BBC Onlie (sic)

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is Linux ready for the desktop

yes
20
77%
no
2
8%
maybe
4
15%
 
Total votes : 26

RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby davecs » Tue May 24, 2005 9:33 am

A neighbour of my mother-in-law has two orrible teenage kids who spend money faster than she can earn it. As a result she bought a crappy computer second hand with no discs. She did, however get a Win98SE licence. It got into a state where it would not run, just crawl. I have a Win98SE disc and reckon it would be OK to install it with her licence number.

Other than that, I tried to get drivers for her hardware off the net, which I burnt to a CD, along with OpenOffice 1.9.104, Firefox 1.0.4 and Thunderbird 1.0.2.

I also decided to split the Hard Drive into two partitions, one to hold the system C: and using tweakui to divert programs and data to D:. Then using Ghost I could backup C: as a file on D: and repair any emergencies quickly.

First job: Repartitioning drive. fdisk takes forever. How come I can knock up a shiny new FAT32 partition using Mandrake or PCLOS in seconds, but to create two partitions, 1.5Gb and 16.5Gb takes forever using the windows program?

Then the formatting part of Win98SE installation. Again, takes forever. Again, linux programs can knock this off in seconds.

Ah, finally, the install. Then the drivers. Nightmare. The video driver was the wrong one, but I didn't find that out until we had downloaded DirectX8.1 over dialup. (Well I popped back to mum-in-laws for lunch while that was going in).

At least the others were correct, modem, soundcard and printer.

Thing is, I spend hours trying to get Windows set up. Had it been Linux, it would have taken me about 3/4 hour for Mandriva. But that would have needed a DVD drive. Couldn't do PCLOS due to insufficient RAM (128 less 16 for video) would have taken 20-30 min.

I don't know how different it would have been to install WinXP on a more modern computer. The point being that you don't have to: it comes pre-installed.

Linux does not, generally speaking.

And that is the difference!
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RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby Nigel » Tue May 24, 2005 10:44 am

Installing XP is pretty straightforward provided you have standard hardware (now where have I heard that before :roll: ). The difference comes AFTER the install. Both Windows and Linux will likely want to do a big online update straight away, but at least with Linux you don't have to reboot unless you get a new kernel, and then only once - Windows updates usually require several reboots. Seems that they can't update everything in one hit...

Then you get to the post-install problems. With Linux that's typically the nVidia driver, printer, samba, email settings and a few other bits of configuration. With Windows you have the same, plus extra motherboard drivers (if you want to get the best out of the mobo chipset), and then applications... which each require a reboot after installing, some will require online updates, some require new versions of DirectX, many will fill your desktop with unwanted icons. Oh, and don't even think of starting this phase until you've got your antivirus software installed.

To my mind, the big advantage of Linux is that after the post-install driver/config stage, that's it. You already have most of the apps you need (as long as you chose them in the setup stage).
Windows takes the same amount of time to install just the OS.

No idea what OS-X is like in this respect, but having recently played with a Mac for the first time in 20 years, I'm tempted to get one to try - it's very impressive.
Hope this helps,

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RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby Rhakios » Tue May 24, 2005 4:45 pm

Oh well, while I'm on the subject of suitablility for the desktop. perhaps I could stir up a bit more controversy.

Another thing Linux lacks is a unified printer interface, KDE has one, Gnome apps another, Gimp a third and OOo a fourth, not to mention yet another one for Firefox and Opera if you use that (oops left acroread out). It would be nice if they all worked the same way, but the Gimp one certainly stands out on its own. Now, I could swear that the last time I used Windows, while some apps had their own detailed set-up for printing (especially graphics apps) you always ended up at the same printer dialog. Surely with everything using CUPS this should now be possible for Linux.

(Note, I know you can force everything to go through KPrinter or another interface if you know how, but how many people do?)
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Postby davecs » Tue May 24, 2005 9:56 pm

Rhakios, I agree about Printing Dialogues, though it is not true to say that 100% of the time in Windoze you always get identical dialogues, I came across a few non-standard ones over the years. Back in the days of Win3.11 I actually wrote my own one in AmiPro Basic which allowed me to use long file names for AmiPro documents in conjunction with 4DOS.

The other problem you get sometimes is that, for example, the KDE Print dialogues work and others don't! I have had this happen to me, in my Gentoo build of all places. Even selecting kprinter in Firefox fails. Yet in my other one (you know which) it all works perfectly.

I am waiting for KDE3.4 to be marked as stable in Gentoo and then I might build from scratch again, chrooting into a terminal from PCLOS (sorry I mentioned it again).
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Postby nordle » Tue May 24, 2005 10:25 pm

Rhakios, Gnome and GTK apps can be more annoying than most with the number of different dialogue box's for the same thing, it would be good to see a more standard layour for dialogue box's even if they _look_ different.

As far the command line goes, aren't the executables named the same, ie it all goes through lpr
This is how I can used Abiword and print via CUPS and get the same results as printing through KDE's Kwrite etc

EDIT:
Ohh year, I saw that thing on TV too, about 4:00AM I think, wasn't it on ClickOnline, or was it a different program with just the same white hair'd _have you tried the latest technology, its called the Information Super Highway_ bloke.
He clearly has little tech knowledge, not just because he obviously hasn't a clue about Linux on the desktop, but also because of the other ignorrant twoddle that spews from his salon sun burnt lips..... (how many geeks do you know who have a tan!!!?)
Last edited by nordle on Tue May 24, 2005 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby MachuMan » Tue May 24, 2005 10:25 pm

I saw that bbc thing on tele, i nearly vomited with rage! regardless of whether or not linux is ready for the desktop, one thing that is clear is that presenter guy doesnt know his arse from his elbow (can i say that?).

Back to topic i think that most people are computer illiterate regardless of OS, i have lost track of how many times i have had to 'fix' friends and families pc's.

Most people are happy once they have a gui, its the initial install and setup thats the problem, my girlfirend happily uses mandrake to surf and write documents but wouldnt have a clue how to install it. But the same would be true of windows. If linux could come pre installed then no problem i think.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby Rhakios » Tue May 24, 2005 10:52 pm

You know, agreement wasn't really what I was looking for. What's the use of flame-proof underpants if you don't get to test them? And I forgot to mention Scribus, which provides yet another print dialog.

Hmmm,

Code: Select all
podarge:~ rhakios$ ssh pythia
Password:
Last login: Fri May 20 13:22:30 2005
Have a lot of fun...

"...and the fully armed nuclear warheads, are, of course, merely a
courtesy detail."

rhakios@pythia:~> ls -l /usr/bin/lpr
-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 11504 2005-03-19 21:30 /usr/bin/lpr
rhakios@pythia:~> rpm -q --whatprovides /usr/bin/lpr
cups-client-1.1.23-7


So, it looks like that's why lpr still works with cups, as well as the old lpd.

Isn't it nice to be able to log on so easily from OS X to Linux? The two work really well together, much nicer than being stuck with a boring old Windows box.

Nordle, one thing I like about KDE is the configurability of the open/save file dialog, it almost has the complexity of a full-blown file manager (if you want to use it), while most Gnome open file dialogs seem very limited by comparison.
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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby nordle » Tue May 24, 2005 11:56 pm

Rhakios wrote:one thing I like about KDE is the configurability of the open/save file dialog, it almost has the complexity of a full-blown file manager (if you want to use it), while most Gnome open file dialogs seem very limited by comparison.


The bookmarks are great! I prefer the seperate folders view too. And it stays the same from app to app, which is nice.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby smita034 » Wed May 25, 2005 9:04 am

I must say, I might change my mind. Last night i installed SuSE 9.3 Pro on my main desktop for a review for one of my sites. It was flaw less. Java worked, Flash Worked, Realplayer worked (In firefox too) and heck, even installing my NVidia was a walk in the park - only gripe i had was the MP3 support - but that was way to easy to do as well (YAST -> YOU -> Scroll Down -> Tick Multimedia Packs)

With ease like that, I think almost anyone could install it. Mainly as they come up in the patch lists, makes it easy to find.

Now, if the other 2 little bits were automatic ;) that would be simplisity and ease (Or maybe even a desktop Icon to install them?)

Anyways, I should go do some work lol
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby Rhakios » Wed May 25, 2005 6:47 pm

I'm beginning to think most of my plug-in problems are due to Opera (which is a shame as it has one or two features I find indispensable), and in some cases due to using 64-bit.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby towy71 » Wed May 25, 2005 7:25 pm

using Debian sarge I have plugins working fine, ain't rebooted the computer for a few weeks now so don't know about Mandriva and plugins but they worked under 10.1
And my aswer to the desktop is that there are several fine choices for the desktop and most of them seem to be Debian based ;-)
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby nelz » Wed May 25, 2005 7:42 pm

64 bit (or PPC or anything but x86) is part of the problem with plugins. Many of them are supplied as x86 binary code only.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby Flea » Wed May 25, 2005 7:52 pm

towy71 wrote:And my aswer to the desktop is that there are several fine choices for the desktop and most of them seem to be Debian based


Precisely, perhaps the question shouldn't be "is Linux ready for the desktop?" and instead "is *distro* ready for the desktop?" i.e. is Slackware ready for the desktop - No. Is Mandriva ready? - Probably, yes!

Rhakios wrote:You know, agreement wasn't really what I was looking for


So you posted this question on a Linux board? What on Earth did you expect? :roll: :lol:

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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby andychannelle » Wed May 25, 2005 7:52 pm

Just so we don't get too rosy a view of OS-X and its 'unified' print system. Adobe has its own print dialogue (and it appears to be slightly different in different Adobe products), as do some other apps, and these are usually quite different from the standard OS-X dialogue.

In a 'glass-half-full' style, we could say that the slightly messy print situation is an environmental ploy to push us towards the paperless office.

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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: BBC Onlie (sic)

Postby Rhakios » Wed May 25, 2005 8:12 pm

Now that's the sort of answer I was looking for. Knock another OS for not quite being perfect and then say we should all be grateful things are difficult, it's trying to teach us something - look, the rest of you, that's the proper way to defend Linux against criticism!

:lol:
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