Linux Is Not That Bad
Written by -jS-
No, I don't have Bill Gates' photo on my dartboard nor do I play daily with my fluffy little black & yellow penguin (I don't even have one), but TAD's article about how lame Linux is kinda upset me...
After all it was, hmmm... nice to read some criticism about Linux after reading only good things as you can read in all those Linux dedicated newsgroups and mailing lists. And it was even nicer that this criticism didn't come from one of Microsoft's men (or maybe I'm wrong...).
But I thought it was a little harsh. Really harsh!
Ten hours of installing you say. Well, I don't know what went wrong there but man, believe me, I put it up in less than 6 hours. Now that is partly because I had no previous experience with Linux at all and I must have spent about 3 hours with my nose deep in the documentation just to be sure that I don't mess up something because I'm kinda concerned when I'm messing around with my partition table. (I have some really nice stuff on my C: which is not yet archived and I don't wanna just lose it.)
OK, so it went up in 3 hours practical time. That was all that it took me to get some little proggy (fips) which was able to partition my FAT-32 HDD and install the whole stuff. And I used Linux's fdisk to get the partitions working because I read that Disk Druid might be buggy and you know...
It was installed, it worked and I have had to go sleep coz it was 5 in the morning and the next day I would have school!
Additional two days I spent trying to configure that X. Now that was the thing why I almost threw out the whole thing as you did. But in the end I succeded. It's working really nicely now. I have a virtual desktop of 1024x1024 where I can put lots of things (in contrast to Windows where I can barely put some windows on 800x600 - I know I'm a bit old fashioned with my 14" monitor but hey I didn't have that money for those stupid 15" or 17" ones) and I'm using GNOME as my desktop which is really, really nice. I could say it's way nicer than the old Windows interface because it uses themes but not the M$ way. You can change the entire look of the GUI with them. And besides the look it's really functional. Drag'n'drop and all you can imagine.
About user friendliness. How about staying with one of my friends and getting really pissed off when the Windows installation crashed the 3rd time at 98%... And what do you prefer: working 6-7 hours on a project in a maybe not so user friendly environment (this is not true!) or "working" the same time and having to restart the computer several times because of the so-called stability of Windows. Is it that userfriendly when you are hitting the poor PC because one or more hours of your work just vanished? Maybe configuring is a bit harder under Linux but once you get it to work it works.
About installing A,B,C,D in that order and no other. It is logical, man! Because if you want for example to install some software which shows you some png-s you should install the png library which needs the zlib which is a compression libary. So I guess it figures. And the result is the size of software. As everything is dynamically linked you get a really smart size for the executable files.
I admit that it's not a perfect operating as some would say because first of all there are no perfect things and second because it lacks a lot of things. I guess the biggest thing missing is the documentation. I mean real documentation. But it's being written. As for those freaks... Recently I read a news in the Hungarian Chip magazine. About some expos' prizes. As I can remember Linux got the "Best software" award. There was a picture of the winners. Mostly serious business men staying in line holding the prize which was of a really nice design. In the center our freak was holding the prize in one of his hands and with the other hand he was holding a Tux (that fluffy yellow & black penguin) mascot almost as big as he was. Well, that looked stupid! It's one thing that you like a piece of software and it's totally another that you behave like in kindergarten.
In contrast to TAD I would recommend everyone to try Linux. Maybe you'll find something in it... Like Gimp for example as it is, I guess, the best image processing program I ever met. I guess you can find the software for your needs. And if not, write one or contribute to one! I like a lot this open source concept because it lets you peek into the code of one application or another or even modify it if you would like to add aditional features or something. That is if you got the tarball (compressed source) version of the program. If you have the RPM the installation is as easy as under Windows. Double click, select install and there you go! I think that there is plenty of software for Linux and if you are a fan of Windows you can use KDE as your desktop as it's got the look & feel of Windows. I mean it resembles a lot. But it's of course better...
I'm also waiting for a better OS but till then I consider that Linux is way better than DOS98 or 2000. I guess if one OS will get better then Linux will be the one because of the larger and larger mass of people supporting it. And if we will get real GUI (I mean no stupid 200+ character command line and a GUI interface for the normal people) then it will surely succed.
In the end I would like to wish all the best to RedHat, SuSE, Debian and all those distribution "packers" and to you TAD because you made me write this thing and also for the good tutorials. Also greetings to Hugi - The best international scene mag.
Have a good time OS-ing (as someone already said),
P.S.: As you can see Linux doesn't hypnotizes you as I can still think clearly after about two months of using it almost daily... Can I?