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Exaggeration and lying lusers

Our Linux Made Easy magazine has been on sale for a little while now, but it seems group of Windows advocates takes exception to something we said in there.

Specifically, the box at the top of p11 states, "Installing a piece of Windows software takes ages and usually involves half-a-dozen reboots".

Let me state up front that I think the writer of that statement is incorrect: Windows software installations are usually pretty straightforward, and rarely require any rebooting at all. However, there are a few mitigating factors:

1) This was a list of things to say to your significant other to make them switch to Linux. It was supposed to be a bit lighthearted, "of course Linux just works!", and so naturally falls biased towards our favourite OS.

2) Some Windows software is incredibly painful to install. Last year I had the misfortune of trying to install Visual Studio 2008 on a laptop borrowed from PC Plus, with the major problem being that it was running Windows Vista. I had to install two service packs, a special Vista/VS2008 patch, then run the entire thing as Administrator to make it work. Other people (eg here and here) have even worse problems.

3) Some users are running older versions of Windows - specifically Windows 2000 and earlier - where reboots were much more frequent. One of the touted features of Windows Vista was to reduce reboots by 50% (source: Austin Wilson, MSFT), but that is the culmination of years of effort.

So: we're sorry for the exaggeration, but hope you're able to take it in its original, lighthearted way.

Now, onto the second issue here: when I was reading the original post by the Windows advocate, I was just amazed at how polarised the discussion was. I realise people can feel passionate about fairly irrelevant things sometimes, but I must admit to be being amazed by operating system fanboys (and girls). I just don't get it: the operating system you use is, for the most part, completely irrelevant. This is why we were all confused when Jim Zemlin told the world that Solaris wasn't the future. Honestly, I could set up a Solaris computer using KDE or Gnome plus OpenOffice.org and other popular FOSS projects, and Jim Zemlin couldn't tell it wasn't Linux unless he went out of his way.

This same situation is what makes netbooks so cool: they are, essentially, mobile internet devices. It doesn't matter whether they run Linux, Windows or Haiku, because for most people they are little more than a portal to the internet - if you have to care that it runs Linux, clearly something is wrong.

Back to our Windows advocate. In his forum post, he said "Stinking Linux liars can't open their mouths without foul lies spewing forth." Youch! I'll have you know we shower at least once a month here at LXF Towers! Some more quotes:

"The wasted time never ends when you subject yourself to amateur kiddieware."

"Evidently the Linux loons are too cheap to purchase it so they read it while sitting in the cafe lounge and then put it back on the shelf."

These people are clearly a little bit beyond the realm of reason, but I just don't understand what led them there. Why feel any loyalty to a convicted monopolist super-corporation from Washington state? Why feel the need to get angry to defend it, as if Microsoft would somehow collapse without you putting in a bit of frothing rage? Microsoft makes some awesome software. Admittedly, I don't count Vista in that list, but that's only one side of the company. Similarly, Apple makes some great applications, and I do count Mac OS X in there.

A common motto of Linux users is "enjoy the choice" - and that doesn't mean "any choice as long as it's Linux." If people want to use Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD or any other operating system, that's fine by me; I just wish they'd keep their minds open to the fact that every OS, even down to something small like Syllable, has a place, and only through peaceful co-existence and sharing ideas can we reach the goal of making computers painless to use.


Your comments

I agree with your last

I agree with your last paragraph.
For me freedom has always been about choice. Just as I am free to choose FOSS, other are free to choose proprietary systems.
However I do think the statement in question was somewhat ill advised. Every so often I see similar statements (not just in LXF, but other Linux mags/websites as well) and I don't think these kind of comments are particularly helpful for a potential Linux user or the wider perception of Linux.
I guess the impersonal nature or the internet is partly to blame for these bizarre attachments people seem to make with their OS (or indeed any other product - Xbox 360 vs PS3 always produces a good flame war). I find it hard to imagine that the people who vehemently advocate their particular product, would use such language in a face to face conversation - then again maybe they would. :D

While Google gives 13,200

While Google gives 13,200 links containing both Jeffrey Archer and Linux, none of them seem to suggest he has anything to write about it. Now if the "lying liar who lies" has nothing to say about Linux, then it can't be worth lying about all that much. ;)

Well, the first statement

Well, the first statement

“Installing a piece of Windows software takes ages and usually involves half-a-dozen reboots”.

Is about as accurate and up to date as:

"Installing software on Linux requires you to type arcane commands at the command prompt"

a draw then :)

Personally these days, I find obtaining and installing software on Linux is usually easier than on Windows, there is no need to exaggerate it.

Windows software is easy to

Windows software is easy to install if it's been developed that way. Same with Linux. And while some Windows software can be a pain, so can Linux software if it isn't, say, packaged properly. Compiling from source can be hell on earth.

Why did the Windows fans get

Why did the Windows fans get so steamed up? As Peter Gammond (Bluff Your Way in Music) observed forty years ago, 'people pretend that they don't care what critics say. If it happens to nasty and true, they do, however, kick up quite a fuss ...'

Look on the bright side,

Look on the bright side, Hudzilla. If the mag can draw even the most ardent of M$ fanboys imagine who else it's drawing... :)

Today I bought an new

Today I bought an new external DVD writer, and like an idiot, I decided to install the burning software - one of the Nero variations - on to my work XP PC.

Not only did it demand a machine reboot; it also wanted to install a newer version of DirectX!! I mean, WTF does burning software need DirectX for?

> I wholeheartedly agree

>

I wholeheartedly agree with this. Why is it always de rigueur to criticise/poke fun at Windows? All this really does is make us come across as a load of smug bigots. Surely we should be able to promote Linux entirely on its own merits without making snide remarks about another operating system. No wonder Windows advocates get steamed up. It's simply a red rag to a bull to them.

Sorry. The opinion I

Sorry. The opinion I wholeheartedly agree with (which I thought I had pasted into my comment!!) is lithiumx's:

>

I now discover I cannot

I now discover I cannot paste - or is it because I typed in two > ? (How do you editn your own comments here?)

Right, third attempt (and I am typing this out manually). The opinion I wholeheartedly agree with is lithiumx's:
However I do think the statement in question was somewhat ill advised. ...... I don't think these kind of comments are particularly helpful for a potential Linux user or the wider perception of Linux.

>> How do you editn

>> How do you editn your own comments here?

Sadly, you can't. The blog isn't included in the overall site log-in (hence the captcha). So you have to make sure you get it rihgt the frist time ;)

@external Floppy: Problem

@external Floppy:

Problem is they don't buy it, they just thumb through it to see if they can see anything to whinge about.

One of the later posts said that the copy in the store was full of seeds from a bun- then used that to criticise Linux users- however, as he isn't one, why does he assume that everyone else thumbing through the mag is?
The evidence seems to suggest that a lot of windows users ( at least 2 of the pro windows posters) flick through Linux mags.

If they hate Linux so much, why do they even open the mag?

:)

"Sadly, you can't." I

"Sadly, you can't."

I rather suspcted there was no wy of editning coments on the blog. Yes, indeedy, I shal hvae to mkae srue I get it rite befre presint the Subimt butten. :lol:



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