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Thread: What Stops You from Using Linux?

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    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    What Stops You from Using Linux?

    I don't sell Linux servers or anything like that, I'm just curious, what stops you from using Linux?

    As a server, nothing should stop you as it performs way better than Windows. But, on the desktop, what's stopping you?

    I use Linux (Ubuntu Studio) for my business and soon for recording music. It's wonderful. It's prettier than Windows and far more stable. But it doesn't run Pastel Invoicing (those bastards) so I still need to keep Windows around.

    What's stopping you?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norri View Post
    But it doesn't run Pastel Invoicing (those bastards) so I still need to keep Windows around.
    Fear of that sort of thing

    And inertia. I've got one oldish semi-retired machine I've set aside to give Linux a test drive. I just haven't got to it yet.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Bronze Member Karenwhe's Avatar
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    Hi Norri,

    How I wish you never asked this question... or anyone else .

    We have been in open source for a long time (not me personally but our office, using it, doing project for this industry and what not).

    Worked with probably most known distributiuons even did project with the Shuttleworth foundation, toaster project, EU Computer Drivers License (ECDL if I remember correctly)...... ah, too much and too many to mention.

    As far as distributions are concerned we probably had all of them installed at one point in time or another, tried them, did even documentation, tried to install hardware and it goes on and on and on.

    So, bottom line. Now we have purchased more Windows based software licenses than in the last 10 years.

    How come? It is complicated. We just had a bridge between two open source software stop working, forcing us to move to another software, constantly having to buy small stuff to make stuff work and on and on.

    Now we work heavily in video production, turns out, Linux can do, no doubt but most professional software that is really worth it and makes life easier is on Windows and better yet Mac. Which we will be moving to with at least one station.

    Good things about Linux plenty, heck been there, got the t-shirt (actually have many Linux t-shirts), but at the end of the day you can't do with Linux as a complete solution for the office yet. On the server side a different story all together.

    If you want to make money and efficiency is of high importance paying a few hundred and even thousand dollars to create double than that rather than site and and wait for a software to mess you up, it is cheaper at the end of the day than Linux in the long term. And we have been using Linux systems and software to the max. In the last almost 10 years most of our usage has been Linux.

    I do say this after experience, and I can't believe it is me saying it either, but I have just had it. I also had it with the religious arrogance of Linux supporters and just refuse to understand that making money is essential for a business to survive and yes it is "kosher" to make money in the world and not volunteer all your time to free coding.

    Still use open source software EXTENSIVELY still using distributions (Kunbuntu) but most of the stuff in the office is now running again on windows. Even on our "geek" machine, (on balanced mode = "dual boot") hope they never read this post .

    Oh yeah and one more thing if you also want to trade along the way (I mean the stock market) the good software runs on windows only.

    And yes, we used to much Linux I used to have my kids on dual boot at one point to find out most games and stuff they use is windows only and wiped out the dual boot. How much can you fight or surf against the wind/wave?

    Just not worth the money. If you can use Linux without problems then good stuff, if you use windows stuff, then good stuff also.

    As long as your business is efficient and moves up and making money (rather than struggling with unnecessary crap) all good no matter what you use.

    But using Linux just because it is free well........ been there, done that = bad idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karenwhe View Post
    But using Linux just because it is free well........ been there, done that = bad idea.
    Sort of applies to everything doesn't it Karen?

    We too run a mixture, all servers on Linux as they are simply more stable. Me as a user? Was it Dave that mentioned inertia? Also live in a techno arrogant household..... and someone must keep these guys in the real world! But more specifically because this started about 6 years ago and at that stage the learning curve for my flat brain was just too much as Linux was not as user friendly as windows!

    What I do support whole heartedly is the drive for our schools to start teaching on Linux software. It starts putting the net in reach of the poor man who can piece together a machine from scrap parts and still have a reasonable speed when surfing and working.
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    Bronze Member Karenwhe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbiedle View Post
    Sort of applies to everything doesn't it Karen?
    Not really. Taking into consideration that most distributions come with so much free software it has a bigger tendency than other things in life.

    When you get a book (assuming you could without buying), they don't give you 100 more for free just for fun. In Linux that is more or less the way. Get a distribution then it comes with 100 software. I think Suse before it was taken over by Novel if I remember correctly came with some hundreds of free software.

    So, you say great, no need to buy other stuff. And for years you try to make stuff work.

    You could take the book example further and ask yourself, why would I buy a new book when I got 100 to read for free? Problem being that those 100 books do not have the content that you are looking for, but you think: maybe if I read all of them, I will find what I am looking for. A couple of years down the road, you did not find in those 100 books what you are looking for, then you go to buy a book and find the right one in 5 minutes and get the content you need to solve a problem in another 2 hours. How is that for efficiency. But you had to buy this one, it didn't come for free.

    Now to be efficient and build a business or help your business grow by the process you have set and the requirements you have - now try get Linux to work around that!!!!!

    It doesn't most of the time. Not without huge amount of investment to make stuff work.

    While you take just windows, you can add stuff that "just works" and choose from software that suits your needs.

    The next thing is that Linux software is usually built by geeks a lot of the software is built because they can and some to solve some problems they already have, but most of them don't build with much consumer (as in business or person) in mind. They think they do, I am sure they will argue that, but look at the usability that creates inertial? Do they really? Can they even?

    And this is one of the reasons that no matter how good the intentions, I do not believe in his life time, they will be able to help the poor man in the street that can't afford a license of windows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debbiedle View Post
    What I do support whole heartedly is the drive for our schools to start teaching on Linux software. It starts putting the net in reach of the poor man who can piece together a machine from scrap parts and still have a reasonable speed when surfing and working.
    I agree, that is why I have supported even projects we did for free. But you know what..... after what I saw in at heart of this industry, I no longer believe that it will get there, and if it will definitely not soon.

    The Linux "guys" are getting more religious by the day, they are tightening the licenses that it hurts their own peers. How is that better than how Microsoft cannibalizes its' own industry? It is not really. In other words, on software doesn't work with another - both open source and Linux based - which makes no sense, and then it hurts all the people that are using these two.

    They don't seem to understand a simple thing: If they lose their users they lose their purpose in life (software life that is). And if they lose their purpose in life what was the point of the exercise anyway? After all it was not to make money as most of these have no business models behind them but viral distribution for use and then maybe ad a business model (most never do).

    I believe a lot of the stuff that is on Linux will be and remain for geeks, I do not believe they want it any other way, lets face it it is a geek camp, and therefore it won't spread to the schools.

    You can't expect a 12 or 15 year old to install distributions upgrades, work with Unix command line etc. And the less integrated they become (which seems to be way), the more you need programming skills or to pay someone to get the integration between stuff, even install hardware sometimes.

    After they are out of the school environment so they have no help, how will they carry on at home? If they are not technically inclined they will need to pay money to someone every time the need something. That does not help the poor man on the street. They can't afford the grand per hour to fix something, or to learn how to do something, or to upgrade a distribution or whatever. And there are not enough books on the shelf for Linux stuff for the simple user - guess why? Simple.... because SIMPLE user does not exist in Linux.

    So, will it be in the schools and give the poor man a machine to work with? I don't think it will happen in my life time, not to the extend that it will make a difference anyway.

    And when people leave schools they end up with a Windows desktop anyway at work. So what will schools choose to teach if they want people to become productive in life once they leave school?

    What happened to the "Freedom Toaster Project"? They all come out with big hype and die a fast and painless death unless they have fanatic geeks to support them.

    Fanatic geeks do not make economics work, business people do and when they get involved it usually involves money.

    Sorry for the long post, but some things I have more opinions about than others.

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    During the past few years I have tried several times to switch to Linux. And every single time I was left frustrated, and crawling back to Windows.

    I honestly tried to stick it out, but eventually gave up hope. My main issues were having to either beg for help on some forum or chat room, or having to pay top dollar for it.

    We had one linux server that we used as a firewall, and it seemed to work fine at first. But then we had some lightning and we needed to replace a few parts (4x LAN Cards, PSU, and the motherboard). To our surprise we couldn't just order the spares, we needed to get replacement parts that would be supported by Linux.

    Now for us to do this we had to get a Linux support engineer to come out and arrange everything for us, because we simply didn't have the time or skills available to get the perfect match. This wouldn't have been a problem had we been running windows on the system. We had another few incidents that cost us thousands to resolve, mostly because of not being able to use something or other with linux.

    My point is that by saving a few Rands initially, we ended up spending thousands. When something broke we were left with limited and costly options to get them resolved. For this reason alone I will NEVER take the Linux route again.

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    I am a Linux user. Have been for 6 years. I've moved through a number of distro's, settled on Kubuntu and during this time have made various contributions in the community.

    Now before people conclude that this is going to be a pro linux rant, let me say that I hear the pain. Ok, that said, let's take an open and objective look at Linux from the eyes of a Linux user.

    I am past the days of evangelizing linux so that people will adopt it. I don't really care what you use, I am only happy if I can continue using linux. So please if you are using windows. Keep using it if it works for you.

    I do also have to you use windows, sadly my stock trading platform does not run on linux. Well, truth is there are no good pieces of software out there that work on linux when it comes to the stock markets. So I must go back to windows time and again, that's the reality.

    What I can say about linux is that it is stable and, if you know what you are doing, you will always know where you are.

    What I love:

    • being able to get software at a single command
    • being able to find answers to almost anything
    • not having to have huge memory to run
    • not having to have huge disks to install
    • shaping what I want
    • not having to pay


    What I hate:
    • Hardware that does not work with Linux
    • License changes that force incompatibility
    • Religious nature of Linux supporters
    • Arrogance of Linux supporters
    • Application incompatibility between platforms
    • Features come to windows apps before linux


    So there a pro's and cons to linux, but I tend to think that linux is the lesser of two evils.

    Let's see what's different about Windows.

    I love windows because:
    • Everyone knows to use it
    • Most hardware products supported in windows
    • Most apps work in windows


    I hate windows because:
    • I am forced to upgrade or be left behind
    • New hardware is often not compatible with older windows versions
    • Prices of Windows licenses are expensive
    • When things go wrong, I don't know where I am
    • Virus's love windows
    • I need permission and registration to install or reinstall a product I bought and own
    • Microsoft is anti-competitive
    • Windows does not focus on being an operating system, it wants to be everything
    • Windows does not live well with other operating systems


    Now good old general user, should not move to linux because of a free beer offer unless general user is prepared to learn, research, ask questions or pay for support.

    Windows and MS Office is better for general user and will remain as such until linux and linux apps can bring innovation and features to market and remain compatible with what people want.

    What people want and not what linux developers think they want. The ability to swap and change hardware and not be lost as to how to do anything. Ability to buy hardware and know it will work in linux, ability to understand the interface and not have to use the command line.

    So, anyone thinking on Linux should first know. Linux is not Windows and don't expect it to be the same. Think what you want, linux or windows. If you don't have the knowledge, then you probably don't want linux.

    Mainstream linux is many moons away and I don't care if anyone thinks otherwise. The linux world has come a long way and it will improve, but it is not there for general user yet. That said, general user should not give up and should install and play and learn and keep an open mind.

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    We're running the Linux Server side. But unfortunately our main office programs (AutoCAD, Revit, 3dStudio) just don't have a linux friendly version. And we simply can't find any alternative (Open Source or otherwise) which even comes close to the usability / functionality of these 3. Even tried WINE (and other non-Open Source) "interpreters" - no go, unless I try an run a 10 year old version of AutoCAD.

    A lot of users have complained that (at least AutoCAD) should have a Linux version, seeing as it used to run on Unix in the early 90's - but that was when it's M$ version ran on DOS ... so.

    The big problem is that in '95 AutoDesk decided to move all their programming towards the OS which most of their users were on. At that stage this was Windows 95 / NT 3.5 - with a client base of 93% (the rest on Mac / Unix). I can see the reasoning behind this: "Why waste our time on 3 different versions, when we can keep nearly everyone happy on just one."

    I think in most instances software companies won't start making Linux / Mac versions until they see their client base also moving to these OS's. But, unfortunately, their clients are not going to move to anything which doesn't work yet. So it's a catch 22.

    The only way I can see any of the M$ tied in software moving out the Window is by 3rd party ports of the Windows Libraries to Linux. Such as WINE. But as stated above - this won't work for the newest versions. And it's not exactly an end-user friendly method - more like a programmer's chalenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karenwhe View Post
    Not really. Taking into consideration that most distributions come with so much free software it has a bigger tendency than other things in life.
    A slight miscommunication between us Karen - my intended comment was

    "Using anything JUST because it is free, is never a good idea" I see your passion on the software issue though!


    Quote Originally Posted by Karenwhe View Post
    So, will it be in the schools and give the poor man a machine to work with? I don't think it will happen in my life time, not to the extend that it will make a difference anyway.
    If the latter part of your comment is referring to the volume of people that need to be helped, then I concede that it may take a while. The first part of your statement I refute as I have already seen Linux make a difference in 2 individuals lives. Kids that would never have had this kind of access or machinery if not for Linux. Not only referring to software licenses but to the fact that they were able to scrounge a machine together from throw away parts. The spinoffs of confidence and achievement not even mentioned. Proud as punch they both were and sort of local heroes amongst their peers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karenwhe View Post
    And when people leave schools they end up with a Windows desktop anyway at work. So what will schools choose to teach if they want people to become productive in life once they leave school?
    It is my experience that this will not really be an issue as those who cut their teeth on Linux as an OS get a better basic understanding of what is happening and how the technology is working and are thus far more inclined to get their heads around Windows by simply sussing it out. Let's face it at some levels Windows is ridiculously simple and kids today are born with built in PC literacy anyway! Maybe I am too optimistic - I have been told this on occassion - but I do believe that we will be able to see a change should the entire open source programme be adopted by our government as a basis for teaching in schools, in fact I believe there are already pilot projects running? Anyone know about this? Shuttleworth foundation is involved if I am not mistaken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karenwhe View Post
    Fanatic geeks do not make economics work, business people do and when they get involved it usually involves money.
    This comment is really source for a spin off thread, an issue that I am very opinionated about, I hope you'll be joining me there, will try and get my head around it today. *Gosh, I like good debates!* But to put it in a nutshell...I think that there is a glimmer of hope that the fanatic geeks may actually start flexing muscle (not Linux geeks specifically) - ALL geeks, partly because the most powerful tool in this world today is the very one we are interacting on and it is after all their playground....I remain excited about this prospect!!!

    On that note, is it technically correct to say that geeks flex muscle?
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    Bronze Member Karenwhe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbiedle View Post
    ....in fact I believe there are already pilot projects running? Anyone know about this? Shuttleworth foundation is involved if I am not mistaken.
    I have been involved amongst countless other project in one of these projects at schools at ground level, in the class room so to speak. Not with SF but was HPX (bold on WAS because they no longer exist).

    I won't go into the details, but let's just put it this way, I have seen enough to come to some ground level conclusions. The reason I say ground level is because all good intentions have to work at ground level, if they don't no money in the world is going to fix it. But end up rather throwing good money after bad.

    I don't think it is an issue of optimism or pessimism. I think it takes time and a variety of combinations, such as the right software combined with the right hardware, availability, right resources and correct support levels all at the right time in the right place to make those grand ideas of good intent work.

    That combination is not there yet from what I saw on the ground.

    SF has done some amazing things, sustainability is just lacking probably in most of then if not all, all good intent all well and fine, almost all project killed a fast and painless death. Funny enough the projects that work are sustained by money continuously. In the last two years, I think every single person knew or worked with at SF is gone. Nevertheless the ideas were good, but that is it.

    We still get called to by people with very good intentions to find "guardians" of freedom toasters as they can't find them at SF. I have no clue what is happening with that project anymore either.

    Now don't get me wrong. I am all for optimism, we are amongst the groups that put some volunteering into open source and made also income from open source, but sometimes when you see no significant progress or too many project fail you have to come to certain REALISTIC conclusions.

    I am of the opinion that flogging dead horses is not the best past time exercise.

    Something is wrong. The idea/s may be good, but it may be too early, not in the right time, not with the correct combinations or whatever.

    How many man hours have you invested volunteering in open source projects to be so optimistic? and for how long have you been involved with open source community projects to speak with such confidence?

    Maybe you invested far more than us and have far more experience and can show us the light.
    Last edited by Karenwhe; 30-Jun-08 at 02:51 PM.

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