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Whatawonderfulday
December 27th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Dear Ubuntufolk:

Can Linux ever displace Windows?

Here's what I found in using Linux:

Under Ubuntu Feisty (Gnome), when I had defined multiple desktops the taskbar crashed occasionally on boot, forcing a reboot. I posted a bug, but gave up when I had to install trace software but didn't understand the scripting conventions.

Installing the driver for a pcmcia card modem required communication with several PhD Linux experts.

I could never install FAX services. This required communication with several PhD experts in Linux but the instructions were over my head--and I'm not dense.

I changed to Kubuntu

First of all, on installing KDE and deinstalling Gnome, the multiple keyboard feature did not work and I had to do a clean Kubuntu install.

Still no FAX.

On Kubuntu, on the KDE desktop, the desktop icons wander on boot unless I use a reduced set and they are placed just so.

On Kubutu Kweather doesn't work.

I have not been able to make head or tail of how to install wireless drivers for the Internet for any version of Ubuntu. I went to the guide forum but I couldn't follow the instructions given the two cards I have--either the card wasn't listed or the instructions were beyond my comprehension.

On Kubuntu, occasionally my screen goes blank and I have to reboot--I don't have a keyboard or anything when the screen goes blank. On the forums I noticed that someone had the same problem with Ubuntu and that it probably had something to do with an overheating processor--but I run Linux at low CPU speed to save power and I have never had this problem either with Ubuntu or with Windows: that would suggest to me a software bug in Kubuntu (i.e. KDE).

Neither the Ubuntu nor the Kubuntu Gutsy Live CD works.

I believe that I have posted questions about all of these matters on the forums, and to most of these problems I haven't even received a reply.

For the most part, all of the above problems either are solved virtually automatically in Windows XP Pro (e.g. FAX services, pcmcia modem and wireless drivers) or don't exist (e.g. blank screens, non-functional applets).

I just don't have the level of problem that I have with Linux with Windows XP Pro on a dual boot machine.

This is not to say that Windows is perfect, but it is to say that in my experience--much to my surprise--it has a higher level of reliability than Linux AT THE LEVEL OF THE USER INTERFACE.

Linux is interesting to me theoretically as an alternative and it is practically useful in my particular situation because it gives me control over power consumption where XP doesn't--but if my experience with Linux is any indication, shouldn't people who have senior positions in the Linux community give serious thought to the useability and reliability of Linux?

Moreover, if we are to escape the Microsoft development model of larger and more bloated operating systems (2000 > XP > Vista), the only alternatives are to go to Linux or to Apple. But with this level of user difficulties with Linux, how can Linux possibly make a serious dent in Windows' market share? And for the privilege of using the aristocrat of computers, the Apple, you pay an aristocratic sum.

Whatawonderfulday

thefirstM
December 27th, 2007, 11:25 AM
I know there are still alot of problems with Linux and Ubuntu, but it has seen worlds of improvement even between Edgy, Feisty, and Gutsy. I think eventually that Linux will take over the crap that Vista is and become the most popular OS. But like I said, it still needs work.

jespdj
December 27th, 2007, 12:23 PM
A large part of your experience depends on what hardware you use. Some hardware works better than other hardware. The problem is that many hardware manufacturers don't think about other OS'es than Windows or Mac OS X when they build their hardware and they are not willing to support open source developers to write drivers for their hardware. It's time that more hardware manufacturers start taking Linux seriously. Probably it's hard for them because Linux is not developed by a single commercial company, so they don't know how to deal with supporting Linux.

On my Dell XPS M1330 laptop, everything works out of the box, including wireless networking, 3D graphics and the webcam. (There was one small thing: the internal microphone didn't work, but it was easy to install a fix for this).

I also have Windows Vista on this laptop (although I use Ubuntu 99.9% of the time) and it was much harder to install than Ubuntu 7.10, because I had to install drivers for networking, the webcam, the chipset, videocard etc. by hand after installing Windows. So on this laptop, my experience with Ubuntu and Vista is almost the opposite to yours.

Einsidler
December 27th, 2007, 01:34 PM
I have had a similar experience to jespdj's when it comes to linux on my aspire 1644WLMi. Ubuntu and most other *nixes have worked almost perfectly out of the box. Windows XP which came preinstalled on this laptop has never worked with my wireless, suffering from frequent drop outs. That problem simply doesn't come up in linux.

Wim69
January 4th, 2008, 04:05 PM
I have been trying to get Gutsy working on a desktop pc for about 4 weeks now.

I agree that some work needs to be done one wireless networking, modem and (related to modems) fax capabilities. Either of these are working at the moment.

It is fun trying to get all of this working, when Windows is still available on my pc. Until now, I cannot totally depend on Ubuntu, I wish I could.

Regards,

Wim.

jespdj
January 4th, 2008, 04:15 PM
Wim, if you want help from the community to solve your problems, then please explain in detail what hardware you have and how it doesn't work (do you get error messages, etc...).

rcsarver
January 4th, 2008, 04:32 PM
I think the developers put a lot of thought into the usability of ubuntu: I've noticed several improvements with gutsy. More often, things just work- with bugs, or course, but still its getting better. When I try to play a video that I don't have the codec for, ubuntu asks me if I would like to install the codec. The install process is becoming easier.

I've run into many difficulties with ubuntu that have been very frusterating. But I've also had great experiences with some versions: Gutsy for me has just worked- everything. I dual-boot with winxp, and it is the same, sometimes a pain in the ***, sometimes great. It's all luck. The difference is you fixing things with help from the countless helpful people on this forum or calling geek squad.

tbranham
January 4th, 2008, 04:35 PM
Just to echo the same sentiment, hardware issues are the bane of any operating system. Trust me, in 1998, installing Linux on your own machine was an intense process. I think it took me, like, 3 full weeks to get Slackware up and running on my 486. Keep in mind, I had no modem, and would have to go to work if I wanted to search for help online. Let's just say that I never got XFree86 to work with my video card. Anyway, as I'm sure you can imagine, things have improved tremendously. It is true that not every piece of hardware is supported in Linux (no matter what flavor you're trying to install), but the vast majority works perfectly out of the box.

You've got the right idea: keep posting to the forums. If you find that the folks in the Ubuntu forums are not able to answer your questions, then take them elsewhere. There are many, many online resources available. Try posting to http://www.linuxquestions.org/ . Who knows, maybe someone there has had experience getting the same hardware to run.

Just my $0.02.

Mithrilhall
January 4th, 2008, 04:40 PM
My advice, build a new computer with "Linux" in mind. Purchase hardware that is compatible and supports Linux. Honestly, that's your best bet.

I purchased a barebones computer and had a hell of a time getting Linux installed on it with everything working properly. I ended up RMAing the unit and building a new computer from scratch. I just spent a little time doing searches online to make sure my hardware would work with Linux.

bthessel
January 4th, 2008, 05:30 PM
Hardware issues are my current headache also. I tend to buy hardware based on deals and such. I consider it a challenge to get the cheapest bang for the buck in my laptops and desktops. Unfortunately that will almost guarantee linux problems. Synaptic touch pad on my laptop jumps the cursor to the pointer all the time while typing, can't get true dual monitors on a ati 1950 working with the monitors being a 20" Widesreen and 17" non-widescreen. Have to fiddle with config files to get a decent resolution on the 20" by itself. None of my printers work at all.

I love my simple hand built Ubuntu file, web, streaming media server in my basement. It's the day to day desktop use that gets annoying.

Whatawonderfulday
January 5th, 2008, 02:33 AM
Let me make some further remarks.

First of all, thanks to all of you who replied.

Next, to clarify something, I use a Dell Inspiron 2600 laptop. I am not in a position to rebuild it (!) or to throw it away and buy another one. Yes it's a little old, but it works fine, for the moment at least, and it's been upgraded on the hardware side. Windows XP works fine on it, just like it works anywhere else, and a reinstall once Service Pack 3 is in final release should leave a reasonably stable operating system. It pains me to admit it to my friends, but at the moment (with Feisty), Windows XP is MORE stable than Linux. Since there is an issue with my even running the Gutsy Live CD (probably the Intel 830 Graphics card), upgrading to Gutsy is a little uncertain, although evidently it can be done from the Internet.

Next, for me things like FAX are 'mission-critical'. There is no possibility whatsoever of my relying solely on Linux if it can't deliver FAX services. But I shouldn't have to have a PhD in computer science to obtain FAX services with Ubuntu.

Next, I really have tried to get solutions. I've gotten tired of the whole procedure: it's pot-luck on the forum who will reply with what level of expertise.

I'm not a computer scientist, although I have programmed, but my career path has been such that I really have no interest in 'nerditude': I need a computer to do certain things which are 'mission-critical', not as a hobby in computer science. Here Linux really has a problem crossing a barrier into general acceptance. Possibly, both Red Hat and Canonical are trying to solve that problem at the level of the paid support systems they are offering (i.e. Enterprise and Canonical paid support), but the unpaid support is really very dicey.

So what I am trying to point out to the 'powers that be'--if anyone is listening--is that to get general market acceptance for Linux, it has to cross the divide from 'nerditude' to a product that does what EVERYONE wants, and out of the box. Yes some computers can run it out of the box. Others... It just can't be that way if you want to achieve general acceptance.

While it is probably 'heretical' to remark this, let me say it: Yes Linux under the hood is probably--certainly, let me say--a better operating system than Windows, especially for, say, 'mission-critical' server applications. Very stable, very sound. But as an end-user product... Part of the problem--and here is the heresy--is the development model of 'Open Source': Everyone volunteers their time in one big happy family. Canonical seems to realize that it can't rest there, because it is providing support to enable Dell to load Ubuntu into some of its models at the factory: obviously that sort of operation needs employees somewhere who will 'punch in' and fix whatever is wrong whenever it comes up.

Now I don't have a solution, I do think that the Community should start to think about the long-term future of Ubuntu, and Linux, and consider these issues, whatever solutions it might want to come up with.

With best wishes to all, starting with Canonical,

Whatawonderfulday

tonychar
January 6th, 2008, 12:32 PM
Hi there, a real newbie chipping in now.

It's only through problems with Windows (new motherboard) and a helpful work colleague that I looked at other operating systems. It is very doubtful I could have got Windows up and running on my machine, with the new motherboard, my colleague did that. While I was waiting for that to happen, I prepared an Ubuntu cd for a dual boot trial.

I backed Windows up fully (using the Windows back up programme), and my music and photoes etc onto a portable HD, and went for the dual boot set up. Somewhere along the way, instead of repartitioning the drive, I managed to install Ubuntu as the solo operating system. Oh dear.

That was a week ago, and on and off, since then, I've gotten what I want to work.

I have a music player, and can rip to MP3, not just.ogg, I can watch Youtube videos, I can watch the BBC iplayer, I can play with my photoes, I can browse the web, I can do the finances on a spreadsheet, I can write emails (although that seems to have stopped today).

All this without ever having used a command line before.

I'm pretty damn impressed, and though maybe it doesn't do enough for everyone to be able to use it, for those who are seeking a Windows alternative, it'll do quite nicely thank you.

And I'm quite enjoying learning how to work a computer, rather than an operating system. That's not going to happen overnight though.

Whatawonderfulday
January 24th, 2008, 05:16 PM
Just a final thought:

I did upgrade to Gutsy after a few trials and errors.

Whatawonderfulday

SonicSteve
January 24th, 2008, 05:26 PM
My 2 cents on Faxing,

Over the years the only reliable hassle free faxing I've found is to print and use a real fax machine. I found faxing in Windows to be tedious, annoying, unreliable, limited. Sure if you buy faxing software you can do better, but the windows fax service stinks. For the price of software I would prefer to buy a cheap fax machine.

I've never tried it in Linux, I do know that fax modems are the real problem because they are "win-modems" depending on windows and not hardware. Thus since they are not "lin-modems" -which I don't think exist- you will have a hard time from the get go. The other option is to buy an expensive hardware modem, and not a win-modem. Again though give a real fax machine any day.

stchman
January 24th, 2008, 07:08 PM
Dear Ubuntufolk:

Can Linux ever displace Windows?

Here's what I found in using Linux:

Under Ubuntu Feisty (Gnome), when I had defined multiple desktops the taskbar crashed occasionally on boot, forcing a reboot. I posted a bug, but gave up when I had to install trace software but didn't understand the scripting conventions.

Installing the driver for a pcmcia card modem required communication with several PhD Linux experts.

I could never install FAX services. This required communication with several PhD experts in Linux but the instructions were over my head--and I'm not dense.

I changed to Kubuntu

First of all, on installing KDE and deinstalling Gnome, the multiple keyboard feature did not work and I had to do a clean Kubuntu install.

Still no FAX.

On Kubuntu, on the KDE desktop, the desktop icons wander on boot unless I use a reduced set and they are placed just so.

On Kubutu Kweather doesn't work.

I have not been able to make head or tail of how to install wireless drivers for the Internet for any version of Ubuntu. I went to the guide forum but I couldn't follow the instructions given the two cards I have--either the card wasn't listed or the instructions were beyond my comprehension.

On Kubuntu, occasionally my screen goes blank and I have to reboot--I don't have a keyboard or anything when the screen goes blank. On the forums I noticed that someone had the same problem with Ubuntu and that it probably had something to do with an overheating processor--but I run Linux at low CPU speed to save power and I have never had this problem either with Ubuntu or with Windows: that would suggest to me a software bug in Kubuntu (i.e. KDE).

Neither the Ubuntu nor the Kubuntu Gutsy Live CD works.

I believe that I have posted questions about all of these matters on the forums, and to most of these problems I haven't even received a reply.

For the most part, all of the above problems either are solved virtually automatically in Windows XP Pro (e.g. FAX services, pcmcia modem and wireless drivers) or don't exist (e.g. blank screens, non-functional applets).

I just don't have the level of problem that I have with Linux with Windows XP Pro on a dual boot machine.

This is not to say that Windows is perfect, but it is to say that in my experience--much to my surprise--it has a higher level of reliability than Linux AT THE LEVEL OF THE USER INTERFACE.

Linux is interesting to me theoretically as an alternative and it is practically useful in my particular situation because it gives me control over power consumption where XP doesn't--but if my experience with Linux is any indication, shouldn't people who have senior positions in the Linux community give serious thought to the useability and reliability of Linux?

Moreover, if we are to escape the Microsoft development model of larger and more bloated operating systems (2000 > XP > Vista), the only alternatives are to go to Linux or to Apple. But with this level of user difficulties with Linux, how can Linux possibly make a serious dent in Windows' market share? And for the privilege of using the aristocrat of computers, the Apple, you pay an aristocratic sum.

Whatawonderfulday

Linux has real problems using Winmodems. To alleviate modem problems replace it with a hardware modem.

As far as PCMCIA modem, you probably got a PCMCIA Winmodem. I have not used a modem is almost 8 years so I cannot comment.

Ubuntu supports some wireless cards (Atheros, Intel), but there are some manufacturers that won't create drivers for Linux for their cards.

Remember Apple uses UNIX for it's OS. Apple limits the hardware that runs on their PCs/laptops to assure hardware compatibility.

Macs are pretty bloated themselves.

If you want a guaranteed desktop/laptop that works with Linux then buy a Dell with Ubuntu preinstalled.

sageb1
January 24th, 2008, 08:14 PM
in a word: no.

Long answer: the apple vs mac ads ignore Linux, but I liked the linux as woman underground ad the best, since it ties feminism to linux i.e. "women's lib" == "free software".

Seriously though, has the OP - the guy who posted the original article - worked in the command line and is familiar with scripts?

IMHO we have need of a facilitator to translate these instructions that didn't work due to high grade level of tech advice. Which brings me to my first question: what were the instructions to get fax to work which didn't work? What instructions were incomprehensible?

what is the bug for fax?

and yes, it is important to know the hardware and OS version. this is why i have it in my sig.

Zwack
January 24th, 2008, 08:45 PM
And of course, the ultimate solution to faxing...

http://www.tpc.int/

Z.

dgray_from_dc
January 24th, 2008, 09:59 PM
I'm a Mustang enthusiast with no real mechanical skills so here's a bad analogy.

The scenario you described is like buying a Mustang V6 and then buying a Corvette LS-1 engine and being upset that a large Chevy engine doesn't work in a Ford, and then complaining to a mechanic that Chevy parts are crap 'cause they didn't work for you.

You have the option of going right to the Chevy dealership and buying a Corvette outright or looking up some parts that were made for your Mustang.

If I want Corvette power, I'm not dumb enough to try and shoe-horn an LS-1 engine into my Mustang making the assumption that it'll work because they're both American cars. I'll either buy an after-market Roush engine for the Mustang or buy a Corvette.

Told you it was a bad analogy....

Point is, you can't really be upset when your DIY project goes wrong. Especially when, as others have stated, you can buy Dells with Ubuntu pre-installed (and other PCs with other distros pre-installed by the way).

The problem isn't exclusively with Linux, but with the fact that manufacturers don't support it. You wouldn't try and install Vista on a Commodore 64 right? So why complain about Linux not working on incompatible hardware?

Linux could use a good deal of polish I admit. But you can't fault Linux and the open source community for the lack of support from hardware manufacturers.

To answer the question, yes. But only with the support of hardware makers and (as I told my ex-girlfriend) that's a big but!!!

akiratheoni
January 25th, 2008, 02:58 AM
Dear Ubuntufolk:

Can Linux ever displace Windows?

Here's what I found in using Linux:

Under Ubuntu Feisty (Gnome), when I had defined multiple desktops the taskbar crashed occasionally on boot, forcing a reboot. I posted a bug, but gave up when I had to install trace software but didn't understand the scripting conventions.

Installing the driver for a pcmcia card modem required communication with several PhD Linux experts.

I could never install FAX services. This required communication with several PhD experts in Linux but the instructions were over my head--and I'm not dense.

I changed to Kubuntu

First of all, on installing KDE and deinstalling Gnome, the multiple keyboard feature did not work and I had to do a clean Kubuntu install.

Still no FAX.

On Kubuntu, on the KDE desktop, the desktop icons wander on boot unless I use a reduced set and they are placed just so.

On Kubutu Kweather doesn't work.

I have not been able to make head or tail of how to install wireless drivers for the Internet for any version of Ubuntu. I went to the guide forum but I couldn't follow the instructions given the two cards I have--either the card wasn't listed or the instructions were beyond my comprehension.

On Kubuntu, occasionally my screen goes blank and I have to reboot--I don't have a keyboard or anything when the screen goes blank. On the forums I noticed that someone had the same problem with Ubuntu and that it probably had something to do with an overheating processor--but I run Linux at low CPU speed to save power and I have never had this problem either with Ubuntu or with Windows: that would suggest to me a software bug in Kubuntu (i.e. KDE).

Neither the Ubuntu nor the Kubuntu Gutsy Live CD works.

I believe that I have posted questions about all of these matters on the forums, and to most of these problems I haven't even received a reply.

For the most part, all of the above problems either are solved virtually automatically in Windows XP Pro (e.g. FAX services, pcmcia modem and wireless drivers) or don't exist (e.g. blank screens, non-functional applets).

I just don't have the level of problem that I have with Linux with Windows XP Pro on a dual boot machine.

This is not to say that Windows is perfect, but it is to say that in my experience--much to my surprise--it has a higher level of reliability than Linux AT THE LEVEL OF THE USER INTERFACE.

Linux is interesting to me theoretically as an alternative and it is practically useful in my particular situation because it gives me control over power consumption where XP doesn't--but if my experience with Linux is any indication, shouldn't people who have senior positions in the Linux community give serious thought to the useability and reliability of Linux?

Moreover, if we are to escape the Microsoft development model of larger and more bloated operating systems (2000 > XP > Vista), the only alternatives are to go to Linux or to Apple. But with this level of user difficulties with Linux, how can Linux possibly make a serious dent in Windows' market share? And for the privilege of using the aristocrat of computers, the Apple, you pay an aristocratic sum.

Whatawonderfulday

Try using Linux-compatible hardware then you'll be swimming in Linux-goodness. If you're having troubles with Linux, a lot of times it's your hardware.

KThrace
January 25th, 2008, 08:22 AM
It depends of course on each person's situation, but if you're asking whether Linux will make a serious dent on Windows' market share, no, absolutely not. Most people would be more inclined to move to OS X instead of Linux, partially because they know Macs exist in the first place, and partially due to the idea that they're easier to use than Linux and support the commercial software they like.