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Re: why linux?

On Mon, 21 May 2007, S C wrote:

For months now I have been trying to make Debian behave like a real OS. However, I still cannot print, format/initialize a new cd or use one to back up files, get the sound working, watch a movie or read images from my digital camera. With Windows all this was simple. I downloaded the relevant program, set it up and it worked. Windows is supposed to be devilspawn and doomed, and maybe it is. It does, however, have one saving grace; it works. It works without expecting me to become a systems engineer.

Why try to run Debian if you don't have any problems with Windows.

1.  It is much easier to make things work if you ignore security.

2.  Win32 doesn't work for everyone

At work, Win32 is the "corporate standard" and PC's are purchased in bulk and are configured using a standard image. Pretty soon we found that a number of "mission critical" apps wouldn't work until users were given admin. rights. Our enterprise grade network switch has a long history of autonegotiation glitches (it wants clients to run 100Tx-HD, with FD duplex reserved for servers). A duplex mismatch doesn't prevent using the network, but performance suffers badly. With linux, "dmesg" gives errors with the suggestion that there is a duplex mismatch. The mii-tool lets you view the autonegotiation status and renegotiate when the first attempt gets it wrong. Before Win32, I had an SGI Octane. For SGI IRIX64, you build a kernel with autonegotiation disabled and lock the port on the switch at 100Tx-FD. Win32 wouldn't connect at all until the port was set back to autonegotiate, but provides no mechanism to view the results of autonegotiation, so our users have learned to unplug the network cable if the network becomes sluggish or they see a lot of "delayed write failed
messages" in the event log.

We often need to burn a data DVD to transfer files/images from the unix machines to other sites. The unix machines are in server rooms and don't have DVD writers, so you have to transfer the files (many are bzip2 compressed) to a PC. When I do this, my Win32 system becomes unresponsive due to the AV scanner taking over 90% CPU for hours. This is huge waste of resources and is much more likely to get false positives than it is to find an actual virus in a data file generated on unix.

3.  debian works for many people

Maybe you hardware is substandard or maybe you didn't configure it

When I go to someplace like freenode/#debian I am ignored. Maybe I should say to Hell with Linux and sell my story to Microsoft. Obviously I don't really want to, but how much longer should I put up with a partial OS? I don't mind telling you I'm damned sick of it.

If you don't want to be ignored, you could try a commercial distribution.
Debian is mainly supported by the user community -- nobody gets fired
for ignoring complaints.

George N. White III  <aa056@chebucto.ns.ca>

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