"no such thing as a free lunch" - hate that arguem

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"no such thing as a free lunch" - hate that arguem

Postby Diagmato » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:01 pm

Well, ive just come from a rather frustrating arguement with someone who never stops trying to tell me that Nortons Antivirus is the best thing since, well, computers, that im supposedly a fool for believing a free operating system can be anything decent, and that free software is not trustworthy as "theres no such thing as a free lunch". Whenever i try and correct any of these claims, i end up looking like a complete idiot, as everyone else who was in the room also thought it was obsurd that something like Linux could exist. "Why would anyone work for free?" Also, the idea that viruses dont effect Linux (at least, the huge huge HUGE majority of them) was somehow completely un-believable (mainly because theyre not computer literate people, and a "computer" translates to "Windows" for them).

Even after a scan on my aunts (Windows) pc - finding 12 viruses with antivir, after a complete scan with Nortons not finding anything, along came more stupid arguements like "maybe the viruses were too old for nortons to see them as a threat".

The worst is when, one person wants to use my pc to browse online. "Has he installed nortons yet?" comes from that stubborn minded idiot. He just wont get the hint that 1. Nortons doesnt install on Linux, 2. Windows viruses dont effect Linux.

They wont take my word for it - anyone know of any documents i could show them, with absolute answers to their arguements? Im sick of trying to explain it all, without getting looks as if im the gullible fool.
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Re: "no such thing as a free lunch" - hate that ar

Postby nordle » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:21 pm

Diagmato wrote:Whenever i try and correct any of these claims, i end up looking like a complete idiot, as everyone else who was in the room also thought it was obsurd that something like Linux could exist. "Why would anyone work for free?" .


Yep, the few people at work that I've mentioned about OSS have said the same thing, why would anyone do it, it must be crap. Happened only last thurday.

I then tell them that I just installed a totally free version called ubuntu onto my brothers laptop and he is totally computer illiterate but uses office, email, web etc without the need to spend any money or have any AV stuff running.

I installed dapper flight 6 last week for him, works fine on a P266 with 144MB RAM and a pcmcia 56k modem.
Honestly, my bro can turn on a machine use word and a hotmail account and thats it. But he's now using many more apps and liking it a lot. Linux aint ready for the desktop, next year will be the year of the desktop blah blah. If you want it, its already here and has been for a while.

mmm, sorry, don't have any good arguments or stats etc.

Maybe LXF should do an Advocacy article, you occasionally have jono bacon do stuff and thats all he seems to bang on about these day's, bung him a few quid and you could get a reasonable article out of it, something we could all use points from.
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RE: Re: "no such thing as a free lunch" - hate tha

Postby towy71 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:51 pm

Give them a copy of theopencd with the free av software open office et al.
Alternatively give them a copy of one of the live Cd's and tell them to try it for free, without endangering their computers.
Finally email them this address which points out the differences and similarities ;-)
HTH

PS Don't tell them they're idiots {even when they are ;-)}
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RE: Re: "no such thing as a free lunch" - hate tha

Postby shifty_ben » Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:29 pm

The thing that always makes me laugh, is that 70% of the people that use that argument with me, will often be complaining about "bloody windows" thirty seconds later. Can't help wonder why they are so afraid to try something new, especially as Windows clearly annoys the hell out of them.

I've found a good trick(although a little cruel) is to wait until not long after a new windows release (You can only really do this trick a couple of times every decade ;) ) and then invite everyone down to the pub. Start a conversation along the lines of "I just updated my PC to Gentoo 2006.0 (or the name of your distro) the new kernel is fantastic, it is handling things so much faster, it can now do [task] x seconds faster than Windows on the same machine. Get them talking about their PC, then suggest someone gets a round in (In my experience, Windows fan boys tend to be somewhat skint after a new release). After hearing "im a bit short at the mo" and such like, bring out a wad of cash equivalent to the price of the latest version of Windows, and say well ill get the first one in, to comiserate you guys wasting your money"

It does lead to you buying the first round (and maybe more) but the look on their faces is always a picture :D
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RE: Re: "no such thing as a free lunch" - hate tha

Postby GMorgan » Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:03 pm

The problem is there is no such thing as a free lunch but that does not mean that Capitalism (or at least extreme Capitalism) will always produce the best product. Most people are so obsessed with the fact the US beat Russia that any consideration that Capitalism has weaknesses is laughed at despite them being hugely apparent. Surely it must have dawned on them that MS spend more effort locking competitors out of the market rather than improving their product.

Ask your friends one question. In a time where the employment market is moving away from producing products which you buy (with the preference being imports) and into areas where providing a service for a particular product why computers won't go the same way.

Companies already make a lot of money producing Linux distributions then selling the proprietry parts they added and offering support in the long term. Much of the work done on the OSS parts are of value to the community and the community is of value to them as well since the community also codes and tests most of the early releases. If OSS doesn't work then point them towards Sun's release of Solaris. If a company had a previously successful server OS then why on earth would they release the source code to the general public. Unless it improved the product in some way.

Point them towards the profit margin IBM gave out for their Linux department last year.

Also given that MSO generally costs £400 and the minimum wage is £5. I could give 80 hours of coding before it becomes economical flawed to continue. Now 25,000 people have contributed to OOo, you do the math. Add all the costs of MSO, Windows, Norton :roll: et all and see how much coding time that would mean then multiply by the number of people who can code and wouldn't be adversed to doing some OSS work then you get some measure of how much potential OSS has.
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RE: Re: "no such thing as a free lunch" - hate tha

Postby emyr42 » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:50 am

A possible argument:

The first caveman to make a hammer did not do so because he was paid to: he did it because he had some object which needed to be struck. There's nothing stopping us from using the same hammer design, is there? And caveman didnt patent his hammer, because he thought eveyone could benefit from having his type of hammer.

Hence we get a free hammer design.

Same goes for a lot opensource sofware.

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RE: Re: "no such thing as a free lunch" - hate tha

Postby GMorgan » Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:12 pm

Reply to one traditional statement with another

Every generalisation has its exception including this one.
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RE: Re: "no such thing as a free lunch" - hate tha

Postby ggsinclair » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:34 am

without the need to spend any money or have any AV stuff running.


Although I agree with most of what is said people we do need to be careful if we tell people that Linux doesnt need AV software. It does - but it is generally free.

MS lovers would enjoy nothing more than seeing a Linux virus spreading (it is possible) because we, as a community, believe this to be a purely MS problem.
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RE: Re: "no such thing as a free lunch" - hate tha

Postby donoreo » Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:20 pm

I get the same thing at work here. I work at a software/services company and there are a few people that just do not get open source even though our software runs on it! I heard one person on the phone to a customer say "thats what you get when you have an OS written by kids." Another guy just cannot possibly believe that software written by a community could be better than people getting paid to write it. I tried to explain that many ARE paid to write open source software, but it fell on deaf ears.
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Postby Hello » Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:50 pm

You can run Windows without getting a virus just as long as you know what you are doing just as you can run Linux.

Although Linux is less vunrable for seevral reasons (which ms seem to be trying to close the gap on in vista) there still will be the need for Mr Average and his porn browsing
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Postby Diagmato » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:32 am

This arguement continued with a discussion about free browsers - opera, firefox, mozilla, and how internet explorer is the most standards UN-compliant browser. Then came the laughable statement from him - "No, all the other browsers are the in-compliant ones - Microsoft was first to make a browser, and not to mention they invented the internet".

After that sentance, i stopped arguing. Its just not worth it. Honestly, when most of these arguements are backed up by a simple google search, yet he wont bother to look at the evidence, even when ive printed it off and handed it to him, then theres no point in arguing. If he wants to get plagued by security threats (yes, he uses IE and wonders why people are bothering with 'freeware' browsers) then its not my problem. Anytime he wants me to sort a computer problem, he can forget it. Not if he believes he's right, and that Microsoft created the internet, and that everything else is just 'lame freeware'.


Shift_ben - you are right about that pub response - if he wants to be stuck up Microsofts rear, then its his loss (including money ;)).
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Postby spottedcat » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:47 am

As me old Gran used to say, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make a donkey eat from your hand." Or something like that. :wink:
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Postby MartyBartfast » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:51 am

I used to have similar (but good natured) arguments with a guy I worked with, we used to wind each other up about OSS & such all the time, his view was that if it was Open Source then it must be insecure because "Anyone can write it, so what's to stop any hacker writing viruses into Firefox etc" he just didn't get the argument that at least you have a chance to see what's in the code, and there's a whole community of experts out there vetting and testing it, as opposed to Windows where you just have to take it on trust that it's secure and isn't going to do anything nasty. Every time there was a new Firefox or Linux vulnerability found he would Email it to me and start to gloat, I didn't bother mailing him every IE & Windows vulnerability 'cos there aren't enough hours in the day :mrgreen:
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Postby Hello » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:21 pm

Intresting how ms find the time to write a load of this genuine advantage stuff to make life nice and complicated for us it people as we have to validate every copy of our windows by hand it just dont seem to be able to be automated nicely but they cant fix vunrability which have been around for months
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Postby Diagmato » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:43 pm

Microsoft dont have the resources which the open source movement does. At least, from what they demonstrate. Rather than focus on fixing the much needed security holes, theyre instead putting priorities on locking out "un-approved" software. Yes, this can also mean theyre making it hard for "dumb" users to install that "ever so lovely program that stores your credit card details, so you dont have to type it each time", but that isnt working wonders for the security of businesses, and higher than beginner users, who are pounded by viruses lurking around pretty much every corner.

It would help a ton for M$ if they fixed their OS from going stale after a while. Suse 10 has been as fast and stable as the day I installed it back in October, and ive done some pretty stupid things to the system since then.
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