*shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

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*shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby King Author » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:16 am UTC

I've been trying to convert to Linux for a couple of years now. My latest effort was over two weeks long; I got a new desktop and, like every other time I've ever gotten a new computer, I told myself this time I was gonna convert to Linux...but I ended up going with XP (I hate Vista and 7). Why Windows? Because Linux is just too damn complicated.

Know this -- I want to convert to Linux. On principal, I dislike Microsoft as a company because of the unethical way in which the company started, and the unethical business practices they employ even today. At the same time, I'm a big supporter of the free software movement (I was using Firefox before it was cool).

But...I just can't get anything to fuggin' work in Linux. You practically need a computer science degree to work the console (aside from just having someone tell you what to punch in, which doesn't really help). I put over seventy-two hours of effort in trying to get a wireless network up and running in Linux, and I just couldn't do it. I don't have the sheer force of will and tenacity apparently needed to run Linux. Or perhaps I just don't have the intelligence >_>

Either way, as much as I'm loath to admit it, I've never found an OS I like better than XP. As they once advertised, it "just works." And as much as I care about free software and all that, if I can't do anything with a computer running Linux, it's not worth it.

Although I often lambast them, I can understand the feeling of someone who comes up with a nifty program, lets people download it for free, but refuses to release the source code, saying they don't want a bunch of different versions floating around -- that's the problem with Linux. Microsoft has innumerable flaws, but it's one company, it's all singularly focused, if that makes sense, whereas with Linux, anyone can make a half-assed attempt at a distro and release it to the world, promising they're gonna do big things with it and drawing talent from other projects, only to give up before it's finished. There's no central, authortative Linux body, which is kind of the point, but it cuts the legs out from under Linux itself by disallowing any distro from doing what Microsoft does; be the only focus of that entire operating system.

What someone needs to do (though I know it'll never happen) is get together all the most talented Linux geeks and do one big project; a Windows-killer distro. No, Ubuntu doesn't count; it's only marginally less complex, confusing and user-unfriendly than your average distro. What I mean by Windows-killer is something that, at least to an equal extent as Windows, "just works." I can take any peripheral, stick it in my machine, and bada-boom, it works, because it's Windows. There's a thousand different Linux distros and compatability is all over the map; it takes days of work to get any given peripheral to work. And that's to say nothing of what ought to be infantilely-simple tasks like installing new programs and twerking basic system settings. Einstein wouldn't use Linux for its complexity.

Do you understand me? I want to convert to Linux, but I just can't do it. It's not worth it; XP is a thousand times simpler and easier. If there were a Linux distro as simple and easy as XP, I'd convert in a heartbeat, but there's just not.

...

I feel like a traitor and a failure T_T
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby ownershipyardstickmanhandler » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:59 am UTC

I have generally had the same experience as you, and always find myself coming back to XP. To be honest the main reason I just can't convert to Linux is video drivers -- I've got an oldish ATI X1950, and finding clear documentation for drivers, be they open source or proprietary, is a nightmare (at least to the Linux newb like me).

I tried Gentoo recently; got about as far as installing X and KDE and just couldn't get any further. Linux is difficult to learn. Ubuntu is often called noob-friendly -- perhaps that's true, but it doesn't teach you Linux.

To be fair to Ubuntu, it pretty much "just works" (I can't really speak for any other distros). Having grown up with XP, though, most of Ubuntu feels like it has been designed by committee (which it has been, of course, but it shouldn't feel like that) and the UI generally feels very sluggish.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby naschilling » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:13 pm UTC

Those are brave statements for this type of a site. I applaud you for making them. Sadly, I'm going to get flamed worse for what I'm going to say.

The fundamental problem is Linux *IS NOT* supposed to be a desktop operating system for general users. Neither is FreeBSD, NetBSD, or OpenBSD. I couldn't have said it better than your statement:
You practically need a computer science degree....


I hate Gnome. KDE is better, but it's still so fragmented that it's worthless. Everyone wants to code the "fun" part and no one bothers to do the hard part that makes everything "just work." That's the problem with volunteer coders.

Linux is more of a set of tools than it is an operating system. It is the equivalent of ordering a new house built and showing up to see a pile of frames and components all around. Technically, there are all the components of a house, but it's a bit drafty when the wind blows. In Linux, you have tools to build whatever you want. Many distros attempt (poorly) to build something that everyone will call a real OS, but they generally fail miserably.

In the "olden" days of computers, a user would have a computer running MS-DOS 5.0 and then he would launch Windows 3.1 by typing "win" and then the user would be in a environment more comfortable to them. More than ever, I feel Microsoft needs to go back to this approach. Their GUI (built from XP) on top of a Linux kernel would solve the security and stability of their OS and enable developers, system administrators, and geeks to have the underlying tools that Linux provide. Bash (or any other shell) could be launched in a window.

The only problem I see is if Microsoft were to do this is that I would consider it the Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse.

More along the lines of practical advice, I would suggest run Windows XP, install VirtualBox and use Ubuntu 10.04. I specifically refer to an LTS version because there is more information on how it works out there. Then use the virtual machine to learn the shell. It will help you dramatically and get you further down the line. Alternatively, get a Mac.

Here's a short list of commands you should learn: ls, cd, pwd, chmod, chown, sudo, cat, grep, top, ps, which, ifconfig
Key ideas you should try to learn: ./ ("dot-slash, current directory"), | ("pipe"), > ("Output Redirection"), < ("Input Redirection")

I will mention one other program that will likely start a religious crusade, but you should learn Nano (from the shell type "nano"). I suggest Nano rather than Emacs, VI, or a magnetized needle because it's EASY. CTRL+x is exit, like it should be. I wish it did CTRL+s for save, but CTRL+o is good enough. And it says all the keys on the bottom of the screen. It's great for anyone just learning or even for the seasoned veteran.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Meteorswarm » Sun May 01, 2011 12:05 am UTC

ownershipyardstickmanhandler wrote:I tried Gentoo recently


Trying Gentoo, getting stuck, and declaring Linux too complicated is like trying algebraic topology, getting stuck, and declaring all of mathematics too complicated.

Gentoo is intentionally complex and hard to configure because it's intended for people who already know precisely what they are doing and don't want anything done for them. If that's not you, then don't use Gentoo.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby naschilling » Sun May 01, 2011 3:59 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:Trying Gentoo, getting stuck, and declaring Linux too complicated is like trying algebraic topology, getting stuck, and declaring all of mathematics too complicated.

Gentoo is intentionally complex and hard to configure because it's intended for people who already know precisely what they are doing and don't want anything done for them. If that's not you, then don't use Gentoo.

While I don't deny what you say has merit, you seem to have missed the heart the problem. The fact that there are thousands of distros and each is targeted to a specific demographic is complicated enough. Even if he were to ask the simple question, "What distro is best for noobs?" I suspect we would have a 10 page thread of people arguing about which is the best.

That doesn't even bring into play the multitude of issues that come with drivers, X.org, or mounting hard drives. This comic isn't lying.

On the up side, things have gotten much better since I started and most graphics cards now work out of the box. I had a Kyro II in the first computer I ran Linux (RedHat 7.2) on. Let's just say I got really good at navigating the filesystem and 'cat'-ing files. When I upgraded to a GeForce 2 GTS and I had graphics, I played Tux Racer.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby poxic » Sun May 01, 2011 5:22 am UTC

Heh. I appreciate Linux for what it can do, when I need it to do things for me. There is a machine at work that runs some form of *nix, and I suspect it is in fact Linux. It's a lovely thing to deal with when I need the power it has, for the very specific tasks I use it for. (grep, ls, vi, cp, rm ... all basic stuff, but so elegant and useful once various options become second nature.)

When I'm at home, browsing and gaming and generally farting around, I do NOT want to be futzing with my OS just to get things working. I want to buy a new game, plug it in, and RUN IT. I also want to keep running my older games, stuff from pre-2000, without having to learn a whole new way to make them work.

Thus, I still use WinXP at home. I will use this OS that I once resented until it has no more life left in it, or until Elder Scrolls: XXIV or Dragon Age 69 force me to upgrade. I will use the hell out of this OS. I will wring every last drop of usefulness out of it, until the very hardware gives up in agony and defeat, leaving me in digital withdrawal until I accept the inevitable salvation of ... eh, probably Win7.

And Win9 will probably be out by then. I'm all about the trailing edge.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby EvanED » Sun May 01, 2011 6:08 am UTC

naschilling wrote:More than ever, I feel Microsoft needs to go back to this approach. Their GUI (built from XP) on top of a Linux kernel would solve the security and stability of their OS and enable developers, system administrators, and geeks to have the underlying tools that Linux provide. Bash (or any other shell) could be launched in a window.

I've seen people make this suggestion in the past, and I fairly vehemently disagree. The NT kernel really isn't bad -- virtually all of Windows's security issues are at a higher level (either problems with the security model they've inherited from the DOS/Win95 days, or vulnerabilities in the userspace libraries), and IMO the stability issues are pretty much flat-out a thing of the past. The kernel itself is actually quite nice in many respects, and *nix kernels are far from perfect as well. Suppose you came to me and said the following: "I will give you a system that really has a Linux-like userspace (in particular, custom WMs) and native compatibility with Windows applications. Would you rather it be based on the NT or Linux kernel?" I would choose the former.

There's another problem too. People often speak of the "Windows monoculture" in the sense that almost all PCs out there are running Windows. (This is less true than it used to be of course, but it's still a large majority.) But MS switching Windows to a *nix kernel brings about a different kind of monoculture: basically every OS out there would be based on a *nix kernel. I'm not sure which kind of monoculture is worse. The latter can lead to stiffleness too; see this old talk by Rob Pike. I saw that for the first time a few years ago, and it sort of helped form some vague ideas floating around in my head at the time.

More along the lines of practical advice, I would suggest run Windows XP, install VirtualBox and use Ubuntu 10.04. I specifically refer to an LTS version because there is more information on how it works out there.

That's a good idea, but keep in mind that it will seem slower than it would if it were being run natively (of course). VM's a pretty good now, but they're not perfect, particularly in I/O-intensive portions of code.

You could also do it the other way: run Ubuntu as the host, install VirtualBox or VMWare Server, and run Windows as the guest.

Which one is better depends on how confident you are in your Linux setup abilities. E.g. if you can't get networking going, Ubuntu-as-host is a pretty terrible idea.

I will mention one other program that will likely start a religious crusade, but you should learn Nano (from the shell type "nano"). I suggest Nano rather than Emacs, VI, or a magnetized needle because it's EASY. CTRL+x is exit, like it should be. I wish it did CTRL+s for save, but CTRL+o is good enough. And it says all the keys on the bottom of the screen. It's great for anyone just learning or even for the seasoned veteran.

I will happily contribute to this crusade, but in perhaps a slightly unexpected way; I don't think you need to focus on console editors at all unless you have some particular reason to want to. I'd suggest Gedit for newbies. Unlike... actually any CLI editor I know, this actually will have keyboard shortcuts you're used to: ctrl-c/ctrl-x/ctrl-v for copy/cut/paste, ctrl-s to save, etc.

The command line is very powerful and makes some things rather easier because you can pipe things together and script things easier -- but I firmly believe document editing in the traditional sense is not one of those things. About the only times I use console editors (besides 'cat > file.txt' to make a new very short file...) are (1) over SSH and (2) because Svn/Git are set to use them for commit logs (so I don't have to deal with local/ssh separately in that case).

Edit: I feel like expanding a bit on what I said up top.

If you look at Rob Pike's talk that I linked to, the parts I agree with are those on pages 6, 8, 14, and in particular, 15. (Those are by PDF page, not the number in the upper-right.)

If MS were to change to a new kernel, I'd much rather it be something that pulls from so research kernels like Singularity. IMO the time of writing your general OS kernels in C should be coming to a close; switching to a *nix kernel is basically the exact opposite of what should be happening. It's time to start reevaluating what our computers should look like instead of just acting as if the design decisions made in 1970 are still what we want. And the reason my opinion of NT is so favorable is that, IMO, they do a better job at that task than any other OS in the real world.

NT doesn't have everything right: it makes a lot of things more complicated than I think they need to be, they've made some missteps, and they've had some long-standing omissions (e.g. symlinks should have been there way before Vista). And it's not like NT isn't written in C/C++. But I get much less feeling of Pike's "orthodoxy" in Windowsland than I do in Linuxland, especially in the kernel proper.

But anyway, this has strayed a bit off topic I think...
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby naschilling » Sun May 01, 2011 3:00 pm UTC

I love Singularity, but it will never become a production kernel. Several ideas from the kernel will undoubtedly see adoption into mainstream kernels, but Microsoft is collapsing in on itself and they lack the momentum they once held to push change in the computer landscape.

When building the original Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds mentioned a simple idea: the user of the system never actually sees the Kernel of an OS. Even the binary utilities, such as linkers, loaders, compilers, etc, are not seen by the user. A user cares about the interface and their programs and the UI. To that end, most users don't care about what kernel they run.

In this respect, Apple has made many steps forward with iOS. The kernel is still Darwin, a Unix kernel. It still uses many of the GNU binary utilities. Memory has always been virtualized, so there's no significant changes there, but file system access is restricted and no program can influence any other program. The user never even sees the filesystem and the idea of a file is completely abstracted away from the user, but they're obviously still there on the lower level.

When I refer to Microsoft switching their kernel to Linux, I don't mean to be promoting Linux or any particular kernel. I simply refer that they UI and kernel should be developed separately. While kernel development and UI development are separate departments internally to Microsoft, the fact is that the Kernel is the slave to the UI and because of that, if the UI side of things requires a change, the Kernel must bow to their will, even if it is not in the kernel's best interest. Aside from this, switching away from the NT kernel means that many of the flawed drivers that have been patched along since Windows 95 would be completely eliminated.

The separation between kernel and UI would allow the kernel developers to work in isolation to keep "features" out of the kernel that should be userspace programs. UI developers can focus on what users really want. The rest of the OS is, much like Apple has implemented, libraries for developers to build from.

The core "Microsoft Technology," the Common Runtime Language (CRL), can be easily be ported to ANY kernel and abstract away the underlying hardware and kernel. This is already becoming apparent as Microsoft has been demoing Windows on ARM-based systems.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby EvanED » Sun May 01, 2011 6:16 pm UTC

naschilling wrote:When building the original Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds mentioned a simple idea: the user of the system never actually sees the Kernel of an OS. Even the binary utilities, such as linkers, loaders, compilers, etc, are not seen by the user. A user cares about the interface and their programs and the UI. To that end, most users don't care about what kernel they run.

The user sees consequences of their kernel. When working in undergrad on group projects, the security we had on our shared code was "gee, I hope no one guesses the name of this directory it's in" because the kernel didn't support ACLs. In earlier versions of Windows, BSODs were much more common because the kernel didn't really support userspace drivers.

When I refer to Microsoft switching their kernel to Linux, I don't mean to be promoting Linux or any particular kernel. I simply refer that they UI and kernel should be developed separately. While kernel development and UI development are separate departments internally to Microsoft, the fact is that the Kernel is the slave to the UI and because of that, if the UI side of things requires a change, the Kernel must bow to their will, even if it is not in the kernel's best interest.

Can you cite any specific examples of this, because I suspect you're pretty much off-base in terms of how things work over in Redmond.

The core "Microsoft Technology," the Common Runtime Language (CRL), can be easily be ported to ANY kernel and abstract away the underlying hardware and kernel. This is already becoming apparent as Microsoft has been demoing Windows on ARM-based systems.

I disagree that .Net stuff is the core MS technology... I think native code calling the Windows API is. That's what almost all Windows programs use, and that's what users would notice if they broke compatibility of.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby naschilling » Sun May 01, 2011 10:38 pm UTC

Can you cite any specific examples of this, because I suspect you're pretty much off-base in terms of how things work over in Redmond.

I have no specific knowledge of such a case from the NT kernel. However, there are plenty of examples of Microsoft programs knowingly maintaining security holes to maintain backward compatibility and user experience. I'm confident that several exist, but you are correct that I cannot cite any specific example.

I disagree that .Net stuff is the core MS technology... I think native code calling the Windows API is. That's what almost all Windows programs use, and that's what users would notice if they broke compatibility of.

I'm amazed how few people remember that Microsoft initially released Windows NT for the PowerPC platform. The practicality of maintaining two application binary incompatible systems concurrently is impossibly difficult. PowerPC support was eventually eliminated. Now, Microsoft has announced support for Windows on ARM. Any natively compiled programs will be incompatible with the ARM platform.

Apple was able to succeed in a transition, twice, by staging the development software in advance to be prepared for the transition. However, Apple did so as a transitional phase, not as permanent support. Microsoft, like Apple, has planned ahead for such a move. Any developer using Visual Studio has the CLR option only a recompile away.

The user sees consequences of their kernel. When working in undergrad on group projects, the security we had on our shared code was "gee, I hope no one guesses the name of this directory it's in" because the kernel didn't support ACLs. In earlier versions of Windows, BSODs were much more common because the kernel didn't really support userspace drivers.

I'm often amazed how many people confuse features and benefits. Features are what a product has or doesn't. Benefits are what they can do for a user. In your example, you probably didn't actually care that the kernel didn't implement ACLs. You cared that your files were not secure. If there were a method for you to to get the granularity of an ACL without the kernel having implemented them, you probably wouldn't care if the kernel implemented it or not.

Linux zealots often brag about "copy on write" memory pages for forked processes or other such gems of the Linux landscape and how superior they are. To me, that demonstrates a true lack of understanding of what a user wants. A user doesn't care about implementation, quantifiable performance, or even license. A user cares about responsiveness, ease of use, and the ability to get their work done efficiently.

And thus, we arrive back at the original post. No one has to like Linux, Firefox, or any other open source product. It's just a question about what the best tool is to get the job done.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby EvanED » Sun May 01, 2011 11:53 pm UTC

naschilling wrote:
Can you cite any specific examples of this, because I suspect you're pretty much off-base in terms of how things work over in Redmond.

I have no specific knowledge of such a case from the NT kernel. However, there are plenty of examples of Microsoft programs knowingly maintaining security holes to maintain backward compatibility and user experience. I'm confident that several exist, but you are correct that I cannot cite any specific example.

And all those I can think of are at higher levels: eg the decision to not run as administrator is certainly not the kernel's fault.

I disagree that .Net stuff is the core MS technology... I think native code calling the Windows API is. That's what almost all Windows programs use, and that's what users would notice if they broke compatibility of.

I'm amazed how few people remember that Microsoft initially released Windows NT for the PowerPC platform.

Not to mention several others.

The practicality of maintaining two application binary incompatible systems concurrently is impossibly difficult. PowerPC support was eventually eliminated. Now, Microsoft has announced support for Windows on ARM. Any natively compiled programs will be incompatible with the ARM platform.

Yes, that's true. But it still doesn't change my assertion that MS's biggest strength historically is it's backwards compatibility -- from maintaining the Windows API. That's what I mean by saying that's MS's core technology.

The user sees consequences of their kernel. When working in undergrad on group projects, the security we had on our shared code was "gee, I hope no one guesses the name of this directory it's in" because the kernel didn't support ACLs. In earlier versions of Windows, BSODs were much more common because the kernel didn't really support userspace drivers.

I'm often amazed how many people confuse features and benefits. Features are what a product has or doesn't. Benefits are what they can do for a user. In your example, you probably didn't actually care that the kernel didn't implement ACLs. You cared that your files were not secure. If there were a method for you to to get the granularity of an ACL without the kernel having implemented them, you probably wouldn't care if the kernel implemented it or not.

Fine. "when working in undergrad on group projects, the security we had on our shared code was 'gee, I hope no one guesses the name of this directory it's in' because the kernel didn't support any features that would give us the benefit of having appropriate security."

Happy?

And yet my point hasn't changed one iota from the way I phrased it originally.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Jhackulon » Tue May 03, 2011 11:10 am UTC

I reccomend a cold-turkey approach!

Go to command prompt and type:
Code: Select all
format C:\

your problems will all be solved in a couple of minutes

Cheers!!!
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Sun May 08, 2011 4:15 am UTC

Build a hackintosh. They just work right out of the box!
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Kaelri » Tue May 17, 2011 1:25 am UTC

I have to ask, even aside from the Windows vs. Linux debate... why XP?

I can understand wanting to squeeze every drop out of your existing copy before shelling out for a new one - I did that for the last two years - but you implied that you would have chosen it anyway. I've found 7 to be a much stronger contender for the "just works" category. Particularly in the areas of networking, wireless and application management, not to mention an outstanding Explorer revamp. Really, I can't think of anything I miss about XP, even in abstract "experience" terms. And especially with the end-of-support date coming up in three years, I can't imagine buying XP today.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Kromix » Fri May 27, 2011 3:14 pm UTC

dont forget about win7 Pro/ultimate with XP emulation. I have been using Windows 7 since beta and even in beta it was a stable workhorse. i switched my daily use computers to win 7 pro/ultimate and left my server and laptop as Xp. they both just work, and IMO windows 7 just works alot better.


BTW, i have been going in and out of linux for the past 8 years, tryimng to get into it, but life gets in the way and i revert to M$
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Solt » Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:17 am UTC

King Author wrote:On principal, I dislike Microsoft as a company because of the unethical way in which the company started, and the unethical business practices they employ even today.


Microsoft, through Bill Gates, has donated Billions of dollars to extremely noble causes. Buy Microsoft, help a dying kid in Africa! CAN LINUX OFFER THAT?
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Fedechiar » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:13 am UTC

Solt wrote:
King Author wrote:On principal, I dislike Microsoft as a company because of the unethical way in which the company started, and the unethical business practices they employ even today.


Microsoft, through Bill Gates, has donated Billions of dollars to extremely noble causes. Buy Microsoft, help a dying kid in Africa! CAN LINUX OFFER THAT?


Ok, so install Linux and give $150 to a charity. You'd give more money to the kids in Africa than Microsoft ever would if you bought a Windows licence (and you even have a few dollars left)
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby zerkrox » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:29 pm UTC

The core target market of Microsoft is the general public. They try to make it as simple as possible, so that every time you want to install or update something you will not have to pull out your terminal.

I regularly use Linux as a hobby on a VM. A toy, if you will. twerking it as much as possible until it breaks.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:34 pm UTC

I use XP and also find it does everything a computer needs to do. It has mild virus/spyware issues that have cropped up for me twice in the last 4 years or so, but I'm not convinced those problems are particularly more frequent than other OSs.

See KA, that didn't require a wall of text.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Iranon » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:52 pm UTC

Getting the wireless working is often THE biggest problem when setting up a new free OS. Buying hardware known to work with it can make it extremely painless: From 2 days of suffering before I gave up to detecting it right off any live cd that doesn't use an ancient kernel.

*

Choosing the right desktop environment is important and always a trade-off. Clean, easy, full-featured... usually you can have 2 out of 3 and the last category is abysmal: they aren't written to be acceptable to everyone, they're written to please the authors and their core audience.

KDE and Gnome are easy (at least to start with) and full-featured... but they're complex, bloated and dogmatic, wanting you to do things their way. Very different style though (KDE flaunts its complexity, Gnome hides it).
Openbox + its graphical setup tools is clean and easy, but a little austere. The same goes for most popular lightweight setups, and some will feel very strange coming from a windows background)
FVWM gives you all the tools to create your own pretty, user-friendly, stable desktop environment with all features you want with a few hundred lines of configuration. A shame nobody ever managed this.

If you want something that 'just works' without feature creep or obsessive minimalism, XFCE is probably a good start. Familiar paradigms, stable, fast. It works well out of the box but is modular enough to serve as a good starting point for tinkering. The conservative default looks are easy to change to something pleasing.

*

Also: if you dislike the fractured and chaotic nature of Linux, there's always BSD... and PC-BSD has become quite user-friendly.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Deviltry » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Jhackulon wrote:I reccomend a cold-turkey approach!

Go to command prompt and type:
Code: Select all
format C:\

your problems will all be solved in a couple of minutes

Cheers!!!

Code: Select all
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\Users\Laurynas>format C:\
Invalid drive specification.

C:\Users\Laurynas>



Fail more?
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby lag » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:21 pm UTC

The idea of switching to a GUI *nix distribution for my desktop needs has always been something of interest to me. For one reason or another, I have made an honest attempt an average of every six months to explore the possibility of doing so. For example, I get a new laptop/netbook, a need to format a fresh system, or (most recently) a primary hard drive failure. Each time, my patience is exceeded by ongoing remnant issues or something new and exciting. I won't start a meta holy-war with my particular issues, so I'll leave that rant for another time.

Many google searches and forum posts later, I give up and schlepp back to Windows XP/7, and curse the weeks I wasted attempting to successfully configure a desktop environment and the tools I need. I came to realize in time that perhaps it's OK to stick with the tools that just work out of the box. On that day I sold my soul to William Gates.

The closest thing I will ever come to using a real *nix desktop will probably be my Mac OSX at work. While being the most unstable "production-ready" OS I've used in years, the additional power brought by the kernel change was a welcomed extension compared to the previous editions.

As a side note, I have been using a *nix distro as a headless SSH / cronjob server for about six years now. The server has never gone down on me once (o-baby) and it's a joy to have such a reliable machine, but I still believe that's all *nix will ever be to me.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby gavin » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:55 pm UTC

If you're going to stick with XP, at least install Win7 on your machine and then install the free XP VM that comes with Win7 so it can give you some sort of advantage. Win7 at least has increased security and managed to solve most of the Vista problems (Win7 is essentially a significant patch for Vista).

Because the software company I work for sells software to major companies, we are microsoft partners so I really don't have much choice which OS I use. That and the software I get rarely exceeds $10 in cost. So I am forced to think, is the time it would otherwise take to install a free OS worth saving $10? No, no it isn't.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Iranon » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:34 am UTC

Choosing a free operating system because it saves you a handful of $ is like marrying someone because you're too stingy to hire a prostitute.

Yes, you will satisfy your superficial needs and save some money in the short run. But if you don't want to explore the other possibilities of the free option, the savings won't be worth the headaches and commitment expected of you. And you more or less announce that you lack class.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby gavin » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:43 pm UTC

Iranon wrote:Choosing a free operating system because it saves you a handful of $ is like marrying someone because you're too stingy to hire a prostitute.

Yes, you will satisfy your superficial needs and save some money in the short run. But if you don't want to explore the other possibilities of the free option, the savings won't be worth the headaches and commitment expected of you. And you more or less announce that you lack class.
... so in your analogy, hiring the prostitute is announcing that you have class and marrying a woman is the no-class option? ... I... uh... ok?
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby EvanED » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:43 pm UTC

Iranon wrote:Choosing a free operating system because it saves you a handful of $ is like marrying someone because you're too stingy to hire a prostitute.

Yeah, but if you're choosing between two prostitutes and each will do as good of a job as the other, isn't it reasonable to choose the slightly more expensive one that won't make you drive across town on a regular basis?
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Iranon » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:34 pm UTC

gavin wrote: ... so in your analogy, hiring the prostitute is announcing that you have class and marrying a woman is the no-class option? ... I... uh... ok?


I chose the analogy quite carefully. Marrying if all you want is 'a prostitute I don't have to pay' shows a definite lack of class. Choosing a modest fee and convenience over no fee and some effort doesn't in my opinion, whether it's hiring a prostitute or using a proprietary OS. And in both cases, there are plenty who feel otherwise and will be very vocal about it.

EvanED wrote:Yeah, but if you're choosing between two prostitutes and each will do as good of a job as the other, isn't it reasonable to choose the slightly more expensive one that won't make you drive across town on a regular basis?


If you like them equally, yes.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby gavin » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:43 pm UTC

Iranon wrote:
gavin wrote: ... so in your analogy, hiring the prostitute is announcing that you have class and marrying a woman is the no-class option? ... I... uh... ok?


I chose the analogy quite carefully. Marrying if all you want is 'a prostitute I don't have to pay' shows a definite lack of class. Choosing a modest fee and convenience over no fee and some effort doesn't in my opinion, whether it's hiring a prostitute or using a proprietary OS. And in both cases, there are plenty who feel otherwise and will be very vocal about it.
Oh, I wasn't saying your reasoning was flawed, it was quite sound! I'm just amazed at the analogy chose while so aptly applied.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby lalop » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:57 pm UTC

Iranon wrote:Choosing a free operating system because it saves you a handful of $ is like marrying someone because you're too stingy to hire a prostitute.


Why marry? You can go on one-night stands if you want, build up a girlfriend only to dump her for a classy new model down the road.. the list goes on.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Tomlidich » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:04 am UTC

no shame in using xp. it does work. win 7 is cool too.
if you say you like vista, i will personally slap you upside the head. im serious.

but if you think linux is hard, you should not be using ANY kind of computer.

linux works just fine, it is YOU that is the problem.

35 hours to set up a wireless network? really?
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby EvanED » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:16 am UTC

Tomlidich wrote:no shame in using xp. it does work. win 7 is cool too.
if you say you like vista, i will personally slap you upside the head. im serious.

I'm actually one of the few people who liked Vista over XP (and think that gap is bigger than Vista->7), but I'm demonstrably strange on that count. ;-)

35 hours to set up a wireless network? really?

Don't underestimate the difficulty that a stubborn network card can cause. One of my friends spent quite a lot of time trying to get wireless on his at-the-time-new laptop to work (I don't know what the total work hours was, but I think it was about a week from start to finish); and he had been using Linux for many years by that point.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Steax » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:24 am UTC

Also, when it's down to troublesome network cards, Linux systems might take a long time, but at least they worked. On Windows, after running out of the eventual option permutations, switching the on button several times, and blowing into the holes, you really have no choice but to buy a new one. Or something.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby EvanED » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:02 am UTC

Maybe, but how often does something like that happen? Probably about as often as running into hardware that you just can't get working under Linux. (Which has happened to me with a TV tuner.)
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Meteorswarm » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:09 am UTC

Apparently, if you're not careful about buying compatible hardware, you can run into issues, particularly with wireless cards on Linux. Mine might have just been a lemon, though.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Steax » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:30 am UTC

I uh... I'll go back to being a software geek.

Really, I prefer OS X because it just works, and I have no time to fiddle with- no, I mean, I don't- what do you mean, I'm not a geek?

In all seriousness, though, I've found the settings for wireless systems on laptops, even when built-in for Windows, are often terrible. I've handled a whole bunch of them with convoluted configuration problems that stem from stealth-changes made by 'drivers' that offices make people install, or software, or whatever. Argh.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Iranon » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:52 am UTC

Vista isn't as bad as its reputation, that still suffers from a troubled initial transition (high hardware requirements for its time, spotty driver support in the first year, permissions not working well because windows programs traditionally expected full privileges). Seven is a rather small refinement, and calling it 6.1 to Vista's 6.0 would have made more sense. On the other hand, this means there's little in Seven that would be objectionable to a happy Vista user.

@ lalop: Works for me. I used marriage because it fit the stereotype: Stability and dependability, but more than relatively pedestrian things can require a lot of persuasion. I suppose that analogy has run its course though.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Tomlidich » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:30 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
Tomlidich wrote:no shame in using xp. it does work. win 7 is cool too.
if you say you like vista, i will personally slap you upside the head. im serious.

I'm actually one of the few people who liked Vista over XP (and think that gap is bigger than Vista->7), but I'm demonstrably strange on that count. ;-)
.


*SLAP*

what are you on? can i have some?

i worked with a vista laptop for two years, even through all the twerking i did, and the patches, it never ran right. went to ubuntu for my work laptop and never went back.

and the most problems i have had in all my years for wirelss (and often times wired) connections is with xp.
especially on new installs. 9 times out of 10 the install disk doesn't put drivers for the net card on it and you have to go hunting around on the internet for the proper driver. its a pain.
i have put linux on literally hundreds of machines, and so far only one has been a problem, a dell poweredge 2650, but that turned out to be a dead netcard.


edit: also, 7 is a HUGE improvement. runs alot faster than xp or vista, and so far hs not caused anything in our network to blow up. i worry about 8 however.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby TheShadowFog1 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:58 pm UTC

Tomlidich wrote:
EvanED wrote:
Tomlidich wrote:no shame in using xp. it does work. win 7 is cool too.
if you say you like vista, i will personally slap you upside the head. im serious.

I'm actually one of the few people who liked Vista over XP (and think that gap is bigger than Vista->7), but I'm demonstrably strange on that count. ;-)
.


*SLAP*

what are you on? can i have some?

i worked with a vista laptop for two years, even through all the twerking i did, and the patches, it never ran right. went to ubuntu for my work laptop and never went back.

and the most problems i have had in all my years for wirelss (and often times wired) connections is with xp.
especially on new installs. 9 times out of 10 the install disk doesn't put drivers for the net card on it and you have to go hunting around on the internet for the proper driver. its a pain.
i have put linux on literally hundreds of machines, and so far only one has been a problem, a dell poweredge 2650, but that turned out to be a dead netcard.


edit: also, 7 is a HUGE improvement. runs alot faster than xp or vista, and so far hs not caused anything in our network to blow up. i worry about 8 however.


This.
Used to use winXP but went to ubuntu and never went back.
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Re: *shamefaced* I like Windows XP.

Postby Tomlidich » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:01 pm UTC

TheShadowFog1 wrote:
Tomlidich wrote:
EvanED wrote:
Tomlidich wrote:no shame in using xp. it does work. win 7 is cool too.
if you say you like vista, i will personally slap you upside the head. im serious.

I'm actually one of the few people who liked Vista over XP (and think that gap is bigger than Vista->7), but I'm demonstrably strange on that count. ;-)
.


*SLAP*

what are you on? can i have some?

i worked with a vista laptop for two years, even through all the twerking i did, and the patches, it never ran right. went to ubuntu for my work laptop and never went back.

and the most problems i have had in all my years for wirelss (and often times wired) connections is with xp.
especially on new installs. 9 times out of 10 the install disk doesn't put drivers for the net card on it and you have to go hunting around on the internet for the proper driver. its a pain.
i have put linux on literally hundreds of machines, and so far only one has been a problem, a dell poweredge 2650, but that turned out to be a dead netcard.


edit: also, 7 is a HUGE improvement. runs alot faster than xp or vista, and so far hs not caused anything in our network to blow up. i worry about 8 however.


This.
Used to use winXP but went to ubuntu and never went back.


yup.
i still keep a xp machine back at home to play games on and for the technologically impaired family to use and fill with viruses.
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