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Windows Tech Writer Looks at Linux

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the outside-looking-in dept.

Linux 664

An anonymous reader writes "Three days ago I accepted Linux into my life and while I'm not yet a convert, the experience has shaken my faith in Windows. It's hard to reconcile because for nearly 20 years I've mostly stayed on the one true Windows path."

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fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325458)

fp, boo-yah! w00t!

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325465)

first post! woohoo

Re:first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325531)

YOU FAIL IT!

fp! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325466)

FIRST POST!

20 years of windows (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325474)

It's hard to reconcile because for nearly 20 years I've mostly stayed on the one true Windows path.

If you were using Windows in 1984 and kept using it... you have more problems than just trying to reconcile an OS.

wow

Re:20 years of windows (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325484)

This must be the guy who makes up all the job ads for "required: 20 years windows 95 experience" and "required: 10 years programming in java 1.4"

Re:20 years of windows (4, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325494)

I think he was talking of 20 years of personal computer use.

Re:20 years of windows (3, Interesting)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325547)

But that is exactly one of the problems another contender (Linux, OS/2, ...) in the market faces. Users are so used to buying PC's with windows, they don't even consider a change.

In this context, only OSS has a real chance of becoming relevant to 'house-garden-kitchen' users. Because it doesn't cost to test it out.

What's interesting about the article is that it shows 'missionaries' spreading the news, might be an approach to enlarge the userbase

Re:20 years of windows (5, Interesting)

Chyeburashka (122715) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325566)

From the article:
I was a disciple from the beginning when it was called Dos, and kept the faith through the buggy, painful years of Windows 1.0 to 3.11.
Windows 1.0 was released around November 1985, so nearly 20 years is not an exaggeration, especially since he is counting the DOS days too.

Re:20 years of windows (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325675)

Oh I know it's not an exaggeration, just sticking to one OS for that long sounds rather bizarre to me.

I have my preferred OS, and I use it regularly. I also quite often try new systems to see what options they throw into the mix.

Re:20 years of windows (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325653)

Go back to the closet, byteboyz, snarf a Twinkee and take your meds. Fact is, pad'res, Unkil Bill$ various Windoz have given more practical computing power to more Lusrs than ALL other OSs combined. Even now, with real money involved, elitist, obscurist *nix distros provide NO leverage for the non-corporate home Lusr. Interesting, eh, that FOR-PAY Windoz still serves that single home_lusr best while RedHat - SusE etc brown-nose the corporate boardrooms. *nix as code-facist eh ... kinda has a bad smell. Just who is freeing whom from what?? You tell me which OS best serves the majority, modern yeoman? Code_spewing weiner_dudes DONT amount to cockroach-spit ... not even a stain far as total output work is concerned.

Have we not seen this before? (3, Insightful)

Martin Kallisti (652377) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325477)

I cannot really find this relevant. I mean, we have all heard the Linux is better than Windows, blah blah blah. I mean, if someone (a real person, that is) posted a testimony that Windows is better than Linux, then it could be news, but this feels just like regurgitation.

Re:Have we not seen this before? (2, Funny)

Stephonovich (601356) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325498)

I agree that's it's old hat, but it's refreshing to see that more and more people are realizing that commercial products are not the thing in existence.

As for people posting that Windows is better than Linux, well, that would lying, now wouldn't it?

(-:Stephonovich:-)

Re:Have we not seen this before? (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325503)

Basically he finds the power of being in control of the OS and Applications he runs.

Something we have known for awhile. ;)

Re:Have we not seen this before? (3, Insightful)

CPgrower (644022) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325549)

Positive news like this doesn't hurt GNU/Linux's image while the SCO fiasco ensues.

Re:Have we not seen this before? (5, Insightful)

Martin Kallisti (652377) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325599)

Well, as most other people here, I support Linux. However, that does not mean that I think Slashdot should be just a propaganda machine, pumping out all positive material regarding Linux that the editors can find, no matter how newsworthy it is. I come here to read news for nerds, stuff that matters, not just to be subjected to "Microsoft sucks and Linux is the best".

I think this was the newsworthy portion.... (5, Insightful)

JohnTheFisherman (225485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325615)

The gift came to me via David and Roger, two very nice, not pushy, Linux missionaries who are involved with the coming Linux Installfest.

It wouldn't hurt to have more of their type.

Re:Have we not seen this before? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325619)

I've never run Linux. I am more intrested in what someone else who hasn't used it has to say than the average Slashdotter. I used to have a job where I had to use Unix for a few tasks every morning and I can't imagine ever wanting to use it by choice for home computing.

Re:Have we not seen this before? (1)

Agent Deepshit (677490) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325673)

Yep, I agree. I made it to the end of the article where I was expecting to see a Page 2 link. But this was it...Someone saying they had installed a Linux distro and they had liked it...Where's the beef?

Maybe someone should write a book (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325482)

On making the switch to Linux from Windows. Hey! It looks like someone did! [amazon.com]

Re:Maybe someone should write a book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325525)

Quick warning, possible NSFW link... (bloody babies...)

WARNING: DEAD BABIES AHEAD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325573)

Hmm... looks like a redirect... but it's not to goatse... maybe it's something funny! I'll click it! Ha ha!

AAAAAAHHHH BLEEDING DEAD BABIES!!!!!! WITH HORRIBLE SKIN DISORDER THAT TURNS THEIR EYES INTO PUFFY RED SACS! I'm going to go barf now.

cute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325488)

propaganda kitchen

Good for you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325489)

I was a disciple from the beginning when it was called Dos, and kept the faith through the buggy, painful years of Windows 1.0 to 3.11.

Amen, brother!

'Dows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325490)

Quite simply, Linux has the best hardware support of any OS I've ever used. On a machine, every OS except Linux, including freebsd, crashed randomly. What it really needs is a long-term API freeze, and changes after that being backportable. With Windows, you can run an executable file on just about any Windows box from Win95 through XP. However, with Linux, the APIs keep changing.

It's okay Bill (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325492)

We hold no grudge. Just donate half your money to the free software foundation. Thanks a million.

Re:It's okay Bill (4, Funny)

Rosonowski (250492) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325637)

Or a couple billion.

Re:It's okay Bill (0, Redundant)

HughJampton (659996) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325639)

Thanks several billion, I suspect.

Minor correction: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325665)

Thanks a million.

I think you mean "15 billion".

OK we must start investigating... (4, Funny)

netsharc (195805) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325493)

Let's see who can find the stock photo and the PR agency responsible for this. ;-)

Not Worth Our Time (3, Insightful)

carb (611951) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325496)

This article is something like 10 small paragraphs long as an introduction to setting up and running (for a short while now) Linux. It is hardly worth the average Slashdot reader's time.

IAWTP (was Re:Not Worth Our Time) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325510)

Especially since there are books out there linux guidebooks that target windows users. [amazon.com]

Re:Not Worth Our Time (4, Interesting)

TummyX (84871) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325593)

I especially the last line.

I think I'm becoming a believer.

I've heard that so many times from so many people, but it always goes away after the "oooo new" factor wears off. They say it to sound "hip" and tech savvy.

How long do you think it'll be before he deletes the partition and returns to windows full time?

Re:Not Worth Our Time (4, Insightful)

flikx (191915) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325646)

Actually, it's quite fitting for the average slashdot reader. Most people here are armchair Linux users. Some may even have a dual boot system set up. But the majority: "I only use Windows for games." (and email, slashdot, work, coding, chatting, and browsing my internet.)

It's no surprise that 95% of slashdot traffic comes from IE.

in case of slashdotting.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325497)

Three days ago I accepted Linux into my life and while I'm not yet a convert, the experience has shaken my faith in Windows. It's hard to reconcile because for nearly 20 years I've mostly stayed on the one true Windows path.

In my early computer years I had a brief flirtation with the Apple Mac, which I liked a lot. But I turned my back on that religion when I took a job editing a PC magazine. Ever since, I've stuck to the Windows creed - growing in my belief as its power and influence spread.

I was a disciple from the beginning when it was called Dos, and kept the faith through the buggy, painful years of Windows 1.0 to 3.11.

IBM's OS/2 tempted me briefly, but Windows 95 brought me back from the wilderness, then 98, the Millennium Edition, Windows 2000 and today's XP. I was, like most of the computing world, a follower.

So why is Linux turning my head? Mainly I suppose because it's free. But also because for the first time there is a realistic alternative to Windows that runs on Intel-based PCs.

The gift came to me via David and Roger, two very nice, not pushy, Linux missionaries who are involved with the coming Linux Installfest. I told them I wasn't ready to give up on Windows, but wanted to try Linux and some "open source" applications equivalent to Microsoft's Office suite.

"Fine," they said. "Just defrag your disk." (If you don't know how to defrag, you're probably not ready for the Linux experience.)

They also asked what "distribution" I would like - Debian, RedHat, Mandrake or something else? I understood what the question meant, but had no real knowledge of the difference between these shades of Linux, so I went with their advice - Mandrake.

Roger and David can give away this software with no fear of breaking copyright law because that's how the licence for Linux software works. Unlike Windows, you're free to make and give away as many copies as you like.

I know it sounds mad, but it's a fundamental tenet of this new religion. Here, software is not made by armies of "Microserfs" employed by a giant corporation, but by armies of volunteer programmers who "donate" their code to the public domain. By making underlying source code available to all, many hands and minds work on the software to improve it - hence "open source".

What it means for consumers is more choice and much cheaper PCs - such as the $1097 Terminator you can buy from Dick Smith's.

But what's it like? Surprisingly, it looks and feels a lot like Windows.

Setting it all up can, however, be a little daunting - so it pays to have good missionaries enlightening the road. That's what events like the Installfest on July 5 at AUT are all about - helping newbies through their installation fears. You can also get a lot of information online from sites such as Linux Newbie Administrator Guide.

My own installation was a breeze - at the beginning. Mandrake "partitioned" the PC's disk so it could "dual boot" to either Windows or Linux. David then dropped a disk into the CD drive and after following a few on-screen instructions - some of which aren't exactly intuitive - Linux was in place. It took 10 minutes -- less time than it takes the average linux user to molest a little boy. Roger was able to get the printer working quite quickly, but the modem was a nightmare taking an hour or so to resolve.

But after that it was sweet. I was amazed by the number of applications that came with the installation. So many that I felt spoiled for choice. Not only could I choose the graphical interface - from odd names such as KDE, Gnome and IceWM - but there was also a sea of applications. Word processors, spreadsheets, imaging software and just about anything else you could think of was installed to explore - all for free. It's quite liberating to try out five different web browsers - Galeon, Konqueror, Mozilla, Quanta Plus or Screem - until you find one you like. I think I'm becoming a homosexual.

Re:in case of slashdotting.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325520)

Three days ago I accepted Linux into my life and while I'm not yet a convert, the experience has shaken my faith in Windows. It's hard to reconcile because for nearly 20 years I've mostly stayed on the one true Windows path.

In my early computer years I had a brief flirtation with the Apple Mac, which I liked a lot. But I turned my back on that religion when I took a job editing a PC magazine. Ever since, I've stuck to the Windows creed - growing in my belief as its power and influence spread.

I was a disciple from the beginning when it was called Dos, and kept the faith through the buggy, painful years of Windows 1.0 to 3.11.

IBM's OS/2 tempted me briefly, but Windows 95 brought me back from the wilderness, then 98, the Millennium Edition, Windows 2000 and today's XP. I was, like most of the computing world, a follower.

So why is Linux turning my head? Mainly I suppose because it's free. But also because for the first time there is a realistic alternative to Windows that runs on Intel-based PCs.

The gift came to me via David and Roger, two very nice, not pushy, Linux missionaries who are involved with the coming Linux Installfest. I told them I wasn't ready to give up on Windows, but wanted to try Linux and some "open source" applications equivalent to Microsoft's Office suite.

"Fine," they said. "Just defrag your disk." (If you don't know how to defrag, you're probably not ready for the Linux experience.)

They also asked what "distribution" I would like - Debian, RedHat, Mandrake or something else? I understood what the question meant, but had no real knowledge of the difference between these shades of Linux, so I went with their advice - Mandrake.

Roger and David can give away this software with no fear of breaking copyright law because that's how the licence for Linux software works. Unlike Windows, you're free to make and give away as many copies as you like.

I know it sounds mad, but it's a fundamental tenet of this new religion. Here, software is not made by armies of "Microserfs" employed by a giant corporation, but by armies of volunteer programmers who "donate" their code to the public domain. By making underlying source code available to all, many hands and minds work on the software to improve it - hence "open source".

What it means for consumers is more choice and much cheaper PCs - such as the $1097 Terminator you can buy from Dick Smith's.

But what's it like? Surprisingly, it looks and feels a lot like Windows.

Setting it all up can, however, be a little daunting - so it pays to have good missionaries enlightening the road. That's what events like the Installfest on July 5 at AUT are all about - helping newbies through their installation fears. You can also get a lot of information online from sites such as Linux Newbie Administrator Guide.

My own installation was a breeze - at the beginning. Mandrake "partitioned" the PC's disk so it could "dual boot" to either Windows or Linux. David then dropped a disk into the CD drive and after following a few on-screen instructions - some of which aren't exactly intuitive - Linux was in place. It took 10 minutes -- less time than it takes the average linux user to molest a little boy. Roger was able to get the printer working quite quickly, but the modem was a nightmare taking an hour or so to resolve.

But after that it was sweet. I was amazed by the number of applications that came with the installation. So many that I felt spoiled for choice. Not only could I choose the graphical interface - from odd names such as KDE, Gnome and IceWM - but there was also a sea of applications. Word processors, spreadsheets, imaging software and just about anything else you could think of was installed to explore - all for free. It's quite liberating to try out five different web browsers - Galeon, Konqueror, Mozilla, Quanta Plus or Screem - until you find one you like. I think I'm becoming a homosexual.

Re:in case of slashdotting.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325542)

Three days ago I accepted Linux into my life and while I'm not yet a convert, the experience has shaken my faith in Windows. It's hard to reconcile because for nearly 20 years I've mostly stayed on the one true Windows path.

In my early computer years I had a brief flirtation with the Apple Mac, which I liked a lot. But I turned my back on that religion when I took a job editing a PC magazine. Ever since, I've stuck to the Windows creed - growing in my belief as its power and influence spread.

I was a disciple from the beginning when it was called Dos, and kept the faith through the buggy, painful years of Windows 1.0 to 3.11.

IBM's OS/2 tempted me briefly, but Windows 95 brought me back from the wilderness, then 98, the Millennium Edition, Windows 2000 and today's XP. I was, like most of the computing world, a follower.

So why is Linux turning my head? Mainly I suppose because it's free. But also because for the first time there is a realistic alternative to Windows that runs on Intel-based PCs.

The gift came to me via David and Roger, two very nice, not pushy, Linux missionaries who are involved with the coming Linux Installfest. I told them I wasn't ready to give up on Windows, but wanted to try Linux and some "open source" applications equivalent to Microsoft's Office suite.

"Fine," they said. "Just defrag your disk." (If you don't know how to defrag, you're probably not ready for the Linux experience.)

They also asked what "distribution" I would like - Debian, RedHat, Mandrake or something else? I understood what the question meant, but had no real knowledge of the difference between these shades of Linux, so I went with their advice - Mandrake.

Roger and David can give away this software with no fear of breaking copyright law because that's how the licence for Linux software works. Unlike Windows, you're free to make and give away as many copies as you like.

I know it sounds mad, but it's a fundamental tenet of this new religion. Here, software is not made by armies of "Microserfs" employed by a giant corporation, but by armies of volunteer programmers who "donate" their code to the public domain. By making underlying source code available to all, many hands and minds work on the software to improve it - hence "open source".

What it means for consumers is more choice and much cheaper PCs - such as the $1097 Terminator you can buy from Dick Smith's.

But what's it like? Surprisingly, it looks and feels a lot like Windows.

Setting it all up can, however, be a little daunting - so it pays to have good missionaries enlightening the road. That's what events like the Installfest on July 5 at AUT are all about - helping newbies through their installation fears. You can also get a lot of information online from sites such as Linux Newbie Administrator Guide.

My own installation was a breeze - at the beginning. Mandrake "partitioned" the PC's disk so it could "dual boot" to either Windows or Linux. David then dropped a disk into the CD drive and after following a few on-screen instructions - some of which aren't exactly intuitive - Linux was in place. It took 10 minutes -- less time than it takes the average linux user to molest a little boy. Roger was able to get the printer working quite quickly, but the modem was a nightmare taking an hour or so to resolve.

But after that it was sweet. I was amazed by the number of applications that came with the installation. So many that I felt spoiled for choice. Not only could I choose the graphical interface - from odd names such as KDE, Gnome and IceWM - but there was also a sea of applications. Word processors, spreadsheets, imaging software and just about anything else you could think of was installed to explore - all for free. It's quite liberating to try out five different web browsers - Galeon, Konqueror, Mozilla, Quanta Plus or Screem - until you find one you like. I think I'm becoming a homosexual. 8=====D

Re:in case of slashdotting.... (1)

ShortSpecialBus (236232) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325546)

my favorite part was how quickly it installed...almost passed over that one, hehe...

Re:in case of slashdotting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325564)

Three days ago I accepted Linux into my life and while I'm not yet a convert, the experience has shaken my faith in Windows. It's hard to reconcile because for nearly 20 years I've mostly stayed on the one true Windows path.

In my early computer years I had a brief flirtation with the Apple Mac, which I liked a lot. But I turned my back on that religion when I took a job editing a PC magazine. Ever since, I've stuck to the Windows creed - growing in my belief as its power and influence spread.

I was a disciple from the beginning when it was called Dos, and kept the faith through the buggy, painful years of Windows 1.0 to 3.11.

IBM's OS/2 tempted me briefly, but Windows 95 brought me back from the wilderness, then 98, the Millennium Edition, Windows 2000 and today's XP. I was, like most of the computing world, a follower.

So why is Linux turning my head? Mainly I suppose because it's free. But also because for the first time there is a realistic alternative to Windows that runs on Intel-based PCs.

The gift came to me via David and Roger, two very nice, not pushy, Linux missionaries who are involved with the coming Linux Installfest. I told them I wasn't ready to give up on Windows, but wanted to try Linux and some "open source" applications equivalent to Microsoft's Office suite.

"Fine," they said. "Just defrag your disk." (If you don't know how to defrag, you're probably not ready for the Linux experience.)

They also asked what "distribution" I would like - Debian, RedHat, Mandrake or something else? I understood what the question meant, but had no real knowledge of the difference between these shades of Linux, so I went with their advice - Mandrake.

Roger and David can give away this software with no fear of breaking copyright law because that's how the licence for Linux software works. Unlike Windows, you're free to make and give away as many copies as you like.

I know it sounds mad, but it's a fundamental tenet of this new religion. Here, software is not made by armies of "Microserfs" employed by a giant corporation, but by armies of volunteer programmers who "donate" their code to the public domain. By making underlying source code available to all, many hands and minds work on the software to improve it - hence "open source".

What it means for consumers is more choice and much cheaper PCs - such as the $1097 Terminator you can buy from Dick Smith's.

But what's it like? Surprisingly, it looks and feels a lot like Windows.

Setting it all up can, however, be a little daunting - so it pays to have good missionaries enlightening the road. That's what events like the Installfest on July 5 at AUT are all about - helping newbies through their installation fears. You can also get a lot of information online from sites such as Linux Newbie Administrator Guide.

My own installation was a breeze - at the beginning. Mandrake "partitioned" the PC's disk so it could "dual boot" to either Windows or Linux. David then dropped a disk into the CD drive and after following a few on-screen instructions - some of which aren't exactly intuitive - Linux was in place. It took 10 minutes -- less time than it takes the average linux user to molest a little boy. Roger was able to get the printer working quite quickly, but the modem was a nightmare taking an hour or so to resolve.

But after that it was sweet. I was amazed by the number of applications that came with the installation. So many that I felt spoiled for choice. Not only could I choose the graphical interface - from odd names such as KDE, Gnome and IceWM - but there was also a sea of applications. Word processors, spreadsheets, imaging software and just about anything else you could think of was installed to explore - all for free. It's quite liberating to try out five different web browsers - Galeon, Konqueror, Mozilla, Quanta Plus or Screem - until you find one you like. I think I'm becoming a homosexual. fags

Favorite quote (5, Funny)

Rebar (110559) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325502)

but the modem was a nightmare taking an hour or so to resolve

Sheer hell, it sounds like!

Re:Favorite quote (0, Flamebait)

simetra (155655) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325537)

Heh, wait till he tries something really off the wall. After Dick and Harry (or whatever the hell their names were) go home, and this assknob tries hooking up his digital camera or otherwise tries to actually use it. Heh, that'll be fun!

Re:Favorite quote (5, Insightful)

hatstandman (466901) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325683)

This kind of feeling / comment can't be encouraging for people who want to make the switch from MS. As it mentions in the article (and a comment above), he had two 'nice, not pushy' guys to help with his install - people who would probably help him with a problem like this rather than sit back and laugh.

Re:Favorite quote (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325571)

Probably was a Winmodem. No other modem should take an hour to resolve, but Winmodems can be a pain.

Happily, I had an HP XP laptop. After being annoyed at buying faster hardware that actually ran slower (because the old slow hardware was on 98SE and the new fast hardware was on XP, it actually ran slower) and after having the internal Winmodem completely stop working despite several attempts to update the Winmodem driver both from HP and Microsoft I decided to make the jump to Linux. I did so quite painlessly. And, ironically, I was able to make the Winmodem work under Linux--something that multiple updates under XP were incapable of accomplishing.

:)

Re:Favorite quote (1)

frankthechicken (607647) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325644)

Probably was a Winmodem. No other modem should take an hour to resolve, but Winmodems can be a pain.

I think the hardest modem I ever had to get working was the Alactel speedtouch [speedtouchdsl.com] modem, giant pain in the arse I think was my general thoughts when trying to get the thing to work, though it is a great deal easier [sourceforge.net] now, I still wouldn't say it was straight forward.

Re:Favorite quote (2, Insightful)

MrP- (45616) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325577)

It took me 2 years to get my winmodem working in linux.. sure i coulda bought a real modem, but I liked my $15 56k winmodem..

So I downloaded BeOS PE one day, and my modem worked with it! Yay Linux!..I mean BeOS!

Re:Favorite quote (5, Insightful)

Mr. Piddle (567882) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325696)

Sheer hell, it sounds like!

Back in the day, attempting to decipher the poorly written, unorganized, and very cryptic ppp, slip, and chat documentation could take hours if not weekends.

An hour is clearly a milestone of progress, here.

"Good" Column (5, Funny)

fuzzeli (676881) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325506)

"That" was a "nice" "article" about "something".

Re:"Good" Column (0, Flamebait)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325691)

"Perhaps" his "tech job" is limited to "trying out" the "quotation marks" instead of "knowing" "how" "to" "partition".

Slashdot needs less Linux-conversion stories from half-baked morons like this, more from people who actually know what the hell they're doing behind a keyboard.

Hm... (5, Funny)

Binary Gibbon (413182) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325512)

You'd think a 'technical writer' or 'IT Editor' would be a little more knowledgeable about 'basic computing concepts' like 'disk partitioning' and maybe wouldn't use so many 'extraneous unnecessary quotation marks'.

Re:Hm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325530)

That's cos he's hiding something when he was "partitioning" his "disk". if you know what I mean

wink wink nudge nudge

Re:Hm... (1)

defunc (238921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325560)

If only techies would actually go out there and be part of the media, then we would stop seeing quotes around terms like defrag, but we'll probably leave every joe six packs in the dust. Which is fine by me, I never really like their attitude anyway :)

Choice Quote (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325514)

Well I think this quote sums it up nicely

"But what's it like? Surprisingly, it looks and feels a lot like Windows."

To appeal to the common man they Linux has to be something there are already aware of and as much as I hate to say it copying the Windows interface, or at least a similar style is needed.

Personally I use just sawfish with terminals as it works for me but for 99% of everyone else they need a familiar and intative interface

Rus

Re:Choice Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325621)

English not your native language, huh?

The Windows only path (4, Insightful)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325518)

I have a very low opinion of anybody who could spend twenty years of experience in the IT industry without using more than one OS.


I mean, it's 2003, for God's sakes.

Brand Loyalty Considered Harmful (3, Interesting)

eddy (18759) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325554)

Yeah. Just today I saw a post [hardforum.com] by a web-designer, explaining how he/she had never used Mozilla.

Sad, sad, sad.

(as if the original topic wasn't sad enough)

Re:The Windows only path (5, Informative)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325661)

RTFA. He liked MacOS (back in the day), but switched because he got a job at a PC mag, and also tried OS/2 but ended up going back to Windows. Let's also try to remember that he works at a PC mag, so more than likely everyone he works with uses Windows for their day-to-day activites, all the documents he works with are MS Office documents, etc. Why would you deliberately alienate yourself from everyone else, especially if you needed to be able to swap documents with everyone for work-related purposes? He doesn't follow Linux news, so he'd have no idea that stuff like OpenOffice even exist unless some kindly folks took the time to dispel his false assumptions.

Lacking in any details (2, Interesting)

viniosity (592905) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325522)

Even if the audience for this article is the uninitiated there does not seem to be much here except that there are many applications for linux. Given that there are many applications for windows too it's not really a convincing article. Okay, so maybe you're saying the article wasn't meant to convince but rather to share a story of how easy it was to install linux. In doing that I feel it did a poor job as well. At the very least the author could have made this more useful if he had even spit out some of the obvious advantages of linux over windows. As it is he doesn't even bother defining 'dual boot' (assuming again the audience is the newbie). Nor does he talk about having a virus free OS environment. At the very least he could define 'free' as both being free as in beer and as in speech..

Re:Lacking in any details (1)

janda (572221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325590)

To quote the parent:

At the very least the author could have made this more useful if he had even spit out some of the obvious advantages of linux over windows.

Personally, I think he gave at least three advantages in the story:

  • It's free.
  • You can make as many copies as you want.
  • "It's quite liberating to try out five different web browsers - Galeon, Konqueror, Mozilla, Quanta Plus or Screem - until you find one you like"

Note the unwritten assumptions at the end of that. "...until you find one you like" means you have choice, you're in control, you're in charge, you are in charge of the computer.

Maybe they could get RMS and Bill Gates to co-write something? :]

Re:Lacking in any details (1)

janda (572221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325611)

...and I need to learn to proofread.

Re:Lacking in any details (2, Informative)

plugger (450839) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325663)

Well, he does say he first installed it 3 days ago. He is talking about his first impression of Mandrake Linux and his pleasant surprise that it isn't utterly alien.

He seems to concentrate on the revelation that there is a viable alternative to running Microsoft systems. When he is running Linux, browsing the web for answers, maybe asking for help on irc or usenet, that's when he has the chance to start learning everything from GNU philosophy to how his system ticks.

nothing to see here (3, Insightful)

pytheron (443963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325529)

Yet another person tries linux, finds to their surprise that it is possible for a collection of loosely tied enthusiasts to produce something that works well, and writes about it, with the weight of "I'm a tech writer, so my opinion is more valid ;-) ) It discourages me when I read comments like the one in the artice - "What was it like - surprisingly, rather like Windows". Rather than look for similarities between the two, see how well you can use it, and comment on that useability, not on it's similarities. This way, fewer first time adopters will be put off when they discover that some things definately are _not_ like Windows.

It's strange what your brain can do to you (1)

sdack (601542) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325532)

You have had your struggles with it when you started, felt anger followed by sadness when hit by a freak BSOD and finally accepted and started to love it.
Now something comes along, which looks and "feels" better - luckily, it's not a woman!

One true windows path? (3, Funny)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325536)

One true windows path? Where does the path lead to? Podunk, Nebraska?

Re:One true windows path? (4, Funny)

zonix (592337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325622)

One true windows path? Where does the path lead to? Podunk, Nebraska?

Redmond, WA, dude! ;-)

z

Re:One true windows path? (3, Funny)

plugger (450839) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325681)

One true windows path? Where does the path lead to? Podunk, Nebraska?

To subscription services and rented multimedia, I expect.

Now I wonder who this guy could be... (1)

rudib (300816) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325539)

An anonymous reader writes
"Three days ago I accepted

Sheesh, could this possibly be ... uh... RTFA ... Chris Barton? Ha! Those meddling kids...

uh huh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325541)

"Three days ago I accepted Linux into my life and while I'm not yet a convert, the experience has shaken my faith in Windows. It's hard to reconcile because for nearly 20 years I've mostly stayed on the one true Windows path."

If they have been using Windows for 20 years they are foremost a technical person, early adopter, and to some extent a knowledgable computer person.

The fact that Linux is always an "alternative" to Windows is in my opinion, just furthering the saying that "Linux is for people that hate Windows, BSD is for people that love UNIX". Why do Linux users always have to profess their fate to Linus & Stallman and in the same breath say something, ANYTHING, about Windows?

I run FreeBSD & NetBSD because I love UNIX and its capabilities and its features and EVERYTHING. It has nothing to do with Windows. Ever. I still run Windows XP and 2K. With Linux users it seems to be a conversion of holy nature like they are becoming a shaolin priest and can't look back....why?

linux (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325543)

I don't know how to defrag, but I'm familiar with vm. Am I ready for this religeous "experience"?

-Satan ( aka Anonymous Coward )

Short Summary (2, Insightful)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325545)

Kind of a dry article. All it really says is "I tried Linux. It took a while to set up. It wasn't too hard to use after setup. There were a lot of different software choices." To me, that's the big note of the story: that a rube took a look at Linux and couldn't believe that this platform had more than one viable word processor, browser, etc. "Look, Mom -- No monopoly!"

Having actually READ the article (1)

beamdriver (554241) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325552)

I don't see the newsworthy content. In a nutshell, it boils down to:
I've used DOS and Windows for my entire 20 year computer career, except for brief flirtations with Macs and OS/2. Now I've tried Linux and it seems OK.
Is this really news? People try Linux every day. Who is this curly-haired kiwi that his experience is noteworthy?

I installed Linux (SuSE) before on my mom's PC (1, Troll)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325557)

It ran well without a hiccup, but then she said she wanted windows so she could run MS-Office apps. (They didn't have crossover office at the time, and Wine was pre-alpha quality) So I installed windows 9x, and the support calls became unceasing. Screen coming up black, (they had inadvertedly switched to a setting the monitor couldn't handle) BSODs, email connection problems, you name it. Now they are running Win2K which is at least stable, but the thing I found about Linux, is once you have it set up right, it is great for technophobes. It doesn't pick up viruses and is much less prone to break for mysterious reasons.

Paging Dr. Evil... (4, Funny)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325579)

From the article:

I know it sounds mad, but it's a fundamental tenet of this new religion. Here, software is not made by armies of "Microserfs" employed by a giant corporation, but by armies of volunteer programmers who "donate" their code to the public domain. By making underlying source code available to all, many hands and minds work on the software to improve it - hence "open source".

and later on:

My own installation was a breeze - at the beginning. Mandrake "partitioned" the PC's disk so it could "dual boot" to either Windows or Linux.

"People" who gratuitously overuse words in "quotes" too much these days give me Austin Powers "flashbacks" which make me "laugh."

~Philly

Re:Paging Dr. Evil... (1)

BDew (202321) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325667)

Ever tried the Sarcasterizer from the Brunching Shuttlecocks?

http://www.brunching.com/s2.html

Just type in a url and enjoy! I've found that news sites like cnn.com work best... though if you are brave try whitehouse.gov. That can be a scary experience...

B

Re:Paging Dr. Evil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325684)

Does anyone remember the old SNL news skit with Chris Farley where he kept doing the "quotes" thing with his fingers?

Fush ind Chups (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325580)

This sheep-fucking faggot obviously can't wait to get fucked up the arse by these couple of uber open sores lunix hippies. The whole 'article' makes me 'wretch' - especially since it comes from a fush ind chupper. Notice how it took even the uber-geeks over an hour to get the modem working - one more good reason to avoid lunix like the plague.

This Poor Slob! (1)

simetra (155655) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325582)

Reading these posts, he's been defined as a rube, kiwi, and assknob (mine), and probably other things. Now, a poor slob! Heh, serves him right, bastard!

On a happier note though; though this article is pure fluff, like they say, there's no such thing as bad press.

we all have different needs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325586)

Well... it's all opinions, everyone have different needs.

I do like Linux way more than Windows, but that doesn't mean everyone will accept my point of view, others think *BSD-based systems are better than Linux... are they wrong? I think no, they are not wrong after all... but neither they are right, I mean, we all have different goals, don't we?

Good for some... (2)

hether (101201) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325587)

Hardly worth any of us reading, but perhaps a significant article in that it goes to the everyday masses and provides a place and date of where you can get help installing Linux if you've ever wanted to try it. It's just a round about way of telling about the installfest and making the idea at least palatable to Windows users by explaining that Linux isn't really all that far off from Windows and still has plenty of apps.

Change is good... (-1, Offtopic)

Badanov (518690) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325594)

Good to see someone new to Linux. Now if we can get slashdot moderators to stop modding conservative views to troll or some other negative status, we may have an even better change. I can dream...

MODERATION ABUSE ON PARENT POST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325652)

FOSS is not public domain! (4, Insightful)

zonix (592337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325595)

Here, software is not made by armies of "Microserfs" employed by a giant corporation, but by armies of volunteer programmers who "donate" their code to the public domain.

Nice article probably, but Free and Open Source software is not "public domain". It _is_ copyrighted and comes with a license, which grants you the right to modify/redistribute, etc. Well, I guess I'll give the guy a break - he is new on the block. :-)

z

The Windows philosophy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325598)

One thing that hasn't changed since the days of MSDOS is the underlying philosophy of Microsoft operating systems. Bill Gates's vision of an operating system has always been that the os need be little more than a program launcher.

The whole MS goal is to encourage the user of its operating systems to buy "applications" which can be launched by a few clicks. A corollary to the Microsoft philosophy is that all human actions can be anticipated and distilled into a a few fixed menus.

There really isn't any problem with Microsoft products as long as the menus match the user's needs. However the frustration sets in when the user grows beyond Microsoft's predigested canned offerings. There is little one can do except possibly buy another "application" in the never ending quest for the final one. The game is rigged and your goal will always be just out of reach -- tomorrow, next month, next year.

You see, actually, it isn't really about buying new applications per se. It's about buying new menus, the eternal search for the perfect menu which will do it all.

Re:The Windows philosophy (3, Insightful)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325676)

No operating system is perfect and there will never be one that does it all.

Each OS develops its own niche based on what people want to do with them.

A few stereotypical examples:

Windows - gaming, using Office programs, file/doamin servers
MacOS - graphic artistry, press pagination, digital media creation
Unix - c++ coding and using pine for shell account email access.
Linux - web servers and homebrew software/drivers

While some of these roles are capable of being done on other OSes, it's the right "mix" the user personally needs.

Naturally, a person could just multi-boot or, even better, multi-box and have a couple of OSes to do the things you like?

Unfortunately, Joe Q. Sixpack probably doesn't want to dabble with multiple operating systems and wants to use just one that's easy and does the things they want. Hence why Windows and MacOS will remain more widespread in the desktop world for years to come.

"Windows Guy Looks at Linux"? (1)

Firestorm_Rising (666286) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325601)

Slashdot is starting to sound like The Onion [theonion.com] .

Seriously, I'm sure everyone using Linux now has had some experience with Windows before. Many have probably had quite a bit of it. I mean, "Oh my God, a Windows-user actually looked at Linux"... Please.

Now I'm Enlightened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325603)

it's nice to know that Quanta Plus and Screem are web browsers and not content creation and site management tools. Whew! Thanks, tech writer! An old editor told me: Write whatever you want, but make sure it's correct.

Otherwise, a nice Internet piece.

Linux Prayer (5, Funny)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325604)

The author should close with the Linux Prayer:

Our PC GOD Torvalds, which art in Transmeta^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H OSDN
Hallowed be thy skillz
Thy kernel comes, in the US and all the earth
Give us this day our daily updates.
And forgive us our holes, as we apply thine patch.
And lead us not into closed source, but deliver us from Microsoft.
For thine is the kernel, the skillz, and the leetness for ever and ever. Amen.

Only THEN, he can say: "Praise the PC god and Linux open-source apostles, I'm a believer."

Defrag? (3, Interesting)

joto (134244) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325605)

No why on earth would he need to defrag his diskdrive before installing linux? There are two ways of doing this, either repartition the disk drive, or you install it on a FAT partition with the VFAT file system (not really recommended but it works). None of them requires defragmentation though...

Re:Defrag? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325632)

You defrag to make it easier to repartition the disck drive. Without defraging you may be limit on how much you can shrink a partition because of a file out near the end.

Re:Defrag? (2, Informative)

ece (524786) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325638)

When you use your fat32 windows system for a very long time, some of the programs you use seem to write data randomly on the hard drive. Thus, it might write data at near the end of your hard disk or in the middle. Defragmenting your hard drive rearranges your "written data" so there's no gap between those multiple "writes" since you're running many program that write randomly. When you decide to install Linux(partition), you defrag so you get a chunk of the hard drive space that's not polluted with those "writes."

Quanta Plus... (1)

Mgdm (586001) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325606)

Since when has this been a browser, as he says at the bottom of the article?

Re:Quanta Plus... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325660)

Since this guy is an idiot.

If RMS was dead, he would be spinning in his grave (1, Informative)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325626)

Here, software is not made by armies of "Microserfs" employed by a giant corporation,

Yes.

but by armies of volunteer programmers who "donate" their code to the public domain.

No.

Most Open Source code is not in the public domain, but rather distributed under an exceptionally liberal license.

This guy has no credibility... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325635)

...since he mentions migrating from 98 to ME and then 2000, without mentioning how shitty ME was.

I mean, I know Windows zealots who were loudly outspoken as to how much of a piece of shit ME really was. For people who generally liken using Windows to being assraped by Satan, using ME was like being assraped by Satan while he's wearing a barbed-wire condom.

this is a good review? (4, Insightful)

tim_maroney (239442) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325645)

(If you don't know how to defrag, you're probably not ready for the Linux experience.)

Setting it all up can, however, be a little daunting...

Etc. This and other negative comments about usability in the article make an unintentional but important point.

Linux is not for ordinary people. It's for computer enthusiasts. Most people want to use the computer as a tool, not for its own sake. They have no interest in memorizing reams of arcane computer trivia in order to get email, surf the web, write, and work on spreadsheets.

Desktop Linux can't and won't satisfy the requirements of the ordinary user, even though it may be a great playground for hobbyists, as well as a perfectly reasonable solution on the server side for many applications. The conversion of a longtime computer hobbyist says nothing about the dream many Linux users have of their pet OS becoming a significant force in the desktop market. Neither they nor Chris Barton reflect the consumers in that market.

Re:this is a good review? (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325671)

This is not a difference with Windows.
Most people cannot install Windows either. They get it installed on their new PC.
When they would have to install it, let it find hardware, and install drivers all from scratch they would find that daunting too.

Ahem (1)

loginx (586174) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325662)

You can clearly see that this person has spent 2000 minutes with linux and then deleted the partitions to get back to windows...

Quanta plus, a web browser?!?
Super-cheap PCs for $1097?!?

It's pretty funny when an editor starts writting about stuff that is completely out of his league...

YA Convert (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325668)

Windoze user likes Linux. Film at eleven.

20 yeas of MS-Windows??? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6325677)

Er, 20 years ago (1983), Windows was a non-factor, was still vaporware being re-engineered from a Multiplan-like text interface to a """graphical""" interface. It was obviously like "graphical" versions of these two programs bolted hapazardly (sp?) together, this file manager one and this program launching menu one... I can't remember their names exactly, can anyone remember? They were well-known at the time.

In 1983, you still could find Apple IIs, some TRS-80s, some Ataris... M$ was not yet the black-hole that sucked the life out of the software industry.

IIRC, Windows 1.0 came out in *1984*. And no-one used it, nor v2.0. Windows started proliferating only with version 3.0, which came out in 1990/91.

Stating he's been a Windows user for 20 years is a sign this guy had an orwelian "bad memory" or is suffering from heat stroke or something...

What's his faith based on??? (1)

calebb (685461) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325679)

Before you ask, I'm a RH user & work with Solaris, Irix, HP-UX & Tru64 as a sys admin.

My question is: What did he base his conclusions on? "I was amazed by the number of applications that came with the installation...I think I'm becoming a believer.

IMO, some vital things for him to try on his new Linux system would be:
-Word processing & collaborating with the other editors at the nzherald.
-Transferring files from his Windows machine to his new Mandrake install.
-Using the WWW, even!

The article caught my eye because I didn't start using *nix until 1995 & I was also a Windows user prior to using Irix for the first time. The first thing I needed to do was get some files from a Windows machine; A Win32 FTP client -> Irix FTP server was the easiest solution. For WWW, I only required Lynx & that was adequate for me;
...but I quickly realized that while this Indigo workstation had some strengths, it was definitely not an adequate PC for me! (Chris failed even mention how nzherald.co.nz looks in Galeon or Konqueror...)

...but at least he pointed out that it's a good idea "to have good missionaries enlightening the road."

That guy is a jackass (1)

Ath (643782) | more than 11 years ago | (#6325685)

He mutters statements like "In my early computer years I had a brief flirtation with the Apple Mac, which I liked a lot. But I turned my back on that religion when I took a job editing a PC magazine." and "I was a disciple from the beginning when it was called Dos, and kept the faith through the buggy, painful years of Windows 1.0 to 3.11."

I am kind of annoyed that I read his dribble. The whole column is interspersed with references to religious beliefs as it relates to operating systems. This is the same guy who dresses up like Luke Skywalker and camps out for movie premieres.

However, I do have to say that the Hair Club for Men did an excellent job for him.

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