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Old 01-21-2006, 02:36 PM   #16
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Let's let everyone post their opinions (without attacking them), as that's really what this thread is about. However, should this turn into a Windows vs Linux thread, it will be moved to General.


Old 01-21-2006, 03:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MasterC
Let's let everyone post their opinions (without attacking them), as that's really what this thread is about. However, should this turn into a Windows vs Linux thread, it will be moved to General.


Too bad we don't have webcams integrated into this forum. Then you could have seen the tongue in my cheek.....
I would NEVER attack someone for using Windows.........or for any other decision that they might make.
Old 01-21-2006, 04:07 PM   #18
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richardblade has asked for clues in order to make a decision, and I think there are some very thoroughly written posts in this thread to enable him to go forward. His initial questions have been answered in a sensible way. And the rest? Voicing personal opinions is all very well, but what exactly is the goal here?

I don't think the following will count as objective, but I'll try to relay some experiences in order to make a statement, so bear with me, please...

I think I share my personal background with many people on this board (those that are users rather than sysadmins): I'm working with both Win2k and WinXP at work and almost exclusively with Linux at home (if not for some applications I'm forced to use - but these days are almost over). Why?

First point: With Linux, I can use my computer resources (older machines with limited CPU speed, sometimes low RAM or small HD) a lot better than with any kind of Windows. I've an installation of Win2k Professional here - and I hardly ever use it. Not because it's bad but because Linux does the things I need in a more elegant way and with less hassles once it has been properly set up. I'm still getting excited when working with aged machines that look and feel like new when I boot them - simply because they are set up with a decent and fairly modern OS. Three of the four machines I'm using (two for work, two for learning and experimenting) have been given to me by friends and family members who weren't able to use them any more because they wanted (or had) to move to WinXP. Lucky me...

Second point: I think it's pretty obvious that what you ought to choose depends on what you want to achieve. Now, the more specific your goals are, the happier you'll get with Linux (at least if you're not forced to use dedicated applications that only run on Windows, of course). The main trouble with Windows that I've experience is that you don't get back as much from learning how to work with it and tweak it (or rather, work your way past its genuine attempts to prevent you from getting exactly where you want with your system) than you do with Linux. Learning Linux has proven worthwhile any time I took another step towards understanding things a little better (and I am by no means an expert). To sum it up: As you get better with Linux, your system gets better, and you'll grow more satisfied with it. As you get better with Windows, your frustration rises.

Just to make sure: I'm not saying Linux is the best operation system out there. I'm just saying you can make it the best operation system for YOU if you want to.

richardblade: If you haven't had any opportunity to get to know Linux, try it out. Get a good live CD (Knoppix has been recommended before, I can only approve of that) and boot personal computer (the one you work with) with it. Experiment, work with it, it's as good as risk free if it's run from a live CD (hard disks a mounted read-only to prevent any kind of "damage"). If using it doesn't convince you, nothing will.

Just my two cents...
Old 01-21-2006, 04:57 PM   #19
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Linux is much more difficult to use and configure than Windows. You don't have to have years of tinkering around to find that out first hand. I found that out right away. Look at Xandros. A pretty good distro, I even like the way the GUI looks, but after about a week of printing, I got a very strange error message, that looks like the programmers are trying to be funny. This is bad business. To give the user non-sensical information for no reason is stupid. Look at Fedora. You can't even install the OS unless you type some garbage characters at a specific point during the install. Again, this is bad business. Windows doesn't do it, so Linux shouldn't either. The majority of desktop users should stay with Windows. If Linux was so great, then they would own half the market, but they don't which tells you something. Most businesses also use Windows. They do not have the time or money to start teaching their employees how to use Linux. I will say it's unfortunate that the community I live in also doesn't contain anyone familiar with using Linux. Not even the local computer shop. They too use Windows. No classes at the local college offered in Linux either. If their were, it would definitely add to the Linux appeal, but I believe that the majority of people that use computers want and need to get on the system and get their work done without months and months of hassle figuring out how to get the printer to work. That means using Windows. And Windows Vista looks like it's gonna rock!
Old 01-21-2006, 05:17 PM   #20
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I have to agree that vista looks nice, but i don't think i will be trading in my gentoo cd, or suse for that matter, any time soon.

at the end of the day you can all do a lot of windows bashing or linux bashing or mac if your that way inclinded. I still maintain that the amiga was the best desktop ever produced, shame they don't make it any more or it would prob have a large chunk of the windows market.

Ok, i have used linux exclusevly for a year now, thats right I have not had to use windows to do ANYTHING for over a year. Ok, so i don't play many games, but if i want to i'd get a games console.
As for configurating it? yeh right, i have never got windows to do EXACTLY what I want. Linux? yeh, every time. And SuSE was fantastic, it just works. No fiddling, just a str8 install and plug in mp3 support and away you go.
I am yet to sit down at a windows computer, press "go" and it work.

Now, this is just my opinion, and it is no way objective. But I have tryed, i do use windows at college, but i cary a pendrive with firefox, and openoffice on it.

Now, as for the amiga.... could u run windows on it? Bet you could run linux... (well ok the processor might be too old to port linux to but thats not the point, you can't port windows)
Old 01-21-2006, 05:41 PM   #21
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For 357Mag---

I certainly do not want to be part of a flame war---I use both Windows and Linux, and I can see the benefits of both.

What puzzles me is your motivation to come to a Linux forum and carry on at great length about how bad it is. You mention that people generally don't wnat to waste their time getting new things to work---and that is a valid point. Question now is why are you wasting YOUR time? Do you think you are going to convert people back to Windows?

Never try to teach a pig to sing--it wastes your time and annoys the pig.
Old 01-21-2006, 06:24 PM   #22
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Actually, looking through 357mag's posts, s/he doesn't always promote Windows. Just here.

Linux is a little harder than Windows. But at the same time, we have far more useful error mesages (which is better: "error 37, x09f6e" or "error: you need kernel-devel"?). Equally, I would argue that a .conf file is far easier to deal with than the Windows registry.

All I can really say is give it a try. If you like it you like it, if not....not.
Old 01-21-2006, 06:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by 357mag
To give the user non-sensical information for no reason is stupid. Look at Fedora. You can't even install the OS unless you type some garbage characters at a specific point during the install. Again, this is bad business. Windows doesn't do it, so Linux shouldn't either.
Today I went about installing XP64 for the fun of it ... booted fine,
spotted all three hard-drives, let me delete and create partitions,
but once I chose a partition it had created to install it on it would
tell me that there's no partition suitable for windows, and can I
please create one from the previous menu. Oooooh Kaaay

In the end, and reading that it kept pointing at another hdd I figured
that it (still) doesn't like to be installed on anything but the first physical
hard-disk in the system, however, none of the (according to you)
helpful messages Windows provides hinted in that direction...


Old 01-22-2006, 12:39 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by richardblade
4. I already know of a few reasons why linux is an alternative to windows, but i am hoping someone can give me some objective opinions on linux. It would be really good if the opinions were from people who have used or use both.
A random and subjective list
For linux
1)UNIX style permissions.
2)Repositories of free (and safe) software. Setup a package manager correctly and you will be floored the first time you see it in action.
3)Excellent user community

For windows
1)Looks good right out of the box(remember I said subjective?). Fonts are one example.
2)Commercial software. Some software has no commercial grade linux equivalent.
3)Support from hardware vendors. Example; Nvidia good linux support, ATI less good.

Last edited by muddywaters; 01-22-2006 at 12:49 PM.
Old 02-22-2006, 04:39 PM   #25
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I have recently migrated from Windows XP to Kubuntu. It does usually take quite a bit of googling to understand certain things and get them to work in Linux, but once you do it's definitely worth it. Out of all the reasons people have mentioned for using Linux, the transparency factor is the most important one for me.

I want my system to do what I want it to do (not end up doing what my system would rather I did), I don't want to update my software every six months not as a result of the software being impoved, but because X company has struck a deal with Y company and they're now adding a couple of links or references to Y's site, or nagging you to download some of Y's great stuff or buy MP3s 'from our newly opened e-shop', or because they have realised that by making their files incompatible with Z's files they'll manage to get Z out of business.

I don't want to pay loads of cash for a piece of software that is essentially worse than its previous version but has a new flashy interface. I want to choose what to install and what not, I like knowing what my system is doing, when and why. I don't like 'a nanny OS' to tell me what I can and can't configure, what's safe for me and what isn't (cause apparently I don't know any better).

Someone was mentioning that Vista is looking cool. All I can say is I'm genuinely glad to have migrated to Linux before the implementation of 'Trusted Computing'.
Old 02-22-2006, 04:51 PM   #26
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Tell you what, for a first distribution, download or order a copy of Ubuntu Linux.

It's about the easiest graphical distribution out there for newcomers. It's what I used to get familiar with the click interfaces available. When you're ready for command line, then try something else. I'm learning commands on a Suse 9 server as we speak.
Old 02-22-2006, 04:53 PM   #27
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To sum up pxumsgdxpcvjm's post, in the words of RMS: "with free software, the user is king"--and whether or not you agree with RMS on the ethical/moral side of the whole thing, one can't deny this one particular observation: with free software, the user is king.
Old 02-22-2006, 05:01 PM   #28
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Scalpel4: I only know Ubuntu from my (now scratched and un-properly-shutdown-able live CD), but from my experience, you're absolutely right: Ubuntu has a high level of usability. I consider the exclusive use of free software an important goal, and Ubuntu helps you achieve this (if that's what you want).

So, as a natural followup to Ubuntu, if you agree with me on that particular goal, is of course Debian, the `mother' of Ubuntu, which also tremendously helps you in achieving this goal.

As a disclaimer, I must say I don't know any of the other distros, but I have this (mis?)conception that few offer both aid in using only free software, and a good, easy-to-use (which isn't always the same as easy-to-learn!) package management sysetm.

Anyways--Debian does a really great job for me. If you're like me (warning: I don't object to being labeled a geek), Debian will probably do a really great job for you too.

my two cents --Jonas
Old 02-22-2006, 06:40 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by 357mag
This is bad business. To give the user non-sensical information for no reason is stupid.
lol, so you've never encountered the windows error message:
"Error. No error occurred"

and that one where it puts up an empty box with just an exclamation mark.

Or worse, where stuff JUST DOESN'T WORK but gives no indication of why.

I find it odd that you claim to love windows but hang out at a linux forum. Perhaps the conversation is better

If you love windows, and you want to shell out for the next buggy, overpriced version just to get the latest (expensive, proprietry) software, then please feel free, but stop bugging us at a LINUX forum. You're not fooling anyone, you just make yourself look stupid.
Old 02-22-2006, 08:28 PM   #30
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Jollyjoice --

Debian used to run on Amiga! Not sure if Sarge does, but I believe woody did...

As for this thread, my

I use both linux and windows both at home and at work. I like linux partly because I'm a bit geeky and partly because I'm an engineer (are those two things exclusive?) and like to know how things work under the hood.

Linux seems to do most everything I want well, but as many people have said the lack of vendor hardware support sometimes takes a bit of fiddling to work around. But I like that I can have a useable desktop system with my old Celeron 400MHz. I haven't bought a computer since 1999! There's no way XP would run on my machine and there's no way Windows 98 would have been secure enough to keep me from getting virus and spyware. I also like knowing that I can add ftp servers, http servers, and most anything else I want quickly and without bogging down my machine. Plus I don't have to pay for software like gnucash (like quicken), (like MS Office), k3b (like Easy CD creator), etc

One other advantage since I use Debian, is that if I ever get a new machine and want to instantly install all the same software, I can just dpkg --get-selections > myprograms.txt, move it to the new machine and dpkg -set-selections < myprograms.txt and then install all the same programs. I'd probably still have to fiddle a bit with the config files, but it would much easier and quicker than reloading programs off of a whole bunch of CD's...

Windows, I like because there's a few more games (I'm still young enough to enjoy a good game of Age of Empires, although I'll admit I've been playing Wesnoth more and more on my linux box) and because my main CAD package at work doesn't have a linux port. I will tell you though that if you decide to stick with windows, many open source free software exists for windows and allows a really easy transition back and forth. Check out

And if you want both running at the same time on the same machine, try Cooperative Linux. It installed easily and now I can have a full linux running on top of XP.

If you want to take the plunge, take the two quizes in my signature and see which linux may be right for you!


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