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darrelljon

Windows 9x alternatives

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I tested Kubuntu recently and I have to say I'm in the exact same spirit as you. It's stable, eye-candy, it includes nice programs... I even consider having a triple boot.

However, switching to linux is out of question.

Before I move on, what are you dual-booting with? XP or Vista? Then your complaints are unfounded, as they are even more "limited" than Linux.

Linux lacks freedom. Partitions, files access... Everything is hidden from the user and requires password.

Windows (any version) lacks freedom because they require partitions. In fact, any operating system you install to a hard drive lacks the freedom not to use a partition.

Windows (all versions as far back as Windows 95, at least) lack freedom as they hide files. Hidden files can be shown in both Windows and Linux.

Windows (all versions of NT, including 2000, XP, and Vista) lack freedom because they require a password to access a user's protected files. Linux is actually better in that it doesn't let you peek at other user's files without their permission. Windows will let you access them unless they are explicitly protected.

I feel like beeing in a box : it's your PC but you need permission from the root... even when you ARE the root.

Then you obviously are NOT the root. Try

sudo su
echo 1 > /dev/ram0

and then tell me you don't have the ability to wreck your system at will (Seriously, do it from a LiveCD only).

Moreover, Linux is not Windows and will never be.

Correct. So stop insisting that it should be. Realize that that is what makes Linux unique. It doesn't have Window's problems.

On the other hand, Win9x is a Windows OS, thus providing most compatibility with most software and games.

Because games are everything to people over 12. Wine probably has almost as good compatibility with games as Windows 98, and allow you to use much more powerful video cards while you are at it.

IMHO, there is no 9x alternative.

Correct.

There are lots of good OSes but none is a 9x clone that will let us do the exact same things we do now.

Invade other's privacy and f*** up your system. There are lots of OS that will do that.

And that's why we should fight to keep 9x alive for many more years.

That's your choice, but don't make up things about Linux to justify it.

Just my 2 cents! ;)

And I probably just wasted a quarter of mine.

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Oh dear, another flamer. Not a Vista/XP one, a linux fan!

Moreover, Linux is not Windows and will never be.
Correct. So stop insisting that it should be.
I'm not. I even like linux. I'm just stating it isn't a Win9x alternative.
On the other hand, Win9x is a Windows OS, thus providing most compatibility with most software and games.
Because games are everything to people over 12. Wine probably has almost as good compatibility with games as Windows 98, and allow you to use much more powerful video cards while you are at it.
Yeah right, most people who use computer for gaming are 12. That's exactly the kind of ideas shared amongst linux fans. And one reason why it will never become a popular desktop platform (unfortunatly)...

Anyway, emulating Windows will never be as good as running Windows.

There are lots of good OSes but none is a 9x clone that will let us do the exact same things we do now.

Invade other's privacy and f*** up your system. There are lots of OS that will do that.

If you think Windows is so bad, don't post on MSFN.
Just my 2 cents! ;)
And I probably just wasted a quarter of mine.
Then don't fu***** bother to reply and stop wasting our time. :realmad:

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I am inclined to agree that your average Windows 98 user would use Linux if they knew the advantages. Linux has better CLI, better root user and better directory structure. I read somewhere (possibly on a OSNews comment) that many novice Windows users manage files by using File then Open. Its a shame those average 98 users can't afford broadband or a CD burner (I'd recommend buying distros). MSFN forums seem to have the most expert Windows users who may have niche requirements such as software that won't run satisfactorily under WINE.

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Oh dear, another flamer. Not a Vista/XP one, a linux fan!

I don't know what that's supposed to mean. I'm not for operating system advocacy, I'm against operating system idiocy.I point the false information people have picked up on operating systems, and correct them. I don't give a s*** if if you use Windows, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, DOS, BeOS, etc... I simply care about whether or not you know WHY you use them. It annoys me when people give reasons that are A.) wrong "You can't play games on Linux" B.) irrelevant "Linux users are mean", or C.) subjective " Linux is too hard to learn how to use"

If you read my reply to the OP above, you would see that I actually gave some reasons why people use 9x still, and some reasons why they simply couldn't switch to Linux.

I'm not. I even like linux. I'm just stating it isn't a Win9x alternative.

Somehow, I doubt that. And you haven't actually explained WHY it isn't. Can a user play games on Linux? Yes. Can they surf the internet on Linux? Yes. Can it run on my old computer? Probably, yes. Can I listen listen to music on Linux? Yes. So what is it, exactly, that makes Linux not an alternative to 9x, for at least some people? It isn't as though Linux doesn't have suitable replacements for most programs that everyday people use.

Yeah right, most people who use computer for gaming are 12. That's exactly the kind of ideas shared amongst linux fans. And one reason why it will never become a popular desktop platform (unfortunatly)...

And it is a correct assumption. Most people do NOT spend their entire time on a computer playing games. Even if someone older than 12 likes to play games occasionally (I do, and I'm 19), they would not be so immature as to make the decision to switch or not on that basis alone. How often does your mother fire up a copy of Halo 2 on her computer?

Anyway, emulating Windows will never be as good as running Windows.

A double fallacy.

First of all, Windows is not "emulated" to play games or run Windows programs. Wine catches calls from the program to Windows APIs, and translates them to Linux ones. The programs run much as they do on Windows, only instead of a Win32 subsystem on an NT kernel, they have a Wine subsystem on a Linux kernel. The average program runs as fast on Linux as it does on Windows. You might as well say that running Windows will never be as good as running Windows. Wine myth #1

Secondly, even if you understood the first part, you assume that Wine can't have good compatibility. While it is true that Wine will have to evolve as Windows evolves, it doesn't necessarily have to fall behind. How many games use DirectX 10, for instance? Wine may well implement enough of DirectX 10 before it becomes a major issue, especially with the public backlash against Vista.

]If you think Windows is so bad, don't post on MSFN.

It has nothing to do with me thinking that Windows is so bad as that I don't think that Windows is so good that Linux can't beat it. The arguments you made for keeping Windows are bad ones, mainly because they highlight what Windows does poorly. Try suggesting a reason that involves something that Windows does well.

]Then don't fu***** bother to reply and stop wasting our time. :realmad:

I have wasted no one's time, except perhaps the time it takes to scroll past my post. No one has to read my post. I've probably spent far more time posting a coherent response to your anti-zealot post then you did to call me a "fanboy." If I can post an intelligent response to your complaints about Linux, and you can only answer with "You're a fanboy!", then I wonder who the REAL flamer is.

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Can it run on my old computer? Probably, yes.

Running GNU/Linux on an old computer isn't that great. First-hand experience, here. And the computer isn't even a 486. I'm talking about running it with a GUI environment, of course. For that, Windows is much faster. Consider that my computer, with a Pentium II 233 Mhz, was barely considered suitable for Linux with a GUI when it runs Windows 95 perfectly.

Even if someone older than 12 likes to play games occasionally (I do, and I'm 19), they would not be so immature as to make the decision to switch or not on that basis alone.

There are plenty of people who don't switch to Linux because they're PC gamers. If they like Linux enough, they'll dual-boot, but that's obviously not a switch. Wine often isn't an option for them, as it's not that good yet for games released within the past 5 years or so.

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(Code used instead of quote in some places due to forum limitations)

The average person doesn't need to actually look in "C:\Windows", just for their Paint to work. C:\Program Files is further divided into folders for each individual folder, plus often some other ones for the program itself

You completely missed the point. The point isn't that I can easily look at the Windows folder, but that I can easily not look at the Windows folder, since the rest of the harddrive is my free playground. Well, save for 3-5 boot files in the root directory(e.g. Io.sys).

Linux's abysmal failure in this regard is farther demonstrated by the following point:

In Linux, all user executables are placed into one folder, with rare exceptions. /usr/bin.

I very rarely install my programs in "Program Files". I have my own Apps folders, and almost all applications accept being installed into it. In Linux, applications do not except being installed where I want them. They have the linux folder system built-in and hard-coded. That's why Cygwyn, for example, has to create a matching fake folder structure just for programs to run.

Besides:

C:\ /boot

C:\Windows /bin

C:\Windows\System32 /lib

C:\Program Files\StupidRPG /usr/bin

C:\Program Files\StupidRPG\Maps\World1\1.map /usr/lib/StupidRPG/Maps/World1/1.map

There's 5 already. Way too much. And you also have a mistake there:

C:\										/boot

Last I've checked, you can't create "/boot/Apps", or "/boot/setup". To me, the equivalent of "C:\" is "~/", which is actually a shortcut to a much deeper folder on the system. That Linux insist on controlling the root of the file-system on my drive is my #1 grief with it. An OS is supposed to give me control of the computer, a sort of a middle-step between the MBR and the programs I really want to run, so that I can select the latter, preferably with a comfortable UI. It is not supposed to use my computer for its own needs, forcing all of my files into a sub-folder. It should have as minimal a foot-print as possible.

This is why Linux is more suitable for server use. It doesn't need server software, it is server software. On a personal computer, the OS should not be a program on its own. A personal computer is much like a gaming console, with the files being the CDs/cartridges, and the OS should simply be the equivalent of the BIOS (or at most of a swap disk).

If it means that much to you, put your /home/username on a seperate partition.

Now that's just completely the wrong way to go about things. It's like "my driver for this hardware is not fast enough, let's switch an OS". Oh wait...

Seriously, though, a second partition is quite the massive step. It's not exactly comparable with, say, changing a registry key. It seriously impacts low-level work, in terms of file position on the drive, available space, ability to use other OSs, thrashing potential, etc etc etc.

Besides, I'm willing to hack a bit to get extra performance and stability, but not to get basic functionality.

Also, the home folders is also used as a "My Documents", and most programs don't allow configuring an alternate default folder (or an alternate folder at all). In other words, this "replacement root" will contain most of your documents, settings for all of your programs, your mail, junk files, and pretty much anything random programs throw in there. Not exactly a place I could put my installed programs in. The only times I have that issue is when using programs originally made for Linux(e.g. GnuCalc placing its history in the root).

I have one "user" on my computer. 
...snip...
All other "accounts"...

Um... Oxymoron?

Besides, that each individual file has a user associated with it, well, that's a huge foot-print right there. Even if "root" is your only use, it's still there. That's one hell of a foot-print, you must admit.

I'll accept giving certain specific folders special permissions, ones saved in a separate file (e.g. System.dat in Windows), but per-file permissions as part of the file-system? Can you say "overkill"?

Not that these actually give better security, mind you, usually they create more holes than they plug, with all the workarounds they end up requiring.

What the hell are you talking about? Linux can start up just fine, without ever loading "X."

"X" is not a driver. Linux can start up without loading "X", but it can't startup without loading USB, PPP, sound-blaster drivers, graphics drivers (even if it remains in text mode), and hundreds of other drivers utterly useless in a console.

The fact of the matter is, Linux has no "Safe mode". It either loads the entire kernel with all attached modules and services, or it loads nothing at all. There's no gray area in between.

If you happen to have the wrong module installed, or the wrong component plugged in, the whole kernel will come crashing down, even if "X" isn't loaded.

5. Runs Windows programs. (With no more than a click. Or double-click, depending on configuration)

That's exactly what Wine allows you to do.

Let me re-emphasize:

With no more than a click. Or double-click, depending on configuration

Normally, Wine requires two months to configure. To run a single program, that is. Once that's done, all you need to do is type in a 300-characters command-line to get it started. Or write a really long shell script. Again, for one silly little program.

Alternately, I could run Windows, use WinRAR to unpack the binary into a folder of my choosing (under the root, not stuck in some "home" sub-folder forced upon me by the OS), then open Explorer, and go click the exe.

Linux isn't so comfortable even with its own native programs, let alone with ones meant for another OS. Only times installing and running something in Linux didn't require hours of messing with package managers, compilers, and general headache-makers, was when they were actually Java programs. Not that installing the latest VM was that easy. Incidentally, it took me 5 second to get Windows to run JArs on a click as well, more than I can say about Linux.

Even if you put all of that aside, Wine still can't run the vast majority of my programs. I'm not talking multi-threaded debuggers here, just normal text editors, FTP programs, and the occasional DirectX game. It just doesn't work. It is still a decade too soon to be actively used.

7. Runs Dos games(although with the advents of DosBox this is somewhat less of an issue).

And DOSEmu, and BHole, and ...

Again, I place a high value on "it working". Linux DOS emulation is slightly better than its Windows emulation. The emphasis being on slightly. Quite frankly, until recently DosBox was also insufficient, but since a couple of versions ago it has proven to have all the compatibility I require.

I highly dispute the idea that Linux is a "toy" because it can't run Windows programs out-of-the-box, even though there are plenty of equal or better software for Linux.

One could challenge that "equal or better" claim. Then again, one could mention games or specialty software - two classes where you can't claim an equivalent in Linux. It either has a port, or doesn't, and more often it doesn't. But one would be better off mentioning how little the term "out-of-the-box" applies to Linux.

My experience with Ubuntu tells me Linux programs are either "bundled" or "too much of an effort to bother". That's probably why it can't be installed (in an intuitive manner, at least) without OpenOffice, even if I seriously don't want it. Sort of reminiscent of Windows and IE.

And for what reason do you need DOS compatibility, other than games?

Well, I've yet to find a Windows or Linux equivalent to Ripper5. Not that "games" isn't a sufficiently adequate reason.

Windows (any version) lacks freedom because they require partitions. In fact, any operating system you install to a hard drive lacks the freedom not to use a partition.

Partitions are required by the BIOS, not by the OS. If you are referring to live CDs here, they technically also have partitions, although these are usually called "Tracks".

Windows (all versions as far back as Windows 95, at least) lack freedom as they hide files. Hidden files can be shown in both Windows and Linux.

There's a difference between files simply marked with a "hidden" flag (or starting with "."), and hiding actual system information, and hardware features, and basically anything a HAL does. Not that Windows lacks a HAL, just that Linux doesn't settle for abstracting just the hardware, and goes on to abstract most of the file-system.

Windows (all versions of NT, including 2000, XP, and Vista) lack freedom because they require a password to access a user's protected files. Linux is actually better in that it doesn't let you peek at other user's files without their permission. Windows will let you access them unless they are explicitly protected.

Okay, not that I'm protecting the NT series (which has its own issues, aside from the hype), but name me the difference between "opt-in" and "opt-out".

I'll give you a hint: File access in Linux is "opt-in", in Windows with protection/encryption it's "opt-out".

I am inclined to agree that your average Windows 98 user would use Linux if they knew the advantages.

You might have made that argument 10 years ago. It may then be true if by "Linux" you meant Ubuntu as released 20 years in the future. Today, it is wrong from both ends: "Moron users" or, as you call them, "average", have already heeded the end-of-service and switched to Vista (and are now suffering for it), or had the half-brain required and switched to a Mac, as all non-geeks should. The current 98 community is most likely 100% niche, and cannot settle for Linux, each for different reasons.

Linux, on the other hand, is still to much of a "niche" in itself. Even the distros aimed at end-users fall far short of ancient versions of Mac and Windows. It's great for IT professionals. It's crappy for John and Jane Smith, and there are thousands of really long articles explaining why using real-life use-cases to do so.

Can a user play games on Linux? Yes. Can they surf the internet on Linux? Yes. Can it run on my old computer? Probably, yes. Can I listen listen to music on Linux? Yes.

The first is questionable, unless you're not talking about specific games, in which case it's not exactly a correct argument.

As for the rest, so can my cell-phone. Or an XBox360. I'm not gonna throw away my computer to use those instead though.

When you think about it, and consider your own argument:

Most people do NOT spend their entire time on a computer playing games.

The majority of people using their computer for just e-mails and surfing can just as easily switch to a cell-phone and not look back.

Given that, the real reason to have a PC is the variety of programs - the ability to download, install, and run, any number of specialty or unique or lesser known programs. Unlike their cartridge and CD based siblings, PCs have the freedom of running whatever, not just what large companies made. The ones that use the PC for this, they are the ones who truly need it, and should truly care how it runs.

Linux, despite being on the good side of the FSF, actually makes it quite difficult to use whatever is not available from the package manager. As mentioned in various "Linux will always be a niche" articles, making a program "compatible with Linux" is near-impossible at best, and ill-defined at worst.

What more, since this discussion is about Linux as an alternative to 9x, consider this: If I have my own favorite programs which I use in my 9x, and Linux can't run them, then it is not an alternative. Replacing an OS is one thing, replacing all of my programs is another. The above explanation of what constitutes "my program" should make that much clear.

The OS is there to run programs, the programs are not there to be run on the OS, they are there to run for my use and enjoyment. Therefore, an OS that does not run the programs I enjoy is useless to me.

So, to conclude:

-An OS must run the programs of my choosing. If I have happened to choose Windows programs thus far, then that's what my OS must run.

-An OS must have minimal foot-print. It should not proliferate my drive. It should not take over my system. It is merely a bridge between me and my programs, and just as I would not allow a program to place random files everywhere, nor would I allow the OS to dictate the structure of my harddrive.

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I very rarely install my programs in "Program Files". I have my own Apps folders, and almost all applications accept being installed into it. In Linux, applications do not except being installed where I want them. They have the linux folder system built-in and hard-coded.

Wrong. You can install programs any **** place you want them. The reason that they are ALWAYS placed in a certain place is so that other programs will ALWAYS know where to look for them. Same as what happens when a program looks for, say, GDI32.dll. If it isn't in a specified directory, or in the same directory as the program, it won't be able to find it. Nothing stops me from installing Firefox in /boot except the fact that that is a stupid place for it.

C:\										/boot

Last I've checked, you can't create "/boot/Apps", or "/boot/setup".

You are making a fundamental mistake here, which I will address in a moment. There is NOTHING that stops me from creating a folder in that location. mkdir /boot/Apps. mkdir /boot/setup I called C:\ similar to /boot because it contains files analogous to autoexec.bat, command.com, etc... are located.

To me, the equivalent of "C:\" is "~/", which is actually a shortcut to a much deeper folder on the system.

And that's where you make your mistake. "/" is not "C:". C: is a partition. /, and all folders "in" it, are actually representations of where to look for files in a partition-independent manner. I can have /home on one partition, and /usr on another, and /bin on another, and /boot on another. "/" needn't exist at all, except for a place to copy the kernel after booting. I believe even that is completely optional.

That Linux insist on controlling the root of the file-system on my drive is my #1 grief with it. An OS is supposed to give me control of the computer, a sort of a middle-step between the MBR and the programs I really want to run, so that I can select the latter, preferably with a comfortable UI. It is not supposed to use my computer for its own needs, forcing all of my files into a sub-folder. It should have as minimal a foot-print as possible.

If you want to make a folder there, put a folder there. Nothing, except root permissions, stops you. Some distributions will even allow you to have root permissions off the bat, should you really insist.

This is why Linux is more suitable for server use. It doesn't need server software, it is server software. On a personal computer, the OS should not be a program on its own. A personal computer is much like a gaming console, with the files being the CDs/cartridges, and the OS should simply be the equivalent of the BIOS (or at most of a swap disk).

And it does. Launch the program already.

Now that's just completely the wrong way to go about things. It's like "my driver for this hardware is not fast enough, let's switch an OS". Oh wait...

Whatever partitions have to with drivers for different operating system...

Seriously, though, a second partition is quite the massive step. It's not exactly comparable with, say, changing a registry key. It seriously impacts low-level work, in terms of file position on the drive, available space, ability to use other OSs, thrashing potential, etc etc etc.

No, it makes for an easy recovery should you screw something up. It sounds like you are well on your way there, anyway. I can and have used other OS's while using a separate /home directory. In fact, it makes it even easier. A /home partition of it's own can be used by several Linux distributions. Should you choose to format it as FAT32, it makes it much easier to share files between Windows and Linux.

Besides, I'm willing to hack a bit to get extra performance and stability, but not to get basic functionality.

Translation: I'm willing to use Linux, but not if I might have to spend 20 minutes learning something new, because I'm stubborn.

Also, the home folders is also used as a "My Documents", and most programs don't allow configuring an alternate default folder (or an alternate folder at all). In other words, this "replacement root" will contain most of your documents, settings for all of your programs, your mail, junk files, and pretty much anything random programs throw in there. Not exactly a place I could put my installed programs in. The only times I have that issue is when using programs originally made for Linux(e.g. GnuCalc placing its history in the root).

No, the nice little package manager doesn't allow that. You can configure most programs to run and store their files anywhere you want. I did that testing Seamonkey, since Ubuntu doesn't offer it in their package manger. The package manager's job is to make sure you have the necessary libraries installed for your programs, such as

So let me get this straight: you want each program in it's own folder on the C: drive, but you can't tolerate the same chaos in your home directory.

Um... Oxymoron?

No. Notice the quotation marks? That is because they aren't really "accounts." They don't have their own files, and unless the daemon that is controlling them is running, they draw no resources or do anything.

Besides, that each individual file has a user associated with it, well, that's a huge foot-print right there. Even if "root" is your [i]only[/i] use, it's still there. That's one hell of a foot-print, you must admit.

No. Because files have absolutely no footprint at all on system performance unless they are being accessed. Even when they are being accessed, they are only attributes, just like "hidden" or "archive."

I'll accept giving certain specific folders special permissions, ones saved in a separate file (e.g. System.dat in Windows), but per-file permissions as part of the file-system? Can you say "overkill"?

And what, exactly, is the difference in performance between a permissions system that checks "Is this a system file? No? Then he can touch it." vs, a system that says "Is this a root file? No? Then he can touch it"?

 
Not that these actually give better security, mind you, usually they create more holes than they plug, with all the workarounds they end up requiring.

So an insecure system is better than one where you have to put forward just a tiny bit more effort for assured security?"

"X" is not a driver. Linux can start up without loading "X", but it can't startup without loading USB, PPP, sound-blaster drivers, graphics drivers (even if it remains in text mode), and hundreds of other drivers utterly useless in a console.

Yes it can. If you want, a minimal kernel can easily be installed. USB, graphics, etc... can all be excluded from a kernel and loaded as modules at boot time as needed.

 
The fact of the matter is, Linux has no "Safe mode". It either loads the entire kernel with all attached modules and services, or it loads nothing at all. There's no gray area in between.
If you happen to have the wrong module installed, or the wrong component plugged in, the whole kernel will come crashing down, even if "X" isn't loaded.

There is nothing that stops you from having a kernel with almost no drivers compiled into it and selectively loading modules in an interactive startup.

Normally, Wine requires two months to configure. To run a single program, that is.
Once that's done, all you need to do is type in a 300-characters command-line to get it started. Or write a really long shell script. Again, for one silly little program.

No it doesn't. Almost every program I have ever used in Wine either worked without any configuration, or didn't work at all. All I had to do was double-click on the program's icon. A very few programs need a different Windows version specified. That's no different than what many people have to do to run programs under compatibility mode in Windows XP, or patch other things in Windows 98.

Alternately, I could run Windows, use WinRAR to unpack the binary into a folder of my choosing (under the root, [i]not[/i] stuck in some "home" sub-folder forced upon me by the OS), then open Explorer, and go click the exe.

WinRAR works beautifully under Wine.

Linux isn't so comfortable even with its own native programs, let alone with ones meant for another OS. Only times installing and running something in Linux didn't require hours of messing with package managers, compilers, and general headache-makers, was when they were actually Java programs. Not that installing the latest VM was that easy.

Is this an truly an issue of it not working, or just that you had no idea what you were doing? "sudo apt-get install program" is hardly a difficult process. Not to mention it is probably a lot faster than installing the Windows equivalent.

Incidentally, it took me 5 second to get Windows to run JArs on a click as well, more than I can say about Linux.

After you downloaded the Java installer and installed it. Downloading and installing Java took me far less time in Linux.

Even if you put all of that aside, Wine still can't run the vast majority of my programs. I'm not talking multi-threaded debuggers here, just normal text editors, FTP programs, and the occasional DirectX game. It just doesn't work. It is still a decade too soon to be actively used.

List them.

Again, I place a high value on "it working". Linux DOS emulation is slightly better than its Windows emulation. The emphasis being on slightly. Quite frankly, until recently DosBox was also insufficient, but since a couple of versions ago it has proven to have all the compatibility I require.

Then why bring it up, if it's not an issue.

One could challenge that "equal or better" claim. Then again, one could mention games or specialty software - two classes where you can't claim an equivalent in Linux.

Again, a large number of games CAN be run using Wine. And I would bet there is far more specialty software for Linux than Windows. Plus, how much "specialty" software do most people run?

 It either has a port, or doesn't, and more often it doesn't. But one would be better off mentioning how little the term "out-of-the-box" applies to Linux.

That's your opinion. Let me tell you of the time I installed Linux and Windows for my little brother on a computer. I installed Windows first.Then I installed Linux. Then I used Linux to download all the drivers that Windows XP didn't bundle, but Linux supported "out-of-the-box."

My experience with Ubuntu tells me Linux programs are either "bundled" or "too much of an effort to bother". That's probably why it can't be installed (in an intuitive manner, at least) without OpenOffice, even if I seriously don't want it. Sort of reminiscent of Windows and IE.

And that's Ubuntu. Ubuntu is designed to include what the vast majority of people want. Other installers do allow you to pick and choose which software you want installed.

Well, I've yet to find a Windows or Linux equivalent to Ripper5. Not that "games" isn't a sufficiently adequate reason.

There are plenty of DVD rippers for both platforms. The fact that you desperately cling to one is an artificial limitation, not a practical one.

There's a difference between files simply marked with a "hidden" flag (or starting with "."), and hiding actual system information, and hardware features, and basically anything a HAL does.

Linux does not hide any hardware information. You just don't know where to look.

had the half-brain required and switched to a Mac, as all non-geeks should.

Macs have every single "problems" you have listed, and then some. File system structure, where programs are installed, etc...

Linux, on the other hand, is still to much of a "niche" in itself. Even the distros aimed at end-users fall far short of ancient versions of Mac and Windows.

Opinion.

It's great for IT professionals. It's crappy for John and Jane Smith, and there are thousands of really long articles explaining why using real-life use-cases to do so.

Again, that's your opinion. There are also many non-technical users who easily switched. My brother is a non-techy, and he installed Ubuntu all by himself. In fact, he was the one who got ME to switch.

The first is questionable, unless you're not talking about specific games, in which case it's not exactly a correct argument.

How many does it take? 5? 100? 1000? Saying you can't play games on Linux is like saying you can't play games on a Wii, because Final Fantasy VII won't run on it. You make a general statement, and point out very specific examples as to why it's not true.

As for the rest, so can my cell-phone. Or an XBox360. I'm not gonna throw away my computer to use those instead though.

Since when does Linux count as "throwing out your computer?"

The majority of people using their computer for just e-mails and surfing can just as easily switch to a cell-phone and not look back.
Given that, the real reason to have a PC is the variety of programs - the ability to download, install, and run, any number of specialty or unique or lesser known programs. Unlike their cartridge and CD based siblings, PCs have the freedom of running whatever, not just what large companies made. The ones that use the PC for this, they are the ones who truly need it, and should truly care how it runs.
[code]
Linux actually has a far greater number of "specialty' programs, as I mentioned earlier. And I know of several programs where the variety (or at least free variety) programs do not exist: audio workstations. There are far more programs for that than for Linux.
[code]
Linux, despite being on the good side of the FSF, actually makes it quite difficult to use whatever is not available from the package manager. As mentioned in various "Linux will always be a niche" articles, making a program "compatible with Linux" is near-impossible at best, and ill-defined at worst.

The FSF has nothing to do with either ease of use or the availability of programs. By and large, the programs that are not in the repository are either

A. In another repository. Medibuntu, for instance, exists because Ubuntu legally can't bundle some programs due to copyright restrictions. Adding these repositories is rather easy.

B. Alpha / beta software. You probably don't want it unless you're a developer, in which case you are assumed to be competent enough to install something.

C. Non-existent.

By contrast, Windows makes it very difficult to install something because it is either

A. Shareware

B. Infested with Spyware.

C. Doesn't exist

-An OS must run the programs of [i]my[/i] choosing. If I have happened to choose Windows programs thus far, then that's what my OS must run.

I agree that you should be allowed to choose what software you want to run. However, I also think that you should be allowed to know alternatives exist, instead of perpetuating FUD.

-An OS must have minimal foot-print. It should not proliferate my drive. It should not take over my system. It is merely a bridge between me and my programs, and just as I would not allow a program to place random files everywhere, nor would I allow the OS to dictate the structure of my harddrive.

Linux has

A. a minimal footprint in many cases. Although I'm sure Windows 95 fits into 3 MB of RAM and Linux does not, performance on 9x does not scale well, so an outdated machine of, say, 64 to 128 MB will perform just as well in most cases with Linux as with 9x. Plus Linux can easily utilize much more memory and partitions than 9x could ever hope to accomplish. The lack of overhead is negated by the fact that it can't do anything with the free resources.

B. A flexible file structure. Your insistence that you are forced into /, /bin, /usr, etc... is completely flawed. Those aren't limitations of Linux, but rather an agreed standard. Why can't I install Windows on my Ɣ:\> drive?

Edited by idisjunction

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Although I'm sure Windows 95 fits into 3 MB of RAM and Linux does not, performance on 9x does not scale well, so an outdated machine of, say, 64 to 128 MB will perform just as well in most cases with Linux as with 9x.

Nope. We have such an outdated machine with 128 MB here. Doesn't perform as well as my own outdated machine running Windows 95 that has a weaker CPU.

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:rolleyes: linux ubcd/pendrive/usb(Used with Win98SE) for sandisk flashdrives is great!!!Best boot ever,system recovery cd works...thee rest of linux ,anything (slax,debian,redhat,ubuntu..etc.)that is; will not run on 1998-2001 hdd's or mobo's as it burns up actual hdd(i have 3 hdddrives seagate,maxtor,quantum all great until used linux in any use...Seriosly a lot of "B"=bad sectors recorded in all ;then used scandisk for hdd checks after relent-less time-consuming -irritating repairs from using linux systems on them...1year later a couple 0f thee hdd's are re-couping to Win98SE.......yet there is still a lot of damage still beyond repair :angry: thydreamwalker

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Wrong. You can install programs any **** place you want them.

Have you actually ever tried doing that?

None of the standard utilities to actually install programs enable choosing a destination folder. Synaptic, aptitude, rpm, they simply don't. So right there you have to compile your own program.

Even then, most programs expect to find their own executables and data-files in the default location, and crash if they're not there.

Same as what happens when a program looks for, say, GDI32.dll.

Poor example. GDI32.dll is part of the Kernel. I can accept the Kernel and its data-files being in a specific location. That being said, the presence of "/etc" should invalidate the need for "/usr/bin"

[code[There is NOTHING that stops me from creating a folder in that location. mkdir /boot/Apps. mkdir /boot/setup I called C:\ similar to /boot because it contains files analogous to autoexec.bat, command.com, etc... are located.
No you can't. You need to be root to even try something like that.

"/" is not "C:". C: is a partition. /, and all folders "in" it, are actually representations of where to look for files in a partition-independent manner.

I said "~/" not "/". Although, incidentally, "/" is a partition, although it can sym-link to other partitions for its sub-folders. Still, I've yet to see a distro where the sub-folder of "/" don't at least have a matching sym-link file in the boot partition.

If you want to make a folder there, put a folder there. Nothing, except root permissions, stops you.

except root permissions

That's not nothing. Besides, I can not not put a "/usr" folder or at least sym-link in there. If it must, it should put all of these under a "/linux" folder.

And it does. Launch the program already.

Can't, have to first move it to "/usr/bin". And give it executable permissions. And it will still only have the subset of the harddrive linux allows it to access, rather than the one I would want it to access.

No, it makes for an easy recovery should you screw something up.

/home partition of it's own can be used by several Linux distributions. Should you choose to format it as FAT32, it makes it much easier to share files between Windows and Linux.

Woo, server thinking all the way, huh?

It's my personal computer, not a bank server, I don't need 100 distros, multi-boots, or 1000 layers of redundancy.

The fact that, worst case scenario, I can F5 at boot-up then reinstall Windows, is all the redundancy I need. And quite frankly, it's all the disk space I'm willing to invest for redundancy.

Besides, I'm willing to hack a bit to get extra performance and stability, but not to get basic functionality.

Translation: I'm willing to use Linux, but not if I might have to spend 20 minutes learning something new, because I'm stubborn.

No, it means: "I'm willing to install KernelEx or some unofficial DLL to improve my system speed, but not to repartition my harddrive just so that I can put my files on it".

I did that testing Seamonkey

Ooh, great example. Except that I have that one on my Windows as well - it needs to support minimal footprint by-design.

More common Linux-only programs, like Gnu, tend to have a much larger footprint, andn ot too much versatility.

, since Ubuntu doesn't offer it in their package manger. The package manager's job is to make sure you have the necessary libraries installed for your programs, such as

So let me get this straight: you want each program in it's own folder on the C: drive, but you can't tolerate the same chaos in your home directory.

Technically, I have them in "C:\Apps\program_name", but that's not the sort of chaos I'm talking about.

What I'm talking about is my ability to create "C:\Docs" and "C:\Docs\document_type", instead of having "~/program_name" and "~/document.txt" sharing the same home parent folder.

Or how about having "C:\Apps\program_name\config.xml" instead of "~/.program_name.log"? Why should folders and files even have the same parent directory? Why shouldn't files generated by a program not be present in the same folder as the program, assuming the program isn't shared by 100 users who need separate configurations?

Um... Oxymoron?

No. Notice the quotation marks? That is because they aren't really "accounts." They don't have their own files, and unless the daemon that is controlling them is running, they draw no resources or do anything.

They're configured somewhere, aren't they? You can log on to them, or run programs as them. And even if they don't actually own any files, they can, can't they?

Then what makes them different from an actual account? Not being used?

No. Because files have absolutely no footprint at all on system performance unless they are being accessed.

Hello? Diskspace? File-system structure?

Files are by definition foot-prints.

A few bytes in the RAM or a few cycles in the CPU, I couldn't care less about those, but bytes on my permanent media? I can't even think of anything else that could be called "foot print" (You know, save for an actual print of a foot).

Even when they are being accessed, they are only attributes, just like "hidden" or "archive."

Permissions may be flags, but ownership is not. If it was just the flags, it wouldn't be such a problem.

And what, exactly, is the difference in performance between a permissions system that checks "Is this a system file? No? Then he can touch it." vs, a system that says "Is this a root file? No? Then he can touch it"?

Overhead?

Seriously, some of your questions show a lack of basic perception of computer concepts. Then again, when all low-level stuff are abstracted and locked-away for you, it's understandable if you then fail to understand them.

Not that these actually give better security, mind you, usually they create more holes than they plug, with all the workarounds they end up requiring.

So an insecure system is better than one where you have to put forward just a tiny bit more effort for assured security?"

By "workarounds" I meant people need to "add stuff" to get access to the stuff they want to do. The "stuff" they add end up opening security hole bigger than those in a completely open straight-use system (You know, stuff that also allow remote access).

Once that happens, the insecure system is definitely better.

Yes it can. If you want, a minimal kernel can easily be installed. USB, graphics, etc... can all be excluded from a kernel and loaded as modules at boot time as needed.

And all you need is to set up a dual boot to enable this "safe mode". Seeing as how Linux doesn't exactly have "step-by-step confirmation" on its boot process.

 There is nothing that stops you from having a kernel with almost no drivers compiled into it and selectively loading modules in an interactive startup.

I dare you to make that happen. Seriously, just try.

No it doesn't. Almost every program I have ever used in Wine either worked without any configuration, or didn't work at all.

With the latter being the more common case.

That's no different than what many people have to do to run programs under compatibility mode in Windows XP, or patch other things in Windows 98.

Well, I've never actually had to do any of those, so I wouldn't know. My programs "just run" whenever I want them to.

"sudo apt-get install program" is hardly a difficult process.

You can't apt-get Java 1.6, you need to alien the rpms for it to work. Getting alien wasn't that simple either.

The multi-standard environment of package managers really makes things difficult. Suddenly one manager doesn't realize which components were already installed by another. What ever happened to "where is your library_name installed"?

Your example shows the opposite. The only slowdown Windows has for locating and installing a program already endorsed by the Linux repository is clicking "Next".

Using the repository is like using Windows' "Add/Remove Windows Components". Quick, but a limited choice. Your example shows Windows' slow method (actually having to look for the software) is still faster than Linux's fast method. Mind you that if I Googled for Linux software, it would take me a whole lot more than a few "next"s to get it working.

Downloading and installing Java took me far less time in Linux.

Hmm... Let's see. java.sun.com -> Download -> Accept license agreement -> Run downloaded file -> Restart.

On the other hand, java.sun.com -> Download -> Accept license agreement -> Save downloaded file... -> chmod -> Synaptic -> Password -> Install alien -> Sudo -> alien Java -force.

Not to mention the prior allowed me to choose a folder first.

Alternately, I could run Windows, use WinRAR to unpack the binary into a folder of my choosing (under the root, [i]not[/i] stuck in some "home" sub-folder forced upon me by the OS), then open Explorer, and go click the exe.

Plus, how much "specialty" software do most people run?

I am not "most people". "Most people" should by using Macs anyway - they're comfortable, stable, give all the basics (and little more), and work perfectly for people only interested in reading their eMail.

The very things Windows can do that a Mac can't, are the things Linux can't either, and I'd dare you to claim Linux is easier to use than Mac.

It either has a port, or doesn't, and more often it doesn't. But one would be better off mentioning how little the term "out-of-the-box" applies to Linux.

That's your opinion. Let me tell you of the time I installed Linux and Windows for my little brother on a computer. I installed Windows first.Then I installed Linux. Then I used Linux to download all the drivers that Windows XP didn't bundle, but Linux supported "out-of-the-box."

You missed the point. "Out of the box" does not apply to Linux since it does not come in a neat little box. First, you have to choose one from hundreds of distribution, then download one of the 5 ISOs it offers (without explaining the advantage and usage of each), probably using a torrent client, then burn the CD--

But wait, you're not done yet. Even if you got the CD from a friend (or, *gasp* purchased it, a la RedHat), you still need to start up the package manager, choose the GUI server you want to use, go screen after screen of selecting "module or built-in" for kernel drivers, and about 4 days later you may have it installed.

Or, you could pop Windows in the CD and just click "Next".

On the plus side, Linux has Live CDs which are better than installation. It's what I use whenever I need to test something with Linux. Still, that's just another reason to keep Linux on the CD rather than my harddrive.

And that's Ubuntu. Ubuntu is designed to include what the vast majority of people want. Other installers do allow you to pick and choose which software you want installed.

Like Debian? Don't even get me started on that one.

There are plenty of DVD rippers for both platforms. The fact that you desperately cling to one is an artificial limitation, not a practical one.

Ripper5 is not a DVD ripper. I don't know where you got that silly idea. If I want to "rip" a DVD, I just use Nero like any normal person.

At any rate, I've yet to see a suitable replacement for Ripper5 on any platform.

Linux does not hide any hardware information. You just don't know where to look.

It abstracts the very fact that you have hardware. You may be able to "look up" what processor you have, for example, but Linux will do its best just to make sure you don't even realize whether it's x86 or SPARC.

Macs have every single "problems" you have listed, and then some. File system structure, where programs are installed, etc...

Exactly, which is why I don't switch to Mac. Mac is perfectly suitable for any end-user that is not actually a low-level user. That's pretty much its gimmick.

Linux doesn't even have a chance of stealing Mac's flame in that regard. Windows tries, but it's also not much of a match. I hope I needn't explain to you why Mac is perfect for the spoon-fed, and how far other OSs fall behind and did respect.

So, once you exclude the spoon-fed from the market, Linux suddenly gets the short end from both sides: Not as comfortable as a Mac, not as software compatible as a Windows.

Linux can and usually does corner the market for servers and embedded software. That's its domain, and that is where it must and will inevitably stay. It's just not an end-user system.

For the non-spoon-fed end-users, Windows becomes the main, if not only, choice.

You might put it like this:

-Windows is C++.

-Linux is Python.

-Mac is Visual Basic.

Linux, on the other hand, is still to much of a "niche" in itself. Even the distros aimed at end-users fall far short of ancient versions of Mac and Windows.

Opinion.

It's great for IT professionals. It's crappy for John and Jane Smith, and there are thousands of really long articles explaining why using real-life use-cases to do so.

Again, that's your opinion. There are also many non-technical users who easily switched. My brother is a non-techy, and he installed Ubuntu all by himself. In fact, he was the one who got ME to switch.

Again, I'm basing it on long articles comparing use-cases in various OSs. Just Google "why linux isn't for the average user" or similar, and you'll find plenty. Nothing speaks louder than use-case to me.

How many does it take? 5? 100? 1000? Saying you can't play games on Linux is like saying you can't play games on a Wii, because Final Fantasy VII won't run on it. You make a general statement, and point out very specific examples as to why it's not true.

And the PlayStation can't run Smash Bros. But while very few commercial game companies make Linux ports, I've yet to heard of one that skipped the "Windows port" on a PC game.

Sure, Klondike for Linux only runs on Linux. Same with its Galaga clone, and "Shoot Bill Gates" game. But games you'd hear about in IGN or GameSpot, or see in E3 are simply not Linux targeted. They may be Windows targeted, or console targeted, but never Linux. It's just not a target market.

Since when does Linux count as "throwing out your computer?"

If I'll only be using it for e-mail and web-browsing, it would be the same as just using a cell-phone, no? In that case, it would exactly count as "throwing out my computer".

The alternative is to double-boot, but why should I when Windows reads e-mail just fine?

And I know of several programs where the variety (or at least free variety) programs do not exist: audio workstations. There are far more programs for that than for Linux.

I dunno, my GoldWave works just fine. Same with my Acoustica, and all AnalogX software. Also have a bunch of graph-styled synthesizers, although I find them a tad difficult to manipulate.

The FSF has nothing to do with either ease of use or the availability of programs.

And there I thought the "free" in FSF stood for "freedom" (isn't that their motto?). I would think availability of all-purpose programs on PCs, as in contrast to, say, consoles, would be the main goal of the open-source community. You know - you want something, just develop it.

That Java, Sun, and IBM have been, so far, doing better in that respect than the zealot open-source community is another matter.

In another repository. Medibuntu, for instance, exists because Ubuntu legally can't bundle some programs due to copyright restrictions. Adding these repositories is rather easy.

Assuming they are compatible with your package manager. Again, standards are abundant as far as Linux is concerned.

Alpha / beta software. You probably don't want it unless you're a developer, in which case you are assumed to be competent enough to install something.

Isn't the greater part of open-source software defined as "alpha / beta" by default, even years after its release?

Many of the programs are used are dubbed "beta" somewhere on some level, but they are still fully working stable software.

Besides, that I have an easier time installing VLC beta on Windows than on Linux definitely raises an eyebrow, especially considering it doesn't even run properly on Windows.

By contrast, Windows makes it very difficult to install something because it is either

A. Shareware
B. Infested with Spyware.
C. Doesn't exist

Are you kidding? I can get one-click install software from source-forge, for crying out loud.

Do you even realize how much easier it is to release a binary for Windows, compared to releasing something for Linux? And then you claim Linux can ever have more specialty software? How could it when everything that is not "big" and "mature" enough to be in some major repository is too difficult to install?

I agree that you should be allowed to choose what software you want to run. However, I also think that you should be allowed to know alternatives exist, instead of perpetuating FUD.

One need not find, learn, and configure a replacement for each of their programs just for the questionably valuable purpose of "switching an OS". You can't honestly claim alternatives from other OSs are "better", even if you use "it's for that 'better' OS" as an argument. The fact that you will need to switch every last one just to switch an OS - a goal with questionable benefit at best, makes the entire thing not worthwhile.

A. a minimal footprint in many cases. Although I'm sure Windows 95 fits into 3 MB of RAM and Linux does not, performance on 9x does not scale well, so an outdated machine of, say, 64 to 128 MB will perform just as well in most cases with Linux as with 9x. Plus Linux can easily utilize much more memory and partitions than 9x could ever hope to accomplish. The lack of overhead is negated by the fact that it can't do anything with the free resources.

That Windows, in its entirety, is held in one folder on my partition, and that it doesn't touch all other folders on that partition, is what I consider "minimal footprint". The Linux requires rearranging the entire folder structure of the partition is what I consider to be the exact opposite.

B. A flexible file structure. Your insistence that you are forced into /, /bin, /usr, etc... is completely flawed.  Those aren't limitations of Linux, but rather an agreed standard. Why can't I install Windows on my Ɣ:\>  drive?

You can't install Windows on "Y:"? Why not? Never stopped me. You'd still need the MBR and MBR-helper files on the main partition if you want to boot from it.

As for standard, to me, the only standard should be that my files can go in "C:\", and my OS can stay the hell away from it.

Linux just doesn't allow that. Instead of Linux being in my file-system, my file-system is in Linux. An OS should limit what it forces upon my file-system to the MBR.

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