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Thread: The true cost of linux.

  1. #11
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickMay16 View Post
    I was thinking a long time today. I had to seriously admit to myself the truth about things, and confront it in myself. I couldn't live a lie anymore. And then, I realised.

    While the cost of windows is money and occasional problems with spyware and adware, and the cost of apple is the money for the hardware and the software... the cost of linux is the amount of time it takes up. I was reading an article on jwz.org ( http://www.jwz.org/doc/linux.html ) and came across this in it:



    And realised that he was right. It took me several months of messing around and reading on forums for me to be able to work with linux. And in recent conversation with my main man Deven Gallo, I asked him what operating systems installed. He said he used windows xp and had ubuntu installed, but he didn't use it much. I asked him why, and he said that since he had a job now, he had less free time, and he had to make the most of it. So for convienience, he used windows xp.
    So, linux is not free, it costs you devoted time and effort.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not switching away from linux. I'm just realising that there are costs involved. Since I recently got a job at Microsoft, and had less free time, I realised this.

    Sorry if this post annoyed you or offended you.
    That's a good point, although I would say that all computers take time to use and administer....even XP.

    I can't recall how many times I have to run anti-virus, anti-spyware, update for security patches, and the like taking away my productive time...so let's just agree that administering a system takes some effort.

    The more you want to do, the more you need to learn, no matter what system you are doing. If you are just writing letters and surfing the web, that takes no time at all on any platform. Learning new things takes time, time that you could otherwise be productive....I don't think that is any different if you are researching a XP problem, or researching a Linux problem.

    Linux does take time and effort, you are right. But I question whether it takes more time and effort once you have made the switch. For me, I think I am more productive (or at least have more gaming time) than ever. Maybe that is just me.

    The other part of it is, I take time and troll (in the peruse sense, not in the I'm a troll!) forums and help others with what little I know...which adds to the cost of Linux for me, if you follow your line of reasoning.

    I guess that you just need to answer is the time you spend on Linux worth it to you?

  2. #12
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    Things I wasted my time on in Windows:

    * Researching anti-spyware solutions (pay money? don't pay money? install? don't install? which one?)
    * Researching anti-virus solutions (same questions as anti-spyware)
    * Always trying to figure out if magically reappearing folders and processes were "real" spyware or normal Microsoft processes (which may be spyware, too--who knwos?)
    * Googling around to find "free" programs that did not contain spyware
    * Reading over license agreements with a fine-toothed comb to see if the "free" software I was installing contained spyware, adware, or other malware
    * Setting up proper security (since Windows defaults to one administrator account, I'd have to create a separate limited user account and use Run as... for certain tasks or log into administrator to perform certain tasks
    * Installing Windows updates and going through all the prompts and reboots
    * Keeping track of activation codes and original CDs for software
    * Keeping track of driver CDs for hardware
    * Researching ways to get the UI customized and never finding a satisfactory solution (yes, I know about Windowblinds, Litestep, BBLean, and all that)

    Things I wasted my time on in Ubuntu:

    * Researching what proprietary codecs to install to get certain functionality
    * Researching how to set up dual boot
    * Researching what each Ubuntu disk does
    * Researching how to set up my Xorg.conf for the proper screen resolution
    * Experimenting with various programs available in Synaptic to see which ones I liked best

    Summary:

    And that's it for Ubuntu. Notice how the Ubuntu ones are one-time deals. Once I have Ubuntu set up, all the research is done, and I can get to work. Of course, I still "waste" time on Ubuntu for fun, but I don't have to. I "waste" time writing documentation, helping new users, and experimenting with different desktop environments and window managers. But all that stuff is my choice. I don't have to do that stuff just to use Ubuntu. In fact, maintaining Ubuntu is so boring/unnecessary, it usually drives people to seek out something to do (I had to do all this maintenance on Windows... I have nothing to do no Ubuntu... maybe I'll break my system by playing around with Beryl!)

  3. #13
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    This interview is from 1998, the claim that Linux takes more time to administer than Windows is no longer valid.

  4. #14
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    Quote Originally Posted by cunawarit View Post
    This interview is from 1998, the claim that Linux takes more time to administer than Windows is no longer valid.
    Wow! I hadn't even clicked the link. Here's a quotation from the article:
    I used Linux exclusively for most of 1995 and 1996, or thereabouts; back then, I found it to be a total nightmare. It took me three weeks to get X to drive my monitor at better than 640x400, even though Windows did 1280x1024x16 without flinching. I spent weeks fighting IRQ conflicts, trying to get PPP working, trying to find a three-button mouse that worked, and all manner of gross indecencies which do not bear mentioning in polite company.
    In contrast, I'll say that when I first started using Linux full-time, Mepis detected my monitor resolution, my three-button mouse, and my internet connection without flinching. Couldn't say the same for the few times I've reinstalled Windows (one time I actually had lost the Dell driver CDs... total nightmare!).

  5. #15
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu View Post
    Couldn't say the same for the few times I've reinstalled Windows (one time I actually had lost the Dell driver CDs... total nightmare!).
    Agreed, in general nowadays the easier Linux distros to install are much easier to install than XP. I don't know about Vista because I have never installed it.

  6. #16
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    But as we all know, Linux is only free if your time has no value...
    Time is not used up like a resource to turn on and off when needed, it's utilised as it flows so the analogy to a typical capitalistic and communistic resource is bogus to start with.

    When your 'fixing' (setting up) anything in linux as you say, your really learning about the system; it's not a waste and it's not used up on simply maintaining something because what you end up with is both an education and a working system that won't break; why dod you thing gentoo is popular even though it's a royal pain to install if you just want something quick.

    It's not that peoples time has no value, it's just more prudent to initially invest time in Linux, in learning GNU and getting Ubuntu working than constantly maintaining or spending money on Windows and proprietory software. at least it's better than watching American TV.

    I'd love to be able to dispel the FUD around about linux costing time; but then I'd rather much more dispell the stupidity around a capitalistic notion of time is money. Time indeed is LIFE and you should live it not work it to death.
    42 is not an anwser, it's an error code. the universe is saying 'Error 42: meaning to universe not found'
    Programmer, Teacher and Artist

  7. #17
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    I don't think Linux is more time consuming. I installed Ubuntu and XP several times each in the last few months, and Ubuntu is much less painful to configure to my taste. If you refer to the time you spend using it, Ubuntu is in fact faster than XP for me, as I spend less time doing stuff like checking for viruses and spyware. Installing software is also easier.

    To each their own, though.

  8. #18
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    I lost more time installing / defragmenting windows during my life span that installing/configuring linux. This is a fact. Back in the day when windows 95/98 was at its peak I had to reinstall once every two month. Linux once every 6-8 month. Not to mention all 30 software suits that I had to install after installing Windows. Plus, people do have spare time. If they want to use it learning linux ok but linux=time=money equation seems like cr*p to me.

  9. #19
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    Linux wouldn't need configuring if it was sold preinstalled - which is the real problem here. Installing Windows yourself is more time consuming than installing Linux (in my experience anyway). Windows doesn't come with any decent software - it has no drivers for anything, and it always seems to have far more problems than Linux has ever had, post installation.

    Yes, Linux needs tweaking after install - but the issues with Linux are generally brought about by the nature of the computer industry. We struggle with drivers because of legal issues, not technical issues. If vendors sold Linux preinstalled, everything would be set up fine, just like how Windows is. A pre-installed Windows, and a self-installed Windows, are vastly different. The latter is usually a mess.

  10. #20
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    Re: The true cost of linux.

    If someone with little knowledge of auto mechanics decided to change the engine in their vehicle to one that was more efficient or more powerfull etc. it would be time consuming!

    I remember it taking me day's to install and try distro's, now I can do it in a tiny fraction of the time.

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