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Author Topic: Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?  (Read 13350 times)

Offline Seithe

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Curious? Maybe just a personal taste'?


 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #1 on: 23/01/2010 01:07:15 »
Familiarity is a powerful thing.
 

Offline LeeE

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #2 on: 23/01/2010 17:42:34 »
The vast majority of people are not even aware that there's an option, so preference doesn't really come into it; most people don't choose to run Windows or OSX but just buy the computers they can afford, or like the look of in the case of Macs, and use whatever OS is installed on it when they buy it.
 

Offline Geezer

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #3 on: 24/01/2010 06:44:22 »
I would like to twist the question around a bit and ask if the majority of people need an operating system at all :D

What I mean by this is, do most people actually even need a "computer"? They certainly need a means to access the Internet and some applications, but, with the amount of bandwidth that is available to so many people, all they really need is an intelligent terminal to access applications on the web. This is not for everyone of course, but it would probably satisfy a great many people and keep things much simpler for those who don't really want to become their own IT department.

As I tell Mrs G, "I'm only sayin'"
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #4 on: 24/01/2010 10:08:06 »
Gaming.
 

Offline Geezer

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #5 on: 24/01/2010 17:50:05 »
Gaming.

Like I said, it's not for everyone.
 

Offline fontwell

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #6 on: 15/03/2010 13:21:41 »
I have always been on unix or linux at work as an electronic engineer. I love the way you can hack scripts to do things, do stuff in a shell rather than a browser and so on, plus it is usually pretty robust, understands users and networks properly etc.

However, at home I chose to go Windows (sorry). This is because for all the aceness of linux, it only seemed to be possible at work because there was a 'man who knows' around to set it all up and keep things working. When I want something for home use the most important thing for me is that it is easy to get going when I buy it and after that it just sort of keeps going.

Maybe this is possible with linux now but a few years back it seemed to be that the user needed to know a bit too much. Windows might be crap but there are loads of people around who know how to fix most problems if you get one.

The other thing is all the Windows products like Excel etc. If other people send you stuff, mostly it comes from a Windows machine running microsoft programs. You can use alternative programs which open the same files in linux but again, you often have to sort this out yourself and even then, they don't always work exactly the same.

So in the end it is just the lazy choice.

Also, re who needs an OS anyway;

Aren't Google proposing something along these lines? As I understood it (which might be completely wrong), they would sell you a machine which connects to the internet and Google would automatically maintain a small OS on that machine. When you want to do big stuff, Google somehow make it happen (lack of details!). I also had the notion that all of your info type stuff would be at their end not yours, a bit like using Gmail rather than Outlook, so even if your physical computer blows up, you never lose your data.
 

Offline Carbonizer

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #7 on: 03/07/2010 01:16:59 »
Curious? Maybe just a personal taste'?

Because nothing is simple in Linux. Even Windows power users who are software developers (like me) have trouble even remembering how to do certain things on a bash shell. If I know what kind of software I want, I still have trouble finding the name of the correct package to install; it really is hellish.

Even if the distro's interface has a big red "click here to download and install software" button, the user who clicks it is confronted with an endless list of arcane package names accompanied by equally arcane descriptions; how is a Linux newbie supposed to know that to share files you have to install something called "samba"?

The simple fact of the matter is, if you weren't "raised" in the Unix culture, Linux will forever be foreign. You may become fluent but you'll never be completely at home with it.

For a Linux distro to be able to succeed, it has to have the simplicity of iTunes and the marketing budget of the iPad.

Sorry, but as it stands Linux will forever be limited to the people who have the time and mental agility to dive in and learn to swim in its depths.
 

Offline LeeE

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #8 on: 03/07/2010 06:45:42 »
Because nothing is simple in Linux.

And the rest too, was complete rubbish, as well as being completely illogical.

Why can't you remember how to do things in a bash shell, when you presumably can remember how to do them in a windows shell?  What's the difference, apart from you not being able to remember?  And how can you suggest that Linux package names are any more arcane than windows package names?

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The simple fact of the matter is, if you weren't "raised" in the Unix culture, Linux will forever be foreign. You may become fluent but you'll never be completely at home with it.

Hmm... I can't agree with that either.  I wasn't 'raised' in a Unix culture, whatever you mean by that, but having worked on mainframes, various versions of Unix and Windows (all versions), not to mention a few lesser known systems, I've had no problems feeling perfectly 'at home' with Linux, and certainly more so than with windows, which to be honest, is like trying to work with a bent screwdriver.  Oh yeah, and one with a blunted tip too.

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For a Linux distro to be able to succeed, it has to have the simplicity of iTunes and the marketing budget of the iPad.

Sorry, but as it stands Linux will forever be limited to the people who have the time and mental agility to dive in and learn to swim in its depths.

You're just showing your ignorance here and I'm afraid that no matter how much you want what you've said to be true, it just isn't.
 

Offline Frodeborli

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #9 on: 03/07/2010 10:09:35 »
I'm what mist people would call a computer wizard. At work, the other software engineers ask me when they are in trouble. We use Linux exclusively on or servers. Window is or desktop where we us a Linux terminal over ssh and various web browsers.

I like Linux, but windows currently is the superior os. Performance is better in windows 7 than in Linux, both for graphics and multi cpu utilization. (Very few non forking Linux programs can use more than one processor core.) The file system is superior in features with network wide snapshots, access control lists that all software support. It has a better and more stable network file system for office and home than NFS. Various software run as different users, and the currently logged in user is no longer administrator.

Now, all of these problems I can overcome. But what I can't overcome is the fact that I need to replace the kernel regularly in Linux. I could of course choose to hold the kernel at its current version, but how is that for security?. And I can't get my webcam to work, the picture is upside down.

The computer also crash when resuming from hibernation, probably due to the graphics driver not being optimized. So you say that if companies had written drivers for Linux that would not be a problem? The reason they don't is that the Linux kernel require drivers to be recompiled when the kernel is updated. Kernel developers have also chose to say that backward compatability is no priority. It would be very expensive to keep holding drivers current not only for bug fixes.

My background is from Amiga, which is much more similar to Linux technically, so this is not because of "how I was raised".

Linux is catching up, but Microsoft suddenly is on track. Windows 7 they got almost right and they will not fall of the wagon and back to the mistakes of Vista again. The race just got a lot tougher for Canonical and the likes who hope to compete with Windows on the desktop. Linux need not only to be better technically than windows 8 and 9, to gain mark et it must also be simpler to maintain and support for hardware vendors and the damned web camera must work.

But I use Linux because I hate to pay my bills, and due to Java applets being so difficult to get working I am unable to login with my bank. :)
 

Offline LeeE

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #10 on: 03/07/2010 15:41:10 »
I'm what mist people would call a computer wizard. At work, the other software engineers ask me when they are in trouble. We use Linux exclusively on or servers. Window is or desktop where we us a Linux terminal over ssh and various web browsers.

What OS you run on your workstations will be dictated by the applications you need to run, and if the apps you need aren't available for Linux then you have little choice.  It's difficult to see why you use Linux on your servers though, when you clearly think it's inferior to Windows.  After all, it's not going to be because you can't get the server applications you need for Windows Server, is it?

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I like Linux, but windows currently is the superior os. Performance is better in windows 7 than in Linux, both for graphics and multi cpu utilization. (Very few non forking Linux programs can use more than one processor core.) The file system is superior in features with network wide snapshots, access control lists that all software support. It has a better and more stable network file system for office and home than NFS. Various software run as different users, and the currently logged in user is no longer administrator.

I can't think of a single area in which windows is superior to Linux.  Graphics performance depends upon the graphics hardware and drivers, and because of the DRM stuff that's been included in the windows graphics subsystem since Vista, windows drivers are considerably more complex and have to do far more than their Linux counterparts; this is going to impose a performance penalty rather than a performance benefit.  Windows drivers do get more development though, because for the time being many more units will be sold for windows than for Linux.

As for multi-cpu utilisation, the vast majority of clusters run Linux and not Windows.  In fact, Wikipedia currently reports that, as of June 2010, of the top 500 ranked supercomputer systems in the world and which are all massively parallel systems, each with several tens or hundreds of thousands of processors, 91% of them run Linux.  In any case, as a software 'engineer', you should already know that there is nothing intrinsic about Windows software that makes it better suited to multi-processing; multi-processing, whether by running separate processes or by multi-threading, has to be designed into the software.

Claiming that the Windows filesystem (I assume you're talking about NTFS V3.0) is superior is also a bit weird.  You haven't said which of the filesystems available for Linux you're comparing it with, but even the old Linux ext3 filesystem had features that Windows has only recently got, with NTFS V3.0, and many of those features are actually implemented in the OS and not the filesystem itself.  Still, you only have a choice of NTFS of FAT, as opposed to the much wider range of available filesystems for Linux, which include features ranging from inherent fault tolerance, to file versioning, to distributed file systems.  Incidentally, application software doesn't need to 'support' filesystem security measures, such as Access Control Lists, because applications do not directly access the filesystem.

I can't see how you manage to think that windows' shares are superior to NFS either, having a significantly higher overhead than NFS due the the bits that MS has had to add to the basic SMB system developed at IBM a couple of decades ago.

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Now, all of these problems I can overcome. But what I can't overcome is the fact that I need to replace the kernel regularly in Linux. I could of course choose to hold the kernel at its current version, but how is that for security?

You worry about 'needing' to replace the kernel regularly but don't worry about the regular MS security patches you need to apply?  If you were to look a little deeper, the number of security related Linux kernel updates are actually far and few between and most updates are fixes to non-security related features.  If you don't use those features you don't need to update - you do check why you're updating the kernel, don't you?  It's nice to know that Linux does get fixes out quickly though, compared with MS, who tend to just sit on them for as long as possible, or failing that, just charge you more money for a 'new' OS, as they did with W7, which is essentially just Vista but with a lot of fixes applied to it.  I didn't notice MS offering refunds for selling you the faulty product in the first place though.

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And I can't get my webcam to work, the picture is upside down.

As yes - now that tragedy is purely the fault of the OS, and nothing to do with the drivers (that the manufacturer couldn't be bothered to supply).  Yes, I am being sarcastic.

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The computer also crash when resuming from hibernation, probably due to the graphics driver not being optimized. So you say that if companies had written drivers for Linux that would not be a problem? The reason they don't is that the Linux kernel require drivers to be recompiled when the kernel is updated. Kernel developers have also chose to say that backward compatability is no priority. It would be very expensive to keep holding drivers current not only for bug fixes.

Why "probably due to the graphics driver not being optimised"?  A hibernation issue is more likely to be due to problems in the ACPI subsystem, not the graphics subsystem.  It's probably just a language issue, but you can only optimise something that's already working and it isn't the right word to use in this context i.e. where it is not working; optimisation means making something work better than it already does, either to reduce the resource utilisation or to increase performance.  As with your web cam problem though, have you tried the support forums for the particular distro you're using?  The chances are that, unless you are trying to use a particularly exotic bit of hardware, someone else will have already had these problems and you should be able to find if and how they fixed it.

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My background is from Amiga, which is much more similar to Linux technically, so this is not because of "how I was raised".

I liked the Amiga a lot, but it is nothing like Linux at all.  It was micro-kernel based, whereas both Windows and Linux have monolithic kernels, although the Linux kernel is far more modular and structured than the Windows kernel: you can easily add or remove kernel features from the Linux kernel if you wish.

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Linux is catching up, but Microsoft suddenly is on track. Windows 7 they got almost right and they will not fall of the wagon and back to the mistakes of Vista again. The race just got a lot tougher for Canonical and the likes who hope to compete with Windows on the desktop. Linux need not only to be better technically than windows 8 and 9, to gain mark et it must also be simpler to maintain and support for hardware vendors and the damned web camera must work.

But I use Linux because I hate to pay my bills, and due to Java applets being so difficult to get working I am unable to login with my bank. :)

in summary, I think it's actually worth reading what Bill Gates said about the Windows architecture...

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In April 2002 Bill Gates, appearing in his capacity as Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, had given sworn testimony under oath to the US Courts.  Gates' testimony included statements that Microsoft Windows was indissoluble and could not be created in cut-down form. Paragraphs 207 to 223 of Gates' testimony indicated that Windows had an entangled monolithic structure, rather than a structure organised in modular fashion

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_For_Warships#SMCS-NG.3B_controversy_about_system_architecture

Although this was back in 2002, and was specifically about W2K, apart from some tidying up and the addition of the new features, the current Windows architecture remains essentially the same.  It would not be possible to design, implement and test a completely new OS in the time between then and the time when Vista was finally released, let alone add the new features, such as the DRM schemes that run through Vista if it was an entirely new kernel; no one would have had the time to learn and understand it to the degree required to do so.  Even then, it was a couple of years late, and released with a number of planned important features missing.
 

Offline Frodeborli

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #11 on: 03/07/2010 22:01:52 »
What OS you run on your workstations will be dictated by the applications you need to run, and if the apps you need aren't available for Linux then you have little choice.  It's difficult to see why you use Linux on your servers though, when you clearly think it's inferior to Windows.  After all, it's not going to be because you can't get the server applications you need for Windows Server, is it?

We only run browsers and putty for SSH and Eclipse. All of these can easily be run on Linux. Two software developers use Linux for their desktop - but have virtualized Windows XP to run Internet Explorer.

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I can't think of a single area in which windows is superior to Linux.  Graphics performance depends upon the graphics hardware and drivers, and because of the DRM stuff that's been included in the windows graphics subsystem since Vista, windows drivers are considerably more complex and have to do far more than their Linux counterparts; this is going to impose a performance penalty rather than a performance benefit.  Windows drivers do get more development though, because for the time being many more units will be sold for windows than for Linux.

If you can't think of a single area in which Windows is superior to Linux then it will be very hard to discuss with you. You are obviously biased. I need only mention the volume of driver support coming directly with the OS from Microsoft itself. Also, hardware vendors create drivers for Windows for every single bit and piece.

Graphics performance depends also on the efficiency of accessing the hardware. Microsoft and game developers have spent 15 years optimizing DirectX and Direct3D. They have massive amounts of data from hundreds of millions of users allowing them to improve the sub system much more than possible on other platforms. It's not fair to Linux, but that is a fact. DirectX have been collaboratively optimized for 15 years this year.

And "the DRM stuff" they have included does not make the drivers slower - only more costly to develop, and customers willingly pay for that. Anyway, DRM is one area in which Windows is superior to Linux :D

And if drivers are complex, it does not matter as long as you select Microsoft certified drivers. Your system will be rock solid with regards to drivers as long as all drivers are certified.

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As for multi-cpu utilisation, the vast majority of clusters run Linux and not Windows.  In fact, Wikipedia currently reports that, as of June 2010, of the top 500 ranked supercomputer systems in the world and which are all massively parallel systems, each with several tens or hundreds of thousands of processors, 91% of them run Linux.

And what software do they run? Custom written software that can utilize multiple CPUs. Single threaded software is a rarity on Windows, while it is the default on Linux. Many libraries are still not thread safe, in 2010! If a computer suddenly had 64 CPU's your Windows computer running Photoshop or Microsoft Office would be able to utilize them all (on Windows Server Enterprise edition, which is the only edition supporting that many CPUs afaik).

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In any case, as a software 'engineer', you should already know that there is nothing intrinsic about Windows software that makes it better suited to multi-processing; multi-processing, whether by running separate processes or by multi-threading, has to be designed into the software.

Yes, and that is a problem for Linux. Windows software have been designed to use multiple threads since Windows NT in the early 1990s. Most Linux software fork, instead of using threads. The reason for this, historically is that threads were supported only by user space libraries such as pthreads, and they are unable to use multiple CPUs, also forking is very cheap on Linux. Today, however, threads crossing multiple CPUs is supported on Linux due to kernel support for threads - and the problem is only the lack of software utilizing it.

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Claiming that the Windows filesystem (I assume you're talking about NTFS V3.0) is superior is also a bit weird.

Clearly, when someone say the Windows file system they mean NTFS. FAT was invented in 1980, and to bring that up is also a bit weird.

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You haven't said which of the filesystems available for Linux you're comparing it with, but even the old Linux ext3 filesystem had features that Windows has only recently got, with NTFS V3.0, and many of those features are actually implemented in the OS and not the filesystem itself. 

It does not matter which file system you compare with on Linux. Many of them can also be used on Windows. File system features can't be implemented in the OS, as then they would not be file system features. A feature implemented on the OS level would also work on any other file system. Unless, of course, you are talking about API support for certain features.

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Still, you only have a choice of NTFS of FAT, as opposed to the much wider range of available filesystems for Linux, which include features ranging from inherent fault tolerance, to file versioning, to distributed file systems.

All the features you mention ARE supported on NTFS. It is even supported in a distributed manner (consistent, network-wide snapshot across multiple NTFS volumes can be made - you could for example implement a backup of all desktop computers on campus that was consistent across computers). That is not possible on Linux at all. NTFS allows shadow access to a snapshot of any file or folder - even to locked files. On Linux you need LVM or special purpose file systems to be able to make consistent snapshot.

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Incidentally, application software doesn't need to 'support' filesystem security measures, such as Access Control Lists, because applications do not directly access the filesystem.

ACL was introduced on Linux in 2003 on RedHat Enterprise Linux. It has not gained wide support yet. Much software require the semantics of the "old way" of doing things. NTFS have however had ACL since 1993, and Windows software require the semantics of the "new way" of doing things.

Software support comes indirectly; when two programs need write access to the same file, they need a separate server - or they need to run as the same user.

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I can't see how you manage to think that windows' shares are superior to NFS either, having a significantly higher overhead than NFS due the the bits that MS has had to add to the basic SMB system developed at IBM a couple of decades ago.

First of all, I am sure those bits are there for a reason. CIFS (Windows) have historically been much more stable and resilient to errors than NFS shares. I'm not sure how it works with NFSv4. Performance wise CIFS have never been a problem for enterprise environments. Locking of files is a nightmare on NFS. Try running a sqlite database on an nfs share. It is not possible to do securely.

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You worry about 'needing' to replace the kernel regularly but don't worry about the regular MS security patches you need to apply?

I'm not willing to read page after page to find out if the suggested update to the kernel is required or not. I know that every few weeks our Linux servers have a new kernel available, and we need to reboot them.

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If you were to look a little deeper, the number of security related Linux kernel updates are actually far and few between and most updates are fixes to non-security related features.

And that worries me; How is it possible that all Linux programmers are much better at writing secure software than all employees at Microsoft?

The notion that Linux software is "by design" more secure than Windows is no longer true, as Windows software also run as lesser privileged users. Even if the user is admin (which he usually is not), the software does not run as admin. Even legacy software that tries to write to system folders such as \Windows are tricked; every illegal thing they do in Vista and newer is virtualized. The application believe it was allowed to, but Windows intercepts it and actually redirect those operations. This applies to system folders and to the Windows registry.

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If you don't use those features you don't need to update - you do check why you're updating the kernel, don't you?  It's nice to know that Linux does get fixes out quickly though, compared with MS, who tend to just sit on them for as long as possible, or failing that, just charge you more money for a 'new' OS, as they did with W7, which is essentially just Vista but with a lot of fixes applied to it.

Yes. How is it possible to get fixes out so quickly? Is it because of the community oriented approach, where the community is responsible for testing for compatability? Microsoft patches have been tested with a multitude of configurations before they are released.

I was not charged for a new OS; My Windows XP computer still gets updates. And believe me Windows XP SP 2 is a lot better than Windows XP with no service pack.

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I didn't notice MS offering refunds for selling you the faulty product in the first place though.

Well, Microsoft support all their software for many years after purchase. Windows XP will reach end-of-life this July 13th, about 8 years after its release.

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And I can't get my webcam to work, the picture is upside down.
As yes - now that tragedy is purely the fault of the OS, and nothing to do with the drivers (that the manufacturer couldn't be bothered to supply).  Yes, I am being sarcastic.

Relative to me, it is the fault of the OS. Same way as it is the fault of the OS that Microsoft must test their patches very much before releasing them on the one billion computers running Windows.

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The computer also crash when resuming from hibernation, probably due to the graphics driver not being optimized. So you say that if companies had written drivers for Linux that would not be a problem? The reason they don't is that the Linux kernel require drivers to be recompiled when the kernel is updated. Kernel developers have also chose to say that backward compatability is no priority. It would be very expensive to keep holding drivers current not only for bug fixes.
Why "probably due to the graphics driver not being optimised"?  A hibernation issue is more likely

The graphic driver I run is made for a multitude of different compatible chipsets from Intel. Probably it supports the least common multiple of features of all supported chipsets. It is not optimized for MY specific version of the chipset. But I admit, I could be more specific in selecting my words.

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... to be due to problems in the ACPI subsystem, not the graphics subsystem.

You're right. Possibly the ACPI subsystem is the problem, but Intel chipses are very common, and there should be very few problems in that area.

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It's probably just a language issue, but you can only optimise something that's already working and it isn't the right word to use in this context i.e. where it is not working; optimisation means making something work better than it already does, either to reduce the resource utilisation or to increase performance.  As with your web cam problem though, have you tried the support forums for the particular distro you're using?  The chances are that, unless you are trying to use a particularly exotic bit of hardware, someone else will have already had these problems and you should be able to find if and how they fixed it.

I did spend two days reading forums. But it works now! On Windows...

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My background is from Amiga, which is much more similar to Linux technically, so this is not because of "how I was raised".
I liked the Amiga a lot, but it is nothing like Linux at all.  It was micro-kernel based, whereas both Windows and Linux have monolithic kernels, although the Linux kernel is far more modular and structured than the Windows kernel: you can easily add or remove kernel features from the Linux kernel if you wish.

Amiga did not have a "kernel per se.". The kernel ran in user space due to lack of a MMU. Amiga had many concepts similar to Linux, such as mounting and unmounting of disks. File based configuration etc. You could also hack it a lot. The shell/cli was very powerful.

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But I use Linux because I hate to pay my bills, and due to Java applets being so difficult to get working I am unable to login with my bank. :)

in summary, I think it's actually worth reading what Bill Gates said about the Windows architecture...

Look here: newbielink:http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/products/default.mspx [nonactive]

You can take away a LOT from Windows 7 - even the graphical shell is separated from the OS - much like on Linux.

Nice to talk to somebody that actually knows a thing or two about computers, and I am sure we will never agree about ALL these things. :-)

I think both systems have their advantages, and dislike all "nothing is better on your OS than on mine". That will always be "de facto wrong". I'll just conclude; the crowd has spoken. It takes a lot of work to be better than largest software company in the world, one that have built operating systems for three decades.
 

Offline Mazurka

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #12 on: 04/08/2010 17:16:30 »
The vast majority of people are not even aware that there's an option, so preference doesn't really come into it; most people don't choose to run Windows or OSX but just buy the computers they can afford, or like the look of in the case of Macs, and use whatever OS is installed on it when they buy it.

Absolutely, I had more or less abandoned an eepc900 because the OS (a crippled version of linux - effectively designed so you could not break the system) would not allow me to update firefox (amongst other problems) and was just not nice to use.  Having been goaded into it by a friend, and using pendrive linux, I have installed the latest ubuntu distro and love it, giving the netbook a new lease of life.

The point is, for most users, the familiarity with windows is a big tick, as is it being installed on the machine to start with. The big problem with linux (even with tech savvy non geeks like me) is its fearsomely geeky reputation - which I think recent distros are getting round.

A little bit like Geezer, I susepct i am not alone in that I don't know or care which system is technically better or not - most of the time I am not using any machine to anywhere near it's cababillity (gone are the days when I was running Erdas imagine on a pentium II) what I care about as a user is that the internet and email works and that I do not spend ages waiting for stuff to boot.  In this final respect alone, at the moment ubuntu wins.

Of course, if I wanted to pay twice as much for everything so I could look cool, I would go for mac every time, but instead, I wear black polo necks and listen to jazz :)
 

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Why Do More People Prefer Windows/Mac Rather Than linux?
« Reply #12 on: 04/08/2010 17:16:30 »

 

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