Re: What DO you lose with Linux ???
On Sun, Mar 28, 1999 at 12:49:27PM -0000, Ted.Harding@nessie.mcc.ac.uk wrote:
> Today' London "Sunday Times" feature "Innovation" (pp 10-11 of "News
> Review", http://www.sunday-times.co.uk ) has an article by David Hewson
> (of "Linux, the Program from Hell" fame) entitled "Linux wins backing of
> computing giants".
I did not see that article but have read his stuff before. He is a
M$ fan, I very much get the impression that he doesn't have a wide
computer experience, in such people the attitude is often ``although the
system that I use may have warts, it is better than everything else''.
> However, he states:
> "Behind the hype there is precious little sign of Linux becoming
> a serious, versatile desktop OS. If all you need is a browser
> to get through the day, it's fine. But if I boot the PC I am
> using right now into any kind of Unix the list of stuff I lose
> -- music composition, accounting and personal finance to name
> but a few -- is endless because the applications just aren't
> there. On top of that, Linux is difficult to set up, fails to
> understand the difference between a desktop PC and a notebook,
> and lacks any kind of plug and play facility."
> I'm sure the last sentence is simply wrong in point of fact.
I have been running Linux on me Gateway laptop for 3 years, very few
problems (except some hardware ones). One of the great things is that it
does understand suspend/resume, so it goes for weeks between reboots,
often changing IP address several times in a day as I move around
to/from customers. I was inflicted with NT on a notebook last year, it
could not handle suspend/resume & a reboot was forced if I tried to
change IP address. I used my personal Linux box so that I could get some
work done -- the main problem was weight, carting 2 laptops + papers
around get heavy.
Finance: I use cbb (tcl/tk program) to handle by cheque books, it isn't
really personal finance but I would find it very difficult to go back to
doing it on bits of paper. GNUMoney is under development, but not
complete; there are a couple of other finance projects out there.
I think that many of us have misunderstood the question and have
understood ``can we do XXX under Linux''. Well, the answer is probably
``yes - but you may need to pay for it (and use a SCO/IBCS application)''.
But the answers that we have proposed have all been Open Source
applications, because this is what we *understand* Linux is, and so look
for Open Source applications.
It must be agreed that in terms of real ``dumb blonde'' personal
productivity there are holes in what Open Source apps are available and
nicely integrated. But that is changing rapidly.
The other problem that faces someone peeping over the hedge from M$
Windows land is ``where to find the applications''. There aren't so many
magazines reviewing Linux apps as there are reviewing M$ apps. If you
walk into your local high street computer store you will probably see a
few boxes of RedHat/Suse/..., and hundreds of boxes of M$ games, finance
apps, music composition, ... This means that if you want these apps you
need to know where to look and you really need an internet connection.
Hewson is lazy, he hasn't really put in the research/investigatory work
that most people would assume is behind the article - but it can be easy
to get started. I would suggest that one of us (Ted ?) collect the
information and mail it to him - not all of us.
Many people are (quite reasonably) not interested in: finding,
downloading, compiling these Linux apps. I think that it also shows a
great market opportunity for someone to put out CDs of collections these
Linux apps, The problem is that many of them are still changing rapidly.
It will come.
Enough words. Cheers