PDA

View Full Version : Interesting WSJ article on Ubuntu



igknighted
September 13th, 2007, 03:13 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118963540721725614.html?mod=technology_main_prom o_left

They quote Mark as saying linux isn't ready for the average desktop

karellen
September 13th, 2007, 03:27 PM
I've read the mentioned article...
also here's another interesting reading: http://www.desktoplinux.com/articles/AT3304051309.html
and the response/analysis: http://www.desktoplinux.com/articles/AT3304051309.html
they both make good statements, especially about the rivalries and division of the linux community. and the lack of proper marketing

mostwanted
September 13th, 2007, 03:29 PM
He's sorta right (Shuttleworth, that is - Mossberg is an idiot:) ): most hardware isn't tailored for Ubuntu and this is what makes it not ready for the average desktop. Mac OS X isn't ready for the average desktop either: it only runs on Macs, it doesn't run on the average desktop.

Ubuntu is sold pre-configured at a few vendors (Dell's initial driver support is quite weak, though) and could be just as "ready" as Walt Mossberg's darling, Mac OS X, if sold only on guaranteed-to-be-fully-supported hardware like Macs. But Ubuntu runs on everything, not just select hardware like Macs or 32-bit x86 hardware like regular Windows. This makes it easier to encounter errors and thus also easier for some random Apple fanboy like Mossberg to bash it.

To quote an oft-quoted phrase: "but it's ready for my desktop!"

curuxz
September 13th, 2007, 03:44 PM
I agree with mostwanted its more of a hardware issue,

as for division well everyone knows thats the case, to often we get fork promotion going on and with the greatest respect to those members of the community there are a lot of 'young punks' who are a little bit over the top on how they act regarding linux.

Thats why I spend my time helping linux with projects that are all about pooling resources and making strong marketing platforms instead of those that just want to make money or get all the glory :)

I think things are certainly getting better, its just we are taking in a lot of new linux users in recent years and the community has yet to fully settle into this 'non-geek' user base that traditionally I would never have.

Nano Geek
September 13th, 2007, 05:04 PM
There is no control panel for adjusting the way the touch pad works, and I found it so sensitive that I was constantly launching programs and opening windows accidentally by touching the thing. Every time the computer awoke from sleep, the volume control software crashed and had to be reloaded.On my laptop it works fine. If he wants he can download gsynaptics and that will let him control his touch pad.

When I tried to play common audio and video files, such as MP3 songs, I was told I had to first download special files called codecs that are built into Windows and Mac computers. I was warned that some of these codecs might be "bad" or "ugly."He probably didn't notice, but they call the non-free ones bad and ugly, and the free ones good; as in the good, and bad, and the ugly. :)
To get the computer to recognize my Kodak camera and Apple iPod, I had to reboot it several times. When it did find the iPod, it wasn't able to synchronize with it. Playing videos was a bad experience, with lots of flickering and freezing. Oh, and there's no built-in software for playing commercial DVDs.My Cannon camera works out of the box perfectly.


Just plug in the iPod, start up Rhythmbox, and start copying songs.


No problems with any videos I've every played on any computer with Ubuntu.



Ubuntu cannot legally support commercial DVDs out of the box because of the they are encrypted. There are steps to easily setup DVD playback on the wiki.





Personally, I don't think that it was much of a review. All he did was say what didn't work for him, what the laptop cost, and that Linux is free.



It would have been nice if he could have spent a little bit of time with Ubuntu instead of just dismissing it as soon as things started acting funny.

FuturePilot
September 13th, 2007, 05:15 PM
I was warned that some of these codecs might be "bad" or "ugly.":lolflag:


Playing videos was a bad experience, with lots of flickering and freezing.
He needed the correct driver. But the Intel X3100 does not have a 3D driver for it.:-s


Oh, and there's no built-in software for playing commercial DVDs.AFAIK Windows doesn't have any either.

Overall, bad review. Dismissed it before he even really gave it much of a chance.

eljoeb
September 13th, 2007, 06:14 PM
I think we need to consider who is reading the article. He points this out in the beginning. A quick download for you just after pouring over the forums may not be a big deal, but it would be for the average Windows user who usually doesn't do very much with their OEM's initial computer settings.

Other than that, he does point out some of Ubuntu's strengths, so you can't fault him too much.

The only thing I was bothered by was the state of Dell's Ubuntu laptops. I would imagine they would have their drivers in order before sending out a product. Plus, it was kinda sad that there wasn't a bigger cost difference.

I don't know where I read it from but I think the phrase is "The cost of a Linux operating system is equal to the time you spend getting it to work." or something like that. A lot of people don't have the sort of time that configuring Linux takes.

kornelix
September 14th, 2007, 09:27 AM
Agree with eljoeb. The WSJ article will be read by millions, and this forum by a few hundred at most. I am amazed that Dell sells such non-functional systems. "Unusual hardware", "wronge driver" etc. is no excuse. I hope Michael Dell has a response, if only a mea culpa.

The Linux zealots who tried to make excuses here and elsewhere just don't understand. Maybe it is too simple for them.

mostwanted
September 14th, 2007, 09:32 AM
Agree with eljoeb. The WSJ article will be read by millions, and this forum by a few hundred at most. I am amazed that Dell sells such non-functional systems. "Unusual hardware", "wronge driver" etc. is no excuse. I hope Michael Dell has a response, if only a mea culpa.

The Linux zealots who tried to make excuses here and elsewhere just don't understand. Maybe it is too simple for them.

There is absolutely no need to be so arrogant.

karellen
September 14th, 2007, 09:45 AM
I think we need to consider who is reading the article. He points this out in the beginning. A quick download for you just after pouring over the forums may not be a big deal, but it would be for the average Windows user who usually doesn't do very much with their OEM's initial computer settings.

Other than that, he does point out some of Ubuntu's strengths, so you can't fault him too much.

The only thing I was bothered by was the state of Dell's Ubuntu laptops. I would imagine they would have their drivers in order before sending out a product. Plus, it was kinda sad that there wasn't a bigger cost difference.

I don't know where I read it from but I think the phrase is "The cost of a Linux operating system is equal to the time you spend getting it to work." or something like that. A lot of people don't have the sort of time that configuring Linux takes.

100% agree with the time (or more precisely the lack of time) problem. for many many people time is more valuable than the extra money spent on a windows/mac machine

Warren Watts
September 14th, 2007, 10:04 AM
Average Ubuntu users are likely to have to wade through online forums, often written in technical language, to get help.
"wade through" the forums? I personally think the layout of this forum is such that there generally isn't any "wading". Type what you are looking for into the search, and start reading threads. If you don't find what you are looking for, revise your search and try again. It isn't rocket science.

"often written in technical language"??? Here I disagree again. I feel like everyone here makes a real effort to keep things simple for the average newbie asking the average newbie question. The newbie may be asked to execute a somewhat cryptic (to the newbie) command or two using the CLI, but it's usually to help them determine the status of a piece of hardware or a software setting.

I hope that Ubuntu never gets to the point where the CLI isn't needed; if it does, all of the things that differentiate it from windows will be lost.
Ubuntu/Linux ISN'T windows or OSX; Its an alternative to both with its own individual way of accomplishing things, sometimes requiring use of the command line. I wish more people would realize this and stop comparing Ubuntu/Linux to windows/OSX.

lancest
September 14th, 2007, 01:14 PM
Hey lets face it we Linux users are much more concerned about the issues of stability, security and speed. Full time MS users mostly just care about their polished software apps. Ubuntu applications are great but old habits die hard. In a way many full time MS users are just followers. They don't own their operating systems and they believe them to be secure. MS made the rules and these people won't accept any other ideas really.

Janusian
September 14th, 2007, 01:32 PM
I have been a Linux user for all of 2 days, and have to say that I agree entirely with the article. I would consider myself to be reasonably technical, and have been able to solve most issues I have come up against, but this requires an ability to use Google well, understand some basic technical terms and concepts (drivers, codecs etc). For an average computer user who have grown up with Windows, this may be daunting, and put people off.

Also most of the help available is written by experts, who write like experts, not technical authors. The two are very different. When you download Ubuntu there is no simple, consolitdated guide, in an obvious place, with lots of screen shots. I assumed from some things I read that the partition thing would do my disk for me. I doesn't - bye bye windows!

Don't get me wrong I think Ubuntu is great, and I was able to get most things working first time, but it is not as easy to pick and use as Windows, and probably never will be.

karellen
September 14th, 2007, 02:00 PM
"wade through" the forums? I personally think the layout of this forum is such that there generally isn't any "wading". Type what you are looking for into the search, and start reading threads. If you don't find what you are looking for, revise your search and try again. It isn't rocket science.

"often written in technical language"??? Here I disagree again. I feel like everyone here makes a real effort to keep things simple for the average newbie asking the average newbie question. The newbie may be asked to execute a somewhat cryptic (to the newbie) command or two using the CLI, but it's usually to help them determine the status of a piece of hardware or a software setting.

I hope that Ubuntu never gets to the point where the CLI isn't needed; if it does, all of the things that differentiate it from windows will be lost.
Ubuntu/Linux ISN'T windows or OSX; Its an alternative to both with its own individual way of accomplishing things, sometimes requiring use of the command line. I wish more people would realize this and stop comparing Ubuntu/Linux to windows/OSX.

you know, Linux would be different even if you'd have no need for the CLI...
think about the architecture ;)