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Unread 05-13-2006, 11:00 PM   #16
so much
 
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There are scores of other possible answers, from the aesthetic to the technical. I can't give all of them.

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Unread 05-14-2006, 12:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtlmouth
Okay, then. As an XP user, why would I want to switch to Linux?
A spinoff of this question, as a Mac OSX user, anything in particular that could attract me? I installed Ubuntu on my iMac with Parallels so I can run it within OSX, but I guess I'm just trying to find some purpose for having it. Most all of the benefits of having it over Windows is what I'm already getting with OSX.
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Unread 05-14-2006, 06:38 AM   #18
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I'm not in touch with Mac very much, but they've always struck me as insanely proprietary, and as having only recently been moving away from that. I mean, you can't up and install OSX on any computer you want yet, can you? To me, it's a royal pain in the ass for Mac to tell you that you have to use their hardware, their filetypes, their operating system (only now moving towards the option for others), etc, etc. iTunes is just one more example (won't it only let you play tunes on the iPod or something?). Mac has been shooting themselves in the foot by waiting so long to open their products up to people who don't want their particular hardware / software combinations, whereas Linux distro coders and package developers are working tirelessly to allow you to install their stuff on any machine you like.

Bottom line: Proprietary products are always more expensive, which has been the case with Mac.
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"(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or
recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
Texas Constitution, Article I, Section 32"
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Unread 05-14-2006, 07:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
A spinoff of this question, as a Mac OSX user, anything in particular that could attract me? I installed Ubuntu on my iMac with Parallels so I can run it within OSX, but I guess I'm just trying to find some purpose for having it. Most all of the benefits of having it over Windows is what I'm already getting with OSX.
Some people run it over OSX for a couple reasons.

1) They simply love Linux. It's a great OS. A while back I did consider getting a Mac to get away from the Windows PC... then I dug into Linux. You can get away from the proprietary-stuff (as Nate mentioned) almost completely.

2) Tons of free software. Nearly everything in Linux is open-source (free), and there is a ton of good stuff. (I think you can run Linux apps under OSX, though, I'm not sure how at the moment.)

OSX is also a great OS, and it is hard to compete with-- looks nice, stable, and imune from viruses/malware for now.

Another thing with Linux is the ability to customize -- for example, there are 2 major Window Managers for Linux - Gnome and KDE (and some others that are less popular -- Xfce, Fluxbox/Blackbox/(and other clones), etc.) You can customize quite a bit on the desktop interface with all of them. I know that at least with Gnome and Xfce, you can destroy and rebuild all desktop taskbars and panels however you want. And if you get 'tired' of one window manager, a couple clicks at login (if you have others installed), and you can boot up in one of the other managers.

Here is a thread from the UbuntuForums that discussed Linux on a Mac, if you'd like to read it:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=89331
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Unread 05-14-2006, 08:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtlmouth
Okay, then. As an XP user, why would I want to switch to Linux?
Nate got most of the more common ones.

Security -- Unix-based machines are virtually immune to viruses, spyware/malware, etc. You'd have to work at it to become infected by anything.

Stability -- I've rarely had crashes that take down the whole system. Sometimes applications lock up, which is almost expected, as some of the software I'm running isn't very mature yet. Though, when one does misbehave, there's always force-quit to kill the window; and if that isn't enough, I can kill stuff from the command line; and finally, if neither of those are options, I can suspend the GUI, get to the console, and kill the app from there, and then go back to Gnome (very rare to have to go that far).

$ -- I literally haven't spent a penny on the Linux OS or any of the software, and I've got pretty much everything I want -- an officesuite, burning software, media players, internet tools, etc. Everything I have is legit software.

Efficiency -- I've found that I'm more efficient on Linux than I am with Windows, especially when I don't have to mess with spending time with maintaining the OS (virus scans, patches, defragmenting, etc). I've found Linux to take very little maintenance once set up.

Choice -- There are tons of distros, several window managers, loads of (free) software. You can often customize to your heart's content.

It's enjoyable -- I very much enjoy using Linux. I can't really say that I enjoyed running Windows, even before I knew of anything else.

I think that's all I've got for the moment.
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Unread 05-14-2006, 11:46 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
I'm not in touch with Mac very much, but they've always struck me as insanely proprietary, and as having only recently been moving away from that. I mean, you can't up and install OSX on any computer you want yet, can you? To me, it's a royal pain in the ass for Mac to tell you that you have to use their hardware, their filetypes, their operating system (only now moving towards the option for others), etc, etc. iTunes is just one more example (won't it only let you play tunes on the iPod or something?). Mac has been shooting themselves in the foot by waiting so long to open their products up to people who don't want their particular hardware / software combinations, whereas Linux distro coders and package developers are working tirelessly to allow you to install their stuff on any machine you like.

Bottom line: Proprietary products are always more expensive, which has been the case with Mac.
I obviously don't want to start a debate about whether OSX and Macs are better than Linux, but I think the things you mentioned are exactly what Apple is going for. It's like criticizing a dog for barking. That's what a dog does. The same way, Apple is all about turning on your computer and it just working with no worries about all the different hardware configurations. As a result, it just works.

With that being said, I don't see any reason why if you're looking for something else, you would buy a Mac. Apple isn't shooting themselves in the foot if there's plenty of market for what they provide, which I think is being proven by their relative popularity. But I definitly see why some people would prefer Linux. Maybe I'll try installing it on my Dell laptop (cause the reasons for using it over Windows are definitly legit), but I don't really see a need for it on my Mac right now, even with the reasons tht00 gave.
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Unread 05-14-2006, 12:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tht00
It's enjoyable -- I very much enjoy using Linux. I can't really say that I enjoyed running Windows, even before I knew of anything else.
Quite. I've been amazed at how much I simply enjoy using my computer anymore.
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"(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or
recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
Texas Constitution, Article I, Section 32"
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Unread 05-14-2006, 01:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
I obviously don't want to start a debate about whether OSX and Macs are better than Linux, but I think the things you mentioned are exactly what Apple is going for. It's like criticizing a dog for barking. That's what a dog does. The same way, Apple is all about turning on your computer and it just working with no worries about all the different hardware configurations. As a result, it just works.

With that being said, I don't see any reason why if you're looking for something else, you would buy a Mac. Apple isn't shooting themselves in the foot if there's plenty of market for what they provide, which I think is being proven by their relative popularity.
For now, Apple has been successful because their proprietary stuff is better than Microsoft's.

However, consumers are slowly growing tired of proprietary hardware / software combos.

The trend of the future is toward increased freedom for consumers, rather than decreased.

What Apple seems to have been doing is focusing on the short-term rather than the long-term.

Yes, it's been working well for them, but a company cannot survive if they are short-sighted.

What Apple's done recently with using Intel chips and allowing XP boots is certainly good.

I'm not sure that they'll be able to keep up when the proprietary market collapses (and it will).

Look at what's happening to the major record labels, for example. They're killing themselves.

The majors have been holding on to their proprietary distribution and reproduction rights.

DRM, suits against file-sharers, and lack of digital media are examples of this attempt to hold on.

They've all failed, and angered consumers, however, because they ignore what consumers want.

As consumers become smarter, they become more aware of what's available for free out there.

In turn, as that happens, the demand for proprietary (and more expensive) products crashes.

Just watch... both Apple and Microsoft will be scrambling once Linux figures out compatibility.

[consider this an answer to the very broad question "What's so special about Linux?" if you like]
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"(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or
recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
Texas Constitution, Article I, Section 32"
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Unread 05-14-2006, 01:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
For now, Apple has been successful because their proprietary stuff is better than Microsoft's.

However, consumers are slowly growing tired of proprietary hardware / software combos.

The trend of the future is toward increased freedom for consumers, rather than decreased.

What Apple seems to have been doing is focusing on the short-term rather than the long-term.

Yes, it's been working well for them, but a company cannot survive if they are short-sighted.

What Apple's done recently with using Intel chips and allowing XP boots is certainly good.

I'm not sure that they'll be able to keep up when the proprietary market collapses (and it will).

Look at what's happening to the major record labels, for example. They're killing themselves.

The majors have been holding on to their proprietary distribution and reproduction rights.

DRM, suits against file-sharers, and lack of digital media are examples of this attempt to hold on.

They've all failed, and angered consumers, however, because they ignore what consumers want.

As consumers become smarter, they become more aware of what's available for free out there.

In turn, as that happens, the demand for proprietary (and more expensive) products crashes.

Just watch... both Apple and Microsoft will be scrambling once Linux figures out compatibility.

[consider this an answer to the very broad question "What's so special about Linux?" if you like]
Heh, I suppose everyone is entitled to their own wrong opinion.

just kidding...
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Unread 05-14-2006, 05:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
Heh, I suppose everyone is entitled to their own wrong opinion.

just kidding...
I somewhat agree with Nate. For now, there is a slight shift from Windows. Windows usage went from approx 93.2% to 89.2% between March 03 to April 06, with Linux gaining 1.1% and Mac gaining 1.7%. (source: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp )

Mac does, for the moment, seem to have the upper hand, though, Linux may start catching on as Firefox did (and still is) and explode into a moderate-percentage userbase. I don't expect Linux to start converting many Mac users at the moment, though, it's doing a good job at catching those wanting to migrate from Windows.

Some semi-serious Linux users have moved to Mac (I know two), mostly because it's more 'hassle-free' -- and most of that is up to preference. There is less configuration, and more things 'just work' in Mac out-of-the-box. Linux is starting to tackle some of these things -- Ubuntu detected all of my hardware fine (well, my Nvidia graphics card still is uncooperative), and this time around, I haven't had to touch a configuration file to set up stuff (personally, I'd hate to dig into the Xorg.conf file to get my monitor working).

Another thing most people don't like to mess with is getting non-free formats working (mp3, aac, avi, mpeg, etc), as they can't be enabled out-of-the-box for legal reasons -- at least not in a free version of Linux. Some distros enable them and charge you money for each copy to pay the royalties. Most don't, but Ubuntu gives you a tutorial on how to do it by copying and pasting a few commands; I've had no trouble playing most formats (Windows Media formats are still uncooperative though) -- I imagine other distros have similar tutorials.

Mac isn't in trouble yet... on the contrary - they still gaining support as fast, or faster, than Linux. If (and when) they need to change to survive, they probably will. They've shown to be a capable company... so long as they don't become the next Microsoft.

My $.02 on that, anyway.
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Unread 05-14-2006, 09:02 PM   #26
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Ah, I've got another for the Windows list:

Unix/Linux terminals kick around DOS's butt.

I began using DOS when I was playing with Java in HS and found it interesting to use this 'old' technology. However... it holds no power anymore (it might have in the old days, but those are over). Jump on over to Linux, and you can do tons of stuff on a Linux system's terminal... just about anything. From browsing the internet to downloading files to installing stuff. For example, Ubuntu's package manager is tied to repositories online to download and install from, and it is accessable from a terminal. So, "sudo apt-get install firefox" will download, install, and setup firefox on my system, and if I wanted to remove it, "sudo apt-get remove firefox". There is a GUI that will do all this (and much more) for you if you don't want to use the console, but if you know the package name, this is about as fastest way possible to install something (assuming a swift internet connection).

You can do virtually anything using just the console in Linux (unless it depends on having a GUI, of course), but you can do virtually nothing with a DOS prompt.

DOS in XP = wimpy.
Console/terminal in Linux = power.
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Unread 05-15-2006, 04:25 PM   #27
heeeey brother
 
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Question:
I am having a near impossible time getting a linux distro installed on my laptop.
It is a Intel family model 86x or something like that.
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Unread 05-15-2006, 04:32 PM   #28
so much
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micahb
Question:
I am having a near impossible time getting a linux distro installed on my laptop.
It is a Intel family model 86x or something like that.
How big is the hard drive? How are you trying to install?
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"(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or
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Texas Constitution, Article I, Section 32"
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Unread 05-15-2006, 04:39 PM   #29
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Ok, so I'm trying out Ubuntu, and all I can say so far is that it's the most difficult operating system ever. Ok, so some of that could be from the general learning curve, but I can't even do something as simple as install Mozilla Thunderbird. It was also the hugest ordeal to figure out why my wireless wasn't working, then finding the driver for it, then figuring out how the hell I install it. I'm expecting this to be awesome once I figure out what I'm doing, but so far, I ain't seeing it. I'd pay the extra money to not have to figure all this crap out.
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Unread 05-15-2006, 04:53 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
Ok, so I'm trying out Ubuntu, and all I can say so far is that it's the most difficult operating system ever. Ok, so some of that could be from the general learning curve, but I can't even do something as simple as install Mozilla Thunderbird.
The "apt-get install yourprogram" command is, I think, Ubuntu's default install command.

You can also download the tar (an archive file with all the stuff you need to install a program, which will also be zipped into a compressed format) from www.mozilla.com and then compile and build it yourself (the commands will be something like "tar zxf /the/file /the/destination", then "./configure" in the new directory, then "make" in that directory, then "make install" in that directory). You'll need some software helpers to make all those commands work, but those should have installed by default with the OS.

Also, since Ubuntu and Thunderbird are both so popular, you ought to be able to find a pre-packaged installer for the program online somewhere; it'll be a .rpm file, just match up the version/distro to whatever you're running.

Quote:
It was also the hugest ordeal to figure out why my wireless wasn't working, then finding the driver for it, then figuring out how the hell I install it. I'm expecting this to be awesome once I figure out what I'm doing, but so far, I ain't seeing it. I'd pay the extra money to not have to figure all this crap out.
This would be that whole compatibility issue that I was talking about earlier.

Linux is crap as far as "out-of-the-box" hardware compatibility is concerned.

Some of the hardware issues are also learning curve issues (in my experience), as the way that you set up hardware in Linux is (it seems to me) considerably different from the way you set it up in other OS's (meaning, you have no pretty little GUI with options to automatically install drivers for you, but you have to actually go out and find the drivers, configure them, and then get your computer to load them up correctly). The process isn't abnormally difficult once you find something that tells you what in the world you're doing and once you find the right driver software.
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"(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or
recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.
Texas Constitution, Article I, Section 32"
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