Not just "works FOR people"...

Story: 10 Days as a Linux User: A GNU Perspective on things - The RebuttalTotal Replies: 4
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Aug 27, 2005
12:01 PM EDT
[...]a vision of a world that works for everyone. Even more importantly than that is a world that works with everyone. To me, that's where Linux (in my opinion, obviously) undeniably outshines just about every other OS out there. Obviously far more than Microsoft (the lone major "we don't care about anyone else" holdout) and even more than Apple, I see Linux developers constantly working hard to "play well with others", at least to the extent that they are allowed to. Consider filesystems: Linux can read and write not only a couple of effectively linux-specific filesystems (ext2/3, Reiserfs) but also the Irix filesystem (XFS), the IBM filesystem (JFS), the "old" Microsoft filesystems (MS-DOS FAT12/16/32), the Mac filesystem(s), the Netware filesystems, the Solaris filesystems, and even (to the extent that developers have been able to figure out the byzantine and undocumented features) the "new" Microsoft filesystem (NTFS). Linux (and others) can speak the "Windows" networking protocols (SMB/CIFS) via the Samba project. Linux can speak NFS. Linux can speak WEBDAV (via the davfs project, as well as by running Apache with the appropriate modules) get the idea. Microsoft, on the other hand, can read and write...Microsoft's filesystems and Microsoft's network protocols. The End. It used to be that they could at least speak DAV, but it seems like recent changes in the OS appear to have broken that, and now they only natively work with Microsoft's "special" implementation if at all. It's precisely this "Plays Well With Others" attitude that makes Linux-based platforms - in MY experience - actually easier to use than others. I find that any time I decide to try to get a computer to do something that I know computers can do, but have never tried to do before, it's usually a lot easier to find a way with Linux than it is with Microsoft's platform. (That so many of Linux's projects are also ported to run on MacOSX makes the Mac ALMOST as easy - but you can never be certain that there is a port, or that you can get quite as much control over the Mac OS as you can with Linux.) Too often, the Microsoft "tollbooth" business model ("Want to make your computer do something that it doesn't already? Give us a pile of money and we'll allow it.") means that getting your computer to do something that it doesn't already is limited to finding some proprietary package somewhere, paying the toll, and hoping you haven't been ripped off for an unstable, incapable, or incompatible "product". Incidentally, I have to wonder what wealthy patron the author of the mentioned article has, that as a "student" he can afford that large collection of expensive, modern, proprietary computer equipment. I just can't picture a cable-spool-tables and cinderblock-furniture college student being able to afford all of that unless they're completely abusing an overly generous student loan or are privileged enough to have someone else paying their bills...

Aug 27, 2005
12:21 PM EDT
Well stated!

Aug 28, 2005
9:30 AM EDT
Okay, fess up... who changed 'rebuttle' to 'rebuttal'? Where's geek english coming to? ;-)

Aug 28, 2005
12:03 PM EDT
Martin --

I feel certain it was the work of bored pixies.

Little Known Fact: Prior to the aforementioned pixies' mischief, the title of the piece had been "10 days as Linux user? Up yours, lie guy."

Aug 30, 2005
11:24 AM EDT
Something about Ladson's article irritated me from start to finish, but I can't quite put my finger out it. The misspelling of "Tocoma" and "robotical engineering" (isn't that just "robotics", Clarence?), makes me think that Ladson's piece is just another soft money ad placement.

But Ladson is actually quite complementary - except for games, it all worked for him. If he's that addicted to PC games, then let him go, his talents are indeede better suited to "robotical engineering".

He had a way better experience with Linux that I've had with my wife's Windows machines - the problems one experiences with Windows (gradual slowing, registry cruft, accumulation of mysterious files in C: that eventually causes the OS to implode, magic "unused" registry values whose deletion keeps wireless cards from working, "device drivers" that can cause or fix (!?!) hardware problems) all seem like magic compared to the problems he had with Linux.

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