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Ed Haletky: Desktop Linux Nearly There

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the where-there-is-here-and-now-is-then dept.

Software 84

Mark Brunelli writes "When Edward Haletky's friend asked him for help setting up a Linux desktop in the year 2000, they found only half of the Web applications needed. Since then, while researching his new book, Deploying Linux on the Desktop, Haletky has seen desktop Linux application availability and usability increase to the point where it's nearly ready for widespread corporate use. Yet Haletky does not think that Linux desktops will be widespread by 2007. In this interview, he explains why." Read on for a snippet from the interview. I know my Linux desktop (several, actually) has served well enough for "corporate use" for the past several years.

"Edward Haletky: 'The current enterprise demand for desktop Linux is growing daily and is very hard to quantify at this time. However, there are two desktop efforts going at the moment. The first is for the home user, and the second is for the enterprise. While these may seem dissimilar, they are in essence the same in most respects. The difference boils down to either the custom enterprise applications or specialized tools to access mail and enterprise databases. But in many aspects: for information sharing and training, a good Web and connection client is all that is necessary. For information generation, a good office suite is needed. Both of these are available on Linux today. There are many things to overcome before Linux will be a primary desktop for most users.'"

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84 comments

"corporate use" (2, Insightful)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297398)

"I know my Linux desktop (several, actually) has served well enough for "corporate use" for the past several years."

I don't think that you classify as a 'regular' corporate user though. Most users don't want to learn all the stuff you did so that they can use Linux, most users want it simple, very very very simple.

Gregor

Re:"corporate use" (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297559)

Saying a corporate user shouldn't have to learn to use a computer is like saying a carpenter shouldn't have to learn how to use a hammer. Sorry if you can't learn the tools of the trade then perhaps you should try a diffrent trade.

Desktop Linux is not nearly there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13297416)

I love Linux just as much as the next /.er, but Linux for the Desktop is nowhere near ready. Both KDE and GNOME are still much too complicated. Installation of most distributions is still way too complex (Honey, what's a mount point?), and hardware support is getting there, but not there yet.

It's the realization that lots of work is left to be done that's going to get it done!

Re:Desktop Linux is not nearly there (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13298287)

What is the conceptual difference between mounting and unmounting your floppy, and having to unmount your USB pen drive in Windows? Just the mounting part? Why does your hypothetical person have a problem understanding this, but so many people go through the unmount procedure in Windows? It is because people are not as dumb as most people around here like to make them out to be; people learn to do what they need to do to work their computers. When a company implements a new authentication procedure, or change group policies, or whatever, they tell the workers what they have to do differently now and life goes on. When it comes to Linux, people wring their hands and make condensending comments about how "Joe Sixpack" will never do this or that. If Billy G. comes out and for security reasons changes things to require people to open a command shell and enter in one-time codes before they can run their CD, or surf the web, well guess what, old "Joe Sixpack" will start doing that because he wants to play his CDs or surf the web. In Linux, if there you need to become superuser to do something, people say "Joe Sixpack will never go for that because he wants a point-and-click solution." Those of us who went through the pre-GUI days of DOS, Apple IIe, etc. recall and observed that all the regular folk in the world were quite happy working off the command line, who had to directly deal with drive letters, and who had to edit their COMMAND.COM files to get things to work. I remember when university department secretaries used command line text editors to create LaTex papers for professors. Frankly, I find the attitude, especially around here, that the average person is too ignorant to use or accept Linux very elitist and inappropriate.

I find the installation procedure quite easy these days. How many people have to install Windows? I have found Windows installations to be quite painful at times when the drivers are not working. Most people never worry about installing their OS because it comes pre-installed. That is the same for Linux if you are buying a bunch of them for a company.

Re:Desktop Linux is not nearly there (1)

rekrutacja (647394) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298308)

It seems that you havn't been trying to install mainstream, desktop distro in non-expert mode for years. Mandriva installs automagically, Ubuntu (which was referred to me as nasty at installation) was only little bit uglier. No questions i don't understand were asked, everything was recognised correctly (even sound card, which was a major problem no longer than two years ago). Latest release of Gnome is a masterpice of usability comnparing to Win XP i use at work.
I agree that there is more work to do. Setting up local network under Ubuntu was a real pain. However when it was done i no longer have to run command line interface and call my friend to ask stupid questions. Did i told you, that i don't know how to use command line except for running beagle daemon and some other apps?

Re:Desktop Linux is not nearly there (1)

nudeatom (740966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13302957)

KDE? Complicated? How? Distro installation would not be an issue in a corporate enviroment, thats what we in IT are for. Mounting is taken care of by automount, Hardware support is, granted, not perfect, but it is getting better all the time, only really obscure or cutting edge stuff is not supported, unless it comes with Linux drivers, this is something that the Linux community has no control over.

Can we say.. (2, Funny)

hydrogefalus (903246) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297429)

..Tux is on the third base?

Re:Can we say.. (2, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297461)

If I was a woman I would not let a damn penguin anywhere near my panties.

Re:Can we say.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13297555)

How about if you were man ? Would you let penguins near your panties then?

Re:Can we say.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13298511)

It would depend on how long I've been down in Antarctica.

Bwahaha! (2, Insightful)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297450)

So a guy trying to sell a book about Linux on the desktop says that it's nearly there? I'm so shocked!

What's even more crazy is that he discovered all this while doing the research for his book. So I guess he decided to write the book first and then find out if Desktop Linux could actually work later. Curious.

Re:Bwahaha! (1)

Jacius (701825) | more than 8 years ago | (#13363754)

What's even more crazy is that he discovered all this while doing the research for his book. So I guess he decided to write the book first and then find out if Desktop Linux could actually work later. Curious.

Or maybe he said to himself, "I wonder if Linux is ready for the desktop yet. If it is, I could write a book about it!" and then did some research to test his hypothesis, and wrote a book based on his results?

I think they have a name for this sort of process... it rhymes with the Shmientific Shmethod.

I can understand your confusion, though. It's not used very often these days, especially in schools in a certain midwestern state.

Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installation (2, Insightful)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297495)

While for me, the linux desktop has 'been there' for many years now,
there is a big obstacle: DVDs still need a DeCSS library which
linux distributions can not provide yet.

DVD on linux is actually one of my main reasons to use
linux on the desktop. You have more control about how to play DVDs.

However, I feel that it is absolutely essential that a user can just pop
in a DVD and that it will play. And that this works just after a default
installation of the operating system.

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (2, Informative)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297584)

Mind that Windows cannot play DVDs out of the box -you need a codec that is not supplied with Windows.

Granted, you can purchase third-party software easily enough for Windows... I dont think there is any legal way to watch you DVDs in Linux (though I still do so without remorse).

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298800)

I never bought windows per se but all PC's, I had purchased
so far, which had windows preinstalled, came bundled with
a DVD player. I usually look what is there, before I
whipe it off my harddrive.

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299219)

I dont think there is any legal way to watch you DVDs in Linux

Sure there is, it's called fair use. Now selling someone a way to watch DVDs in Linux, maybe that's illegal, but actually watching a DVD you legally bought isn't.

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297619)

It's not just DVDs. It's all sorts of things like Flash, the NVidia driver, SUN Java (Blackdown doesn't cut it) mplayer will full codecs and more. I actually recently wrote a bit in my blog [apreche.net] about how the free zealots are keeping this stuff out. Sure, some of it is legally questionable. But in Ubuntu you have to read a wiki and jump through some hoops to get multimedia to not suck. The capability is there to make it easier for the user who doesn't care about freeness to get this stuff to work in a few clicks. Let's do it.

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (2, Insightful)

Wolfbone (668810) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298694)

From your blog:

"What would be extra cool is if there was a way to make a deal with software companies to allow us to distribute their software. If it isn't possible, then perhaps we could create an illegal distribution and host it in some country that doesn't care. I always wonder, if it is legal for mplayer to host all the codecs on their site for free download why would it be illegal to host a distribution including all those codecs on the same site? A lot of what people do with their computers now is multimedia. If Linux can cast away a few zealots it can show that it is the best multimedia playing and managing operating system. Once it catches up to Apple in the content creation department it will be unstoppable.

Clearly you are unfamiliar with patent and copyright law but as you point out: there are legal impediments to shipping certain non-free software. In fact restrictions can just as easily apply to free software (see e.g. http://brian.mastenbrook.net/display/5 [mastenbrook.net] ) and creating illegal distributions is hardly likely to help make "us" unstoppable.

The people you call 'zealots' are the people who wrote the software and constructed the distros in the first place and they are entitled to impose whatever policy they see fit. If you don't like Mark Shuttleworth's strong open source stance or the Gentoo social contract, I suggest you quit your ignorant whining and make your own distro.

Your remarks suggest though that you'd be happier with warez than with FOSS and you certainly don't understand what most of the latter is about and what motivates the people who create it. Certainly the creation of FOSS is an activity far removed from the selfish criminality that you advocate, and it is quite sickening to hear someone like you saying that (absurdly):

"...those zealots will have to learn to deal with the fact that the only way to be truly free with multimedia is to use some non-free software."

If you cannot respect the views of the people whose creativity you take advantage of you could at least try not to make a complete fool of yourself.

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13353089)

Apreche, unfortunately, it doesn't even stop there. To have Linux ready for the desktop, it need more than just the GIMP for Graphic Editing. hell, Paint Shop Pro can do more than that can and it's easier to use. Right now, there is a few windows applications that will run in linux, but it requires Crossover Office, which is a $40 investment, 1/5 of the way to a windows CD.

Most of the software is in constant beta testing and once it reaches a point, it's abandoned. There are a very few games that will run under linux, and most of them are pure CRAP, like a Yahtzee clone that doesn't randomize properly, board games, only a few 3D games, and the 3D drivers are unstable. I had to reboot a few times because of the instability. Windows may have spyware, but at least it had tools that I could use without extensive configuring. Kaudiocreator, for example, has no instruction at all, and that's the only software there is to rip CDs in linux.

I am even thinking of moving back to windows, and I will stay with windows XP, until there are more applications in linux. Of course, I doubt that will happen, because linux hasnt changed much in a few years. You're right about the "free zealots" keeping this stuff out. They have the attitude that "information wants to be free". What I'm talking about there is they feel all software for linux should be F/OSS under the GPL license. Unfortunately, the only Software development tools are under the viral GPL license, which means that if you write software for distribution in linux, you pretty much have to go under the GPL as well.]

To the mods, I am not trying to be a troll, I just want others to know what I have gone through before installing linux.

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297765)

Lindows created a legal DVD player application or library for Linux, I believe... so it does exist. Distributing it along with free installs might be an issue, though, as the DVD licensing is per-user... (I may be wrong, though.)

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297968)

I've found the average desktop user never puts a video DVD in their drive. I see it used for video watching often on laptops, but never desktops. I don't think the average home or "enterprise" user cares.

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298780)

This would be interesting to find out. My guess is that a typical desktop machine is used for
  • surfing the web
  • email and chat
  • music, movies, photos
  • office applications
  • games
While priority could vary, I think that these are things which need to work well in order that an operating system can be used by the entire family. OSX does that. Most people will hardly want to bother with different operating systems. DVD's on linux laptops has to work in order that people switch. If they are forced to use windows on their laptops, also the desktop will not change.

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (1)

SA Stevens (862201) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300089)

That 'all-in-one' versatility that you speak of matters more for a college youth in a cramped dorm room, or a schoolboy with a PC in his 'room' than it does for grownups.

An adequate DVD player is $35 at WalMart. You put it in the living room, away from the computer in the den.

Re:Obstacle: DVD has to work after basic installat (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13309668)

A lot of my friends do listen to music and watch movies on their computers, just as I do, but the simple fact is that I've never seen any of them watch a DVD or listen to a CD on their PC. It's all MP3 and DivX. While it would be nice to have better (read: legal) DVD support for Linux/BSD, it likely falls under "nice-to-have" rather than "necessary" for most users.

This subject will never die (1)

madscientist003 (857924) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297585)

Linux is obviously ready for the desktop, at least for some people like myself, because we use it on the desktop. It's tautological. However, some people do not find it ready for their desktop needs, and as such, it's not ready for the desktop.

Linux will never become Windows. It will never become Mac OSX. It will always be different than those two operating systems. As long as this is the case, I imagine we will continually hear the debate about whether or not Linux is desktop ready.

Re:This subject will never die (1)

Alcemenes (460409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297893)

I agree on both points. The debate as to whether or not Linux is "ready" for the desktop will continue to be heard for many years to come. Also, Linux will always be different but isn't that part of the culture? Personally, I feel Linux is a viable choice for the desktop in some situations. I have been using it as a desktop OS for six years now and it certainly has made a lot of progress since I began using it as a destop OS. Then again, I am not what many would consider an average computer user. My mother, however, is. Linux offers her everything she needs:

Web Browser - Firefox
E-mail - Thunderbird
Personal Finance Manager - Gnucash
Office Suite - Open Office
Digital Camera/Image Manipulation - Gphoto + Gimp

I should note that her digital camera is not supported by Windows XP although her new computer happens to have a built-in card reader so that is insignificant IMO.

Why hasn't she chosen to switch to Linux you ask? Simple: If it ain't broke don't fix it!

I believe that says it all for most situations where Linux could replace Windows or OS X or vice versa. Most people simply do not see the value in migrating to another OS because what they are already using gets the job done.

Re:This subject will never die (1)

docgnome (868111) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297947)

I have to agree with the parent post. Linux is ready for the desktop. The problem is that people like Ed Haletky want it to be just like Windows, when surprise, surprise! it's not Windows. It will/should never behave like Windows. The reason more people won't use Linux on the desktop has less to do with support for Program X than with the fact that people are unwilling to learn something new. I, honestly, could care less if "Linux is ready for the desktop" according to people like Haletky. If you can use it on the desktop, then use it. Otherwise, go back to Windows, because that is obviously what you are looking for. Evidently other people agree. [slashdot.org] Windows is entrenched in the desktop market and may stay there. I don't care. If people want buggy software, let them have it. Otherwise, let free software speak for itself. I don't think anyone needs to campaign to "Destroy Microsoft." They are doing a good enough job of that on their own.

Re:This subject will never die (1)

ratsg (544275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298390)

I've never see a better, un-biased post concerning the state of the desktop. It is amazing to see all of the post concerning the m$ monopoly, and then they just want to replace that monopoly with another.

Its good to have choices. Use the best tool for the job. If I had mod points, I would mod your post up.

X replacement soon? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297601)

Does this mean we'll get a replacement for X anytime soon?
It hurts so bad. It's like being stuck somewhere between Win 3.1 and 95.

Re:X replacement soon? (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297825)

It hurts so bad. It's like being stuck somewhere between Win 3.1 and 95.

Explain.

Re:X replacement soon? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298318)

It handles like crap. It's slow and unresponsive on a top notch box. Dragging windows around leaves tracers. There are eyes that watch me from the toolbar, and they NEVER BLINK.

At least I no longer have to roll my own monitor profiles, but this might be because I finally got rid of the 20 year old Radiation King.

Re:X replacement soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13298579)

It's slow and unresponsive on a top notch box. Dragging windows around leaves tracers.

I'm just wondering what kind of video card you're using. An Nvidia card with the closed source driver shouldn't have those problems.

Re:X replacement soon? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298873)

It's a newer ATI (can't remember model offhand and I'm not in a position to check right now). Radeon 9xxx or something.

I was under the impression that X's slowness was due to it's aging and impossible-to-change-without-a-complete-rewrite client/server architecture. I'd be happy to learn that it just needs the latest drivers in order to render 2D properly. (side note, all the 3d games I've tried have worked flawlessly with stock install).

Re:X replacement soon? (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299301)

I was under the impression that X's slowness was due to it's aging and impossible-to-change-without-a-complete-rewrite client/server architecture.

This is a common misconception. In fact the biggest problem with X, until recently, was the glacially slow pace of develoment. This problem is essentially solved now since it was almost entirely due to the XFree86 people (and they are, thankfully, no longer in charge).

The client/server architecture of X actually causes essentially zero performance problems when the display and video card are on the same machine. You may have your DISPLAY setting set to localhost:0.0 and that may be causing X to use TCP instead of local domain sockets (but probably not). If it is, set it to :0.0 and see if that makes a difference.

Also, try changing your WMs settings, switching your WM, updating/tweaking your driver, or getting a non-crappy video card. Any of these may solve your problem

Previous slashdot discussions of X (see any story about Y-Windows) have generated massively detailed threads where experts have explained why X is not fundamentally broken. I wont try to regurgitate that stuff here since I'd only do it badly. You are free to go look...

Re:X replacement soon? (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299290)

It handles like crap. It's slow and unresponsive on a top notch box.

I don't believe this at all. I used to run XFree86 on my laptop, which sports a 120mhz pentium, 40mb of RAM, and an old neomagic display adapter. On top of X, I ran windowmaker. The interface was very fast and responsive, consumed little memory, and ran hardware-appropriate games at full speed (ie Doom).

Dragging windows around leaves tracers.

One can only guess what your problem there is. I do not think it's intrinsic to X, though. I've never had that problem with X. My laptop has an ancient LCD, and THAT causes "tracers", but nothing software-side.

There are eyes that watch me from the toolbar, and they NEVER BLINK.

X doesn't have a toolbar, let alone eyes. You bash X and then start talking about a different program entirely?

At least I no longer have to roll my own monitor profiles, but this might be because I finally got rid of the 20 year old Radiation King.

What is a "Radiation King"? :-/

Re:X replacement soon? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300555)

Yah, I'm starting to think that I've got a bad setup somehow. Trust me though, X runs like ass on my fairly new box. Since the monitor is connected to a mac and a windows box as well, I can pretty much rule out a bad one.

So I can take it as read, guys, that any X issues I have relative to speed and refresh rate etc etc are my own personal problems. Even though my experience on modern hardware is identical to my experience on an old mac clone. Time to do some research I guess.

Just joking about the eyes... some sort of widget I remember from a while ago... they'd follow your cursor around the screen. Disregard.

Radiation King is a simpsons reference... in reality it was a giant old SuperMatch 21". When you'd turn it on any dust particles in the air would temporarily waver around the thing... kind of creepy.

Man, nothing like explaining a joke to make you feel lame.

Re:X replacement soon? (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#13301661)

Well, thanks for your very polite response. :-)

Sorry about the jokes, though...it was hard to tell that you weren't serious. ;)

I believe that X is a good piece of software, but the devil lies in the configuration. It's one of the hardest things to get a hold on, and even though many distros do a good job of sorting it out for you, sometimes they don't get it quite right (or not at all, in the case of when I used to use FreeBSD. Rather than use their tool, I told X to --configure and modified the file by hand).

Even with distros that get everything right, I must still specify the vsync and hsync for my moniter manually in order to get optimal refresh rates. :(

I've heard lots of people have problems with ATI cards, which might affect you. For this reason, I only use nvidia cards because the compatibility is so remarkable. If only ATI worked as well in linux/FreeBSD as nvidia did...are you listening, ATI?

Re:X replacement soon? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13308070)

I've heard lots of people have problems with ATI cards

Since I'm not going to be doing any gaming w/ this box, I'm thinking about just pulling that ATI card and using the onboard graphics chip. Gotta be more standard than the card, and I really can't remember if today's cards even assist w/ 2d acceleration anymore.

Re:X replacement soon? (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13309741)

I've heard lots of people have problems with ATI cards, which might affect you. For this reason, I only use nvidia cards because the compatibility is so remarkable. If only ATI worked as well in linux/FreeBSD as nvidia did...are you listening, ATI?

Yeah, nVidia == kickass. They even have a native driver for FreeBSD. I don't think ATI does, or if they do it's definitely not a good one.

And xorgconfig worked great in getting X set up for me on my FreeBSD machine. The graphical tool, xorgcfg, sucks balls, though.

Linux is actually much better than it used to be (4, Insightful)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297622)

Recently I have been bitching about all of the problems with Linux in general (stuff like inconsistencies in the Windows Manager (primarily Gnome), arbitrary differences between distros for some of the most basic of things like configuring the bootloader, etc). However, to be fair Linux as a system has gotten light years better in the last year. In the last few weeks I have been trying all of the updates that have been coming out. I have tried:
Ubuntu 5.0.4
Fedora Core 4
Mandriva Download Edition 10.1
Gentoo 2005.1
OpenSUSE Linux 10 beta

My opinion is:
Linux is ready now for the enterprise desktop, as long as you can run your mission critical apps. This is because most businesses have their own support people.

Linux is ready for the home desktop IF it supports your hardware AND you don't mind having to go to the command line to install apps that are not supplied by your distro.

On the other hand, if your computer has hardware that is NOT supported by your distro then (if you are a noobie like me) you have just entered Linux Hell (tm).

One thing I wonder about, I have noticed that the same open source tools available through multiple distros all seem to work slightly differently. This may just be a version difference (I don't know cause I didn't compare version IDs) but it seems to be very widespread.

What Linux Needs (tm) to really get established at home (in my humble opinion) is a complete end to end installer for apps and drivers. End to end means that you choose an app to install and the installer also installs any dependent libraries WITHOUT asking you where they are on the internet, and compiles the dependencies from source if it isn't available from your distro already compiled, and it handles the architectural switches (x86 vs. amd64 for example), and it ties the new app into the Windows Manager you are using (such as creating the icon to run the app from the WM menu).

Another Thing That Wouldn't Hurt (tm) is a central repository for links to non-OSS packages, especially drivers. Since most distros don't include proprietary drivers, sometimes it is tough to find them. My ATI graphics card is one such example, my Broadcom wireless networking card is another.

As for myself, I like Ubuntu for the community support, Fedora for the consistency of their distro, and Suse for their YAST2 program, although I haven't as yet decided which distro I will be going with.

To sum up though, Linux is very very close to being on par with Windows. Now if we can just get those pesky hardware drivers nailed down...

Re:Linux is actually much better than it used to b (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298437)

If mod points could go higher than the "5, Insightful" that you already have, I'd throw some of my mod points at you. Instead, I'll blow them in a reply.

I second pretty much all that you have written here: Linux is ready for the corporate desktop (we have had several Linux desktops in my corporate area for a few years now); Linux is ready for the home user. The downside is that you need to check hardware compatibility (scanners, etc) and you can't be afraid to jump to the command line and do 'yum -y install' for some apps that didn't show up with your distro. Fortunately, you don't need to do that very often.

At home, my wife has been a Linux user [umn.edu] since Red Hat Linux 7.1. Today, she's a happy Fedora Core user. She's definitely a non-technical user (she doesn't understand what "USB" is, but she knows our printer is "USB" and can recognize the right slot for the plug.) But she's become a complete Linux devotee, even to the point where she decided she's going to upgrade to an Intel Mac when they're available next year - and insisted that I install Linux on it! :-)

At work, I gave a presentation to our CIO a year ago about Linux on the desktop, and it was enough to convince him to install Linux for himself on a scratch desktop machine. He loves it, and we've had no problem with considering Linux part of our "enterprise desktop solution." When we look at new tools and software for the enterprise, Linux desktop support gets equal attention to Mac and Windows.

When giving that presentation to our CIO, I found that (briefly) walking him through the evolution of the Linux & UNIX desktop really helped. TWM .. olvwm ... Motif/MWM ... fvwm ... fvwm95 ... AfterSTEP ... GNOME. Somewhere in there, he recognized a Linux desktop that he was familiar with - and by the time we got to GNOME, he was totally impressed with the state of the current Linux desktop. He said he hadn't realized that Linux had progressed so far and had become so easy to use.

To sum up though, Linux is on par with Windows. Now if we can just get those pesky hardware drivers nailed down...

Re:Linux is actually much better than it used to b (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299369)

I second pretty much all that you have written here: Linux is ready for the corporate desktop (we have had several Linux desktops in my corporate area for a few years now); Linux is ready for the home user.

That's not what he said, though. He said "Linux is ready now for the enterprise desktop, as long as you can run your mission critical apps." That's a big "if", and it negates my company, which needs a ledger system which is available only for Windows, and Quickbooks Accountant Edition. Quickbooks might be replacable, I don't know how easy it is to convert Quickbooks data to something that runs on Linux, and don't know if there's anything on Linux that has all the features we use. But as for the ledger system, I highly doubt there's a solution for Linux. We need something which supports electronic submission of W-2, W-3, and 1099 information. This is besides the fact that we'd have to retrain everyone to use different software. It's not at all feasible.

As for the home user, he said "Linux is ready for the home desktop IF it supports your hardware AND you don't mind having to go to the command line to install apps that are not supplied by your distro." Even then, I'd add in that Linux doesn't support most games. There are other applications, too. For instance, I highly doubt there will ever be a version of Party Poker's software which runs on Linux.

I'm still considering trying the switch, again. I'm sick of Windows security. But the installation is going to be a pain in the ass, since I've only got a small hard drive on my laptop and AFAIK I don't have a working CD of Windows in case I want to switch back. Maybe I'll look into running Linux off a CD for a while. I think my girlfriend's computer has a CD burner on it.

Re:Linux is actually much better than it used to b (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13302855)

If you can't recover Windows if the Linux experiment messes up your Windows install then I highly reccomend you buy a second hard drive and swap them out (one for Linux, one for Windows). I have accidentally clobbered my Windows install more than once while trying Linux distros, so be careful.

Re:Linux is actually much better than it used to b (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13308586)

The only way I'm doing the experiment is through a live-CD or a network boot. I'm not touching my hard drive until I decide to abandon Windows.

I could buy a second hard drive, but as it's a laptop I really don't think it's worth it. I'd rather boot off disk or CD and use my linux server to serve up an NFS drive.

Re:Linux is actually much better than it used to b (2, Informative)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300316)

What Linux Needs (tm) to really get established at home (in my humble opinion) is a complete end to end installer for apps and drivers. End to end means that you choose an app to install and the installer also installs any dependent libraries WITHOUT asking you where they are on the internet, and compiles the dependencies from source if it isn't available from your distro already compiled, and it handles the architectural switches (x86 vs. amd64 for example), and it ties the new app into the Windows Manager you are using (such as creating the icon to run the app from the WM menu).

Another Thing That Wouldn't Hurt (tm) is a central repository for links to non-OSS packages, especially drivers. Since most distros don't include proprietary drivers, sometimes it is tough to find them. My ATI graphics card is one such example, my Broadcom wireless networking card is another.

You said that you tried Gentoo already, but it seems that you didn't look too carefully at it, as it really does all of these things already. Portage is the best thing since sliced bread, although it's not really alone in that respect. I find the biggest mistake that new users make with regards to Linux is that they totally ignore their package manager, then get frustrated because they want the source tarballs to do all the things that the package manager already does. (I did it too when I was new to Linux...) Of course the blame lies in the fact that there is no package manager at all in Windows, and too many people equate Windows with computing, thinking that everything must be like it. I don't think there are any package managers that don't already do automagic dependency checking and resolving, although if you snag random rpms off the net and try and install them you may run into problems (which is why you always check your package manager first!).

As to non-free items, both the ATI and NVidia binary drivers are one emerge away (emerge ati-drivers or emerge nvidia-glx, respectively). You can specify to use win32 codecs (set win32codecs in your USE flags) for Mplayer, Xine and most every other media player on Linux, and Portage will snag those automagically too. I really can't say enough good things about Portage, I've never been happier.

Re:Linux is actually much better than it used to b (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13302895)

That's good news. I'm not bashing Gentoo but until they get their GUI installer out, I am not skilled enough (nor do I have the patience) to deal with their method of setting up Linux. However, I look forward to trying the install again once the GUI is available.

Re:Linux is actually much better than it used to b (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13305717)

I'd just like the mention that Ubuntu theoretically has all of this, mostly thanks to Debian. They've got a centralized repository, so if you pick an app in your favorite APT frontend, you should be able to install it and that's it (of course, sometimes reality intrudes and you have to resolve a conflict). apt-get source --build is also quite easy, though I don't know of any frontends to handle it for you. The 'menu' system has been around for ages and has always worked for me; any window manager or whatever sort of thing supports a menu, can tell Debian how to add all of your apps to the menu. And Ubuntu's at least as good as anyone when it comes to making non-free stuff reasonably easy to install, though for some reason most vendors still think that RPM is the be-all and end-all of packages.

Re:Linux is actually much better than it used to b (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13309772)

though for some reason most vendors still think that RPM is the be-all and end-all of packages.

I recently started using Ubuntu on my laptop, and I've found that Alien is your best friend when you run into RPM-only packages of the apps you're looking for.

Re:Linux is actually much better than it used to b (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13310004)

Agreed. It's not a major problem most times, just an inconvenience.

Its about time... (1)

Captain BooBoo (614996) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297696)

I think ist a great idea for a book. In my years of linux I have been frustrated by having to use "how-tos" written by linux gurus.The articles always seem to be so biased towards linux and seem to try and make it hard for a windows type person to understand.

I hope the book is complete with instructions on how to load a driver IN PLAIN ENGLISH!

Re:Its about time... (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297853)

I'm with you, and I especially love it when the "how-tos" don't cover basics:

1) Where to type stuff in. Sure it's obvious to the Linux guru that "ndiswrapper -i" goes into the terminal and that "192.168.1.1" goes into the IP address field, but if I'm not an expert, I have no clue.

2) They tell you to use a path that's wrong. I've had this one more than once... on the ndiswrapper one, for instance, it tells me to place the Windows driver on my desktop, then use a root terminal to type in "ndiswrapper -i ~/desktop/windows_driver"... that's great, but that uses the desktop belonging to *ROOT* not to me, because it's a root terminal! Again, that's probably obvious to the Linux guru, but it stumped me for a half hour. (And, BTW, if you have to type in a path at all, WRITE A GUI PEOPLE! Why does Knoppix have a GUI (albeit a terrible one) for ndiswrapper but Ubuntu doesn't? Criminy, how irritating.)

3) What to do for common errors. When I tried the above, I got some error like "cp: Failed, file does not exist." Well, I know now in retrospect that it's because I was telling it to look in the wrong desktop folder, but the How-To didn't have any explaination of that error. (And no, I don't know that "cp" means "file copy." And again, if you're looking for reasons why people hate Linux, how about the obvious: If "cp" runs into an error, why doesn't it tell you WHICH FILE has the error? I mean, duh!)

4) Also covering the basics would be nice. I know now that "ndiswrapper" is a program that can "translate" (somehow) Windows networking drivers into Linux drivers, but the how-to didn't tell me that, I had to glean it after the fact.

Re:Its about time... (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299067)

All good points and I can relate to your troubles with the ndiswrapper because I've just had to deal with that pain in the ass. I got a linksys card and after days of trying and trying, I had to end up using a netgear driver. This was only after I had to hunt down what chipset this damn thing used. However, these problems aren't so much with linux, but the other software that's required to make an operating system run. The more and more you look into it, linux isn't some big OS or program, but a collection of many small programs with specific tasks. And it takes lots of people to coordinate these programs in such a way that others can easily integrate them with their software.

I've been using linux exclusively for about a year now and I'm happy with it. There are always small things that crop up and I have to jump on the forums and see what I should do. The biggest problem I've found with running linux is not the technology, but the difficulty it seems to bring it all together into one usable package. The myriad of choices means developers have to account for so much that they lose focus on their product and have to worry if it will work for X or Y or Z.

Re:Its about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13301775)

no windows intallation manual tells how to move mouse pointer and how to use click on next button because these are part of system and if you are using that system it is assumed that you would be knowing these things. same thing with linux becuuse if its a command it has to go on command window.

Re:Its about time... (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 8 years ago | (#13302202)

3) What to do for common errors. When I tried the above, I got some error like "cp: Failed, file does not exist." Well, I know now in retrospect that it's because I was telling it to look in the wrong desktop folder, but the How-To didn't have any explaination of that error. (And no, I don't know that "cp" means "file copy." And again, if you're looking for reasons why people hate Linux,
how about the obvious: If "cp" runs into an error, why doesn't it tell you WHICH FILE has the error? I mean, duh!)

Maybe it's just my version of cp, but...

neil@t40-n ~ $ cp abc def
cp: cannot stat `abc': No such file or directory

Re:Its about time... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13303989)

Well, two issues here:

1) What does "cannot stat" mean?

2) Is that the path of the source, or the destination it can't find?

In any case, in my problem that message was utterly useless, because the "path" was "~\windows_drivers\something.ini" and the path I was expecting to see was (gasp!) "~\windows_drivers\something.ini". The problem is that "~" means something different in a root terminal than it does in every other terminal... interestingly, Apple's fixed that problem, but Ubuntu hasn't yet.

Re:Its about time... (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 8 years ago | (#13304695)

1) What does "cannot stat" mean?

Essentially, that the file does not exist, or cannot be read, as is explained immediately after in the error message.

2) Is that the path of the source, or the destination it can't find?

It can't find the source file, this should be obvious as that is the file it references in the error message. Also, since not being able to find the source is quite clearly a fatal error, so it doesn't bother checking the destination.

In any case, in my problem that message was utterly useless, because the "path" was "~\windows_drivers\something.ini" and the path I was expecting to see was (gasp!) "~\windows_drivers\something.ini". The problem is that "~" means something different in a root terminal than it does in every other terminal... interestingly, Apple's fixed that problem, but Ubuntu hasn't yet.

I'm pretty sure shell expansion can be configured to your liking, but using the first example again in my copy of bash and cp:

neil@t40-n ~ $ cp ~/abc ~/def
cp: cannot stat `/home/neil/abc': No such file or directory

Clearly in this case, shell expansion is on and the varying meaning of ~ is not a problem.

Re:Its about time... (1)

paducahnix (887581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13331433)

I am a die hard linux user myself, but like everything you do, there is always a starting point and at some time or another, everyone is a noob. One major thing I noticed from myself and just about everyone else out there is patience. If you want to know how to do the small things and how to use basic functions on the cli you must begin at that level. You cannot just expect to jump in and complete tasks that are on a level 5 complication [for example] when you don't have the basic level 2 skills. Attempting such just sets yourself up for failure because just like you mentioned, the first time something doesn't go as pefectly prepared as hoped in the "howto" you're lost and don't know your @ss from a hole in the ground.

If you want to know how to do things that " the Linux guru" would do, then start out from the bottom and learn how and why things work, not just typing things from a howto and hoping they work.

Most people don't see it, but in all reality the majority of users don't think about how long it took them to become proficient in the Windows environment. For the majority of us, our experience started at some point young in school or at home. Even though you may not have been glued to it during school, you still had frequent encounters and accumilated experience. Many users expect to just be able to jump in head first and know it all because "it should have a GUI." Well Windows has a GUI and Linux at it's core, doesn't, that's because they are 2 seperate Operating Systems and aren't even supposed to be similar.

The entire battle comes down to if people are ready to completely let go of everything they know and start learning a new OS from scratch like they did many many years ago when they touched their first computer, and not try to argue why it isn't similar in functionality and use to the skills they already have from another OS such as Windows.

Same tired arguments (3, Insightful)

hubie (108345) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297791)

Whenever these "Linux isn't ready for the desktop" articles come out, they all boil down to saying that Linux isn't exactly like Windows. This fella is basically saying that Linux isn't there yet because it can't handle specialized Windows-only software, or IE-only web development. Well guess what, by that definition the only OS that will ever be "ready for the desktop" is Windows, and that it just plain nonsense. The only acceptance criteria seems to be that the OS in question has to be a drop-in replacement for Windows. That leads me to wonder whether the older versions of Windows are now no longer "ready for the desktop" when they were deemed such only a few years ago.

This particular article talks about enterprise applications, but you even hear it in articles when talking about the general user. Linux isn't ready for the general user because it can't run Quicken or some other such specific application. That might be a reason that someone wants to stick with Windows, but it sure isn't a reason that Linux isn't good for grandma. What cannot Linux do that the general populace needs?

Debian knoppix installation (1)

slorge (722786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297809)

I remember my first linux desktop installation. ughhh. Of course machine speeds have gone up, hard drive sizes have gone up and RAM prices have gone down, making a linux desktop more likely.

"Older" hardware (1 Ghz CPU or less) with enough RAM, say 128-256MB. will run a linux desktop fine. Today, in under an hour, I added a 4 GB hard drive to an "older"(see above) XP system and installed Debian from a knoppix 3.9 CD in under an hour, dual-boot. Knoppix includes most things you need in a basic install and a lot of things you don't, so it's very impressive to anyone skeptical about the usefulness of a linux desktop.

Desktop-wise, I've been using Evolution... (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297811)

...as my email/contact/calendar/task thingy (OK, PIM) on various Fedora Core releases for the past few years; it's steadily improved and now is quite solid.

Of course, I'm probably biased since I'm working on a Ruby wrapper library [rubyforge.org] for it, but, anyhow.

paradox (1)

pooly7 (892966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297837)

The guy talks about a desktop-ready linux, but just one line after : "can't find half of the web apps"... to you need any desktop OS to use a web app ??? just a browser !

Almost no need to install linux anymore (1)

gothzilla (676407) | more than 8 years ago | (#13297876)

I've avoided linux on the desktop for one reason...the complexity of the setup. Installing it is a pain in the ass if you run into any problems. The installs that go smoothly are easy. Those are no concern. It's the ones where you have to choose the right option for video or something that are a major pain.

I just made a Knoppix cd and tried it out. Here is my question now. Why would anyone need to actually install linux if they aren't doing specialized tasks like designing the next skyscraper? A knoppix cd and an external usb hard drive is all you need and you can use ANY computer you want as long as it's not 20 years old and has a usb port. Could you install your games and apps onto the external hard drive and access them that way?

I just feel that if you could completely remove the "install" process you would find a whole lot of people that would be willing to adopt. Everyone loves to turn on a machine and have it just work without having to do anything.

Re:Almost no need to install linux anymore (1)

jpmkm (160526) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298367)

umm... because reading everything from a cd and uncompressing it is a shitload slower than reading everything from a harddrive.

Re:Almost no need to install linux anymore (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299187)

Installing it is a pain in the ass if you run into any problems.

You should try again. The Linux install process for various distros has really improved-- I used to have all sorts of problems with common hardware (Scroll wheel on the mouse doesn't work, ATI video card not recognized, no USB support, etc).

Recently, I've installed Debian 3.1, Ubuntu 5.0.4 & Windows XP on several different computers.

The Unbuntu install was incredibly simple. Install the CD, boot, hit the enter key a couple times and it just worked. There are no problems on the machine-- the ATI Radeon was recognized, sound works fine, USB ports work, keyboard & mouse both work, network over DHCP was fine, etc. I clicked on the graphical upgrade tool, and Ubuntu upgraded all of my packages while I went and ate lunch. I came back, rebooted and everything worked. I am really impressed. I might want to give this to my parents, if it works with their scanner, color printer & digital camera.

Windows XP was actually be more difficult to install then Ubuntu. During this latest batch of installs, the Windows XP install failed once on each computer. I got a different, obscure error each time. And for each install attempt, I need to enter that darn cryptic product key and had to correct the frustrating typos each time (My brain just doesn't want to deal strange text like X123-IUYU-2314-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH). It's a headache.

Upgrading Windows XP to a secure, stable release requires 6+ reboots if you follow the Microsoft instructions, and I need to startup IE, go to the update website, click on the links, select the packages, etc. every single reboot which is a pain. Again, it's a headache. No lunchbreak for Stefan!

Debian install was fine-- MUCH improved over the 3.0 installation. It's a little technical for a novice user, but again all I had to do was hit enter a couple times; select the appropriate packages, and most everything configures itself-- but I can override the defaults if I want. Great work!

Linux != the Masses (1)

lakerdonald (825553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298021)

Linux will not be accepted by the masses until you can point and click your way through everything and be able to do Administration tasks from any old account. It won't be accepted until they get 50 cent a minute 900-number tech support that's corporately backed and own the computer for a year without ever knowing just what the hell CLI is.
Fortunately, GNU/Linux is not about any of that, and hopefully never will be; however, this means that it will never overtake the more proprietary operating systems like Windows. I

Autopackage/LSB (1)

dalutong (260603) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298314)

I have been using linux exclusively 8 years now. (I sort of miss the excitement of it in 1997... oh well.)

I have used debian almost that entire time. The packaging system is just so beautiful. I now use Ubuntu.

I think one of the major challenges, though, is that people are used to buying software off the shelf. I think the OSS world would benefit from adopting a mac OS kind of program-in-a-folder system. It doesn't have to take over everything -- can just be on top of the distro's own packaging system.

And I think that having a stronger LSB is important, so independent groups can package programs easily and have some assurance they will work on most distros.

Getting old? (1)

jpsowin (325530) | more than 8 years ago | (#13298376)

I've heard this for 10 years. When will people realize that Linux is great for alot of things--but not everything. For instance, it isn't good for the mainstream desktop, and it's odd that geeks are still saying that it will be "soon." It won't. Oh, you'll hear it is. But don't believe it.

In the meantime, I'll be using my Mac. They've been ready for the mainstream desktop a long time.

I would rather that it didn't become widespread (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299016)

Let M$ stay under the crosshairs of the script kiddies and virus/trojan scumbags.
And if it did become "big", the commercialized scumbag profiteers would try to squeeze out the "free" folks. And of course M$ would be behind this push, funding it like they funded SCO. The sheer greed of M$ knows no bounds or limits..

I like it as is, an obscure and out of the limelight system. I like when I talk about Linux and people act as if I'm from another galaxy and have three heads.

And I most of all don't want to see distros grasping at the "look and feel" of M$. All the bling-bling eye candy and playskool icons are for babies and they can keep that crap. I don't want to run ANY M$ apps on my machines. Not one. If you do, you may as well just reformat your drives and install XP.
Use Linux or do not, there is no compromise.

And lastly, I want to see Linspire fail completely.
What a total pile of insecure and unstable trash. Putting people into Linspire and selling them the fairy tale that they are "safe" is doing people a disservice.

Let's keep Linux where it should be, in the hands of the capable.

Re:I would rather that it didn't become widespread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13334492)

Do you know of *one* Linspire Desktop Client user that got ever got hacked?
No?
So shut up. Dimwit.

Almost, but not quite. (2, Informative)

tachyonflow (539926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299110)

Open-source desktop environments have made enormous progress over the years. I'm greatly impressed with what GNOME and KDE have been able to accomplish. However, there are still plenty of rough edges that are a problem. (Disclaimer: I haven't checked out KDE for several years now, so they may very well have a lot of these issues covered.)

As mentioned by others in this thread, there are plenty of problems that are impossible or difficult for open-source coders to solve. These include playing DVDs (patents, CSS issues), device drivers (many hardware manufacturers do the dirty work of writing drivers for Windows, and specifications can be hard to get), support for lots of printers, etc.

There are also plenty of problems that can (and probably will) be resolved by the open-source community. I've been struggling lately with the clunkiness of running a dual-monitor desktop in GNOME (as compared to Windows). Many GUI components are far less responsive than their Windows counterparts. (When composing an email in Thunderbird in Windows, I'm accustomed to highlighting a URL then pressing CTRL-L and ENTER rapidly to create a hyperlink. In Linux, that doesn't work because the CTRL-L dialog box doesn't come up fast enough.) And don't even get me started on out-of-the-box support for notebooks, such as power management, hibernate, and whatnot. (My latest install of FC4 had my notebook's speedstep running at ~600Mhz even when plugged into AC, until I manually tweaked some files.)

So, I wouldn't recommend Linux for standard desktop deployments just yet. If the next 3-4 years show as much progress as the previous years, then a solid Linux desktop may be just around the corner. In fact, I think that Linux has the potential to offer a much more solid desktop platform than Windows -- at the very least, it doesn't suffer from the brain-dead Windows memory manager that thrashes my notebooks's slow hard drive around every time I click something.

I keep meaning to dive into some of the code and contribute to GNOME reaching this "last mile" of desktop usability, but I have so many projects on my to-do list ahead of that. :/

Re:Almost, but not quite. (1)

ficken (807392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299293)

I agree... I really think that Linux will remain a server/geek class of OS. Until all applications play together nicely (Im NOT saying that Windows does!) the Linux desktop will not be a big contender for the end user rollouts. The biggest thing (IMHO) that hinders the forward movement of the Linux desktop is not the X server or KDE vs GNOME vs Flux, etc., but the availability of 'niche' applications that you can only find on Windows: such as many educational software packages, mobile device interoperability, easy (as far as Windows users are concerned) device installation, OS configuration, and more. When everything on the Linux desktop becomes easier to use than Windows, then maybe people will (finally) wise un and make the switch.

Re:Almost, but not quite. (2, Informative)

Rysc (136391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13299337)

When composing an email in Thunderbird in Windows, I'm accustomed to highlighting a URL then pressing CTRL-L and ENTER rapidly to create a hyperlink. In Linux, that doesn't work because the CTRL-L dialog box doesn't come up fast enough.

This is entirely because of GTK2 and pango. GTK2 is slow, pango is *realy* slow. If those can be optimized or replaced most GUI-speed issues would clear up (at least in GTK apps).

Re:Almost, but not quite. (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 8 years ago | (#13302318)

(My latest install of FC4 had my notebook's speedstep running at ~600Mhz even when plugged into AC, until I manually tweaked some files.)

I'm not using FC4, however I am using cyudynd to manage Speedstep on my laptop, and it does exactly this (because I want it to). What you probably didn't notice is that if you actually need the extra processor power, it'll immediately clock back up until you don't need it anymore. I've played with (and benchmarked) it a fair bit and there is essentially no difference in response with Speedstep enabled (and thus jumping between 600 Mhz and 1.3 Ghz accordingly) compared to just locking the processor at 1.3 Ghz. I did however notice a huge difference in the heat produced and the battery life of the laptop, with Speedstep enabled, the fan almost never needs to turn on, and the laptop runs much cooler.

Re:Almost, but not quite. (1)

tachyonflow (539926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13308814)

Oh yeah, I'm a huge fan of using speedstep when I'm running on battery. I'm not familiar with cpudynd, but I'm using the "cpuspeed" program that comes with FC4.

I think my theory was that the GUI might be more responsive at the higher speed, and the speedstep might not step up for such a brief/bursty utilization of the CPU. GNOME was feeling a little sluggish, but I think there may be something about FC4 that feels a bit more sluggish than FC3. :/

My two points. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13299431)

(1) Software - for tax and money management. I NEED to be able to run something like TaxCut (the web-based ones don't cut it) and Money / Quicken (with online banking & bill payment). I don't mind paying a similar prices for those apps as the Windows verisons.

(2) Hardware - I desire accelerated 2D and 3D support for my video card that is comparable to Windows (when I move a window, it should instantly reposition without taking 100% CPU - and accelerated OpenGL support should also be solid). This is less for commercial games, more for my own coding (I have an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro). My printer (some mid-range Canon USB thing) should also work (see #1 - for tax and financial records).

And that's about all that's keeping me on Windows. When Linux can do those, I'm sold. And when FreeBSD can do it, I'm there instead.

after 10-15 years (1, Interesting)

XO (250276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300058)

After 10-15 years of farking around with Linux and various things, I have completely given up.

I'm sick of spending hours getting things working after updates. Of spending hours getting new hardware working. (then finding out any support software is void of any useful function, ie cameras, sound hardware, etc)

Re:after 10-15 years (1)

wh00dini (644984) | more than 8 years ago | (#13310637)

please enlighten us with the magical OS that doesn't do this. Plan9? BeOS? Vista? (now i'm just taking a piss)

Re:after 10-15 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13334330)

10-15 years?

For real now - you are one damn RETARDED !!!!!

Hey I heard some educational toys for kids works easily well for adults!
Try that instead.

1-2 years yeah fine ...
but 10-15?
What a simpleton!

Linux is there, devs aren't (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 8 years ago | (#13300164)

And don't think that dev's aren't there, but that they aren't necessarily ready. Remember, it took them a long time to learn how to program for Windows. I'd imagine it would take them a while to learn how to program for Linux.

Linux is ready for corporate use. Except for IT, nobody needs to get under the hood for 99.9% of corporations. All that needs to be done is have speciality software ported over to Linux, and have IT lockdown the system so that the average user can't mess things up. At the bank I work at, we use 2 tools that are installed on the computer, and one that's web-based. One tools is where we run all of our transactions, one is a suite of programs where we look up accounts, statuses, and anything else related to the account, and the web-based is to look up signature cards. If we (since the bank I work at owns the software company that produces our software) made Linux ports for the transaction program and the inquery suite, we could port to Linux without any problems. The only thing I can think of right now for why we haven't is because we haven't had a need. For us, what we have works. I've never had Win2K freeze up on me, and the only problems I've had with the computer are with the programs that my bank made. Now, I suppose once Microsoft stops supporting Win2K, my bank might have a reason to make the switch, but for right now, it would be an un-necessary cost.

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