10 Reasons you should get Linux instead of Vista
I have been accused of spouting my personal opinion as facts - or greatly exaggerating those facts which are present... of course, this is all in keeping with the spin-doctoring going on in vista and the article in the link. I am expressly following the style of this, and similar, articles.
I'm afraid that this kind of spin is very common in marketing. Someone selling apples from a barrow doesn't shout out "Quite OK apples, not many brown bits!" Do they? Nah - they shout out "Get yer fresh apples, they're loverly!"
I think we can forgive a certain amount of this, provided we are allowed to play the game too.
Further - in a short statement (single paragraph) it is not possible to be exhaustive or completely accurate.
1. UI built for the era of video and digital photography
... GPhoto (and varients) come with major linux distributions and support cameras out of the box (no driver disk needed). Hotplug your camera and you're away.
gphoto2 supports more than 800 cameras. The documentation suggests trying cameras not supported in gphoto as mass-media. Further, it is often the case that an unsupported camera will be detected as a different, but supported, camera... and thus used that way.
"Hotplug your camera and you're away." Is an exaggeration - there exist cameras which are not supported by gphoto and the mass-media method is not mentioned in the note. This could be construed as misleading... however, writing: "Hotplug supported cameras and you're away" would also be misleading about the wealth of digital camera support built into major linux distros. If anyone would care to write a short statement which does betterjustice to this, please do so and I'll happily concede.
2. Image-based install
... Linux images can be downloaded free of charge, either directly or via bittorrent. However, most major distributions are available on CD or DVD ROM from the distributor or from your newsagent on the cover of a magazine. You can even "try before you buy" with no risk by running demo versions from the media without ever installing a byte.
lists locations to download ISOs for each distribution they cover.
The vista article claimed improved availability (implied: over XP). I suspect everyone will agree that linux beats vista here... except maybe for pre-installed versions.
3. Up-to-date driver base and better driver handling on installation
... linux (out of the box) hardware support is second to none. The vast majority of devices are supported by relatively few drivers which are included in the OS.
"Common for hardware to work 'out of the box' in many linux distributions"
"No where else will you find out-of-the-box support for FireWire"
"Linux supports more devices (out of the box) than any other operating system ever has."
Of course, the catch is that vendors support windows. So the statement by itself could be construed as implying that your
hardware will work in linux. Perhaps it could read: "Linux doesn't require vendor supplied drivers for most hardware". In fact, I think that is an excellent add-on.
4. Desktop search and search folders built in
... each distribution has an array of GUI-based and power-user search tools to locate and sort anything you care to name. (I'd like to improve this one.)
Googling around, it seems they are talking about something similar to Beagle. And a google-bar on the desktop... only it's the MS search engine. There are also traditional versions - CLI based slocate and its GUI front-ends.
5. Sleep mode that actually works.
... ACPI in the linux kernel doesn't expect laptop manufacturer to second guess your operating system requirements in their firmware. Linux has a dedicated team constantly improving all the ACPI functions such as sleep and hybernate. Where there are problems with this, they are likely to get fixed.
... this is an example of DSDT entries which have windows-only functionality built-in. Notice that the entries are for specific windows versions. One suspects that anyone upgrading an OEM-XP machine to vista may need to update their bios as well or face suspend/hybernate problems. Then there may be conflicts with premium content protection. Time will tell.
The same wiki also asserts that various acpi projects are under active development. In particular, for the acpi4asus project:
"if you have a recent Asus laptop that isn't yet supported by the driver, support may be coming soon"
6. Rock-solid laptop encryption
... Whole disk encryption with a variety of rugged keys has been available for a long time now.
The DM-Crypt man page etc.
DM-Crypt has been part of the device mapper from kernel version 2.6.4
It is very easy to encrypt parts of the file-system using DM-Crypt. Encrypting an entire drive (the root filesystem) is more of a pain - but howtos exist to take you through this step-by-step. However, the ease of the encryption method is not at issue here. The supplied heading says "rock solid". DM-Crypt uses any encryption scheme supported by the kernel. For eg. a standard example (i.e. Linux Magazine 72 p24) uses 256 bit key, CBC mode data, and supplies an sha256 hashed initialization vector.
Interestingly, if you google for "encrypted filesystem install", you get one entry for windows server (moved) and the rest are linux - with howtos for various encryption schemes.
7. Better file navigation
... and a navigation method for everyone
Note: the title isn't mine. In the original article the vista file navigation is touted as "better" without saying what it is better than
. This is a common advertising spin. One hopes that it is better than XP - but they don't actually say
that. Following this form, I can imply that recent linux file navigation is better than the past ones. Well, on would hope so. So I elaborate: there is a navigation method for everyone.
... a list of file managers in linux which compares them. By no means exhaustive. With so many to choose from (including the option of using a windows file manager in wine) there is bound to be something to suit anyone.
Of course, that's just an opinion... without actually doing a statistical servey, I cannot authoritatively assert the likelyhood of someone finding a search method they are happy with. However, with a choice of many vs a choice of one, it would seem more likely that one may find a file manager in linux one is happy with.
Then again: there's no pleasing some people.
8. Inbuilt undelete
... yes - breadcrumbed folders, following the web page model. Even favorite folders... if you really want. All practically from the beginning.
"breadcrumbed folders" looks functionally like the back-button and history you see in nautilus and konqueror (amongst others). The "undelete" option is usually provided by the "trash". this isn't really what they are talking about... the disk-space is free'd but a program keeps track of the file until it is actually overwritten (but I think I saw something like this in earlier windows).
If something like this is possible in linux, please let me know.
Usually this is referred to as data recovery or forensics... one can, in principle, "undelete" using grep for eg... but this says that when you tell vista "yes, I really want to permanently delete that file", it doesn't believe you. (For some folk I know, this is probably wise.)
... DX10 will not be made for XP. Good video will become impossible for you because MS says so. Linux uses the OpenSDL system instead - being open, it will always work.
I refer, of course, to analysis concerning the HDCP specifications. MS gets to disable your hardware if suspects that anyone on the planet has tried to use it for copying premium content.
10. Face it, you have no choice
... Linux is written for you. Vista is written for the multimedia industry. Who you gonna call?
Of course, choice exists: nobody is putting a gun to your head.
Funny how everyone "chooses" MS Windows (whichever OEm comes with their computer)?
Usually, when one says "I had no choice", we do not mean this literally. So I am going to be generous to the article and assume they mean it in this sense.
The note is pure opinion I'm afraid. You got me there... I've made a political statement based on two observations:
1. linux software is written by folk who use it, to "scratch an itch" (from, The Cathedral and the Bazaar")http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/ca...r/ar01s02.html
2. The MS Vista HDCP specifications of course, particularily the following commentary:
I feel I can afford to do this as a bit of a throwaway statement. I feel this is in the spirit of the article being spoofed... and how else can I follow the theme of using the article's own headings against it?
The same magazine also includes ten reasons not
to buy Vista.
... hmmm perhaps I should provide ten reasons not to adopt linux, and see how many complaints I get?
Overall: there is a general bit of misleading here which still, nobody has admonished me for. All this is besides the point of linux!
"Linux isn't ready for the desktop" We don't care.
"Linux will never replace windows on the desktop" So what?
Linux isn't about marketplaces and shares, it is about freedom.
It works for me.
I'm sure it will benifit anyone who tries - even if they don't like it and go back to whatever they were doing before.
Lastly: some people may get their backs up because I singled out linux.
Let me say - these comments apply to various degrees to other open systems like FreeBSD (and other BSDs) and Solaris. (But what about FreeDOS or CP/M I hear ... OK, tell me... like anybody really cares what I say... I mean: what makes me so important? murmer, mumble urbm...)