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I think the main thing against GNU/Linux is that it's created by developers generally for developers. There seem to be efforts to overcome this (e.g. Ubuntu) but generally speaking GNU/Linux doesn't have a culture of catering for the non-geek end-user. Hope I'm wrong but it's probably the one reason why it will never catch up with the likes of Mac OS X.

I don't think it will ever catch up with OSX either, for a lot of reasons. OSX is pretty slick.

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Linux (especially a newer distribution) is not that hard to install or configure.

Tell you what, wezelboy: why don't you wipe the hard drive on your grandmother's computer, hand her a CD with your Linux distro of choice, and make her install and configure it with no help from you or anybody else, then have her come on and tell us how easy it is to install and configure. Better yet, do it to your boss's secretary's computer and see how "not hard to install and configure" your boss thinks it is.

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My father can install Mac OS X too, and he's a grandfather. I wouldn't put him through the misery of installing Windows or Linux though, especially as that might result in having Windows or Linux on his machine.

I do like Ubuntu's (Debian-derived?) software update system though (which includes all "3rd party" software), especially so when it updates you to the a new major version (for free!!). Mac OS X can't do that.

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I wouldn't put him through the misery of installing Windows or Linux though, especially as that might result in having Windows or Linux on his machine.

Christiaan,

When exactly was the last time you installed or used Windows?

I use it every day, with virtually no problems (new PC, proper anti-virus software etc.) My software suite is current and I let Windows handle all the updating automatically.

As for installing the OS, assuming one purchases a name-brand computer (Dell, etc.) the installation is already done. For the odd time I have had to install from scratch, I put in the disk, ran the installer, and all was well.

VG

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Unfortunately I end up having to use Windows at least each week. I find it amusing that you have "proper anti-virus software," a bonus compared to Mac OS X to be sure! ;)

Occasionally I'm roped into helping people with their Windows machine because they see me enjoying helping other people with their Macs. What they don't usually understand is that most of the time I'm not actually fixing *problems* with people's Macs but simply showing them how to get more out of their machine. When it comes to helping people with Windows though, it's usually because something has gone wrong.

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I did a Windows XP install last saturday on a machine I built from scratch (sos I can try emachineshop, maybe play some games). It was not painless. It actually sucked, and would have been a showstopper if I were a "grandmother". Who knew that Windows XP doesn't support the Broadcom gigabit chipset (which has to be one of the most common chipsets around) out of the box? Linux installs on this box flawlessly.

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Your mileage may vary.

My elderly Father has an iBook that has given her more problems than I can count. My girlfriend owned an iBook that was returned to Apple for logic board replacement TWICE in the first year. My son has an MacBook that works perfectly.

I have a PC laptop that has only ever had one problem. I dropped it.

VG.

Edited by VectorGeek
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I did a Windows XP install last saturday on a machine I built from scratch (sos I can try emachineshop, maybe play some games). It was not painless. It actually sucked, and would have been a showstopper if I were a "grandmother". Who knew that Windows XP doesn't support the Broadcom gigabit chipset (which has to be one of the most common chipsets around) out of the box? Linux installs on this box flawlessly.

I'm calling BS on both assertions.

First of all, the Broadcom gigabit driver is installed by default by XP. If you can't wrap your head around clicking the "install" button, then you probably should not be using a computer in the first place.

Secondly, the Red Hat, Debian, Suse, or Ubuntu distros DO NOT include a Broadcom gigabit driver; those distros install the Windows driver and ndiswrapper. Unfortunately, that combination works with only a limited number of Broadcom chipset/mobo combinations; if you don't have one of those combinations, you're SOL.

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I'm calling BS on both assertions.

First of all, the Broadcom gigabit driver is installed by default by XP. If you can't wrap your head around clicking the "install" button, then you probably should not be using a computer in the first place.

Who knows? Maybe it's the Home Edition I was working with, or my mobo. All I know is that it definitely was not flawless. If I didn't know how to get the right driver and click "install" I'd have a doorstop.

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Secondly, the Red Hat, Debian, Suse, or Ubuntu distros DO NOT include a Broadcom gigabit driver; those distros install the Windows driver and ndiswrapper. Unfortunately, that combination works with only a limited number of Broadcom chipset/mobo combinations; if you don't have one of those combinations, you're SOL.

nidswrapper is for wireless network devices. I was talking about the Broadcom GIGABIT driver which has had Linux kernel support since at least 2.4.

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I'm getting the picture... Linux must be a very, very grandfather-friendly operating system!

(What's a gigabit? What's a kernel - anything to do with walnuts? Am I supposed to know or be interested? I just have this appliance called Computer. I turn it on and it washes my clothes. No, that's another appliance... Wait a minute... Oh yes, the Computer saves me time! I just use it and it does wonderful things for me, even without gigabits and kernels.)

Edited by Petri
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The point is wezelboy, a good many people don't *want* to know about this stuff. They've got enough on their plate as it is. Many people just want to use their machines to get stuff done, not learn how it does it.

And this is what I was alluding to earlier. There is not a culture in the GNU/Linux community which says: we want to help others just do stuff. Instead it's a culture of "well if you don't know that you shouldn't be using a computer in the first place!"

This, and not any technical or resource deficiency, is the reason GNU/Linux will probably never catch up with Mac OS X.

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Christiaan,

Do you perhaps refer to this credo?

If you can't wrap your head around clicking the "obtain IP address automatically" radio button, then you probably should not be using a computer.

If you can't wrap your head around clicking the "install" button, then you probably should not be using a computer in the first place.

If I didn't know how to get the right driver and click "install" I'd have a doorstop.

Unfortunately, that combination works with only a limited number of Broadcom chipset/mobo combinations; if you don't have one of those combinations, you're SOL.

What, by the way, is SOL? A chipset? A mobo?

---

Of course I'm an ignorant newbie! (See, I know some nerdwords!) I have used computers to do my work only from 1983.

Edited by Petri
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The point is wezelboy, a good many people don't *want* to know about this stuff. They've got enough on their plate as it is. Many people just want to use their machines to get stuff done, not learn how it does it.

I'm aware of that point. I enjoy the relative ease of use of OSX just as much as the next person. However, the point I was trying to make is that ALL operating systems and the networks they connect to are inherently complex, and while most popular operating systems do a pretty good job of hiding most of that complexity, there is a point where some user knowledge is required.

And maybe I was a bit harsh with the "obtain IP address automatically" comment, but if you don't understand some basic computer and networking concepts and you are setting up your own network and computer, there is a decent chance you are going to get burned somehow- especially if you are running Windows. (Although you can get burned running OSX or Linux as well)

I just thought of a little sob story that relates to this...

My father has terminal cancer and has nearly reached the end of his treatment options. He has had to move to Seattle for 5 months to participate in an experimental stem cell transplant study. He packed up his computer with the intention of handling his affairs (bill paying, communication, etc.) online. He got an apartment in a building that specializes in short term housing for cancer patients. This building provides each room with an ethernet jack that shares a common internet connection. One of the other residents in the building managed to get hacked somehow, and their machine was being used maliciously (I'm not sure of the exact nature of the problem-probably a botnet of some kind). The ISP detects malicious packets coming from the building IP and does what they should do- block the IP. Unfortunately, that cuts off the whole building, and now my father has no way to pay his bills or send e-mail. Sure, he was able to scramble and take care of a lot of this on the phone, but he has cancer and is getting poked and prodded all day every day, the last thing he needs is to worry about how he is going to pay his bills.

In this particular case, the person who allowed themselves to be hacked probably doesn't have a clue about what is going on. I personally would prefer it if they weren't allowed to use a computer at all. Clueless newbs can effect other people through their lack of knowledge.

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In this particular case, the person who allowed themselves to be hacked probably doesn't have a clue about what is going on. I personally would prefer it if they weren't allowed to use a computer at all. Clueless newbs can effect other people through their lack of knowledge.

Most colleges have mandatory orientation training for this important connectivity issue.

Wezelboy, my empathy is with you during this critical time in the life of your family.

May the Force be with you and your courageous Father.

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Well, an intresting question here I think. In my opinion Linux (I use Kubuntu) today is very easy to install and use. Actually Kubuntu with the possibility to boot in to a full os with the live cd is fantastic. Hard to install. I don?t think so. when runned from the live cd, it?s just to choose the install icon from the desktop to get OS installed to the harddisk . After that answer to six simple questions like where do you live, if you wanna have an existing Windows OS left beside Kubuntu and your name. You also get a fully functional desktop with alla normal programs installed like OpenOffice, webrowser, e-mail etc. The internet is found automaticly and the hardwaresupport is much better than I ever experienced in Windows. For example on my laptop, an Acer Travelmate 6003LCI, was the built in wireless card found and configured automaticly - no drivers needed to be installed! Even my father (and my brother, my girlfriend and her family) runns Kubuntu today. My Father even made the update from v6 to 7 by himself (It?s a major update like updating from xp to vista even if that?s not possible without reinstalling...) guess if he was happy. Actually you only have to answer yes and it?s all done automaticly with APT (Automatic package tool). Not to mention that all programs that are installed, not only the os, are updated automaticly trough APT. I have never before experinced such a easy to system to install (got my first pc 1989), maintain and change programs in. If you remove a program it?s really removed!

So I do not agree with those here talking about Linux to be a hard system to install and use, those days are gone!

So why Vectorworks should be ported to Linux? Well because it?s a good platform, it?s free, it?s easy to use and maintain, it?s secure and stable, you have a lot of good programs (almost 20000 trough APT-for free!), no need to reinstall because there is a new (major) version, good support trough forums, community or the maintainer,freedom to choose distribution, it?s here now and I think it?s the OS for the future!!

Why do I still use Windows? Because I can?t have Vectorworks running on Linux. Why not use Mac? Well it?s just another locked in system. If you think I?m not willing to pay for programs, you are wrong. I want to put my money on workingtools like Vectorworks, not on the OS when there are good free alternatives to build your system on. The Kubuntu live/install cd is found at http://kubuntu.org/, just download it and try, it?s free and it won?t touch your system if you don?t choose the install icon.

Well I really hope Nemetschek will very soon port Vectorworks to Linux! I had hoped Vectorworks 2008 would have been that suprise, but it seems I will have to wait a little bit longer...

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  • 3 months later...

Recently installed Ubuntu "Gutsy" on an old Dell laptop as a test before sending to be recycled. Download & install was very easy.

Runs great, drivers for printer, scanner, cameras, WiFi included in the install package. Free office software, reads & writes to Mac & Windows (FAT & NTFS).

Dell is now selling a desktop & laptop computer with Ubuntu installed. Maybe if others follow suit, commercial software vendors will have an incentive to support Linux.

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Non-geek question

It is my understanding that Linux is a more robust OS, having less limitations on ram and multi-core use. If so, and VW was able to run on Linux through Wine or something similar, would this robustness be passed on-at least to some extent.

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