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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

By Robin 'Roblimo' Miller on July 19, 2008 (11:00:00 AM)

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Last weekend a friend was moaning about endless problems with Windows XP on his desktop PC. We installed Ubuntu 7.04 on it. The problems went away. That started me thinking about my own "daily driver" computer, a Dell Latitude that also runs Ubuntu 7.04, and it made me realize that I hadn't thought about my laptop or its operating system in many months. Linux -- especially Ubuntu -- has become so reliable and simple that for most end users it's simply not worth thinking about, any more than we think about tools like wrenches and screwdrivers. Does this mean desktop GNU/Linux has become so boring that it's not worth noticing?

Right now 8.04 is the latest Ubuntu version. I've stuck to 7.04 because I feel no great need to update a reliable system that does everything I ask of it. Yes, there was one major security flaw in 7.04, but Ubuntu's auto-update feature took care of that for me long ago, and took care of it immediately during the install process on my friend's machine.

And, as I type this, I'm (automatically) downloading and installing 24 Ubuntu software updates. Since I'm using a mature, "tried and true" version of Ubuntu, and haven't moved to the latest/greatest version of any software I use regularly -- I'm still running Firefox 2.xx, for example -- I run almost no risk of these updates breaking my system. I haven't thought about Ubuntu updates in several years; they've become that reliable, another "it just works" situation that doesn't impinge on my consciousness. Indeed, I only really thought about updating Ubuntu now because I'm writing this article.

A problem with Microsoft Office 2007

Let me make one thing clear: I personally have no problem with Microsoft Office 2007 or any other version of Microsoft Office, since I do not own and have never owned Microsoft Office. The problem I'm talking about here was with a political candidate friend of mine, who has a new computer and a new copy of Vista and a new copy of Office. He sent document after document to another friend, who is helping him with his campaign, and she couldn't read them -- with an older version of Office.

I had no problem reading his Office 2007 docs in OpenOffice.org (OOo). There's an odf-converter-integrator add-on that seems to handle Office 2007 formats just fine. The version of OOo that came with Ubuntu 7.04 supposedly didn't have it or may have had a primitive alpha version -- but it seems that somewhere along the way a workable method of reading Office 2007 documents with OOo was installed in my system by one of those nifty Ubuntu updates. How nice!

Meanwhile, after some rooting around, we found that Microsoft has some sort of add-on utility that allows users of pre-2007 Office versions to read files from Office 2007. But in the end it was easier to teach the candidate to use the option in Office 2007 to save his work in the old .doc format than to try to get the eight or 10 people with whom he routinely shares files to update their copies of Office.

And somewhere in there, two of the candidate's friends learned that I used some sort of magic, free office software and wanted to know how to get it. I told them. Two more (Windows, for now) OpenOffice.org users in the world!

A tiny, minor victory for open source.

An only slightly larger one is that I have helped a group of about eight people switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox (sorry, still Windows) and several of them have dumped Outlook Express in favor of Thunderbird. More expect to jump on this train before long.

Will any of them jump completely into the GNU/Linux pool? Not yet, but I don't think it will be long before more of them ask me to put Linux on their computers. They've seen my laptop and admired its clean, rapid simplicity and lack of extraneous browser toolbars and desktop icons for software I don't want, and have grown tired of the endless cost of antivirus software, which they all seem to buy from whatever company paid their computer vendor to put its trial version on their computers.

The Vista elephant in the room

My friends and neighbors are not necessarily prosperous. Some are plain blue-collar workers, some are artists, some are retired. Not many of them enjoy using computers. They do it, often reluctantly, and upgrade their hardware and software only when they feel they have no other choice, not because they enjoy playing with the latest technology. Buying a new computer is a major step for most of them, and their most typical reason for doing it is problems with the computers they already own, not a desire for new features.

Now that the only Windows choice for most computer buyers is Vista, I am seeing a new reluctance to buy new hardware. Even my least-computer-sophisticated neighbors have heard and read enough about Vista to know they don't want it. Imagine their quandary: they can either keep their current "broken" computers or replace them with Vista computers that may be nearly as problematical as what they already have.

A third choice is to have a professional fix the computer they already own, but the vast majority of local computer owners I know have had poor experiences with well-known computer repair operations, notably ones associated with major electronics retailers we will kindly not name here, which brings them to a common, fourth alternative: Find a friend or a friend of a friend who "knows about computers" and beg for help.

If I am that friend -- which, due to a hectic schedule I try hard not to be -- I refuse to reinstall Windows unless the person asking is totally dependent on software that isn't available for Linux.

Otherwise, I insist on installing GNU/Linux on the "broken" computer. Yes, I end up answering a bunch of questions. As many Linux.com readers know, once you help a non-knowledgable computer user in any way, you seem to become their (free) computer advisor forever.

For whatever it's worth, I've found that, after an initial spate of questions, a moderately current (but not leading edge) Linux installation tends to generate less stress and less pain than either a Windows XP reinstall or a brand new computer running Vista.

Yes, it's exciting to have that new computer smell and a brand new, heavily advertised Windows operating system. But for most people I know, a boring "it just works" computer is preferable to a new, exciting one, and Linux has become a complete snooze for almost any computer user -- even those who need to have the difference between the left mouse button and the right one explained to them.

With all that said, I will now reboot. The Ubuntu update that went on in the background while I was typing includes a kernel update, which, unlike most updates, requires a restart. Unlike Windows, Ubuntu has not constantly pestered me to reboot even though I was in the middle of a task where it would have been inconvenient.

Once again, we have a true-to-life example of how Linux has become boring -- in the best possible way.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.174.243.45] on July 19, 2008 11:46 AM
This is a good article, and as a free for life advisor to many people with Windows machines I'm thinking of taking the same stand. I often tell my (Windows) techie friend when he asks that Linux suits your mum/dad/grandma better than Windows, as long as they have access to someone like me prepared to do the occasional bit of sysadmin for them, but it's true that the need for that is less and less as time goes on, and it's easy to set up openssh-server to do most things remotely. I tell him it also suits the knowledge-hungry geek who wants to dig into their computer and know more about everything. The people it doesn't suit (yet) are the Windows power-users.

The point about people buying new computers to replace "broken" old ones is so true. One thing that crystalized in my mind while reading this article is that most non-techies I speak to think that computers actually physically wear out or degrade and have to be replaced. This is no doubt partly because that's true of many more mechanical devices, partly because of the way a Windows system degrades over time, and partly a win for the MS/hardware industry marketing propagandists. I need to start *explicitly* correcting that fallacy along with the other usual ones about how when your PC gets old and slow you need to add a bigger hard disk...

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: jaqian on July 22, 2008 11:05 AM
The one thing all Linux distros still fall (very) short on is hardware compatibility i.e. printers and scanners. I still get told to buy the hardware to suit the OS, which is very limiting.

I'd like to see Ubuntu become seen as "Linux" and to see all the major hardware companies support it. Alongside the usual "supports Windows and Mac" stickers, I'd like to see something like "works with Ubuntu" stickers on all printers scanners etc.

Personally I don't use Ubuntu (can't get it to install on laptop), however I use Freespire, which is based on Ubuntu. I think aything that benefits Ubuntu will benefit the whole of Linux.

Rob
(Ireland)

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 166.214.185.213] on July 24, 2008 11:02 PM
I told a friend who had been complaining about her Windows machine slowing down, about the "memory leak effect" designed to force Windows users to upgrade.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.240.103.9] on July 19, 2008 01:02 PM
It is certainly true that a Linux distro can breathe life into an old computer. My parents bought a brand new laptop because they assumed the old one had 'worn out'. They assumed it needed more memory or a bigger hard drive to keep it working and they asked me to see if I could sort it out. It was an old toshiba A30 that was running Win XP with numerous updates and anti viral software not to mention the malware and spyware grinding the whole system to a halt.
I copied all their documents and pictures onto a usb drive and wiped the hard drive and installed ubuntu. Unfortunately, there was an error loading the wireless driver so I tried sabayon linux instead: which is gentoo based. It did take a bit of scripting to get the wireless WEP key recognised as it doesn't work out of the box.
However, the low spec Linux machine is much less frustrating to use than the brand new Vista machine - it just works.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.168.245.139] on July 19, 2008 09:59 PM
Linux is also good for brand new dell desktops that come with vista. Let me explain. Last Christmas we bought a new dell desktop for the kids. On Christmas morning after they ripped off the Christmas paper my next job was to hall the boxes into my kids room and set up.

Everything is now set up and i for the first time hit the power button dreading what Vista was going to bring. I didn't have to wait long it got as far as the vista splash screen and yep the blue screen of DEATH.......Restarted 3 times same problem and the 4 time after 10 minutes i was on the vista desktop. Then another blue screen of DEATH.

I gave Microsoft 4 tries then i wiped the hard drive and installed edubuntu Linux. A educational version of Ubuntu. To this very day not one single problem. Linux just works!

I must also mention all 4 home pc's run Linux full time all networked including wireless. I never had to install a single driver.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.17.253.211] on July 20, 2008 02:29 AM
You contradict yourself there, but it's ok. Not a single linux drone will notice.

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Re(1): Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.168.245.139] on July 20, 2008 02:54 AM
You must be a windows user now we understand. But it's ok. Not a single windows drone will notice.

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Re(1): Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 166.214.183.167] on July 25, 2008 12:26 AM
Happy Linux drone here.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.17.253.211] on July 20, 2008 02:34 AM
This reply system is somewhat unorthodox. I tried to reply to one of the comments but my message got shuffled in between some other unrelated comments.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.178.139.193] on July 19, 2008 01:27 PM
Very well written. This depicts some of the problems that most users have to go through. I find when you give them a little pep-talk on what Linux is and how they can become a part of it, they seem to grab on pretty quickly. I got my brother and his girlfriend a computer when they moved into a new place and got internet for the first time (in this day and age). They latched onto Ubuntu pretty quickly and since they didn't care how things worked under Windows they don't care under Linux either. I wouldn't have done that if I didn't know from personal experience that Ubuntu nowadays does all things a non-gaming user could need. They need to know where to start their typical applications and how to do basic things. Firefox is the same, file browsing with Nautilus is intuitive and you can get free software at any time just by setting a checkbox. Updates do themselves and there is no manual maintenance necessary once you've set up correctly. I think in usability Linux has already surpassed Windows in some fields but the configuration is still way to technicky in some places. But we're going there.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.135.242.151] on July 19, 2008 01:28 PM
Great article. I'm not so sure about Linux being boring though. I am a 20 year old graphic designer and after years of using Windows decided to try Linux on a laptop i was given.

20 mins after installing Ubuntu that was it...i was fully converted from Windows to Linux.

Even now after some time using Linux I'm still constantly blown away by the things i can do with it. I swapped from the default Ubuntu windows manager to Enlightenment and that just made a great OS even better.

Installing software still puzzles me a little bit if i have to go down the compile, make install, etc route but thanks to the great synaptic package manager and the sudo apt-get commands its rare that i have to do that.

The selection of free software is amazing as well.

For you guys Linux may have become boring if reliable but for me, its like a dream come true.

So at least thats one more Linux convert, and i plan to convert others.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.3.69.78] on July 19, 2008 01:32 PM
Windows 2000 just worked, but I'm glad I finally got rid of it. While theres nothing wrong with you chosing to stick to old software, and the older I get(21 now) the less I feel the need to be on the cutting edge.. I still find it painful to run old software.

As a developer I tend to see software for what it could be just as much as I see it for what it is. It pains me to sit on say an old desktop system that still uses win95-style start menus as opposed to one of the many Quicksilver clones (GNOME-do or katapult for linux, launchy for windows, quicksilver on mac). The difference in ease of launching between typing a few characters of what you need vs scouring an ever-growing menu is immeasurable and just one of many examples of where sometimes new software is worth dealing with the occasional crash, just so you can keep up with the new and worth-while features.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 4.252.213.185] on July 19, 2008 10:31 PM
Hi. You may want to try Sidux. It is based on Debian SID (still in development). While it may not be for everyone, I like it much better than Kubuntu (I can't stand Gnome).

The only person whom I will support Windows for is my mother. She has an ancient laptop that does not support enough memory to run any version of Linux. It runs Win95, and all she does is a bit of word processing and plays solitaire. I have never owned a copy of XP, although I have seen it on friend's computers. I have managed to convert a few folks to Linux myself, One of whom has since converted (with some help) a small town school system. How that came about was that he was hired as a Dj for a dance. OF course he took his computer (loaded with Sidux, XMMS, and his music collection and playlists). The school principle noticed that he wasn't running Linux, and asked about Sidux. My friend ended up installing Sudux on all of the schools computers, with the help of a teacher who knew networking in Windows, but had never seen Linux before. Any information that they needed was quickly found on the Sidux Forums, or on the net.

I do feel that Linux is ready for the average non-computer savy computer user...more so than Vista!

TTYL

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.45.82.242] on July 19, 2008 02:08 PM
Good article, I usually refuse to fix any Windows computers these days myself, actually I have never owned a copy of XP and I genuinely don't know how to fix their problems. Usually insistence on fixing Linux only machines puts people off of asking for help but there is a lot of people not minding what OS they run these days so I'm going to have to find another reason not to become their "free" computer resource.

dv_cool_fuel

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.251.72.181] on July 19, 2008 03:45 PM
That the original poster never thinks about his computer means he:
-Does not care that his laptop does not and resume.
-Is OK with crappy battery life.
-Does not sync calendar and address data between his laptop and phone.
-Does not use a docking station.
-Does not connect his laptop to external monitors.
-Does not use 802.11 N.
-Does not use slingbox.
-Doe not run business applications (not openoffice, accounting, inventory control, that kind of thing).
-Does not play games.

I could name more.

I moved to Vista a year ago when I ditched Ubuntu because I was tired of messing with Linux. No crashes. No problems. UAC is no more annoying than sudo in Ubuntu. The only time I think about my computer is when I discover a new gadget or application I want to use and wonder,"Will my system support that?" Invariably it does.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.240.103.9] on July 19, 2008 04:09 PM
You are obviously a 'power user' with a lot of money.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.238.173.94] on July 19, 2008 05:02 PM
Mr. Ballmer, why are you posting on a Linux site? Nobody cares that you use Vista. I know, I know... don't feed the trolls...

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.192.250.149] on July 20, 2008 05:20 AM
"That the original poster never thinks about his computer means he:
-Does not care that his laptop does not and resume."

I might possibly agree if I knew what the heck you meant.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Samuel Fogh on July 20, 2008 04:40 PM

My Ubuntu laptop can suspend, hibernate and resume just fine. I think I remember sometime long ago that there were issues, so I realise where you have the idea from, but that is no longer a problem that should scare you away from Linux. I can't understand your thoughts on battery lifetime, my battery last longer when I run Ubuntu, I have so much more control over what software is running on my computer and Intel's Powertop is an amazing tool to track down power hungry applications.

If I had one of those modern mobile phones with calendar, I would make sure I bought one which was supported on Linux. It's not that hard to be a concious consumer really. I don't have any experience with docking stations so I can't possibly comment on that one, but it sounds like you obviously had some problems, I would make sure the docking station was supported on Linux first. I can connect my laptop to an external monitor with ease, not a big deal really.

I don't know anything about how well implemented 802.11N is in Linux, but I doubt that there is no support, you just have to be a concious consumer again.

Instead of a Slingbox I would probably just have a Linux box stream in a standardized format instead, sounds a lot cheaper too.

I don't know what sort of business applications you think you are missing, but it's a lot easier to help you if you tell.

I know what you mean when you mention Linux and gaming, but your statement is exaggerated. Of course you can play games on Linux and you can even play a lot of Windows games through wine, but yes some things don't come before there is a market for it. Until then I will just keep supporting companies like ID Software and Epic Games by buying every single game for Linux worth playing.. and play on my game console.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.98.32.69] on July 20, 2008 05:39 PM
Just wait a few years. It will break, don't worry. I dual boot Ubuntu and (the quite stable compared to Vista I hear) Windows XP. Windows XP gets a BSOD every few minutes. Linux only breaks when you break it. Also, you can do a lot of that on Linux:
1. Try another distribution, or if you don;t mind the effort, recompile the kernel with suspend to disk.
2. Again, power management is in Linux, so try another distribution or recompile with power management built in.
3. Docking station: I know there is an ACPI Dock option when compiling the kernel, so it might be built in too.
4. There are window managers that support multiple monitors, just look around.
5. 802.11n is a new standard. You can try experimental drivers (note that Linux hackers have higher standards than Microsoft(TM),
or maybe try a Windows driver wrapper.
6. I'm sure the Linux developers would be happy to add support if you tell them the specifications. Blame the manufacturer for not providing specifications/open source drivers.
In the meantime use a driver wrapper.
7. You obviously have never heard of GNUCash. Or if you're desperate, run it under Wine.
8. Mainly conceded, but there are (not excellent) games for Linux, as well as Wine/Cedega/CrossOver/Virtualisation to run games. And it happens to be
illegal to run business applications and games on the same computer. :)

Also, UAC is designed to annoy users. Microsoft even admitted that. In my opinion, I would rather enter my password than click through an avalanche of boxes without
reading them.

And are you actually saying you never got one crash in Vista? Not one hang or freeze? I'm surprised by the resilience of Linux. I found that even if one program fails,
then it will simply close. No having to go to task manager while the computer stalls.

I believe that the only crashes I got in Linux (Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron") were all caused because of:
1. Proprietary modules.
2. Something other than the kernel.
3. Me.

What about Windows? Just wait. It's crashfree days are numbered.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.177.99.161] on July 20, 2008 06:11 PM
@the guy who thinks there are too many things he can't do with GNU/Linux

> That the original poster never thinks about his computer means he:
> -Does not care that his laptop does not and resume.
depends on your hardware but usually works well

> -Is OK with crappy battery life.
Ubuntu will definately give you a better battery life than Vista and a slightly worse one than XP. The Intel SplashTop devs have shown that in the near future (namely with every new kernel release) battery life on your laptop will be far better than everything you'll get out of a MS OS.

> -Does not sync calendar and address data between his laptop and phone.
Works nicely with all smartphones and apps I tried. Almost every phone supports at least one syncing standard that is also supported by Linux syncing software. I have tried Windows Mobile up to the latest versions and my current phone has a Symbian OS. All worked fine. And if nothing works there is always scheduleworld.com which will help you out.

> -Does not use a docking station.
You mean like for the iPod?

> -Does not connect his laptop to external monitors.
And that wouldn't work why?

> -Does not use 802.11 N.
That is a valid point. The cards will work, but usually in "g"-mode. Intel cards that come with laptops work fine, though.

> -Does not use slingbox.
The first hit in Google will show you that the slingbox works well with Ubuntu and has been for a long time

> -Doe not run business applications (not openoffice, accounting, inventory control, that kind of thing).
Most of these run well with wine. I even know vendors of accounting software that optimize their software for wine instead of porting it to Linux. In most companies I know (which switched to Linux) they keep Windows on one or two computers to run this software, if wine doesn't work for them.. So generally this is not a show-stopper.

> -Does not play games.
Another valid point. On the other hand - all the games I care about work nicely in Linux. Either natively (most first-person-shooters) or with wine.

If you are happy with Vista - that's great. Alot of people aren't and the points you named are no reasons not to use Linux.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.64.155.34] on July 21, 2008 12:31 AM
hmmm let's see ...
suspend and resume? check
battery life? 2.5 hours (15 minutes longer than under XP)
sync with phone? I don't waste money on phones I'm still using a phone from 8 years ago and it can't sync so no contest.
Docking station? don't use one -- I have a desktop instead and it syncs with my laptop just fine.
I connect my laptop to an external monitor without any problems but normally I use synergy with my desktop.
802.11 N? yes true I don't use 802.11N but if I need that kind of speed I plug-in. (besides it _still_ isn't finalized. Anything you buy now may not work when it is)
Slingbox? no I use Mythbox.
Business applications? yes I do -- Under Wine :-p
play games? yes On the Wii and Xbox360 (proper gaming platforms)
you moved to Vista -- I'm sorry that you've felt the need, I hope you love wasting your money and supporting non-standards.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.191.10.164] on July 19, 2008 04:38 PM
I think the experience with Linux will vary depended on what hardware ones got and what software ones need. No OS fills everyones needs, not even Ubuntu.

If it wasn't for the occasionally regressions I would probably think Linux was boring as well, but it's not. Linux matures gradually on the desktop and laptop. Sometimes suspends works, sometimes 3D works reliable, sometimes wireless works reliable, but not always. There is no joy in pushing an OS to newbies when the OS is not reliable. If you push Linux you better know what in the world you are doing, unfortunately many people don't.

I consider going BSD for the future, or maybe stick with predictable Debian stable.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.73.156.5] on July 19, 2008 06:07 PM
It is time to suggest that programming talent focus more on apps... many open source apps need the work and at this point it is apps, not the operating system, that will determine the future viability of Linux.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 56.0.103.25] on July 27, 2008 02:34 AM
Yes, more focus on apps. AND, dump the stupid names that don't give a hint of what the app does! I want to write a note, hmm,
let's see. WORD will help me here, but what is this Vi and Vim stuff? Better not use that! If we want grandma and the rest of the
non-tech world to adopt Linux, we have to use intelligent, descriptive program names. Yes, you wrote the program, you get to name it. Too bad you picked a cutesy obscure name which will discourage use. And act as somewhat of a barrier to use of Linux.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.228.101.51] on July 19, 2008 06:35 PM
It means that Linux is doing the job it's supposed to do; stay out of your way and let you get work done. I've been using Linux as my primary OS since 2001 and haven't seen the need for anything else since then. As far as I'm concerned, Linux won the desktop war when Microsoft Windows died off back in 2001.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.75.53.187] on July 19, 2008 11:27 PM
Yep, I had to suffer with Vista. It is so annoying! Linux just works!

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.216.112.233] on July 19, 2008 08:07 PM
Yeah I've switched a few people and they never looked back. Linux is ready for most people, but most people have no idea about how easy Linux is too run and the vast amounts of applications available. Like I said no ones looked back and when I ask hows Linux working for you, theres nothing but smiles. Yeah I get asked allot of questions, sometimes its a pain but in the end its well worth it. I remember a time when haveing or running a computer was fun and exciting....Linux is bringing that feeling back.

AwE.Tux www.awe-clan.com

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I have a standard attachment.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.174.160.188] on July 19, 2008 08:08 PM
"But in the end it was easier to teach the candidate to use the option in Office 2007 to save his work in the old .doc format than to try to get the eight or 10 people with whom he routinely shares files to update their copies of Office"

We are starting to get a trickle of these at work. Here is my standard reply.

"You have sent an attachment that is not compatible with our versions of Office Suites. It is using an interim format that MS will be replacing, and so for compatibility, it is highly recommended that you follow the instructions located here to ensure that 100% of your customers and clients can read and use your documents in a completely automated fashion, and prevents your from using an interim standard being replaced my Microsoft

http://www.haverford.edu/acc/docs/software/msoffice/office2007defaultformat.html

Note that the above is only for word, you must repeat a similar procedure for spreadsheets
and presentations as shown.

http://sbits.blogspot.com/2007/12/change-office-2007-default-file-save.html"

The above is usually replied to with a hearty thank you, this was a pain for us, sometimes with a reply such as "we don't care" which enforces me not caring and usually silently but documents start coming in the binary format.

For any IT group, if you haven't set your compatibility mode for all users, good luck with all documents between now and the next iteration of Office XML.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc178949(TechNet.10).aspx

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To Anonymous with his list.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.174.160.188] on July 19, 2008 08:20 PM
Your list is circa 2005. Mandriva Spring, D620 laptop.
Suspend and Resume: Flawless
Battery life is 25-50% better than XP. Guess you don't know how to use ACPI config.
Docking station better than XP. I dock cleanly into my 1920x1280 24" monitor daily, ZERO configuration required the first time. ~25% of the time, all my colleages still using XP have to reset their docked resolution.
I use my D620 for presentations and customer demos all the time with external monitors and projectors.
I don't know about 802.11N, we are all still G, which all N routers support if the client is G. When I get access to an N router, I'll let you know.
Slingbox, why would you use a vastly inferior product over Amarok? That is also such a specialized highly complicated geek app in the first place, hardly mainstream.
Business Applications - Crossover is installed by default on all our Monta Vista boxes (the PC OS our entire company is migrating to), Office runs great. I don't do accounting, but try it out. Is replacing the cost of AV (SOP in windows) worth the cost of a perpetual Crossover License?
Does not play games? They are coming, and many many many already work as well or better than XP (see crossover, or cadega or plain old wine). Hey, wait a minute, is this a business desktop or home user with PS2?
http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20080530054213402/CommercialGames.html

Soon enough, the only talking point left will be yeah, well I have WGA and you don't.

TripleII

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Re: To Anonymous with his list.

Posted by: Samuel Fogh on July 20, 2008 04:50 PM
Soon enough, the only talking point left will be yeah, well I have WGA and you don't.
That is not even true, Ubuntu did pass the WGA check.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=475709

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Enought to keep you entertained... if you know what you're doing...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.226.27.41] on July 19, 2008 08:35 PM
Ubuntu still has enough to keep you entertained.... every new machine is a new installation opportunity (usually simple!). I too have found I hate installing Windows since you're always looking around for those .dll's to get it or something to work. It's the advanced things in Ubuntu that you experiment with that keep things spiced up ("can you really install the whole OS to a 8GB thumb/flash drive?"..."never tried video editing before but let's have a go at it..".).

I used to try upgrading to the latest hardware (and put Linux on it, along with LTSP) but my next plan now that 8.04 is out is I finished a hardware downgrade (to AMD-1.6Ghz) installation that will be the "work box" for email, general surfing, graphics dabbling, music...(ok still a lot of stuff)... but the point is you don't need a fancy "new machine to run Vista" requirement to get work done with an updated OS/office/web browser (that's kept modern with security updates).

For those new to Linux, and slightly curious but not real adventuresome, I usually suggest they start with downloading Open Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Gimp onto their Windows box to try these programs out - and tell them those are the primary programs they'll likely be using in Linux if they choose to make the switch. It's painless for them to try those programs (free and an easy download they generally already know how to do) - so many do so.

That was nearly my migration path... Firefox & Thunderbird first on Windows, then stumbled across the humor in "Slax:Kill Bill Edition" that a recent Blue-Screen-Of-Death with lost data made more serious - amazed at the quality of all the software. Eventually it was Kubuntu/LTSP (due to easy integration with Open Office) and lately Xubuntu (because of the faster window manager but a little more tinkering is required than plain Ubuntu/Kubuntu, though that has improved a lot with 8.04). My traveling laptop for presentations is a 1999 built HP (P3-500Mhz/6GB HDD) running Xubuntu 8.04 - so you don't need any fancy new hardware.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.20.231.153] on July 19, 2008 09:34 PM
Dude. You're high. Not 5 minutes ago, I was googling for "why can't my soundcard let me play music on Amarok while Moneydance makes cash-register noises?". No answer, although I know I'm not alone in the world. A couple weeks ago, my wife made me migrate her back to XP because of constant printer driver problems. So solid it's boring? Hardly.

Note that I have no intention of moving back to Vista, despite the glitches and game shortages, but I'm an IT professional. I'm using Linux with a purpose: To learn about it. And I still am. Daily, something new and (unfortunately) exciting. I'd can only *dream* of the day this gets boring.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.71.16.128] on July 19, 2008 11:24 PM
I had the same problem on my son's computer. After an install of some software (sorry, packages) the sound didn't work. I reinstalled Ubuntu and limited the games I put onto the system. The problem was gone.

I never knew what caused the sound card to stop working. After the incident I sorely wished that Linux had a system for tracking compatibility issues or at least a system restore feature. My experience with Ubuntu has been good, but I wouldn't call it worry free. (Did I mention an update that killed my wifi.....?)

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.75.53.187] on July 19, 2008 10:16 PM
I use Ubuntu 8.04. It can get a little boring at times, but it still almost never has problems. I am never going back to Windows for sure(especially Vista).

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.190.185.175] on July 19, 2008 10:22 PM
I reinstalled Windows XP professional on someone elses laptop after a major malware infection. It took forever to install and then I couldn't get all the drivers to work right. I finally got fed up and decided to see if he would mind using the latest version of Ubuntu. He said fine and I installed it for him. It took a lot less time and all the hardware worked fine without me installing any drivers (including the built in wireless). He has only had one problem since I've done that and it has been two months. I have a dual boot system at home but that is only because I like pc gaming. I only boot into windows when I want to play a game I do all other computer tasks in Ubuntu and its great.

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Not as clean as one might hope for

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.138.18.142] on July 19, 2008 10:27 PM
I switched to full time ubuntu some 1.5 years (ubuntu 6.10, I think...).
Definitely, it wasn't "boring", although it is fun and enjoyable experience.
In 2 separate occasions, sound just doesn't work off the box, and I am talking about Intel chipset (ICH7 or ICH8).
I have a relatively recent hp laptop (dv6700t family), unfortunately preinstalled with vista.
Wireless didn't work, and took me several months to realize it was a mere glitch in connect the stack to the driver via the ip command (which I never knew about before). Now wireless works, but only from the command line (though when it works, it rocks).
Printer driver improved - what was a command line issue in 7.04, was fully automatic when I installed 8.04 from scratch.
8.04 had problem with gnome desktop manager... - a simple bad path mistake (by ubuntu installer) made the computer switch to text mode login. I guess a non-proficient user would go bazurk in this case...
Also, eclipse version on ubuntu is outdated (it still uses 3.2 while 3.4 is out there).
Etc. etc.

Nevertheless, even windows xp is not perfect... - and I had my share of problems with it, and there the situation is far better than vista.

Thus, when we're aware of the fact that ubuntu or any other linux/bsd/opensolaris distro is fully free (beer and speech), usually works well, and has such a thriving ecosystem of s/w, communities etc, it is really hard not to be amazed.

On the other hand, I find it hard to convince other people to switch to it. People are still intimidated, wishing to you the office and windows they know....

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.12.251.243] on July 19, 2008 10:53 PM
The fun for me is putting Ubuntu on an older laptop and making it come back to life. What is not fun is wondering how to make wireless, webcams and DVDs work. A readme would be great when first using Ubuntu explaining why you may have these issues. I've got it all going fine except a webcam. Re: Running a business on Linux. Openoffice and Googledocs/apps make Windows and Office unnecessary. You can buy Filemaker Pro for Linux I believe also.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.130.136.78] on July 19, 2008 10:54 PM
I converted my parents over and the phone calls went from 2-3 a week to 2-3 in the past year. Seriously. I love linux, went cold turkey 2 years ago. However, anonymous above does have some points. My parents are not power users - they are not installing new apps/etc. The need web access, an office suite, and email. I am a power user. I use linux for business and pleasure, and have few issues, but I DO have to sometimes use the command line to achieve what I want. Plus, to be frank, I'm glad I bought a Wii and a DS, because computer gaming on Linux is just not the same. I don't have time to tweak my system to run Half-Life 2 and all of it's add-ons, or any other common games I used to play. If I just have to play something, Urban Terror is pretty fun, but not the same. That said, I'd take Ubuntu over Vista any day of the week without hesitation.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 207.172.183.43] on July 19, 2008 11:17 PM
As a Linux fanatic, I would have to disagree with your posit, that Linux "just works" and the updates are reliably stable. First of all, you realize that you were running a system with major SSL/SSH security issues until just recently, right? Not that other OS's don't have security issues, but I certainly wouldn't call that boring. Also, there have been numerous updates that fudged both Samba and Xorg configs. Thankfully, they were quickly fixed, but again, certainly these issues are slightly arousing, are they not? I also take it you do not use a laptop, or have tried much new hardware - almost every laptop requires some amount of tweaking to get it to run as it should, whether it be display settings, keymapping (I still have "productivity keys" that just plain refuse to be detected), sound cards, video cards, and the ever prominent ndiswrapper wireless settings. These are well worth the small effort, imho, but I wouldn't call scouring the forums or Googling to figure out how to get my line-out jack and microphone to work 'boring'. Tedious, maybe. And speaking of hardware, printers are still a nightmare. There's a list of Linux-compatible printers, and they are rated from PnP to Paperweight. Anything in between is gonna take some work. Webcams, scanners, cell phones, same thing.

I love Linux, but if you like to use your computer to its full capabilities, you will find all sorts of hurdles that keep you jumping. I for one am hardly bored.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.216.112.233] on July 19, 2008 11:48 PM
Point made

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Samuel Fogh on July 20, 2008 04:57 PM
It's all about being a concious consumer when you buy hardware. Don't support something that doesn't support you.

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Ubuntu not always that boring

Posted by: Alvare on July 19, 2008 11:47 PM
When I installed Ubuntu (all the 3 times) it always had a lot of problems, and the forth time it booted once and died, so i switched to Debian, wich is almost perfect.
Ubuntu is a good distro in the way that it makes people pass to Linux so the next time they clean up the HD they install a real distro (Gentoo, Debian, Arch, etc).

BTW, Windows VISTA was an OS ??????? I didn't know it could operate a reall system !!!! I though it was a myth or something like that.
(sorry for the crappy english, not native)

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.49.93.204] on July 19, 2008 11:53 PM
B.S.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.32.252.22] on July 20, 2008 12:13 AM
No offence, I can see you love Linux and hate Windows but...

...but I play games! It's pretty much the only thing I use it for in fact, do you know the amount of hassle involved in just getting a graphics card working with Linux? It sucks!

I appreciate alternatives to Windows I really do, I would probably use it myself if it wasn't for gaming, but it's not perfect and it's a little mean foisting it on people that don't know any better.
I mean, how many of them come back to you 2 days later wondering why they can't do something they did before?

Anyways, please work on gaming please! I might even make the switch myself.

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The Ideological Battle of OSS Caused the Problem

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.228.39.216] on July 20, 2008 12:21 AM
The myth that Vista is bad has sprouted largely in part from the OSS community spreading FUD in order to get more marketshare. That, unlike the OSS development model, is not a viable way to grow an OS. Sooner or later Microsoft will strike back, not with FUD, but with positivity. It will be familiar, because it will be the same strike that Linux made long ago. Not a "our competition sucks" argument that only brings fights, or lies, but a positive "look what I can do" statement. And it will burn Linux to the ground, unless Linux can revert to the good ways.

Sadly, the FUD spewer and the double standard is the position the author hits hard upon. Instead of just helping his friends do whatever they want with their software, and dropping hints that you like your software, and also stating how happy you are with your computer, you use negativity which only produces hate and fighting. Look at this excerpt from the article:

"I refuse to reinstall Windows unless the person asking is totally dependent on software that isn't available for Linux."

This is asshat behavior. If someone needs help, and they are a friend of mine, I don't push my ideologies and insecurities on them. I will make suggestions, but I will not refuse to help unless I genuinely cannot.

And one last point. Look at the title. The article ends up using it to draw headlines, but then at the end says that is good, in a propagandist way reminiscent of countries where choices are heavily restricted. If someone said Windows was boring, it would be an insult to the end of the article, and probably far into the future.

This double standard will not stand forever. OSS may be viable, but the lies and negativity that are being used to campaign a good OS like Linux, will only make it bad.

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This mirrors my experience with Mandriva Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 122.148.187.219] on July 20, 2008 01:39 AM
I charge fee for service, I have a part time business servicing computers and upgrading Windows computers to Linux. I had originally envisioned charging a nominal fee for upgrading the persons's computer to Mandriva Linux, and making a small profit from training, the training side of it never eventuated. I do get calls for small things, but most of those things really on take 5 minutes to sort out. After a while I don't even get queries, they just get on with doing what they need do on their "new" computer. I know they are still using Mandriva Linux, because I keep in touch.

Because I charge fee for service, when I meet someone who isn't interested in upgrading to Mandriva Linux, I simply charge a full fee and fix the Windows problem. Eventually they'll be back to me, or they'll find someone else who will willingly charge them a probably higher fee to fix the problem again.

Yes Linux is basically boring.

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Boring? Not my experience!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.90.121.107] on July 20, 2008 02:21 AM
I've been running Ubuntu 7.10 on my gateway laptop for the past 6 months or so and have NOT found it to be a bug free system. Rather it's been the opposite. Although I expect a more experienced user could fix many of my system's problems, I have spent many hours googling trying to figure out each of them, but have sadly passed my limits and have just learned to live with these many problems. Many of the "possible fixes" I've read about and tried required that I manually change system files, a scary concept for a beginner who has no idea what he is doing! Here's the list of my problems, obviously not an insignificant set!
1- no sound! tried many suggested fixes, finally got it fixed. But then! a suggested auto update file resulted in a broken sound system again and I can't get it fixed.
2- when I try to connect to my wireless which is password protected the system freezes!
3- frequent incomplete shutdowns which then require a full system check on the next start up, which then always results in a second restart - taking ~ 5 minutes! This is like 1/2 shutdowns!
4- The battery level indicator never works
5- The sleep mode results in my mouse disappearing upon reawakening
6- the shutdown button on the top right freezes the computer
7- programs sometimes randomly close, so that I always have to be paranoid and save files every 5 minutes or so while working.
8- etc.

No, Linux has not been boring for me and I haven't been impressed at all. This system must be fun for those who are interested in digging deep and understanding the details. For those of us who really do just need something stable and aren't interested in having to put in hours and hours to fix each problem, my experience indicates this isn't a good choice. I'm happy with the fact that it's small relative to Vista, but that has been the only benefit for me.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.114.40.220] on July 20, 2008 02:56 AM
I think you've stuck with Ubuntu 7.04, because you know it will self-destruct if you try to upgrade it.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.69.28.85] on July 20, 2008 04:07 AM
Dude Linux totally ROCKS. What an awesome O/S it is. Blows stupid Windows away!

JT
www.FireMe.To/udi

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Diane on July 20, 2008 05:02 AM
Wow. 39 comments. Almost as high as the 45 comments for the kde story. Just like the good old days before you started posting anons' ip addresses if the anons don't have an account. Great thrill for the week. Now let's go back to the more orderly 2-3 comment posts per story and the non-existent comment postings in the Newsvac.


btw, besides the site biting since Newsforge was mothballed, for a Linux site, it's totally dysfunctional for posting comments or replying using Konqueror.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 142.161.78.217] on July 20, 2008 05:09 AM
Yes, the Ubuntu upgrade path takes me back to the days of Win98 (reinstall every 6 months).

I set up both Mandriva and Vista Business on my new T61p Thinkpad (provided by the company). I had only limited time working with Vista previously, but enough to know what I hate, so I used vlite to strip out the bits I don't like, and now I am finding Vista to be pretty decent, rather than being this horrid POS that I've been told it was since the beginning.

Mandriva... Well, other than the OS locking solid the first time I opened Konqueror, it's been okay. I could certainly use it for what I do at work, save that our email program (First Class) is a horrid pile of dung on Linux systems, and I've tried a dozen or more distros and 5 or 6 different hardware platforms (old and new) and it's the same heap of manure on all of them. It's slow enough to be unusable. And since our inventory and work order program lives in First Class, I find myself using Vista at work, and Mandriva to muck with.

Wireless works, but then I was dead certain to make sure that the laptop came with an Intel wireless nic so that I could be certain that it would at least work without having to arse about with half-baked driver solutions. Functioning, reliable, and GUI configurable WPA support was a nice present this year. Funny that a "secure" operating system lauded for its network prowess has been so long in supporting secure wireless connections.

Of course Mandriva was my end point in a long line of trial and error to find a distribution that met all of my criteria for "working", save of course for the lousy performance of my email app, but then I blame the provider of our inventory/workorder plugin for that.

My one gripe was the need for an internet connection to set up the first printer. If the drivers and support hardware can't fit on a CD I think Mandriva better start releasing DVDs as standard fare. And, of course there is that idiotic 850MB memory limit unless you install a different kernel. Certainly that could have been handled during install?

I eagerly await the day when Linux becomes boring. Until then, Microsoft provides a nice nearly-boring base operating system.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.167.196.235] on July 20, 2008 06:10 AM
Yep no way linux is boring because it just works - if you're talking about desktops!!!

Being a Fedora user our stuff breaks a bit more often than a lot of other distros, but even other distros I have used on various machines (arch, knoppix, RHEL, ubuntu) have always required some tweaking to get things working 100%. Sometimes you never find a fix.

Some of the stuff that does work (server side abilities - LAMP stack, iptables, etc., compiz, networkmanager, repository systems) blows anything windows can do out of the water (XP or vista). However there is almost always something borked, whether its external monitor, or WPA, or simply having to recompile stuff after a kernel update. Also many desktop component and gui programs have little bugs and crashes.

Finally there are lots of professional grade apps that do not have proper equivalents in linux. Openoffice is NOT equivalent to MS office - what about all those excel macros and VBA scripts that hold together corporate spreadsheets. As a network engineer, lack of VISIO equivalent is no go. GIMP is great but its no photoshop. Dreamweaver? Pro-grade audio (logic? reason? cubase? protools?). OSX has enough apps, linux doesn't. Then there's the specialised stuff esp. if its custom written.

I love using linux and it works for me but unless you're a techie, or have basic requirements without needing specialised apps or peripherals, its not at the level of windows XP for your general desktop user. If the user educated themselves and are satisfied with linux apps then yes, but is it worth their time and effort? To each their own.

Now for servers, on the other hand, with the exception of AD/exchange/sharepoint, it more than matches wintel, in fact it wipes the floor. Though server2008 is pretty impressive.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 212.159.112.60] on July 20, 2008 01:24 PM
This last week i was up at my parents, where i had to 'fix' both my aunties windows pc's. I did not however have to do anything to my parents pc (which is at least 6 years old), this is because I installed ubuntu over a year ago, and so haven't had to touch it since :)

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.132.48.3] on July 20, 2008 01:36 PM
If you've got an Intel WiFi chip, stay away from the Ubuntu LiveDVD for a while - it doesn't work out of the box :-(

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.32.15.60] on July 20, 2008 02:03 PM
You want boring? Try PCLinuxOS. You will become a somnambulist.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.120.113.249] on July 20, 2008 02:54 PM
Just like OpenOffice has the odf-converter-integrator. Older version of MS Office have Office 2007 Compatibility Pack. I'm a Linux guy to, but lets be at least be fair in the comparison. I want Open Office to be everything Microsoft Office is, but lets be honest. It's not quite there yet. At my office, only those that require the lacking compatibility actually get Microsoft Office. (mostly the brokers) Those that don't, get Open Office. Actually, most of the ones that don't, run Ubuntu with Open Office. Although, thats not the reason they run Ubuntu. That is a different story for a different time.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.119.43.151] on July 20, 2008 04:53 PM
Ubuntu 8.04 AMD64, here. Switched from PCLinuxOS. Quite satisfied except for a minor irritation.

In Firefox, the midi plug in does not look for the correct file name of the mid file saved in /tmp, hence, no midi is played.

Other than that, very satisfied. Switched the wife┬┤s system to Ubuntu 8.04 (32 bit) and the Dell Inspiron 630M as well.

At 67 years, the old adage about tricks and old dogs no longer applies.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.94.213.82] on July 21, 2008 07:38 AM
You should definitely upgrade to Firefox 3.0. :-). I totally agree, Ubuntu has been running rock solid on my laptop for a long time.

Ramesh
http://www.thegeekstuff.com

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 205.240.70.10] on July 21, 2008 06:51 PM
thanks for the link Ramesh.


http://www.oslib.com/

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.1.20.174] on July 21, 2008 03:53 PM
Been running 8.04 since April on my laptop. A few days ago, the laptop's motherboard got fried. Took the hard drive, attached a usb connector and booted from it on a friends desktop. It worked. Plugged it in to an acer aspire UMPC, it just works.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 163.150.21.253] on July 21, 2008 04:00 PM
Well as for me, I would go with Ubuntu 8.04. It works very well on my laptop (and desktop of course, the older version weren't any problem on the desktop). With 8.04 I get wireless w/o any hassle via Restricted Driver Manager, Compiz-fusion after installed the ATi driver from the Restricted Driver Manager, hibernate, suspend, really good battery life, and all my extra buttons HP came with. Now all these worked with previous Ubuntu version with the exception of hibernate and suspend which work flawlessly in Ubuntu 8.04.

So I agree with the author about Ubuntu being boring but you know what it's boring in a good way.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.77.62.23] on July 21, 2008 05:58 PM
Just installed Ubuntu on my Gateway 4026GZ. The only and major problem I had was getting the Broadcom Wifi card to work, a demon possessed 4306 job, but I eventually conquered that problem.

Still playing with it, don't know if I will switch yet.

Philip

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Sutiability of Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 147.206.4.254] on July 21, 2008 07:14 PM
"I love using linux and it works for me but unless you're a techie, or have basic requirements without needing specialised apps or peripherals, its not at the level of windows XP for your general desktop user."

Yes, but:
1. Most people really just "have basic requirements without needing specialized apps or peripherals". For every MS Office user that needs features not supported by OO.o, there are 99 for whom OO.o will work just fine. Ditto for home/hobby use of the GIMP instead of Photoshop (although not so in the workplace). When people start using GNU/Linux, they usually are amazed at how many *more* things they can do than they could with Windows without spending truckloads of money.

2. If you have more advanced needs, then probably you either are a techie, or your company has techies that could help you. Either way, someone could set you up with anything that is currently available under Linux. Certainly, many businesses are locked into proprietary apps, so you may be stuck with Windows, but not always.

3. These days, Linux supports all categories of peripherals fairly well, even though not every device is supported. It is not too hard to pick hardware that is supported. Even if you have to replace something, remember that you have saved a lot of money by using Free Software. The pitfall is that laptops are not very suited to hardware upgrades.

Anyway, a huge fraction of desktop/laptop computing could easily be done on Linux, and if enough people made that choice, the rest of the pieces would rapidly fall into place as vendors adapt to the market.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 146.114.69.89] on July 21, 2008 11:00 PM
When I was a young chap in college I loved tinkering with Slackware, it taught me so much about how computers and OSes work. It was a real pain to get everything on a laptop working... I loved it! Now I am older and just don't have the time or desire to be tinkering so much. Ubuntu fit right in there, everything works so well, to the point where I wonder if I'm not much of a nerd anymore. I even began to hang out with girls. Windows has always been annoying and mysterious to me, and never found anything to 'just work'.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: unknown] on July 22, 2008 03:47 AM
As a user of both Vista and Linux (on separate machines) I feel deprived because apparently i have missed out on endless inexplicable blue screens in the former case, and insurmountable hardware support problems in the latter.
Apparently there is a world of experience denied to me in spite of my tendency to run bleeding edge hardware and software. Even my brief dalliance with Windows ME was uneventful.
I wish one of my operating system's would fail miserably so I could adopt a justifiably one-myopic-eyed view of the world.
*wish*
*wish*

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Puppy Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.174.243.45] on July 23, 2008 10:47 AM
@ the poster some way up who says his mum's old Win95 laptop can't run Linux, try the latest version of Puppy Linux. It's a Live CD, can install or run off USB stick, can save OS state and files back to USB or even to new sessions on the CD. It's a small download, so give it a try. It's way more functional than DSL and has pretty much everything your mum will need. It's quite sparse looking but actually surprisingly friendly and usable, especially the new release.

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Ubuntu has become my free-tech-work saviour.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 208.68.163.187] on July 23, 2008 07:48 PM
It was probably a 3 time a week endeavor to trek to my mother's house to fix her XP machine, a similar amount for my mother-in-law (whose scanner/copier/fax/printer combo now works for the first time in Ubuntu 8.04), I've since switched both to Ubuntu. My sister-in-law needed a new machine built for her, did that and installed Ubuntu, no problems since (except for a similar MS Office document quandry). My brother in law had an HP laptop that would just not run with Windows any longer, yet with Ubuntu 7.10 it works just fine. I had to drag every one of these guys with me into the Ubuntu pool but after showing them that it wasn't any harder to use than any other OS once a few exceptions were out of the way (disable usplash on a cranky old intel integrated board, getting wireless firmware for laptop, etc.). I'm considerably happier and spend a lot less time teching anything for these guys. I'm really hoping my remaining holdouts of Windows users will convert soon so I can spend my time doing fun things.

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Ubuntu is great - Maybe time for a change.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 92.2.107.165] on July 23, 2008 08:06 PM
Great article!
I have done a review of Ubuntu getting functionality out of an old PC on my site. I think with the current problems people have had with Vista and that MS seem to have lost site of the fact that all users want is a reliable,compact OS instead of the effect driven bloatware thats forced onto them, now might be the time when we see people considering a new direction in OS.

I have been a happy Linux user for many years. Im not going to say that ive completely removed all traces of MS from my system but I find on my dual OS machine, I am booting up Windows XP less and less.

Every friend I have ever installed Linux for has never really come back to me with any major errors or problems, and I think that says alot.

I personally dont use Ubuntu on my main system, favouring a different distro, however Ubuntu is very good and I would recommend it to all new linux users. I am not one of these anti-MS users, however I do believe MS has had the monopoly far too long and that has been to the detriment of the end user.

Great site guys!

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.36.90.68] on July 23, 2008 08:09 PM
I have been really impressed with your article which sums up most of my points of views.

Moreover I have seen that Linux can run on any machine and use all those sophisticated features that "modern" computer show up with 6xmore powerful computers...

I have found linux to be incredible, I study computer science and I have more than enough software to keep myself busy and cope with university work!

Great article!

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.57.178.31] on July 24, 2008 11:11 PM
Really i am tired of people saying "i have always problems with Windows but Linux runs so smooth". Seriously, i cannot imagine any configuration where Windows gives problems and linux does not. I can only imagine the other way around given the poor hard- and software support of Linux. And yes i am true Linux believer.

Also, Linux is not "faster" than Winxp, it just is not, unless we talk about text-mode linux. We, the community, really need to stop making those untrue statements.

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Re: Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 79.116.83.224] on July 25, 2008 04:43 AM
I also used Office 2007 and had trouble with people trying to read my .docx files and shouting back I saved them incorrectly.
Now I am using Ubuntu 8.04. It is slower than freshly installed Windows XP but faster than Vista, as I could see yesterday, when I worked on a computer with Vista for the first time in my life.

Alexandru Fira (AlexBlueberryman)

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 166.214.185.213] on July 24, 2008 11:22 PM
When I get bored with Linux, I try another Linux distribution. It's like opening a new present, always surprising. I can be my own Santa.








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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.24.117.146] on July 25, 2008 02:34 AM
I was working in China last May. A young lady I was working with asked to use my machine, which uses Ubuntu 7.10. She used web mail, opened PDF and .doc files. When she was done, I asked her if she ever used Linux. She said "no, I have never heard of it". Ubuntu needs to do a little more marketing in places like China. Many people could be using it unknowingly ;-)

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.165.242.219] on July 25, 2008 03:23 AM
Just like my father told me as we were driving the long way over to my aunts house:

"Son, if you ever get really good at computers, for the love of god don't tell anyone!"

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.223.33.39] on July 26, 2008 08:47 AM
I first touched Slackware in the mid 90's as graduate student needing a machine to debug FORTAN numerical codes and it was the only true 77-standard compiler that worked with code developed on UNIX machines, the then standard engineering computing platform. In those days you needed to be comfortable compliling and occasionally tweaking the C-source code. Fast forward about 10 years and I ws getting quite tired of the teenagers machines running XP and 2000 being dumped at my desk every 3-4 months with the "windows AIDS" of viruses, worms, spyware, and so on, despite the fact I assiduously used the commercial Symmantic antivirus, Spybot Search and Destroy, Zone alarm soft firewall, as well as a hardware firewall. I even wasted three days on the last of 5 or 6 go-arounds of bare system builds figuring how to enforce the limited accounts - with all of their problems working with Microsoft's own software, an still a month or so later - corrupted again. So about 8-9 months ago seeing an extra Ubuntu CD laying around given to me by a coworker decided to give a try but was skeptical - it would have no apps, require incredible tweaking, driver hunting, and fuzing. Was I floored, this thing installed far easier and with less pain than XP or 98 ever did - it has installed on 3 odd ball scrapheaps with absolutely hand-off. Much less the application suite installed by default is just right. Its been a year now and neither of these boxes has come back to me with any problems. This is definitely the system for your Grandparent's, rank-and-file workers, and all home users, save the power gaming crowd (though I note I not an expert in these games Ubuntu supports some 3-D shooters that I do know are several generations beyond Doom...), this distro and it appears a couple others (MEPIS, PCLinuxOS, Freespire, ...) have pulled of what Apple did with Mac OS-X, one heck of a power system - but you'd never know it if you didn't know better and rock solid stable.

I admitt for the power IT user or even the engineering community I know it's not that easy to dump Windows but its getting easier month by month....Oo Office is beginning to match MS Office in many areas and some of the other's like Gnome Office and K Office aren't shabby either, its nice to regain the power of shell scripting for rapid software prototyping, a lot of the must have applications vendors like the Mathworks (MATLAB) and Wolfram research (Mathematica) are getting it and have ported and support native LINUX now. Among the only hold outs are a widely recognized CAD system, but there are small startup companies jumping here to fill the gap and the transition seems to be getting less painful by the month.

So everyone in the house is now a LINUX user save the wife and her I am weening with substitution of Firefox for Explorer, and OoOffice for MSOffice and so forth. She also has dual boot machine on a wireless network and for stable networking that doesn't fail intermittently she has to boot into the Ubuntu, which oddly enough was able to get working with 3 hours of work, whereas with 3 nights of work with XP I was never able to establish file/printer sharing to work at all.....go figure. My goal is to never have to touch Vista install disks and the subsequent support issues and I think progress on that front is good. Also I am a believer in not systems that are Defective by Design with VISTA that seems to be the case (http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html explains it well).

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Biased article as always

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 207.46.55.30] on July 27, 2008 06:37 AM
Bias as usual by the Linux fanatics. Hide all plus points of Windows & highlight only it's shortcomings. Completely whitewash Linux & hide all its' usability problems under the carpet.

Linux has brought nothing positive to the desktop. I am using Kubuntu 8.04 dual boot with vista (have been using Linus since 1998) & I see nothing that would compel a regular windows user to switch. If Vista has issues, Linux has issues of its' own.

No matter how loudly the Linux freetards scream, they should not forget that on the desktop, Linux is a loser, which is why it still has some 2% marketshare inspite of being available as a free download for the past 15+ years.

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Ubuntu hits new high in Linux boredom

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 58.28.159.46] on July 28, 2008 09:32 AM
I use ubuntu for my home computer but I have to stay while its great it could do a few things better. One example was getting TV-OUT if you don't have an ATI or NVIDIA card it gets extremely difficult. If you use a nvidia card and compiz fusion there is a problem with separate x screens and a huge slow down that requires a bash script on startup to of the gui session to fix.While I have tvout working mostly for what I want I couldn't ever get twin view to work. I often see the odd GUI glitch in Ubuntu where it does weird things and sometimes requires a killall -9 to take care of offending process. Compare this to someone using XP who unless they get a virus or adware isn't likely to have any of these problems.

Still each version is better and better, I love how you can install ubuntu with dmraid in a dual boot situation with a windows hostraid install. Wireless support works quite well thesedays so its getting there and hey its better than vista.

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