Hello Zeth!

Just a quick word of background: on Zeth’s blog yesterday, he made a post about GNU/Linux, in which he made the statement: “If you really care about your computers’ security then you would consider GNU software.” I responded with a comment saying, maybe true, but there are reasons I need to use Windows. Anyway, Zeth posted back quite a long post, and I thought instead of writing a long comment I’d make the post here and maybe put a comment there with a link here 🙂 Incidentally, the original post and comment is here.

Right then. Zeth said in his response to me:

That is a problem, but ‘I would use GNU/Linux but …’ is a frame of mind rather than a problem

I fully admit this. The reason is, I really can’t be bothered to go searching for ages to try and find a Linux driver for my wireless card! The thing is, I shouldn’t have to. Why use Linux when I can use Windows, when it works straight out of the box? Incidentally, on Mandrake 10 my USB mouse doesn’t work. It detects the mouse initially, but then the mouse will invariably stop working which is inconvenient. My point is, the majority of people don’t care about security as long as what they have works, without them having to spend an hour or so searching round on the net and fiddling around with configuration files etc.

All the programs (admittedly games) I have tried to run under Wine have run faster than they did on my Weirdos machine (albeit Weirdos 98) so the same programs will probably run if you fiddle a little

Wine sounds good, but I’d have to try it to make a decision. The trouble with those audio programs you listed is that I really want an audio sequencer / loops program. I’m not talking about MIDI. In a similar fashion to Macs being the de facto standard for DTP, Windows seems to be the platform that most professional audio applications like Cubase, Reason, and FL Studio (the cheapest one, which incidentally is the one I use) seem to run on Windows. There is Buzz which apparently works under Linux, but I don’t like it that much.

Anyway. The main thing I like about Windows is its usability. I think Linux has got some way to go before it will become usable to people who don’t like being buried in the command line. The trouble with Linux is just that — it’s just a bit cryptic.

For example, if you want to install a program and you’re new to Linux, you don’t want to have to gunzip / cpio / tar a file with an options string that looks like an MD5 hash: tar -2ba81a47c5512d9e23c435c1f29373cb /usr/home/tmp/sbin/dev/null wibble.ra (or whatever)

There are GUI programs that do it for you now, but the GUI feels a bit like it’s been bolted on to the command line, rather than designed from the ground-up. Some of the desktops (like KDE, Gnome) look nice (they’ve got some good skins etc) but they do feel a tad klunky at times.

Anyway. I’m currently in the process of downloading Fedora Core, and I shall come out with my opinions when it has been installed.

One thing I do agree with, though, unequivocally: Linux rules when it comes to security. I’m definitely going to use Linux for a gateway and doing various other server-related things (for example, a MySQL database connected to the web).

Sorry about the long post! That’s all for now…

(P.S. – Zeth, or anyone really, I’d invite you to post a comment to respond but I haven’t implemented comments on this blog yet! That’s something I think I’ll wait until I have a MySQL database for…)

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