Blog Post

Urban Myth

THIS has got to be the worst write up I have seen to date. The reason I am posting this is because of just how great the comments are and how wonderful it is to be apart of a community of such great individuals. Of course I got in and put my two cents in, especially after installing Windows XP on my new setup.

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  • raptros-v76

    wow. i read through the linked article, and then the comments. the comments there made a better read than the article itself. i agree, the linux community is the most awesome.

  • erik

    I would like to really point out something. You should compare operating systems / releases of the same age. Windows XP is in terms of software lifetime really old already, released in 2002. Pitting it against newest Ubuntus and such is simply not fair.

    (You ask me the author of that write up is a complete retard.)

  • Does anyone have experience with a Vista install? Has it gotten better?

    It is a shame when the author only writes about the installation. I guess that means everything else is great 🙂 I am amazed that the installation of Ubuntu and other Linux OS’s are as easy as they are now. Interaction couldn’t be any lower. I mean the installation for someone who wants it as a primary OS on their system, the only thing they need to know, if they are using a typical US_en system and keyboard, is just to hit OK/Next like 6 or 7 times, wait 15+ minutes, and reboot.

    And driver support is pretty damn good in Linux now. It is funny, they say you will have no problems with XP and drivers or Vista and drivers, yet the Realtek audio card, which is on many of todays motherboards, is not recognized by either OS, yet it works out of the box with Linux.

    I guess with any OS fanatic, once they are backed into a corner they start spewing madness, maybe we have backed Windows into a corner 🙂 We can dream right?

  • erik

    Vista’s installation and features were crafted for their perceived user base.. Go figure. It’s in almost every sense an improvement over XP.About the rest you can see mostly fud and yelling from people who have not even really used it. Also the hardware support has got better. The faults it has it has because Microsoft simply lacked cojones. They can’t change things too much (not even apparent gigantic problems) or they just get sued by gazillion trolls and companies. The amount of legacy decisions and features they are supporting is their #1 problem.

    Hardware support is actually quite nice. They once stated something like that 99% of Windows crashes are driver problems. They got laughed at because of that comment at zealot sites such as Slashdot… But then they started actually driver testing and standardizing things and thinking about how new drivers could get into Windowses.. And the outcome is pretty awesome. Solid, stable.

    Naturally some companies wanted to just continue sitting their thumbs up their butts, and not start fixing these problems… Their drivers are not included by default. You should think of that and the general attitude of the hardware vendor before you mock Windows for failing to work with Realtek stuff.

    Quite honestly I think that most of the hardware vendors just suck. They do towards Linux (not providing documentation etc) but they do that also towards Windows. For instance Syntek is one of the companies that should just *cough*.

    Once the general change resistance has passed (we saw this when XP was released too, pretty much similar stuff.. yet it sold more than any other piece of software in history) you will notice Windows is far from backed into a corner.

  • Ferdinand

    Erik, Vista is _not_ an improvement over XP. Vista uses 4x more cpu/memory to bring you a better firewall, a spywarescanner and desktopsearch. Vista has made configuring your pc more difficult(have you looked at the new control panel and network center?). Windows Explorer is more difficult. Internet Explorer is more difficult. Microsoft has made no effort to make the 64bit version more usable. Microsoft has made no effort to make Winxp programs and drivers work under Vista(they could have at least provided a virtualized version of winxp).

    If you are going to break compatibility, do it for the right reasons not drm.

  • erik

    Uses more memory? Mine seems to be on par with XP, taking only tiny fraction of it all.. XP seemed to take only couple hundred megabytes, and so seems Vista. I can not detect any real difference to be honest. Although I have to admit that I disabled the spyware checking and firewall entirely, because they are entirely unnecessary to have on computer anyways.

    The new control panel? I don’t honestly see anything really different from XP other than that the icon theme has improved greatly. Only some networking setting has been moved but it’s fast enough to find. The Windows Explorer now handles huge directories even better, does nice previewing etc.. Internet Explorer is slightly weird but it fits the rest, unlike the competitors’ products – improving the usability in overall way beyond the level of Firefox and others.

    Actually, Microsoft did not make any effort to make WinXP programs and drivers work better because the applications and the driver model were broken severely. Quality software continued working, and now it’s the time to get rid of some of the worst crap. Which is one of the best things that has ever happened on operating systems.

  • erik

    “If you are going to break compatibility, do it for the right reasons not drm.”

    What they changed for drm was that one drm service (couple hundred kilobytes) gets run automatically. Also, a little bit plumbing in the Windows media Player. It is nearly entirely passive stuff.

    That’s all. The rest is related to general security fixing and development. Don’t spread that DRM fud please.

  • mpt

    Mr Wolfe’s biggest mistake, and it is a stupid mistake, is that he draws a conclusion (Ubuntu is “tough to install on laptops”) from a sample that’s not statistically reliable (in his case, only one laptop).

    I think it likely that many Ubuntu supporters make the same mistake in reverse: they can install Ubuntu fine on their own computers, so they overestimate the ease of installation for everyone else. And then they make comments on each other’s Weblogs, creating a bit of an echo chamber. 😉

    I would like to see a proper scientific study of this. In a random sample of computer users, what proportion can install Ubuntu on their own computers? And if they fail, why do they fail? Is it because they can’t find where to download it? They don’t understand how to burn the CD? Ubuntu doesn’t start up? They’re disabled and can’t turn on accessibility tools for the installer? They don’t understand the partitioning step? Etc.

    If we had figures like that, we would know where we need to concentrate on improvements (and the community would receive a healthy dose of realism). I guess that the worst problems at the moment are with burning the CD, choosing disks/partitions, and hardware support, in that order. But that’s only a guess.

  • @mpt: that would be good to have. We run a Linux Fest monthly during our LUG meetings and so far, only 1 person has failed at getting Ubuntu to work out of the box, it installed, but didn’t quite work, it took a lot of tweaking to get it up and running. That isn’t to shabby considering that since October we have easily done a few hundred installs.

    All Mr. Wolfe has to do is take a look at the LaptopTestingTeam wiki page. If his laptop isn’t there, he should go ahead and add it with all of the issues he had.


    It is funny, Brad didn’t seem to have the issues that Mr. Wolfe said he had, and Brad did it with Breezy and Dapper. And the likely hood of regression since then is damn near impossible, for one laptop.

    The only install problems I have seen have been with the latest Intel chipsets and Core 2 Duos, but I believe those problems have since been worked out. Just recently we setup an install server at Barcamp where people could hook up their laptops and install Ubuntu, which I figured we would have problems. Not one problem at all, and we even had an older lady with no experience actually install it on her own, with only a little bit of help with partitioning. I asked her if she wanted to keep Windows on that machine or wipe the drive and make it an Ubuntu only laptop, she said to wipe it, so I said just hit OK/Next all the way through. In 30 minutes she came to find me just to say “thanks”.

    I guess that the worst problems at the moment are with burning the CD, choosing disks/partitions, and hardware support, in that order. But that’s only a guess.

    I would say that is probably dead on. Hardware support is always going to be an issue, disk partitioning is confusing to anyone who doesn’t understand it, and that goes for Windows installs as well. I don’t know about Mac OSX installs, been a long time since I did one, and only one. The burning the CD is also one we see the most questions on in #ubuntu and #kubuntu, but that isn’t really our fault, because the people can’t figure out how to burn the image with Windows. It is going to be a very interesting next couple of years in this community, and I can’t wait to see the outcome.

  • mpt

    The burning the CD is also one we see the most questions on in #ubuntu and #kubuntu, but that isn’t really our fault, because the people can’t figure out how to burn the image with Windows.

    That is still something we could do something about. For example, we could create a self-contained Windows executable that contained the ISO plus a cdrkit-powered disc burner. No external software required, and no chance of accidentally burning the .iso file as a data file instead of a disc image.

  • We do that on campus. The student download server has many Linux distro ISO files that we have wrapped exactly how you said. We used a small burner app from Sourceforge, which for the life of me I can’t think of the name of it. But the students are able to download the .exe file, click on it, it will open up your CD-Burner, request a blank CD, and as soon as you close the tray, it fires off with a couple of quick questions, and next thing you know, less than 5 minutes later, you have a bootable Linux CD.

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