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pbpersson

The future of Linux

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Several people in this thread seem to be saying that one of the barriers for Linux is the Microsoft lock-in. However, what is interesting is that the people for whom license cost is a big problem (basically, those in "poorer" countries) are also those not already locked into the Microsoft monopoly.

 

I think that *this* is where the Linux takeover will come from. Not the technophiles and open-source lovers in the US, Europe, Australia and the Far East, but from South America, Africa and Asia, particularly China.

 

And when it's been proven there, over and over again, *then* people over here will start taking notice. I also believe that easier-to-use and easier-to-configure distros will also come out of this effort.

 

This will happen gradually over a couple of years, but once this rising tide overtops the Microsoft lock-in dyke, then it will inundate most of the rest of the world pretty quickly.

 

All in my poorly-informed opinion, of course.

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..and the point is?

uuhhhhhh....you said:

one thing linux might want to catch on about is browser plugins/media

i replied:

i believe totem and/or gxine have browser plugins. and there's also realplayer 10.

get drunk and forget what you wrote again bvc?

heh, haven't been drunk in ...oh...15 years? I've had a few buzzes lately though ;)

 

What you said is not an answer, but the problem... totem doesn't work out of the box and is missing about 20 pkgs for everything to work rt, gxine isn't installed, and many of the libs are contrib or plf and when concerning other distros most of ALL of this isn't even installed at all. My point was that you had no point because 'media' is dead out of the box ;) One would have to be drunk to make a comment like yours :lol2:

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Just caught a post about "help desk" and thought I would share a windows proble. The point about this is that the windows "help" is not nearly as advanced as their pr allows you to think!

 

I have an xp machine insisting on forcing elections for master browser. In the win98 days, one could simply tell the box to stop, and it would. Not so today. If your xp box is forcing elections, tough bananas. MS says there is an issue with a small number of boxes. Well, this network has 12 machines, and one is doing it. I call that a real problem. The box is a brand new Dell. I call Dell. I have to tell them that a fix is available, do they have it. After an hour, they begin to understand that I am not talking about IE!!!! They refer me to MS. At MS, I am told that the SN is not supported by them. but by the vendor. I tell Dell what MS says. They DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO!!! So, my customer has to pay ms for the fix.

 

This is not any more lame than having to make adjustments in any computer. The difference is with linux, you cas do it. With MS, even their vendors can't!!

 

Linux is fine right now. It is the PR that is lacking.

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Aussiejohn, I copy that... interesting, I hadn't heard that story, which is odd since I am Dutch and as such used to get anything Philips spoonfed - not just through the media, but also since in the Netherlands, everyone has some family or acquaintance working for Philips.... maybe I just didn't pay attention - mind you, I was under 12 when the videostandards war was decided....

 

 

Sellis, the thing is, in China and other such countries, the licence cost isn't an issue. Just as the extended editions of LoTR cost 1$ per dvd (totalling what, 12 dollars for the full set?), MSWin is just as cheap as any linux distro: the price of the media.

Of course, for governments things are (somewhat) different.

 

In any case, the point is that soon Linux cannot be overlooked, and hardware compatibility issues will be less of a problem.

 

Meanwhile, Linux just keeps spreading, all around the globe.

 

And Ix has one of the biggest points, there is no good PR.

Where do you get the budget if you give away your stuff?

 

It will come.

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I still think that the key is in the apps. People are worried that they will not be

able to do the things that they used to do because the apps are all different

and they are difficult to deal with, use, install, upgrade, etc.

 

Those people are wrong, of course. Linux is more stable than fnWindoze, and

the apps are just as good (or better). But the perception is there. From my

perspective, upgrading the apps is, indeed, a bit more difficult than with fnWindoze,

but for the most part, the apps on Linux are better than the apps on fnWindoze.

 

The Linux apps are more modern. For example, I store my documents in

native OOo format now because it is based on XML instead of a proprietary binary

like the .doc format. Similarly, I have moved to Inkscape for graphics because of

the standard svg format. fnWindoze proprietary binary is old-think.

 

Pre-installed and easily upgraded apps; that is the key.

 

Banjo

(_)=='=~

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You're contradicting yourself I think....

 

I still think that the key is in the apps.

 

This I disagree with.

 

People are worried that they will not be able to do the things that they used to do because the apps are all different and they are difficult to deal with, use, install, upgrade, etc.

 

This is right - so really, the problem is lock-in. Mentally, but still. The good old problem of inertia.

 

It doesn't matter if Linux apps are more modern or open. That they are not the same is the problem - for the Windows users of today.

Tomorrow things are different.

 

Look at it this way:

compared to win95, Linux really has an incredible amount going for it. But still, there are likely more win95 users out there.

Even if you compare Linux to winxp (as you should, since that's what people get when they buy a pc), the balance isn't in favour of win in many respects.

But this doesn't mean much.

The truth is, people just don't care (enough).

And they are locked-in - mostly by 'habit', not so much due to file formats.

 

Nothing but time and keeping on going with spreading Linux is going to change it. But there is time, and motivation and efforts to spread Linux.

All is well that ends well.

 

 

Ps pbpersson, after figuring out the problem wasn't linux, are you keeping the server on win2k or going back to linux? Just curious.

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And they are locked-in - mostly by 'habit', not so much due to file formats.

 

I agree with this. And people stop being lazy when the effects of their bad habits

become painful enough that it is worthwhile to invest in new tools. I think

that with fnWindoze we have reached that point.

 

I know people who have been using fnWindoze for years, and now

they rant at me about how horrible XP is. They are sick of the spyware and

sick of the intrusions and sick of having their computer hosed by automatic

upgrades. They are sick of having to spend money on protection software

to keep the nasties out of their system.

 

These people are so upset, that they are literally yelling at me.

(Why me? They gotta yell at *somebody*, and Gates ain't listenin')

 

So, I tell them that I am using Linux, and it has none of those problems

and that they should consider moving to Linux.

 

The immediate answer is "That is too hard for me." or "I need my Windows

applications to do my work." It is the apps that they are worried about.

 

Another big excuse I hear is "All my work is in .doc format." and "I need

to send documents to colleagues, and .doc format is the standard."

 

Lazy? Maybe. But I think that "terrified of big changes" may be closer.

 

If Linux continues to be for "hackers only", you will not bring those people

over to the good side. It has to be a friendly playground or they will not come.

 

Just my $0.02.

 

Banjo

(_)=='=~

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The playground is friendly enough, it's just a matter of getting them started.

 

Start with those who are ready, and get those who are not yet ready warm for the idea of opening up. Get them started on FF, OOo.

That should help against some viruses.

 

Linux hasn't been hackers only since 2 years or more. My wife uses it without problems, she just doesn't like OOo since she was really very skilled with MSO. But that's about the only thing.

Linux is there, most could use it. If only they knew. Ix has it damn straight - it's all about PR.

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Ps pbpersson, after figuring out the problem wasn't linux, are you keeping the server on win2k or going back to linux? Just curious.

 

Umm...very undecided at this point. I want to learn software development and I want to develop on a platform that every business has where I can find the most customers. I was thinking of keeping the Windows 2000 machiine as a workhorse for database conversions or whatever.

 

Or I could just as easily use the Windows XP machine for development and database conversions and keep the faster machine to "run the rest of my world" in Linux.

 

This coming weekend I will convert the current Mandrake machine (an obsolete old Celeron EMachine) into the network print server and see how it behaves. Then I can decide.

 

 

Phil

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Another big excuse I hear is "All my work is in .doc format." and "I need

to send documents to colleagues, and .doc format is the standard."

 

I thought that Crossover Office was the answer. They can still use MS Office if they need perfect compatibility but it can be on a better, safer OS.

 

Phil

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All that said, I still think Linux is definetly the future, we're just gonna have to be really patient. 

 

Well, not to be really negative here but 40 years ago my dad, who grew up in Europe, used to tell me that Esperanto was the future. He said English was being pushed as a standard by America and it would never fly. He told me that during my adult life the entire world would be using Esperanto because it is country-neutral and would simplify so much of the planetary society.

 

So....here we are 40 years later. My dad is long since dead, there is a computer in every home, I am connected to other computers all over the planet, and what am I using to communicate? Why, good old English! :D

 

What's wrong with this picture? :unsure:

 

 

Phil

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They are sick of having to spend money on protection software

to keep the nasties out of their system.

 

But....if Linux was the OS that everyone was running wouldn't the virus writers be targetting Linux instead of Windows? Don't you think they would just as creative? I know, no one is supposed to be running root. However, when I was downloading updates into Mandrake I saw all sorts of titles like "a hole was found that would allow malicious software to gain control of...." although I didn't read the details.

 

Phil

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Part of it maybe not wanting to learn, but I think most of it is because Windows is so damn easy to run, use, install, setup, than linux, in most cases. Java, just double click. Flash, just double click.

 

I will give you something even simpler. When I installed Mandrake I got to a screen where it asked me what software I wanted. I was able to specify all the software, all the utilities, games, tools, productivity packages, development packages - everything. I didn't need to go to the Adobe site to find Acrobat or the Apple site to find Quicktime, it just all happened in a flash.

 

When the OS was installed I already had all my favorite applications and they were all ready to go with all the plug-ins I wanted. :banana:

 

What do I do when I want to simultaneously upgrade all those packages? All I need to do is click on one icon and it all just happens for me while I'm watching TV - the computer doesn't need to reboot once.

 

Now that is easy!!! :D

 

Compare that to the other night when I installed Windows 2000 and then had to install all the fixes. You need to install IE version 6. Okay.....now we need to reboot. Okay.... Oh, I see you are running IE version 6, there is a critical update for that. Well...okay, but why couldn't that be installed when I installed the package to begin with. Oh, we need to reboot again? Okay.....now I want to install my video driver. Oh, I need the .NET framework? Okay, let's install that. We are rebooting again? Okay. Now can I install my video driver? Oh, there is a critical update for the .NET framework? Well, why the heck didn't you install that when.....WE ARE REBOOTING AGAIN???? AHHHHH!!!!! :wall:

 

 

Phil

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pbpersson, are you gunning for a high post count?? :P

 

Anyway - keeping win2k or xp around if you develop software for it is the first thing to do. In that case you're not a regular home user, so why Linux at all (if not for the heck of it)..?

 

Crossover is only somewhat the answer - it is not perfect, it costs, it keeps people locked in into MSO...

Lots of computers come with OOo preinstalled now. Time to ditch .doc, .xls, .ppt, .pps, etc and move to .swx and Co.

 

The last official figures I've seen are that OOo has 15% of the market.

 

If anything, people should create proper MSO filters to be able to read (and if possible, write) OOo documents.

 

 

On the whole Esperanto thing: your dad may have been saying that 40 years ago, it was nothing but a nice dream, nice but unrealistic. Even today, many villages have their own dialects here in Europe - Switzerland is particularly bad, in the German speaking part every valley speaks in different ways. I grew up in Nijmegen (the Netherlands), and some people there still speak the local dialect (which I can't even understand) - it's had ages to die out, but still refuses.

 

Linux on the other hand, is picking up steam. The examples I gave are just that, examples. But in any case, today you can buy preloaded systems from plenty of places, Carrefour sells preloaded Mandrake in France, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Belgium. You can get preloaded laptops, etc.

That was not possible 2 years ago (apart from some small scale trials).

 

Lots of mission critical software now runs on Linux, for instance the programs we have at my place of work to design and test microchips with. The company I work for is a large, very slow, entity. If we're doing it, all others have done it for some years now.

BTW Nvidia designs their chips on Linux machines, as does AMD. Not sure about Intel, could be the same, but could very well be something else.

 

Linux is going places, not because some here (including me) are saying so, but because we see things happening.

I don't talk about Linux in non-computing/technical environments, but now it's happened a few times already that I was at some party or so and people mentioned they were using it or trying to - in that latter case my wife is quick to push me forward to offer to help them... ah well.

 

 

About viruses getting targetted to Linux - yes and no.

 

The regular email viruses that are so very successful at the moment are not possible on Linux. Read the web, use google, I don't want to repeat that here, it's been said everywhere.

So that leaves the trojans and such, programs that use loopholes in programs and services. As Linux has no messy stuff incorporated into the kernel (contrary to MSWin), just not installing unnecessary services already helps lots.

Then you only have to make sure your firewall is up (or actually, if you have no services running, it may not even make a big difference) and your kernel is patched.

The hole that msblaster walked through was a service in MSWin that users have no control over. No such holes in Linux, there's no need for that kind of stuff - services that run and that a software firewall cannot close off.

 

Next to that, linux isn't linux. Every system has a different version of the kernel, different patchset, different services/daemons, etc.

This makes the landscape much more heterogeneous, which makes for good health and defence against viral diseases. Even with a 100% Linux landscape.

 

In the end, yes, there may be more virus attacks, but there's no logical reasoning that leads to the belief that there will be as many successful attacks on Linux as there currently are on MSWin.

 

Oh, another thing: apart from the email viruses, I mentioned trojans and such - online infecting things, which also includes worms of which MSWin users have seen their fair share.

Well, the thing is, the reign where worms are successful is the reign of always-on machines, those that are accessible 24/7. And guess what - many of those are on Linux. Still I don't see the news saying that half the websites were down.

So apparently, Linux in terms of worms is holding its ground. And in terms of email viruses, there's not such a big risk. The n00bs that don't know that making an attachment executable can be dangerous, will also not be able to do so - creating an effective email virus on Linux will really take very special social engineering skills.

Next to that, there's not so much spyware and malware.

 

So the only big risk I see is if ftp mirrors get hacked, rpms swapped for trojan infected rpms, and people installing stuff with urpmi and then ignoring the 'incorrect signature' warnings.

For trojans to be successful in that way on a large scale, lots of things have to go wrong at the same time.

 

 

So I take issue with the statement that 'if Linux becomes more successful, there will also be more viruses, since then it will be a target' - the implication is that it will be in a similar state that MSWin is in today, and there are no grounds for believing that, considering the points I mentioned before: on the server side it already is a target (has been for a long time), and on the home user side, it will be a target for sure, but it's just a harder nut to crack.

 

Note: Linux/apache/etc is not a failsafe option - lots of website defacements in that region. Lesson to learn: there are holes, and some people can get in. The point is, that it takes skills and lots of effort, instead of some silly script - and then they can still usually only get into the non-patched systems, from 2 years ago of people who think Linux doesn't need updating....

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pbpersson, are you gunning for a high post count?? :P

 

Anyway - keeping win2k or xp around if you develop software for it is the first thing to do. In that case you're not a regular home user, so why Linux at all (if not for the heck of it)..?

 

Am I trying for a high number of posts? No, I was replying to and quoting several different messages. I'll bet I could have done all that in one message had I know what I was doing. :D

 

Anyway, on the topic of software development I know how to program in C, Basic, Pascal, COBOL, and VB.NET. I also used to be a network administrator. I'm trying to figure out which way I want to go with my career. I figure I can pick up some extra money on the side by writing Windows utilities for small companies. Perhaps I can create some Windows programs and put them on download.com and make a name for myself that way.

 

At the same time if an employment opportunity comes along where I can be a Linux desktop support person or a Linux network admin I don't want to be totally ignorant of Linux.

 

I don't know what the future holds so I'm trying to cover all the bases. Really, I thought I could do Windows development during the week and then fool with Linux on the weekend for fun and relaxation. :D

 

I think my ultimate goal would be a freelance programmer working out of my house but I don't know if that will ever happen.

 

 

Phil

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