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If cant read, give effort or not cut corners on directions, linux may kill you. But I must say, after using linux for sometime now, any problem is fixable. Between wireless servers on 4 different distros, Audigy 2's, ati drivers for my 9800, it really boils down to one thing. The command line. Yes it takes a tad bit longer than pointing and clicking, (actually its quicker for me to use the command line for any app or program I use, even jumping aroung my unusually big music collection saves me BIG time using the command line. Anyhow, Im rambling, and after looking through the newbie section, it reminded me of my first days here, so long ago.
Just a quick note to any new comers, its like the first time u ever used a pc, (if your over 23) Dos wasnt as easy as windows. And infact, to do something, you needed the exact command and format to be typed. If you didnt know, you seeked help through a book, friend, etc. You could only on extremely rare occasions just guess a command and format, and nail it right the first time. Why am I saying this? Because, dont ever give up on linux, it changes and evolves much quicker than MS products. Its file system is near flawless, and the security and lack of virii is peace of mind that you cant buy. Yeah its a fish out of water for windows users, but - Why pay $300 (Full retail Winxp pro MSRP) to rent your MS OS, when they cant even give you what linux can for FREE. Also, the open source community doesnt have alterior motives behind coding. Everything behind windows is nothing but marketing. A decent shot at a useable os, but its nothing more than barely an OS that is designed with pure marketing in mind. One day will come, you will need to pay yearly fees for windows, it will be a subscritption service. But they wont dare until almost all dependency is there's. So next to your $1200 mid to low level pc, you have a $360 yearly fee, payable by 30$ a month, just use the pc, but dont forget you $30-50 a month for your internet. Ohh and did I mention you need to spend $30 just to use media player to rip in MP3 format with XP? Yes well all know we can steal XP and any other software you need to use it with. BUt one day you wont be able to, and its also wrong, no matter how evil MS is. So when MS decides to rent you your own computer, I will have a choice, will you?
I say these things because for 3 months I removed linux and went back to xp out of frustration. I went back, and quite some time later, it just all clicked. Dont give up, its alot of work, like dos, only at first. Then its second nature.
Seems to me like the main hurdle blocking people's acceptance of linux is hardware compatibility, with the learning curve coming in at a close second. People are not only used to Windows and its luser-friendly interface, they're used to its unparalleled hardware support, which has come about because *every single* vendor of consumer-oriented hardware writes drivers for windows, and only a very few write drivers for linux. That means that Linux drivers in general must be created by third parties without access to the hardware's ABI, without knowledge, other than trial and error, of the hardware's quirks. For extremely standardized kinds of devices, like hard disks, that's not a problem. But when you get into the new stuff, like digital cameras and such, it's impossible to guarantee that any distribution of Linux will compare in hardware compatibility to Windows. And BIOS, network, and sound card quirks, I suspect (and I don't have too much experience here), are the biggest cause of installation woes.
As an example, the default installation of RedHat on one of my old machines wouldn't work, because GPM (console mouse services) interfered with my keyboard, completely disabling it. RedHat technical support was *completely* worthless (probably on par with Microsoft's), so I played around, and eventually entered the manual startup, and randomly skipped services until I was able to determine exactly which one was to blame. After that, it was fine. (I did have trouble getting X to come up, but RH doesn't exactly shine in that area.)
I'm sure many of us have our stories of our own journey of getting our hardware to work on Linux. That's just one of the consequences of the open source development model combined with the lack of incentive of hardware vendors to support linux (though I personally applaud nVidia's efforts in that area).
Just going from the subject of your thread, Linux isn't all that bad. I'll admit, at first it is tough to get a handle on whats really going on, but once you do, you'll be able to move through it more quickly that you would in Windows. I don't really feel like reading your whole thread so I'm sorry if I had the incorrect thought of what you were trying to get through to LinuxQuestions users.
While I'm a total newbie to Linux I'm not to windows. The biggest mistake I made and others I see are making the same mistake is that they keep comparing windows to linux or vice versa. Obviously windows is not linux (thank god) so why keep comparing the two. To me its like a car and an airplane yeah they're both transportation but totally different methods of getting the job done. Once I removed any "why cant this be as easy as windows" thinking and started learning linux I realized how customizable and free it really was. Tell me when the last time you unzipped a windows file and compiled it to your exact hardware! It's all about the