[ale] Greetings and introduction

Jim Popovitch jimpop at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 18 23:59:45 EDT 2006

--- James Sumners <james.sumners at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't want to scare you off, but I have to make this observation. It
> sounds to me like you are looking for some magic distribution that is
> going to "let" you do everything you did in Windows exactly the same
> as you did with that operating system. I have seen this sort of
> mentality among my personal friends and watched it fail. When people
> talk about the "Linux desktop" they are, most typically, not talking
> about the same sort of "desktop" most Windows geeks are familiar with;
> that being a business system that excels at playing games and various
> other "home" applications (e.g. iPod management). No, the "Linux
> desktop" is one where work is accomplished. Casual surfing, writing
> papers, developing programs, etc. There are a select few big name
> games that have Linux ports (UT2004, Quake 3/4, Doom 3, etc.), but for
> the most part it isn't a gaming platform like Windows.

I don't want to start a flame war.... but not all work is simply vi'ing 
files and writing papers.  Musicians need *advanced* software.  Application
developers need *advanced* (cough, non-java, cough) GUI design, debugging, 
and testing tools.  Finally, the same people that work all day on word
processing applications appreciate things like Weather Bug, CNN Pipeline, Cisco
IP Communicator, GPRS via Bluetooth, Skype w/ Bluetooth headsets, iPass, Google
Earth, Delta Flight Schedules, QuickTime videos, WPA2, etc.  Oh, and those same
people appreciate the way Microsoft Windows File Association really works with
installed applications, whereas with most Linux distros it is just a *complete*
pain to maintain even with lots of finger crossing.  What Linux lacks is
massive application vendor support... mostly due to all the different ways that
things are done between Linux desktops and distros.

Don't get me wrong, I love Linux.  I just still (in 2006) haven't seen a Linux
desktop that even comes close to the flexibility of what Microsoft produces. 
You can make all sorts of claims about your environment being different and how
you don't need application xyz, but in the end the lack of massive worldwide
adoption speaks for itself.  I work for IBM, arguable one of the worlds leading
Linux supporters.  Yet IBM's own internal corporate Linux desktop distro (based
on RHE4) is still a long way from being what Windows 3.1.1 was.  Sorry if I
strike a nerve, I am just giving you opinions based on years of professional
*developement* and "on the road, in the field" experience with *both* OS'es.

If I need to setup a server I use Linux.  If I need a usable desktop I use XP. 
I would love to go back to a Linux Desktop, but not if it still takes away
nights and weekends to make useable.

-Jim P.

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