And one essential perhaps-overlooked point

Story: The Swiss Army Distro - Might Someone Finally Be Getting It?Total Replies: 3
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Jul 08, 2008
11:32 AM EDT
One would do well to keep in mind the concept of Lowest Common Denominator, a.k.a. LCD (not used here as the standard liquid crystal display monitor technology). One of the many downfalls of MS's Windows Vista is its "high" requirements for hardware resources, besides any learning-curve to transition to it from Windows 2000/XP. Windows Vista fails in this regard by failing to completely account for end-users' current hardware and the fact that many are unwilling to sacrifice the costs to upgrade and train on this..... the LCD becomes effectively trampled-upon here.

The author writes:
Quoting:Therefore, no one distribution needs to fill every need, but each needs to find a need to fill, and then fill it to the best of their ability allowing plenty of room for end user choice.
One could argue that Ubuntu is the epitome of the Swiss Army Distro designed to fill most end-user needs, as so many continue to claim even on LXer. As well, Ubuntu and DVD distros such as the author's touted Sabayon Linux certainly strongly appeal to those who wish to replace the failing Vista on their current hardware.

At the same time, this concept of the Lowest Common Denominator, LCD, probably has to be given more consideration than it already has. And even for the new Linux user. This is called "accommodating" existing hardware, as well as "accommodating" end-user knowledge & skills. This accommodation of the LCD is NOT called "dumbing down" as others sometimes wish to paint this as! LCD is simply a more thorough taking-into-account of various prevalent IT factors --- e.g., hardware, software, knowledge-base. As examples of this LCD - not everyone wishes to or even CAN visit websites with the infamous message "Internet Explorer Required to View This Page" - not everyone has Production desktop systems containing more than 512MB of RAM - not everyone has 802.11b/g or higher wireless access, nor internal LAN bandwidth of 1Gbps or greater - surprisingly (as related to Sabayon Linux and similar distros), not everyone has DVD-ROM drives enabled on their systems

Those of you reading this can no doubt find better or more prevalent examples of this LCD concept.

Jul 08, 2008
7:25 PM EDT
vainrneenr, In defense of sabayon and other DVD based distros. One of the things I did for Sabayon, and nearly any other distro that uses LiveCD/DVD's is a way to install them to bare metal without a cd/dvd drive at all. This actually was in self defense as the DVD drive in my laptop died. So that point is a non factor.

For your referance :

However it does support your LCD of user knowldege, the GRUB hack though is fairly straightforward.

- not everyone wishes to or even CAN visit websites with the infamous message "Internet Explorer Required to View This Page"

I fail to see how or why this is an issue at all in regards to LCD.

- not everyone has Production desktop systems containing more than 512MB of RAM

While memory is a valid point, 256 meg is not that great a stretch and even Sabby will run on that (or less). So I wonder what the actual point of your including it is.

The one remaining point is valid enough if you call it internet access. But if just highspeed internal connections are some how valid for running linux I am clueless as to how that opinion was reached.

Ultimately your LCD comes down to knowledge, skill, and/or google-fu.

Sorry vainrveenr, I just cant agree with any of your associated Lowest Common Denominators. With knowledge the rest of the issues fall like so many bowling pins.

Jul 08, 2008
7:28 PM EDT
Microsoft has always upped the hardware requirements for new products. It seems risky -- to sell a product that nobody can run unless they get new hardware, but it seems to work for MS.

Jul 08, 2008
10:17 PM EDT
Quoting:It seems risky -- to sell a product that nobody can run unless they get new hardware, but it seems to work for MS.
Yet upon further investigation, things may not always be completely what they seem at first glance. A surprising example of this particular point is illustrated within the recent newspiece 'Dell 'Windows Vista Bonus' is a PC with Windows XP instead', critically commented upon in :)

Another example of a LCD that someone quite emphatically mentioned over the last several hours is the use of pre-established vs. novel data formats. The Wikipedia describes the figurative contextual use of the LCD concept here at
Quoting:The term [LCD] is used figuratively to refer to the "lowest"—least useful, least advanced, or similar—member of a class or set which is common to things that relate to members of that class. For instance, ASCII characters are the lowest common denominator for computers, in that this set is very limited, but practically every modern computer can interpret binary data into these characters.
This example of the use of the basic ASCII character set as a LCD over higher-level-formatted MS-Word document formats is even perhaps more elemental than the ECMA standardization fiasco of OOXML over ODF. The lack of universal implementation and the eventual de facto lack of ACCEPTANCE of various older file formats has effectively killed their prevalent uses. If a person wishes to send non-standard MS-Word documents (e.g., through MS-Word 2007) to someone using an old version of SUN StarOffice on a PC, they're apparently MUCH more likely to use the LCD of translating a file into ASCII or RTF format for this first than to translate the MS-Word 2007 document into outdated WordPerfect or AmiPro formats. Naturally, the first choice of that person still using SUN StarOffice is clearly to upgrade his/her software to the latest version of OpenOffice to read and write MS-Word 2007 documents. Little question of this.

One could even successfully claim that de facto standardization on a very basic shared file-format IS a LCD of sorts. (Now who REALLY wants to re-start the railings against the vote of acceptance of OOXML's file-format standard over that of the ODF ??)

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