Thursday, February 19, 2009

Student drops out of school because of Linux

I found this story kind of unusual that someone would quit school because of Linux. The story turns out to be a case of mistaken identity of sorts. College Girl seeks a computer thinking all are the same but quickly found out differently. This story really baffles me for one reason how did she buy a Linux computer from Dell. The Linux offerings from Dell are only available from a special location on the website and at every turn remind you its not windows. According to the new story the model of laptop happens to be the same one I have. Now where I offer contention to the girl is in that she called the news agency when talking to computer people at her college would have been a better first step than to hastily think she was ripped off. From the news story it seemed like the people involved were willing to help her with it so she didn't drop from school. They probably would have been able and willing to do so without a news story being made about it. Some people are all to willing to call the media sometimes to solve their problems when a simple talk with someone more technical would have sufficed.

Linux Haters

I guess every group has to have its detractors and so goes linux with a few blogs and websites dedicated to the hatred of Linux or other such free software. I wont sit here and say Linux rules or that its for everyone. Linux is better for "me".

Some time ago I would argue with people about the benefits of using Linux to the effect of talking to a brick wall. Most of the biggest detractors have been hardcore Microsoft-ies. I am talking live breath and eat Microsoft products. Sure it offers ease of use, sure it is the more available and sure it range it wide reaching as far as hardware is concerned. I eventually after watching people who were willing to try it get discouraged over it realized its not for everyone because it's just different. The biggest obstacle most people are often baffled by is that you cant run windows software, not that's not entirely true but more on that later. Second is just about everything else is different. File storage is different, permissions are different and etc.

Windows software not running on a completely different Operating System is the first big gripe and not only is it odd but distracting. For starters you can run windows software although might not run well because of WINE. Also you can find alternatives for the software you are used to. People who use photoshop might find Gimp just as powerful for them even if it may not work for all. Lastly the expectation that people have software that was written and compiled on a certain operating system probably don't realize the impact of what all that means. There is hope there however if someone is willing to try making the concessions for the time being in what it takes to switch. You will find yourself back working the way you used to in a matter of time.

Next biggest gripe is bogus and shows also a lack of understanding of how computers work, or at least computer manufacturers. Not all hardware is made the same. When you buy that webcam the company has to either release drivers or release standards for people to write drivers from. Some companies refuse to do either for linux. You have to hope that someone had the gumption to reverse engineer the hardware to find out how to write a driver for it. Companies do often ignore linux because it saves them money to, they figure the majority use windows so why bother. Well that's fine but how do the detractors feel that it's a Linux fault or its contributors.

Ease of use is another complaint and coming from the fact I used windows for years before making the switch I noticed this too. Since the early days Linux has struggled in itself whether it wanted to be easy to use or stable. This is because its original design wasn't intended to be used on Joe Schmoes' computer at home. there have been factions of developers that have morphed its original purpose into what it is today. A bit schizophrenic at times this duality has served to limit and expand it as well. It will limit in that it will never be windows. It however has the availability to expand not only for common users but in diversity. So many versions of Linux are out there to suit the taste of everyone. Now that I have been on Linux for three or four years, I have noticed its way easier that I know it better than when I didn't. Somethings are easier to do in Linux for the fact that the resources to help you through problems are more available. This is the example I use say the GUI dies in windows you can reboot and never know why it happened. Linux you can have the GUI die get on a forum to find out why because in both cases it will happen again. I don't know about most people but I only want errors to happen once.

OK one of the gripes that bugs me most is that of the gui not being as pretty. A computer is a utilitarian thing. to ask for fluff is ridiculous. Lets just say for a minute that a gui needed to be pretty to do its job. What exactly do you expect to see? I think that is what makes linux so cool is that you want it bet you could get it added and way before windows offers it. I use gnome for instance. I like simple for me gnome is that.

I am not a hardcore Linux user in that on occasion I install it and set it up to work on a network etc. I typically do not setup servers of any kind. I wrote a script to resize pictures from our camera for posting on the internet. I mostly surf the internet and do some simple stuff and even some gaming. It works for me not to mention I am not locked to a single operating system. For me that is the biggest benefit is to just be free of the hassle. Not everyone is going to agree but hating linux for simplistic reasoning and trolling for attention by name calling those of us who disagree need to remember every should be free to choose that's the way we live.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My best friend found a geek girl

My best friend found a geek girl and a star wars geek at that. their first VD day yielded him getting her a Lightsaber and she made him this scarf

Sunday, February 08, 2009

My Daughters first project

I posted on my lumberjocks page about my daughters first project.