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View Poll Results: What is stopping people from trying linux?
Reputation for being to difficult to use and set up 10 66.67%
Software availability and development 8 53.33%
Hardware support 4 26.67%
I love Windows and want to make Bill Gates richer 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 27. May 2009, 02:02 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Hello Mike

You stated your point very well

I started this thread because I wanted to find out what is stopping people from trying linux. I also agree a new thread in the linux section needs to be created. Which you are welcome to create.
I read many post's that said linux will never take with the general public because of the negative press it gets. Most linux users could care less what the general public thinks.

When I statred with linux (Mepis) I installed grub into my mbr. It made a tossed salad of it and I couldnt boot into windows or linux untill I repaired my mbr. I later found a meathod to install grub to my linux root directory by creating a file called bootsect.lnx. I then copied it to my c directory. Edited my boot.ini and off I went. No more problems. I dont know if this was an exclusive to mepis. What I read of the matter is that its a prevelant problem.

I would love to see a bigger interest in linux. I believe the distro's are getting better. Debtboy who is a memeber of this forum has done a great job explaing the command line. He also explained what the linux kernel is in plain english. Maybe you could start a thread about the install process and what it envolves. I am curious about the stability of grub written to the MBR.

Get a glove on and get in the game. We all can learn. possibly yourself as well

Cheers
Wdhpr
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Old 27. May 2009, 02:13 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Connor View Post
Well, there are a few good reasons to use it...
Hi Mike Connor, welcome to the forum, that's a great post, quite convincing!
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Old 27. May 2009, 02:25 AM   #33 (permalink)
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What stops people generally;

The "geek" approach. They don't want to know about MBR's and such, or command lines, or anything else at all that smacks of "complicated".

They want to switch their machine on, read and answer their e-mail, surf the web, have a chat, maybe get some correspondence done, perhaps watch a movie, play some music, etc etc. They don't want to know how it works, and they certainly don't want to mess about with the inner workings of it themselves. You wont find the majority of these people on software forums either.

The very evangelism for it, coupled with casual references to "grub". MBR, bootsec.lnx, puts people off.

If you want people to use it, then tell them how easy it is, not how you had to repair a MBR.

Hardly anybody cares what the Linux kernel is, and they don't want to know about it either, they just want a reliable machine for doing whatever chores they wish to accomplish.

I have now been in the IT business for a very long time, lastly as chief of engineering for a very large international company, before I retired. I still learn something new every day. But one thing I learned a long time ago is that people invariably take the line of least resistance. If they can buy a windows machine at the supermarket or whatever with "everything" installed, complete, ready to switch on, and backed by billions of dollars of market clout and advertising, then they generally will.

References to Master Boot Records, and GrandUnifiedBootloaders, which are just as obscure even when you write them out in full, will barely elicit a tired smile.

Have a nice day!

Regards....

Mike Connor

Last edited by Mike Connor; 27. May 2009 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 27. May 2009, 02:55 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I like it...

This is a good debate.
When it comes to functionality, both systems are capable of most tasks, but there are a few differences.

4 reasons people are using Linux??
1.) Stability
The Linux/Unix core is known for it's stability.

2.) Flexibility/Configurability
Here Linux excels (possibly to it's own detriment).
The system can be configured how ever you wish,
which makes almost every system unique. The issue
with this type of flexibility is you need a certain amount
of knowledge or experience to do what you want while
avoiding a total crash/meltdown/loss.

3.) Reliability
From my own personal experience, Linux means Reliability.
I had an old desktop system that ran for 3+ years without
ever being turned off.

4.) Cost
Linux open-source FREE

I use Linux as a File Server (Samba), Web/FTP Server (Apache), Print Server (Cups), Database Server (MySql),
Telnet, Secure Shell (SSH) and of course a regular desktop system.

Now of course Microsoft offers the same functionality,
but in an a-la-carte fashion. All Linux systems are
Multi-User, Multi-Tasking systems while WindowsXp
and Vista are Single-User, Multi-Tasking to get
Multi-User, Multi-Tasking you need a server OS such as
Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. The same is true of Sql Server 2005, a server OS is needed. IIS and FTP
come with the system, but you need additional licenses for
the Terminal Server for remote connections like the free
Telnet or Secure Shell on Linux.

There are many more comparisons like Sendmail (Linux)
and Exchange Server, etc... etc... etc...

It's obvious that the biggest difference is COST!!
There is no comparison of a full Linux Distribution
including all servers and the multiple MS packages
and licenses needed to offer the same functionality.
The COST M$ retail is VERY HIGH!!!

So it's not a matter of what each system can do it's a matter of easily, how well and at what cost.

Besides what was mentioned above, another reason to use
Linux is personality. It's not overly easy to use and that appeals
to some, that are curious, persistent and a little stubborn.

Ironically, Linux is good for Windows and we consumers benefit.

I could go on and on...
As I said, this is a good debate.
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Old 27. May 2009, 03:39 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Thanks for your well-written response Mike.
But, to continue playing the "devil's advocate", I must say that I (like many other windows users) am still not enticed. Furthermore, I am relatively tech-savy, not afraid of a command prompt (I started on a TRS-80), and have had a couple (unenjoyable) run-ins with the MBR. So, I think there's something more that's keeping even techies from trying linux. Here I have paraphrased your points and added my responses which are probably similar to other windows users' responses:
1) it's free
-That's a good point for non-techies and most moral techies, but I'm not so moral and, therefore, can get lots of things for free
2) it's easy to install
-Certainly a plus if one is convinced to install it
3) updates automatically
-As can windows
4) many software packages are identical to windows and can do "practically anything" windows can
-OK, that's what most windows folks want to know! In fact, a list of compatibility with common programs would be useful. If it, indeed, can run everything I'm using now then I could be easily convinced to give it a try.
5) it's safer
-That's useful for non-techies, but the tech-savy have few problems (and may even enjoy) keeping the bad guys out
6) it runs well on older machines
-Ok, maybe that's a plus for some folks out there
7) relatively easy to use
-But not easier than the status quo
8) people like it once they try it
-That's good to know
9) it's not part of the big-business-marketing-wasteland
-I definitely think that's a selling point, but maybe only for a rebellious subgroup of users (most of who are probably techies)

In summary, I'm not persuaded yet. Nor are other users, maybe for the same reasons. I agree that the technically-naive are scared of linux for all the reasons you mention. My impression, like yours, is that most linux users are technically savy. However, I would argue that out of all the techies, there is still only a minority of them that use linux. For it to really catch on, there has to be something that linux can do, that windows can't do. Firefox, for example, won people over because all the extensions made it do things that IE couldn't.
Respectfully,
PE
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Old 27. May 2009, 04:02 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Hi debtboy,
I definitely think your reasons are convincing to tech-savy users wanting to perform the server-related tasks you mention: File Server, Web/FTP Server, Print Server, Database Server.
Stability, reliability, configurability, and cost are certainly priorities in these cases.
In fact, anyone I know running Linux is using it in some capacity as a server.
Are a majority of servers linux-based? If not, why not?

For non-server tasks, the personality and customizablity arguments are interesting to me and to other techies. I have noticed that a lot of custom-made desktop designs are linux-based. Perhaps this level of customizability is something linux can do that windows can't do.

But for non-server tasks, it's still my impression that I would have to give up too much (what programs/functionality do I have to give up?) to obtain any of the benefits (free+customizable+curiosity+speed+safefty+reliabi lity+?).

You're right, good debate!
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Old 27. May 2009, 04:53 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsychEroc View Post
I am relatively tech-savy, not afraid of a command prompt
Quote:
Originally Posted by PsychEroc View Post
For it to really catch on, there has to be something that linux can do, that windows can't do. Firefox, for example, won people over because all the extensions made it do things that IE couldn't.
Respectfully,
PE
Functionally they are similar, but for those like yourself who are NOT afraid of the command line, then...
These basic Linux functions are not available in Windows:

1.) You can't create symbolic links ln -s in Windows
2.) You can't pipe outputs to inputs in Windows
3.) You can't recompile the kernel in windows
4.) You can't replace you desktop environment with another
5.) You can't switch between multiple window managers
6.) You can't assign permissions to directories in Windows
7.) Linux offers many different shells Windows offers one.
(the csh accepts c-code directly)
8.) Linux can format devices and put different file systems on them.
9.) Multiple Users can log into Linux at the same time, but in Windows only one.
10.) With certain Linux Window Managers I can run multiple desktops and additional virtual desktops switched between by a pager.
11.) I can view most all of the Linux source code, but Windows is a mystery.
etc...
etc...
The linux command line accepts an order of magnitude more commands than the Windows command prompt, so the... What can Linux do that Windows can't list could go on for a while.

But as I said, they are functionally similar to the average user
and with each new Windows release, they are becoming even more similar. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Yes Good Debate!!

Note:
Larger businesses typically use Linux/Unix/HP-UX/AIX/Solaris based servers for their super important Financial and Financial Transaction Systems, but they have many Windows Servers as File, Web, System Management and mail servers. (IMHO, no facts to back this up)

Now for really small businesses, it's like Linux is tailor made, everything in one box/download.

Last edited by debtboy; 27. May 2009 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 27. May 2009, 06:09 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Point Counter point!

I guess I'm giving away my age here.
I remember building the lib files on my amiga 1200 machine just to get the latest game to run. After getting my first IBM machine I remember configuring my memory to get Mech Warriors to run. Himem, extended mem anyone remember QEMM ?
Lets face it microsoft was shorted sighted during the early development days. although in my opinion Windows 3.1 was the most stable windows platform I ever used. Windows 95 started the switch over to the now famous registry. Win ME sucked big time but I still could boot to my beloved DOS. The rest brings us to where we are now.

Linux was developed after the microsoft monopoly started. World wide I might add. I truly believe when there is a monopoly on anything, competition dies a slow lingering death.
Anyone ever fry a motherboard? Replace it with an upgraded board, replace the power supply and add more ram. Just to find out you CAN NOT REINSTALL using your restore disk.

Fertilizer for linux to grow!

Something has to become an alternative to microsofts windows. In my humble opinion this will not only give those with limited resources a chance to use a linux/free OS but it may give windows a well deserved kick in their rears. Lets not forget Vista.

Cheers
Wdhpr
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Old 27. May 2009, 11:19 PM   #39 (permalink)
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You can't reasonably compare apples with bananas, the only sensible conclusion is that they are different.

Windows and Linux are like apples and bananas. There are a lot of things both can do, one will do some things better than the other, or things the other can not do at all. One is apparently free, the other is apparently expensive. Do you want an apparently free banana or an apparently expensive apple? ( Maybe I should have chosen "lemons" here??? ).

Might it be better for you in the long run to buy an apparently expensive apple, ( no pun intended, but "if the cap fits" ), than to be given an apparently free banana?

If you really want an apple, why bother with a banana at all? Just because it's "free"?

What does "free" mean? If you spend six frustrating and unsuccessful weeks trying to install a kernel upgrade to a banana, was it still "free"? Who needs a blue banana kernel anyway?

If you spend five minutes and ten dollars adding a pip colour upgrade to an apple, was it expensive? Who cares what colour the pips are anyway? was it more expensive than a six week unsuccessful blue banana kernel upgrade) ( That nobody wanted in the first place, and although some thought it might widen their horizons, all it did was limit their vistas!).

Maybe you don't like bananas,or you hate apples, quite regardless of how they look or taste?

Which is "better"? There is no sensible answer to that, because it depends entirely on what you want.

If you want something that behaves exactly like Windows, then buy Windows. If you want something that behaves exactly like Linux, then get Linux.

If you don't know what to do with a computer, or with Linux, or Windows, you don't need any of them, buy a bag of mixed fruit and nuts instead. Make sure you include apples and bananas,just for a little variety!

Regards.....

Mike Connor

Last edited by Mike Connor; 27. May 2009 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 28. May 2009, 01:55 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Default I see your point

Lets suppose you miss the whole point of linux?

Its an option. No one hear cares to shove linux down peoples throats. This after all is a thread called Linux on the Techsupportalert FORUM!
I believe and this is just my humble opinion.
Microsoft has been a monopoly for too long. Its grown FAT AND LAZY. Possibly GREEDY!

If that is what you are supporting. Windows 7 will placate the masses and prove your point correct.

For now

Cheers
Wdhpr

Last edited by wdhpr; 28. May 2009 at 01:58 AM.
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