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Re: Back to Windows??

Hello Heather,

Firstly, the subject is getting quite off topic by now. For my part I want to 
end the discussion on this list with you with this reply, but any message to 
my email-adress will be welcome of course.

On Tuesday 20 February 2001 23:53, you wrote:
> > Bud,
> >
> > In your answer you are drifting away from what it is really about. Jan's
> > Microsoft has a dominant position,
> An illegally dominant position, according to the judge, but is being
> allowed to get away with it for an unknown further block of time, while the
> appeal process tilts favors in the other direction.  Sort of the reverse of
> throwing the book at 'em and throwing away the key... leaving the key lying
> around in the hall in case the prisoner needs it for something.

I do agree on that, but the illegal aspect is not for all of MS's disciplines.
And there's another thing: MS has a commercial goal, and yes, IBM gave Mr. 
Gates all opportunities, first by giving away PC/DOS and then another time by 
not supporting an, in its time, great operating system: OS/2 (of which a lot 
returned in NT and W2K), and yes, Netscape gave up by not keeping up the pace 
with IE and getting lost in the Mozilla "swamp", just to name a few.
The Linux community does not have a commercial goal.
So that is a fact and that will not change, we will have to live with it and 
the community better focus on a larger acceptance of Linux in other areas 
than the "techno-freaks" and high(er)-tech companies. It is my opinion that 
MS became that big not by the quality of the products but by the fact that 
the name Microsoft showed up everywhere where a computer was switched on.

> > other installation techniques
> which when they work, are really sweet, and when they don't work, cause a
> tenth or less of the computing population to reach for ANY linux rather
> than face another attempt at such an install.  At least the penguins might
> *answer* me in a newsgroup.

I hear this argument over and over again, it's really seems as if it is a 
sort of brainwash: If you are pro-Linux, (I don't mind that), you HAVE to be 
anti-"M". I mean, that's too simple for me: both have good and bad sides, 
sometimes in opposite matters, sometimes in similar matters. And I have not 
that many real smart pengiuns lately.

> > and a clear
> > commercial goal is another subject
> Yeah, try Libranet or Storm or Corel if you want a commercial debian.  Just
> bear in mind that Storm doesn't give a hoot about laptoppers (and appears
> to be going broke -- too many ads, not enough something else?), Corel does
> other things than OS' for a living, and Libranet is young yet, so if
> doesn't work, just *tell* them, okay?

That still leaves me with a kernel that will not print and tape-archive 
correctly if at all.  I would like to refer to a discussion I had earlier in 
which I said, and I still have this opinion:
I do accept that Linux will not work totally correct. No OS does that  and I 
understand that, due to the way Linux is build and distributed, development 
and quality improvement will be an ongoing process at which a lot of people 
contribute, what I admire and what I am grateful for.
However, what I reasonably can expect, especially as a newbie, is that 
essential things really must work correctly. That is important for the 
positive acceptance of Linux, and hence to get more enthousiast supporters 
and contibutors for Linux.

In my case I got confronted with the frustration that an absolute mainstream 
printer, an HP2100, (nothing special, no WinPrinter, just plain PCL6) does 
not work correctly. As for the tape-streamer: OK, some work may be left to be 
done. Tmho, the printer problems are unacceptable.

> > i.m.o. , maybe also worthwhile to discuss but not in this thread.
> maybe.  Probably not worth much more than the above.  We on this list are
> here to "pay it forward" or learn a bit more about Debian, not usually to
> rant about the beast of Redmond.

I definitely disagree with you, that's what the "war" is about, that is a big 
stimulus in the existence and development of Linux. It is the motivation of a 
lot of "OS-anarchists" to "beat the dictator". Or would you take yourself 
seriously if you would say that Linux is an alternative for let's say: AIX?

> > I have the same bitter experience as Jan has: a printer that does not
> > work,
> what kind of printer?  what kind of work?

A super standard HP2100, declared "perfect for Linux" by linuxprint.org
When I select 1200X1200 my font size doubles, spacing between lines 
disappears, at any resolution print data is being clipped. It happens when I 
print via apsfilter, it happens if I use gs on the command line. When I 
installed CUPSYS, commands (eg. lpoptions) never ended. Do you want more ?

> > a tape streamer that does not work,
> what kind of tape drive?  (did you try amanda?  Maximum Linux magazine has
> a big article about backup software this month;  we can help translate
> to debian terms if you think it would help... once you have a better
> question than "doesn't work")

An Onstream DI-30, proudly declared "Linux certified" by the manufacturer. 
The device is recognized at boot, for a few minutes, then it is not longer 
recognized, so no /dev/...  to tar to !

> > no way to get an ADSL modem running a.s.o.
> You have an ADSL codec on your laptop???

The ADSL issue is still open, I will let you now if I have more to report.

> > Many of the responses to posters of the sort of messages like Jan's
> > mention issues like "recompile  this or that", "check the order of this
> > and that", "be sure that xxx is loaded before yyy" and other "advice"
> > like that, which in practice screws up the machine even further. That's
> > the way it goes with Linux, just be objective and read the mail archives
> > .....
> > In my case I got frustated beause I had a relatively simple goal when I
> > tried to install my machine:
> Java's core design goal can be described in one sentence, but "write once
> run everywhere" is not a simple concept, and the uses of Java have often
> tried to drag it away from that dream.

Now don't try to teach me anything on Java and what you say is definitely NOT 
the primary design goal of Java. The design goal of Java was to create a 
language which combined the goodies of OO, C(and partial: C++) and Smalltalk 
producing interpretable code, not for any environment but initially for a 
specific one. James Gosling's project at Sun, then called Oak, was started to 
create a programming environment and language in which updates/upgrades could 
be applied to equipment in "in the field and on the fly" with the guarantee 
that there would be no object linking trouble hence: P-code "executables" 
(Personally I don't think that has been, and is, realistic). The Oak project 
was to program a PDA for Turner. The project ended when Turner decided not to 
market the PDA. The WORA property you mention became an issue when Oak got 
out of the freezer again and was renamed Java, targetting a number of OS and 
processor platforms. The idea was that Java would ideal to be embedded in 
browsers in order to interpret applet code and that's where the first large 
scale use of Java started. The further use of Java outside browsers was a 
later development and now it is the major language used in server 
applications, believe it or not. So nothing is dragging away from that dream, 
the dream is coming true.

> Simplicity itself is a complicated subject.  Any one person's idea of "man
> this is so hard.  why didn't they just W instead of XYZ anyway?" is someone
> else's idea of a good reason to sell 2000 dollars worth of equipment on
> ebay for whatever they can get, just to get it out of their face... and yet
> some other fellow's idea of "obvious".

No, no, I don't buy this kind of political statements. The terms 
"simplicity",  "user friendlyness" are NOT invented in Seattle, just 
commercially well understood. (and that does not imply: perfect products from 

> Some people do think that
> 	cd (whatever directory you unpacked my tarball in)
> 	./configure
> 	make install
> ....is pretty darn simple.  or even
> 	apt-get -b source foopackage
> 	dpkg -i (the resulting .deb file)
> And if it *works* ... welcome to plug and play...  then it was!

With an HP2100 printer and DI-30 tapestreamer ?

> With more than 4000 debian packages I certainly wouldn't expect someone
> to know that W would do for him the same thing as Xyz, with a different
> style entirely, nor that its original author is working on project N,
> which also has an utterly different interface.  What I do know is that
> in Debian, unlike many other distros, if "that old abandoned package W"
> does something and still works, the package will tend to still be around.
> Anyways I have no idea why you want your laptop to be a Visto clone (Visto
> is a website which promises to be your office desk on the web) so I really
> don't know what direction to point you next.  In the general case, we
> have a bunch of webservers (but were you only thinking Apache?

In the first instance: yes

) more than
> one java (you like IBM or Sun's flavor?

in the first intance: Sun, if possible

) and too many little databases
> to count (if I consider database-like PIMs and address books in addition to
> "the big boys" mSQL, mysql, postgres, Oracle, Sybase, LDAP... shall I shut
> up yet?)

For your information, my trouble system actually is not a laptop, but a trial 
server system for some research project. In other areas we already have a 
number of UNIX-flavor servers (FreeBSD and Debian) but also NT servers. At 
our company we do ( but now: did ) consider to convert into an all-Debian 
"shop", including the servers, desktop and all the (DELL) laptops we have.

> So, you may think "it's simple, or at least, it ought to be", but we're
> still working on figuring out which "it" you had in mind.

Basically with "it", I mean "everything". OS-es are there to serve us(ers), 
not the other way around.

> * Heather Stern * star@ many places...

Kind regards,

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