Linux - Eye Candy, Free or Functionality

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  1. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    So here is my question (OK, multiple questions). Do you think so many are drawn to Linux because it is free?

    Or because it represents a freedom that likely means very little to most "casual" users?

    Or, because it is open source and many that praise OS software will never learn to edit and/or compile the free source code?

    Or, because they see a cool looking UI and this eye candy sucks them in; all the while forgetting about Windows desktop replacements/alternative shells. Or not knowing uber eye candy exists? This weekend I thought about downloading Conky because I use SysMetrix and it is cool as heck iffin' you like that sort of thing.

    For example, WinStep, Talisman Desktop, Aston and naturally, Microsoft Bob; the finest shell ever created for Winders. If you want Windows eye candy, these shells will provide it in spades.

    Not criticizing people's choices or reasons, but it seems to me that many people decide to use Linux will either give up because they are forced to earn a few new tricks or they are hating on Microsoft or they are clueless or some/many actually know a thing or two and their reasons for hunting penguins are valid.

    I wanted to try something new. I have new clothes, a new apartment and I wanted a new OS. Especially since Microsoft stopped updating Microsoft Bob, dag nabbit.

    I kid you not . . . here are actual screen shots of Bob. If you think surface is a "joke" what would we say today about Bob, if MS decided to release it today?

    microsoft bob - Google Search

  2. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Are you asking each individual why they chose it, or why others chose it?
  3. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member Contributor

    I started with Linux (Mandriva 2005 on an old celeron 500 laptop with a 'massive' 126Mb RAM and 20Gb HDD) out of curiosity, nothing more. I kept on trying different Distros and desktops using Ubuntu from Edgy, Mint, Fedora, PCLOS and others. Since sometime in 2006 I've been using Linux (Mint/PCLOS) as my primary OS, dual booting with Redmond's finest on the odd occasion when I have to.

    BTW I use XFCE as my main Linux desktop and Enlightenment on my Dev box.
  4. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Well-Known Member

    If (insert flavour of linux here) does everything a user wants, the question is why not use it?

    Linux is a superior OS in performance and reliability--if your applications run on it. (It'll even run a better Windows network than Windows Server.) Ubuntu is very nice and I'd build a box with it for any client who didn't need/want Windows.

    Personally, I'm a PC gamer and I use Netflix, both completely rule out Linux for me (no, I'm not fiddling with WINE to do 80% of what Windows already does without fiddling); if it weren't for DirectX and Silverlight, I would run Linux.
  5. Prinny

    Prinny Resident Linux Nutcase

    To me, I choose linux due to the release cycles (I'm on a rolling release distro,) the way it looks, how it functions, and its fun to tinker with. You can only do so much in windows, I feel. That being said, I understand that all the tinkering isn't for everyone...but that's why I choose it. I mean let's be releases every X months, free, nice look, and fun to tinker with? Win
  6. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog Moderator

    I choose Linux because it is just plain better than windows. I have all the app's I need in Linux and have no need to fork out hundreds of dollars every few years just to keep my system updated and secure. Windows is more interested in not only making them money but all the "Partners" they have as well. I don't care to make someone else even richer than they already are.
  7. saptech

    saptech Well-Known Member

    I just got tired of playing the MS mind games, which is to keep you buying. When I first started using Linux, around late '90s, I realized linux being a free OS, does things Windows wouldn't/couldn't or will not do.

    I just could not understand how the Free OS offered more security/stability and control then Windows, while MS hording those billions of dollars.
    Speed Daemon and argedion like this.
  8. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Well-Known Member

    There is a difference between personal, business, and enterprise with respect to usability and TCO. Like it or not, Windows is far easier to use and far easier to administer, making it cheaper against freeware (sysadmins aren't free).

    Windows isn't a better OS, it is a better marketed and targeted OS that now has much momentum.
  9. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    I've read this argument many times. I have yet to see a single bit of empirical evidence that supports that sales point.

    IME as an IT professional I've seen upper management make the mistake of replacing Netware and UNIX in the data center, operating under the false assumption that if a low-paid clerk or secretary can operate their Windows desktop, then the company can save lots of HR money by replacing skilled administrators with entry-level workers.

    As it turns out, it takes a lot more than the ability to operate a desktop PC when it comes to managing a corporate IT infrastructure. I've seen too many bosses learn that lesson the hard way. I've been in situations where I'm the only MCSE in the whole organization, and my work is constantly being interrupted because I'm the only one who knows how to administer the Windows Server machines. I know from copious experience that it's a lot cheaper and easier to do things correctly from the start than it is to fix a large broken system.

    Linux is mature enough that it has a LOT more to recommend it than the fact that it's FOSS. And the Linux distributions that are most used in corporate environments do in fact have price tags in the same ballpark as their Windows counterparts. But because the GPL license stipulates that the source code for the costly distributions must be freely available, it's cheaper to train to be a Linux administrator than it is for Windows. Linux is also a very shallow learning curve for UNIX
  10. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    It doesn't have IE, OE, and various other pieces of crap built in. What I don't like, I can get rid of. I won't use One or the new music service, I don't want an office suite - --

    I can load up on what I do want - KStars, Stellarium, Abiword, Inkscape -
  11. xxkid123

    xxkid123 Well-Known Member

    I chose linux for a reason of all given.

    I think it mostly comes down to these three, in order of importance:

    1) Free
    2) UI
    3) Security
    4) Open source

    number 1 is most important because usually I usually install linux when windows fails and I don't have a windows repair disks (yeah there's other methods to get windows, but I don't trust them). Most modern manufacturers don't bother giving out the windows disks anymore- it's cheaper to just partition the hard drive and make one of them recovery. Unforunately if you kill your hard drive then you're out of luck.

    After that, the reason I am happily staying with windows is because the UI and how things work. Gnome 3 is one sexy beast, and it works well. I also like razor qt and lxde- both remind me of windows, but redone for speed. both are fairly aesthetically pleasing as well.

    Pretty much tied with number 2 is is security. When I used windows I was decently careful, and I got a single virus within several months, if at all. Usually I took it down before it did anything. However, for secure purchases, etc I would always use my phone. Since I was flashing a ton of roms and only restoring necessary apps, I didn't really have to worry about viruses after each wipe. Now with linux (ubuntu 12.10 x64 and soon to be openSUSE or chromeOS dual boot) I have less fears. Many features are already packed in, so I don't have to install so many applications to get things done like with windows. For those I do install, I have much more control over.

    finally 4, which is somewhat farther behind. I support open source, I believe in it as a way to go. Using a linux PC only reinforces this.
  12. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    I really like the elegance of linux. The filesystem is something marvelous. When I'm in a command prompt in Windows, I'm always wondering why they haven't implemented some more of the awesome linux features...

    (inb4 powershell... ;))

    But I'd say there are a lot of reasons for linux.... security is one. Also, depending on your field, the software is built for linux (IE: InfoSec).

    All that being said, windows is great if that's what you need/want. Everyone wins. ;)
  13. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    You can't develop ROMs on windows. I use both at home. Linux as my host and a win 7 guest. My media centre just died and didn't want to fully function with OpenELECN my xbmc host of choice so that is windows too. Linux does a lot for me that Windows doesn't do well but the opposite is true too. Windows is my bread and butter so it'll never leave me but I do like linux.

    That reminds me, time to change my theme :)

    What gtk version does ubuntu 12.04 use?
  14. Prinny

    Prinny Resident Linux Nutcase

    I think its gtk 3.x.
    SUroot likes this.
  15. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Thanks I dont quite understand any of it. GTk3+ blah blah.
  16. Prinny

    Prinny Resident Linux Nutcase

    If you go to, click the gtk3.x link ;)
    SUroot likes this.
  17. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    That's filesystems plural. Linux has its own ext[1,2,3,4] filesystems, and it supports 3rd party filesystems like ReiserFS, IBM's JFS, SGI's XFS (my favorite), NTFS...the list is very long. Linux' rich support for other OS / legacy filesystems is another thing to recommend it.

    Although Windows NT came with pluggable filesystem support, I don't know of any 3rd party filesystems that were ever developed for Windows NT-Windows 8 that could be used instead of FAT/NTFS. NTFS is OK, but it's a real waste of the VFS layer without any 3rd party filesystems to use.
    9to5cynic likes this.
  18. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Well-Known Member

    Yes you have: Windows dominates in the corporate desktop arena, even after 21 years.

    To clarify: I was talking overall corporate networks (which are largely client-networks), not data-centres. *nix destroys Windows back-end for reliability and competes cost-wise.

    That's going from one extreme to the other (and, I agree, that happens), which doesn't negate the fact that an average Windows jockey doesn't require as much skill (pay) as a *nix one.

    It depends on the network; if your back end is relatively small (or run by someone else, as a lot of networks have gone) and 90% of it is comprised of clients, then client TCO is pretty much all that matters.

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that; if you mean Windows Server is completely broken, I can't agree. I've administered a few Win-based enterprise networks and build small ones (even in combat environments) without anything being completely broken. In fact, Win NT and Proxy Server 2.0 on saved the day once when--literally--the black box proxy got blown up and disconnected 1200 users from the Internet.

    If you're talking about a poor/flawed design/implementation, then yes, those are [nifty] major projects and is more likely to happen with lesser-skilled MCSE types [who don't have to take a practical exam].

    I don't agree; having administered since WFW 3.11, the only significant change was WinNT; otherwise, it's pretty much the same. The changes are more like patch notes than learning something new.

    Having worked directly for CIOs almost 20 years, I agree but that's not how it works in the "real" world: you can't always get the money when you need it, no matter how much better, long term, it is--and that's another issue: long term isn't a priority now. Additionally, "more reliable" at $x more cost (and learning curve/productivity loss while converting to a new way of doing things) doesn't matter when you can get "does the job" more cheaply.

    Having retired from US Air Force, we pretty much use Windows for corporate/admin networks and *nix (generally Solaris--freeware of any kind is not authorised.) for weapon systems--and that's a nice balance between usability/cost (Microsoft) vs. mission-critical (Sun).
  19. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    True, I was actually referring (likely incorrectly) to the hierarchy of the files... / /etc /opt /var /home et. al.

    I tend to stick with ext3 for the most part. ;)
  20. MeepMeepChu

    MeepMeepChu Active Member

    ... Windows dominates because windows dominates. That is the only reason beyond that giant government grant that enabled them to put a computer "in every home." It has nothing to do with being superior in any aspect, and everything to do with pork. Frankly, it's considered "easier to use" by most people because they were taught to use windows first. It's just like most people who grew up speaking English can't believe that it's the world's second most difficult language to learn.


    I admit I first looked into linux because it was free, money wise. I (thought I did but I ) didn't understand what they meant by "freedom," and wanted a taste of what I thought they were talking about. Then my laptop got this weird problem where my desktop would crash when I closed my last explorer window (not IE). It took a reformat to fix the problem.

    With most any popular Linux distribution, I have an option of up to at least about 15 different window managers, none of which will crash at the drop of a hat as windows explorer did.
  21. artaxerxes

    artaxerxes Well-Known Member

    I've yet to see a Linux GUI that I would term as "eye candy". But for me it doesn't really matter, I spend most of my time either in the terminal, init 3, or SSH.
  22. h4x0rj3ff

    h4x0rj3ff Chemist

    with my aging system (2005 hp pavillion) ubuntu just runs better. even with a 3.06ghz p4 chip and 2gbs of ram xp lags quite a bit.
  23. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    I've argued this before but I will again. You are correct that Windows is made easier by the fact that everyone is taught that by default.

    However, I am willing to wager that if you took a child (or adult) that had no exposure to computer technology, windows would be easier to teach than Linux.

    In windows, want to install a program? Easy, there is one way to do it. Until Linux can do this, there is no way it will be easier to use.

    As an administrator of both and having a preference towards Linux, I am not biased in saying this, but Windows is easier to teach. Windows is easier to learn. Windows is more user friendly in a corporate environment.
    Speed Daemon likes this.
  24. Prinny

    Prinny Resident Linux Nutcase

    You're absolutely right. While Linux has made leaps and bounds, its still not as easy to most as Windows. Download, double click the exe. Make a sandwich. Done. The software center in Ubuntu is a great start, but not everything is in there.
  25. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    These days, an OS must have a GUI and it must look pretty. At least I think so. Most people will not tolerate having to use the terminal. I am finding it much easier to "apt-get install JustinBieber" than to try to find the installation software on the web, DL and click to install.

    Now, I am learning my way around to Lyx and LaTex. Compared to Word or OO, I think I prefer Lyx to generate text and LaTex to "pretty it up." Not sure most people would be happy with anything that requires thought.

    Just today, I learned that EMACS has more than 2,000 commands and for what I must do daily, perhaps EMACS or LyX is a better choice. I might say it beats Office or other word processors in my case.

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