The Stupid Overwelms Me

Today I read what I can only say is the most stupid explanation for why people choose Windows over Linux (or Mac for that matter). I couldn’t even think of a response.

Its like this question – if you take a baby girl and a baby boy and place them on a deserted island with just food and water, would they know how to reproduce. The answer is yes they will because it is part of human nature and is natural. As is Windows is natural to a PC. Linux and OS X no matter how good they are, just aren’t a natural choice.

I don’t usually dedicate a whole post to something like this, but the sheer magnitude of the stupid demands it.


    • Hardly. I’d wager that with any modern day distro that the tasks that 95 plus percent of computer users want to accomplish can be done without ever knowing what a package is, and definitely without using configure, make and make install. Heck, other than my own stuff, I haven’t used a make for years, and I run Linux as my primary OS. The Software Manager is no more difficult to use than the App Store that Apple “innovated” into Lion.

      • What software do you write?  I write mostly audio stuff – some for Linux, some for Android, and some for iOS.

        As far as getting used to Linux is concerned:  A lot of people can’t get past the non-branded office suites, for a start.  That’s complete nonsense, but that’s the way it is.  

        My first real brush with Linux was in 2004 and I started using Debian.  I have not looked back sense.  I run Fedora 16, mostly, for its hardware design suite -which you can really get on many other Linux distros.

        As far as using mak, etc. are concerned – it kind of depends on what you are usually installing and whether or not you need to deal with source or binaries, or some beta build for a different distro.  I found myself in this area, fairly often, with programs like gEDA, particularly for something odd like PowerPC Ubuntu….

        Ever tried the Amiga OS or Morph OS?

        • I don’t really do code for fun these days. I code for a living (mostly server-side data manipulation which is really very boring), so my enjoy coding has gone by the wayside in recent years, and especially since I became a parent.

          My first brush with Linux was with (ironically) MKLinux, back in the mid-90s. I run mostly CentOS or Redhat Enterprise on my servers, and Mint on my primary desktop at home (switched over from Ubuntu after Lisa came out).

          When it comes to make, the tasks that the average computer user wants/needs to perform will never require that depth of knowledge. They’ll be able to perform everything from the GUI with an interface that is easy to use. There are some things that still require compilation from source, but those are fewer and farther between, and more often than not, extremely specialized. Not something John and Jane Computeruser are going to want to do.

          I tried Amiga a little back in college, but not recently. Never Morph OS.

          • You’re probably right on the average user.

            Maybe my experience just comes from messing around on PowerPC too much.  Likewise with me, being a parent makes it hard to find time, but I do try and contribute some code to the MorphOS project (which is really just a forked version of Amiga OS 3.5).  

            The GUI’s in Linux have become much better over time and have offered a cleaner experience.  I have noticed that gEDA, which is somewhat specialized, is in the Debian distro in recent times.  

            Do you really find wine-based executions to be very intuitive, though?  I do not believe the average user can, for example, take a CDROM and run a game from it using wine.  I have done this time and time again with various games in Linux; and, while it’s trivial for someone who pokes around forums and such and has experience, someone will have to at least be willing to go to such forums.  Sole Windows and Mac users don’t have to do this if they want to run Excel (specifically), right?

            For a living, I code radio drivers and test programs for our Windows Mobile embedded systems, and I also do some analog hardware design.  It’s not always as glamorous as it might (or may not) sound.

            So, on the Computerworld forums – no problem with our disagreeing, etc….I get carried away.  It’s all way too subjective with all of the lawsuits flying around….


          • I’m assuming you’re talking about my two Youtube videos featuring wine?


            For the limited number of applications I actually use wine for, I don’t find the executions to not be intuitive. For Microsoft Office, I just put the CD in the drive, clicked the setup.exe (or maybe msi, can’t remember now), and walked through the setup exactly like I would have on any Windows based computer. If a user is capable of installing Office on a Windows computer, they’re capable of installing Office on a Linux computer. After the installation was complete, it showed up in my list of installed applications just like any other Linux app would. I kind of cheated with the WoW installation, but then, I cheated when it was in Windows too. WoW is a self contained folder, so you can move it between Windows machines without a re-installation (which I have since I’ve been playing for way to long and my computer has been replaced during that time. To make it work in wine, I just copied the folder to my Linux box and double clicked the wow.exe, just like Windows. Worked perfectly first try, no fuss no muss.

          • Yeah, you’re using more recent distros; although my Fedora 16 is pretty recent, but I didn’t plan on using MS Office there.  I last messed with wine in early 2010 with, I believe, Debian 5.0, so this may not be a great comparison.  Heh, and I think I did things to hard way, as I opened Terminal and run ./wine setup.exe manually.

            I typically don’t try to run MS Office in Linux, but for what most users do in office, they should only need Libre or OpenOffice, besides.  Older Linux articles would typically focus on trying to get the average user to just go to using those, and simply not worry about MS Office.I did not check out your videos, but I will.

          • I do usually have the latest version version of my distro, and I usually install clean even though it’s not a requirement. I COULD just upgrade to the latest version, but I’d rather do it as a fresh installation. That’s probably a left over from my years as a Windows Administrator. It’s not a big deal if you watch the videos. They’re not setups, they just show the apps running in the environment.

            I spend a lot of time in the terminal, but it’s mostly become a comfort thing and not a requirement. I can’t think of anything that I do in a terminal window that couldn’t be done from the GUI.

            I use LibreOffice. The Microsoft Office was more of an experiment, and I hate the ribbon.

          • I’ve heard good things about Mint, and I’ve heard good things about *supposedly* cloud-centric distros like Peppermint OS.

            Speaking of Peppermint OS, what is your take on cloud computing?  

          • Cloud Computing. Two things. I like the way that applications are moving to the cloud. One of the major obstacles to Linux adoption is the lack of mainstream application support. The more we see applications move to the web, the less platform specific they are. It becomes infinitely easier to use those applications across platforms. This is a good thing. I like that data is backed up and is easily restored, but when situations like the recent debacle with MegaUploads arise, the customer doesn’t have a whole lot of recourse. Data can vanish along with the services, and equally, cloud based applications can vanish overnight and become lost to their users. This is a bad thing. There’s also a huge potential for privacy abuse.

            So, I guess my overall impression of Cloud based computing is, I like it, but don’t rely on it completely, and encrypt (alot) anything you don’t want the world to know.

          • Chris

            By the way, I dont’t know if you optimized this blog website for Android tablet browser viewing, somehow, but it shows up well on an iPad 1. Safari does crash when loading this site at times, though…….

          • Quite the contrary actually. I some optimizations for mobile browsing, but they’re not specific to Android. In fact, one is specific to iPad viewing (though they’ve promised they will support Android in the future).

          • Well, the iPad “interface” (for lack of a better word) is created by a plugin to my blog called OnSwipe. Currently, OnSwipe only supports iPad tablets with their software, so Android, WebOS, or Blackberry tablets that come to my site will see the standard mobile browser interface. OnSwipe CLAIMED that they would support other types of tablets “in the near future”. That was March of last year. Whether it happens or not is still up in the air.

            The Safari crash could be being caused by that plugin. When you say “Safari”, are you talking about Desktop Safari, or the browser on an iPad or iPhone?

            I actually want to thank you for asking that question. I was thinking about OnSwipe, and I wondered if there might be an alternative that might actually support something other than iPad. I didn’t find anything (yet), but I did find another product by Google called Google Currents, which looks really interesting. I created a profile there (you can download the app on your Android or iOS device from the Market or the App Store). Could be interesting, or I could have just wasted 10 minutes.

          • The Safari browserwas on an iPad1.  I cannot remember exactly whatI had clicked on, but I will try it again onceI get the chance.  

            I can try it on the EVO,as well as a couple of low-end Android tablets I own,as well.I haveheard of Currentsby Google….

          • Chris

            Sounds like a reasonable position. Security and server admin are definitely job one.

            Your point about giving cross platform apps more of a place in computing is spot on.

            I mostly like what Google has done with cloud computing, but I am nowhere near as convinced when it comes to iCloud. Apple is truly being abusive with what they have done with iCloud so far, especially when it comes to simply syncing docs and being able to access and edit them. I do like that Apple is not seemingly selling your name out but I don’t like the captivity they are seemingly imposing. Google’s approach is diametrically opposed but I favor what they have done thus far.

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