?

DELL picked Ubuntu for a reason and I am sure if anyone can pull this off it is this team.


Quote from: Kent Sarikaya on December 24, 2007, 11:45:12 PM
I just don't see why they don't support their products for a popular OS. Everyone has heard of linux, it might not have huge market share, but it is a known OS and should be supported. There is something going on there that is a mystery to me. Is there some sort of behind the scenes pressure not to support linux?

Money talks, money talks.
Though, support of linux drivers increases with awesome speed.
Something funny should read here?

Petr Schreiber

[partial OT]

I think .NET is still very unmature, or the developers using it are, or maybe I got it all wrong :)

Take for example ATi drivers and their Control Center.

In last month I installed new drivers for 2 different PCs ( on Radeon 9200, second 9600 ).
The driver itself works, but the stuff using .NET ( Control Center ) cannot startup on none of those PCs - on one box the .NET installation crashed, on second succeeded ( tried v3.0, then v2.0 ), but Control Center just spits out message box about some missing functionality in .NET.

Both PCs had freshly installed OS, and updates.

This is not very inspiring to go .NET way as a base for professional application. On other side my friend from university fell in love with C# and .NET and would not use anything else.
[/partial OT]

Regarding Ubuntu - it is pretty nice, but not so much different from other Linuxes I had used. I appreciate it runs on such a oldies PC as is PII400 with 192 MB RAM, but there was quite lot of issues I had to solve just because I was not connected to net during installation.

All solved now, except sound card is not playing ( but Linux does not complain about any problem ) and printer not printing.
I understand it is again question of vendor support, but user should not be bothered by this things I think. Maybe if I could have more time to seek for solution, but what I want from OS is painless access to HW, which here is valid only if I had luck and have supported HW.

As a "office" PC it works well, but I would not say it is 100% replacement to XPs for me for example.

I am sorry for a bit negative post, I always am interested in Linux experiments :), but during time I know Linux I see very little improvements in areas I am interested in.

Maybe my little bit negative look at Linux was caused by experience with bought Mandrake some years ago. Presentation of the product was very self-assured ( "Say hello to blue screens", ... ) but sound card stopped to generate sounds after some time of using system for office work, not speaking of heroic fight for making OpenGL run on Intel onboard card in accelerated mode.

I still keep my fingers crossed for Linux,
AMD Sempron 3400+ | 1GB RAM @ 533MHz | GeForce 6200 / GeForce 9500GT | 32bit Windows XP SP3


Kent Sarikaya

I was listening to this week in tech, an episode a few weeks old... they mention how Microsoft and Intel are pushing hard into the markets that the OLPC was intended for and taking business away. The OLPC needs about 5 to 7 million orders then it can sell the device for the intended $100 price. But Intel is selling a computer called the classmate that is a $200 device and since the OLPC is at around $180... it is really hurting them.

Then on top of all of this, Microsoft is selling the OS for $3, Office for $3, basically anything they have for $3 in those developing countries. Since the decision makers are familiar with windows at home... it makes it easier for them to say let's get Microsoft instead of Linux. Let's go with Intel instead of OLPC.

Eros Olmi

thinBasic Script Interpreter - www.thinbasic.com | www.thinbasic.com/community
Win7Pro 64bit - 8GB Ram - Intel i7 M620 2.67GHz - NVIDIA Quadro FX1800M 1GB

Donald Darden

I saw on the news today that Intel is withdrawing from the program to provide a laptop to every child.  I have not read a statement as to why, but many times these initiatives collapse when the parties involved find themselves in disagreement over how the programs should be run.  For one thing, the initial objective was to get the price down to $100 per laptop, and they have failed to do that.  For another, the laptop they finally settled on is remarkable in many ways, but will not satisfy anyone that has had a chance to use a "real" PC.  And part of that reason is that "real" PCs are much more powerful, and the cheapest of these begins at about twice the cost of the laptop in question.  So it is good enough to give away, but not good enough to buy.

Kent Sarikaya

In the podcast, OLPC made arrangements to sell enough units to get the cost of manufacturing down so it could sell them at $100, but in the meantime, Intel cut in and took deals away and in some places the person he made the deal with got overthrown or no longer was in office. So many strange things at play and you wonder why so many would undermine such a worthwhile effort.

The OLPC runs squeak smalltalk, so it must be pretty decent hardware to be able to run that. I would defiinitly buy one for $100 if it was available. Also AMD has been a long time partner in the OLPC project, so you can imagine how they felt when Intel was courted by OLPC.

Here is a link to the podcast if interested: http://www.thisweekintech.com/124  episode 124 in case the link doesn't work correctly.

Charles Pegge

The Most Hated Company in the PC Industry


How Taiwan's Asustek built its cheap laptop for grown-ups.

A bigger hurdle was designing the user interface, the first thing people see when they turn on the machine, and the screens that lead to the programs. Asustek decided that the Windows operating system was out of the question. The licensing costs would have been the most expensive part of the computer. So it decided to use Linux and build its own user interface, and that became the most time-consuming part of the project.